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Jim & Selma Burrows

John DeMotte Blue and Nancy Ellen "Ella" Anderson

John DeMotte Blue, the son of David Blue and his wife Wealthy, was born on Monday, 16 September 1844 in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. He died at the age of 85 on Sunday, 23 February 1930 in Belle Plaine, Benton County, Iowa. He was buried in Oak Hill cemetery, Belle Plaine, Benton County, Iowa.

John DeMotte Blue (aged 22) married Nancy Ellen "Ella" Anderson (aged 22) on Thursday, 15 August 1867 in Marion, Ohio.

Nancy Ellen "Ella" Anderson, the daughter of John Anderson and Martha Roult, was born on Tuesday, 1 October 1844 in Marion, Ohio. She died at the age of 94 on Wednesday, 18 January 1939 in Belle Plaine, Benton County, Iowa. The cause of death was old age. She was buried in Oak Hill cemetery, Belle Plaine, Benton County, Iowa.

Their children were:

According to a story about her ninety-first birthday which appears to have appeared in the Belle Plaine Gazette:

Mrs. [J. D.] Blue was born Ella Anderson, a daughter of John and Martha Anderson, at Marion, Ohio. She was graduated from the Marion high school the year the Civil War broke out. It was her ambition to attend college but as her brothers joined the army she was needed on the farm. She taught school for five years before her marriage to J. D. Blue on Aug. 15, 1867. They came immediately to Belle Plaine, which was Mr. Blue's home. In 1878 Mr. Blue opened a store which he operated until 1893 when the Belle Plaine fire swept away the store and contents. After this, Mr. Blue went into the insurance business which he followed until his death in 1930.

According to his obituary, which apparently appeared in the Belle Plaine Gazette-Republican:

BELLE PLAINE, Feb 24.--John D. Blue, 86, Belle Plaine's oldest resident, died at his home here at an early hour Sunday. Mr. Blue had been prominent in business affairs and church work all during his sixty-five years of residence here....

A son of Wealthy and David Blue, he was born in Knox county, Ohio, where he grew to manhood and followed the telegrapher's trade during the Civil war. In 1865 he came west to Illinois, making his headquartes at Bloomington for a time. Later that year he came to Iowa, arriving at Belle Plaine Nov. 11, at the age of 21. His first job was husking corn but in a short time he accepted a position at the Steigle hardware store. The following year he went to the E. G. Brown dry goods store and a year later became a clerk in the Thomas Lawrence store. In 1877 he went into business for himself with E. G. Swem as a partner. Five years later J. M. Furnas bought out Swem's interest. Mr. Blue bought Furnas' interest six years later and became sole owner of the dry goods business which he continued until July 28, 1894, when his store and stock were destroyed in ``the Belle Plaine fire,'' leaving him at the age of fifty with nothing but debts.

He obtained a position with the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance company of Milwaukee and started out anew. He soon cleared up his debts and prospered, continuing with the insurance company for thirty years, until ill health forced his retirement in recent years.

Two years after coming to Belle Plaine he went back to Ohio and was married to Miss Ella Anderson at her home near Marion, Ohio, August 15, 1867, and they came immediately to Belle Plaine and began housekeeping.

Leonard A. Blue married Eva McCoy, the daughter of Benjamin McCoy and Mary Matilda Dixon. Leonard was the president of a college in Albany, New York. Eva was the Dean of Women at a Methodist school.

Research Notes:

I have a note that Leonard was called "Bunnie"

Ben McCoy was a lawyer and a judge, and an Iowa state senator. He died in August 1920. Mary Dixon was a graduate of Oskaloosa College, and Dean of Women at Cornell College. She died in February 1921.

Leonard and Eva's children were:

Alice Blue was married twice, first to Dr. Ernest P. Noble in about 1899, and later (probably after 1936) to Payson Peterson.

Dr. Noble was born in 1868 in Montrose, Pennsylvania, and died of consumption in 1904. Dr. Noble and Alice had one son:

We have no record of when Alice married Payson Peterson, nor of when he died. When her sister Iona died in 1936, her next of kin were listed as "Mr. [William Henry] Burrows" and "Alice Noble", which would seem to indicate that she had not yet remarried.

Thomas Chardyvoyne Blue married Winnie Mabel Taylor. She was born in about 1874, and died in Marshalltown, Marshall county, Iowa on 3 March 1953 at the age of 79 years. They were both buried in unmarked graves in the family plot, Oak Hill cemetary, Belle Plaine, Benton county, Iowa.

Their children were:

Dr. Robert Bruce Blue was an eye, ears, nose, and throat specialist with an office in the Marshal Field Annex in Chicago, Illionois. He married Harriet Read, the daughter of O. P. Read, the novelist. Their children were:

Research Notes:

According to the Belle Plaine Biographical Directory, 1897:

Blue J D Insurance no 68 and 70 N Beech ME ch born in Mt. Vernon O Sep 16 '44 Ella Anderson his wife born in Marion O Oct 1 '44 ME ch Mar Aug 15 '67 Children: Mrs Iona Burrows; Leonard A. born Feb 1, 1870 Oskaloosa Ia; Alice E. born Oct 25 '71; Thomas C born Apr 22 '73 res in Storm Lake Ia; Robert born Oct 3 1876; Jon D Jr born July 25 1878
According to the 1910 census John and Ella had a widowed daughter, Alice B. Noble and her son Robert John Noble living with them. From the census sheet, it would appear that they live on 8th Ave in Belle Plaine.

According to Bess Burrows (mother of the present mayor of Belle Plaine and unrelated to us) Robert John Noble went to Kansas City.

The 1870 census lists John D. Blue's family twice. We assume that they collected the data from him at work and from her at home.

        Blue, Jno       30      M  Clerk, store         Ohio
          --  Ella      26      F  Keeping house        Ohio
          --  Ionia      2      F                       Iowa
          --  Leonard   6/12    M                       Iowa    Feb

        Blue, J. D.     25      M  Clerk, Dry Goods     Ohio
          --  Ellen A.  24      F  Keeping house        Ohio
          --  Ionia      2      F                       Iowa
          --  Leonard   4/12    M                       Iowa    Mar

We figure that the first entry was taken at the Blue house and that Ella was the source, and the second one is from John D. at work. According to our best information, both John and Ella were nearly 26 at the time. According to the Belle Plaine Biographical directory, Leonard was born in February and would have been 5 months old at the time of the census.

The census also lists a John Burrows pg 922 17B Sd 5 ED 2 Ward 3. This is probably someone from the other Burrows family.

We have the 1880 census data (to be entered when I have the software).
We have the 1900 cenuss data (to be entered when I have the software).
   They lived on Beach Street, Belle Plain (Benton), IA on 1 June 1900.
   (where they owned the house free and and clear).