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James Luther Pike
Born August 24, 1846


James Luther Pike, one of the veterans of the Civil war now residing in Olin, whose record is one that is worthy of more than passing mention, has proven himself a patriot it, both war and peace and is now realizing the esteem in which he is held by a grateful country. He was born near Columbus, Franklin county, Ohio, August 24, 1846, a son of Joel and Permilla (Newton) Pike, who were married in Coventry, Chenango county, New York, October 22, 1838, and emigrated later to Ohio. They were farmers and seeking better opportunities they came farther west to Jones county, Iowa, driving across the country, and both died in the new home, he January 21, 1853, aged fifty-three; and his wife August 14, 1860, aged fifty-two. The father had been married before and had three children as follows: Orlando and Albert, who have passed away; and Matilda, who is the widow of Lucius Shepard of Poweshiek county, Iowa. By his second marriage he had six children, namely: Carissa, who married Usal Barker; Alma, who married Hiram Slagle, of Nebraska; Ruth I., the deceased wife of John M. Mason; James Luther, who is the fourth in order of birth; Simon P., who died in 1907 in Dakota; Eleanor who married John Shook, of Nebraska.
Losing his father when he was seven years old and his mother when but thirteen, James Luther Pike was early deprived of parental care and was forced to earn his scanty living working around among the neighbors by the month, until he was fifteen and one-half years old. It was then, when only a lad, he enlisted in Company K, Seventeenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, under Captain S. E. Hicks, and he served three years and three months. He veteranized in the Western Army under Grant and Sherman. Among other engagements, he participated in the battles of Iuka, Corinth, Vicksburg and Jackson, and was captured with his regiment at Tilton, Georgia, and sent to Andersonville prison. Then followed a terrible experience from October 13, 1864, to April 28, 1865. The only sickness with which he was afflicted was that of measles soon after joining his regiment.
Returning home this brave soldier who bore very plainly the traces of his sufferings in prison, engaged in teaming and followed this line of work for several years before the building of the railroad. He hauled goods from Clarence and later he ran a dray for fourteen years. He afterward rented a farm and conducted it for four years, and then retired to Olin, where he has since resided, enjoying a well earned rest, for his life has been a strenuous one.
On December 2, 1866, Mr. Pike married Eliza Bryan, born near Ticonderoga, New York, April 27, 1847, and came to Iowa when about ten years old with her parents, James and Lavina (Crossman) Bryan, the former of whom died in the service of his country during the Civil war, in Company B. Thirty-first Iowa, at Black River, Mississippi, while his wife died in Idaho. Mr. and Mrs. Pike became the parents of two children: Enola, who married James Vernon, lives two miles south of Olin; and Hattie A. is at home. On April 4, 1909, Mr. Pike was called upon, to mourn the loss of his wife, who then passed to her last reward. She was a lady of lovely, Christian character and her place can never be filled, although Miss Hattie is striving to comfort her father and take care of the home.
Mr. Pike has spent nearly all of his life in Jones county, and all of his mature years with the exception of one when he was in Boone, Iowa, and one year in Nebraska. Although he was a veteran of years' standing, Mr. Pike was not old enough to vote until General Grant was the candidate for president and he takes pride in the fact that his first presidential vote was cast for him. He has been prominent in republican affairs and served as a member of the council for several years; is one of the present township trustees and is much interested in securing the best possible government for his community. In religious faith he is a member of the Christian church and he is one of the trustees of that body. He belongs to the Masonic order, being connected with Ancient Landmark Lodge, No. 200, of Olin, and he is also a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. Energetic, interested in current matters, a good talker and possessed of a pleasant, convincing manner, Mr. Pike has many friends and is one of the highly esteemed men of Olin.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 373.

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