Robert (1800-1874) -- Detailed History

Early American Dalzells and Delzells

Robert (1800-1874) Louisa Co., IA

Detailed History

The following paragraph is taken from Hugh Way;and Delzell's book "Delzell Ties."

     "I first learned there was a Delzell family in Iowa when I met Kerry Delzell. He was a student in one of the courses which I monitored at the Air Force Technical School at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. After dinner one evening at our home, he gave me some details about his immediate family, but it was several years later before I learned more about the Delzells of Iowa. In 1973 and 1974 Mrs. N. W. Baird of Fairfield, Iowa researched the family of which her husband is a descendant. She furnished me with a complete copy of her excellent manuscript, which she prepared. With her permission I had prepared this chart and summary from her material. A complete copy of her work can be obtained from Mrs. Baird for her cost of Xeroxing only. (Note:This was 1979. I have a copy of Mrs. Baird's manuscript and would be pleased to,look up information, but I cannot make a copy of the whole MMS)

In her manuscript, Mrs. Baird shows that her subject, Robert Delzell, lived in Licking Co., OHio before he went to Louisa Co. Iowa. With this clue let us look first at the Census records for Licking County, Iowa. In the 1830s Census we found in Licking Twp., p. 406, three entries next to each other which are of interest:
Gideon Rathbone Male: Under 5, 1; 10-15, 1; 30-40, 1.
Female: 15-20. 1; 30-40, 1.
James Dallgell(sic) Male: Under 5, 1; 5-10, 1; 10-15, 1; 30-40, 1.
Female: Under 5-10, 1; 30-40, 1
Robert Delgell(sic) Male: 5-10, 1; 30-40, 1
Female: 30-40, 1
Ten years later (1840) we find in the Census of the same Twp. the following:
p. 244 Robert Delzell Male: Under 5, 2: 15-20, 1; 30-40, 1
Female: Under 5, 1; 15-20, 1; 30-40, 1
Ann Rathbone Male: 10-15,1: 15-20, 2; 20-30, 1 : Female: Under 5, 1; 20-30, 1; 40-50, 1

The Rathbone genealogy, 1898, on page 243, lists the children of Job Rathbone as:
1. Gideon, b. July 19, 1794, m. Sarah Delzell in Newark, OH He died there Mar 1836, She afterwards went west and there died. Children: (a) John (wife died 1856 and buried Crawford Co., IL;(b) Castine, m. Morgan Sinkham
2. Page.
3. Cynthia, b. m. James Delzell in Newark. James died in Crawford Co., IL Daughter married Morgan Sinkham(sic).

The above agrees with an 1830 Census so well and with the 1840, if we consider that Sarah’s name may have also been Ann, that we are confident they are the same family. As you study Mrs. Baird’s material, notice how closely i agrees with the Robert Shown above in the 1830 and 1840 Censuses of Licking Co.,OH. Based on the listing of the Delzell next to each other and close to the Rathbone family, we believe these represent two brothers and their sister.

Neither Mrs. Baird nor I can identify in the 1820 Census or elsewhere the father of these Delzells. Although it appeared from the Census data that James was older than Robert, we are arranging the sketch on Robert first and will follow it with a sketch on James in Appendix E-7.Robert Delzell, one of the pioneers of Louisa County was born in Pennsylvania in 1800. When a mere child his mother died and he was placed in a family of strangers. At the age of 10 he went to Licking Co., Ohio and there grew to manhood, receiving his education in the common schools. He was married twice, 1st to Miss Mary Huffman. Six children who lived to be adults were born before her death in May 1840. Robert married 2nd, Miss Mary T. Patterson and they had four children.

In 1848 Robert Delzell emigrated to Louisa County and settled in Morning Sun Township. On their arrival the family remained at the house of John Hamilton until they could find a house into which to move. At last they secured a log cabin 14 x 14 feet in which the family spent the winter. The cabin was in a very dilapidated condition, and Mrs. Delzell remarked that it was not necessary to go to the door when anyone was passing, as they could be seen through the cracks where the chinking had fallen out. In the spring they moved into a house but it was scarcely better than the cabin. To increase their troubles Robert met with a serious accident and broke his leg. While laid up he was not idle, spending his time making shingles for the home which he intended to build. There was no sawmill in the vicinity, and he was obliged to cut and haul his logs a long distance to be made into lumber. The house was commenced that summer, but it was a long time before they were able to finish it. Like most of the pioneers, money was scarce with them, and they had to work their way.

1. James Delzell, b. 3 Jun 1827 in Muskingham Co.,OH. (The county just east of Licking Co.,) He farmed east of Morning Sun, IA. Their first three children and their youngest daughter died when you. About 1896 James sold his farm and he and his three married children and their families moved to Bourbon Co., KA, near Fort Scott, where he died. His son, Sullivan, had two daughters whose descendants appear to live in Illinois. One of James’ daughters and her family returned to Iowa about 1900. The descendants of James’ other daughter, Rhonda, have not been traced to the present generation.
2. Emeline Delzell and her husband, William Jamison, farmed in Louisa Co.,IA. After his death in 1884, she continued to live on the homestead for many years, but finally moved to Morning Sun. She died in a fire which totally destroyed her home in 1903. Of the 10 children of Emiline, Mrs. Baird was only able to trace the descendants of the sixth child, Joseph Jamison. The descendants which she traced live mostly in Iowa and Illinois, but a few are in other parts of the U.S.
3. William Delzell and his family lived north of Morning Sun, IA. Mrs. Baird traced many of the descendants of William and has identified five sets of twins in the fifth generation. The descendants are scattered and live mainly in ILlinois and the states which are west of the Mississippi River.
4. Harvey was a partner in a grocery firm in Morning Sun, IA. It appears that at this time there is no descendants under 70 who bears the name Delzell in this branch of the family, The only descendant of Harvey’s second son, James, is Frederic Delzell. As a pianist and accompanist, as conductor of the Boston Symphony “Pops “ and as a teacher, Frederic Delzell is recognized as one of the outstanding American musical talents.
5. Martha Ann Delzell and her husband, W. T. B. Nichols, farmed in the vicinity of Morning Sun. While few live in the east, it appears that more descendants of this couple live in the west and in Canada than in other sections of the U. S. Three sets of twins have been identified in the fifth generation of this branch.
6. Mary Delzell and her husband, Thomas P. Wright, also farmed near Morning Sun, IA. It seems that most of their descendants now live in Iowa and California.
7. Samuel P. Delzell was the first child born to Robert and Mary Patterson. There is no record that he married. He enlisted in C. G, 16th Iowa Infantry and became ill soon afterward. He died in Missouri in Nov 1862 and was buried there.
8. John H. Delzell owned and operated a general merchandise business in Morning Sun and employed his sister Sarah's husband-to-be as a clerk. It appears that his only daughter had only one child who died at birth. So there are “no descendants” to treat in this branch of the family.
9. Robert Delzell was born after his father moved his family to Iowa. He farmed northeast of Morning Sun, IA; Although many of his descendants still live near there, a number are scattered from Florida to Alaska and from California to New Jersey. Norman Baird, whose wife compiled the genealogy of Robert Delzell, is a descendant of this branch of the family. Of the many descendants in this branch, only a few of those now living have the name of Delzell.
10. Sarah Margaret Delzell married the young clerk, J. Frank Holiday, of her brother’s store. Soon after her brother’s death, they purchased his store. In 1891, while she was visiting in Decatur, IL, a child was born who died at birth. Nine days later Sarah also died.

Politically, Mr. Delzell was what is known as an old Jackson Democrat. He was a conscientious, earnest Christian, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and served as steward for many years. A man of strict integrity and uncompromising Christian principles, he did much toward molding the good society of the community in which he lived, and his conduct deservedly won for him a large place in the esteem and affections of all who knew him. As a citizen, he was true and loyal, ; as a neighbor, friendly and accommodating; as a husband and father, kind and affectionate, as a Christian, devoted and faithful. Mr. Delzell is dead,but he has left behind him a character which is eminently worthy of emulation.

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