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Jerome Dial Ferree

"God has given us no greater blessing than that of belonging to a loving and loyal family - and it will be so always and forever." - Richard L. Evans

Quick Facts


Susan Frances & Jerome Dial Ferree

  • Born: January 10, 1838
  • Died: March 30, 1914
  • Parents: Thomas & Esther Ferree
  • Second oldest in order of birth
  • Married: Susan Frances Nelson
  • Nine children
  • Insurance & real estate agent
  • Sixth generation Ferree descendant on the John Ferree & Mary Musgrave line
  • Staunch Republican
  • Mason Scottish Rite Degree

Jerome Dial Ferree was born January 10, 1838, on a farm in Hillsboro, Montgomery County, Illinois, the second child of his parents, Thomas and Esther Ferree. When he was about seven years old the family located to St. Louis, Missouri, where his father took a contract to sprinkle the streets of the city. After his father died in 1849 from cholera, his mother returned to the farm in Hillsboro to raise her children. She remarried to a man named Asa Turner and had another son. Until about the age of eighteen, Jerome worked during the summer seasons farming. During the winter he attended school. For about three years while enrolled in school in Litchfield, Illinois, he received a good education and taught school for three years in the area. Despite adversity, he took advantage of opportunities presented and became a distinguished successful businessman.

Career Highlights:

  • 1864 - Employed in the fire insurance business in Keokuk, Iowa.
  • 1968 - Began his own fire insurance and real estate business.
  • 1871 - Took the general agency of Iowa for the St. Louis Mutual Life Insurance Co.
  • 1873 - Special Agent for the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Co. for Iowa.
  • 1875 - General Agent for Iowa of the Penn Mutual Life of Philadelphia.
  • 1878 - Organized the Ottumwa Loan and Building Association and served as Secretary.
  • 1881 - Organized the Iowa Mutual Aid Association of Ottumwa and served as Secretary.

Jerome Dial Ferree and Susan Frances Nelson were united in marriage on November 28, 1860, in Montgomery County, Illinois. Susan was a lineal descendant of Governor Thomas Nelson, Jr., a member of the Provincial Congress (1774), Continental Congress (1776), and signer of the Declaration of Independence. She was a member of the DAR, a reformer, a poetry lover, and journalist who wrote and published poetry and articles on national politics. Jerome and Susan had nine children:

Mary Ellen
(1862 - 1930)
Sallie Belle (1863 - 1864)
Bonnie Louise (1864 - 1919)
George Nelson (1866 - Aft. 1927)
Frances Susan (1868 - 1951)
Alice May (1870 - 1879)
Grace Bessie (1872 - 1956)
Daisy Lenore (1875 - 1964)
Violette Mignonette (1877 - 1940)

Photos of the family can be viewed in this website's Ancestor Gallery, John Ferree and Mary Musgrave line.


Jerome Dial Ferree died March 30, 1914. He is buried in Ottumwa Cemetery, Wapello County, Iowa.

Susan Frances Nelson Ferree died September 6, 1919, in San Diego, California. Her ashes were buried in the grave of her husband in 1941 by their daughter, Frances Susan Ferree Chambers.

Other members of the family are also buried there.


Sources: "Ferree Family History" compiled by George Bennett Ferree; "History of Wapello County, Iowa and Representative Citizens"; "A Woman of the Century: Fourteen Hundred-Seventy Biographical Sketches" by Mary Ashton Rice Livermore; "American Women. Revised Edition of Women of the Century" by Frances E. Willard & Mary A. Livermore; " National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Volume 17"; "The DAR Register" ; "Illinois Statewide Marriage Index 1763-1900"; "Wapello County, Iowa Cemeteries, Ottumwa Cemetery" compiled by the Wapello County Genealogy Society.