Harriet GIBBS
John Willoughby "Will" MICKELWAIT


Family Links

1. Emmaretta SHAMBLEN

2. Abbie M. HANNA

John Willoughby "Will" MICKELWAIT 1

  • Born: 9 Aug 1850, Hillsboro, Henry Co, IA 2
  • Marriage (1): Emmaretta SHAMBLEN on 2 May 1875 in Glenwood, Mills Co, IA 1
  • Marriage (2): Abbie M. HANNA on 2 Feb 1899 in Glenwood, Mills Co, IA 1
  • Died: 14 Aug 1941, Glenwood, Mills Co, IA at age 91 3
  • Buried: Glenwood Cem, Mills Co, IA

bullet  General Notes:

MILLS CO, IA MARRIAGES: John W. Mickelwait, 48 and Abbie Hanna, 27 (or 47?), married Feb 2, 1899, Glenwood.

1900 IA CENSUS, Mills Co, Glenwood city: John W. Mickelwait, Aug 1850, 49, married 1 yr, b. IA, parents b. England, farmer; wife Abbie M., Mar 1851, 49, married 1 yr, 0 children, 0 living, b. OH, father b. OH, mother b. PA; son Claudis J., Oct 1888, 11, b. NE, father b. IA, mother b. OH.

1910 IA CENSUS, Mills Co, Glenwood Twp, Glenwood city: J. W. Mickelwait, 59, 2nd marriage, married 12 yrs, b. IL, parents b. England, own income, own home; wife Abby, 58, 1st marriage, married 12 yrs, 0 children - 0 living, b. OH.

DIRECTORY OF LEADING FARMERS OF MILLS CO, IA , 1910: J. W. Mickelwait, Center Twp, Section 29, RFD 4, P.O. Glenwood

1920 IA CENSUS, Mills Co, Glenwood Twp: John W. Mickelwait, owned home, 69, b. IA, parents b. England, no occupation listed; wife Abbie M., 69, b. OH, father b. OH, mother b. PA. Listed next to John's daughter, Jennie Hamilton, on census.

1925 IA STATE CENSUS, Mills Co, Emerson Twp: J. W. Mickelwait, 74, 4th grade education, b. IA, father: Geo. Mickelwait who was b. England; mother: Harriett Gibbs who was b. England and married IL, no occupation or religion; wife Abbie M., 73, 4th grade education, b. OH, father: Andrew Hanna who was b. OH, mother: Eliza Chalfant who was b. PA and married OH, Cong. church.

1930 IA CENSUS, Mills Co, Glenwood city; John and Abbie were living with John's daughter, Jennie Hamilton.

HISTORY OF MILLS CO, IA, 1985, p. 514: Descendants of George Mickelwait - George was born in 1819 at Thorne, Yorkshire, England. He came to the United States with his parents, Willoughby and Susannah Wood Mickelwait as a child. (It is of interest to note that the family name at that time was spelled Micklethwaite, but when the first land was purchased in IL the deed bore the name spelled in its current form.) The family settled in IL in 1831 and during the next two decades acquired land in Hillsboro, IL. Willoughby was naturalized on Sep. 13, 1847 at Mt. Pleasant, IA at which time his wife and children also became American citizens.
George married Harriet Gibbs (born 1823-died 1867) in 1839. He and two brothers journeyed to CA during the Gold Rush of 1849. In 1851 he purchased land in Mills CO, IA from the government. His obituary was published Apr. 21, 1908 in the "Mills County Tribune" and was captioned: "The passing of George Mickelwait; Old Pioneer" and stated that he was one of the early day pioneers. He was a continuous resident of Mills Co. for 57 years; was a shred business man; was possessed of considerable property; and was identified with banking and other business interest of Glenwood.
John Willoughby was one of George's six children. He was born Aug. 9, 1850 at Hillsboro, IA and died Aug 14, 1941 in Glenwood, IA. He married Emmaretta Shamblin (born May 4, 1854 - died Sep. 18, 1897) at Glenwood, IA. During John's lifetime the automobile, electricity, telephone, airplane, radio became a part of everyone's life style. This probably helped influence him to reminisce during his later years about his experience as a teenager driving a lumber wagon from Glenwood to Council Bluffs, IA to purchase lumber. The trip took two days. The lumber was used to build the first frame house that was built on his father's farm southeast of town. This house was to replace a log house where George first lived.
John had two children, daughter Jennie who married Harry Hamilton. They had three children. All are now deceased. A son, Claudius Joy, was born Oct. 24, 1888 and died July 2, 1943. He preferred to be known as Joy C. or J. C. Mickelwait. He married Anna Marie Anderson (born Jan. 20, 1889). Joy lived his entire life in Glenwood, IA. As a young man he belonged to the National Guard. He enlisted in the Army during WWI and was in Officer's Graining School in Arkansas at the time of the Armistice. At the time of his death he was a member of the Home Guard that was formed during WWII. He helped organize the first 4-H Clubs in Mills Co. Hunting and fishing were his hobbies and he told colorful stores of hunting experiences along the bottom lands of the Missouri River. Joy had one child, a daughter, consequently the Mickelwait name of John's branch of the family ceased upon the death of Joy. Submitted by Joyanna Mickelwait Darling, great-granddaughter of George Mickelwait.

OBIT: Glenwood Opinion-Tribune, Monday, August 18, 1941: Funeral services were held in the Myers-James funeral home Saturday morning for James Willoughby Mickelwait, pioneer resident of this community. He was born at Hillsboro, Henry county, Iowa, August 19, 1850. In 1851, when he was less than a year old, the family came to Mills county, making the journey in a covered wagon, a journey requiring three weeks' time. Here he grew to manhood and spent the remainder of the years of his life.
On May 2, 1875, he was married to Emmaretta Shamblen. She passed away on September 8, 1897, leaving the husband and their two children, Jennie and Joy. On February 2, 1899, Mr. Mickelwait married Miss Abbie M. Hanna, who was a loving mother to his children and a devoted helpmate until the time of her death which occurred on February 5, 1936.
Mr. Mickelwait was a kindly man of a retiring nature. The earlier years of his life were actively spent in farming, but ill health confined him to his home in the later years of his life. He passed away in the home of his daughter, Mrs. Jennie Hamilton, in this city, who loving care and constant devotion had made the declining years of his life as comfortable as possible. Death occurred Thursday, August 14, within five days of his 91st birthday. In addition to his daughter, he is survived by a son, Joy Mickelwait, four grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
The funeral services were conducted by Dr. Frederick W. Long, pastor of the Glenwood Congregational church. Those served as pallbearers were Bernie Rhoades, Tom Holiday, Carl Morgan, Henry Dean, L. W. McKnight, and Elmer Hartman.


John married Emmaretta SHAMBLEN, daughter of Frederick SHAMBLEN and Aseneth "Sena" WICKHAM, on 2 May 1875 in Glenwood, Mills Co, IA.1 (Emmaretta SHAMBLEN was born on 4 May 1854 in Noble Co, OH,2 died on 8 Sep 1897 in Glenwood, Mills Co, IA 4 and was buried in Glenwood Cem, Mills Co, IA 3.)


John next married Abbie M. HANNA, daughter of Andrew HANNA and Eliza CHALFANT, on 2 Feb 1899 in Glenwood, Mills Co, IA.1 (Abbie M. HANNA was born on 11 Mar 1851 in OH,5 died on 16 Jan 1936 in Mills Co, IA 6 and was buried in Glenwood Cem, Mills Co, IA 6.)



1 Mills Co, IA Marriages.

2 History of Mills Co, IA - 1985 (1985).

3 Mills Co, IA WPA Graves Registration.

4 Mills Co, IA Deaths.

5 1900 IA Census.

6 Iowa Gravestone Photo Project.

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