Home History Townships & Maps Birth, Marriage & Death Biographies Census Military Churches Schools

Edward and Martha Godfrey

Photo page 393

Edward and Martha Godfrey were long-time residents of Madrid and Boone County. Edward was born in Wapello County on December 25, 1848, the son of Servigna Godfrey (1820-1859) and Betsy Ann Elizabeth Carrel Godfrey. Servigna originated in Pennsylvania and Betsy in Indiana. Martha Ellen Houser was born January 20, 1850, just southeast of old Boonesboro. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Houser. Servigna and Betsy farmed in Boone County, Iowa, prior to the time a portion of the county was divided off and assigned to Webster County. At that time, he also did blacksmith work in Homer, Iowa, just north of Stratford. The family then moved to Jefferson, where Servigna farmed part time. When Servigna died at Jefferson, Iowa on December 3, 1859, Edward was only 11 years old. He helped his mother farm to make a living, and to support the younger children, Sarah, James Wesley, John Alexander, Nancy, and Anita Ellen. Edward and Martha were married November 3, 1867. They set up housekeeping west of Madrid in a log cabin near the home of Andrew Anderson. In 1883, they bought a farm of their own, on the west side of the Des Moines River, near the Elk Rapids area. In 1904, they sold this farm, and bought another one mile north of Madrid. The home and buildings west of Elk Rapids were demolished to make way for the west end of the most recent bridge across the Des Moines River. From the farm north of Madrid, the Godfreys moved to a large home in the east part of Madrid called "Capital Hill." At the time Mrs. Godfrey was born, the Swedish colonists had been established for only six years. There were only two white men and one white family in Boone County. Thus, the Godfreys were a part of and identified with, the transition which changed a wilderness into a crowded and complex civilization. The Godfreys were parents of 12 children: Mary Ellen; Flora Belle; Sarah Ida; Stella Louella; James William; John Edward; Servigna; Albert; Carrie Ellen; Lillian Mae; Chad; and Zylph. At the time the last two children were born, Martha was nearly blind. Although she received some help from a Dr. Coffee in Des Moines, she had poor eyesight the remainder of her life. Mary Ellen was born in 1868, married James McGuire in 1894, and died in 1934. Flora Belle, born in 1870, passed away in 1888, and never married. Sarah Ida was born in 1872, and died in 1969. She married Amos Hill in 1890. Stella Lovella was born in 1874 and died in 1958. She married Delbert Beasley in 1900.James William, born in 1876, married Elva Kugler in 1901, and passed away in 1950. John Edward, born in 1878, married Anne Hoop, in 1902, and passed away in 1949. Servigna, born in 1880, married Rena Barnevelt in 1908, and passed away in 1918. Albert, born in 1883, married Nellie Johnson in 1902, and died in 1965. Carrie Ellen, born in 1885, married Charles Throp in 1902, and died in 1975. Lillian Mae, born in 1888, married Joseph Stover in 1909, and died in 1976. Chad was born in 1891, and married Elizabeth Lemmer in 1911. He died in 1972. Zylph was born in 1896, and married Drexel Kelsey in 1919. She died in 1969. Edward, Martha, and their family were members of the Christian Church here in Madrid. Edward was a member of Madrid's Masonic Lodge. The Godfreys celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary on November 3, 1917. Edward passed away February, 1927, and Martha in April, 1937. Son, Servigna Godfrey, who married Rena Barnevelt of Madrid, located on a farm two miles northwest of Madrid. To their union, two children were born: Edna Marie, and Bernice Serena.

Edna married Rexford W. Hughes on September 3, 1933. She was a public school music teacher. She attended Drake University for five years, and received two degrees. They are the parents of six children: Norman Rexford, Dale Servigna, Loyd Charles, Norene Muriel, Linda Louise, and Karen Edna. Rexford Hughes passed away October 27, 1957, and their son, Norman died April 26, 1944.

Edna M. (Godfrey) Hughes is retired, and lives near Nevada. She belongs to the United Methodist Church there, and was instrumental in opening a nearby Pleasant Grove Community Church several years ago. This church remains open to the public. She graduated from Perry High School in June, 1926, and attended Drake University in 1930, 1931, and 1932. Edna is active in her church, in the Farm Bureau, three community clubs, and a variety of public affairs.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]