Wesley Goss has been a challenge. Fortunately he lives passed the 1850 U.S. Federal census so he can be traced. Wesley was restless moving to Iowa about 1840, but from that point on he at least stayed in Iowa. He moved around the state and was in the following counties: Henry, Keokuk, Mahaska, Woodbury, and Clay.
Wesley was born the 16th of March 1815 in Washington County, Ohio and he married Elizabeth Evans who was born October 26, 1816 either in Vermont or across the St. Lawrence river from Montreal.
He died of old age on 10 October 1896 and Elizabeth passed 28 July 1901, in Spencer, Clay County, Iowa. They are buried in the Riverside Cemetery, Clay Co., Iowa.
FindAGrave has a listing for Wesley and Elizabeth and the IAGenWeb has a partial listing that does not include Wesley and Elizabeth: http://iagenweb.org/clay/cemriverside.htm
“Wesley spent his boyhood days on his father’s farm and acquired such education as only could be had at that time in the common schools. After three years of farming near Marietta, Ohio, Wesley and his family moved to Iowa. He took two yoke of oxen and a covered wagon and followed the old corduroy road through Indiana. The family camped at Chicago, that city then (1839) consisting of a few fishermen’s shacks. The family settled near Mt. Pleasant, Henry County, Iowa, but soon moved to a more favorable location near Lancaster, Keokuk County, where Wesley built a flour mill on the Skunk River. In 1861, the family moved to a farm near Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, Iowa.
While there, Wesley enlisted in a military company known as the “Gray Beards,” for service in the civil war. He was not permitted to go to the front however, as it was believed that his two sons then at home were too young to properly work the farm.
Again greener pastures called Wesley Goss in 1869, when he moved to Peterson, Clay County, Iowa. During the winter of 1869-70 they lived in the village. M.E. Griffin, a prominent resident of Clay County, boarded with the family during the first winter. Mrs. Goss told him that he could pay his board of $25 per month when he made good — and he did both. The following spring, Wesley took a homestead four miles north and one mile east of Peterson in a community later known as “Yankee.”
After retiring from the farm, Mr. Goss made his home for a time in Correctionville, Iowa, and later in Spencer, Iowa. In 1894, he went to Salt Lake City, where he visited a son for several years. Upon his return to Spencer, his health began to fail, and Oct. 10, 1896 he passed to the great beyond. The funeral was held in the Spencer M.E. Church, Rev. Kennedy officiating, assisted by Rev. Thrush of the Congregational Church. The Masonic fraternity, of which he was a member, conducted the services at the grave in Riverside Cemetery. He was born of Christian parents, united with the Methodist Church at an early age and was an active worker in the denomination, frequently conducting services himself when no minister was available. In addition to his church and fraternal interests, he was active as a politician and held the offices of School Treasurer, Postmaster at Yankee and County Supervisor of Clay County.” *
The children of Wesley and Elizabeth are as follows:
1. Eliza Almeda Goss born 3 March 1837.
2. James Gilbert Goss born 5 July 1839 in Washington Co., Ohio and died 24 October 1926 in Ollie, Keokuk, Iowa. He is buried in the Ollie Cemetery there. He married Eliza Reynolds, daughter of Benjamin Cornwall Reynolds and Sara Lowers. She was born 16 February 1841 in Peru, Miami Co., Indiana.
Eliza and James had 10 children:
1.) Gilbert James Goss 1863-1885 Oakland Cemetery in Ollie, IA. I am not sure about this cemetery so it may need to be checked.
2) Lois Almeda Goss 1866-1962. She married an Isaac Lincoln Smith and had 5 children: Gertrude Almeda Smith, Lillian Mildred Smith, Monroe Oliver Smith, Arminta Lola Smith, Althea Smith.
3) Addie May Goss b 1866 married Leslie McCargar and had Gladys and Harold
4) Joseph Edward Goss b. 1868 married Luzette Richardson and had Mildred, Edward, and Ardith
5) Laura Ann Goss 1872-1873
6) Emma Viola Goss b. 1874 married Dick Richardson and had no children
7) Lucy Jane Goss b. 1876 married a Harry Fox and had Dolly
8) an infant son born and died 1878
9) Edith Rose Goss b. 1880 married a Sam D. Crary and had Merrill, Gordon and Robert; and
10) Leona Goss 1884-1894.
The following excerpt was written by James Gilbert Goss:
“I was nine months old when we crossed the Mississippi River. My cradle was a clothes basket. Tige, the dog, watched over me and wouldn’t let any one touch the basket. My first school was at the Henderson Schoolhouse in Clear Creek Township. I think I was 7 years old when I first went to school. At 14 years of age I walked from our house to New Lincoln to stay with my grandparents, taking lessons under my uncle Homer Goss, an invalid at the time. Then my mother and father moved back to New London, Henry Co. where I continued going to school. An uncle, Dr. James Maynard, and family lived closed to Solomon Goss who were farmers in the vicinity. When Emily and Olive Maynard, my cousins, went to school and church, I took each by the hand, walking between them on the rails of the railroad and steadied them while they walked a mile and a quarter to church and school. On Saturday when home from school, I helped Grandfather Goss husk corn and put it in the crib. When a very small boy, grandfather would call me to stand between his knees and sing old hymns from the Methodist Hymnal. One hymn was “Lord, in the morning, Thou shalt hear my voice ascending high, to thee will I direct my prayers; to thee lift up my eyes, and oh for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise.” He was a grand old Methodist, belonging to the Methodist Church at New London and his family took care of the ministers in their home. In 1868 moved from Keokuk County to Clay County, accompanied by J.H. Reynolds and family, where he took up claims of government land 6 miles north of Peterson. Two sons Will and Chell and daughter Ella were still with him at home.” Written by James Gilbert Goss, date unknown.”*
Obituary of James Gilbert Goss:
“James Gilbert Goss was born July 5, 1839 in Hardin County, Ohio and died at Ollie, Iowa, October 24, 1926 at the ripe old age of 87 years. On the 18th day of May, 1862, he was married to Eliza Ann Reynolds at Lancaster. On August 18th of the same year, he enlisted in the Federal Army and became a member of Co.I, of the 40th Iowa Infantry Volunteers and served faithfully until August 2, 1865. On his return from the Civil War, Mr. and Mrs. took their residence on a homestead near Peterson, Iowa where they resided for several years. Then they moved Des Moines and a little later to Ollie, Iowa, near the home of their youthful days. They spent the rest of their lives and around Ollie. Mr. Goss has been a devout Christian practically all of his long life. He has given freely of his time, money and energy to work of the church. The militancy that he learned in the service of his country he carried into the work of the Lord and thus he labored until overtaken by old age and infirmity. His constant happiness is shown in the songs he always sang: which he sang a week before he passed away. The Rev. Pettit, a former pastor, now of Des Moines had charge. Burial was made in the Ollie cemetery.”*
3. Mary Adeline Goss, born 10 May 1841.
4. Charles Wesley Goss born 22 September 1842
The Iowa State Census for 1844, places Wesley in Keokuk Co., Iowa. This is statistical with the following people in the household designated as numbers: 1, 2,3, 6. Roll IA_117. Ancestry.com.
5. Lucy Mariah Goss born 9 August 1845
6. Solomon M. Goss born 3 March 1848, died 1861 Talleyrand, Keokuk, Iowa and is buried in the Talleyrand Cemetery. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Goss&GSiman=1&GScid=96470&GRid=18982157&
7. Elizabeth Lucretia Goss born 11 April 1850
The 1850 U.S. Federal Census has Wesley living in District #26, Keokuk, Iowa, Roll #M432_185, pg. 271, Image 542. Ancestry.com.
Line 29: 693/728: Wesley Goss, age 35 male, farmer $740, born Ohio. Elizabeth Goss age 32 female, born NY. James G. Goss, age 11, male, born Ohio, Mary Goss 10, female, born Iowa. Charles W. Goss, age 8, male, born Ohio. Lency Goss age 6, female, born Iowa, Solomon Goss, age 2, male, born Iowa. Elizabeth Goss, 2/12, female, born Iowa, Eliza A. Goss age 13 female born Iowa.
8. Olive Angeline Goss born 19 May 1852
The Iowa State Census for 1852 Wesley is in Clear Creek Twp., Keokuk Co., Iowa, Line 22, Roll IA_119, Ancestry.com. It is statistical and reads: Males 4, Females 4, Voter 1, Militia 1, total 9.
The Iowa State Census for 1854 we find Wesley is still in Clear Creek Twp., Keokuk, Iowa again it is statistical with 4 Males, 6 Females, 1 Voter and 1 Militia for total of 10. Line 4, Roll IA_121, Ancestry.com.
9. William Harlan Goss born 2 February 1855
10. Chalapha George Goss born 28 February 1858 in Clear Creek, Keokuk Co., Iowa. He married Anna Jane Huston and had at least two children: William H. Goss and C.G. Goss. Jr. (Clear Creek was a township in Keokuk prior to 1880).
A cousin sent me an article on Chalapha from the Salt Lake Tribune, Sunday Morning, April 22, 1945, pg. 8B, Column 1-3. “Native Iowan Pioneer’s Son, Loyal Utahn Knows Life,” by Old Timer. There is a photograph of this man. What follows is only a portion of a very large and detailed article of this man’s life.
“Chalapha George (Chell) Goss was born on Clear Creek homestead, Keokuk County, Iowa, Feb. 28, 1858, son of Wesley Goss, born in 1815 and Elizabeth Evans born in 1817. It was his grandfather, Solomon Goss, who floated down the Ohio river on a barge and named Marietta, Ohio after his wife, Marietta. C. G. Goss’s father and mother had made their way, with him and one other child to Iowa by ox team. His first log school-house was known as the Shin Bone school. When the family moved to Oskaloosa, Mahaska county, Iowa, he attended the Gospel Ridge school.”
11. Ella Rhodavel Goss born 14 January 1860
*Source: The information given above was found in the “Goss Family and other files, ” FHL#940938, Items 4-5. One of the papers was the “Goss-Reynolds Family,” by Gertrude Smith who lived in Pittsburgh. It is a typed written manuscript. This is only a portion of what was in the documentation. The article about Wesley above, the comments from his son James and the obituary did not have any sources indicated as to their original origin, dates, etc.. There are inconsistencies in the paragraphs above so please check with the census and other source documents.
The 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Clear Creek Township, Keokuk, Iowa, NARA Roll #M653_329, Pg. 87, Image 88, Ancestry.com.
Line 18, 618/619 Wesley Goss, age 45, male, farmer, $800, 600, Ohio. Elizabeth age 43, female, New York, James C. age 21, male, Ohio. Mary A, age 19, female, Iowa. Charles W, age 17, male, Iowa. Lucy, age 15, female, Iowa. Solomon M. age 12, male, Iowa. Elizabeth F, age 10, female, Iowa. Angeline, age 8, female, Iowa, Amilan, age 6, male, Iowa. Mellville, age 4, male, Iowa. Ella age 5/12 female, Iowa.
The 1870 U.S. Federal Census places Wesley and Elizabeth in Clay County, Iowa, NARA Roll M593_383, Page 120, Image 240, Ancestry.com.
Line 9, 21/21 Goss, Wesley, age 54, m. white, farmer $1000, $1300, Ohio. Elizabeth age 53, female, white, keeping house, New York, mother of foreign birth. Elisabeth S, age 20, female, white, school teacher, Iowa. William H. age 14, male, white at home, Iowa. Chalapatha age 12, male white, at home, Iowa. Ella, age 10, female, white, at home, Iowa, last 3 in school.
The 1880 U.S. Federal Census places Wesley and Elizabeth in Peterson, Clay Co., Iowa, Roll T9_333, FHL#125433, pg. 20, SD4, ED 59, Ancestry.com.
Line 24, 168, Goss, Wesley, White, Male, age 65, married, farmer, born Ohio, father born PA, mother Ohio. Elizabeth, W, Female age 63, wife, married, keeping house, born NY, father NY, mother Canada. Anderson, Benj. W, Male age 12, servant, at home, born Iowa, father Ohio, mother Indiana. Pickering, Orra, White, Male, age 18, servant, farm laborer, born Wisc, father Tenn, mother Indiana.
The 1885 Iowa State Census has Wesley in Correctionville, Woodbury, Iowa, Roll #IA1885_280, Line 29, Family #79, Ancestry.com.
Line 29, 78/79 Frank Davis, East Correctionville, age 21 Male, Single, Born Illinois, N, N, military duty, vote. Wesley Goss, age 69 male, married, born Ohio, N, N, vote. Elizabeth Goss, age 68, F, married, born New York, N. F. Ella Goss age 22, F, Single, Teacher, New York, N, N.
The 1891 Iowa State Census has Wesley living in Spencer, Clay Co., Iowa. #IA_124, Line 23. Goss, Wesley, Goss, Elizabeth, Ella, W.H. C.G. Emma.
I did not do any probate, birth, death, deed or other research on Wesley and his family. I have no photographs of their tombstones.
Please note that the information given above on this family was dated in the early 1970′s. Hopefully someone has found additional information since that time that includes vital records and more. So please use this as a guide only!
When I traveled to Iowa in 2003 and visited the State Historical Society, I did not know about Solomon Goss (Jr.) and Polly’s move to Iowa. I learned about it when I saw a note about Wesley, their son, moving to Iowa in the tax records of Hardin County, Ohio. Be advised that the Iowa State Historical Society has two locations, one in Des Moines and another in Iowa City. Each covers certain geographic areas of the state. The state genealogical society called the Iowa Genealogical Society is located in Des Moines near the State Historical Society. See the Favorite Links – Iowa on the right side of this blog for more information on these archives.
Photo: The Iowa State Historical Society in Des Moines. This is the main archive and it covers the rest of Iowa. It has a great newspaper collection and so much more.
Photo: Iowa State Historical Society Archive in Iowa City on the university campus. This archive covers the eastern part of Iowa.
Iowa’s State Capital
In summary: I am a curious person and would like to dig further into this family of Solomon Goss and Polly Devol Goss but time and money is always a consideration. The other issue is focus, I have other goals. If I make it back to Iowa, I will do a little more digging because I won’t be able to resist and spend a little more time pinning down the inconsistencies in the stories and determining what happened to all those children. If you know more about this family and would like to comment, please do! If you have a link with more information, I would be happy to present it here for others to find you.