In Honor of Our Real Daughter
Mrs. Eliza Melvin Shrader
Daughter of Isaac Melvin, American
Revolutionary War Soldier
A "Real Daughter" is a
woman whose father actually served in the American War of
Independence. As the generations lengthened from 1776,
there were granddaughters who knew of their grandfathers
who served - then great-granddaughters who knew - and so
to the present. Eventually the roll call of descendants
had to move away by generations (such as the 7th in 1990)
from those stirring, nation-forming days.
Eliza Ann Melvin Shrader, the "Real Daughter" of Pilgrim
Chapter, NSDAR, died at 97 years of age on March 1, 1905.
She was said to be one of the few living Daughters of the
American Revolution in the United States, and one of three
in the State of Iowa, according to her obituary in the
Iowa City Daily Press. She was born on January 7, 1808,
the daughter of Isaac Melvin and Abigail Dearborn,
Plymouth, New Hampshire. Isaac and Abigail were married in
1796 at Plymouth, New Hampshire, and with their children
migrated to Washington County, Ohio, in 1813. Eliza Ann
and John Shrader were married on April 11, 1828. They
moved to Solon, Iowa in 1862.
Isaac Melvin fought in the American Revolution both as a
private and as a corporal with service in Rhode Island
between 1777 and 1781. He migrated after the war to Ohio
and died there.
Eliza and John Shrader had four surviving children: Dr.
John C. Shrader (who had 2 sons Ed and Charles), Dr. James
A. Shrader, Mrs. Jennie Shrader Wilson, and Mrs. Kate
Eliza Ann joined Pilgrim Chapter, NSDAR, on March 22,
1898, at the age of 90, and was presented with a silver
commemorative spoon given by National Society DAR to all
Real Daughters. The spoon was exhibited in the window of
the Oliver Startsman Jewelry store.
John Shrader died in 1885 and is buried in Oakland
Cemetery, Iowa City, with his wife and other members of
Eliza Ann Shrader's Obituary:
Iowa City Daily Press, Wednesday evening,
March 1, 1905
REAL DAUGHTER of
Revolution Falls Asleep After Long and Useful Life
Mrs. Eliza A. Shrader,
Descendant of Patriots Is No More - Passes Away at Age
Iowa City lost a remarkable woman today -
when death claimed Mrs. Eliza Melvin Shrader.
This venerable and beloved woman passed to the great
beyond at 3:15 o'clock this morning. The end came at the
home of her daughter, Mrs. Kate Palmer, 222 Lucas
Street. The funeral will take place Friday afternoon.
Mrs. Shrader was almost two months past 97 years of
age, and was one of the few surviving "real daughters"
of the American Revolution in the United States, and one
of the three in the state of Iowa.
Her father, Isaac Melvin, while serving under General
George Washington near New York was taken prisoner. He
was transported to London, and there, for more than
three years, was confined in the world-famous Tower
prison. Thus came to the subject of the sketch, the
right to the honors that have been heaped upon her,
because of her almost unique position among the
Daughters of the American Revolution, in this state and
nation. She held certificates of membership in the state
and national Daughters of the American Revolution, and
was an honorary member of the Pilgrim Chapter, D.A.R. in
Iowa City. Mrs. Shrader was born in Plymouth, NH, on
January 7, 1808, and emigrated with her parents to
Washington county, Ohio, in 1813. She was married
February 10, 1828, to John Shrader. To them were born
seven children, of whom four survive, Dr. J. C. Shrader,
Iowa City, Dr., James A. Shrader, Monroe, Iowa; Mrs
Jennie Wilson, Solon; and Mrs. Kate Palmer, Iowa City.
Of these, our own beloved townsman, Dr. J. C. Shrader,
is entitled to a distinction almost as striking as that
of his departed mother, although in another field - for
his name will be 'writ large' in Iowa's educational
history, as one of the fathers of the college of
medicine, State University of Iowa, in which he still
serves as professor emeritus, continuing to honor the
profession wherein he has worthily served so many long
Mrs. Shrader was possessed of extraordinary vitality,
and her constitution scarcely bowed to the burden of old
age - although that age surpassed the vast majority of
even those whose tenure of life far exceeded the
allotted three score years and ten. Thus, at almost five
score, she retained an iron situation, and a physical
strength and vigor that were hers, in only a lessened
degree, to the very last. The mental vigor that
harmonized so thoroughly with her indomitable will and
vitality, was likewise the wonder and delight of her
friends and loved ones. Until the very end, her mind
retained its splendid faculties, and was undimmed in
brightness and keenness of grasp by the shadow of the
approaching death angel.
Thus, this daughter of a brave and patriotic father,
and a noble loyal mother, having dwelt for almost a
rounded century on the earth she blessed by goodness and
beauty of character, passed peacefully away, leaving
behind her a memory that shall relive and blossom as the
perennial flowers of a rich garden.