Pennsylvania, Illinois, Iowa . . . and Arkansas . . .

John Nelson Montgomery

From North Shenango Township, Crawford County, PA, in 1845, along with his father, mother and a couple siblings, John Nelson and his new bride, Luceva Ward Montgomery, moved to Illinois in 1845, settling with his father along Buck Creek, just north of Ottawa in Dayton Township (photo below).  Their farm location in Crawford County has been deduced from property records and Census records, the location is indicated above in yellow, on 1876 and 2008 maps.  

John Nelson Montgomery's first wife, Luceva Ward Montgomery, died shortly after their arrival in Illinois, in 1850.  Her grave is in the Brower-Hess Cemetery.  This cemetery is 1/4-mile south of the original John Harper Montgomery Farm, along IL Highway 23, on the east side of the highway behind a modern ranch house / farm - photo at right. 

John Nelson Montgomery had 
two sons with his first wife Luceva:

  • James Ivor MONTGOMERY 
 b: 13 Mar 1847 in Dayton Township, LaSalle
 County, IL, 4 miles north of Ottawa 
  • William Harper MONTGOMERY 
  b: 1849 in Dayton Township, LaSalle County,
  IL, 4 miles north of Ottawa

John Nelson Montgomery remarried, a short time after Luceva's death, out of necessity, in June 1851, Amanda Harriet Springstead Strider, 
a recent widow who was living with her parents on the 1850 US Census. Her husband was off to the Gold Rush in California in 1850.  John Strider died in April 1851, leaving his widow, Amanda, with an estate that included a large amount of gold dust. He had several more children with his second wife, Amanda Harriet Springstead Strider, who had a daughter and son from her first marriage. Her daughter Mary Jane Strider, married a John Milton Montgomery, her new husband's nephew, and George Albert Strider, a boy born after his father had died (died young?) who married Anna Melissa Montgomery, a niece of her new husband and sister of John Milton Montgomery.  

John and Amanda farmed on land from John Strider's estate in Serena Township, LaSalle County, on what is now E40TH Road, just west of Somonauk Road, as shown at right.

John and Amanda moved their "second family" to Lee Township, Franklin County, Iowa, in about 1870, leaving his two oldest sons, James Ivor and William Harper, in Illinois.  John Nelson and Amanda Harriet Montgomery's children were (as found on the 1860 Illinois Federal Census and the Iowa 1865 Census):

  • Luceva MONTGOMERY b: 1855 in IL 
  • Luevia MONTGOMERY b: 1856 in Serena Township, LaSalle County, IL (died young?)
  • Florilla Ursula MONTGOMERY b: 1858 in IL
  • Manley MONTGOMERY b: 1860 (died young?)
  • Minnie M MONTGOMERY b: Jul 1865 in LaSalle County, IL 
  • Allan Lee MONTGOMERY b: 1870 in Iowa
  • Anne Ella MONTGOMERY b: 1872 in Iowa

NOTE:  The children with "died young?" next to their names do not appear on the Draft Will of John Nelson Montgomery, dated 1883 in Iowa.  The 1900 Iowa Federal Census states John and Amanda had had 10 children between them:  John, two with Luceva, Amanda, two with John Strider (d. 1849), and 7 together, implying 3 children had died young.
The son, Allan Lee Montgomery, has been traced to Siloam Springs, AR, and his daughter, Bessie, has been traced to Paris, Texas, having died in 1984.  Her family has also been traced and can be found at one of the complete Montgomery Family Tree websites at the "Thanks for Coming" page in this website ( or

In the "History of Franklin and Cerro Gordo Counties, Iowa 1883, Ch. XXIV Lee Township, Pages 458-459, Union Publishing Company, Springfield, IL 1883", a Biography for John N. states: 
  • "J. N. Montgomery was born in Pennsylvania in 1827, and was there married to Luceva Ward. In 1849 they moved to Illinois, where his wife died. He subsequently married Mrs. Amanda Strider. He is a member of the Masonic Fraternity. In politics he is a greenbacker and has held local offices."

In 1889, John N. Montgomery purchased 78.64 acres for $2,000, on the west side of Iowa Falls, with a mill site on it. In 1892 John N. purchased another 28 and 5 acres, respectively, west side of Iowa Falls, for $623, total. 

The 1892 Hardin County Plat Book indicates 
 J. Montgomery owned a total of 150 acres, west of Iowa Falls, IA, with a Mill Site on it, outlined in yellow on map at right . 

John N.'s Will (not probated), drafted in October, 1883, also indicates ownership of said property in the amount of approximately 150 acres just to the west of Iowa Falls, above the river.

In the US Census of 1900, John Nelson and Amanda Montgomery are found to be living with their daughter, Minnie Montgomery Stewart, age 34, along with Minnie's husband, Edmund W., age 39, and children, Ethel, 14, Myrtle C., 11, and Raymond, 9. Amanda died January 28, 1901, in Iowa Falls, IA. 

John began selling his property in early 1901: (according to documents located in 1991, in Hardin County Court House in Eldora, IA) 
  • 8 acres to Willie Mitchell, March 12, 1901 
  • 8 acres to Henry Rush, May 17, 1901 
  • 64 acres to J. Kennedy, July 3, 1901 

John N. Montgomery died at Siloam Springs, Arkansas, September 19, 1908, after moving to Arkansas, in January, 1907, with his son, Allan Lee Montgomery, due to health (asthma / hay fever) concerns.  Lee sent his body back to Iowa at his own expense.

The graves of John N. and Amanda H. Montgomery were found in Union Cemetery in Iowa Falls, IA, in 1991 by William J. Montgomery (g-g-Grandson) at locations; 
4.A. L10 s8 and 4.A. L10 s7  (photo at right). 

John Nelson Montgomery's Mother, Malinda Platt Montgomery, may be buried in the same Iowa Falls cemetery since she "died at Iowa Falls" in 1874 and is "buried in Iowa Falls", according to her printed obituary.  However, the farm of John Nelson Montgomery, located in Sec.23 of Lee Township, in Hardin County, about 1/3 mile north of 40th Street on the east side of Juniper Avenue, just north of Iowa Falls, is shown to have a burial ground / cemetery on the land, indicated on an 1875 Plat Map of Lee Township, Franklin County, IA.  This opens the possibility of Malinda being buried on the farm site in a "family cemetery" not unlike his wife Amanda's family's "family burial ground" back in LaSalle County, IL (Springstead Family Burial Ground - see John Harper Montgomery, this site). 

Silo >>
Town of Serena
John Nelson Montgomery farm, 1851 - 1870
Somonauk Road  >
2009 satellite view of John Nelson Montgomery farm  
<  Springstead Cemetery
<  Little Indian Creek
Town of Sheridan  >
Union Cemetery, Iowa Falls, IA  >
Amanda Harriet Springstead Strider Montgomery, d. 1901
John Nelson Montgomery, d. 1908
A Montgomery Family Genealogy
As recorded and developed by W.J. Montgomery
Farm / family cemetery
gravesite, to the right of '22',  is indicated with a small cross. 
John Nelson Montgomery's original farm location /  site. 

<<< Some buildings seen in this satellite photo of 1994.

Suspected burial area (for John's mother, Malinda) is at top of the 1960 photo to the right, outlined in blue, and outlined by trees still growing in 1960.

John's farm (dwelling, graveyard/cemetery, barns and outbuildings) is now an empty cultivated field with the burial area suspected to be where pig farm buildings stand now.
<< Silo
1994 photo
In December of 2022,
a call came from Texas from a Greg Stuteville saying he had an antique Bible that had belonged to his great grandmother Bessie Montgomery Grupe b 1888.  He wanted to know if I wanted scans of family genealogy pages inside the Bible, to include b/w photos of John Nelson Montgomery (b 1827) and Amanda Harriett Springstead Montgomery (b 1829).
Of course the answer was YES! 
Bessie was the daughter of 
J. Ivor Montgomery's half brother, Allen Lee Montgomery, who was born in Iowa in 1867! Colorized portraits of John Nelson Montgomery and Amanda Springstead (m 1851) are to the right, with selected scans of two pages from the 1854 Bible to the left.
Several "Early Records" not seen before were added to the Family Tree as they were recorded over time in long hand on the BIRTHS,  DEATHS, MARRIAGES pages in the Bible.
Amanda Springstead 
"Mundy" Montgomery
b 1829 d 1901
John Nelson Montgomery 
b 1827 d 1908