Friday, April 12, 2013

Daniel Musselman: Another War of 1812 veteran

Photos added Saturday, April 13

It's 33 degrees here this morning (at 4:17 a.m.) with a daytime high of no more than 44 predicted. Yesterday was damp, muddy, windy and cold. That's why there's no photograph of Daniel Musselman's tombstone here right now. If the sun comes out, I'll drive out to Mount Zion, on a hill above the Whitebreast north of Oakley, and take one --- then add it.

I'm stumbling over War of 1812 veterans in Lucas County all the time now, with a hot list of four more to investigate. It's called the dry-bones effect --- once you start rattling one set of bones other related sets turn up. There's nothing supernatural about this, its just a factor of what you're paying attention to. 

Daniel Musselman turned up while I was investigating his son, Thomas Jefferson Musselman, who will have a role to play in an upcoming story about the Hotel Charitone corner. As part of that process, I was reading a biographical sketch of Jesse Clark Baker, Daniel's grandson and T.J.'s nephew.

Side note for those interested in Lucas County esoterica --- Jesse Clark Baker was the grandfather of the late Gerald O. "Jerry" Baker, the last of a long line of Bakers to operate Lucas's Farmers & Miners Bank.

Anyhow, Jesse's parents were William Walker and Eliza (Musselman) Baker, who had married in Indiana, then came to Lucas County during 1853 with some of their vast (15 children) family. Also arriving in Lucas County at the same time, or nearly so, were Eliza's parents, Daniel and Tabitha (Leach) Musselman.

Got all that? It's perfectly clear to me.

The aforementioned biographical sketch (A Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1896) contains the following line about Eliza's father: "Her father, Daniel Musselman, was a native of Kentucky and a soldier in the war of 1812, being a participant in the battle in which the noted Tecumseh was killed; was one of the pioneers of Lucas County, Iowa; and his last resting place is in the old cemetery  in White Breast Township (Mount Zion), this county."

Such War of 1812 records as are available online confirm that Daniel Musselman did indeed serve as a private in the Eleventh Regiment of Kentucky Mounted Volunteers during that war.

The Eleventh Regiment was among units commanded by William Henry Harrison during the Oct. 5, 1813, Battle of the Thames, fought at Moraviantown (near present-day Chatham, Ontario), during which the great Shawnee chief, Tecumseh, was indeed killed. This was a decisive victory for the United States against Great Britain and destroyed the pro-British Native American coalition that Tecumseh headed.

After the war, Daniel (born Dec. 14, 1794) returned home to Kentucky and married Tabitha Leach on May 28, 1818, at Georgetown in Scott County.

By 1830, the Musselmans had relocated to Ninevah in Johnson County, Indiana, where Daniel was listed as a merchant in the 1850 census. They came west to Lucas County two or three years later.

Daniel did not last long in Lucas County, however. He died May 8, 1856, and was buried in Mount Zion Cemetery. His wife, Tabitha, lived until 1880, then was buried near him, as were other family members as the years passed.

According to online family records, Daniel and Tabith had 11 children: Mary Ann (1819-1824); Sarah (1821-1847); Eliza Jane (1822-1908), who married W.W. Baker; David (1824-1825); Darius (1816-1908), who lived and died in Lucas County; William L. (1828-1828); Elisha (1830-1832); Thomas Jefferson (more about T.J. another time); Daniel E. (1834-1913), who also lived and died in Lucas County; John S. (1836-1862), who died in service during the Civil War; and James M. (1844-1844).


On a related note, I wrote recently about another War of 1812 veteran, Henry Younkin, who is buried in the Chariton Cemetery.

My friend Charlie --- who digs up buried Lucas County history, often with the aid of a metal detector --- called yesterday to say that he had found a trade token from Younkin's Cigar Store, located in the "Ballingall Block." That was a cigar store operated by Henry's son, Charles --- in Ottumwa. I'm wondering if "Ballingall Black" wasn't really Peter Ballingall's legendary Ballingall House hotel.

Whatever the case, it's another clear mainfestation of the dry-bones effect.

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