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Couple's roots run deep in Civil War history

Staff writer

Judy Houdyshell, 64, and her husband, 69, of rural Antelope, both have ancestors who fought for the Union army during the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865.

Roy Houdyshell’s family traces back four generations to that time, while Judy’s family traces back six generations.

“It’s interesting that Roy’s Civil War ancestor is his great-grandfather and mine is my great-great-great-grandfather,” Judy said. “We’ve double-checked, and we know we didn’t miss a generation.”

They think the difference is because Roy’s grandfather, also named Roy, was born when his great-grandfather was 56 years old.

William Pringle

Roy Houdyshell‘s great-grandfather, William Pringle, was born in 1834 in Indiana. His father claimed a homestead along Diamond Creek in Chase County in 1859, and then returned to his home in Missouri. He died soon thereafter.

William Pringle planted a crop on the Kansas land to prove up the claim, and his mother later deeded it to him. The family lived there in 1860.

In August 1863, William enlisted in the Missouri State Militia. He fought in a unit that fought guerillas on the Confederate side. He provided his own horse and saddle.

He was honorably discharged in July 1865 in Benton Rock, Missouri, from Company M, 9th Regiment Cavalry.

William married twice and had 10 children. He was 56 years old when son, Roy Pringle, was born in June 1890 near Elmdale. Roy Pringle’s daughter Idella married a Houdyshell. Roy Houdyshell was their son.

The Houdyshells have copies of Pringle’s military and pension records obtained from the National Archives. He was buried at Elk, a former small community on the Marion/Chase County line on present-day 250th Road.

Judy said Roy takes a flag and flowers to the cemetery every Memorial Day.

John A. Loveless

Judy’s Civil War ancestor did not survive the war. John Amos Loveless was her great-great-great-grandfather. He was born in Ohio in 1837. He married in 1857 and joined the 40th Iowa Infantry Company G in August 1862 in Knoxville, Iowa.

He sent letters to his wife while serving in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Arkansas. In a letter dated Aug. 9, 1863, he said that many men were sick and had been sent to a hospital.

“I think if I don’t get better in another week, I shall go, too,” he wrote. “I am so weak that I can scarcely walk. You can see that by the way I write.”

His last letter home was dated Sept. 22, 1863. He said he weighed 126 pounds. He died on Oct. 8, 1863, and is buried in Little Rock Military Cemetery.

John Loveless had three children including Frank Loveless, born in 1863 in Iowa, the same year that John died.

By 1870, the family was living near Seneca, Kansas. In the early 1900s, they moved to Antelope. Frank’s son Edmund married Henrietta Wight of Antelope. The couple lived near Antelope and had a son named Ervin, who came to be more commonly known as Mike. Mike, and his wife, LaVona, of Marion are Judy’s parents.

Many other descendants of John Loveless live in the area and claim the same lineage.

Last modified May 23, 2019

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