An American Family History

Marie Louisa Bertrand Shimp

Chariton is the county seat of Lucas County, Iowa and is in Lincoln Township.

The 1918 influenza pandemic was also called the Spanish flu. It was caused by an unusually deadly strain and most victims were healthy, young adults. The pandemic lasted from March 1918 to June 1920. One third of the world's population, became infected.

Marie Louisa Bertrand Shimp was born in Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa in August, 1888. She was the daughter of Gilles Joseph Bertrand and Viola Belle Long

Marie, Virginia & Emma
Marie, Virginia Smith & Emma

She married Clair Henry Shimp on December 31, 1906 when she was eighteen years old. Clair was born on July 17, 1887. His parents were James Alvin Shimp and Sarah Jones. Clair Shrimp worked with Joseph Bertrand as a plumber.

The Chariton Leader, Chariton, Iowa,Thursday, January 3, 1907
Clair H. Shimp and Miss Marie Louise Bertrand, on Watch night, Dec. 31st., were married by Rev. F. B. Palmer at the Baptist Parsonage. The ceremony was performed in the presence of their near relatives. New Year's Day they went to Des Moines, for a brief visit among friends, later they will return to Chariton to make their future home.

Marie and Clair's children were Neil Bertrand Shimp, born November 6, 1908 and Keith Alvin Shimp, born April 7, 1918. 

In 1910 they were living in Chariton, Iowa and in 1920 they were back in Des Moines. The family consisted of Clare age 33, Marie age 32, Neil age eleven and Keith age one year nine months. Marie's brother Merl was also living with them at the time of the census. At the time of the 1930 census they were living in Omaha, Nebraska.

Marie, Merl and Clair
Marie, Merl, and Clair

In 1957 when her sister Blanch died, they were living in Independence, Missouri.

Marie died in 1970 and Clair followed in 1977. They were laid to rest together in Blue Springs Cemetery in Jackson County, Missouri.

Marie and Clair's grave

In the 1830s settlers began arriving in Iowa from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. Iowa became a state in 1846.

World War II was a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The Allies (United States, British Commonwealth countries, and the Soviet Union) fought against the Axis (Germany, Japan and Italy).

Mrs Marie L Shimp 82 Powell road Independence died yesterday at the Independence Medical Canter She was born in Des Moines and lived in Independence 40 years before moving to Eastern Jackson County 11 years ago. Mrs. Shimp was a Baptist,

Mrs Shimp and her husband Clair H Shimp of the home owned and operated the Golden Guernsey dairy about 20 years. Also surviving are a son Keith Shimp 1217 West Thirty-first Independence, a brother Frank Bertrand,, Omaha a sister Mrs Lura Jones, Fontana Calif and a grandchild.

Services will he held at 2 o’clock Tuesday at the Mayfield chapel Blue Springs burial in Blue Springs cemetery Friends may call from 7 to 9 o’clock tonight at the chapel.

Their son, Neil Shimp married Jeanne Bond in 1930 in Omaha , Nebraska and their son, Neil B. Ship, Jr. was born in 1929. 

Neil, Sr. worked for the Fred Harvey Dining Car Company in Albuquerque, New Mexico before he went into the Army during World War II. He was assigned to Company B 220, Coast Artillery and was sent to Ford Stocktonburg on Minanaoin in the Philippine Islands as a Chemical Warfare instructor. Shortly after he arrived in the Islands, he was promoted to the rank of Captain. He was taken prisoner in 1943 when the Japanese overran the Islands. Because he was healthy, he was picked to be transferred to a more secure prison. The 1725 prisoners were put aboard a ship which was sunk by U. S. submarines about 200 miles from the Chinese mainland. 

Keith Shimp worked for Sears Robuck Company and was a Lecturer for the Kansas City Real Estate School and was in the real estate business in Independence, Missouri. He married Betty Jean Curtis. 
Children of Joseph Bertrand
and Viola Long
  • Marie Louisa Bertrand Shimp
  • Emma Ethel Bertrand Smith
  • Blanch Pauline Bertrand Higgins
  • Frances M. Bertrand Metela Johnson
  • Lura Bertrand Bechtel Jones
  • Franklin Merl Bertrand
  • Izetta Fern Bertrand
  • Baptist churches were found in early colonial settlements and grew out of the English Separatist movement and the doctrine of John Smyth who rejected infant baptism.



    Mrs. J. A. Shimp died at her home in Lincoln township, on Tuesday, January 16. Funeral services will be conducted to-day by Rev. I. H. Fuller followed by interment. This death was one of the saddest that has come under the reporter's notice. On Monday Mrs. Shimp had been suffering with stomach and bowel trouble and had been relived by simple remedies and it was thought she was improving. Dr. Field rove out from here about noon Tuesday, and entering the house found the patient dead in bed. It was his judgment that she had been dead about fifteen minutes. The children were playing about the house and yard all unconscious that they were motherless, supposing their mother to be simply sleeping. Only a few moments before she had given her eldest daughter some directions about dinner and had said nothing of any change in her feelings. She has in the past shown symptoms of heart disease and it is believed that her death was caused by an attack of that trouble. January 18, 1894 H


    September 15, 1927
    Chariton Patriot

    James Alvin Shimp, son of William and Rebecca Shimp was born in Woodsfield, Monroe county, Ohio, on October 24, 1850 and departed this life at the home of his son, Harry in Lucas county, Iowa, Thursday evening Sept. 8, 1927, at the age of 76 years, 10 months, and 16 days.

    He went with his parents to Virginia in 1860, and moved to Lucas county, Iowa in 1869, where he lived the remainder of his life, except two years spent in California.

    He was united in marriage to Elizabeth Jones, of Marion county, on Mar. 17 1880. To this union were born seven children. Fred F. and Harry L. Shimp, Mrs. Nellie Kline and Mrs. Tessie Peterson, all of this county: Mrs. Mary Andrus, of Hoquiam, Washington; and Claire Shimp of Kansas City, Mo; all of whom survive him. One son, Lonie Shimp of Lebanon, Kansas preceded him in death in the year of 1916.

    In the year of 1895, he was again united in marriage to Louise Lewis, who preceded him in death July 23, 1903. To this union were born four children. Mrs. Edna Hollingshead of Hoquiam, Washington, Charles Shimp of Evanston, Illinois, George Shimp of Des Moines, Iowa, all of whom survive him and Walter Shimp who died in infancy.

    Besides his children there are left to mourn their loss, 28 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren and one brother, Joseph Shimp of Chariton.

    Funeral services were held at the home of his son, Harry Shimp two and a half miles south of Chariton, on Saturday afternoon at 3 o'clock conducted by Rev. Geo. I. Cornford, with burial in the Chariton cemetery.

    Lucas County is in south central Iowa. It was founded in 1846 and the county seat is Chariton.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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