Category: Family History

Obituaries (3)

November 18, 1899


An old settler, Abraham Caudle, of Lincoln township, died yesterday. Mr. Caudle has been Identified with the building up of the Interests of this part of Hamilton county for nearly thirty years. He was a native of North Carolina, being pressed into the service of the south during the war of the sixties against his will. After the close of the war he emigrated to this state, settling in Hardin county, and soon after purchasing land moving to this county. By economy and honest dealing he has accumulated a goodly supply of this world’s goods, together with the respect of all who knew him. He leaves a wife, four sons and one daughter and seven grandchildren to mourn his death. The remains will be interred today.


Monday, August 26, 1940


Death Caused by Pneumonia; Resident of County Many Years.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. today at Union church in Ellsworth for James J. Caudle, 72, who died Saturday at the hospital. Death was caused by pneumonia. The Rev. A. B. Gedye, of Thompson, and the Rev. L. C. Liming, of Radcliffe, officiated, and burial was made in the Radcliffe cemetery, with Foster’s in charge. A brief service was held at the home in Ellsworth at 1:30p.m.

Born in East
James J. Caudle, son of Abram and Margaret Caudle, was born in Booneville, N. C., April 17, 1868. At the age of one year he moved with his parents to Hardin county, Iowa, locating near New Providence where they lived for seven years.

They later moved to a farm six miles northeast of Ellsworth where James grew to young manhood and attended the rural schools. When he was a boy he joined the old Lincoln Congregational church which stood on land donated by his father.

Married in 1893
He was married Dec. 21, 1893, to Miss Emma Vollenweider, and they moved to a farm near Rose Grove where they lived until five years ago, when they retired and moved to Ellsworth.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a son, three daughters, three brothers and a sister. He is survived by his wife, three sons R.L. (Bob) of Webster City; Fred of Alden and Wylie, of Ellsworth, and a daughter, Mrs. Glen Wilson, of Williams.

There are 14 grandchildren, a brother, William, of Van Meter, and a host of other relatives and friends.


Friday, November 24, 1950


Mrs. Emma Caudle, 77, wife of the late James J. Caudle, died at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Bangston Nursing home in Goldfield (Iowa) where she had been a patient the past nine days. She had been in poor health for several years.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Union church in Ellsworth, preceded by a brief service at 1:15 at the home of her son, Robert Caudle, living six and one-half-miles northeast of Ellsworth. The body will lie in state until Saturday morning at Fosters funeral home.

The Rev Nollau Harwood of Williams will officiate. Burial will be made in the Radcliffe cemetery.

Emma Lulu Vollenweider, daughter of Frederick and Eliza Vollenweider, was born April 5, 1873, in Georgetown, Wis. In July 1875 she moved with her parents to Iowa, locating at Williams where her father built and operated the first furniture store of that community. In April 1882, she moved with her parents to a farm six miles south of Williams, and she was reared and educated in the Williams community.

She was united in marriage December 21, 1893 to James J. Caudle, and the couple moved to a farm near Rose Grove where they made their home. In 1935, they retired and moved to Ellsworth, the family home since.

Mrs. Caudle was preceded in death by her husband, who died in 1940, by three daughters and one son, by her parents, two brothers and one sister. She is survived by three sons and one daughter: J. Wylie Caudle of Williams, William Fred Caudle of Ellsworth, R. L. Caudle of Ellsworth and Mrs. Glen (Lucille) Wilson of Eagle Grove. Also surviving are 19 grandchildren, three greatgrandchildren; one sister, Mrs. Eda Cole, of Berkeley, Calif.

Mrs. Caudle was a member of the Union church in Ellsworth. She was a woman of sterling character and of kind and generous nature. She had made many warm friends in the Ellsworth and Williams communities during her long residence in Hamilton county.

John & Eliza Vollenweider

Personal Info________________________________________
Father: John Godfrey Vollenweider
Born: October 22, 1842 (?)        Aarburg, Switzerland
Died: June 15, 1917 (?)              Near Williams, Iowa     Age  74
Parents (Father): John Jakob Vollenweider

Mother: Eliza J. Kaump
Born: September 29, 1848         Georgetown, Wisconsin
Died: March 14, 1896                Williams, Iowa     Age  47
Parents: Unknown

Married: Unknown

Buried: Williams Cemetery, west of Williams, Iowa.
Vollenweider family plot near the northwest corner.

Editor’s Note: In August of 1968, Uncle Willard, my grandfather’s brother-in-law, died unexpectedly. He was buried in the lower section of the Williams Cemetery. During the service, my Grandma Lou told me that if I followed the second line of gravestones from the road up the hill, I would come upon the Vollenweider plot (her grandparents). Being eleven years old, the chance to sneak away and do some exploring sounded exciting and I quickly scampered off. Five minutes later I came upon the handsome obelisk, then went back to report my triumph. Thanks to this little adventure, I have never forgotten its location.

John Vollenweider was born in the picturesque town of Aarburg, Switzerland. The records there show his date of birth as November 3, 1842 and that he was baptized on November 20. His tombstone in the U.S., however, lists October 22 as his birth date. This is probably be due to the difference between the Gregorian (or modern) calendar versus the Julian. At the time of John’s birth, they would have been twelve days apart, with the Julian lagging.

John came to American as a young boy and settled in Georgetown, Wisconsin where he met and eventually married Eliza. In 1875, the couple and their two daughters moved to Williams, Iowa where John used his cabinet making skills to open up the town’s first furniture store. The family lived upstairs on the second floor. The store burned down in the disastrous Williams fire of 1882 in which everyone had to flee in their nightclothes. The building was uninsured, resulting in a loss of $1,400. After that, the family moved out to a farm. While in Iowa, three more children came along.

Although he was a creative individual, as left-handed people sometimes are, John was not very industrious. Eliza did almost all the work from keeping house to raising a garden. Soon after she died in 1896, John and the two boys moved down to a ranch in Texas. One of their diversions was hunting deer at night. John also owned (and could play) a rare Stradivarius violin, which lamentably was lost to history. A somewhat eclectic mix of hobbies.

John later returned to Iowa, passing away in June of 1917. There is some confusion surrounding this date as well: the tombstone says June 15, but John’s granddaughter Lucille Caudle (Wilson) distinctly remembered him dying on her ninth birthday, which was a day earlier. It may be that both dates on John Vollenweider’s gravestone are incorrect.

Children of John & Eliza Vollenweider

Edna Vollenweider – Housewife
Born: UnknownDied: Unknown

Emma Lulu Vollenweider (Caudle) – Housewife
Born: April 5, 1873Died: November 22, 1950

William Vollenweider – Farmer
Born: Unknown Died: Unknown
William was the first baby born in the town of Williams, Iowa.

Ida Belle Vollenweider
Born: Unknown Died: August 12, 1878
Died as an infant.

Adolph Vollenweider – Farmer
Born: Unknown Died: Unknown

John Vollenweider

Abraham & Mary Reece

Personal Info________________________________________
Father: Abraham Reece Jr.
Born: 1782
Died: May 2, 1852          Booneville, North Carolina   Age 70
Parents: Unknown

Mother: Mary Owen
Born: January 22, 1786
Died: March 28, 1858     Age  72
Parents: Unknown

Married: 1826

Buried: Most likely somewhere near Yadkinville, North Carolina.

Abraham Reece was a rancher. Upon his death, he willed his family one feather bed, one cow and one bureau. Nothing is known about his wife Mary except that she and Abraham were opposed to their daughter Margaret marrying Abram Caudle due him being a decade younger. This displeasure did not stand in the way of love; the two were married nine months following Mary’s death.

Known Children of Abraham & Mary Reece

Margaret Reece (Caudle) – Housewife
Born: December 8, 1827Died: March 2, 1911

Jacob & Margaret Caudle

Personal Info________________________________________
Father: Jacob Abraham Caudle  “Abram”
Born: September 7, 1837     Boonesville, North Carolina
Died: November 15, 1899   Age  62
Parents: Unknown

Mother: Margaret Reece
Born: December 8, 1827     Boonesville, North Carolina
Died: March 2, 1911           Age  83
Parents: Abraham & Mary Reece

Married: December 21, 1858 for 30 years

Buried: Radcliffe Cemetery, Radcliffe, Iowa.
Caudle Family Plot next to the road, near the main gate.
Next to James & Emma Caudle.

Abram Caudle was a solidly built man who had great faith in his own judgment. Weathering the disapproval of his future in-laws, he managed to court and wed Margaret despite the fact that she was ten years his senior.

Margaret was a very short, pretty, southern lady who was once voted the “Belle of Yadkin County” (North Carolina). A little over four feet tall, she also chewed tobacco, probably a habit she picked up from her rancher father.

The death of Margaret’s mother in the spring of 1858 may have helped clear the way for the marriage of the two as they exchanged vows later that same year. Abram then assumed ownership of the Reece Plantation (from his wife’s side of the family).

It was not the best time to be starting a family in the South. A little over two years after the couple had been declared man and wife, the state of North Carolina married itself to the Confederacy. Abram and his brothers ended up fighting for the South. One surrendered and was somehow shot later in the war while the other two deserted.

According to family legend, Abram and his brother Abner became horrified by the scenes of death around them and decided to return home. Hiding behind a barricade of dead men and mules, they stole away from the scene of the fighting and eventually made their way back to the plantation. There they dug a hole under the barn and had the children take the fresh dirt out to the field so no one would be aware of the hideaway, which was used for the rest of the war whenever unwanted company appeared. There also is a story of them breathing through reeds while hiding in a pond or river.

Raising a family in the South during the Civil War involved almost unendurable hardship. All the slaves save one had left the plantation while Margaret gave birth to two boys. She was sometimes forced to cook for “visiting” soldiers, first the Confederates, then the Union. If troops were know to be in the vicinity, some of the food would be hidden by bending a sapling over, tying a ham to the end, then releasing the tree.

After the war, two more boys and a girl were added to the family. Abram and Margaret then left the South, moving to Hardin County, Iowa in 1869. Then, in 1877, relocated one county over, to a farm some six miles northeast of the town of Ellsworth. Abram donated land for the Lincoln Church there of which he was a member. The farm ended up staying in the family for over a century. A grandson, Robert Caudle, at one time farmed land that had been owned by both his grandfathers: Abram, and John Vollenweider.

Abram died just before the turn of the 19th century, having been bothered for some time by a festering ulcer in his leg.

Margaret lived to an advanced age and her good looks never left her. She finally passed away due to cancer that had started in her mouth, probably a result of her tobacco chewing. Her granddaughter Lucille Caudle (Wilson) remembered seeing Margaret standing in front of a hall mirror trying to see how the cancer was spreading.

Editors’s Note: When my “Grandma Lu” shared the above memory with me back in 1984, she was talking about a woman who had been born when John Quincy Adams was president.

Ironically, although the family survived the Civil War unscathed, two of the sons later died violent deaths as noted below.

Children of Jacob & Margaret Caudle

Abraham Reece Caudle – Minister
Born: October 20, 1859 Died: Unknown
"Reece" moved to Nebraska and married a divorced woman. 
He and his wife were later murdered by the woman’s son
from her first marriage. 

Sara J. Caudle
Born: December 20, 1860Died: December 21, 1861

Aaron Caudle – Farmer
Born: March 14, 1862Died: April 10, 1910
Aaron suffered through what we would now call a mid-life 
crisis. After becoming increasingly depressed, he finally 
shot himself in the corncrib.
It is a known fact that the number of suicides increased 
during the "end of the world" stories that circulated prior 
to Earth’s encounter with the tail of Haley’s comet in May 
of 1910. It is interesting to speculate whether this was a
contributing factor.

John Henry Caudle – Farmer, Cattleman
Born: April 28, 1864Died: May 5, 1927
John was named after John Henry Hoodsbeth, the one Negro 
who stayed and helped the family during the Civil War.

James Jackson Caudle – Farmer
Born: April 17, 1868Died: August 18, 1940

Mary Cornelia Caudle (Foster) – Housewife
Born: February 28, 1871Died: March 19, 1939

William Caudle – Farmer
Born: February 4, 1872Died: January 5, 1948

James & Emma Caudle

Personal Info________________________________________
Father: James Jackson Caudle  “Jack”, “Jim”
Born: April 17, 1868      Near Yadkinville, North Carolina
Died: August 18, 1940   Webster City, Iowa   Age  72
Parents: Jacob & Margaret Caudle

Mother: Emma Lulu Vollenweider
Born: April 5, 1873             Georgetown, Wisconsin
Died: November 22, 1950   Goldfield, Iowa   Age  77
Parents: John G. & Eliza Vollenweider

Married: December 21, 1893 for 46 years

Buried: Radcliffe Cemetery, Radcliffe, Iowa.
Caudle Family Plot next to the road, near the main gate.

Jim Caudle was a farmer and a cattleman. His handsome looks were enhanced by premature white hair. An energetic, rugged man, he would ride his horse long distances on purchasing trips. Amongst his neighbors, who called him Jack, he was regarded as somewhat of a cattle baron and eventually owned more than one thousand acres of land in Iowa and South Dakota.

Emma was a large, pleasant woman who was often sick due to a bad heart. Like most farmers’ wives in those days, she had to cook for a veritable army of children and hired hands, especially at harvest time. It was not a very comfortable life compared to today. The seed for the following spring was stored in an upstairs bedroom and it was a challenge keeping the mice away. The couple did not have a telephone until years later when they retired in town.

While courting Emma, Jim sometimes walked the few miles between their farms and on one occasion was attached by a pack of wild dogs. Had he not been carrying a walking stick to beat the animals off with, he would have been badly hurt. As it was, he escaped with jut a few bites and scratches although his clothes were torn.

Upon getting married, Jim bought the Vollenweider farm from Emma’s father and the two settled down to start a family. Sadly, none of the first three infants survived more than a couple of days. The couple’s fear of never having healthy children was finally dispelled with the arrival of James Wylie just before the turn of the century.

Life in the Caudle household could be both affectionate and chaotic. Jim would often bounce Emma, who weighed close to two hundred pounds, on one knee and his daughter Lucille on the other. The three boys were the usual rambunctious types, getting into mischief. What one brother could not think of to tease their sister Lucille with, another one would.

In 1927, in his late fifties, Jim came down with pneumonia that slowed him considerably and left him susceptible to colds. A few years after this he and Emma moved to Ellesworth, leaving the running of the farms to the sons. The oldest, known in the family as Wylie, tried to make a go of cattle farming on the South Dakota acreage for a few years, but ended up coming back to Iowa. A son-in-law, Glen Wilson, also worked a farm, which unfortunately led to some money disputes.

After attending a family reunion in the summer of 1940 (held at a place called Brigg’s Woods near Webster City), Jim came down with a cold that developed into pneumonia and passed away not long after that. His last words were “I think I ain’t gonna make it.” His daughter Lucille, who was in the room, then said the Lord’s Prayer next to his body.

Actually, Jim’s health had started to fail before the reunion. When the pictures were later developed, people were shocked at how frail he appeared. (Far left in below photo.)


Emma continued to live in town and tended a garden. She became a rather attractive woman in her later years, finally suffering a stroke and dying in a nursing home the day before Thanksgiving, 1950.

The four children who died in infancy are all buried in the Williams Cemetery. Two are on the Vollenweider lot, and the other two are nearby in the front row by the road.

Children of James & Emma Caudle

Margaret Caudle
Born/Died: March 1, 1895
Strangled on the umbilical cord during birth. 

Infant Son
Born/Died: August 23, 1896 — Stillborn.

Edna Grace Caudle
Born: January 18, 1898Died: January 20, 1898

James Wylie Caudle – Farmer, Salesman
Born: October 2, 1899Died: April 17, 1961
Wylie liked to boast that he was going to live to see three 
centuries, but only made it to two. He died at the age of 61
of a heart attack.

Ida Eliza Caudle
Born: November 12, 1902Died: January 30, 1903
Crib death.

William Frederick Caudle "Fred" – Farmer
Born: October 28, 1905Died: 1967
Fred was a good businessman. He also died when he was 61,
from cancer. On his deathbed, his sister Emma asked if 
there was anything she could do. 
Fred replied, "Sis, there's nothing you or anyone can do."

Emma Lucille Caudle (Wilson) – Housewife
Born: June 14, 1908Died: March 30, 1987

Robert Lee Caudle – Farmer
Born: May 16, 1911Died: January 19, 1992
"Uncle Bob" married Ruby Wilson, making his and sister
Lucille’s children double cousins.
Left to Right: Emma (mom), Fred, Lucille, Jim (dad), Baby Bob.
Picture was taken @1916.

Obituaries (4)

Friday, April 28, 1916

Mrs. James E. Wilson (Emily) Drops Dead

Sudden Death Occurs at Farm Home Northeast of This City at About 9 O’clock This Morning.


Leaves Husband and Six Children — Mother of Will Wilson of This City.

Mrs. James E. Wilson dropped dead while out in the yard this morning about 9 o’clock at the family farm home, the Dr. O. A. Hall place, five or six miles northeast of this city. Mrs.Wilson was the mother of Will Wilson, one of the proprietors of the Star restaurant in this city, and Mr.Wilson is a nephew of B. McCoy, who resides on west First street. The bereaved husband at once telephoned the sad news of the sudden death of his wife to the relatives here in town.

Mrs. Wilson had been ailing some of late but had not been ill in bed and her death occurred so unexpectedly that it comes with crushing force to the family and friends.

The family have resided upon the Dr. Hall farm during the past year and formerly occupied one of the H. E. Schroeder farms. They removed to this county three or four years ago from Indiana.

The deceased was 58 years of age and leaves a husband, four sons and two daughters. One daughter is still at home and the other five children are married and live elsewhere with the exception of the one son here in this city.

The funeral will be announced tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 18, 1943

Funeral Rites Held Here Sunday for Late James Wilson

The body of James E. Wilson, 87, who died at his home at 225 I Avenue Thursday, was laid to rest in the Nevada cemetery Sunday afternoon following funeral rites held at the Morfoot funeral home at 2:30, with Rev. O. E. Cooley in charge.

The prayer, scripture reading and sermon were by the minister, while Mrs. Garnet Hathaway was at the organ to accompany Mrs. Beulah Freeland who sang “Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” and”‘Face to Face.”

There were many very beautiful floral offerings testifying in their silent way of the high regard in which the deceased was held by family and friends.

Six grandsons served as casket bearers.

The following brief sketch of the long life of the deceased was read by the minister during the service, which was attended by a large group of relatives, friends and neighbors:

James Edwin Wilson was born at Doe Hill, Virginia on March 13, 1856, and departed this life at Nevada, May 14, 1943, at the age of 87 years, 2 months and 1 day.

Mr. Wilson was first married to Miss Emily E. Flesher of Doe Hill, Va., who preceded him in death 26 years ago. To this union 10 children were born of whom 4 preceded him in death. He was married a second time to Mrs. Cora McCutcheon, on April 30, 1925 and from that time until his death they have lived in Nevada, their home being 225 Avenue I, and it was there he passed away on Friday evening at 7:00 o’clock. Mr. Wilson had been in failing health for the past several years, but was able to continue to care for his lawn and garden with unfailing interest which he did to the day before he was put to bed.

He leaves behind to mourn his passing, his beloved wife and devoted children Samuel, Olive and Will of Louisville, Ill, Earl of Webster City, Kenneth of Kenosha, Wis., Electia of Rockwell, 35 grandchildren, 42 greatgrandchildren and a host of relatives and friends.

He had been a member the Methodist Church from early manhood, bringing his membership to the Nevada M E church from Virginia. He had been a faithful attendant at church until the past three years when his health begun to fail.

Relatives and friends from out of town attending the funeral were Mrs R B Rurkman and son Verlin of Louisville, Ill, Mr and Mrs Kenneth Wilson Kenosha Wis., Mr and Mrs Earl Wilson of Webster City, Mr and Mrs Myron Gorth and family, Rockwell, Mrs Hattie Wilson and sons Jame and Allen of Webster City, Mr and Mrs Willard Hoverstein and family of Blairsburg; Mrs Floyd Jarman of Des Moines; Mr and Mrs Leslie Wilson and family of Blairsburg, Mr. and Mrs. Glen Wilson and family, Mr. and Mrs Lloyd Harrell, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Wilson and Mrs. Wayne Wilson, all of Webster City, Mr. and Mrs Ralph Harmon of Blairsburg; Mr. and Mrs Harmon of Popejoy and Mrs Bob Coudell of Webster City.


Friday, April 7, 1967

Mrs. Earl E. Wilson, 81, longtime resident of Webster City, died suddenly Thursday evening at her home, 1045 Bank Street. She had been in ill health for several years.

Funeral services will be at 1:30p.m. Monday at the Foster Funeral home with the Rev. George Eddy officiating and with burial in Graceland cemetery.

Ethel Shields, daughter of John W. and Martha Shields, was born Feb 16, 1886 at Louisville, Ill. She was reared and educated in the Louisville community.

She was united in marriage March 12,1905, to Earl E. Wilson and the couple farmed in Illinois until 1913 when they moved to Iowa, locating on a farm in the Cass Center community northeast of Webster City. They resided there for 10 years, then moved to a farm near Williams where they made their home for seven years before moving to another farm near Blairsburg, their home for 10 years. The family later moved to their farm in Fremont township where they made their home four years before retiring from farming in 1944 and moved into their present home at 1045 Bank St.

She is survived by her husband, three sons and two daughters: Glen Wilson, Eagle Grove, Lesslie Wilson, Woolstock, Edwin Wilson, Webster City, Mrs. Willard (Mildred) Hoversten, Williams, and Mrs. Robert (Ruby) Caudle, Webster City; 22 grandchildren and 47 great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers and three sisters.

Mrs. Wilson was baptized in the Baptist faith in Illinois in the Little Wabash river. She was a member of the First Baptist church of this city.


Tuesday, October 12, 1971

Wilson rites on Thursday

Funeral services for Earl Wilson, 85, a longtime Webster City area resident, will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Foster Funeral home with the Rev. David Ludeker officiating and with burial in Graceland cemetery.

Mr. Wilson died yesterday at the Hamilton County hospital where he had been a patient the past week. He had been in ill health the past several years.

Edwin Earl Wilson, son of James E. and Elizabeth Fleisher Wilson, was born May 21, 1886, at Louisville, Ill., where he was reared and educated.

He was united in marriage March 12, 1905 to Ethel Shields, and the couple farmed in Illinois until 1913, when they moved to Iowa and located on a farm in the Cass Center community northeast of Webster City.

They resided there for 10 years, moving then to a farm near Williams where they made their home for seven years, then moved to a farm near Blairsburg, their home for 10 years. The family later moved to a farm in Fremont township where they lived four years before retiring from farming in 1944, moving then into Webster City to a home at 1045 Bank St.

Mrs. Wilson preceded him in death April, 1967.

He is survived by three sons and two daughters, Glen Wilson of Eagle Grove, Mrs. Willard (Mildred) Hoversten of Williams, Leslie Wilson, Woolstock, Mrs. Robert (Ruby) Caudle and Edwin Wilson, both of Webster City. Also surviving are 22 grand children, 55 great grandchildren and his stepmother, Mrs. Cora Wilson of Tulsa, Okla.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents, four sisters and four brothers

He was a member of the First Baptist church.

James & Nancy Shields

Personal Info________________________________________
Father: James Shields Sr.
Born: Around 1754            Ireland
Died: July 10, 1824                            Age  70
Parents: Unknown

Mother: Nancy (Ann) Brown
Born: November 8, 1770    Nelson (later Green) County, Kentucky
Died: August 8, 1845                         Age  74
Parents: Unknown

Married: November 17, 1787 for 36 years

Buried: Bethel Cemetery one mile north of Orangeville, Indiana.

We can only speculate as to why and when James left Ireland for America. One family source mentions him coming over when he was seven years old, but there has been no record found of his parents.

We pick up Jame’s interesting life while he was serving as a private in the Gists regiment (also known as Grayson’s) of the Virginia Continental Army during the American Revolution. The records at Richmond show him as having served three years in the infantry. A person named Thomas Bell officially attested to this so that James could be eligible for what was called a “Bounty Warrant” – a reward for his service.

On June 27, 1783, about seven weeks after Mr. Bell’s certification, James made a claim for the warrant for one hundred acres. The warrants were issued for the south side of the Green River in Nelson (later Green) County, Kentucky. Unlike other veterans who sold their claims, James moved into what was then a wilderness area, got married and settled down. Information about his early years there are sketchy, but he had begun paying taxes by 1795.

Besides sickness, the biggest danger of the Kentucky frontier of the time were the Indians. Their pressure had forced Daniel Boone in 1783 to forsake Ft. Boonesborough. Within a year or two of this, James had settled on land to the south and west of the fort. Five years later, Indians scalped some citizens in the town of Paoli nine miles to the west of James’ farm.

To protect themselves, the settlers formed what was called the “Corn Stalk” Militia of Kentucky. A reference to a Captain James Shields of the Green Country 16th Regiment, appointed by the governor, is dated May 15, 1793. Apparently, his years as a Revolutionary War soldier helped James advance in rank.

In 1814, at what was for that era the advanced age of sixty, James began yet another adventure, leaving three hundred acres in Kentucky to move to Indiana. This was a fearless man, willing to take unknown risks for new opportunities. Probably seven or eight of the children would have made the trip, the older ones having left and started their own families.

Ten years later, James passed away. The inscription on the government marker in the cemetery reads: “James Shields who fought for liberty in 1776 and died upwards of 70 years of age”. It also lists his rank in the Virginia army and date of death.

Nancy lived another twenty-one years. Upon her passing, the Shields estate was divided amongst the many children.

Editor’s Note: James Shield’s great-grandaughter, Ethel Shields, was my great-grandmother. I remember her as a very thin, serious woman. She died on my tenth birthday.

Children of James & Nancy Shields

James Shields Jr.
Born: November 11, 1788

John Shields
Born: October 12, 1790              

Nancy Shields
Born: April 15, 1792Died: April 22, 1838

Samuel Shields
Born: November 23, 1793 

Hannah Shields
Born: June 1, 1795                

Mary & Elizabeth Shields – Twins
Born: February 21, 1796 

Jacob Shields
Born: January 7, 1799           
Daniel Shields
Born: December 24, 1802Died: 1876

Henry Shields
Born: December 25, 1804

Jenny Shields
Born: September 25, 1804

Lydia B. Shields
Born: September 23, 1806

Doctor Shields
Born: April 11, 1808
Isaac Ambrose Shields
Born: May 5, 1809Died: 1903

Jane Shields
Born: December 11, 1811

David B. Shields
Born: April 21, 1816Died: September 29, 1881

David & Susan Shields

Personal Info________________________________________
Father: David B. Shields
Born: April 21, 1816           Orange County, Indiana
Died: September 29, 1881                  Age  65
Parents: James Sr. & Nancy Shields

Mother: Susannah McKnelly
Born: May 20, 1823            Virginia
Died: May 22, 1865                            Age  42
Parents: Unknown

Married: May 19, 1844 for 21 years

Buried: Old Union Cemetery east of Hord, Illinois.

According to family records, David was the youngest by five years of a huge family of nine boys and seven girls. It is unlikely the entire brood was at home the same time. The elder siblings, being well over twenty years older than David, would have long since left home to start their own lives.

David was only eight years old when his father James passed away. In settling the estate, a guardian by the name of Lewis Byrun was appointed for the boy. This shows that the family was looking out for its youngest member.

Nothing is known about David’s wife, Susannah, or how the two met. We do believe this was the only Shields family to move to Illinois. The only other information on the couple comes from records of inheritance transactions.

When David’s mother passed away, David and his wife sold their part of the estate to a Moses Mathers in August of 1846. Later in life David also received money via his uncle Ambrose Shields as part of his (David’s) share of the estate of a Daniel Shields, another uncle, who had died childless.

Children of David & Susan Shields

Elizabeth J. Shields

Mary M. Shields (McPeak)

James B. Shields

Florence M. Shields (Barnes)

John W. Shields

Sara E. Shields (Austin)

Buried in Old Union Cemetery, Hord, Illinois     

John & Martha Shields

Personal Info________________________________________
Father: John William Shields
Born: January 7, 1861         Illinois
Died: March 18, 1907         Illinois  Age 46
Parents: David B. & Susanna Shields

Mother: Martha Ann Littell  “Mattie”
Born: August 5, 1858          Illinois
Died: May 7, 1919              Iowa   Age  60
Father: Hiram Littel

Married: August 7, 1881 for 25 years

Buried: Louisville Cemetery, Louisville, Illinois.

John Shields at one time was a hotel owner. But little is known beyond that. After contracting tuberculosis, his was taken by covered wagon to Colorado in hopes that the dryer climate would help him recover. This was to no avail, and he returned to Illinois to live out his remaining days.

Sensing the end, John had a small will drawn up. Since he had already given money to his son Charles ($325) and married daughters Edith and Ethel ($170 each), no provisions were made for them. Instead, everything was left to his wife with the stipulation that the remaining son Robert ($325) and daughters Eva and Clete ($170 each) be paid out of the estate. Sixteen days later, John was dead.

Martha, a heavyset woman, assisted John in the running of the hotel in Louisville. After her husband’s death, she moved to Iowa and made a living keeping house for her son Robert. She also spent some time in Spokane, Washington with her brother.

Children of John & Martha Shields

Edith Shields (Raines) – Housewife
Born: April 10, 1882Died: July 6, 1929

Carlie Rice Shields
Born: February 22, 1884Died: October 24, 1912

Ethel Belle Shields (Wilson) – Housewife
Born: February 16, 1886Died: April 6, 1967

Robert William Shields
Born: December 12, 1888Died: March 25, 1947

Eva Onie Shields
Born: March 28, 1891Died: December 12, 1910

Clete (Cleatis) Belle Shields – Housewife
Born: September 22, 1893Died: February 22, 1952

Sam & Caroline Wilson

Personal Info________________________________________
Father: Samuel Wilson
Born: May 27, 1815               Virginia
Died: November 14, 1862                      Age  47
Parents: Unknown

Mother: Caroline McCoy
Born: July 10, 1836                Virginia
Died: January 10, 1912                          Age  75
Parents: Unknown

Married: October 10, 1854 for only 8 years

Buried: Unknown

Caroline was Samuel’s second wife. His first was Elizabeth Armstrong and they were married from October 29, 1940 until her death on July 10, 1853. Probably on the lookout for someone to help take care of the children, Samuel remarried fifteen months later.

Although Samuel was some two decades older than Caroline, he nevertheless started a second family. It is from this eight year union that the Illinois and Iowa Wilsons owe their origins. In 1862, Samuel died of undisclosed causes. Two years later, on November 24, 1864, Caroline married Townsend Price and eventually had additional children by him.

The boy and girl from Samuel and Caroline’s short marriage thus had half brothers and sisters on both sides of the family.

Caroline lived to an old age, dying probably in Virginia. Had she ever been able to visit her son James’s family in Illinois during her later years, she would have been treated to the sight of her great-grandchildren.

Children of Sam & Caroline Wilson

James Edwin Wilson – Farmer
Born: March 13, 1856Died: May 14, 1943

Mary M. Wilson
Born: May 5, 1859Died: Unknown