VETERANS OF THE CIVIL WAR: REASON P. BRITTON
BY KAREN HANSEN
I have been writing articles on Civil War Veterans to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the war. In the October 2003 ACR, we listed the Iowa GAR Post Records from J. A. Dix Post #408 at Walnut, Iowa. Reason P. Britton was listed as living in 1886; the place was Hancock, Iowa. I did not find him buried there nor at Walnut, so I had to do some searching and familysearch.org and ancestry.com were very helpful.
Reason was the 9th child born to James Boyd Britton born in Trenton, New Jersey on October 31, 1800, and Hanna Porter, born in 1802. Reason was born March 6, 1844 in Ohio and his mother died in 1844. His father married 3 more times and had 5 more children.
Britton enlisted as a Private in Company C. 32nd Ohio Infantry on March 31, 1864 at Newark, Ohio. After serving his time, he was discharged on July 20, 1865 at Louisville, Kentucky. He had suffered a gunshot wound in his left thigh.
On April 17, 1867, Reason married Minerva M. Harris in Knox County, Ohio; she was a resident of the county. James Harris Britton was born to them on January 19, 1868 in Ohio. James’ death certificate mistakenly lists Una Glee, who was his half-sister, as his mother. A second son, Albertus Warner Britton, was born to Reason and “Maggie” Minerva in 1869. She died November 10, 1869 in Johnson County, Iowa.
R. P. Britton, age 30, married Hettie A. Rogers on July 12, 1874 at Mount Ayr, Iowa.
In the 1880 Census, Reason was 36, a school teacher, married to Hettie A., 26, and lived in Shelby, Iowa.
In 1885, they were living on Delta Street in Hancock, Iowa. He was teaching; their ages were 41, 30 and 9. On July 19, 1875, Reason had applied for a pension as an invalid. He was first admitted to a National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, West Branch, at Leavenworth, Kansas on June 21, 1893. He was 49, 5’ 9” tall, dark complexion, blue eyes, gray hair, could read and write, Protestant religion, married, teacher, residence subsequent to discharge was Walnut, Iowa. His wife, Hettie A. Britton, lived at University Place in Des Moines, Iowa.
The town of Walnut was their home in the 1895 Census. He was still teaching; their ages were 50, 40 and 19. The handwriting looks like Scott County for the birth of Hettie and Poweshiek County for Glee (Una G.). Liberals was their religion.
The 1900 Census shows that they lived in James Township, Pottawattamie County, Iowa and were renting a house. Reason’s birth date was March 1844, Hettie’s was April 1854 and Una Glee’s was August 1876. All were listed as teachers, but Reason had been unemployed for 12 months. Hettie had only the one child.
In 1905, Reason Britton was listed in the Des Moines City Directory, but he was discharged and readmitted to the home at Leavenworth 3 times in the early years of 1900. On June 11, 1907, he was admitted to the Mountain Branch of the Homes at Johnson City, Tennessee and was dropped from the rolls on September 4, 1907.
In 1910, he was 65 and a patient in Knoxville Ward 3, Marion, Iowa (U. S. Veterans Hospital No. 57) and was listed as divorced. However, his death record says that he was married.
He was admitted to the Central Branch of the Homes at Dayton, Ohio in 1915. Reason P. Britton died on January 21, 1919 from chronic myocarditis at Jefferson Township, Montgomery County, Ohio and is buried at the Dayton National Cemetery. A photo of his military stone is on findagrave and there is a link to his son’s memorial.