The Old Booksmith


Ancestors of Wilbur David Smith






Generation One

1.  Wilbur David1 Smith (William, #2). Born 4 November 1861 Albia, Monroe County, Iowa [Caroline (Rowles) Smith,  NARA File WC 16-677. Application and payment records for pension received for the Civil War service of her husband, William H. Smith]. He and Ida May Baird obtained a marriage license 1 September 1885 Albia, Monroe County, Iowa [Monroe County, Iowa, Marriages, Book I, 1845-1861 (Des Moines: Iowa Genealogical Society, 1981]. Died 22 January 1930 San Diego, San Diego County, California, while visiting his son, A. D. Smith (had been in San Diego 11 months) [California Death certificate no. 52-072654]. Buried in Oakview Cemetery, Albia, Monroe County, Iowa.

He is sometimes listed in documents as "David W.," but went by "Webb." (He apparently didn't care much for "Wilbur" . . . .)

He appeared in the U.S. 1900 Census, Monroe County, Iowa, on Benton Street, Albia, Troy Twp, ED 90, p. 132A:
    Smith, W. D., b. November 1862 Iowa, (father, b. Missouri; mother, b. Virginia), Miner (coal)
                Ida M., wife, b. August 1873 Iowa, (father, b. Colorado; mother b. Iowa), married 13 yrs
                Arthur D., son, b. September 1886 Iowa
                Edward A., son, b. October 1890 Iowa

            [Note that there are numerous errors in this listing!]

He and Ida May Baird resided in June 1924 on North Eighth Street, Albia, Monroe County, Iowa [Obituary for his mother-in-law, Elizabeth Sapp, Albia Republican (Albia, Iowa), 2 June 1924]. In 1930, he was freight depot foreman, Missouri & St. Louis RR.






Generation Two

2.  William H.2 Smith. Born 9 July 1823 Boone County, Illinois [Iowa State Census, 1856, Monroe County, Troy Twp, p. 1000; William H. Smith, Civil War muster rolls and service record] — or so he says in his Civil War enlistment record, but there are problems with this; please see below. Married Caroline Rowles (see #3), 30 June 1853 Albia, Monroe County, Iowa (witnessed by John Webb Jr and Oliver P. Rowles) [William H. Smith, Civil War muster rolls and service record; Monroe County, Iowa, Marriage Records, Book 1, p. 142]. (The marriage apparently was not recorded until December 1862, because it's far out of place in the Marriage Book.) He died 31 August 1863 at the Army Hospital, Keokuk, Lee County, Iowa, at age 40, of "chronic diarrhea" (see military record, below) [William H. Smith, Civil War muster rolls and service record]. Buried in Oakview Cemetery, Albia, Monroe County, Iowa; his stone has a metal G.A.R. marker attached to it.

William appears to have been related to Hayden Smith, probably either as brothers or as uncle/nephew. He apparently migrated to Iowa in 1846, at the age of 23 (and may therefore not have accompanied his parents or other family) [Iowa 1856 State Census, Monroe County, Troy Twp, p. 1000]. No documentary trace of him has been found prior to his marriage in 1853 — he's apparently NOT in the 1850 census for Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, or Wisconsin . . . or California (so he wasn't a Forty-Niner, either) — under *any* Smith family. . . .

As noted, William appears on the Iowa state census of 1856 and the federal census of 1860, but no documentary trace of him has been found prior to his marriage in 1853. In order to sort out all the known information and the many unknowns, I've written them up as "The Problem of William H. Smith." If preponderance-of-evidence problems interest you, please read it and let me know your reaction, or any thoughts and ideas you may have. I need a breakthrough here!

I've also recently organized the probable lineage of Hayden Smith into a Register Report — and if you know anything about this line that I don't, I really want to hear from you!

John Mock sold to William H. Smith, part of NE 1/4 of S22 T72 R17 on 31 October 1854 Monroe County, Iowa [Monroe County, Iowa, Deed Records, Book E, p. 301].  W. H. Smith sold to David Rowles, part of NE 1/4 S22 T72 R17 on 9 June 1856 Monroe County, Iowa [Monroe County, Iowa, Deed Records, Book E, p. 151].

He appeared in the U.S. 1860 Census, Troy Twp, Monroe County, Iowa, p. 255:
    Smith, William, 36 yrs, b. Illinois, Carpenter (value of real estate = $1,500; value of personal estate = $200)
                Caroline, wife, 28 yrs, b. Indiana
                Emma, dau, 6 yrs, b. Iowa
                Edward, son, 5 yrs, b. Iowa
                Mary, dau, 9 mon, b. Iowa

William enlisted in Co. A, 36th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, 11 August 1862, at Albia. At age 39, he was 5' 8-3/4" tall, fair complexioned, with dark hair and blue eyes. He gave his occupation as "carpenter."

One letter in his hand survives, written to John N. Massey (his wife's sister's husband, whom he addresses as 'Brother John'), dated 28 November 1862 from Benton Barracks, St. Louis. While the grammar, spelling, and capitalization is erratic (common for the period), his penmanship shows some evidence of formal schooling on the "copperplate" model. I take this as circumstantial evidence that he grew up in or very near a town — his occupation also points to this — not in the northwestern wilderness. (This is assuming, of course, that he did not have the letter written for him by a comrade — also a common occurence in camp.) He spends some time describing the said state of the fruit trees at the state fair grounds (where they were encamped), which fits in with his occupation as a carpenter.

NOTE: I have tried to trace some of the individuals mentioned in the letter, but without much success:
        Calvin Kelsaw (Kelsey) had "sons" in the 36th Infantry, and also witnessed David Rowles's pension application.
        George House was apparently about William's age (i.e., older than the average recruit).
        ______ Hill was William's tentmate at St. Louis; probably a friend from home.
        ______ Rose served in another regiment but was presently in the guardhouse at Keokuk and was sent to St. Louis with the 36th Infantry.

The 36th Iowa moved to Memphis by steamer, then to Helena, Arkansas, which it garrisoned throughout the winter. It was included in the Yazoo Pass expedition in February 1863, and in the attempt to find a viable approach to Fort Pemberton, Mississippi. The 36th was "ordered out on an expedition of exploration to find a way of approach to the fort, but no way was discovered.  Water was in our way in all directions. That trip made many cases of sickness in our ranks, . . . which resulted in death during that spring and summer." [Frank Hickenlooper, An Illustrated History of Monroe County, Iowa (Albia, IA: The Author, 1896)] 

This included William, who was mustered "sick in hospital" in March and April 1863.  He was shipped back to Keokuk Army Hospital in April or May, and died there 31 Aug 1863 of "Chronic Diarrhoea" (probably amoebic dysentery). His widow, Caroline, received pensions in 1864 and under the Act of 1866 (certificate #16,677), which apparently continued to her death.

A. D. Smith (William's grandson and my paternal grandfather), in a letter written in December 1949 to the Iowa G.A.R. (which was publicizing its search for Civil War veterans' records), stated that he had in his possession "a picture of him [William] in the uniform of the Northern soldiers." This picture has not been located, and A. D.'s son (my father) does not remember ever having seen such a picture. In a letter written a month later, to the National Archives, A. D. stated he was certain his grandfather's name was "Wilbur" (contrary to what the G.A.R. had told him), and that his grandmother, Caroline, had told him his grandfather had been in Andersonville and had died after returning home. The latter is patently untrue and has all the marks of family folklore. (Contracting dysentery as a P.O.W. was more romantic than picking it up in a Mississippi swamp.) Also, much of the 34th Iowa was captured at Marks Mills in 1864, and was imprisoned at Camp Ford, Tyler, Texas; A. D. may have learned this from family friends in Albia who also were veterans, and confused the information in his memory forty years later.

* UPDATE! *

In 2009, I made contact quite unexpectedly with a descendant of William's eldest daughter, Emma (see below). She turned out to be an unknown 4th cousin. I was equally an unexpected discovery to her as she wasn't aware of William's youngest son, Wilbur, from whom I descend. It turns out there were a number of photographs still in existence that had come down through Emma's family, incuding the above-mentioned photo of William in uniform, which appears below. Since he's in "full kit," including his rifle, it's most likely this portrait was taken while he was in training near St. Louis (as opposed to back in Albia). (It's amazing how much my late father resembles this photo.)

Children of William H.2 Smith and Caroline Rowles (see #3) all born Albia, Monroe County, Iowa, were as follows:

  •         i. Emma R. Smith; born 24 May 1854 [Caroline (Rowles) Smith,  NARA File WC 16-677]; died 2 February 1938 Little River, Rice County, Kansas; buried in Bean Cemetery, Little River, Kansas; married Philip R. Cory 4 November 1879 Monroe County, Iowa [Monroe County, Iowa, Marriage Records]. Did William name his daughter after her aunt, Emaranda? ("Emma Randa"?)

    The photo below is Emma at about age 16 (though she looks younger), c.1870.

  •         ii. Edward A. Smith; born 18 October 1855 [Caroline (Rowles) Smith,  NARA File WC 16-677]; died 17 March 1912 Albia, Monroe County, Iowa; buried in Oak View Cemetery, Albia, Monroe County, Iowa. He was unmarried.

  •         iii. Mary R. Smith; born 7 August 1859 [Caroline (Rowles) Smith,  NARA File WC 16-677]; married —(?)— Barttling.

    The photo below is Mary, apparently in mourning, about 1885.

  •    1   iv. Wilbur David Smith.

  • NOTE: William named his kids Emma R., Edward A. (which is almost certainly "Armstrong," a name which appears again among his grandchildren), Mary R., and Wilbur David — and only a "Mary Margaret" appears among his wife's siblings. Could William's mother have been an Armstrong?

3.  Caroline2 Rowles (David, #6). Born 19 January 1832 Covington, Fountain County, Indiana. Married William H. Smith (see #2) 30 June 1853 Albia, Monroe County, Iowa [William H. Smith, Civil War muster rolls and service record; Monroe County, Iowa, Marriage Records, Book 1, p. 142]. Died 8 February 1905 Albia, Monroe County, Iowa; buried in Oakview Cemetery, Albia, Monroe County, Iowa.

She received military pension no. 16,677 as a Civil War widow [Caroline (Rowles) Smith,  NARA File WC 16-677].

She appeared in the U.S. 1870 Census, Albia, Monroe County, Iowa, Troy Twp, p. 430:
        Smith, Caroline, 39 yrs, b. Indiana, "Keeping House" (value of real estate = $1,600; value of personal estate = $150)
                    Emma R., 16 yrs, b. Iowa
                    Edward A., son, 14 yrs, b. Iowa
                    Mary R., dau, 11 yrs, b. Iowa
                    Wilbur D., son, 9 yrs, b. Iowa

The photo below is Caroline, probably about 1885, probably taken in Albia






Generation Three

6.  David Harlan3 Rowles (Thomas, #12) [William T. A. Rowles Bible]. Born 13 July 1792 "near Baltimore," Baltimore County, Maryland [Bill Reamy (comp), Records of St. Paul's Parish (Westminster, MD: Family Line Publishers, 1988), Book H, p. 251; William T. A. Rowles Bible]. Married Rebecca Clark (see #7) 8 August 1814 Bradford, Steuben County, New York, the ceremony performed by Henry Switzer, J.P. [David Rowles, Pension Application, War of 1812]. Died 14 July 1868 Monroe County, Iowa [William T. A. Rowles Bible; David Rowles, Pension Application, War of 1812]. Buried in Oakview Cemetery, Albia, Monroe County, Iowa.

I didn't know David Rowles's middle name until very recently, only his middle initial. According to Jim Young (a descendant of Oliver Perry Rowles), David's grandson, James Harlan Rowles, got his middle name from David, as remembered by Jim's own neice, who called him "Uncle Harlan." [Jim Young, email, September 2000]

Why does John Lower appear in the Rowles Family Bible in the no. 3 spot, just below David & Rebecca? What closer relation is he to the family? He was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, and his mother's maiden name reportedly was "Lerch." (His wife, Prudence, was a Grissom.) This family lived in Preble County, Ohio 1812-1818 and in Wayne County, Indiana in 1820. They were in Rush County, Indiana in 1830 and 1840, and moved to Van Buren County, Iowa in 1842. They were in Monroe County in 1844 — but they never were in New York State or Fountain County, Indiana, and they seem not to have known the Rowleses before moving to Monroe County.

John's daughter, Louisa, married David's oldest son, Oliver. Moreover, John's son, Tarkington, married Mary M. Smith in January 1856 . . . and I eventually found an explicit statement in a published county history that she was the daughter of Hayden Smith and Emaranda Rowles! I want very much to make contact with descendants of Tarkington & Mary!

David H. Rowles migrated to Connorsville, Indiana, in September 1822 [David Rowles, Pension Application, War of 1812]. He entered the E 1/2 of NE 1/4 of Section 13 on 4 August 1823 in Troy Twp, Fountain County, Indiana [Hiram Williams Beckwith, History of Fountain County, Together with Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley. . . .  (Chicago: Hill & Iddings, 1881), p. 86]. He built the first hotel/tavern in Covington c1826 (having presumably learned the trade in his father's hotel in Bradford, New York), and served as the town's second postmaster c1826, succeeding Joseph L. Sloan, who was appointed  in 1825(?).  [The Centennial Book: Official Program of the Ceremonies and Pageant in Celebration of the Centennial of Fountain County, at Covington, Indiana (Covington: Richard Henry Lee Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, nd].

"About the same time that Mr. [Joseph L.] Sloan came [October 1826], Mr. Rawles made his way from the prairie north of Terre Haute, up the Wabash River in a keel-boat," with his family and household goods. He immediately began constructing a hotel — 16' x 24', one-story, of round logs, with clapboard roof and puncheon floor. He built a rail pen on the back, battened and covered with clapboards, "and in this Mrs. Rawles did the cooking." Joseph Sloan (a merchant) and his clerk were the first boarders. The tavern became the hangout of local farmers, lawyers, merchants, and professional men; they established the Callisumpkin Society to hold moot court, with Rowles acting as "Dispenser of Justice." This was mostly for fun, but they also spent a lot of time and money on improving the town [Beckwith, History of Fountain County, p. 93-94].

"There were in Covington at this time but few inhabitants," including "David Rawls, who had just started out in life as hotel-keeper," and who has since died. He also was one of those who were "successful in inducing the commissioners to locate the seat of justice in Covington" [Beckwith, History of Fountain County, p. 30].

The first meeting of the County Board of Justices, 14 July 1826, at home of Robert Hetfield [sic], included "David Rawles" as a Justice [Beckwith, History of Fountain County, p.32].

"The first order made at the January session, 1828, was that the Board adjourn from the courthouse 'instanter to the house of David Rawles, . . . in consequence of the inclemency of the weather.' There's more in this than meets the eye! The Justices had, many of them, just come into town, and were cold and tired from a long ride over rough and difficult roads; and the vision of a cozy room with a roaring fire, and something to warm the inner man, was sufficiently tempting to justify an adjournment. . . ." [The Centennial Book].

In 1844, David moved his family to Iowa, settling in Monroe County about two miles south of where Albia was later established. (The site of Albia was surveyed and laid out by David's son-in-law, John N. Massey, who was elected the new county's first Surveyor in 1845.) Speaking of the establishment of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Monroe County, "in 1844 [the Rev. Allan W.] Johnson formed a class at Boggs, near Albia. . . . The next year another class was formed south of Albia, at the house of David Rowles. Of this class Rebecca Rowles, the wife of David Rowles, Oliver P. Rowles, . . . [and] John and Matilda Massey . . . were original members" [Frank Hickenlooper, An Illustrated History of Monroe County, Iowa (Albia, IA: The Author, 1896), p. 239].

There's an odd sidelight to the Rowles family's trek to Iowa, which I've outlined on a separate page, called "William Crockett, Revolutionary War Veteran."

David appeared in the U.S. 1850 Census, Troy Twp, Monroe County, Iowa, p. 314:

        Rolles, David, 59 yrs, b. Maryland, Farmer (value of real estate = $1,500)
                     Rebecca, wife, 58 yrs, b. New York
                     "Ancen", 22 yrs, b. Indiana, Farmer
                     Caroline, 18 yrs, b. Indiana
                     Mary, dau, 14 yrs, b. Indiana
                     Sarah, dau, 11 yrs, b. Indiana

David also appeared in the Iowa State Census of 1856 in Troy Twp, Monroe County, Iowa, p. 1000 (144/144):

        Rowls, David, 63 yrs, 12 yrs in state, b. Maryland, Farmer
                    Rebecca, 63 yrs, 12 yrs in state, b. New York
                    Mary, 19 yrs, 12 yrs in state, b. Indiana
                    Sarah, 16 yrs, 12 yrs in state, b. Indiana
        Smith, Margaret, 12 yrs, 12 yrs in state, b. Iowa
                    C. M. [m], 11 yrs, 11 yrs in state, b. Iowa
                    Milford C., 19 yrs, 10 yrs in state, b. Illinois
                    William, 32 yrs, 10 yrs in state, b. Illinois, Carpenter [William & Caroline are shown as being married]
                    Caroline, 24 yrs, 12 yrs in state, b. Indiana
                    Emma R., 2 yrs, 2 yrs in state, b. Iowa
                    E. A. [m], 1 yr, 1 yr in state, b. Iowa

There are many questions raised by this census! To see my take on them, read "The Problem of William H. Smith."

David Rowles sold to Anson T. Rowles, part of NW1/2 NW1/4 S34 & part of NE1/2 NE1/4 S3, both T72 R17 on 18 April 1856 Monroe County, Iowa [Monroe County, Iowa, Deed Records, Book E, p. 151]. W. H. Smith sold to David Rowles, part of NE 1/4 S22 T72 R17 on 9 June 1856 Monroe County, Iowa [Monroe County, Iowa, Deed Records, Book E, p. 151].

David applied for a pension in September 1857, based on his service in the War of 1812. He was a private in Capt. John Silsby's company of New York militia, having been drafted in Steuben County, 5 September 1814, for a three-month term. The company marched to Buffalo, where Silsby was appointed Superintending Officer and a Capt. ______ Barnes took over the company. David's application was witnessed by E. W. Bill and Calvin Kelsey [for whom, see notes above, under William H. Smith]. He didn't get his pension, though, because none of the muster rolls of Silsby's company had survived, and David didn't know the whereabouts of any of his old companions. Rebecca (Clark) Rowles applied for a widow's pension in September 1878, but she didn't get it either [David Rowles, Pension Application, War of 1812].

David wrote a will on 13 August 1861 Monroe County, Iowa:

LAST WILL & TESTAMENT OF DAVID ROWLES, DECEASED
I, David Rowles of Albia, Monroe County and State of Iowa, of lawful age and sound mind in view of my decease do make, ordain and establish this my Last Will and Testament as follows, to wit: First, I resign my spirit to my God who gave it, according to his will. Second, after my decease it is my desire that my body shall have a decent and respectful burial. Third, it is my desire and I further ordain that my beloved and respected wife, Rebecca Rowles, shall have, enjoy and possess all my real, mixed and personal estate to be equally divided between my heirs at law, to wit: Matilda B. Massey, Oliver P. Rowles, Anson T. Rowles, and the lawful heirs of Julia Webb, deceased, to wit: Rachel Elvira Webb, Margaret H. Webb, George W. Webb, and Ada Rebecca Webb, who shall inherit their mother's one equal share of said estate, & Caroline Smith, Mary A. Rowles, and Sarah R. Rowles, and I also direct that at the time of making the division aforesaid that the sum of Fifty Dollars each be paid by my executors to be hereinafter named to three of the heirs of Emaranda Smith deceased, to wit: Mary M. Lower, Oliver B. Smith, and Charles M. Smith, and I also direct that my said executors hereinafter to be named shall also pay out of my said estate at the time of dividing the same as aforesaid the sum of one dollar each to the other heirs of the said Emmaranda Smith being all her heirs, to wit: David M. Smith, Milford C. Smith, Margaret S. Smith. Provided however that if the said Oliver B. Smith and Charles M. Smith shall not learn a good trade of the mechanic arts then I direct that they shall receive one dollar each and no more. Fourth, for the purposes of carrying out the foregoing provisions of this my last Will I hereby appoint Oliver P. Rowles and John N. Massey executors thereof, and direct that they shall collect and superintend the same according to the Stipulations herein contained and shall keep all moneys thereof at interest, for the use and benefit of the said Rebecca Rowles and shall apply the same for her benefit according to the terms herein specified, as her convenience and comfort may require and as she may request and desire the same to be done agreeable to the provisions hereof — also to place an iron railing around the family burying ground in the Albia Graveyard. In testimony whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name this thirteenth day of August A.D. 1861.

                                                                                [signed]  David Rowles

Attest — Edward M. Bill  /  Jos. B. Teas.

The will was probated between 3 August 1868 and 29 November 1884 Monroe County, Iowa [Monroe County, Iowa, Probate Records, Book 1, p. 472], and was read in open court, 3 August 1868.

Oliver P. Rowles & John N. Massey were appointed executors, 7 September 1868.
Final report, 10 November 1884.
Approved, 29 November 1884.

More questions! Again read "The Problem of William H. Smith."

Children of David Harlan3 Rowles and Rebecca Clark (see #7) were as follows:

  •       i. Emaranda Rowles; born between 1817 and 1818 Bradford, Steuben County, New York; married 1st Hayden Smith 1 May 1834 Fountain County, Indiana [Miriam Luke (comp), Fountain County, Indiana, Marriage Records: Book 1, 1826-1839 & Book 2, 1839-1848 (Covington, IN: The Author, nd), Book I, p. 161; A Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co, 1896), p. 652-53] Apparently, they were divorced before February 1847, when Hayden remarried [Davis County, Iowa, Marriage records, Book A, p. 262]. (Unless this was a different "Hayden Smith".) Their daughter, Mary Margaret Smith, was born 1840 in Davis County [see above]. Emaranda married 2nd David Newell 18 February 1849 Monroe County, Iowa [Monroe County, Iowa, Marriages, Book I, Book 1, p. 16]. She died between March 1849 and June 1850, possibly in Davis County, Iowa.

    Her name appears variously as "Marianda" and "Emma Randa." She's not listed in the 1850 census, though she married David Newell less than a year before; was she already dead or were they separated? Judging by the ages of some of the Newell children, Emaranda was also his 2nd wife [U.S. 1850 Census, Davis County, Wicondah Twp, p. 294].

  •       ii. Matilda R. Rowles; born 7 January 1819 Bradford?, Steuben County, New York [David Rowles, Pension Application, War of 1812]; married John Nebeker Massey, son of Elijah Massey and Rachel Nebeker, 30 November 1841 Covington, Fountain County, Indiana [Obituary (undated) from unknown Albia newspaper; Iowa State Census, 1856, Monroe County, p.1038; Luke, Fountain County, Indiana, Marriage Records, p. 42]; died 14 January 1896 Monroe County, Iowa [Obituary]; buried in Oakview Cemetery, Albia, Monroe County, Iowa.

  •      iii. —(?)— Rowles; born 1820? Bradford, Steuben County, New York; died between 1840 and 1850 Monroe County, Iowa. Apparently unmarried. Nothing further known.

  •      iv. Oliver Perry Rowles; born 25 March 1821 Bath?, Steuben County, New York [David Rowles, Pension Application, War of 1812]; married Louisa A. Lower, daughter of John Lower and Prudence Grissom, 7 December 1845 Troy Twp, Monroe County, Iowa (they received the second marriage license issued in Monroe County after its formation) [The History of Monroe County, Iowa (Chicago: Western Historical Co, 1878), p. 376]; died 10 August 1913 Monroe County, Iowa; buried in Oakview Cemetery, Albia, Monroe County, Iowa [WPA, Iowa, Monroe County, Cemetery Records].

    He was a trustee of the first Methodist Episcopal Church established in Albia, in 1850.

  • He appeared in the Iowa State Census of 1856 in Monroe Twp, Monroe County, p. 1070 (14/14):

    Rowles, Oliver P., 35 yrs, 11 yrs in state, b. Kentucky [wrong!], Farmer
                 Louisa, 30 yrs, 12 yrs in state, b. Indiana
                 Elizabeth J., 9 yrs, 9 yrs in state, b. Iowa
                 Wm. T., 3 yrs, 3 yrs in state, b. Iowa

    He also appeared in the U.S. 1860 Census, Monroe Twp, Monroe County (p. 385); the U.S. 1870 Census (p. 374); the U.S. 1880 Census (ED 141, p. 249); and the U.S. 1900 Census (ED 91, p. 149).

    O. P. Rowles sold to the Burlington & Missouri Railroad, part of SE1/2 NE1/4 S14 T72 R17 on 23 September 1863 Monroe County, Iowa [Monroe County, Iowa, Deed Records]. He served on the County Board of Supervisors in 1866-67, and was elected as a Republican to a single term in the Iowa State Legislature, 1861–63 [Hickenlooper, History of Monroe County, Iowa, p. 156].

    The following is a photo of Oliver Perry & Louisa Lower Rowles, probably c.1890, given to me some years ago by the late Warren Rouse, a distant cousin and Massey descendant and a fellow researcher on this line. (Louisa was born 1826 and died 1911.) A formidable looking couple, aren't they?

  •      v. Julia Rowles; born 1830? Covington, Fountain County, Indiana [Monroe County, Iowa, Marriage Records]; married John Webb Jr, son of John Webb and Christina —(?)—, 12 March 1848 Monroe County, Iowa [Monroe County, Iowa, Marriage Records]; died before 13 August 1861 Monroe County?, Iowa; buried in Oak View Cemetery, Albia, Monroe County, Iowa (no readable dates on the stone).

  •      vi. Anson T. (Thomas?) Rowles; born 18 January 1828 Covington, Fountain County, Indiana; married Evaline Wills, daughter of David Wills and Sarah —(?)—, 19 June 1852 Monroe County, Iowa; died 13 September 1914 Monroe County, Iowa [Undated obituary from an unnamed Albia newspaper]; buried in Hayes Cemetery, near Selection, Monroe County, Iowa [WPA, Iowa, Monroe County, Cemetery Records]. In the 1900 census of Monroe County, he was living with his son-in-law, Manfred Hickenlooper (author of the standard history of Monroe County).

  •  3  vii. Caroline Rowles.

  •      viii. Mary Margaret Rowles; born 8 June 1836 Covington, Fountain County, Indiana; died 14 September 1918 Chariton, Lucas County, Iowa. Nothing further is known about her. She may have been unmarried.

  •      ix. Sarah R. Rowles; born 14 August 1839 Covington, Fountain County, Indiana; married David Griffith Bonnett 6 March 1866 Monroe County, Iowa [Monroe County, Iowa, Marriages, Book I]; died 24 March 1934 Chariton, Lucas County, Iowa [Undated obituary from an unnamed Albia newspaper]. She and David Griffith Bonnett resided in 1901 at Chariton, Monroe County, Iowa, having moved from their farm into town.

One of Sarah (Rowles) Bonnett's granddaughters, Martha (Bonnett) Goode, was an actress. She had been playing in England in the summer of 1939, but the company determined to leave because of the "tense diplomatic situation." They sailed from Glasgow on the Athenia on September 1st and heard on the morning of September 3rd that Britain and Germany had declared war. A few hours later, they were topedoed by a U-Boat with considerable loss of life (including more killed trying to lower the lifeboats), but they were picked up that night by a Royal Navy destroyer [Monroe County News, 16 October 1939].

7.  Rebecca3 Clark (Solomon, #14). Born 28 July 1798 Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County(?), New York [William T. A. Rowles Bible]. Married David Harlan Rowles (see #6), son of Thomas Rowles and Christiana Branson, 8 August 1814 Bradford, Steuben County, New York [David Rowles, Pension Application, War of 1812; died 10 July 1882 Monroe County, Iowa [William T. A. Rowles Bible]; buried in Oakview Cemetery, Albia, Monroe County, Iowa.

I have a photocopy from an unknown, undated issue of one of the Albia newspapers of a long poem (63 florid lines!) with the headline: "Committed to Memory by Rebecca Rowles, when She was Seven years old, at Poughkeepsie, N.Y." This would have been about 1805 and is strong evidence of her place of birth — or at least very early residence. (Her family must therefore have moved to Steuben County before 1814.)

She could not write her name, but made her mark [David Rowles, Pension Application, War of 1812]. As noted above, she made application for a widow's pension based on her late husband's service in the War of 1812 [David Rowles, Pension Application, War of 1812]. Her will is indexed as having been probated in 1883 in Monroe County, Iowa (Box 68, Docket 1, p. 175) — but the probate file itself is missing, dammit.






Generation Four

12.  Thomas4 Rowles. Born 1753? Maryland. Married Christiana Branson (see #13) 2 February 1787 Zion German Lutheran Church, Baltimore, Maryland [Maryland State Papers, series Z, Box 2, Item 325; see also the Darryl Rowles website (which has recently disappeared from its old address, unfortunately, and which I am presently trying to relocate). (Record of marriage is ultimately from personal records kept by the Rev. Daniel Kurtz of Baltimore County, Maryland.) Died 25 June 1813 Bradford, Steuben County, New York [James E. Hope (Steuben County [New York] Historical Society), Letter, 30 August 1980]; buried in Bradford Town Cemetery, Bradford, Steuben County, New York, "age 60 years." [W.W. Clayton, History of Steuben County, New York (Philadelphia: Lewis, Peck & Co., 1879; reprint, Evansville, IN: Unigraphic, 1976), p. 191-94].

According to some sources, he was in Steuben County, New York by 1795 — but is that possible? The town of Bath was established in late 1793. The area was part of the purchase by Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham, 21 November 1788, from the State of Massachusetts for £300,000 in securities. (Indian title already had been purchased in July 1788.) The title included 2.6 million acres (the counties of Steuben, Yates, Ontario, and parts of Wayne, Monroe, and Allegany). The area including Steuben County was surveyed in the summer of 1789. Capt. Williamson (agent for that area) brought in settlers, primarily from Virginia and Maryland, and from Europe, with only a sprinkling of Yankees [Guy H. McMaster, History of the Settlement of Steuben County, N.Y. (Bath, NY: R.S. Underhill & Co, 1853)]. So if this date is good, Thomas was one of the very earliest settlers in the neighborhood.

BUT: According to Millard F. Roberts (comp), Historical Gazetteer of Steuben County, New York (Syracuse, NY: The Author, 1891), p. 169, Thomas Rowles came from Maryland in 1803 and settled on a farm "on the corner" [of a section?], about one mile southeast of the village of Bradford. Michael Scott also came from Maryland about the same time and settled on the adjacent farm to the southwest of Rowles. [This seems to suggest that they were related in some way. . . .] Scott was one of the first blacksmiths in the area. Asa Tolbert made the first clearing on the farm immediately south of Rowles. Tolbert drowned near Tunkhanush, Pennsylvania, while running a raft down the Susquehanna.

Thomas Rowles was (of course) a farmer, but also set up as a hotel-keeper sometime after 1800 in Bradford [Clayton, History of Steuben County, New York, p. 191-94].

Children of Thomas4 Rowles and Christiana Branson (see #13) were as follows:

  •      i. Sarah Rowles; baptized 12 June 1788 Zion German Lutheran Church, Baltimore, Maryland [Darryl Rowles Web Site].

  •      ii. Thomas Rowles Jr; born 8 April 1790 Baltimore, Maryland; married 1st Sally —(?)— c1817 Steuben County, New York; married 2nd Jemima —(?)— c1835 Steuben County, New York; died 4 February 1852 Bradford, Steuben County, New York [James E. Hope (Steuben County [New York] Historical Society), Letter, 30 August 1980]; buried in Bradford Town Cemetery. He served in the New York state militia in the War of 1812.

  •  6  iii. David Harlan Rowles.

  •      iv. Mercy Rowles; born circa 1794 Bradford?, Steuben County, New York.

  •      v. Amy Rowles; born circa 1796 Bradford?, Steuben County, New York.

  •      vi. Mary Rowles; born circa 1798 Bradford?, Steuben County, New York.

13.  Christiana4 Branson. Born 1756? Baltimore County(?), Maryland. Married Thomas Rowles (see #12) 2 February 1787 Zion German Lutheran Church, Baltimore, Maryland. Died 25 July 1803 Bradford, Steuben County, New York [Clayton, History of Steuben County, New York, p. 191; James E. Hope (Steuben County [New York] Historical Society), Letter, 30 August 1980]; buried in Bradford Town Cemetery, "age 47 years."

Since she married at about age 30, was she married before? Was "Branson" even her maiden name?

14.  Solomon(?)4 Clark. Born between 1776 and 1784? New York? Married —(?)— (see #15) before 1798 Duchess County(?), New York. Died after August 1840? possibly in Fountain County, Indiana.

I'm working on the theory that Rebecca (Clark) Rowles's father was named "Solomon" simply because a Clark man of that name lived near the Rowles family in Fountain County, Indiana. There was also a "Watson" Clark, to whom Solomon may have been related. This Solomon seems to have migrated to Troy Twp, Fountain County, in 1825 [Beckwith, History of Fountain County, p. 87], implying that he may have followed his daughter and son-in-law there. He entered the W 1/2 of SE 1/4 Section 9 in 1825 [Beckwith, History of Fountain County, p. 87]. And a Solomon Clark is recorded as being an early minister in the "Old Union" Church, founded 1826 in Troy Twp, Fountain County. He was also elected state representative from Fountain County in 1840 [Beckwith, History of Fountain County, p. 45], by which time his putative daughter was already in Iowa.

Children of Solomon(?)4 Clark and —(?)— (see #15) were:

  •    7  i. Rebecca Clark.

15.  —(?)—4. Married Solomon(?) Clark (see #14) before 1798 Duchess County(?), New York. Died circa 1830? Fountain County, Indiana [Letter from Lucas Nebeker (of Battle Ground, Indiana) to John Nebeker Massey (of Monroe County, Iowa), 9 April 1888].

This is actually a very interesting letter, and I have transcribed it in full below:

Battle Ground [Tippecanoe County, Indiana] April 9  1888


My Dear Coz. John N.—

        Yours of the 3d inst. is recd. Always glad to hear from you though sometimes neglectful in answering promtly

        I am not sure as to who wrote last, any way whenever the spirit of writing strikes you why write. I am always glad too hear from the Rowles family. I was down to Covington the forepart of March and wandered over some of the old 'stomping grounds' where I roamed in lifes early day. Among others the grave yard where Matilda's grandmother [i.e., Rebecca Clark's mother] was buried when I was a smal child though I remember it very well [i.e., c1830 or before? See his age, below]. A number of persons were afterward buried there though none now for a long time and the young timber has grown up and the under brush gives it quite a wild and neglected appearance.

        Oliver and Anson [Rowles] I take it live in the vicinity where you do. Well we are all growing old. I would not know either of them or Matilda, I presume, and they would not know me. I am now 69 past [i.e., born c1819], Oliver is some two or three years younger and Anson several years our junior.

        My health this past winter and Spring so far has not been very firm and I am not as strong as I usually have been. Wife and youngest child, Anna, constitute our family now at home. They are in fair health. Nelson lives in the Bend [of the Wabash River, in Fountain County] not far from the old Rowles homestead owns a part of the east 80 [acre section] of the Isaac Shelby place and is farming — married and has one child.

        Clara, next oldest living, is married to a methodist preacher now of the Ill. Con. [Illinois Convention] (William Crapp) they have two children living.

        Asbury C. is also married and is a telegrapher and working for the I.D.&S. Ry at Decatur Ill. now. They have one child living two dead. Mattie J. married a man by the name of Brugh and became the mother of three children 2 living; her husband died the first day of last May. She now lives near us in B.G. [Battle Ground]. J. Lucas is the next, and is also a telegrapher, married has one child and is in Chicago and works for the CB&O Ry. Well that is a pretty good resume of the family history.

        Our winter was cold and but little snow and the wheat will be almost a failure. The corn crop last year was very short on account of the drouth.

        As to a visit out there I can promise nothing now.

        I have been wondering whether the Springer in Congress from Ill. was not the young man that visited John Steham at the Bend then just out of college. Do you know? He was a relation from Delaware— [The Masseys and the Nebekers were originally from Wilmington.]

        We my self and family are trying to live for a grand reunion with friends on the other shore.

        Very kind regards to yourself and wife as also to Oliver & Anson.


            Fraternally Yours


            L. Nebeker