Thursday, October 9, 2008

Introduction: The Reasoning Behind This Project

Daniel and Reefa (Miller) Myers
"Will the Circle Be Unbroken"

I expect eventually to be deposited in one form or another at Salem Cemetery, and it never hurts to know the neighbors. Beyond that, I'm related to many of those buried here and probably related to people who are related to the rest. That's the way in works in Lucas County.

My parents and Myers grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents rest here as does Doratha Redlingshafer, my great-great-great-grandmother, matriarch of the Redlingshafer family in America.

Last but certainly not least, I've become acquainted with some of the nicest folks conceivable, descendants of Salem's occupants, because of my informal status as the resident expert on who is buried here, and why. Those who rest here would be proud of their descendants, Lucas Countyans actual and virtual, and gratified that after all these years their kinfolk have sought them out and want to know something of who they were and how they lived and died.

Those are among the reasons for this blog with a limited purpose. If you are interested in my brilliant opinions on stuff and other matters I chose to write about, kindly see my other blog, "The Lucas Countyan." There will be none of that here. This space belongs to the ancestors.

A good deal of what's here was posted originally to a Salem Cemetery mailing list at RootsWeb. That was fine and it's still there. But a mailing list does not have photo potential and I've wanted that, so I'm going to gradually move material from there to here and add photos and more. It will take a while.

Salem Cemetery is located alongside the New York Road in Section 3 of Benton Township, Lucas County, Iowa, some three miles over generally rough and occasionally muddy gravel roads southeast of Chariton. Although the date on the gatepost is "1873," that's misleading. The first burial here, reportedly that of a Mormon pioneer who died along the Mormon Trail, was in the late 1840s and there were others soon after 1850 and many more before 1873. You can see the "history" for more of this.

The cemetery was platted in 1873, probably a new grid dropped atop an older one since no one here seems out of place, and divided into 52 lots, each 9 by 41 feet. A few of those lots have been subdivided as the years passed, but most remain intact. The George W. Redlingshafer family takes the prize for shoe-horning the most deceased persons into one lot, although a bit of cheating was involved. George D. Redlingshafer has only a stone; his remains are elsewhere.

I have followed the cemetery's original lot numbering system here, and that's the way the blog is organized. Lot No. 1 is in the extreme northeast corner of the cemetery and lots follow east to west in numerical order to No. 13 at the northwest corner of the original cemetery. Lot 14 is just south of Lot No. 1, back at the east end, then the lots march in numerical order again to Lot No. 26 at the west end of the second row. Lots No. 27-39 and Lots No. 40-52 form the two south ranges of lots in a similar manner so that Lot. No. 52 is in the extreme southwest corner of the cemetery. Confused? Well so am I sometimes, especially since the lots have been renumbered at least twice in different ways as the years have passed. But this was the way it started.

After all the vacant lots in the original plat were sold (my grandparents grabbed the last one), other lots were sold in what formerly was the Salem churchyard. I've grouped those together as "Churchyard Burials."

In addition, I know of people who were buried here but don't know where. You'll find them under "Salem's lost graves."

To navigate, look to "Index" in post listings at left. That will tell you eventually who is buried here and on which lot. Then click on the appropriate lot to pull it up.

I hope you find this useful. With the exception of a few reprobates (I know who they were but won't tell), all the folks buried here were fine people who deserve to be remembered. That, ultimately, is what this is all about.

Frank D. Myers
October 2008

Too many moons ago, now, and in another life. But those were good days, too, up that crick in Wyoming.

A Brief History of Salem Cemetery

A gravedigger once told my dad that the dirt is black and rich six feet down at Salem, the legacy of countless tallgrass prairie seasons cycling under endless sky. Everyone in this community forged by death was tied somehow to the land in life and it remains a good place for an old farmer to take his rest.

The first to be buried here beside a fold in the prairie as it begins to break toward the Chariton River was a Mormon refugee moving toward the woods and water at Chariton Point two miles northwest during the 1840s, carrying in his head Brigham Young’s vision of New Zion in the intermountain West.

The most recent, during 2006, was a farm wife in her 94th year who carried memories of a full life on the farm just across the road as she traveled toward home.

Time and the prairie wind have swept away the Mormon pioneer’s name and the exact location of his grave, but the memory of Ora Gartin still is fresh and lively as grass heals the wound inflicted when her grave was dug.

SALEM is located in the southwest quarter of Section 3, Benton Township, two miles southeast of Chariton and two and a half miles due west of Russell, just south of the intersection of the Blue Grass and New York roads.

The Blue Grass Road here follows the path of the old Mormon Trace, the trail blazed from Dodge’s Point in Appanoose County northwest past old Greenville and then due west through what became Russell to Chariton Point and beyond by Mormons during the late spring and the early summer of 1846. The Trace was used thereafter by most of the thousands of Nauvoo Saints forced to flight by non-Mormon neighbors in Illinois who would not tolerate their differentness. They moved past what became Salem in ox-drawn wagons, on horseback and on foot toward Chariton Point, then Garden Grove or Mount Pisgah, across western Iowa to the Missouri River and beyond through Nebraska and Wyoming to Utah.

At Salem, the main trail was joined by a shortcut used by some of these pioneers that meandered back southeast past Ragtown, then cut directly east toward Greenville across the prairie flats south of Russell.

It may have been this convergence of trails that made it seem likelier to loved ones that a grave here would be less likely to be lost. Those who mourned had no choice other than to bury, say a prayer and move on.

DURING the roughly 160 years that have followed that first grave, approximately 300 people have been buried at Salem. Of those, about 240 graves are marked, the locations of perhaps 20 unmarked graves are known and perhaps 40 more people, known but to God, lie buried here.

These people were overwhelmingly of Scots-Irish and German descent, although there are Swedes and others, too. Most were members of three churches: Salem Methodist Episcopal (later Salem Community) Church, congregations whose building stood in front of the cemetery from the 1870s until the 1970s and from which the cemetery took its name; Mt. Carmel United Evangelical Church, four miles south; and Otterbein United Brethren in Christ, four miles southwest. The only other cemetery in Benton Township is Ragtown, a mile and a quarter southeast and long unused. For reasons now unknown, several families began to bury at Ragtown, then stopped and began using Salem. In at least one instance, a wife was buried at Ragtown and her husband, many years later at Salem.

There are Civil War veterans of both the Union and the Confederate States here, as well as veterans of World War I and World War II. There are men here who took their own lives and at least one who was murdered, women who died in childbirth and dozens of infants today‘s medical practices would have saved, many victims of tuberculosis (then called consumption) and many more who lived long and full lives. Their descendants are practically numberless now and scattered like buckshot, but this remains a community and its members still have stories to tell.

ALTHOUGH Lucas County opened for settlement during 1846, the same year the Mormon Trace was blazed, the land around the lone grave in Benton Township remained in government hands for a few years because it was open prairie, considered less desirable than timbered land.

The 160-acre tract that included the grave was purchased from the U.S. government by John Howard and his wife, Mary (Sutphin) Scott/Howard, on 23 May 1850 for the going rate of $1.25 per acre. At the time it was unbroken, open and treeless prairie with only one landmark --- the grave. The Howards apparently did not live here, however.

They also had purchased land about two miles northwest along the Mormon Trace, due south of what now is the city of Chariton and encompassing part of the Chariton Point settlement. It was here, apparently, that the Howards lived until Mary’s death on 12 October 1850. According to family lore, Mary was buried first in a cemetery once located on the site of Columbus School in Chariton that was abandoned at about the time the present Chariton Cemetery was developed, in the early 1860s. Her remains were removed to the new cemetery and according to some accounts were the first to be buried in it.

Aaron Salter Scott, buried with several family members at Salem, was a son of Mary (Sutphin) Scott/Howard by her first marriage, to Jacob Scott, and the grave of Henry T. Scott, infant son of Aaron S. and Elizabeth A. (Wells) Scott, who died 14 December 1853, is the earliest marked grave at Salem.

Not long after Mary’s death, John Howard disposed of his holdings in Lucas County and moved “back east” to Jefferson County, Iowa, where he married as his second wife a woman named Gracie.

The prairie farm in Benton Township went to Margaret (Sutphin) Hobson, a sister of Mary (Sutphin) Scott/Howard, whose husband, Joseph Hobson, had died 4 September 1849 in Van Buren County and who had been buried in the Bonaparte Cemetery where his grave still may be found.

On 14 February 1852, John and Gracie Howard (then of Lockridge Township, Jefferson County) sold the 160-acre cemetery farm to Margaret for $100 and she moved there with some of her children, including Rebecca (who married first Nelson Bell and then Chester F. Plimpton), Elizabeth Adeline (who married Francis M. Wilson), John Milburn (who married first Margaret A. Clark and then Mary Eugenia Taylor Gove) and Lucinda (who married John P. Martin).

It was Margaret and her family who broke the land and built a home probably in the southwest corner of the farm, where what I still call the Johnny Jennings home is located.

It may have been during Margaret Hobson’s tenure that neighbors, including her nephew, Aaron Scott, began to bury their dead near the lone Mormon grave northeast of the Hobson home, thus forming a cemetery with a name that, if there was one, has faded into obscurity.

Margaret Hobson died 19 August 1870 and was buried in the Chariton Cemetery beside her sister, Mary (Sutphin) Scott/Howard.

Upon Margaret Hobson’s death, her son, Milburn, purchased from her estate for $1,100 140 acres of the 160-acre farm on 26 August 1870. This farm was known a century later as the George and Faye Lovell/Johnny and Ora Gartin farm (Johnny's wife was Ora Lovell, daughter of George), and it probably was the Milburn Hobsons who developed the farmstead there. The cemetery was included in this purchase.

The 20-acre tract in the southwest corner of the farm that probably included the original Hobson farmstead was sold for $500, also on 26 August 1870, to Margaret’s daughter, Adeline, who had married Francis M. Wilson.

Three years later, on 6 March 1873, Milburn Hobson sold to the Wilsons the 20-acre tract that included the cemetery.

And on the 12th of June, 1873, Adeline and Francis M. Wilson sold the cemetery site for $50 to the Salem Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church.

This is why the year “1873” is inscribed on the plaque that marks the cemetery entrance, although the burial ground itself is about 25 years older.

Soon after purchasing the land, Salem Methodist Church was built in front of (west of) the cemetery and, during 1875, the cemetery was replatted as Salem Cemetery into 52 lots, each 9 by 41 feet with space for eight or nine graves. Since there are no graves at Salem that seem out of place, it is likely that the new plat followed at least partly an earlier one.

Salem remained an active Methodist congregation until the 1930s and its members administered and maintained the cemetery during those years.

The Methodist congregation had faded by the 1940s, however, and the church was closed for a time. It was reopened by community residents during the 1940s, but took a Baptist turn and declined to accept Methodist preachers. As a result, the Iowa Methodist Conference during 1947 sold the church and church grounds to what became known as the Salem Community Church. The cemetery was deeded to the Benton Township trustees who assumed responsibility for its care.

Salem Community Church remained active well into the 1970s, but declining rural population and the deaths of key members caused it to close during that decade. A decision was made to demolish the church building, still well-maintained and structurally sound, and the church grounds, which had begun to be used for cemetery purposes as the original cemetery filled, also were deeded to the Benton Township trustees. Today, only the church’s front step remains.

That left the cemetery in the form it now has. Upon the death of Burdette Smith, his family placed new fencing (replacing hitching posts that had rotted), brick gateposts and a plaque identifying Salem at the front. Some years later, hard-maple trees were planted in memory of Reefa (Miller) Myers to replace giant soft-maples that had died.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Salem Cemetery Lot No. 1: George Smith, Owner

So far as we know, there is only one grave in Lot No. 1, located in the extreme northeast corner of the cemetery: That of Estela (Arnold) Smith, wife of George W. Smith. Although the effect seems kind of lonesome and her husband and children did move on after her death, she is near family here. Her parents, Edward and Sophia (Barnhart) Arnold, are buried in Lot No. 6 and her father- and mother-in-law, Josiah and Sarah (Pitts) Smith, are buried in Lot No. 42.

Wife of
G.W. Smith
Mar. 31, 1870
Mar. 2, 1898

Estela does not have a published obituary for some reason. The best the Chariton newspapers can do is the following notice published in The Chariton Democrat of 4 March 1898:

Died, Mrs. Estella Smith, wife of Geo. Smith, on Wednesday, March 2. Mr. and Mrs. Smith resided five miles north of New York. Funeral services will be held today at the Salem church and the remains will be interred in the Salem Cemetery.

To compensate a little, I've devised the following virtual obituary based upon my own research and that of one of Estela's descendants, Roberta Tuller:


Rosa Estela Arnold, sixth child of Edward and Sophia (Barnhart) Arnold, was born March 31, 1870, in Dallas Township, Marion County, Iowa.

When she was 2, her family moved to Lucas County, living in Liberty Township until 1875, when they moved to Benton Township, where she grew up and was educated. With her family, she attended Mt. Carmel United Evangelical Church.

On Nov. 28, 1888, when she was 18, Estela married a neighbor boy, George Washington Smith, age 22, a son of Josiah and Sarah (Pitts) Smith.

During 10 years of marriage, the Smiths had two children, Eva Edna and Walter George. The family tenant farmed in Benton Township, and was living on the McCurdy place (later the Irwin and Ethel Myers farm) when Estela died on 2 March 1898, less than a month before her 28th birthday. She was buried in Salem Cemetery.

In addition to her husband, children and parents, Estela was survived by seven siblings: Mandaville Arnold, Edward Morris Arnold, Mrs. William H.(Phoebe) Holmes. Mrs. George D. (Harriet) Redlingshafer, Mrs. Greer (Fanny) Redlingshafer, Mrs. John F. (Della) Anderson and James Walter Arnold. She was preceded in death by a brother and a sister, Mortimer and Kitty Arnold.

George and his children later moved to a farm near Griswold in Cass County, Iowa, and George still was living on a farm in that area when he died during May of 1941. He was buried in a nearby cemetery, Flint, located in Pottawattamie County.

George W. and Estela (Arnold) Smith and their two children, Eva and Walter.

Salem Cemetery Lot No. 02: Tharp/Wilson, Owners

The 1930s plant of Salem shows this lot divided with the north half owned by "Tharp" and the south half, by "Wilson." I have no idea who either Tharp or Wilson is. Whatever the case, there is only one marked grave on the north half of the lot, that of Joe E. Clark. I've been unable to find an obituary for Joe, but the death notice here suggests that there might have been some initial indecision about exactly where to bury him.



Dies Monday Night at Home on North 7th St. (in Chariton);
Rites Set for Wednesday

Joe E. Clark, 79, for many years a resident of this vicinity, died last night about midnight at his home on North Seventh street, after a brief illness with pneumonia.

Surviving him are his wife, and one brother, Verne Clark, of Hedrick, and three sisters, Mrs. Lulu Spiker, of Hedrick, and Mrs. Della Carmack and Mrs. Jas. F. McDowell, of Chariton.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday afternoon at two o'clock at the Miley funeral home, and burial will be in the Chariton (sic) cemetery.

The Chariton Leader, 19 December 1939

A very small stone with no insciption, of the sort used elsewhere in the cemetery as a footstone, is located at either the extreme south end of the south half of this lot, or at the extreme north end of Lot. No. 15. I do not know whose grave this stone might mark.

Salem Cemetery Lot No. 03: Louisa Clark/E. Morgan, Owners


There are no marked graves on the north half of this lot, although there are depressions suggesting that two graves might be located here. "Louisa Clark" is given on the 1930s Salem plat as the owner of this portion of the lot.


The grave of Elijah H. Morgan, marked by a Confederate States of America service marker, is in the approxmate middle of this portion of the lot. Elijah is one of two Confederate veterans buried at Salem. Although there are at least two other graves on this portion of the lot, those of Elijah's wife, Mary, and son, William, it is not evident where they are located. The inscription on Elijah's Stone reads,


There is no record of Elijah's death in Lucas County so he must have died elsewhere. The following news story from The Chariton Patriot of 5 November 1931 (Page 1), does, however, give some details of his life.


E.H. Morgan Still Rememers Days He Spent Under General Jackson

E. H. Morgan, Chariton's only veteran of the Civil war who fought with the confederate army, celebrated his 97th birthday Wednesday at the home of his son, Paul Morgan, in Chariton.

Morgan is still quite active despite his advanced years and remembers the days spent with the Confederate army under General Pickett.

He was 25 years of age when he went to the old courthouse in Fawnville, Virginia, and cast his lot with the Southeran armies, becoming a member of Company L of the Twenty-Third Old Virginia.

Mr. Morgan was at Gettysburg with Pickett and in numerous other encounters with the Union forces. As a member of the ambulance company, he helped to bury the leg of Stonewall Jackson, shot off when the generall forgot an order which he had issued.

General Jackson had issued an order to fire on any one who attempted to come down the line. Forgetting his order, the General came riding down the line on a big horse and a hail of bullets was directed at him until the soldiers realized their error. Amputation of his leg was necessary because of the serious injury that he sustained.

Upon the death of the famous Southern general, Mr. Morgan was detailed as a guard of honor at the military funeral.

A member of the Southern army in the sixties, he's a thorough American today, and at the age of 97 years he still thrills at the stories of American valor and heroism in 1917 and 1918, and none is prouder of the boys that fought another war and died another year than he who one day met his present friends and neighbors on the field of battle.

Elijah apparently died during March of 1934. The following brief report was published in The Herald Patriot of 29 March 1934:


Among the number who were here Sunday attending the funeral of E. H. Morgan, Civil War veteran, were Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Moore and Mrs. Vera Schnee and daughter, of Des Moines; Mr. and Mrs. H. G. Porter and Mr. and Mrs. D. E. Doggett, of Villisca; Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Moore, of Earlham.


If there were a tombstone here for Elijah H. Morgan's wife, Mary, who lies in an unmarked grave, it might read as follows:

Wife of Elijah H. Morgan
Born Dec. 10, 1852
Died June 11, 1917


Mrs. E.H. Morgan passed away at her home in northwest Chariton on Monday night, June 11th, 1917, at 11 o'clock, after an extended illness with heart trouble and a complication of diseases.

Funeral services, conducted by her pastor, Rev. Herbert J. Bryce, were held at the family home in Brookdale (Brookdale is the name of a street in northwest Chariton, and perhaps also was the name of a neighborhood or subdivision) yesterday afternoon at 2 o'clock, after which the remains were laid to rest in Salem cemetery.

Mary Elizabeth Clark was born in Pennsylvania, December 10th, 1852. She was married at Newbern, Iowa, in August, 1871, to E.H. Morgan, who survives her. Five children were born to them, three of whom, Mrs. Clarence Moore of Humeston, Mrs. Harry Porter of Villisca, and Paul, of this city, survive. She also leaves four grandchildren. She had been a resident of this county for over forty years, and was highly regarded by all who knew her for her many lovable traits of character. She had been a member of the Baptist church for many years, and was a good, christian woman. Her demise will be deplored by a host of friends who will extend sincere sympathy to the grief stricken family. (Chariton Herald-Patriot. 14 June 1917)

Mary E. (Clark) Morgan was a sister of Margaret (Clark) Hobson, first wife of Milburn Hobson, who died 20 June 1883 and who is buried in Salem Cemetery Lot. No. 17. Margaret's obituary identifies their parents as William and Nancy Clark.

Mary E. Morgan's obituary states that she was married to Elijah H. Morgan during 1871 at Newburn, Iowa. Newbern, almost a ghost town, is located in far north Lucas County, just south of the Warren County line, but Van Buren County, Iowa, marriage records show that Mary E. Clark and Elijah H. Morgan were married 19 August 1872 in Van Buren County.


Also buried in an unmarked grave on this lot is William "Straighty" Morgan, son of Elijah and Mary E., who died in Chariton during 1905. If he had a tombstone, its inscription might read as follows:

Son of Elijah H. and Mary E. Morgan


Passes Away After an Illness of Only a Week With Pneumonia

William Morgan, familiarly known as "Straighty" Morgan, died at the home of his parents in this city (Chariton) on Tuesday evening, January 24, 1905, at 10:30 o'clock after an illness of only a few days with pneumonia. Funeral services conducted by Rev. F. B. Palmer were held at the family home this morning after which the remains were interred in the Salem cemetery.

William Morgan was the son of Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Morgan and was born in Warren county, this state, in 1875. For many years he has resided in Chariton and a greater part of the time has been engaged in the dray business. He was a kind hearted, honest young man, and had many friends who will regret to learn of his death and who will extend heartfelt sympathy to the sorrowing parents and two sisters and brother who survive him. (The Chariton Leader, 26 January 1905)


William Morgan, more familiarly known as "Straighty," died at the home of his father, E. H. Morgan, in this city, Tuesday evening, Jan. 24, 1905,at 10 o'clock p.m. after less than two weeks' illness with pneumonia. Funeral services were held from his late home this morning at 10 o'clock,conducted by Rev. F. B. Palmer, and interment was made in the Salemcemetery.

Deceased was thirty years old and had lived in Chariton all his life.

For years he has been engaged in the delivery business, and there are but few of the residents of Chariton who have not at some time employedhim in that capacity, and he was always prompt in the discharge of his duties. Beneath a somewhat rough exterior beat a warm and sympathetic heart, and "Straighty" never forgot when anyone showed him a kindness, and was always ready to grant a favor. He was a familiar character about town and will be greatly missed by his many friends.The bereaved relatives have the sympathy of the community. (The Chariton Herald, 26 January 1905)

Salem Cemetery Lot No. 04: George Redlingshafer, Owner

The Redlingshafer family holds the record at Salem for most efficient use of space. Nine people are buried on the lot although tombstones suggest that there are 10. The George D. Redlingshafer stone, however, is a memorial; his remains are elsewhere. George W. Redlingshafer bought this lot from the Salem trustees when his mother died in the late summer of 1881.

Those buried or memorialized in Lot No. 4 are Doratha Redlingshafer, the matriarch of the Redlingshafer family in America; her son and daughter-in-law, George W. and Frances Caroline (Lewis) Redlingshafer; George D. Redlingshafer, Adelia O. Redlingshafer, Charles M. Redlingshafer and William L. Redlingshafer, children of George and Frances; and Alice M. Pickett, another daughter of George and Frances, and her husband, William S. Pickett, and their infant child, Gale A. The transcriptions here are from south to north to allow Doratha to have pride of place.

Aug.13, 1881
78Y, 25D


I confess partiality in the ancestor department to Doratha, who is my great-great-great grandmother, in part because she's the only immigrant forbear I can relate to. The others arrived in the Americas so long ago or with such common surnames (like Brown) that for the most part they're just abstractions. Doratha, on the other hand, has a wonderfully distinctive surname, twice actually since it was both maiden and married; she's here at Salem where I can visit at any time; and then there's this wonderful photo, courtesy of my esteemed cousin Donnell (Redlingshafer) Wisniewiski whose family preserved it. Donnell's great-grandfather, John W. Redlingshafer, and my great-grandmother, Mary Belle (Redlingshafer) Myers, were siblings.

There is no published death notice or obituary for Doratha, so it's necessary to rely on other sources. My dad wasn't of much help in this department since the only family story he recalled regarding Doratha was that one of her favorite pastimes was smoking a small pipe --- unusual in Lucas County but not at all so in her native Bavaria.

According to German lore, the Redlingshafers were Austrian originally, but were chased out because of their Lutheran (as opposed to Roman Catholic) faith and found refuge in an area west of Nuremberg where they reproduced enthusiastically during the 17th and 18th centuries, filling several farming villages. In that sort of setting, cousins tended to marry cousins as was the case with Doratha and her husband, George Redlngshafer. That's the background for this brief exerpt from a biographical sketch of Donnell's and my great-great-grandfather, Doratha's son, John G. Redlingshafer:

GEORGE REDLINGSHAFER, the father of our subject (John G. Redlingshafer), was twice married and the children recorded above are of the second union. His first wife, who was a Miss Wise and who was a native of the same province in which he was born, bore him three children, - Barbara, James and John. All have long since passed away. The mother died soon after the birth of her last child. Of the father of this large family, we further record that he was born in Bavaria, December 7, 1787, and that he was a farmer and met with more than ordinary success in his vocation. When the war cloud gathered and hung over his native land he converted his acres into cash and came to America, making the Atlantic voyage in the Abegunde and being sixty-three days from Hamburg to Baltimore. The progress of the vessel was hindered by both calm and storm, and although the vessel was somewhat the worse for the voyage, she landed her precious freight in safety. Patiently awaiting the arrival of this good ship was James Redlingshafer, the brother of our subject, who had several years before emigrated to America. United, the family set out for Uniontown, Pennsylvania, making the journey by rail to Cumberland and thence by stage to their destination. This was in 1848.

After a residence of about a year at Uniontown, Pennsylvania, the family removed to Washington county, same State, where they purchased a farm and settled upon the same. About six years later the father and mother, upon the continued solicitation of Mary, their daughter, came west to Bureau County, Illinois. Still later they located in Clayton county, Iowa. Here ended the useful career of George Redlingshafer. He lived long enough, however, to feel assured of the success of all his children. It was January 7, 1856, and at the home of his daughter, Mary, in Guttenberg, Iowa, that he quietly passed away. The mother of our subject, nee Dorothea Redlingshafer, was born in Bavaria, July 18, 1803. She was a devoted Christian woman and a member of the German Lutheran Church. After an active and useful life, the closing years of which were spent at the home of her son George, in Benton township, Lucas county, Iowa, she passed to her reward, the date of her death being August 13, 1881. In the Salem Church burying-ground a stone marks her last resting place. {"A Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1896, Page 230)

The Redlingshafers followed German naming practices and once they'd settled on a few names they stuck with them, generation after generation, like an old dog with a bone. It's enough to drive a genealogist to drink. All of Doratha's daughters, for example, was given the name Anna. She had two sets of daughters who had exactly the same names, just reversed: Margaret Anna and Anna Margaret; Mary Anna and Anna Mary. See what I mean?

Anyhow, of George's first family --- who came to America first --- the eldest was the formidable, but reportedly beautiful, Barbara (26 May 1809-11 February 1890), who married Jacob Fisher in Pennsylvania in 1844, had three children by him and raised them alone after his premature death in 1851. She lived and died in Washington County, Pennsylvania. We're less sure about the boys, James and John Kaspar.

These are the four children of Doratha and George Redlingshafer who settled permanently in Lucas County. John G. Redlingshafer (left) and George W. Redlingshafer are standing; Anna Margaret (Redlingshafer) Rosa/Wulf (left) and Margaret Anna (Redlingshafer) Hupp are seated

George and Doratha's children were:

1. Anna Margaret (28 February 1824-7 February 1906). She married first John W. Rosa and after his early death in Chariton during 1867, Joachim Wulf. Anna Margaret and John Rosa had 10 or 12 children, depending upon whom one believes, but only three survived: John W. Jr., Adam George and Anna Margaret (who married William P. Schreck). All of Lucas County's Rosas and many of its Schrecks descend from Anna Margaret, who is buried in the Chariton Cemetery with her two husbands.

2. John G. Redlingshafer, my great-great-grandfather (9 May 1827-8 February 1913). He married Isabelle Greer 30 November 1856 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. They had Mary Belle Redlingshafer (married Daniel Myers I), my great-grandmother; John William Redlingshafer (married Emma Bondurant), who moved to Montana; Minnie D. Redlingshafer (married Aquilla Jones Davis) who ended up in California with her children after the unfortunate Aquilla killed himself while heading up the bank in Seymour; and Ernest Greer Redlingshafer (married Fannie Augusta Arnold), who farmed in Benton Township and left many descendants in Lucas County. John G., Isabelle and most of their family are buried in the Chariton Cemetery, too. John G.'s family also included Cora Jane (5 September 1856-24 September 1933) who married first Albert Asbury Maxwell (divorce) and second, John J. "Johnny Tapp" Jackson. Cora was Isabelle's daughter by an unknown father, appearing unexpectedly when John G. went back to Pennsylvania after a few years in Iowa to marry her (something he seems to have been quite open minded about). Both of Cora's husbands seem to have been major pieces of work and she had a hard life.

3. Mary Anna Redlingshafer (1830-27 January 1878) who married John Charles Ernest Dittmer and produced eight children before dying in northeast Iowa's Delaware County. The Dittmers are buried in Zion Cemetery, Colony Township, Delaware County.

4. George W. Redlingshafer, on whose Salem Cemetery lot Doratha is buried and whose family will become evident by reading this posting.

5. Margaret Anna Redlingshafer, who married Aaron Hupp. All of the Hupps save two are buried here at Salem and so all you might care to know about them will be posted here eventually.

6. Anna Mary Redlingshafer (31 August 1837-6 October 1931) who married Martin Banschbach and lived and died along with a majority of her family at DePue in Bureau County, Illinois.

7. John Lot Redlingshafer (14 February 1845-14 October 1931), the roamer, rambler and adventurer in the family --- at times with his nephew, Aaron Jacob Fisher. He lived his final years in Washington County, Pennsylvania, and is buried there.

8. Elizabeth Anna Redlingshafer (21 November 1848-9 April 1931) who married William Banschbach, Martin's brother, and had a family of five children, some quite exotic. She lived in Princeton, Bureau County, Illinois, and is buried there.

George W. Redlingshafer and his wife, Frances, share a tombstone. George's inscription is on the south face and his grave, immediately north of his mother's.

Feb. 7, 1833
Sept. 1, 1905


George W. Redlingshafer was born in Bavaria, Germany, on February 7, 1833, and died of heart failure at his home in Benton township, Lucas County, Iowa, September 1, 1905, aged 72 years, 6 months and 24 days. He was the son of George and Dorothea Redlingshafer, and was the fourth in their family of eight children. In the year 1848, at the age of fifteen, he came with his parents to America, locating in Green(e) County, Pennsylvania, for a number of years, and subsequently removing to Illinois in 1855, residing at Pekin, where he was employed in a saw mill until the year 1859, when he came to Iowa to reside.

He traveled as far as Agency, Iowa, by rail, and from there he came on foot to Chariton, settling in Benton township, where he has since resided.

On November 18, 1860, he was married to Miss Frances Caroline Lewis, daughter of David and Lorilla Lewis of Benton township, Lucas County, Iowa. To this union were born twelve children, three sons and nine daughters, eleven of whom survive his demise. His wife died October 31, 1893. The greater part of the family of the deceased are residents of Iowa, and the most of these live in Lucas County. He was a successful farmer, and his large farm in Benton township is evidence of an industrious life, and a close attention to the details of farm work. He was privileged to give his children the benefits of good education, a number of them becoming teachers in the schools of the county for a time. He was a member of the Board of Supervisors of Lucas county for three years and filled various offices in the township for a long period of years. He was a good husband, a kind father, and a true neighbor and friend. During his residence in Pennsylvania, he was converted to God, and united with the Cumberland Presbyterian church. For over thirty years he has been a faithful and devoted member of the Mt. Carmel Evangelical church in Benton township, and was one of the charter members of the same. He will be missed greatly, and his place will be hard to fill. He loved the church and sought to co-operate in her work at home and abroad. A Father in Israel has fallen. May his mantle fall on his children. His work was well done, and he expressed himself as ready to depart this life.

The funeral services were held on Sunday, September 3, at 11 a.m. in the Salem M.E. church in Benton township, conducted by Rev Charles Pickford and were largely attended by the relatives and friends of the deceased. Interment was made in the cemetery at the above named place. (The Chariton Patriot, 7 September 1905)

An identical obituary was published in The Chariton Herald of 7 September 1905, but a list of survivors was added:

The surviving children are: Mrs. Nancy Wilson, Miss Mary Redlingshafer, George Redlingshafer, of Des Moines; Mrs. Alice Little (actually Pickett), Mrs. Irene Whiteside, Mrs. Elma Myers, Misses Lillie, Bell (actually this is one daughter, Lilly Belle), and Nellie, Chariton; Mrs. Lucy Norman, Lucas; Will Redlingshafer, South Dakota; Charles Redlingshafer, Clarinda. The daughters were all present at the funeral, but the sons were unavoidably absent.

Note: My dad, Daniel Myers, told old stories about the battles-of-my-superior-children conducted by family patriarchs and brothers-in-law, George W. Redlingshafer and Aaron Hupp. They would sit around for hours, according to Dad, bragging about the accomplishments of their kids. Both had 12 to brag about.

George probably won in the long run. His daughter, Nellie (Redlingshafer) McKee, a long-time educator in Montana, was national teacher of the year during the 1930s. His daughter, Mary (Redlingshafer) Bruning, had the most varied career. She began as a teacher, then became a nurse who practiced both in Iowa and California, then homesteaded in Idaho and finally became one of the few female licensed embalmers in the state of Washington, where she died. All of the Redlingshafer (save Adelia O., who died young) and Hupp daughters, however, were licensed to teach school at one time or another.

Wife of
Sept. 18, 1843
Oct. 31, 1893


George David Redlinshafer, son of George W. and Frances Caroline (Lewis) Redlingshafer, and Harriet Isabel "Hattie" Arnold, daughter of Edward and Sophia Arnold, were married in Lucas County on 6 April 1887. They divorced after 1910 while living in Des Moines.


G.W. & F.C.
Mar. 24, 1880
Jan. 28, 1894

Dearest child, thou hast left us,
And thy loss we deeply feel;
Tis the Lord that hath bereft us
Of one we loved so well.


The Patriot is sorry to chronicle the sad affliction which befell an old time friend, G.W. Redlingshafer of Benton township, in the death of his youngest daughter, which occurred at Des Moines, Monday. (The Chariton Patriot, 31 January 1894; Lilly Belle and Nellie Geneva actually were younger than Adelia.)


Miss Adelia O. Redlingshafer, daughter of G.W. Redlingshafer, died at the home of her sister in Des Moines, Iowa, January 28th, 1894. The deceased was born in Lucas county, Iowa, March 24th, 1880.

She leaves a father, three brothers, and eight sisters to mourn her departure, her mother having preceded her to the spirit world.

Funeral services were conducted by the writer, at the home of the father in Benton township January 30th, 1894. A large concourse of friends accompanied the remains to their last resting place in Salem Cemetery.

"The bereaved family have the sympathy of their many friends in this hour of affliction. (Written by) Rev. D.C. Busenburg. (The Chariton Patriot, 7 February 1894)

Note: The late Iva (Norman) Robinson of Santa Cruz, Calif., whose mother, Lucy (Redlingshafer) Norman, was Adelia's sister, compiled a brief family history for her family. She had the following to say about Adelia:

"Adelia Otis Redlingshafer born in 1880 and died at age 14. Just one year after her mother died. She went to Des Moines to help take care of her brother, George's, children. She died with diphtheria. Her grave is in Salem cemetery with her parents. Mother said Adelia had a nice disposition and a very sharp mind."


Feb. 9, 1869
Feb. 15, 1906

Charles Martin Redlingshafer, son of George W. and Frances Redlingshafer, was born February 9, 1869, in Benton township, Lucas county, Iowa and died at Clarinda, Iowa, on February 16 (sic), 1906, aged 37 years and 7 days. The greater part of his life was spent on his father's farm in Benton township, especially up to the years of manhood. At the age of 18, he was given a diploma from the public school in the Gartin district. Later on he attended the Humeston College, taking a course in the Business Department. A number of years since, on account of failing health, he went to South Dakota and entered a Homestead claim near Gettysburg.

His health failing again, he sold his farm and returned to his father's home in Lucas county, Iowa. For the past two years his life has been spent in much suffering, which he bore very patiently. He was converted to God at the age of 17, and untied with the Mt. Carmel Evangelical church in Benton township.

"He leaves two brothers, George D. of Des Moines, and William L. of Chariton, and eight sisters, viz.: Nancy M., wife of S.T. Wilson, of Des Moines; Alice, wife of W.S. Pickett, of Chariton; Irene, wife of W.H. Whiteside, of Benton township; Elma T., wife of Ishmeal (sic) Myers, of Chariton; Lucy C., wife of J.W. Norman, of Lucas, Ia.; Mary A., Superintendent of a Hospital in Guthrie Center, Ia.; Lilly Belle, and Nellie, both of Benton township. His father died September 1, 1905. His mother and one sister passed away from earth twelve years since.

"He was of a cheerful disposition, a lover of home and friends, and kind and considerate as a brother. The funeral services were held on Feb. 18th, at the Salem church, conducted by Rev. Chas. Pickford, of Russell, and interment was made in the cemetery adjoining. (Chariton Herald Patriot, 22 February 1906)

Note: Well, it's probably impossible to determine after all these years what exactly was the matter with Charles M., and it's also probably best not to speculate. His niece, Iva (Norman) Robinson of Santa Cruz, Calif., in a family history written for her family, wrote: "Charles went to Dakota. He probably met with foul play and was brought home ill. He died in the sanitarium at Mt. Pleasant (actually Clarinda) in Mt. Pleasant in Iowa at age thirty-seven. He never married." Foul play seems unlikely; some form of mental illness more the ticket. But who knows?



William L. Redlingshafer, 86, died Thursday evening at the Wayne County Memorial Hospital following a car accident Thursday morning northeast of Corydon. He was a retired farmer.

Services were held at the Miley Chapel at 2 p.m. Saturday with Elder W. R. Chandler officiating. Interment was at the Salem cemetery.

Surviving are two sisters, Mrs. Nellie McKee of Vallejo, Calif., and Mrs. Lillie Belle Anderson of Ceres, Calif., a niece, Mrs. Reese Thomas of Chariton and a number of other nieces and nephews.

The car was being driven by Edward Holmes, 82, of near Melrose. He lost control of the machine while rounding a curve four miles east of Millerton on a gravel road. The car rolled over twice, crossing a ditch and going through a fence. Holmes was hospitalized at Corydon following the accident. (Clipping dated February 1964, courtesy of Ilene Church)


William Lot Redlingshafer was born in Lucas county, Iowa, Dec. 27, 1877, to George and Frances Redlingshafer.

Almost his entire life was spent in Lucas county.

He passed away at the Wayne County Memorial Hospital Feb. 6, 1964, at the age of 86 years, one month and ten days as a result of a car accident.

He was preceded in death by two brothers and seven sisters. Surviving sisters are Mrs. Nellie McKee of Vallejo, Calif., and Mrs. Lillybelle Anderson of Ceres, Calif.

He had been living at the home of a niece and husband, Reece and Hazel Thomas and is survived by many other nieces and nephews as well as many friends.

Services were held Saturday, February 8, at the Miley Chapel, with Elder W. R. Chandler officiating. Final resting place is Salem cemetery. (Undated clipping, Lucas County Genealogical Society collection)

Alice M.


Mrs. W.S. Pickett died at her home on North Main in this city (Chariton) Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 4, 1922, at the age of 57 years, 9 months and 6 days. She suffered ill health for several years, but was able to be about and attend to her usual duties until early in September this year, when she became very sick and suffered a great deal during the four weeks following, until death brought relief on Wednesday. Largely attended funeral services, conducted by Rev. Frank Bean of the M.E. church, were held at the family home on Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock, after which the remains were laid to rest in the Salem cemetery.

Alice M., daughter of G.W. and Frances Lewis Redlingshafer, was born in Benton township, Lucas county, Iowa (Alice's date of birth was not included. She was born 27 or 28 December 1864). She spent her early life there and attended high school at Princeton, Ill. Afterwards she spent two years of study at the Normal College, at Shenandoah, Iowa. She began the business of school teaching, and spent three years thus employed in her home neighborhood in Iowa. She went to Kansas and taught in one school for four consecutive years.

Here she became acquainted with William S. Pickett. They were married on November 30, 1922 (actually 1892). After five years in Kansas they returned to Iowa in 1897. One daughter, Gail Adelia, came in their home, on Sept. 30, 1900. Despite the love and joy of their welcome she remained with them only 20 months, going away on May 29, 1902.

Mrs. Pickett became a christian in early life. She was a member of the United Evangelical church for a long time. In 1904, she united with the Salem Methodist church, and when they moved to Chariton in 1912 they transferred their membership to the church here. She was greatly beloved by all who knew her for her many admirable qualities and kindly deeds, and her passing away has brought sadness to many hearts.

Her brother, G.D. Redlingshafer, and two sisters, Mrs. Irene Whiteside and Mrs. Lucy R. Norman, were able to be in attendance during her last Illness. Mrs. S.T. Wilson came from her home in Cheyenne, Wyo., but was forced to return two weeks ago. The other sisters, Mrs. Elma Myers of Forest Hill, La.; Mrs. Mary Bruning of Colfax, Wash.; Mrs. Lilly BelleAnderson of Ione, Wash.; and Miss Nellie Redlingshafer, of Kalispell, Mont., were unable to be present. The sincere sympathy of his many friends goes out to Mr. Pickett in his loneliness and loss. (Alice also was survived by a brother, William Lot Redlingshafer, who was not mentioned in the obituary.) (The Chariton Herald Patriot, 12 October 1921)

Wm. S.


William Samuel Pickett, son of Abraham and Hannah Ann Pickett, was born in Ottawa county, Ohio, December 9th, 1861. At the age of seven years he moved with his parents to Mercer County, Missouri, and when twelve years old, he moved to Lincoln county, Kansas,and was educated in the common schools of that county. Mr. Pickett taught school for three years, but made farming his life work. His home had been in this vicinity for many years.

"He was married on November 30, 1892, to Miss Alice Redlingshafer, who passed away in 1922. To this union, one daughter was born, who preceded him in death in 1901. Mr. Pickett was again united in marriage to Mrs. Etta Wilson on December 9, 1925, who passed away April 3, 1938.

"Mr. Pickett had been in failing health for about five years,but passed away suddenly May 31. He had been connected with the M.E. church for many years. He loved his Bible and his church, and was faithful when his health permitted him to attend services.

"He was the eldest of four brothers and three sisters, two sisters having preceded him in death, Nancy Jane Divelly and Harriett Ann Pickett.

"He leaves to mourn his passing three brothers, Reuben Ely Pickett, of Hunter, Kansas; Joseph and Roy Pickett, of Paradise, Kansas; and one sister, Mrs. Lotta Rebecca Peck, of Sylvan Grove,Kansas; and a number of other relatives and friends.

"Funeral services were held Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Dunshee funeral home, conducted by the Rev. Paul H. Hicks of the Methodist church, and burial was in the Salem cemetery. {The Chariton Leader, 6 June 1939)

Sept. 30, 1900
May 29, 1902

Salem Cemetery Lot No. 05: Edward Harris, Owner

There is only one marked grave on this large lot, located at its south end. The stone is badly eroded, so there is no guarantee that the following reading of the inscription on it is accurate:

Son of E. & R. Harris
Died Aug. 16, 1877
Aged 1Y, 2M, 3D