A History of Wapello County – American Revolution Soldier

revolution   Jonathan R. Woody was born June 15, 1756 in a Quaker settlement of Surry County, North Carolina. He died April 18, 1850 in Wapello County, Iowa.

He was a revolutionary war veteran and is buried in a disused cemetery in Dahlonega, Iowa . He died at the home of his son William B. Woody in Dahlonega, Iowa. He had moved there in 1845 after the death of his wife in Dahlonega, Georgia.

Jonathan married Mary Lovell of South Carolina in 1776 by whom he became the father of 9 children, 5 sons and 4 daughters. Three of these children died as infants, and 4 are accounted for in the Berry Diary — John, James, Letticia, and William B.(Berry). The name of the fifth child is unknown. Jonathan Woody was a most remarkable man – apparently very active, both mentally and physically, nearly all his long life.

After the Revolutionary War he moved to South Carolina where he raised his family and lived most of his life and then to Georgia . It is said at the age of about 90 he rode a horse to Dahlonega, Iowa (founded by him and named for Dahlonega, Georgia). A tough old man. Said to likely be the only Revolutionary War Veteran buried in Iowa.

The Dahlonega Cemetery in Wapello County, Iowa is now abandoned although a few people who have family members buried there try to keep it up.

Although Jonathan Woody served in the Revolutionary War, he couldn’t read or write. He was unaware of his veteran’s pensions benefits, until a relative called it to his attention when he was 91 years old.

There is a very valuable document on file in Ottumwa, Iowa, County seat of Wapello County, The Revolutionary War Pension application that Jonathan filed in 1847 in Wapello County. At that time Jonathan was 91 years of age, and residing in the town of Dahlonega, Iowa.

In this application Jonathan was to declare where he was born, where he lived and give proof of his military service during the Revolutionary War to the best of his ability.

In 1782 Jonathan enlisted for Revolutionary war service from Surry County, seeing duty in Surry and Wilkes counties for 6 years. In 1788, he served 3 years during the Creek Indian War in Elbert County, GA.

1790-1802, he lived in Greenville County, SC
1802-1809, he lived in Buncombe County, NC.
1809-1823, he lived in Haywood County, NC.
1823-1834, he lived in Macon County, NC.
1834-1843, he lived in Swain County, NC
1843-1845, he lived in Lumpkin County, GA
1845-1850, he lived in Wapello County Iowa.

Southern Campaign American Revolution Pension Statements

Pension application of Jonathan Woody S17211 fn24NC Transcribed by Will Graves
State of Iowa, County of Wapello

On this 12th day of October in the year of our Lord 1847, personally appeared before the Honorable Cyrus Olney Judge of the Third Judicial District in and for said State, composed of the Counties of Van Buren, Jefferson, Keokuk, Mahaska, Wapello, Davis, Appanoose, Monroe & Marion, Jonathan Woody a resident of the Town of Dahlonega, and the said County of Wapello, State of Iowa, aged 91 years the 15th of June last, who being first duly sworn according to Law, doth on his oath, make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1832;
That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated:

1st When and in what year were you born?

Answer —I was born in the County of Surry State of North Carolina, on the 15th day of June 1756

2nd Have you any record of your age and if so where is it?

Answer—I am not certain whether my age was recorded in my father’s family Bible but I am inclined to think it was, where this is as I do not know – there was a minute of my age in an old Book of some time that I kept up to some two years or more ago, when I lost my wife and I quit keeping house, when this Book and all my papers allowed to go to waste and destroyed by my children and grandchildren & where this Book is I do not know – these are the only records of my age that I now recollect anything about —

3rd Where were you living when called into service: where have you lived since the Revolutionary War and where do you now live?

Answer — I was living in the Northern part of the County of Surry North Carolina – after our discharge at the end of the Revolutionary War I lived about three years in Albert [sic, Elbert] County State of Georgia from there I went to South Carolina in to Greenville County and lived there some 15 years, from there I moved into Buncombe County North Carolina and lived some nine years, from there I moved into Haywood County in the same State and lived some 13 years, from there I moved into Macon County and the Same State and lived some nine years, and from there I moved into Union County in the same State and lived some eight years; from there I moved to Lumpkin County State of Georgia and lived some two years; and from there I moved to this place and landed on the 3rd of November 1845, where I have continued to reside ever since and where I now live.

4th How were you called into service; were you drafted; did you volunteer or were you a substitute, and if in substitute, for whom?

Answer – I was called into service as I understood it, and as I yet understand it by Authority of the Continental Congress, was not drafted, but a volunteer, was not a Substitute.

5th State the names of some of the regular officers who were with the troops when you served, such Continental and militia regiments as you can recollect and the general circumstances of your service.

Answer – Col. Benjamin Cleveland, Colonel Cox (name not known) Captain Godfrey, Isaacks, Colonel Love of the Virginia troops, Captain Moore – Captain Thomas Barton – I recollect our company and Col. Love’s of Virginia who hung Gois [?] the Tory on the North Carolina side, at Cox’s gate – as to regiments in the active service I cannot recollect as already stated – my field of operations was confined to ridding the Country of Tories – one circumstance I recollect, that our company received word of some Tories that were in the South Fork of what was called New River in Wilkes County, we were started after them & a company in advance that I now recollect was under one Captain William Noll or Knoll had proceeded is, had dispersed the Tories and hung some three or four of them; before we came up – we frequently heard of Tories being at different places and have pursued them – we were never called upon to go into the regular active service unless just before we had word of the surrender of Cornwallis – I was never anything more than a private – during the time we was in service we marched through the Country to different points as circumstances seemed to require & prevented the rising of the Tories.

6th Did you ever receive a discharge from the service, and if so, by whom was it given and what has become of it?

Answer – I never received any written discharge from the service, we were disbanded by our officers directly after the Surrender at York Town – after which I got the certificate before referred to, & went into the Creek War.

7th State the names of persons to whom you are known in your present neighborhood and who can testify as to your character for veracity and their belief in your services as a soldier in the revolution.

Answer – Reverend Milton Jamison Presiding Elder in the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Town Conference; Joseph Hayne, Esq. Sheriff of Wapello County, James Weir Judge of Probate of this County; Doctor John Koontz of this place, his father Martin Koontz residing near this place, Mr. Hugh Smith—Grimes Givens Merchant of this place—David Watkins, Nathaniel H. Gates, late assessor of this County, Rev. Andrew G. Pearce of the Methodist Church, Doctor Stephen P. Yeamans; Thomas H.Gray, Esqr. Atty at Law Fairfield Iowa; Hon. Cyrus Olney Judge of the third Judicial District Iowa, Hon. Jesse B. Browne, late Speaker of the House of Representatives State of Iowa & Candidate for Congress in this District—and many others that might be mentioned.

S/ Jonathan Woody, W his mark Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.
S/ Cyrus Olney, Judge

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On October 4, 1968, the Elizabeth Ross Chapter and the American Legion dedicated the first permanent marker on Mr. Woody’s grave.