Henry Tolliver finds his father, Alfred Tolliver, after 55 years



Henry Tolliver, a leading citizen, living at 1413 Fremont street is about to start on a trip to Leavenworth, Kans., to visit his aged father, whom he has not seen since he was sold on the slave block over a half century ago, at the age of 9 years. The father is a man of remarkable age and according to a son who recently visited here, has seen 127 summers.

Henry Tolliver, when but a boy of 9, was sold on a southern auction block in Davis County, Missouri. This was the last he saw of his parent. He ran away from his master about the time of the outbreak of the war and came to Des Moines. He enlisted in the sixteenth United States colored infantry, served through the war and then came back to Des Moines and has since lived here. He is now a man of 64 years and the story of how he learned again of the whereabouts of his father reads like a romance.

A short time ago a colored man—a tramp—came to Mr. Tolliver’s home on Fremont street. Mrs. Tolliver gave him something to eat. The visitor asked her name. Mrs. Tolliver told him. He said he knew an old man of that name living at Leavenworth and that he was known as Alfred Tolliver. Mrs. Tolliver said at once this was the name of her husband’s father. Mr. Tolliver was working south of the river at the time. Mrs. Tolliver kept the stranger until her husband returned, and the latter, after making minute inquiries, was assured he had at last discovered the whereabouts of his father. He wrote to Leavenworth for confirmation and received a reply that removed all doubt on the subject.

Early this week Mr. Tolliver was visited by his brother Alexander of Tonganoxie, Kans. The two brothers had not met since 1862. From his brother Mr. Tolliver learned that his father was in good health and was able to walk about. He has planned to leave for Levenworth in a short time and there will doubtless be a family reunion well worth witnessing.

While Alexander Tolliver was here this week the two brothers called on Capt. Amos Brandt at the state house and told him their remarkable story. Mr. Henry Tolliver had a son in Captain Brandt’s company of colored troops in the Spanish-American war.

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