October 24, 1855
Nathaniel Mattox “Preacher” Doke married his first wife, Matilda Gaer Ballard, in Marshalltown, Iowa. Doke was a Benton County pioneer, evangelist, entrepreneur, and benefactor. The Methodist exhorter “talked from his heels” in a sincere, convincing manner and was also a master carpenter, blacksmith, farmer, hunter, and fiddler. By the turn of the century, Doke had married for the third time and fathered a total of twenty-three children, seven of whom were borne by Ballard.