Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Sixth Kansas Cavalry

  An excerpt from The Soldiers of Kansas:  The Sixth Kansas Cavalry and its Commander -- an address by Charles Estabrook Cory reprinted from Collections Kansas Historical Society, Volume XI, 1909-1910.  Downloaded from the Internet Archive.  Many Appanoose County, Iowa, men served in Company B of the Sixth Kansas Cavalry.
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  The Sixth Kansas cavalry was a somewhat peculiar organization; not entirely unique for a Western regiment, but different from most regiments of the United States army.  For instance, a good proportion of the men rode their own horses.  A part of the time half of them wore citizen's clothing.  They had no other, and could get no other.  They were not only most remarkable fighters, but they were also the finest foragers that ever went to war since the days of vandals.  That is saying a  good deal, because the Western armies in the Civil War on both sides scarcely needed a commissary train, and the words "conscience" and "property rights" were blotted out of their dictionary.  In the graphic words of a soldier who talked to me the other day, not about the Sixth Kansas cavalry, however, "we had no commissary, and we took no prisoners."
  The situation in which the Sixth Kansas was thrown was largely influential in making up the character of its service, and the character of its men as soldiers.  The border of Missouri, Kansas, Indian Territory and Arkansas, from Kansas City to Fort Gibson, say 300 to 350 miles, was a seething, hissing caldron.   Noble L. Prentis called this region "Battle Corners."  He was tasteful in the selection of the word.
  What was supposed to be the flower of the army, on both sides, was in the East.  They did more bloody fighting, but here was the real punishment.  The Sixth was a cavalry regiment.  Its companies could move.  They could go to a place.  Two or three would be sent in one direction, a couple of companies in another direction, and possibly another portion in still another direction, to quite local disturbances.  They were doing continuous field police duty.
  Its soldiers were what my friend Joe Ausman calls "roughnecks."  My guess is that not half a dozen men in the regiment would at that time have known what a nightshirt was for if they had seen one.  But they could live like princes on the lee side of a haystack on a winter night, or they could ride all night, over all sorts of roads, or no roads at all, and go into a skirmish in the morning like a bridegroom goes to his wedding.  The hard frontier life had made them men of iron.  They were not much to look at.  They did not wear collars and cuffs and polished shoes at inspection, but they did business.
  Then, their physical endurance!  Nearly every one of the Sixth had ridden in prairie schooners and had tramped from Indiana or Illinois, or other Middle West states, and were accustomed to sleeping on the ground with nothing over them but a horse blanket and the sky, possibly the blanket omitted.  They were ready for anything.  They could hit the eye of a squirrel in the top of a tree.  They had been trained on occasion to get their meat from the woods along the streams. They were hardy, and could stand any sort of punishment on a forced march.  They could sleep in the saddle.  That was the kind of people that made up the Sixth.  The Sixth Kansas cavalry was up to the best of them.  The people down Fort Scott way are proud to claim the Sixth as the Fort Scott regiment.  It was really organized there, but the different parts came from a wide territory.  The colonel, lieutenant colonel, major and surgeon were all Fort Scott people, but the companies came from places wide apart, some from as far west as Junction City. 

Monday, December 29, 2008

David H Hawkins & Hannah A Criswell

  David H. Hawkins, was born in Barren County, Kentucky, about 1825, son of Isom Hawkins and Rachael Williams, died in Shawnee Township, Wyandotte County, Kansas, on 14 September 1867, and was first buried in the Shawnee Cemetery on 16 September 1867 and later moved to an unmarked grave on Block 164, South Section, Plot 2, Woodland Cemetery, Kansas City, Kansas.  He was married in Lee County, Iowa, on 7 December 1845 by Justice of the Peace Moses Gray, to Hannah Ankrum Criswell, who was born 23 August 1827 in Belmont County, Ohio, died 24 July 1903 in Kansas City, Wyandotte County, Kansas, and was buried in an unmarked grave on Block 164, South Section, Plot 4, Woodland Cemetery, Kansas City, Kansas, daughter of John Criswell and Rebecca Kilgore.


Hannah Ankrum Criswell Hawkins

  Between 1836 and 1839, David moved with his family to Washington County, Illinois.  The Isom Hawkins family appears in the 1820 Census of Barren County, Kentucky, the 1830 Census of Allen County, Kentucky, and the 1840 Census of Washington County, Illinois.  Around 1840, David moved to Lee County, Iowa, where he met Hannah Criswell.
  David and Hannah were both living in Keokuk, Lee County, at the time of their marriage on 7 December 1845.  


Marriage Certificate
of David H. Hawkins and Hannah A. Criswell
Married 7 December 1845 in Keokuk, Lee County, Iowa

  On 19 October 1850 the Hawkins family was recorded for the Census in District No. 29, Lee County, Iowa, as were Hannah's father [John Criswell], sisters [Kesiah and Elizabeth] and niece [Rebecca Wilson].  David is listed as 29 years of age, carpenter, born in Kentucky.


From 1850 Federal Census, District No. 29, Lee County, Iowa


  In 1852, the Hawkins family included two males and two females in Appanoose County, Iowa, and was recorded next to Hannah Criswell Hawkins' father, John Criswell.


From 1852 Iowa State Census, Appanoose County, Iowa

  In 1856, the Hawkins family lived in Shoal Township, Appanoose County, Iowa, and included David [35], Hannah [28], John I. [8], Emma N. [6], Rebecca Jane [3], and William F. [1].  This Iowa Census states that David has lived in Iowa for 16 years and Hannah for 12 years.  David is listed as a farmer, native voter, militia, owner of land with 70 improved and 23 unimproved acres.

From 1856 Iowa State Census, Shoal Township, Appanoose County, Iowa

  On 19 June 1860 their family was recorded for the Census in Bellair Township, Appanoose County, Iowa, with a Bellaire Post Office address.  David is listed as 36, born Kentucky, carpenter, with $1000 value of real estate and $200 value of personal estate. Hannah [33] born Ohio, John [12], Emma [10], Rebecca [7], William [5] and Mary [2].  All of the children are listed as born in Iowa. 


From the 1860 Federal Census, Bellair Township, Appanoose County, Iowa

  David H. Hawkins enlisted at Bellair, Appanoose County, Iowa, on 12 August 1861 in Company B, Sixth Regiment of the Kansas Cavalry Volunteers.  He served as a Private under Captain Elijah E. Harvey.  He was discharged from the service on 18 November 1864 at Leavenworth, Kansas, by reason of expiration of term of enlistment.  At the time of his discharge he was "38 years of age, five feet six inches high, dark complexion, gray eyes, dark hair, and by occupation, when enrolled, a carpenter."  His name appears on the Union Soldiers Monument erected 1 July 1869 on the grounds of the Appanoose County Court House in Centerville. 


David H. Hawkins' Discharge
from Company B, Sixth Kansas Cavalry
on 18 November 1864 at Leavenworth, Kansas

  After returning from military service, he moved his family by horse and wagon from Appanoose County, Iowa, to Turner, Wyandotte County, Kansas.  He died shortly thereafter on 14 September 1867 from stomach trouble developed during the war. 
  In 1880 [Federal Census] Hannah Hawkins and daughter Mary were living in the Joseph Rankin household in Shawnee Township, Wyandotte County, Kansas.


From the 1880 Federal Census, Shawnee Township, Wyandotte County, Kansas

  In 1881 Hannah A. Hawkins completed a "Widow's Declaration for Pension or Increase in Pension" based on David Hawkins' military service. At the time she was living at 1303 North 3rd Street, Kansas City, Kansas. 


Certification of Military Service of David H. Hawkins
by the War Department in support of
Hannah A. Hawkins' Widow's Pension Application

  In 1895 Hannah Hawkins was living with her daughter Mary Hackborn and her family.


From the 1895 Kansas State Census of Kansas City, Wyandotte County, Kansas

  From 1887 to 1901, the Kansas City City Directories list Hannah at several addresses.  In 1887-88, Hannah Hawkins, widow of David, and William Hawkins, driver, are listed at 227 James.  In 1890, Hannah Hawkins, widow of David, and William F. Hawkins, laborer, are listed at 1303 N. 3rd.  In 1893, Hannah Hawkins, widow of David, and William F. Hawkins, teamster, are listed at 1303 N. 3rd.  In 1895, Hannah Hawkins, widow of D. A., is listed at 744 Stewart.  In 1897, Hannah Hawkins, widow of David H., is listed at 1916 Allis.  In 1898, Hannah A. Hawkins, widow of David H., is listed at 623 Winona.  In 1901, Mrs. Hannah Hawkins is listed at 750 Stewart.  In 1903, Hannah A. Hawkins, widow of David, is listed at 2045 North 5th.  In 1903, 2045 North 5th was the address of her daughter Mary Hackborn and her family. 
  Hannah died on 24 Juy 1903, age 75 years, 11 months, 1 day.


Funeral Card of Hannah A. Hawkins 

  Hannah was last paid $8.00 on 4 May 1903 by the United States Pension Agency, Topeka, Kansas.  On 3 October 1903 her pension was dropped because of death.  She had died on 24 July 1903.  

Record of Termination of Pension at Hannah's Death

  Children of David H. Hawkins and Hannah Ankrum Criswell:
  1. Sarah Ann Hawkins was born in October, 1846, and died in November, 1846, in Lee County, Iowa.

  2. John Isom Hawkins was born 9 May 1848 in Lee County, Iowa; married first on 5 October 1870 in Jackson County, Missouri, Susan Julia Rogers, daughter of Wilson Rogers, a Shawnee, and Polly Samuels, a Munsee; married second Hestor A. Ketchum Daniels, a full blood Indian of the Delaware Tribe, widow of Walker Daniels; died 10 July 1935 at age 87, in Craig County, Oklahoma, near Vinita, and was buried through the Burckhalter Funeral Home of Vinita in the Ketchum Cemetery, Ketchum, Craig County, Oklahoma.  Susan Julia Rogers was born 2 March 1853 in Kansas; died 2 March 1880 in Oklahoma; and was buried in the Ketchum Cemetery, Ketchum, Craig County, Oklahoma. Hester A. Ketchum was born in 1849; died 15 April 1942 at age 92, at the Indian Sanitarium in Claremore, Rogers County, Oklahoma, following a long illness; and was buried through the Burckhalter Funeral Home of Vinita in the Ketchum Cemetery, Ketchum, Craig County, Oklahoma. John Isom Hawkins and Susan Julia Rogers had three children: (a) Charles David Hawkins, born 9 September 1869 in Kansas City, Kansas; served as a Private in Company L, 1st Regiment, U.S. Volunteer Cavalry during the Spanish American War; married on 28 January 1907 in Craig County, Oklahoma, Dolly Singleton, daughter of William W. Singleton and Anne Chouteau; died 29 March 1929 in Afton, Ottowa County, Oklahoma; and was buried in the Ketchum Cemetery.  Charles and Dolly had six children: John Hawkins, Edith Hawkins, Nola Hawkins, Sue Hawkins (Hutchinson), Lucy Hawkins and a son who died as an infant. (b) Lucy Hawkins, born 2 November 1872; married around 1894 Charles Norris and lived in Ketchum, Oklahoma; died 7 June 1951, at the home of Adrian Blount, nine miles southwest of Vinita, Oklahoma; and was buried in Ketchum Cemetery under the direction of Burckhalter Funeral Home.  She had been a long-time resident of Ketchum and a member of the Methodist Church at Ketchum. (c) Abbie Hawkins was born 1 April 1878, died 26 April 1916, and was buried in the Ketchum Cemetery.  No children were born of John's marriage to Hester Ketchum Daniels.

  3. Emma Narcissus Hawkins was born 31 July 1850 in Appanoose County, Iowa; married 7 October 1869 in Johnson County, Kansas, Samuel Joseph Rankin, son of David Rankin and Mitilda Nicholson; and died 17 May 1880.  Samuel Joseph Rankin was born 24 January 1848 in Illinois; after Emma died, he married, separated and eventually moved to Ft. Worth, Texas; died 27 April 1907 at St. Margaret's Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas; and was buried on 29 April 1907 in Woodlawn Cemetery, Kansas City, Kansas.  Emma N. Hawkins and S. Joseph Rankin had five children:  (a) Louise Marie Rankin was born 15 September 1870 in Wyandotte County, Kansas; married 10 April 1889 in Witchita, Kansas, Elmer Ellsworth Simpson; died 23 September 1943 in Kansas City, Kansas; and was buried in the Highland Park Cemetery in Kansas City.  Elmer Ellsworth Simpson was born 27 February 1865; died 8 October 1944 at Bethany Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas; and was buried in Highland Park Cemetery in Kansas City, Kansas.  Their children were: Joseph Edward Simpson and Mary Pauline Simpson.  (b) Lillian Rankin was born 20 June 1872; married 30 December 1896 William L. McCart in Fort Worth, Texas, by C. P. Bridwell, Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church; died 29 November 1953 in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas; and was buried in East Oakwood Cemetery.  Their children were:  Nancy Louise McCart, Elisabeth Howe McCart; Mary Tom McCart; MacGregor Rankin McCart; and William Lawrence McCart.  (c) Lizzie Ellen "Nellie" Rankin was born 12 June 1876; married Charles or Robert Matthew who had tuberculosis; both died of the disease, leaving a small child, Charles or Robert Matthews who was raised by the Matthews in Temple, Texas.  (d) William Thomas Rankin was born 1 June 1878 and died young, probably in Shawnee Township, Wyandotte County, Kansas. (e) Frank Rankin was born 31 August 1874 and died 1 December 1874, probably in Shawnee Township, Wyandotte County, Kansas.

  4. Rebecca Jane Hawkins was born 4 August 1853 in Illinois; married 30 December 1869 Lansing Parker Hewitt, son of Dr. Richard Hewitt and Hannah Parker; died of pneumonia 1 January 1922; and was buried on 4 January 1922 in Maple Hill Cemetery, Argentine, Kansas.  Lansing Parker Hewitt was born 27 February 1847, died in 1912, and was buried in the Shawnee Township Cemetery.  His body was later transferred to the Maple Hill Cemetery, Argentine, Kansas.  Their children were: (a) William E. Hewitt was born 15 August 1874 and married 24 October 1895 in Wyandotte County, Kansas, Lulu "Lou" Stanley.  Their seven children were: Ella Hewitt, Harold L. Hewitt, Edna Hewitt, Charles William Hewitt, Gordon R. Hewitt, Ruth M. Hewitt and Nellie Hewitt. (b) Frank R. Hewitt was born 24 November 1875; married Amelia Martin and lived in Watertown, South Dakota; died 4 July 1941 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  They had five children:  one died at the time of Amelia's death with influenza, Harry, Louella, Mona and Alma.  (c) Hannah Maud Hewitt was born 17 April 1876; died 21 September 1877 from pneumonia after the measles; and was buried in the Shawnee Township Cemetery.  (d) Warren Merrick Hewitt was born 28 August [c1878] in Turner, Wyandotte County, Kansas; was a resident of Kansas City most of his life; and died 9 July 1953 at Providence Hospital after a four-week illness.  He was a member of the Turner Baptist Church, Kaw Masonic Lodge, Caswell Consistory, Abdallah Shrine, the Eagles Lodge and the Shrine Club.  He "experienced the tradedy of the death of his intended with pneumonia before their marriage. He never dated again."  He served for 30 years as the assistant cashier of the Kansas City municipal water and light department.  (e) Elizabeth Irene "Mae" Hewitt was born in August 1881; married early in 1901 George Washington McCamish, son of William H. McCamish and Mary J. Wells; and died in 1966.  George W. McCamish was born 17 October 1869 and died 22 September 1963.  They had six children: Nina Louise McCamish, Helen Marie McCamish, Dee Alma McCamish, William Warren McCamish, Merrick Warren McCamish and George LeRoy McCamish.  (f) Ida Burke Hewitt was born 24 1884, married Byron Leroy Orvis and lived in Lake Charles and Welsh, Louisana; and died 3 July 1943.  Byron died 1 January 1960.  They had three children: Harriet J. Orvis, Byron Leroy Orvis Jr., and Betty Orvis. (g) Louella Hewitt was born 11 October 1887; married first Joseph A. Eagle, Sr. and second on 18 January 1939 John V. Hoefer; and died 10 October 1966 in Lake Charles, Louisana, where she had lived for 53 years.  She had two children by her first marriage:  Lansing H. Eagle and Joseph A. Eagle, Jr.  (h) Alma Dee Hewitt was born 7 October 1890 and married 21 June 1911 Charles Jay Trevor who had been born 22 October 1885.  They had six children:  Charles Leslie Trevor, Lora Mae Trevor, Ella Jane Trevor, Alma Marie Trevor, and Helen Marquerite Trevor.

  5. William Franklin Hawkins was born 19 October 1855 in Lincoln Township, Appanoose County, Iowa; married 11 October 1885 in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, his first cousin, Mary Belle Hagan, daughter of James Hagan and Elizabeth Burch Criswell; died 24 August 1945 in Jerome, Appanoose County, Iowa; and was buried in the Jerome Cemetery.  Mary Belle Hagan was born 17 October 1856, died 19 April 1917 in Jerome; and was buried in the Jerome Cemetery.  They had seven children:  Cadd Ruth Hawkins, Kathryn Elizabeth Hawkins, John William Hawkins, James Hagan Hawkins, Archibald Franklin Hawkins, William Earl Hawkins, and Edmund David Hawkins.

  6. Mary Dell Nora Hawkins was born 11 May 1858 in Appanoose County, Iowa, married 11 December 1881 John Augustus Hackborn; died 9 January 1922 in Kansas City, Wyandotte County, Kansas; and was buried in Highland Park Cemetery in Kansas City.  Her sister, Rebecca Jane Hawkins Hewitt, had had pneumonia, and Mary went to care for her.  The conditions were not very good and Mry Dell Nora caught pneumonia and died only eight days after Jane.  John Augustus Hackborn was born 17 February 1854 in Dusseldorf, Germany.  He came to America in 1854 or 1855 with his parents when he was about sixteen weeks old and settled in Philadelphia.  He wen to Kansas in 1878 and was employed as a butcher in a packing house in the Kansas City, Kansas, river bottoms. John Hackborn died in California 12 November 1934 and was buried in Highland Park Cemetery, Kansas City, Kansas.  They had two children:  (a) Frederick August Hackborn was born 23 November 1882 in Kansas City, Kansas, married a widow Henretta M. Fessler, died 23 March 1962, and was buried next to his wife in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.  (b) Louise Marie Hackborn was born 23 March 1886 and died unmarried 3 September 1986 in Los Angeles, California.

  7. Archibald Fisher Criswell Hawkins was born 10 November 1860 and died 6 October 1861 in Appanoose County, Iowa.

  8. Lizzie Erminnie Hawkins was born 15 September 1866 in Appanoose County, Iowa, and died of measles 8 October (or 1 May) 1876 in Wyandotte County, Kansas. 
[Editor's Note:  David H. Hawkins and Hannah Ankrum Criswell are the Editor's Great-Grandparents.  William Franklin Hawkins and Mary Belle Hagan are his Grandparents.]

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

World War I Draft Registration Cards

  On May 18, 1917, during World War I, the Selective Service Act was passed authorizing the President to temporarily increase the military armed forces by the process of selecting men for induction into the military service.  In 1917 and 1918, approximately 24 million men (98% of men present in America) born between 1873 and 1900 completed draft registration cards.  The selective service boards were responsible for registering men, classifying them, taking into consideration needs for manpower in certain industries and in agriculture, as well as certain special family situations of the registrants, handling any appeals of these classifications, determining the medical fitness of individual registrants, determining the order in which registrants would be called, calling registrants, and placing them on trains to training centers. Local boards were established for each county or similar subdivision in each state, and for each 30,000 persons (approximately) in each city or county with a population over 30,000.
  During World War I there were three registrations.  
  The first, on June 5, 1917, was for all men between the ages of 21 and 31. These men were born between 1886-1896.  They answered a form containing twelve questions including order and serial numbers (assigned by the Selective Service System), full name, date and place of birth, race, citizenship, occupation, personal description, and signature. 

Example of Registration Card A

  The second registration, on June 5, 1918, registered those who attained age 21 after June 5, 1917.  These men were born between 1896-1897.  (A supplemental registration was held on August 24, 1918, for those becoming 21 years old after June 5, 1918.  This was included in the second registration.)  The form had ten questions including name, date of birth, birthplace, citizenship and father's birthplace.

Example of Registration Card B

  The third registration was held on September 12, 1918, for men age 18 through 45.  These men were born 1872-1886 and 1897-1900.  They answered a twenty question form which included name, age in years, date of birth - not birthplace, citizenship, and address of nearest kin. 

Example of Registration Card C


  After the signing of the armistice on November 11, 1918, the activities of the Selective Service System were rapidly curtailed.  On March 31, 1919, all local, district, and medical advisory boards were closed. 
[Source:  Western History and Genealogy Department, The Denver Public Library, Colorado, and examples from Ancestry.com.]

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Edward Eugene Massa 1921-1943

Seaman First Class Edward Eugene Massa

  Edward Eugene Massa of the Class of 1938, son of Dominick and Anna Massa of Jerome, entered the U.S. Navy sometime after graduation, became a Seaman First Class, was awarded the Purple Heart, and died on 11 October 1943 when the U.S.S. Whoo, the submarine on which he was serving, was sunk in the La Perouse Strait in Northern Japan by a combination of air attack and depth charging.

Class Prophecy -- Jerome's Class of 1938

  Taking a book under my arm one afternoon, I strolled down to the seashore.  It was a lovely day. The sun was shining brightly, the birds were caroling to one another, and the grass seemed to spring under my feet.
  As I reached the beach my mood became pensive.  Sitting down I began to reflect on the past years and vaguely wondered what the future would hold for my friends and me.
  The soft lapping of the waves seemed to lull me to sleep. At any rate I was transformed from this world to a mystical one full of unreality and romance.
  Suddenly from the midst of nowhere I found myself aboard a huge ocean liner, sailing from New York to Liverpool.  Every-one on the boat was having a glorious time, while I stood by watching. Several minutes had passed when the captain came walking along quite briskly.  Beneath his stately air I seemed to recognize an old familiar swagger.  Our eyes met and there came a simultaneous "Oh!" from us, for here was my old school friend, Verle Brummit.  He laughed when I questioned him about his official title -- said that he wasn't a captain at all, but the band leader on the boat.  I agreed that was more his style.
  Naturally we fell to talking of our school mates.  Verle took a letter from his pocket which he had just received from Howard Sidles.  Howard was a superintendent in a large Diesel Engine plant in Chicago.  No, he wasn't married -- no time for that I guess.  Howard also wrote that Margaret Hamm had been married - happily no doubt, and was busy making life pleasant for others in her vine covered cottage surrounded by roses.
  Nellie Fry was the only member of the class about whom I knew anything.  She was running a large beauty salon in New York City.  Of course she had taken a French name and say, she looked like a million.
  We concluded our chat for that day and the next day landed at Liverpool.  My business took me to the American Consul's office where I met one of the greatest surprises of my life.  There was Bob Felkner acting in that capacity.  Bob always did have his eye on politics, though.
  Later, Bob and Verle and I had lunch as a sort of reunion. It was Bob that told us that Ed Massa has headed for South Africa with an exploring expedition.  It seemed that the entire class of 1938 had been successful.  As the waiter brought us more water, he accidentally slipped when he got to me and I awakened with a start and a regret that I had neglected to bring along my umbrella.
  [This is the Class Prophecy that was read by Catherine Blozevich at the Graduation of the Class of 1938.  The author is unknown.]
  [Source: Memories of Jerome, Iowa - 1989, page 28]

Jerome School - Class of 1938

Top Row: Margaret Hamm, Howard Sidles, Nellie Fox
Bottom Row: Verle Brummitt, Bob Felkner, Ed Massa
--------------------------------
COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES -- JEROME, IOWA
May 11, 1938
Grade School Exhibits, Rooms Lighted from 7:00 to 8:00 P.M.

Processional March   ---- Played by Dorothy Hamm

ORCHESTRA NUMBERS
Simplicity March  ---  Loos
Marjorie Waltz  ---  Loos
Step Lively March  ---Wendland
Don Juan Serenade  ---  De Lamater
Assembly March  --- De Lamater

Salutary  ---  Margaret Hamm
O Sole Mio  ---  Genevieve Rash and Dorothy Hamm
The Will of the Class of 1938  --- Nellie Fry
Violin Duet  ---  Margaret and Dorothy Hamm
The Prophecy of the Class of 1938  ---  Catherine Blozevich

TWO PART NUMBERS  --- GIRLS GLEE CLUB
Go Down to Kew in Lilac Time  ---  Carl Dies
The Bells of St. Mary's  ---  A. Emmett Adams

Valedictory  ---  Howard Sidles
Presentation of Two Perfect Attendance Certificates

THREE PART NUMBERS  ---  GIRLS GLEE CLUB and A. L. LYON
I Love A Lassie  ---  Bowles-Walt
Honeysuckle Time in Dixie  --- May F. Lawrence

Presentation of Eighth Grade  ---  Margaret L. Anderson
Presentation of Eighth Grade Certificates  ---  Supt. Lyon

Presentation of Class of Nineteen Thirty Eight  --- Sup. Lyon
Presentation of Diplomas  ---  The Board of Education
Peter Sidles, President

Benediction  ---  Rev. Francis Harris

 [Source:  Memories of Jerome, Iowa - 1989, page 27]

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Town of Plano - 2003 by Bill Heusinkveld

  The town of Plano is located in Sections 21 and 28 of Johns Twp.  It is on Hwy. 142, 1/2 mile north of Hwy. No. 2, 9 miles west of Centerville.  The first post office in the area was called Tranquility, an inland post office one mile north of Plano in the S.E. corner of Section 16 in 1870. The name was suggested by the tranquil nature of the area and the people in Johns Twp.
  The Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska Railroad was extended westward from Centerville through Plano in 1876.  Later it became the Keokuk and Western Railroad and then in 1901 it became the C. B. & Q.
  The original plat of the town of Steele was done in 1879.  It was named for a local landowner.  The name was changed to Camden in 1880 when the post office was moved there from Tranquility.  The name was changed to Polo in 1881 and to Plano in 1882.  The name Plano is from the Spanish "plano" meaning a plane of level surface, referring to the level nature of the surrounding prairie country in Johns Twp.
  By late 1881, there were a hotel, a store, two saloons, a billard hall, a hardware store, lumberyard, and the new M. E. Church.  More homes were being built.  Sidewalks were poured on the main streets in 1882.  There was soon a barber shop, a drug store, and a good blacksmith shop.  There was a doctor and a justice of the peace.
  A later plot of Plano, done in 1914 is shown above.  The streets were named 1st, 2nd, 3rd (Main), 4th, and 5th starting from the east side.  Going north the streets were School, Wells and Front Streets south of the tracks and Wakefield, Kennel and Hibbs north of the tracks.  The Scandinavian mine, depot, lumber yard and church are all shown on the plat map above.

  The Scandinavian Coal Mine No. 2 was about 1/4 mile to the west, along the railroad and Front St.  It was in operation from 1905 through 1914 and its slag pile remains today.  It had a vertical shaft of 200 feet, likely the deepest in Iowa, and it undermined an area of 25 acres.  Claus Johnson of Centerville was Superintendent.  The Company had about 14 houses for the miners. They employed about 35 men during the coal season, averaging 75 tons per day.
  In August 1915, the west side of  the business street was destroyed by fire which broke out in a restaurant.  A bucket brigade failed to save the Davisons hardware store, the big general merchandise store, the miners hall, and the barber shop.


  Lincoln Harbold was one of the biggest and best known stockmen in Iowa.  He grew up in Johns Twp. and had his center of operations in Plano, with a beautiful, spacious home in the north part of town.  He had a number of farms including a large operation at Sedan.  In 1913 he shipped out 204 cars of live stock, grain and seed.  He has specialized in cholera immune hogs for serum making purposes and supplied 1400 such hogs per month.  He has also been a benefactor to the town of Plano.

Link Harold Farm - White with Green Roofs

  In 1921, the Harbold farms became the setting for many of the scenes for a new movie picture "The Wonderful Thing" starring the famous movie actress, Norma Talmadge.*  She played a typical American wife and was supported by Harrison Ford.  The farms, with their background scenic rolling hills, made a nice backdrop for the movie.  The famous Duroc Jersey hogs raised on the farm helped to provide atmosphere. 
  There was a tragic accident in 1922 when Fred Green, proprietor of the Plano Garage lost his life in an accident with a tractor.  He was demonstrating a new tractor in a field when the tractor stalled with its wheels spinning in soft ground.  Small poles were placed in front of the wheels to give traction.  This caused the front end of the tractor to leap into the air throwing the weight of the tractor onto the driver.
Ford Garage on east side of 3rd St. ca. 1915

  There was another bad fire in downtown Plano on Dec., 1923.  It wa in a brick building on the west side of Main St. It was started by an employee in lighting the lamps of the gasoline lighting system in the store.  As the match was lighted there was an explosion, gas apparently having filled the room.  Only the blackened brick walls remained standing.
  The first public school was on the south side of School St.  In 1914, a high school was built at 2nd and Wakefield.  A new gym was added in 1939 but the school burned down the following spring. That was the end of a high school in Plano. It was replaced with an elementary school which was later used as a community center. 

1941 Methodist Church --------------- Christian Church

  A new Christian Church was built on the N.E. corner of 2nd St. and Wakefield in 1917.  This church burned down in 1963. In the meantime the Methodists had replaced their 1881 church with a new building in 1921, but this had gone defunct in 1941 due to a shrinking congregation. In 1946 it was remodeled and reopened but eventually closed again.  So in 1963 the Christian Church bought the building for $1.00 and remodeled it and brought it back to life.  It is still in operation today.
  The railroad service was discontinued as there was a simulated train robbery on its last run made in March, 1958. Commercial establishments gradually disappeared as the automobile favored the growth of the larger towns on the direct routes of the main highways.  The population has declined to about 75.
  However an active community spirit still exists as Richard Gorden and other townspeople have created a fine little museum with the aid of creative exhibits made by Emmett Philby.  In 2002 the community hosted a block party that attracted in excess of 300 friends from far and wide.

Plano Museum

  [Source: A Pictorial History of Towns of Appanoose County Past and Present by W. M. Heusinkveld [2003], pages 64-65, transcribed on The Jerome Journal with the permission of the author.]  For more information on the Plano area see: Gorden, Willis, and Richard Gorden. A Step Back in Time: Plano, Iowa.  [Plano, Iowa: W. & R. Gorden, 1998].
  See the Norma Talmadge website for more information on her and the film, Its a Wonderful Thing

The Jerome Area of Appanoose County

  Jerome had many relationships with the nearby communities of Plano, Marsdenville, Diamond, Bellair and Numa.  Men of Jerome traveled to these communities to work in the mines. Some of the residents of these communities traveled to Jerome to attend the Methodist Church, although there were Methodist churches in Plano and Bellair-Numa and some chose to be buried in the Jerome Cemetery.  These interactions also led to marriages of Jerome residents to residents of these other communities.  
  Thus, I will transcribe the interesting descriptions of these early communities and their coal mines written by Bill Heusinkveld and published in his two books - A Pictorial History of Towns of Appanoose County Past and Present [2003 -98 pages - $25] and The History of Coal Mining In Appanoose County, Iowa [2007 - 125 pages - $25].  I appreciate Heusinkveld's permission to include these articles in The Jerome Journal.

  In addition to the books above, Heusinkveld has also written and published: This Day in Iowa History [1995 - $10], Cemeteries of Appanoose County [1999 - 95 pages - $20], 101 Sketches of Pioneer Stories [2004 - 100 pages - $16], Historic Homes of Centerville [2004 - 42 pages - $12] and Nine Appanoose Regiments in the Civil War [2007 - 27 pages - $12].   You can secure your personal copy of each of these books at the prices noted above, plus $3 per book if the books need to be shipped, directly from Bill Heusinkveld, 800 South Park, Centerville, IA 52544.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Town of Jerome - 2003 by Bill Heusinkveld

  Jerome is a small incorporated town with a present day population of about 70.  It is located in the center of Secion 3 of Lincoln Twp.  It is at the intersection of 524th St. and 135th Ave.  This is about 8 miles due west of Centerville.  It is almost 2 miles south of Hwy. No. 2.  Some of the early settlers who came in the late 1840s and early 1850s to settle in the Jerome area were John Moore, William Becknel, Noah Stoner, C. R. Jackson, Henry Wilson, Peter Sidles and James
Hagan.  The original town of Jerome was surveyed and platted in 1855.  East-west streets were Main, Grand, and Harrison.  The 1896 map [shown below] shows the Gladstone Mine, the cemetery and the school, all on the west side of town.    

  Horace W. Lyon, the first postmaster of Jerome in 1856, was not too popular in the new community because he sold liquor.  Howver, his son, Jerome, was blind and so, the town was named for him.  A Methodist Church was organized in 1857 and services were held in homes until the construction of a school house.  The first church was finished in 1871.  The first school was known as School District No. 5. The site was purchased from Jacob Stoner in 1857.  A burial ground was set aside on the Stoner property at the same time.  The school served until 1871, when a new school was built.  One of the early teachers in this second school, Theodore P. Shontz, became famous later in the railroad industry and also as chairman of the Panama Canal Commission in 1905-1907. 
  The Chicago and Southwestern Railroad was built through the Jerome area in 1887. Later it became the Rock Island. The Railroad added a depot and called the town Rowley, but the townspeople insisted that the name should remain Jerome.  


A lumberyard, hotel, two-story Big-4 store, livery barn, and blacksmith shop were all built in the 1890s.

They flourished for many years.   In its heyday, Jerome boasted a population of over 600 residents.  There were two hotels, two boarding houses, a bank, a post office, two groceries, white elephant store, hardware store, clothing store, blacksmith shop, barber shop, shoe repair shop, a pool hall, a miners' hall, livery stable, lumber yard and stockyards. There was a public square with hitching posts and bandstand just north of Grant Street.  There were several medical doctors.   


  The Big-4 Mine shaft was sunk along the railroad 1/2 mile N.E. of Jerome in the fall of 1892.  It was sold to the Consumers Coal Co. of Cedar Rapids and operated until 1906.

  The Gladstone Mine No. 2, on the west edge of Jerome, operated from 1893 to 1895 and undermined 21 acres.  This mine struck a fault and had to be abandoned. 
  Harkes Coal Co. No. 2 Mine had their shaft on the north side of the tracks in the N.E. part of Jerome.  This operated from 1914 to 1923 with a peak production of 250 tons per day and undermined a total of 230 acres. 
  A miner's work was hazardous and unpleasant.  Often he went for days without seeing the sunlight.  The coal seam was about 2 1/2 feet in height, so a miner would have to lie on his side to mine the coal.  Many workers had broken arms or legs and slate scars on their faces from falls of coal or slate. Often they had stooped shoulders or hunched backs.  Ofter the men worked only in the winter and were laid off in the summer.  They had to depend on the Company Store for credit.  Unions were organized in the Appanoose County in 1891 to improve these conditions and get better pay.  Two Jerome unions were organized into the United Mine Workers of America in Jerome 1894.
  The third school building was built in 1894 due to the need for a larger school.  Jerome's population had increased because of all the coal mining activity.  It burned in 1920. The fourth school was a new brick building.  It was also destroyed by fire in 1931.  A fifth building was built. It was a large two-story building just east of the cemetery.  A modern water system was installed and it was wired for electricity in 1936. 
  The coal mining era ended in Jerome in about 1923 and the town's commercial life gradually deteriorated until all stores are now gone.  The high school was closed about 1943 and the elementary grades soon after.  The building still stands, neglected and lonely, but with fond memories.  Only the Church and a small number of houses maintain the semblance of a town.
  The Jerome Methodist Church, which had been organized in 1855, carried on for over 100 years and held periodic reunions through the years so that former members could revisit their home town. 
 [Source: A Pictorial History of Towns of Appanoose County Past and Present by W. M. Heusinkveld (2003).  Transcribed here with permission of the author.]

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Methodist Marriages 1908-1923

  In the Record Book of the Jerome Methodist Episcopal Church kept from 1905 to 1954, the only nine marriages recorded are from 1908 to 1923.  These marriages are:
  • 22 September 1905 - James E. Condra, 31, of Jerome, Iowa, born in Appanoose County, Iowa, and Etta M. Sidles, 30, of Jerome, Iowa, born in Appanoose County, Iowa.  Wedding was at the M. E. Church in Jerome, Iowa.  Rev. S. F. Bishop officiated. Remarks: A pleasant day.  A small audience.  Fee $2.00. 
  • 11 April 1909 - George W. Easton, 29, of Caffeyville, Kansas, born in Floris, Iowa, and Jennie E. Brough, 31, of Centerville, Iowa, born in Centerville, Iowa.  Wedding at home of F. M. Iwalt in Plano, Iowa.  Rev. S. F. Bishop officiated.  Remarks: Easter Sunday.  A small company.  Fee $5.00. 
  • 21 May 1909 - A. H. Dove, 26, of Plano, Iowa, born Centerville, Iowa, and Ida B. Connor, 22, of Centerville, Iowa, born in Centerville, Iowa.  Wedding was at home of Mrs. George Sidles in Jerome, Iowa; Rev. S. F. Bishop officiated; Remarks: A pleasant afternoon.  Small company.  Fee $5.00.
  • 4 July 1909 - Walter Law, 26, of Mystic, Iowa, born Webster County, Iowa, and Nellie L. Lowe, 18, of Brazil, Iowa, born in Appanoose County, Iowa.  Wedding was at the home of the bride in Brazil, Iowa.  Rev. S. F. Bishop officiated.  Remarks:  Rainy afternoon.  A large company. Fee $5.00.
  • 29 May 1910 - Mr. James Swan, 72, of Plano, Iowa, born in Pennsylvania, and Miss Lattie Lemaster, 46, of Iconium, Iowa, born in Iowa.  Wedding was at the parsonage in Jerome, Iowa.  Rev. J. H. Krenmyre officiated.
  • 13 January 1915 - Charley Moore, 28, of Plano, Iowa, born in Iowa, and Rosie Dooley, 17, of Jerome, Iowa, born Iowa.  Wedding was at the home of the bride in Jerome, Iowa.  Rev. Geo. L. Roper officiated.  Remarks:  Family present.  Fee $5.00. 
  • 20 January 1915 - George Hunter, 21, of Jerome, Iowa, born in Mystic, Iowa, and Opal Steen, 19, of Jerome, Iowa, born in Mendota, Missouri.  Wedding was in the home of the groom in Jerome, Iowa.  Rev. Geo. L. Roper officiated.  Remarks: A large crowd.
  • 28 May 1916 - William W. Packard, 21, of Centerville, Iowa, born in Centerville, Iowa, and Mary Hardy, 19, of Centerville, Iowa, born in Centerville, Iowa.  Wedding was in the parsonage in Jerome, Iowa.  Rev. Geo. L. Roper officiated.  
  • 18 November 1923 - Walter W. Long, 35, of Promise City, Iowa, born in Iowa, and Ada Wales, of Plano, Iowa, born in Iowa.  Wedding was in the home of the bride in Plano, Iowa. Rev. John F. Barnett officiated.
Source:  Records of the Jerome Methodist Church, 1905-1954, microfilm of original records housed at the First United Methodist Church, Centerville, Iowa.  [Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1990]  Family History Library US/CAN Film: 1703825, Item 6. 

Methodist Episcopal Church Trustees

  In 1937, the Methodist Episcopal Church in Jerome received a bequest from the Estate of Anna Gorman.  On May 11th and on Novembe 22nd, the Methodist Trustees signed documents related to the Estate. 
  On May 11th, the Trustees were B. A. Morrison, Ettie M. Condra, Cora Beer, Manford Moore and Peter Sidles.
  On November 22nd, the Trustees were Susie R. Sidles, Peter Sidles, M. Chloe Hawkins, Arthur L. Lyon and Mrs. G. D. Mincks.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Jacob Norris & Mary Jane Abbott

Jacob Norris was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, 5 March 1830, the son of William Norris and Lana Stann, died 5 March 1907 in Numa, Appanoose County, Iowa, and was buried in the Jerome Cemetery. He married, probably in Appanoose County, Iowa, 4 January 1852, Mary Jane Abbott who was born [c1832] in Ohio, died 9 April 1881 in [place], Iowa, and was buried in the Jerome Cemetery, daughter of Hayes Abbott and Elizabeth Snow.

"In 1834, his mother died, leaving a family of small children, who were taken in charge by the county, as his father was poor and intemperate; at 10 years of age, he was bound out to William Cressler, a farmer in that county; at 21, with not even respectable clothing, he left his hard master and engaged to work by the month for another farmer; in 1850, he came to Macomb Co., Ill.; was employed by James Head as hostler at his hotel; in March, 1851, came to Burlington, Iowa; worked in McCoslis' livery stable; then on a farm in Des Moines Co. Jan. 4, 1852, married Mary J. Abbott, daughter of Hayes and Elizabeth A.; her father settled in that county from Ohio in 1842; her mother died when Mrs. Norris was but 9 years of age; in 1852, purchased eighty acres in Louisa Co.; exchanged it for a team and wagon and farmed on rented land; in the spring of 1856, came to Davis Co.; purchased 100 acres; remained there ten years, and, in 1866, came to this [Appanoose] county, where he owns 400 acres of land, valued at $20 per acre, well improved and stocked." [From The History of Appanoose County, Iowa (Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1878)]

Jacob Norris was a member of the Numa Methodist Episcopal Church, serving as a class leader and trustee of the church; first a Whig, then a Republican; and a farmer. His farm was located east and south of Jerome in Section 12 and School District #1.



Children of Jacob Norris and Mary Abbott, all born in Iowa:
  1. Ellen Minerva Elizabeth Norris, born 13 October 1852 in Davis County, Iowa, and died 1 January 1919 in Blackfoot, Bingham County, Idaho. She married in Numa, Appanoose County, Iowa, 12 September 1872 [Book 5, Page 474], John Hayes Murphy, who was born 15 August 1850 in Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa, and died 26 September 1933 in Blackfoot, Bingham County, Idaho, son of William Porterfield Murphy and Mary Amanda Nason. Children: Lillie Murphy, born c1873; Carrie Murphy, born c1875; Earnest Murphy, born c1877; Elbert Murphy, born c1879; Charles Murphy, born c1880; Winifred Murphy, born c1884; Nellie Murphy, born c1890; Bernice C. Murphy, born c1893; and Claude L. Murphy, born c1892.
  2. William L. Norris, born [c1855] in Davis County, Iowa, and died [apparently before 1860].
  3. Glendora Norris, born 16 February 1856 in Davis County, Iowa, died 17 April 1940 in Appanoose County, Iowa, and was buried in the Jerome Cemetery.
  4. Pheba J. Norris, born 8 November 1857 in Davis County, Iowa, died 5 December 1940 in Appanoose County, Iowa, and was buried in the Jerome Cemetery.
  5. Jacob A. Norris, born October 1859 in Davis County, Iowa, married [date] in [place], Anna A. [Maiden Name], died [date] 1931 in Appanoose County, Iowa, and was buried in the Jerome Cemetery.
  6. James E. Norris, born [c1861] in Davis County, Iowa, married in Appanoose County [Book 11, Page 334] 26 Februay 1893 Lillie Holloway, and died [before 1933]. Lillie Holloway was born c1866.
  7. Lewis J. Norris, born August 1863 in Davis County, Iowa, married 30 December 1891 in Appanoose County [Book 11, Page 61] Minnie E. Crist, died 3 March 1945 in [place] and was buried in the Jerome Cemetery. Minnie E. Crist was born in [date] 1865 [place], died [date] 1947 [place] and was buried in the Jerome Cemetery, daughter of John G. Crist and Mary Ann Caufmann. Child: Cleo Olive Norris, born 29 July 1896 in Appanoose County, Iowa, died 11 February 1947 in Appanoose County, Iowa, and was buried in the Jerome Cemetery. She married 28 November 1917 Edward Potter Inman with whom she had seven sons.
  8. May Norris, born [date] 1865 in Davis County, Iowa, died [date] 1926 in Appanoose County, Iowa, and was buried in the Jerome Cemetery.
  9. Isaac Guthrie Norris, born [date] 1867 in Appanoose County, Iowa, married 1 October 1890 in Appanoose County [Book 10, Page 340] Osta Kinney, died [date] 1947 in Appanoose County, Iowa, and was buried in the Jerome Cemetery.
  10. Charles G. Norris, born September 1869 in Appanoose County, Iowa, married 12 October 1893 Louie M. Elliot, and died [date] in [place]. Children: Hobart Norris, born October 1896, and Vurl Norris, born November 1897.
  11. Flora Lana Norris, born 24 August 1871 in Appanoose County, Iowa, married in Appanoose County, 17 February 1892 Ira T. Brown [12 May 1869-4 September 1932], died 5 May 1951 in Ames, Iowa, and was buried next to her husband in Southlawn, Seymour, Wayne County, Iowa. In 1898 they moved to Seymour, Wayne County, Iowa, where they went into business. She moved to Ames, Iowa, in 1939. Children: Ruth O. Brown who married Raymond Cain and Icil L. Brown who married Cecil Hook.
  12. Mary Magdaline Norris, born 8 June 1878 in Appanoose County, Iowa, married [place] 12 May 1903, James Edward Dershem, died 1 May 1933 in Centerville, Appanoose County, Iowa, and was buried in the Jerome Cemetery after a funeral service in the Jerome M. E. Church. [Obituary] James Edward Dershem was born 6 August 1876, son of Solomon Dershem and Eliza Yarger, died [place] [date] 1959, and was buried in the Jerome Cemetery.
SOURCES OF INFORMATION:
--IAGenWeb Appanoose County: Obituary of Mary Magdaline Norris Dershem.
--FamilySearch.org: John Hayes Murphy & Ellen Minerva Elizabeth Norris.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Company B at Muzzard Prairie, Arkansas

A Summary of the Battle at Muzzard Prairie of July 27, 1864,
is on the
American Civil War website
-----------------------------------------------------------
Fort Smith, Ark., July 29, 1864.


Colonel W. R. Judson, Commanding First Brigade;
Sir--I have the honor to report to you that I was in command of company B, Sixth Kansas Cavalry on the morning of the 27th inst., when the enemy made the attack on our camp, on Muzzard Prairie, and as soon as the alarm was given that the enemy was in the prairie, which was about six o'clock, a.m., I sent immediately for the herd which had been out grazing since daylight, and was about three-fourths of a mile southwest of camp. I formed my men on the right of the camp, to protect my herd as it came in, and until it could be secured, but before the horses could be brought up, the enemy charged on us, which stampeded the herd, and left the men on foot to fight as best they could. We drove the enemy back, and as I had received no orders from the commanding officer, I ordered my men to fall back until they could form on the right of the other companies. When I had fallen back to the left of my company's parade ground, I came in speaking distance of Major Mefford, when I received orders to form my company on the right, to protect the camp. I immediately took the position assigned me, with company D on my left. We held our position, repulsing three distinct charges of the enemy. At this time I was that Major Mefford had, with companies E and H, been driven from their position on the left of the line, and had began to fall back across the prairie. I knew that I could not hold my ground much longer, with what men I had; so, without receiving orders from Major Mefford, commenced falling back toward him. As we fell back I had several men captured by the enemy that was advancing through the timber in the center of our camp. We fought and retreated in good order, until we came within half a mile of the house on the prairie, when the enemy closed in on all sides, taking many more of our men prisoners. Those that were left, continued fighting and falling back to the house. There the men that were left were overpowered and captured. Before we reached the house I received a slight wound in the right thigh. Some of my men who were first captured made their escape by hiding in the thick brush, the enemy not staying to hunt for stragglers, but left immediately after the men at the house were captured, taking with them all the men that could travel. All did well under the circumstances--it being a surprise after driving in the pickets, the enemy was in our camp. I lost in the engagement three (3)killed, two (2) mortally wounded, five (5) severely wounded, and forty (40) men taken prisoners.

JACOB MOREHEAD, First Lieut.
Sixth Kansas Cavalry, Volunteers, Commanding Company B
---------------------------------------------

REPORT OF KILLED, WOUNDED AND CAPTURED
IN COMPANY B, SIXTH KANSAS CAVALRY
ON JULY 27TH, 1864, AT MUZZARD PRAIRIE, ARKANSAS.

*Jacob Morehead, First Lieutenant company B, severely wounded.
*
Thos. McCauley, Corporal, company B, killed.
Antoine Furtmire, private, company B, slightly wounded.
*
Marion Hinton, private, company B, severely wounded.
Edwin Jackson, private, company B, severely wounded
*
David P. McDonald, private company B, slightly wounded.
*
John G. Parker, private, company B, killed.
Edwin Parker, private, company B, slightly wounded.
*
George W. Rinker, private, company B, mortally wounded.
*
Joshua B. Zents, private, company B, killed. 
Forty enlisted men in Company B were captured.
*Were volunteers from Appanoose County, Iowa.

From the History of the Sixth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry on the website of the the
Museum of the Kansas National Guard.   A Complete Roster of Company B.

Skirmish: Company B Sixth Kansas Cavalry

May 15, 1863
Skirmish at Big Creek, near Pleasant Hill, Missouri
Report of Maj. Wyllis C. Ransom, Sixth Kansas Cavalry
Hdqrs. First Battalion Sixth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry
Westport, Missouri, May 24, 1863 

Capt. H. G. Loring, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:
  Captain:  I have the honor respectfully to report that on the 14th instant, learning that a considerable band of guerrillas were prowling near this place, with the evident intention of committing depredations along the Kansas line, I immediately started in pursuit with 60 men of Company B, Sixth Kansas Cavalry.  I came in contact with the so-styled Colonel Parker and his gang the same evening; routed him, killing 2 of his men and capturing 3 of his horses.  As I feared would be the case, a larger party of guerrillas passed to my rear during the night, notwithstanding that I used every precaution that the force at my command would allow to prevent such a movement.  The enemy in my rear burned three houses, and the same night recrossed the Little Blue and retreated east as fast as his horses would carry him.
  Upon learning of his movements during the night, I gave hot pursuit, and came up with a party of his force at Big Creek, near Pleasant Hi, Cass County, Missouri.  We surprised his camp, killing 6 of his men, capturing 7 of his horses with equipments complete, his camp equipage, arms, provisions, &c.
  The next day we routed him again, killing 2 of his men, wounding others, that escaped in the brush, and captured 3 more of his horses.  Having driven them from that locality, I pursued them toward the Sni, where I again came up to them, they having joined the main body of guerrillas, at least 150 strong, under command of Quantrill and Parker, encamped among the thickly wooded hills of the Sni, in a very strong position.  While feeling for the enemy, we encountered one of his forage parties taking flour to camp.  We dispersed it, killing 1 and capturing and destroying the flour, their arms, and 2 more horses.
  Judging that, with my men as poorly armed as they were, I could not attack the enemy successfully, I determined to await re-enforcements.  I accordingly retired about 2 miles to a point where I could open communication with Major [William] Drumhiller, at Blue Springs.  Major Drumhiller joined me that evening with 100 men, Fifth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, and we immediately moved upon the enemy in the midst of a terrible storm, which continued most of the night and the next day.  We found that the enemy had moved their camp, but a reconnoitering party soon started a picket of 10 men, 1 of whom was killed and 3 of their horses captured.  A close pursuit of several miles followed, but failed to discern the enemy's camp.  The storm continuing with unabated violence, the streams rapidly rising, and our stock being nearly given out, and fearing that the enemy would again pass to the rear, together with the fact that our rations were exhausted, induced me to return to this place.
  During the scout we have marched an aggregate of several hundred miles, and nearly the whole distance through the densest of brush, lying in ambuscade in detached parties night after night.  I am confirmed in the opinion that the guerrillas in this and the adjacent counties can be concentrated within a few hours on any one point.  They number several hundred, and great watchfulness will be required to prevent serious disaster.  The enemy invariably fought us with desperation.  My casualties are 1 man killed.
  I feel it my duty to mention the name of Sergt. George W. Farnsworth, of Company B, Sixth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, for the eminent valor he displayed and the untiring zeal with which he executed my orders in the field.
  Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
  W. C. Ransom, Major Sixth Kansas Cavalry, Commanding Detachment

[Note:  Sergt. George W. Farnsworth was one of the volunteers from Appanoose County, Iowa]

From:  The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.  Additions and Corrections to Series I - Volume XXII.  [Washington: Government Printing Office, 1902], pages 332-333. 


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sixth Kansas Cavalry in the Civil War & Appanoose County Volunteers

  During the Civil War a number of Jerome and other Appanoose County men served in Company B of the Sixth Kansas Cavalry, including my Great-Great-Grandfather David H. Hawkins; and William Bell, Calvin R. Jackson, Peter Sidles and Addison Pendergast who are buried in the Jerome Cemetery.   A complete list of the Appanoose county men who served in this unit during the Civil War was included in The History of Appanoose County, Iowa (1878) on pages 422 & 425.
  Some of the history of the Sixth Kansas Cavalry is provided in Wiley Britton's Memoirs of the Rebellion on the Border, 1863.   Philip Thomas Tucker writes in the Introduction to the Bison Book Edition:  "As no other Civil War account does, [it] fully illuminates and illustrates the character of the little-known conflict on the western border of the trans-Mississippi theater during the decisive year of 1863...It is considerably more revealing than many Civil War memoirs.  The publication date of 1882, almost two decades after the war, is misleading because Wiley Britton offers an intimate, first-person account.  His work is quite unlike the typical post-war memoir written long after the war and mostly from memory, resulting in many inaccuracies and exaggerations.  Indeed, it is actually a diary written during the decisive year of 1863 by the young soldier of the Sixth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry...and then rewritten by him as a published memoir.  He begins his remarkably factual and reliable account of the western border conflict on Christmas Day 1862." 
  The original edition of Memoirs of the Rebellion on The Border, 1863 by Wiley Britton [Chicago:  Cushing, Thomas & Co., Publishers, 1882] can be downloaded free from the Google Book Project

  Or, you can purchase the Bison Book Edition published by the University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln & London, in 1993.

Friday, December 5, 2008

History of Railroads, Coal Mines and Newspapers in Appanoose County

  Bill Heusinkveld wrote two major series of articles for The Daily Iowegian on the coal mines and the railroads of Appanoose County.  The growth of the railroads and the coal mines were closely related.  All of the articles are in the archives of The Daily Iowegian.  You will find these very interesting, educational and enjoyable.  Be sure to read the Milwaukee Railroad Comes to Jerome.
  The History of Coal Mining In Appanoose County, Iowa by W. M. "Bill" Heusinkveld was published in 2007.  See the last article above regarding its availability.  Other Appanoose County history books written by Heusinkveld are: This Day in Iowa History [1995], Cemeteries of Appanoose County [1999], Towns of Appanoose County [2003], 101 Sketches of Pioneer Stories [2004], Historic Homes of Centerville [2004], and Nine Appanoose Regiments in the Civil War [2007]. 

  A third series of articles written by Bill Heusinkveld for The Daily Iowegian tells the history of newspapers in Appanoose County.