Sarah Jane Garten, living in Union township, Nodaway county, is the widow of Thomas Nathaniel Garten, who was born in Virginia in 1828 and whose death occurred on April 19, 1884, at the age of fifty-six years, three months and twelve days. In Daviess county, Indiana, he married Sarah Jane Simonson when she was twenty-four years of age and he was ten years older. They began their married life on a rented farm in Indiana, later coming to Nodaway county. Missouri, locating on the farm where Mrs. Garten now resides; on the land was a small log house and only a small “patch” of ground was in cultivation. The place consisted of one hundred acres, for which Mr. Garten paid four hundred dollars; he had a pair of mules, a wagon and harness, which he drove from Indiana. He later had to pay off an old claim of two hundred dollars. He was a hard worker and at once began clearing the land and placed it in cultivation, and he was soon very comfortably established. He built the present cozy home the spring before he died, — in fact, it was left unfinished and it took Mrs. Garten several years to pay for it. He had purchased twenty acres, making in all a farm of one hundred and thirty-four acres, which he had placed under good improvements; he himself placed over forty acres in cultivation. He was never afraid of hard work and in his early life he worked out in order to get a start. He arrived in Nodaway county in the month of June, too late to put out a regular crop, and he worked out for two years; the second year he rented bottom land, but high water ruined his crop and he got nothing, but after that he was more successful. Mrs. Garten has managed the place well and has built a new barn and made many good improvements. Mr. Garten was never a rugged man and his death by pneumonia was sudden, having been ill but a few days.
Mr. Garten was a Republican in politics and at one time he very ably served as tax collector. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church all his mature life. He was a good neighbor, a kind husband and indulgent father.
Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas N. Garten, named as follows: Winfield Scott died when thirty years of age; Charles Cornelius Sigel has remained on the farm and is single; Edward Seward remained at home until his death, at the age of twenty-six years; Cora Effie married Ben Bousch, of Independence township; Alta Emma married Luther Pistole, of Polk township; Cordelia married Rafe Heirfford, a physician living in Kansas.
The boys went ahead with the farm after the death of their father. Charles has remained at home and has proven to be an excellent farmer.
The Garten home is a pleasant one, the house standing on an eminence about one hundred feet above the bottoms of the One Hundred and Two river and of the Mowry creek, and a splendid view may be had from it. About eighty acres of the one hundred and thirty-eight lie in the creek bottoms.
Mrs. Garten and son Charles have also purchased a very valuable farm of Ira Moore in Jackson township. It consists of one hundred and sixty acres, which they rent. Their bottom land is very rich and is not subject to overflow. General farming is carried on and mules, hogs and other livestock are handled very successfully.
Source: B. F. Bowen & Company. Past and present of Nodaway County, Missouri. Indianapolis, Indiana: B. F. Bowen & Company. 1910.