Civil War Veteran: Ira H. Dyson



I. H. Dyson, Co. D, 6th Iowa Cav. is all the writing that appears on the old military gravestone in the south part of the Layton Township Cemetery in Walnut, Iowa.  It is a standard Civil War military marker on which neither the birth or death dates of the deceased soldier were recorded.  So the mystery was to find out some information about this United States Veteran of the Civil War.

A short announcement of his death was located in The Walnut Bureau newspaper dated October 5, 1888 on page 1.  The three short paragraphs follow:

“I. H. Dyson, for many years a practicing physician of this place, died this morning at 4:20 o’clock.  His demise was sudden and wholly unexpected, although he had been in poor health for over a year.  We are not informed at this early hour as to the immediate cause of his death.

“Deceased was highly respected as a citizen and stood well as a physician.  The funeral services will take place from the Presbyterian church next Sunday forenoon at 10 o’clock.

“He was a member in good standing of John A. Dix post, G.A.R, under whose auspices the funeral will be held.”

In the year prior to his passing, I found three articles in various The Walnut Bureau  newspapers concerning an accident and some subsequent treatment. 

“Tuesday noon, while Dr. and Alex. Dyson were driving into town, the buggy seat broke and the top came down, frightening the team, and throwing the occupants out, slightly injuring Alex.  Dr. Dyson was not so fortunate however, sustaining severe internal injuries.  Yesterday his symptoms were of such a character that Dr. Emmert, of Atlantic, was sent for, who pronounced the case a serious one.”  (The Walnut Bureau, July 7, 1887)

“Last Friday, Dr. Soloman, of Avoca, furnished affidavit that Dr. I. H. Dyson, was insane, and accordingly, he was taken to Council Bluffs Saturday, where the commissioners examined him and confirmed Dr. Solomon’s opinion.  Saturday evening he was taken to Mt. Pleasant for treatment.  Dr. Dyson has many friends at and around this place, and all will extremely regret this, the outcome of the injuries which he sustained some time since.”  (The Walnut Bureau, August 18, 1887)

“Advices received from the asylum at Mt. Pleasant, relative to the condition of Dr. Dyson, are of the most encouraging nature.  The physician in charge regards the Dr.’s derangement as only temporary, and one from which he will speedily recover.”  (The Walnut Bureau, September 15, 1887)

A Probate record for the Circuit Court of Avoca, Iowa listed two heirs for the decedent (Ira H. Dyson).  It showed them to be Ella Viola Dyson of the age of 21 residing in Brooklings, Dakota, and Maklin(?) Dyson of the age of 18 years residing at Brooklin, Dakota.  The Administrator also filed the affidavit of Theresa M. Burlingam(?) and of Alonzo G. Gates and Lucy A. Gates all of Brooklings County, Dakota, testifying that Ella and Maklin(?) were the only heirs of the decedent.

A military record was located that showed Ira H. Dyson was born in Mercer County, Pennsylvania.  He was a 19-year-old farmer with residence in Winneshiek County, Iowa when he enlisted as a Private in Company D of the 6th Iowa Cavalry on December 15, 1862.  His final discharge was on February 18, 1863 for physical disability.   

My next step was to search some census records to see if we could find the parents of Ira H. Dyson.  In 1850, Ira Dyson at age 10 was located in Hickory, Mercer County, Pennsylvania with James Dyson, age 49 and Elizabeth Dyson, age 46 who we assume were his parents.  Others listed were: Delila, 18; Augustus, 16; Margaret, 14; Thomas, 12; Jasiak B., 8; Alexander, 6; William Byress, 4.  This would support the fact that Ira and Alexander were brothers. 

On the 1880 Census for Harlan, Shelby County, Iowa Ira Dyson, age 36, was enumerated with his brother Alexander Dyson, age 32 and wife Minerva Dyson, age 27.  They also had a son James A., age 5 and a daughter Gertrude Dyson, age 1.  Ira Dyson’s occupation was listed as a physician.  His birth was listed as “abt 1844″ at Ohio.  Some differences from the 1850 census information.

The Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929 had a listing for Ira H. Dyson born in 1841 and his type of practice being Allopath and License for Iowa, 1886.

My husband, John Butcher’s, paternal grandmother Emma VanBuren was married several times.  One of her marriages was to Alexander Dyson, a younger brother of Ira.