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Edwards, Nathaniel Reeves 1827 & Son Peter Layman Edwards


Posted By: Wilma J. Vande Berg - volunteer (email)
Date: 4/20/2020 at 12:20:40

From the Hawarden IA Centennial Book 1887-1987 One Hundred Years On The Right Track
Page 586 -587

Nathaniel Reeves Edwards & son Peter Layman Edwards Families

Nathaniel Reeves Edwards was the son of Judith C. and George A. Edwards of Pittsylvania County Virginia, and was born April 7, 1827. He spent his early childhood in the Virginia area.

On November 4, 1850 he married Turner F. Layman, and to this union, according to family records, two children were born. Both his wife and children died in an epidemic.

Nathaniel Reeves Edwards then married Lucinda Francis Angle, daughter of Peter Angle, Jr and Nancy Ziegler on Dec 24, 1857. To this union were born a son and a daughter, Peter Layman Edwards and Lucinda Reeves Edward (Allen). The death in December 1861 of Lucinda Francis Angle Edwards left Mr. Edwards with the responsibility of raising two young children during the difficult Civil War and post war period.

Mr. Edward fought in the Civil War as a Private in Co. 1, 21 Virginia Infantry, in the Regiment known as the Turkey Cock Grays of the Confederate Army. He was wounded, and on July 20 1861 was discharged.

In March of 1863, Nathaniel Reeves Edwards married Martha Jane Ziegler, daughter of Joshua Ziegler and Evelin White of Franklin County VA. In 1868, this family migrated to Union Co. SD, to make their home on a land grant west of Hawarden. To this union were born four daughters and one son: Joan D. (Jacoby), Anna (Aiken), Lucy Eveline (Whitney), John Clement, and Marth Jane (McElhaney). Mrs. Edwards died in childbirth on Decemeber 1870.

After 1870, Mr. Edwards then married Jerusha Allen Covvey, widow of Joshua Covvey. There was no issue from this marriage.

Nathaniel Reeves Edwards was a farmer and blacksmith in Virginia and continued this profession when he came to South Dakota. According to his service records, he was a large man 6’6” tall, having a light complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. In “Per and Selma” by Melvin Johnson, P. 18, he was known to his fellow neighbors in South Dakota as ‘Hysakrotchen’ It is interesting to note in the Sioux County Independent published in Calliope March 1, 1883, Vol 5 No. 42 that ‘Uncle Nat’ “Edwards returned from this trip to Virginia having been on the road about ten days. He brought a number of families and young men with him who will locate in this vicinity.” There are many of the descendants of those early pioneers that still remain in the area.

Mr. Edwards was committed to furthering the education of the area’s young people, and he donated the land on which the Edwards School was located 2 miles west and 1 mile north of Hawarden. The school bore his name until its closure.

Nathaniel Reeves Edwards died October 19, 1891, in Union County SD. He is buried in the Pleasant View cemetery, Virginia Twp., Union County SD. This cemetery is sometimes referred to as the Miller
Cemetery. Also buried in this family plot are Peter Layman Edwards, Peter Layman Edwards, Jr., his two wives, Martha Jane and Jerusha and Martha Jane’s father Joshua Ziegler.

(Hawarden Independent of Oct 22, 1891 page 5.
N. R. Edwards, one of the oldest settlers in Union county died at his home in Virginia Township about 3 o’clock Monday morning from an affliction of the throat and lungs, at the advanced age of nearly 70 years. He was born in the state of Virginia and moved to South Dakota soon after the war, having resided in Union county for over 24 years.)

Peter Lyaman Edwards family (son of Nathaniel)

Peter Layman Edwards was the son of Nathaniel Reeves Edwards of Pittsylvania County VA., both families well known in their respective counties, and who trace their lineages to the Revolutionary War.

Peter Layman Edwards was born September 10, 1859 in Pittsylvania County VA. After the death of his mother in 1861, and after his father’s marriage to Martha Jane Ziegler in 1863, Peter Layman, and his sister , Lucinda Reeves, he half sisters, Lucy and Anna, his father and step mother migrated to Union Co. SD., to make their home on a land grant farm west of Hawarden.

On Nov. 19, 1882, Peter Layman Edwards married Elsie May McGuire of Elk Pint, daughter of Blythe McGuire and Mary Eslick. To this union were born two children, Stella May (Cooper) and Peter Layman Jr. Peter Jr. died in early childhood.

On Feb 18, 1888, Peter Layman Edwards was killed in a tragic farm accident while shelling corn. He is buried in the Pleasant View Cemetery in Virginia Twp., Union County SD, which is sometimes referred to as the Miller Cemetery. His son, Peter Jr., his father, Nathaniel Reeves Edwards, his step mother, Marth Jane Ziegler Edwards, Martha Jane’s father Joshua Ziegler, and the fourth wife of Nathanial Edwards, Jerusha Allen Covvy, are also interred in this family plot.

Although Peter Layman Edwards was only 29 years old at the time of his death, he had gained the respect of the community as a successful young farmer.


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