Mathias Clouse was a pioneer of Silver Creek Township, Ida County, Ia. He was born in Alsace-Lorraine, France, in 1843. He was the son of Charles and Elizabeth (Fisher) Clouse, natives of same country. The Clouse family had once lived in Amsterdam, and were a trading family. When the sons became of age they were sent up the Rhine River to establish trading posts. They emigrated to America and settled in Erie County, New York. Mathias received his early training and education principally in New York state.
The grandfather Clouse also emigrated to the country, dying in Ohio at the age of 95 years. Charles, with his parents, made a temporary residence in Erie County, then emigrated to Dubuque County, Iowa. They returned to Webster County, Iowa, opening a farm there. Charles’ parents moved on to Fort Dodge where the father died in 1880. The mother went to Wheeler County, Nebraska.
Mathias married Miss Isabella Cunningham (a native of Galena, Illinois) in 1869 in Dubuque County, Iowa. Isabella was the daughter of James and Isabella (Rogers) Cunningham, natives of Ireland, who came to America at an early day. They had settled in Illinois where her father died in 1865. Her mother moved to Plymouth County, Iowa.
Mathias settled in Ida County in 1874 on Section 35 of Silver Creek Township.. The farm had springs and creeks, with ample water the year around. It was important in those days to plant a fine grove of trees with an orchard. When the settlers arrived, the prairie was almost all treeless, except for a few small groves near the area where Ida Grove was later established a few miles to the southwest.
Impelled by patriotism, Mathias enlisted in Co. A, Third Iowa Infantry, at the age of 29. He participated in some of he most notable engagements of the war after being mustered in at Davenport. The first engagement was at the siege of Vicksburg. He also took part in the battles of Red River, Shreveport, Peach Orchard, White River, Ball’s Bluff, and a number of minor engagements. He escaped imprisonment and wounds, and received an honorable discharge July 12, 1865, at Davenport, Iowa.
Mathias had a brother emigrate to Iowa, also; Louis H. Clouse settled in Ida County only a few miles from Mathias when there still were sod houses in the area. Louis had a son who also farmed in Silver Creek Township, Charles Maxwell Clouse. Charles Max married Lillian Kramer on February 24, 1909, and their children were named: Corinne, Burdette, Leland, Russell, George Rodney, and Charles Dean.
Mathias and Isabella had 5 children: Ada, Willie, Henry, Maggie, and Ernest. Mathias was an active member of the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic), the Mathew Gray Post, Ida Grove, Iowa.
Isabella May 19, 1846-February 24, 1888 – Mathias Clouse 1843-1924
C. Max Clouse 1883-1964 – Lillian E. Clouse 1883-1965