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Vanness, Brittin


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 6/13/2021 at 18:22:33

born Apr 2, 1845, Ohio

Brittin Vanness, of Milo who has witnessed this beautiful little city develop from a wind-swept prairie that knew no habitation on its snow-clad heath, was born in Seneca county, Ohio, April 2, 1845, a son of George and Sarah (Brittin) Vanness. He was the eighth of their thirteen children, six of whom survive, namely: Abner, a resident of Kosciusko county, Indiana, served his country in the late war from Ohio; Elinor, wife of William Sheely, also of Kosciusko county; Leah, wife of Fipps Waldo, a farmer of Clinton county, Michigan; Albert, a farmer of McPherson county, Kansas, was a member of Company D, Forty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry; Brittin, the subject of this sketch; and Josiah, a farmer of Warren county, Iowa. Nathan, the eldest child, emigrated to California alone in an early day, and while there enlisted in the First California Regiment of Volunteer Infantry, and it is supposed that he lost his life in the service, and lies at rest in an unmarked grave in Southern soi. George, a member of Company K, Forty-ninth Ohio Infantry, died in the hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, in the fall of 1862; Letitia departed this life when seven years of age; Mary, the wife of Thomas Hover, died in Kosciusko county, Indiana; Sarah Jane, deceased was the wife of Hiram Harbaugh, a farmer of that county; Willie died at the age of about two years; and Orlando, who also died when two years old. George Vanness Sr., the great grandfather of these children, came to this country from Germany, locating in Ohio in the last century. In the forests of the Territory, when “Tippecanoe” (William Henry Harrison) was governor of the wilds of Ohio, he erected a log house and made a clearing sufficient to allow the sun to shine on his home. He spent the remainder of his life there, being the father a large family. His son, George, the father our subject, succeeded to the Territorial farm. He was born there February 8, 1800. He witnessed railroad and telegraph lines span borders of his native State, saw her honored the selection of “Tippecanoe” for President, - many other sons of the State having alsp been elevated to the presidency from was once an unbroken wilderness, - and saw her develop and rank second to in the union of States. Mr. Vanness was an old time Whig. He was called to the spirit world in the eighty-sixth year of his age, his death occurring in Kosciusko county, where had moved in 1862. His wife was born Champaign county, Ohio, April 20, 1813, being of Dutch descent. Her parents died when was quite young. She now resides with son Abner, in Kosciusko county, at the advanced age of eighty-two years, having lived to send her sons to battle for their country’s flag, in which contest they truly and nobly performed their part.
Brittin Vanness, the subject of this sketch, received the benefit of the common schools, and early in life he learned the use of the woodman's ax. September 5, 1861, he was enrolled as a member of Company K, Forty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, at Tiffin, Ohio, under Colonel Gibson and Captain Patterson. He was then but sixteen years of age. The first night after his enlistment was spent at Cincinnati, where the company boarded a boat for Louisville, Kentucky, and from there went by rail to Elizabethtown for winter quarters. Mr. Vanness participated in the first battle of Pittsburg Landing, the second battle of Corinth, retreated to Louisville, and next took part in the battles of Stone River and Chickamauga. At the latter engagement he received two flesh wounds, which, however only incapacitated him from service for a few days. November 25, 1863 at the battle of Missionary Ridge, he was wounded by a musket ball just an inch below the elbow. A small piece of the sleeve of his coat went into the wound, resulting in anchylosis of the wrist and fingers, and necessitating eventual amputation operation, having been performed February 9, 1891, by Dr. John Cooper, of Des Moines, and Dr. Samuel Cooper of Milo. Mr Vanness now carries an armless sleeve as the result this terrible wound. When sufficiently recovered he wastaken to Chattanooga and to Nashville, having spent about one year the sick list. September 21, 1864, he mustered out of service, after which he his parents in Kosciusko county, Indiana, having removed there during his absence in the service of his country. In 1871, Mr. Vanness located on a rented farm in Union township, Warren county, Iowa. November 2, 1877, he purchased seventy acres in section 9, same township, but since the fall of 1892 he has a resident of Milo. He also spent a period nine years in O’Brien county, this State. August 8, 1865, at the home of Rev. Miller, of the United Brethren Church, our subject was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Hover, a native of Kosciusko county, and a daughter of James S. and Elizabeth (Lucas) Hover. The father was born in Logan county, Ohio, and died in Kosciusko county, Indiana, July 24, 1869. The mother, a native of Highland county, Ohio, departed this life in Kosciusko county, in July, 1847. In his political relations Mr. Vanness is stanch Republican, and his first vote was cast for General U. S. Grant. He is a member of the G. A. R. Post, No. 275, of Milo. Mr. and Mrs. Vanness attend the Methodist Episcopal church. We note with pleasure the record of a soldier and his wife have always been honored in where the infinite wisdom of God saw fit locate them. Source: A Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa, Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois, 1896, vol.1, p.479


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