Union Township

Ringgold County


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Cornwall Pioneer Home

Upstairs with

Rhoda Johnston

In kitchen with

Mary Overholzer

In Library with Connie Huff

In 1855 Elihue and Emeline Lucas Cornwall, their two sons - Avery and Herbert - and other relatives, moved by covered wagon from Ohio to their new homes in the northeast part of Ringgold County. IA. The Cornwalls lived in a log house for 11 years. In 1864, a new frame house was begun. This project required three years of part-time work. Dimension lumber, mostly native black walnut, was cut and sawed in early saw mills of the area. Finishing lumber was hauled many miles by ox-team in lumber wagons. Lime was burned in kilns in the neighborhood for plaster. Lath for the house was split by hand rather than sawed. Pin and mortise construction was used in the frame. Elihue Cornwall died shortly after the house was completed, but Emeline Cornwall, his wife, raised her family of five children in this house and completed the conquest of the wilderness farm that her husband had started. Emeline Cornwall died in 1917 and the house was occupied by various other families including her granddaughter, Addie Cornwall Eddy, and her husband, Ernest.

In 1965, Cecil Cornwall, great-grandson of Elihue and Emeline, hearing that the old home was to be razed, purchased it and moved it next to his home east of Ellston where he restored and refurnished it with loving care. In 1970, Cecil Cornwall died and the house was presented to the Ringgold County Historical Society by his brothers and sisters. In presenting the house and its contents to the Ringgold County Historical Society, the Cornwall family requested that the building be maintained in Ellston as a memorial to the pioneers of southern Iowa who, by their courage, hard work, and devotion, conquered the wilderness of the prairie and woods and gave us a heritage we must never forget. The home helps us look back to those times.

Brought to you by NERA . Northeast Ringgold County Alliance. Foundation . Established in 2008 . Serving residents in Northeast Ringgold County . Iowa

In the Parlor with Nadine Hosfield

The Ringgold County Pioneer Center is managed by the Ringgold County Historical Society under the direction of Bob and Linda Swanson, 641-783-2155.