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Iowa City, Iowa

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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.

photo of Eliza Ann Shrader
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 Shrader Palmer.

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 their family.

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 of 97

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 years.

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.

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Last Updated 17 August 2017
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