David Benjamin Vernon

Vernon, David Benjamin

From Janet Bryant’s notes:

David Benjamin Vernon farmed in Boone and Dallas Counties and at one time had a draying (hauling) business in Woodward, IA. He was living on the Wade place, now Mable Longshore’s farm at the time of his death.

His granddaughter, Dorothy Eileen Vernon (Bryant), age 7, saw him fall as he was walking to the barn and called for help. He was dead when his wife and daughter-in-law Anna got to him.

David Benjamin was not an easy man to live with, according to his granddaughter Dorothy Eileen Vernon (Bryant.) As soon as the boys grew up, they headed west to South Dakota which was “wild and woolly” in those days. They all returned safe and sound to Woodward.
(Janet also had the following article)

From Joyce Knutz’s research:

D B Vernon has followed farming and stock raising throughout the greater part of his life and is
now living upon an excellent tract of land in Dallas county. He has always lived in this part of the
state and was born in Cass township, Boone county, July 7, 1858. His father Jesse Garwood
Vernon, was a native of Fayette county, Pennsylvania, and died at Ogden, Iowa. His wife who bore
the maiden name of Melvina Peoples, was also born in the Keystone state and died at Ogden.
Both represented pioneer families of Boone county and the mother’s maiden name as use dint eh
christening of Peoples township. Conditions of pioneer life were to be seen on every hand during
the boyhood of D B Vernon and he can recall vividly the killing of buffalo near Woodward, as well
as running with is grandfather Peoples to a high ridge form which he could see a herd of sixteen
buffalo with were swiftly passing over the prairie. There were five children in eth Vernon family as
follows: Mrs Anna May Donaldson, deceased, Eva who died at the age of sixteen years. D B of this
review, Mrs Della Howe whose home is in Boone, and Myra who died at the age of nine years.
Having arrived at years of maturity D B Vernon was united in marriage in this township to Miss
Clara Smith, who was born near Sycamore, DeKalb county, Illinois, December 18, 1860, and came
with her parents to Iowa in 1871. Her father A C Smith was born in Windsor, West Vermont, May
27, 1838 and with his parents went to DeKalb county, Illinois, traveling by stage to Whitehall,
thence on the Erie canal and by way of the Great Lakes to Chicago, from which point the party
proceeded by wagon to DeKalb county, being on the way for four weeks. Mr Smith has now long
been a resident of this county and resides in a comfortable home in Woodward. His wife who bore
the maiden name of Maria J Holcomb, was born in Cattaraugus county, New York, in 1841 and
died in Ogden, Iowa, in November 1879. The children of that marriage were: Mrs Vernon, Marson L
who was born January 25, 1864, and now resides in Texas, Mrs Cora Herdman, who was bon
December 31, 1866, and is living in Thompson, Iowa, and Mrs Nora B Preston who was born
October 30, 1873, and is living in Woodward. Having lost his first wife MR Smith was married in
Boone to Miss Emily A Phipps, who as born at Monroe, Wisconsin, April 24, 1850, and the children
of that marriage are daughters Mrs Helen G Grimm and Ellen I. They were both born July 5, 1887,
and both are residents of Woodward.

Unto Mr and Mrs Vernon were born the following children: Jesse Miles, who is now a resident of
Woodward, Raymond Asahel, living in Cambridge, Iowa, William A. whose home is in Dallas county,
Frank B a resident of South Dakota, Mrs Ethel Winslow living in Woodward, Hallie M deceased,
and Mrs Edith Dockum, whose home is in Worth county, Iowa. All of the children were born and
reared in Boone county and the four youngest attended schools of Woodward.

In starting out in business on his own account Mr Vernon took up farming and stock raising, which
he has followed during the major portion of his life save for a short period devoted to the draying
business in Woodward. In 1900 he removed to Dallas county, where he is now located. He has a
productive and valuable tract of land immediately south of Woodward and he has brought his fields
to a high state of cultivation, for his methods are at once practical and progressive.

Mr Vernon gives his political allegiance to the republican party, and he belongs to the Woodward
Lodge No 460, I O O F, while he and his wife are members of the Knights and Ladies of Security at
Woodward. They are also members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and their well spent lives
have gained them high regard, establishing them firmly in the good will and confidence of those
with whom they have been associated.

1914 Boone County History Book
Obituary (from the Ogden paper Aug 23, 1918)

David Benjamin Vernon, son of Jesse and Melvina Vernon, was born in Cass township, Boone
county, Iowa, July 7th 1858 and died in Des Moines township Dallas County, August 16th 1918.
Age 60 years, 1 month and 9 days.

July 1st, 1879 he was united in marriage to Clara M. Smith and for 39 years they have walked the
valley of life together, sharing each others joys and sorrows.

To this family were born seven children. Miles J. of Madrid, Ray of Woodward Iowa, William A. of
Woodward IA., Frank of Carthage, South Dakota, Mrs. Ethel Winslow of Montivedeo, Minnesota,
Mrs. Edith Dockum, of Meltonville Iowa, and Hallie who died at the age of 5 years.

The deceased leaves to mourn their loss the devoted wife and children, eleven grandchildren,
one sister, Mrs. Delle Howe, of Norfolk, Nebr., and many other relatives and a host of friends.
In their early married life at the death of Mrs. Vernon's mother, Mrs. A.C. Smith, they took into
their hearts and home, the little mother-less sister, now Mrs. Charles Preston, whom they raised to
womanhood, giving her the same love and care they gave their own children and who today
mourns the loss of one who was a friend in deed.

Mr. Vernon had been in poor health for the past three years and his death was not unexpected,
yet the sudden departure came as a shock to the whole community.

He was a member of the M.E. Church form many years and talked and planned for the future life
and was ready when the "summons" came. He was of a mort jovial disposition and was ever ready
to lend a helping hand to his fellow man.

The universal esteem in which he was held by the community in which he had lived his entire life
is sufficient proof of his character as a citizen.

The funeral services were held on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 at the M.E. church conducted by
Rev. A.F. Conney, Pastor. Music was furnished by Misses Eva Parks and Jessie Bilney, and Mrs.
V.B. Rhoads and Mrs. Frank Shannon with Miss Iris Cooper at the piano.

The pall bearers were the four sons, Miles, Ray, Will, and Frank, the son-in law Paul Dockum
and a cousin A. M. Rhoads.

Burial was in the Woodward Cemetery.

From other of Joyce’s notes:
(taken from the Woodward Centennial book (1883-1993)

David Benjamin Vernon, son of Jesse Garwood Vernon and Melvina Peart Peoples was one of
five children. He died August 16, 1918 at his home just south and east of Woodward.
Ben Vernon, as he was known, married Clara Smith July 1, 1879. Clara was the daughter of
Asahel C. Smith and Maria J. Holcomb.

Children of Ben and Clara Vernon were: Jesse Miles, William A., Raymond Asahel, Ethyl Mae,
Frank Benjamin, Hallie M. who died following whooping cough at the age of 6 years; and Edith
Vernon Dockum, who died during the terrible flu epidemic leaving a small child, Rosamond

The older Vernon children went to the Vernon school which was on the site of the now vacant
Friedrichsen school building in Boone County on the west side of Highway 169. The younger
Vernon children went to Woodward school.

Ben Vernon had farmed in Boone and Dallas Counties and at one time, had a dray business in
Woodward. The Vernon farm in Boone County is now the Lawrence Bice farm.

Contributed by by Janet E. Bryant (barijanet@gmail.com) , May 2015

Return to the Dallas County IAGenWeb * Dallas County Obituaries