submitted by: Julia Johnson -
[Clark, Everett]

Gravity Independent

Thursday     February 24, 1949     [p. 1]

Everett Clark Funeral Today

Everett Clark of Deer Park, Washington, son of Mrs. Jim Clark of Sharpsburg, passed away at his home last week and the funeral service was held there. The body was then returned to his old home at Sharpsburg, where in the Methodist church there, at two o'clock, funeral services are being held today and the body will be brought to the cemetery here for burial.

[Davis, Abednego Stephens “Ben”]

Bedford Times-Republican

Thursday     October 28, 1915     p. 8


Abednigo [Abednego] Davis died Friday morning at the home of his son, A.[bednego C. [ass] Davis, west of town, after an illness of only a few weeks. Mr. Davis was in his 93d year, and was among one of the oldest residents of Taylor County. Funeral services were held at the A. [bednego] C. [ass] Davis home, Sunday at 2 p. m., conducted by Rev. C. W. Proctor, pastor of the Methodist church. The remains were laid to rest in the Gravity cemetery by the side of the wife who had preceded him a number of years ago.

[Davis, Abednego Stephens “Ben”]

Adams County Union-Republican

Wednesday    November 10, 1915     p. 9

Taylor County Pioneer Gone

The following article from a Taylor County paper tells of the passing of one of the earliest settlers in this section of Iowa. Mr. A. [bednego] S. [tephens] Davis was a grandfather of Mrs. Edgar West of this vicinity. The brief story of his life will be interesting reading to many.

Abednego Stephens Davis was born December 25, 1822, and died October 22, 1915, being therefore at the time of his death 92 years, 9 months and 27 days old. His wife preceded him 11 years ago, after 61 years of wedded life; also three sons. He leaves but two sons and two daughters: John H. [ammond] of Stapleton, Neb., Abednego C. [ass] of near Gravity, Mrs. Hanna Cone of Nevada, Mo., and Mrs. Julia Sawvel of Shenandoah, all of whom were permitted to be present except Mrs. Hanna Cone, who with her daughter is traveling in the west and could not be found. There are 19 grandchildren and about as many great grandchildren.

Uncle Ben, as he was commonly called, was born in Maryland, but moved to Ohio while yet a young man and engaged in plastering. He met Almenia Barns, to whom he was married in June 1843. To this union were born seven children: Thomas J. [efferson], recently deceased, John Hammond, Frances Welch, who died several years ago in Idaho; Hanna Amelia, Abednego Cass, Charles Moltri, who died in infancy, and Mrs. Julia Ann Sawvel.

After his marriage he engaged in school teaching, which occupation together with auctioneering, he followed until he with his family moved to Decatur County, Iowa, in 1853. He remained there three years, when he went to Taylor County, where he remained a continuous resident till the time of his death, with the exception of three years spent in Hawleyville in the mercantile business. He first settled on the old farm then known as the Levi Hayden place; now known as the Allen farm, one-half mile north of the Holt cemetery. In those pioneer days there were but few settlers, among whom were Dan Leonard, John Laird, Samuel Churchill, Elihu Baker, David Baker, Norton Scott, Edward Otis and Johnnie Hayden, none of whom are now left.

His home was always open to the strangers and anyone traveling through the country received a hearty welcome, with no thought of charges. It therefore became noted as the “Halfway House” between Bedford and Quincy, which was then the county seat of Adams County.

He became widely known through southwestern Iowa and northern Missouri as one of the most popular auctioneers of his time, having cried sales as far south as St. Joseph, and those who know him remember him best in that capacity.

After having lived for several years on a farm on the East Nodaway River, he retired from the active life he had always led and took up his residence in Gravity, where he has lived for the last twenty years. Since his wife’s death eleven years ago he has been a partial invalid, spending his last days in confinement.

It is not many that are permitted to live through as many generations as did Mr. Davis. He could tell many interesting things he experienced that sound queer to us, yet make us realize how many more advantages we have than did the makers of our great state. He saw the hand sickle replaced by the cradle, the cradle by the reaper and the reaper by the binder. He saw the grease lamp replaced by the tallow candle, the candle by the coal oil lamp, the oil lamp by gas and electricity. He saw the ox replaced by the horse, the horse by steam, electricity and automobile, and the success of the air ship. He made all his children’s shoes, while his wife carded, spun and wove the texture, which she made into their clothing. We often read of these things, but very few are now left to tell such experiences, and with the passing of Mr. Davis one of the last of the oldest pioneers has gone.

Mr. Davis was a highly respected citizen and a man of many sterling qualities. Never was anyone in need but that they received something from his generous hand. He was a man of great veracity and truthfulness and although he was not allied with any church, was a believer in prayer and always respected, honored and revered his wife’s great devotion. His belief was more in accord with the Baptists.

The funeral service was held Sunday afternoon at the home of his son, A.[bednego] C. [ass] Davis and interment was made in the Gravity cemetery. Rev. C. W. Proctor, pastor of the Gravity Methodist church, had charge of the funeral services.

[Davis, Almenia Barns]

Bedford Daily Republican

Tuesday    March 22, 1904    [p. 1]

Mrs. A. Davis of Gravity Dead.

Mrs. A. [bednego] Davis [Almenia Barns] died yesterday afternoon at her home in Gravity. Mrs. Davis was near four score years of age and passed peacefully after a month decline of health. She has many friends in that locality being an old resident. She has many friends in our city. The funeral will be conducted at the residence by the Rev. Fowler tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock.

[Davis, Mary Harlan]

New Market Herald

Thursday     June 23, 1921      p. 2


Mr. and Mrs. Albert Lund of Shenandoah drove over Monday evening, called here by the death of their aunt, Mrs. T.[homas] J. [efferson] Davis.

Mrs. T. [homas] J. [efferson] Davis [Mary Harlan] passed away Monday evening at her home here, after many weeks illness. Funeral arrangements are not made at this time.

[Davis, Sarah Jane Combs]

Bedford Times-Press

Thursday      January 31, 1935      p. 3



Was Victim of Pneumonia Following a Stroke

Mrs. A. [bednego] C. [ass] Davis [Sarah Jane Combs] of Gravity died Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Frank Peterson in Omaha. The funeral services were conducted Thursday afternoon by Rev. Shepherd, Lenox, assisted by Rev. Nixon of the Gravity M. E. church. Burial was in the Gravity cemetery.

Surviving relatives are the husband, A. [bednego] C. [ass] Davis, and a son, Frank Davis of Gravity, and two daughters, Mrs. Frank Peterson of Omaha and Mrs. C. C. Mills of Lenox.

[Davis, Sarah Jane Combs]

Lenox Time Table

Thursday    January 31, 1935    [p. 1, 8]

Obituary of Mrs. A. C. Davis

Sarah Jane Combs was born December the 28th, 1858 near Peoria, Illinois [sic, see below]. When 14 years of age she moved with her parents to a farm northwest of Gravity and one mile south of Guss where she grew to womanhood.

She was married to Abednego Cass Davis September 19, 1877. To them six children were born; five of whom, with her husband survive her, Ida Mae McFarland of Omaha, Aurora Ellen Mills of Lenox, Abednego Davis who died when two years of age, Winnie Dorcas Peterson of Omaha, Francis Elmer of Gravity and Dorte Love of Weslaco, Texas.

She with her husband reared her family on a farm near Guss with occasional moves to Gravity and Clarinda for convenience of educating her family. After all were married but the youngest Dorte, she moved to a farm west of Gravity. Here and in her cottage in Gravity she remained until his education was almost completed.

In 1918 she moved to Weslaco, Texas. Here she resided until the summer of her fiftieth wedding anniversary in 1927, when she took up her temporary residence at Gravity to be near her children. Since then she has divided her time with her children on account of failing health.

In August of this year she suffered a stroke of paralysis from which she was recovering when pneumonia developed. After two days of suffering she passed away at the home of her daughter, Mrs. S. F. Peterson in Omaha, on January 21, 1935.

She was a faithful wife, and a kind and loving mother and a devoted friend to everyone. Hers was a life of sacrifice and of good Christian faith having united with the Methodist church when her children were small.

Beside the husband, A. [bednego] C. [ass] Davis and five children, one brother, Francis Marion Combs of Fleming, Colorado; she is survived by a nephew, Joseph Thomas Lower of Gravity, who is almost like her own child; five nieces, eight grandchildren; James, Waldo, Cecelia and Muriel McFarland, Mable Mae Palmberg, Mildred and Melva Davis and Frances Jeanne Winifred Peterson and four great grandchildren, Darrell, Terry Mae and Charles McFarland and Rowinna Mae Preston, besides the relatives of her husband who had grown as dear to her as her own, and a host of friends.

Funeral services were held at 2 o'clock Thursday afternoon at the Methodist church at Gravity, conducted by the Rev. Floyd L. Shepherd of the Methodist church at Lenox, assisted by the Rev. Nixon of the Gravity Methodist church.

Three favorite hymns of the deceased were selected by the family and sung by a quartet composed of J. S. Francis and daughter, Georgina, Mrs. Nixon and George Roberts. By special request of the family, Miss Francis also sang as a solo, "The Old Rugged Cross."

After the arrival of the family from Omaha, the plans, originally made to bury at Guss, were changed and it was decided that interment should be made in the Gravity cemetery.

Relatives from a distance who attended the funeral were: Mrs. Al Pullen and Mrs. Laura Combs of New Market, Mrs. Lizzy Thompson and son, Marion Thompson and wife; Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Mills, Alice Madden and Mrs. Jennie Preston, all of Lenox; Mrs. Ida McFarland and children, Waldo, Muriel and Cecelia; Frank Peterson, wife and daughter, Frances Jeanne; Miss Mildred Davis and Mrs. Elizabeth Butke, all of Omaha; and Mrs. Mable Palmberg and daughter Rowinna Mae Preston, of Nortonville, Kansas; and Rev. and Mrs. Shepherd of Lenox.

Pallbearers were: N. B. Morrison, Tom Morrison, Green Moore, Frank Morris, Will Wagner and Alph Williams.


**Sarah Jane Combs, daughter of Joseph Thomas Combs and Kiziah McDonald, was born Dec 28, 1858 in Center Twp, Morgan Co, Ohio. She is on the 1860 census in that place with her parents and with her parents on the 1870 census in Clover Twp, Henry Co, Ill. She came to Taylor Co, Iowa with her parents and married here. - Pat Combs O'Dell


[Davis, Thomas Jefferson]

Bedford Times-Republican

Thursday    August 5, 1915     [p. 1]

T. Jefferson Davis Dead.

T. [homas] J. [efferson] Davis of Gravity died Wednesday morning at his home, after an illness of about a week. Mr. Davis was an old resident of that locality.

[Davis, Thomas Jefferson]

Bedford Free Press

Tuesday     August 10, 1915     p. 8

T. J. Davis

T. [homas] J. [efferson] Davis, one of the first residents of Gravity died at his home last Tuesday after a short illness. Funeral services were held at the home Friday afternoon.

Deceased has been in the practice of veterinary surgery for the past twenty-five years and was widely known in the north part of the county. For four years he was postmaster at Gravity, receiving his appointment of President Cleveland.

Mr. Davis was a public spirited man and the progressive town of Gravity owes much of its successful growth to him or to measures he advocated.

[Davis, Thomas Jefferson]

Bedford Times-Republican

Thursday     August 12, 1915     p. 3

T. J. Davis.

T. [homas] J. [efferson] Davis, one of the oldest and best-known men in north Taylor County, died at his home in Gravity August 3, after a few hours illness. He was 70 years of age. Mr. Davis was born at Zanesville, Ohio, December 19, 1844. He came with his parents from the place of his birth to eastern, Iowa, where he remained a few years, removing then to Holt township, Taylor county. He lived there until 1881, when he moved with his family to Gravity where he erected the first business house, and where he had since resided.

Mr. Davis practised as a veterinary surgeon for more than twenty-five years. He was postmaster under Cleveland's administration four years. For many years he has had charge of the Gravity telephone switchboard, keeping it in good working order, as an electrician, and was so highly respected for his work with the telephone authorities ordered the switchboard draped in mourning for thirty days.

As a member of the Masonic lodge he was held in high esteem by all of the members, and was worshipful master for many years.

The funeral services were conducted at the residence Friday afternoon by W. L. Dunlavy and Irving Wade. The remains were laid to rest in the Gravity cemetery, the beautiful and impressive Masonic service being used.

Surviving are a wife, two granddaughters, two sisters, two brothers, and his father, now 92 years old.

[Davis, Thomas Jefferson]

Bedford Times-Republican

Thursday     August 12, 1915      p. 8


Mrs. Hannah Cone and daughter, and Mrs. Julia [Ann] Sawvel, came in from Nevada, Mo., Wednesday evening to be present at their brother's funeral Friday.

Dr. and Mrs. Charles Martin [Ida Florence] and Audrey Taylor of Avonlea, Canada, came Thursday evening in response to the message sent them Monday that Mrs. Martin's father, T. [homas] J. [efferson] Davis, could not live.

T. [homas] J. [efferson] Davis died at his home here Tuesday evening after a short illness of only two days. Funeral services were held from the home Friday at 2 p. m. conducted by Elder W. L. Dunlavy, assisted by Rev. I. E. Wade. The Masonic lodge was also in charge as Mr. Davis was one of their strongest members. Interment at Gravity cemetery.

[Davis, Thomas Jefferson]

Bedford Free Press

Tuesday    August 24, 1915     p. 3

John H. Davis who was called here by the death of his uncle, T. [homas] J.[efferson] Davis, has returned to his home at Stapleton, Neb.

[Dunlavy, William Lee]

Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa)

Saturday      October 30, 1915     p. 7

Dr. W. [illiam] L. [ee] Dunlavy of Gravity died Thursday afternoon after an illness of bowel trouble. He had an operation Monday at St. Joe, for the trouble but nothing could be done to relieve him. The funeral will be held Sunday, but no details have been planned. Dr. Dunlavy was one of the most highly respected men in Taylor County, having been a resident of Gravity forty years. He was aged 65 years and leaves a wife and four children.

[Herring, Emma Davis]

Gravity Independent

Thursday     January 17, 1901    [p. 1]

Obituary - Emma V. Herring

The death angel has again visited our town and has borne away upon its relentless wings, the beloved wife of Z. [elotes] A. [lmon] Herring, Emma V., Thursday, January 10, 1901, after an illness of about two weeks, which was endured with great calmness and patience, being characteristic of her nature. Sister Herring had taxed her physical organization to its uttermost capacity, before her sickness began, rendering assistance of the most sympathetic and affectionate kind, to the other members of her family, who had been suffering with typhoid fever for about three months, until her system was in a poor condition to undergo the wonderful strain, that was brought upon it, by that much dreaded disease. Hence, she obtained no permanent relief, until death put an end to her earthly life.

I think I am perfectly safe in saying, that sister Herring was one among the best women I ever knew, having been intimately acquainted with her for many years, as some one recently said of her disposition, "she always had a smile on her face for everybody."

She was converted under the ministry of the writer, about 13 years ago and received into the fellowship of the Gravity Christian church, where she has been recognized as one of its most faithful and consistent members ever since and whose sacred memory will be cherished by all who knew her.

She was born in Ohio, February 7, 1860 and moved with her parents Mr. and Mrs. Levi Davis, to Iowa when about ten years of age.

She was married to Z. [elotes] A. [lmon] Herring, December 25, 1877, and to this happy union was born three children, one daughter, Mae, two sons, Roy and Fred, the latter having entered the spirit land, several years ago.

In consequence of the continued illness of her husband, the funeral services were postponed indefinitely, having only a prayer and song at the residence, before leaving with the remains for the Gravity cemetery.


[Note: Iowa Marriages, 1809-1992 gives the marriage date as Dec. 21, 1877 in Taylor County, Iowa.]

[Jacoby, Gail Lester]

Lenox Time Table

Thursday      March 21, 1935      [p. 1]


Gail [Lester] Jacoby, a former Lenox resident of late of Corpus Christi, Tex., passed away at his home in Corpus Christi Feb. 23, according to word that has been received by relatives here. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. [ohn] L. Jacoby who resided for many years in the home now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Jay Hughes. He was graduated from the Lenox high school. He was about 47 years old.

Mr. Jacoby was married to Miss Nellie Savage of Gravity. He is survived by his wife and two daughters, Hazel and Angelita, all of Corpus Christi, and one brother, Lee D. [uvall] Jacoby of Lee's Summit, Mo.

[Jacoby, Lee Duvall]

Lenox Time Table

Thursday     January 29, 1954     p. 8


Lee D. [uvall] Jacoby was born in Mendota, Ill., March 28, 1880, and passed away at his home in Lee's Summit, Mo., Sunday evening at 9:40 o'clock, Jan. 17, 1954 at the age of 73 years, 10 months and 20 days. He was the oldest of two sons of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Jacoby. His brother, Gail [Lester] died several years ago in Corpus Christi, Tex.

Mr. Jacoby was graduated from the Lenox high school with the class of 1898.

After his marriage to Effie J. [osephine] Beach, daughter of the late George S.[pencer] and Luella E. [stella Cowan] Beach of Lenox, Ia., he engaged in the men's clothing business here for several years, moving to Robstown, Texas in 1910 where he was in the real estate and banking business. In 1922 the family moved to Lee's Summit, Mo., where they have since resided.

Mr. Jacoby was a highly respected citizen and businessman, and a member of the Masonic Order.

Survivors are his wife, of the home; two sons, Lyle B. of Oklahoma City and William Royce of Casper, Wyo.; four daughters: Mrs. Genevieve Hawkins, Mrs. Alice Acuff both of Lee's Summit; Mrs. Ora [Evelyn] Gorrey, Springfield, Pa., and Mrs. Maxine Giles of Kansas City, Mo. Eight grandchildren and one great granddaughter.

Norma Lee preceded her father in death, having passed away at the age of 1 year and 10 months in Texas in 1913.

[Jacoby, Leroy “Roy “ David]

Lenox Time Table

Thursday     March 30, 1911     [p. 1]


Last Saturday, March 18th, at 12 m. Roy D. Jacoby of Des Moines, Ia., died at the home of his uncle, J. [ohn] L. Jacoby, in Robstown, Texas, of tuberculosis from which he had been suffering for the past six months, at the age of nineteen years and three days.

Roy David Jacoby was born on a farm near Orient, Adair County, Iowa, March 15, 1892, at which place he resided with his parents.

Sept. 3rd, 1897, his father [David R. Jacoby] departed this life. In the following November, the widow [Mary Louise Otto] with her two children, Mildred and Roy, moved to Lenox, Iowa, where they resided until July 1904, when they moved to Des Moines. In September 1904, Roy entered the West Des Moines High School, graduating in June, 1910. With other schoolwork he took lessons in art, expecting to make that his life work. In March 1910 he contracted a severe cold from which he failed to relieve himself. Immediately after the close of school, June 1910, he went to Scott, Saskatchewan, Canada, returning to Des Moines in August, expecting to enter Drake University in September but on account of continued poor health concluded to come south for the winter. About October 10th, accompanied by his mother, he came to Robstown. But of no avail, as he gradually declined until the end came as above stated. Monday at 10:15, the body was started for Orient, accompanied by his mother and Miss Corkins. Thursday, March 23rd, interment will take place when all that is mortal of Roy D. [avid] Jacoby will be consigned to mother earth by the side of his father. He leaves his mother and one sister and a number of other relatives to mourn his departure. — Robstown, Tex., Record

[Roberts, Elmer]

Bedford Times-Press

Thursday    February 8, 1979     p. 4

Services Held For Elmer Roberts, 77, January 25

Private funeral services were held January 25 at Heritage Chapel, Youngtown, Arizona, for Elmer Roberts, 77, formerly of Bedford. Mr. Roberts died on January 24 at Valley View Hospital.

Mr. Roberts and his wife, Dorothy [Owen], moved to Youngtown from Bedford in 1967. While in this area he was engaged in farming. After moving to Youngtown, he was a building inspector for the city until his retirement three years ago.

Mr. Roberts was a member of the AARP Chapter 1, the Social Booster Club of Youngtown and the Youngtown Rock Club.

Survivors include his wife, Dorothy, one daughter, Carra Adda Drennen, Clarinda, four grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

[Smelser, Alma DeVore]

Bedford Times-Press

Thursday    February 8, 1979     p. 4

Final Rites Held For Alma Smelser

Alma DeVore Smelser, Stanwood, Washington, died January 28. She was the daughter of Rev. David and Mary West DeVore, and was born in Athelstan on June 1, 1901.

The DeVores moved from Athelstan to Tabor, Ia. in 1908. Alma and John Smelser farmed many years near Gillette, Wyo. before retiring to Washington in 1971.

Mrs. Smelser is survived by her husband, John, one daughter and one son.

[Zingg, John]

Gravity Independent

Thursday     August 29, 1907     p. 10

A Former Gravity Citizen Dies at Sheridan, Wy.

From the Sheridan (Wy.) Post, we learn of the sudden death of John Zingg a former resident of this place. We copy the following from that paper.

"John Zingg was born June 27, 1837, at Wheeling, Ohio, died at Sheridan, Wyoming, August 18th, 1907, Aged seventy years, one month and twenty one days.

At the early age of eleven years he emigrated with his father to southern Canada, where he remained until he had reached his twenty-first birthday. He then came back to the United States and settled at Gravity, Taylor County, Iowa, where he engaged in farming, married and raised a large family. He resided in Iowa until 1901, when he sold out his holdings and came to Sheridan County, with his family. They first settled on the Peter Withington place on Pass Creek, near Slack, but only remained a few months. Removing from there to the Robinson ranch, two miles west of Sheridan on Big Goose creek.

The deceased engaged in the livestock and ranch business on a very extensive scale and was remarkably successful. He also purchased a large ranch and cattle range on Clear Creek where cattle were run during the summer and then brought to the home ranch to be prepared for market.

Deceased was taken sick while at Clear creek and was brought to the Sheridan hospital where it was found an operation for cancer of the bladder was necessary. The operation was performed, but owing to the advanced age of the patient he survived only four days.

"The funeral occurred from the Baptist church in this city, Tuesday, Aug. 20, Rev. G. W. White of Lincoln Neb., conducting the services. Interment took place at Mount Hope cemetery.

The deceased is survived by the widow, four sons and two daughters, as follows: L. [oy] L. [ewis] Zingg of Clearmont, J. [ohn] H. Zingg, H. [erbert] R. Zingg and L. [uther] E. Zingg of Sheridan, Mrs. Myrta Hagie of Mitchell, Nebraska, and Miss Tucie [Tusia].

The four sons and their mother and Alvin Hagie, husband of one of the daughters, were all present at the funeral. The daughters and a number of other relatives were unable to attend on account of sickness in the family and other causes.

John Zingg had lived in Sheridan County only six years, yet it was a sufficient length of time to gain the unqualified respect of every one with whom he came in contact. His death has removed a familiar figure, an active businessman and a useful citizen.

[Note: The same obituary was printed in the Bedford Free Press, August 29, 1907, page 5, with the following introduction: “John Zingg, one of the pioneer residents of Taylor county, died at his home in Sheridan, Wyo., last week and we glean the following from the Sheridan Advance:”]