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Fonda, James M. 1840-1923


Posted By: S. Ferrall - IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 2/11/2018 at 14:16:26

Bellevue, Ia., Feb. 24 - James F. Fonda, one of this city's most highly esteemed citizens, and a veteran of the Civil war passed away at his home Wednesday evening after a weeks illness with pneumonia.

Deceased was born in New York state September 13, 1840. When he was 15 years old his family moved to Monona, Iowa, where he lived until the Civil war broke out. He enlisted in July, 1862 and was assigned to Company E, 27th Iowa volunteer regiment, and took part in all the engagements of his regiment. In August, 1865 he was mustered out at Clinton. That same year he was married to Miss Mary Slitor of Monona and they engaged in farming until 1882, when they moved to Bellevue.

That year Mr. Fonda entered the railway mail service with a run on the narrow gauge between Bellevue and Cascade, and he held that same run for over 33 continuous years, until seven years ago, when pouch mail was substituted for mail clerk service.

Mr. Fonda was a man upright and square in all his dealings; his life of 83 years was filled with good deeds, and he was a devoted husband and father.

His wife preceded him in death in 1908, and one son and three daughters are left to mourn his passing, as follows: Miss Lora of Wray, Colo.; Mrs. Ralph Jesmer of Denver, Colo.; Fred of St. Paul, and Miss Ida at home. He is also survived by one brother William of Osage, and one sister Miss Clementine Fonda of Monona, and seven grandchildren.

Funeral services were held from the home Friday afternoon, Rev. Ray of the Presbyterian church officiating. The body was taken to Monona Saturday to be interred beside the body of his wife.

~Dubuque Times-Journal, February 25, 1923, pg 15

Note: he has a military gravestone & another that he shares with his wife in the Monona City cemetery, and another obit (below) - all giving his middle initial as "M" rather than "F" as given in the above obituary.

--- --- --- ---

From the Bellevue Leader:

The hearts of our citizens were saddened this morning when it was learned that death had claimed another old veteran and highly esteemed resident in the person of J.M. Fonda. Mr. Fonda had been ill less than a week suffering with flumonia, and while everything that loving care and medical skill could do, was done for him, it was to no avail, and death relieved him from his sufferings at ten o'clock Wednesday evening.

James M. Fonda was born in Ohio, Herkimer county, New York, on September 13 1840, being nearly 83 years of age at the time of his death. His early years were spent in the vicinity of his birth and losing his father at the age of seven years it was necessary for him to assist in the support of the family, he being the youngest of twelve children. The family remained in New York state until he was about fifteen years of age, when they moved to Iowa, locating at Monona in 1855.

Here M. Fonda remained until actuated by the spirit of patriotism, he responded to his country's call and enlisted in July 1862, as a member of Company E, 27th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, which became a part of the Army of the West.

Going to the front, he participated in all the engagements of his regiment, taking part in the Red river expedition. He was under fire at Little Rock, when that place was captured, and in the battle of Nashville, from which place he was ordered to Mobile. He assisted in the capture of Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely, and later marched to Montgomery, Alabama, where he was stationed at the close of the war. It was during that march that news reached him of the surrender of Lee and the assasination of Lincoln.

He was promoted to the rank of orderly sergeant of his company during the last year of his service, with which rank he was mustered out on August 8, 1865 at Clinton, Iowa, after three years of service which were characterized by many deeds of bravery and the utmost loyalty to the flag and the cause which it represented

After the war Mr. Fonda returned to Clayton county and resumed farming, remaining there until 1868, when the family moved to Mitchell county, where for about twelve years he engaged in farming on his own account. He then returned to Monona, remaining there about two years, when in 1882 he located in Bellevue. Upon his arrival here, he entered the railway mail service as mail clerk on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul narrow gauge line running between Bellevue and Cascade. This position he held until about seven years ago when the mail clerk service on this line was discontinued. His long continuance on this position was proof of the able and efficient manner in which he performed the duties devolving upon him.

Mr. Fonda was married in 1865 to Miss Mary J. Slitor of Monona To this union seven children were born, three of whom passed away in childhood. The wife and mother preceded her husband in death in October 1908.

The surviving children are Miss Ida, at home; Lora S. of Wray, Colorado; Fred of St. Paul and Mrs. Ralph D. Jesmer of Denver, Colorado, all of whom were present at the bedside during his last illness with the exception of Mrs. Jesmer who arrived this morning. He is also survived by his eldest brother, William of Osage, and one sister Clementine of Monona, and seven grandchildren.

Mr. Fonda was a faithful member of the Congregational church for years and when that church was abandoned at Bellevue, he affiliated himself with the Presbyterian church of which he was made an elder. He was also a member of the Grand Army of the Republic being a member of Iuka Post of Bellevue, and later joining the Post at Maquoketa, and has served as soldiers' relief commissioner of Bellevue for a number of years.

His honorable and upright life has won him the respect and good will of his fellowmen and his genial disposition endeared him to all with whom he came in contact. The grief felt over the close of his life is wide-spread and sincere.

Funeral services will be held at the home on Third street on Friday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock, conducted by his pastor, Rev. W. Byrd Ray of the Presbyterian church, and the boy will be taken to Monona, Saturday, to be laid beside the last resting place of his wife.

~Monona Leader, March 1, 1923, page 4

Note: Bellevue is in Jackson county, Iowa


Clayton Obituaries maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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