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Below is a family biography included in History of Union County, Iowa published by S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., in 1908.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Samuel Addison Stream is a retired farmer of Creston, engaged to some extent in the real-estate business. He has practically, however, put aside business cares to enjoy his remaining days in the fruits of his former toil. His birth occurred in Loudoun county, Virginia, in 1831. His father, William Stream, was born in the Old Dominion, while his parents were natives of Germany and on coming to the new world settled in Virginia. His brother, Jacob, served in the war of 1812.

William Stream was a cooper by trade but devoted the greater part of his life to farming and stock-raising. In 1848 he removed from Virginia to Licking county, Ohio, where he purchased land and carried on farming until 1853. That year witnessed his arrival in Iowa, at which time he settled in Linn county, where he bought land and made a home, residing thereon until 1886. He and his wife then went to live with their son Samuel in Adair county, Iowa, where he passed away on the 3d of January, 1889, in his ninety-first year. He possessed remarkable health up to the last, never missing but one meal at the table. In his business affairs he was quite prosperous and his success was attributable to his own labors. He worked hard, improved his opportunities and carefully utilized his advantages, so that in the course of years he gained a gratifying competence. He was ever a warm hearted man, generous in spirit and kindly in disposition. He held membership in the Evangelical Lutheran church and in the later years of his life took a very active and helpful interest in church work. While in church the question was asked how old a man should be before he quit attending Sunday school. Mr. Stream, then ninety-one years of age, replied, “You will have to ask an older man than I am.” In his political views in early life he was Whig, while later he became a republican and prided himself on the fact that he never voted any other ticket except once, when he supported Andrew Jackson. When asked why he thus voted he answered, “I guess because everybody else did.” He was a great fancier of the horse and was considered one of the best horsemen in the state of Virginia. He bred and raised fine horses and early in life owned a number of fine race horses, making some excellent records on the track. His life in its honorable purposes, kindly spirit and helpful actions endeared him to those with whom he came in contact and his memory is now held reverently in the hearts of many who knew him.

In early manhood he wedded Pleasant Wright, who was born in Loudoun county, Virginia, and died in 1885 at the age of eighty-eight years. Her parents came from Germany at an early day and settled in the Old Dominion, where her father, who was a planter, spent his remaining days. Both Mr. and Mrs. Stream had been previously married and each had three children. By their union there were five children: Grafton C., who served with Company E of the Sixteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry in defense of the Union and died in 1905; Martha Ann, deceased; Samuel A.; Virginia, deceased; and Charles W., a retired farmer living in Ogden, Iowa.

Samuel A. Stream was reared on the home farm and in his youth attended the country schools. Practically his entire life has been devoted to general agricultural pursuits, yet for six years he was upon the road as a traveling salesman and was a merchant in Ely, Iowa, for six years, but all of this time his family remained on the farm. In 1879 he removed to Adair county, Iowa, where he carried on general agricultural pursuits until 1904, and he still owns the Adair county farm of two hundred acres, which is one of the finest farm properties in that locality. In 1900 he came to Creston and entered into the real-estate business but has practically retired on a competency. Careful expenditure, judicious investment, unwearied industry and unfaltering perseverance have brought to him a substantial annual income as the result of his former toil.

On the 12th of December, I860, Mr. Stream was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth M. Nesbitt, who was born in Orleans county, Vermont, in 1836, a daughter of John and Jeannette (Taylor) Nesbitt, who were of Scotch ancestry. Coming from Scotland, they settled in Vermont and Mr. Nesbitt, who was a shoemaker by trade, took up his abode upon a farm, where he passed his remaining days. Mrs. Stream was one of a family of ten children, seven daughters and three sons. By her marriage she has become the mother of eight children: John H., now in Nebraska; Jennie May, the wife of John Monihan, a farmer living near Hastings, Nebraska; Henry S., a horse buyer of Cheyenne Wells, Colorado; George W., a resident farmer of Lincoln township; Frank L., a dealer in imported horses at Creston; Edward T., a ranchman dealing in horses and cattle at Cheyenne Wells, Ralph W., an auctioneer and liveryman in Creston; and Kenneth B., who is a horse buyer associated with his brother Ralph. There are also twenty-two living grandchildren.

Mrs. Stream is a member of the Congregational church. For many years Mr. Stream held membership in the Evangelical Lutheran church and during twenty-one years’ service as superintendent of the Sunday school in Linn county missed only one service. He organized two Sunday schools in Adair county. His first presidential vote was cast for General Winfield Scott and from the organization of the party he has been a stalwart republican. He has filled all of the township offices, was postmaster of Ely, Linn county, eleven years, being first appointed under General Grant’s administration, and he has been tendered other official positions but has declined. He belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic, being entitled to membership by reason of his active service in the Union army during the Civil war. He enlisted in September, 1864, as a member of Company E, Sixteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served until the close of hostilities. He took part in various important engagements, was with Sherman from Atlanta and was in the battles of Chattanooga, Missionary Ridge, Big Shanty and Ringgold. He went with Sherman on the celebrated march to the sea and participated in the grand review at Washington. While there his army corps, the Seventeenth, was awarded the dart—a badge given to the corps making the best time on the march to Washington. While at the front Mr. Stream necessarily had to turn over his Sunday school duties to others but when he again reached Linn county he was unanimously selected for his old position as superintendent. He is now a member of T. J. Potter Post, No. 440,1 G. A. R., and has been honored with every office in the post. He was appointed colonel on the staff of Commander St. John of the department of Iowa. He was also president of the Union County Veterans’ Association and has been a delegate to the national encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic. By Governor Jackson he was appointed a delegate to the farmers’ congress—a tribute to his position as one of the representatives agriculturists of the state. In 1899 he and his wife spent six months in California, visiting many places of note and of interest in the west. Mr. Stream has now passed the seventy-sixth milestone on life’s journey and a review of the record shows much in his life work that may well serve as a source of inspiration and encouragement to others. His example is indeed well worthy of emulation. His influence has ever been found on the side of justice, truth and right and his history proves that an honored name and success may be won simultaneously In the evening of life he receives the respect of young and old, rich and poor and is most highly esteemed in this part of the state, where he has lived for many years.

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This family biography is one of 247 biographies included in The History of Union County, Iowa published in 1908.  For the complete description, click here: Union County, Iowa History and Genealogy

View additional Union County, Iowa family biographies: Union County, Iowa Biographies

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