A Narrative History of The People of Iowa


NEWTON BATTIN, of Bloomfield, at the age of ninety-one was one of the surviving veterans of the Civil war.  He was a member of an Iowa regiment.  For many years he had been one of the highly respected citizens of Davis County.

He was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, January 2, 1839, son of Ezra and Julina (Keith) Battin, and grandson of John Battin, who was of old Quaker Pennsylvania ancestry.  In 1856 the Battin family moved to Davis county, Iowa.  Newton Battin grew up on a farm, and in August, 1861, enlisted at Bloomfield in Company E of the Third Iowa Cavalry.  He went all through the war, being commissioned a second lieutenant.  He was a participant in the Wilson raid through Alabama and Georgia, and was in many campaigns and skirmishes, being twice wounded.  He received his honorable discharge at Atlanta, Georgia, and returned home to Iowa, where he engaged in farming until he reached the age of seventy.  Mr. Battin has always shown a disposition to work with others and assume duties and responsibilities in a public way.  For three years he was a member of the county board of supervisors and has held other offices.  During the World war, though nearly eighty years of age, he was made head of the Davis County war organization work.  His chief hobby and recreation in recent years has been gardening.  For many years he has been commander of Elisha B. Townsend Post No. 100 of the Grand Army of the Republic and has also been president of the Third Iowa Cavalry Association.

In December, 1865, he married Matilda E. Modrell, of Davis County.  She died in 1870.  Her daughter June died in 1869.  In February, 1871, Mr. Battin married Harriet Modrell, a sister of his first wife.  She passed away in 1911, at the home in Bloomfield, where he continued to reside.  She was the mother of seven children:  John E., a Davis County farmer, Fred E., of Pierre, South Dakota, who is married and has two daughters, Lala and Blanche; Margaret E., the wife of L. G. Senseney, of Bloomfield; Lenora, a graduate nurse, served as army nurse in France during the World war and is superintendent of a hospital at Monterey Park, California; Jason E., of Davis County, is married and has a daughter, Pauline:  Newton Elmer; and Harriet Ruth, wife of E. F. Bandel of Denver, Colorado, and mother of a daughter, Bernice E.

Since the writing of the above sketch Mr. Battin died, February 19, 1931.


~ source: A Narrative History of The People of Iowa with SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY, BUSINESS, ETC., by EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M. Curator of the Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa Volume IV THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc. Chicago and New York. 1931
~ transcribe by Debbie Clough Gerischer for the Great War