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St. Andrew's People (Historic), S-Z

Marriage to Miles Standish Johnson
The Chariton Democrat, 6 June 1901, Page 1Note: This was the first wedding performed in the second St. Andrew's Episcopal Church

One of the prettiest weddings which has occurred in Chariton, took place last evening, Wednesday, June 5, 1901, at five o’clock at St. Andrew’s Episcopal church. The contracting parties were Mr. Miles S. Johnson of Lewiston, Idaho, and Miss Sarah G. Swett of Des Moines, Iowa. At the appointed hour, to the strains of Lohengrin’s wedding march, executed by Mrs. Jessie M. Thayer, the bridal party entered the church. The bridesmaid, Miss Anna Skinner of Des Moines, followed by the bride leaning on the arm of her uncle, marched down the central aisle and were met at the chancel by the groom and his attendant, Mr. Will Ayres of Des Moines. Rev. Joseph A. Russell, who baptized the bride several years ago, performed the impressive ceremony and was assisted by Rev. W.V. Whitten. The beautiful ring service of the Episcopal church was used, and was gracefully conducted throughout.

The bride was given away by her uncle, Mr. Edward A. Temple. As the party left the church, Mendelssohn’s wedding march pervaded the air.

The bride was most becomingly attired in a beautiful gown of Point D’Esprit over white silk, cut demi-train, and trimmed in ruchings of white gauze ribbon and a fichu of real lace. She wore a white Gainsborough hat trimmed in white plumes, and carried a bouquet of white roses. The groom was in every sense the fitting complement to his lovely bride.

The bridesmaid was gowned in white wash chiffon trimmed in Mechlin lace, with pink sash and neck ribbon. She wore a white hat, trimmed in pink roses, and carried a bouquet of pink roses.

This was the first wedding to occur in the magnificent new Episcopal church and it was decorated most beautifully for the occasion with pink roses and palms. At 7 o’clock in the evening a grand reception was held in the Noxall club rooms, which had been tastefully decorated with cut flowers, potted plants, ribbon, and festoons of evergreen. Kromer’s orchestra of Des Moines played during the reception hours and for the dances. Dainty refreshments were served from a table decorated with pink ribbons, pink roses and white candles in cut glass candelabra.

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson left at midnight for Omaha where they expect to visit a few days with friends. From there they go to Pendleton, Oregon, thence to Riparia where they will take the boat for Lewiston, Idaho, where they will reside in the future.

The groom is a stranger to Chariton people, but is highly spoken of by those who know him as a thorough gentleman and in every way worthy of his charming bride. Mr. Johnson has made a notable success as a lawyer and it is the general verdict that in winning this last important suit he has secured the greatest triumph of his whole career. He at present fills the responsible position of county attorney at Lewiston.

The bride is well known here where she was born and resided for many years. Her mother died when she was quite small and she has since made her home with her uncle, Mr. E.A. Temple of Des Moines. She is a young lady possessing all the graces of charming young womanhood. Handsome, refined and cultured, she numbers her friends by her acquaintances.

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson start out in life equipped with the choicest of nature’s gifts and with glad hearts and willing hands. May their pathway through life be strewn with flowers and sunshine and may the most bounteous blessings both temporal and spiritual betheirs, is the wish of the Democrat and their host of friends.

Founding vestry member, June 13, 1867
By Frank D. Myers
Rollin Q. Tenney’s stay in Chariton was brief. Relatively young and unattached at 28, he was among Civil War veterans who moved west in search of opportunity once the fighting was done.

By his own account, Tenney arrived in Chariton to engage in mercantile business during August of 1866 and left after about two years, in December of 1868, for Dixon, Illinois, where he married during early 1871 and then set out for Colorado, which became his permanent home.

He left few traces behind in Lucas County other than the fact that on June 13, 1867, he joined Edward T. Edginton, Charles W. Kittredge, Harmon Heed, Smith H. Mallory and Emmet B. Woodward to form the organizing vestry of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.

Tenney also traced his lifelong involvement in the Grand Army of the Republic to Chariton and June 22, 1867, when, he said, he was mustered into the predecessor of Iseminger Post No. 18, officially chartered by the G.A.R. of Iowa during 1879.

Born March 18, 1838, in Lebanon, New Hampshire, to Andrew and Eliza “Betsy” Tenney, he had worked six years for the Vermont Central Railroad before enlisting during August of 1862 in Co. C, 15th Vermont Infantry, where he served as commissary sergeant for the regiment. Discharged honorably, he spent most of the Civil war as a civilian employee of the Union Quartermaster’s Department, in the East until after Lee’s surrender on April 9, 1865; and then in the Rio Grande valley near Brownsville, Texas, until May of 1866. He arrived in Iowa after spending a couple of months at home in New England with his family.

Tenney married Isabella Duff Robertson on Feb. 27, 1871, at Dixon, Ill., and then during June of that year set out for Colorado where the couple settled on 80 acres just northwest of Fort Collins and established a dairy farm. He is credited with importing the first Jersey dairy cattle into Colorado, planting the first sugar beets in Colorado (to feed his dairy cattle) and establishing the state’s first dairy business, Victory Dairy in Fort Collins, which manufactured butter packed into 4-pound bags.

After leaving the dairy business, he was extensively involved as a civil engineer/surveyor in development of irrigation projects in the Fort Collins region; developed a substantial livestock operation with his brother, Melvin, in the Box Elder valley; and after moving into Fort Collins in 1890 became involved in coal mining. He also was instrumental in organizing Colorado’s Grange movement and continued until death participation in G.A.R. activities.

Isabella died during 1915 at Fort Collins but Rollin survived until 1932, when he was in his 90s. Both are buried in Grandview Cemetery at Fort Collins. They were the parents of two daughters, Helen E. and Fanny.


J.W., Vestry member 1867; both among the first baptized and confirmed
in the newly organized St. Andrew's Parish
By Frank D. Myers

Joseph Wade Wilkerson may have been present at the organizational meeting of St. Andrew’s Parish on Aug. 13, 1867, when a six-member vestry was elected. He was added to that vestry on Sept. 2, 1867, perhaps as a replacement (Edward T. Edginton, by then in considerable disgrace in Lucas County, may have resigned).

On March 28, 1868, J.W. and his wife, Maria Louisa, were baptized by the Rev. Isaac P. Labagh, founding rector of St. Andrew’s, along with Margaret M. McCormick, Emmet B. Woodward and Smith H. and Annie L. Mallory.

The Rt. Rev. Henry Washington Lee, first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa, confirmed all those baptized as well as Mrs. Woodward, Laura Elizabeth, during services in the old brick Lucas County Courthouse on Thursday evening, April 2, 1868.

J.W., in his mid-30s during 1867, was a rising young Chariton attorney then in partnership with Napoleon Bonaparte Branner as Wilkerson and Branner, Attorneys at Law and Land Agents. Their office was in the courthouse, too, then Chariton’s principal public building.

Census records 1850-1860 of Jo Daviess County, Illinois, and Lucas County, Iowa, 1860-1870, show that he was born in Indiana. His parents, James and Margaret A. Wilkerson, who were farmers, brought their family west soon after J.W.’s birth and they lived briefly in Illinois and then in Scott County, Iowa, before settling down in Jo Daviess County, perhaps during 1850, the birth locations for their children given in census records suggest. His obituary (Chariton Patriot, Dec. 25, 1872) gives his birth date as Dec. 23, 1833.

J.W. had arrived in Chariton by June 11, 1860, when he was enumerated in the federal census of that year as an attorney boarding in the home of James Baker, also an attorney, and Baker’s family. His assets were modest, $200 in real estate and $200 in personal property, suggesting he had not been in the profession long. His obituary states that he had studied law in Galena, Ill., located in Jo Daviess County. James Baker may have been his first partner.

According to Wilkerson’s obituary, his health had been badly impaired at age 19 by an attack of the measles that affected his lungs. The result was tuberculosis (then called “consumption”). Because of his impaired health, he did not serve during the Civil War but continued a solo practice in Chariton. His 1867 partner, N.B. Branner, had recently returned to Chariton from service in the Confederate army. He reportedly had studied law at Dandridge in Jefferson County, Tennessee, his birthplace, prior to the war. Branner had come first to Chariton in 1853 with his father, John, who had made one of Lucas County’s first fortunes by buying up military land warrants in Tennessee and then using them to enter large tracts of land in Iowa when it opened for settlement, selling that land in turn to emigrants. John Branner had remained in Lucas County during the Civil War, but his wife, Jane Cowan Branner, had never moved from Tennessee.

J.W. married during the early 1860s, probably at Burlington, Maria Louisa Cock. Maria’s father, Oliver Cock, of Burlington, was a brother of Robert Coles, who had changed his name from “Cock” to “Coles” by act of the Iowa Legislature in 1853, the year he settled with his family in Chariton. It may have been that family connection with Lucas County that provided the opportunity for J.W. and Maria to meet.

J.W. and Maria probably had three children during the 1860s, two of whom died as infants. A badly weathered tombstone in the Chariton Cemetery marks the graves of “Our Babes,” children of J.W. and M.L. Wilkerson. The surviving child, Joseph A., was born about 1867 in Chariton, but died at age 23, on June 20, 1889, in Chariton, like his father of consumption.

Maria died at Chariton in the late 1860s “suddenly of heart disease,” according to J.W’s obituary. Although her death is cited in published accounts as the first in St. Andrew’s Parish, no year is cited. Her body was taken to Aspen Grove Cemetery in Burlington for burial beside her father, who had died in 1861.

When the 1870 census was taken on Sept. 1 of that year, the widowed J.W. and his son, age 3, were living with several of his siblings, perhaps on the farm adjoining Chariton to the east called Cottage Grove that he and Maria had developed into something of a showplace. Those siblings were his sister, Maria (actually, Emeriah), age 26; and brothers John V., 24, Eugene, 22, and Willard, 17. Although all of the younger Wilkerson males were enumerated as farmers, Eugene had studied law, too, and reportedly practiced with his brother for a time.

Although J.W.’s assets had increased substantially between 1860 and 1870 ($12,000 in real estate and $10,500 in personal property according to the census entry) his health had declined. He attempted to recover in California during 1872, but returned home in the fall of that year and died in Chariton on Dec. 23, 1872. After funeral services in Chariton, his body was taken to Burlington by train and buried in Aspen Grove beside Maria.

Joseph A. Wilkerson, age 5 at the time of his father’s death, was raised in Chariton by his aunt, Emeriah, who never married and remained a Lucas County resident until after 1900 when she moved to California. Although his health apparently had been impaired since childhood, Joseph A. was working as a printer by the time of his death in 1889.

During 1887-1888, Joseph sought relief in California and in the mountains of Arizona Territory and thought for a time that he had found it, but the remission was temporary and he returned to Chariton, where he died.

The Chariton Patriot of June 26, 1889, characterizes him thus: “His natural intellectual endowments were of high order, and with adequate health would have gained him distinguished position. His sense of humor was quick and incisive, and he perceived intuitively the weakness and shams of human nature. He had a wise head for one so young and many a quiet smile will come at the memory of his quaint and pungent wit.”

Lucas County death records show that Joseph was buried in the Chariton Cemetery, most likely beside his infant siblings.

The Chariton Leader, Thursday, 25 June 1908

Daisy Hougland, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. O.A. Hougland, was born in Chariton, July 3, 1882, and died at the home of her parents, Thursday morning, June 18,1908, at 5 o'clock, after an illness of several months with lung trouble.

She was united in marriage to George Wishart, in January, 1906. She was a member of the High School graduating class of 1900. She was a member of St. Andrews Episcopal Church, being confirmed under Rev. Whitten, who conducted funeral services at the church Sunday afternoon, at 3 o'clock, assisted by Rev. Hakes, pastor of the church, and the remains interred in the Chariton Cemetery. The sorrowing relatives have the sympathy of the community in their sad bereavement.

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