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James A. Ream


James A. Ream was born on Nov. 8, 1818 in Ursina, Somerset County, PA, the son of Samuel W. and Mary (Rheims) Ream. He and his wife were pioneers of Iowa in the years before the Civil War.

At the age of 26, on Feb. 15, 1845, he was united in holy matrimony with 17-year-old Eleanor Colburn (March 19, 1827-1919), daughter of Abraham and Eleanor Colborn, and granddaughter of Revolutionary War veteran Robert G. Colborn, who took pride in having been once branded as an outlaw of King George of England. At the age of 17, Eleanor had joined the Baptist Church.

The couple produced 11 children, all of whom lived to adulthood -- Chauncey Forward Reams, Caroline Graves, Huldah Saddoris, Sarah C. Ream, Andrew Jackson Ream, William C. Ream, John Lycurgus Ream, James "Wallace" Ream, Abraham Ream, Charles Ream and Harry Ream. They named their eldest son after Chauncey Forward, a Somerset lawyer who went on to Congress and an ardent supporter of President Andrew Jackson.


East Side of the town square in Osceola, Iowa


The United States Census of 1850 shows the young family living next to James' parents in Ursina.

In 1853, the Reams struck out on their own, migrating to Iowa. Recalled a son, "We moved to Agency City, about eight miles east of Ottumwa, Iowa, where we lived for about a year. We then moved to Batavia, Jefferson County, Iowa." Their home in Batavia was in Locust Grove. After a stay of 14 years, they relocated in 1867 to Fremont Township near Osceola, Clarke County, putting down their roots permanently. During the Civil War, the family worried as son Chauncey served in the Union Army, and grieved when Eleanor's brother gave his life in the bloody cause.

Upon arrival in Fremont in 1867, there was no Baptist Church in the community, so they joined the Methodist-Protestant Church as charter members. They stayed put on the Fremont farm until the separation of death many years later.

In 1909, the County of Grundy, Iowa declared that the "married couple who have lived the longest in the state" dwelled within its borders. Osceola countered that the James Reams family rightfully held that claim, having "been residents of Iowa for fifty-six years continuously," said the Omaha Daily Bee. "They were married sixty-six years ago and moved to Jefferson county, Iowa, in the spring of 1853, then to Clark county in 1867, where they have since made their home."

James died two days after his 91st birthday on Nov. 10, 1909. An obituary in the Davenport Daily Times noted that he "was an uncle of Norman B. Ream, multi-millionaire railroad and finance king of New York city, who was raised in Osceola. James Ream and his brother came to this county more than fifty years ago." Burial was in Fremont Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]

Eleanor survived her spouse by a decade. In about 1913, she moved into the home of her married daughter in the town of Osceola. She was cut away by the Grim Reaper at the age of 92 on Easter morning, April 20, 1919. Rev. James McKay preached the funeral sermon, followed by interment in Fremont Cemetery. The Osceola Sentinel printed an obituary.

The Reams are named in the 1939 book by Elmer Leonidas Denniston, entitled Genealogy of the Stukey, Ream, Grove, Clem, and Denniston Families.


Graves of James and Eleanor Ream and children, Fremont Cemetery, IA.
Courtesy "Carla" - Find-a-Grave.com.


~ Son Chauncey Forward Reams ~

Son Chauncey Forward Reams (1847-1933) was born on New Year's Eve 1846 in Ursina, Somerset County. After relocating to Iowa as a boy, he worked on his father's farm about a mile from Batavia, Jefferson County.

On Sept. 14, 1863, as a 16-year-old, he left the Batavia farm and joined the Union Army during the Civil War. He was assigned to the 2nd Iowa Infantry, Companies C and K, and because he was so young, he was assigned to be drummer boy. At some point during the war, he was captured and incarerated for six or nine months at the notorious Andersonville prison camp in South Carolina. He apparently was released or exchanged, and he rejoined his regiment.

His term of service lasted for one year, nine months and nine days, and he was discharged on June 23, 1865, after the war's end.

He stood 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighed 165 lbs., and had a fair complexion, grey eyes and dark hair. After returning home from the army, he stayed on the Batavia farm for about a year, and then relocated to Nebraska to the town of Ponca, Ponca County. There, he learned the trade of harness making and, at the age of about 20, "ran a shop in Ponca for about two years," he recalled. "I moved about a great deal, and only lived two or three years in a place. I have had shops at Milford, Gaylord, Cawker City, and Summerfield, Kansas, at Milford, Freemont, Cawker City, Nebraska. I worked at various towns in Iowa, and out in Washington and Oregon."


Above: emaciated Union prisoners at Andersonville, where Chauncey was held as a POW. Below: the sprawling, filthy Andersonville prison. Famous Leaders and Battle Scenes of the Civil War


At the age of 24, on March 10, 1870, Chauncey married 20-year-old Susan Ellen Rucker (Nov. 2, 1849-1947), a native of Summerfield, Ohio and the daughter of James and Margaret (Baker) Rucker. The ceremony took place in Ponca, officiated by Judge Sarey.

As a girl, Susan and her family had traveled to Iowa by covered wagon and later pushed further west into Nebraska. Said a New Jersey newspaper, Susan "was a school teacher for a few years and was the first to teach at Ponca, Nebraska. In driving a double team of horses across the Missouri River, she was the first woman to traverse a pontoon bridge at a point formerly served by a ferry." She was a lifelong member of the Methodist Church. In summarizing her life, a New Jersey newspaper marveled that she was "one of the last of that band of valiant, pioneer women who, three quarters of a century ago, rode side by side with the men who opened up the American West, lessening some of the hardships of the frontier and bringing to that rugged life some of the amenities of the East. As a girl she knew Indian attacks and heard Abraham Lincoln speak. As a woman she traveled countless miles over the plains in 'prairie schooners,' made her home in log cabins and took part in gold rushes. In her own person she experienced more than the average share of the flamboyant history of the frontier." Susan's father had taken her to see Lincoln give a speech at Springfield, OH circa 1863, when she was age 14, an experience she remembered for the rest of her long life.

Susan later told news reporters that the early days of marriage were filled with "the task of rearing a family in the ruggedness of 'lean-tos' and 'log cabins'." She claimed to have helped her husband earn income by operating a millinery store in the back of his harness shop. In old age, she told her grandchildren about how her husband shot wild fowl, deer and buffalo which she then served up as their meals, and how on a winter morning she once brushed two feet of snow from her stove so she could begin cooking. She related that at other times, she had to rely on a smoky, open-fire hearth in a one-room log house, "the light flickering on thers of bunks in the corners," said one newspaper. She enjoyed telling of how she trained wild animals such as deer to be her pets. Susan also related stories to family of how at age 55 she and a daughter placed a claim on a tract of 640 acres in Wyoming and that, at age 25, while in Gaylord, KS, she had been named the best looking girl in Kansas.

Appearances and stories notwithstanding, the marriage between Chauncey and Susan was troubled from the start. Recalled Susan:

From the year we were married, March 10, 1870 when he left me a bride of two weeks, telling me he would send for me in a week or two or as soon as he located in a place to start a harness shop. I waited from that time until one year when he visited his home folks, March 1871 and I found after was influenced to send for me. he had represented himself as a single man during this time and won the heart of a school-teacher at Milford, Nebraska and was only prevented from marrying her by being already married to me. I joined him at his parents and in a couple weeks he started to find another place and left me there without money among entire strangers, my own parents having moved in the meantime to Washington, then a Territory. I went out and sewed all summer and when September came I had only heard from him once and no money and said nothing as to our future. The letter was written and dated and mailed at Nebraska City, Nebraska. With what little I had earned and borrowed $10.00 from his sister (Who by the way were true friends to me and are yet) I found him on a farm near Nebraska City. He seemed surprised and treated me well but soon planned to go further south to a little town named Table Rock, Nebr., and started a small shop. I soon went to him when he left and went to Humboldt, Nebraska twelve miles east and started a shop. A girl babe was born to us and I was soon living in Humboldt. Twenty-two months another babe boy was born. He sold out everything and sent me to relatives and he drifted south into Gaylord, Kansas and I staid three or four months at my sisters in Hampton, Iowa then went with our two children to Ponca, Nebraska to another sister. No money. I was getting tired and wrote him so and he sent my fare. I went to him at Gaylord when he started another business twenty-five miles east of me and stayed there, coming home once a week.

Their five offspring were Myrtle "Myrtie" Quinn, Francis C. "Frank" Reams, Alberta P. Hadley, Ada A.L. Parker and Ralph Everett Ream, with the eldest two born in Nebraska, the second two in Kansas and the fifth back in Nebraska. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1880, the Reams dwelled in Gaylord, Smith County, KS, where Chauncey made a living as a stock and grain dealer.

The ongoing pattern of abandonment, shop-opening, reconciliation and heartache continued. Recalled Susan:

We lived, he in one place and I in another until two more children were born when he and another man, I have forgotten the name, rigged up a wagon and started to the Black Hills. I did not see him for nearly two years then, and in the meantime I had mortgaged a little house we had and went again with four children to my sisters. I could not see that he was trying to get away from me even when told and next he showed up and we lived in Dakota City, Nebraska, and at Emerson, Nebraska. Then he left me after a drunk usually, and went to Arlington, Nebraska. I followed him there and he left and went to Washington and a baby boy was born in this town. It was more than a year when he came back and went to Emogene, Iowa and got into some kind of trouble there and I moved to Fremont, Nebraska to educate the children and have raised them practically alone. When they were small I have sewed, gave music lessons and washed, to feed and clothe them. He has not only neglected us but has been untrue to us and when under the influence of drink, was liable to do anything. He has drank hard all his life. After an absence, upon his return he would apparently be alright and nothing was said of his past actions but he would soon begin, offering me money to sign a separation paper or release him. No one knows the language he used on my refusal. Just the week he left, a year ago last December, he threw a cup of hot coffee at me, had it hit me squarely as it was intended, would have been serious.

He has many times called me the vilest of names, threatened to knock me down and throw me in the street and sat one night late and whetted a large butcher knife and no one with us but our sixteen year old boy, until I was afraid of my life and sent for my married daughter at Sioux City, Iowa, who came and stayed until he went away again. He said he ought to cut my throat or burn me out. One night in December 1904 he left us as he had been saying he was going away and we would never hear from him again and threatened violence to death, if I ever followed him again. I received a few lines however, address to me Dear Madam:-- Please forward any mail to Waterloo, Nebr. I have not received a cent of money, neither a line from him since. He is running a shop at Fremont, Nebraska now. He would seem alright at first coming home from one of his absent trips, then seemed to get dissatisfied and wreak vengeance on me almost every day his last days at home; tell me I was too old for him that he wanted another and younger wife, that I was an old dried up tree and wanted to compel to give him a divorce. He always said when the children were grown I could dig for myself; I have kept the flock together and now in my old years he is worse than ever and has left for good and made it impossible for me to live with him through fear of my life. He at one time shot into the bedroom where our four children and myself slept, he came in the night when I thought him far away. I was an inexperienced girl when I married him and it took me some time to find out I was an unloved wife and I stood all this for the children and hoping sometime to win over the father.

The last month he was at home he said he would not support me unless I left the children and come his way and do as he wanted me to. I knew that was one of his ruses to get me away and I firmly believe had I done so I would not be alive today as just after he threatened death to me if I ever followed him again. I could have gotten a divorce long ago, on adultry and desertion and etc., but I would not on account of the children and was against my religion.


Harness maker's shop in Osceola, Iowa, early 1900s


The U.S. Census of Civil War soldiers and their widows of 1890 shows Chauncey living in Aslington, Washington County, NE. The following year, still living in Nebraska, he began receiving a soldier's pension for his wartime services, and he continued to get monthly checks for the rest of his life. [Invalid App. #1.081.036 - Cert. #808.547] Circa 1893, while in Wessington Springs, South Dakota, Chauncey's ribs were fractured and hip injured when he was thrown from his buggy after his horse panicked and ran. He was carried to a local hotel, where he remained in bed for four weeks. Then he was placed in a cot and transported to Sioux City, IA, staying in bed for two more weeks. From there he was brought home. The injury resulted in a three-inch shortening of his thigh.

Susan supported herself as best she could. With a talent in music, which she passed on to her daughters, she "traveled from town to town in Nebraska with a hand organ on a buckboard, giving concerts to the new settlers."

The Reamses resided in Omaha, Douglas County, NE in 1900, with Chauncey continuing his labors as a harness maker. But in April 1904, with the marriage relationship unraveling one final time, he proposed, recalled an observer, to "go to some small town and open a harness shop" which, along with the pension, would support the family. He asked Susan and the children to move with him to the new location, but in his words she "positively refused" and for the next two months made it "as unpleasant as possible for him." In December 1904 he left the family and moved into his father's home, leaving Susan with $50. But having become ill, he said, he was persuaded by a son in law to return and when he did so, Susan asked "what he came back for," and he proceeded to go to bed and remained there for several weeks. He went to Freemont, Dodge County, NE and was granted a divorce in the fall of 1906.

Further infuriated, Susan petitioned the U.S. Pension Bureau to receive her half of Chauncey's pension. That gesture set off a war of words between the two, with each writing detailed letters to the Pension Commissioner. In one letter, she stated that her husband had deserted her:

... at least ten times. We can prove that he tried to hire our youngest daughter to take me off his hands so he could marry. He threatened me if I ever followed him again. He offered me also a small amt. of money if I would release him. He never left + went to his father's home. He staid right with us until I was so afraid I sent for a married daughter who came + she + myself were all that was at home when he left.... His only words when he started were "so long people." And a few days he wrote to me saying Dear Madam please forward any mail to Waterloo Neb. that should arrive for him. That is the only letter or note I ever rec'd + not a cent of money. No word to go to him. No word of forgiveness. He had threatened my life. Threw coffee cup of hot coffee at me that week before his own brother + one daughter + son. A market basket did not hold the bottles of whiskey he drank during that time. This son-in-law would have told a diffrent tale if we can yet have a hearing. He speaks of being sick. He had been on a drunk + had been so crazy our two youngest + I staid all night in an upstairs room. He had threatened all of us. I had no daughter to go west with. They were all in Omaha at that time. He would get over his maudlin state + seem to be different for awhile. Then threaten to cut our throats, burn the house down &c. Our oldest son was in Texas. He said if he had been at home he would have put him before the insanity board + if he was insane have him treated. If he wasn't insane he would have put him under bonds to behave himself. Never in our married life since 1870 as mean as he has used me, never clothed bed nor cared for me. He never was the man to ask forgiveness for anything... This trip he speaks of + coming home he spoke to all that were at home but me. I extended my hand as the rest + he ignored it saying to me I see you are "black as ever." He never addressed me + had it not been for me the door would have been shut in his face by his own daughter. I was with them + he got up + went to a brothers in S. Omaha. The children were afraid of him doing injury to me. I was advised first to get half pension by a sister of his who is a firm friend of mine. I tried every way under heaven to live with him. But he has tried diffrent ways to get rid of me. Before a bro. + sister of mine he offered me $500 to set him free. Before his own children he tried to get me to sign sepparation papers. He tried to scare me by getting up + prowling around at nights + with a gun in his hands.

His home in 1909 was in Summerfield, Marshall County, KS, where he was employed as a harness maker for Johnston Bros. That year, at the death of his aged father, Chauncey traveled back home to attend the funeral.

In January 1918, the Summerfield (KS) Sun wrote this gushign profile of Chauncey, as reprinted in the Marshall County News in Marysville, KS:

There are few of the veterans of the Civil War left and Summerfield has what we believe very few towns can boast of, a veteran of the Civil war whose mother is still living. This man can also relate personal incidents which happened to him that very few of the remaining veterans have experienced, that of having been a prisoner in the famous Andersonville prison. Six long months of his life were spent in this hell-hole and the hardships which these men endured were enough to sap all the life out of most men. The man we speak of, however, is well and strong today and if you did not know that he was a veteran you would never think he had gone through the life of a soldier, leaving his Andersonville record blank. The man we speak of is Dad Ream, our harness maker, who passed his seventy-first milestone last Monday. His mother lives in Iowa and is nineth-three years old, and no doubt will live for several years yet, as she is comparatively strong for a lady so old. Dad takes a vacation each year and visits her during the summer months, when the weather gets so they can enjoy the visits more. We hope that both these people will live to spend many more of these fine yearly visits with each other.

Chauncey moved into the Commercial Hotel in Summerfield in about 1926. He was treated medically for abscess of the rectum and cardiovascular and renal disease. Four years later, he suffered a stroke in Summerfield on March 30, 1930. A friend, dentist L.H. Stephens, recalled that he was "totally unable to help himself now, altho the paralysis isn't complete -- He has been badly crippled for many years and this last year, has been almost blind." He died in Omaha on Sept. 17, 1933, at the age of 86. Burial was in Omaha's Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Susan maintained a home at 2820 North 31st Street in Omaha in 1906. She won a contest promoted in the Omaha Daily Bee in August 1911, winning a free quart brick of Dalzell's Ice Cream. Circa May 1930, she and her separated daughter Alberta Hadley lived together in New Jersey. Then by 1940, she returned to Omaha and at age 90 shared a home on North 33rd Street with her widowed daughters Ada Parker and Myrtie Quinn and unmarried granddaughter Polly Parker. By 1946 she was back in New Jersey, living on Cherry Lane in Basking Ridge with her daughter and grandson. At her 97th birthday, in October 1946, she was pictured on the front page of the Bernardsville (NJ) News with her story told in a lengthy feature story. The reporter noted that their discussion "ranged from history and economics to education in which the present post-war condition of the country was compared to that following earlier wars. A native of the Midwest who has lived in New Jersey the last three years, Mrs. Ream finds the state and its residents delightful company. Unlike many coming from other sections, the climate here was not ridiculed. In discussing the coming elections, Mrs. Ream mentioned her affiliation with the Democratic party and was warned that the local area is generally considered a Repuoblican stronghold. In reply, Mrs. Ream glanced at several members of her family present and smilingly inferred that she was already surrounded by the G.O.P. She considers the late Franklin D. Roosevelt as great a president as Lincoln and believes that time will substantiate this contention." The article went on to say:

With the exception of slight deafness, Mrs. Ream is in perfect health, retaining all her faculties. She has never suffered a serious illness.... Much of Mrs. Ream's time is spent with [her grandchildren] and her continued youthful approach to life is attributed to this association. Although unasked for pointblank, a recipe for long living was evident throughout her conversation which reflected that Mrs. Ream has always possessed a sense of humor, an optimistic outlook, love of family life and an eagerness to work. Today she maintains continual correspondence with family members and friends throughout the country and Canada, continues an interest in national affairs by reading current magazines and still looks to herself to do such work as maintaining her room and helping with such household chores as drying the dishes.

Susan died in the Hadley residence at the age of 98 on Oct. 25, 1947. Her remains were shipped to Omaha for burial, with a lengthy obituary appearing in the Bernardsville News.

Daughter Myrtle "Myrtie" Ream (1874- ? ) was born on Nov. 21, 1874 in Table Rock, NE. She was wedded to James A. Quinn (1873- ? ). They did not reproduce. Their home in 1906-1910 was at 2026 Grand Avenue in Omaha. Census records for 1910 show James working in the railway mail service and that Myrtie's divorced mother Susan, age 61, lived under their roof. Circa 1930, the Quinns resided in Omaha, at 609 Florence Boulevard, where James was employed as assistant chief clerk of the Railway Mail Clerks. By 1940, widowed, Myrtie shared a home in Omaha with her divorced mother, widowed sister Ada Parker and unmarried niece Polly Parker.

Son Francis C. "Frank" Ream (1876- ? ) was born on Oct. 17, 1876 in Humboldt, NE. As a young adult, he went to Texas, and his father objected, saying to others"if he had been at home he would have put him before the insanity board + if he was insane have him treated. If he wasn't insane he would have put him under bonds to behave himself." In 1900, living at home in Omaha, Frank earned income as a musician. His address in 1906 was 2820 North 31st Street. At age 31, in about 1907, he was joined in marriage with 21-year-old Maud L. (1887- ? ). The couple had two known offspring -- Dorothy Duffy and Irvin F. Ream. By 1930, the Reams resided at 1414 Davenport Street, where he was proprietor of Ream Bros. Garage at 109-11 North 15th Street in Omaha. Advertisements in the Omaha Daily Bee noted that Ream Bros. performed "First Class Auto Repairing and Machine Work." Frank traveled east to New Jersey in the fall of 1946 to visit with his aged mother and attend her 97th birthday party.

  • Granddaughter Dorothy Ream (1909- ? ) was born in 1909 and married cashier James Duffy (1908- ? ) and lived with her parents in 1920.
  • Grandson Irvin Ream (1915- ? ) was born in 1915.

Daughter Alberta P. Ream (1879- ? ) was born on April 13, 1879 in Gaylord, Smith County, KS. Alberta was a singer and performed with her sisters at events in Omaha. At the town hall in June 1902, she received news coverage for entertaining "a fair crowd, which highly appreciated it," said the Omaha Daily Bee. "As a whole it was one of the best and most interesting yet given. The program consisted of recitations by Miss Ream, solos by Mrs. J.A. Quinn, who exhibited a well trained voice, and a trio by Misses Alberta and Ada Ream and Mrs. Quinn, which was a pleasing selection. Miss Quinn, the young whoman who acted as accompanist, gave a few piano solos of a high classical character. The program closed with poses in Greek costume by Miss Alberta Ream." She was joined in marriage with Raymond Hadley ( ? - ? ). Their two children were W. Ronald Hadley and Margaret Hadley. They made their home in 1930 on West End Avenue in Newark, Essex County, NJ, where son Donald was a sales engineer for a steel products company, and daughter Margaret a typist at the firm. By 1930, Alberta and Raymond were separated, with the 51-year-old Alberta remaining in Newark and cohabitating there with her unmarried children and divorced mother.


  • Grandson W. Ronald Hadley (1905- ? ) was born in 1905 in Nebraska. In 1930, having moved cross-country, he lived with his mother and sister in Newark, Essex County, NJ, and was a sales engineer for a steel products company. Circa 1935, he dwelled in Jersey City, Hudson County, NJ. By 1940, he had married Mildred (1910- ? ) and had two known daughters, Susan Hadley, born in 1935, and Priscilla Hadley. The 1940 shows the Hadleys in Orange, Essex County, with Ronald now manager of a steel products company, and his widowed mother living under their roof. Mildred served on the Basking Ridge PTA organization in 1951.
  • Granddaughter Margaret Hadley (1909- ? ) was born in 1909 in Iowa. She married E.R. Kenworthy ( ? - ? ) and in 1946 lived in Belleville, NJ.



Parker graves, Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Omaha. Courtesy Mary E. Hanke.


Daughter Ada A.L. Ream (1881-1968) was born on Jan. 9, 1881 in Gaylord, Smith County, KS. She taught school in Omaha circa 1900, when she was 17 years of age. On the Fourth of July 1905, she performed as an "illustrated ballad singer" at a free show held at the casino at Lake Manawa. In 1910, when she was age 29 and he 26, Ada was united in holy matrimony with Erdman Cedric Parker (July 18, 1884-1916). At the time of marriage, he earned a living as a photo engineer with an engraving firm. He also seems to have been a member of the Woodmen of the World union. They produced one known daughter, Polly Parker, born in 1911. Sadly, Cedric died at the age of 31 on May 18, 1916. The cause is not yet known. His remains were placed into repose in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, with the logo of the Woodmen inscribed on the face of the grave marker. Now widowed, Ada moved in with her sister Myrtie in Omaha and supported herself by teaching in public schools. By 1940, Ada shared a dwelling in Omaha with her daughter Polly, widowed sister Myrtie and divorced mother Susan, age 90. She lived a long life and passed into eternity at the age of 87 on Dec. 19, 1968. Burial was beside Cedric in Forest Lawn Memorial Park.

  • Granddaughter Polly Parker (1911- ? ) was born in 1911. Circa 1935 she was in Wheatland, Platte County, WY and by 1940 relocated back to Omaha, where she worked as a business office coach for a local telephone company. Then in 1946, when named in a Bernardsville (NJ) News article about her mother, she lived in Pennsylvania and in 1947 was in Denver.

Son Ralph Everett Ream (1887-1956) was born on Nov. 1, 1887 in Arlington, NE. He married (?) Smith and had two known children, Ralph Everett Ream Jr. and Mrs. Norman Taurog. Circa 1906, he advertised in the Omaha Daily Bee that his prices were right for designing signs and show cards at his address at 2018 North 24th Street, telephone Douglas-6212. In 1930, residing in Omaha, he continued to earn a living as a "show card writer." By 1946, they migrated to the West Coast and owned a home in Beverly Hills, CA. Ralph Sr. passed away in Los Angeles County on Jan. 28, 1956.

  • Grandson Ralph Everett Ream Jr. married Genevieve -- had children Donald and Sally -- at age 43 was a purchasing agent for North American Aviation in Los Angeles -- and owned a ranch in Thousand Oaks, CA. Ralph Jr. died at his ranch in July 1954, with burial in Inglewood Park Cemetery.


~ Daughter Caroline E. (Ream) Graves ~

Daughter Caroline E. Ream (1848-1928) was born on Feb. 20, 1848 in Ursina, Somerset County.

At the age of 22, unmarried, she lived at home with her parents in 1870 and assisted with house chores.

She wed William M. Graves (1851-1883) of Iowa. They made their home on Temple Street in 1880 and are not believed to have reproduced.

The federal census for 1880 shows the couple in Osceola, with William earning a living as a merchant.

Sadness blanketed the family in 1883 when William died at the age of about 32, with interment in Maple Hill Cemetery in Osceola.

Now widowed, Caroline resided in Osceola for many years. Burdened with senility at the age of 80, she was sent for medical care to St. Charles, Madison County, IA, where she died 15 days later on the Fourth of July 1928. Her remains were interred in Maple Hill Cemetery, and Mrs. H.F. Reed of St. Charles signed the Iowa death certificate.


Early unpaved street scene in Osceola


~ Daughter Huldah (Ream) Saddoris ~

Daughter Huldah Ream (1850-1928) was born on Aug. 2, 1850 in Somerset County. She came to Iowa with her parents as a young girl.

She married John Saddoris (1850-1926), son of Henry Clay and Margaret Melvina (Kirby) Saddoris.

Their known offspring were Ernest C. Saddoris and William Saddoris.

In 1909, the couple dwelled in Mayview, Champaign County, IL and by 1915 were in Sioux City, IA. Sadly, John passed away in Mayview on March 18, 1926. Huldah lived as a widow for two years until her demise on Oct. 31, 1928 in Mayview. Burial was in Mount Olive Cemetery in Mayview. [Find-a-Grave]

Son Ernest C. Saddoris (1872-1935) was born in 1872. He married Edna Levey (1879-1967). Ernest passed away in 1935, at the age of 64. Edna lived for another 31 years and joined him in death on New Year's Day 1967.

Son William Saddoris (1882-1972) was born on July 25, 1882 in or near Osceola, Clarke County, IA. He wedded Elsie (1886-1970). Elsie died in 1970, and William succumbed on March 16, 1972.


~ Daughter Sarah C. Ream ~

Daughter Sarah C. Ream (1852-1918) was born on May 10, 1852 in Somerset County, PA. At the age of two, she was brought to Iowa with her parents.

She never married.

Reported the Osceola Sentinel: "She attended the University at Valparaiso, Indiana, where she graduated from the scientific and classical courses. Her whole life has practically been spent in the teaching profession. She was principal of the Osceola high school, she taught in the public schools of Chicago, Illinois, for two years, and then for seventeen years she was a teacher in the government schools in the south for the colored people. In her education work Miss Ream was on her throne. She possessed a student mind, and was intensively interested in the progress of education until the last. Not only did she possess a student mind, but she was always interested in young life."

Sarah was a member of the Fremont Methodist Episcopal Church. In her final years, she provided what the Sentinel called a "very beautiful way" of medical care for her aged mother. She passed into eternity at the age of 66 on Aug. 9, 1918 in Osceola. Burial was in Fremont Cemetery, with Rev. James P. McKay officiating at the funeral service. Word was sent to her cousin Fannie Crozier in Dakota City, NE, at which the Dakota County Herald reported that she " was a sister of Kirk Ream, of Axtel, Kas., and a cousin of Mrs. Crozier and the Ream families here."


~ Son Andrew Jackson Ream ~

Son Andrew Jackson Ream (1855-1919) was born on June 20, 1856 in Agency, Iowa, the first of the Ream children not to be born in Pennsylvania.

In about 1880, Andrew married Cora E. Skinner (June 1866-1958), daughter of William M. and Agnes (Loufbourroin) Skinner of Indiana.

They produced three children, among them Claude Leary Ream and Ross C. Ream.

The couple initially lived in 1880 in Houston, Smith County, KS, where Andrew worked as a harness maker. In 1886, when son Ross was born, they dwelled in Gaylord, Smith County, KS. By 1900, they had relocated to Kansas City, MO, where he earned a living as a "commission merchant."

Suffering from bronchial pneumonia, Andrew died on April 2, 1919 in his son Claude's home in Independence, Jackson County, MO. Burial was in Mount Washington Cemetery in Independence, Jackson County, MO. His death certificate, signed by Claude, states that Andrew's occupation was "Retired Banker." [Find-a-Grave]

Now widowed, Cora survived her husband by nearly four decades. She spent her final years living with son Claude at 706 Overton in Independence. She died at home at age 91 on June 3, 1958.



Graves of Andrew J. and Cora (Skinner) Ream, Mt. Washington Cemetery, Independence, Missouri. Courtesy the late T.J. Cochran, Find-a-Grave


Son Claude Leary Ream (1880-1971) was born on Aug. 30, 1880. He married Bertha Theola Jackson (Feb. 5, 1880-1919), a native of Hartville, Wright County, MO, and the daughter of William Roderick and Emma Catharine Jackson. They lived in Mt. Washington, Blue Township, Jackson County, MO. In 1909, their first son Jackson C. Ream was born. Sadly, they lost an infant son in 1911, but on April 16, 1914, Bertha gave birth to a third son George Lewis Ream. News of the birth was published in the Mt. Washington News, reprinted in the Mansfield Mirror. A fourth son came next, Norman C. Ream, in 1915 in Oklahoma. Further anguish swept through the family when Bertha died at the age of 38 on Jan. 27, 1919, having contracted an incurable case of influenza and bronchial pneumonia. As a widower, Claude outlived his wife by more than half a century, and made a living as a garage mechanic and machinist. He married again to Fausta "Eileen" Tubbs (1900- ? ), who was 20 years younger. They continued to live in his longtime home at 706 Overton Street in Bern Township, Jackson County, MO. By 1949, their address was 10100 Truman Road in Independence. That year, Claude helped gather 21 signatures on a petition to protest a proposed dance hall for the neighborhood. In 1953, Eileen was elected Missouri Commander of the United States Army Mothers, and she was pictured in a number of Missouri newspapers. More sadness visited the family in 1962 when son Jackson died in New Mexico. Burdened with multiple sclerosis, Claude relocated to Florida with Eileen in about 1964 to dwell with or near his son Norman. There, he joined the Ascension Lutheran Church of Boynton Beach. He remained there until death in 1971, at the age of 90. Obituaries were pritned in the Kansas City Times and the Palm Beach Post.

  • Grandson Jackson Claude Ream (1909-1962) was born on April 29, 1909 in Medford, OK. He married Nancy Smith Phibbs ( ? - ? ), daughter of William and Myrtle (Smith) Phibbs. They had one daughter, Ramona Lynn Ream. In about 1936, the Reams relocated to Albuquerque, NM, where their daughter was born. Jackson was a member of the Unitarian Church, Disabled American Veterans and American Legion. Their address in 1962 was 424 Carlisle Southeast. Jackson died at home at the age of 53 on Dec. 14, 1962. A story in the Albuquerque Journal reported that his body was donated to the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
  • Grandson George Lewis Ream (1914- ? ) was born on April 16, 1914 in Mt. Washington Township near Independence, MO. News of the birth was published in the Mt. Washington News, reprinted in the Mansfield Mirror. George was wedded to Helen Louise Stein ( ? - ? ), daughter of Clarence and Anna (Heinz) Stein. Their three children were Lawrence George Ream, Sandra Ruth Ream and Jeffrey Garrett Ream. They resided in Topeka, KS in 1962-1971. Son Lawrence -- married to Sandra Schoenfeldt -- may have furnished information for a family history study presented in 1999 to the founder of this website.
  • Grandson Norman Calvin Ream (1915- ? ) was born on June 4, 1917 in Independece, MO or in Oklahoma. He married Elizabeth Roberts ( ? - ? ), daughter of George H. and Grace (Tait) Roberts. their only known daughter was Sally Ann Ream. The Reams dwelled in Bridgeport, CT and were in Delray Beach, FL in 1962. He was a fan of the Miami Dolphins football team.

Son Ross J. Ream (1886-1961) was born on June 18, 1886 in Gaylord, Smith County, KS. At the age of about 14, in 1900, he moved with his parents to Kansas City, Jackson County, MO. He graduated from the University of Missouri Law School in 1910 and spent his career as an attorney and insurance executive in the Kansas City area. He married his first wife, Frances M. Grace ( ? - ? ), on Aug. 5, 1913. She was a native of Mexico, MO, and the ceremony was performed by Rev. W.F. Dunkle. In 1912, he formed a partnership with J. Herbert Smith, a fellow Missouri Law graduate, with the firm operating as Ream and Smith, in the New York Life Building. By 1926, he had moved his office to the Scarritt Building. Later, Ross was united in matrimony with Myrtle S. (1887-1967), who brought a daughter to the union, Rosalie Sintie. He and Robert A. Ridgway joined forces in 1926 to found the National Protective Life Insurance Company, said by the Kansas City Times to have been "a mail order insurance firm." The firm was successful, and earned profits over the years of more than $1 million. But in 1949, after Ridgway sued Ross for executing contracts and deals during Ridgway's illness, Ross paid $600,000 to buy out his partner and became sole owner. He then sold the buisness a year later, in 1950. In 1958, his address was 229 Ward Parkway in Kansas City, MO. He enjoyed golf and was a board member of the Kansas City Golf Open tournament committee in 1954, to have been played at Blue Hills. Ross celebrated his 50th year in legal practice in 1960 and was named a senior counselor of the Missouri Bar Association. He was a member of the First Congregational Church, Blue Hills Club, Kansas City Club, Missouri and Kanswas City Senior Golf Association, Mount Washington lodge of the Masons, and the Kansas City and American Bar Associations. Suffering from congestive heart failure, hardening of the arteries and chronic kidney disease, Ross died on April 20, 1961, at age 74. His remains were placed into rest in Mt. Washington Cemetery in Kansas City. An obituary in the Kansas City Times named his brother Claude as a surviving relative. Myrtle spent her final years at 229 Ward Parkway. She joined him in death on March 5, 1967, at age 79. When her estate inventory and appraisement was filed in Jackson County Probate Court, the Times announced its worth at nearly $1.2 million.


~ Son William C. Ream ~

Son William C. Ream (1857- ? ) was born on May 15, 1857 in Iowa. He lived in Sturgis, SD in 1909. In 1930, when mentioned by his brother Chauncey in a federal affidavit in 1930, Chauncey said: "I do not know where he lives or what he does."


~ Son John Lycurgus "J.L." Ream ~

Son John Lycurgus "J.L." Ream (1861-1944) was born on Feb. 6, 1861 in or around Batavia, Jefferson County, Iowa. A newspaper once nicknamed him the "Tall Kansan."

In about 1885, when he was 24 years of age, John married 22-year-old Patience Eugenia Smith (1867-1956), a native of New York.

They were the parents of Caroline Ream, Lila Manley, Lucy Ream, Imogene Ream, Marie Ream and John "Norman" Ream.

Early in the marriage, the Reams lived for a few years in Kansas, where their eldest daughter was born, then went to Nebraska, where their next three daughters were born. Sometime between 1893 and 1896, they moved to Kansas and resided in Axtell and Murray, Marshall County, KS.

Circa 1895, John was proprietor of the firm of Kelly & Ream, but went out of business and owed $79.20 in back taxes. When the Board of Commissioners of Marshall County pursued the matter, John L. declared bankruptcy, with his case filed in the District Court of the United States for the District of Kansas. By 1909, he was a traveling salesman for Marshall's Hardware Company of Duluth, MN, with a territory covering Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. During that time, the Reams maintained their home in Murray, and entertained visits from Patience's mother from Weiser, ID.

By 1919, he was involved with oil drilling in Beattie, KS. Patience and their daughter Imogene are known to have traveled to Colorado Springs "for the benefit of their health," said the Marshall County News. When mentioned by his brother Chauncey in a federal affidavit in 1930, he was said to be "harness maker, Axtell, Marshall County, Kansas."


Axtell, KS, home of the John L. Ream family


John L. died on Jan. 12, 1944, with interment in Rose Hill Cemetery in Axtell. Patience lived for another dozen years and passed on Aug. 18, 1956. [Find-a-Grave]

Daughter Caroline Ream (1886- ? ) was born in April 1886 in Kansas. She grew up in Axtell, Marshall County. On June 23, 1909, when she was 23 years of age, she was joined in holy matrimony with Andrew O. Schumacher ( ? - ? ). The wedding was held in the home of Caroline's parents in Axtell, officiated by Rev. D.L. Moffett. Reported the Marshall County News, "The bride wore a beautiful valencienne lace dress trimmed with cream satin duchesse bands and bows of silk messaline. The groom wore a suit of black venetian. The bride and groom stood under an arch of carnations backed with a screen of daisies." The Schumachers honeymooned to Kansas City and Oklahoma City before returning to their bnew home in Marysville, KS. The couple produced at least one known daughter, Audrey Schumacher. In the 1910s, Andrew worked for the Schumacher Granite and Marble Works in Marysville, and was named in News articles about monuments he was erecting in regional cemeteries. He also was a member of a monument dealers' association and attended annual conventions in Denver and Kansas City. At around the same period of time, Caroline sang with the Marysville Band and Orchestra, which performed in Turner Hall in town, and was a member of the St. Agnes Guild and Needlecraft Club. Circa 1921, Andrew was elected president of the Kansas Retailers Association.

Daughter Lila M. Ream (1888- ? ) was born in June 1888 in Nebraska. She had many friends, "the testimony of her character and disposition," said the Axtell Standard. "Highly educated, a musician of ability, of pleasing face and form, with all the necessary qualifications of a home maker." On May 8, 1916, in a ceremony in Topeka, she was wedded to Robert "Frank" Manley ( ? - ? ), son of Robert Manley. The couple made a wedding trip to Kansas City, Omaha and Sioux City before returning to Axtell. Along the way, they visited at the home of Lila's cousin Fannie Crozier in Dakota City, NE, where Lila's sister had been staying for a time. In announcing the marriage, the Axtell Standard and the Marshall County News in Marysville both said that Robert was "a member of the firm of Johnson & Manley Clothing company and is a man of unusual ability as a business man. [He is] one of the best and most public spirited citizens here." The Manleys had one known son, Robert Manley. They lived in Maysville, MO circa 1923.

Daughter Lucy Eleanor Ream (1890-1965) was born on Sept. 5, 1890 in Greeley, Greeley County, NE. When she was age 20, on March 18, 1911, she married Ralph Raymond "Doc" Gaston Sr. (1890-1963), allegedly the son of Ira Brunton and Arnetta Ann (Deem) Gaston, originally of Newark, Greene County, IN. The nuptials were celebrated in Axtell, Marshall County, KS. By 1920, the couple had moved to Green River, Sweetwater County, WY, making their home with Ralph's father, who was employed there as a railroad switchman. Ralph made a living in Green River as a Union Pacific Railroad worker during the week and as a semi-pro baseball player on weekends, sponsored by the Union Pacific. The Gastons had several children, among them Audley Ream Gaston and Ralph Raymond Gaston Jr. Ralph suffered a heart attack and passed away on Sept. 19, 1963 in Rock Springs, Sweetwater County, WY. Funeral services were held in the First Congregational Church in Green River, and an obituary was published in the Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner. Lucy survived her husband by a little under a year and a half. She died in Evanston, Uinta County, WY on Jan. 29, 1965. Burial was in Washington Heights Memorial Park in Ogden, Weber County, UT.

  • Grandson Audley "Ream" Gaston (1917-1989) was born on March 15, 1917. He married Patricia S. (Nov. 9, 1912-1988). The couple relocated to Salt Lake City by 1932, where Ream is believed to have been employed by a railroad. Circa 1959, he played in the All Railroaders Golf Tournament at Ben Lomond Golf Course in Utah and was pictured in the Ogden Standard-Examiner. Patricia died on March 5, 1988 at the age of about 76. Audley only survived her by a year and succumbed on Jan. 17, 1989. they rest in Washington Heights Memorial Park in Ogden, Weber County, UT.
  • Grandon Ralph Raymond Gaston Jr. (1922-1989) was born on Sept. 28, 1922 in Green River, Sweetwater County, WY. On Oct. 12, 1947, Ralph was wedded to Shirley Mae Dillon (May 8, 1927-1988), a native of Ogden, Weber County UT and the daughter of David Sidney and Amy Pearl (pewtress) Dillon. The couple had one son, Jon Brent Gaston. Sadly, Shirley passed away on Dec. 14, 1988, and Ralph only lived for another two months before dying in Cheyenne, Laramie County, WY on Feb. 28, 1989.

Daughter Imogene Ream (1893- ? ) was born in March 1893 in Nebraska. As a teenager, she played basketball for the Beattie (KS) team. Circa 1916, she traveled to Dakota City, NE to visit her sister Marie and their cousin Fannie Crozier who lived there. That same year, she was a postal clerk in her hometown of Axtell, KS and was named in August 1919 as postmistress. The Marshall County (KS) News reprinted an Axtell Standard story saying that she "has been employed at the local federal headquarters for a number of years. She understands the work in every detail and will prove a competent and trustworthy official." Circa January 1920, she is known to have visited with her cousin Helen McMillan, a school teacher at Sabetha, KS. She also sang and played piano and performed duets with Mrs. Pearson at meetings of the Order of Eastern Star in Axtell, and enjoyed attending Axtell high school football games and dances. When Imogene traveld to Denver in May 1922 for rest and recuperation, she used the opportunity be joined in marriage with Carl A. Smith (1895- ? ), a native of Iowa. The ceremony was held at Trinity Methodist Church in Denver. At the time, Carl was employed as a traveling salesman for Nave-McCord's wholesale business in St. Joseph, MO. The news was published in the Standard. Imogene resigned as postmistress, perhaps under duress since she was now married, and was replaced by Louisa Allender. The cuople went on to have one son, Garry Joe Smith, born in 1928 in Kansas. In September 1922, four months after the wedding, Imogene's friends back home held a belated shower. Said the Standard, "A bride of the past summer who slipped away before her friends had the opportunity to give her what most all brides-to-be are remembered with -- a shower, was given that honor Wednesday evening at the home of Mrs. R.C. Pearson, who with Mrs. E.R. Eakins of Summerfield entertained about 50 guests for Mrs. Eakins' sister, Mrs. Carl Smith, formerly Miss Imogene Ream who recently returned from Colorado and is visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Ream." By 1930, the Reams had moved south to Houston, Harris County, TX, where Carl was employed as sales manager for an oil well supply company. During the early 1930s, Carl accepted a new position as salesman for a wholesale rubber firm, and the Smiths relocated again to Des Moines, Polk County, IA.

Daughter Anna "Marie" Ream (1895- ? ) was born in July 1895 in Kansas. Circa May 1916, she resided with her cousin Fannie Crozier in Dakota City, NE. She is believed to have been a music teacher and led music for meetings of the Order of Eastern Star in Axtell circa 1919. On Jan. 25, 1921, at the age of 25, she wedded 29-year-old Ernest R. Eakins (1891- ? ) in a ceremony performed at her parents' home by Rev. Jay L. Clow of the Methodist Church. Reported the Axtell Standard, "The bride was becomingly attired in a suit of brown duvetyn with hat to match.... The bride, who is always sweet and charming, is admired by all and has always been counted as a most accomplished young lady. Her unusual ability as a singer has won her many friends who wish her and the man of her choice unbounded happiness." Shortly after the marriage, the Eakinses moved to Summerfield, KS, where Ernest was employed at the State Bank. They produced a daughter, Mary Alice Eakins, born in Missouri in 1929. Census records for 1940 show that the family relocated to Wakefield, Clay County, KS, with Ernest now working as a life and property insurance agent.

Son John "Norman" Ream (1900-1976) was born in January 1900 in Axtell, KS. At the age of 22, on Dec. 14, 1922, he was wedded to Evelyn Elaine Hansen ( ? - ? ), daughter of James F. Hansen, with the ceremony taking place in Providence, UT. In announcing the news, the Marshall County News reported that "Mr. Ream has been employed at Providence for the past six months, previous to which he was employed here at the Schumacher marble works and in the Liberty orchestra. Mr. and Mrs. Ream will be at home after February 1st in Los Angeles, California, where Mr. Ream will work for a railroad. Mr. Ream's home is at Axtell where he was born and raised."


~ Son James "Wallace" Ream ~

Son James "Wallace" Ream (1862-1909) was born in May 1862 in Iowa.

At the age of 35, in about April 1899, he wedded 25-year-old Mary "Mollie" (Buckner) Heister (Aug. 1873- ? ), daughter of Cal and M. (Baumgartner) Buckner. News of their marriage license was published in the Omaha Daily Bee.

Mollie had one child, but it's not known if the birth was to Wallace or to an earlier father.

Wallace was a salesman of horses and in August 1902 is known to have shipped two railcars of stock to buyers in Memphis, MO. After nine or fewer years of marriage, Mollie brought suit for divorce circa 1908. At the time, he resided at 40th Street and Poppleton Avenue in South Omaha.

Sadly, Wallace died at the age of 40 on or about Jan. 6, 1909 before the divorce case could be adjudicated. Evidence suggests that his remains were transported back to Osceola, Clarke County for interment in Maple Hill Cemetery.


~ Son Abraham M. Ream ~

Son Abraham M. Ream (1866-1952) was born on Sept. 5, 1866 in Iowa.

When the Spanish American War broke out, Abraham enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces, as did his brother Charles, in the 51st Iowa Infantry, Company K.

After the war ended, in 1903, he became a member of Company I of the Iowa National Guard.

Abraham died on Sept. 14, 1952 and rests in the State Veterans Home Cemetery in Hot Springs, Fall River County, SD. [Find-a-Grave]


~ Son Charles Ream ~

Son Charles Ream (1869-1940) was born on Feb. 18, 1869 in Fremont, Clarke County, IA.

In about 1889, he was united in marriage with Elsie ( ? - ? ), and they remained together for 51 years until the separation of death.

He served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Spanish American War as a member of the 51st Iowa Infantry, Company K. The Reams were farmers, and their residence circa 1909 was New Virginia, Warren County, IA. Sadly, their infant son died unnamed on Jan. 25, 1915, with burial in Fremont Cemetery.

Charles suffered for three decades with rheumatic heart problems. When added to a deadly case of influenza in the spring of 1940, his health declined further, and he died on May 2, 1940, at the age of 71. His remains were lowered into eternal rest in New Virginia Cemetery.


~ Son Harry Ream ~

Son Harry Ream (1873-1895) was born in 1873. Sadly, he succumbed at the age of 22 in 1895. Burial was in the family plot in Fremont Cemetery.



Copyright 2002, 2009, 2012, 2014-2017 Mark A. Miner