Oskaloosa, Iowa

I drove to Oskaloosa where the Nelson Family Pioneer Farm is located which houses the Historical Society.  The genealogist was off duty today but one of the volunteers, Margaret Ademeit, was a huge help to me.  She was able to locate the court documents and probate information filed with the Mahaska County court after Calvin Jones Jackson died in March 1900.

It’s an interesting story–it appears that his second wife, Parthenia who was 27 years his junior, went to court in 1899 and petitioned to have CJ declared of “unsound mind” (he was 79 years old) and she appointed his guardian.  The court granted her petition.

CJ died in March 1900 and within 10 days Parthenia had petitioned the court for permission to sell the estate.  By November, the court awarded her 1/3 of the estate’s value and the defendents–the heirs–were left to divide the balance nine ways.  I have a lot more to find out about Parthenia K. Gilchrist!

My great grandmother was married in 1886 and out of the house at the time of her father’s death.  She is listed as a defendent by her married name, Sherer, in the court documents.  My sister once asked Dad why his grandmother left Iowa.  She recounts that dad told her his grandmother could not stand Parthenia and got married and left for the wilds of Oklahoma Indian Territory rather than stay under the same roof.

I drove out to Rose Hill where the Jacksons lived and visited the Jackson Cemetery.  Very fertile, pretty land with rolling low hills and lots of trees and stands and stands of corn ripening in the sun.  Only one Jackson headstone–CJ’s–is there. His first wife, (Eliza) is not buried there, neither is Parthenia and none of the children either.  I want to find out where they are buried?  What fun this is trying to imagine the family dynamics.  I have a lot more research to do with this lively group!

The estate inventory which I photographed–they do not allow copying of these original documents, lists everything from sets of dishes to a heifer, and colts.  Jackson owned 300 acres which is less than a square mile but a sizable amount of fine rich land.

The road to the cemetery is at the interesection of Jackson Street and Madison.  I followed Madison on a narrow dirt road along a creek up a hill overlooking the countryside and walked around. In addition to CJ’s granite stone there were some elaborate white marble headstones eroded but the dates are still visible  They date to the early 1800’s.  What a great day I had!

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