Don't know if this may help, but . . .
I have in my database a 2nd cousin (2 generations removed) named Ocie (Osie?) SMITH and she married a Merl NADING. Ocie's parents and grandparents were in Clayton Co, so I'm assuming she was born there, post-1890 (her parent's marriage date). I don't have many other dates, but we can guess at a marriage year of anywhere from 1910 to 1920 (?). It's not much, but what I have is pretty well-documented. I also have copies of personal letters from my GG Aunt mentioning "Osie Nading" coming to "call about a month ago" (date: November 1st, 1934), and mentions she hadn't seen her since summer at the HARRISON Kinsmen Reunion. (Not that they are your relation, but may yield some clues: Osie's grandparents are Obed HARRISON [b.1823, to Vincent] and Amanda Melvinia PENHOLLOW, m. 12 Dec 1866 in Mallory Twp., Clayton Co, Iowa.)
Might be a longshot, but it's a place to start. Osie and Merl NADING could possibly be parents of your grandfather, or an aunt and uncle.
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