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Fayette County, Iowa
Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa
Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County
Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago
Benjamin Ishman, a retired farmer residing in Douglas, was born in Northumberland County, PA., September 27, 1824, and is the eldest in a family of six children whose parents were David and Catherine (Rough) Ishman. They were also natives of Pennsylvania, and of German ancestry. The father, who was born in 1798, died in Pennsylvania in 1863, while the mother passed away some two years previously. The children were Frederick, who was born in 1826, is married and follows farming in Pennsylvania; David, who was born in 1828, and enlisted in the service at the breaking out of the war, was wounded and disabled at Blue Mills, Miss., came home on a furlough, returned and was discharged from the service. He came to Iowa, and after some months felt himself so far recovered as to be able to return to the army and enlisted in Company F, Seventh Iowa Cavalry, the same company in which our subject was then serving. At the battle of Julesburg, Neb., he was killed by the Indians, Joseph, who also enlisted in a Pennsylvania regiment, was wounded but served out his term of enlistment, returning at the close of the war to Jefferson County, Pa., where he now resides; Elias, the only one who remained at home during the war, is married and is engaged in farming and lumbering in Millstone, Pa. The other two children died in infancy.
The subject of this sketch spent the days of his boyhood and youth in his native State and as a helpmate on life's journey chose Miss Mary Houpt, the wedding being celebrated in Jefferson County, Pa., March 5, 1853. Her parents, Frederick and Sarah (Cashsetter) Houpt, were natives of the Keystone State, and in their family were six children, Mrs. Ishman, who was born October 11, 1836, being the fourth. Her brothers, Conrad, Elias and John enlisted in the army. The two former served in the Thirty-Eighth Iowa Infantry and died of disease at Vicksburg, Miss., in 1863; John served in a Pennsylvania regiment and was so fortunate as to pass through the services with the Army of the Potomac without special injury. He now lives in Jefferson County, Pa., where he is married and engaged in farming. They have a family of children. Mrs. Ishman's parents came to Iowa in 1857.
At the same time our subject and his wife effected a settlement upon a farm in Windsor Township, this county, where he gave his attention to agricultural pursuits until March, 1863, when he enlisted in the army and his family removed to Auburn Township. He served about two years as a private in Company F, Seventh Iowa Cavalry, doing duty on the western frontier. He incurred disability by being thrown from a runaway horse, receiving injuries which have rendered him an invalid ever since the war. He participated in the historical battle at Julesburg, where his company of thirty-seven men were surrounded by sixth Indians and afteen (sic) of the gallant little band were left on the field. When the war was over he returned to his farm in Auburn Township and followed farming until failing health compelled him to retire. He now owns a pleasant home in the village of Auburn, besides about eighty acres of farming land and several town lots.
Mr. and Mrs. Ishman have had five children, three of whom are now living: Sarah A., who was born in Pennsylvania, July 31, 1854, became the wife of Edwin Dodge, February 20, 1881, and now resides in Auburn; Nelson, born October 2, 1855, died in infancy; Hiram M., born October 22, 1858, died in January, 1869; Lewis, born August 19, 1860, wedded Mary Bemis, and with their three children they reside on his father's farm in Auburn Township; Clara Etta, born in Auburn Township, August 5, 1871, is now attending school with the intention of engaging in teaching. Mr. and Mrs. Ishman have been members of the United Brethren Church for many years; their youngest daughter is also a member, and they have the esteem and confidence of many friends. He is a stanch Republican in politics and takes an active interest in public affairs and is recognized as a public-spirited and useful citizen in the community.
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