Biography of Henry Chesnut
Marion County, IA Biographies





Henry Chesnut, whose widow resides in the village of Columbia, was born in Illinois on the 26th of July, 1858, and in that state was reared and educated. Many years ago he came west to Iowa and at Knoxville, on the 1st of May, 1888, was united in marriage to Mrs. Elizabeth Smith, the widow of David Smith and previously the widow of Peter Butterfield. Her parents were John and Rebecca (Kay) Wilson. By her first marriage Mrs. Chesnut had five children, of whom three died in infancy, the others being John Oliver, who died at the age of two years, and George L., who lives near Flagler in this county. Following their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Chesnut removed westward to Keith county, Nebraska, where they had a large ranch and twelve hundred head of cattle. He conducted extensive farming and stock raising interests and his well managed business affairs resulted in the attainment of a most creditable and gratifying measure of success.

Mrs. Chesnut's parents came to this county many years ago and are now buried at Newburn. They had a family of twelve children, all of whom reached adult age, but all are now deceased save Mrs. Chesnut. Three of the children, sons, were lost while serving as soldiers in the Civil war. Henry Harrison Wilson was poisoned by water and died from the effects. John Oliver Wilson had his arm shot off and died from gangrene. Jacob was killed at the battle of Shiloh. Another brother, Leonard, enlisted and was never heard from again, so it is supposed that he, too, laid down his life upon the altar of his country.

The death of Mr. Chesnut occurred at Salina, Kansas, July 18, 1906. He was independent in politics but was interested in public affairs and cooperated in various movements for the general good. He was ever a busy man and his life was one of usefulness as well as of activity. While his later years were passed in the west, he is yet remembered by many of the older settlers of Marion county who knew him in youth and young manhood and entertained for him warm regard.

From:
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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