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Adair County Iowa

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Biographies

Orestus John Piper and Ida May Gillis

Orestus John Piper was born November 18, 1850, in Canton, Illinois, the tenth of 11 children born to Alva and Elvira Piper. His parents moved from Canton to Warren County, Illinois, where he lived on a farm until 1872 when he came to Adair County, Iowa, to live with a widowed sister near the old Bethel schoolhouse east of Greenfield.

On October 18, 1874, he was united in marriage at Afton, Union County, Iowa, to Ida May Gillis, daughter of John and Emmaline Gillis. Ida May was born May 19, 1856, at Mt. Sterling, Brown County, Illinois. Her family moved to Grundy County, Iowa, then to Baiko, Missouri, before settling on a farm northeast of Greenfield in Adair County, Iowa. Ida May taught school at both Harrison Center in Harrison Township and at the schoolhouse that stood near the Wakefield homestead.

The couple moved to the farm in Grove Township where they had 11 children: Walter Andrew, married Jennie May Kilpatrick; Elmer Asa married Nellie May Gantt: Wilbur William Piper, died as a child; Wilbertie Leroy "Bert," married Bessie Morrow; Clyde Orestus married Lillian Ledgerwood; Mattie May (twin), died as an infant; Emma Fay (twin), died as an infant: Elvira, married David Henry Hastings; John Frederick "Fred," married Edna Irene Garrett; Lloyd Raymond, married Berneice Ayers; and Stella Lona married Willard Floyd Hoadley.

Mr. and Mrs. Piper resided in the Clara Chapel neighborhood for nearly fifty years and attended church services quite regularly. John was always interested in all public affairs and boosted for all enterprises that were beneficial to the community. He also held positions of trust in local affairs.

John and Ida moved from the farm in Grove Township in 1921 to  a house on East Maple Street in Greenfield (now Jackson Street).

John passed away March 19, 1923, after a lingering illness. Funeral services were held at the Greenfield Methodist Church. Ida May remained at the house in Greenfield where she passed away May  21, 1925. Funeral services for her were also held at the Greenfield Methodist Church. The couple is buried in the Greenfield Cemetery, Adair County, Iowa.

Material taken from obituaries and updated by Carlyss Noland using original material in her possession.

Orestus John (O.J.) Piper and Ida May Gillis. Click the photo for a view of their Marriage Certificate.

The O.J. Piper farm house in Grove Township, circa 1906. Click the photo for a larger view.

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