from Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa
Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago, 1887, p. 236
LEONARD O. IMUS
Leonard O[rlando] IMUS, an early settler and enterprising farmer of Liberty Township, Ringgold County, was born
in [Ingham County] the State of Michigan, October 3, 1849, the sixth in a family of thirteen children of Horatio M. and Mary (DOLBIER) IMUS,
who were both born in New York State. The parents settled with their family in Stark County, Illinois, and in 1854, started
for Ringgold County, Iowa, and while on their way the father was drowned in Marion County. The mother is still living
at the advanced age of seventy-two years, making her home in Mount Ayr. Our subject was a boy of six years when he was
brought to this county, and here he was reared and educatedin the district schools, finishing he educationin the
Mount Ayr school. He prepared himself for a teacher, but changed his mind and engaged in farming, and raising cattle and
hogs. He formed a partnership with C. W. DAKE, then treasurer of Ringgold County, and together they spent $1,000 on
thorough-bred short-horn cattle. They continued the business together for four years when the partnership was dissolved,
and Mr. IMUS settled on the farm. he was soon after married [April 3, 1871, Mount Ayr, IA] to Miss Jennie SMITH, of Mount Ayr, a daughter of John and
Caroline SMITH, her father dying when she was a child of eight years. Her mother still lives at the advanced age of
eighty years. To Mr. and Mrs. IMUS have been born four children - Elsie, Day, Agnes and a son, Smith, who died in
infancy. After his marriage, Mr. IMUS settled on his present farm, which contains eighty acres of land, mostly meadow
and pasture land. He also has eighty acres in another section of the same township. He is still dealing in blooded
stock, and has at present on his farm, a fine herd of thirty head. Mr. IMUS has held the office of justice of the peace
for three tearms, and has served as secretary of the School Board for eleven years. In politics he is a Republican,
casting his first vote for President GRANT. Both Mr. and Mrs. IMUS are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. He
has acted as superintendent of the Sunday school for one year.
NOTE: Leonard and Jennie had three more children after the above biographical sketch was written.
According to cemetery transciptions, Leonard was born in 1847 instead of 1849 as stated in his biographical sketch.
Leonard Orlando IMUS died January 27, 1934. Sarah Jane "Jennie" (SMITH) IMUS was born March
3, 1848, Tipton, Tipton County, Indiana, and died April 27, 1935.
Leonard and Jennie were interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa.
Leonard's father Horatio M. IMUS was born in 1812, and died June 19, 1854. His mother
Mary (DOLBIER) IMUS CAVIN was born in Vermont in 1814, and
died January 10, 1887 with interment in Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Iowa. After Hortaio's death, Mary married
William CAVIN, Sr.
Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, April 7, 1927
MR. & MRS. L. O. IMUS OBSERVE 55th ANNIVERSARY
Among the pioneer settlers of Ringgold county there are none who are held in higher esteem than none who have contributed
more to the up-building of the county than have Mr. and Mrs. L. O. IMUS, of Liberty township, who on Sunday, April 3,
quietly observed the fifty-fifth anniversary of their marriage in their beautiful country home on Primary No. 16, six miles north
of Mount Ayr.
The occasion was observed in a manner befitting the Sabbath day, without demonstration, but friends were
mindful of the occasion and grateful for the influence of the home, which for more than a half century has blessed the
L. O. IMUS was born October 3, 1847, in Ingham County, Michigan. Soon after his birth, the family moved to
Stark County, Illinois, and in the spring of 1854, started for Ringgold County, where the father had previously entered land.
While on the way the father was drowned in Marion County, Iowa, while trying to ford a river. The family continued the
journey and settled on the land previously entered in what is now Washington township.
Mrs. IMUS, whose maiden name was
Sarah Jane SMITH, was born March 4, 1848, near Kokoma, Indiana. Her family came to this county in 1855. Seven years later,
on April 3, 1872, Mr. and Mrs IMUS were married at the home of J. T. WILLIAMS in Mount Ayr, the ceremony being performed
by Rev. W. T. SMITH, pastor of the Methodist church.
Mr. IMUS commenced the building of a house on his land six miles
north of Mount Ayr. He hauled most of the material from the saw mill on Grand RIver, Decatur County. Shingles and finish
lumber were hauled from Afton. Two Mount Ayr carpenters were employed on the building and when the house was enclosed, Mr.
and Mrs. IMUS moved in and commenced housekeeping. Mr. IMUS fenced fourty acres of land with post and rail fence; broke
the land and planted it to sod corn. He raised a good crop of corn and a good garden the first year. Here Mr. and Mrs.
IMUS have sinced lived.
Seven children have blessed the home. One son, Smith, died in childhood. The living children are
Mrs. Elsie MIDDLETON of Los Angeles, California; Day IMUS of Ritzville, Washington; Mrs. Agnes CUNNINGHAM of Bedford, Iowa;
Qyay IMUS of Los Angeles, California; mrs. Eighme DULING and Mrs. Tama HOUSE of LeRoy, Iowa.
As the settlement of the
community increased, the need of a church closer than Mount Ayr or Eugene was felt and Mr. IMUS and his special friend, E. P.
REED, took the initiative in planning for the building of Wishard Chapel, which for more than forty years has served and
continues to serve as the religious center of the community. Mr. IMUS served as Sunday school superintendant for a great
Before the church was buit, Sunday School was held in the schoolhouse that the young folks of the community
might have the advantage of religious training.
During all the years that he had lived in the township, Mr. IMUS has held
office of trust. he has served as justice of the peace most of the time for forty-five years. Mr. IMUS probably holds the
record for long term of service as rural correspondent to a county newspapter. Soon after the new home was established he
subscribed for the home paper, the Ringgold Record, then published by George R. STEPHENS, and the paper has been a
constant visitor to the home since. Then, as now, readers of the paper were interested in community affairs and Mr. IMUS
was asked to send in news items from his community. He consented and became the Liberty township correspondent for the
Record, which position he has held constantly for fifty-five years. Prompted by the desire to have the community
represented in the home paper, he has been faithful and constant and his efforts are appreciated not only by the publisher,
but by readers of the paper generally.
Mr. and Mrs. IMUS are in their 80th year and bot enjoy fairly good health. Mr. IMUS
keeps a team, two cows and about 250 hens and still finds plenty to do on the farm. He has ever kept pace with progress,
drives an automobile and is alert and energetic.
Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, April 7, 1932
OBSERVE 60th ANNIVERSARY
Mr. and Mrs. L. O. IMUS Married in Mount Ayr Sixty Years Ago.
Sarah Jane SMITH and L. O. IMUS were united in marriage on April 3, 1872, at the home of J. T. WILLIAMS in Mount Ayr, the
ceremony being performed by Rev. W. T. SMITH, pastor of the Methodist church.
It gives pleasure to know that these two highly
respected citizens of Ringgold County have made their home life a success for sixty years.
Still residing in their beautiful country
home in Liberty towship, located on Primary Road No. 169, six miles north of Mount yr, which was established 60 years ago on
its present site, it still remains as one of the few early homes in Ringgold County still occupied by its owners. In their
respected home were molded the lives of seven children -- Mrs. Tama HOUSE, who makes her home with her parents; Mrs. Eighme DULING,
of LeRoy; Mrs. Agnes CUNNINGHAM of Yorktown; Mrs. Elsie MIDDLETON of Los Angeles, California; Day IMUS of Ritzville,
Washington; Quay IMUS of Fallow, Nevada. One son, Smith, died in childhood. Two children are always ready with words of
praise for the parents who so carefully taught them the right things in life.
On Sunday, April 3, 1932, Mr. and Mrs. IMUS celebrated
their sixtieth wedding anniversary, and it was an occasion which not only brought joy and happiness to those of the
community, but afforded an opportunity for the people of the community to show the high esteem in which the worthy couple
is held. Mr. and Mrs. IMUS were the recipients of many tokens of remembrance and friendship, among them a beautiful
anniversary cake baked by Mrs. Cecil JACKSON, and an attractively arranged basket of flowers, presented by the Ladies Aid
Society of Wishard Chapel.
Although they are in in their 85th years, Mr. and Mrs. IMUS are still enjoying fairly good
health . They lead busy, useful lives and are still the royal host and hostess of former years.
Among those who called
at the home to extend their congratulations were Mrs. Cecil JACKSON, Mrs. Lena BASTOW, Mrs. Arthur RAIRN, Mrs. Eva
THOMPSON, Mr. and Mrs. J. A. BLISS and family, Mrs. Mary TRULLINGER, Mattie and Willard KIRKPATRICK, Isaac DULING and daughter,
Mrs. Eighme DULING, Beulah DULING, Mrs. Albert BIRD, Cora PRICE, Frank McCREARY and son Bobbie, Helen and Mayme RICHARDS,
Albert BIRD, Velmar BIRD, Mr. and Mrs. Willis HOOD, Mr. and Mrs. Carson RHOADES, Mrs. A. C. TRULLINGER, and Rev. John CUNNINGHAM
Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, February 1, 1934
DEATH CLAIMS EARLY SETTLER
L. O. IMUS, RESIDENT OF COUNTY 80 YEARS, DIES AT AGE OF 86
L. O. [Leonard Orlando] IMUS, a resident of Ringgold County for 80 years and one of the county's most highly respected
citizens died Saturday evening at his home in Liberty township at the age of 86 years, three months and 24 days. Due to the
infirmities of old age, he had been in failing health for several years and death which came as a result of a heart
attack, was not unexpected. The end came peacefully. At the death of Mr. IMUS, the community mourns the passing of one who
during his long and useful life was active in promoting the best interests of the community and who gave his influence
and support to every worthy cause.
When he was six years of age the family migrated from Illinois to Iowa and his father
lost his life while fording a stream in Marion County. The mother with her children continued the journey to Ringgold
County and settled on a farm southwest of Mt. Ayr. Mr. IMUS was reared on the farm and obtained his education in the
rural schools and the Mount Ayr school.
The Biographical and History Record of Ringgold County, published in
1887, records the fact that "He prepared himself for a teacher, but changed his mind and engaged in farming and raising
cattle and hogs. He formed a partnership with C. W. DAKE, then treasurer of Ringgold County, and together they spent
$1000 on thorough-bred Short-horn cattle. They continued the business together for four years when the partnership was
dissolved and Mr. IMUS specialized in the breeding for Short-horn cattled and built up one of the finest herds in the
For a number of years, Mr. IMUS served as Justice of the Peace in Liberty township and as secretary of the
Funeral services were held Monday afternoon at 2 o'clock at Wishard Chapel, conducted by the pastor, Rev.
O. A. DILLON, and the sermon preached by Rev. M. P. TALLEY of Mount Ayr, a long-time friend and former pastor. Burial
was made in Rose Hill Cemetery at Mount Ayr.
The following obituary was read at the funeral service.
Leonard Orlando IMUS, the seventh child and surviving member of his father's family, son of Horatio and Mary IMUS, was
born in Michigan on October 3, 1847, and died at his farm home about five miles north of Mount Ayr, Iowa, on January 27,
1934, at the age of 86 years, three months and 24 days. He came to Iowa with his mother when about six years of age
and settled with the family on a farm about five miles southwest of Mount Ayr. Here his boyhood days were spent.
Later he engaged in farming and formed a partnership with Mr. DAKE for the raising and selling of Shorthorn cattle. He
was married on April 3, 1872 to Jennie SMITH by Rev. W. T. SMITH, then pastor of the Mount Ayr Methodist Church, under
whom Mr. IMUS had united with the church a few years before.
To Mr. and Mrs. IMUS seven children were born, one of
which, Smith IMUS, died in infancy. The suriving children are Mrs. Elsie MIDDLETON of Los Angeles, California; Day
Imus of Spokane, Washington; Mrs. Agnes CUNNINGHAM of Straham, Iowa; Mrs. Tama HOUSE, who with her husband, have
taken care of the father and mother for the last four years; and Quay IMUS of Fallon, Nevada. There are 18 grandchildren
and five great-grandchildren.
Mrs. IMUS and her daughter were not able to attend the funeral service. Mrs. CUNNINGHAM
and Mrs. DULING were the only other members of the family at the service.
Coming to Iowa in 1854, Mr. IMUS has had
his fine part inthe development of the county. Together with his wife, they have been a great influence for the good and
for the right. Interested always in the welfare of the community and the county, they have helped to give to the
county its mould and set for the things of righteousness. They were of that sturdy pioneer stock who dared the
impossible and laughed at danger and hardship.
Most of the folks of their generation are gone, and Iowa will
miss in her counsels that find high type of pioneer mind that had had so much to do in making Iowa what it is.
Mr. IMUS joined the Methodist church in Mount Ayr three years before his marriage and when the Wishard Chapel was
built, he was one of the charter members of the congregation. He was Sunday School superintendent for a period of 25 yars and
then served for several other scattered years besides. He was steward in the congregation for 40 years and treasurer
for most of that time.
The next love above that of his family, which was a strong love, was the love for his
church and the Kingdom. That love found an avenue of service in real work for the Kingdom of God. For the
strength of the church and the development of the religious spirit in the communty, Mr. IMUS gave untiring effort
In recent years he was forced by failing health to relax his work for the church and then the
time came when he was no longer able to attend. But his keen interest in the church and its welfare he carried
with him until the end.
Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa, p. 236, 1887
WPA Grave Survey
Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, January of 2009; updated May of 2010
Biographical Sketches Pages Index: A - F,
G - L,
M - R, S - Z
To submit your Ringgold County biographies, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.