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Fayette County, Iowa  

 Biography Directory


Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa

Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of

Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County

Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago

March 1891


~Page 282~


Mrs. Mary J. Dye

Mrs. Mary J. Dye, who resides on section 14, Windsor Township, was born on the 23d of April, 1840, in Hookstown, Beaver County, Pa., and was one of ten children born unto Rev. William and Catherine C. (Robbins) Moore. Her father was born in Beaver County, October 9, 1813, of Scotch and Irish ancestry, and her mother was born in Rochester, Addison County, VT, November 20, 1817.


During the infancy of Mrs. Dye the family removed to Loudonville, Ashland County, Ohio, where they remained for about twelve years, when in 1852 they emigrated to Rock County, Wis. Two years later the records of Fayette County chronicle their arrival in Illyria Township, where they settled on a farm.


 The children of the family we mention below. The eldest, Rev. Samuel Wallace, who was born in Pennsylvania, June 18, 1838, received a common-school education and early in life evinced a great interest in religion. At the age of seventeen he joined the church of which his father was minister, and at twenty years of age began preaching, receiving license from the Annual Conference of 1860, in the United Brethren Church. He took charge of a circuit in Linn County, Iowa, and traveled one year. On the 3d of July, 1861, he was married to Miss Mary Dresser, and one child was born unto them, but died in infancy. On the 13th of August, 1862, Rev. Mr. Moore enlisted in Company D, Twenty-first Iowa Infantry, with the rank of Sergeant. His comrades in arms say of him that he always maintained his dignity as a Christian gentleman, rebuking wickedness among the soldiers and exhorting them to aspire to better things. During the engagement at Black River Bridge, Miss., May 18, 1863, he received his death wound, being shot through the neck. He died almost instantly and his body was buried on the field where he fell.


The possibilities for future usefulness in that young life, which was sacrificed on the altar of his country are incalculable, and this only another evidence of the devastation and barbarism of the cruel war. The second in the family is Mrs. Dye, who was followed by Vesta A. She was born April 19, 1842, married Thomas J. Rice in November, 1861, and three children were born unto them - Samuel Wallace, William O. and Katie. The two former are married, and the latter lives with her father in California. Mr. and Mrs. Rice were divorced in 1881, and the following year she became the wife of Daniel Shaffer, of Tama City, Iowa, by whom she has two children, Myrtie and Robert; Samantha R., born January 16, 1844, is the wife of Peter McKellar, of Highland, Clayton County, Iowa, and unto them were born seven children, but two died in infancy; Roxie A., born December 18, 1845, became the wife of George W. Fitch, of West Union, on the 15th of April, 1866, and they are the parents of five living children, and have lost two; Minerva R., wife of Austin R. Moats, of Cedar Rapids, was born June 19, 1847, and the mother of eight children: Robert Clark, born September 4, 1850, married Elizabeth Moats, and resides in Longwood, Custer County, Neb.; they have six children, four living. Edwin Osborn of Illyria Township, was born February 16, 1852, and wedded Mary Walkenbaugh, by whom he has three children; Jasper Smith, born May 20, 1854, wedded Mary Crane, and upon the homestead in Illyria Township they are living with their family of four children; Francis Kirkwood, a farmer of Custer County, Neb., was born September 20, 1857, married Nettie Clements, and has one child.


Mrs. Dye accompanied her family on their various removals until they at length settled in Illyria Township, Fayette County, where she grew to womanhood. Her education was acquired in the common schools of those pioneer days, and she remained at home until the 18th of March, 1860, when she became the wife of Josiah W. Hardy. He was a teacher by profession, being engaged in that avocation when he first met his wife. He was a man of superior attainments, honorable and upright in all things and possessed the esteem and confidence of a wide circle of friends. At the time of his marriage he was a member of the Congregational Church, but subsequently withdrew, and with his wife joined the United Brethren.


Mr. Hardy in company with his brother-in-law, enlisted in the late war as a member of Company D, Twenty-first Iowa Infantry, August 13, 1862, and died in St. Louis, May 25, 1863. His wife visited him during his last illness, her presence doing much to alleviate his sufferings. When she reached him he was too weak to accompany her to their Iowa home, as had been his intentions. Learning that there was no hope, Mrs. Hardy composed herself and awaited the final separation with the feelings which only a loving wife can experience under such trying circumstances. His body is buried in the soldiers' cemetery at Benton Barracks, Mo. Their only child was born July 6, 1861, being about one year of age when her father bade her a final adieu. She is now Mrs. Clara S. Shaw, wife of N. A. Shaw. They were married January 25, 1882, and have three children: Edith Boyd, born June 10, 1884; John Hardy, April 30, 1886; and George R., on the 26th of November, 1889. The family is comfortably situated on a farm, and Mr. Shaw is making a specialty of raising thoroughbred Short-horn cattle. He is also extensively engaged in agricultural pursuits, and in growing hogs and horses for the general market. Prior to her marriage, Mrs. Shaw taught a number of terms in the public schools of Fayette County, gaining an enviable reputation as a teacher.


On the 2d of June, 1864, Mrs. Hardy married Andrew Dye, a widower, having two children by his former marriage: Wallace, of Custer County, Neb., who married Cora Guthrie, by whom he has two children; and Ella, wife of John McMillen, of St. Peter, Minn.; they have three children. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Dye were born eight children: Vernie E., born March 16, 1865, married Melvia McCreery, of Windsor Township, and resides on a farm near the parental home; they have one child, Wenona, born March 7, 1890. Addie E., born January 28, 1867, attended Western College in 1885-86, and graduated in music. Subsequently she returned and took up a general course of study which she pursued for a year. She became the wife of Rev. C. F. Schell, of Castalia, Winneshiek County, Iowa, and the first year of their married life was spent in Powell, Neb., where Mr. Schell preached to a Presbyterian congregation and taught the village school. He graduated from the Western College, of Toledo, Iowa, in the Class of '85, after which he attended the McCormick Theological Seminary of Chicago two years. He has been in the ministry for the last six years, and is now pastor of the United Brethren Church. He and his wife have a little daughter, Lucile, born September 28, 1889. Edwin H., the next child of Mr. and Mrs. Dye, was born June 3, 1869, has followed teaching in the public schools, and is now pursuing the second year's course of study in Western College; Minnie A., born March 2, 1871, is her mother's companion and helper; Bertie, born February 2, 1873, died in infancy; Henry S., born June 19, 1874; Melvia E., July 8, 1877; and Sophia Beulah, February 5, 1881, are still at home.


Mr. Dye was a great sufferer from dyspepsia for the last fifteen years of his life. Death ended his sufferings January 21, 1890, and he was laid to rest in the beautiful cemetery of West Union, where stands a monument to mark his grave and perpetuate his memory. He was a quiet, unassuming man who was loved and respected for his strict integrity, uprightness of character and Christian benevolence.


Mr. and Mrs. Dye resided on a farm near Waterloo, Iowa, until the autumn of 1871, when they came to this county, locating, locating on the farm where Mrs. Dye still makes her home. It is a two hundred acre tract of fine land, and under a high state of cultivation, while large barns and commodious outbuildings, together with a pleasant residence, enhance the value of the property as well as the comfort and convenience of the occupants. All the members of the family who have attained to years of accountability are members of the United Brethren Church, and wherever known Mrs. Dye is regarded as an exemplary Christian lady, endowed with a spirit of love to humanity, possessed by few, but appreciated by all.




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