LETTERS by DIDAMA SELLERS FRY BROWN
HARSHMAN FAMILY = Boone Co., Ia
This township dates its organization from September 6, 1858, by Samuel WOOD, under order of County Judge D.E. BRAINARD. The first election was held at Samuel WOOD's house, the second Tuesday of October, 1858, when Mr. WOOD was duly elected Clerk and Assessor of the newly constituted civil township.
The first settler was Thomas DOBSON, who came with his family about 1849, and settled on section 24. Later he removed to Crawford County, Iowa, where he died. The first marriage was that of Alonzo HUNT to Miss Margaret DOBSON, early in the 50's. The first school was taught in 1857, at Samuel WOOD's cabin, by Mrs. Howard S. SMITH. Mrs. Thomas SELLERS was the first adult to die within the township. She was buried on section 14, in a neighborhood cemetery.
The first postal facilities had in this part of the county was in 1864, when Unionburgh post-office was established. H.S. SMITH was made first postmaster, the office being kept on section 23-78-42. He was succeeded by William SMITH; he by William BROWN, and he by Samuel WOOD. Mr. BROWN, who operated a store at that point, was in debt to Mr. WOOD, who acted as his assistant postmaster, and Mr. WOOD had to take the stock of goods to secure himself, and he finally was released from post-office duties in the following summer: he took the office from BROWN, but through some neglect on the latter's part, WOOD was not recognized as assistant. At the time the Hon. D.M. HARRIS of Missouri Valley, who had control of this class of post-offices, wrote Mr. WOOD as follows: "I am a Democrat and you are a Republican. I have been acquainted with you for thirty years, and if there is anything in it an old settler should have it." To this Mr. WOOD made answer: "Regarding politics, my first wife's name was Mary, but for short we called her 'Polly,' consequently my polly-ticks are nine - seven girls and two boys." He never heard from HARRIS afterward, and in a short time was appointed, but got rid of the responsibility of his office in 1888.
The present(1891) postmaster is H.B. PECKENPAUGH. Mail is received 3 times per week, from a stage route running from Persia. At this point, Unionburgh, a store was started in 1884, by William BROWN, who built on Mr. WOOD's land. Brown continued about two years. Herman MENDAL had furnished the money on which to operate the store, and he finally sold to Samueal WOOD, BROWN failing in his business undertakings. WOOD ran the store and post-office about two years, and closed out his stock. He erected a dance hall a year after the store was built, and the same is now used for public gatherings.
Valley View post-office was located in 1870, on section 2, with Manning ALLEE as postmaster. He handled a few goods for the "Grange" (a farmer's society which sought to do away with all middlemen or tradesmen.) He was succeeded, both in business and in the post-office, by William CHAPMAN, whose wife attended to the duties of the post-office. Next came Charles KEMMISH; then Claud DAY, who gave way to Joseph SHIELDS. Next came Mr. GRIFFIN, from whose hands the office passed to James JEFFRIES. A man named GROSSGENE held it awhile, and on account of Persia, the railroad town, springing up, the office was abolished.
Union Grove, in the eastern-central part of the township, was named in the following manner: It was an old-time custom, both East and West, when a barn was to be "raised" for the boss carpenter to go to the ridge pole, and while on the highest point to give a name to the barn, after which he would throw a jug or bottle of whiskey down to the assembled workmen. When pioneer Thomas DOBSON's log house was erected, in the fall of 1850, on the suggestion of DOBSON, who said he had never lived in a community where such unity prevailed as here, Samuel WOOD mounted to the top of the house and being minus the whiskey, he threw a gourd full of nails with all the stength he possessed, at the same instant crying aloud Unoin Grove.
EDUCATIONAL AND RELIGIOUS
The pioneer school of Union Township has usually been credited to La Grange Township, however, in the winter of 1851-52, James B MCCURLEY taught a term of school in an old Morman cabin, located on section 6 of Union Township. The next was the one held at Samuel WOOD's residence, on section 23. It was a subscription school, taught by Mrs. Howard S SMITH, in 1857. As times changed and more settlers came in, good school buildings were finally provided. At present(1891), there are nine schoolhouses, the Iowa regulation number, one for each two miles. The present enrollment of pupils is about 235, while the estimated value of schoolhouse property is $5,245.
The early settlers who worshipped had to go to Harris Grove or Reeder's Mill, where the Methodist people had early services, the first in Harrison County. In 1891 a neat frame edifice was erected on section 5, costing $1,480. It is 26x44 feet. Preaching is had every other Sabbath, by the Logan pastor. This society is known as the "Bethel Methodist Church." Its present membership is 50. The Harris Grove Class built a good frame building in 1890, costing $1,200. Ed E ERWIN is the Leader of this class.
1860 HARRISON CO, IA
ALFRED SELLERS 36 OH
ELIZ 37 OH
SALEM 16 OH
ELIZ 14 OH
AMANDA 8 MO
AMERICA J. 1 IA
ALLEN D. SELLERS 27 IN
SARAH J 24 OH
SAMANTHA J. 4 IA
WM A. 2 IA
MARY A. 2 IA
THOMAS SELLERS 59 KY
MARY 66 NY
GEO W. 28 IN
Jed W Smith Jefferson, Harrison, IA 21 1838 Illinois Male
Mary Smith Jefferson, Harrison, IA 18 1841 Ohio Female (SELLERS, per Joyce Smithemail@example.com
William E Smith Jefferson, Harrison, IA 10.12 Iowa Male
THOMAS SELLERS 69 KY, #27 UNION TWN
LOVICE 66 MASS
EDWARD HILDERTH 6M IA
ORSAM HILDRETH 24 IL,#26
CELISHA 20, IA
ROSA 3F IA
SELY 1F IA
JOSEPH HAZARD 34 NY, #28 UNION
NANCY J. 33 PA
kids born Wisc, Ia, Neb, Ia
EVAN W. PARKER 26 IL, #29 UNION
ELIZ 25 OH
HATTIE? 8/12F IA
JANE SELLERS 11F IA?
SALEM SELLERS 24 OH, #30
VALECIE? 24F IL
FRANCES 5F IA
ALFRETTA 2F IA
GEO W. PACKAPAUGH 30 IN
SAMUEL WOOD 54 OH, #21
NANCY A.E. 44 TN
ALLEN SELLERS 36 IN, PAGE 93, ST JOHN TWN
SARAH 35 OH
SAMANTHA J. 14 IA
WM 13 IA
SOLOMON 10 NE
EMMA 8 NE
LEVI? 7M CO
DIDAMA 3 IA
JOSEPH L. 3/12 IA
George A Smith Union, Harrison, IA abt 1866 Iowa White Male
Henry A Smith Union, Harrison, IA abt 1862 Iowa White Male
Ida W Smith Union, Harrison, IA abt 1839 Pennsylvania White Female (JETS W/N? can't read sex, Farmer, land
Isaacs Smith Union, Harrison, IA abt 1866 Iowa White Male
Lucy A Smith Union, Harrison, IA abt 1868 Iowa White Female
Phebe Smith Union, Harrison, IA abt 1844 Canada West White Female
Wm H Smith Union, Harrison, IA abt 1860 Iowa White Male (is this Mary Sellers Smiths son? msh)
SALEM SELLERS 34 OH, UNION TWN#40
F.VIRGINIA 34 IL
RANNIE A. 14F IA
ALFARETTA 11F IA
JESSIE L. 9M IA
CHAS A. 7M IA
SALEM A. 4 IA
MARY M. 9/12 IA
SOLOMAN SELLERS 20 NE living with*check Ottawa
D.KEMMISH? 33 ENGLAND
NETTIE MAY 24 PA
and kids IA
Allen D. Sellers and Sara Jane Coon were divorced about 1872.
his land and we believe went to Oklahoma. Sara took her youngest and
oldest children and went west. She evidentally left my great-great grandmother
Didama Sellers behind. If anyone has any information about this, it would
be greatly appreciated.
"Joseph Burton" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
CLARKSON DUNN, PAGE 357 EAGLE
FERRELL, HENRY, JAMES DUNN,
4-12-1817 Clermont Co = Jacob SELLERS married Deborah DUNN
2-18-1820 Brown Co, = Peter SELLERS married Mary CURTIS
10-15-1819 Brown Co = Thomas SELLERS married Diadema CURTIS
SELLA Susan Woods, John 10-12-1833 Brown
SELLERS Augusta Mann, Oliver P. 1-26-1862 Brown
I still haven't found evidence of Allen Davenport's (Thomas
Sellers' son) birth in Crawford County, IN, but I did read that their
records were destroyed by a flood. According to a biography of Alfred
Sellers in Harrison County, IA, Alfred traveled with his uncle, who I
believe was Thomas. The biography also states:
"Of his earlier life, it should be said that he was born in Ohio,
the son of Peter and Mary SELLERS, who were natives of Pennsylvania and New
York respectively. They were the parents of two sons -- William (deceased)
and Alfred, our subject.
Mr. SELLERS, of whom this sketch is written, was united in marriage
the month of June, 1841, to Betsy Ann KINNET, daughter of Thomas and
Elizabeth KENNET, by whom five children were born -- Mary, Salem
(deceased), Elizabeth, Amanda, and Jane.
After nearly a quarter of a century of married life, Mr. SELLERS
of his wife, who died about 1864, and three years later, married Matilda,
daughter of Henry and Frances PECKENPAUGH, who were natives of Indiana, and
had a family of eleven children in the following order -- Justice, Stephen,
Lewis (deceased), May (deceased), Harvey, Thomas (deceased), Didama
(deceased), George, Matilda, Parker, and Virginia.
By Mr. SELLERS' second marriage, six children have been born -- Emma,
February 8, 1878; Annie, April 7, 1869; William, July 1, 1870, deceased;
Mary, August 7, 1873, deceased; Lovinia, September 21, 1874, deceased; and
Rosy, May 19, 1877.
Mr. SELLERS' second wife had been previously married and by such
two children -- Leona, born October 10, 1860, and Edora, January 17, 1862.
Source: 1891 Harrison County Iowa History, pp. 458.
Family Researcher: N/A "
The history of Harrison County states that "Mrs. Thomas SELLERS was
first adult to die within the township. She was buried on section 14, in a
Still haven't pinned down Thomas's parents, but now I think it's
that one of his brothers was Peter.
While looking for Curtis information, I found this great site at:
It helps answer the Sellers men and Curtis ladies connection.
"Joseph Burton" <email@example.com>
I recently received this information from Jim Shaw, a descendent
Davenport Sellers and Sarah Jane Coon's son William Allen Sellers:
This afternoon, I visited a man named Steve THOMSON, in Orem, Utah,
descends from Joseph Lehi SELLERS, through his daughter Elizabeth
JOHNSON, and through her daughter, Lucy (I think). I was referred to him
by Belva LOCHER. He has the standard SELLERS family group sheets, a number of
pictures of his mother's and grandmother's families, and a short narrative
written by either his mother or grandmother about their families. Among
items in the Books of Remembrance, I found a copy of the divorce decree
issued by Utah County to Sarah Jane Coon SELLERS. It looks to be the
original copy issued to Sarah Jane from the Probate Court, due to its
yellowing and delicate condition. I made a copy of it, and its
transcription follows. I will try to get a copy of the divorce file from
In the Probate Court of Utah County, Utah Territory
Sarah Jane SELLERS, Plaintiff
vs Decree in Divorce
Allen D. SELLERS, Defendant
This cause coming on regularly to be heard upon the complaint of
Plaintiff the affidavit of defendant's absence from the Territory, the
affidavit of Publication of summons, the affidavit of mailing the said
summons within the time thereof and the evidence of said Plaintiff free
all legal exceptions being fully heard and considered by the court.
The Court finds that the allegations set forth in the complaint are
that the parties herein were legally married in Harrison County state of
Iowa on the fifteenth day of October A.D. 1855, by a Justice of the Peace
of the said County of Harrison,
That said Plaintiff is a bonafide Resident of Utah County, Utah Territory
and has so resided in said County for more than one year previous to the
Commencement of this suit. That the application for the relief sought for
was made in sincerity and of her own free will and choice.
That more than two years to wit: about five years prior to the commencement
of this action the said defendant deserted the said Plaintiff without any
just cause or provocation and that since the said time of desertion the
said defendant has absented himself from the said plaintiff and has utterly
failed and neglected to provide for said plaintiff and her minor children,
That there is one child aged seven years named Joseph Neph SELLERS now with
It is therefore ordered adjudged and decreed in pursuance of the
in such cases made and provided, and the Court by virtue and authority of the
Power therein vested does order adjudge and decree that the marriage
heretofore existing between the said Plaintiff Sarah Jane SELLERS and the
defendant Allen D. SELLERS be and the same is hereby dissolved and that the
said parties are and each of them is freed and absolutely released from all
the obligations thereof, and that the said plaintiff is hereby declared to
be a ferna Sole and restored her maiden name of Sarah Jane COON and that
the said plaintiff have the custody of the said Joseph Nephi SELLERS and that
the costs in this case taxed at twelve Dollars be paid by said plaintiff,
Done in open Court this 10th day of June A.D. 1878,
Warren N. DUSENBERRY
Territory of Utah
County of Utah
I, Wilson H. DUSENBERRY, Clerk of the Probate Court of Utah County,
Territory, hereby certify that the foregoing is a full true and correct
copy of the original decree of divorce on file in my office in Provo City, Utah
County, Utah Territory, As Witness my hand and the seal of the said Court
in said Provo City this 30th day of January A.D. 1879.
Wilson H. DUSENBERRY
Sarah took her youngest child, Joseph Lehi (not Neph as the decree
with her and left behind the rest of her children:
Symanthy, Mary Alice, William Allen, Solomon, Emma, Nephi and my
great-great grandmother Didama Sellers. Some were still minors.
Also, Jim sent me this, a letter from Didama. H. Allen Sellers
is a son of
Joseph Lehi Sellers.
I found in my files a copy of a letter Didama BROWN wrote to her
The envelope was addressed to H. Allen Sellers, 126 So. 1st West,
Idaho. The return address was Mrs Didama Brown, Woodbine Iowa. The
postmark was Woodbine, Iowa, dated 6 P.M., Mar 31, 1948. The stamp was a
three cent stamp. In 1989, the letter was in the possession of Allen
SELLERS, in Menan, Idaho, from whom I got a copy.
The following transcription is exactly how it is written, except
little bit of formatting.
Mrch 30, 1948
Dear Allin Sellers
I hope you ar all well as it leavs me well enough to get out and
clean the yard it such a big pace to clean so much land it was so dirty to
when I came here I hope Joseph is so he can walk and go places. I cant
very well walk very good. My feet hirts me I hope my Brother will be better I
Just couldn't hardly sleep last night for thinking of him have to having
that cind of a operation I hope he pul through if the lord sees fit I was
with him we grew up to gether the cambers raised Nephi they say to me why
don't to come out here his folks is now I don't now much about my folks as
was raise in the place Pa took me. They dident want me to now my people
then when I was old enough to work out I found my people and I married in
in my one people Frys that is my daughter name now she is married to Mr
Condron and her father did a bow 10 years later my children is all from Mr
Fry then later I married Mr Brown. He buried up in Canada he died in the
year the War started I bin down hear since I was 75 My daughter don't live
very far from me she has six garls al but one was home on easter sonday
all married when she got home from chirch they had dinner so we don't now
much eather one of us now much a bout our famly recking I sent for her to
see an read your letter she Don't now any thin a bout my people she don't
rember her father I have 4 cildren did here when I lived here before I went
Canada. I will close for this time some one will write an tell me how
this is Didama
I dident now that grandma name was spelt Diadama Sellers I
only what chapmans ses Nephi never told me so I cant think of any more
to say so good by write some
From Aunty Didama Brown
Jim also sent the obituary notice for William Feltie Fry, Didama's
Also in my files was a copy of an obituary for William Feltie FRY.
published in "The Saints' Herald", the Official Publication of the
Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Volume 43, Number
49, page 800, published 2 Dec 1896, at Lamoni, Iowa. The transcription
FRY - William F. FRY, born April 6, 1859, died November 10, 1896,
an illness of six weeks. He was not a member of the church, but his
parents, Henry and Eliza FRY, were, as also his wife. These are left to
mourn, as well as four little children. Funeral services from the
church, Missouri Valley, Iowa. Sermon by A.M. FYRANDO.
I would also like this to go to IAHARRIS-L@rootsweb.com. Should
I send it