Sabra Ison

Happy Halloween Forest County Residents!
This week’s post is by request from some of the participants of the Flashlight Lakeside Cemetery Tour. During the tour the story of Sabra Ison was told, who at one time was one of the oldest people in the nation! When she turned 100 years old she received a birthday card from Mamie Eisenhower, the President’s wife.
This is Sabra’ s story:
Sabra was born in Virginia in 1858 to John Porter and Rhoda Salyers Porter. She was the youngest of twenty one siblings. When Sabra was one year old her family went west to Kentucky traveling in a covered wagon through the Cumberland Gap. She spent her childhood in Isonville, Kentucky. On the family farm she sewed all the clothing for the family, sheered sheep, carded the wool, spun and wove it into linen from flax. She also made soap, carried water from the well, and churned butter. The Porter’s had some fun times too. The community would gather together for house raisings and quilting bees.
Sabra recalled during the Civil War that a group of Quantrill raiders came to her family’s farm and forced her father to turn over nine horses. She hid in the bushes while the raiders threatened to kill her father. The raiders would steal livestock and sell them to both armies to make a large profit. The War Between the States was a dangerous time for everyone. At that time Sabra and her friends actually thought Abraham Lincoln was one of the ugliest men they had ever seen? They used to draw cartoons in school making fun of him!
Sabra met and married her husband Aaron Ison on Sept 30 of 1874.  Shortly after they were wed Sabra was hanging up the wash outside and a few rough looking men rode up on horseback. She ran into their cabin and locked the door. From the window she witnessed a brawl between the riders and a pursuing posse. After a member of the posse was wounded the fight ended and they all broke off. Sabra found out that the riders were Jesse James and two of his bandit friends.
Aaron and Sabra moved to Crandon on March 17, 1904 to the area known as “Siding One” which was four miles west of Crandon. All the Isons settled there, it was a small community with a church, school, store, and post office. They actually donated land for a cemetery in this area. Aaron made a living logging and farming. Aaron also had a license from the government to make whiskey. But during prohibition he would also brew moonshine to make some extra money. This landed him in jail. When he got out of jail he headed straight for the gold fields and did not come back for four years! Do you know what the first thing he said when he returned was?
“Would you be afraid if I took my boots off?” Can you believe it?!
Sabra had fifteen children, 68 grandchildren, 125 great grandchildren, and 25 great great grandchildren at the time of my death. She was one hundred years old when she passed away in 1958 of a heart attack (Deward Ison, Forest Republican).

One thought on “Sabra Ison”

  1. I am honored to read all these things about my Gr Grandmom Sabby. She must have been a strong woman to live alone for such a long time…lest we forget she didn’t have a furnace, running water or, electricity. I am so very Proud . of her and her daughter, Margaret Ison who’s married my Grandpa Whitt in Kentucky, before they all moved to Crandon, Wisconsin.

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