Father: William Russell
Mother: Anna Bonham
Spouse: Benajah Hiatt (B. H.) Frazier - b: 10/Nov/1839
- Henry Co., IA
d: 4/Apr/1920 - Henry Co., IA - bur: Salem South (Friends) Cem.
m: 26/Oct/1858 - Athens, Grant Twp., Clark Co., MO
Child-1: Blanche - b: 29/Jul/1859 - Salem Twp., Henry
d: 4/Apr/1937 - Madison Co., IA - bur: Winterset City Cem.
m: Charles Leonard Simmons - 8/Apr/1883 - Mt. Pleasant, Henry Co., IA
2: Lina Ellen - b: 28/Nov/1861 - Salem Twp., Henry Co., IA
d: 9/Dec/1938 - Jefferson Co., OR - bur: Gray Butte Cem.
m: Erwin Horace Braden - 16/Apr/1887 - Afton, Union Co., IA
3: Hjalmer - b: 10/Sep/1862 - Salem Twp., Henry Co., IA
d: 24/Sep/1862 - Salem Twp., Henry Co., IA - bur: Salem South (Friends) Cem.
4: Leila Mina - b: 8/Dec/1863 - Salem Twp., Henry Co., IA
d: 15/Mar/1947 - Hammond, Lake Co., IN - bur: Moravian Cem., West Salem, Edwards Co., IL
m: Havillah Francis Hedrick - 30/Apr/1885 - Mt. Pleasant, Henry Co., IA
5: Cora Emma - b: 14/Jan/1866 - Salem Twp., Henry Co., IA
d: 1/Dec/1944 - Mt. Pleasant, Henry Co., IA - bur: Forest Home Cem.
m: Henry Earnest Rukgaber - 28/Jun/1887 - Henry Co., IA
6: Arlie Russell - b: 18/Sep/1869 - Salem Twp., Henry Co., IA
m: Anita Diaz
7: Vivia Annie - b: 1/Jan/1871 - Salem Twp., Henry Co., IA
d: 25/Dec/1957 - Salem Twp., Henry Co., IA - bur: Salem South (Friends) Cem.
m: William Nelson Miller - 10/May/1892 - Henry Co., IA
8: Birdson (Bard) Thomas - b: 26/Dec/1873 - Salem Twp., Henry Co., IA
d: 3/Aug/1955 - Orange, TX - bur: Rose Hill Cem., Nueces Co., Corpus Christi, TX
m: Katherine Jane Britton - 18/Nov/1896 - Henry Co., IA
9: Mae Hannah - b: 8/Mar/1875 - Salem Twp., Henry Co., IA
d: 24/Jun/1958 - bur: Salem South (Friends) Cem.
10: Rossius B. - b: 18/Apr/1878 - Salem Twp., Henry Co., IA
m: Isabella Emma (Lizzie) Grelk - 5/Mar/1902 - Mt. Pleasant, Henry Co., IA
According to her obituary, Mahala Russell was born in Indiana on August 25, 1833, but the county is not known.1 Indeed, it is possible that she was born during the actual migration of her parents and older siblings from Whitley County, Kentucky, to Putnam County, Illinois. Alternatively, the Russell family may have settled in Indiana for a few years. However, no land records have yet been found that support this. Along with her two younger brothers, she settled with her parents in Henry County, Iowa, in 1855. Mahala Russell and Benajah Hiatt Frazier were married on October 26, 1858, reportedly in the village of Athens, which lies on the south side of the Des Moines River in Grant Township in Clark County, Missouri. (Indeed, at Athens the Des Moines River defines the Iowa-Missouri boundary.) They were married by a Justice of the Peace and it is not known why they were married at this location and not in Henry County. However, the groom was more than six years younger than his bride, which was a somewhat unusual arrangement, as was indicated by a comment made by Mahala's older sister, Rebecca, in a letter to another sister, Charlotte. Indeed, when they were married Benajah was only eighteen (although nearly nineteen) and Mahala was twenty-five. Within this context, it is possible that the marriage met with disapproval from one or both of the families. Moreover, it is likely that Benajah would have needed his father's consent to have married in Iowa, which may not have been forthcoming. Presumably, this was not required in Missouri. In addition, members of the Frazier family had been early Quaker settlers of the area and were quite numerous in the mid-nineteenth century. Indeed, Benajah was the youngest son of one of the first Friends, i.e., Quaker, ministers that settled in Henry County.2 In contrast, as newcomers to the community the Russell family did not come from a Quaker background and it is possible that this difference in religious heritage was also seen as an impediment to the marriage. Therefore, taking these observations together, it is plausible that Benajah and Mahala eloped to avoid embarrassment and family contention.Source Notes and Citations:
Throughout much of his life, B. H. Frazier was a farmer in Salem Township (resident in Section Thirty-six according to a plat map of Henry County published in 1870 and in Section Thirty-five according to the History of Henry County, Iowa published in 1879)3 and it is clear that he and Mahala remained resident in this locality for their entire lives. They were the parents of ten children, nine of whom survived to adulthood. Indeed, the household of B. H. or Benajah Frazier appeared in the Henry County population schedules of the 1870, 1880, 1900, and 1910 US Censuses as well as that of the 1905 Iowa State Census. Moreover, all of the surviving children of B. H. and Mahala Russell can be identified in these records. As usual, there is some variation in names. Perhaps, the most notable case is that of the oldest daughter who as a child seems to have been called "Bianca" or "Biantha", but as an adult was known as "Blanche". Similar, but less extreme variations occur in the names of several of the other children. Even so, none of these imply any discrepancies in what is known about the family of B. H. and Mahala Russell Frazier. (In addition, an individual record associated with the 1915 state census exists for "Mrs. B. H. Frazier".) In passing, it was reported in his obituary that as a young man, B. H. Frazier was a "great hunter and shipper of prairie chickens". Moreover, it does not appear, nor is it likely that he served in the Civil War. Of course, this is consistent with the pacifism that remains fundamental to Quaker beliefs.4 Mahala Russell Frazier died in Henry County on February 1, 1919, and B. H. Frazier died on April 4, 1920, also in Henry County. They were survived by several of their children.5,6
1. "Mahala Frazier, daughter of William and Anna Russell, was born in Indiana, August 25th, 1833. She came to Iowa with her parents, settling near Salem in 1855, where she has lived for almost sixty-three years. She was married to Benajah H Frazier, October 26, 1858, they being among the few couples to celebrate sixty years of married life. To this union was born ten children, all of whom are living except one infant son. She leaves to mourn her departure an aged husband; Mrs Blanche Simmons of Algona, Ia; Lina Braden of La Monta, Oregon; Lela Hedrick of Parkersburg, Ill; Cora Rukgaber of Mt. Pleasant, Ia; Arlie Russell Frazier near Seattle, Wash; Vivia Miller of Hillsburg, Ia; Bert T Frazier of Bayside, Texas; Ross B Frazier of Chanute, Kansas; and Mae who is at home; Two brothers, Stephen Russell of Redfield, Ia and John Russell of Birmingham, Ia. There are thirty-three grandchildren and thirty great grandchildren. During this long family life only three deaths, an infant son, one grandson and one great grandaughter, occurred. At heart, Mrs Frazier was a loyal supporter of the Friends Church. While her health did not permit her to be out, her interest never abated. She loved her Lord. During her long sickness of over four months, expressing many times her abiding faith in the Christ. Longing to go and be at rest, with her last breath she exclaimed 'He has come and is lifting me up', passing away quietly February 1st. More tender and faithful devotion could not have been given to a mother than was administered by the loving hands of her daughter, Mae. Hers is a joy that comes from a duty well done. ..." (obituary: Newspaper unknown)
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2. "Benajah Hiatt Frazier, the son of Thomas and Hannah Frazier, was born at Salem, Iowa Nov. 10, 1839, and has resided his entire life of over eighty years in and around Salem.
He was married to Mahala Russell Oct. 26, 1858. To this union were born ten children. The third died in infancy but the following still live to mourn the love of a father: Blanche Simmons of Algona, Iowa; Lina Braden of Laurentia, Oregon; Leila Hedrick of Parkersburg, Illinois; Cora Rukgaber of Mt. Pleasant, Ia; Arlie Frazier of Monahen, Wash; Viva Miller of Hillsboro, Iowa; Berd Frazier of Bayside, Texas; Ross Frazier of Chanute, Kansas and Mae Frazier of Salem, Iowa.
For over sixty years Mr. and Mrs. Frazier lived a beautiful life together. They were devoted to each other and for the year and two months he was left without her, he sang the following almost every evening 'Heaven, dear Heaven, Heaven of the blest, How I long to be there and forever be at rest.'
Benajah Frazier was the youngest and last of a family of fifteen children. His father was one of the first Friends Ministers in this country and he was a birthright member of the Friends Church. For years he has been unable to attend services yet he was loyal and true to the faith of his church to the end.
He went to bed to sleep as usual on Easter evening, April 4th, 1920. At nine o'clock his daughter, hearing a slight noise, went into his room. He seemed to be sleeping naturally, but she could not awaken him. Medical aid was summoned but by 9:30 he was gone. God had heard and answered the prayer he had so often made, to go quickly without being a burden to anyone.
Besides his children, 33 grandchildren and 34 great grandchildren, he leaves behind a host of relatives and friends.
The funeral was from the Friends church on Wednesday afternoon. It was conducted by Viola Smith and Florence Baker and interment was made in the Friends cemetery.
The death of Mr. Frazier recalls old memories. During the early days, he was a great hunter and shipper of prairie chickens, a business of some importance in those days. He used to hire men by the month to hunt the chickens. He was also a delegate at one time to the 'greenback' convention in St. Louis." (obituary: The Salem Weekly News, Salem, IA, Thur., Apr. 8, 1920.)
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3. Anonymous, Combination Atlas Map of Henry County, Iowa, by Thompson and Everts, Geneva, IL, 1870. (Available electronically at digital.lib.uiowa.edu)
B. H. Frazier: 1) Twp. 70 N; Rng. 7 W; Sec. 36; SE¼ of SW¼ - 40 acres. 2) Twp. 70 N; Rng. 7 W; Sec. 36; part of the SW¼ of SW¼ - 18 acres more or less.
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4. Quaker Declaration of Pacifism "We utterly deny all outward wars and strife, and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretense whatever; this is our testimony to the whole world. The Spirit of Christ by which we are guided is not changeable, so as once to command us from a thing as evil, and again to move unto it; and we certainly know, and testify to the world, that the Spirit of Christ, which leads us into all truth, will never move us to fight and war against any man with outward weapons, neither for the kingdom of Christ, nor for the kingdoms of this world." directed to King Charles II, 1660. (Tokyo Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, www2.gol.com/users/quakers/quaker_declaration_of_pacifism.htm, 2003.)
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5a. "WINTERSET WOMAN CALLED BY DEATH
Mrs. Charles L. Simmons, a resident of Madison county since 1883 and of Winterset for the last 15 years, died Sunday at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Grace Pinckney near Macksburg. She was 77 years of age. Mrs. Simmons survived her husband by about three months. His death occurred last December 27.
She was the former Blanche Frazier, daughter of B. H. and Mahala Frazier and was born July 29, 1859, near Salem in Henry county. She attended school in that community, completing her education at Whittier college, there.
On April 8, 1883, she was married to Charles L. Simmons at Mt. Pleasant. They moved immediately to Madison county, settling 10 miles south of Winterset where they engaged in farming.
In 1896 she joined the Christian church at Pleasant Ridge in Union county. She later transferred her membership to the Macksburg Baptist church and upon moving to Winterset, to the local Baptist church.
Mrs. Simmons was the mother of three children. One of them, Gladys, died seven years ago. The two who survive are Mrs. Pinckney and Clark A. Simmons of Winterset. She also leaves five sisters, Cora Rukgaber of Mt. Pleasant, Viva Miller of Hillsboro, Lina Braden of Culver, Oregon, Lela Hedrick of West Salem, Illinois and Mae Frazier of Benedict, Kansas and Bard D. Frazier of Corpus Christi, Texas.
Funeral services were held Tuesday from the Ramsey-Richards funeral home in charge of the Rev. J. H. Cochrane, Jr., pastor of the Winterset Baptist church. Burial was made in the Winterset Cemetery." (obituary: Newspaper unknown)
b. "SERVICES ARE HELD MRS. C. L. SIMMONS....
Services for Mrs. Charles L. Simmons, 77, who died Sunday at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Grace Pinckney near Macksburg, were held Tuesday afternoon at two o'clock at the Ramsey-Richards funeral home by the Rev. J. H. Cochrane, Jr., pastor of the Baptist church: burial was in the Winterset cemetery.
Mrs. Simmons was Blanche Frazier, daughter of B. H. and Mahala Frazier and was born July 29, 1859 near Salem. She attended the rural schools and Whittier college at Salem.
Her marriage took place at Mt. Pleasant, April 8, 1883. They moved to Gear, 10 miles south of Winterset, where Mr. Simmons farmed, the family coming to Winterset about 15 years ago. Mr. Simmons died December 27, 1936. In 1896 she joined the Christian church at Pleasant Ridge in Union county later transferring her membership to the Macksburg Baptist church and then to Winterset Baptist church.
She leaves her daughter, a son Clark A., her sisters and brothers, Cora Rukgaber, Mt. Pleasant; Viva Miller, Hillsboro; Lina Braden, Culver, Oregon; Lela Hedrick, West Salem, Illinois; Mae Frazier and Ross Frazier, Benedict, Kansas; Bard Frasier, Corpus Christi, Texas; 11 grandchildren and seven great gradchildren" (obituary: Newspaper unknown)
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6. Of the ten known children of Benajah and Mahala Frazier, nine evidently survived to adulthood. Blanche married Charles Simmons and moved with him to Madison County, Iowa, where they remained for the rest of their lives, with the exception of a short time in Algona about 1920. Mr. Simmons appears to have been associated with several business ventures including a creamery, a restaurant, medical sales, as well as public works.
Lina married Erwin Braden and apparently moved with him to the Pacific Northwest about 1895. They evidently first settled in Pierce County, Washington, but by 1920 were living on a farm in Jefferson County, Oregon, where they apparently remained.
Leila married Havillah Hedrick and the couple migrated to Edwards County, Illinois, shortly after their marriage. They evidently farmed near West Salem. (unpublished notes)
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7. 1870 US Census Population Schedule for Henry County, Iowa, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 313B, (microfilm roll - M593_395; img. 629).
8. 1880 US Census Population Schedule for Henry County, Iowa, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 403B, (microfilm roll - T9_344; img. 369).
9. 1900 US Census Population Schedule for Henry County, Iowa, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 146A, (microfilm: roll T623_436; img. 842).
10. 1910 US Census Population Schedule for Henry County, Iowa, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 185A, (microfilm: roll T624_405; img. 890).
11. 1920 US Census Population Schedule for Henry County, Iowa, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 147A, (microfilm: roll T625_493; img. 817).
12. 1885 Iowa State Census Population Schedule for Lincoln Twp., Ringgold County, State Historical Society of Iowa Library & Iowa State Archives, Capitol Complex, Des Moines, IA: pg. 139, (microfilm: roll 1021476; img. 23).
13. 1895 Iowa State Census Population Schedule for Lincoln Twp., Ringgold County, State Historical Society of Iowa Library & Iowa State Archives, Capitol Complex, Des Moines, IA: pg. 139, (microfilm: roll 1021476; img. 23).
14. 1905 Iowa State Census Population Schedule for Henry County, State Historical Society of Iowa Library & Iowa State Archives, Capitol Complex, Des Moines, IA: pg. unk., (microfilm: roll 1905_90; img. 677).
15. 1915 Iowa State Census Population Schedule for Henry County, State Historical Society of Iowa Library & Iowa State Archives, Capitol Complex, Des Moines, IA: pg. unk., (microfilm: roll 1915_230; img. 924).
16. Marriage Records, Clark County, Kahoka, MO: Bk. unk., pg. 95, (Missouri State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Jefferson City, MO (microfilm: roll 1718; img. 313)).
17. Anonymous, History of Henry County, Iowa, Western Historical Co., Chicago, IL, 1879: pg. unk. ("Salem - 1879", Henry County IAGenWeb Archives, 2007.)
18. Russell-Perkins Family Record, unpublished MSS.
19. Salem South Cemetery, Henry County, Iowa (www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=1565173&CScn=Salem&CScntry=4&CSst=14&CScnty=590&, continuously updated).
20. Winterset City Cemetery, Madison County, Iowa (www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=167485&CScn=Winterset&CScntry=4&CSst=14&CScnty=607&, continuously updated).
21. Gray Butte Cemetery, Jefferson County, Oregon (www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2189813&CScn=Gray+Butte&CScntry=4&CSst=39&CScnty=2220&, continuously updated).
22. Moravian Cemetery, Edwards County, Illinois (www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=106963&CScn=Moravian&CScntry=4&CSst=16&CScnty=713&, continuously updated).
23. Forest Home Cemetery, Henry County, Iowa (www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=690429&CScn=Forest&CScntry=4&CSst=14&CScnty=590&, continuously updated).
24. Shirley Campbell Ramos and Patricia Campbell Kratz, Descendants of Phillip and Rebecca Russell, Gregath Publishing Company, P. O. B. 505, Wyandotte, OK, 74370, 1997: pgs. 178-84.
25. Don and Jeanine Hartman, "FamilyHart Pennsylvania Dutch Genealogy Family Pages and Database", midatlantic.rootsweb.com/familyhart/index.html, 1996-2003.
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