Linn County Obituaries

  • ALLENSWORTH, John Thomas
    Contributed by, Kathleen Weatherwax
    Obituary, newspaper and publication date unknown.
    (YEAR: 1934)
    John Thomas Allensworth, 83, died at 6:00 p.m. yesterday at his home, 326 State Street, of a complication of diseases incident to advanced age. He had been bedfast for six weeks, but previously had enjoyed reasonably good health.
    He was born March 23, 1851 in Center Point, Iowa, and had lived there all of his life except the last five years, during which time he had lived in Waterloo. He was a member of the Linden Episcopal Church. He was twice married. His first wife, Mrs. Frohm Allensworth, died 45 years ago at Center Point. To this union were born five daughters, of whom Mrs. Daisy Heins, Center Point; Mrs. Clara Brown, Lancaster, Arkansas; and Mrs. Retta Fee, Seattle Washington, survive. Two daughters, Miss Laura Allensworth and Mrs. Samantha Shafer, preceded their father and mother in death.
    He again was married to Miss Ora Lindsey, at Center Point. Later they were divorced. To the union were born a son, Addis Allensworth, 326 State Street, and six daughters. Surviving are the son and Mrs. Jessie Flake, Chicago, Illinois; Mrs. Zona Hixon, Shellsburg, Iowa; Mrs. Zelma Weatherwax, Shellsburg; Miss Rosa Allensworth, Chicago, and Mrs. Maude Dalton, Gary Indiana. A daughter Opal Allensworth preceded her father in death.
    Twenty-nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren also survive. Burial will be at Center Point, after a brief service at the Hileman & Gindt Chapel in Waterloo. Setting of time of service awaits arrival of relatives.

  • LINSEY,Ora Marie
    Contributed by, Kathleen Weatherwax
    newspaper and publication date unknown)
    YEAR: 1944 - Obituary of Ora Marie Lindsey:
    Mrs. Emil Back Died Sunday at Her Home Near Shellsburg:
    Funeral Services for Mrs. Emil Back, who passes away Sunday, December 24th, at her home near Shellsburg, were held Wednesday afternoon at the Sarchett funeral Home in Center Point, with Rev. Lloyd Z. Patton, pastor of the Christian Church officiating. Mrs. Jack Ashlock and L.J. Dennis, accompanied by Mrs. William Bull, sang "In the Garden: and Beautiful Isle of Somewhere". Internment in Center Point Cemetery is being delayed pending arrival of a daughter from Mississippi. The following like sketch was read at the funeral:
    Ora Marie Back, daughter of Oscar and Jane (Lisk) Lindsey, was born near Center Point, June 28, 1883, and departed this life from her home near Shellsburg at 4 p.m. December 24, 1944, at the age of 61 years, 5 months, and 26 days. In 1896 she was united in marriage to John Allensworth, and seven children were born to this union. On February 20, 1922, she became the wife of Emil Back. Mrs. Back spend her lifetime in the vicinity of Center Point and Shellsburg. About five years ago she became a member of the Oak Grove Christian Church.
    Surviving to mourn her passing are, her husband; a son, Addis Allensworth of Waterloo, Iowa; five daughters -- Jessie Flake of Chicago; Zona Hixon of Shellsburg, Iowa; Zelma Fee in Mississippi; Maude Dalton of Gary, Indiana; and Rosie Allensworth of Shellsburg; five brothers, one sister, twelve grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. To these are added the many other relatives and friends who join the sorrow of the passing of a loved one and friend.
    Contributed by, Susan Cranston Biographical Record of Linn Co. Iowa, S.J. Clarke Publishing Company 1901
    In proportion to its population, Linn county has within its borders as large a number of prominent business and professional men as any county in the state, and among the representative business men none stand higher in the estimation of the public than the subject of this sketch, who is the manager and proprietor of the T. J. Davis Lumber Co., and vice president of the Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Marion. He was born in York County, Main, July 26, 1864, and is the son of Albion K. and Octavia (Challis) Davis, both of whom were natives of the same state.
    The subject of this sketch was the youngest of two children, and in the public schools of Marion received his education. Leaving school at the age of sixteen years, he went into the First National Bank of the late R. D. Stevens, in the spring of 1881, and there remained six years, serving in various capacities, and getting a thorough knowledge of the banking business. From the bank he went into the grocery business with W. J. Collar, and under the firm name of Collar & Davis the business was continued for two years. Selling his interest in the grocery store, Mr. Davis then embarked in the lumber trade as a member of the Elliott & Davis Lumber Co., his partner being Johnston Elliott, his father-in-law. That business relation was continued for five years when Mr. Elliott sold his interest and Mr. Fulkerson became a partner, and the business was continued under the firm name of the Davis & Fulkerson Lumber Co. Three years later Mr. Fulkerson retired and Mr. Davis became sole proprietor, the business being continued under the name of the T. J. Davis Lumber Co.
    In 1894, the Farmers and Merchants Bank was organized, Mr. Davis being one of the principal men in its formation. For two years he gave much of his time to the active management of the bank, and is now serving as vice-president. He is the largest stockholder in the bank, which is one of the best in Linn County. At the time the bank was organized a Building and Loan Association was also incorporated, and for the first two years Mr. Davis was its president, since which time he has served as treasurer. He is also treasurer of the local telephone company, which has been in existence for three years.
    On the 14th of December 1887, Mr. Davis was united in marriage with Miss Nellie Elliott, and daughter of Johnston Elliott, Jr., and by this union four children have been born - Laverna E., aged twelve, Esther P., aged ten, Priscilla M., aged seven, and J. Elliott, aged one. The parents are members of the Congregational church, in which Mr. Davis has served at different times in various official positions.
    Fraternally Mr. Davis is a Mason of high degree, and is now serving as worshipful master of the blue lodge, of Marion. He has at different times served his lodge as delegate to the Grand Lodge of the state and is now a member of the Finance Committee, of the Grand Lodge. Since its organization in 1894, he has been secretary of the Masonic Temple Association. He is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
    Mr. Davis is a very busy man, enterprising in the highest degree. While his lumber interests requires the greater part of his time he gives much attention to the real estate business in which he is quite extensively interested, and also to the banking business. As administrator of the estate of Johnston Elliott, Jr., he has had much labor to perform. No man in Marion has done more for its business and commercial interests in the past twenty years than Mr. Davis. No enterprise calculated to advance the interest of his adopted city and county but finds in him a steadfast friend. His pluck, push and energy has brought him to the front in business circles, and his friends are numerous throughout Linn and adjoining counties.
    Contributed by, Susan Cranston
    Biographical Record of Linn Co. Iowa, S.J. Clarke Publishing Company 1901
    This gentleman, who is now spending the closing years of a long and useful life free from business cares at his pleasant home in Marion, was for over thirty years prominently identified with railroad contracting, and was also engaged in mercantile pursuits in Marion for a time, but is now living retired. He was born in York county, Maine, on the 30th of July 1829, and is a son of Thomas and Mary (Durgin) Davis, both natives of Newfield, of that state. Throughout life the father followed the occupation of farming and continued to make his home in the old Pine Tree state until called to his final rest in August, 1852, at the age of fifty-two years and five months. He was widely and favorably known and was a worthy representative of an old Maine family. His grandfather, Daniel Davis, served as a private in the Revolutionary war for several years. The mother of our subject died at the home of her son Thomas M. in Missouri, in 1871, at the age of sixty-five years. Of the ten children of the family our subject is second in order of birth. The others who are still living are Thomas M., of Missouri; and Osborn, of the state of Washington.
    During his early life A. K. Davis pursued his studies in the district schools of Maine, and aided in the work of the farm until after reaching manhood. Coming west in 1856, he located on a farm in Clinton county, Iowa, which he operated for several years. At the same time he also engaged in railroad construction in Illinois, and later rented his farm and gave his entire time and attention to the latter business. He helped build the Chicago & Northwestern road; the Sioux City road in 1867; and in 1870 built the first thirty miles of the Sabula, Ackley & Dakota Railroad, now a part of the St. Paul system. Later in 1870 he built the first ten miles of the Iowa Midland, from Clinton to Lyons; and a part of the road from Ottowa to Hedrick in 1882, employing many operatives. In 1887 he built a part of the branch of the B. & M. road in Cheyenne and Rawlins counties, Kansas, but since then has largely lived retired. In 1875 he removed to Marion and has since made this place his home. He first engaged in the hardware business, in which he continued for four years, when he sold out, and has practically since lived retired.
    Mr. Davis was married in 1857, the lady of his choice being Miss Octavia Challis also a native of York county, Maine, and a daughter of Sumner and Susan Challis life-long residents of that state. The father, who was a farmer and miller by occupation, died in 1871, aged sixty-four years, and the mother passed away in 1895, aged ninety-seven. They had seven children, of whom only two now survive, these being Mrs. Davis and Albion, a resident of Maine. Mr. and Mrs. Davis have two children: Arethusa S., at home; and Tuillar J., a sketch of whom appears on another page of this volume.
    Mr. Davis is a prominent Mason, having taken the thirty-second degree and his wife holds membership in the Congregational church. His active business life shows him to have been a man of enterprise and public spirit, and as a pioneer railroad builder he materially aided in opening up a large amount of territory for civilization. After a well-spent and useful life he can well afford to lay aside all business cares and enjoy the fruits of former toil, surrounded by a loving family and a large circle of friends and acquaintances who appreciate his sterling worth.

  • BIGGER,Frances (Akers)
    Contributed by, Irene Wright
    MARION PILOT-March 10, 1904
    Mrs Frances Bigger
    Frances Akers was born, Sept 13, 1823, in Fayette county, Pennsylvania. When she was ten years old, her parents moved to Morgantown, Monongaliala county, Virginia. (THey have Monongalilia spelled wrong as it should be Monogalia.) In 1840 she was married to James K. Runner. Two children were born to this marriage, Mrs. Mary L. McKee, Saulsbery, Missouri.
    (Saulsbery is also spelled wrong as it should be Salisbury) and Elizabeth T. White, Shenandoah, Iowa. Her husband died July 10, 1845. In 1845 she came with her parent's to Iowa. In 1847 she was married to Joseph W. Bigger. To them were born seven children, J.H. Bigger, of David City, Nebraska, Julia Howard, deceased 1898, J.0. Bigger, Alice Secrist of Marion, Iowa, Laura who died in infancy, J.E. Bigger and Addie, who died in infancy. Her husband died in 1875.
    In 1859, during a great revival that swept this whole community, she, with her husband was converted, and joined the M. E. church and joined this church of Marion. She had been continously a member of this church for forty- five years. She came to this country when it was new, as the dates will show; but this home was a model one in every way, and a great civilizer-the kind of a home that had the greatest influence for all coming time. It was a most hospitable house she always had- one that could not be forgotten. It seemed to be the great delight to as many as possible. To make children happy was her pleasure, and especially if the children did not have much at home. or if her home was blessed with more bounties or fruits than others in that pioneer time. It was never any cross for a child to go on an errand to this true mother's house. She specially delighted in those good old-fashioned visits, when a whole day was considered well spent in just visiting.
    Mrs Bigger was always cheerful. A smile was the readiest thing to come upon her face, and was perfectly at home there. She never smiled a smile she did not mean. It made no difference what the trial or the trouble, that bright cheerful way was never at a distance. She dissipated the clouds by her sunny face.
    The deceased was a natural nurse. In those pioneer times, there was nobody professional that took care of the sick. To comfort, sooth and often to cure was her skill. All the homely remedies that did so much in their day, were perfectly familiar to her. Her kindness of heart knew no end in such work. How many she helped in trouble or sickness and laid out for burial, the Great Accountant only knows.
    Mrs. Bigger was a loyal friend. Once a friend always a friend, was her motto. It was the hardest thing in the world for her to believe any evil report of her friends. And if they did go somewhat astray, she did not shun them. Many a person has been helped back to self respect by her unwavering friendship. Nobody thought of the departed as being aged. She did not look nor act old. With her daughters, she was always more of a companion than a parent. She did not assume those dignities of years that put her at a distance from those much younger.
    Mrs. Bigger was a most devout christian. The book was her constant companion. In her latter years, shut in by infirmities, she knew HIS WORD. She lived nearly 81 beautiful years, a true mother, a reliable friend. A devout christian has passed away; blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.
    Marion Republican, Monday, February 29, 1904.
    The unexpected death of Mrs Frances Bigger at her home, two miles southeast of town, occurred Friday. She was a Linn county pioneer, and passed away in the home where she had lived more tha a half a century. She was the mother fo Mrs. Alice Secrest of this city. She was a splendid woman and she will be missed and mourned by a large circle of friends. The funeal services were held in the Marion Methodist church, Sunday at 2 p.m., February 29, 1904.
    There was a very large attendance at the funeral services of the late Mrs. Frances Bigger which were held in the Methodist church yesterday at 2 p.m. She was a splendid woman. 28 February-1904

  • COBURN, Herbert Walter
    Contributed by, Lori J Mentzel
    Cedar Rapids newspaper, 3-31-1904
    Herbert Walter Coburn died this morning at his home here, 1304 C Avenue.
    He was born in 1876 in Kingwood, WV, and moved to Cedar Rapids 20 years ago. For 9 years he was working at a railroad . Bereaved by his death are a wife and infant, 2 sisters Mrs. O. L. Springer of Ottawa, KS, and Mrs. Hattie B. Metzger of Los Angeles, CA.
    Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.
    Copyright (c) 2001 by Sandra Sanchez

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