Friday, September 21, 2012

Robert J. Leavel

ROBERT J. LEAVEL, resides on section 35 of Jackson Township. He was born in Knox County, Ohio, March 8,1840. His parents, Joseph and Harriet C. (Beans) Leavel, were born and reared in Virginia, removing a few years later to Ohio, where his father was engaged in the milling business many years. He also owned a farm which was worked by renters. There were thirteen children only four of whom are now living. They settled in Monroe County, Iowa, in 1852, where Joseph Leavel improved a farm, and also followed milling.  In 1858 the family came to Clarke County and settled in Jackson township, where they improved a farm. The mother died a month later. The father disposed of his property in 1860, and for a few years engaged in the saw-mill business in Lucas County. He then removed to Wayne County, where he now resides near Humiston, and follows bee-keeping. The names of the children are – Rebecca, wife of William Johnson; Margaret, wife of David Ulm; Joseph and Robert J., the subject of this sketch. Joseph was a babe at the time of his mother’s death, and was afterward adopted by John Baldwin.  September 12, 1861, Robert enlisted in Company I, Eighth Iowa Volunteers. He was engaged in the battle of Shiloh, in the division of General Prentiss, and with that gallant commander was captured May 6, 1862, and was held prisoner two months and eight days, confined most of the time in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Having been paroled and exchanged in February, 1863, he rejoined his regiment. He participated in the siege of Vicksburg, and the following winter visited home on veteran furlough. At the time General Forrest raided Memphis, Mr. Leavel again became a prisoner, and thirty-eight days later was exchanged. He was engaged in the siege of Mobile, and his regiment, the gallant Iowa Eighth, was the first to enter Spanish Fort. He was honorably discharged at Selma, Alabama, in April, 1866, and now receives a pension for disability contracted in the army.  After returning to Monroe County, he went to Lucas County, and July 2, 1868, married Miss Martha Wells, daughter of Thomas and Mary Wells, who came from Virginia that same year; they now live in the village of Woodburn. Mrs. Leavel was born in Marion County, West Virginia, April 20, 1840. Mr. and Mrs. Leavel lived two years in Jackson Township, Lucas County, then returned to Clarke County, where Mr. Leavel engaged in farming. In 1873 they removed to Hamilton County, Nebraska, where they remained two years, then returned to their old home in Jackson township. They moved to their present home in February, 1881, where they own forty acres of land.  They have had one child, that died in infancy. Mr. Leavel is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, Davenport Post, No. 385, at Woodburn. In politics he is a Republican.

SOURCE: Biographical and Historical Record of Clarke County, Iowa, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1886 p. 296

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