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LEWIS, Daniel Johnson Jr.


Posted By: Linda Walden (email)
Date: 3/10/2014 at 15:07:16

Daniel Johnson Lewis Jr., born Franklin Twp., Des Moines County, Iowa on May 10, 1842. Daniel was the second surviving son of Daniel J. Lewis Sr. and Harriet Holstine Lewis.

Daniel Jr. was eight years old when the family left Des Moines County and traveled west to Mills County, Iowa. The family moved all of their belongings in a Lynch Pin Wagon drawn by a team of oxen. Daniel's brother George drove the wagon. It is possible that Daniel walked most of the way or he may have had a horse to ride. This trip was not easy sense most of the land they crossed did not have roads and they had to cross many streams. It is only three hundred miles from Des Moines Co. to Mills Co., which today would take us about six hours, but for them it took two weeks. The wagon train would travel about twenty miles a day and then before dark they would coral the wagons and rest for the evening, get a good nights sleep to prepare for another day. Their trip was suppose to be from their home in Des moines Co. to Colorado and from there to California.

The discovery of Gold in Colorado and in California was what sent many a pioneer on this journey westward. Many family members were lost along the way due to sickness, accidents, and Indian attacks. The Lewis family lost their oldest daughter Margaret Jane. She was just eighteen years old. She had married Conrad Schneider on March 31st and by September she was gone. The reason for her death is unknown. Conrad was very distraught over the loss of his new bride and he went back to Burlington.

When the wagon train reached the area where the town of Mineola is now located there was a bad wind storm and the Lewis wagon was overturned injuring Daniel's father. The wagon train could not wait for his father's wounds to heal so the Lewis family stayed in Mills Co., Iowa. His father purchased the Cutlers Camp property from the Mormons and they built a home and this is where Daniel Jr. was raised.

In 1861 when the Civil War began Daniel Jr. joined on September 24,1861 in the Union Army he claimed residence in Glenwood, Iowa, he enlisted in Company C, Iowa 5th Cavalry Regiment on 27 Sep 1861. Promoted to Full 6th Corporal on 01 Nov 1864. Promoted to Full 4th Corporal on 01 Jul 1865. Mustered out on 11 Aug 1865 at Nashville, TN. He lost the sight of one eye in the war.

When he returned to Mills Co. he fell in love with Sirena Jane Speer the daughter of Charles Speer and Elizabeth Ingram Speer. They were married Feb. 9,1868. The Speer family moved to Iowa in 1851 and were neighbors of the Lewis family.

When Charles and Elizabeth Speer moved back to Nodaway Co. Missouri Daniel and Sirena went with them. The oldest daughter Nellie Agnes was born in Missouri. They followed Sirena's family to Oxford, Johnson Co., Kansas. They are in Kansas in the 1870 census. Another daughter was born and died in Kansas. By 1875 they were back in Mills Co., Iowa where my great grandmother was born, she was their third daughter. Daniel wanted a son to name after U.S. Grant and this is the reason my great grandmother's name is Emma Grant Lewis. Daniel and Sirena's fourth child was a boy, Daniel Lewis III. and in 1891 their last daughter was born, Gladys Grace Lewis. Nellie and her husband Casin Montgomery moved to Nebraska by 1900 and Daniel and Serina followed them to Cumming Co., Nebraska.

Daniel and Sirena settled in Orchard, Antelope Co. Daniel passed away on Nov. 3, 1920 and Sirena on Aug. 9, 1925. They are buried in the Orchard Hill Cemetery in Orchard, Nebraska.


FORMER MILLS COUNTY MANDIES AT ORCHARD, NEBR.\W. S. Lewis received a telegram Wednesday night stating that his brother Daniel had passed away at his home in Orchard, Nebr. that evening. Mr. Lewis left Thursday morning to be in attendance at the funeral.

Daniel Lewis was a former Mills county man and lived most of his life on a farm in Silver Creek township of this county, moving to Orchard, Nebr. only a few years ago. He was a veteran of Civil war, and lost one eye during his service in the Union army. During late years the sight of the other eye has been impaired and he had been almost totally blind for some time. He was almost eighty years old and had been in very poor health for some months.

by Linda Walden, my file - Brixius/Coulter Ancestry.com


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