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from Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa

Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago, 1887, Pp. 334-35


B. F. DAY.jpg Civil War Flags.jpg Benjamin F. DAY, one of the early settlers of Ringgold County, and an active and enterprising farmer and stock-raiser of Liberty Township, is a native of Ross County, Ohio, born near Chillicothe, July 1, 1831.

His parents were both natives of the State of Virginia, the father, Hedgman DAY, born in Pendleton County, March 18, 1801, and going to Ohio in 1804, and the mother born in Rockingham County, December 2, 1800. Their wedded life was spent in Ross County, Ohio, where they reared a family to honorable and respectable status in life, and gained the respect of the entire community. Both parents died in Ross County. Of the eight children born to them seven grew to maturity, six of whom are yet living.

Benjamin F. DAY, the subject of this sketch, remained on the farm in Ohio till attaining the age of twenty-one years. His youth was passed in attending the district schools during the winter terms, his summers being employed in assisting with the work of the farm. In October, 1852, he came to Iowa, and the two years following worked on a farm in Louisa County, and in the fall of 1854 he went to Madison County, remaining there till the year 1855.

He was united in marriage March 6, 1855 [Muscatine County, Iowa], to Miss Margaret WILLIAMSON, a native of Ohio, being brought by her parents to Cedar County, Iowa, in 1836. At the time of her marriage she was living in Muscatine. In the fall of 1855 Mr. DAY brought his wife to Ringgold County, Iowa, and for two summers followed farming on what is now section 3, Poe Township, when he paid a visit to his native State.

Returning to Ringgold County, he settled on section 1, Liberty Township, his present home. In [November 18] 1862 he enlisted [as a Private from Mount Ayr, Iowa] in defense of the Union in Company G, Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry, and took part with his regiment in the engagements at Helena, Little Rock, Little Missouri, Prairie de Ann, and others. He was mustered out in June, 1865, at Little Rock, Arkansas, after being in the service of his country nearly three years. [He was promoted to Full 6th Corporal May 1, 1865; then to Full 4th Corporal July 1, 1864, then mustered out of service at Little Rock, Arkansas, on June 10, 1865.] He then returned to his farm in Liberty Township, where he followed agricultural pursuits until 1875, his first wife dying on the farm in February [5th], 1870. She left at her death three children - John H., Martha J. and Margaret E.

Mr. DAY was again married December 13, 1870, to Mrs. Mary A. BEAR, of Mt. Ayr, widow of Adam BEAR, who was wounded in the late war April 19, 1864, and died from the effects of his wound, June 19 following.

In the fall of 1874 Mr. DAY removed his family to Mt. Ayr, he having been elected by the Republican party to fill the office of county recorder, assuming the duties of that office January 1, 1875. He served in that capacity two years, when he again engaged in farming an stock-raising on his farm in Liberty Township, where he has since resided. Mr. DAY has filled all the township offices except that of justice of the peace, and in all his official positions he has always given entire satisfaction to his constituents. He takes much interest in the cause of education, having at one time been a successful teacher himself. He has taught in Ringgold County thirty-seven terms, and one term in Taylor County, Iowa.

Mr. DAY is a member of Mt. Ayr Lodge, No. 169, A. F. & A. M., and also belongs to the Odd Fellows order.

NOTE: Benjamin F. DAY died on March 25, 1893, with interment at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Ringgold County. Mary A. (CHANCE) BEAR DAY was born on April 6, 1839, Ashland County, Ohio, and died at the age of 59 years, 3 months and 12 days on July 18, 1898, with interment at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Iowa.

Martha J. (DAY) BAXTER, daughter of Benjamin F. and Margaret E. (WILLIAMSON) DAY, was born in Ringgold County, Iowa, on March 18, 1856, and died in Colville, Stevens County, West Virginia, in 1928. She married November 28, 1876, Muscatine County, Iowa, to Henry Charles BAXTER (1857-1909).

John H. DAY, born circa 1859, died at the age of 42, circa 1891, Ringgold County, Iowa.

Margaret "Emma" DAY, daughter of Benjamin F. and Margaret E. (WILLIAMSON) DAY, was born in Mount Ayr on June 13, 1861, and died at Colville, Stevens County, West Virginia, in 1918. She married in October of 1881 to Abraham Lincoln BAXTER (1861-1939).

Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa, Pp. 334-35, 1887.

American Civil War Soldiers Database,

WPA Graves Survey

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2009

Biographical Sketches Pages Index: A - F,   G - L,   M - R,  S - Z

To submit your Ringgold County biographies, contact Sharon R. Becker at
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