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William Howard Ladely, Sr.


Posted By: David Ladely (email)
Date: 1/19/2011 at 21:12:56

William Howard Ladely, Sr.

William Howard "Bill" Ladely told census takers that he was born in Pennsylvania. According to his obituary, Bill was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania March 23, 1819. The Ladely family probably settled there after the census of 1790.

According to Leo Ladely, William Ladely's father died when William was a child and his mother remarried to a man by the name of Wilson. Bill therefore may have had half-brothers and half-sisters. The Wilsons may have moved to Iowa about the time some Ladely relatives moved to Muskingum County, Iowa (further research on the Wilson connection is needed, as there were and are Wilsons in the same part of Iowa that the Ladelys moved to).

Family lore, supported by origins of the family name, says William Ladely was of English descent, and probably of ancient Scottish ancestry, as were most of the people living in Pennsylvania at the time he was born there. A number of Ladelys lived in northern England and southern Scotland in the 1700s, as well as Ireland. Ornithology of the name "Ladely" tends to indicate that the root "Lade" is of ancient Norse origins, meaning "barn". The suffix "Ly" may be of Scot origin. The Ladely family have been careful to retain the spelling, which goes back centuries.

Many of the people listed in the 1810 Pennsylvania census moved to Ohio in the next twenty years as canals were dug and as the national road moved westward. The 1850 census schedules show that more than 20,000 persons then residing in Ohio were born in Pennsylvania. Zanesville was the first town those traveling the national road west from Pennsylvania would come to.

According to his obituary, Bill moved with his parents from Pennsylvania to Washington Township, Muskingum County, Ohio, located on the northeast side of Zanesville. Family lore says he moved to Ohio when he was about five years old. Since Thomas and Joshua Ladely moved to the Zanesville area from Pennsylvania shortly before 1830, he likely moved with one or both of them. His obituary says the family then moved to Dover, Ohio. A town of Dover City, in Dover Township, is listed as being on the Tuscarawas River next to New Philadelphia in Tuscarwas County, northeast of Muskingum County, which is likely where they resided, but there are Dover Townships in Union county, Anthens County, and Fulton County, Ohio. Dover City is about 55 miles northeast of Washington Township in Muskingum County, Ohio.

In 1841, when he was about 22 years old, Bill moved back to Washington Township in Muskingum County, which is located on the northeast side of Zanesville. There he met Cornelia Slack, the eldest daughter of John Slack III, and married her in Zanesville on August 24, 1847 (2).

The Slack family had been in Washington Township a long time - John Slack, III, Cornelia's father and son of John Slack, Jr,. a veteran of the Revolutinary War, was born and raised in Washington Township, and he married and raised a family in nearby Zanesville. In about 1853, William Ladely and John Slack went to what was then "way out west" with two other men to Iowa City and then walked west from there to Iowa County where John Slack proved up a homestead near the Poweshiek County/Iowa County line. There is no record of William proving a homestead at that time, but he likely applied for a patent on land there, but did not obtain title until later. William Ladely and John Slack returned to Zanesville where they remained until John Slack's death in 1865. After his death, the widow Slack sold the house and land.

The Ladely family bought a covered wagon and in the fall of 1865 they moved with their children in a long, 31 day overland trek in the to the Iowa prairie. Lambert Hurd says the Ladely children were a rowdy bunch and the boys pulled each other's ears until they hollered. The Ladelys were reputedly a tough bunch, but people pioneering had to be tough or they were not likely to survive the hardships of those times on the frontier. The Ladely toughness was inherited by later generations, many of whose men were known to be good fighters ( descendant, Ron George, the Sheriff of Keokuk County, Iowa, was a fast runner and a Golden Gloves champion boxer in his youth.) The old timers seldom fail to mention that Cornelia smoked clay and corncob pipes, unusual for a woman in those days, especially to do so openly.

After arriving in Iowa, the Ladely family first located at Brooklyn. Daughter Mary was nine years old at the time. Another daughter, Charlotte, was born there. The family stayed in Brooklyn for two years, probably because William had to earn money while making improvements on the land he had chosen twelve years earlier. In the fall of 1868, the family moved to the farm, which was located very near the Slack homestead and the Hurd homestead. The farm was on the north side of 310th Street, on the northeast corner of 310th Street and Poweshiek-Iowa Road, which is the county line. 310th Street runs east and west and becomes CR F67 when it crosses Poweshiek-Iowa Road which runs north and south. The land is not flat, but is slightly rolling and there is a pond about a quarter mile east of Poweshiek-Iowa Road. The land is now a pig farm. The house and outbuildings are gone but an old barn overlooks the pond. The government quit-claimed the land to William Ladely in 1873. Patent from US Government filed for record 15 day of July, 1873:
US TO Wm. Ladely--

The United States of America to all to whom these presents shall come greeting whereas Wm. Ladley (note this spelling) of Muskinghum County, Ohio, has deposited in the General Land Office of United States, a certificate of the register of the Land Office at Iowa City whereby it appears that full payment has been made by said Wm. Ladely according to the provisions of the "act of Congress on the 24th of April 1829, making provision for sale of public land the NE quarter of Section 75 in TWP 78 North of Range 13 West. Subject to sale at Iowa City, IA (State Capitol of Iowa at that time) 160 acres.

In 1874, nine years after the Ladelys settled in Iowa, Cornelia's widowed mother and her children came to live on the unimproved homestead proved by her late husband twenty-one years before and built it up into a farm; the Slacks have lived there for generations.

The 1860 Ohio census does not list the Ladely family, but they were likely there but missed by the census takers. The 1870 federal census of Iowa incorrectly lists son Frank as born in Iowa.

The Ladely farm was located at sections 18 and 20 in about 1869-1870, just east of Dresden, across the road (which is also the county line) to the east from the Slack homestead in Dayton Township, at the west edge of Iowa County. The Ladelys eventually increased the farm to 320 acres, including the former Doty place in the northwest portion after William Ladely, Jr. married Cynthia Doty. The Hurd farm is just a short distance east and south of the Ladely farm, and is now the home of Lambert Hurd.

According to the federal census taken on August 12, 1870, the William Howard Ladely farm in Dayton township was worth $1,000.00, with $2,100.00 worth of possessions. The census shows that Cornelia's sister, Mary E. Slack, was living with them. The census shows that Ira Slack lived on a nearby farm with his wife Elizabeth and their children.

The Ladely farm was on the Deep River mail route of Poweshiek County, even though the farm was located on the west edge of Iowa County; the road dividing the counties could be seen to the west from the Ladely farmhouse on 310th Street. The Ladely family later purchased another farm in the area, a short distance due east, just east of the Mt. Zion cemetery. None of the farm houses had indoor plumbing. The town is named for Deep River, a small river just a half mile north of the town. The 1880 Powesheik County History says the river was so named because it lies very deep within its banks at that location, compared with other parts of the river. There are other theories about the origin of the name, including it being an Indian name. More likely, it was named by the early settlers of Dresden, who were mostly of German ancestry (hence the name "Dresden"). Dieb, pronounced "deep", is a German word meaning "thief" and "thief river" is a very appropriate name for it. When heavy rains occur, it floods wildly, stealing most of the crops planted in it's flood plain, and ofttimes takes livestock from pastures along its course. In those days, the settlers preferred land with rolling hills because flat land was prone to flooding.

After the railroad came through a short distance west of Deep River town, the town was moved west from its original location, in the vicinity of where the Dresden Cemetery remains, to be closer to the railroad.

The Ladely farm east of the Mt. Zion Cemetery was later owned by a son, Joseph, where he and his mother and sister Mary lived until their deaths, after which it was sold to Floyd Fish, who still owned and farmed it, as of 1984, when Evelyn Slack Moore finished her family history. The house lacked indoor plumbing, but Eveline Slack remembers the house had fine Victorian style furniture with red velvet upholstery. Cornelia had fine china and expensive cut glassware, a vase from which was inherited by Dolores Johnson. Bill Ladely died March 16, 1902 on the Ladely farm in Dayton Township, Iowa County, Iowa.
The old Ladely farmhouse was torn down after Joseph Ladely died in 1949.


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