- Livingston, Iowa -

Established 1854

A picture taken in Centerville of Livingston and Nancy after moving to Iowa and before the Civil War

Livingston and Nancy Parker

LG Parker in his older years with family

John T. Harl with his wife (standing) and his sister (sitting)

Washington and Mary Bales

Historic Livingston

The Bales Family

Washington C. & Mary P. Bales: Little is known of the early life of Washington Campbell McManton Bales and his wife, Mary P. Huffaker, except that they were residents of the Knoxville, Tennessee, area before migrating to Missouri and on to Franklin Township.  Washington C. Bales and Mary P. Huffaker were both born in 1822.  The couple and three children (Lee, Sarah and Peter) left Tennessee in 1850 and spent some time with relatives in Northern Missouri where their fourth child, William, was born.

The early home in Franklin Township: The family moved to the Livingston, Iowa area in 1851, and made their home in a log cabin.  They purchased land from the U. S. Government for $ 1.25 per acre in Franklin Township, about a mile east of what was to become the Village of Livingston.  The Mormon Trail had passed through the farm in 1846.  Three more children were born on that farm – Andrew, Thomas and John. Early family accounts of their experiences indicate that the log cabin on the farm was “not very good” and some time in the 1850s a new log house was built on the bank of Shoal Creek.  Unfortunately, that log house was demolished in the mid-20th Century. 

After the Civil War broke out in 1861, Washington C. Bales and his oldest son, Lee, enlisted in the Union Army (on August 11, 1862) even though Washington Bales had been born and grew to adulthood in Tennessee, a slave state.  Mr. Bales enlisted in Company 1, 36th Infantry Regiment of Iowa.  By historical accounts, Mr. Bales died of disease, believed to be typhoid fever, aboard a hospital ship between Memphis, Tennessee, and St. Louis, Missouri, in January of 1863.  It was initially believed that Washington C. Bales was buried in the Military Cemetery at Keokuk, Iowa.  However, later his burial records were located at the State Historical Society in Des Moines.  Those records indicate that he was buried in Shoal Creek Township (Franklin Township was originally referred to as Shoal Creek Township).  A bronze marker was obtained from the U. S. Government in the early 1970s to mark the grave of Washington Bales beside his deceased wife, Mary, in Livingston Cemetery.  The bronze marker notes his military during the Civil War. The oldest son of Washington and Mary Bales, Lee, was killed in battle in the Civil War.  It is not known where the son was buried. Mary P. Bales, Washington’s widow, died on January 31, 1897, one day short of 75 years of age. She is buried in Livingston Cemetery.

The farm north of Livingston: Peter Bales (before his marriage) moved to an 80 acre farm which came within a half-mile of Livingston to the north.  The barn, soon erected thereafter, bears a marker that it was built in 1887.  The house was built in 1897 to replace the original house which had been moved from Hibbsville.  The Peter Bales Farm was likewise on the Mormon Trail, which is now marked, and crossed the area just to the north of the building site on the Bales Farm.  Peter Bales: The third son of Washington C. and Mary P. Bales, Peter, was born November 23, 1849, near Knoxville, Tennessee.  He married Clara McCabe in 1871 when she was 16 ½ years of age.  Clara had been born May 21, 1855, in New York.  The McCabes came to Franklin Township from a location near Syracuse, New York, in 1856.  The McCabe Family moved to a farm in Section 5 of Franklin Township, northwest of Livingston.  The house was approximately a quarter mile east of what is now 110th Avenue and a half mile south of what is now 580th Street.   Peter and Clara Bales had three daughters – Winifred Laura, born May 19, 1876, married Elza Ernest Harl, and died January 17, 1973; Luella, born January 26, 1879, and married William Estes Desper and died on January 17, 1951; and Alda Ann, born March 15, 1881, married Edward E. Condra and died on March 24, 1946.  Peter died January 17, 1917 and is buried at the Livingston Cemetery.  Clara died May 19, 1935, and is also buried at the Livingston Cemetery. 

Remembrances: At the death of Peter Bales in 1917, each of the daughters received an 80 acre tract of land.  Later, at the death of Clara in 1935, the “home” 80 acres was divided among the three daughters, also, with each receiving 26 2/3 acres. The tract containing the original home where Washington and Mary Bales lived contained a sandbank which was at least partially filled with quicksand.  Ruth Harl Cook, the youngest child (and the last surviving member of the family of E. E. and Winifred Harl), now living in Seymour remembers a Sunday in the 1920s when her father (E. E. Harl) was pasturing cattle on the tract and a cow became mired in the quicksand.  The call went out for a team of horses and the hapless cow was towed to safety.  Ruth recalls that the cow lived a very long life and always maintained a belligerent personality thereafter.

- by Neil E. Harl and Ruth Harl Cook, with assistance from family and other historical records

The Burkhiser Family

The name Burkhiser has figured in Franklin Township history for nearly 150 years.  The story begins with the birth of Sebastian Burkhiser in 1804 in Germany.  He married in Germany and he and his wife, Catherine, had five children.  Three of the five ended up in Appanoose County, Iowa.  The eldest, Mary Cecilia, was born in Bayreuth, Germany, in 1829 and died in 1899 in Moulton.  The second child, Adam, had been born in Bayreuth, Germany, August 25, 1834, and died on the farm in Section 7, Franklin Township, on December 27, 1926, at age 92.  Robert, the third child, was born in Baden, Germany, in 1838 and died in West Virginia in 1904.  The fourth child, Barbara, died in Appanoose County before 1880 but the exact date is not known.  The youngest, John, was born in 1841 in Bavaria, Germany, and died in 1921 in Victoria County, Texas.  Sebastian Burkhiser died in 1843 in Germany.  In 1847, Catherine and the five children emigrated to New York and, in 1850, moved to West Virginia.  It is believed that Catherine remarried before coming to the United States.

The story of Adam Burkhiser:  Adam was 12 years of age when the family emigrated to New York in 1847 and was 15 years of age when the family moved to West Virginia in 1850.  He married Catherine Dayton in 1853 in West Virginia at age 19.  Adam became a naturalized citizen in 1859.  Adam and Catherine and their family moved to Iowa, apparently in 1856.  Records show that he served in the Southern Border Brigade (State Militia) from October 11 to 25, 1862, and was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion.  Adam and Catherine had eight children, all of whom died and are buried in Iowa.  The oldest, Mary Elizabeth, was born in West Virginia in 1855 and died in 1937 in Adair County, Iowa.  Three of the children were born in Southeast Iowa – Alice Cecilia in Lee County in 1856, Sarah Virginia in 1858 in Van Buren County and Edward in 1860, also in Van Buren County.  Grant was born in 1864 in Wayne County, Iowa, John was born in 1865 in Appanoose County.  The two youngest, also born in Appanoose County, were Cora and Ora, both of whom died at a young age.  Adam married Elvira Higginbotham in Centerville in 1873.  He later married Rosina Margaretha Schaible (in 1889) in Trumbull County, Ohio.  Adam and Rosina had one child, Charles, who was born October 28, 1890, and died July 30, 1970.  Charles farmed in western Franklin Township as had his father.

The saga of Charles (“Charlie”) Burkhiser: Charles was born in Section 7 of Franklin Township and lived in the same section his entire life.  He married Stella Davidson in 1912.  Their first born died in infancy, in 1913.  Charles, Jr. (“Chuck”) was born October 12, 1916.  The other son, Victor, was born September 27, 1918.  Chuck served in the European Theater in World War II and was a prisoner of war in Germany for 28 months.  Chuck married Mary Derrickson, January 3, 1946, in Centerville.  Chuck and Mary farmed in Sections 7 and 8 of Franklin Township during their entire married life.  Chuck died February 8, 1992.  Mary survives and is a resident of Maple Grove in Centerville.  After Stella’s death, Charles, Sr. married Louisa Ballard.  They had two daughters, Rosina Burkhiser Lowe and Maxine Burkhiser Crow.

The author’s contacts with the Burkhiser Family: As a young person growing up on the farm across the road from Charles, Sr. and Louisa, the author’s contact with Charles Sr., Charles, Jr. (Chuck) and Victor was almost daily.  Indeed, the author passed their home every school day for eight years, going to Hays School, a half mile to the north.  Adam died well before I was born but my father talked often of Adam.  Recently, the author learned that Adam (who often served as the community banker) loaned the author’s great grandfather, John Thomas Harl, some money in 1890 which could not be repaid because of the economic downturn that followed.  Accordingly, on September 29, 1892, John Thomas Harl deeded 80 acres of land to Adam in satisfaction of the loan.  When Chuck died in 1992, Mary (his widow) called and asked if we wanted to buy that 80 acres.  She said Chuck always said we should be given first chance, inasmuch as we owned land on two sides of the 80 acre tract. The author’s response was that we probably would not be interested because at that time we were mainly interested in land the family had owned. Mary casually mentioned that John Thomas Harl was mentioned in the abstract of title.  While the author seriously doubted that Harls had ever owned the tract, the abstract confirmed the 1892 transaction.  Losing the land had so thoroughly shamed the family that nothing was ever said about it.  Even the elderly living aunts who were then still living did not know of it.  So the author and his wife bought the 80 acres, with the contract dated September 29, 1992, exactly 100 years to the day after it was lost to Adam Burkhiser.

- by Neil E. Harl with assistance from Burkhiser Family Records

The Harl Family

John T. and Christina Harl, who lived two and one-half miles due west of Livingston, were early pioneers in the Livingston area and were the second owners of an 80-acre tract of land in Section 8 of Franklin Township.  They raised 10 children on that land which is located diagonally across from Hays School, named after Augustine Hays who had earlier homesteaded the tract purchased November 13, 1863 by John T. and Christina Harl.  Hays School was a classic one-room country school which was moved to the adjacent farm in the early 1980s and later demolished.

John Thomas Harl was born in 1835 near Zanesville, Ohio.  His parents are believed to have come from Virginia.  More remote ancestors are thought to have migrated from the town of Kirk-Harle (which means Harl’s Place or Harl’s Church) in the north of England.  The village of Kirk-Harle is located northwest of Newcastle and north of Hadrian’s Wall which was built in the tenth century to thwart the invading Romans.  Smaller villages named “West Harle” and “Little Harle” are located nearby.  The “e” was dropped from the name when the families emigrated to the United States.  About 50 Harl families live in Newcastle.  A family member has traced the family origins back to 1127 when land was owned in “socage tenure” to the King of England (which meant a share of the crops and other agricultural production was required to be turned over to the King each year).

Sometime before 1845, the family of John T. Harl moved to Lee County, Iowa, where the father died.  The mother and children, including young John T., moved to a home near Cincinnati, Iowa, in Appanoose County.  John T. Harl and Christina Rigler were married June 15, 1856, and commenced married life on a farm northwest of Cincinnati.  Christina’s parents, Geroge W. Rigler and his wife, Sophia Mann Rigler, had migrated with their four children from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Lee County, Iowa about 1850.

Four children were born to John T. and Christina Harl on the farm northwest of Cincinnati – Charles Henry, John Lewis, William Eugene and Ida Anna.  Soon after moving to the newly purchased farm west of Livingston, John Lewis died and was buried in the White Cemetery near the former home.  Seven more children were born after the move – Rolla Herbert, Elmer Lawrence, Albert Nathan, George Washington, Edward John, Alice Lillian and Elza Ernest (Dick).  Dick was born prematurely and, it is said, was so small a tea cup could fit over his head.  A family history states that “the mother [Christina] was of kind and gentle nature and taught her family the true value and moral standards of life.  The father was a more stern personality, but how else could you manage to hold two daughters and eight lively sons in life?”

Charles taught school and remained single.  William lived “just over the line” in Missouri for years and then moved to Greenfield, Missouri.  Ida married Charles Parker, son of Livingston Parker, who served as Appanoose County Supervisor for several years, and, after her death, later moved to Shelbina, Missouri.  Rolla married Alice Galt and lived near Cincinnati, Iowa for several years before moving to Geary, Oklahoma.  Elmer married Edna Young and farmed just across the Iowa-Missouri line.  Albert married Anna Wilkinson and lived much of the rest of his life on a farm a half-mile south of the Harl Homestead.  George, married to Floy Hawkins, farmed near Cincinnati, Iowa, later working for Quaker Oats in Cedar Rapids.  John went to Colorado, married, and returned to Iowa.  Lilian married John Findley who lived on a farm on what is now 580th Street northeast of Livingston.  Elza Ernest, the youngest, stayed on the homestead to care for his aging parents. Elza Ernest married Winifred Bales, who grew up less than a mile north of Livingston.  They had six children – Bessie Harl Bryant, Edna Harl Staggs, John T. Harl, Herbert P. Harl, Grace Harl Miller and Ruth Harl Cook, and 24 grandchildren.

In 1914, at a time of almost unprecedented prosperity, Dick and Winifred purchased an additional 160 acres adjoining the original 80 acres purchased by John T. and Christina.  The entire family struggled through the 1920s and the 1930s to keep the mortgage paid, as was the case with many farm families of that era.  The mortgage was finally paid off after a closing out sale in the autumn of 1947. Dick died at age 73 in 1950; Winifred died in 1973 at age 96.

The Llewellyn Family

William S. Llewellyn, who came to Iowa at the age of 27 in 1847, certainly ranks as one of the more colorful and successful pioneers in the Historic Livingston area of Franklin Township.  He eventually acquired 1280 acres of land in the western part of the township and 650 acres in Adams County.  All of this after arriving in Lee County, Iowa, in 1847 and agreeing to build a barn in that county “for $200, board and washing.”

Llewellyn’s parents migrated from Europe to Pennsylvania in 1817.  His father, William Llewellyn, had been born in 1789 in Wales.  His mother, Ann Meredith Llewellyn was born in Bristol, England in 1799.  They sailed for America in 1817 on a 99 day voyage.  Initially, they lived in Lancaster and Chester Counties in Pennsylvania and then moved to Muskingum County, Ohio.  In 1832, they settled in Guernsey County, Ohio, where 12 year old William S. Llewellyn, who had been born in 1820, helped his father clear 80 acres of virgin timber, build a log cabin and start a farm.

In 1847, young William S., at age 27, visited Iowa by way of Murietta, the Ohio River, St. Louis and Ft. Madison.  The experience building the barn in Lee County led to other construction work in the area.  Three years later, in 1850, he left Iowa by wagon train for the California gold fields, traveling along the Platte River and through Salt Lake City to California.  After what family accounts termed “moderate success” in California, he returned to Iowa in 1852 by way of Nicaragua, Havana and New Orleans.  He continued as a builder until 1862 and then served three years in the Union Army (Company C, 37th Regiment, Iowa Volunteers).

In 1855 he acquired 40 acres of land in Appanoose County, Iowa and proceeded to acquire additional land which eventually totaled 1280 acres in Sections 6,7,8,9,15 and 16 in Franklin Township.  Most of the land was along what is now 600th Street and 110th Avenue in Western Franklin Township.  The last of that land, 320 acres in Section 8, was sold in 2003 to Neil E. and Darlene R. Harl.  Neil’s parents were tenants on that farm from 1937 to 1962.  That farm had been homesteaded in 1856 and handed down through the generations by inheritance.  Most of that farm had never been sold until the sale in 2003.

In 1866, at age 46, William S. Llewellyn married Mary Fox who had been born in 1834.  They had three children – Jessie Llewellyn Cover, born in 1867, William S. Llewellyn, Jr. born in 1870 and Franklin E. Llewellyn, born in 1876.  After the death of William S. Llewellyn in 1905 (he is buried at Southlawn Cemetery in Seymour) Jessie Cover purchased her brothers’ shares in the farms.  The land was managed by  her husband, Dr. O A. Cover until his death in 1916.  Dr. Cover had planned to move from Seymour to San Bernardino, California and his wife, Jessie, and young son, William L. Cover, had already departed from Seymour when Dr. Cover was killed crossing the railroad tracks in Seymour in a snowstorm.  Mrs. Cover and son Bill remained in California where she died in 1946 and William L. Cover, also a medical doctor, died in 1993.  Dr. Cover left four sons, all residents of California.

- by Neil E. Harl, drawing from an essay on the Life of William S. Llewellyn

The Parker Family

What kind of person would have pulled up stakes in the mid-1800s and come several hundred miles into unsettled territory to make his home?  Let’s call him, intelligent, educated, adventurous, committed, a man of integrity who loved his family and God.  All these adjectives describe Livingston Parker who came to Franklin Township in 1854.  Parker was born in Henderson, New York, February 7, 1815.  Parker went through the “common schools” and graduated from the Belleville Academy and pursued a course in Civil Engineering.  He also graduated from Union College, now Union University, in Schenectady, New York, in 1835.  He taught school in Northern New York and studied law.  In 1838 he moved to Dayton, Ohio, where he was employed as an engineer in constructing the Miami Canal.  On June2, 1841, he married Nancy J. Barney.  They taught school for several years in Ohio.

It was his father-in-law, Benjamin Barney, who was given claims to land in Franklin Township, Iowa, in payment for his wartime service.  Parker must have been about 38 years of age at the time that he and his father-in-law made a long, arduous journey on horseback to find a place to homestead in Appanoose County, IA.  Parker and Barney laid claim to 320 acres of land in Franklin Township.  They then returned to Urbana, Ohio, so that Parker could finish his term as an instructor at the Union Academy.  His family and the Barney family returned the following year to make the claim their permanent home.

When Parker and Barney got to Franklin Township, they found ample amounts of trees for lumber, water for a mill and necessities of life, coal, clay for a brick kiln and shelter.  They determined it to be a good place to meet the needs of the families who would gather there.  Iowa had just become a state in 1846 and by 1853 when the men came to stake their claims, settlers were making their ways westward into Iowa.  Farmland was homesteaded in the area from around 1850 to 1856 because of its rich, productive soils, particularly to the west.

Parker was a leader.  He was a person of integrity.  Other settlers in the area looked to him as the standard of this pioneer life.  They named the village they were settling after the man, Livingston Parker, calling it Livingston.  Parker was a surveyor, a brick maker, a coal miner.  He became a minister celebrating his calling and new occupation with a two-day ordination service in Franklin Baptist Church, which he was instrumental in building.  He was co-publisher of the Centerville newspaper, which was a Republican newspaper.  In basically Democratic Appanoose County, this could have been a life or death matter.  However, things of this magnitude did not deter Parker from doing what he believed was right.

Although past the age of military duty, Parker enlisted in Company B, Sixth Kansas Cavalry, in May of 1863.  He had previously been a Quartermaster Sergeant but was given an officer’s commission for Company M, Sixth Kansas Cavalry.  He was almost immediately given the command of Company B of that unit and was stationed at Westport, Missouri.  Later, he became First Lieutenant of Company M, Fifth Kansas Cavalry, and, afterward, Captain of that company.

The company was a typical frontier crowd, composed of Mexicans, Indians and soldiers from the regular army, a group of almost every nationality and occupation.  It has been written “this Company has a record not excelled by any that served in the Civil War.”  It is reported that they engaged in the pursuit of Quantrill, after the burning of Lawrence, Kansas, on August 21, 1863, and on that occasion were in the saddle for 36 continuous hours.  William C. Quantrill was the leader of a confederate guerilla band during the Civil War.  Quantrill led his troops on raids against Kansas and Missouri farmers and townspeople who favored the Union.

A book of letters written between Parker and his wife during the time of the Civil War was given to Historic Livingston Foundation by a great granddaughter of Parker and is to be on display in the Historic Livingston Museum.  It tells of the hardships of a wife raising the children and keeping a farm going while her husband is in the war.  Livingston’s wife was the first schoolteacher in Livingston.  She also accompanied her husband at times and nursed the soldiers during that time.  The letters in that book reveal that she was an amazing woman.

The Parkers lost one of their sons in a Civil War battle.  Two sons served with their father in the war.  In this battle, both sons were engaged in war.  Both were injured, one fatally.  The letters reveal the love Parker had for his sons and the agony of losing one of them.  Parker died at Livingston, Iowa, Appanoose County, on March 23, 1905, at the age of 92.  He and his wife are buried in Livingston Cemetery.

The Phillips Family

Although no close relatives remain in the community, the J. C. Phillips Family was one of the better-known Pioneer Families of the Historic Livingston area.  The farming operations of the family extended over Southwestern Appanoose County, Wayne County and into Missouri in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.  The family is associated most prominently with Section 17 in Franklin Township, one mile south and one and one-half miles west of Livingston on what is now known as 600th Street.  The farm is presently owned by Kirk Vanderlinden and his mother, Marilyn Vanderlinden and is one of the few instances in the county where a farm makes up an entire section.

J. C. Phillips was descended from European origins with ancestors moving to 17th Century Massachusetts and Connecticut, to 18th Century Vermont and Maryland and to early 19th Century New York, Ohio and Indiana.  John Calvin Phillips was born in 1840 in Ohio and raised and educated in that state.  He farmed there until 1862 when he enlisted in Company F, 91st Ohio Volunteer Infantry, seeing action until the end of the Civil War in 1865.  He received a disability pension until his death on March 1, 1922, at age 81, because of injuries suffered in the war.  He is buried at Southlawn Cemetery in Seymour.  He was married to Clementine Drake (who was born in 1843) in Portsmouth, Ohio, on August 24, 1862, 15 days after enlisting in the Union Army.  Clementine was a 19-year old school teacher who continued teaching during the Civil War.  Family accounts recite that she was “apparently quite musical” and was very strict about the children’s grammar.

In the fall of 1868, the young family moved west to Missouri, settling on a farm in Pettis County near Sedalia.  In 1872, they moved to Monroe Township in Wayne County, Iowa.  J. C. first established himself in the livestock business in Centerville and, according to family accounts, “gained rapid and well-deserved success.”  In 1884, he left the livestock business and entered general farming, purchasing Section 17 in Franklin Township.  The 1896 Platbook for Appanoose County shows that J. C. Phillips owned approximately 1220 acres in Sections 16,17,19 and 20 of Franklin Township, mostly along what is now 600th Street and 110th Avenue just north of the Missouri-Iowa border.  Family accounts indicate that, at one time, he owned about 2,000 acres.  By 1903, his financial status enabled him to retire, at age 62, to a “beautiful and attractive home” in Seymour.  He served as a director of the First National Bank for several years.

John Calvin and Clementine Phillips had a total of 13 children.  Charles Edward and Emma Aletta were born in Ohio (1866 and 1868, respectively).  James Theophilus (1870) and Hosea Moore (1872) were born in Missouri.  The others were all born in Iowa – Joseph Walker (1873), Harris Edwin, who died in infancy (1874), Caroline Ann (1875), Barzilla Bowen (1877), Kennedy Kendall (1879), Herbert Holliday (1881), John Calvin (1882), Oscar Orville (1885) and Roscoe Clements (1888).  It is believed that each of the sons was given 160 acres of land at the time of their marriage.  For many years, Hosea lived and farmed just eat of the Franklin Community Center (formerly Simpson Chapel Church), Kendall lived and farmed four miles south of Seymour, Roscoe lived and farmed just over one mile south of Seymour and Orville was employed at Wright’s Hardware in Seymour.  Several of the children moved to Montana.

After his death in 1922, the farm comprising all of Section 17 was owned by the Bradley Family, major landowners in Appanoose County.  Following a period of financial travail, the farm ended up in the hands of a Davenport Bank which failed in 1932.  That year, the farm was taken over by the Iowa Superintendent of Banking who conveyed that farm to Joe Lindburg in 1935.  It was later revealed that Lindburg was secretary of the Committee for Holders of Debentures of American Trust Co., which provoked an unsuccessful court challenge to the Superintendent of Banking’s action less than a decade later.  Lindburg took steps to name Section 17 “Cattleland” in 1941.  A brochure about the farm, published in the mid-1940s, listed the Committee for Holders of Debentures of American Trust Co. of Davenport as the “owner and operator of the farm.”

The farm was actually operated by Charles Shubat and son Jay from 1932 until 1947 when it was sold to Henry Westergreen from Montana.  After one year of wet weather and disappointing crops, the farm was sold to Amos Siglin from Woodward, Iowa, who moved to the farm with his wife, Myrtle, and family on March 1, 1948, and the Westergreen Family moved to South Dakota.  The current owners are the daughter and grandson of Amos and Myrtle Siglin.

- by Neil E. Harl, from Phillips Family records and land records supplied by Marilyn Vanderlinden