Jacob A. Creek b. 1809 and d. 7/14/1873
Posted By: Ryan Edward Creek (email)
Date: 3/9/2013 at 14:30:19
My great great great great grandfather was Jacob A. Creek (or JA Creek in many documents). According to his military records he was born in Hampshire County, Virginia (now part of West Virginia) in 1809. Since census records were not that detailed before 1850 I cannot tell if the Jacob Creek on the 1830 census for Augusta Co. Virginia is the same Jacob but the age matches. Jacob again appears on the 1840 census (spelled CREAK) this time in the Perry Township of Fairfield Co., Ohio. I know this is the correct person b/c I know several of his children were born in Lancaster, Ohio. Interesting to note there is a John Creek on the 1830 census living in Berne Township, Fairfield County too that was about 20-30 years older than Jacob. Perhaps this was his father or an uncle? At some point Jacob married a Lydia Lane (as one record shows) but on the 1925 Iowa census Samuel Creek indicates his mother was Mary Lance. One February 27, 1849 Jacob married Catherine Knouchel in Circleville, Ohio by German minister Rev. John Wagenhals.
It was about the same time they left Lancaster, Ohio for Iowa b/c the family was present on the 1850 census living in the Liberty Township of Van Buren Co, Iowa (he was actually on the census twice, also living in the Salt Creek Township of Davis Co, Iowa - Being from this area I know that the two townships border each other so this is correct. On the census it indicates that he is a blacksmith by trade. In 1856 he had an Englishman living with the family as an apprentice. He bought/sold a few sections of land in Iowaville in Van Buren Co in the early 1850s. I believe he had his blacksmith shop in Iowaville and perhaps the family lived just over the border in Davis Co. But by 1856 Jacob and family was living in Liberty Township in Jefferson Co. It appears maybe at that point he focused on farming?
Jacob served in the 37th Iowa Infantry Co.H nicknamed the Graybeards. They were mostly men over age 40 who guarded prisons/trains. His pension record shows that he died from dropsy that he suffered from the military. He was medically discharged while in Alton, IL from the dropsy he got while in St.Louis guarding the prison there.
Jacob owned land in the Liberty Township in Iowa and also farmed. Another record shows that he was a Justice of the Peace at some point too. His great grandaughter, Ruby Livingston Dryden, supplied some information to the Jefferson Co. library in Fairfield Iowa that says the family was Lutheran. Jacob also had a son name Martin Luther so based upon these two I could almost conclude that the Creek name was German (or perhaps the Creeks married into the German family of Knouchel). Also on Martin Luther's 1920 census it indicates his father was from Germany; we know this is not correct however there must have been some reason he put Germany. Maybe he thought it meant nationality?
Jacob last shows up on the 1870 census as doing agriculture work in Van Buren Co, Iowa. Ruby's family info sheet and military pension paper indicates that he died in "Iron Valley" Stewart Co. TN io July 14, 1873. Doing a little research I found there was a post office around this time called Iron Valley and there was a mine called Iron Valley Mines. I've also been told this area was near the community of Tharpe, TN, which no longer exists. The reason Jacob, his wife, and 5 daughters went to Tennessee is a mystery. I've read that the Stewart Co. area was pretty poor after the Civil War and most of the iron ore mining had stopped. I don't know of any family Jacob had in TN and it seemed like he had a good thing in Iowa?
source: federal census records, military papers/pension papers, ancestry.com
Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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