William Hardesty of Van Buren County Iowa in the “Annals of Iowa”

Annals of Iowa
Volume 1 No. 9 January 1865
History of Davis County, Iowa
by Capt. Hosea B. Horn of Bloomfield
Chapter II

In the year 1838, Mr. William Hardesty came to this county and settled on the disputed territory near the line of Van Buren county. He was from Fountain county, Indiana, and came to the territory of Iowa in company with Uriah Biggs, Esq., who had a contract with the United States government for surveying certain public lands of the “Black Hawk purchase.” He settled on a small stream called Henry Creek, where he lived and died…In the autumn of 1840 Mr. Haden Smith and Mr. William F. Johnson came up from Van Buren…and settled “claims”…This was some two years and a half before the whites were permitted by law to settle on the “purchase.” Hence those adventurers were surrounded on all sides by the Sac and Fox Indians. They were friendly, however, and assisted the squatters to raise their cabins, capture wild game, hunt bees & c., and many of them took a pride in doing so. Some ten or a dozen Indians were present and assisted Mr. Johnson to raise his cabin.

* * * * * * * * *

William Hardesty is the father of Mary Ann Hardesty b. May 1 1830 in Indiana, died April 21, 1873 at Van Buren, Iowa (buried at the Maple Hill Cemetery in Birmingham) who married Foster Anderson b. Oct 15 1825 in Somerset, Pennsylvania, died June 16, 1918 in Van Buren, Iowa (also buried at the Maple Hill Cemetery). A daughter was Florence Ellen Anderson b. 1853 in Iowa, died 1949 (buried at the Washington Cemetery in Washington, Washington, Kansas) who married William France Hackney, son of William S. Hackney and Mary Jane Enlow (our line). William France Hackney was born 1850 Fe8 in Iowa and died 1915 Oct 26 (also buried at the Washington Cemetery).

William Hardesty having died about 1844, it would appear his wife Mary also was dead before 1850. Mary Ann Hardesty was married to Foster Anderson in Sept 20 1849 and they have their own household in the 1850 census, while Mary Ann’s siblings are found in the household of Abner Rush. Foster Anderson is two households from Job Yarnell, believed an extended family relative of the McKenneys. Eli Yarnell’s daughter had married William McKenney, assumed brother of our George Washington McKenney.

The Hackney family is associated with the McKenney family through the Crocketts, Sarah Elizabeth Hackney, sibling of William France Hackney, marrying Samuel Kelly Crockett.

1850 Lick Creek, Van Buren, Iowa
Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: Lick Creek, Van Buren, Iowa; Roll: M432_189; Page: 343; Image: 199.
107/107 Job YARNELL 58 3000 PA
Catherine 18
Amelia 20 OH
Ithamer 18
Eliza 15
108/108 Wm BURCH household
109/109 Foster ANDERSON 26 OH
Mary 20 OH

Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: Union, Van Buren, Iowa; Roll: M432_189; Page: 389; Image: 293.
74/74 Abner RUSH 56 farmer 1600 OH
Mary 40
Richard HARDISTY 14 IA
William 10
John 8
Mary RUSH 3

1922 March 30th, Fowlers in the Jasper News

Mrs.Geo. Fowler

C. W. Jackson and family moved to Webb City last week.

Mrs. Joe Ihms spent Wednesday at the home of her parents.

Mrs. Boyd called on Mrs. F. A. Martin Wednesday.

J. W. Rakestraw sawed wood for Charles Tabler Wednesday.

Mrs. Sue Mitchell spent Thursay with her daughter, Mrs. George Fowler.

Ray Keltner and wife have moved to the place vacated by Clarence Mead.

Mrs. Carl Slate’s baby is ill of pneumonia.

There was quite a scare in the Dion home one day last week when their little 2-year-old child which had been playing in the yard suddenly disappeared. Mrs. Dion was nearly frantic and aroused some of the neighbors and a search began. The child had wandered off through the field and was found near a branch, sound asleep. It had been absent about 2 hours.

L. D. Needham called at George Folwer’s Friday.

Dorothy Joyce was a Jasper visitor Friday.

Don Robertson and wife spent Sunday at Charles Tabler’s.

Mr. McMannis has completed a new smokehouse.

Mrs. B. F. Martin spent Sunday at Virgil Marin’s.

Jack Cones and wife moved to Joe Rand’s place north of Esrom last week.

Mrs. C. W. Kunkler spent Wednesday night and Thursday at the Carl Slate home.

George Wilkinson took dinner at George Fowler’s Thursday.

Mrs. Louis Dion and Mrs. R. M. Wood were reported ill last week.

The Forest grove club women met with Mrs. Charles Rist Thursday, March 23. Seven members responded to roll call and one new member joined us. Four visitors were present. The subject for discussion was “Poultry Production,” which was very interesting. The next meeing will be with Mrs. Amanda Rist.

Mrs. Slate spent Thursday at the home of her son Carl Slate.

Fred Fowler and wife called at Alex Miler’s Sunday.

The Mrs. George Fowler who was writing the Forest Grove and Boston news sketches would have been Bessie, b. 1889, wife of George C. Fowler. He was the son of Robert William “Will” Fowler, a brother of Delana Louise Jane Fowler who married Ray Noyes. “Will” was married to Lucinda Workman. In 1920 George and Bessie were living in Richland, Barton, Missouri and his parents in Lamar. She wrote a number of these columns which often reported on Noyes and Fowler family activities.


Letter from DAVID NATHANIEL BREWER to JIM BREWER. David, born 1850 in Pleasant, Steuben, Indiana, married to Delana Jane Fowler, is a direct line ancestor, son of Daniel Levi Brewer and Catherine Hedden. More on the family can be read here.

Jim, an elder brother by a year, was James Daniel Brewer. He married first Maude Mary Uhlman in 1867 in Catholic Mission, Neosho, Kansas, then Anna Dora Liafe in 1887 in Sedan, Chautauqua, Kansas. James Daniel died July 18 1916 in Niotaze, Chautauqua, Kansas.

The envelope with this letter is addressed to R. J. Henderson, which was Rachel Jane Brewer, their sister, born 1852, was married to Atwell Henderson and also lived in Chautauqua county, Kansas.

Leberal mo July 25 – 1907
Deaer Berother I will
ansureh youre kind and
welcome letter I receive
d Dabefore yesterday
and I cant come now
fore you said you
wert going to stay
very long and youere
better way nexte Day.
Before I got it so I
was afraid to come
for fear you would
Bee gone well Jim
you can get on the car
and come to liberal
we are all here at
liberal and will Bee

pg. 2

for some time If I
(?) you would
Bee there I would come
But you can come
here and see us fore I
way the last well
way wants to know
if there is any
Reaches in Oklahoma
he wants a lot to put
up and he said he
would Buy a lot to
Put up if he could
get them when you
write me tell me a
bout the Reaches
and tell me if you

pg. 3

are coming to liberal
well Jim I will close
for this time hoping
to see an her frome
you soon D N Brwer
to J D Brewer when
you write me write
me to liberal mo

Letter courtesy Nancy Benton. Transcribed by JMK

Fowler Family News in “The Jasper News” , Sept 20 1920


The Mrs. George Fowler who was writing the Forest Grove and Boston news sketches would have been Bessie, b. 1889, wife of George C. Fowler. He was the son of Robert William “Will” Fowler, a brother of Delana Louise Jane Fowler who married Ray Noyes. “Will” was married to Lucinda Workman. In 1920 George and Bessie were living in Richland, Barton, Missouri and his parents in Lamar. She wrote a number of these columns which often reported on Noyes and Fowler family activities.

Sept. 30, 1920, The Jasper News

Mrs. Geo. Fowler

L. D. Needham and family spent Sunday with Ray Noyes and family near Liberal.

Geo. Fowler came home from the hayfield Sunday.

Mr. Jungman’s father, who has been visiting him the past week, left for his home in Kansas Saturday.

Mr. and Mrs. Spann from Colorado are visiting at the home of their son, W. E. Spann.

Scott Carr took a load of melons to Carthage Monday.

R. W. Fowler and wife, who have been staying at the Geo. Fowler home the past week, returned to their home in Lamar Monday.

Roy Slate, who has been helping Geo. Fowler bale hay, left for his home at Milo Monday.

Alex Steelman is hauling cane to the sorghum mill.

Geo. Fowler and family were Lamar visitors Monday.

Beaver Herald 1896 Report on Walser’s Conversion to the Presbyterian Faith

The Beaver Herald, Oklahoma Territory, December 10, 1896

Nevada, MO Dec 4 — The report that George A. Walser, the millionaire founder of Liberal, the noted spiritualist town, and president of the Western Spiritualist Association, has united with the Presbyterian faith at Lincoln, Neb., has caused much surprise among his followers.


News Brief on the Suicide of G. H. Walser’s Wife of Liberal

The Scott County Kicker was located in Benton, Missouri.

Scott County Kicker, July 26, 1902

Walser’s Wife a suicide

Mrs. G. H. Walser of Liberal, committed suicide at Webb City by taking strychnine. She was the wife of the founder of Liberal who was a “free thinker,” and for several years would not allow any churches to be built in the town.

Alice was George Walser’s third wife.

Ad for George H. Walser as attorney in Illinois

In the Illinois state gazetteer and business directory for 1858 and 1859 we find an ad for George H. Walser, founder of Liberal, Missouri, as an attorney.


A thriving post village, capital of Iroquois county, on the Iroquois river, at the junction of Sugar creek, 150 miles east-north-east from Springfield and about 90 south from Chicago, It contains a court house and several stores, and is a place of considerable business. Population, about 2,400.

Daniel B. Gardner, Postmaster.

* * * * * * * * * *

Alphabetical List of Professions, Trades, Etc.

American House, Snyder & Lyman, proprietors.


Banner Lodge (Good Temptlers), King’s buildings.


Blades F., physician and surgeon.

BOVIE STEPHEN G., attorney at law.

Bryant H. C., insurance agent.


Harwood E. C., painter and paper hanger.



Hogle H. W., wagon, carriage and plow manfactury.

Iroquois Lodge (Masons), court house.

IROQUOIS REPUBLICAN, Robertson and Stewart, proprietors.

Joiner G. B., attorney at law and solicitor in chancery.

Knight & Wright, dry goods, groceries, etc.


Middleport Lodge No. 74,1. 0. 0. F., Hogle’s block.

Rider Geo. W., Principal of high school.

ROBERTSON & STEWARD, publishers of Iroquois Republican.


Tupper E., physician and surgeon.

Walser G. H., attorney at law and solicitor ill chancery


Betty and Ilene Brewer

Betty and Ilene Brewer

KFBK stars are among the long list of entertainment features scheduled to be presented at the President’s Birthday Ball which will open at 8 o’clock tonight in the memorial auditorium. The Brewer sister, Betty, left, and Ilene, shown in the upper photo, will present several of their blues songs.

1937. Courtesy of Shirley Cooper Castle.

Betty and Ilene Brewer were the daughters of Albert Lafayette Brewer b. 1894 Feb in Missouri, and Lena b. abt. 1905 in Kansas. Albert was a son of John David Brewer and Eva Hall, John David being a son of David Nathaniel Brewer and Delana Fowler. Betty and Ilene were thus second cousins with my father, and first cousins once removed with grandmother Dorothy Noyes.

Shirley Cooper Castle wrote me about the girls and their brother, Sonny:

“Betty, Sonny, and Ilene started singing (blues and gospel) at local places like the churches, contests and such. They went on the road and started building up their reps and the family moved to CA where Betty got her movie contract. The group went onto the road as singers also in that period of time and ate some bad food while on a road trip which caused the death of Sonny. Ilene made I think 1 more picture but Betty was in several with a lot of the big name stars of the day (early 1940’s). She was being groomed as a child star and then for some reason it just ended. I do not know if she just was not a good actress or if some other reason was the cause of her not having a long movie career. She did however work on Broadway, sang in major bands, did TV commercials and believe she was on a early Bill Cullin TV show in the 50’s. Much was made in the papers of the fact that Betty was her own manager at such a early age. One of the newspaper clippings I had that burnt was about Betty singing for the president at some affair or another. Another cousin who was a singer was Theresa Brewer who performed with the big bands, record contracts and performed on TV a time or two. “

Betty’s film and TV credits at the imdb website are unreliable and confused with another Betty Brewer who was born in Hot Springs, AR in 1922, the daughter of Howell and Lillian Brewer. This other Betty Brewer was also an actress and singer and her family informs me that she was the one who was on the Bill Cullen show.

According to IMDB, Elizabeth “Betty” was born Virginia on November 14 1924 at Joplin, Missouri, Ilene was born abt 1927. The Moviekids website gives Sonny’s name as Monte Robert, and that he was born in Lamar Colorado on May 12 1932 and died April 21 1942 in Hollywood. The 1930 census shows also an older sister named Violet.

506/75/97 BREWER Albert head rent $13 36 marred at 21 b. MO parents b.MO Steel man, State Bridge, wages, Veteran
Lena 25 married at 15 b. KS parents b. MO
Violet 7 b. MO father b. MO mother b. KS
Virgina 6 b. MO father b. MO mother b. KS
Ilene 3 and 6/12 b. MO father b. MO mother b. KS

Albert died 1946 in a car accident.


The above picture I have labeled as being Betty, but I’m uncertain as to whether it is her or her sister. I seem to recollect the individual (a relation of Betty’s) as being uncertain, but believing it was Betty. I have since lost the emails I exchanged with the individual and can’t double check our discussion on this.

Military Postcard from Eli W. McKenney Naming Four Fellow Company Members

This postcard was from Eli W. McKenney to his niece, Mabel Clair McKenney. Though this is from the time during his service in the Philippines, the postcard shows the men standing in snow which indicates they were stateside, thus I’m unsure when or where the photo would have been taken. I have looked up some of the names and been unable to ID anyone.

Courtesy of L. McCombs

Courtesy of L. McCombs

1. Anderson

2. Smith G. O. from Muskogee

3. Thomas

4. McKenney

5. Marto

The sun was so bright none of us could open our eyes so we look like blind mice they are all recruits but me.