Madison County Bio

Percea FELT


John HENRY b. 12 Jun 1801, Sterling, Windham, Connecticut, occ. Farmer/Sawyer, m. (1) 11 Jun 1826, in Lebanon, Madison, New York, Percea FELT, b. 28 May 1806, Lebanon, Madison, New York, (daughter of Elam FELT and Elizabeth DAVIS) d. 10 Sep 1867, Frederika Twp, Bremer, Iowa, m. (2) 12 Jan 1868, Sarah LeValley. John died 13 Nov 1868, Frederika, Bremer, Iowa, bd. Pasture Cem., Bremer County, Iowa. John was first found in Madison County, NY. Both John and an older brother William must have been in Peterboro, Madison County at about the same time since John's son, Norton, was born there in 1826 and William had a son, Warren, born there in 1827. John is reported to have had another child born in Madison County, that died in infancy.

After John and Percea married they stayed in eastern NY State until the late 1850's and John's son, Norton, married Mary Elouisa Ely in January 1854 at Clinton, Oneida County, NY. John and his son, Norton, arrived in Bremer County, Iowa in 1858. They were the earliest settlers of this area. The following paragraph is paraphrased from the "Early History of Frederika", on file at the Bremer County, Genealogical Society:

The members of the Henry family were the first settlers. They came to Iowa and settled in Frederika township on April 3, 1858. John and his son Norton bought 120 acres in 1859. The town was surveyed by John and Norton Henry in 1858 and the plat filed in 1873. It was called Henry's Town or Henry's Mill. John built a gristmill. It was operated in connection with the first sawmill in the area built by Loren Rima in 1855. The gristmill did a large business and had a capacity of about 60 barrels of flour a day. When John died in 1868, his son Norton was then owner of the mill and operated it assisted by his son Emory. Later Norton moved to Lima, IA and sold the mill property. The Methodist Church of Frederika, first called the Lime Rock Church, was organized soon after the arrival of the Henry families with a class of 5 members; four of whom were John, Norton and their wives. A school house was built in 1850 and at one time there was only one child attending, Norton's son Emory. In the spring of 1862, a log school was built and a short time later Norton Henry erected a log house and school was held there for some time.

John and "Percy" are listed in the 1860 Census of Bremer County, IA. Percia wrote her Will in August 1867 and died in September 1867. The Will named her husband John as Administrator and gave him all her real and personal property except for one note of $60. against her son Norton John and stated "that the interest [was] to be paid to the man that is sent by the Methodist Church to preach in Frederika and if the society in Frederika ever builds a Meeting house, the note to be paid to help build the house to have and to hold and to use for his support during his life and all the property that remains at his death to be equally divided amongest my grandchildren." The wills of both Percia and John are on file at the Bremer County Courthouse in Waverly, Iowa.

John married (2) Sarah LeValley 12 January 1868 and he died 10 months later. Two days before he died, on 11 November 1868, John wrote his Will giving his land to his son, Norton and to his grandchildren. All the grand children are named in the Will except Elizabeth who was not born until 1875. The Probate Notice was printed in the Waverly Republican 10 December 1868 and the Will was proved 15 February 1869. John Norton Henry's wife Mary died in October 1934 at the age of 98. Her obituary from the Bremer County Independent and Waverly Republican in October 1934 confirms much of the story of this family's early history.


Submitted to Bremer County, Iowa site by Alan D. Henry
Contributed to Madison County site by Linda McCann, Sept. 2002
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Last updated: 14 May 2011