Hargis, Mahala (1843-1947)
Posted By: Karon King (email)
Date: 5/23/2010 at 22:23:36
Mahala Van Brunt Hargis
Indianola Record & Tribune, Feb. 1947
“Iowa Woman Looks Back On Century” - Indianola, Iowa, The extreme youth of the United States as a nation becomes apparent when you look over the life span of Mahala Van Brunt Hargis, who celebrated her 104th birthday anniversary here Feb. 1. After all, American history from before the Declaration of Independence through the atomic commission controversy has come in the lives of two persons – Mrs. Hargis and John Quincy Adams, fifth president and son of the second president. Mrs. Hargis was born in Dark County, Ohio, in 1843, when young Abe Lincoln, 34, hadn’t even been elected to the Illinois House of Representatives. At 80 – She was just a year and 23 days old when former President John Quincy Adams, still active in congress, suffered a stroke and died at a youthful 80. He’d been born in 1767. After her mother died, Mahala and her father moved to a farm near Lafayette, Ind., and then soon after, to Champaign County, Illinois. When Van Brunt moved again, to Iowa where he started clearing the timber away to start a farm on Highway 60, at the west edge of Carlisle, Mahala stayed behind to live with the Casey family at Champaign. Love – About the time the Civil War broke out, Mahala came to her father’s place and that’s where romance first bloomed for her as Jasper N. Hargis, home on furlough from service with Company E, 4th Iowa Infantry met her and fell in love. Jasper, at the end of his furlough – without attempting to wire a plea for an extension – went back to war. Mahala went to work in a woolen mill operated by a relative near Hartford. When Jasper returned, still youthful and vigorous for he had been just 15 when he ran away from a Fourth of July picnic to enlist at Des Moines, his first idea was marriage. Mahala then was working as a housekeeper for Dr. Ward in Des Moines. Farm – Well, Jasper and Mahala were married Oct. 1, 1865, less than six months after President Lincoln had been assassinated. The Civil War G.I. cleared a farm for his bride near Carlisle, where her father still lived. It was about 55 years ago that Jasper Hargis was named steward of the Warren County farm, where he served eight years before he died. Then Mahala, with her family, moved into Indianola. Seven Children – Mrs. Hargis, now suffering a physical “letdown” after the determined struggle toward the 104th anniversary, had seven children of whom three still live. She lives with the oldest, Clint Hargis, who has just come to his 78th Anniversary. Another son, A.C. Hargis, 75, lives at Fresno, Cal., and “the baby, “ E.M. Hargis, 67, is a Nampa, Idaho. Every day of his life, Clint Hargis eats with the same, shiny silver spoon which has the name “Wolden” engraved on it. It’s in a good as new condition – but its’ a Civil War souvenir. His father, young Jasper Hargis, brought it home after finding it in the confederate cave.
This article was found at the State Historical Society of Iowa in the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Card File in her husband's file - Jasper Hargis.
Warren Biographies maintained by Karen S. Velau.
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