NAUGLE AND LINFOR FAMILIES
BY JIM HANSEN
As Karen, Lillee, and I worked in the Layton Township/Walnut Cemetery last summer, a small monument that was broken into several pieces attracted our immediate attention. Someone had tried to repair the stone a number of years ago with iron straps and a welder. Since then, all pieces of the monument had fallen out of its metal containment and it looked so sad. The piece with the name was not there, but we did find most of the date of death, April 1876, and age of the person, 26 y’s, 8 m’s, 1 da., on the remaining pieces. A little math told us the person’s birth date was about August 1849. There were several other burials on the 20’ x 20’ lot, which had been purchased by John Naugle. The adjoining 20’ x 20’ lot to the west had been purchased by John’s brother-in-law William H. Linfor. Additional names on the lots are Walden, a Linfor relative and Johnson, in-laws of John F. Naugle.
Since the year of death on the broken stone was 1876 and there was no Walnut newspaper until 1878, we wouldn’t find an obituary. We decided to search the Federal Census records for each of the four family names. If we could find a person with an age that was close in more than one census, maybe we could narrow the search and look at the 1880 and later census records to see if they were missing. Adelbert Naugle was 1 year old in the 1850 Census and 20 years old in the 1870 Census, but did not appear in any future records. The age recorded on the stone matched that of Adelbert. We located a family member with a tree on ancestry, who had the birth record of August 3, 1849. The family had lost track of Adelbert and we were able to share information with them.
Adelbert Naugle’s family members were all born in New York State. Per the 1850 Federal Census taken in Illinois their ages were father, Garrett, 36; mother, Mary J., 32; William, 10; Sarah J., 9; John Frederick, 7; Augustus, 4; and Adelbert, 1. They lived in Ottawa, LaSalle County, Illinois before moving in 1869 to Grove Township, Pottawattamie County, Iowa. Garrett was listed as a shoemaker in the 1850 Census and as a farmer in the 1870 Census. Four of the five children of Garrett and Mary J. died between the ages of 19 and 34 years.
Also living in LaSalle County, Illinois in 1850 was the Linfor family: William Sr., 40; Diana, 46; John, 15; William Jr., 10; Sarah, 6; and Robert, 4. The Wm. and Diana Linfor family members were all born in England. William Linfor, Jr. married Sarah Jane Naugle on February 21, 1865 in LaSalle County, Illinois.
Civil War – The three eldest Naugle sons of Garrett served for the Union during the Civil War. William H. died at the Battle of Vicksburg May 22, 1863. Augustus Emmett died June 23, 1865. John Frederick survived and eventually applied for a Civil War Pension on April 4, 1879. Two of the Linfor sons of William, Sr., John and Robert, also served and both survived.
Iowa – William Linfor, Sr. and wife stayed in Illinois. The Wm. Linfor, Jr. family moved to Grove Township, Pottawattamie County, Iowa at about the same time in 1869 as the Naugle family and they were neighbors in 1870.
Walnut – John Frederick Naugle and his wife, Emma Oliphant Johnson Naugle, and family moved to Walnut, Iowa in 1874. Wm. and Sarah Naugle Linfor sold their Grove Township farm and equipment by auction on January 20, 1874 and also moved to Walnut. John Naugle and Wm. Linfor started an agricultural implement partnership in March of 1874 at “Walnut Station,” as the town of Walnut had been called from its beginnings just four years earlier.
Avoca Delta, Thursday, June 4, 1874, p.2
In April of 1874, John’s wife Emma O. Naugle made a trip to Chicago, Ill. to purchase enough millinery goods to have a large stock in her new business on the second story of the implement business.
Avoca Delta, Thursday, Dec. 3, 1874 ‒ Feb. 11, 1875, p. 1
Linfor and Naugle filled their store with a large stock of general merchandise. An addition was put on the store in May of 1874. Wm. Linfor purchased John Naugle’s share of the business in June of that same year. Within 5 months, John Naugle had opened his new business of hardware and groceries on Walnut’s Central Street. Linfor put up a new sign painted by an Avoca artist.
As the 1870’s progressed, J. F. Naugle’s name appeared less frequently in the Walnut newspaper. Some time before 1880, he and Emma went back to Grove Township, and by 1900 he and his wife had moved to Sterling, Colorado, where they remained. They both died there in 1918 and are buried there.
William H. Linfor, Jr. became a prominent citizen of Walnut. He was the first mayor and served three terms in that capacity. He also served as an officer on the Volunteer Fire Department, was the Layton Township Justice of the Peace and a Pottawattamie County Supervisor. William served as the Justice of the Peace and Acting Coroner at the Coroner’s Inquisition on May 26, 1875 regarding the shooting of a horse thief, by the local marshal, just south of the Walnut city limits. His business interests were several, from an implement and general stock dealer to insurance and real estate.
The first burials on the Naugle lot at the Walnut Cemetery were probably the young sons of John and Emma, Freddie and Orvie Naugle. Their stone gives no birth or death dates. Adelbert Naugle is John’s brother and is buried between their parents, Garrett and Mary Jane Conner Naugle. Emma Naugle’s parents, John and Elizabeth Huston Johnson, and sister, Caroline Johnson are also buried on this lot.
The Linfor lot was purchased by William H. Linfor when his first wife, Sarah Naugle Linfor, passed away in 1875. William is buried between Sarah and his second wife, Lodema Taylor Linfor. Their infant son, Frederick is resting next to Lodema. Their adult daughter, Elsie Linfor Walden, is next to her infant brother and I believe there are more unmarked graves on this lot as well as on the Naugle lot.