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Martha E. (Houser) Godfrey 1852 - 1938


Posted By: Linda H Meyers (email)
Date: 5/30/2008 at 19:49:11


Was Probably Boone County's Oldest Native Citizen - Born here in 1852

Passed Away Monday After Long Period of Ill Health - Funeral This Afternoon

Mrs. Edward Godfrey, probably the oldest native Boone county citizen, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Charles Thrap, Monday noon. She had been in poor health for some time and a few hours preceding her demise dropped into a sleep from which she did not awaken.
Mrs. Godfrey, with the exception of several brief visits with children residing elsewhere, has spent her whole life in the vicinity of Madrid, within the borders of Boone county.
BORN IN 1852
Mrs. Godfrey's maden name was Martha Ellen Houser. She was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Houser and was born January 20, 1852. Her death on Monday, May 16th, came at the age of 86 years, 3 months, and 26 days.
She was married on November 3, 1867, to Edward Godfrey, and they began housekeeping in Boone county, near Madrid. For many years their home was on a farm near the Elk Rapids bridge, at the Des Moines river.
Mrs. Godfrey's youth and girlhood was passed amid the pioneer environments natural to a virgin country. The Swedish colonists founding this community came herein 1846, only six years before Mrs. Godfrey was born, and when they came there were but two white men and one white family in all of what is now Boone county. Mrs. Godfrey was thus a part of and identified with the transitions which have changed a wilderness to a crowded and complex civilization.
Mrs. Godfrey was the mother of twelve children, three of whom with the husband father, have passed on. The surviving children are: J. W. Godfrey, Kensett, Iowa; J. E. Godfrey, Dodge Center, Minnesota; Mrs. Lillian Stover, Blue Earth, Minnesota; Chad Godfrey, LeMars, Iowa; Albert Godfrey, of Linn Grove, Iowa; Mrs. Stella Beasley, Boone, Iowa; Mrs. Ida Hill, Placerville, Colorado; Mrs. Carrie Thrap, Madrid, Iowa; Mrs. Zylph Kelsey, Clinton, Iowa.
In addition to the children there are 37 grandchildren, a large number of great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren.
Mrs. Godfrey was a most excellent woman. She was devoted to her family and sympathetic toward all in distress. She was an early member of the Christian church in Madrid. She united with the church on Easter day in 1890, and her husband became a member one year later, also on Easter day. For many years they took a prominent part in church activities.

Funeral services are being held this (Thursday) afternoon, at 2 from the home of Mrs. Thrap, and 2:30 from the Christian church. Rev. Bartter, the pastor, will be in charge. Mrs. Paul Bengtson will sing "I"ll Soon Be At Home Over There," and All Is Well," with Mrs. Harold Morning playing the accompaniments.
Interment will be in the Mt. Hope cemetery.

--from the Madrid Register-News


Boone Obituaries maintained by Jan Bony.
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