“I have experienced the first real trial of my life. After a few days of suffering our little Hannah died of lung fever so we are left with one baby,” Keturah Belknap wrote in her diary in November 1843 of the death of her first child. But it would not be the last time she would endure similar pain. Three of her five children would die before reaching adulthood. Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays.