Rock Island Prison
Image from CensusDiggins.com.
Pioneer Notes and Memorial Sketches for the Month of November, 1884.
Nicholas Ramey, John Colville and Wayne McCaddon, were well known residents of Licking county, Ohio, who, many years ago, long before the “Great Rebellion,” removed to Iowa, and settled themselves for the remainder of their lives in that thrifty and rapidly growing young State of the Great West. Early in the was the General Government established a rebel prison on Rock Island, in the Mississippi river, on the eastern borders of Iowa, and devolved the duty on that State to furnish a regiment of soldiers to perform guard duty in said prison.
Governor Kirkwood deemed it proper to enlist men for that service who were too old to perform active military duty at the front, and thereby save his young men for the field. He accordingly organized the celebrated “gray-beard regiment,” composed of old men who had passed the military age and mustered them into the service to perform guard duty as above indicated, during the war. The three old citizens of this county above named were volunteer soldiers of this regiment, and served until the war closed. The first named (Mr. Ramey) died early in 1882, aged 90 years, and a notice of him appeared in our memorial sketches for the month of March of said year.
Mr. John Colville, the second of this trio of gray-beard patriots, died December 6th, 1882, aged 86, as appears from our memorial sketches for said month and year. And now we have information recently obtained, of the death of the last named of these veteran Union soldiers, (Wayne McCadden) who died at his residence in Dexter, Dallas county, Iowa, at the ripe age of 77 years. He was the youngest son of Mr. John McCaddon, who, in his youth, was a soldier under General George Rogers Clark, in an expedition against the Shawnee Indians on the Mad River, in 1780, having enlisted under that gallant leader at the Falls of the Ohio. He was subsequently a pioneer settler in Newark, where he for many years conducted a tannery, his son the subject of this sketch, being his partner in said business.
Previous to embarking as the active partner with his father, in 1826, Wayne McCaddon was a clerk in the store of his brother-in-law, Mr. George Baker, who is still remembered by a few of our citizens, as one of the pioneer merchants and produce dealers of Newark. The introduction of his elegant and accomplished bride to the young society of Newark was one of the social events of 1830. The youthful Kentucky stranger-bride of more that fifty years ago, we learn, is still living in her Iowa home, now in dignified, venerated, matronly widowhood. Wayne McCaddon was one of the deputy marshals engaged in taking the census in a part of Licking county in 1840, and not long after that year he permanently located in Iowa. His ailment, which was of a cancerous nature, was painful and protracted.
A number of his children, as well as his aged life partner, survive him.
As will be observed Wayne McCaddon inherited a propensity for soldiering from his patriotic father, and as much may be said of John Colville, who was intuitively heroic, for his father and three brothers actively participated in our last war with England.
And it may be remarked in this parting tribute to these three old-time soldier friends, volunteers in the “gray-beard regiment, of Iowa,” that Nicholas Ramey, who was a native of France, probably also inherited military proclivities, for while a young man he was a soldier in the armies of the great Napoleon, serving with the French army in the campaign in Spain and elsewhere.
Wayne McCaddon’s father reached the age of 90 years, and his mother was not much younger at her death. And of a large family of sons and daughters nearly all attained to a great age, several of whom that are still living have long since been octogenarians, and one, (Mrs. Baker) is nearly as old as her father was at his death. They were probably the most long-lived family, consisting of so large a number of persons, that ever lived in Licking county. Of the five surviving members of this pioneer family the youngest is now seventy-four years old.
Wayne McCaddon and the writer were associates, friends, and companions more than fifty years ago. We were jointly engaged in the performance of some small official duties, too, in 1840, such as enumerating the inhabitants of a portion of our county, by authority of Congress. Soon after that we parted; our almost daily intercourse was suddenly terminated — he seeking a home towards the setting sun, and I remaining as hitherto a sojourner here. We recall but one visit from him after leaving here, and that was a generation ago. A score or more of his old friends, on that occasion, by way of a testimonial of their personal regard tendered him a supper at the American House, Smith & Moody being the proprietors. That evening’s entertainment and services were characterized by hilarity, good cheer and kindly feeling. It was marked by the enjoyment and expression of a degree of good will and fraternity seldom witnessed; indeed it was one of those jestive occasions the recollection of which would long have a lodgement in the memory, serve as a land-mark along life’s journey, and be held in retrospection as an oasis in a barren, dreary waste. Benjamin Briggs, Jonathan Taylor, James Parker, B.B. Taylor, John Lanceford, Lucius Case, Wm. P. Morrison, A.W. Dennis and others were participants in these exercises and festivities, and all of them (except the last named and the writer) preceded our friend McCaddon to “the realms beyond.” Many friends and relatives of the deceased tender their warmest sympathies to the members of the bereaved family.
Mrs. Baker’s Death.
After the foregoing notice of Wayne McCaddon was written, information of he decease of his oldest sister, Mrs. Nancy Baker, was received. She had been living with one of her sisters in Canton, Ohio, for many years, and died there November 18, 1884 at the ripe age of 90 years, 6 months and some days. Mr. George Baker, her husband, was a widely known merchant of Newark, who died here about 40 years ago, and Mrs. Baker did not live here long after that. She was the oldest daughter of John McCaddon, and Wayne McCaddon was her youngest brother. Mr. and Mrs. Baker are often mentioned in terms of commendation in Newark church circles, because of their generous contributions to Trinity Episcopal Church, which Mr. Baker was chiefly instrumental in erecting.
Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Nov 28, 1884
OSKALOOSA, IOWA, March 10, 1882.
EDITOR ADVOCATE — On the 6th of this month, Nicholas Ramey, a former resident of your county, died at Kirkville, a small town fourteen miles south of here, at the age of 90 years. He was a native of France and a veteran of the wars. Mr. Ramey was a lieutenant in the Grand Army under Napoleon; was captured at Salamanca, Spain, and while he was being transported on a British vessel bound for London, assisted in a mutiny, which was successful, and made his escape to America. He became a soldier of the Republic in the was of 1812. He also served during the war of the late rebellion as principal musician of the 37th Iowa (Graybeard) regiment. The pioneers of Licking will remember him as the great admirer of Napoleon. He organized a company at Newark, headed, I believe, by Moody Smith and went with them to Gibralter, to recover treasures hidden there by his great commander. When the writer was a small boy, Mr. Ramey lived close to Newark on the farm of S.D. King, on the road leading from there to Granville. He has children and grand-children residing in our city and county. Mrs. Anderson, of Chatham, was one of his daughters. He was totally blind before he died. He was buried with Masonic honors on the 8th inst.
Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Mar 23, 1882
MR. JOHN COLVILLE.
Mr. Colville was one of our early settlers and a long time resident of this county. He was a son of Major Colville, born in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, September 5, 1797, and settled in Licking county in 1824. The subject of this sketch was the youngest of four sons, and his father and three brothers rendered service in the war of 1812, he being too young to “go a soldiering.” His father was a major, and his brother Samuel was a captain, while his brothers Robert and James were in the ranks, and all served during the war.
John Colville in 1828, united in marriage with Eliza Turner, who died in 1841, he surviving her 41 years. He removed to Iowa many years ago, and died at the residence of his nephew, D.H. Colville, near Oscaloosa, Mahaska county, in said State, December 6, 1882, in the 86th year of his age. The Colville family was of Scotch-Irish ancestry, long-lived, vigorous, patriotic.
So patriotic was John that upon the call of his country during the late rebellion, though 65 years old, he (in company with Nicholas Ramy and Wayne McCaddon, both former venerable citizens of Licking county,) enlisted in the celebrated gray-beard regiment of Iowa, and served to the close of the war. His devotion to his country and military services probably led to impaired vision while on duty, which gradually grew more dim with advancing years, so that he endured total blindness during the last four years of his life, but a beneficent government smoothed his pathway to the tomb by granting him a liberal pension.
Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Dec 27, 1882
Death of a Former Resident of Licking County.
Mr. John Colville, Sr., formerly of this county, died at the residence of O.H. Colville, in Oskaloosa, Iowa, on Wednesday, Dec. 6, aged 84 years, two months and three days. He was buried at the old cemetery at Oskaloosa.
Mr. Colville removed from Virginia to Licking county, in 1825, where he remained until 1854, when he removed to Mahaska county, Iowa, where he has ever since resided. For the past two or three years he has been entirely blind. It will be with feeling of regret that his many friends in Licking county will learn of his demise.
Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Dec 13, 1882
MRS. ELIZABETH COCKE.
Included in our memorial sketches for November 1884, were two members of the numerous and long-lived John McCadden family, early and for many years well known people in Newark, of respectability and character. Mr. Wayne McCadden [McCaddon] and his sister Mrs. George Baker, were those of whose decease we made mention then. Another of those aged people has since died, one of the eldest born. Mrs. Elizabeth Cocke was long a resident of Canton, Ohio, where her husband, who was a prominent man, died some years ago. Mrs. Cocke died in that city, January 28, 1885, at the advanced age of 84 years and six months. Mrs. VanHorn, of Zanesville, and Mrs. Marvin, of Newark, are two of her surviving sisters.
Mr. John McCadden there father, who long since deceased, was one of the veterans of our revolutionary war, and was personally identified with Indian warfare on Ohio soil long before the establishment of civil government here serving in the army of Gen. George Rogers Clark on that famous expedition to the Indian towns on the Mad river in 1780. A letter now before me written by the father of the deceased in 1842, when he was eighty-five years of age, gives interesting details of the expedition commanded by Gen. George Rogers Clark, in 1780, of which he was a member, having enlisted in it at the Falls of the Ohio, when he was twenty-three years old. His letter also tells how he was detailed as one of the men that stood guard in protecting those who were at work upon the block house built where Cincinnati now stands, and which was the first structure ever erected upon the site of that city, it being some years before Fort Washington was built.
Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Mar 3, 1885