Washington County Pioneer Photos
Eli and Rosann (Conley) Heath - Henry

This Heath family portrait dates from 1904-1910.

Eli Heath Family circa 1907
Seated: Minerva, Rosann, Eli and Luke; Standing: Howard, I.E., Truman, Mary and Clara.


Eli Heath was born to James and Minerva Edwards Heath in Jackson County, Iowa in 1846. Eli and his brother, Daniel, enlisted in Company F of the 31st Iowa Infantry in 1862 and served until the end of the Civil War in 1865. Eli returned to Jackson County and in December 1865, he married Rosann Conley. Rosann was born to John and Bridget Riley Conley in New York in 1848.

Eli and Rosann had nine children, who were all born in Jackson County, Iowa. The seven who survived to adulthood were: Minerva Heath Cooley (1868-1946), Luke (1873-1956), Israel Edward “I.E.’ (1875-1943), Mary Heath Lucas (1877-1951), Clara Heath Downing (1882-1969), Truman (1884-1962), and Howard (1888-1953). In 1890, the Heath family moved by covered wagon to western Iowa, near Correctionville, Woodbury County.

In 1906, the Heaths moved their possessions and faming equipment by immigrant car to Otis, Washington County. Eli and Rosann settled on their homestead of 320 acres about 14 miles south of Otis in Section 12, T1S, R55W. Eli built a two-room frame house and barn, and drilled a well on his homestead. In spring 1914, Eli and Rosann returned to Iowa, thinking the change in climate might be beneficial to Rosann´s health. However, she was taken seriously ill and died May 12, 1914. Eli returned to Washington County until his death in 1918. Rosann and Eli are buried in Correctionville Cemetery.

With the exception of Minerva Cooley, all of Eli and Rosann´s children also moved to Washington County and all farmed nearby. Truman lived with his parents and helped work their farm. Luke homesteaded a quarter section in Sec 20, T1S, R50W with his family. The schoolhouse for West Antelope School (District 47) was built on Luke´s land. The first school building was constructed of sod, and was later replaced by a frame building. I.E. and Howard Heath each claimed homesteads with their families in Sec 18, T1S, R50W. Charles and Clara Heath Downing homesteaded in Sec 13, T1S, R51W with their children. Frank and Mary Heath Lucas came to Washington County in 1915 and settled on the homestead of Frank´s brother John Lucas.


Heath farmstead circa 1909

Eli Heath Farmstead
From the left: I.E. Heath, Mary Heath, Truman Heath, Virgil Heath, Rosann Heath, Eli Heath, and Howard Heath.


Photographs and family information donated by Barbara Carey, great granddaughter of Eli and Rosann


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