Jasper KOONS (Ca. 1816 - 1851) of Marion Co., Iowa
Jasper Koons, said to be the son of Devault Koons and Milly Koons, 1 was born about 1816 in North Carolina. 2 On 15 Dec 1836, in Johnson Co., Indiana, Jasper Koontz married Mary Gallaspy . 3 The 1850 census of Marion Co., Iowa appears, on first reading, to list Jasper's wife's name as Baley, born about 1822 in Kentucky. However, on closer examination (with comparison of the enumerator's handwriting on other names) it appears probable that the name is actually "Polly," a known diminuitive of Mary. Given the close associations between Jasper Koons and the Gillaspy family, it seems likely that his wife was Mary "Polly" Gillaspy. 4
Also living in Jasper's household in 1850 were Samuel and Leah Bacon , a 10 year old named John Dyer and several children with the surname Bacon . Leah Bacon , age 32, born Kentucky, appears to be Leah Gillaspy , who married Daniel Dyer on 22 August 1839 in Johnson Co., Indiana. 5
Apparently, Jasper Koons moved to Louisa Co., Iowa with his brother Alfred about 1840. 6 By 1843, Jasper, with his brother Asa, had settled in Lake Prairie Township of Marion Co., Iowa. 7 When neighboring Clay Township was organized on 16 Nov 1846, "the place for holding elections was appointed to be the house of Jasper Koons." 8 He was elected township treasurer on 2 Apr 1848, 9 and was serving as Justice of the Peace at the time of his death in late 1851. 10
Mr. Koons defended his property rights with vigor. According to a sketch of John W. Alley , known as Colonel Alley, the first lawyer in Marion Co., "during his residence in this township [Lake Prairie], the Colonel had some trouble with the Koonses in relation to a claim at the lower end of White Breast prairie and was fired upon and slightly wounded in the arm, one night, as he was on his way home. Having ascertained the person of his intended assassin, he ambushed himself near the disputed claim, and awaited the appearance of Jasper Koons, who was hauling rails. When his intended victim was in sight and within easy range, the Colonel fired and the bullet knocked the ox whip off the fellow's shoulder. Soon after this a compromise was effected and Koons surrendered the claim on the receipt of a stipulated sum." 11
This incident may have motivated his move to Clay Township where he purchased a total of 300 acres in Section 16 in 1848 and 1849, 12 and 80 acres in Section 9 on 2 Nov 1849. 13 The disposition of this land has not been fully traced in Marion Co., Iowa deed records, but on 13 Sep 1859, a portion of it, along with acreage in Section 3, was ordered divided between John W. Walton , Lewis and Sarah McKinney , and James K. Koons , with Walton receiving a one-half share and Sarah and James each receiving one-fourth share. 14 It is a mystery why John Walton, the husband of Jasper Koons deceased daughter, received a larger share than his surviving children. The court approved the final distribution on 23 May 1860. 15
Jasper seems to have been fond of travel, and not opposed to leaving his children behind. A detailed story is told of Jasper Koons and his wife crossing to the north side of the Des Moines River in March, 1845, "leaving Eliza J. Durham , now Mrs. D. D. Miller in the care of his house and two small children." A spring thaw caused the ice on the river to break up, stranding them, with the children running low on provisions. Mr. Koons had to call across the river to Ms. Durham's brother to rescue them. 16
Jasper Koons and his wife both died while on a visit to Indiana in the fall of 1851. 17 They were apparently accompanied by their three youngest children, with the older daughters, Sarah and Susan, remaining in Marion County, Iowa. 18 The exact date of death is not known, but would have been by 12 Dec 1851, when John Gillaspy states to the court that "he is the nearest relation living of said deceased, now living (sic) and relinquishes his right to administer said estate (of Jasper Koons) in favor of John B. Hamilton ." 19
On 1 Jan 1852, John Gillaspy applied and was appointed guardian of the minor heirs of Jasper Koons, deceased: "Sarah An (sic) Koons age 13, Susan Jane Koons age 11, Eutha A(illegible) Koons, age 9, James K. P., age 6, and Elijah Willson Koons, age 5." The guardianship order states that "the first 2 are now in Marion Co., Iowa, and the last three in Johnson Co., Indiana." 20 On 30 Jul 1859, John Gillaspy , "guardian of Sarah A. McKinney formerly Sarah A. Koons, Susan J. Walton formerly Susan J. Koons, and James K.P. Koons , minor heirs of Jasper Koons, dec." filed a Statement of Condition of the Estate with the court. 21 From this and other evidence discussed below, it is assumed that Eutha and Elijah died as young children.
(1) Sarah Ann Koons , born about 1838, Indiana, 22 married 1 Aug 1853, in Marion Co., Iowa, 23 Lewis McKinney . No effort has been made to trace this couple further.
(2) Susan Jane Koons , born about 1840, Iowa, 24 married 25 Jul 1858, in Marion Co., Iowa, 25 John W. Walton , who was born about 1825-32, 26 in Danville, Virginia, 27 and died 11 Nov 1897 in Harrison Co., Missouri. 28 On 5 Aug 1857, Susan petitioned the court as a minor heir over 14 of Jasper Koons to have Josiah Adams of Clay Township appointed as her guardian as she was not satisfied with John Gillaspy . 29 Susan died 7 Sep 1858 30 and is buried in Eureka Cemetery, Clay Twp., Marion Co., Iowa. 31 After her death, John married, on 1 Sep 1859, Amelia Anna Morgan , 32 the daughter of Solomon Morgan and his wife Eliza. John W. Walton was appointed administrator of the estate of Susan J. Walton on 21 Sep 1858, 33 and filed a final settlement on 16 Jan 1862 which names her sister Sarah Ann McKinney and brother James K.P. Koons . 34
(3) Eutha Koons , born about 1842 in Iowa. 35 She, along with her two brothers, were in Johnson Co., Indiana, when, on 1 January 1852, John Gillaspy was appointed her guardian. 36 Eutha apparently died by January 1854, as she is not mentioned in subsequent accountings to the court. 37
(4) James K. P. Koons , born about 1845, Iowa. 38 He may be the James Koons b. 8 Dec 1845 d. 31 Dec 1900 who is buried in Dunreath Cemetery, Marion Co., Iowa. 39 He may also be the James Koons said to have married (1) Mary Jane Dragoo on 13 Feb 1868 40 and (2) Margaret A. Harvey on 27 Jun 1872, 41 both in Marion Co., Iowa. If so, it appears he had at least one son, Andrew Jasper Koons, born in 1869, who is said to have been adopted by John Wesley Rich and his wife Eliza Jane King . 42 It is known, from platting land records, that the Rich and King families were close neighbors of Jasper Koons in Clay Township of Marion Co. However, there is another James Koons (1837-1916) buried with his wife Jeannette in Greenwood Cemetery, Knoxville Township, Marion Co., Iowa. 43
(5) Elijah Willson Koons , born about 1849, Iowa. 44 Although Alfred Koons presents an account for boarding James K.P. Koons and Elijah Koons on 8 Feb 1854, 45 Elijah is presumed to have died by 17 Jan 1854 when his guardian John Gillaspy presents an accounting to the court which mentions only Sarah, Susan, and James. 46
1 Descendants of Peter Kuntz compiled by Claude E. Wells, 3809 Philadelphia Road, Abingdon, MD 21009-1107, downloaded 14 Feb 2000.
2 Jasper Koons household, 1850 U.S. Census, Marion Co., Iowa, dwelling 448, families 485 and 486, FHL Microfilm 442,962, p. 260. Hereinafter 1850 Census, Marion Co., Iowa.
3 Database to an Index of Indiana Marriages Through 1850 , Indiana State Library Genealogy Division, hereinafter Indiana Marriage Index
4 1850 Census, Marion Co., Iowa, pp. 260-261.
5 Indiana Marriage Index
6 Descendants of Peter Kuntz
7 William M. Donnel, Pioneers of Marion County: consisting of a general history of the county from its earliest settlement to the present date (Des Moines, Iowa: Republican Steam Printing House, 1872), pp. 126 and 140
8 Donnel, Pioneers of Marion County , p. 125
9 Donnel, Pioneers of Marion County , p. 126
10 Marion Co., Iowa Minute Book, Volume 1, FHL Microfilm 1,503,354 item 3, p. 31
11 Donnel, Pioneers of Marion County , p. 143
12 Iowa 16th Section School Lands Tract Book, Marion Co. Sec 16, Twp 75, Range 18W, FHL Microfilm 1,011,644, pp. 29-30.
13 Des Moines River Lands Tract Book, 1847-1853, FHL Microfilm 1,011,643, p. 110.
14 Marion Co., Iowa Court Records, Vol 2, FHL Microfilm 1,503,351, p. 439.
15 Marion Co., Iowa Court Records, Vol 2, FHL Microfilm 1,503,351, p. 539.
16 Donnel, Pioneers of Marion County , pp. 132-133
17 History of Marion Co., Iowa (Des Moines, Iowa: Union Historical Co., Birdsall, Williams & Co., 1881), p. 795.
18 Marion Co., Iowa Probate Records, Volume C, FHL Microfilm 1,019,723 p. 32
19 Marion Co., Iowa Probate Records, Volume C, FHL Microfilm 1,019,723 p. 26
20 Marion Co., Iowa Probate Records, Volume C, FHL Microfilm 1,019,723 p. 32
21 Marion Co., Iowa Probate Records, Volume D, FHL Microfilm 1,019,724, pp. 450-451
22 1850 Census, Marion Co., Iowa , p. 260
23 Marriage Records of Marion Co., Iowa, 1845-1915 (Marion Co., Iowa Genealogical Society, 1980) p. 78
24 1850 Census, Marion Co., Iowa , p. 260
25 Marriage Register, Marion Co., Iowa, Volume I, 1845-1866, FHL Microfilm 1,019,714, p. 277. Hereinafter Marion Co., Iowa Marriage Register, Vol. 1
26 The 1860 Census of Clay Township, Marion Co., Iowa gives John Walton's age as 30, while the 1870 and 1880 censuses of Harrison Co., Missouri, give ages of 38 and 55 respectively.
27 Harrison County, Missouri Cemetery Records, Compiled by the Harrison Co. Genealogical Society, 1985 p. 85
29 Marion Co., Iowa Probate Records, Volume D, FHL Microfilm 1,019,724, p. 202.
30 Marion Co. Genealogical Society, Cemeteries of Marion Co., Iowa, (Harlan, Iowa: R.C. Boothe Enterprises, 1976), p. 90. Hereinafter Cemeteries of Marion Co., Iowa .
32 Marion Co., Iowa Marriage Register, Volume 1, p. 314.
33 Marion Co., Iowa Probate Records, Volume D, FHL Microfilm 1,019,724, p. 317
34 Marion Co., Iowa Probate Records, Volume 5, FHL Microfilm 1,019,724, item 2, p. 291
35 1850 Census, Marion Co., Iowa , p. 260
36 Marion Co., Iowa Probate Records, Volume C, FHL Microfilm 1,019,723, p. 32
37 Marion Co., Iowa Probate Records, Volume C, FHL Microfilm 1,019,723, p. 298
38 1850 Census, Marion Co., Iowa , p. 260
39 Cemeteries of Marion Co., Iowa , p. 175
40 Message from Janet M. McNeil on Dragoo Family Genealogy Forum, GenForum Bulletin Board , 6 May 1999
41 Message from Janet M. McNeil on Harvey Family Genealogy Forum, GenForum Bulletin Board , 15 May 1999
42 Message from Janet M. McNeil on Rich Family Genealogy Forum, GenForum Bulletin Board , 4 Apr 1999
43 Cemeteries of Marion Co., Iowa , p. 76
44 1850 Census, Marion Co., Iowa , p. 260
45 Marion Co., Iowa Probate Records, Volume C, FHL Microfilm 1,019,723, p. 305
46 Marion Co., Iowa Probate Records, Volume C, FHL Microfilm 1,019,723, p. 298
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