biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
JOHN R. PILGRIM, of Garfield Township, was born in Indiana, in 1843, and is a son of Michael and Sarah Eleanor Pilgrim, natives of South Carolina. The father removed to Indiana at an early day, and there remained until 1848, when he came to Mahaska County, and settled two miles southeast of Oskaloosa, where he lived five years, thence went to Missouri near St. Joseph. where he lived one year, thence to Hardin County, this State, remaining there three years, and thence to Mabaska County, where he resided until his death, which took place in 1857, when be was forty-five years of age. The mother died when our subject was nine days old. The subject of this sketch enlisted in the 33d Iowa Infantry, in August, 1862, and served nearly three years. He participated in the following battles: Memphis, Tenn., Island No. 10, Ft. Pemberton, Helena, Ark., Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Little Missouri, Prairie D'Anne, Hot Springs near Camden, Saline River and numerous skirmishes. At the battle of Helena he was wounded twice in the head, and once in the thigh, by musket shot; was taken prisoner and held in Little Rock for thirty-one days. He was one of a detail of twenty-five men engaged in scouting and foraging. They were at one time surrounded by the enemy, but managed to give them the slip during the night and avoid capture. Mr. Pilgrim was detailed as a sharpshooter on the steamer Jenny Lind, which was fired into by guerrillas, when the boat landed, and the troops, after scouting the country for several miles, failed to find the enemy, who had escaped below Island No. 10 on the Missouri side. He was engaged on this service twenty-six days. May 15, 1864, he was taken sick and sent to the hospital at Little Rock. Here he lay for nearly a year, and May 17, 1865, was mustered out and came back to Oskaloosa, and rented a farm, which he worked for two years, and then bought his present farm on section 383 of Garfield Township, where he has since resided. Mr. Pilgrim was married, April 12, 1866, to Mary A. Plum, a native of Ohio. They were the parents of five children: Milton, born Jan. 8, 1867; George Washington, March 20, 1870; Nellie, Sept. 7, 1874; Sarah Ellen, June 7, 1878; Charles William, May 2, 1886. Our subject is a member of the Christian, and his wife of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He has been Township Clerk one term and Supervisor two terms, and is the present incumbent of that office. Mr. Pilgrim's farm consists of 120 acres, eighty of which are improved and under a good state of cultivation. He is engaged in general farming, but devotes his principal attention to stock-raising, and is the owner of some excellent thoroughbred short-horn cattle. Mr. Pilgrim has been the architect of his own fortune, and has earned his present possessions by the labor of his hands and by prudent and good management in the conduct of his business, and is certainly deserving of the esteem in which he is held among his neighbors and friends.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy