Fremont County, Iowa

Family History Stories

Strait Family

by David Blake Strait and Adelia Cowles

The Strait Family originated in England, and came to America before 1700. They settled in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. After the Revolutionary War, the family moved to Gallia County, Ohio where they remained until they came to Fremont County, Iowa and homesteaded there. David Blake Strait was born November 11, 1819 in Gallia County, Ohio. He was a lawyer and farmer by profession. He married Adelia Cowles January 24, 1839. Adelia was the daughter of Harvey Cowles, Sr. and Sally Griswald, some of the earliest settlers in Madison Township, Fremont County, Iowa. David and Adelia had six children:

  1. John H. Strait (Born Feb 11, 1842) - Spouse: Roxey Radar
  2. Edwin Strait (b. April 6, 1846) - Spouse: Martha Hively
  3. Victoria Strait (b. March 25, 1849; d. 1851)
  4. Francis Meriban Strait (b. December 18, 1853, Gallia Co. OH; d. Feb 5, 1933, Hamburg, Iowa) - Spouse: Amanda Pauley
  5. Millard F. Strait - Spouse: Betty Rash
  6. Emily Strait (b. July 2, 1859) - Spouse: John McCarroll
Francis Meriban Strait was born December 18, 1853 in Gallipolis, Ohio. He came with his father to Fremont County, Iowa in 1876. He married Amanda Melvina Pauley (daughter of Jacob Pauley and Mary E. Tinker Pauley) January 2, 1881. This was one of the earliest marriages in Fremont County, Iowa (which was then Missouri). Besides farming, Francis was a teacher, teaching in the Pomeroy, Hendricks, Columbia, Eagle and Cox Chapel Schools. He was a Presbyterian by religion, belonging to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and then to Zion-Utterback. He farmed the Strait homestead until 1906, when he built a new house at 2107 N Main Street in Hamburg, Iowa. He and his wife, Amanda, moved to Hamburg, where they lived the remainder of their lives. Francis died February 5, 1933. Francis and Amanda had three children:

Their daughter Ada Adelia Strait (b. Feb 3, 1884) married John Bruce and had four children: Weston, Meriban, Richard, and Frank. Ada taught at several of the country schools, including Pomeroy School. She also worked as a bookkeeper for Connor's Store in Hamburg for five years. Ada died of surgical mumps August 27, 1933, leaving her sons to be raised by her sister, Maude. Ada and her husband, John, are both buried in Zion Utterback Cemetery, Fremont County, Iowa.

Francis and Amanda's son Jacob (Jake) Edwin Strait was born September 18,1887. Upon the retirement of Francis from farming, Jake took over the management of the family farm. He married Mabel Brainard October 1, 1914 in Omaha, NE. They had five children: Marjorie Strait-Buckner, Maxine Strait-Chance, Mazie Strait-Zimmerman, Fred, and Doris Strait-Williamson. Jake died in a tractor accident June 22, 1946, in Fremont County, Iowa. He is buried in Zion-Utterback Cemetery.

Maude Adelia Strait was born September 18, 1887, and was the twin to Jacob Strait. She attended Pomeroy School in Madison Township, Fremont County, Iowa until the 8th grade. She was baptized into the Church of Christ in McKissick Grove October 20, 1904. She married Carl Herbert McSpadden (1887-1973, son of Samuel McSpadden and Jane Elvira McSpadden) January 2, 1915 in Nebraska City, NE. They had four children: Ada Frances McSpadden-Beam (June 1917 - August 1994, married to Roy Beam), Mary Thelma McSpadden (Feb 1919 - June 1919), Robert Strait McSpadden (Nov 1921 - June 1998, married to Helen Hunt), and Carl Edwin McSpadden (b. October 1928 -, married to Wauneta Greathouse). Maude Strait-McSpadden resided in Riverton, Clarinda, and Hamburg.

The family moved into the 2107 N. Main Street home as her parents aged, raising her own three children and her sister Ada's four sons, while caring for her aging parents and her mother-in-law. The family were members of the Riverton Church of Christ and the Hamburg Church of Christ. Maude was active in the prohibition movement and community service. Maude died in Grape Community Hospital, Hamburg, Iowa on January 21, 1982.

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