May 25, l852, GEORGE MOREY and family with his two sons-in-law, JOHN KEOWN and HENRY TRUMAN and their families, came to Decatur County, Iowa, from Fulton City, Whiteside County, Illinois. They crossed the Mississippi River at Lyons, Iowa, on the ferry boat. They ate their first dinner l l/2 miles north of the present site of Pleasanton. The only towns in the county then were Decatur City, which was the county seat and Garden Grove. The nearest trading point was Keokuk until Ottumwa was started and they hauled merchandise from there.
JOHN KEOWN settled just over the line in Missouri but came to Decatur County in l86l, where he bought land in Section l6, Hamilton Township, which is now in the name of his son, JOHN B. KEOWN. The MOREYS also bought school land in Section l6, at one time having 480 acres, 360 acres of which is still in the MOREY name, the old homestead being occupied by the great grandson, WALTER L. MOREY.
The spring they came, it was too late to clear the ground of timber and plant any crop, so AARON TURPEN gave GEORGE MOREY the use of two acres of land that he had cleared and fenced, if he would plow the ground. He had the first corn to mature in the neighborhood, that could be taken to the grist mill, even if it was planted in June.
The descendants of GEORGE MOREY to the number of 70 gathered together Sunday, May 25, l924, and had a picnic dinner on the spot where they had eaten their first dinner 72 years ago.
The only ones that were present at the previous dinner were GEORGE KEOWN and MARTHA VANDEL, of Pleasanton and S.S. KEOWN of Lamoni. After eating they proceeded to organize themselves into a society to be known as the GEORGE MOREY HISTORICAL SOCIETY, and elected the following officers:
President - WALTER L. MOREY. Secretary - J.E. LEEPER, Jr. Historian - GERTRUDE B. KEOWN.
Copied by Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert "With permission from the Leon Journal Reporter" September l0, 2002