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contact our Junior Vice Department Commander

Ken Lindblom

2649 182nd St

Marshalltown, Iowa 



      Greetings from the         Deptartment of Iowa's       Junior Vice Commander. I would like to extend a welcome to those of you who wish to join our Order, or those who merely seek information.  My job is to assist you in finding a Camp to join.  Merely contact a member of the Camp you wish to join, or contact me and I'll get you set up.  If there is no Camp nearby, you may wish to start a new camp with as few as FIVE members.  You do not have to have a Civil War ancestor to join a Camp.  We will do all we can to assist you.  I look forward to hearing from you.


Iowa's Last Real Son and Daughter


children of John T. Brandon *


Co. A, 1st Wisconsin Infantry



            Siblings John Thomas Brandon* and Rosella Livengood Scieszinski*, both of Albia, Iowa, were the Last Living Son and Daughter of a Civil War Veteran in Iowa.  They were the youngest of seven children born to John and Grace Brandon.  Rosella was born November 13, 1908, in Monroe County, Iowa and passed away on October 12, 2012, in Albia, Iowa, at the age of 103.  John T. was born July 13, 1913, also in Monroe County, Iowa, and passed away on November 7, 2008 in Albia, Iowa, he was 95.


            Their father, John, was the son of William and Elizabeth Brandon.  He was born December 25, 1844, in Pennsylvania, and died at his home, southwest of Lovilia, Iowa, on December 9, 1930, aged 85 years, 11 months and 14 days.  When he was 18 years old he enlisted in Company A, First Wisconsin Infantry and served until the close of the Civil War.  He was discharged at Janesville, Wisconsin.  He lived in Monroe County, Iowa for many years, and spent the greater part of his time in farm work.  In 1894, he was united in marriage to Miss Grace Rand, and to this union were born seven children.  


            Rosella Scieszinski joined her friends at the Leisure Lounge where friends helped her in celebrating her 102nd birthday. Rosella has been coming to the Leisure Lounge daily for over 40 years. She loves to play cards and join in the daily activities, and she always has a warm smile and a squeeze for everyone. When asked about her secret to long life, she simply replies, "Be as ornery as possible."   Rosella was a graduate of Chariton High School. She was a dietician at the Albia Hospital and VA Hospital in Knoxville. She was the last remaining child of a Union Civil War Veteran in Iowa, and also the oldest living resident of Monroe County.  Rosella was an excellent cook and really enjoyed cooking for her family.  She also loved to play cards, along with quilting and traveling. She is survived by three children, Eleanor Barnhill of Albia, Bill (Mary) Livengood of Hendersonville, Tennessee and Garold (Marva) Livengood of Marion, 19 grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Rosella was preceded in death by her parents; husbands, Vern Livengood and Leo Scieszinski; a daughter, Thelma Livengood, and a son. Dale Livengood. Funeral services were 1.30 p.m., Monday, October 8, 2012, at Tharp Funeral Home in Albia, with Leonard Boswell, member of Congress, officiating. Burial was in Woodlawn Cemetery in Lovilia.


            John T. Brandon attended school in Monroe County and married Yvonne Petty on February 13, 1940, in Memphis, Missouri. They were married for 55 years before Yvonne died on January 15, 1996. During WWII John served his country in the U.S. Army. After his service he owned and operated Southern Iron and Metal Company. He operated the salvage company from 1946, until his retirement in 1983. John was very active all his life. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge of Albia. He enjoyed collecting classic cars, owned and raced several quarter horses, grew a very big garden for several years and owned and farmed several farms in Iowa and Missouri. John also enjoyed attending two very special organizations; Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and The Civil War Round Table of Ottumwa. John was proud to be able to tell people that he was the last surviving son of a civil war veteran in the state of Iowa.



Brandon Remembers Father Who Fought in Civil War


Soldier has son and daughter living in Albia 154 years after his birth


Albia Union-Republican


Thursday July 2, 1998


            While other towns across the state are celebrating the Sesquicentennial on this Fourth of July weekend, John Thomas Brandon of Albia, is remembering his father a Civil War veteran. In August of 1993, the National Organization, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War reminded Brandon of his father's service by sending him a commemorative letter. Brandon is one of a handful who is a living son of a Civil War veteran. Private John Brandon was a veteran of the Civil War, serving in Company A, 6th Wisconsin Infantry in the Union Army. Brandon remembers some stories his father told, but at the time, Brandon was not very interested. Now, when it's too late to ask, Brandon wishes he knew more about his-father's time in the Civil War.  Private Brandon and his family were originally from Pennsylvania, where he was born in 1844, but moved to Wisconsin, were Private Brandon eventually enlisted. Brandon remembers his father saying that Brandon's grandmother did not want Private Brandon to join the war.  Private Brandon had other plans, so he ran away from home at the age of 16. According to Brandon, Private Brandon said he was 16 when he enlisted, but that he lied about his age when joining. Brandon believes his father was 17 when he joined because his birthday is November of 1844 and the war did not start until 1861.  Private Brandon fought under General Grant and at one point his unit was captured. It was a surprise to the Union troops because the Confederate army was wearing Union uniforms. Private Brandon told his son they were wearing the uniforms due to the South's lack of supplies. Private Brandon and his unit where taken prisoner in Richmond, Virginia, and put in Libby Prison. Brandon recalls his father telling him that the prison provided only six feet of ground per person and there were over 40,000 prisoners. The prison was two separate buildings. Private Brandon was housed in an old tobacco factory while the officers stayed in the main brick building located caddie corner across the street. Brandon remembers his father saying, that while in prison, he was fed twice a day. His meal consisted of one two-inch-square piece of corn bread. The bread was made from ground up com and cob. There was a spring near the prison so the prisoners didn't have to worry about water. The group was only in prison 14 days before the opposing sides traded prisoners. One of the things Private Brandon told his son was that many prisoners were whipped after capture. Private Brandon and his unit didn't whip their prisoners, but they did burn down the town's buildings and attempt to starve the soldiers. Libby Prison was one of two Confederate camps of the Civil War.  Libby Prison confined more than 1,000 Union officers. The other prison was the Andersonville Prison Camp, located near present day Amicus, Georgia. Andersonville village was the site chosen to build the prison because of its deep south location, availability of fresh water and its proximity to the southwestern railroad. The prison was designed to hold 10,000 prisoners, but by August 1864, the prison population was over 32,000. It was one of the worst prison camps of the Civil War. It was a Confederate stockade for Union soldiers. The Union soldiers suffered from starvation, overcrowding and cruelty. A daily ration was the same for prisoners as guards. It consisted of 1 1/4 pound of corn meal and either one pound of beef or 1/3 of bacon. Occasionally the meal was supplemented with beans, peas, rice or molasses. By the wars end, in May 1865, 12,912 deaths occurred in Andersonville, approximately 30 percent during the prison's 14 month existence. Overall, the South captured 126,950 prisoners and 22,576 died. In the North, 220,000 soldiers were captured and 26,436 died. Now, Andersonville Prison Camp is an historic site that includes the national cemetery. While visiting relatives in Georgia. in March of 1977, Brandon toured the Andersonville Prison. "It was quite a site. Thousands and thousands of soldiers died there," remarked Brandon. After the war was over, Private Brandon married a woman by the name of Grace Rand. Together they had seven children.

            Private Brandon was a farmer who liked to travel.  The family moved from Wisconsin to Iowa to Kansas to Iowa to Missouri and back to Iowa.  John T. remembers being in a covered wagon traveling from Iowa to Missouri in 1919.  Not only did the Brandon’s move from state to state, but they moved from town to town in Monroe County.  John T. remembers being around Iconium when he was very young, and living north of Melrose, but he spent most of his years in Albia.  John T. went to school off and on until he was 18.  He completed up through the ninth grade.  Brandon worked for the United States Engineers on the Missouri River during the summers.  He built dikes, paved banks and worked on flood areas.  He did odd jobs during the off season.  In 1942, he was drafted into the army.  He worked in the medics as a ward attendant in the Fort Ord Hospital in California.  Brandon served until 1946.  Returning to Albia in 1946, with his wife Yvonne, whom he married on February 13, 1940, he started his own business in the scrap metal Industry.  Brandon dealt in iron and other metals.  He shipped the scrap by rail to steel mills and smelters. He also sent much by truck to such cities as Chicago, Minneapolis and Davenport.  John and Yvonne have three children: Davida Tharp, Diana Major and David Brandon. In 1983, Brandon retired and closed down his scrap business.  Over the years, Brandon has become interested in the Civil War and acquired information regarding it. He learned 7,000 soldiers were killed in 20 minutes during the Civil War. More soldiers were killed in the Civil War than during any other war. Brandon owns newspapers from the New York Tribune and the Burlington Hawkeye from 1863 to 1865. In there is information concerning the Civil War including wholesale prices for currency and the Gettysburg Address. In the November 28, 1863 edition of the New York Tribune, President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was published.  In the same paper are the price differences for items in the North and South.


               Articles                                    NYC                      Richmond

                 Gold                                      $1.50                          $16.00 

                 Wheat                                    $1.00                          $3.00

                 Corn                                      $1.60                          $15.00

                 Coffee                                   $0.83                          $10.00

                 Whiskey                                $0.75                          $85.00

                 Beef                                       $0.18                          $1.50

                 Eggs                                      $0.13                          $9.00


            Not only has Brandon collected much information on the Civil War, but has collecting other items as well. “I have too many toys” comments Brandon. Brandon spend much of his day tending to his three large gardens, taking care of his vehicles, spending time with friend and family and, as always, learning more and more about the Civil War. He operated the salvage company from 1946, until his retirement in 1983. John was very active all his life. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge of Albia. He enjoyed collecting classic cars, owned and raced several quarter horses, grew a very big garden for several years, and owned and farmed several farms in Iowa and Missouri. John also enjoyed attending two very special organizations, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and The Civil War Round Table of Ottumwa. John was proud to be able to tell people that he was the last surviving son of a Civil War veteran in the state of Iowa.

             John T. Brandon, age 95, of Albia, died early Friday evening, November 7, 2008, at the Monroe County Hospital in Albia. Funeral services were held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, November 11, 2008, at the Winfield Funeral Home in Albia, with Rev. Bill Boyd officiating. Burial followed services at Oak View Cemetery in Albia, with military rites provided by the Howard Cessna Post #136 of Albia.

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