Notable Stories 1-4



ROBERT N. FLORINE March 14, 1923 - September 8, 1993

Robert N. Florine, the son of Knute and Christin (Norgaard) Florine was born in Cherokee. He was called for active duty into the Army Air Force at Des Moines on February 1, 1943 and discharged on September, 1945.

On July 15, 1945, he was given the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary service and heroism during a mapping mission over Germany on December 24, 1944. Flying at thirty thousand feet on a mapping run, Captain Florine observed two ME-262 jet fighters launch an attack on a friendly reconnaissance plane. Seeing that the plane was badly damaged on the first pass and was at the mercy of the enemy, he did not hesitate to turned his unarmed aircraft into the path of the hostile fighters. With utter disregard for personal danger, he made a simulated head-on attack and by superior airmanship so occupied the enemy that the damaged aircraft was able to escape. Captain Florine's quick and daring action in attacking two of the enemy's most vaunted fighters to save a fellow pilot is in keeping the traditions of the Army Air Force.

Robert had a total of 55 combat missions over enemy territory. He was honorably discharged in 1945 but remained in reserve service until 1969 earning the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Robert married Frances Powell on September 5, 1945. They farmed in the area and owned land near Sutherland. Bob passed away on September 8, 1993.

Calvery Cemetery





LUCY SLACK Oct 24, 1824 - Jan 30, 1905

William and Lucy Slack homesteaded in the mile north of the church. William was an ardent supporter of the church and was most likely the first burial in the cemetery.

The couple first came to the county in 1869 and lived in a log shanty. This home was replaced with a frame house in 1871.

After William's death in 1874, Lucy continued to live on the claim with son, Charles, until her death. Lucy was an ardent supporter of the church and served as Sunday School superintendent for many years. During the grasshopper years, all but one family left the church, but slowly they returned.

Lucy fashioned the first flag (4.5"x 7") in the county with fabric purchased at W.C. Green's store in O'Brien Village. It is currently displayed in the courthouse*.
Covey Church Cemetery

*(NOTE WITH DISPLAY)This flag was flown at 1st 4th of July in O'Brien County at Old O'Brien in 1866. It was made by Lucy DeLand Stack.

Covey Church Cemetery



SAMUEL JORDAN May 19, 1845 - May 27, 1914
MARGARET PRIME JORDAN Jan 27, 1844 - Jul 7, 1920

Samuel Josiah Jordan was born in Ohio. His parents were pioneers in that part of the country which was without railroads and covered with a heavy forest at that time. The family was subject to many hardships and privations. Schools were scarce and poor and boys were kept at home as soon as they were old enough to work. Samuel enlisted in the 67th Ohio Voluntary Infantry for the Civil War and served in the Army of the Potomac under Grant and took part in the siege of Petersburg. The privations and exposure endured in this siege were almost beyond endurance. One-half of his regiment died or were killed during the month they were in the trenches before Petersburg. This undermined his health and he was very ill for several years after his discharge in December 1865.

He came to Story County, Iowa, in 1868, and was there married to Margaret A. Prime. They moved to O'Brien County in the early spring of 1869 and homesteaded in Grant Township, which was their home until his death. Samuel recognized the advantage of feeding cattle and began by buying all the calves he could find about the county. He raised and fattened them for market. From this small beginning his business increased until he was the heaviest feeder in the county.

Samuel was one of the workers for the location of Sutherland on its present site, and became a stockholder in the First National Bank of Sutherland soon after its organization. At that organization, he was elected to the position of President at which he still held at his death.

Waterman Cemetery



GEORGE VIRGIL Family Died in Train/Car Accident
Mother, Lillie, and daughters Blanche, Mabel and Baby Thelma July 12, 1919

Five died, two were seriously injured, and two had minor injuries as a work train hit a car in a blind crossing. Four members of the Virgil family and Rev. William Kennedy perished. George Virgil, husband and father of the victims, his two sons, Floyd and Harold, and daughter, Ethel, escaped with injuries. The accident was the most appalling of its nature to have occurred in the county up until that time. It brought sorrow to their relatives and horror to the entire community.

The crossing where the accident took place was a very bad one. The wagon road ran east and west, and the Illinois Central railroad track north and south. A deep cut and bank prevented the train from being seen from the wagon road.

Rev. Kennedy had been to the Virgil farm on a Saturday afternoon to assist in harvesting oats. Mr. and Mrs. Virgil, six small children and Rev. Kennedy got into Mr. Virgil's Chevrolet car to go to Gaza, just 3/4 mile away.

Doyle Cemetery