Luella DeJean

Ok, so I have nearly exhausted all I know about our Rhoades family. What about our maternal line? Well, The Smart Aleck documents much of this side of the family, but I still have some stories to share.

We have all heard about our ancestors Stephen DeJean and Cornelia Rouse. I have been studying the only known published research on Stephen, Some genealogy records of Stephen Louis De Jean family from Paris, France and his American descendents (sic) by Una Myrle Gage Grimes. She is grandmother’s aunt. Oh…but I am getting ahead here.

Luella is our DeJean link. Much of what I have on Luella also came from Myrle Grimes via A History of Harrison County, Iowa, 1981 and confirmed through independent research.

She was born on 23 November 1874 near Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa to George Washington DeJean and Marion Barbara Tucker. Her mother died when she was about 14. By the age of 15 or 16, she was married to Edward Julius Gage. She had one older sister who had died at the age of 9, leaving her to be the oldest child. Her younger sister also died young, at the age of 1. A younger brother, Edwin, lived to the ripe old age of 75. Her father married a second time and had three more children, one of whom also died young.

Harrison County marriage returns for 1890

Luella and Edward were farmers and had six daughters and one son. Myrle was one of those daughters, and one of her sisters is my great-grandmother.

My Grandmother remembers Edward and Luella. She remembers going to their farm to help out from time to time during the summer months.  She often regales us with many stories about Luella.  Luella was a midwife and may have taught Myrle the trade. Luella and her daughters were merry girls and got along well, playing games and pranks among them. Luella was an excellent seamstress and sometimes rewarded her granddaughters with dresses in return for their farm chores.

Once, Edward Gage wanted to clean the cistern and he had Luella pull the ladder up so he could clean all the way around. Inside the house, the girls were making May Day baskets and Luella had joined them after pulling up the ladder. The window in the kitchen was near the cistern, and she was supposed to listen for his call to return and lower the ladder, but the girls were making such a ruckus that they could not hear him calling. When Luella finally went to check on him he had been calling for some time and was quite mad. She told him to cool off or she would not lower the ladder. This story made the newspaper, The Woodbine Twiner (not digitized – yet).
Genealogical Summary for Luella:

Luella DeJean was born in Dunlap, Harrison, Iowa, USA on 23 November 1874.  She was the second child of George Washington DeJean and Marion Barbara Tucker.

When she was 14 years old, her mother Marion Barbara Tucker died (8 March 1889). When she was 46 years old, her father George Washington DeJean died (1 April 1921).

On 29 January 1890, she married Edward Julius Gage in Dunlap, Harrison, Iowa. 

Luella and Edward had seven children:

  1. Una Myrle
  2. Nellie Pearl
  3. Allie Belle
  4. Bessie Marie
  5. Mary Irene
  6. Bertha Lualla
  7. Leslie Howard
On 7 June 1949, she died in Woodbine, Harrison, Iowa.  She was 74 years old. She is buried in Dunlap, Harrison, Iowa. 

Clipped from 
  1. Council Bluffs Nonpareil
  2. 10 Jun 1949, Fri
  3. Page 22