Daniel and Margaret Nelson moved from Ohio to Iowa in 1841. They settled in Fairfield and had their first child William. In 1844, they decided to follow Daniels's Uncle to Oskaloosa, but they lost their way and wintered in an abandoned wickiup near Eddyville. It is here that their daughter Barbara was born. She is thought to be the first white child born in Mahaska county. When weather allowed, they homesteaded 230 acres outside of Oskaloosa and promptly built a log cabin. Eventually, this cabin was replaced with a cabin built by Benjamin Littler, which was moved from Bussey.