submitted by: Julia Johnson -


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, January 21, 1937, p. 3


Infant Succumbs

The little two months old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Anderson, who reside north of Gravity, died at the home early Tuesday morning, following an illness of two weeks with pneumonia.


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, January 28, 1937, p. 2


Infant Succumbs

Connie Lou Anderson Buried Wednesday Afternoon

Connie Lou Anderson, two months old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Anderson, passed away Monday night of pneumonia. The funeral services were held Wednesday at 1:30 p. m. at the Gravity M. E. church conducted by the pastor, Rev. Mr. Bissinger. Interment was made in the Gravity cemetery.


Bedford Times-Press, Wednesday, May 21, 1997, p. 5

LaVora Anderson

LaVora Anderson, age 84. Preceded in death by husband Leslie and daughter Connie Lou. Survived by son and daughter in law; Kenneth and Marilyn Anderson; daughters and sons in law, Patsy and Darrel Steele, Dixie and Martin McFarland; eight grandchildren; 18 great grandchildren; sister Genevieve Krause; sisters in law, Irma Perkins and Lois Scane, nieces and nephews.

Services were at the Farnam St. Chapel. Interment in Washington Cemetery, Gravity, Iowa. Crosby Kunold Burket Swanson Golden in charge of arrangements.


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, June 6, 1985

Last rites for Leslie Anderson

Funeral services for Leslie David Anderson, 79, Mercy Care Center, Omaha, Ne. were held Saturday, June 1, 1985 at Shum-Novinger Funeral Home in Bedford, Ia. with Rev. Ross Keyt officiating. Mr. Anderson died May 29, 1985.

Leslie David Anderson, son of Jimmy Keeves and Della Morrison Anderson was born Feb. 9, 1906 in Hawleyville, Iowa.

Leslie lived all of his life in and around Gravity, Iowa except for the past few years. He farmed and owned a variety of businesses in Gravity.

He was united in marriage to LaVora Lower, March 30, 1932. To this union four children were born, Patsy Anne, Connie Lou, Kenneth Leslie, and Dixie Lynn. He was preceded in death by a daughter Connie Low [Lou], (infant), son-in-law Richard Hartman, brother, Virgil, and his parents.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife Lavora, Omaha, Ne., his children: Dorrel and Patsy Steele, Apple Valley, Minn., Kenneth and Marilyn Anderson, Omaha, Ne., and Marty and Dixie McFarland, Omaha, Ne., eight grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, sisters, Lois Scane, Bedford, Ia., Irma Perkins, Council Bluffs, Ia., one sister-in-law, Genevieve Krause and her husband Stanley, and several nieces and nephews. Interment was at Washington Cemetery, Gravity, Iowa.      


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, July 13, 1939, p. 2


Former Resident Dies

Dean Bales, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bales of Nodaway, died Wednesday, July 5, death being caused from a ruptured appendix.

The funeral services were held at the Methodist church in Gravity Saturday afternoon and burial was in the Gravity cemetery.


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, May 13, 1976

Last Rites Held May 8 for Elfa Bales

Funeral services for Mrs. Charley D. (Elfa) Bales, 82, of Gravity, held May 8 in Shum-Novinger Funeral Home in Bedford, were officiated by the Rev. Dwayne Madsen. Mrs. Bales died in Rosary Hospital in Corning May 5, 1976. Interment was at Washington Cemetery, Gravity.

Elfa, daughter of James William and Martha Gartell [Gartrell] Davis, was born at Gravity, January 4, 1894.

She grew to maturity in Gravity where she attended public school.

In 1915 she was united in marriage to Charley D. [aniel] Bales and to this union 13 children were born.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Charley in 1944, and five sons, Glen, Dean, Mearl Bentson, Donald and Glade.

Left to cherish her memory are her children: Goldie Thompson, Adel, Iowa; lla Mohler, Dart Bales, Marion Bales, and Garnie Bales, all of Des Moines, Ia.; Dortha Halterman, Texas; Irene Rigby and Helen Dixon from Calif.; brothers and sisters; Harley Davis, Gravity, Addie Kent, Estella Davis, Red Oak, Monie Knerr, Corning, Gladys Green, Prescott, Amy Young, 41 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; and a host of friends.

She was a kind and considerate mother and will be missed by all who knew and loved her.


Taylor County Herald, Thursday, July 16, 1942, [p. 1]

Glade Bales, 21, Dies at Gravity

Glade A. Bales, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bales, died Friday at the Charles Campbell home near Gravity. He had been ill five months.

A patient at the Glenwood hospital for many years, Bales was 21 years of age at the time of his death.

Surviving are his parents, five sisters and five brothers. Two brothers preceded him in death.

Funeral services were Sunday from the Gravity Methodist church.


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, June 18, 1959, p. 4

George Beckett Rites Here Tuesday

George Beckett, a resident of the Gravity community, died in Bedford at the home of his daughter and husband, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Anderson, Sunday, June 14 after a long illness.

Last rites were held at the Shum-Novinger Funeral Service at 708 State Street, Tuesday afternoon, June 16 with Rev. Anthony Blankers officiating. Burial in Gravity cemetery.

George Albert Beckett, son of William Taylor and Nancy Ellen Beckett, was born December 3, 1885 on a farm near Shenandoah, in Fremont County, Iowa, and departed this life at the age of 73 years, six months, 11 days.

After receiving his early education in the rural schools of Page County, he graduated from Western Normal College in Shenandoah. After teaching one year in the rural schools of Page County, he answered the call of the west and accepted employment with a survey party working near Gooding, Idaho. A year later he took out a homestead near Gooding and started to clear the land for crops.

In 1911 he returned to Iowa and was united in marriage to Grace Pearl Ginn. To this union were born five children; Mrs. Martha Anderson of Bedford, Robert T.[homas] Beckett of Napoleonville, La., Mrs. Dorothy Walker of Bedford, Richard C. Beckett of Villisca. One son, George Albert Beckett Jr preceded him in death, falling in France during World War II.

In 1929, Mr. Beckett and his family returned to Taylor County, where he farmed until failing health forced his retirement.

As a young man he joined the Methodist church and was a loyal member during the remainder of his life.

He leaves to mourn his passing his loving wife, four children, two sisters, Mrs. Flora Ginn of Conway, Dr. Martha Morrison of Shenandoah; one brother, Wm. P. [enner] Beckett of Long Beach, Calif.; five grandchildren, two great grandchildren.


Clarinda Herald Journal, Monday, June 11, 1945, p. 6

Gravity Boy dies In Crash

Mrs Harkless has received news of death of a nephew, Sgt George Beckett, who was killed in a plane crash in France on May 14. The infantryman had been overseas 18 month, had had the heel of his shoe shot off in action, his canteen pierced with a bullet, but details of how he happened to be in the plane are not known. He is a son of Mr. and Mrs George Beckett, Sr, of Gravity.


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, August 3, 1967

Final Rites Held Here July 26 For Mrs. Grace Beckett

Funeral} services for Mrs. George (Grace) Beckett, 78, of Bedford, a former Gravity resident, held here July 26 at Shum -Novinger Funeral Home, were conducted by Rev. J. Milton Kinney. Mrs, Beckett died in Bedford at the home of her daughter July 23, 1967. Interment was at Washington Cemetery, Gravity.

Grace Pearl Ginn, daughter of Aaron Thomas and Mary Ellen Ginn, was born March 7, 1889 on a farm near Conway, Iowa.

On December 11, 1912, she was united in marriage to George Albert Beckett. To this union were born five children: Mrs. Martha Anderson of Bedford, Robert T.[homas] Beckett of Jackson, Mississippi, Mrs. Dorothy Walker of Bedford, George Albert Beckett, Jr., and Richard C. Beckett of Villisca.

They lived near Gooding, Idaho until 1928 at which time they moved to a farm near Gravity.

She was a member of the Gravity Methodist Church.

Her husband and one son, George Jr., preceded her in death.

She is survived by her children; two daughters-in-law; one son-in-law; one granddaughter; four grandsons; four great grandchildren; and two sisters.

Out of town relatives and friends    attending    services for Mrs. Beckett were: Mr. and   Mrs.   Harry   Hamilton, Mr. and Mrs. Gary Beckett, and Mrs. Evon Beckett, all of Des Moines; Henry Nellon, Omaha; Mrs. Irene Cerney, Lone   Tree; Mrs.   Ted S. Kiesling, Steve and Cay, Moline, Ill.; Mrs. Leoma and Barb   Beckett, Omaha; Mr. and   Mrs.    Ethan   Parsons, Hiawatha, Kans., Mr.   and Mrs. Roy Stockstill, Shenandoah; and Mary Jean Salter, Clarinda.


Bedford Free Press, Thursday, May 10, 1923, p. 6

Obituary – Nancy Ellen Penner was born in Fountain County, Indiana, August the twenty-seventh, eighteen hundred and forty-nine. She departed this life May the fifth, nineteen hundred and twenty-three, at the age of 73 years, 8 months and 8 days, at her home in Sharpsburg, Iowa, after a lingering illness for the past six months with heart trouble followed by pneumonia.

She was united in marriage to W. [illiam] T. [aylor] Becket, October 5, 1873, in Warren County, Indiana by Rev. Colbroth Hall, M. E. Minister. To this union were born seven children, Eva May, Charles Edward, James Louis, Martha Lillis, Flora Ellen, George Albert and William Penner, all living except Charles and Lewis, who died in the West several years ago, Charles being buried in Rose Hill cemetery at Shenandoah, Iowa, and Lewis in Shoshone, Idaho.

For twenty-four years Mr. and Mrs. Beckett lived in Fremont and Page counties, then in the spring of 1902 they moved to Sharpsburg in Taylor County, where they resided on their farm just north of town until four years ago, when they moved into Sharpsburg, where Mrs. Beckett passed away.

Funeral services were held at the M. E. church at Sharpsburg, Tuesday at 9:30 A. M., conducted by Rev. Stanley Eskew, the pastor, assisted by Grover Flannery of Red Oak, after which the body was taken by autohearse to Shenandoah for burial at Rosedale [Rose Hill] cemetery.

She leaves her aged husband, five children, eleven grandchildren and multitudes of friends to mourn the loss of a devoted wife and loving mother.


Clarinda Herald Journal, October 1970


Robert Thomas Beckett Jr was born November 4th at New Market, Iowa. At the age of 10 years he moved with his mother to Des Moines, Iowa.

Robert was a self-employed carpet layer. He was a member of the United Methodist Church of New Market and had lived in Des Moines about 20 years.  

After about 6 months of illness Robert was called home Thursday October 8th, 1970 at the age of 30 years, 11 months and 3 days.

He is survived by his parents, Mr and Mrs Donal Seals of Des Moines. His father Robert T Beckett Sr of Jackson, Mississippi. A son, Robert the 3rd and a daughter Tammy Sue both of South Bend, Indiana. One brother Gary Lee and family of Polk City, a half sister, Barbara Beckett of Omaha. His grandmother Ethel Slaight of New Market and his fiance Carol Speerling of Des Moines. Many other relatives and friends.

Robert was a kind and loving son and father. A very thoughtful person who worked hard and did his work well.

Our family circle has been


A link gone from our chain But tho we're parted for


We know we will meet again.

Funeral services were conducted from the Hamilton Funeral Chapel in Des Moines at 10:30 AM on Monday Oct 12, with Rev Harry Herlein in charge.

Graveside services were held at Memory Cemetery at New Market at 2:30 PM Monday afternoon with Pastor Ed Osburn in charge.

Casket bearers were Bob Monroe, Paul Westlake, Carl Lee, Ronald Foster, Lewis Walker and Dick Beckett.


Bedford Free Press, Thursday, March 11, 1926, p. 3

In Memoriam

William Taylor Beckett was born March 1, 1843, State Line City, Ind., Warren County, and died at the home of Mrs. C. Cooper, his granddaughter, 315 North Sycamore Street, Creston, Iowa, on Tuesday, February 16, at 11:45 a. m. after an illness of six weeks caused by a fall on the walk and age infirmities with paralysis. He fought a long good fight in the faith God gave him and was ready to answer the call. Mr. Beckett was converted to the Christian faith at the M. E. church at Shenandoah, under the pastorate of Rev. L. B. Wickersham in 1887, and has been an active, earnest worker along all lines of church work and S. S. activities, and was a teacher of the men's Bible class at Sharpsburg until forced to give it up on account of poor health. Always helpful for the betterment of the community in which he lived, a devoted husband, a loving father and a faithful friend to all who knew him. He would have been 83 years old had he lived until March 1st.

On October 5, 1873, he was united in marriage to Nancy Ellen Penner of Fountain County, Ill. [Indiana], and lived near State Line City, Ind., a few years on a farm. Then in 1879, coming west to Fremont County, Iowa, and located on a farm near Shenandoah for 13 years and near Bingham 13 years. In 1902 he purchased a farm just north of Sharpsburg and there he and his wife lived for 20 years. They then retired in Sharpsburg where for five years they were happy until May 5, 1923. Mrs. Beckett was called to her reward. Upon breaking up the old home he has made his home with his daughters and youngest son who lived on the farm. Last November he came to his daughter's home, Mrs. H. E. Davey and spent the winter, very frail in health. Since New Year's he has been with his granddaughter, Mrs. Cooper, who has so faithfully gave every attention to her loved grandfather. His children are: Mrs. H. E. Davey, Creston, Iowa; Dr. Martha Morrison, Clearfield, Iowa; Mrs. G. C. Ginn, Conway, Iowa; Geo. A.[lbert] Beckett, Gooding, Idaho; William P. [enner] Beckett, Denver Colo.; Charles E. [dward] Beckett, died in 1908 at Shoshone, Idaho; James Louis Beckett, died in 1918 at Portland, Oregon. Mr. Beckett was the third of a family of 12 children, all being dead but one brother, Geo. A. Beckett, Covington, Ind., and two sisters, Mrs. Isabel Brown, State Line City, Ind., and Mrs. Jennie Jones, Aberdeen, South Dakota, all unable to attend the funeral. Mr. Beckett was survived by 17 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

 Funeral services were conducted at the Roland funeral home by Rev. W. H. Cable of Greenfield, Ia., a lifetime friend, neighbor and pastor of the Beckett family. Burial was at Rosehill cemetery, Shenandoah, the last rites being conducted by the Masonic lodge of Shenandoah of which he has been a member over 40 years.


Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa), Saturday, August 22, 1914, p. 10


On last Friday about noon at the home of Jas. Hinton, occurred an accident that caused the death, forty-eight hours later, of his mother, Mrs. Eliza J. [ane] Brasher. Mrs. Brasher had been suffering from rheumatism and had applied coal oil to her knee joint somewhat saturating her wearing apparel. She had also acquired the habit of smoking and it is supposed that she threw a match on the daily paper by her side, igniting the same and in her attempt to tramp out the flames her clothing took fire. Her daughter-in-law and grandson were in the house but when they reached her side attracted by her screams her body was completely enveloped in flames. Mrs. Brasher was born in Canada eighty-three years, three months and fifteen days ago. She emigrated to the United States in 1842, residing in Michigan, also in Illinois, Missouri and Iowa. Her husband preceded her in death thirty-two years. The funeral was held Monday at the Oak Hill church, conducted by Rev. E. E. Rhodes and burial took place in the cemetery at Gravity.


Clarinda Journal, Thursday, August 27, 1914, p. 7

Elderly Woman Burns to Death

Gravity Independent, Aug. 20: Friday, Grandma Brazer who has been making her home with her son, Jim Hinton, north of town, was very seriously burned by a lighted match setting fire to her clothing. Mrs. Brazer had been bathing her limbs with kerosene to relieve her rheumatic pains and in lighting her pipe the burning match fell to the floor, setting fire to some paper. In trying to put out the flames, her clothing was set on fire. In an instant she was enveloped in flames and before the fire could be smothered out she received such severe burns that with her extreme age she was unable to recover. The kerosene on her clothing made the accident more difficult to control. Mrs. Brazer was in her eighty-fifth year.


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, September 14, 1939, p. 7

Elmo Brown Dies

Elmo Brown, who had been at Oakdale sanitarium for treatment, died there Sunday morning. The body was brought to Clearfield and funeral services were held there Tuesday. Besides his parents, he leaves his wife and baby.


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, September 21, 1939, p. 8

Obituary – Elmo E. Brown

Elmo Edson Brown, son of Herman G. [arrett] and Minnie [Harshaw] Brown was born north of Clearfield, July 5, 1911, and died Sept. 9, 1939 at Oakdale, Iowa, at the age of 28 years, 2 months and 4 days.

He grew to manhood in Clearfield and vicinity, attended the Clearfield grade and High school, graduating with the class of 1931.

He united, on profession of faith, with the United Presbyterian Church, April 1, 1923, and was a faithful member, attending church when business and health permitted.

He was united in marriage to Miss Roena Saylor, on June 1, 1936. One child was born to them, Richard Elmo.

In August 1936, while working in Des Moines, he contracted pneumonia and never completely recovered from that illness.

In March 1937, they returned to Clearfield to make their home. In January 1938, he became ill with what was believed to be the flu but later developed into tuberculosis. In February, he went to bed, starting the T. B. cure, waiting his turn in Oakdale. On April 26, 1938 he was admitted to Oakdale hospital where he was a most cheerful, thoughtful and hopeful patient.

His wife and father were called to his bedside on Wednesday, and were with him to the end.

He leaves to mourn his passing his wife and 23 months old son, his father and mother, three brothers and one sister; Paul G. [arrett] of Indianapolis, Indiana; Ray M. and Fred W. [illiam] of Des Moines; and Harel [Hazel] Shoemaker of Clearfield.

Funeral services were held in the U. P. Church Tuesday afternoon, conducted by Rev. C. A. Pollock and Rev. L. D. Harlan.

Burial was in the Clearfield cemetery.


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, November 4, 1965, p. 8

Herman G. Brown

Funeral services for Herman G. [arrett] Brown, 89, a lifetime Clearfield community resident were held Oct. 17 at the Varner-Crew Funeral Home in Clearfield with Rev. Harvey Ruegsegger officiating. Mr. Brown died Oct. 16 at the Garden Court Nursing Home in Des Moines. Interment was at the Clearfield cemetery.

He was preceded in death by his wife, two sons, an infant son and Elmo Brown. Survivors include Paul G. [arrett] Brown of Des Moines; Hazel Shoemaker of Des Moines and Fred W. Bruner of Denver, Colo., and 12 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Mr. Brown was born Aug. 23, 1876 near Clearfield, the son of George and Nancy Skinner Brown. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church.
[Note: 1885 Iowa State Census and Iowa State marriage certificate give his father's name as James M. Brown.]


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, October 10, 1963, p. 6

Mrs. H. Brown's Rites Held September 29

Funeral services for Mrs. Herman Brown, 81, were held Sunday, Sept. 29 at the Clearfield Presbyterian church with Rev. Herbert Phillips officiating. Mrs. Brown died Sept. 27, 1963 at Clear View Home in Clearfield after a long illness. Burial was at the Clearfield cemetery.

Minnie E. Harshaw, daughter of Hugh and Sarah Harshaw, was born October 11, 1881 at Knowlton, Ia.

She was born and raised in Ringgold County. At an early age her parents moved northeast of Clearfield where on Nov. 27, 1900, she was united in marriage to Herman G. [arrett] Brown. To this union were born five sons and one daughter.

They farmed in Ringgold and Taylor counties until the fall of 1917 when they moved to Mt. Ayr and operated a restaurant. In 1919 they moved to Clearfield where she resided until the time of her death.

At an early age she became a member of the United Presbyterian Church in Clearfield.

In later years when confined to her wheel chair she found many things to occupy her time; selling of greeting cards, corresponding with other shut-ins and keeping in touch with her family in a most faithful fashion. She always showed a concern for others and had a ready smile for everyone.

Those preceding her in death were two sons, one in infancy and Elmo in 1939.

She is survived by three sons: Paul G. [arrett] of Chicago, Ray M. of Des Moines and Fred of Golden, Colo.; one daughter, Hazel Shoemaker of Des Moines; 12 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren, other relatives and many friends.


Clarinda Herald Journal, Monday, May 1, 1939, [p. 1]

J Bush Dies At Blanchard

Blanchard (Special)---J [oseph] Bush, who has lived in Blanchard the past year, had been ill for several weeks and passed away about 4:30 Monday afternoon. Funeral services were held at the Tucker Funeral Home Wednesday afternoon at one o'clock, conducted by Rev H W Schwalenberg. He was about 67 years of age. He left his wife, son, Dale, and daughter, Maxine, to mourn his death. He was born at Jackson, Kentucky.


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, February 26, 1986

Last rites for Myrna M. Bush, 91

Services for Myrna M. Bush, 91, were   held February   19   at   Shum-Novinger Funeral Home in Bedford. Pastor Duane Hunt officiated, Burial was at Washington Cemetery in Gravity.  Mrs. Bush died February 16, 1986 in Kingsland, Texas.

Myrna   M.    Underwood   Bush, daughter of Clarence and Carrie Underwood, was born at Conway, Iowa on January 14, 1895. She was raised in Sharpsburg, Iowa, where she attended the public school and the Presbyterian Church.

On   March   16, 1917   she   was united in marriage to Joseph Bush at Cairo, Illinois, and the couple lived in Nebraska and Iowa. To this union   three   children   were   born: Yvonne, who died at birth, Maxine, and Dale.

In her youth, Myrna worked at the printing office at Sharpsburg, and was later employed by Farmers Mutual Telephone Company of Sharpsburg for 27 years.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Joseph; two children, Yvonne and Dale; a sister, Mable Knott; and two brothers, Glade and Lyle.

Left to cherish her memory are her daughter and son-in-law, Maxine and Frank Bridgewater of Sunrise Beach, Texas; her sister, Gladys Elder and nephew Howard Elder of Lenox, Iowa; and two grandsons, Jay and his wife Roxie Bridgewater of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Jon Bridgewater of Houston, Texas.

Myrna was a member of the Presbyterian Church in Sharpsburg. She was a quiet and gentle woman, whose main concern was her family. She will be greatly missed by all her family and friends who loved her so dearly.


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, November 6, 1947, p. 2

Obituary – Mrs. Louise Carriker

Mary Louise Rascher, daughter of Charles and Lena Rascher, was born in Blackow County, Illinois, Sept. 5, 1874, and died in Salem, Oregon Monday Oct. 27, 1947, aged 73 years, 1 month and 22 days.

She came with her parents to Taylor County, Iowa, in the spring of 1876 and grew to womanhood here. She was married in the autumn of 1913 to Oliver Carriker. Two children were born to them, one son, Emerson, who died when four years old, and one daughter, Mrs. Francis Morrison of Salem, Oregon. She is also survived by two brothers, Fred Rascher of Nodaway and William Rascher of New Market; four sisters, Mrs. Sarah Chitty and Mrs. Lottie Chitty of Sharpsburg, Mrs. Minnie Welch and Anna Rascher of Gravity; and three grandchildren.

She united with the Methodist church in 1896. She had been in failing health for five years.

The funeral services were held at the Methodist church in Sharpsburg, Sunday, Nov. 2, conducted by Rev. C. W. Proctor. Burial was at Gravity.


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, March 3, 1960, p. 4

Mrs. Martha Davis of Gravity Died

Martha Suzan Davis, daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth Ann Gartrell, was born April 5, 1871 in Taylor County and passed from this life at the St. Francis hospital in Maryville Friday, February 26, 1960 at the age of 88 years, 10 months, 21 days. She had been ill at home for five months.

In December 24, 1888 [1889] she was married to James William Davis. He preceded her in death on January 17, 1929.

She has one brother living, Garfield Gartrell of Cogar, Oklahoma. She was one of a very large family.

She leaves to mourn her death all of her eight children: Addie Davis of Kent, Elfa Bales of Gravity, Amy Smith of Kansas City, Mamie Knerr of Corning, Estella Davis of Red Oak, Gladys Green of Prescott, Charlie Davis of Oakland, Calif., Harlie Davis of Gravity. She leaves 24 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren, 19 great great grandchildren.

The funeral service was held at the Gravity Christian church Monday, February 29, at two p. m., with Clarence M. Potter, preacher for the New Market and Siam churches of Christ, in charge. Burial was in the Gravity cemetery.


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, June 3, 1971, p. 5

Charles Davis, 67, Rites May 28

Funeral services for Charles Davis, 67, of Gravity were held May 28 at Shum-Novinger Funeral Home conducted by Carl Cummings. Mr. Davis died May 23, 1971. Interment was at Washington Cemetery, Gravity.


Bedford Free Press, Thursday, June 25, 1925, p. 6

Gravity Items

Dorothy Davis, ten-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Davis, died last Tuesday morning in the hospital at Omaha. Funeral service was held Friday afternoon from the Methodist church here, of which she was a member.


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, March 5, 1981

Edith Etta Davis, 89 Final Rites Were Held February 21

Funeral services for Edith Etta Davis, 89, of Rock Port, Missouri, held February 21 in the United Methodist Church in Gravity, Iowa, were conducted by Rev. Norman Smyth. She died in Rock Port, February 17. Interment was at Washington Cemetery, Gravity.

Edith Etta Johnson, daughter of Lewis Lincoln and Olive Patterson Johnson, was born October 31, 1891 near Yorktown, Iowa.

In her early years she moved with her family to Taylor County where she grew to womanhood and attended school. Edith joined the Methodist Church in Gravity at an early age and reared her family in the ways of our Lord and Saviour.

She was united in marriage to Frank Elmer Davis on December 7, 1910 at Beaconsfield, Iowa with Tom and Neva Lower as their attendants. They started their married life on a farm in the Guss community. To this union 3 daughters were born, Mildred, Dorothy and Melva. They lived all their lives in Taylor County with the exception of a few years in Texas and the last eight years with Melva in Rock Port when they could no longer care for themselves.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Frank, daughter Dorothy, two brothers (Harve and Frank), and a brother and a sister who died in infancy.

Edith is survived by daughters Mildred and Melva; one son-in-law, Eugene Richard Bunn, who lovingly cared for her to the very end; four grandchildren: (Barbara, Denny, Richard and Randy); five great-grandchildren: (Raymond, Robert and Rhonda Pfeifler, and Leigh Ann and Gregory Eugene Bunn); two sisters: (Lena Terry of Mercedes, Texas, and Grace Beemer of Gravity, Iowa); one brother, James Russell Johnson, of Dallas, Texas; a number of nieces and nephews, and a host of friends.

Edith spent her entire life serving others and making a home full of love for her children. She was a wonderful mother and wife, and her love endureth forever; the precious memories shall never pass away.


Bedford Times-Press, Wednesday, July 19, 1995


Grace   Diggs, age   83, of Clarinda    died    early    Monday morning at her home in Clarinda, Iowa.

Grace was born February 7, 1912 near New Market, Iowa, the daughter of John and Margaret Ellzora Davison Wirth. She was married to Harley Diggs on February 4, 1932 in Troy, Kansas. Together they lived and farmed near Gravity, Iowa for 40 years, moving to Clarinda on June 5, 1982.

Survivors include her husband, Harley, of the home; a son, Duane Harley Diggs of Eufaula, AL.; four grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, and one great great granddaughter. Also a brother, Paul Wirth of Gravity.

She was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers and three sisters, and a daughter-in-law, Ruth.

Funeral services were held Wednesday at the Walker-Merrick Funeral Home in Clarinda, with burial at the Washington Cemetery in Gravity, Iowa.         

Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa), Thursday, April 7, 1988, p. 2


Final rites were held for Beulah Jane Downey, 83, of Corning on Tuesday, April 5, 1988, at the Coen-Beaty Funeral Home in Corning. She died April 3 at Mercy Hospital.

Joe Cook officiated at the 1:30 p. m. service. Casket bearers were Jerry Carr, Curt Downey, Doug Downey, Rodney Meyer, Jerry Swartz, Robert Green and Dean Schaffer. Burial was in the Washington Cemetery in Gravity.

Mrs. Downey was born Nov. 4, 1904, at Gravity, the daughter of Nathan and Mae Laird Sexton. She was married on Sept. 12, 1923, to W. [illis] B. [ovel] (Pete) Downey at Clarinda.

They lived most of their married lives in the Corning vicinity before moving to town where they owned and operated the Downey Service Station and Downey trailer Court.

Mrs. Downey was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Pete, in 1975; five brothers and one sister.

She is survived by her children, Calvin Downey and wife, Lucille of Corning, and Mary Jane Duncan and husband, Eddie of Hiawatha, Kan.; five grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren; two sisters, Lorna Hardesty of White Salmon, Wash., and Hazel Green of Cook, Wash.; three sisters-in-law.


Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa), Thursday, July 17, 1975, p. 2


Pete Downey, son of Sidney and Martha Jane Downey, was born on May 6, 1900 in Chuckey, Tennessee and passed away at the Rosary Hospital, in Corning, Iowa, July 6, 1975, at the age of 75 years and 2 months.

He was married to Beulah Sexton on September 12, 1923, who survives at the home.

Other survivors are one son: Calvin of Corning; and one daughter, Mary Jane Duncan of Hiawatha, Kans.; a daughter-in-law, Lucille and a son-in-law Eddie Duncan. He was blessed with three grandchildren, Jolene Duncan Meyer, Cindy Downey and Janice Duncan; three grandsons, Doug and Curt Downey and Rodney Meyer; as well as one great grandson, Kelly Meyer, all of whom he enjoyed being with; three sisters, Pauline Campbell of Rockford, Ill., Mattie Russell of Greenville, Tenn., and Leota Pedigo of Decatur, Ill., and one brother, Jake Downey of Rockton, Ill.

He was preceded in death by his parents, 2 sisters and 1 brother.

He and his wife, Beulah had farmed in the Corning vicinity prior to moving to town. There they owned and operated the Downey Service Station and Downey's Trailer Court. Pete was also employed at the Westgate Housing Development.

Funeral services were held at the Larkin Roland Funeral Home in Corning, July 9, at 1:30 p. m., with Joe Cook officiating. Interment was in Washington Cemetery, Gravity.

Music was furnished by Kathleen Cook and Carrie Jo Miller. Flower bearers were Esther Cook and Libby Orr.


Lenox Time Table, Lenox, Iowa Wednesday April 24, 1996 

Jose Obed Estrella Jr. born on March 26, 1996 at Greater Community Hospital in Creston, Iowa. He was the first child for Obed and Adea (Oliveira) Estrella. Jose died April 5, 1996 (Good Friday) at University of Iowa Medical Center, Iowa City, Iowa, after undergoing open-heart surgery on April 1, 1996. Mass for Christian burial was held at St. Patrick's Church in Lenox, Iowa. Officiating the Spanish-English services were Father Dan Siepker of St. Patrick's Parish and Father Isaac True from Conception Abbey, Kansas City, Mo.

Guest speaker was Reverend Tim Maxa, of the First Presbyterian Church, Lenox and Sharpsburg, Iowa.

Soloist Julie Scott sang "Ave Maria" and "Special Things". She was accompanied on the piano by Diane Lange of Lenox, Iowa.

Interment was at the Washington Cemetery in Gravity, Iowa. He was buried next to his Great-Grandfather Frank Tillman under the careful direction of Novinger-Taylor Funeral Home in Bedford, Iowa.

Afterwards a wonderful luncheon was provided and served by the Catholic Council of Women in the Social Hall at St. Patrick's Church in Lenox.

Left to cherish his memory are his parents, Obed and Adea of Sharpsburg. His grandmother Beatrix Estrella Chavez of Celaya, Gto., Mexico. Grandparents Dorotha and Leroy Guthrie of Martinez, California, Jay and April Mains of Sharpsburg. Great Grandmothers Dorothy Mains and Jeanne Tillman of Sharpsburg. His Aunts and Uncles Eduardo and September (Oliveira) their sons Trinidad Frances and Eduardo Alexander, Victor and Maria Estrella of Celaya, Gto., Mexico, John Ross Oliveira (wife Becky) of Vallejo, California, Tammy Shawn Sure (husband Ron) son Ron, Jr. and daughter Katelin Darlene of Antioch, California. As well as many Great Aunts, Uncles and cousins.

He is preceded in death by his grandfather, 4 Great-Grandfathers and 2 Great-Grandmothers.

He brought us all great joy and love in his brief ten days here with us. Although he fought so bravely his battle to stay with us, our little one did not win this war. We take comfort in knowing he went to Our Lord in Heaven. We will Love him forever and we will miss him always until we all will meet again someday.


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, May 12, 1932

Funeral Services Held

Harold W. Hanna Is Buried at Gravity

Harold W. [iley] Hanna, 33, died at Sterling, Colo., Saturday, May 7. The funeral was held at Gravity in the Methodist church Wednesday forenoon and burial was in the Gravity cemetery.

Mr. Hanna formerly lived at Gravity, moving to Sterling about two and a half years ago.


Clarinda Journal, Thursday, May 12, 1932, p. 2

Harold Hanna Buried At Gravity Wednesday

Roy W. Hanna arrived Tuesday from Sterling, Colo., escorting the remains of his brother, Harold, former Gravity resident, whose burial took place at Gravity Wednesday afternoon. Harold, aged 33, passed away at Sterling Saturday night, after gradual failing with tuberculosis. He left Gravity about five years ago for Colorado because of his health. He leaves a wife, who is a sister of Mrs. Ernest Cuttell of Clarinda, and a four-year-old daughter, Zona Marie.


New Market Herald, Thursday, April 15, 1920, p. 4

Body Brought Back

The remains of Frank Hopkins, who formerly lived southeast of Gravity but who went to England with our soldiers boys and died in a hospital there arrived in Gravity Monday morning and were laid to rest in the Gravity cemetery. The funeral was held in the M.E. church and was in charge of the American Legion boys.


Bedford Times-Republican, Thursday, April 15, 1920, p. 5

Buried at Gravity

The funeral of Frank L. [ee] Hopkins, who died in a hospital in England with the flue, Sept. 30, 1918, was held at Gravity Monday afternoon at the M. E. church, the services being in charge of the Gravity Post of the American Legion and the body laid in its last resting place in the Gravity cemetery. The funeral was largely attended by friends from all parts of the county.


Clarinda Herald, Thursday, April 15, 1920, p. 2

A number of Clarinda citizens attended the military funeral in Gravity Monday afternoon of the first body of an overseas soldier from this vicinity to reach the homeland, that of Frank L. [ee] Hopkins, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. [lva] F. Hopkins, who live at 400 E. Nodaway Street. The American Legion comrades of the overseas hero had charge of the service, with the Methodist minister in Gravity, Rev. J. Weber acting as minister. The remains of the returned soldier were in charge of a military escort of one soldier, who came all the way from the landing place at Hoboken, N. J., to pay the last tribute to his departed comrade. We expect to publish the obituary next week.


Clarinda Herald, Thursday, April 22, 1920, p. 9

Frank L. Hopkins

The funeral of Frank L. [ee] Hopkins, held in Gravity on Monday of last week, was attended by fully 500 people, so we learn from the Gravity Independent. The sermon was preached by Rev. Weber, at the Methodist Church, Gravity Post of the American Legion having charge of the service, this being the first body of an overseas soldier to be returned to this neighborhood. The following obituary was read at the funeral service.

Frank Lee Hopkins was born in Washington Township, Taylor County, Iowa, October 12, 1888, died in Paignton, Devon, England, September 30, 1918. He entered the service of his country July 23, 1918, at Primghar, O'Brien County, Iowa. He was sent to Camp Gordon, Georgia, and remained in training there until September 6, when he was sent to Camp Merritt, New Jersey.

He was sent overseas September 13. He arrived safely in England; his death was due to pneumonia, following flu.

When Frank was 12 years old, he made a start for better living, during a meeting by Evangelist Billy Sunday, and was baptized into the Advent Christian faith, and altho he grew careless in later years, still he always had respect for the word of God and the church. Of a family of seven children, five girls and two boys, he was the first to go.


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, November 30, 1939, [p. 1]

Takes Own Life

Homer Nickell, oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Harley Nickell of near Gravity, hung himself today in a pasture near his home. He had been in ill health.


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, December 7, 1939, p. 2

Obituary – Homer Nickell

Homer Franklin Nickell was born Jan. 18, 1912, at the family home near Gravity and passed away Wednesday, Nov. 29 at the age of 27 years, 10 months and 11 days.

Those of the immediate relatives surviving are his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harley Nickell; his brother Horace Nickell and wife; several aunts, uncles, cousins and a host of friends.

He graduated from the Gravity High School with the class of '30 and the most of his life was spent on the farm where he was reared. Homer was a quiet, home-loving boy, well loved by all who knew him.

Although never having united with the church he was a great Bible student. He will be missed by all who knew him.


Bedford Times-Press, Wednesday, May 20, 1992


Funeral services for Horace Lee Nickell were held Wednesday, May 13, 1992 at Novinger-Taylor Funeral Home in Bedford with Rev. Carl Holdsworth officiating. Burial was at Washington Cemetery, Gravity, Iowa.  

Horace Lee Nickell, son of Harlie and Olive Hamblen Nickell, was born September 28, 1914 in Gravity, Iowa. He departed this life May 10, 1992 at his home near Gravity, Iowa at the age of 77 years, seven months and 12 days, following a lingering illness.

He grew to maturity in rural Gravity where he attended the Gravity School through the ninth grade. He was a farmer all his life and was handy at carpentry. He passed away in the home in which he was born.

On June 30, 1938 .he was united in marriage to Stella Elizabeth Diggs in Shenandoah, Iowa. To this union six children were born: Doris, Marvin, Steven, Galen, Edwin and Gordon.

Horace was a member of the Gravity Christian Church where he faithfully attended. He was a kind and loving husband, father and grandfather.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Homer Franklin, and two grandchildren.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife Stella, one daughter, Doris Kendall and husband; Marian of New London, Mo., five sons, Marvin and wife Liz of Gretna, Neb., Steven and wife Vicki of Ankeny, Iowa, Galen and wife Marcia of Gravity, Edwin and wife Pam of Clearfield and Gordon and friend Peggy Sutton of Denton, Texas; 13 grandchildren and five step grandchildren; several cousins, and a host of other relatives and friends.

He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Horace and Stella especially enjoyed attending the grandchildren's sports and school events as long as his health permitted.


Bedford Times-Press, Wednesday, May 10, 1995


 Stella Elizabeth Diggs Nickell, daughter of Frank and Alta Hoffman Diggs, was born November 3, 1918 in Hawleyville, Iowa. She departed this life May 1, 1995 at Clarinda Community Care Center at the age of 76 years, six months and twenty-eight days following a stroke on April 18.

She grew to maturity in Hawleyville where she attended Hawleyville School through 8th grade. She was a housewife and nurse's aide at Bedford Manor.

On June 30, 1938 she was united in marriage to Horace Lee Nickell in Shenandoah, Iowa. All their married life was spent on a farm north of Gravity. To this union six children were born, Doris, Marvin, Steven, Galen, Edwin and Gordon.

 Stella was a member of the Gravity Christian Church where she faithfully attended. She was a kind and loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Alta Diggs, husband Horace, brother Hildred Diggs, sister Lela Wirth, brothers-in-law Ray Wirth, Virgil Wiley, Loren Wiley, Ralph Schooling, and two grandchildren.

Left to cherish her memory are one daughter, Doris Kendall and husband Marion of New London, Mo.; five sons, Marvin and wife Liz of Gretna, Ne.; Steven and wife Vicki of Ankeny, Ia.; Galen and wife Marcia of Gravity, Ia.; Edwin and wife Pam of Clearfield, Ia.; and Gordon and wife Peggy of Denton, Tx., thirteen grandchildren, five step grandchildren and one great-grandson. Also surviving are five sisters, Zella Wiley, Nodaway, Ia.; Beulah Wiley, Bedford, Ia.; Elma Schooling, Creston, Ia.; Dorothy LaVaughn Dugan and husband Lowell, Gravity, Ia; Elzene Diggs, Clarinda, Ia.; two brothers, Harley and wife Grace Diggs, Clarinda, Ia.; Francis and wife Reta Diggs, Bedford, Ia.; sister-in-law Phyliss Diggs, Bedford, Ia.; several nieces, nephews and a host of other relatives and friends.

She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Stella enjoyed attending the grandchildren's' sports and school events.

Funeral services were held May 4, 1995 at Novinger-Taylor Funeral Home, Bedford, Iowa with interment   in   the   Washington Cemetery, Gravity, Iowa


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, April 28, 1999

Irma M. Perkins

Irma M. [ay] Perkins, daughter of Jimmy K. [eeves] Anderson and Della M. [ay] Morrison, was born at Hawleyville, Iowa on March 2, 1911. She departed this life at Kavanaugh House in West Des Moines, Iowa on April 24, at the age of 88 years, one month and 22 days.

She grew to maturity in Gravity, Iowa where she attended the public school and Christian Church.      

On August 12, 1942 she was united in marriage to William W. [alter] Perkins at Grant City, Missouri. To this union four children were born. They resided in Council Bluffs, Iowa and there raised their family. After the death of her husband she moved to Winterset, Iowa.

She was a homemaker.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, 2 brothers, 2 grandchildren, a son in law, Don D. Johnson.

Left to cherish her memory are her children: Mrs. Neva M. [ay] Johnson of Valley, Nebraska; William L. Perkins and wife Cheryl of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Robert T. Perkins and wife Deanie of West Des Moines, Iowa; Ben J. Perkins of Sacramento, California; a sister, Lois Scane of Bedford, Iowa; grandchildren, Vicki Bush and husband Jerry of Riverton, Nebraska; Julie Brosseau of Valley, Nebraska; Roger Perkins and wife Chris of Denver, Colorado; Robb Perkins, Scott Perkins of Des Moines, Iowa; Larry Sauer of Michigan; Tiffany Perkins, Tarissa Perkins and Troy Perkins of Sacramento, California; great grandchildren John Bush and wife Angie, Sally Bush of Riverton, Nebraska; Summer, and twins Keely and Kyle Brosseau of Valley, Nebraska; Lilli and William A. Perkins of Denver, Colorado; and Braxton Perkins of Sacramento, California; nieces, Patsy A. Steele and Dixie McFarland and nephew, Kenneth Anderson.

She loved to cook. Friends and relatives cherished the meals prepared by Irma. Her late son-in-law, Don D. Johnson always commented that if you left Irma's table and were still hungry it was your own fault.

She loved to read. After cataract surgery, her eyes began to slowly fail. Irma would read using a magnifying glass. Irma became a member of the Winterset Library. As Irma was homebound, friends and neighbors would check out tapes of books from the library for Irma to listen to. A member of the Winterset Christian Church volunteered to visit Irma and read the Bible to her. Irma looked forward to the weekly readings.

She loved her neighbors. On her birthdays she looked forward to gifts and flowers sent by an ex-neighbor from Council Bluffs, Harry Southard.

She was a kind and considerate mother, sister and friend. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

 Funeral services were held Tuesday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m. at Novinger Taylor Funeral Home in Bedford with Rev. Tracey Chamberlain officiating. Interment in Washington Cemetery, Gravity, Iowa.

Novinger Taylor Funeral Home of Bedford was in charge of arrangements.


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, May 2, 1957, p. 2


Graveside services were held at the cemetery here Monday for Homer Robinson who died in Clarinda Sunday.


Bedford Times-Republican, Thursday, June 9, 1927, p. 5

The funeral of Sam Robinson, held at Gravity yesterday, had quite a number in attendance from Bedford.


New Market Herald, Thursday, April 25, 1918, p. 2

Gravity and Vicinity

Mrs. A. [aron] O. Shank passed away Friday morning after a lingering illness. Funeral services were held from the home Saturday at 2 p. m. Interment at Gravity cemetery.


Clarinda Journal, Thursday, April 25, 1918, p. 7

Mrs. Jennie Shank

Mrs. Jennie Shank, mother of Prof. Allen Shank, a former instructor in the Clarinda public schools, died at her home in Gravity Friday morning, April 19, 1918. The funeral was held in Gravity Saturday afternoon. Prof. Shank who is now an instructor in the Chicago University was present at the funeral. He was accompanied by his wife, formerly Miss Lucille Thomas of this city.


North Taylor Review (Sharpsburg, Iowa), Thursday, December 13, 1917, [p. 1]

Ben. Swanson Dead

A telegram was received by relatives here Wednesday stating that Benj. Swanson died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Ida Hoops, Marcus. He had been ill for several days, and his son Amos was summoned to his bedside last Saturday.

Mr. Swanson was one of the old and highly respected citizens of the community, having lived in Taylor County thirty-five years, most of the time near Sharpsburg.

He was born in Kronaberg Lane, Sweden, Jan. 14, 1847, and came to America as a young man, settling in Illinois, where he married Miss Anna Anderson at Woodhull, Ill, Sept. 5, 1870. To this union were born Mrs. Carrie Underwood of Sharpsburg, Mrs. Ida Hoops of Marcus, and Elmer and Amos Swanson of Sharpsburg. Mrs. Swanson died last year.

Mr. Swanson has been a member of the Presbyterian Church for many years and was an earnest Christian gentleman, a good neighbor and a good citizen, whose decease will be mourned by all who knew him.

We are unable to learn the date of funeral as we go to press, simply knowing that the remains will arrive Friday, and that burial will be at the Gravity cemetery by the side of his beloved wife.

Worrell, Beulah

Clarinda Herald Journal, Thursday, February 12, 1987, p. 10

Burial at Gravity

Funeral services were held on Feb. 4, 1987 at the Shum Novinger funeral Home in Bedford for Beulah Worrell, a former Gravity resident. Miss Worrell, 68, died at Tabor Manor on Feb. 1, 1987 after a lifelong battle with diabetes.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Lawrence and Gertrude Worrell, and a brother, Clark.

She is survived by a brother, Leonard, of Cedar Falls; Berniece Fanning of Janesville, Martha Cheville of Des Moines, Alice McNulty of Cheyenne, Wy, and many nieces and nephews.

Burial was at the cemetery in Gravity, Ia.


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, January 30, 1947, p. 4


Lawrence Worrell Dies

Lawrence Worrell died at his home Saturday morning about ten oÕclock. He suffered a stroke Thursday evening. The funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon at the Methodist church.

He is survived by his wife, eight children and several grandchildren.


Bedford Times-Press, Thursday, February 27, 1947, p. 6

Obituary – Lawrence K. Worrell

Lawrence K. Worrell, son of William N and Janette P. [owell] Worrell, was born May 23, 1881 near Perry, Iowa and died at his home in Gravity, January 25, 1947, aged 65 years, 8 months and 2 days. When a child he moved with his parents to southwestern Kansas near Saracuse [Syracuse]. Later they moved to a farm near Clarinda, where he grew to manhood.

On December 8, 1909 he was married to Gertrude Wolcott of Braddyville, Iowa. To them six children were born. In 1920 they moved to Taylor County near Conway. They moved to Gravity in 1933, where he spent the remainder of his life.

In 1939 he united with the Free Methodist church.

Surviving are his wife and children, Mrs. Berniece Fanning of Cedar Falls; Leonard A of Geneseo, Ill., Mrs. Alice McNulty of Greeley, Colo.; Clark W. of Grundy Center, Beulah L at home; and Mrs. Martha Kimpton of Gravity. Also twelve grandchildren; two sisters, Mrs. Mira Murren of Shambaugh and Mrs. Lizzie Willits of Clarinda; and a brother, Earnest of Clarinda.

Services were held Wednesday afternoon at the Christian church, conducted by Rev Bertha Brown of Gravity and Rev A. E. Hunter of Clarinda.

Burial was in the Gravity cemetery.