The Matthew and Sarah Decker Blanshan family. Back row, L to R:  Mary (wife of
James), Lana (wife of William), William, Ella (wife of Daniel).  Front, L to R:  
James, Sarah, Matthew, Daniel.
1825 - 1889
Grand Junction High School Yearbook of 1922
Matthew Blanshan was born January 19, 1825 in New Paltz, to parents Daniel
and Effie Blanshan.  He was baptized April 3, 1825. When he was five years old
he moved to Onandaga County, N. Y. where he grew up. Matthew was a jockey
and rose horses on the track when young. (He weighed only 90 pounds at the
time of his marriage.) On January 1, 1850, he married Sarah Decker, daughter
of Isaac (or Daniel) and Mary Decker, born May 23, 1822. They were married in
Fon du Lac, Wisconsin. The Deckers were great for horses, too, and kept nice
ones.  Matthew moved to Sheboygan County, Wisconsin in 1859. Matthew and
Sarah had five daughters lost in infancy.  
In the 1860 federal census, Matthew and Sarah were living in Scott, Sheboygan
County, Wisconsin. Peter Blanshan, age 50, was a neighboring farmer. The
value of Matthew's farm was $600 and the value of his personal estate was
$100. Matthew and Sarah prospered, because by the 1870 federal census the
value of his farm in Scott was $1400 and his personal property was $700.
James and William were attending school. Matthew's cousin Jacob Smedes
Blanshan was farming in the same township. Matthew was a member of Co. F,
27th Wisconsin Infantry in 1865. Matthew and Sarah moved to Grand Junction,
Iowa in 1873. Matthew died October 19, 1889 in Grand Junction, Greene
County, Iowa. Sarah died September 3, 1893.

The children of Matthew and Sarah Decker Blanshan were:

Daniel Isaac - born in Onandaga County, New York on November 29, 1850. He
moved with his family to Sheboygan,Wisconsin in 1857 at the age of 7. He
married Ella Nancy Mack. They had the following children:  Melvin D. (1880),
Sadie (1882), Merton W. (1884), Laura M. (1885), Amy A. (1887), Walter A.
(1890), Ernest W. (1891), Vera L. (1895), Myra E. (1904), Erma, Lura. He and
Ella moved to Iowa in 1873. He died in Grand Junction, Iowa on October
24,1932. (See
Daniel Isaac Blanshan page)

Anthony - born May 21,1855 in New York. He died September 11, 1856 at age 1.

James Swartout - born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin on April 30, 1859. He married
Martha Zellhoefer on June 4, 1884. Martha was the daughter of George
Leonhart Zellhoefer and Johanna Christiana Fredericks Tartsch, born April 22,
1862 in Sullivan County, Wisconsin. Their children were Calystia (March
13,1885-July 23, 1903), Victor Leonard (May 4, 1886 - March 19, 1952), Effie S.
(January 27, 1888 - February 25, 1975), Elizabeth (1889), Benjamin Artemus
(1891-1892), Harry Frank (April 30, 1896 - April 7, 1977), Elizabeth (October 22,
1889 - October 30, 1966), Artie M. (1898), Aurelia (1900), Alice (1902) and Otis
E. (1904). James died September 26, 1943 and Martha died January 8, 1948 in
Grand Junction, Iowa.

William Gasten - born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin July 3, 1861. He married Lena
or Lana J.  Davenport (August 15, 1863). They had children Arthur, Mabel, Alice,
Esther and Vina. William died August 6, 1933 at age 72. Lana died March 17,
                                                   MATTHEW BLANSHAN'S DIARY

30 May 1989   
This is a diary written by Matthew Blanshan in 1889.  Matthew died 19 October 1889.  I have
tried to type it up as close to the way it was written as possible. - Dean R. Parr

I have not enjoyed good health the past summer, been troubled with rheumatics asthmia and
dropsy my limbs swelled as big as the skin would hold, finally the skin on one of my limbs
bursted & run dropsical water for about two months  I suffered a great deal of pain in my
limbs but at this writing Jan 10 1889 my limbs are of natural size and all healed up which has
not been the case for a number of years  still troubled with the rheumatics in my knees and
have the asthma some but can lay & rest good nights.  Sarah's health last summer was very
good but this winter her health is not very good caught cold last fall & has had to cough all
January 1889
1st A happy New Year A white New Years stayed home all day  Nice day 40 above zero
2nd went to Mike Mc Dermots to a surprise party very nice day about twenty five their 40 above
3rd quite good sleighing stayed home 30 above
4th Willie & myself went to town to have his old white cow killed thawed a little 40 above
5th cut up some of the beef nice day 40 above
6th Lana gone to Catholic Meeting with Mc Dermot Jimy & family was here today nice day
south wind
7th cut up beef & cut sixty lbs. of sausage meat a little colder this morning wind north 25
above 8th mixed sausage meat & corned some beef finished the beef Willie to town north
wind 25 above
9th Lana washed wind blowing a hurricane from the north Willie gone to town L Lentz & wife
was here tonight E. Smith & wife was here 20
10th Willie & Lana gone to Artie Macks on a visit, I have been to Daniels.  Nice day 25 above
Wilson & Frank Zavits was here to night
11th Went to town with Daniel cold south wind 20 above
12th Made a door for  cave Willie gone to town North wind 20
13th Willie & family gone to Frank Griffins on a visit cold North East wind Grandma & myself
stayed home 20
14th Lana and I washed today Ella & Daniel gone to town to get a new set of upper teeth.  All
the children stayed here whilst they went to town.  Literary society a perfect fizzle tonight Lucy
Smith taught school today M. J. Blanshan Frank Griffin & families was here tonight nice day
25 above
15th A rainy day south wind 40 above.
16th rained all last night & a raining this forenoon in the afternoon a snowing from the
northwest 25 degrees colder to night than this morning Mr McDermot & family was to Daniels
to day on a visit Willie & Lana was to Daniels to night to visit with McDermot 20
17th froze up solid this morning very icy not any travel Willie went to town west wind 14 above
18th down to zero this morning the coldest morning this winter it is so icy that horses & cattle
can not get to the flowing well sunshiny morning
19th my birthday 64 years old snowing from the south all day Willie went to town 30
20th cleared off nice day north wind cold zero ?day very still lonesome day not any travel
21st Willie gone to town with the sleigh nice day Lana & I washed south wind Literary
meeting a failure zero
22nd a nice frosty morning Willie gone to help Daniel build a hog pen thawed some to day
Willie  Griffin & wife  Smith & wife went to Beaty school house to the literary south wind 25
23rd all of us went to Albrights on a visit very nice day north wind 30 above
24th Willie Lanna & myself went to town Lana got her dinner to Jones I got my dinner to M. J.
B. mother stayed home Daniel & family was to Sullivans on a visit very nice day thawed south
wind 38 above
25th went to town with Daniel very warm nice day Daniels family was here to day Willie to
town turned cold at night 40 above
26th 40 degrees colder this morning than yesterday Willie went to town C. R. B. was a caller
to day north wind Daniel & Willie drawed hay to day the coldest day
27th snowed & blowed all day cold day north wind 10 above
28th Willie & Daniel to town Lana and I washed a very nice day Lucy Smith taught school
north 10 above
29th went to Smiths & Ames a foot very nice day wind west 25 above zero Willie & Lana to
30th C. R. B. & August Zelohoefer was here to day on a visit Willie drawed one load of corn to
town Daniel & family visited to Gaylords north wind 40 above A dance to Frank Griffin to night
wind a howling to night
31st quite a cold day north wind zero to day Sam Gets called to day Willie stayed home to day
February 1889
1st Grandma Lana Mabel & Myself went to Ames on a visit George Charley & Sarah Rennor
was callers here to night Willie drawed two loads of corn to town nice thawing day south wind
35 above
2nd Willie & myself went to town a very fine day thawed south wind 40 above
3rd Jones & family was here to day on a visit Willie & Lana took them home & went to______
I went after the cattle north wind 30 above
4th nice morning, in the afternoon the wind a blowing a hurricane from the north 10 above
Isaac Ford & wife J. S. Blanshan & wife was here to day on a visit McDermotts sale to day big
croud out
5th Lana & I washed Daniel helped Willie drive 19 pigs to town weighed 3900, 4.20 per
hundred amount $163.80 north wind 5 degrees below zero
6th I went to town Willie drawed one load of corn to town Lana went to Daniels north wind 10
7th I went to town Willie drawed one load of corn Mrs. Sullivan was here to day on a visit.  I
took her home with Major south wind zero
8th all went to M. J. Blanshans on a visit Willie drawed one load of corn to town.  I went after
the cows very nice day snowed a little north 10 above
9th Mr Cook called here to day McDermot was here I applied to day for a pension with Blish at
Sioux City north wind 25 above Willies gray mare was kicked last night in the stifle very lame
drawed two loads of corn with Major
10th Willie & Lana went to Presbyterian meeting Baptist Sunday school & at night went to
Uncle Jakes Jimmy was here to day north wind 15 above
11th Willie drawed one load of corn to town McDermot & family was here to night north wind
15 above
12th Willie drawed one load of corn to town Lana and I washed to day Willie & family are
gone to night to Beaty school house to the Literary I went to McDermots a foot Mike a bricking
up his well nice day north wind 30 above
13th Willie finished his contract of corn $103 Mrs. Lentz was a caller here to day Lana went to
see Mi?? Early this afternoon south wind 35 above Received my papers to fill out for a
pension 14th Willie & Lana gone to Dana Fords on a visit a very strong east wind very chilly
Melvin was here, Daniel drawing poles from Jimys I was to Daniels 15 above zero
15th rainy misty day Willie went to town Sadie was here to day east wind 40 above
16th snowing & blowing to day from the north Willie went to town after Ida Hamilton 20 above
17th Ida stayed over Sunday with us Willie Lana & Ida went to Daniels north wind zero
18th Willie went to town took Ida home McDermots family left to day north wind zero
19th Willie went to town Lana & I washed M. J. Blanshan & family moved to day north wind 5
20th Willie to town Soldier supper to night strong south wind, not feeling very well, 25 above
21st 40 above zero this afternoon at 9 o'clock in the evening down to zero strong north wind
Willie went to town as usual, I was to Daniels
22nd a very cold day 6 degrees below zero Frank Griffin was here after the railroad iron to
break stalks took dinner here Willie went to town north wind
23rd Willie went to town 15 below zero this morning cold south wind Daniel drawed one load
24th went to M. J. Blanshans to have my hair cut stopped to Daniels to eat bake turkey Lana
went to Daniels a calling Jimy was here to day cold south wind 25 above zero
25th C. R. B. & Charly Albright was callers here to day Willie to town south wind 25 above
26th Willie went to Beaver to the auction & to Grand Junction Lana washed & then went a
visiting to S. Albrights nice day south wind 40 above
27th Grandma Mabel Lana & myself went to Jimys on a visit Willie stayed to town all day
thawed considerable west wind nice day 50 above
28th Willie took a load of hay to town nice day Lana went a calling to Daniels south wind 40
March 1889
1st took Willie to town to go to Desmoin I went to Jimys after a load of cobs nice day wind
west 40 above
2nd Lana and I went to town took supper with Mrs. Zelohoefer Willie took the wire off fence on
the McKay farm Willie went to town after coal Daniel drove his colts together for the first time
nice day south wind 50 above
3rd Willie & Lana went to town to church. Willie & Lana went a calling to Zavits west wind 50
4th Willie drawed hay for Daniel I went to town & to school meeting lots of fun Gaylord was
elected director west wind nice day 40 above
5th helped wash went to town Lana & Ella to school Willie drawing hay for Daniel west wind
nice warm day 50 above
6th Willie & Lana to town a visiting to Mr. Hauns, Daniel & family a visiting to A. J. Macks Mr.
Hamilton called here to day a very strong west wind nice day 50 above
7th Willie to town & to Jefferson a studying law Mrs. Ames was here on a visit Mrs. Lents was
a caller here to day strong north west wind 45 above
8th Willie & Daniel to town all day studying law about a wire fence on McKay farm M. J. B. &
Mr. Yackly was callers here to day, the wind a blowing a fearful rate from the north west 20
9th - 10th Mrs. Zellohoefers family, Jimy & his family was here to day south wind nice day 45
11th Willie gone to Townlys auction north wind
12th Willie & Daniel drawing hay from McKay farm a very nice day east wind 50 above 13th
Willie Daniel L. Lents & M. J. B. are all drawing hay for Willie nice day south wind 70 above
Allen Hillman was accidentally shot by Wm. F. Zellohoefer a very gloomy town
14th A. Hillman died to day east wind 58 above
15th A. Hillman buried to day Willie & Daniel went to the funeral 75 teams went to the cemetry
north wind thunder last night 50 above
16th Willie gone to town with two hogs fetched about $10.00 north wind 45 above
17th Uncle Jake & Aunt Mariah was here on a visit nice day north wind Jimy was here to day
had a good visit 50 above
18th Willie to town all day Wood the drugist commited suicide by taking carbolic acid &
shooting himself with a revolver north wind 40 above Ella & baby was a calling here to day
nice day I have been on the sick list for the past ten days with dropsical swelling in my body &
limbs 19th Willie & Daniel to town a loafing Willie & Daniel sowed some oats in hog pasture
north 50 above Jimy was after the seeder to sow oats
20th Willie cultivated & draged oats, Daniel & Ella to town the children stayed with grandpa
Mr. Mrs. Dora Hamilton was a calling here this afternoon.  Mr. Mack & wife Mrs. Ames was
callers here to day Mr. Sullivan was here Sam Albright & wife was here yesterday on a visit
very nice day north wind 60 above
21st Dr. Lowry was called here to day he says I have the Brights disease My limbs & bowels
are swelled as big as the skin can hold
22nd Willie fetched a cow from Jimys the doctor says I must live on skim milk Frank Zavits
Albright Wilson Zavits & Arthur Shockly was callers here to day a nice day north wind 60
above 23rd Willie draged stalks all day Willie & Daniel went to town at night, drinked skim
milk all day and physicked me very much warm day north wind 65 above Daniel got done
sowing oats E.
Smith helping Daniel
24th Uncle Jake was a caller here to day S. Albright Mrs. Ames & the two Mrs. Jones'es & the
twins was here to day, not feeling very good to day very weak a nice summers day wind north
65 above
25th Willie & Lanna to town all day.  Dr. Lowry was called to see me, got inflammation in the
bowels suffered a great deal of pain all day & all night nice warm day wind north 60 above
26th Willie cultivating oats for L. Lents to day Uncle Jake was here twice to day Jimy & family
was here to day nice day wind north 55 above
27th all of Mr. Macks buildings was burned to the ground to day with the exception of his
dwelling house very excitable time strong north wind 50 above
28th Jimy was here to day after potatoes.  Mr. Ford & wife, Mr Ames & wife, M. J. B. & Ed
Smith was callers here to day.  I am confined to the house this week
29th Mr. Mack is drawing lumber for a stable.  not feeling very good to day considerable pain
in my bowels north wind 45 above Willie to town
30th Johny Ames quit work to day noon raining some to day L. Lents & wife was callers here
to night north wind 40 above
31st Artie Mack & family was here on a visit to day M. J. B. & family was callers here to night
north wind 50 above
April 1889
1st Willie & Daniel to town this afternoon very smoky strong north west wind Mr. Hamilton
was a caller here this afternoon D. W. Lowry & wife was callers looks like rain 50 above went
out doors to day for the first time in a week
2nd a very windy day from the north west, smoke & dirt a blowing at a fearful rate Willies nice
hay rack that Roby made blowed off the trucks & broke all to pieces Willie sold a 3 year old
coltgray colt to Micael Quin for $75.00 Lana cut some seed potatoes 55 above
3rd Some cooler this morning north west wind 30 above Willie gone to town.  Lana a
washing. Eddie Smith a plowing for Daniel feeling better this morning Willie fetched home a
load of fence boards for hog yard
4th Melvin & myself went to Jimys after smoked beef a very nice day stood my ride good west
wind 50 above
5th walked down to Daniels to day for the first time in five weeks north west wind 45 above
Willie plowed garden yesterday planted potatoes took manure off of the cave cool north wind
6th south wind this morning got a pain in my bowels again this morning not feeling very good
Willie gone to town looks like rain 50 above
7th Willie & Lana gone to Jimys south wind 50 above
8th rainy misty day south wind 50 above
9th I went to see Lowry to day nice day wind north 60 Willie to town all day to get plow fixed
10th Willie plowed all day on Harned place warm day wind south 50 above gray mare had a
colt at night
11th plowed a little at home a rainy misty day, plowed with Prince south wind 50 above
12th a rainy day Willie to town as usual all day wind turned in the north 40 above
13th Willie Plowed all day on Harned 40 above
14th Willie & Lana stayed home all day south wind 50 a
15th Lana & myself washed, in the afternoon I went to M. J. B. got my whiskers trimmed south
wind 50
16th planted some sweet corn very nice warm day Bobtail heifyr had a calf to day west wind
75 above
17th Willie to town after post south wind 65 a
18th Willie building barn yard fence plowed about one hour Lana a calling to Lents south
wind 65
19th Lana & myself went to town with Flora Mr. White digging post holes west wind 75 above
Ida Hamilton was married a Wednesday night
20th went to town & to S. Albrights after potatoes Willie lost a colt nice warm day.  south wind
21st Lana & Ella went to meeting with Major Jimy & Mary was here nice day south wind 65
22nd Willie & Lana bought $85.00 worth of goods of a Chicago swindler Albright a planting
corn Daniel finished plowing on his 80 south wind 75
23rd I went to town to do some trading for Daniel a nice warm day Hamilton got one bushel
potatoes west 70
24th stayed home the Chicago shark took the goods back note not bankable the best thing
that ever happened to Willie south wind nice day 75 above
25th took Willies riding plow to Childs to be sharpened very warm day west wind 75 above
26th a small thunder shower this morning went to town in the afternoon after the plow west
Jimy got a dandy colt Daniel got through a plowing 75
27th a very cold north west wind Willie a working Flora for the first time since having a colt 75
28th Willie & Lana gone to church caught a heavy cold yesterday & about sick to day north
wind 45
29th on the sick list yet cold north west wind 45
30th Willie & Lana gone to Centennial Celebration to Grand Junction cold north west wind 45
May 1889
1st Willie commenced to plant corn north 45
2nd Willies Prince & Major ran away with his corn planter & broke it all to pieces so that he
sent it to the factory to be repaired Daniel & Willie went to town Daniel bought a new planter
north 50
3rd Willie a planting with Daniels planter, it has froze ice every night for a week north wind 55
a 4th Willie finished planting corn to home Daniel commenced planting this afternoon I went
to town south wind 65 a
5th warm this morning with a strong south wind
6th Mertie & myself planted peas an awful strong south wind 80 degrees in the shade
7th I went to Jimys fetched home a hen with 17 chickens Jimy done planting corn a very windy
day from the south very warm 85 above
8th a very heavy shower this morning to wet to work on plowed ground Willie went to town
after post south wind warm 90 above
9th Willie white washed the kitchen moved the stove in the kitchen Lowry wet day south wind
10th Lana & I washed to day, rained in the afternoon Willie to work at hog pasture. Their has
been strong south wind for the past seven days 90
11th Willie draging on the Harned place rained a little in the afternoon I went to town north
wind 75
12th Willie & Lana went to church Jimy was here to day I was down to Daniels one of Daniels
working colts cut on the wire north wind 80 above
13th Lana & I washed Mother & myself went to Uncle Jakes in the afternoon Sarah
Zellohoefer died to day at 12:00 Congdon boy to work here warm day south wind 75 above
14th took Lana & Ella to the funeral Willie a planting corn on the Harned farm south wind 85
15th Mertie & I planted some peas rained south wind 80
16th planted some peas Willie & Congdon a plowing to home for corn hot day south wind 90
17th very heavy rain last night cloudy day Congdon boy went home this morning Jimy come
after his cow Willie went to town I am about sick 75 above
19th fine morning Willie & Lana gone to church am to take dinner to Jones north wind 80
20th Willie finished planting corn to home a very nice day went to Albrights north wind 75 21st
Willie & Congdon boy gone to work on Harned place with 2 teams cold north wind 65 above
22nd Mertie & I finished planting peas Lana sot out cabbage & tomato plants north wind 65
23rd rode to town with Daniel & Albright a little warmer to day north wind 75 above 24th Willie
finished planting corn for the year 1889 hoed my early peas not feeling very well north wind 75
25th Willie finished draging corn to home Lana & I went to town in the afternoon Grandma &
Mabel went to Daniels on a visit south wind 80 above
26th Willie & Lana gone to Memorial services to Harnigs Hall Jimy is here to day A good
shower of rain this morning cool north wind 70 above Willie & Lana took dinner with Mrs.
Zellohoefer Mary came home with Lana Daniel was affected by a stroke of lightning this
27th Lana & I washed this morning, hoed some peas, sot out tomatoes north wind 70 above
28th I went to Jimys a cool north wind 70 above
29th all the Blanshans went to the Circus rather a poor circus cold north wind 60 above 30th I
went to the Memorial Services in the afternoon a large crowd a heavy frost this morning cool
north wind Willie finished hog pasture 65 above
31st frost this morning I cultivated peas corn tomato plants cabbage plants & beets a cold
north wind Willie cultivating corn to home potatoes & corn froze to the ground 60 a
June 1889
1st frost this morning Willie & Daniel gone to town planted sweet corn & watermelon was to
Daniels cool north wind 60 above
2nd all of Daniels family went to Jimys we all stayed home Mabel sick north wind 80
3rd Lana washed alone I scattered corn on Harned place for squirrels in the afternoon I went
to town Received a letter from Niles N.Y. from my sister Juliann's daughter a warm day north
wind 85 a
4th I am on the sick list with the asthma Willie making fence on the flat for horses Willie gone
to town at night Mabel & myself on the sick list north 70
5th Willie cultivating corn north wind 70
6th Willie plowing corn to home north wind 75
7th a heavy rain to night some hail north 80
8th a rainy day Willie to town all day south wind 70
9th Childrens day at the Baptist Church Willie & Lana & Ella to church Jimy & family was here
north wind
10th Daniel & Willie planting beans & pop corn Willie & Lana gone to town after Mrs. Staley
arrived home at six o'clock the water in Johnsons creek was highest of any time this spring
north wind 75
11th Willie commenced to plow corn on the Harned place for the first time Lana & Mrs. Staley
went a calling this afternoon to Daniels M. J. B. & L. Lents I went to Albrights & Uncle Jakes
12th I went to town Willie plowing corn on the Harned place Renor working road by Pinckneys
south wind 85
13th Willie & Lana took Mrs. Staley to the cars went to Jimys & to Jerome Collins had a
Rosirel?? put in Nellies shoulder warm day north 85
14th I went to town nice day wind south 80
15th I went to M. J. Blanshans on a visit awful hot 96 I went to town
16th all went F. Griffins hot 96
17th on the sick list
18th Lana & I washed north wind 85
19th Mother & I went to Jimys a nice day north wind 90
20th rain sold milk to the cheese factory north wind 80
21st wet showery weather south wind 80
22nd I took milk to the factory Mr. Hamilton was here to day nice cool day south wind 75
above 23rd Jimy & his hired man was here to day a splendid day I went to Albrights yesterday
south 80
24th took milk to the factory cool south east wind Lana a washing raining in the afternoon 70 a
25th took milk to the factory got Major shod south 90
26th   "   "    "      "     warm day south 96 a
27th   "   "    "      "     warm day north wind 96 Willie finished plowing corn to home for the
second time cloudy to night
28th took milk to factory very warm day had my hair cut last day of school south wind 100 29th
milk to factory Cora Davenport arrived to day went to the horse race heavy rain at night south
30th wet this morning Jimy & family myself & Grandma went to Uncle Jakes on a visit we all
suffered with the heat south wind 100
July 1889
1st took the last milk to the factory for the present sold 1597 lbs in ten days Jimy took our milk
can south wind 100
2nd very warm this forenoon 100 in the shade rain about 3 o'clock wind turned to the north
Cora washed for Ella today cooler 65 in the shade tonight 35 degrees difference this
forenoon & to night
3rd went to town give Mary some peas told Jones about the 4th south wind 98
4th went to Jones for dinner & to Higins Grove to a picnic a very nice 4th south wind 75 a
5th stayed home all day quite warm south wind 85
6th Cora & myself went to town to have some photo taken, told Mrs. Ames that we was
coming their a Sunday got home at noon very warm south wind 95
7th all went Mr. Ames on a visit had a good dinner & a good visit.  L. Lentz & Lady was their
had ice cream south wind.  Theodore McKay and family arrived here yesterday from
Washington Territory very warm day 100 in the shade
8th Cora washed to day a heavy rain in the afternoon knocked oats down Renors cutting rye
to hot & wet to work south wind 100 a Gaylord had a colt cut on a wire bad bleeding 9th very
wet & muggy warm this morning