Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]
MAJOR L. A. DUNCAN, was born in Columbus, Bartholomew Co., Ind. His father was a native of Leesburg, Va., and
his mother of Chillicothe, Ohio. When two years of age his father died, and he, with his mother, went to Charlestown,
Clarke Co., Ind., to live with his grandfather, the late Judge James Scott. His grandfather and father being newspaper
men and editors, he, it may be said, grew up in the profession.
In 1856 he removed West, stopping in Iowa City, Iowa. In 1858, in connection with G. H. Jerome, he assumed the
editorship of the Iowa City Republican, and in 1861 was appointed, by the Governor of the State, one of the swampland
commissioners to settle swamp land claims of the State against the general government.
While in Iowa he was instrumental in helping that veteran Abolitionist, John Brown, through the State to Harper's
Ferry, though ignorant of his destination and full purpose.
In 1862 he resigned his commissionership to enter the Union army. He was appointed adjutant of the 40th Iowa Infantry
upon the formation of that regiment, and took part in the siege of Vicksburg and capture of Little Rock, Ark.;
in the battles of Prairie D'Ann (where, when on staff duty and leading the 50th Indiana Infantry into action, he
had a horse shot under him), Jenkins' Ferry, Little Missouri River, and several minor engagements. He was commissioned
major March 17, 1865, this being the highest vacancy occurring in his regiment during the war. After the surrender
of Lee he served some months in the Indian Territory, and was finally mustered out with his regiment at Fort Gibson,
Aug. 15, 1865. Though he was three years in his country's service, he claims only an inconspicuous part in the
In February, 1866, he came to Niles, and, in connection with E. C. Dana, bought two newspaper establishments, the
Niles Enquirer and the Berrien County Freeman, which he consolidated under the name of the Niles Times. At the
expiration of two years Mr. Dana retired, and the name of the paper was changed to the Niles Republican, since
which time Maj. Duncan has been sole editor and proprietor. He claims to publish a good, clean, reliable, local
paper, and his patrons and readers acknowledge the justness of this claim.
In 1872 he was elected presidential elector for the Fourth Congressional District, and cast a personal vote for
U. S. Grant and Henry Wilson. He served four years on the Republican State Central Committee, and was one of the
board of visitors to the State normal school in 1879.
Maj. Duncan, since the formation of the Republican party, has always been a warm supporter of that party and its
principles. Prior to its organization he was a Whig, having been reared in that political faith.
History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.