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Pleasant Deardorff

CARR, CHADWICK, DEARDORFF, GORSUCH, JOHNSON, PAINTER, TODHUNTER

Posted By: Madison County Coordinator (email)
Date: 8/25/2016 at 17:39:44

Biography of Pleasant Deardorff
submitted by Karen Beeler

Pleasant Deardorff, born July 28, 1831 in Tippacanoe County, Indiana, was one of nine children born to John and Aphracia Johnson Deardorff: Jacob, John Margaret, Pleasant, Nancy, Thomas, Paulina, Elizabeth, and William Henry. It can be presumed that he is named after his grandfather, Pleasant Johnson, on his motherís side. Pleasant Deardorff was a farmer by trade, was married, fought in the Civil War, was widowed, and then remarried.

On August 23, 1851, at the age of 20, he married 16-yr-old Rebecca Gorsuch. The wedding took place in Mahaska County, Iowa. They had four children: Minerva (Todhunter) 1853, Mary Aphracia (Painter) 1855, John Franklin 1857, and William Pleasant 1861-1863.

Pleasant served almost three years in the Union Army during the Civil War. On August 14, 1862, at the age of 31, Pleasant enlisted as a Private in the 40th Iowa Volunteer Infantry at Montezuma, Poweshiek , Iowa. He was mustered into Company B on October 1, 1862. He served until the spring of 1865, mustering out of May 15, 1865 at Davenport, Iowa when he was honorably discharged. The Company Descriptive Book listed that Pleasant had served for three years and participated in the siege of Vicksburg, skirmishes in Oklahoma, and Arkansas, engagements at Prairie dí Anne and the battle of Jenkins Ferry (4/30/1864). He was 5 feet 11 inches tall, and had a fair complexion, blue eyes, and dark hair. Medical records from the War Department indicated that he was hospitalized several times for chronic diarrhea, jaundice, and rheumatism. On May 19, 1890, Pleasantís widow submitted a widowís pension application which was successful.

On March 3, 1864, while Pleasant was still in the service, Rebecca, his wife of thirteen years and mother of his four children, died. The cause of her death has not been found, and the care of the children during the absence of their father until his return from the war remains unknown.

A year and a half after his return, however, Pleasant married again. Catherine Carr Chadwick already had three children (William, Ira, and Wesley) with her first husband, Oliver Chadwick. Catherine divorced Chadwick on October 16th, 1866, in Mahaska County and married Pleasant on October 29th, 1866, in Montezuma, Poweshiek County. No documentation to explain the divorce and hasty marriage two weeks later has been found, but the couple soon moved from Poweshiek County to Madison County, Walnut Township appearing there in the 1870 census. By then, they had two children together, Emma Luella (b. 09 Aug 1867), and Charles Carr Deardorff (b. 04 Jan 1869). Later, one more child was born to the couple, Pleasant Harland (b. 05 Nov 1872).

Pleasant and Catherine were married only six years before he died at the age of 41. He is buried at Ebenezer Cemetery southwest of Truro at the NE end, having a red gravestone and the Grand Army of the Republic war insignia.


 

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