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Wells, Simon 1835-1900 & Mattie Sherman Family


Posted By: Wilma J. Vande Berg - volunteer (email)
Date: 10/19/2023 at 17:25:29

Wells, Simon 1835-1900 and Mattie O. Sherman Family

This story was taken from page 499 of the Ireton Centennial Book (1882-1982). The story was transcribed for this BIOS by Beth De Leeuw of the Greater Sioux County Genealogical Society. Some research notes were added by Wilma J. Vande Berg.

Simon Wells was born Apr. 2, 1835 in Ohio and came to Spring Creek, Black Hawk Co., Ia. At the age of 27 he enlisted in the Civil War and mustered into service Sept. 1862 at Davenport. The organization served Co. C 31st Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He was discharged June 1865 at Louisville, Ky.

On Oct. 11, 1881, Simon married Mattie O. Sherman. She was born in Edmboro, Pa. on Aug. 1856. They came to Sioux Co. in 1870 and settled on Pleasant Hill Farm in Center Twp., Sec. 34.

Four children were born to this couple: Clark J., Frank G, Mary (Nanninga), and Earl S.

Simon died May 1900 at the age of 65 and Mattie died Nov. 1920 at the age of 64. Both are buried in the Ireton Cemetery.

RESEARCH NOTES: Added by Wilma J. Vande Berg From a report on ancestry.com public member trees as submitted by other than this submitter.

Wells History - Simon Wells was born 2 Apr 1835 Chester Twp. Geauga County Ohio and died 28 May 1900 buried Ireton, Sioux County IA . He was the son of Caleb Wells 1801-1868 and Nancy Griffith 1805-1886. According to the report on ancestry Simon’s ancestry goes back to Peter Wells born 1681 Kingstown RI and died 7 Nov 1732 same location. Simon Wells married Elvina Zollars born 1843, on 27 Aug 1865 Black Hawk IA. They divorced 24 Sep 1877 Blackhawk IA, they had no children.
Simon then came to Sioux County in about 1880 and married Martha Orianna Sherman on 11 Oct 1881.

Sherman History – Martha Orianna Sherman was born 25 Aug 1856 Edinboro, Erie County PA and died 8 Nov 1920 Ireton IA. In the 1860 census of Edinboro PA she was the daughter of Lorenzo D. Sherman 1826 NY – 1889 and Martha Reynolds 1817-1899. In 1875 she was united in marriage to George Whalen. Two sons,George - ‘Herbert’ Whalen of Minneapolis in 1920 and John’ Ray’ Whalen of Ireton, were born to this union, they were divorced and on 11 Oct 1881 Martha married Simon Wells. Simon and Martha had four children as listed below:

Children of Martha Sherman and George Whalen
1. George ‘Herbert’ Whalen born 30 Jul 1877 Ireton Iowa died 4 Mar 1940 Alameda County CA. His wife was Bertha Jan Swan (Zeijers) 1879-1945. They had three children June Wahlen 1900, June Adeline Whalen 1902-199, Carroll R. Whalen 1905.
2. John ‘Ray’ Whalen born Jul 11, 1878 Ireton IA died 2 Aug 1924. Hawarden IA. Death due to alcoholism. He was single. His obituary stated his father had died when he was a young boy. But it appears his father born 1849 died 1911 remarried to Mary Aurner and moved to Emmons County ND In the 1880s and went on to have a family of about ten children.

Children of Simon Wells and Martha ‘Mattie’ Sherman
1. Clark J .Wells born Aug 1883 Ireton IA died March 1964 at Coolidge AZ He married Mrs. Dora Getz of Pomeroy IA. He had a step son.
2. Frank Wells was born Dec 25, 1885 Ireton IA and he died jun 1957 Ireton. He married Alice Mc Dougal 1911. They had three daughters, Mrs. Elmer Vander Hamm of Ireton, Mrs. Mike Schnee and Mrs. William Goddy of Sioux City; and five sons, Milton of Sioux Falls, Allen of Mauricetown MN, Charles of Lake Benton MN, Willis of Ireton and Merle of Sioux City. See his obit on this web page.
3. Mary Zena Wells Nanninga born 1887 Ireton IA died 1 Mar 1964 Oakland CA She married John F. Namminga 20 Feb 1907 Sioux county IA. . They had children Earl E. Namminga of Oakland CA, Mrs. Lucille Gareenhaigh of San Francisco, and Roscoe W. Namminga of Oakland. Later Mary was Mrs. Mary Thompson of Oakland CA
4. Earl Wells was born Oct 11, 1889 Ireton IA and he died Oct 1957 Ireton. . He married Sylvia Rookstool of Springfield MO. They had tow sons, Eugene and Keith and one daughter Mrs. Earline Vernon Amundson of Wisconsin. See his obituary on this web page.

From the June 6, 1900 Sioux County Herald:
Simon Wells, who was sent to the Clarinda asylum from Reading township last year, died last week and was buried at Ireton last Thursday. Mr. Wells when in health was much respected.
Poster's note: When we researched Mr. Wells for the Ireton veterans project, we found that he was born on April 2, 1835, the son of Nancy and Caleb Wells. In 1850, the family lived in Green County in southern Wisconsin and moved to Spring Township, Blackhawk County, Iowa before 1860.
Simon enlisted in Co. C of the 31st Iowa Infantry Regiment on September 24, 1862. The regiment saw action at Vicksburg and across the south and through campaigns in Georgia and South Carolina. Simon was mustered out on June 27, 1865.
After the war, Simon farmed in Fox Township, Blackhawk County. He was married but he and his wife Elvina divorced before 1880 and did not appear to have any children. Simon and his brother Henry came to Sioux County about 1881 and on October 11, 1882, Simon married Mattie Orienda Sherman, daughter of Martha and Lorenzo D. Sherman. Mattie was also divorced from her first husband, George Whalen, with whom she had two sons, Herbert Whalen and J. Ray Whalen.
Mattie and Simon farmed north of Ireton. Simon passed away on May 28, 1900. Simon and Mattie were the parents of four children: Clark J. Wells, Frank Wells, Mary (Wells) Nanninga, and Earl Wells.

From the Thursday, November 11, 1920 Hawarden Independent:
Death of Pioneer Woman
Mrs. Mattie O. Wells, one of the pioneer residents of Sioux county, died at her home in Ireton Monday evening, after an illness of more than two years' duration. She lapsed into unconsciousness last Friday and the end came in calm peaceful sleep. Funeral services were held at the M. E. church at 2 o'clock Thursday afternoon and interment was made in the Ireton cemetery.
Mattie O. Sherman was born in Erie, Pa., August 25, 1856. She came to Sioux county with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. L. D. Sherman, in 1870. They located on a homestead close to where the town of Ireton now stands, and the deceased has always lived in this vicinity since those early days. In 1875 she was united in marriage to George Whalen. Two sons, Herbert Whalen of Minneapolis and Ray Whalen of Ireton, were born to this union, both of whom survive. On October 11, 1881, she was united in marriage to Simon Welts. Four children were born to this union, all of whom survive her. They are: Clark J. Wells of Quincy, Ill., Frank Wells, Mrs. Mary Nanninga and Earl Wells, all of Ireton. She Is also survived by one brother, James Sherman of LeMars, Iowa.
Following her marriage to Mr. Wells they resided on a farm north of Ireton until his death a number of years ago. Since then she has made her home in Ireton. During her last illness she has been tenderly cared for by her daughter, Mrs. Mary Nanninga. Deceased was ever of a happy disposition, and during her long illness was cheerful and hopeful through it all. The writer has known her for many years and can speak from personal knowledge of her many good and noble qualities. Many besides those of the family circle will mourn her passing. The community extends sincere condolence to the bereaved relatives.
Poster's note: In the 1925 Iowa census for Plymouth County, Mattie's brother James H. Sherman gives his parents' names as Martha (Reynolds) and L.D. Sherman. Other information available on the internet makes it likely that Martha (Reynolds) Sherman was also Mattie's mother.

Added the obituaries of the parents of Mattie Sherman Wells, Lorenzo Sherman and wife Martha Reynold

From the Hawarden Independent of May 16, 1889.
Hon. L. D. Sherman, of Ireton died last Saturday from cancer of the stomach. He had been ailing for a long time, and although the best medical aid was summoned he gradually failed in health, until called home to the Spirit World. Mr. Sherman was one of the pioneers of Sioux county and was one of the most highly respected men in NW Iowa. His death will be greatly regretted throughout this entire section. The funeral took place Sunday and a special train was run from Hawarden for the accommodation of those who desired to go. The Masonic Lodge attended in a body and assisted in performing the inst. sad rites, in accordance with the customs of the order, of which Mr. Sherman was a highly respected member. Heartfelt sympathies to the broken hearted relatives in their great bereavement.
(the submitter has found a credible family account of the Sherman family on line by entering his name in "Google search".
Lorenzo D. Sherman born April 15, 1826 in New York, died May 10, 1889 Ireton IA, married Martha Reynolds; Born November 17, 1817 died Sept 3, 1900 (actually it was 1899) in Ireton IA. His parents were Nathan Sherman and Elizabeth 'Betsy' Peebles. Further the submitter has found that the Shermans had three children - James H. Sherman 1854-1926 died at LeMars IA buried Ireton IA 1926. Mattied Orlana Sherman born 1856 died 1920, and Mary E. Sherman (may have married a Graham) born 1859 died 1879 buried at Ireton also.

From the Hawarden Independent of Sep 7, 1899
Mrs. L. D. Sherman, one of the pioneer ladies of Sioux county, died at he home of her son, on the old homestead near Ireton, last Sunday in her 82nd year. She came to Sioux county with husband, the late Hon. L. D. Sherman, in 1870, sharing with him the privations and inconveniences of those pioneer days. As the writer personally knows their home was always a haven to those less humbly situated than themselves and more than one discouraged and heart-sick pioneer was made to feel under everlasting gratitude for their many deeds and words of kindness.
(The submitter has found more information on Mrs. Sherman as her maiden name was Reynolds. See Lorenzo D. Sherman's obituary for more details of the family. Martha is listed in the Sioux County Cemetery index as born 17 Nov 1817 and died 3 Sep 1900 however the year of death was 1899 as found in her death record in the Hawarden paper of that year. She is buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery Ireton IA.)


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