Saturday, March 1, 2014

52 Ancestors - #9 Isaac Harry - After the Civil War and His Later Years

(From Great Aunts Veron Mitchell Holden and Gwendolyn Mitchell Wiggins and Cousin Bonnie.)

After the war Isaac remained in Ohio for two years until he moved to Knox County, Missouri with his brother Thomas where they were partners in their own blacksmith business. Isaac sold out to his brother and bought a farm near Hedge City, Missouri where he took as his bride, Catharine Lea Bishop. They were married on November 30, 1870 at the home of her parents, Dr. William and Eunice (Pitzer) Bishop in Knox City, Missouri. Kate, as she was known, was born December 25, 1847 in Payson, Adams County, Illinois. Their first three children were born at this farm – Effie Luella, Cora Estella and Dunie Orella (she later changed her name to Dunie Belle.) Soon after their marriage Isaac converted to the Methodist church of which he was a faithful member until death.
They later sold the farm and bought another one nearer to Knox City (Bee Ridge Community) which was the birthplace of their only son, William Franklin. They lived in this area of Missouri for 18 years.

November 1, 1884, the family left Knox County, Missouri in a covered wagon, drawn by two draft mares and lead horse, will all their belongings, traveling due south 300 miles to Licking, Missouri. They camped each night, and every morning enough biscuits were baked on the handmade portable cook stoves to last the family the entire day. The biscuits were first put on top of the stove to brown the bottom part, and then put underneath to brown the top. The heat came up from a previously prepared mound of hot coals.

They crossed the Missouri River on a steamboat, family, dog, horses, wagon and all. When they arrived at the Osage River they had to cross by raft. Whether the dog did not like this means of transportation or what, the family never knew, but the dog finished the rest of the trip across the river by swimming!

They purchased a 204 acre farm in Texas County, Missouri near Licking. The Harry’s lived with the family in two rooms for three months until the other family could move. The first thing that Isaac did was dig a well as the previous family had carried all their water from a well in the field for years. Isaac and Effie’s fifth and last child Francis Elizabeth was born in May 1885. In 1891, they built a large new two story home.

                                               Taken from Texas County Heritage, Vol  I
                                          First row- Frances, Catharine, Isaac and William
                                            Second row (standing)- Effie, Cora and Dunie

On May 21, 1915, Harry’s wife Catharine died. In 1917 his son William and wife moved in with Isaac and eventually took over the farm.  For twenty-three winters, Isaac sought relief from the pain of rheumatism by traveling to Florida to escape the hard cold winters of Missouri. Other than that he was in excellent health, his voice strong and his vision good up to the time of his death. His family found him to be patient, thoughtful and kind. He was always considered an outstanding citizen, a Christian Gentleman and a man who held the respect and esteem of all who knew him. Conversations with him were both entertaining and instructive.

He was a very active member of the GAR (The Grand Army of the Republic) holding state and national offices and traveled the country to attend the National Encampment meeting until his death. The GAR was made up of Union veterans of the Civil War and was founded in 1866 in Decatur, Illinois and it was dissolved in 1956 when the last member died.

On the Farm Circa 1933 Issac Harry 90, Isaac's Children-Effie 61, Cora 59, Dunie 56 and William 50

Isaac become seriously sick on April 20th, was then better for a few days, and then gradually grew worse until the end came to an honorable and useful life. His last words were “I am 101 years old and I want to go home.” Isaac Harry died May 17, 1944 and is buried beside his wife at the Boone Creek Cemetery near his home in Licking, Missouri. His funeral services were at the Boone Creek Church in the presence of one of the largest groups ever assembled there. He was dressed in the uniform of the Union Army – a splendid looking old soldier even in death.

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