John Wesley Somers
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John Wesley Somers, one of Ida Grove’s oldest and distinguished residents, died Saturday morning, August 2, 1919, at the age of 84 years, 8 months, and 15 days. The funeral was held at the late home Monday, in charge of Rev. John T. Pierce. The interment was at the Ida Grove Cemetery. The pall bearers were Charles S. Macomber, W. J. Scott, James E. Easton, B. S. Noble, A. Sykes, and Card Kiner.
Mr. Somers was born at Rockford, Surrey County, North Carolina, on November 17, 1834. While still in youth, he moved to Rockford, Illinois, where he met Sarah J. Fitzgerald, and on November 28, 1858, in that city, the ceremony was solemnized by the Rev. Wm. Munhall.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted in 1861, and was in the active army service throughout the entire period of the war, three years and 11 months. He was mustered out as First Lieutenant Quartermaster, 76th Illinois Volunteers, on May 15, 1865. He studied pharmacy in Illinois and, upon his return from the army, conducted that business. For 21 years after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Somers lived in Urbana.
Then in September, 1879, they moved to Onawa, Ia., and three years later, in June, 1882, they came to Ida Grove, Ia. Here he opened his business as a druggist and pharmacist, a business which has continued ever since. Thus for 37 years he had his home in Ida Grove.
Two children of the family survive: Mrs. Annie S. Gardner of Clinton, Ia., and Elmer C. Somers of Ida Grove. There is one grandson, Daniel Gardner, of Chicago, and one great-grandson, Willis Bardwell Gardner. On March 14, last spring, just a little over four months ago, his wife preceded him in death.