Zara Judson Wisner

Zara Judson Wisner
b. 7 February 1825
d. 27 November 1902, Iola, Allen County, Kansas

m. 24 February 1850, Rush County, Indiana
Nancy “Mary Ann” Davis
b. 5 August 1831, Rush County, Indiana, to William S. and Nancy Jane (Zumwalt) Davis
d. 18 November 1913, Allen County, Kansas

Children with Nancy Davis:

  • Cynthia Drusilla (1850-1926) married John Wright
  • Judson Eugene (1851-1869)
  • Alice Mornelva (1852-1939) married Lewis Edmundson
  • Kansas Lilly (b. 1862) married Charles Denny
  • Ruby Ordelia (b. 1870) married Will Green
  • Carl Angelo (1874-1935) married Bertha Knopp

Zara, a schoolteacher in Rush County, Indiana, in 1850, and Nancy emigrated in 1854 to Webster County, Iowa. At the request of her children in 1900, Nancy (Davis) Wisner wrote the following narrative concerning her family’s emigration from Indiana:

“…Then we struck out for the state of Iowa. We wanted to go to Kansas but were afraid it would be a slave state, so we started to far-off Iowa, which seemed further away than California does now. One of our horses, unfortunately for us, died, and the other one became lame, so we had to trade her off for another one. All this happened while we were not more than one hundred miles from home.”

“We crossed the Wabash River near Terre Haute, crossed the Illinois River at Beardstown, then passed through Springfield, Illinois, then crossed the Mississippi at Keokuk, Iowa, and then reached our destination in about three weeks from the time we started. We bought land on the Skunk River, five miles north of Des Moines, in Webster County.”

“We then had three young children, the youngest being about one year old. There was no house on the land, but there was a crop of sod corn on part of it and plenty of vegetables. We sold $25 worth of sod corn. There was an old stable, in which horses had been kept all summer. We cleaned it out pretty thoroughly and dug it out with a hoe. It was just logs laid up and had a roof on it. We put poles across the logs, and that was our bedstead. We cooked outdoors.”

The narrative continues in a most interesting and informative manner.

Submitted by:
Jean W. Cobb
Lynchburg VA

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