Jane E. Harris was an early pioneer of Mitchell Co. IA. She was born in New York and it was there that she married Caleb C. Tubbs of Steuben County. Together they set out from New York, and in 1855 settled in West Mitchell, Cedar Twp. Mitchell Co. IA.
There are many mysteries involving Jane’s life, and virtually nothing is known at this time of her childhood in New York. Family records state that she was born in Chemung Co. NY in 1835, and that she married Caleb Colvin Tubbs in 1846. If these dates are correct, Jane would have been a mere 13 yrs old when she was married to Caleb.
It is known that Jane and Caleb had at least one child that was born and died while they were still residing in New York. Hiram Tubbs was born in 1850 and died in 1851. He is buried at the Woodhull Cemetery, Woodhull, Steuben Co. NY
The History of Mitchell County, written in 1883, mentions various names of early settlers including Daniel J. Tubbs, and C.C. Tubbs. Daniel J. Tubbs was a cousin of Caleb Colvin Tubbs. Jane’s name is not mentioned in that particular document, but her obituary states that she came to Iowa in 1855 with her husband. No mention is made of any children arriving with them.
One can only imagine all the hardships Jane and Caleb must have faced their first year in Mitchell County. The years 1855-56 are known to have been difficult ones in Mitchell County with both a harsh winter and late spring. Regardless of the brutal conditions, they stayed, and made their first settlement at West Mitchell, Cedar Twp.
Sometime between 1855 and 1859, Jane and Caleb apparently moved south from the area of West Mitchell to a farm just west of Osage.
On March 7, 1859 Charles Jackson Tubbs was born to Jane and Caleb.
Ruth (Tubbs) Coonradt, daughter of Charles Tubbs, wrote in a letter dated December 27, 1989, "I have heard my Dad say that he was born on what was later called the Stacy Farm west of Osage." "As you turned south to go to Spring Park, he was born off to the left next to the river."
Eleven months later, on January 29, 1860, a sister, Mary J. Tubbs joined the family. Three years later in 1863 a brother, Silas G. Tubbs joined them as well.
Evidently there were more children born to this union as Jane’s obituary states that she was the mother if nine children. The letter from Ruth (Tubbs) Coonradt also states that, "my father had twin brothers buried in the Austin Cemetery which we used to pass on our way to Kenyon, Minn." "He often said as we went by there that he would like to look up their graves someday." It is not known why the twin baby boys would have been taken as far as Austin for burial, and to date no record of their burial has been found. One possibility is that Daniel Tubbs, a cousin of Caleb, who had settled just south of Austin, Mower County MN, had something to do with that area being chosen for burial.
Six children of Jane’s have been at least somewhat accounted for, yet three remain unknown. Jane’s obituary tells us that all of her children preceded her "to the other shore" except for Charles and Mary, (Silas had died in 1896). From various records it can be ascertained that Jane and Caleb had only three children that survived to adulthood, Charles (married Ruth Clark), Mary (married first a Packard and then John Wagner), and Silas (married Martha Packard).
Sometime between 1864 and 1869, Jane and Caleb were divorced. It was also during this time that Jane apparently moved back up to near Mitchell.
On April 12, 1870, Jane married Sidney Smith. From various census records it is known that Jane and Sidney were neighbors, both living near Mitchell, Cedar Twp.
Sidney Smith, otherwise known as "One Armed Sid", was born in England April 22, 1829 and came with his wife Anne to Mitchell County. The known children of Sidney and Ann are William, Silas, and Sarah J. Smith. Sometime before 1870 Sidney and Ann were divorced, but it is interesting to note that in the 1895 census for Mitchell Co. Ann, along with her children William and Sarah, are found living in the home of Sidney and Jane.
Jane was affectionately known as the "Vegetable Lady" in and around Osage. She sold fresh vegetables from her horse drawn carriage for many years, and was a familiar face within her community.
Jane’s obituary tells us that in June of 1902 she became ill at the home of Frank Eaton. It goes on to say that after a few days "she was removed to her home on the river road toward Mitchell in the afternoon, and died in the evening." It is unclear who Frank Eaton was and what his connection to Jane might have been, but she evidently remained in his care for 5 days, from Saturday June 18th until Wednesday June 22nd, when she died.
Jane’s funeral service was held at the Methodist Church in Mitchell and she was laid to rest at Oak Grove Cemetery at Mitchell.
In 1909, her husband Sidney Smith was interred at Oak Grove Cemetery beside her. Also on the Tubbs/Smith family lot is Silas G. Tubbs 1863-1896, and an unknown Martha Tubbs 1886-1895.
Some interesting notes about Jane;
1850 Steuben Co. NY, age 17, DOB 1833
1856 Mitchell Co. IA, age 21, DOB 1835
1885 Mitchell Co. IA, age 46, DOB 1839
1895 Mitchell Co. IA, age 56, DOB 1839
Death Certificate, DOB, 1833
Headstone at Oak Grove Cemetery, DOB 1833
Family Records, DOB 1835
Obituary~ Jane Eliza Harris
Family Records~ Jane Eliza Harris
Death Certificate~ Jane Elisabeth Harris
Burial Record~ Jane Elizabeth Harris
Written by Kathy Pike, July 2003 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Sidney Smith
The following obituary is handed to us of Mrs. Sidney Smith, who resided near the river between here and Mitchell. She was known by many as the woman who sold vegetables.
Jane Eliza Harris was born in Chemung county New York, June 22 1833. There her childhood life was spent. In the early fifties she was married to Caleb C. Tubbs and with him came to Iowa in 1855, settling in West Mitchell.
She was the mother of nine children; all of whom preceded her to the “other shore” save Mr. Charles Tubbs and Mrs. Mary Packard who are with us today.
She was married to her now bereaved husband Sidney Smith in 1870. She knew what it was to suffer; this, coupled with a kindly and generous heart enabled her to sympathize with those that suffer and prompted her to help those that needed help. Her husband could truly say of her, “She was a wife loving and beloved” and her children say, “She was always a good mother.”
She was seriously ill last Saturday and on Wednesday afternoon July 2nd she closed her eyes on scenes of earth to open them as we humbly trust in a kindlier climate.
Funeral services were held at the M.E. church in Mitchell and the body of the deceased was laid to rest in Oak Grove cemetery.
Osage Journal Wednesday July 9, 1902
Obituary of Mrs. Smith (Jane Eliza Harris/Tubbs Smith)
SUDDEN DEATH OF MRS. SMITH
News reached us last evening that Mrs. Smith, the vegetable vendor, who was taken ill the first of the week at the home of Frank Eaton, after being removed to her home on the river road toward Mitchell, yesterday afternoon, died in the evening. She has been a prominent figure on the streets of Osage for many years, and will be missed by all of our citizens.
Deceased was the wife of Sidney Smith. She leaves two children besides the sorrowful husband to mourn her loss. The remains will be interred in the Mitchell cemetery Saturday.
The Osage News, Osage Iowa. Thursday July 3, 1902
Obituary of Jane E. Harris/Tubbs Smith
Jane Eliza Harris was born in Chemung county New York June 22, 1833.
There her childhood was spent. In the early fifties she was married to
Caleb C. Tubbs and with him came to Iowa in 1855, settling in West Mitchell.
She was the mother of nine children, all of whom preceded her to the other shore save Mr. Charles Tubbs and Mrs. Mary Packard who are with us today. She was married a second time to Mr. Sidney Smith in 1879. (Note-should say 1870)
She knew what it was to suffer; this coupled with a kindly and generous heart enabled her to sympathize with those that suffer and prompted her to help those who needed help. Her husband could truly say, “she was a wife loving and beloved” and her children say “ she was always a good mother to us.”
She was taken seriously ill last Saturday and on Wednesday July 2nd she closed her eyes to scenes of earth to open them, we humbly trust, in a kindlier clime. Funeral services were held at the M.E. church in Mitchell, conducted by the pastor, and the body of the deceased was laid to rest in Oak Grove cemetery.
Card of Thanks
The undersigned, husband and children of the late Eliza J. Smith (Note-should
say Jane Eliza Smith) desire to publicly thank all who so kindly aided
us in our time of sorrow and need.
Mrs. Mary Packard
The Osage News, Osage Iowa. Thursday July 10, 1902
Transcribed by Kathy Pike August 2, 2003
TUBBS- In Sherburn, Minn, Nov. 22nd, Caleb C. Tubbs, aged 65 years 7
Mr. Tubbs was the father of Silas Tubbs of this place and came from Mitchell Co. Iowa last spring to spend the remaining years of his life with his son. He was taken sick about two weeks ago and the sickness resulted in his death last Saturday. The funeral services were held from the Baptist church Sunday afternoon, Rev. J. Brown officiating.
Sherburn, Martin Co. MN newspaper, dated November 29, 1890
Card of Thanks
Silas Tubbs and family wish to express their sincere thanks to their many friends for the services so cheerfully rendered in the late sickness and death of their bereaved relative, Caleb C. Tubbs.
-Died, on the 22nd, Mr. Tubbs of Iowa. He was here visiting his son Silas and daughter Mrs. C.M. Packard. Funeral services at Baptist church last Sunday by Elder Brown.
Sherburn, Martin Co. MN newspaper November 27, 1890
(Added note- Caleb Colvin Tubbs died November 11, 1890)
Transcribed by Kathy Pike August 2, 2003
|On March 7, 1859 Charles Jackson Tubbs was born in Mitchell County
Iowa to early pioneers of Mitchell County, Caleb and Jane (Harris) Tubbs.
Ruth (Tubbs) Coonradt, daughter of Charles Tubbs, wrote in a letter dated December 27, 1989, “I have heard my Dad say that he was born on what was later called the Stacy Farm west of Osage.” “As you turned south to go to Spring Park, he was born off to the left next to the river.”
Eleven months later, on January 29, 1860, a sister, Mary J. Tubbs joined the family and three years later in 1863 a brother, Silas G. Tubbs joined them as well.
Here beside the river, in the still untamed wilderness
of Mitchell County, Charles spent his early childhood. Charles’ father
Caleb was a farmer and as Charles got a little older there was undoubtedly
plenty of work to keep Charles busy around the farm.
When Charles was about 8 years old, his parents divorced. It is unclear where Charles spent those years leading to adulthood, but by 1880 at the age of 21, he was living in Cedar Twp. Mitchell Co. in the home of Thomas and Jane Clark. It appears as though Charles had been hired by Thomas Clark to be a farmhand.
An interesting thing happened about this time. Thomas and Jane Clark’s daughter Ruth Ann returned home to Mitchell Co. after spending most of her childhood with her grandparents in Stoughton Wisconsin. Ruth was just 19 years old when she first set eyes on her father’s farmhand Charles Tubbs, and it was apparently love at first sight.
Charles and Ruth were married just months later on February 22, 1881 at the Methodist Church in Osage. Years later it was laughingly recalled that on their wedding day, snow was piled as high as the windows, and the bride and groom were unceremoniously thrown into a snowdrift when their cutter overturned, before they were even out of sight of the Clark home.
On May 18, 1883, Charles and Ruth welcomed their first child, Clayton Eugene Tubbs. Clayton was soon followed by brothers John “Ray” in 1886 and Earl Clark in 1891.
Sad news came to the Tubbs’ home in July 1895. Charles’ sister-in-law Martha, wife of his brother Silas had died. Sadness came to the Tubbs’ home again just 7 months later with the news that Silas had been killed while logging in Itasca County Minnesota. With the deaths of both Martha and Silas, a decision was made that Charles and Ruth would take in Silas’s now orphaned daughters, Josie age 5 ½ and Jessie age 3 ½.
By this time Charles was almost 37 years old and Ruth was almost 35. Clayton was 12, Ray was 10, and Earl just 4 when Josie and Jessie Tubbs joined the family. Just 9 months later, on November 28, 1896, Ruth gave birth to her last child, Ruth Gladys Tubbs. One can only imagine the challenges that Charles and Ruth must have faced having gone from a small family with just 3 sons, to having a family of 3 boys and 3 girls, 6 children in all, within a matter of months.
Charles and his family farmed for fifteen years on what was known as the J.R. James farm south of Osage. They also farmed in various other places around Mitchell County.
In 1919 after 38 of farming, Charles and Ruth retired from the hardships of farm life and moved into the town of Osage where they lived at 611 Park Street. By this time their children had grown to adulthood and were beginning families of their own.
On February 22, 1931 Charles and Ruth celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary with a party hosted by their children at the home of son Ray. Due to the mild weather on this February day, all of their children were able to attend.
Just 3 short years later, Ruth died leaving Charles a widower. Shortly after this devastating loss, Charles went to live in the home of his some Earl, and it was here that he died March 25, 1935 just a year after his beloved wife.
Charles’ funeral was held at the Methodist Church in Osage and he was laid to rest beside his wife Ruth at Osage Cemetery.
Note on Charles Jackson Tubbs:
1880 Cedar Twp. Mitchell Co. IA age 21
1895 Rock Twp. Mitchell Co. IA age 35
1910 Rock Twp. Mitchell Co. IA age 57
1911 Mitchell Co. Atlas
Tubbs, C. J. & Family: Born in Mitchell County March 7, 1859; Mrs. March 16, 1861
1911, Leading Farmers of Mitchell County, Iowa
Tubbs, C.J. Rock Twp
Written by Kathy Pike
Austin, MN August 4, 2003
Published On Tri-Counties Site On 23 AUG 2003
By Joyce M. Tice
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