Claiborne Daniel Wilson (January 7, 1888-October 5, 1946)

Death Takes Clabe Wilson

Final Rites Scheduled Wednesday Afternoon

Clabe Wilson, taken in Omaha, Nebraska, May 12, 1946 (Mother’s Day)

“Death came about 9:30 pm Saturday to Claiborne (Clabe) D. Wilson, 58 year old local farmer, at his home two miles southeast of Perry. He had suffered a general breakdown in his health.

“Funeral services are set for 2:30 pm Wednesday at the Workman Funeral home. The Rev. Lyle V. Newman, First Christian church pastor, will officiate and burial will be in the Violet Hill cemetery.

“The body lies in state at the funeral home.

Rectha, Clabe, and Alice Wilson

“Mr. Wilson, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Wilson, was born Jan. 7, 1888 near Coon Rapids in Carroll County.

“During his lifetime he farmed in various localities, including Guthrie Center, Dexter, and Minburn. He had moved to his present home about two years ago.

Newlyweds Clabe and Leora Wilson, in front of Clabe’s mother’s house at Panora, 1914

“On Feb. 15, 1914 he was married to Leora Goff, who survives. Also living are two sons, Delbert G. of Perry and Donald W., who is in the navy; two daughters, Mrs. Warren D. Neal of Redfield and Mrs. Alvin C. [called Sam] Scar of Earlham, a half-brother, Fred Davis of Des Moines; three sisters, Mrs. Alice McLuen of Stuart, Mrs. Fonnie Kiggen of Boston, Mass., and Mrs. Verna Parrott of Des Moines; and several nieces and nephews.

“Preceding him in death were three sons, all casualties of the recent world war. They were Dale R., Daniel S., and Claiborne J.”

Perry Daily Chief, October 7, 1946

Clabe Wilson died of a stroke and a broken heart. Age 58. He is buried at the Violet Hill Cemetery in Perry, Iowa.


Clabe Wilson grew up in Guthrie County, living there until the 1920s. Those stories are told in Leora’s Early Years: Guthrie County Roots. (Both of Clabe’s parents died in a state hospital when he was a young man.) Clabe and Leora’s children grew up at Dexter during tough times. Leora’s Dexter Years: The Scarcity Years of the Great Depression is filled with those stories.

Their heart-rending story of the war years are in Leora’s Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During World War II. In the Audible version, Paul Berge especially brings Clabe to life. Here’s a 5-minute clip.

All five of Clabe and Leora’s sons are remembered on the Dallas County Freedom Rock® at Minburn, not far from where they were tenant farmers from 1939 to 1944.


  1. I am puzzled about why sister, Rechta was not included among the survivors.  As you know, I have had short contact with Rechta’s grandson, Michael Kangsden in Colorado.   Bob

  2. I had forgotten that.  I should have pulled up my family tree before commenting.  Nobody’s perfect, especially, me!

    • I had just included the link to his findagrave page. And just this morning, I added the link to the audio version. Just hearing Paul Berge’s voice gives me goosebumps!

  3. What a devastating telegram for Clabe and Leora to have received! Paul Berge has the perfect voice for narrating. Is the wedding date noted for Leora and Clabe a typo?

  4. Hello, dear Joy. Thank you for this. How striking it is that Clabe only lived about five months more – after the photo was taken of him in May, 1946. And I’ve forgotten to mention it to you along the way. I adore his name and nickname. Claiborne and Clabe. So stately. Thank you so much. Hugs! 🥰

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