Judah arrived in LaPorte County, Indiana in 1831, becoming the first white settler of Springfield Township. He built the first log cabin (shown at right) and the first frame house there. He was also the first Justice of the Peace. In 1832 the first schoolhouse was built and his daughter, Emily was the teacher.
The village of Springfield takes its name from the large stream of pure, cold water which flows in great abundance. It was laid out by Daniel Leaming (brother of Judah) for Judah Leaming, who was the original proprietor of the soil, and the plat was filed for record on August 19, 1835.
On April 9, 1832, at the house of Jacob Miller the first election was held and Judah Leaming was elected Associate Judge for LaPorte County. In an election held on Monday, April 6, 1835 at the house of Judah Leaming in Springfield Township, Judah Leaming was elected Overseer of the Poor. He was also inspector of the election. The handmade surveyor's chain (shown at left) and saddle that Daniel Leaming used [the saddle belonged to his grandson, Ernest Charles] in his surveying work are in the LaPorte County, Indiana Historical Museum.
Eunice died at age 45 on Christmas Day, 1834. Her youngest child, Charles Mac Leaming, was just seven months old when she died. Eunice is buried in the Springfield cemetery, north of LaPorte, Indiana. Just a year later, on October 16, 1835, Judah married secondly, Rosanna Shippee, widow of Alexander Reynolds. Rosanna, daughter of Hosea Shippee and Mary Mitchell, was born February 25, 1800 in Providence, Rhode Island. Rosanna had 4 children by her first husband, Alexander, and 5 children with Judah, two of whom (a set of twins) died young.
In about 1839 Judah moved his family to Iowa, although he had gone there a year earlier a built a log cabin. Iowa was not opened for settlement at that time and the soldiers made him leave his cabin. However, when the area was finally opened for settlement he was ready to move in his family and household goods. At that time, Des Moines was only a soldier's camp.
By this time his daughter Emily had married Rev. Ives Marks, and they too were of this group moving to Iowa. Elmira, a daughter had married Joseph Stanton and they remained in Indiana to make their home. All the other children moved to Iowa with them. Charles Mac Leaming, great grandfather of Paul Leaming, related the story many times to his family of the trip from Indiana. He was about five years of age at the time: "They were on the road for about three weeks, traveling by day and camping by night. They walked most of the way and drove and brought some livestock. They crossed the Mississippi River at a spot approximately where Keokuk, Iowa is now located and headed toward the site which several years later became Des Moines. They arrived at the Des Moines River considerably south of this intended spot approximately where the town of Eddyville now stands. They camped there for some time and then headed north to the Fort Des Moines area, from which they traveled north to an area five miles southwest of present day Woodward, Iowa. In the spring of 1840 Judah filed his claim."
Judah worked as a surveyor and also became active in local politics. Judah later disposed of his land near Woodward and acquired another tract of land that later became part of the village of Ortonville. He died September 1, 1869 and was buried in a small cemetery near his home, but a few years ago the remains were removed to the Woodward, Iowa cemetery and an appropriate monument erected by his great grandson, Paul Leaming. The small cemetery where he had rested was being grazed by cattle and it seemed likely conditions would not change. This is happening to many rural cemeteries, where they are being farmed over or are being used for shopping centers or housing projects. His tombstone inscription reads:
earthly remains moved to this spot close to old
On reverse side:
Rosanna, who was known to smoke a clay pipe that she burned out in the kitchen fire, lived well past 100 years of age, but her death date and burial place are unknown.
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See lineage of Leaming Family
Read about Judah's great, great grandfather, Christopher Leaming
Read about Judah's great grandfather, Jeremiah Leaming
Read about Judah's grandfather, Matthias Leaming
Read about Judah's father, Judah Leaming
Read Aaron Leaming's Diary
Read the Autobiography of Lydia Leaming Miller
Read the Autobiography of Martha (Mattie) Caroline Rogers Leaming
Read the Biography of Dessie Elizabeth Hayter Leaming