S.J. Emery


Sarah J. Emery


In 1857 Sarah Jane Emery came by boat to Keokuk, Iowa, and then overland
by team.  She was originally from Sedalia in Madison County, Ohio. 
Her father, Thoas Emery, had been a member of the underground, and their
home had been an overnight stopping place for runaway slaves seeking their
freedom in Canada.  In 1858 Sarah took her first teaching job at the
age of seventeen in a rural school two miles south of Nevada.  In
1861, a one-acre site located just east of Squaw Creek was deeded by Lucian
and Abigail Hoggatt, for school purposes.

The construction of the school was completed by June 1862, and the Washington
Township School was ready for its first term.  Sarah Emery was the
first teacher.  She boarded with the William Fitzpatrick family, who
lived in the college Farmhouse, the first building on the newly established
Iowa Agricultural Farm.  The school’s first dozen students were mostly
from the two families – the Hoggatts and the Fitzpatricks.  The surrounding
village had only about a dozen dwellings, and wasn’t to be established
as a town for two and a half more years.

The Gossard Family, 1889

On July 4, 1865, Sarah married Thomas Gossard while he was on furlough
from the Union Army.  The young husband left to return to the war,
but it was shortly over and Thomas was mustered out and returned home. 
The Gossards had four children between 1866 and 1874 -- Carrie Blanche,
born 1866; Harry Authur, born 1868; William Emery, b. 1871; and Thomas
LaMont, b. 1874.  Thomas died in 1890, and Sarah moved to Ames with
her children.

The photo above shows Sarah Emery Gossard, second from right in front. 
Thomas Gossard is seated next to her. Also pictured are the Gossards' four
children and their grandmother, Elizabeth Emery, who died at age 85 in
her daughter's home in Ames.

In 1908 Sarah Gossard moved to Onawa, Iowa.  She lived to be
95 and is now buried in Ames Municipal Cemetery.