Sunday, July 8, 2012

David Orlando Steen

David Orlando Steen was the older brother of my Great Great Grandpa Charles F. Steen. David, sometimes known as Orlando, was born on March 9, 1845 to Charles A. and Lorinda/Lorenda Steen, in Berlin Heights, Erie County, Ohio. Sadly, David's father died when David was only a young teenager. In 1860, David was living in Florence Township, Erie County, Ohio with his mother, his maternal grandmother, and his three siblings.

Erie County Probate Court records show that Orlando Steen married Julia Minard at the bride's residence on September 12, 1868, by a Rev. William Bassett.

David and Julia Steen had a large family of six children. According to census records, Herbert and William were born in Ohio; Fred and Sadie were born in Nebraska; and Robert and Hattie were born in Iowa. By 1885, the David Steen family was residing in Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, Iowa. In 1880, when the family was still living in Merrick County, Nebraska, David Steen was working as a butcher. By 1900, David Steen had become a coal dealer. Below is a map which shows the three locations where the David Orlando Steen family lived. They seemed to move almost straight across the country, moving from Erie County, Ohio to Merrick County, Nebraska in the 1870s, and then backtracking to Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, Iowa by 1885.

(Google Maps and Kodak EasyShare Software were used to create the map above.)

Records at FindaGrave show that David O. Steen, Julia Steen, and their son Herbert Steen, all died in 1934. All three of these Steen family members were buried in Lot 16, Section 47, at Forest Cemetery in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

Thanks to a wonderful volunteer at the Oskaloosa Public Libray in Oskaloosa, Iowa, I now have an obituary for my ancestor David Orlando Steen. It is from the Oskaloosa Daily Herald, dated January 22, 1934. A transcription of the obituary reads:

David Orlando Steen

David Orlando Steen was born March 9, 1845 in Sandusky, O., and died at his home in Oskaloosa, Ia., at 12:00 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, January 16, 1934, after a short illness, at the age off 88 years, 10 months and 7 days. He was married to Julia Minard of Florence, O., September 10, 1868. To this union six children were born. One son, Frederick, preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Julia Steen, two daughters, Mrs. Guy Reynolds of Oskaloosa and Mrs. John I. Nelson of Ames; three sons, Herbert, William and Robert Steen of Oskaloosa; five grandchildren; one great grandchild; one sister, Mrs. Mary Hill of Berlin Heights, O., and a host of other relatives. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Oskaloosa for over 50 years. Mr. Steen was a well informed man on the general topics of life. He kept himself posted through the reading of the daily papers which he enjoyed so much. Funeral services were held at the Wilcox-Garland chapel at 2:30 o'clock Thursday afternoon, with Rev. E. E. Hickox pastor of the First Baptist Church in charge. Burial was in Forest Cemetery.

I have never seen photographs of David and Julia Steen, but they truly had a pioneer spirit. They left family and friends in their home state; moved twice while they had young children; and they made a good life for themselves.

Note: In a previous blog post, I discussed an article which mentioned that my Great Great Grandpa, Charles F. Steen, had recently been living in Lone Tree, Nebraska. While researching the David Orlando Steen family, I learned that the David O. Steen family lived in Merrick County, Nebraska in the 1870s. Lone Tree, Nebraska is also in Merrick County, Nebraska. Great Great Grandpa Charlie must have gone to visit his older brother's family in Nebraska, and stayed there for a time. It is so much fun to put these pieces of the puzzle together!

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