Mary Jane Laughlin was born November 1, 1841, near Fort Wayne, Indiana, the daughter of John Laughlin and Jane Cuttle. She arrived in Allamakee county with her family in 1849.
On 18 Feb 1859, she married Andrew Jackson Patterson at Hardin, Iowa. His parents, William Patterson and Mary Taylor, owned an adjoining farm. They became the parents of four children, three of whom lived to adulthood.
Andrew served in the Civil War in Company A of the 27th Iowa Infantry. In 1864 he was wounded in action at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana. The effects of the gun shot wound to his left thigh would last through his life.
In Nov 1872 Andrew and Mary Jane moved to Guthrie county, where Andrew's older brother had a farm. A search of county records there showed that Andrew was the county coroner for a time as well as the minister to a local congregation. In 1881 the Pattersons gave up farming and moved to Guthrie Center. In 1889 they moved to Des Moines, Iowa. In 1900 they were living at 3124 Fifth Street in Des Moines.
Mary Jane died in Des Moines, Iowa, on May 25, 1911. Andrew remarried in 1914 at Pierson, Iowa. Andrew died in Des Moines in 1931. Mary Jane and Andrew are buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Des Moines.