Historical military service records uncovered by recorder

Jan 25, 2017

Two historical books concerning military records of Nodaway County citizens were found when refiling records.

The first book documents Nodaway County residents who participated in the Civil War in handwritten records such as length of service, promotions and duty while serving. The second contains records for enlisted persons in Nodaway County from 1919-1920 that include relative details about the individual documented.

Field Archivist Becky Carlson inspected the books and confirmed their historical authenticity particular to Nodaway County.

Nodaway County Recorder of Deeds Sandra Smail led in the processing and uploading of the documents to the Nodaway County website.

Smail said geneology work helps people looking for missing links in family tree research.

“Anybody who does genealogy work is always looking for missing pieces of puzzles,” Smail said. “Things like ‘What did great grandpa do?’ and ‘Did great grandpa serve in the Civil War?’ It is information that helps in that sense unique to Nodaway County.”

Smail said she wants to put together more information on her own website to help as many people as possible. In addition to the recent find, Smail has uncovered other important documents while working at the Deed Office.

“It’s a matter of knowing what we have,” Smail said. “When this office moved from the courthouse into this building, we made a very significant discovery. We had drawers of loose papers, and I picked up a book that was falling apart, bound in leather.”

This was book number one of county deeds recorded in town, written by the first Recorder of Deeds, Amos Graham. These records date all the way back to 1845.

“The paper was brittle enough to the point of flaking off,” Smail said. “We took the book apart and sprayed solution onto the paper that made it supple again. We put all the pages individually in archival sleeves so that the paper is protected.”

Smail said she wants people to contribute to the Nodaway Historical Society if they find documents with historical relevance. She plans to submit her finds there soon.

According to the Nodaway County Historical Society’s website, the organization is dedicated to the study, collection and preservation of historically-significant data and material that reflects the story of Nodaway County and its residents through the years.

The Nodaway County Recorder of Deeds houses records dating back from 1967 to the present, including marriage certificates, land plotting records, surveys and others.


Published January 25, 2017 @TheMissourian

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