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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 hongs. 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 cattle and built up one of the finest herds in the county."

For a number of years, Mr. IMUS served as Justice of the Peace in Liberty township and as secretary of the school board.

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. Eighme DULING of LeRoy, Iowa; and 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 in the 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 hight 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 and devotion.

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.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, May of 2010

To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
srbecker@windstream.net.
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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