Clarinda Mariah (Armstrong) Wells was born on Aug. 11, 1841 in Ohio, the daughter of William "Forster" and Mary (Denmon) Armstrong and stepdaughter of Elizabeth "Libby" (Miner) Wilson.
At the age of 15, she confessed her faith in her savior Jesus Christ and joined the family church, likely the Bethel Methodist Church near Cardington. She was 15 when our Elizabeth became her stepmother.
On April 4, 1858, in Cardington, the 17-year-old Clarinda was united in the bonds of matrimony with Richard Wells (Sept. 28, 1836-1908), a native of Mt. Gilead, Morrow County who was raised by Quaker parents and had relocated to Iowa in 1857, the year before marriage. They remained together for 50 years.
Their seven known children were John Loren Wells, Ada Eudora "Dora" Cooper Everett, Marie "Ellen" Noble, George Wesley Wells, Mary Susan Long, Rosa Alice Morton and Laura Alvira "Vira" Etter.
The newlyweds almost immediately made a cross-country move to Mount Pleasant, IA. There they began to build a farming life together.
During the Civil War, Richard joined the Union Army in 1862 and was placed within the 25th Iowa Volunteers, Company H. His term of active service lasted for three years. Reported the Bethany (MO) Republican-Clipper:
Richard received his honorable discharge in June 1865 in Davenport, IA. More of his Civil War record will be added here once learned.
The family moved briefly to Kansas. Two-and-a-half years after the war's end, in the fall of 1867, the family relocated to Martinsville near Bethany, Harrison County, MO. There they remained for the 40 remaining years of their lives together. He joined the local T.D. Neal Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans' organization.
Richard was gathered in by the Angel of Death on Oct. 11, 1908. Presbyterian Church pastor Rev. E.D. Barnes led the funeral service in the Wells home, assisted by Rev. A.N. Cave. Burial was in Miriam Cemetery, with many good friends then accompanying the body to the burying ground. An obituary in the Bethany Democrat said that he was "a kind and loving father" and was survived by "his wife who mourns his loss and who for 50 years has been a faithful devoted companion." The Republican-Clipper added that Richard:
As a widow, Clarinda immediately applied to receive a pension for her husband's military service. It was granted on Oct. 19, 1908 [Widow App. #906.448 - Cert. #667.937]
Clarinda lived as a widow for 14 years. She belonged to the Bethany Presbyterian Church. She frequently visited with her adult children in their towns of residence, and these events became fodder for the gossip columns of the local newspapers. She is known to have spent the winter of 1922 with her daughter Ada Eudora Everett
Despite suffering from chronic heart disease, she made a trip to Bozeman, MT in the fall of 1922 to visit her son John. Reported the Republican-Clipper:
She passed away at the age of 81 in the Everett residence in Albany on Oct. 19, 1922. Interment of the remains was in Bethany. Rev. Lester A. Thompson led the funeral service, with help from Rev. Cooper and Rev. Wayman. Of their large family, only son John in Montana was unable to attend. Daughter Ada signed the official Missouri certificate of death. An obituary in the Republican-Clipper expressed the hope that "May God bless all these children in their sad hour. Dear mother is gone, but -- 'Asleep till Jesus comes, To end these bloomy hours, And brings to life ourlived ones, To dwell in Eden's bowers'." The obituary also noted that she was survived by 23 grandchildren and 49 great-grandchildren.
~ Son John Loren Wells ~
Son John Loren Wells (1858-1931) was born on Feb. 13, 1858 in Marion County, IA.
In boyhood he moved with his parents to Martinsville near Bethany, MO.
On June 18, 1876, at the age of 18, John wed Rebekah Groom ( ? - ? ).
They became the parents of three -- Lincoln Albert Wells, Laura Anise Suhr and Lillian M. Button.
As a young man John attended Standberry Normal School in Chillicothe, MO with the intention of becoming trained as a school teacher. Circa 1883, the family relocated to Montana where they settled near Bozeman in the Gallatin Valley. The county touches on Yellowstone National Park and Custer Gallatin National Forest.
For 33 years, John was a local school teacher. He is known to have returned to Missouri to teach for two years before returning to Gallatin County for good. They purchased a farm ranch 13 miles east of Bozeman, MT.
When his father was dying in 1908, John came for a visit, and at the father's death, was unable to make a return trip back to Missouri.
John died in a hospital in Billings, MT on June 28, 1931. His obituary was printed in the Billings Gazette. Said another obituary in the Bethany (MO) Republican-Clipper, "He had been in poor health for some time but was not known to be critically ill." Burial was in Bozeman's Sunset Hills Cemetery.
Rebecca only outlived her spouse by a year. Death carried her away in 1932.
Son Lincoln Albert Wells (1881-1975)
Daughter Laura Anise Wells (1883-1947) was born in 1883. She married (?) Suhr. She died on April 14, 1947. Interment was in Sunset Hills Cemetery, Bozeman.
Daughter Lillian M. Wells (1885-1954) was born in 1885. She wed (?) Button.
~ Daughter Ada Eudora (Wells) Cooper Everett ~
She was twice-married. On Jan. 28,1886, she wed her first husband, widower James Walker Cooper (April 7, 1843-1901), a native of Knox County, TN. The bride was 18 years younger than the groom.
His offspring from an earlier marriage to Mary Elizabeth VanHoozier ( ? - ? ) included John V. Cooper, Nancy Emeline Rimer, William Riley Cooper, Hugh Elwhite Cooper, Francis M. Cooper and Ellis Walker Cooper. To this brood, said the Albany (MO) Ledger, "She was a kind and efficient step-mother." But sadly, she outlived them all.
A newspaper recounted her husband's own story -- coming to Harrison County, MO at age 14, then spending seven years ago in Arkansas for his health, then living for three years in Windsor, MO followed by a move to a farm four miles west of Calhoun, MO.
The federal census enumeration of 1900 shows Ada Eudora and James couple on a farm in Tebo Township, Henry County, MO.
Sadly, James passed away in Henry County on Feb. 16, 1901. Said a newspaper, "Despite the muddy roads, a good congregation was in attendance" for the funeral. His remains were laid to rest in Hickory Grove Cemetery in Tebo Township, Henry County.
On Jan. 22, 1905, Ada Eudora entered into wedlock with her second spouse, widower William Dallis/Dallas Everett (Aug. 21, 1844-1923). He was a native of Blunt County, TN who had migrated to Missouri at age eight.
From William's first marriage to Perlina Ralph ( ? - ? ), he brought these stepchildren into the second union, Daniel H. Everett, Elizabeth C. Everett, Martha C. Hunter, Mary Malinda "Linda" Hunter Tilley and Eppa Everett. Adding to the sadness, Ada Eudora also outlived the Everett stepchildren except for the youngest, Eppa.
Ada Eudora's home for decades was in and around New Hampton, MO, including in 1923 on a farm 3.5 miles south of town. Her parents and later her widowed mother often came for visits as chronicled in the local newspapers.
Burdened with heart disease, William surrendered to the angel of death at the age of 78 on May 3, 1923. His funeral services was led by lifelong friend and pastor Rev. A.L. Groom. An obituary said that he had been "converted at an early age and united with the Lone Star Baptist church and lived a true christian life in that faith until his death... He was always a kind and loving husband and father and will be sadly missed in the home and by all his loved ones."
Ada Eudora outlived him by almost a quarter of a century. She is known in August 1927 to have attended the annual Everett family reunion held at Krug Park in St. Joseph, MO, in company with her stepson George Wells. During the 1940s, she lived near New Hampton, MO and shared a home with her stepson Eppa. In February 1944, she traded her tract in the west section of New Hampton to Mrs. Isa Rogers and moved thereto. Circa 1944 she is known to have been burdened with heart problems. She contracted a serious case of influenza and bronchial pneumonia, and her sister and brother-in-law Rose and William Morton traveled from their residence in Iowa to give her care.
She died at home on March 22, 1947. Funeral services, led by Rev. W.W. Miller, were held in the New Hampton Methodist Church. Sacred music was sung by Mrs. Dale Foster, with Mrs. L.A. Parks on the piano. Pallbearers included Dee Webb, G.E. Scott, L.A. Parks, Joseph Grace, Fred Smith and Garvin Cooper. The remains were lowered under the sod of Miriam Cemetery in Bethany. An obituary in the Harrison County Times said that her stepson Eppa, "who had been with her a number of years, is greatly saddened by her death." Another obituary in the Ledger said she "lived a long useful Christian life of service to others" and "was a good neighbor and friend... We will not think of her as dead, but just away."
Stepson John V. Cooper (1864-1884) was born in 1864. At the age of 15, in 1880, he lived at home and worked on the family farm in Dallas, Harrison County, MO. Sadly, he died in 1884 before our Ada Eudora became his stepmother.
Stepdaughter Nancy Emeline Cooper (1867-1920) was born in 1867 in Gentry County, MO, the only daughter among six offspring. She grew up on a farm in Harrison County, MO. When she was 19 years of age, in 1886, she attended worship services led by Rev. Sette Dillon, a missionary Baptist preacher, and confessed her faith in Jesus Christ as her personal savior. Then in 1892, Nancy wed Clarence Rimer ( ? -1911), a resident of Russell, IA. Their only son was Clarence Rimer. The family made a home in Harrison County until migrating in the spring of 1907 to near Calhoun, Henry County. Sadness blanketed the family in 1911 when Clarence passed away, after 19 years of marriage. At this moment of grief, said the Clinton (MO) Eye, "She was called upon to give up her dear companion to whom she was very much devoted." His grave marker in Hickory Grove Cemetery was a hand-lettered piece of stone. In time she wed again to Samuel Raney ( ? - ? ) of Coal, MO. Her final home was on South Water Street in Clinton, MO. Suffering from stomach problems for the last decade of her life, she died at the age of 53 on May 5, 1920. Burial was in Englewood Cemetery, with Rev. Risk of the Baptist church officiating. An obituary in the Eye said "She has gone to join those of the family who had proceded her to that better land -- father, mother and one brother and a legion of other relatives."
Stepson William "Riley" Cooper (1870-1941) was born on Aug. 4, 1870. In 1893, when he was about 22 years of age, Riley entered into the bonds of marriage with Emma Cecelia Hershey (1872-1917). The family of four children they bore together were Albert Cooper, Edna M. Cooper, Anna Belle Ellwein and Mary Jane McNabb. They dwelled in Johnson County, MO as of 1901. By 1920, he had migrated to Colorado. Death came to claim Riley's life at the age of 70 on July 19, 1941. The remains were placed into eternal repose in Gardens of Memories Cemetery in Crawford, CO.
Stepson Hugh Elwhite "Huey" Cooper (1871-1944) was born on Oct. 17, 1871 northwest of Martinsville, MO, near the Gentry/Harrison County line, on what was known as the John Beckett farm. He attended the Martinsville School, taught by J.S. Magee. Hugh was about 14 years of age when his father married our Ada Eudora. He worked on the home farm in young manhood and also helped provide labor on neighbors' farms. Circa 1899, said the Albany (MO) Ledger:
On Oct. 19, 1898, at the age of 27, Hugh was joined in wedlock with Theo M. Parker (1879-1955). They produced a family of three -- Edith Cooper, Ross Cooper and Carl Preston Cooper. Sadly, infants Roberta died in 1908 and Ross died in 1910. In 1901 their residence was in Harrison County, and he remained there in 1920. He remained close with his stepmother over the years, and they enjoyed hosting each other for dinner, especially at holidays. Hugh also earned income as a photographer and in 1903 was appointed a rural postal carrier operating from the New Hampton psot office. He carried the mail for 24 years and, said the Ledger, "served his patrons well and today they speak very highly of him and the splendid service he gave them." Poor health forced him to quit working in about 1927. For the remaining 18 years of his life, said the Ledger, "he was tenderly care for by his loving companion and family and was patient and kind to all his loved ones and friends and often said 'I will not be here long.' He further expressed his hope and faith in his loving Heavenly Father whom he served in the ministry for more than 35 years. He loved his home and family and many times mentioned his grandchildren." The angel of death cut away Hugh at the age of 72, in New Hampton, MO, on June 21, 1944. The Ledger said in an obituary that "After a life well spent a voice said unto him 'Come up higher, well done though good and faithful servant, enter into eternal rest -- you have fought a good fight, you have finished your course, you have kept the faith, there is a crown of victory waiting for you." A quartet of singers at the funeral -- J.W. Cover, Charles Cover, Mabel Parks and Ilene Magee, accompanied by J.W.'s wife -- sang Going Down in the Valley, Does Jesus Care and How Firm a Foundation. Pallbearers were Vern White, A.E. Clark, Charles Dale, w.H. Kariker, George Scott and Cleo Mock. With Rev. H.G. Bloomfield officiating the funeral, with assistance from Rev. W.S. Tussey, burial followed in Foster Cemetery.
Stepson Francis M. Cooper (1874- ? ) was born in about 1874 in Missouri. Francis lived in Minnesota circa 1901, in Latham, MO as of 1920 and in California in 1944.
Stepson Ellis Walker Cooper (1880-1926) was born in Feb. 1880 in Missouri. Single at the age of 20, in 1900, he made a home with his father and stepmother on a farm in Tebo Township, Henry County, MO. In 1910, he was united in matrimony with Luella N. Shafer (1883-1973). The Coopers' residence in 1920 as in Colorado. Nothing more is known.
Stepson Daniel H. Everett ( ? - ? ) was deceased by 1923.
Stepdaughter Elizabeth C. Everett ( ? - ? ) was deceased by 1923.
Stepdaughter Martha Caroline Everett (1870-1941) was born on Jan. 27, 1870 in Gentry County, MO. When she was 16 years old, she became a Christian and became a member of the Baptist Church at Lone Star. At the age of 19, on March 3, 1889, she married Absalom N. "A.N." Hunter (Nov. 26, 1864-1942), son of James and Elizabeth Grace Hunter of Harrison County. Their marriage endured the ups and downs of a remarkable 52 years. Four children born in this union were Francis Lee Hunter, James Dallas Hunter, Ray Hunter and Goldie Smith. Absalom also was a youthful convert to faith in Jesus Christ and also belonged to the Lone Star church. Their lives were spent on a farm in Gentry County, MO, and in 1918 they moved to a property in Albany, MO, just south of town. During those years they held a membership in the Albany Baptist Church. When her son became seriously ill, recalled the Albany (MO) Ledger, Martha made "gentle Christian sacrifices in sharing in the years of care of that patient Christian sufferer, Francis Lee Hunter..." But she also gave "devotion and kind service ... for friends and neighbors were also included in her life of every day duties." In October 1941, she fell at home and fractured the left thigh bone between the hip and knee. About that same time, her brother Eppa came for a visit of several days. Said the Ledger, "Shock from the injury together with ... illness placed her in a critcal condition and death followed." She succumbed to the spectre of death at the age of 71 on Nov. 19, 1941. Rev. Robert Turner preached the funeral sermon. Burial was in Lone Star Baptist Church. The widowed Absalom remained in Albany, with his granddaughters Marjorie Hunter and Phyllis Faye Smith coming to live with him and provide care. During that time, he legally transferred ownership of the 45-acre family farm to daughter Goldie, located in Township 7, Section 64, Range 29 and in Township 12, Range 64, Range 30. After falling down a flight of steps at home, resulting in a compression fracture of his neck vertebrae, he was admitted to Mercy Hospital in St. Joseph, MO and died after a five-day stay on March 31, 1942. His obituary in the Ledger said he "was a devoted husband and upright in all his dealings, a kind neighbor, and was always ready to lend a helping hand in time of need. He was liked by all who knew him." Rev. Robert Turner conducted the funeral.
Step-granddaughter Mary Malinda "Linda" Everett (1878-1938) was born on July 30, 1878 in Gentry County, MO. At a young age she became a Christian and joined the membershi rolls of the Lone Star Baptist Church. Her first husband, whom she married on Oct. 28, 1897, was James Hunter ( ? -1901), son of Elder Tomps Hunter. Their only child died in infancy. Adding to the heartache, James at age 22 was killed in a freak sawmill accident near Gara, MO on April 16, 1901.
Reported the Albany (MO) Ledger, "Another of those sad misfortunes that so frequently seem to occur in this section of the country occurred Tuesday morning two miles east of Siloam Springs on the farm of Sterling Runyon. They had set up a horse-power saw for sawing wood ready for the stove. As they started up their powerful horses soon put the saw in great speed when James Hunter picked up a heavy stick of wood and threw iton the table when one end came in contact with the fly wheel, bursting it, one piece striking him below the breast bone, tearing out ribs on each side of his body and carrying away part of his liver. The force threw him 12 or 15 feet against the fence. A messenger took a horse at once and ran to this place for medical aid. Dr. Chipp started at once for the dreadful scene but as Mr. Hunter did not live but a few minutes he found life had become extinct. He spoke some before he died and seemed conscious to the last. He told his father he wanted to kiss him when the heartbroken father leaned over and tenderly gave him a last embrace. I should have named before this that they had carried him into Mr. Runyon's house and laid him on the bed where he breathed his last. He had called for his wife who was nearly a mile from the accident. A messenger was sent with all haste for her but before she reached him he had been dead probably 30 minutes... He came of a good family and was married to a daughter of Dallas Everett a few years since. It is almost needless to say our community are in deep sympathy with the afflicted family, which was easily perceptible on the countenance of every one who came to town. The thunder storm the night before probably put our phone out of order, at least it would not work, which put the friends to great inconvenience in getting immediate word to friends."
Stepson Eppa S. "Eppy" Everett (1877-1947) was born on Jan. 30, 1877 in Gentry or Harrison County, MO. He spent his entire life in Gentry and Harrison Counties. In young manhood he joined the Lone Star Baptist Church and spent his life in devoted Christian ways. In about 1925, he wed Myrtle Needham ( ? - ? ). The couple divorced by 1940. He was considered a highly respected citizen of the community. In the mid-1940s, Eppa made his home with his stepmother in the west part of New Hampton, MO. She died early in 1947, and from that time on he dwelled alone. Eppa passed away without warning at the age of 70 on Aug. 7, 1947. While working near the Elza Kidwell home, said the Harrison County Times, he died "after taking a cow to the pasture [and] was found by Mrs. William Noble who, with her husband, is doing chores at the Kidwell home, while the latter are on a vacation. Dr. R.L. Gunn was called but on his arrival pronounced Eppa dead. It is thought due to exhaustion and heat, he passed away from a heart attack." Interment of the remains was in Magee Cemetery, with Rev. W.W. Miller in charge.
~ Daughter Marie "Ellen" (Wells) Noble ~
Daughter Marie Ellen "Ella" Wells (1863-1949) was born on June 1, 1863 in Mount Pleasant, Henry County, IA. In girlhood she moved with her family to Kansas and thence to Bethany, MO.
On July 3, 1881, when she was about age 18, she wed Clark Noble (Feb. 21, 1861-1938), son of William and Martha Noble.
They were parents of a brood of offspring and adopted children -- William "Willie" Noble, Albert Noble, Rosa Borrell, Arthur Noble, Charles Noble, Alice Hawkins and Mary "Mildred" Noble. Grief descended on the young family when son William died at a year of age and then adopted daughter Martha in infancy in 1907.
As newlyweds they moved to Booneville near Van Meter, IA, where they stayed for four years. They relocated to Plattsmouth, NE and after six years migrated to Valley Junction, IA. After three years there, they settled in 1894 in near Russell and Chariton, IA and never left.
Circa 1930, he became an invalid and stayed in this condition for the remaining seven-and-a-half years of his existence. The pair's final address was at the corner of LaGrange Avenue and East 2nd Street.
Clark passed away in Chariton on Jan. 8, 1938. Burial was in Chariton Cemetery, with local Church of the United Brethren pastor Rev. O.O. Hobson officiating the funeral. The headcount of his survivors included 18 grandchildren.
Ellen spent her last years in Chariton. The angel of death cleaved her away at the age of 85 on April 5, 1949. Rev. W.L. Peters, of the local Baptist Church, led the services. Her obituary was printed in the Chariton Herald-Patriot.
Son Albert Emanuel Noble (1884-1928) was born on Jan. 27, 1884 in Booneville, Dallas County, IA. At the age of 10 he accompanied his parents and family in a move to Chariton, where he spent the rest of his life. On Dec. 7, 1906, when he was 22 years of age, he entered into marriage with Minnie (Baumbardner) Whittier ( ? - ? ). She had been wed previously and brought a stepson into the second union, David Whittier. The pair went on to produce five offspring of their own -- Dorothy Ellen Wright, Marion Noble, Ethel Noble, Maxine Mildred Powers and John Noble, who died in infancy in November 1913. For about a dozen years, he was employed by the Rock Island Railway Company. Said the Chariton Herald-Patriot, Albert "was well liked by his co-workers and highly regarded by all who knew him. He was honest and conscientious, kind and devoted to his family, a good neighbor and citizen... He was at one time a member of the Chariton Volunteer Fire Department and rendered efficient service." Sadly, he was stricken with incurable cancer and with no cure in sight, in December 1927, he became a Christian, committing his soul to his savior. After several months of what a newspaper called "intense suffering," Albert died at the age of 43 on Jan. 20, 1928. Said the Herald-Patriot, "Everything that medical skill and loving hands could do to restore him to health and to alleviate his pain was done, but the all-wise Heavenly Father saw fit to remove him to the home above. [His] demise will be deplored by a large circle of friends... The sorrowing relatives who mourn his passing will have the sympathy of the entire community." Funeral services were led by Rev. J.A. Riggs, at the First Baptist Church, and were well-attended. Interment of the remains was in Chariton Cemetery.
Daughter Rosa Alvira Noble (1885-1960) was born in 1885. She married (?) Borrell. She was in Chariton, IA in 1928-1938. Death whisked her away in 1960.
Son Arthur Noble ( ? - ? ) moved to Kansas City, MO and was there in 1928. Later he established his residence in Evansville, IN and was there in 1938-1949.
Son Charles Orland Noble (1890-1946) was born in 1890. He made his home in Des Moines, IA in the late 1930s. He passed away in 1946.
Adopted daughter Alice Menefee Noble (1907-1985) was born in 1907 in Des Moines, IA. She married Lehi Earl Hawkins ( ? - ? ). She lived in Chicago in 1928, Chariton, IA in 1938 and Rockford, IL in 1949. She died in 1985.
~ Son George Wesley Wells ~
Son George Wesley Wells (1868-1942) was born on May 17, 1868 in Martinsville, Harrison County, MO.
On New Year's Eve 1890, he married Wenona Myers ( ? - ? ), daughter of George W. and Caroline (Rupe) Myers of Bethany. Performing the nuptials was justice of the peace Albert Towns.
The couple together produced three daughters and a son -- Georgia May Geyer, Carolyn Gillespie, Myrtle Lenore Meek and Willliam R. Wells.
They spent their lives in the area of Bethany, MO, at times east and other times north, except for five or six years southwest of his birthplace in Martinsville. The family was plunged into grief at the death of son William in 1903 at about the age of five.
For three decades, from 1903 to 1933, George was employed as a rural mail carrier based at the U.S. Post Office in Bethany. "When the route was consolidated and went from Bethany to Brooklyn, it contained, in all, 27 miles," reported the Harrison County Times.
George was in poor health during the first months of 1942 and became bedfast in mid-February from the effects of chronic heart problems.
Death swept him into eternity at the age of 73 on Feb. 17, 1942. The funeral service was conducted by Rev. Cecil R. Murrow of the Christian Church. Pallbearers included Dick VanHoozer, Luther Youngs, Joe Taylor, Arthur Buntin, George Bell and Eugene Sutherlin. Among the musical selections, performed by Mrs. Harry Shroyer, Mrs. Rolla Bartlett, L.E. Cassady and S.M. Haas, accompanied on the piano by Mrs. J.G.E. Hinkle, were Going Down the Valley, Eastern Gate and Sometime We'll Understand. Interment of the remains was in Miriam Cemetery, with an obituary appearing in the Times.
Wenona is known to have spent her first Christmas as a widow in the home of her daughter Carolyn. She became blind but, reported the Bethany Republican Clipper, "maintained her interest in life and, as one outlet for mental activity, wrote occasional poetry. She learned to continue writing with a pencil, in her blindness. This was done by feel of the paper and with a ruler." Her last five years were spent in the Lacy Convalescence Home in Bethany.
At the age of 81, burdened with heart and kidney disease, she was stricken by a cerebral hemorrhage and then contracted bronchial pneumonia. She surrendered to the spirit of death on June 28, 1955. Rev. O.D. Hedges led the funeral, which included singing by Mrs. Raleigh Bartlett, Mrs. William Scott, Wayne Wilson and Russell Butz. Interment followed in Miriam Cemetery, the casket borne to the grave by bearers Eldon Gillespie, Gene Gillespie, William Meek, Garland Meek, Norman Geyer and Joe Wooderson.
Daughter Georgia May Wells (1892-1943) was born on Jan. 24, 1892 in rural Bethany, Harrison County, MO. She spent her entire life in the community of her birth and attended the Bethany School. As a young woman she taught four terms of school classes. On March 10, 1917, she entered into marriage with farmer John "Elza" Geyer ( ? -1967). They became the parents of two -- Norman Elza Geyer and Wenona May McChesney. For the last decade-plus of her life, Georgia suffered from what doctors called a "rheumatic condition" -- arthritis affecting the joints, tendons and muscles of the body -- and was rendered an invalid. She succumbed to the illess at the age of 51 on Feb. 22, 1943. Leading the funeral service was Rev. Francis Burr, with sacred music performed by Mrs. W.H. Haas, Mrs. Raleigh Bartlett, S.M. Haas and L.E. Casady. An obituary appearing in the Bethany Republican-Clipper said that she "possessed a strong Christian character and patiently endured her sufferings through 11 years of invalidism from arthritis. She always had a smile and a cheery word of greeting for everyone." Her remains repose for all time in Miriam Cemetery. The widowed Elza lived in Hatfield, MO in 1946 and in about 1955 moved to St. Louis. He died in Lakeside Hospital at the age of 78 on May 7, 1967. His obituary appeared in the Kansas City Times.
Daughter Clara "Carolyn" Wells (1894-1978) was born on June 14, 1894. On Dec. 16, 1916, in her parents' country home east of Bethany, MO, the 22-year-old Carolyn was joined in wedlock with Robert Gillespie ( ? - ? ). In announcing the marriage, the Bethany Republican-Clipper called Robert "an industrious farmer of Jeffeerson township" and said only "a few of the immediate friends and relatives of the contracting parties were present... The bride was dressed in dainty blue and carried a bunch of white carnations." Rev. Layman, a preacher in Bethany and at Morris Chapel, officiated. Their union endured the ups and downs of more than six decades. Seven offspring born in this family were William Robert Gillespie, Carol McQuary, Daisy Bruckner, James Eldon Gillespie, Glenn Gillespie, Gene Gillespie and Lola Harryman. They dwelled in the early 1940s near Bethany and belonged to the Kirkley Chapel. At their 60th wedding anniversary in 1976, they stayed at home and invited friends to stop by to visit. Carolyn died as a patient at Noll Memorial Hospital in Bethany on Sept. 6, 1978. Her obituary in the Republican-Clipper gave the number of her survivors as 20 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Burial was in Miriam Cemetery, with the funeral led by the hand of Rev. Alvin Hillman.
Daughter Myrtle Lenore Wells (1896-1944) was born on Feb. 19, 1896 near Martinsville, MO. She attended school in Bethany, graduating from high school in 1915, and joined the Bethany Christian Church in girlhood. She then attended Maryville State Teachers College and went on to a career of rural school education. She also taught Sunday School. On Aug. 14, 1918, she was united in matrimony with Charles "Arthur" Meek ( ? -1939). Four children of this family were William Arthur Meek, Martha Meek, Garland Meek and James Andrew Meek. Their son James sadly died in infancy. Said the Harrison County Times, "In this Christian atmosphere she reared her family." Their residence in 1919 was in the vicinity of Blue Ridge, MO. Sadness cascaded over the Meeks family when Arthur died on Aug. 8, 1939. The widowed Myrtle made her residence in 1942-1944 near Ridgeway, MO. Reported the Times:
Burdened with blood clots, Myrtle passed into the arms of the angels at the age of 47 on July 6, 1944. Rev. Huell Warren led the funeral service, with music provided by a singing quartet including Mrs. H.C. Shroyer, Mrs. Rolla Bartlett, L.E. Casady and W.H. Haas. Burial was in Fairview Cemetery. An obituary in the Times referred to her as "one of Harrison county's successful rural teachers." Around the 1943-1944 era, daughter Martha, a student at Maryville College, was hired to teach in the Blue Ridge and Mitchell schools near Bethany.
Daughter Mary Susan "Susie" Wells (1870-1946) was born two days before Christmas 1870 in Harrison County, MO.
On March 4, 1890, when she was 19 years of age, she was joined in wedlock with 24-year-old Abraham "Lincoln" Long (July 7, 1865-1944), son of John R. and Maria (Hall) Long of Cedar Township, Lucas County.
Eight offspring were born into this union -- Lenora Daugherty, Cleora Marie Matthews, Fannie Mariah Beadle, Laura "Cassie" Harmegnies, Loren Earnest Long, Lester Long, Eva Ellen Long O’Day and Lloyd Clifford Long.
As shown in the every-decade federal census enumerations, their farming residence in 1890-1944 was in Russell, Lucas County, IA.
The family was plunged into grief when their infant son Lester died on April 11, 1901, at the tender age of six months and three weeks. The baby's funeral was conducted in the United Brethren Church and led by Rev. J.L. Johnson of the Russell Methodist Episcopal Church, with burial following in the McDermott Bethel Cemetery. Said an obituary in the Chariton Democrat, "The little one had been ailing for some time and its illness finally terminated in pneumonia which resulted in death. The sorrowing relatives have the sympathy of the community in their bereavement."
The Longs moved from the Russell farm to Chariton in 1922 but then after a year returned to Russell. Susan and her married sister Rose and their sons are known to have traveled to Missouri to visit their sister Ada Eudora Everett in September 1924. The get-together was noted in the gossip columns of the Bethany (MO) Republican-Clipper, which reported that "While here they made short calls at the Wm. Crane home near Willow Row, at the Hunter and Bently homes in Albany and at the H.E. Cooper home in New Hampton. They also enjoyed our band concert Saturday night and hope to make a longer visit with relatives and friends here in the near future."
In 1943, the Longs retired, sold their farm to son Loren and moved to a residence at 618 North Main Street in Chariton.
Sadly, just a few weeks before his 79th birthday, and from the effects of chronic heart disease, Lincoln passed away on June 17, 1944. An obituary was published in the Chariton Leader.
Susan remained in their home for the final two years of her life, and she too endured heart problems. She surrendered to the angel of death at the age of 75 in Chariton on Feb. 5, 1946. Rev. A.E. Beals of Russell co-officiated the funeral service with Rev. Charles Holton in the Bethel Church. Her remains were lowered into the sacred earth of Bethel Cemetery in Williamson, Lucas County. Her obituary also was printed in the Leader, which noted that her survivors included a baker's dozen grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
Daughter Fannie Mariah Long (1893-1980) was born in 1893. She was joined in wedlock with (?) Beadle ( ? - ? ). The pair relocated to Whitetail, MT and were there in 1946-1962.
Daughter Laura "Cassie" Long (1895-1984) was born in 1895. She was united in matrimony with (?) Harmegnies ( ? - ? ). They put down roots in Chariton.
Son Loren Earnest Long (1897-1947) was born in 1897. He acquired his parents' farm in 1943 near Russell, Lucas County, IA.
Daughter Eva Ellen Long (1903-1978) was born in 1903. She dwelled in Chicago circa 1946. Eva entered into marriage with (?) O’Day. In 1962, the family lived in Cicero, IL.
Son Lloyd Clifford Long (1906-1985) was born in 1906. He lived in Russell, Lucas County in 1946 and in Chariton in 1962.
~ Daughter Rosa Alice (Wells) Morton ~
Daughter Rosa Alice "Rose" Wells (1874-1957) was born in 1874 in Missouri.
She entered into marriage with William Leonard Morton (1873-1953).
The Mortons were in Russell, Lucas County, IA in 1908-1947. In the final illness of her sister Ada Eudora Cooper Everett in the winter of 1947, the Mortons traveled to her residence in New Hampton, MO to care for her.
~ Daughter Laura Alvira (Wells) Etter ~
Daughter Laura Alvira "Vira" Wells (1878-1931) was born in 1878 in Martinsville, MO.
On Aug. 29, 1897, in Lucas County, IA, when she was 20 years of age, Vira was united in matrimony with 29-year-old farmer William Rufus Etter ( ? -1931), son of Stephen and Archlander (Wright) Etter and a native of Lovington County, IL. Their wedding was held at the home of justice of the peace E.E. Sargent.
The pair dwelled for decades near Russell, IA, about eight miles north of town.
On the tragic day of Feb. 10, 1931, Vira and William were killed when a fast mail train of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad struck their roadster automobile near Russell, reported the Sioux City (IA) Journal and the Bethany (MO) Republican-Clipper. An associated Press story distributed statewide noted that "Witnesses said that the train had been whistling for some time before approaching the crossing."
Their son Arthur called relatives to let them know of the horrific news. Among those traveling to attend the funeral was Vira's sister Ada Eudora Everett and brother George Wesley Wells.
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