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John C Herriman
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Birth: Sep. 20, 1811, Canada
Death: May 4, 1891
Van Buren County
Iowa, USA

John C Herriman, my maternal 3rd Great-Grandfather, (the C may stand for Cass - the middle name given to his son Lewis) was born, the story goes, in French Canada. Beyond that I don't know specifically where. He was a blacksmith by trade. He married Julia Ann Nedrow Aug 10, 1839 in Coshocton Co., Ohio. The marriage license reads "Mr. John Harriman and Julian Nedro (or Nidre)".

John served in the Civil War in two Union regiments: Feb 10, 1862 he enlisted with Co. A, 2nd Reg't Missouri State Militia Cavalry as a private. His term of service was listed as "War y'rs". He was listed as "45 years of age, 5'10" in height, Hazel eyes, Gray Hair, born Canada, occupation blacksmith." His age was actually 50 in 1862. July 16, 1863 he was discharged for "old age". John then enlisted with Co. I, 9th Cavalry Regiment Iowa as a Bugler on October 8, 1863 at the "age of 42". He was actually 52. His service in these two regiments can be verified by viewing his Civil War Pension record filed by his widow, Dianna (2nd wife), May 22, 1891. She lists both regiments on the card. John was mustered out of the 9th Cavalry Regiment September 6, 1865 in Davenport, Iowa.

Julia Ann Nedrow and John had 6 children; Samantha, Charles Hance, John D C, Lodema Ann, Lewis Cass and Oliver P. Samantha was born Oct 1840 and Oliver P, the last child, was born in 1848.

Somewhere between John's enlistment in Feb 1862 and Dec 1866, Julia Ann divorced or simply left John (or vice versa). It may have been while he was serving in the Civil War. In later census records she lists herself as "widowed" and then "divorced" - perhaps deciding on divorced after John's second marriage.

John then married his 2nd wife, Dianna(h) Mary Collins, Jan 8, 1867. Dianna had a daughter named Jennett M Monhollen by a previous husband. In the 1870 census Jennett is listed as above. In the 1880 census she is listed as Jennett Herriman. She is not living with her mother and John as of the Iowa 1885 state census.

John lived the rest of his life as a blacksmith in the area of Kilbourne, Lick Creek Township, Van Buren Co., Iowa and is buried there in Kilbourne Cemetery. Note - the woman buried next to John is Catherine Beebout Meeks, the mother of his second wife, Diana Meeks. Where his 2nd wife is buried is unknown at this point in time.

Late one night I stumbled upon the following information. I enter it here because it's a fascinating story from the book "HISTORY OF Washington County, Iowa - From the First White Settlements to 1908" written by Howard A. Burrell and published in 1909. We find the following:
"A fourth murder. John C. Herriman was indicted for killing David H. Miller, on A. J. Disney's farm in Marion (township) August 9. '48. Herriman was an ex-Ohio convict, and was violent when drunk. Talk of challenging his vote enraged him. He was not challenged, but was mad anyhow. Miller riding up with a child, dismounted, and Herriman voided profanity and obscenity on him, and when Miller asked "What are you going to do about it?" drew a gun and shot him dead. After one continuance, the case was tried, he was convicted and sentenced to be hung November 17, '48. On that day there was an Apocalypse of Human Nature in the raw, with the bark on. Sheriff Jonathan H. Wilson had erected a gallows on amphitheater ground east of and adjoining the city cemetery, that a vast crowd of rubber-necks and morbid folk might have a nice roost from which to see a man die like a rat in a trap. Folk came for miles and miles all around, men, refined women, tender children, and camped out, cooked rations, slept overnight in the open, to be sure of having a good place to see the tragedy. When a messenger came dashing up on foaming horse with a stay of execution, that crowd suddenly filled themselves with Helen Blazes, and cussed the welkin blue. Sweet populace, wa-n't it? Christian? Civilized? Noble humanity! The upshot was, the supreme court reversed the judgment of the court below; a new trial, in Fairfield, was granted, and a judgment of manslaughter was reached, and he was sentenced to eight years at Fort Madison, but after three years Gov. Hempstead pardoned him."

The language used in writing this story is quite colorful and of the time period. I have created a timeline surrounding the odds that this is my family's John C. Herriman and the pieces all fall into place. Washington Co. sits next to Henry Co., which borders Lee and Van Buren counties in Iowa, all counties the family lived in while John was in prison. Following the census records and where his wife Julia Ann and the children lived during John's incarceration convinced me this was indeed the story. Plus, I finally found the census record for Fort Madison, Lee Co., Iowa where John served his time in the Fort Madison Penitentiary (established 1839). He is indeed listed there as "John C "Herreman convict" - note spelling of last name.

What John's children knew about his history is unknown, but all 6 children grew up to be fine citizens.

Family links: 
  Julia A Nedrow Herriman (1820 - 1890)
  Samantha Herriman Camblin (1840 - 1930)*
  Charles Hance Herriman (1843 - 1927)*
  John D. C. Herriman (1844 - 1918)*
  Lewis Cass Herriman (1847 - 1907)*
*Calculated relationship
Kilbourne Cemetery
Van Buren County
Iowa, USA
Maintained by: Connie McKinley
Originally Created by: Roxanne Jenkins Riggan
Record added: Oct 29, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 79526319
John C Herriman
Added by: Connie McKinley
John C Herriman
Added by: Roxanne Jenkins Riggan
John C Herriman
Added by: Roxanne Jenkins Riggan
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