Pioneering Families
... with Roots in Madison County

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   Perhaps no class of men living today are entitled to higher honors or greater respect than the veteran boys in blue who sacrificed their all to save their country in the dark days of the sixties, although be it said with shame, a great many of the younger generation do not seem to fully appreciate what these brave men have done for them, nor do they accord the old soldiers proper respect. One of the sons of the North who bore the brunt of battle, the hardships of prison life, the trials of hard campaigns is Franklin Dewey, of Harlan township, Fayette county, Iowa. He was born in Montville, Geauga county, Ohio, June 8, 1939. He was brought to the West when a boy and received his education in the district schools of Fayette and McHenry counties, Illinois. He is the son of Thomas J. and Eunice O. (Stephens) Dewey. The father was born in Westfield, Hampden county, Massachusetts, February 22, 1803, and the mother was born in Montville, Geauga county, Ohio, January 26, 1814; they were married in Montville, February 14, 1835, the last named state, and lived on a farm there until 1844 when they moved to McHenry county, Illinois, where Mr. Dewey entered government land and lived there for ten years. In 1854 the family moved to Fayette county, Iowa, making the overland trip in wagons, locating in Harlan township, near the town of Maynard, where Mr. Dewey entered eighty acres of land from the government and bought one hundred and sixty acres, and here he and his wife lived until their deaths. Politically, Mr. Dewey was a Republican, but later joined the Greenbackers. He and his wife were the parents of eight children, namely: Franklin, of this review; Jasper, born October 22, 1840, resides at Fulton, Kansas; Addison was born September 11, 1842, resides at Oelwein, Iowa; Malinda C., born September 20, 1844, resided at Maynard, and died on June 25, 1899; Minerva D., born November 6, 1846, died October 11, 1863; Charles L., born September 10, 1848,, died October 20, 1863; Miranda D., born May 24, 1850, died October 15, 1863; Ira S., born September 15, 1852, died November 3, 1863.

   The father of these children died February 2, 189o, and the mother on October 15, 1894. They were a fine old couple whom everybody respected and admired because of the kindness, generosity and hospitality they exercised. Franklin Dewey, of this review, lived on a farm with his parents until he was of age, when he hired out as a farm hand and worked in that capacity until 1862. On August 15, 1862, he enlisted in Company F, Third Iowa Infantry, and served until the regiment's term of enlistment expired in June, 1864. He was taken prisoner at Holly Springs, Mississippi, in February. 1863, but at the expiration of twelve hours he was recaptured by the Federal troops. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, Fayette Post No. 46, at Fayette. Upon his return from the army he moved to a farm of one hundred and fifteen acres in Center township which he had bought some time previous, and he lived on the farm until May, 1877, when he sold out and moved to a farm of ninety-two acres in section , Harlan township, where he lives at present, having a neat and well improved place.

   Mr. Dewey is a Republican, but has never sought office. He holds membership with the Methodist Episcopal church, being steward and trustee of the same, also class leader.

   On December 25, 1867, Mr. Dewey married Mary F. Hotchkiss, who was born at Oxford, Chenango county, New York, February 7, 1848. She was educated in the district schools of Fayette county, Iowa, also spent four terms at the Northern Iowa University, being a teacher for a number of years. She was the daughter of Charles W. and Maria (Crandall) Hotchkiss, the father born in Smithfield, New York, May 12, 1817, and the mother born in Chenango county, that state, September 8, 1824. They moved to DeKalb county, Illinois, in the fall of 1849, where they lived on a farm until May, 1856, when they drove through by ox teams to Fayette county, Iowa, and located in Center township, where Mr. Hotchkiss entered government land. They were the parents of four children: Mrs. Franklin Dewey; Charles H. lives on the home farm in Center township; Sarah J. is the wife of William H. Sidler, of Oran township, Fayette county; Helen M. is the wife of William Cross and resides in Smithfield township. Mrs. Hotchkiss lives on the home farm with her son, Charles H. Mr. Hotchkiss died February 6, 1904. Mr. and Mrs. Dewey have no children.

Source: Past and present of Fayette County, Iowa. Indianapolis, Ind.: B.F. Bowen & Co., 1910, Volume 2,  pp. 1446-1448.



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