George Walters Elder was born May 6, 1822 at Clearwater, Pennsylvania, a son of James Elder and Margaret Walters. George married Emily Bonsil, first and there were five children by this union: Laura, who died as a child; Walter; Dora; Thomas and Marion.
George’s second marriage was to Margaret Caroline McNutt, a daughter of William McNutt and Mary or Caroline Creswell. She was born January 10, 1836 in Blairsville, Indiana County, Pennsylvania. George did not fight in the Civil War as he disapproved of war as a means of settling disputes and said his family needed him.
George and Margaret Caroline had 10 children:
George Newton, born August 20, 1859; William Gilbert, born March 4, 1861; Mary Elizabeth, born September 16, 1862; James Franklin, born June 3, 1865; Margaret Emily, born March 12, 1867; Mabel, born November 11, 1868 (died as a child); John Blake, born September 5, 1870, died April 9, 1872; Carrie Kelly, born September 16, 1872, married James A. Trumbell; Ruth, born June 3, 1874; Adrian, born October 5, 1876.
Some of George brothers had already settled in Hancock County so George and his family settled in Upper Grove, Iowa, later the name changed to Goodell, in the spring of 1864. George bought an improved and richly wooded farm on the Iowa River from Benoi and Abigail Haskins on May 3, 1864 for $3,000.00. The homestead had a two-story walnut log house and barn. There were about 40 acres in timber and 180 acres in rich, river bottom land. The Elder property remained within the family until sold in the early to mid 1980’s.
The Elder family made their own soap in the spring, in a kettle outdoors. George Elder was known for his famous apple butter made with pumpkin, that lasted all winter.
George died September 6, 1896 in Goodell, Hancock County, Iowa and is buried at Amsterdam Cemetery.