Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Hardin Cloud of Cloud, Iowa, expires in Chariton

Had Hardin Cloud not expired under mildly unusual circumstances in Chariton back during April of 1901, I'd probably not be able to share this bit of south Iowa trivia --- that once upon a time there was a Cloud, Iowa, consisting of little more than a general store and post office founded by and named for the aforementioned Mr. Cloud.

It was located in Dallas Township, Marion County, just a mile north of the Lucas-Marion County line. The village of Dallas was due north (the Melcher half of what now is Melcher Dallas had not yet been dreamed of). Newbern and Bauer were to the west.

Here's one of the stories, from The Chariton Democrat of April 18, 1901, that reported the circumstances of the death. I'd never heard of Mr. Cloud or Cloud, Iowa, until I came across it.


Hardin Cloud of Cloud, one of the most influential and prosperous farmers of Marion county, died suddenly in this city last Thursday night. On Friday morning about nine o'clock he was found dead in a room on the second story of the Exchange building on the west side of the square.

He came to Chariton the previous day and complained of not feeling well. He borrowed the key to the room (from its) renter, Jas. Chavis, and laid down just before dinner time, but was seen on the street between four and five o'clock. Mr. Chavis is a colored man employed by Mr. Storie. He went to his room about nine o'clock in the evening and found Mr. Cloud sleeping. When he visited his room the next morning he discovered that Mr. Cloud was dead.

He notified the coroner, Dr. T.P. Stanton, and an inquest and postmortem examination were held. The jury, composed of Drs. J.A. McKlveen, J.E. Stanton and A.L. Yocom, returned a verdict to  the effect that the death of Mr. Cloud was due to heart disease. The remains were taken to his home in Marion county where funeral services were held on Sunday morning at 10 o'clock after which interment took place at Gosport. Mr. Cloud was at one time a member of the state legislature. He was fifty-one years of age and leaves a wife and three daughters.


Reports in the other Chariton newspapers state that the initial suspicion was that Mr. Cloud had killed himself by taking poison, but an autopsy conducted by the physicians who formed the coronor's jury showed no trace of poison but a seriously diseased heart.

I went looking for an obituary and found one in The Knoxville Journal of April 20, so here's a little more information about Hardin Cloud:


Mr. Cloud was born at Girard, Ill., May 5, 1850; came to Iowa in 1870; was united in marriage to Sarah E. Wilson on January 21, 1875. Three children blessed this union, two of whom still survive the deceased. He also leaves five brothers and two sisters to mourn his loss. W.O. Cloud of the firm of May & Cloud of Columbia is the only brother residing in this part of the state.

In 1884, Hardin Cloud ran for the state legislature on the Greenback-Democratic ticket and was elected, serving one term. In 1880 he made a public profession of religion and joined the M.E. church. By his influence and money he proved a great help to his home church and was always ready to support any worthy cause.

Mr. Cloud was a man whose cleverness and genial disposition won for him friends wherever he went. A kind indulgent father, a good neighbor and generous to a fault, a public-spirited citizen, his death will be deeply felt by all who knew him. For several years he suffered from ill-health but bore it all uncomplainingly. In addition to running a stock farm, Mr. Cloud also conducted a general store and post office which has been a great benefit to a neighborhood so remote from business centers. His grief-stricken wife and daughters who are almost prostrated under the blow may rest assured that they have the deepest sympathy of their neighbors.


The store and post office seem to have survived Mr. Cloud by a few years, but postal records state that the post office was closed and those served by it transferred to the jurisdiction of the Columbia Post Office in 1906. That probably indicates that the store closed at about the same time.

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