Showing posts with label Iowa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iowa. Show all posts

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Greetings from... Kansas

Wednesday, May 4th - - Today was a traveling day, 260 miles through southern Iowa. Leaving Fairfield, U.S. 34 took me through mostly small towns and farming country. Ottumwa, the largest town I went through, is home of Radar O'Reilly of M*A*S*H fame. Ottumwa is also known as the 'city of bridges' and it lives up to its moniker, nestled alongside the Des Moines River.

At Red Oak I turned south through Shenandoah and Sidney, spending the night at Waubonsie State Park, just a few miles from Nebraska and Missouri.

Thursday, May 5th - - Heading west from the campground at Waubonsie the terrain changed dramatically in just a few miles. From the heavily forested hill country around Waubonsie back to rolling hills and farmland. The route took me to Nebraska City, Nebraska where I picked up U.S. 75 south to Topeka.

I mentioned in a previous post that I had been doing some research for a very, very distant Joslin cousin while I was back in Indiana. I had an open invitation to visit him (JJ) if I ever got near Topeka so I took him up on his generous offer! It is so neat to actually meet the people that you correspond with and who just happen to be related! We had a wonderful visit. Thank you so much for your hospitality!

JJ and I took the short drive (about 40 miles) to Lyndon to visit the gravesite of Lysander and Lydia Joslin, my 3rd great-grandparents. I didn't get any pictures because my camera was back in Topeka in the van! But I have visited their graves several times, most recently in September 2009 and posted photos from my visit in November 2007.

JJ and me. Our common ancestor is the 1635 immigrant Thomas Joslin who is my 10th great-grandfather.

Friday, May 6th - - Greeted by blue skies and sunshine, I headed northeast to Leavenworth, Kansas. Another distant cousin, though not nearly as distant as JJ, is buried at the National Cemetery in Leavenworth. So, since I was “in the area” I figured I might as well go visit the gravesite of Charley S. Joslin, my 1st cousin 3 times removed. He is a bit of an enigma and I'll have a post about him sometime soon. But as close as we've been able to determine he is probably the son of Ida (Joslin) Dressler Lewis, daughter of Lysander and Lydia Joslin. She would have been 15 years old when he was born on March 4, 1879. However, in several of his records in the Leavenworth Old Soldiers Home (available on he lists Ida Lewis as his nearest relative, giving her relationship as sister.

From online searches I knew which section Charley was buried in but I didn't know where that section was located within the cemetery. Thankfully, they have a computer kiosk in the main office building that provides that information along with a printed map. Very nice.

The grave of Charley S. Joslin is located in Section 37, Row 6, Site 6. It is the sixth stone to the left in the first row pictured above.

Charley S. / Joslin / Missouri / Pvt 17 Inf / April 25, 1934

Then I went to the Mount Muncie cemetery, which adjoins the National Cemetery on its south side and located the gravesite of JJ's ancestor George Washington Joslin (after a stop at the main office to get the location and directions). And yes, I'll be having a post, more like a small series, on the issues we had with researching George's parents, and some rather interesting connections to me (at least I thought they were interesting)!

George W. Joslin / Aug. 24, 1837 / June 16, 1921
Matilda His Wife / Sept. 20, 1837 / July 30, 1920
Mount Muncie Cemetery, Leavenworth/Lansing, Kansas
Section 9 Stone 163

After leaving Leavenworth, I headed north toward Atchison and picked up US 36 West. I hadn't planned on going that far north but missed a turn-off just south of Atchison and didn't realize it until later. Except for the wind, which was very strong and a crosswind to boot, it was a pleasant drive. It also got a little warm (85 degrees) and the air conditioning didn't seem to be working very well Will have to get that checked out soon with summer coming on!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Greetings from... Iowa

Tuesday, May 3rd - - Continuing west after my brief stop at the Round Barn near Colchester, Illinois I crossed the mighty Mississippi River into Keokuk, Iowa. It's a pretty little city with some beautiful houses on the bluff overlooking the river. My route briefly took me on into Missouri then north to Fairfield, the county seat of Jefferson County, Iowa.

Shortly after her marriage to William Klingaman in Whitley County, Indiana on October 12, 1865 Anna Eliza Joslin moved to Jefferson County, Iowa where they settled north of Fairfield in Black Hawk Township. Anna Eliza was the daughter of my 3rd great-grandparents, Lysander and Lydia (Robison) Joslin. In October 1866, Lysander sold his land in Whitley County, Indiana and removed to Black Hawk Township settling near his daughter Anna Eliza. Another daughter, Mandella, was born in December 1866 in Indiana so the family probably didn't go to Iowa until the spring of 1867.

On June 4, 1868 Lydia Joslin gave birth to the last of her 15 children. They were twins named Elmer and Elmus. Elmer died on June 30th and is presumably buried somewhere in Black Hawk Township although he is not listed on the cemetery transcriptions. In August of that same year, Lysander reclaimed his land in Whitley County, Indiana due to mortgage foreclosure on the man who had purchased it in 1866. Lysander moved his family back to Indiana – except for Anna Eliza who remained in Iowa with her husband. There they lived for the remainder of their lives, raising their family of three sons (Charles Sherman, Olen Valerus, and Frank Ellsworth) on their farm in Black Hawk Township.

At the Public Library I obtained obituary notices for some of their children and grandchildren but none for Anna Eliza or her husband William Klingaman. Oddly enough, an obituary for Anna Eliza was published in the Columbia City Commercial in Whitley County, Indiana announcing her death on July 28, 1885 at the age of 40 years, 9 months and 20 days after a long and painful illness with Brights disease.

If you have people in Jefferson County, Iowa your first stop should be the library in Fairfield. It is a wonderful resource with a tremendous amount of information gathered over the years by several volunteers. Their cemetery books include maps and directions to each of the cemeteries so I was easily able to locate McDowell Cemetery where Anna Eliza, her husband, and several children are buried.

McDowell Cemetery sits atop a hill on Mahogony Road at the junction of 115th street.

A small cemetery, it was easy to spot the large brown marker designating the Klingaman family plot. I'll have more on this family in later posts – someday!

On my way to the cemetery, I spotted this old barn and couldn't resist the impulse to take pictures. The photos have been manipulated a little to warm up the hues of the barn. Reality was actually a little garish what with the bright green grass, blue sky, and white clouds. The colors didn't look real, so now they have a bit of that “old-timey” feel to them!

The night was spent at a pretty little campground in Jefferson County Park just south of Fairfield. There were several trails meandering through the forest and meadows of the area. I got brave and ventured down one. It was a good walk on a fairly smooth path part of which was gravel and other parts were grass. It did have a few large hills with steep ups and downs but the legs held up just fine. I'm soooo glad they are feeling better!