Photos, documents and information submitted by
great-great-granddaughter of Nelson Slaikeu, February 18, 2020.
She will be donating these items, as well as items she already sent to the Heatland Museum
in Clarion, Iowa, check the donations page to see a wedding dress from
Nelson Slaikeu (all Military papers use Slaiken) was born in Schleswig, Denmark on November 10, 1840 and died in Palacios, TX on August 1, 1928. In 1859, he emigrated from Europe, leaving from Altona (Hamburg, Germany) to Hull (England). Hull to Liverpool by rail and then sailing from Yorkshire to New York. Took a train to Philadelphia and processed through Castle Gardens. He then traveled to Racine, IA. In 1860, he went to McLean County, IL. In 1861, unsuccesful in registering with the Illinois Regiment, he went to Burlington, IA and enlisted in Company L, but was transferred to Company G, First Iowa Cavalry. He received his Honorable Discharge in 1864 and settled in Wright County, IA. [source – his journal and obituary]
“His field of service was in Missouri and Arkansas.
He was in the battle of Pleasant Hill, Blackwater,
Missouri, Little Missouri, Arkansas, also the battle of Prairie Grove,
Arkansas and other minor engagements…He was a member of Hartman Post, No.
149 of the GAR…” [source - Biographical Record and Portrait Album of
Hamilton and Wright Counties, Iowa; Lewis Biographical Publishing Co.,
He obtained his United States
Citizenship in 1865. In 1868 he married Caroline Middleton (1849-1908).
Caroline was the daughter of John and Lavina (McPherson) Middleton. They
had five children, May (Slaikeu) Rasmussen, Lionel Slaikeu, Alva
Slaikeu, George Slaikeu and Ruth (Slaikeu) Carse. A sixth child did not
survive. Nelson was a farmer. His obituary indicates that he was
involved in the creation of the some of the Churches in the town
settlement including the Sunday School Program and a proud member of the
G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) attending numerous Reunion events.
Diary of Nelson Slaikeu
Dianne's notes about the diary:
"I have the original
in Danish -- it's cool because it is so old."
first born was my great grandmother, May (Slaikeu) Rasmussen. She
had a guest book that is filled with notes from visitors. If I could
only keep one thing I think it would be this book. Her Father's
entry is telling of the man."
“May all your years,
in joy be passed.
And each prove happier than the last” Is the
wish of your father – N. Slaikeu
March 2, 1884"
THE "BOYS" AND THEIR SERVICE
F.A. MOSCRIP IN MARSHALLTOWN TIMES-REPUBLICAN OF
JUNE 20, 1916
Transcribed by MaryAlice
Fifty-five years ago a beardless boy was one of an assemblage of
neighbors who gathered at the schoolhouse over in Illinois or in Iowa.
Men, women and children crowded the room in the semi-dust of the old
fashioned lamps. War was the theme. The guns that had opened on Sumter
echoed from the seaboard. Men were white under their tan and the women
wept in the foreknowledge of widowhood and bereavement. And there that
boy and other boys like him, signed the roll of enlistment in the
volunteer armies of the United States and of freedom for all mankind.
They came, those boys in the slyush of their first manhood from off
every northern hilltop and out of every northern valley. They gathered
in the cities, fell in and dressed ranks. The story of the next four
years is the finest and most heroic on the great pages of history.
Always they followed the flag. They lay with it on the glacis of
Donelson, in the bitter sleet of lead and the bitterer sleet of the
freezing rain; they died under it at Gettysburg and Antientam and Shiloh
and Vicksburg and Nashville and carried it in triumph thru Georgia to
the sea. Its colors shone in the smoky woods of Chickamauga and they
gripped it in the desperation of defeat from Richmond to Harrison's
Landing. They saw it in fevered dreams within the stockades of
Andersonville and in the gloom of Libby; and when the war for American
freedom and American integrity was over, all that were left of them
followed the old flag home.
It was then that the world
say a new and marvelous display of citizenship and intelligent
restraint. It saw an army of soldiers become a nation of citizens. If
there had been any demoralization of the camp and garrison it faded and
was as if it had never been. Those boys, now bearded and determined men,
came quietly back to their homes and their citizenship. Perhaps he came
back to find his business, if he had one, gone, his employment in the
hands of another. Perhaps he married the girl who had waited and came
west to found one of those families whose names are the insignia of
leadership and honor in the trans-Mississippi today. But wherever he
went the hammers rang and the song of the reaper rose and out of courage
and determination he had learned in was was born a new cycle of
prosperity and development that covered the stains of battle with the
green fertility of peace.
The boys are coming back again
this week, coming to gather for a time, renewing old ties and greeting
familiar faces, coming in the weakness of age and the strength of
undying service. Marshalltown greets them decked with the colors those
beardless boys of the sixties, raised and kept high as a signal to all
the world, greets them at her gates with the truest welcome, glad of her
guests and proud of the distinction they confer upon her. The spirit of
the mighty past meets with the spirit of the splendid present and
forecasts a future even mightier and more splendid.
are grown old and gray, these boys of the sixties . They die and fade as
the leaf; but their service does not die or fade and shall never
perishfrom the earth. They rewrote into the statutes of the continent
the theory that all men are created free and equal. While that principle
they established lives in America shall they live as their works do
(Click on image for
Left to right are Nelson Slaikeu (Slaiken) and Rasmus
They served in the same Company, 1st Iowa
Cavalry, Company G.
Dianne's note: "When they
returned from the war, Ramus and Nelson farmed together in
Wright County. I am unclear if they traveled to the US together
or just met during those travels."
Family Search Tree (you need to login to view this
FindAGrave Burial Information
Dianne's note: "All
the letters I have from him to Nelson are from Wadena, MN. I
have a business card of his son, Frank, an insurance agent in
Nelson's Discharge - Front
full size PDF
Nelson's Discharge - Back
full size PDF
| "At some point, my folks had his discharge paper photographed resulting in the size reduction. Denver University did a nice preservation process for them."
G.A.R. dues Receipt
"Nelson's wife had passed away the year prior to this -- based on letters he traveled between his kids"
G.A.R. - YMCA Card
Nelson's Calling Card
PDF of his
Calling Card Collection
G.A.R. Reunion Ribbons
G.A.R. Reunion, Carancahua TX
March 29, 1917
to right are:
Charles C Jordan, 1840 - Unk
Infantry, Co D
Nelson Slaikeu/Slaiken, 1840 - 1928, 1st
IA Cavalry, Co G
John A Gishwiller, 1841 - Unk
Infantry, Co A
Dianne's note: "Mr. Gishwiller's
great-great granddaughter had posted it and tagged my
great-great-grandfather, Nelson. Lucky for her, her photo was
labeled- mine was not"
Eagle Grove IA
Image showing Nelson
Slaikeu (Slaiken) circled
1886 1st Cavalry Reunion
Cedar Rapids IA
Mason City IA
1913 GAR Encampment
Des Moines IA
TL Knight, D McCallum, Walter Sawin (Savin), Nelson Slaikeu
Samer Farmer, Mrs Pierce,
Mrs WC Moseley and WC
TL Knight, Walter Sawin (Savin), Nelson Slaikeu (Slaiken), Samuel Farmer, WC Moseley
Death Claims Nelson Slaikeu
Posted in the Goldfield Chronicle, August 16, 1928
Word was received by Mrs. F. A. Rasmussen Tuesday morning of the
death of her father, Nelson Slaikeu of Palacious, Tex. Mr.
Slaikeu was 88 years of age, and has been in failing health for
several weeks. Funeral services will be held in Goldfield, but as we
go to press no definite arrangements have been made.
N. Slaikeu Buried
Sat. At Goldfield Posted in the
Chronicle, August 23, 1928
Octogenarian Passed Away at the Home of His Son at Palacios, Texas.
Brief mention was made in this paper last week of the death
of Nelson Slaikeu at the home of his son, L. J. Slaikeu, at
Nelson Slaikeu was born in Denmark on Nov. 10, 1840, and died at
Palacios, Texas, on Aug. 14, 1928, having reached the ripe old age
of 87 years, 9 months and 4 days.
came to this country as a young man of nineteen years and first
settled in Wisconsin, where he attended school. After having
been here but a short time the call for volunteers was made and he
responded, and after first trying to get into an Illinois regiment
he came to Iowa and enlisted in the First Iowa Cavalry. In
this unit he served during the entire Civil War and at its close
received his honorable discharge. At the close of the war he
settled on the farm which afterwards became known as the Slaikeu
farm south-west of Goldfireld.
On February 13,
1868, he was united in marriage to Miss Caroline Middleton. To
this union six children were born, one having died in infancy and
the others survive. These are Mrs. May Rasmussen of Goldfield;
Lionel J. of Palacios, Texas; Alva N. of Eagle Grove; George A. of
Luck, Wis., and Mrs. Ruth Carse of Los Angeles, Calif. The
mother and wife receded him in death on November 13, 1908. All
of the children were present for the funeral except Mrs. Carse.
Besides the children there are sixteen grandchildren and two
greatgrand-children, and a host of friends who mourn his going.
Mr. Slaikeu early in life became a member of the
Methodist church, and was one of the charter members of that church
at Eagle Grove, Iowa. He served on the official board and was
one of the board of trustees who signed many of the papers of the
early church of Eagle Grove. He served as one of the class
leaders and is well known to many with regard to his active work in
organizing the Sunday school in the Evergreen neighborhood.
Besides the church and its associated activities, Mr. Slaikeu
belonged to the G. A. R. and was a great believer in the splendid
work of that organiztion. He transferred his membership to the
Goldfield Methodist church in October, 1906.
Friends who knew him best testify to his life bein one that radiated
with good. His living was an example to those with whom he
came in contact. His reward is certain to be "well done."
Burial was made from the Methodist church at
Goldfield on Saturday afternoon and in the goldfield cemetery.
Rev. D. M. Simpson had charge of the services and he was assisted by
Mr. W. E. Warnes, and old time friend and fellow church-man from
Out of town people attending the
funeral were Mr. and Mrs. George Slaikeu of Luck, Wis.; Lionel
Slaikeu of Palacios, Texas; Roger Slaikeu of Houston, Texas; Mr. and
Mrs. Harry McElroy and daughter, Alice, of Burt; Mr. and Mrs. George
Hansen and son, George, of Titonka; Mr. and Mrs. John Lindhart and
E. T. Gunderson and sone of Humboldt, and Mr. and Murs. Chris Hansen
of Fort Dodge.