Doris Wilson Neal. Top: Leora Goff Wilson, then Laura Jordan Goff, Emelia Ann Moore Jordan

Mother Doris

Born on her uncles’ Guthrie County

popcorn farm the sultry

fly-haunted August

while those uncles were

called to the Great War.

During the Great Depression

this oldest daughter worried

whether the four younger

siblings got enough to eat.

WWII, married Warren Neal, a local farmer

who’d become a pilot. Daughter born

two days before D-Day. All five

brothers served. Only two came home.

Farmwife, famous for caramel pecan rolls

expected at every family gathering.

Lived to age 97.

90th birthday party

Grandmother Leora

Born in Guthrie County, firstborn of eleven.

Chicken-raiser from age five. Rode a horse to town

to take piano lessons, Audubon, Iowa.

Certificate from Mrs. Connrardy’s Sewing School.


Married Clabe Wilson, mother of ten children,

moved often during the Great Depression.

Lost baby twins to whooping cough, plus another infant.

WWII farmwife. All five sons served. Within three years

she lost three sons and was widowed.


Made a home for her own mother in Guthrie Center,

active in church, Rebekkas, patched at the hospital.

Lived to age 97.


collar (1)

Great Grandmother Laura

Born in a log cabin just west of Monteith

three years after the end of the Civil War.

Firstborn of eleven. Taught country school

until marrying Sherd Goff.


Bore eleven children, moved thirteen times

in twenty-one years, pregnant every time.

Perhaps that was the plan.


Three sons served in the Great War,

first woman in motherline to vote,

WWII – two sons served, plus six grandsons.


Widowhood spent with a son, then daughter Leora.

First plane ride to visit sons in California,

for her 90th birthday.

Lived to age 94.



Great Great Grandmother Emilia Ann

Born in Ohio, she came to Iowa

as an eight-year-old with her five siblings

in two wagons, her mother pregnant at the time.

Perhaps that was the plan.


Father Ephraim Moore homesteaded

in the pleasant undulating hills of Guthrie County, Iowa.


Married Davy Jordan, a predestinarian Baptist preacher,

became the mother of ten children. Three

of her young are buried in Monteith Cemetery,

north side of the road, among ancient pines.

Lived to age 67.

July 5, 1944, Minburn, Iowa
About 1955, Guthrie Center, Iowa


  1. nice ‘mother’ family tree it when there are facts, and not just dates on family lines.

  2. Laura and Emilia Ann look so much alike in those photos. Incredible, tough women. All they endured just makes me look such a wimp!

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