Name: John Ira "Johnnie" LINDESMITH
Birth: 1 APR 1878 in Centralia, Marion Co, IL
Death: 7 JUN 1924 in Douglas Co, MO
Burial: 8 JUN 1924 Mt. Ararat Cem Near Vanzant, MO
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Change Date: 23 MAY 2017
Johnny was my great-grandfather.
For picture see:
He was probably was named for his grandfather John Lindesmith. There seems to have been several Iras in his Grandma, Lucetta Momenteller's family. Maybe he was named Ira for one of his father?s cousins.
His parents moved to Douglas Co, Mo about 1880 with his father's siblings. (probably about the time his grandparents died in Illinois.) They lived in Willow Springs (Howell Co.) when Johnny was small.
He went to school at Bethany, Mo. with Myrtle Nora Pease, who had moved to Bethany with her father from Old Horton, after her mother died in 1889.
They were married in1898.
Johnny's mother, Amanda, smoked a pipe. Myrtle said that she wouldn't go with a guy who smoked, drank or swore.
Johnny had blue eyes. When he was 19 he weighed 140 pounds, which was the most he ever weighed though he was tall.
He taught at the Mt. Ararat school when he was 20 years old (1898) and had 90 students. He also taught at the Bethany school near Dora (both in Douglas Co, MO).
He and Myrtle attended the Teacher's Institute in Ava, Mo. (This school started in 1888. In 1889 the law required teachers to pass an exam.)
Johnny liked to keep good discipline in his schools. In one school Myrtle was helping him with the small children. He scolded her because she let the children have too much fun and freedom, instructing her that she must keep them quiet. Johnny was quiet and very kind-hearted though.
At church he was the song leader and the church clerk.
In 1900, Johnny & Myrtle were living in Brush Creek township, Douglas County, Mo. John was a farmer and a teacher.
1900 MO census: Douglas Co, Brush twp, p 179:
Lindesmith, John (head) - 22, b Apr 1878 IL (par b IL)
. . . . . . Myrtle (wife) - 19, b Mar 1881 MO (par b VT/IA)
A crop failure caused Johnny & Myrtle to move to Texas in 1901 to visit the rest of the Lindesmith clan (his parents, & aunts & uncles: Newton, Alice & John's widow Mary) shortly before Maymie was born. They drove a team of red mules, and while crossing the Red River on a ferry, the cable broke and the ferry began to drift downstream. Johnny was quite distraught, but Myrtle showed no signs of fear even though she was pregnant (with Maymie) at the time. Later, when they were safe on the other side, the two were relating the incident and Johnny said "Myrtle didn't have enough sense to get scared," a statement which he was never able to live down.
Maymie was born there in Dec 1901. And his aunt Louisa died there in Feb 1902. His sister Rhoda and her husband Robert Pearce also had a baby there in Aug 1902, so evidently they were also visiting the Texas relatives.
They lived there 3 years, then moved back to Missouri.
Another crop failure sent them to Pineville, Ark to work at Myron Pease's sawmill. Eva Bea was born in 1905 there. Johnnie drove a log truck, getting the logs from the field and hauling them to the mill.
They again moved back to Missouri to Bethany, where Johnny taught school and farmed. Lyle was born there in 1911.
1910 MO census: Douglas Co, Brush Creek twp, p226 (April 26):
Lindesmith, John I. (head) - 32, b OH (par b OH/IL)
Lindesmith, Myrtle (wife) - 28, b MO (par b VT/MO)
Lindesmith, Mamie (daug) - 8, b TX
Lindesmith, Eva (daug) - 4, b AR
Lindesmith, Jerry (head) - 68, b OH (par b OH/OH -- but should be OH/PA)
Lindesmith, Amanda (wife) - 58, b IL (par b TN/VA)
[within a couple of house were: his brother Frank, his cousin, Hiram Lindesmith, his father-in-law Myron Pease.]
About 1910, Johnny built a little house on his place for his parents who were moving back from Oklahoma, where the Lindesmith clan had migrated about 1906. Uncle Newton came to visit the Missouri Lindesmiths a few years later. He said to his brother, "Johnny, you ought to get these girls out of this country before they marry some poor boy. Bring them to Oklahoma where they will have a chance to marry a man that can make some money."
Soon afterward Johnny sold his farm at Bethany to his brother-in-law, Norton Pease, and was contemplating a move to the Oklahoma oil fields when "he visited a nearby community where he had taught school as a newly-wed (Mt. Ararat) and he decided to move there instead." [this story from Eva Bea] He bought 48 acres at Mt. Ararat for $400, just down the road from the cemetery where he is buried. Jerry & Amanda moved with them to Mt. Ararat. But they all continued to attend the Baptist church at Bethany.
Oct 7, 1918 Norton W. Pease sold 70 acres of land at the corner of 181 just south of hwy 14 to his sister Myrtle Pease Lindesmith and her husband, Johnnie, for $1,100. (section 25, part of the NW 1/4).
They moved to Mt. Ararat Nov., 1918 and left Maymie boarding and teaching school at Little Zion. Then in Oct. (probably Sept) 1919 she started teaching at Round Valley. Maymie eloped in Oct., 1919. She was too young to get married, so she wrote a note giving permission for the marriage and signed her father's name. Maymie had come home on the first weekend in October. When Eva took her back to Round Valley on Monday morning, Maymie handed her a note when she got out and said, "Here's a note to give to Mom and Dad. Albert's picking me up on Friday and we're going to get married." Eva was shocked that her sister would do such a thing, but she kept her secret. They were married by Rev. Daniel Orson McMurtrey, father-in-law of Edward J. Doolen (John Ira's cousin), and witnessed by Edward's wife Nellie & daughter Alice (Alice was Maymie's second cousin). Eva didn't give Maymie's note to Johnny & Myrtle, and so on Sunday morning, Albert & Maymie walked into church, and surprised everyone there. Her parents were very hurt that she had married without their consent and that she had been deceitful about it.
1920 MO census: Douglas Co, McKinley, p 66:
Lindesmith, John (head) - 41
----- Myrtle (wife) - 38
----- Eva (daug) - 14
----- Lyle (son) - 8
next door were good friends Alva & Lela Bennett. Then next to them was Johnny's parents, Jeremiah & Amanda.
Johnny & Myrtle were always active church members and highly respected in the community. Johnny was a hard worker but never accumulated much money. Sometimes he worked one day cutting trees and making railroad ties, and the next day haul them to Willow Springs to sell for a little money. He often said that all he aspired for was to have enough to keep his family comfortable, and to help those who needed help.
During the summer of 1923 Johnny became ill. He would sometimes plow one row in the field, lie down, then get up and plow another. That fall he began hemorraghing and was diagnosed as having quick tuberculosis. Fearful that his children would contract the disease, he insisted that Myrtle sterilize everything he used. He died June 7, 1924 at the age of 46 at their home just down the road from Mt. Ararat cemetery.
Obituary from the Douglas County Herald, June 19, 1924:
"J.I. Lindesmith was born in Marion county, Ill., April 1st, 1878; died at his farm home near Topaz, Douglas county, Missouri June 7, 1924 of that dreaded disease tuberculosis, at the age of 46 years, 2 months and 6 days. He was married to Myrtle Pease, November 5 at Richville, Mo. To this union were born three children; Mrs. Mayme Willard, Eva B. Lindesmith and Lyle J. Lindesmith, all of whom were with him during his fatal sickness. Mrs. Willard and little son were in Dallas County, Mrs. Willard's future home, at the time the death angel visited the home, but came in response to a telegram, as did her husband, Mr. A.A. Willard.
Funeral services were held in the home and at Mt. Ararat Church on Sunday afternoon by Rev. Milo Kent of Mtn. Grove, Mo. after which he was interred in the Mt. Ararat Cemetery by the side of his father who departed this life some two years ago. He left an aged mother who had made her home with him for several years, also a sister of near Richville, Mo.
Johnnie, as he was known by all the friends and relatives, was converted at the early age of 14 years; had lived a consistent Christian life ever since; and day by day, step by step, his prospects for heaven growing brighter and brighter. He was a man who truly lived for God, living not to please any man save that it was right before his God. He was loyal to his home and family, loyal to his friends and neighbors, and loyal to his church and his Master's cause. He enjoyed singing the dear hymns and he will be missed wherever he has been known to sing with his comrades, but they can in their imagination hear him singing where his voice will not fail and where his breath will not get too short. Dear, dear Johnnie preached his funeral in this life as he lived and his memory will live on and on through ages to his children and to many, many others. He was bedfast for four months and his suffering was something awful, but his faith in God was sure and steadfast.
--Written by one who loved him dearly."
Johnny always wanted to move to a dryer climate for his son Lyle who had respiratory problems in the Missouri climate, so after he died Myrtle took Lyle and moved to Colorado where she got a job cooking at a dude ranch. She lived the rest of her life in the west. She died in Hanford, (Kings county) California September 15, 1957. Her funeral was held at Mt. Ararat and her grandson, Rev. J.I. Willard, officiated at the service. They were both buried at Mt. Ararat cemetery in Douglas County, Mo. beside his parents.
Missouri Death Certificate:
John I. Lindesmith of McHenley twp, Douglas Co, MO
died June 7, 1924
cause: pulmonary tuberculosis
married to Myrtle Lindesmith
born in Illinois
father: Jerimiah Lindesmith, b OH
mother: Amanda Doolen, b IL
buried: Mt. Arat Cem, June 8, 1924
undertaker: Gaylord Elliott, Cabool, MO
Find A Grave Memorial# 41459268
Father: Jeremiah ?Jerry? LINDESMITH b: 13 NOV 1842 in Columbiana Co, OH
Mother: Amanda DOOLEN b: 4 APR 1851 in Mt. Vernon, Marion Co, IL
Myrtle Nora PEASE b: 4 MAR 1881 in Old Horton, Howell/Douglas Co. line, MO
5 NOV 1898
in Bethany, Douglas Co, MO
- Maymie Joyce LINDESMITH b: 4 DEC 1901 in Bonham, Fannin Co, Tx
- Eva Bea LINDESMITH b: 10 MAY 1905 in Pineville, Izard Co, Ark.
- Lyle Jasper LINDESMITH b: 20 NOV 1911 in Bethany (near Dora), Ozark or Douglas Co, Mo