A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname



Notes for Elja BARNUM


His birth name was Levi Jabez, for his two grandfathers, and he appears in the 1870 census as Levi J. Barnum, age 1. However, his name was shortened to Elja and the next son in the family was named Jabez W. Barnum. Elja wrote a letter from Santiago de Cuba, Co C, 12th US Inf. on July 14, 1898, telling his brother about the battle for Santiago. He later received a pension as an Army Invalid, as a result of "Dysentery and resulting disease of rectum".

The Genealogical Record of the Barnum Family mistakenly calls him Elijah Barnum. He was listed in the 1925 Iowa State Census as an Army Veteran of the Spanish American War, enlisting from Iowa. He was shown as a Presbyterian, while his wife and children were all listed as Lutherans.

In 1885 Elja was living with his parents in Etna, Hardin County, Iowa; in 1900 he was in Eldora, also Hardin County; in 1910 in Garden City, Blue Earth County, Minnesota; and in 1920 and 1930 in Brookfield, Worth County, Iowa.

In the US Army Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914, he is shown as enlisting for three years on 9 Sep 1896, at Des Moines Iowa. He was listed as from Hardin, Iowa; age 27-1/2; farmer; brown hair and eyes; fair complexion; 5 ft 11-1/4 in; assigned to Company "C", 12th Infantry Regiment; discharged on 8 Sep 1899 at Angeles, P.I. (Philippine Islands) at expiration of service; private; excellent conduct. He may have been held over for service for another month or so, since his Expiration of Service (EOS) date was during the middle of the Battle of Angeles.

On August 10, 1899, US forces began the attack on Angeles, confident of capturing it in a few days. However, the Filipino Army defending the town refused to give in so easily and fiercely fought back, battling the Americans in and around the town for three months. It was not until November 5, 1899 that the town finally fell into American hands. The Battle of Angeles was considered to be the longest in the history of the Filipino-American War in Pampanga. The capture of Angeles led to the establishment of an American Army camp in Barrio Talimundoc (now Lourdes Sur), located next to the railroad station, in order to establish control over the central plains of Luzon. In January 1900, General Frederick D. Grant organized the first U.S. Civil Government in Angeles, appointing an alcalde, or municipal mayor, and thus beginning American colonization of the Philippines in Angeles.
R. T. Valentine says he was born in 1869.
From the Austin Daily Herald, Austin, Minnesota, Wednesday, December 2, 1952: Elja Barnum passed away November 26, 1952 at the Jacobs Rest Home in Austin, at the age of 83 years, three months and 9 days. He was a son of Abraham (Abram) and Nancy Barnum, Ackley, Iowa. He was born August 17, 1869 on his fatherís farm near Ackley. He attended the rural school of that county and the Academy at Ackley. He taught school at Wellsburg, Iowa and in September 1896 he enlisted in the United States Army and served through the Spanish American War, receiving his honorable discharge in 1899. He was married to Anna Valentine May 2, 1900 at Eldora, Iowa. In his youth he joined the Presbyterian Church at Ackley, later transferring to the Methodist Church at Northwood then to the Methodist Church at Brownsdale. He leaves to mourn his passing his wife Anna; five children, Rosalie (Mrs. Virgil Rapp) Northwood, Bessie (Mrs. Almer Halverson), Liberty, Mo., Theodore, Austin, Clyde and Charles, Brownsdale; 9 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren. He is also survived by three sisters, two half sisters and two brothers: Mrs. Clara Moree, Clifton, Colorado, Mrs. Rosalie B. Dahl, Long Beach, California, Mrs. Lynn Lowman, Madison, Wisconsin, Mrs. Eugene Brand, Minneapolis, Mrs. William Kadish [sic: s/b Kadesch], Colorado; Jay of Grinnell, Iowa and Bert of Texas. He was preceded in death by two daughters, Vera and Ruth (Mrs. Harold Hartson). The last 22 years of his life were spent on his farm near Brownsdale. Interment is in Sunset Rest Cemetery, Northwood, Iowa.
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