Our thanks go to Norm Willis of Canada for much helpful information on this page
Mary Jane Pallister was the sixth child of John (Augustus) Pallister & Sarah Vachon born October 9th, 1868 in New Liverpool, Quebec, Canada & was christened May 22nd, 1869 in Quebec.
Soon after Mary’s birth, the family left Canada to live in Iowa, USA.
In the 1885 census of Iowa Mary was living at West Maine St, Ottumwa, Wapello, Iowa with her parents & brothers John A, Thomas A & William H. All 3 boys were described as ‘candy makers’ & are known to have set up a confectionery business in Ottumwa. In the early 80s the Pallister Bros had the largest confectionery & ice cream business in Ottumwa. Their store was the first in Ottumwas to install electric light. Four sisters were also living at home – Alice (21), & Victoria (18) both born in Canada. The 2 youngest sisters, Matilda (13) & Anna (Joanna) (10) were born in Iowa.
In 1895 Mary & her sisters Alice, Matilda & Annie were living at home in Ottumwa with their widowed mother & all 4 girls were confectioners. Mary’s 3 brothers were also still at home & all described as cigar manufacturers. Also living with them at the time of the census was sister Victoria Johnson with her 3 year old daughter Susie.
On January 1st 1900 Mary married Delbert Detroit Gephart in Ottumwa, Iowa. Delbert was born on November 13th, 1871 in Ottumwa, the son of Fannie Hollingsworth & David Rimaes Gephart. The marriage register shows that Delbert was a travelling salesman of German origin & witnesses were John Pallister & Mary’s brother, William Henry Pallister.
At the time of the census of 1900 Mary & Delbert were boarding in Iowa Falls, Hardin Township, Iowa & Delbert was described as a commercial traveller in cigars.
Mary & Delbert continued to live in Iowa Falls & at the time of the 1930 census they were listed at Wards Hotel, Iowa Falls. Delbert was a proprietor of a billiard parlour.
Mary died on May 19th, 1934 in Iowa Falls, Hardin County, Iowa & was buried in Ottumwa cemetery.
Delbert died on January 30th, 1935 in Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa aged 63 & was buried in Ottumwa cemetery.