Samuel and Helen Underwood – Early Citizens of Council Bluffs

Samuel G. Underwood was born January 13, 1829 in Dumfrieshire, Scotland. He attended school until he was 14 years old.  Done with school he left home and became a sailor. Samuel visited most points around the Atlantic. In 1846 he landed in Montreal. From there he traveled through Chicago to La Porte, Indiana where he farmed for 5 years.
Samuel left farming and joined an ox team traveling west from St. Joseph, MO in 1852. He farmed near Sacramento, CA for two years before returning to the Midwest. He eventually settled in Pottawattamie County where he purchased land in Lewis Township.
In 1856 Samuel married Helen McPherson, also a native of Scotland. Helen came to Council Bluffs in 1851 with her parents.  Samuel and Helen had eight children, William, Nelly, Anna, John, Samuel, Ninie, Herbert and Faye.

That same year the Underwoods moved into Council Bluffs where Samuel ran a successful farm machinery business for several years. Mr. Underwood was the first man to sell farm machinery in this city. He sold equipment as far west as Salt Lake City and north as far as settlements reached on the Missouri River.

In 1873 Samuel and his family moved to 1200 acres in Keg Creek township. It is said he had one of the finest herds of Hereford cattle in Iowa.

Politically Mr. Underwood was a Democrat. He served as assessor of Council Bluffs and was a County Supervisor for 6 years.

Helen Underwood passed away on January 10, 1918. Samuel passed away on November 11, 1922. They are buried in Walnut Cemetery.