James Madison and Harriet (Oberholtzer) Irons  

James M. Irons was born in July 1855 in Illinois to parents both born in Pennsylvania. He was the father of Mabel Irons. According to the Woodbury County Iowa 1900 census, he was married to his second (?) wife, Harriet, for 13 years. At that time, Mabel was 18 years old. He was a  carpenter who lived in a rental house with Harriet and his 74 year-old mother-in-law, Sarah Oberholser . 

Mrs. J. A. Tracy was the birth mother of Mabel Irons. She was born in Iowa (30). No other information is available. James subsequently married, Harriet. Mabel’s obituary states that her mother’s name in 1926 was Mrs. J. A. Tracy.   She survived Mabel and lived in Des Moines, Iowa. Children include:

1. Mabel Lenora Irons - Daughter, born Feb. 1, 1882, died Sept. 12, 1926.

2. Leon L. Irons - Daughter, born July 1892. Oral Family history says that she was a half sister

3. Wilbur L. Irons - Son. born Apr. 1900. Lived in St. Paul, Minn. . Oral family history says that he was a half brother.

4. Mrs. R. C. Bakewell - sister . This could be Leon, as Leon was not listed in Mabel’s obituary.

5. Della Irons, Des Moines, Iowa . Born after the 1900 census.

Don Graber     drgraber@aol.com

Stephen was married to Amelia 27, in 1860 Illinois, and James was 6.

Mary Permelia (Atchinson) Irons died in 1868, and is buried in Whiteside County Illinois.

Stephen  Irons married Elsie Rebecca Van Horn about 1868 in Clinton County.

In 1870 Clinton County, Iowa, Stephen Irons is 41, Else A. 30, with Edward 18, James 16, Mary 13 and Oscar 10.Alice 6 and Nellie B. 2, with Allen Butty, 7, born in Iowa. 

 Stephen 1828-1920 is buried in Clinton County, Iowa.

In 1860 Clinton County, Iowa, Jacob Oberholtzer is 35, Sarah 31, with Eliza 13, Mary 11, Susan 9, Sarah 7, and Milton H. 5.

In 1870 Clinton County, Jacob "Oberhaltser"  45 and Sarah 42, both born in Pennsylvania, have Mary 22, Ohio, Susan 22 Ohio, Sarah 20 Ohio, Milton 16 Iowa, Adaline 11, Iowa, and Harriet 4, Iowa.

Sarah, born about 1851 in Ohio to Jacob and Sarah (Kassel) Oberholzer, probably married a Kendig, and then in Clinton County June 10, 1885 married a Charles Clemne.

In 1880 Clinton County, Iowa, Jacob Oberhalser is 55, Sarah 54, with Hattie 14.

In 1885 Clinton County, Jacob and Sarah have Hattie, 18

James M. Irons married Adda A. Oberholser January 4, 1880, in Clinton County, Iowa.

They had a daughter born Feb 1, 1882 in Clinton County.

Allie A. Irons, dying Oct 4, 1884, is buried in Oakview cemetery, Clinton County "wife of J.M. Irons"

J.M. Irons married H.M. Oberhaser March 15, 1888, recorded in Logan County.

About this time, Calvert had a name change to Fleming.

James cash-claimed a quarter in 11, 6N 49W in 1891.

In 1895 Woodbury County, Iowa, James M. Irons 39, born in Illinois is a merchant.  Harriett M. is 28, born in Clinton County, Iowa, and they have Mable L. 13 born in Clinton County and Leona L. 2, Woodbury County.

Jacob died Feb 26, 1899, and is buried in Oak Hill.  # 38143854

In 1900 Woodbury County, James is a carpenter, born July 1855 in Illinois, married 13 years to Harriet.  Mabel L. was born Feb 1882 in Iowa, Leona L. July 1892 Iowa, and Wilbur L. April 1900 one month.  Mother-in-law Sarah Oberholser April 1826 Pennsylvania, widowed, is living with them.


Sioux Valley News, Nov 13, 1902 "A Quiet Wedding. Last Saturday evening Mr. Henn Maddison and Miss Mabel Irons were quietly married at the Methodist parsonage by Rev. F. C. Taylor in the presence of their nearest relatives. Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Maddison who were wedded a month ago stood up with them. The bride wore a pretty costume of grey white, the groom was dressed in conventional black. After the ceremony the happy couple received the congratulations and good wishes of their friends. They then attended a pleasing reception at the home of Mrs. V. H. Menter in honor of her niece Miss Blanche Peteis. The announcement of their marriage and introduction to the company was a great surprise to all. The bride is one of Anthon's charming young ladies, having an enviable character and greatly admired by all her friends and acquaintances. The groom is the second son of Capt. and Mrs. U. T. Maddison, an enterprising and pre-eminently successful young man. Both are faithful and active members of the Methodist church. They will take up their residence on the groom's farm a mile east of Anthon.--Anthon, Iowa, Herald.

Gilbert Maddison 1877-1946 and Maud G. Maddison 1884-1973 are buried in Oak Hill.

In 1910 Woodbury County, H.C.P. Madison is 38, born in England, farming, with Mabel 25 and Minnie 5.

In 1920 Long Beach, California, H.C.P. Maddison is a real estate salesman, 47, Mabel 37, Minnie 15, and they have Leona 9 and Margaretta 4.

1921 Long Beach Margaretta and Leona

  Minnie  Maddison Loftiss

Thanks to Don Graber for the photos.

H.P.C. Maddison was running for the school board in April 1920 Washington County "Mr. Maddison is an up-to-date business man, apparently at or above 45 years of age.  His family consists of a wife, and three children, all children attending the public schools of Akron."

Minnie Maddison married Gene Lofiss Aug 22, 1927, recorded in Morgan County.

In 1930 Harry (Henry) C.  Maddison is farming in Akron precinct Washington County, Colorado, widowed, 58, with Leona 19 and Margueretta 14.

Mable Lenora (Irons) Maddison - Feb 1, 1882 - Sept 12, 1926 is buried in Akron.

Henry Charles Parker Maddison is buried in Akron 75372426, born Jan 14, 1872, dying July 21, 1930.

In 1940 Denver Margueretta is 23, a beauty operator, living in a rooming house.

Eugene Francis Loftiss 1905-1969 and Minnie Irene (Maddison) Loftiss 1904-1974 are also buried in Akron.

Henry Charles Parker Maddison was born on Jan. 14, 1872 in Chatten/Wandon, Northumberland, England to Robert and Anna Maddison.  He immigrated to America with his parents in Mar. 1880 at the age of eight and lived in Anthon, Iowa
His friends in Iowa included H. O. Fox.  When the Little Sioux River froze solid in the winter of 1898, he and his friend H. O. Fox and the rest of the town went ice skating every night.  They use to swing “fair haired lassies” on the ice.  “Harry” was the best man in the wedding party of his brother, Gilbert.  He became a corn farmer, like his father.  On Nov. 1, 1902 at the age of 30, he married Mabel Lenora Irons.  She was just 20.  They had three children in Iowa

Backing up for a moment...  In the winter of 1885-86  (or 86-87), there was a 14” snowfall on Thanksgiving weekend in the .  It crusted over however and then the temperature dropped to zero for the rest of the winter.  All the cattle from Texas to Canada either starved or were eaten by wolves.  This came on the heels of a severe summer drought that left the herds in poor condition.  On New Year’s Day, the temperature fell to minus 41 and four feet of snow covered the ground. Cattle died by the tens of thousands.  The next summer was blistering hot.  The cattle that made it to market were of poor quality.  Prices crashed despite the low supply of beef.  This trend continued into the Crash of 1893

In 1910, the federal government began encouraging farmers to move back into the area.  Harry and Mabel took this opportunity to move the family to Colorado in the fall of 1916.  Harry also had asthma and probably moved to Colorado for the dry climate, (as did Ray Graber, Sr. for his TB).  Harry was 44 years old (His father was 45 when he came to America. ).  He left his corn farm in Iowa on Big Creek in the care of R. W. Maddison .   The youngest of their three daughters, my mother, was just three months old .  Harry’s older sister, Elizabeth Douglas Leslie Maddison, had already moved to Akron in 1907 to homestead.  Harry had a dry land farm.  In dry farming, the land is plowed after each rain to reduce evaporation.  Harry had chickens and cows.  He plowed the fields with a horse and grew wheat (hard winter wheat).  At harvest time, men known as harvesters came to harvest.   

Harry farmed but was also interested in real estate for some time, later going into the mercantile business.  Almost everyone had a farm in addition to a store in town.  Harry was always deeply interested in farming and, after disposing of the store, became actively engaged in agriculture again. Harry was somewhat wealthy.  They were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  He gave $5,000 to the church so they could buy a pipe organ.  In those days, $5,000 was equivalent to a year’s wages or the price of a house in town. The family was rich enough to travel and went on a vacation to Long Beach, CA.  There is a photograph of Madelyn and Leona on the beach there.  He subsequently lost his fortune due to bad investments.
Mabel died at the age of 44, leaving him to raise three daughters and run a ranch by himself.  The youngest daughter was nine.  In those days, the recently departed use to be placed in state in the home of the family.  His daughter, Leona, remembers Harry sobbing beside the casket.
One family story is that Harry once broke his arm starting a crank-start car when it backfired and the crank came out of his hand, swung around and hit his forearm. 
Harry died suddenly, at his ranch, south of Akron, on Monday Jul. 21, 1930 about noon at the age of 58 years and 6 months, a widower of four years.  He had been in poor health for several months, but his death was wholly unexpected, the immediate cause being a heart attack.  He is buried, Block 4, Section 9, Lot 19, Space 4, beside Mabel. (38)
Harry died intestate which was the subject of a law suite in May 1956.  The suite alleged that Harry conveyed his farm to George McKenna on Sept 6, 1921 although the deed was misplaced and never recorded.  George subsequently sold the farm to Theodore Krier on Oct. 21, 1939.  The three daughters brought the suit to regain possession of the farm.  I do not know the outcome of the suite although I suspect they lost.  As of the year 2000, the farm was in great disrepair, with numerous abandoned automobiles and school busses.
Family heirlooms from that era are two books published in 1837 and 1865 that are signed on the inside cover by B. F. Maddison, Wandon, January/’71.
Mabel Lenora Irons [Maddison] was born in Clinton County, Iowa on Feb. 1, 1882.  Her father remarried when she was five years old.  She was eight years old when her father brought her to Colorado, near Sterling.  They made there home there for two years, 1890-92, and then returned to Anthon, Iowa.  She lived at home in Anthon until she married Harry on Nov. 1, 1902, at the age of  20.  He was 10 years older than her.  They moved to Colorado in the Fall of 1916 (Margaretta was 3 months old).  Mabel was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church since childhood Mabel had two canaries although she hated to clean the mess.  She also had a two-story house but hated to climb the stairs.  She died of heart problems, leakage of the heart as it was called in those days, after over a month in suffering on Sunday Sept. 12, 1926 at 1:25 PM at age 44 years and 8 months.  Funeral services were held at the ME church and interment made in the Akron Cemetery, Block 4, Section 9, Lot 19, Space 3.  Those attending the service from a distance included Mr. And Mrs. Gilbert Maddison and Miss Nina Maddison of Anthon Iowa.      Children include:
 Minerva (Minnie) Irene Maddison [Loftiss] – Born Sept. 18, 1904 in Anthon, Iowa.  She moved with her parents to Colorado in 1917 when she was 12 years old.  She attended grade school and high school in Akron, Colorado.  She later attended Denver University.  She married Eugene (Gene) Francis Loftiss in 1927,  born on his parent’s ranch Feb. 28, 1905 seven miles southwest of Akron.  Gene lived on the farm two farms away, 2.25 miles away. There was only one farm house between Minnie and Gene growing up.  The roads outside of town are still all dirt as of year 2000.  Gene was the son of Frank W. (1878 - 1944) and Caroline (1873 - 1962) Loftiss.  Frank ran for Treasurer of Washington County as a Republican. Gene had a dry land farm.  He had chickens and cows.  He plowed the fields with a horse and grew wheat. Minnie was exceedingly pretty and Gene was quite handsome.  After three years of marriage, her father died and her two younger sisters came to live with her during the summer months, although Harry’s sister Elizabeth “Leslie” also lived in Akron.  After her sisters graduated from high school, she and Gene moved to Denver.  She worked for Sears and Roebuck in Denver for 10 years, from 1935 to 1945.  During the war years, Gene worked in a defense plant and for some other time as a salesman.  Returning to Akron, she managed a small clothing store.  In 1951, Gene sold 720 acres of the ranch at auction for $36 an acre (He kept the mineral rights to the land).  He would have gotten more if he had sold it all but he kept 320 acres of the best grass land.  The ranch house had five rooms, running water, garage/barn, chickens, hogs, well, and windmill.  In 1955, she and Gene started the first Laundromat in Akron and operated it until Gene’s death.  Most town folk know them from the Laundromat.  Gene painted the highway signs for the Laundromat. Customers came from 30 or 40 miles away.  The Loftiss family owned a garage in town and a ranch seven miles south of town, see map.  Frank and Caroline lived in town.  Gene and Minnie lived in the house behind theirs.  They all lived on the ranch in the summers but in town in the winters.  Oil was discovered on the ranch.  They had no children.  Gene died first on Feb. 21 1969 after a brief illness at the Washington County Public Hospital and was buried in Akron Cemetery, Block 6, Section 12, Lot 54, Space 4.  Minnie was living at 152 West 8th Street.  On Jun. 12, 1974, Minnie became critically ill and was taken to Logan County Hospital where her condition grew steadily worse.  She died of organ failure on Jul. 3, 1974 at age 69 and was buried on Jul. 6, 1974 in Akron Cemetery next to Gene.  Her estate sale was Aug. 3, 1974.  Leona was the executor of the estate and Madelyn, who was battling cancer at the time, came from Virginia to help. 
  1. Mabel Leona Maddison Daugherty Lindgren.  “Leona” was born May 10, 1910 in Anthon, Iowa.  She was 15 when her mom died.  After that, Leona and her younger sister, Madelyn, went to live in a rooming house in town to go to school.  On weekends, they went out to the ranch.  Leona would cook.  She and Madelyn always prepared potato soup or raison pie until one day Harry said “Don’t you know any anything besides those two dishes?” Leona use to go horseback riding at Aunt Leslie’s ranch.  Leona married Clyde Morgan Daugherty on Apr. 13, 1930 in Sidney, Nebraska at the age of 19. (There is a Clyde Morgan Daugherty Apr. 6 1894 May 28 1941, a veteran of the Spanish America War buried in the Akron Cemetery).  Clyde was born in Akron. They had one son, Jack Clyde Daugherty born Thursday, Oct. 21, 1937.  Clyde and Leona were divorced in Jul. 10, 1939Clyde died the same year.  In 1941, Leona and Jack lived with Madelyn and Ray in Denver where Leona made bullets for the war effort.   Madelyn would take care of Jack while Leona worked.  Leona married Clinton Leonard Lindgren in Cheyenne Wyoming on Jan 13, 1944.  They had one daughter Judy Ann Lindgren Born Aug. 21, 1944.  Clint and Leona were never divorced.  Clint was last seen in approx. 1950.  He died in Phoenix in Aug. of 1973.  Leona, Jack, and Judy lived in Denver, Longmont, Wyoming, Lincoln, and finally back in Akron. Leona worked for BWA (Waxman) Clothing and Furniture store in sales in Akron.  Leona lived next door to Minnie and Gene’s Laundromat.  Leona did not have a car and walked everywhere she went.   When the store closed Leona took in ironing from Minnie and cleaned the town hall.  Her daughter, Judy, also ironed.  Leona was the administrator of Minnie’s estate in 1974.  She lived with Judy from approximately 1993 to 2000.  In 2000, she moved in to a nursing home.   She suffered from advanced Alzheimer’s (or senility) although she was in good health, with only cataracts, angina, macular degeneration, and mild heart attacks.  Leona died on May 21, 2001 at the age of 91. 
  1. Margaretta Madelyn Maddison [Graber] - Born 08/19/1916 , died 12/02/1976.   Margaretta “Margie” Madeline Maddison Graber was born on Aug. 19, 1916 in Anthon, Woodbury County, Iowa and moved to Colorado that fall.  Her mother, Mabel, died when she was nine years old.  “Margie” and her sister Leona lived in at a boarding house in town during the week and returned to the ranch on the weekends.  Her father died when she was 14.  Margie and her sister, Leona, went to live with her adult sister, Minnie, who was already married to Eugene (Gene) Loftiss.  After high school, Margie attended cosmetology school in Denver.  There she began using her middle name with a different spelling, Madelyn M. Maddison.   Madelyn met Ray Graber on a blind date.  Ray had also moved to Colorado with his family at an early age.  On that date, she had a cold and asked to go home early.  She was afraid that Ray would not call again. They were married on Oct. 15, 1940 in Omaha, Nebraska in a civil ceremony.  She went by the married name of Madelyn M. Graber.  They were married for 12 years before they had their only child.  She died of breast cancer on Dec. 2, 1976 at Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Fairfax County, VA.  Madelyn grew up in an era of operator assisted local calls.  One family story is that when she was a young girl and wanted to call her friend, she would pick up the phone and ask the operator for phone number “Ticky-tick, peas.”  Being orphaned probably had a profound impact on her life.  She was a very shy woman.  Madelyn saved every letter she received, including suitors and her husband.  These are preserved in Letters Written to Madelyn.  Further details are provided in a joint biography entitled, Ray and Madelyn .
  1. An infant son or daughter, died at birth or soon after.  The grave stone inscription reads  “Maddison, Infant of Harry Maddison, baby”.  Buried Oak Hill Cemetery, Anthon, Kedron Township, Woodbury County, Iowa.  No date is given.



Mable Leona (Maddison) Daugherty Lindgren 1910-2001 is buried in Akron "First husband was Clyde Morgan Daugherty. She is the mother of Jack Daugherty and Judy Ann (Lindgren) Schmale. "


Jack Daugherty, 75, a former resident of Akron, Colorado, passed away November 27, 2012, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 1963, having moved to Roswell, he thrived in the heat and culture of "The Land of Enchantment". A memorial service in celebration of Jack's life was held on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, at the Good Samaritan Society - Manzano del Sol Village in Albuquerque. We sang "On the Wings of a Snow White Dove" followed by an emotional poem written by Jack's dear friend and veterinarian, Dr. Ada Johnson, read by Carlene (Gebauer) Rossman of Parker, Colorado. Jeanne (Gebauer) Vance of Austin, Texas, shared amusing stories of Jack's life; and Cindy (Daugherty) Nunn of Florida spoke of her father's unique wit and how much he will be missed. Jack was born in Akron on October 21, 1937, to Clyde Morgan Daugherty and Mabel Leona (Maddison) Daugherty.

Sarah, born Apr 26, 1826, died Jan 3, 1908 and is also buried in Oak Hill.

 James Madison Irons, dying Jun 7, 1907, is buried in Oak Hill, in Woodbury County, Iowa. 38114951 - and Harriet Mae (Oberholtzer) Irons 1866-1937 is also buried there.

Hattie is widowed, a milliner,  in 1910 Aurora County, South Dakota, with Leonn, 18, Wilbur 10, and Della 5.

Wilbur Leland Irons, born April 24, 1900, registered in Winterset, Iowa, a student, nearest relative Mr. J.A. Tracy of Winterset.

In 1920 Des Moines, Polk County, James A. Tracy 59 and Hattie 53 have Wilber 19, and Dela 15 Tracy.

Wilbur Leland Irons married Neva Beatrice Kriner August 21, 1923 in Story County, Iowa.  She was daughter of Eamnuel M. Kriner and Elta V. Allard.

In 1930 St. Paul, Minnesota, Wilbur L. Irons, 30 is married to Neva, 31, both working in retail dry goods,  and Harriet Tracy, 68, is with them.

Wilbur and Neva are in Pullman Washington in 1940.

In 1960 they're in Spokane, where Wilbur is president of Duratile of Spokane, Inc., and Neva is treasurer.


From Nevada Journal Story County, Iowa January 3, 1974


Services will be held Thursday in Spokane, Washington and Saturday in Nevada for Mrs. Neva Irons, 74, a former Story County resident who died Sunday.

Mrs. Irons was the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Kriner, long time residents of the county.

Funeral services will be in Washington and the body will arrive in Nevada Friday evening at Ryan's Funeral Home. Graveside services will be held at the Nevada Cemetery Saturday at 2:00 p.m. with Rev. Marvin L. Hulse officiating.

She is survived by one brother, Merwin R. Kriner of Richland, Washington, one aunt, Mrs. Mina E. Glenn of Des Moines; two nieces, Mrs. Karen Shelton of San Antonio, Texas and Mrs. Jerry Bretl of Los Angeles; and one nephew, James Kriner of Richland, Washington.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Wilbur, who died in 1964. 

Elizabeth Douglas Leslie Maddison.   - sister of Harry C.P. Maddison.

Leslie was born Dec. 28th (or 29th), 1870 at Wandon England.   She immigrated to the US at the age of nine.  In 1907, at the age of 37, she moved to Akron with two female friends to homestead.   They all lived in a tent out in the prairie until the ranch house was built.  In Jun. of 1909, married her hired hand, Chris J. Christensen also of Akron. Chris was born in Denmark on Sept. 29, 1875.  He was one of a large family of children.  He came to Akron in 1907 and filed on a homestead.   He was quiet and unassuming.  Leslie was a very nice woman.  They had two sons: Robert and Paul.   Chris died on May 12, 1932.  After that, she lived on the family farm with her sons.  Leslie died Feb. 18, 1937.  Chris, Leslie, and their two sons are all buried in the Akron Cemetery.

     Robert Christensen was born in 1912.  He was a farmer and lived 18 miles southwest of Akron.  Robert and Paul lived alone on the farm after their father and then their mother died.   He had been undergoing treatment for paralysis caused by accidental monoxide poisoning in a local garage while working on a car.  The garage was located behind the farm house according to Mae.  On Mar. 29, 1938, two years after his mother died, he complained of feeling worse and asked his brother Paul to drive him to Denver to the doctor.  They stopped in Fort Morgan on the way for emergency treatment, and then continued on their way.  Just as they drove up in front of the physician’s office in Denver, Robert slumped over in the seat.  He was 26.  He is buried in the Akron Cemetery next to his parents .


Paul Woodrow Christensen was born Feb 7, 1913 on the farm his mother had homesteaded in 1909.  He and his brother attended Prairie View School about two miles northwest of the home place.  They usually rode horses or walked to school. He enjoyed elk hunting trips to the mountains every fall.   Fishing was also a favorite pastime   Paul began ranching at a young age and loved working with cattle.  He always had horses around to work with to ride.  He was united in marriage to Mae Hodges on Jul. 22, 1939.  Mae was born in Akron.  Her dad was the preacher at the Methodist church Leslie and the two boys attended.   That’s how they met.  Mae’s dad also conducted at Robert’s funeral.  The union was blessed with five children:  sons; Roger, Robert, and William; and daughters; Elizabeth and LeEtta.  Paul passed his love of animals on to his children and grandchildren. Paul semi-retired in 1982 and moved into town after remodeling the house in which his mother-in-law had lived.  (His mother-in-law couldn’t climb the stairs in her house so Roger took the top floor off the house and then Paul completed the remodeling.) He still made several trips a week to the farm to check on things.  His love for working on the land was with him until the end.   He had been to the farm checking on the wheat fields, his garden, and the cattle the day he passed away on Sunday May 5, 1996 at East Morgan County Hospital in Brush at the age of 83.  He was a soft spoken man who didn’t express his feelings easily, but his greatest joy was when his grandchildren and great grandchildren came to visit.  He is buried in the Akron Cemetery.  He had five children, 14 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren.  After Paul died, Mae moved in with her daughter, LeEtta. 

1913 Akron - Prairie Pointers items  "Miss Ada Madison from Iowa is visiting her sister Mrs. Christensen."

Francis Maddison proved up on two quarters in section 5, 2S 52W - south of Akron in Washington County.

Leslie Maddison / "Chrestensen"  proved up two quarters in sections 9 and 10, 1S 543W, Washington County.

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