Viola S. Courter and John W. Hannah were united in Holy Matrimony atan 8:00 P.M. ceremony on July 2, 1891 at the Methodist parsonage in Salem , Ia. by the Rev. Tomas S. Pool. Reverend Pool's daughter played the organ and his young son, Robert D. who as blind played the violin.
In 1897 they bought their first farm land which was located near the Hannah homestead. Part of this farm was in timber. There was no house, just a barn. John W. with the help of his oldest brother , Frank, and the loving care of his wife, Viola, cut the trees and had them made into logs and cordwood for fuel. From the logs they built a one-room log cabin.
Everyone called Viola by the nickname of "Birdie". Her mother had given Viola that name when she was a young girl because she was always singing, whistling, and imitating birds. Viola loved nature. ;Viola's father (Peter Courter) was the only one who called her Viola.
John W. was always known as John W. or "Honest John". His father's name was John. John W. also had a nephew by the name of John R. It was necessary to say "John W." so that others would know which John you were speaking about.
John and Viola's only son, Harold, was born in the log cabin. . He lived only a few hours. Birdie sewed a little white dress by hand to lay him away in. He was buried under an arch of lilacs in the northeast corner in his grandfather Hannah's front yard. Later two little blue -eyed girls were born in this log cabin. One of these little girls, Belle, only weighed 2 1/2 pounds, mighty tiny and delicate. Through faith and good care her parents, with the help of her 3 older sisters , raisedher through those very anxious days and months. Esther Ruth was born ona cold Friday evening in February. They were sure this one would be aboy, but five girls were mighty nice and precious. A loft was built overone end of the log cabin where Reil, Bertha, and Mary slept.
The girls climbed a ladder to the loft to get to their bed. Belle and Esther slept in a cradle bed that rolled under their parents bed when not in use during the day.
A landmark on the farm was a huge, tall, round rock located just a little way north of the log cabin. It was large enough that five to six children could stand on it at one time. The girls used to go down here with their dolls and play on the rock or play in the water by it. The rock is still there.
Several years later they bought another eighty acres to the west. It had a nice house and other buildings on it.
John W. and Birdie worked long hard hours together , clearing timberand milking ten cows. Birdie churned butter and took ten one-gallon crocks of butter into Mt. Pleasant to sell every week along with eggs she sold for five to fifteen cents a dozen. John W. cut trees, worked them up into cordwood, and delivered the wood nine miles into Mt. Pleasant to sell for fuel.
In 1913 they sold the farm and bought a grocery and variety store in Morning Sun , Ia. Here again they worked long hours side by side for 28 years in this business. They also bought and sold butter, eggs, and tested cream from farmers. Birdie had to have cataract surgery as she was going blind. They sold the store and retired in 1941.
Birdie was a member of G.A.R. and attended a National Convention in Ohio one year.
There were times in their 59 years of life together when shadows veiled the days but with faith and prayer they made their way.
by Esther (Hannah) Richardson.
Mt. Pleasant Weekly News Dec. 24, 1902
REAL ESTATE TRANSFERS
The following are the transfers from Dec 22nd to 29th, 1902
John Hannah and wife to John W. Hannah. 22 acres Section 15 Jackson township. $1200.00
SALEM NEWS May 4, 1905 Surrounding News, Jackson Twp.
John Hannah Jr., returned home Friday evening from Balkesburg where he has been engaged in teaching the past year.
Mt. Pleasant News, Jan. 30, 1950
John W. Hannah Dies.
John W. Hannah, 79, Morning Sun, died there at 6 a.m. Monday morning. He was a retired merchant. Robert F. Hannah of Mt. Pleasant, a brother , is one of the survivors.
Morning Sun News-Herald, February 2, 1950; Morning Sun, Louisa County, Iowa
JOHN W. HANNAH FUNERAL WEDNESDAY
Funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock in the First Presbyterian church for John W. Hannah, retired Morning Sun businessman and resident of this place since 1913.
Mr. Hannah, 80 years old, had been in declining health for several months and died at his home here early Monday morning. Normally a man of vigorous habits, he was able to carry on heavy work until about a year ago. For 27 years Mr. and Mrs. Hannah operated a grocery store in Morning Sun and became known to many people of this community. They retired from business in 1940, but Mr. Hannah had worked steadily at farming and various other jobs since that time. He was a member of the DonaldsonM. E. Church.
John Warren Hannah was the son of John and Catherine Seaton Hannah. He was born on a farm near Mt. Pleasant on July 30, 1870. On July 2, 1891 he was married to Viola S. Courter by the Reverend T. S. Poole at Salem, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Hannah farmed in the Mt. Pleasant vicinity until 1913 when they moved to Morning Sun.
Surviving are the widow and five daughters; Mrs. S. N. Walker, Morning Sun; Mrs. Bertha McDowell, New London; Mrs. M. J. Hickenbottom, Alameda, California; Mrs. Ollie Oakley, Morning Sun; and Mrs. R. R. Richardson, Crawfordsville. Also surviving are 15 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, a brother, Robert Hannah, Mt. Pleasant; and a sister, Mrs. Jennie Pickard, Mt. Pleasant. A son, Harold, his parents, 3 brothers, 3 sisters, and 4 grandchildren preceded him in death.
Funeral services were in charge of Reverend O. L. Byrns and burial was in Elmwood cemetery by the side of Leroy Hickenbottom, grandson of Mr. Hannah.
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