Many of my friends know that I spent my early years in Ottumwa, Iowa which is the county seat of Wapello County.
Wapello County was created in February 1843 and was named for Wapella or Chief Wapello who was a chief of the Mesquakees. He was born in 1787 in what is today Wisconsin and died on March 15, 1842 after getting sick on a hunting trip near Ottumwa, Iowa.
However, I have some very old family roots in Wapello County. My 3rd great-grandfather Silas Calvin Ramsey lived in Pleasant Township back in 1854. The entry below him in the census is his father-in-law Adam Sears, who is of course my 4th great-grandfather.
Adam Sears was a Restoration Movement preacher which is quite interesting as almost a hundred years later a Restoration Movement Bible school was founded in Ottumwa which is where my parents met.
In the 1856 census they have a Competine, Iowa address. The tiny village of Competine is where the red flag is on the map. I don’t know exactly where they lived, but since they lived in Pleasant Township it would have been to the south.
I also have a Braman ancestor who lived in Wapello County in the early days. In 1873 my 2nd great-grandfather Joseph Harvey Braman was living in Chillicothe, Iowa. He did not live there long as by 1880 his family was living in Hamburg, Iowa.
It is always interesting for me to see how my ancestors moved across the country. Wapello County was definitely a very significant place for my family.