What's New

Photo of the Month

Minerd.com Blog


National Reunion


Cousin Voices

Honor Roll

In Lasting Memory

In the News

Our Mission and Values

Annual Review

Favorite Links

Contact Us


Solomon Sturtz


Solomon Sturtz

Solomon "Sollie" Sturtz was born on Dec. 11, 1814 in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA, the son of John "Adam" and Maria "Catherine" (Gaumer) Sturtz Sr. His middle name has been given as "John." He was a pioneer settler of Ohio, Indiana and Iowa and lost a son during the Civil War. 

In February 1836, when he was 21 years of age, he married 20-year-old Elizabeth Troutman (Feb. 28, 1815-1899) of Somerset County and the daughter of Jacob and Rebecca (Boyer) Troutman. The two families were close, and Solomon's brother John Adam married Susanna Troutman, likely Elizabeth's sister.

Their nine children were Jacob Sturtz, Adam C. Sturtz, Margaret Moss, John Sturtz, Katherine Jane "Kate" Moss, Lydia Sheets, Benjamin F. Sturtz, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Ellis and Susan Ann Eikenberry.

The year they were married, Solomon and Elizabeth migrated to Ohio, settling in Muskingum County. After a period of time, in 1852, they pushed into Indiana and after three years, in the spring of 1855, relocated further west to Iowa, with family lore stating that they traveled by covered wagon. They arrived there in Carroll County about the same time as Rev. Philip Moss, a Baptist minister who had come from Indiana. The Sturtz's daughter later married the Mosses' son. In October 1855, just several months after settling there, Solomon acquired a farm of 160 acres from the federal government.

The Sturtzes resided in 1860 in Elm Springs, Coldwater Township, Butler County, IA. They eventually settled on a 160-acre farm in Section 11 in Greene, Butler County. Their farm shared a corner with the farm of his brother John Adam Sturtz, who had migrated there with his family in 1857. Their houses were about a half mile apart. At some point, Solomon partnered with Aaron Moss to form a general store under the name Moss & Sturtz, one of the first merchants in Greene.


Solomon, date unknown.


Many years later, in April 1929, J.M. Ramsay wrote a Greene Recorder column entitled "Reminiscence of Early Days in Greene," acknowledging Solomon as "one of the early settlers in the vicinity of Greene ... [whose] farm was a couple miles west of Greene, and in early days it was easily seen and pointed out to strangers, because of the large barn he had erected a few years after settling in Coldwater. In the early 'Seventies' he also erected a fine, large dwelling on his land."


Solomon Sturtz

Ramsay published another remembrance a few months later, stating that Solomon's "improvements are among the best in the county, having a fine residence, 18 by 30, two stories high, and the largest barn in the county, it being 40 by 65, with all improvements in arrangement of the modern 'bank barn'... He was at one time the sole possessor of a single-roofed house in the township." Ramsay also documented how Solomon, "with other pioneers, experienced some hardships as hauling grain in Cedar Rapids and Independence and made one trip to Dubuque for goods. There was plenty of deer in those early days and he made it a point to have his share of the shy, but out-witted, creatures. The wily wild turkey was overtaken by the swift bullet guided by an unerring aim."


During the Civil War, their son Adam and his cousins Solomon Sturtz and Michael Sturtz together joined the 32nd Iowa Infantry, Company G. Son John and son in law Aaron Moss also served with enlistments in the 21st Iowa Infantry. Heartache shook the family when Adam died on May 22, 1864, at Pleasant Hill, LA, and his two cousins also gave their lives to illness in the conflict, also in the same year. Fortunately, their sons John and Aaron returned home and lived long lives.

Solomon also is profiled in the 1883 book History of Butler and Bremer Counties. The narrative said that "His farm contains 160 acres, which he purchased of the government. He also owns land elsewhere. His improvements are among the best in the township." In the 1870s, he purchased additional properties in Butler and Sioux Counties, encompassing 365 acres in total. The Greene properties were located within Section 11, Township 93, Range 17.


Solomon's obituary, 1907

They were charter members of the Presbyterian Church of Coldwater, founded in June 1863. Said the History of Butler and Bremer: "This took place at the Hart school house, on section 13, with Rev. Richard Morrill officiating." The church reorganized on May 19, 1872 as the First Presbyterian Church of Greene, with Solomon again becoming a charter member and one of the first trustees, serving with Henry McNabb, A.D. Barnum and Edward Jordan. He remained an elder of the congregation for the rest of his life. At one time, he also served on the board of Coldwater Township.

Wrote Ramsay in 1929, Solomon "was a member of the Presbyterian church at Greene, and the writer's parents belonged to the same congregation, and well do we remember as a child watching that stern face of Mr. Sturtz as he sat attentive and almost unmovable in his pew at regular services. Here we might mention that one of the early ministers who 'watched over that flock' was one Elder James, a sort of circuit rider, we presume, but he preached there, led the song service, and otherwise conducted the affairs of christian supplications. His song for opening the services was usually 'Pull for the Shore Sailor, Pull for the shore,' and 'Lead Kindly Light' was the other."

Sadness enveloped Solomon as he watched the decline of his younger brother John Adam and wife Susanna after the loss of their eldest sons in the war. The relatives never got over the shock, and Susanna died within five years of the war's end. John Adam, an alcoholic, gradually lost the farm and suffered severe physical disabilities. When the brother sought a military pension for the loss of his sons, Solomon gave extensive testimony in the case. His depositions today are preserved in the National Archives in Washington, DC, with a copy in the Minerd.com Archives.

Stricken with chronic hypertension, Elizabeth passed into eternity at the age of 84 on April 29, 1899 in Greene. The Recorder observed that earlier in the month, "On Sunday she seemd as well as common, and attended services at the Presbyterian church, stopped at Elmer Moss' on her way home. As she arose from her chair to go to the dinner table she was stricken with paralysis and almost fell to the floor."

Shortly afterward, in June 1899, a stained glass window in the family church was dedicated in Elizabeth's memory.


Presbyterian Church in Greene

Solomon survived his wife by eight years. In mid-January 1902, reported the Greene Recorder, he sold his "old homeplace, just west of Greene," to Charles Mather Jr. of Dayton Township. "Lew Ellis will remain on the place this year, and in the meantime will erect a nice new house on his fifteen acre patch, adjoining Port Barnett's fruit farm, for a home for his family and Uncle Sollie." The article added that Solomon was "one of the first settlers in this section." When his longtime friend E. Leydig -- a fellow charter member of the Coldwater Presbyterian Church -- died in September 1905, the Recorder noted that "Solomon Sturtz is the only name on the records among those pioneer christians that death has not erased on earth to be recorded in heaven."

Just a few months after Ellis bought Solomon's farm, he was badly injured while working in the barn. Said the Recorder, "a heavy stick of timber from overhear fell, striking him on the back of the head and rendering him unconscious for several hours. Dr. Birney was called and today he is reported as having regained consciousness and in a fair way to recover."

Solomon died on June 5, 1907 in Greene, Butler County. Burial was beside his wife in Rose Hill Cemetery in Greene, perhaps once known as the Dunkard Brethren Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]. The Recorder said that he "passed peacefully" and that he had been "very feeble of late and the end was expected at most any time." In another obituary, a local newspaper opined that "With the passing away of Solomon Sturtz last Wednesday morning, the town of Greene and Butler county lost one of her oldest men and one of her best citizens... His memory was clear until the last few weeks and he delighted to tell the story of his life in the early days of Butler county. His many friends marveled at the patience with which he bore the last sufferings and the release that came to him was not unwelcome. He was honest in business, kind to his friends, faithful in service and has a place in the hearts and minds of a large circle of acquaintances."

He is named in the 1912 book by John W. Jordan and James Hadden, entitled Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Vol. III.


Solomon and Elizabeth (seated, center) and children Kate Moss (standing, center), Susan Ann, Elizabeth, Benjamin, Lydia, John and Margaret Ann. But who else is whom? Please contact us if you know. Courtesy Barbara (Moss) Wardsworth


~ Son Jacob Sturtz ~

Son Jacob Sturtz (1838-1883?) was born in about 1838 in Adams Township, Muskingum County.

He is reputed to have died in about 1883, but nothing further is known for now.


~ Son Adam C. Sturtz ~

Son Adam C. Sturtz (1840-1864) was born on May 1, 1840 in Adams Township, Muskingum. In boyhood, he migrated with his parents and family to a new home in Iowa, settling in Greene, Butler County. 

Desiring to be part of the Union Army effort during the Civil War, at the age of 22, on Aug. 20, 1862, Adam and his double cousins Solomon Sturtz and Michael Sturtz (of the family of John Adam and Susanna [Troutman] Sturtz Jr.) together joined the 32nd Iowa Infantry and were assigned to Company G.

While details are sketchy, Adam and his regiment took part in 1864 in what today is known as the Red River Campaign, part of a Union expedition to clear the enemy out of Arkansas and northern Louisiana, with the goal of occupying Shreveport. According to Frederick H. Dyer's encyclopedic A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, the 32nd Iowa was in Louisiana at Alexandria from April 26 to May 13, Mansura on May 15-16, Mellow Bayou on May 18 and on the move from Vicksburg to Memphis from May 20 to June 10.


Union soldiers on the march in Louisiana during the Red River Campaign


Adam did not survive the Red River Campaign. He was wounded in action at the Battle of Pleasant Hill, LA, a fight on April 9, 1864 between Union General Nathaniel P. Banks and Confederate Gen. Dick Taylor. He was treated in some sort of military hospital facility.

He was mentioned in a letter written from Vicksburg on June 4, 1864 from Jacob Leydig (also of the 32nd Iowa) to his cousin William Martin Lydig (of the 142nd Pennsylvania Infantry, future husband of Winifred Agnes Shirer): "You was aquiring about our regment if you know us eny or not. I guies there was only thre that you knowed but one of them is dead. That Michael Sturtz & Solomon is sick in the hospittle at Vicksburg. Adam Sturtz he got wounded at the Battle of Pleasent Hill. The prour felloe in with hospitstal. He is [illegible] able to tell you wether he is at Memphis or at Vicksburg or down at New Orleans. Thoes are the only the boys you knows in our regiment." Elsa Bernice Haupt has furnished a copy of this letter and transcript to the Somerset (PA) Historical Center with a copy also held in the Minerd.com Archives.

Sadly, by the time Jacob Leydig's letter was written, Adam was dead, having surrendered to death on May 22, 1864, at Pleasant Hill, about a month-and-a-half after the battle. His final resting place is not known. Adding to the heartache, his two Sturtz cousins in the regiment also died during the war.

Adam is named in the 1883 book History of Butler and Bremer Counties, Iowa (Springfield, IL: Union Publishing Company). His two cousins in the 32rd Iowa also gave their lives to illness in the war, in the same year as Adam's death.


~ Daughter Margaret Ann (Sturtz) Moss ~

Daughter Margaret Ann Sturtz (1842-1902) was born on May 14 or 15, 1842 in Adamsville, Muskingum County or more likely Carroll County, IN, as claimed in her 1902 newspaper obituary. She was christened in the family church at a little more than three months of age on Aug. 21, 1842. As a young girl, in the spring of 1855, she moved with her parents and siblings to Iowa, settling in Greene, Butler County.

There, on Christmas Eve 1865, she was united in matrimony with farmer and Civil War veteran Aaron Moss (Aug. 2, 1842-1919), son of Rev. Philip and Barbara (Moyer) Moss of Carroll County, IN. The nuptials were held in Greene and officiated by Rev. Richard Merrill.

Aaron's father was a German Baptist said to have "preached the first sermon ever delivered in Butler county." The father had been a minister of a church in Indiana before moving his family to Coldwater Township, Butler County in 1855, said to have been "active in church work here, preaching over a large district and becoming well known as a zealous and conscientious minister," said the 1914 book History of Butler County, Iowa, authored by Irving H. Hart.

The Sturtzes and Mosses were close, and Margaret's sister Kate wedded Aaron's brother Jacob.

The couple produced seven children -- Ulysses "Elmer" Moss, Owen Otus Moss, Vena Elizabeth Barth, Lewis "Fred" Moss, Dr. Solomon "Sollie" Moss, Maude May Runyon Westcott and William George Moss. Sadly, son Owen Otis did not survive childhood.

Aaron was 6 feet, 2 inches tall, with a dark complexion, blue eyes and dark hair. During the war, he enrolled in the Union Army at Clinton, IA on June 11, 1862. Initially a private with the 21st Iowa Infantry, Company A, he was promoted to sergeant. Jacob Sturtz -- which one not yet known -- was a private in the regiment. He saw action at Hartsville, MO and the siege of Vicksburg. While on duty at Memphis, TN on or about New Year's Day 1864, Aaron was afflicted with diarrhea which he endured for the remainining 17-plus months of his military service.

Writing about it later, he said that "said disease (the Chronic Diarrhea) was contracted while in line of duty and by exposure in Camp and on March and the privations of and incident thereto." In April 1864, he received treatment for his ailment at an army hospital in New Orleans. Then during the battle of Spanish Fort near Mobile, AL in late March 1865, he lost his knapsack containing all of his important papers.

He was in battle also at Fort Blakely and was part of an expedition under Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks which moved up the Red River to Shreveport, LA. He was discharged on June 11, 1865 at Shreveport, LA. Upon returning home, the Mosses lived in Nora Springs, Floyd County, IA (circa 1877) and in Greene, Butler County (circa 1889). He earned a living in the late 1870s as a clerk and bookkeeper. In 1877, Aaron was awarded a federal pension as compensation for his chronic diarrhea and what he now called "trouble of heart." [Invalid App. #233.296, Cert. #164.658]. Aaron was profiled in the 1914 History of Butler County, and the entry reads that after the war, he:

...returned to Iowa, where he afterward engaged in farming for a few years. When he abandoned this line of occupation he turned his attention to the general merchandising business and some years later began buying and shipping stock. He was, however, a brick and stone mason by trade, and eventually he concentrated his attention upon this work, following it for many years thereafter. He took up his residence in Greene and assisted in the construction of most of the brick business houses in the town and a number of the more important residences. In his early days he was a well known vocalist and taught a singing school for a number of years. He was, besides, a member of the church choir and its leader for some time....

Fraternally Mr. Moss is identified with the local lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has served through all the chairs and is now past grand and past district deputy. He was for two years president of the Regimental Association of the Twenty-first Iowa and is now serving as vice president of that body. He was appointed as a member of the Vicksburg National Park Commission by the governor of Iowa but had to decline on account of his wife 's health. He has been very prominent in the affairs of the Grand Army of the Republic, both locally and nationally. He is a member of Greene Post, No. 200, G.A.R., in which he has filled all of the offices. He has been adjutant and commander of the post and is at present chaplain. He was formerly aide-de-camp on the department commander's staff and was also aide-de-camp on the staff of the commander-in-chief. He and his wife are devout members of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Moss is one of the well known men of Greene having been identified with the growth and development of the city for many years, gaining in the course of a long, useful and honorable life the esteem and confidence of the entire community.

For the final five years of her life, Margaret suffered from diabetes. When she contracted a severe cold in the early autumn 1902, and then was felled by a stroke, her health declined rapidly. Physicians Dr. Crouse of Waterloo and Dr. Birney were called in but there was nothing they could do to stop the inevitable. Noted the Greene Recorder, "The new and old malady was too severe for her constitution and years and she gradually yielded, step by step, until the final hour came..." Margaret died in Greene on Oct. 2, 1902, surrounded at bedside by all of her children except William, who was en route by train from his home in Iowa City. Rev. Cole conducted funeral services held in the famil home. Among the mourners attending the funeral were John D. and Caroline A. Shook. In an obituary, the Recorder said that she "was among the oldest and best known residents of Greene, a lady of high character, who, with her many good qualities, had built up a lasting friendship with those who will ever cherish in fond remembrance her many kind and christian acts. The RECORDER joins with them in extending to the grief stricken family heartfelt sympathy in their dark hour of sorrow." After a period of two years, Aaron married a second time to Sarah M. (Harris) Shepard (1855-1934), a native of Beach Haven, Luzerne County, PA and widow of Rodney Shepard of Clarksville, IA. They were wed on Oct. 20, 1904, with the ceremony taking place in Clarksville by the hand of Rev. Bundy (or "Buntin"). The Shooks attended the ceremony and "stood up" with the couple. Sarah thus brought several children of her own to the union -- William Shepard of Kansas City, MO; David Shepard of Osage, IA and Charles Shepard of Clarksville, IA. At his 74th birthday in August 1916, family and friends gathered at his home in Greene, among them sons Elmer and Solomon, daughters Vena Barth and Maud Runyon, nephew Benjamin Sturtz and Jake Moss of Fairfield, WA. Noted the Recorder, the guests "have all been present and helped him do honor to the occasion." Suffering from prostate cancer and uremia, Aaron was admitted to St. Francis Hospital in Waterloo, IA on Aug. 15, 1919. He underwent surgery three days later, and was "nursed by our sisters," wrote Sister M. Callista, but he could not rally. He passed away in the hospital on Aug. 23, 1919 at the age of 77. Burial was in Rose Hill Cemetery, with W.L. Moore handling the funeral arrangements. [Find-a-Grave] After Aaron's death, Sarah petitioned the government and began receiving his pension payments. [Widow App. #1.146.861 - Cert. #884.658]. Several of her friends provided sworn testimony to support her claim, including Fred Seitz and B. Wamsley, both of Clarksville. Toward the end of her life, Sarah was receiving $42.50 monthly in pension payments which was increased to $50 by an act of Congress in March 1931. Having suffered a stroke which resulted in paralysis of her left side, she lingered and then died at the age of about 78 on Feb. 28, 1934, in Greene. Aaron and his Civil War service are mentioned in Irving H. Hart's 1914 book History of Butler County, Iowa, volume 1.

Son Ulysses "Elmer" Moss (1868- ? ) was born on Jan. 24, (?). At the age of 21, on July 2, 1889, he married 21-year-old Ellen Downing (1868-1946), daughter of J.E. Downing and who came to Greene with her parents at the age of two months. The couple produced a daughter, Pearl Feyereisen. They dwelled in Greene in 1902 with a home on Second Street and then in 1903 moved to a cottage near the Dunkard Church. Elmer made a living over the years, among other things, as a bricklayer and apple packer. They were very active in the community and over the years were named in more than 200 Greene Recorder articles for their involvement in a variety of high profile initiatives. In all articles, she was referred to as "Mrs. Elmer Moss" and never by her first name. Elmer was a local baseball star who played catcher with games in McClure's pasture. Later, he became an umpire, and was an expert fisherman and duck pin bowler. Circa 1904, he was named as deputy fish and game warden, with "jurisdiction anywhere in the state." In the fall of 1926, Elmer's work took him to Hollendale, MN where he boarded and returned home to Greene on weekends, and in April 1927 he erected a store building in Elmore, MN for his brother-in-law, Michael Downing. Taking on ever larger contracts, in September 1927 he helped to build the new county home in Floyd County, IA. The Recorder reported that "The brick work is now completed and the work of finishing will be hurried on to completion before cold weather. Floyd county has had no buildings on their poor farm for some time, owing to their burning down and plans for new ones not accepted." Although Elmer still played baseball in the late 1920s, "the boys, some of them perhaps, thought [he] was 'slipping' a trifle in his base ball playing," noted the Recorder, [but] "is still there when it comes to hunting as was shown recently when he and the Pagles boys were out hunting in Bennezette township. Over part way to Dougherty the dogs got a wolf out and in the chase Elmer got a shot at quite a distance with his rifle and bagged the brute the first shot." Ellen earned extra income over the years in her work with the Wilson restaurant in Greene. The Mosses celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary in June 1944, and in a related story in the Recorder were pictured and called "pioneer residents of the Greene community.... [They] were honored when a family picnic dinner was held in the basement of Saint Mary's Catholic church. Nearly 70 persons were present to honor the couple, who were presented with a blanket. Out-of-town guests present were Mr. and Mrs. Frank Gales and family of Sioux City, Bid Downing of Waterloo, Dan McGarry of Rockwell, Lyle Barnett of Clarksville, and Mrs. Louis Merfeld, who recently came to Greene after having spent several months with her husband, who had been stationed at a camp in North Dakota. Special guests of the afternoon were the priests of the local church, the Rev. M.J. Hogan and the Rev. Joseph Murphy." Sadly, Ellen died at the age of 78 on July 3, 1946, one day after her 57th wedding anniversary. A funeral mass was held in the family church, and burial in Saint Mary's Cemetery, with Rev. P.J. Boyle officiating. On Dec. 29, 1919, their daughter Pearl, who worked at the local telephone company, wed Daniel J. Feyereisen at St. Mary's Church, with Rev. Father Hogan leading the nuptials. The Feyereisens went on to have a son, Robert "Bobby" Feyereisen. Tragically, son Robert, an army corporal, was killed in Europe during the winter of 1945-1946 "only a few days before he was to go aboard ship to return to this country," said the Recorder.

Daughter Vena Elizabeth Moss ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She married Edward "Ed" Barth (1868-1960). They are believed to have produced three children, Ila Barth, Dr. Paul Barth and Ruth Barth. The Barths apparently were members of the First Methodist Church in Greene. In about January 1945, Ed sold their farm located six miles west, one mile south and half a mile west of Greene. In doing so, he held a public auction to sell 34 head of cattle, a team of smooth mouth hourses, farm machinery and a wide variety of farming implements. At that time, Vena was seriously ill in their home, and daughter Ila traveled from Los Angeles to spend time together. Vena apparently survived but her story is not fully known. Toward the end of his life, Ed traveled to live with his married daughter Mrs. Frank Hess in Largo, FL. He died there at the age of 92 on Aug. 1, 1960. His remains were brought back to Greene to rest in Rose Hill Cemetery, with funeral services led by Rev. Clayton Becker, and an obituary appeared in the Recorder.

Son Lewis "Fred" Moss ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). Circa March 1903, in Greene, he and Win Crosby purchased a bowling alley in the Wilson Building. He and his brother-in-law Ed Barth were appointed in 1903 by the local fish commissioner to "seine the redhorse and suckers from the river here this spring," said the Greene Recorder, "and will be at it as soon as the deputy warden comes to see the work." In June 1904, he and his brother Elmer were awarded a contract to lay brick in Nora Springs, IA. Then in 1906 he spent the summer in Minneapolis, MN. In a Recorder story dated Nov. 23, 1910, Fred was described as "our genial wielder of the trowel, and a general good fellow, and with all a crack ten pin player, has been chosen a member of the Waterloo bowling team for this season and will visit several of the big cities where contests will be pulled off by the league teams."

Son Dr. Solomon "Sollie" Moss (1878-1937) was born in about 1878 in Greene. He married Della Putnam ( ? - ? ), daughter of Marshall and Betsy Jane (Sneath) Putnam. They had three sons -- Marshall Moss, Dr. Marven Moss and George Moss. After receiving a degree from the University of Iowa, Solomon became a dentist and in the 1900s and 1910s, practiced in the town of Sheffield. Circa 1902, he accidentally was exposed to smallpox borne by one of his patients. Like his brother Elmer, Solomon played baseball as a pitcher and second baseman and was considered a star on the Greene team in 1903. Near-tragedy occurred in May 1919 when Solomon was "badly injured in an automobile accident Saturday and has been in the hospital in Hampton since," said the Greene Recorder. "His back was hurt and he has been unconscious. Relatives here are much alarmed over his condition." The Mosses made their residence in Sheffield until about 1919, when they relocated to Southern California, establishing a new home in Pomona, Los Angeles County. Solomon was joined in the dentistry practice by his son Dr. Marvin Moss. Sadly, at the age of 59, having suffered from diabetes, Solomon's health began to dip. His brother Elmer and siste Maude Westcott traveled from their Iowa homes to be with him at the end. He passed away at home in Pomona. Word of his death was telegraphed to Elmer's wife in Greene, with an obituary appearing in the Recorder.

Daughter Maude May Moss was wedded to Martin "Mart" (?) Runyon (or "Runyen"). Circa 1914, when named in a profile of her father in Irving H. Hart's book History of Butler County, Iowa, Maude resided in Council Bluffs, IA. In 1902, the Runyens lived in Allison, IA. Later, by 1937, she had married again to (?) Westcott and made their residence in Waterloo, IA. In March 1937, when she was notified that her brother Dr. Solomon Moss was dying in Pomona, CA, she and their brother Elmer traveled there to be with him at the end. After the funeral, Maude remained in Pomona for two weeks to visit with friends.

Son William George "Willie" Moss (1884- ? ) is believed to have been born in 1884. Circa 1902, he resided in Iowa City. That year, when he received word that his mother lay dying, he caught the 7 o'clock train and arrived in Greene only to learn that she had already passed into eternity. In June 1904, he graduated from dental school in Iowa City, and went through commencement exercises, his father and sister Verna Barth having traveled to attend.


Picturesque Coldwater Creek near Greene


~ Son John J. "J.J." Sturtz ~

Son John J. "J.J." Sturtz (1844-1928) was born on July 12, 1844 in Adams Township, Muskingum County. His middle name may have been "Jacob" -- this is not certain. He migrated to Indiana and thence to Butler County, Iowa with his parents and family in about 1855.

As an adult, he stood 5 feet, 7 inches tall, with a light complexion, grey eyes and light colored hair.

After the eruption of the Civil War, he joined the army on Feb. 5, 1862. A little more than four months later, he became part of the 21st Iowa Infantry. His brother in law Aaron Moss also was a soldier in the same regiment. John was with the 21st Iowa at Hartville, Port Gibson, Champion's Hill, Black River Bridge and the sieges of Vicksburg, Spanish Fort and Blakely, Mobile, AL. While on a June 1863 march from Fort Gibson, MS to Jackson, MS, he became ill with sunstroke. He received an honorable discharge in Shreveport, LA after three years of service and was mustered out on June 10, 1865.

On Feb. 28, 1867, the 23-year-old John married Sarah Eikenberry (June 4, 1848-1936), daughter of Benjamin and Catherine (Moss) Eikenberry of Indiana. Their wedding took place in Coldwater/Elm Springs, Butler County, with Rev. John T. Eikenberry officiating.

Their known children were Emma Jane "Emmie" Turner, Ida M. McArthur, Firman E. Sturtz, Harmon H. Sturtz, Cyrus C. Sturtz and Elizabeth Sturtz.

He was a member of the Greene Post No. 200 of the Grand Army of the Republic, a Union veterans organization, with his name published in regimental rosters over the years in the local newspaper. (The post disbanded at year-end 1927.) On Oct. 25, 1897, John was awarded a military pension as compensation for wartime service. [Invalid App. #1.200.129 - Cert. #1.117.299].

The Sturtzes left Iowa in 187, moving to Lake County, SD, where they stayed for three years. Then they relocated in about 1899 to Minnesota, where they lived in Nimrod, Orton Township, Wadena County. Then circa 1913, John and Sarah relocated to California, where they made a home with their widowed daughter Ida in San Jose, Santa Clara County, CA.

Tragically, John suffered a stroke in early January 1915 and was almost completely paralyzed for the remaining 13 years of his life. They remained under Ida's roof in San Jose County as shown in the 1920 U.S. Census. The family had to provide constant care, including feeding, bathing and moving his bowels via enema. Physician Edward Newell, MD examined John in November 1926, writing later that the old soldier "has been paralyzed and totally helpless, unable to feed himself or move himself in bed, excepting his head, since January 3, 1916. He is totally and permanently helpless in every way and requires constant attention." Sarah herself wrote that hs was unable "to feed himself or turn over in his bed without help being as helpless as an infant."

Burdened with ongoing hardening of the arteries, and "chronic progressive paralysis," John died in Cupertino, Santa Clara County at the age of 84 on Oct. 4, 1928. His remains were placed into repose in Oak Hill Cemetery. A few weeks after John's death, Sarah began receiving the pension on Oct. 22, 1928. [Widow App. #1.626.404 - Cert. #A-4-4-29] In 1929, John was named in a profile of his father, written by J.M. Ramsay in the Greene (IA) Recorder, which stated that while his brother Adam had "died in the service of his country," John "went through and came out safely." 

Now widowed, Sarah returned to Kansas in 1929 to live with her daughter Emma Jane Turner in Columbus, Cherokee County, KS, and they traveled to Greene to visit with Sturtz relatives. Suffering from chronic heart disease, she became an invalid and passed away in Columbus on June 21, 1936, at the age of 88. Her remains were transported back to California for burial in San Jose. [Note: One source states that John died on Nov. 25, 1888 in Butler County. Another says that he passed away died in Cedar Rapids on April 23, 1897, with a death notice printed in his old hometown newspaper, the Greene Recorder. The correct facts are ascertained in John's official California death certificate, a copy of which is on file in the Minerd.com Archives.]

Daughter Emma Jane "Emmie" Sturtz (1869- ? ) was born on April 14, 1869. In about 1889, at the age of 20, Emma married 29-year-old Joseph "Joe" Turner (1860- ? ). Their only child was Sarah "Sadie" Turner, born in 1893 in Iowa. The Turners relocated from Iowa to California, where in 1910 they dwelled with Emma Jane's widowed sister Ida McArthur in San Jose, Santa Clara County. At some point, they moved to Kansas, settling in Columbus, Cherokee County. In 1936. they traveled from Columbus back to Greene to visit with her first cousin and husband, Lizzie and William J. McRoberts, with the news published in the gossip columns of the Greene Recorder. Again in November 1956, Emma and Joe visited with the McRobertses in Greene. Their daughter Sadie was wedded to Henry M. Holloway ( ? - ? ) and produced several children, among them Donald E. Holloway (born Feb. 26, 1917) and Mary M. Higgins (born May 9, 1925). They are named in the 1956 book, A History and Genealogy of Peter Eichenberg Family in the U.S.A., co-authored by Charles S. Ikenberry and William Lewis Eikenberry.


Firman's grave, 1892
Courtesy Janet Cromwell
Daughter Ida M. Sturtz (1871- ? ) was born on Feb. 18, 1871 in Iowa. In about 1890, when she was 20 years of age, Ida was wedded to 44-year-old Alexander McArthur (Aug. 1845- ? ), an immigrant from Scotland who had come to the United States as an infant in 1846. At the time of marriage, he was more than twice her age. Their offspring were John A. McArthur (born Nov. 1891), Robert A. McArthur (Oct. 1894), William Ellsworth McArthur (Oct. 1896), Mary J. McArthur (Nov. 1899) and Ralph Edwin McArthur (Nov. 6, 1901-1987), plus one who died young, all birthed in Iowa. The federal census of 1900 shows the family in Rock Township, Sioux County, IA. Sadly, Alexander is believed to have died in about 1909, location unknown, terminating their 19 years of marriage. By 1910, Ida and her family had relocated to near San Jose, Santa Clara County, CA, where she earned a living as an "orchardist" on a fruit farm and lived on Lincoln Avenue. The 1920 census shows that son William worked as a farm superintendent and they lived together on North Morrison Avenue. Son Robert signed an affidavit in February 1929 in support of his grandmother's request for an increase of her Civil War pension. Son Ralph died in Butte, CA on Sept. 15, 1987.


Son Firman E. Sturtz (1873-1892) was born on Nov. 21, 1873 in Butler County, IA. Sadly, he only lived to the age of 18 years. On the fateful day of May 18, 1892, Firman lost his life in a drowning. The details have not yet been discovered. Burial was in Valley View Cemetery in Rock Valley, Sioux County, IA. [Find-a-Grave]

Son Harmon H. Sturtz (1875-1958) was born on July 25, 1875 in Butler County, IA. At the age of 24 in 1900, unmarried, he was a student in Dixon, Lee County, IL, boarding in the home of Richard and Cathryn Nagle. He is believed to have married Mary Stewart ( ? - ? ) and to have dwelled in Ferndale, WA. If so, their children were Donald Sturtz (born 1907, married Florence Boehimger). Harmon and Mary are named in the 1956 book, A History and Genealogy of Peter Eichenberg Family in the U.S.A., co-authored by Charles S. Ikenberry and William Lewis Eikenberry. Harmon died in Bellingham, Whatcom County, WA at the age of 82 on April 12, 1958.

Son Cyrus C. Sturtz (1878- ? ) was born on Feb. 18, 1878.

Daughter Elizabeth Sturtz (1888- ? ) was born on March 29, 1888.


~ Daughter Katherine Jane "Kate" (Sturtz) Moss ~

Daughter Katherine Jane "Kate" Sturtz (1847-1935) was born on on March 5, 1847 in Adams Township. Her birthplace also has been cited as "Bingham Ohio."

She was eight years old when she and her family migrated to Iowa.

On Aug. 26, 1866, at the age of 19, in nuptials held in Elm Springs, Butler County, IA, she was united in holy matrimony with Civil War veteran Jacob J. Moss (Feb. 2, 1845-1932). Rev. R. Merrill officiated. Jacob was 5 feet, 7 inches tall, and had a dark complexion, dark hair and blue/brown eyes.

Jacob was a native of Delphi, Carroll County, IN and the son of Elder Phillip Moss, a German Baptist said to have "preached the first sermon ever delivered in Butler county." The Sturtzes and Mosses were close, and Kate's sister Margaret wedded Aaron Moss.


Surgeon's sketch of the entry and exit of Jacob's Civil War wound. National Archives



Jacob's letter to the U.S. Pension Commissioner National Archives

They were the parents of a family of five known children -- Clarence Eugene Moss, Franklin Alvatus Moss, Owen Edgar Moss, Bertha Alice Powers Bronson and Dale Harrison Moss.

During the war, Jacob left his home in Illinois Springs, IA and joined the Union Army on Feb. 15, 1862. He was placed in the 21st Iowa Infantry, Company A, commanded by Capt. A.R. Jones.

He is known to have been in action on July 10-17, 1863 at Jackson, MS. That year, he received a gunshot wound. The enemy bullet entered the right arm two inches below the armpit and passed downward before exiting without causing much damage.

The following summer, Jacob contracted "sore eyes" on about July 1, 1864 from what he called "exposure and change of climate." He was treated in two different New Orleans hospitals, four weeks in one and two weeks in another.

During the months of January-February 1865, he was ill and again treated in a hospital in New Orleans. He returned to duty in March and served out the rest of his term. While at Marine Hospital in New Orleans, Jacob received an honorable discharge on June 6, 1865, having served for more than three years.

The Mosses spent the first 16 years of their marriage in Greene. They migrated in 1882 to Rock Valley, Sioux County, IA and remained for a dozen years.

In 1878, Jacob was awarded a military pension for his wartime service. [Invalid App. #246.787 - Cert. #290.083]


Katherine's obituary, 1935
National Archives

In 1893, when Katherine would have been age 47, she and Jacob decided to make a major move to the Pacific Northwest, and traveled by train to make a new home in Fairfield, Spokane County, WA. The Mosses purchased a farm and in 1905 constructed a new home. Katherine is said to have made delicious potato salad for picnics. She also enjoyed playing cards but, when preparing to play, closed the curtains so that her neighbors would not learn about her habit.

In order to continue to qualify for his military pension, Jacob was required to undergo periodic medical examinations by military surgeons. In 1897, Dr. J.R. Creighton wrote that "I examined said Jacob Moss and find gun shot wound of right arm that disables him in the use of his arm. Also the deafness of right ear so he cannot hear a watch tick further than one inch off from his ear. Also rheumatism a general chronic affecting the whole frame..."

Jacob suffered a theft in June 1910 when en route to his old home in Greene. His valise was stolen at the Union Depot in St. Paul, MN, and he lost among other valuables his pension certificate and voucher.

Jacob passed away on May 25, 1932 in Fairfield.

Katherine then began receiving her husband's monthly pension payments. [Widow App. #1.720.860 - Cert. #A-9-1-32]

She only survived for three more years. Burdened with hypertension, hardening of the arteries and heart disease, she was stricken by a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 88 and succumbed to death on Oct. 21, 1935. A printed obituary numbered her survivors as 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

After Katherine's death, the Civil War pension appears to have been transferred to one of their offspring. [XC 2.651.304]

Son Clarence Eugene Moss (1867-1939) was born on June 22 or 27, 1867 in Greene, Butler County. At the age of 11, he dwelled with his Sturtz grandparents in Greene. Eventually he relocated to Washington State, settling in Spokane. In 1890, he was united in holy matrimony with May Ruby Teller (May 2, 1872-1928), a Michigan native. They produced a daughter, Katie Moss, named after Clarence's mother. The family made a home in Rockford, WA circa 1935. At the age of 71, he passed away in Spokane on June 5, 1939.

  • Granddaughter Katie Moss ( ? -1915) died in 1915. Burial was in Fairfield Cemetery in Fairfield, Spokane County.


Owen's letter on bank stationery
National Archives

Son Franklin Alvatus "Frank" Moss (1869- ? ) was born on March 28, 1869 in Butler County, IA. He was deceased by 1935.

Son Owen Edgar Moss (1877-1952) was born on Oct. 10, 1877 in Greene, Butler County, IA. When he was five years of age, in 1882, he and his parents migrated to Rock Valley, Sioux County, IA and remained for a dozen years. Then when Owen was age 16, in 1893, he accompanied his family on a second migration to the Pacific Northwest, traveling by train to make a new home on a farm in Fairfield, Spokane County, WA. On March 20, 1902, in nuptials held in Cheney, WA, the 24-year-old Owen was joined in marriage with Minnie Gertrude Jackson (Nov. 2, 1882-1981), a native of Eau Claire, WI and the daughter of Herbert and Ada (Roberts) Jackson. They made a wedding trip "by team and wagon to the Big Bend country in Washington, where they homesteaded for a brief time before setting back in Fairfield to raise a family," wrote a granddaughter, Barbara (Moss) Wardsworth. Their three sons were Lloyd Robert Moss, Virgil Daniel Moss and Richard Owen Moss. They spent a year farming in Big Bend and then returned to Fairfield. There, Owen obtained employment as cashier with the Bank of Fairfield. He remained with the bank for 44 years. After the death of his father in 1932, Owen assisted his widowed mother in obtaining the father's Civil War pension, and is known to have written a letter on bank stationery to the Director of Pensions in Washington, DC, enclosing vital documents supporting her case. They were members of the Fairfield Presbyterian Church, with Owen also belonging to the Masons lodge, Spokane Consistory of the Shrine and Order of Eastern Star. When ill health forced Owen to retire in 1948, the couple relocated to Spokane in 1949 where they spent their final years. Their address in the early 1950s was E733 40th Street. In March 1952, the couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. Later that year, Owen passed into eternity on Aug. 3, 1952, with burial in Spokane's Fairmount Cemetery. Rev. C.C. Saunders officiated at the funeral service. An obituary was published in the Spokane Chronicle, stating that Owen "had lived in the Inland Empire 56 years" and that he was survived by nine grandchildren. He was pictured in a similar obituary in the Spokane Spokesman-Review. Minnie Gertrude survived her husband by nearly three decades. She died in 1981.


Bank of Fairfield, Washington stationery. National Archives


  • Grandson Lloyd Robert Moss married Verna Catherine Flowers. Their children were Sally Moss and Suzanne Marie Adams. They lived in Spokane in 1952. On April 21, 1962, their daughter Suzanne was joined in marriage with John Michael Adams ( ? - ? ), son of John W. Adams. The nuptials were held at the First Presbyterian Church.
  • Grandson Virgil Daniel Moss wedded Ruth Dorothy McCoy. They produced two offspring, Barbara Ruth Wardsworth and Gary Lee Moss. They established a home in Spokane. Barbara graciously has provided valuable information for this biography.
  • Grandson Richard Owen Moss was joined in wedlock with Carrie Cecelia Simons. They dwelled in Seattle in the early 1950s and were the parents of Deidra Elizabeth Groppenbacher, Owen Richard Moss, Charles David Moss, Karil Louise Rich and Karin Minerva Minch.

Daughter Bertha Alice Moss (1879- ? ) was born on Nov. 18, 1879 in Butler County, IA. She married Samuel Albert Powers ( ? - ? ). Then by 1935, she had married to (?) Bronson ? - ? ) and lived in Seattle. She married once more, by 1952, to (?) Herrick and remained in Seattle.

Son Dale Harrison Moss (1881- ? ) was born on Jan. 16, 1881 in Butler County, IA. He was joined in matrimony with Anna Elizabeth Bigeral ( ? - ? ). They dwelled in 1935 in Fairfield, WA.


~ Daughter Lydia (Sturtz) Sheets ~

Daughter Lydia Sturtz (1848-1911) was born on Sept. 11 or 13, 1848 in Adams Township.

When she was 26 years of age, on June 27, 1875, she was wedded to Levi Sheets ( ? - ? ).

They lived in Greene, Butler County.

Widowed, Lydia passed away on Jan. 17, 1911 at the age of 62.


Lone canoeist on the tranquil Crabapple Creek in Greene


~ Son Benjamin F. Sturtz ~

Son Benjamin F. Sturtz (1851-1926) was born on or about June 6, 1851 in Ohio. Circa 1880, at age 28, he was unmarried and lived at home.

On March 4, 1888, when he was 37 years of age, he married 17-year-old Matilda Ann "Mata" Bryant (July 17, 1863-1938), daughter of William J. and Mary (Maney) Bryant. Matilda was an immigrant who had been born in Rockcurry, Ireland and at the age of 17 came to America with her brother to visit a sister in New York.

The couple were farmers and produced five known daughters, Elizabeth Matilda "Lizzie" McRoberts, Maude May McDonnell, Georgia Barth, Ferne M. Barth and Dorothy Florence Rohwedderz.

Circa 1903, he ran for trustee of Dayton Township near Greene and received 62 votes in contrast with John Anderson's 71. The Sturtzes enjoyed hosting company at their home, and in July 1906, reported the Greene Recorder, "A number of our young people drove out to the farm home of Mr. and Mrs. Benj. Sturtz last Saturday evening and spent several hours in a social way. Before returning home they were served to a delicious two course supper and all were unanimous in pronouncing Miss Maud a most charming hostess."

Circa 1916, they attended a 74th birthday party for Benjamin's uncle, Aaron Moss, at his home in Greene. Stricken with cancer, Benjamin died in Greene in about 1926. Matilda survived as a widow for another 11 years and went to live under the roof of her married daughter Lizzie McRoberts in Greene. In June 1927, her brother J.H. Bryant traveled to see her from his home in Whippany, NJ. Then in August 1938, her granddaughter Lavonne McDonnell traveled from North Dakota for a visit.

Sadly, at the age of 75, Matilda died suddenly in August 1938 while in the McRoberts home. Said the Recorder in a front page story, "Her health had not been the best for many years but she had been about the house the same as usual Monday. About four o'clock that afternoon she suffered a heart attack and retired to her bed, where she seemed to be resting comfortably. The end came suddely about 11:30 and without warning to members of the family." Funeral services were held at the Presbyterian church, with R.A. Munneke officiating, and interment in the Rose Hill Cemetery. Pallbearers included Will Cheney, R.J. Pooley, Amos Kingery, D.H. Ellis, Ed Barth and Sam Swab. Among the mourners who traveled to attend the funeral were Mr. and Mrs. Elmer McRoberts and daughter Doris of LeRoy, MN; Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Heft of Marble Rock; Mr. and Mrs. Walter Anderson and Mr. and Mrs. Paul Shook of Clarksville, IA; Mr. and Mrs. Carl Iiams and children of Britt, IA; and Mr. and Mrs. John Rohwedder and four children of Waverly, IA. Opined the Recorder, "She was a kind and loving mother and will be greatly missed by the daughters and eight grandchildren...."

Daughter Elizabeth Matilda "Lizzie" Sturtz (1888-1964) was born on Dec. 14, 1888 in Rock Valley, Sioux County, IA. She was a teacher in Greene in 1910, boarding in the home of Leon Hardman. On March 14, 1911, she was united in matrimony with William J. "Will" McRoberts (Aug. 13, 1890-1959), son of Samuel J. and Mary Ann McRoberts of Powersville, IA. Theirs' was part of a double wedding ceremony with her sister Maud and Leon McDonnell. The couple were the parents of Dale McRoberts and Ruth Thompson. The McRobertses immediately settled in Rockford, IA, where they dwelled for nine years. Then in about 1920, they relocated back to Greene, where Will had obtained employment with the Buchholz and Dralle Store and where he remained for 19 years. In 1926, Lizzie attended a meeting of the McKinley Circle No. 44 of the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, a Civil War veterans organization. In March 1936, Lizzie and Will celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary at "a very happy family gathering" in their home, reported the Greene Recorder. "The honored couple received some very pretty gifts of silver and many good wishes for another 25 years of happy wedded life." Among those attending the event were Mr. and Mrs. S.J. McRoberts, Mr. and Mrs. L.L. Barth, Mr. and Mrs. Irvin McRoberts and children Harriet and Lester, and Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Crosby and their son Bobby. Circa 1939, Will apparently went into business for himself with McRoberts Implement Company. Sadly, Will suffered a series of heart attacks in May 1959 and died at the age of 68 on May [?], 1959, while a patient in Cedar Valley Hospital in Charles City. Burial was in Rose Hill Cemetery following funeral services at the First Presbyterian Church, led by Rev. G.F. Butler. Lizzie outlived her husband by five years. She died in the home of Gene Curtis in Greene at the age of 75 in February 1964. Rev. G.F. Butler officiated the funeral service in the family church. In 1959, son Dale lived in Greene and daughter Ruth, married to Max Thompson, resided in Cedar Falls, IA.

Daughter Maude May Sturtz (1890- ? ) was born in July 1890. On March 14, 1911, she married Leon (or "Vernon") McDonnell ( ? - ? ) in a double wedding ceremony with her sister Lizzie and William "Will" McRoberts. At times their name has been misspelled "McDonald." They produced two known children, Lavonne Adams and Virgil McDonnell. Circa 1912, their home was in Rollette, ND. In August 1916, Maud and her children spent two months visiting at her parents' home in Dayton Township. For several years, after Leon's death, the children Lavonne and Virgil returned to Greene to live under the roof of their aunt and uncle, Lizzie and Will McRoberts. It's possible that Maud remarried to a man named "McIntyre" but this needs to be confirmed. Then in August 1938, daughter Lavonne traveled to Greene to visit with relatives and had the rare privilege of seeing her aged grandmother just a few days before the woman died. Maud was deceased by 1966. Circa 1959, Lavonne was married to Murval Adams of Portland, OR and Virgil was stationed in Madrid, Spain. Virgil in 1964-1967 made his home in Bose, ID and eventually retired from the U.S. Air Force after 22 years of service. Virgil died of a heart attack in Bose in late February 1967.

Daughter Georgia H. Sturtz (1892- ? ) was born in January 1892. She was a school teacher near Greene. On Oct. 23, 1924, when she was age 32, she was wedded to Louis L. Barth ( ? - ? ), son of Johanna Barth of Greene. Georgia's sister, married to Lou's brother, were witnesses to the ceremony performed by Rev. C.G. Prottengeier at the Lutheran Church in Charles City. In reporting on the nuptials, the Greene Recorder said that Georgia was "a young lady of pleasing personality and was a successful teacher in the rural schools." Louis had been recently employed in managing the Farmers Elevator Company in Greene. After the wedding, they traveled to Graettinger to visit with relatives. Circa 1966, the Barths lived in Greene.

Daughter Fern Sturtz (1893- ? ) was born in August 1893. She did not marry until she was age 30. In March 1924, she and 41-year-old M.H. Barth received a marriage license in Greene. They are thought to have had a son, Glen Barth. Fern later was joined in wedlock with Carl Iiams (or "Iianes") ( ? - ? ) and relocated to Bolivar, MO.

Daughter Dorothy Florence Sturtz (1897-1966) was born on Aug. 11, 1897 in Kossuth County, IA. As a young girl, she moved with her family to Greene. At the age of 18, she suffered a brain tumor and underwent surgery in February 1915 in Iowa City, and fortunately survived. She attended Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls and went on to teach in the schools of her home region in Butler County. On Nov. 27, 1920, in nuptials held in Waterloo, IA, Dorothy was wedded to John H. Rohwedder ( ? - ? ), a native of Greene. The Rohwedders produced four offspring -- A.K. Rohwedder, Winton E. Rohwedder, Russell D. Rohwedder and Marvel Lee. The couple were farmers near Greene until 1930 when they moved to Waverly, IA. After two decades in Waverly, they relocated again in 1950 to Waterloo. Dorothy was a member of the N.F.W. Auxiliary at Waverly. As a patient in Schoitz Memorial Hospital, Dorothy died at the age of 69 on Nov. 16, 1966. An obituary in the Greene Recorder noted that funeral services were held in Waterloo at the Chapel of Memory East, officiated by Rev. L.A. Kanpfe of the Zion American Lutheran Church. Circa 1966, son A.K. lived in Memphis, TN; son Winton in Saugus, CA, son Russell in Waterloo and daughter Marvel, who had wed Philip K. Lee, in Panora, CA.


~ Daughter Elizabeth "Lizzie" (Sturtz) Ellis ~

Daughter Elizabeth "Lizzie" Sturtz (1853-1934) was born in about 1853 in Carroll County, IN.

On Oct. 22, 1871, when she was 18 years of age, she was united in wedlock with 25-year-old Lewis Ellis (1846-1908). Their nuptials were held in Charles City, Floyd County, IA.

They may not have reproduced.

In 1880, federal census records show Lewis at age 34 and Lizzie at 28 living together on a farm in Coldwater Township, Butler County, but with no children.

Circa 1907, their home was in Greene.

Lewis passed away in 1908 at the age of 62.

Elizabeth died in about 1934 and rests for eternity in Rose Hill Cemetery.


The Thorne addition of homes in Greene, early 1900s


~ Daughter Susan Ann (Sturtz) Eikenberry ~

Daughter Susan Ann Sturtz (1856-1940) was born on July 21 or 31, 1856 in Elm Springs, Butler County, IA.

At the age of 17, on March 5, 1874, she married Deacon Levi Eikenberry (Jan. 12, 1851-1894), son of Benjamin and Catherine (Moss) Eikenberry, the father said to have been one of the first settlers when the locale was known as "Elm Springs" even before Greene became incorporated as a town. The family name also has been spelled "Ikenberry" in some census records.

They made their home two miles south of Greene.

Their nine children, all daughters but one, were Myrtle Ann Eikenberry, Clara Jane Swab, Elizabeth Catharine Eikenberry, Grace Viola Bragg, Lewis Eugene Eikenberry, Stella Pearl Sproul, Effie May Eikenberry, Lavina Alice Howe and Lela Gertrude Eikenberry.

Sadly, Levi succumbed on March 2, 1894 at the age of 43. The two youngest daughters, Lavina and Lela, were underage, and a petition was filed with the local court for James E. Miller to be appointed as their legal guardian.

Susan survived her husband by many decades. In 1907, known as "Aunt Sue," her home was in Greene, IA. She died in the residence of her daughter and son in law Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Winegar in Des Moines, IA on Feb. 24, 1940. An obituary in the Greene Recorder noted that "She spent almost all of her life in Greene and vicinity, except the past six weeks when she was taken to Des Moines. She was an active member of her church and aid society." Burial was in the Dunkard Brethren Cemetery located 1.5 miles from Greene. In 1940, one of her daughters was married to Harry Howe of Greene.


Train pulls into the railroad depot in Greene


Daughter Myrtle Ann Eikenberry (1875- ? ) was born in about 1875 near Greene.

Daughter Clara Jane Eikenberry (1877-1953) was born on Oct. 21, 1877 near Greene. On March 18, 1894, in a ceremony held at the home of her parents, the 17-year-old Clara Jane was wedded to 18-year-old Samuel Swab ( ? - ? ), the son of William Swab. Rev. H. Eikenberry officiated. At the age of eight, Samuel had migrated to Greene from Lanark, IL in company with the Al Oran family, with whom he made his home until reaching the age of 16. Immediately upon their marriage, the Swabs went to live with Clara Jane's mother who only had been recently widowed within the month. Their children were Mrs. Leo Henning, Clarence Swab, Carl Swab, Charles Swab, Ray Swab, Harlan Swab and Lewis Swab. In August 1904, the local Greene Recorder newspaper reported that Sam's threshing machine had burned but the following week clarified that the "machine was saved" and that "only the straw pile burned." Clara Jane and Samuel lived on the Eikenberry and other farms for 15 years until moving into the town of Greene in about 1909. There, Samuel obtained employment with the Pooley Lumber Company, remaining with the business for 19 years. He also apparently was a substitute postal mail carrier circa 1917. The Swabs were longtime members of the Church of the Brethren in Greene, where Sam was a trustee, and both were leaders of the Willing Workers Class, holding meetings in their home and being known as "Bro. and Sister Sam Swab." In a related article about the church's Prayer and Bible Study hour in 1929, to be held at the Swab residence, the Recorder said "the prayer meeting needs you and you need the prayer meeting." Clara Jane was admitted for treatment in 1922 to the University Hospital at Iowa City, where she apparently recovered from her malady. In company with their adult children and families, the Swabs attended the annual Swab reunion in August 1928, organized as a picnic in Eldora, KS,with 60 kinsmen attending, including those from Eldora and Morrill, KS. The couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in March 1944 with an open house at their home in Greene. In reporting on the event, the Greene Recorder noted that the couple was having a family reunion and dinner, "when they expect to entertain as many of their children and their families as can come... They have 17 grandchildren, three of whom are in the armed services, and two great-grandchildren." The Mason City Globe-Gazette added that Rev. Martha H. Keller of the Brethren Church would make an address at the celebration. Clara Jane died at the age of 76 in January 1953. Rev. George Mease, pastor of the family church, officiated at the funeral service, followed by interment in Rose Hill Cemetery. An obituary was published in the Recorder. Now widowed, Sam was admitted to the Brethren Old Folks Home where he dwelled in 1954

  • Granddaughter Ethel Swab married Leo Henning. Their home in 1944 was in Glendale, CA and in 1958 in Verdago, CA.
  • Grandson Clarence Swab was married and had children including Marguerite Swab and Max Swab. They resided in Clarksville, IA in 1941 and in Greene in 1944. On Sept. 29, 1945, tragedy swept over the family when their two-year-old granddaughter, Barbara Mae Grant, was killed "by a fall from an automobile, when she was retrning with her parents to their home after she and her mother had met the husband and father, who was coming home on a furlough. The child fell from her parents' car about a mile out of Cedar Falls. The father arrived in Waterloo and was met by his wife and three children. He was to have spent a three-day furlough from Fort Riley, Kansas." By 1953, the Swabs had moved to California, making their hew home in Ionia.
  • Grandson Carl Swab (1897-1958) was born on Nov. 14, 1897 in Greene. He married Hazel Lincoln ( ? - ? ). The couple produced three sons, James "Jimmie"Swab, Lee Swab and Carl "Junior" Swab Jr. The family lived in Charles City, IA in 1926 and in Mason City, IA in the mid-1940s. Carl was co-owner of the Swab and Pete Drug Store in Greene from 1944 to 1952. Carl sold the store to Robert and Jim Mead in 1952, and the Swabs moved to Mason City, where he became employed as assistant branch manager for Allis Chalmers Manufacturing Co. Carl died in a Mason City hospital at the age of 60 on Aug. 29, 1958. Burial was in Elmwood Cemetery following funeral services at the Major Memorial Chapel, with an obituary appearing in the Greene Recorder.
  • Grandson Charles Swab lived in Burlington, IA in 1941. They relocated to Southern California where, in 1944, they dwelled in North Hollywood and in Los Angeles in 1958.
  • Grandson Ray Swab was married and had a son, Keith Swab. Their residence in 1928 was in Charles City, IA. They also migrated to Southern California and in the mid-1940s-1950s made his residence in Glendale
  • Grandson Harlan Swab was married and had a child, Merlyn Swab. In 1928, they lived in Charles City, IA. Later, they moved to Michigan and settled in the town of Mason near Lansing, MI.
  • Grandson Lewis Swab married (?) Lynch. They produced a daughter, Mary Lou Swab. They also relocated to Michigan, making their home in 1938-1944 in Detroit and in 1953 in LaPeer, MI.

Daughter Elizabeth Catharine Eikenberry (1879- ? ) was born in about 1879 near Greene.

Daughter Grace Viola Eikenberry (1880-1963) was born on Oct. 3, 1880. On April 24, 1901, when she was 20 years of age, Grace was joined in marriage with Charles R. Bragg (April 24, 1879-1950), sn of Martin and Margaret Bragg of near Greene. They were the parents of Merle Price, Margaret Merfeld, Ila Barr and Eugene Bragg. They were farmers for two decades south of Greene, until Charles "quit farming became of ill health and moved to town," said the Greene Recorder. "In 1931 they moved to Spirit Lake, where they lived for 10 years. Because of ill health, they moved back to Greene, where he remained until his death. He has suffered ill health for over 30 years." Charles passed away at the age of 71 on May 29, 1950, with the Recorder publishing an obituary. Funeral services were held in the Presbyterian Church, with Rev. G.F. Butler presiding. Grace survived her husband by a baker's dozen years. She relocated to be with her daughter Margaret Merfield in Cloquet, MN and died in a hospital there at the age of 82 on June 15, 1963. Her remains were returned to Greene to rest beside Charles in Rose Hill Cemetery, with Rev. G.F. Butler, of the Presbyterian Church, officiating.

  • Granddaughter Merle Bragg married (?) Price. In 1963, she lived in San Diego, CA.
  • Granddaughter Margaret Bragg wedded Homer Merfeld. They dwelled in Cloquet, MN.
  • Granddaughter Ila Bragg was united in marriage with Floyd Barr. In 1963, their home was in Clear Lake
  • Grandson Eugene Bragg resided in Temple City, CA in 1963

Son Lewis Eugene Eikenberry ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). Circa 1905, he was enrolled in a college in Ames, IA. He made his home in Spencer, IA in 1940-1953.

Daughter Stella Pearl Eikenberry (1886- ? ) was born in about 1886 in Greene. She was twice married. She was first united in wedlock with Charles Sproul ( ? - ? ), son of M.H. Sproul. The couple had two sons, Malcolm Sproul and Charles Sproul Jr. Sadly, by 1920, Stella was widowed and lived with her sons and widowed father-in-law near Greene. Then, on May 3, 1924, she was joined in matrimony with F. Ralph Winegar ( ? - ? ). The ceremony was held at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, IA, with Rev. Butler of the Methodist church in Greene officiating. An article about the wedding, in the Greene Recorder, reported that Stella was "president of the P.E.O. at Greene, and is very prominent in the social circles of Greene," while Ralph was "well known throughout the county." The Winegars had one known son, Phil. Ralph was employed circa 1924 as a county agricultural agent, providing education to citizens about a range of topics. They lived in Greene and then in about 1928 relocated to Mason City, IA. Ralph declared his candidacy for sheriff of Cerro Gordo County on the Republican ticket in 1936. In 1953, the Winegar home was in Des Moines. By 1963, Stella had relocated to Santa Paula, CA.

  • Grandson Malcolm Sproul graduated from Iowa State University in Ames in 1929 and obtained employment with Bell Telephone Company in Chicago.
  • Grandson Charles Sproul Jr. lived in Mason City in 1929. On May 23, 1936, he was joined in holy matrimony with Hope Ivin ( ? - ? ), daughter of G.N. Ivin of Evanston, IL. At the time, he worked as a salesman for Canners Supply Company and she with Northwestern Bell Telephone Company. The nuptials were held in the First Presbyterian Church of Evanston, IL

Daughter Effie May Eikenberry ( ? - ? ) was born in (?).

Daughter Lavina Alice Eikenberry ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She married (?) Howe. Her home in 1963 was in Charles City, IA.

Daughter Lelah Gertrude "Lelia" Eikenberry ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She never married. In 1940-1953, her home was in Des Moines. By 1963, she had migrated to the West Coast, settling in Santa Paula, CA.


~ More ~

We are grateful for records provided by Gilbert R. Gaumer of Glendale, MO (compiled 1973-1980), Paul K. Gaumer and Mary L. Shirer in the preparation of this biography.

The Gaumer and Hoyman clans are profiled in the 486-page book Some Notes, Quotes, and Quips of the Hoyman Clan and Related Lines, authored by David LeRoy Baldwin and published by Gateway Press in 1993.


Copyright 2000, 2011, 2015-2017 Mark A. Miner

Contributing their knowledge to this biography have been the late Gilbert R. Gaumer, Barbara (Moss) Wardsworth and Keith Sturts.