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This history of Boone County, of her people and institutions, has 
been carefully prepared under no little difficulty and many tribula- 
tions. The great majority of the pioneers are gone and but a few of 
those remaining place sufficient reliance upon their memories to 
venture a positive assertion in relation to the important and interest- 
ing events which took place during the formative period of the 
county; from them no assistance in securing data was obtained. How- 
ever, the people of this community are fortunate in having still 
among them such men of sterling worth, intellectual capacity and 
integrity as C. L. Lucas, of Madrid, and George W. Crooks, of 
Boone. Their memories seem to be faultless as to facts, and to them 
Boone County is indebted for the excellence and accuracy of this 
chronicle of local events. C. L. Lucas prepared many of the chapters 
herein, in their entirety, including all the townships; Mr. Crooks 
prepared certain of the articles and furnished a fund of information 
as a foundation for others. To them the editor and publishers bv 
this token desire to give thanks, and also to numerous other courteous 
and encouraging citizens of the county, who contributed in anv way 
toward making this work possible. 

The Publishers. 



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History of 

Boone County 


A century ago all that part of the great and beautiful State of 
Iowa, of which the County of Boone is a part, was practically terra 
incognita, a vast wilderness, given over by the Almighty to wild 
beasts, birds of the air and their masters, the Indians, who roamed the 
plains and forests at will, claiming and securing an existence from the 
bounteous hand of Nature. Here the deer, buffalo and other fur- 
bearing animals found a habitat and the main streams gave gen- 
erously of the palatable fish. The red man had no care for the 
morrow. No thought came to him that his possessions would ever 
be disturbed by the paleface. So he continued his dreams. The 
hunt was his daily avocation, broken in upon at intervals by a set-to 
with a hostile tribe of aborigines, that was always cruel and bloody 
in its results and added spoils to the victor and captives for torture. 
He knew not of the future and cared less. But the time was coming, 
was upon him, when he was called upon to make way for a stronger 
and a progressive race of men; when the fair land that was his birth- 
right and his hunting grounds, resplendent with the gorgeous flower 
and emerald sod, must yield to the husbandman. The time had 
come for the buffalo, deer and elk to seek pastures new, that the 
alluvial soil might be turned to the sun and fed with grain, to yield 
in their seasons the richest of harvests. 

It is hard for the present generation to realize the rapid pace 
of civilization on the western continent in the past one hundred 
years; and when one confines his attention to the advancement of 
the State of Iowa in the past seventy-five years his amazement is all 


the more intense. Evidences of progress are on every hand as one 
wends one's way across the beautiful state. Manufacturing plants 
are springing up hither and yon; magnificent edifices for religious 
worship point their spires heavenward; schoolhouses, colleges and 
other places of learning and instruction make the state stand out 
prominently among her sisters of this great republic. Villages are 
growing into towns and towns are taking on the dignity ol a city 
government, until today Iowa is noted throughout the Union for the 
number, beauty and thrift of her towns and cities. The common- 
wealth is cobwebbed with her telegraph, telephone and railroad 
lines and all these things above mentioned have been made possible 
by the thrift, determination and high character of the people who 
claim citizenship within her borders. 


It is conceded by historians who have given the subject deep 
thought and careful research that this country was inhabited by a 
race of human beings distinct from the red man. But that is beyond 
the province of this work. The men and women who opened up the 
State of Iowa and the County of Boone to civilization had only the 
red man to dispute their coming and obstruct their progress; and in 
that regard something should be recorded in these pages. 

So far as the writer can ascertain, the Indians were the first 
inhabitants of Iowa. For more than one hundred years after Mar- 
(]uette and foliet had trod the virgin soil of Iowa and admired its 
fertile plains, not a single settlement had been made or attempted, 
nor even a trading post established. The whole country remained 
in the undisputed possession of the native tribes. These tribes fought 
among themselves and against each other for supremacy and the 
choicest hunting grounds became the reward for the strongest and 
most valiant )f them. 

When Marquette visited the country in 1673, the Illini were a 
powerful people and occupied a large portion of the state; but when 
the country was again visited by the whites, not a remnant of that 
once powerful tribe remained on the west side of the Mississippi, 
and Iowa was principally in the possession of the Sacs and Foxes, a 
warlike tribe which, originally two distinct nations residing in New 
'^'ork and on the waters of the St. Lawrence, had graduallv fought 
their way westward and united, probably after the Foxes had been 
driven out of the Fox River country in 1846 and crossed the Mis- 


sissippi. The death of Pontiac, a famous Sac chieftain, was made 
the pretext for war against the lllini, and a fierce and bloody struggle 
ensued, which continued until the lllini were nearly destroyed and 
their possessions went into the hands of their victorious foes. The 
lowas also occupied a portion of the state for a time in common 
with the Sacs; but they, too, were nearly destroyed by the Sacs and 
Foxes, and in the "Beautiful Land" these natives met their equally 
warlike and bloodthirsty enemies, the Northern Sioux, with whom 
they maintained a constant warfare for the possession of the country 
for a great many years. 

In 1803 when, under the administration of Thomas Jefferson, 
then President of the United States, Louisiana was purchased from 
Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, the Sacs, Foxes and lowas 
possessed the entire State of Iowa and the two former tribes also 
occupied most of Illinois. The Sacs had four principal villages 
where most of them resided. Their largest and most important 
town, from which emanated most of the obstacles encountered by 
the Government in the extinguishment of Indian titles to land in 
this region, was on the Rock River, near Rock Island; another was 
on the east bank of the Mississippi, near the mouth of Henderson 
River; the third was at the head of the Des Moines Rapids, near the 
present site of Montrose; and the fourth was near the mouth of the 
Upper Iowa. The Foxes had three principal villages. One was on 
the west side of the Mississippi, six miles above the rapids of Rock 
River; another was about twelve miles from the river, in the rear of 
the Dubuque lead mines; and the third was on Turkey River. 

The lowas, at one time identified with the Sacs of Rock River, 
had withdrawn from them and become a separate tribe. Their 
principal village was on the Des Moines River, in Van Buren 
County, on the site where lowaville now stands. Here the last great 
battle between the Sacs and Foxes and lowas was fought, in which 
Black Hawk, then a young man, commanded one division of the 
attacking forces. The following account of the battle has been 
given : 

"Contrary to long established custom of Indian attack, this battle 
was commenced in the daytime, the attending circumstances justify- 
ing this departure from the well-settled usages of Indian warfare. 
The battlefield was a level river bottom, about four miles in length 
and two miles wide near the middle, narrowing to a point at either 
end. The main area of this bottom rises perhaps twenty feet above 
the river, leaving a narrow strip of low bottom along the shore 



covered with trees that belted the prairie on the river side with a 
thick forest, and the immediate bank of the river was fringed with 
a dense growth of willows. Near the lower end of this prairie, near 
the river bank, was situated the Iowa village. About two miles 
above it and near the middle of the prairie is a mound, covered at 
the time with a small clump of trees and underbrush growing on its 
summit. In the rear of this little elevation or mound lay a belt of 
wet prairie, covered at that time with a dense growth of rank, coarse 
grass. Bordering this wet prairie on the north, the country rises 
abruptly into elevated broken river blufifs. covered with a heavy 
forest for miles in extent and in places thickly clustered with under- 
growth, affording convenient shelter for the stealthy approach of 

an enemy. 

"Through this forest the Sac and Fox war party made their way 
in the night and secreted themselves in the tall grass spoken of above, 
intending to remain in ambush during the day and make such obser- 
vations as this near proximity to their intended victims might afford, 
to aid them in their contemplated attack on the town during the 
following night. From this situation their spies could take a full 
survey of the village and watch every movement of the inhabitants, 
by which means they were soon convinced that the lowas had no 
suspicion of their presence. 

"At the foot of the mound above mentioned the lowas had their 
race course, where they diverted themselves with the excitement of 
horse racing and schoi^led their young warriors in cavalry evolu- 
tions. In these exercises mock battles were fought and the Indian 
tactics of attack and defense carefully inculcated, by which means 
a skill in horsemanship was acquired that is rarely excelled. Unfor- 
tunately for them, this day was selected for their equestrian sports 
and, wholly unconscious of the proximity of their foes, the warriors 
repaired to the race ground, leaving most of their arms in the village 
and their old men, women and children unprotected. 

"Pash-a-popo, who was chief in command of the Sacs and Foxes, 
perceived at once the state of things afforded for a complete surprise 
of his now doomed victims and ordered Black Hawk to file off with 
his young warriors through the tall grass and gain the cover of the 
timber along the river bank and with the utmost speed reach the 
village and commence the battle, while he remained with his division 
in the ambush to make a simultaneous attack on the unarmed men 
whose attention was engrossed with the excitement of the races. The 
plan was skilfully laid and dextrously executed. Black Hawk 


with his forces reached the village undiscovered and made a furious 
onslaught upon the defenseless inhabitants by firing one general 
volley into their midst and completing the slaughter with the toma- 
hawk and scalping knife, aided by the devouring flames with which 
thev enveloped the village as soon as the firebrand could spread 
from lodge to lodge. 

"On the instant of the report of firearms at the village, the forces 
under Pash-a-popo leaped from their couchant position in the grass 
and sprang, tigerlike, upon the unarmed lowas in the midst of their 
racing sports. The first impulse of the latter naturally led them to 
make the utmost speed toward their arms in the village and protect, 
it possible, their wives and children from the attack of their merciless 
assailants. The distance from the place of attack on the prairie was 
two miles and a great number fell in their flight by the bullets and 
tomahawks of their enemies, who pressed them closely with a running 
fire the whole way, and the survivors only reached their town to 
witness the horrors of its destruction. Their whole village was in 
flames and the dearest objects of their lives lay in slaughtered heaps 
amidst the devouring element and the agonizing groans of the dying, 
mingled with the hideously exulting shouts of the enemy, filled their 
hearts with maddening despair. Their wives and children who had 
been spared the general massacre were prisoners, and their weapons 
in the hands of the victorious savages; all that could be done was to 
draw off their shattered and defenseless forces and save as many lives 
as possible by a retreat across the Des Moines River, which they 
effected in the best possible manner and took a position among the 
Soap Creek Hills." 

The Sioux located their hunting grounds north of the Sacs and 
Foxes. They were a fierce and warlike nation, and often disputed 
possession in savage and fiendish warfare. The possessions of these 
tribes were mostly located in Minnesota, but extended over a portion 
of Northern and Western Iowa to the Missouri River. Their de- 
scent from the North upon the hunting grounds of Iowa frequently 
brought them into collision with the Sacs and Foxes, and, after many 
a sanguine conflict, a boundary line was established between them 
by the Government of the United States in a treaty held at Prairie 
du Chien in 1825. Instead of settling the difficulties, this caused 
them to quarrel all the more, in consequence of alleged trespasses 
upon each other's side of the line. So bitter and unrelenting became 
these contests that in 1830 the Government purchased of their re- 
spective tribes of the Sacs and Foxes and the Sioux, a strip of land 


twenty miles wide on both sides of the line, thus throwing them 
forty miles apart by creating a "neutral ground," and commanded 
them to cease their hostilities. They were, however, allowed to fish 
on the ground unmolested, provided they did not interfere with each 
other on United States territory. 

Soon after the acquisition of Louisiana the United States Govern- 
ment adopted measures for the exploration of the new territory, 
having in view the conciliation of the numerous tribes of Indians 
by whom it was possessed and also the selection of proper sites for 
establishment of military posts and trading stations. The Army of 
the West, General Wilkinson commanding, had its headquarters at 
St. Louis. From this post Captains Lewis and Clarke, with a suffi- 
cient force, were detailed to explore the unknown sources of the 
Missouri, and Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike to ascend to the headwaters 
of the Mississippi. Lieutenant Pike, with one sergeant, two cor- 
porals and seventeen privates, left the military camp near St. Louis, 
in a keel boat, with four months' rations, August 9, 1801;. On the 
20th of the same month, the expedition arrived within the present 
limits of the State of Iowa, at the foot of the Des Moines Rapids, 
where Pike met William Ewing, who had just been appointed Indian 
agent at this point; a French interpreter, four chiefs, fifteen Sac and 
Fox warriors. At the head of the rapids, where Montrose is now 
situated, Pike held a council with the Indians, in which he addressed 
them substantially as follows: 

"Your great father, the President of the United States, wishes to 
be more acquainted with the situation and wants of the different 
nations of red people in our newly acquired territory of Louisiana, 
and has ordered the general to send a number of his warriors in 
dififerent directions to take them by the hand and make such inquiries 
as might afford the satisfaction required." 

At the close of the council he presented the red men with some 
knives, tobacco and whisky. On the 23d of August he arrived at 
what is supposed, from his description, to be the site of the present 
City of Burlington, which he selected as the location for a military 
post. He describes the place as "being on a hill, forty miles above 
the River de Moyne Rapids, on the west side of the river, in latitude 
about 40 , 21' north. The channel of the river runs on that shore. 
The hill in front is about sixty feet perpendicular and nearly level 
at the top. About four hundred yards in the rear is a small prairie, 
fit for gardening, and immediately under the hill is a limestone 
spring, sufficient for the consumption of a whole regiment." In 


addition to this description, which corresponds to Burlington, the 
spot is laid down on his map at a bend in the river a short distance 
below the mouth of the Henderson, which pours its waters into the 
Mississippi from Illinois. The fort was built at Fort Madison, but 
from the distance, latitude, description and map furnished by Pike, 
it could not have been the place selected by him, while all the cir- 
cumstances corroborate the opinion that the spot he selected was the 
place where Burlington is now located, called by the early voyagers 
on the Mississippi "Flint Hills." In company with one of his men 
Pike went on shore on a hunting expedition, and following a stream 
which they supposed to be a part of the Mississippi, they were led 
away from their course. Owing to the intense heat and tall grass, 
his two favorite dogs, which he had taken with him, became ex- 
hausted and he left them on the prairie, supposing they would follow 
him as soon as they should get rested, and went on to overtake his 
boat. After reaching the river he waited for some time for his canine 
friends, but they did not come, and, as he deemed it inexpedient to 
detain the boat longer, two of his men volunteered to go in pursuit 
of them. He then continued on his way up the river, expecting the 
men would soon overtake him. 

They lost their way, however, and for six days were without food, 
except a few morsels gathered from the stream. They might have 
perished had they not accidentally met a trader from St. Louis, who 
induced two Indians to take them up the river, overtaking the boat 
at Dubuque. At the latter place Pike was cordially received by 
Julien Dubuque, a Frenchman, who held a mining claim under a 
grant from Spain. He had an old field-piece and fired a salute in 
honor of the advent of the first American who had visited that part 
of the territory. He was not, however, disposed to publish the wealth 
of his mines and the young, and evidently inquisitive, officer obtained 
but little information in that regard. 

Upon leaving this place Pike pursued his way up the river; but, 
as he passed beyond the limits of the present State of Iowa, a detailed 
history of his explorations does not properly belong to this volume. 
It is sufficient to say that on the site of Fort Snelling, Minnesota, he 
held a council with the Sioux, September 23d, and obtained from 
them a grant of 100,000 acres of land. 

Before the Territory of Iowa could be opened to settlement by 
the whites, it was first necessary that the Indian title should be extin- 
guished and the aborigines removed. The territory had been pur- 
chased by the United States, but was still occupied by the Indians, 


who claimed title to the soil by right of possession. In order to 
accomplish this purpose, large sums of money were expended, 
warring tribes had to be appeased by treaty stipulations and oppres- 
sion by the whites discouraged. 


When the United States assumed control of the country by reason 
of its purchase from France, nearly the whole state was in possession 
oi the Sacs and Foxes, a powerful and warlike nation, who were not 
disposed to submit without a struggle to what they regarded the 
encroachment on their rights by the palefaces. Among the most 
noted chiefs, and one whose restlessness and hatred of the whites 
occasioned more trouble to the Government than any other of his 
tribe, was Black Hawk, who was born at tlic Sac village, on Rock 
River, in 1767. He was simply the chief of iiis own band of Sac 
warriors; but by his energy and ambition he became tlic leading 
spirit of the united nation of the Sacs and Foxes, and one of the 
prominent figures in the history of the country from 1804 until his 
death. In early manhood he attained distinction as a fighting chief, 
having led campaigns against the Osages and other neighboring 
tribes. About the beginning of the nineteenth century he began to 
appear prominent in afYairs on the Mississippi. His life was a 
marvel. He is said by some to have been the victim of a narrow 
prejudice and bitter ill feeling against the Americans. 

November 3, 1804, a treaty was concluded between Will: am 
Henry Harrison, then governor of the Indian Territory, on behalf 
of the United States, and five chiefs of the Sac and Fox nation, by 
which the latter, in consideration of $2,234 in goods then delivered, 
and a yearly annuity of $1,000 to be paid in goods at just cost, ceded 
to the United States all that land on the west side of the Mississippi 
extending from a point opposite the Jefferson, in Missouri, to the 
Wisconsin River, embracing an area of 51,000,000 acres. To this 
treaty Black Hawk always objected and always refused to consider 
it binding upon his people. He asserted that the chiefs and braves 
who made it had no authority to relinquish the title of the nation 
to any of the lands they held or occupied and, moreover, that they 
had been sent to St. Louis on quite a different errand, namely, to 
get one of their people released, who had been imprisoned at St. 
Louis for killing a white man. 


In 1805 Lieutenant Pike came up the river for the purpose of 
holding friendly council with the Indians and selecting sites for forts 
within the territory recently acquired from France by the United 
States. Lieutenant Pike seems to have been the first American whom 
Black Hawk had met or had a personal interview with, and was 
very much impressed in his favor. Pike gave a very interesting 
account of his visit to the noted chief. 

Fort Edward was erected soon after Pike's expedition at what is 
now Warsaw, Illinois, also Fort Madison, on the site of the present 
town of that name, the latter being the first fort erected in Iowa. 
These movements occasioned great uneasiness among the Indians. 
When work was commenced on Fort Edwards, a delegation from the 
nation, headed by their chiefs, went down to see what the Americans 
were doing and had an interview with the commander, after which 
they returned home and were apparently satisfied. In like manner, 
when Fort Madison was being erected, they sent down another dele- 
gation from a council of the nation held at Rock River. According 
to Black Hawk's account, the American chief told them he was build- 
ing a house for a trader, who was coming to sell them goods cheap 
and that the soldiers were coming to keep him company — a state- 
ment which Black Hawk says they distrusted at the time, believing 
that the fort was an encroachment upon their rights and designed 
to aid in getting their lands away from them. It is claimed by good 
authority that the building of Fort Madison was a violation of the 
treaty of 1804. By the eleventh article of that treaty the United 
States had the right to build a fort near the mouth of the Wisconsin 
River, and by Article 6 they bound themselves "that if any citizen 
of the United States or any other white person should form a settle- 
ment upon their lands such intruder should forthwith be removed." 
Probably the authorities of the United States did not regard the 
establishment of military posts as coming properly within the mean- 
ing of the term "settlement" as used in the treaty. At all events, 
they erected Fort Madison within the territory reserved to the 
Indians, who became very indignant. Very soon after the fort was 
built a party led by Black Hawk attempted its destruction. They 
sent spies to watch the movements of the garrison, who ascertained 
that the soldiers were in the habit of marching out of the fort every 
morning and evening for parade, and the plan of the party was to 
conceal themselves near the fort and attack and surprise them when 
they were outside. On the morning of the proposed day of the attack 
five soldiers came out and were fired upon by the Indians, two of 


them being killed. The Indians were too hasty in their movements, 
for the parade had not commenced. However, they kept up tiie siege 
several days, attempting the old Fo.\ strategy of setting tire to the fort 
with blazing arrows; but, finding their efforts unavailing, they de- 
sisted and returned to their wigwams on Rock River. In 1812, when 
the war was declared between this country and Great Britain, Black 
Hawk and his band allied themselves with the British, partly because 
he was dazzled by their specious promises but more probably be- 
cause they were deceived by the Americans. Black Hawk himself 
declared they were forced into the war by having been deceived. He 
narrates the circumstances as follows: "Several of the head men and 
chiefs of the Sacs and Foxes were called upon to go to \\'asiiington 
to see their great father. On their return they related wiiat had been 
said and done. They said the great father wished them, in the event 
of war taking place with England, not to interfere on either side, 
but to remain neutral. He did not want our. help, but wished us to 
hunt and support our families and live in peace. He said that British 
traders would not be permitted to come on the Mississippi to furnish 
us with goods, but that we should be supplied by an American trader. 
Our chiefs then told him that the British traders would have plenty 
of goods; that we should go there in the fall and he would supply 
us on credit, as the British traders had done." Black Hawk seems 
to have accepted the proposition and he and his people were very 
much pleased. Acting in good faith, they fitted out for their winter's 
hunt and went to Fort Madison in high spirits to receive from the 
trader their outlit of supplies; but after waiting some time they were 
told by the trader that he would not trust them. In vain they pleaded 
the promise of their great father at Washington. The trader was 
ine.xorable. Disappointed and crestfallen, the Indians turned sadly 
to their own village. Says Black Hawk : "Few of us slept that night. 
All was gloom and discontent. In the morning a canoe was seen 
ascending the river; it soon arrived, bearing an express, who brought 
intelligence that a British trader had landed at Rock Island with 
two boats filled with goods and requested us to come up imme- 
diately, because he had good news for us and a variety of presents, 
'i'he express presented us witli pipes, tobacco and wampum. The 
news ran thrtjugh our camp like fire on the prairie. Our lodges were 
soon taken down and all started for Rock Island. Here ended all 
our hopes of remaining at peace, having been forced into the war 
by being deceived." He joined the British, who flattered him and 
styled him "General Black Hawk," decked him with medals, excited 


his jealousy against the Americans and armed his band; but he met 
with defeat and disappointment, and soon abandoned the service and 
returned home. 

There was a portion of the Sacs and Foxes whom Black Hawk, 
with all his skill and cunning, could not lead into hostilities against 
the United States. With Keokuk, "the Watchful Fox," at their head, 
they were disposed to abide by the treaty of 1804 and to cultivate 
friendly relations with the American people. So when Black Hawk 
and his band joined the fortunes of Great Britain, the rest of the 
nation remained neutral and for protection organized with Keokuk 
for their chief. Thus the nation was divided into the "war party'' 
and "peace party." Keokuk became one of the nation's great chiefs. 
In person he was tall and of portly bearing. He has been described 
as an orator, entitled to rank with the most gifted of his race, and 
through the eloquence of his tongue he prevailed upon a large body 
of his people to remain friendly to the Americans. As has been said, 
the treaty of 1804 between the United States and the Sac and Fox 
nations was never acknowledged by Black Hawk, and in 1831 he 
established himself with a chosen band of warriors upon the disputed 
territory, ordering the whites to leave the country at once. The 
settlers complaining, Governor Reynolds, of Illinois, dispatched Gen- 
eral Gaines with a company of regulars and 1,500 volunteers to the 
scene of action. Taking the Indians by surprise, the troops burnt 
their village and forced them to conclude a treaty, by which they 
ceded all their lands east of the Mississippi and agreed to remain 
on the west side of the river. 

Necessity forced the proud spirit of Black Hawk into submis- 
sion, which made him more than ever determined to be avenged 
upon his enemies. Having rallied around him the warlike braves 
of the Sac and Fox nations, he recrossed the Mississippi in the spring 
of 1832. Upon hearing of the invasion. Governor Reynolds hastily 
gathered a body of 1,800 volunteers, placing them under Brig.-Gen. 
Samuel Whiteside. The army marched to the Mississippi, and, 
having reduced to ashes the village known as "Prophet's Town," 
proceeded several miles up Rock River to Dixon to join the regular 
forces under General Atkinson. They formed at Dixon two com- 
panies of volunteers, who, sighing for glory, were dispatched to 
reconnoiter the enemy. They advanced, under command of General 
Stillman, to a creek, afterward called "Stillman's Run," and while 
encamping there saw a party of mounted Indians at a distance of a 
mile. Several of Stillman's men mounted their horses and charged 


the Indians, killing three of them; but. attacked by the main body 
under Black Hawk, they were routed, and by their precipitate flight 
spread such a panic through the camp that the whole company ran 
off to Dixon as fast as their legs could carry them. On their arrival 
it was found that eleven had been killed. For a long time afterward 
Major Stillman and his men were subjects of ridicule and merri- 
ment, which was as undeserving as their expedition was disastrous. 
Stillman's defeat spread consternation throughout the state and 
nation. The number of Indians was greatly exaggerated, and the 
name of Black Hawk carried with it associations of great military 
talent, cunning and cruelty. He was very active and restless and was 
continually causing trouble. 

After Black Hawk and his warriors had committed several depre- 
dations and atlded more scalp-locks to their belts, that restless chief 
and his savage partisans were located on Rock River, where he was 
in camp. On }ulv 19th, General Henry, being in command, ordered 
his troops to march. After having gone fifty miles they were over- 
taken by a terrible thunderstorm which lasted all night. Nothing 
cooled in their ardor and zeal, they marched fifty miles the next day, 
encamping near the place where the Indians encamped the night 
before. Hurrying along as fast they could, the infantry keeping up 
an equal pace with the mounted men, the troops on the morning of 
the 2ist crossed the river connecting two of the four lakes by which 
the Indians had been endeavoring to escape. They found on their 
way the ground strewn with kettles and articles of baggage, which 
in the haste of retreat the Indians were obliged to abandon. The 
troops, imbued with new ardor, advanced so rapidly that at noon 
they fell in with the rear guards of the enemy. Those who closely 
pursuedthem were saluted by a sudden fire of musketry from a body 
of Indians who had concealed themselves in the high grass of the 
prairie. A most desperate charge was made on the four, who, unable 
to resist, retreated obliquely in order to outflank the volunteers on the 
right; but the latter charged the Indians in their ambush and ex- 
pelled them from the thickets at the point of the bayonet and dis- 
persed them. Night set in and the battle ended, having cost the 
Indians sixty-eight of their bravest men, while the loss of the lUi- 
noisans was but one killed and eight wounded. Soon after this battle, 
Generals Atkinson and Henry joined forces and pursued the Indians. 
General Henry struck the main trail, left his horses behind, formed 
an advance guard of eight men and marched forward upon the trail. 
When these eight men came in sight of the river they were suddenly 


fired upon and five of them killed, the remaining three maintaining 
their ground until General Henry came up. Then the Indians, 
charged upon with the bayonet, fell back upon their main force. The 
battle now became general. The Indians fought with desperate 
valor, but were furiously assailed by the volunteers with their bayo- 
nets, who cut many of the Indians to pieces and drove the rest of 
them into the river. Those who escaped from being drowned found 
refuge on an island. On hearing the frequent discharge of musketry, 
General Atkinson abandoned the pursuit of the twenty Indians 
under Black Hawk himself and hurried to the scene of action, where 
he arrived too late to take part in the battle. He immediately forded 
the river with his troops, the water reaching up to their necks, and 
landed on the island where the Indians had secreted themselves. The 
soldiers rushed upon the Indians, killed several of them, took others 
prisoners and chased the rest into the river, where they were either 
drowned or shot before reaching the opposite shore. Thus ended 
the battle, the Indians losing 300, besides 50 prisoners; the whites 
but 17 killed and 12 wounded. 

Black Hawk, with his twenty braves, retreated up the Wisconsin 
River. The Winnebagoes, desirous of securing the friendship of the 
whites, went in pursuit and captured and delivered them to General 
Street, the United States Indian agent. Among the prisoners were 
the son of Black Hawk and the prophet of the tribe. These, with 
Black Hawk, were taken to Washington, D. C, and soon consigned 
as prisoners to Fortress Monroe. At the interview Black Hawk had 
with the President he closed his speech delivered on the occasion in 
the following words: "We did not expect to conquer the whites. 
They have too many houses, too many men. I took up the hatchet,, 
for my part, to revenge injuries which my people would no longer 
endure. Had I borne them longer without striking, my people would 
have said: 'Black Hawk is a woman; he is too old to be a chief; he 
is no Sac' These reflections caused me to raise the war whoop. I 
say no more. It is known to you. Keokuk once was here; you took 
him by the hand, and when he wished to return to his home you were 
willing. Black Hawk expects, like Keokuk, he shall be permitted to 
return, too." 

By order of the President, Black Hawk and his companions, who 
were in confinement at Fortress Monroe, were set free on the 4th 
day of June, 1833. After their release from prison they were con- 
ducted, in charge of Major Garland, through some of the principal 
cities, that they might witness the power of the United States and 


learn their own inability to cope with them in war. Great multitudes 
flocked to see them wherever thev were taken, and the attention paid 
them rendered their proj^ress throuL^h the country a triumphal pro- 
cession instead of prisoners transported by an officer. At Rock 
Island the prisoners were given their liberty amid great and impress- 
ive ceremony. In 1838 Black Hawk built him a dwelling near Des 
Moines, this state, and furnished it after the manner of the whites 
and engaged in agricultural pursuits, together with hunting and 
fishing. Here, with his wife, to whom he was greatly attached, he 
passed the few remaining days of his life. To his credit it may be 
said that Black Hawk remained true to his wife and served her with 
devotion uncommon among Indians, living with her upwards of 
forty years. 

At all times when Black Hawk visited the whites he was received 
with marked attention. He was an honored guest of the Old Settlers' 
reunion in Lee County, Illinois, and received marked tokens of 
esteem. In September, 1838, while on his way to Rock Island to 
receive his annuitv from the Government, he contracted a severe cold, 
which resulted in an intense attack of bilious fever and terminated 
his life October 3d. After his death he was dressed in the uniform 
presented him by the President while in Washington. He was buried 
in a grave six feet in depth, situated upon a beautiful eminence. The 
body was placed in the middle of the grave, in a sitting position upon 
a seat constructed for the occasion. On his left side the cane given 
him by Henry Clay was placed upright, with his right hand resting 
upon it. His remains were afterward stolen and carried away, but 
they were recovered by the governor of Iowa and placed in the 
museum at Burlington, of the Historical Society, where they were 
finally destroyed by hre. 


The territory known as the "Black Hawk Purchase," althougli 
not the first portion of Iowa ceded to the United States by the Sacs 
and Foxes, was the first opened to actual settlement by the tide of 
emigration which flowed across the Mississippi as soon as the Indian 
title was extinguished. The treaty which provided for this cession 
was made at a council held on the west bank of the Mississippi, 
where now stands the City of Davenport, on ground now occupied 
by the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Company, Sep- 
tember 21, 1832. Ihis was just after the Black Hawk war and the 


defeated savages had retired from east of the Mississippi. At the 
council the Government was represented by Gen. Winfield Scott and 
Governor Reynolds, of Illinois. Keokuk, Pash-a-popo and some 
thirty other chiefs and warriors were there. By this treaty the Sacs 
and Foxes ceded to the United States a strip of land on the eastern 
border of Iowa, fifty miles wide, from the northern boundary of 
Missouri to the mouth of the Upper Iowa River, containing about 
six million acres. The western line of the purchase was parallel 
with the Mississippi. In consideration of this cession the United 
States agreed to pay annually to the confederated tribes, for thirty 
consecutive years, $20,000 in specie, and to pay the debts of the 
Indians at Rock Island, whicli had been accumulating for seventeen 
years and amounted to $50,000, due to Davenport & Farnham, Indian 
traders. The Government also donated to the Sac and Fo.x women 
and children, whose husbands and fathers had fallen in the Black 
Hawk war, 35 beef cattle, 12 bushels of salt, 30 barrels of pork, 50 
barrels of flour and 6,000 bushels of corn. 

The treaty was ratified February 13, 1833, and took efifcct on the 
I St of June following, when the Indians quietly removed from the 
ceded territory and this fertile and beautiful region was opened by 
white settlers. 

By the terms of the treaty, out of the "Black Hawk Purchase" 
was reserved for the Sacs and Foxes 400 square miles of land, situated 
on the Iowa River and including within its limits Keokuk Village, 
on the right bank of that river. This tract was known as Keokuk's 
reserve and was occupied by the Indians until 1836, when by a treaty 
made in September between them and Governor Dodge, of Wis- 
consin Territory, it was ceded to the United States. The council 
was held on the banks of the Mississippi above Davenport, and was 
the largest assemblage of the kind ever held by the Sacs and Foxes 
to treat for the sale of land. About one thousand of their chiefs and 
braves were present, Keokuk being the leading spirit of tlie occasion 
and their principal speaker. 


By the terms of his treaty the Sacs and Foxes were removed to 

another reservation on the Des Moines River, where an agency was 

established at what is now the Town of Agency, in Wapello County. 

The Government also gave out of the "Black Hawk Purchase," to 

Antoine LeClaire, interpreter, in fee simple, one section of land 


opposite Rock Island and another at the Iiead of the first rapids above 
the island, on the Iowa side. This was the first land title granted by 
the United States to an individual in Iowa. 

Gen. Joseph M. Street established an agency among the Sacs and 
Foxes very soon after the removal of the latter to their new reserva- 
tion. He was transferred from the agency of the VN'innebagoes for 
this purpose. A farm was selected, upon which the necessary build- 
ings were erected, including a comfortable farmiiousc for the agent 
and his family, at the expense of the Indian fund. A salaried 
agent was employed to superintend the farm and dispose of the crops. 
Two mills were erected — one on Soap Creek and the other on Sugar 
Creek. The latter was soon swept away by a fiood, but the former 
did good service for many years. 

Connected with the agency were Joseph Smart and John Goodell, 
interpreters. The latter was interpreter for Hard Fishs' band. 
Three of the Indian chiefs — Keokuk, Wapello and Appanoose — had 
each a large field improxed, the two former on the right bank of the 
Des Moines and back from the river in what was "Keokuk's Prairie," 
and the latter on the present site of Ottumwa. Among the traders 
connected with their agency was J. P. Eddy, wh(j established his post 
at what is now the site of Eddyville. The Indians at this agency 
became idle and listless in the absence of their natural excitements, 
and many of them plunged into dissipation. Keokuk himself became 
dissipated in the latter years of his life, and it has been reported that 
he died of delirium tremens after his removal with his tribe to 
Kansas. In May, 1843, most of the Indians were removed up the 
Des Moines River, above the temporary line of Red Rock, having 
ceded the remnants of their land in Iowa to the United States, Sep- 
tember 21, 1837, and October 11, 1842. By the terms of the latter 
treaty, they held possession of the "New Purchase" until the autumn 
of 1845, when most of them were removed to their reservation in 
Kansas, the balance being removed in 1846. 

Before any permanent settlement was made in the Territory of 
Iowa, white adventurers, trappers and traders, many of whom were 
scattered along the Mississippi and its tributaries, as agents and em- 
ployes of the American l-'ur Company, intermarried with the females 
of the Sac and Fox Indians, producing a race of half-breeds, whose 
number were never definitely ascertained. There were some re- 
spectable and excellent people among them, children of some refine- 
ment and education. 



The first permanent settlement made by the whites within the 
limits of Iowa was by Julien Dubuque in 1788, when, with a small 
party of miners, he settled on the site of the city that now bears his 
name, where he lived until his death in 1810. What was known as 
the Girard settlement in Clayton County was made by some parties 
prior to tlie commencement of the nineteenth century. It consisted 
of three cabins in 1805. Louis Honori settled on the site of the 
present Town of Montrose, probably in 1799, and resided there prob- 
ably until 1805, when his property passed into other hands. Indian 
traders had established themselves at other points at an early date. 
Mr. Johnson, an agent of the American Fur Company, had a trading 
post below Burlington, where he carried on traffic with the Indians 
some time before the United States came into possession of Louisiana. 
In 1820, Le Moliese, a French trader, had a station at what is now 
Sandusky, six miles above Keokuk, in Lee County. The same year 
a cabin was built where the City of Keokuk now stands by Dr. 
Samuel C. Muir, a surgeon in the United States army. His marriage 
and subsequent life were very romantic. While stationed at a mili- 
tary post on the Upper Mississippi, the post was visited by a beau- 
tiful Indian maiden — whose native name unfortunately has not been 
preserved — who in her dreams had seen a white brave unmoor his 
canoe, paddle it across the river and come directly to her lodge. She 
felt assured, according to the superstitious belief of her race, that in 
her dreams she had seen her future husband and had come to the 
fort to find him. Meeting Doctor Muir she instantly recognized 
him as the hero of her dream which, with childlike simplicity and 
innocence, she related to him. Charmed with the dusky maiden's 
beauty, innocence and devotion, the doctor took her to his home in 
honorable wedlock; but after a while the sneers and jibes of his 
brother officers — less honorable than he — made him feel ashamed of 
his dark-skinned wife, and when his regiment was ordered down the 
river to Bellefontaine, it is said he embraced the opportunity to rid 
himself of her, never expecting to see her again and little dreaming 
that she would have the courage to follow him. But, with her infant, 
this intrepid wife and mother started alone in her canoe, and after 
many days of weary labor and a lonely journey of 900 miles, she at 
last reached him. She afterward remarked, when speaking of this 
toilsome journey down the river in search of her husband: "When 


I got there I was all perished away — so thin." The doctor, touched 
by such unexampled devotion, took her to his heart and ever after, 
until his death, treated iicr witli marked respect. She always pre- 
sided at his table with grace and dignity, but never abandoned her 
native style of dress. In 1819-20 he was stationed at Fort Edwards, 
now Warsaw, but the senseless ridicule of some of his brother oilicers 
on account of his Indian wife induced him to resign his commission. 
He then built a cabin, as above stated, where Keokuk is now situated, 
and made a claim to some land. This land he leased to parties in 
the neighborhood and then moved to what is now (lalena, where he 
practiced his profession for ten years, when he returned to Keokuk. 
His Indian wife bore him four children: Louise, James, Mary and 
Sophia. Doctor Muir died suddenly, of cholera, in 1832, but left 
his property in such condition that it was wasted in vexatious litiga- 
tion and his brave and faithful wife, left friendless and penniless, 
became discouraged, so with her two younger children she dis- 
appeared. It is said slic returned to her "people on the Tpper 


After the "Black Hawk Purchase" emigration to Iowa was rapid 
and steady and provisions for civil government became a necessity. 
Accordingly, in 1834, all the territory comprising the present states 
of Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota, was made subject to the juris- 
diction of Michigan Territory. Up to this time there had been no 
county or other organization in what is now the State of Iowa, 
although one or two justices of the peace had been appointed and 
a postoffice was established at Dubu(]ue in 1H33. In September of 
1834, therefore, the Territorial Legislature of Michigan created two 
counties on the west side of the Mississippi River — Dubuijue and 
Des Moines — separated by a line drawn westward from the foot of 
Rock Island. These counties were partially organized, [ohn King 
was appointed chief justice of Dubuque County and Isaac Leffler of 
Des Moines County was appointed bv the governor. 

In October, 1835, Gen. George W. Jones, in recent vears a citizen 
of Dubuque, was elected a delegate to Congress. April 20, 1836, 
through the efforts of General Jones, Congress passed a bill creating 
the Territory of Wisconsin, which went into operation July 4th of 
the same year. Iowa was then included in the Territory of Wis- 
consin, of which Gen. Henry Dodge was appointed governor; John 


S. Horner, secretary; Charles Dunn, chief justice; David Irwin 
and William C. Frazer, associate justices. September 9, 1836, a 
census of the new territory was taken. Des Moines County showed 
a population of 6,257, 'i"'l Dubu(]ue County, 4.274. 


The question of the organization of the Territory of Iowa now 
began to be agitated and the desires of the people found expression 
in a convention held November ist, which memorialized Congress 
to organize a territory west of the Mississippi River and to settle 
the boundary line between Wisconsin Territory and Missouri. The 
Territorial Legislature of Wisconsin, then in session in Burlington, 
joined in the petition. The act was passed dividing the Territory 
of Wisconsin and providing for the territorial government of Iowa. 
This was approved June 12, 1838, to take effect and be in force on 
and after July 3, 1838. 

The new territory embraced "all that part of the present Terri- 
tory of Wisconsin west of the Mississippi River and west of a line 
drawn due north from the headwater sources of the Mississippi 
River to the territorial line." The organic act provided for a gov- 
ernor, whose term of office should be three years; a secretary, chief 
justice, two associate justices, an attorney-general and marshal, to be 
appointed by the President. The act also provided for the election, 
by the white citizens over twenty-one years of age, of a house of 
representatives, consisting of twenty-six members and a council to 
consist of thirteen members. It also appropriated $5,000 for a public 
library and $20,000 for the erection of public buildings. In accord- 
ance with this act, President Van Buren appointed ex-Gov. Robert 
Lucas, of Ohio, to be the first governor of the territory; William B. 
Conway, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, secretary; Charles Mason, of 
Burlington, chief justice; Thomas S. Wilson, of Dubuque, and 
Joseph Williams, of Pennsylvania, associate justices; Mr. Van Allen, 
of New York, attorney; Francis Gehon, of Dubuque, marshal; 
Augustus C. Dodge, register of the land office at Burlington; and 
Thomas C. Knight, receiver of the land office at Dubuque. 

On the loth of September, 1838, an election was held for mem- 
bers of the Legislature, and on the 12th of the following November 
the first session of that body was held at Burlington. Both branches 



of this General Assembly had a large democratic majority, but not- 
withstanding that fact, Gen. Jesse B. Brown, a whig, of Lee County, 
Des Moines and Dubuque counties having been previously divided 
into other counties, was elected president of the council and Hon. Wil- 
liam H. Wallace, of Henry County, also a whig, speaker of the house. 
The first session of the Iowa Territorial Legislature was a stormy and 
exciting one. By the organic law the governor was clothed with 
almost unlimited veto power. Governor Lucas was disposed to make 
free use of this prerogative and the independent Hawkeyes could not 
quietly submit to arbitrary and absolute rule. The result was an 
unpleasant controversy between tlie executive and legislative depart- 
ments. Congress, however, by act approved March 3, 1839, amended 
the organic law by restricting the veto power of the governor to the 
two-thirds rule and took from him the power to appoint sheriffs and 
magistrates. Among the first important matters demanding attention 
was the location of the seat of government and provision for the 
erection of public buildings, for which Congress had appropriated 
$20,000. Governor Lucas in his message had recommended the 
appointment of commissioners with a view to selecting a central 
location. The extent of the future State of Iowa was not known 
or thought of. Only a strip of land fifty miles wide, bordering on 
the Mississippi River, was alienated by the Indians to the general 
government and a central location meant some central point within 
the confines of what was known as the "Black Hawk Purchase." 

The friends of a central location favored the governor's sug- 
gestion. The southern members were divided between Burlington 
and Mount Pleasant, but finally united on the latter as the proper 
location for the seat of government. The central and southern par- 
ties were very nearly equal and, in consequence, much excitement 
prevailed. The central party at last was triumphant, and on January 
21, 1839, an act was passed appointing commissioners to select a site 
for a permanent seat of government within the limits of Johnson 
County. All things considered, the location of the capital in John- 
son County was a wise act. Johnson County was from north to south 
in the geographical center of the purchase and as near the east and 
west geographical center of the future State of Iowa as could then 
be made. The site having been determined, 640 acres were laid out 
by the commissioners into a town and called Iowa City. On a tract 
of ten acres the capitol was built, the cornerstone of which was laid, 
with appropriate ceremonies, July 4, 1840. Monday, December 6, 


1841, the fourth Legislature of Iowa met at the new capital, Iowa 
City, but the capitol building not being ready for occupancy, a tem- 
porary frame iiouse erected for the purpose was used. 

In 1 841 John Chambers succeeded R(jbert Lucas as governor, 
and in 1845 he gave place to James Clarke. The Territorial Legis- 
lature held its eighth and last session at Iowa City in 1845. James 
Clarke was the same year appointed the successor of Governor 
Chambers and was the third and last territorial governor. 


The Territory of Iowa was growing rapidly in its population 
and soon began to look for greater things. Her ambition was to 
take on the dignity and importance of statehood. To the furtherance 
of this laudable ambition the Territorial Legislature passed an act, 
vhich was approved February 12, 1844, providing for the submis- 
sion to the people of the question of the formation of a state con- 
stitution and providing for the election of delegates to a convention 
to be convened for that purpose. The people voted on this at their 
township elections the following April. The measure was carried 
by a large majority and the members elected assembled in convention 
at Iowa City, October 7, 1844. On the ist day of November fol- 
lowing, the convention completed its work and adopted the first 
state constitution. By reason of the boundary lines of the proposed 
state being unsatisfactorily prescribed by Congress, the constitution 
was rejected at an election held August 4, 1845, by a vote of 7,656 
to 7,235. May 4, 1846, a second convention met at Iowa City, and 
on the 1 8th of the same month another constitution, prescribing the 
boundaries as they now are, was adopted. This was accepted by 
the people August 3d by a vote of 9,492 to 9,036. The new con- 
stitution was approved by Congress, and Iowa was admitted as a 
sovereign state in the Union, December 28, 1846, and the people of 
the territory, anticipating favorable action by Congress, held an 
election for state officers, October 26, 1846, which resulted in the 
choice of Ansel Briggs for governor; Elisha Cutler, Jr., secretary; 
James T. Fales, auditor; Morgan Reno, treasurer; and members of 
both branches of the Legislature. 

The act of Congress which admitted Iowa into the Union as a 
state gave her the sixteenth section of every township of land in the 
state, or its equivalent, for the support of schools; also seventy-two 
sections of land for the purposes of a university; five sections of land 


for the completion of her public buildings; the salt springs within 
her limits, not exceeding twelve in number, with sections of land 
adjoining each; also in consideration that her public lands should 
be exempt from taxation by the state. The state was given 5 per cent 
of the net proceeds of the sale of public lands within the state. 

The constitutional convention of 1846 was made up largely of 
democrats and the instrument contains some of the peculiar tenets 
of the party of that day. All banks of issue were prohibited within 
the state. The state was prohibited from becoming a stockholder 
in any corporation for pecuniary proHt and the General Assembly 
could only provide for private corporations by general statutes. 
The constitution also limited the state's indebtedness to $100,000. 
It required the General Assembly to prcnide for schools throughout 
the state for at least three months during the year. Six months" 
previous residence of any white male citizen of the United States 
constituted him an elector. 

At the time of the organization of the state Iowa had a popula- 
tion of 116,651, as appears by the census of i S47. There were 
twenty-seven organized counties and the settlements were being rap- 
idly pushed toward the Missouri River. 

The western boundary of the state, as now determined, left Iowa 
City too far toward the eastern and southern bounds of the state. 
This was conceded. Congress had appropriated five sections of land 
for the erection of public buildings and toward the close of the first 
session (jf the General Assembly a bill was introduced providing 
for the relocation of the seat of government, involving to some 
extent, the location of the state university, which had already been 
discussed. This bill gave rise to much discussion and parliamentary 
maneuvering almost purely sectional in its character. February 
25, 1847, an act was passed to locate and establish a state university 
and the unhnished public buildings at Iowa City, together with the 
ten acres of land on which they were situated, were granted for the 
use of the university, reserving their use, however, for the General 
Assembly and state officers until other provisions were made by law. 

Four sections and two half sections of land were selected in Jasper 
County by the commissioners for the new capital. Here a town was 
platted and called Monroe City. The commissioners placed town 
lots on sale in the new location but reported to the Assembly small 
sales at a cost exceeding the receipts. The Town of Monroe was 
condemned and failed of becoming the capital. An act was passed 
repealing the law for the location at Monroe and those who had 
bought lots there were refunded their money. 


By reason of jealousies and bickerings the first General Assembly 
failed to elect United States senators, but the second did better and 
sent to the upper house of Congress Augustus Caesar Dodge and 
George Jones. The first representatives were S. Clinton Hastings^ 
of Muscatine, and Sheppard Lefiler, of Des Moines County. 

The question of the permanent seat of government was not settled 
and in 1851 bills were introduced for its removal to Fort Dcs Moines. 
The latter locality seemed to have the support of the majority, but 
was finally lost in the house on the question of ordering it to a third 
reading. At the next session, in 1853, a bill was again introduced in 
the Senate for the removal of the capital and the effort was more 
successful. On January 15, 1855, a bill relocating the capital of the 
State of Iowa within two miles of the Raccoon fork, of the Des 
Moines River, and for the appointment of commissioners, was ap- 
proved by Governor Grimes. The site was selected in 1856, in 
accordance with the provisions of this act, the land being donated to 
the state by citizens and property holders of Des Moines. An 
association of citizens erected a temporary building for the capitol 
and leased it to the state at a nominal rent. 


The passage by. Congress of the act organizing the Territories 
of Kansas and Nebraska, and the provision it contained abrogating 
that portion of the Missouri bill prohibiting slavery and involuntary 
servitude north of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes was the be- 
ginning of a political revolution in the northern states, and in none 
was it more marked than in the State of Iowa. Iowa was the "first 
free child born of the Missouri Compromise." In 1856 the repub- 
lican part of the state was duly organized, in full sympathy with 
that of the other free states and at the ensuing presidential election, 
the electoral vote of the state was cast for John C. Fremont. 

Another constitutional convention assembled in Iowa City in 
January, 1857. One of the most pressing demands for this conven- 
tion grew out of the prohibition of banks under the old constitution. 
The practical result of this prohibition was to flood the state with 
every species of "wildcat" currency. The circulating medium was 
made up in part of the free-bank paper of Illinois and Indiana. In 
addition to this there was paper issued by Iowa brokers, who had 
obtained bank charters from the territorial Legislature of Nebraska, 
and had had their pretended headquarters at Omaha and Florence. 


The currency was also variegated with the bills of other states, 
generally such as had the best reputation where thev were least 
known. 'Jliis paper was all at two, and some of it from ten to 
fifteen per cent discount. Every man wlio was not an expert at 
detecting counterfeit bills and who was not posted in the mctiiods 
of banking institutions, did business at his peril. I'he new consti- 
tution adopted at this convention made ample provisions for house 
banks under the supervision of laws of the state and other changes 
in tiie old constitution were made that more nearly met the views of 
the people. 

The permanent seat of government was fi.xed at Des Moines and 
tiie university at Iowa City. The qualifications of electors remained 
the same as under the old constitution but the schedule provided for 
a vote of the people upon a separate proposition to strike out the word 
"white" from the suffrage clause. Since the early organization of 
Iowa there had been upon the statute books a. law providing that no 
negro, mulatto or Indian should be a competent witness in any suit 
at law or proceeding, to which a white man was a party. The Cjen- 
eral Assembly of i8i;6-7 repealed this law and the new constitution 
contained a clause forbidding such disqualification in the future. 
It also provided for the education of "all v"uth of the state" through 
a system of common schools. 


October 19, 1857, Governor Grimes issued a proclamation de- 
claring the City of Des Moines to be the capital of the State of 
Iowa. The removal of the archives and oflices was commenced at 
once and continued through the fall. It was an undertaking of no 
small magnitude. There was not a mile of railroad to facilitate the 
work and the season was unusually disagreeable. Rain, snow and 
other accompaniments increased the difficulties and it was not until 
December that the last of the efTects — the safe of the state treasurer, 
loaded on two large "bob-sleds" drawn by ten yoke of oxen — was 
deposited in the new capitol. Thus Iowa City ceased to be the capi- 
tal of the state after four territorial Legislatures, six state Legisla- 
tures and three constitutional conventions had held their regular 
sessions there. 

In 1870 the General Assembly made an appropriation and pro- 
vided for a board of commissioners to commence the work of 
building a new capitol. The cornerstone was laid with appropriate 


ceremonies, November 23, 1871. The estimated cost of the building 
was $2,500,000, and the structure was finished and occupied in 1874, 
the dedicatory exercises being held in January of that year. Hon. 
John A. Kasson delivered the principal address. The state capitol 
is classic in style, with a superstructure of buff limestone. It is 
363 feet in length, 247 feet in width, with a central dome rising to 
the height of 275 feet. At the time of completion it was only sur- 
passed by the capitol building of the State of New York, at Albany. 


In former years considerable objection was made to the prev- 
alence of high winds in Iowa, which is somewhat greater than 
in the states south and east. But climatic changes have lessened 
that grievance. The air, in fact, is pure and generally bracing, par- 
ticularly so during the winter. Thunderstorms are also more violent 
in this state than in those of the East and South, but not nearly so much 
as toward the mountains. As elsewhere in the northwestern states, 
westerly winds bring rain and snow, while easterly ones clear the sky. 
While the highest temperature occurs in August, the month of July 
averages the hottest and January the coldest. The mean tempera- 
ture of April and October nearly corresponds to the mean tempera- 
ture of the year, as well as to the seasons of spring and fall, while 
that of summer and winter is best represented by August and 
December. "Indian Summer" is delightful and well prolonged. 


The state lies wholly within and comprises a part of a vast plain. 
There are no mountains and scarcely any hilly country within its 
borders, for the highest point is but 1,200 feet above the lowest point. 
These two points are nearly three hundred miles apart and the whole 
state is traversed by gently flowing rivers. We thus find there is a 
good degree of propriety in regarding the whole state as belonging 
to a great plain, the lowest point of which within its borders, the 
southeastern corner of the state, is only 444 feet above the level of 
the sea. The average height of the whole state above the level of the 
sea is not far from eight hundred feet, although it is over a thousand 
miles from the nearest ocean. These remarks, of course, are to be 
understood as only applying to the state at large, or as a whole. On 
examining its surface in detail we find a great diversity of surface 


for the formation of valleys out of the general level, which have been 
evolved by the actions of streams during the unnumbered years of 
terrace epoch. These river valleys are deepest in the northwestern 
part of the state and consequently it is there that the county has the 
greatest diversity of surface and its physical features are most strongly 

it is said that ninety-five per cent of the surface of Iowa is capable 
of a high state of cultivation. The soil is justly famous for its 
fertility and there is probably no equal area of the earth's surface 
that contains so little untillabic land or whose soil has so high an 
average of fertility. 


The largest of Iowa's lakes are Spirit and Okoboji, in Dickinson 
County; Clear Lake, in Cerro Gordo County, and Storm Lake, in 
Buena Vista County. Its rivers consist of the Mississippi and Mis- 
souri, the Chariton, Grand, Platte, One Hundred and Two, Nodaway, 
Nishnabotna, Boyer, Soldier, Little Sioux, Floyd, Rock, Big Sioux, 
Des Moines, Skunk, Iowa, Cedar, Wapsipinicon, Turkey and Upper 


Iowa was born a free state. Her people abhorred the "peculiar, 
institution" of slavery and by her record in the war between the 
states proved herself truly loyal to her institutions and the main- 
tenance of the Union. By joint resolution in the General Assembly 
of the state in 1857, it was declared that the State of Iowa was ''bound 
to maintain the union of these states by all the means in her power." 
The same year the state furnished a block of marble for the Wash- 
ington monument at the national capital and by order of the Legis- 
lature there was inscribed on its enduring surface the following: 
"Iowa — Her affections, like the river of her borders, flow to an 
inseparable Union." The time was now come when these declara- 
tions of fidelity and attachment to the nation were to be put to a 
practical test. There was no state in the Union more vitally interested 
in the question of national unity than Iowa. The older states, both 
north and south, had representatives in her citizenship. lowans were 
practically immigrants bound to those older communities by the 
most sacred ties of blood and most enduring recollections of early 


days. The position of Iowa as a state — geographically — made the 
dismemberment of the Union a matter of serious concern. Within 
her borders were two of the great navigable rivers of the country, 
and the Mississippi had for years been its highway to the markets 
of the world. The people could not entertain the thought that its 
navigation should pass to the control of a foreign nation. But more 
than this was to be feared — the consequence of introducing and 
recognizing in our national system the principle of secession and of 
distintegration of the states from the Union. "That the nation pos- 
sessed no constitutional power to coerce a seceding state," as uttered 
by James Buchanan in his last annual message, was received by the 
people of Iowa with humiliation and distrust. And in the presi- 
dential campaign of i860, when Abraham Lincoln combated with 
all the force of his matchless logic and rhetoric this monstrous 
political heresy, the issue was clearly drawn between the North and 
the South and it became manifest to many that in the event of the 
election of Lincoln to the presidency war would follow between the 
states. The people of Iowa nurse no hatred toward any section of 
the country but were determined to hold such opinions upon ques- 
tions of public interest and vote for such men as to them seemed for 
the general good, uninfluenced by any threat of violence or civil war. 
So it was that they anxiously awaited the expiring hours of the 
Buchanan administration and looked to the incoming president as 
to an expected deliverer that should rescue the nation from the hands 
of the traitors and the control of those whose resistance invited her 
destruction. The firing upon the flag of Fort Sumter aroused the 
burning indignation throughout the loyal states of the republic and 
nowhere was it more intense than in Iowa. And when the proclama- 
tion of the president was published April 15, 1861, calling for 
75,000 volunteer soldiers to "maintain the honor, the integrity and 
the existence of our national Union, and the perpetuity of popular 
government," they were more than willing to respond to the call. 
Party lines gave way and for a while, at least, party spirit was hushed 
and the cause of our common country was supreme in the afifections 
of the people. Fortunate indeed was the state at this crisis in having 
a truly representative man as executive of the state. Thoroughly 
honest and as equally earnest, wholly imbued with the enthusiasm of 
the hour and fully aroused to the importance of the crisis and the 
magnitude of the struggle upon which the people were entering, 
with an indomitable will under the control of a strong common 
sense, Samuel J. Kirkwood was indeed a worthy chief to organize 


and direct the energies of the people in what was before them. 
Within thirty days after the date of the president's call for tnjops, 
the first Iowa regiment was mustered into the service of the United 
States, a second regiment was in camp ready for service and tlic 
General Assembly of the state was convened in special session and 
had by joint resolution solemnly pledged every resource of men and 
money to the national cause. So urgent were the offers of companies 
that the governor conditionally accepted enough additional com- 
panies to compose two regiments more. These were soon accepted 
by the secretary of war. Near the close of May, the adjutant general 
of the state reported that 170 companies had been tendered the 
governor to serve against the enemies of the Union. The question 
was eagerly asked : "Which of us will be allowed to go?" It seemed 
as if Iowa was monopolizing the honors of the period and would 
send the largest part of 75,000 wanted from the whole North. There 
was much difficulty and considerable delay experienced in fitting the 
Hrst three regiments for the field. For the first regiment a complete 
outfit of clothing was extemporized, partly by the volunteer labor of 
loyal women in the dififcrent towns, from material of various colors 
and qualities, obtained witliin the limits of the state. The same was 
done in part for the second infantry. Meantime, an extra session 
of the General Assembly had been called by the governor to con- 
vene on the 15th of May. With but little delay that body authorized 
a loan of $800,000 to meet the extraordinary expenses incurred, and 
to be incurred, by the executive department in consequence of the 
emergency. A wealthy merchant of the state, ex-Governor Merrill, 
immediately took from the governor a contract to supply a complete 
outfit of clothing for three regiments organized, agreeing to receive, 
should the governor so elect, his pay therefor in the state bonds at 
par. This contract he executed to the letter and a portion of the 
clothing was delivered at Keokuk, the place at which the troops had 
rendezvoused, in exactly one month irom the day in which the 
contract had been entered into. The remainder arrived onlv a few 
days later. This clothing was delivered to the soldiers but was 
subsequently condemned by the government for the reason that its 
color was gray, and blue had been adopted as the color to be worn 
by the national troops. Other states had also clothed their troops, 
sent forward under the first call of President Lincoln, with gray 
uniforms, but it was soon found that the Confederate forces were 
also clothed in gray and that color was at once abandoned for the 
Union soldier. 


At the beginning of the war the population of Towa included 
about one hundred and fifty thousand men, presumably liable to 
render military service. The state raised for general service thirty- 
nine regiments of infantry, nine regiments of cavalry and four com- 
panies of artillery, composed of three years' men, one regiment com- 
posed of three months' men, and four regiments and one battalion of 
infantry composed of one hundred days' men. The original enlist- 
ments in these various organizations, including 1,727 men raised by 
draft, numbered about sixty-nine thousand. The reenlistments, 
including upwards of seven thousand veterans, numbered nearly eight 
thousand. The enlistments in the regular army and navy organiza- 
tions of other states will, if added, raise the total to upwards of 
eighty thousand. The number of men who under special enlistments 
and as milita took part at different times in the operations on the 
exposed borders, was probably five thousand. 

Every loyal state of the Union had many women who devoted 
much time and great labor toward relieving the wants of our sick 
and wounded soldiery, but for Iowa can be claimed the honor of 
inaugurating the great charitable movement, which was so success- 
fully supported by the noble women of the North. Mrs. Harlan, 
wife of Hon. James Harlan, United States senator, was the first 
woman of the country among those moving in high circles of society 
who personally visited the army and ministered to the wants of the 
defenders of her country. In many of her visits to the army, Mrs. 
Harlan was accompanied by Mrs. Joseph T. Fales, wife of the first 
state auditor of Iowa. No words can describe the good done, the 
lives saved and the deaths made easy by the host of noble women of 
Iowa, whose names it would take a volume to print. Every county, 
every town, every neighborhood had these true heroines, whose praise 
can never be known till the final rendering of all accounts of deeds 
done in the body. The contributions throughout the state to "sani- 
tary fairs" during the war were enormous, amounting to hundreds 
of thousands of dollars. Highly successful fairs were held in the 
principal cities and towns of the state, which all added to the work 
and praise of the "Florence Nightingales" of Iowa, whose heroic 
sacrifices have won for them the undying gratitude of the nation. 
It is said, to the honor and credit of Iowa, that while many of the 
loyal states, older and larger in population and wealth, incurred 
heavy state debts for the purpose of fulfilling their obligations to the 
general government, Iowa, while she was foremost in duty, while 
she promptly discharged all her obligations to her sister states and 


the Union, found herself at the close of the war without any material 
additions to her pecuniary liabilities incurred before the war com- 
menced. Upon Hnal settlement after restoration of peace, her claims 
upon the federal government were found to be fully equal to the 
amount of her bonds issued and sold during the war, to provide the 
means for raising and equipping her troops sent into the field and to 
meet the inevitable demands upon her treasury in consequence of the 
war. It uas in view of these facts that Iowa had done more than 
her duty during the war, and without incurring any considerable 
indebtedness, and that her troops had fought most gallantly on 
nearly every battlefield of the war, that the Newark (New Jersey) 
Advertiser and other prominent eastern journals, called Iowa the 
"Model State oi the Republic." 


School teachers here were among the first immigrants to Iowa. 
This gives point to the fact that the people of Iowa have ever taken 
a deep interest in education and in this direction no state in the 
Union has a better record. The system of free public schools was 
planted by the early settlers and it has expanded and improved until 
now it is one of the most complete, comprehensive and liberal in 
the country. The lead mining regions of the state were the first to 
be settled by the whites and the hardy pioneers provided the means 
for the education of their children even before they had comfortable 
dwellings for themselves. Wherever a little settlement was made, 
the schoolhouse was the first thing undertaken by the settlers in a 
body, and the rude, primitive structures of the early times only dis- 
appeared when the communities increased in population and wealth 
and were able to replace them with more commodious and comfort- 
able buildings. Perhaps in no single instance has the magnificent 
progress of the State of Iowa been more marked and rapid than in 
her common-school system and in her schoolhouses. Today the 
schoolhouses which everywhere dot the broad and fertile prairies of 
Iowa are unsurpassed by those of any other state in this great Union. 
More especially is this true in all her cities and villages, where 
liberal and lavish appropriations have been voted bv a generous 
people for the erection of large, commodious and elegant buildings, 
furnished with all the modern improvements, and costing from 
* to $60,000 each. The people of the state have expended more 


than $25,000,000 for the erection of public school buildings, which 
stand as monuments of magnificence. 


Dubuque saw within its limits the first school building erected in 
the State of Iowa, which was built by J- J- Langworthy and a few 
other miners in the fall of 1833. When it was completed, George 
Cabbage was employed as teacher during the winter of 1833-4 <i''"^ 
thirty-five pupils answered to his roll call. Barrett Whittemore 
taught the school term and had twenty-five pupils in attendance. 
Mrs. Caroline Dexter commenced teaching in Dubuque in March, 
1836. She was the first female teacher there and probably the first 
in Iowa. In 1839 Thomas H. Benton, Jr., afterwards for ten years 
superintendent of public instruction, opened an English and classical 
school in Dubuque. The first tax for the support of schools at 
Dubuque was levied in 1840. A commodious log schoolhouse was 
built at Burlington in 1834 and was one of the first buildings erected 
in that settlement. A Mr. Johnson taught the first school in the 
winter of 1834-5. In Scott County, in the winter of 1835-6, Simon 
Crazen taught a fourteen months" term of school in the house of J. B. 
Chamberlin. In Muscatine County, the first term of school was 
taught by George Baumgardner in the spring of 1837. In 1839 a log 
schoolhouse was erected in Muscatine, which served for a long time 
as schoolhouse, meeting house and public hall. The first school in 
Davenport was taught in 1838. In Fairfield, Miss Clarissa Sawyer, 
James F. Chambers and Mrs. Reed taught school in 1839. 

Johnson County was an entire wilderness when Iowa City was 
located as the capital of the Territory of Iowa in May, 1839. The 
first sale of lots took place August 18, 1839, and before January i, 
1840, about twenty families had settled in the town. During the 
same year Jesse Berry opened a school in a small frame building he 
had erected on what is now known as College Street. 

In Monroe County the first settlement was made in 1843 by John 
R. Gray, about two miles from the present site of Eddyville, and in 
the summer of 1844 a log schoolhouse was built by Gray and others, 
and the first school was opened by Miss Uriana Adams. About a 
year after the first cabin was built in Oskaloosa, a log schoolhouse 
was built, in which school was opened by Samuel W. Caldwell, in 

At Fort Des Moines, now the capital of the state, the first school 


was taught by Lewis Whitten, clerk uf the District Court, in the 
winter of 1846-7, in one of the rooms on "Coon Row," built for 

The first school in Pottawattamie County was opened by George 
Green, a Mormon, at Council Point, prior to 1849, ^"'^ unu\ about 
1854 nearly all the teachers in that vicinity were Mormons. 

The first schoul in Dccorali was taught in 1H55 by Cyrus C. 
Carpenter, since governor of tlic state. During the first twenty years 
of the historv of Iowa tiie log schoolhouse prevailed, and in 1861 
there were 893 of these primitive structures in use for school pur- 
poses in the state. Since that time they have been gradually disap- 
pearing. In 1865 there were 796; in 1870, 336; in 1875, 121; and 
today there is probably not a vestige of one remaining. 

In 1846, the year of Iowa's admission as a state, there were 20,000 
pupils in schools, out of 100,000 inhabitants. About four hundred 
school districts had been organized. In 1850 there were 1,200 and 
in 1857 the number hat! increased to 3,265.* The system of graded 
schools was inaugurated in 1849 and now schools in which more than 
one teacher is employed, are universally graded. Teachers' insti- 
tutes were organized early in the history of the state. The first official 
mention of them occurs in the aiuuial report of Hon. Thomas H. 
Benton, Ir., made December 2, 1850, who said: "An institution of 
this character was organized a few years ago, composed of the teachers 
of the mineral regions of Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa. An associa- 
tion of teachers has also been formed in the County of Henry and 
an efifort was made October last to organize a regular institute in the 
County of Jones." 

Funds for the support of public schools are derived in various 
ways. The sixteenth section of every congressional township was 
set apart by the general government for school purposes, being one- 
thirty-sixth part of all the lands in the state. The minimum price of 
all these lands was fixed at $1.25 per acre. Congress also made an 
additional donation to the state of 500,000 acres and an appropriation 
of five per cent on all the sales of public lands to the school fund. 
The state gives to this fund the proceeds of the sales of all lands 
which escheat to it, the proceeds of all fines for the violation of 
liquor and criminal laws. The money derived from these sources 
constitutes the permanent school fund of the state, which cannot be 
diverted to any other purpose. The penalties collected by the courts 
in fines and for forfeitures go to the school fund in the counties 
according to their request, and the counties loan the money to indi- 


viduals for long terms at eight per cent interest, on security of lands 
valued at three times the value of the loan, exclusive of all buildings 
and improvements thereon. The interest on these loans is paid into 
the state treasury and becomes the available school fund of the state. 
The counties are responsible to the state for all money so loaned and 
the state is likewise responsible to the school fund for all money 
transferred to the counties. The interest on these loans is appor- 
tioned by the state auditor semi-annually to the several counties of 
the state, in proportion to the number of persons between tlie ages of 
five and twenty-one years. The counties also levy a tax for school 
purposes, which is apportioned to the several district townships in 
the same way. A district tax is also levied for the same purpose. 
The money arising from these several sources constitutes the support 
of the public schools and is sufficient to enable every sub-district in 
the state to afiford from six to nine months' school each year. The 
burden of district taxation is thus lightened and the efficiency of 
schools is increased. The taxes levied for the support of the schools 
are self-imposed. Under the admirable school laws of the state no 
taxes can be legally assessed or collected for the erection of school- 
houses until tliev have been ordered by the election of a school district 
at a school meeting legally called. The teachers' and contingent 
funds are determined by the board of directors under certain legal 
instructions. These boards are elected annually. The only excep- 
tion to this method of levying taxes for school purposes is the county 
tax, which is determined by the county board of supervisors. In 
each county a teachers' institute is held annually under the direction 
of the county superintendent, the state distributing annually a sum 
of money to each of these institutes. 


By act of Congress, approved July 20, 1840, the secretary of the 
treasury was authorized to "set apart and reserve from sale, out of 
any public lands within the territory of Iowa not otherwise claimed 
or appropriated, a quantity of land not exceeding two entire town- 
ships, for the use and support of a university within said territory 
when it becomes a state." The first General Assembly, therefore, 
by act approved February 25, 1847, established the "State University 
of Iowa" at Iowa City, then the capital of the state. The public 
buildings and other property at Iowa City were appropriated to the 
university but the legislative sessions and state offices were to be 


held in them until a permanent location for a capital was made. 
The control and mana<i;ement of the university were committed to a 
board of fifteen trustees and five were to be chosen everv two vears. 
'Ihe superintendent of public instruction was made president of this 
board. The organic act pro\ided that the universitv should never 
be under the control of any religious organization whatever, and 
that as soon as the revenue from the grant and donations should 
amount to two thousand dollars a year, the unixersitv should com- 
mence and continue the instruction, free of charge, of Hftv students 
annually. Of course the organization of the universitv was imprac- 
ticable so long as the seat of government w as retained at Iowa Citv. 

In January, 1849, two branches of the university and three normal 
schools were established, l^iie branches were located at Fairfield 
and Dubuque and were placed u[ioii an cijual footing, in respect to 
funds and all other matters, with the university at Iowa Citv. At 
Fairfield the board of directors organized aad erecteil a building at 
a cost of $2,500. This was nearly destroyed bv a hurricane the fol- 
lowing year but was rebuilt more substantially bv the citizens of 
Fairheld. Ihis branch never received anv aid from the state and, 
January 24, 1853, at the request of the board, the General Assembly 
terminated its relations to the state. The brancli at Dubuque had 
onlv a nominal existence. The normal schools were located at 
Andrew, Oskaloosa and Mount Pleasant. Each was to be governed 
bv a board of seven trustees to be appointed bv the trustees of the 
university. Each was to receive $500 annually from the income of 
the university fund, upon condition that they should educate eight 
common school teachers, free of charge for tuition, and that the 
citizens should contribute an equal sum for the erection of requisite 
buildings. The school at Andrew was organized November 21, 1849, 
with Samuel Ray as principal. A building was commenced and over 
one thousand dollars expended on it, but it was never completed. 
The school at Oskaloosa was started in the courthouse, Sept. 13, i8q2, 
under charge of Prof. G. M. Drake and wife. A two-story brick 
building was erected in 1H53, costing $2,473. ^ '""^ school at Mount 
Pleasant was never organized. Neither of these schools received 
any aid from the university fund, but in 18^7 the Legislature appro- 
priated $1,000 for each of the two schools and repealed the laws 
authorizing the payment to them of money from the universitv fund. 
From that time they made no further effort to continue in operation. 

From 1847 to 1855 the board of trustees of the universitv was 
kept full by regular elections by the Legislature and the trustees held 



frequent meetings but there was no actual organization of the uni- 
versity. In March, 1855, it was partially opened for a term of 
sixteen weeks. July 16, 1855, Amos Dean, of Albany, New York, 
was elected president but he never fully entered into its duties. The 
university was again opened in September, 1855, '^"'^ continued in 
peration until June, 1856, under Professors Johnson, Van Valken- 
burg and Grifiin. The faculty was then reorganized with some 
changes and the university was again opened on the third Wednesday 
of September, 1856. There were 124 students (eighty-three males 
and forty-one females) in attendance during the year 1856-7, and the 
first regular catalogue was published. At a special meeting of the 
board, September 22, 1857, the honorary degree of Bachelor of Arts 
was conferred on D. Franklin Wells. This was the first degree 
conferred by the university. 

By the constitution of 1857 it was provided that there be no 
branches of the state university. In December of that year the old 
capitol building was turned over to the trustees of the university. 
In 1858, $10,000 was appropriated for the erection of a students' 
boarding hall. The board closed the university April 27, 1858, on 
account of insufficient funds and dismissed all the faculty with the 
exception of Chancellor Dean. At the same time a resolution was 
passed excluding females. This was soon after reversed by the Gen- 
eral Assembly. The university was reopened September 19, i860, 
and from this time the real existence of the university dates. Chan- 
cellor Dean had resigned before this and Silas Totten, D. D. LL. D., 
was elected president, at a salary of $2,000. August 19, 1862, he 
resigned and was succeeded by Oliver M. Spencer. President Spencer 
was granted leave of absence for fifteen months to visit Europe. 
Prof. Nathan R. Leonard was elected president pro tem. President 
Spencer resigning, James Black, D. D., vice president of Washington 
and JefTerson College, of Pennsylvania, was elected president. He 
entered upon his duties in September, 1868. 

The law department was established in June, 1868, and soon after 
the Iowa Law School at Des Moines, which had been in successful 
operation for three years, was transferred to Iowa City and merged 
into the department. The medical department was established in 
1869, and since April 11, 1870, the government of the university has 
been in the hands of a board of regents. The university has gained a 
reputation as one of the leading educational institutions of the West 
and this position it is determined to maintain. 



Cedar Falls, the cliicf city of Black Hawk County, holds the 
State Normal School, which is an institution for the training of 
teachers and is doing most excellent work. 


By act of the Legislature, approved March 23, 1858, the State 
Agricultural College and Farm was established at Ames, in Story 
County. In 1862 Congress granted to Iowa 240,000 acres of land 
for the endowment of schools of agriculture and the mechanical arts. 
In 1864 the General Assembly voted $20,000 for the erection of the 
college buildings. In 1866, $91,000 more was appropriated for the 
same purpose. The building was completed in 1868 and the insti- 
tution was opened the following year. The ijistitution is modeled to 
some extent after the Michigan Agricultural College. In this school 
of learning admission is free to all students of the state over sixteen 
years of age. Students are required to work on the farm two and 
a half hours each day. The faculty is of a very high character and 
the college one of the best of its kind. The sale of spirits, wine or 
beer is prohibited within three miles of the farm. The current 
expenses of this institution are paid by the income from the perma- 
nent endowment. Besides the institutions here mentioned are many 
others throughout the state. Amity College is located at C(jllege 
Springs, in Page Countv; Burlington University at Burlington; 
Drake University at Des Moines; Iowa College at Grinnell, etc. 



The Legislature established the institution for the deaf and dumb, 
January 24, 1855, and located it at Iowa City. A great effort was 
made for its removal to Des Moines but it was finally located at 
Council Bluffs. In 1868 an appropriation was made by the Legis- 
lature of $i2c;,ooo for the erection of new buildings, and ninety 
acres of land were selected south of the city. October, 1870, the 
main building and one wing were completed and occupied. In 
February, 1877, fire destroyed the main building and east wing. 
About one hundred and fifty students were in attendance at the time. 


There is a regular appropriation for this institution of twenty-two 
dollars per capita per month for nine months of each year, for the 
payment of officers' and teachers' salaries and for a support fund. 
The institution is free to all of school age, too deaf to be educated 
in the common schools, sound in mind and free from immoral habits 
and from contagious and offensive diseases. No charge is made for 
board or tuition. The session of the school begins the hrst day of 
October and ends the last day of June of each year. 


In 1852 Prof. Samuel Bacon, himself blind, established a school 
for the instruction of the blind at Keokuk. He was the first person 
in the state to agitate a public institution for the blind, and in 1853 
the institute was adopted by the Legislature, by statute, approved 
January 18, 1853, and removed to Iowa City. During its first term 
twenty-three pupils were admitted. Professor Bacon was a fine 
scholar, an economical manager and in every way adapted to his 
position. During his administration the institution was in a great 
measure self-supporting by the sale of articles of manufacture by 
the blind pupils. There was also a charge of twenty-five dollars as 
an admission fee for each pupil. In 1858 the citizens of Vinton, 
Benton County, donated a quarter section of land and $5,000 for the 
establishment of the asylum at that place. May 8th of the same year 
the trustees met at Vinton and made arrangements for securing the 
donation and adopted a plan for the erection of a suitable building. 
In i860 the contract for the building was let for $10,420, and in 
August, 1862, the goods and furniture were removed from Iowa City 
to Vinton, and in the fall of the same year the school was opened 
with twenty-four pupils. There is a regular appropriation of twenty- 
two dollars per capita per month for nine months of each year to 
cover support and maintenance. The school term begins on the first 
Wednesday in September and usually ends about the first of June. 
Pupils may be admitted at any time and are at liberty to go home at 
any time their parents may send for them. The department of music 
is supplied with a large number of pianos, one pipe organ, several 
cabinet organs and a sufficient number of violins, guitars, bass viols 
and brass instruments. Every pupil capable of receiving it is given 
a complete course in this department. In the industrial department 
the girls are required to learn knitting, crocheting, fancy work, hand 
and machine sewing; the boys, netting, broom making, mattress mak- 


ing and cane seating. Those of cither sex who desire may learn 
carpet weaving. 


The Hospital for tiic Insane was established by an act of the 
Legislature, January 24, 1H55. The location for the institution was 
selected at Mount Pleasant, Henry County, and $500,000 appro- 
priated for the buildings, which were commenced in October of that 
year. One liundred patients were admitted within three months 
after it was opened. The Legislature of 1867-68 provided measures 
for an additional hospital for the insane and an appropriation of 
$125,000 was made for tiie purpose. Independence was selected by 
the commissioners as the most desirable location and 320 acres were 
secured one mile from the town on the west side of the VVapsipinicon 
River and about a mile from its banks. The hospital was opened 
May I, 1873. The amount allowed for the support of these insti- 
tutions is twelve dollars per niontli for each patient. All expenses 
of the hospital except for special purposes are paid from the sum 
so named and the amount is charged to the counties from which the 
patients are sent. 

soldiers' orphans' home 

The Soldiers' Orphans' Home is located at Davenport and was 
originated by Mrs. Anne \Vhittenmeyer, during the late rebellion 
of the states. This noble hearted woman called a convention at 
Muscatine, September 7, 1863, for the purpose of devising means 
for the education and support of the orphan children of Iowa whose 
fathers had lost their lives in the defense of their countrv's honor. 
The public interest in the movement was so great that all parts of 
the state were largely represented and an association was organized 
called the Iowa State Orphan Asylum. The first meeting of the 
trustees was held February 14, 1864, at Des Moines, when Governor 
Kirkwood suggested that a home for disabled soldiers should be con- 
nected with the asylum and arrangements were made for collecting 
funds. At the next meeting in Davenport the following month, a 
committee was appointed to lease a suitable building, solicit donations 
and procure suitable furniture. This committee obtained a large 
brick building in Lawrence, V^an Buren County, and engaged Mr. 
Fuller at Mount Pleasant as steward. The work of preparation was 


conducted so vigorously that July 13th following the executive com- 
mittee announced it was ready to receive children. Within three 
weeks twenty-one were admitted and in a little more than six months 
seventy were in the home. Ihc home was sustained by voluntary 
contributions until 1866, when it was taken charge of by the state. 
The Legislature appropriated ten dollars per month for each orphan 
actually supported and provided for the establishment of three 
homes. The one in Cedar Falls was organized in 1865. An old 
hotel building was fitted up for it and by the following January 
there were ninety-six inmates. In October, 1869, the home was re- 
moved to a large brick building about two miles west of Cedar Falls 
and was very prosperous for several years, but in 1876 the Legislature 
devoted this building to the State Normal School. The same year 
the Legislature also devoted the buildings and grounds of the Soldiers' 
Orphans' Home at Glenwood, Mills County, to an institution for the 
support of feeble minded children. It also provided for the removal 
of the soldiers' orphans at Glenwood and Cedar Falls homes to the 
one located at Davenport. There is in connection with this institu- 
tion a school building, pleasant, commodious and well lighted, and 
it is the policy of the board to have the course of instruction of a 
high standard. A kindergarten is (operated for the very young 
pupils. The age limit to which children are kept in the home is 
sixteen years. Fewer than twenty per cent remain to the age limit. 
A library of well selected juvenile literature is a source of pleasure 
and profitable entertainment to the children, as from necessity their 
pleasures and pastimes are somewhat limited. It is the aim to pro- 
vide the children with plenty of good, comfortable clothing and to 
teach them to take good care of the same. Their clothing is all 
manufactured at the home, the large girls assisting in the work. The 
table is well supplied with a good variety of plain, wholesome food 
and a reasonable amount of luxuries. The home is now supported by 
a regular appropriation of twelve dollars per month for each inmate 
and the actual transportation charges of the inmates to and from the 
institution. Each county is liable to the state for the support of its 
children to the extent of six dollars per month, except soldiers' 
orphans, who are cared for at the expense of the state. 


An act of the General Assembly, approved March 17, 1878, 
provided for the establishment of an asylum for feeble minded 


children at Glenwood, Mills County, and the buildings and grounds 
of the Soldiers' Orphans' Home were taken for that purpose. The 
asvlum was placed under the management of three trustees, one of 
whom should be a resident of Mills County. Ihe institution was 
opened September i, 1876. By November, 1877, the number of 
pupils was eighty-seven. The purpose of this institution is to pro- 
vide special methods of training for that class of children deficient 
in mind or marked with such peculiarities as to deprive them of the 
benefits and privileges provided for children with normal faculties. 
The object is t(J make the child as nearly self-supporting as practicable 
and to approach as nearly as possible the movements and actions of 
normal people. It further aims to provide a home for those who 
are not susceptible of mental culture, relying wholly on others to 
supply their simple wants. 


The Industrial School for Boys is established at Eldora. By 
act approved March 31, 1868, the General Assembly established a 
reform school at Salem, Henry County, and provided for a board of 
trustees from each congressional district. The trustees immediately 
leased the property of the Iowa Manual Labor Institute, and October 
7th following the school received its first inmate. The law at first 
provided for the admission of both sexes under eighteen years of 
age. The trustees were directed to organize a separate school for 
girls. In 1872 the school for boys was permanently located at 
Eldora, Hardin Countv. and some time later the one for girls was 
established at Mitchellville. There is appropriated for these schools 
and their support the sum of thirteen dollars monthly for each boy, 
and sixteen dollars monthlv for each girl inmate. The object of 
the institution is the reformation of juvenile delinquents. It is not 
a prison. It is a compulsory educational institution. It is a school 
where wayward and criminal boys and girls are brought under the 
influence of Christian instructors and taught by example as well as 
precept the better ways of life. It is a training school, where the 
moral, intellectual and industrial education of the child is carried 
on at one and the same time. 


The governor, bv an act approved January 25, 1839, was author- 
ized to draw the sum of $20,000, appropriated by an act of 


Congress in 1838, for public buildings in the Territory of Iowa and 
establish a state penal institution. The act provided for a board of 
directors, consisting of three persons, to be elected by the Legislature, 
who should superintend the building of a penitentiary to be located 
within a mile of the public square in the Town of Fort Madison, 
Lee County, provided that the latter deeded a suitable tract of land 
for the purpose, also a spring or stream of water for the use of the 
penitentiary. The citizens of Fort Madison executed a deed of ten 
acres of land for the building. The work was soon entered upon 
and the main building and the warden's house were completed in 
the fall of 1 841. It continued to meet with additions and improve- 
ments until the arrangements were all completed according to the 
designs of the directors. The labor of the convicts is let out to con- 
tractors, who pay the state a stipulated sum for services rendered, 
the state furnishing shops and necessary supervision in preserving 
order. The Iowa Farming Tool Company and the Fort Madison 
Chair Company are the present contractors. 


The first steps toward the erection of a penitentiary at Anamosa, 
Jones County, were taken in 1872, and by an act of the General 
Assembly, approved April 23, 1884, when three commissioners were 
selected to construct and control prison buildings. They met on 
the 4th of June following and chose a site donated by the citizens of 
Anamosa. Work on the building was commenced September 28, 
1872. In 1873 a number of prisoners were transferred from the Fort 
Madison prison to Anamosa. The labor of the convicts at this 
penitentiary is employed in the erection and completion of the build- 
ings. The labor of a small number is let to the American Cooperage 
Company. This institution has a well equipped department for 
female prisoners, also a department for the care of the criminal 


A State historical society in connection with the university was 
provided for by act of the General Assembly, January 25, 18^7. 
At the commencement an appropriation of $250 was made, to be 
expended in collecting and preserving a library of books, pamphlets, 
papers, paintings and other materials illustrative of the history of 


Iowa. There was appropriated $500 per annum to maintain this 
society. Since its organization the society has published three dif- 
ferent quarterly magazines. From 1863 to 1874 it published the 
Annals of Iowa, twelve volumes, now called the first series. From 
1885 to 1902 it published the Iowa Historical Record, eighteen 
volumes. From 1903 to 1907 the society has published the Iowa 
Journal of History and Politics, now in its fifth volume. Numerous 
special publications have been issued by the society, the most im- 
portant of which are the Messages and Proclamations of the Gover- 
nors of Iowa, in seven volumes; the Executive Journal of Iowa, 
1838-1843, and the Lucas Journal of the War of 1812. 


The Iowa Soldiers' Home was built and occupied in 1888, at 
Marshalltown. The first year it had 140 inmates. In 1907 there 
were 794 inmates, including 1 12 women. The United States Govern- 
ment pays to the state of Iowa the sum of $100 per year for each 
inmate of the Soldiers' Home who served in any war in which the 
United States was engaged, which amount is used as part of the sup- 
port fund of the institution. Persons who have property or means 
for their support, or who draw a pension sufficient therefor, will 
not be admitted to the home, and if after admission an inmate of 
the home shall receive a pension or other means sufficient for his 
support, or shall recover his health so as to enable him to support 
himself, he will be discharged from the home. Regular appropria- 
tion by the state is fourteen dollars per month for each member and 
ten dollars per month for each employe not a member of the home. 


There are at Clarinda and Cherokee state hospitals for the insane 
and one at Knoxville for the inebriate. 

It is strange but true that in the great state of Iowa, with more 
than si.xty per cent of her population engaged in agricultural pursuits 
and stock-raising, it was not until the year 1900 that a department of 
the state government was created in the interests of and for the 
promotion of agriculture, animal industry, horticulture, manufac- 
tures, etc. The Iowa department of agriculture was created by an 
act of the twenty-eighth General Assembly. In 1892 the Iowa 
Geological Survey was established and the law which provided 


therefor outlined its work to be that of making "a complete survey 
of the natural resources of the state in the natural and scientific 
aspects, including the determination of the characteristics of the 
various formations and the investigation of the different ores, coal, 
clays, building stones and other useful materials." It is intended 
to cooperate with the United States Geological Survey in the making 
of topographical maps and those parts of the state whose coal re- 
sources make such maps particularly desirable and useful. The 
State Agricultural Society is one of the great promoters of the welfare 
of the people. The society holds an annual fair which has occurred 
at Des Moines since 1878. At its meetings subjects of the highest 
interest and value are discussed and these proceedings are published 
at the expense of the state. 



In the year 1907 the State of Iowa closed the first half century 
of existence under the Constitution of 1857. In April, 1906, the 
General Assembly, looking forward to the suitable celebration of so 
important an anniversary, passed an act appropriating $750 to be 
used bv the State Historical Society of Iowa, in a commemoration 
of the fiftieth anniversary of the Constitution of 1857. It was 
eminently desirable that the celebration should occur at Iowa City, 
for it was at that place, then the capital of the state, that the consti- 
tutional convention of 1 857 was held. And it was particularly fitting 
that the exercises should be placed under the auspices of the State 
Historical Society of Iowa, for the same year, 1857, marks the birth 
of the society. While the convention was drafting the fundamental 
law of the state in a room on the lower floor of the Old Stone Capitol, 
the sixth General Assembly in the legislative halls upstairs in the 
same building passed an act providing for the organization of a 
State Historical Society. Thus the event of 1907 became a celebra- 
tion of the fiftieth anniversary of the State Historical Society as well 
as a commemoration of the semi-centennial of the Constitution of 

In due time plans were matured for a program covering four 
days, beginning on Tuesday, March 19, and closing on Friday, March 


22, 1907. It consisted of addresses bv men of prominent reputation 
in constitutional and historical lines, together with conferences on 
state historical subjects. On 'I'uesday evening Prof. Andrew C. 
McLaughlin, of Chicago University, delivered an address upon "A 
Written Constitution in Some of its Historical Aspects.'" He ilwelt 
in a scholarly wav upon the growth of written constitutions, showing 
the lines along which their historical development has progressed. 

The speaker of Wednesday was Prof. Eugene Wambaugh, of the 
Harvard Law School, one of the leading authorities in the country 
upon (]uestions of constitutional law and formerly a member of the 
faculty of the college of law of the University of Iowa. Professor 
Wambaugh, taking for his subject, "'Idle Relation Between (General 
History and the Historv of Law," outlined the history of the long 
rivalry between the civil law of Rome and the common law in their 
struggle for supremacy, both in the old world and the new. In clos- 
ing, he referred to the constitution of Iowa as typical ot the efforts 
of the American people to embody in fixed form the principles of 
n'ght and justice. 

Thursday morning was given over to a conference on the teaching 
of history. Prof. Isaac A. Loos, of the State University of Iowa, 
presided, and members of the faculties of a number of the colleges 
and high schools of the state were present and participated in the 
program. In the afternoon the conference of historical societies 
convened, Dr. F. E. Horack, of the State Historical Society of Iowa, 
presiding. Reports were read from the historical department at 
Des Moines and from nearly all of the local historical societies of the 
state. Methods and policies were discussed and much enthusiasm 
was aroused looking toward the better preservation of the valuable 
materials of local history. 

The history of the Mississippi valley is replete with events of 
romantic interest. From the time of the early French voyagers and 
explorers, who paddled down the waters of the tributaries from the 
North, down to the davs of the sturdy pioneers of Anglo-Saxon blood, 
who squatted upon the fertile soil and staked out their claims on the 
prairies, there attaches an interest that is scarcely equaled in the 
annals of America. On Thursday evening. Dr. Reuben Gold- 
thwaites, superintendent of the State Historical Society of Wiscon- 
sin, now deceased, delivered an address upon "The Romance of 
Mississippi Vallev History." He traced the lines of exploration 
and immigration from the Northeast and East and drew interesting 


pictures of the activities in the great river valley when the land was 
young and the ways full of wonder to the pioneer adventurer. 

Friday's program closed the session. On this day Gov. Albert 
B. Cummins attended and participated in the celebration. At the 
university armory, before a large gathering, he spoke briefly on the 
constitution of the United States, paying it high tribute and at the 
same time showing the need of amendment to fit present day needs. 
He then introduced Judge Emlin McClain, of the Supreme Court 
of Iowa, who delivered the principal address of the day. Judge 
McClain took for his subject "The Constitutional Convention and 
the Issues Before It." He told of that memorable gathering at the 
Old Stone Capitol in Iowa City fifty years ago when thirty-six men 
met in the supreme court room to draft the fundamental law for the 

The members of the convention of 1857 were from various occu- 
pations. The representatives of the legal profession led in numbers 
with fourteen members, among whom were manv men of prominence. 
\\'illiam Penn Clarke, Edward Johnstone and J. C. Hall were there. 
James F. Wilson, afterward so prominent in national politics, was a 
member, then only twenty-eight years of age. J. C. Hall was the 
only delegate who had served in either of the preceding constitu- 
tional conventions of the state, having represented Henry County in 
the convention of 1844. There were twelve farmers in the conven- 
tion of 1857 — rugged types of those men who settled upon land and 
built into the early history of the state its elements of enduring 
strength. Among the remaining members were merchants, bankers, 
and various other tradesmen. They were a representative group of 
men and they attacked the problems before them with characteristic 
pioneer vigor. 

The convention of 1857 chose for its presiding officer Francis 
Springer, an able farmer and lawyer from Louisa County. Many 
were the discussions that stirred the convention. One of the first 
was over the proposition to move the convention bodily to Dubuque 
or to Davenport. The Town of Iowa City it seems had not provided 
satisfactory accommodations for the delegates and for hours the mem- 
bers gave vent to their displeasure and argued the question of a 
removal. But inertia won and the convention finally decided to 
remain in Iowa City and settled down to the discussion of more 
serious matters. 

The Constitution of 1846 had prohibited banking corporations 
in the state. But there was strong agitation for a change in this 


respect, and so the convention of 1857 provided for botii a state bank 
and for a system of free banks. The matter of corporations was a 
prominent one before the convention. So also was tiic question of 
the status of the negro. The issues were taken up with fairness and 
argued upon their merits. 'l"he convention was republican in pro- 
portion of twenty-one to fifteen. The delegates had been elected 
upon a party basis. Yet they did not allow partisanship to control 
their actions as members of a constituent assembly. On the 19th of 
January tliey had come together and for a month and a half thev 
remained in session. They adjourned March :5tii and dispersed to 
their homes. 

That the members of the conventicJii did their \\ork well is 
evidenced by the fact that in the fifty years that have followed onlv 
four times has the Constitution of 1S57 been amended. Nor did 
these amendments embody changes, the need of which the men of 
1857 could have well foreseen. The first two changes in the funda- 
mental law were due to the changed status of the negro as a result 
of the Civil war. In 1882 the prohibitory amendment was passed 
but it was soon declared null bv the Supreme Court of Iowa because 
of technicalities in its submission to the people and so did not become 
a part of the constitution. The amendments of 1884 were concerned 
largely with judicial matters and those of 1Q04 provided for biennial 
election and increased the number of members of the House of 

With these changes the work of the constitutional convention 
of 1857 has come down to us. Fifty vears have passed and twice has 
the convention been the subject of a celeb ration. In 1882, after a 
quarter of a century, the surviving members met at Des Moines. 
Francis Springer, then an old man, was present and presided at the 
meeting. Out of the original thirty-six members, only twenty 
responded to the roll call. Eight other members were alive but were 
unable to attend. The remainder had given way to the inevit:ible 
reaper. 'I'his was in 1882. In 1907 occurred the second celebra- 
tion. This time it was not a reunion of the members of the con- 
vention, for onlv one survivor appeared on the scene. It was rather 
a commemoration of the fiftieth birthday of the constitution of the 
state. Onlv one member of the con\'ention, John H. Peters, of 
Manchester, Iowa, is reported to be now living. 

The celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of our 
fundamental law was marked bv a unique feature. There were 
present and participated in the program three aged pioneers of the 


State, a survivor of each of the three constitutional conventions. These 
three conventions met in 1857, in 1846 and 1844 respectively, fifty, 
sixty-one and sixty-three years ago. On the opening day of the cele- 
bration, J. Scott Richman appeared upon the scene. Sixty-one years 
ago he had come to Iowa City as a delegate of the convention of 
1846. Eighty-eight years old, with patriarchal beard and slow step, 
he came as the only living member of the convention that framed 
the constitution under which Iowa entered the Union. On Thursday 
there came from Marion, Samuel Durham, a tall pioneer ninety 
years of age, the sole survivor of Iowa's first constitutional convention 
— that of 1844. His memory ran back to the days of Iowa's first 
governor, Robert Lucas, for he had reached Iowa from Indiana in 
the year 1840. On the last day of the program these two old consti- 
tution makers of 1844 and 1846 were joined by a third, John H. 
Peters, who had come from Delaware County as a member of the 
last constitutional convention of fifty years ago. They sat down 
together at the luncheon on Friday noon and responded to toasts with 
words that took the hearers back to the days when Iowa was the last 
stopping place of the immigrant. 

Thus the celebration was brought to an end. From every point 
of view it was a success. Probably never again will the state see the 
reunion of representatives of all three constitutional conventions. 
Time must soon take away these lingering pioneers of two generations 
ago, but the state will not soon forget their services, for they have 
left their monument in the fundamental law of the commonwealth. 

Vol. 1—4 


That there was at some time in the ages gone by, a prehistoric 
race called the Mound Builders, there is no doubt. That they were 
far in advance of the Indian races, which succeeded them in the 
occupancy of the country, in the manufacture of tools, vessels and 
pottery, and in the erection of fortifications for their defense, is 
plainly manifest. 

From the evidence obtained by those who have made excavations 
in these mounds, they had four kinds of mounds. One kind was used 
for dwelling purposes, one for burial purposes, one for devotional 
purposes and the fourth for defense. 

There are unmistakable evidences of their ancient works in many 
parts of our state. Some of these have been excavated, and human 
skeletons, pottery and quaint kinds of tools and vessels have been 

' It is not the purpose of this article to speak in particular of the 
traces of the Mound Builders, except those found in Boone County. 

The largest mound to be found within the bounds of Boone County 
is Pilot Mound, in Pilot Mound Township. Some scientific men 
have called this mound the western terminus of the Mineral Ridge, 
but it bears such a close resemblance to the mounds of the prehistoric 
race, which are found elsewhere, that it should be classed with them. 
This mound stands out, singly and alone, on the prairie about three 
miles west of the Des Moines River. In the times of the first settlers 
of the country, and before any groves were planted near, it presented 
a majestic appearance, and attracted the attention of all persons pass- 
ing that way. The mound is now owned by the Minneapolis & St 
Louis Railroad Company, which has already used a part of it in 
gravelling their road bed, but it will require a long time to move all 
of it away, as it is a very large mound. It was rightly named Pilot 
Mound, for it was a prominent landmark in the early days. 

South of Moingona, in Marcy Township, there are nine mounds 
in a row running north and south, all about the same size and but a 



little distance apart. From the first settlement of the county they 
have attracted the attention of every one passing near them. They 
are all small mounds and so far none of them have been opened. 
They are classed by all as the work, of the Mound Builders. 

West of Madrid there is a string of mounds two miles in length, 
which give plain traces of having been the abode of a colony of this 
prehistoric race. On the west side of the river, a little south of the 
Elk Rapids bridge, are two very remarkable mounds. One of them 
is round in shape, about twenty rods in circumference, and twenty- 
five feet high. The probabilities are that originally it was twice that 
high. The other one is of elongated shape, being about live hundred 
feet long, two hundred and fifty feet wide and fifty feet high. The 
presumption is that these mounds were built as fortifications, or de- 
fenses. Neither of these mounds has ever been opened. They are 
in a very public place, as a public thoroughfare runs between them. 
One of the most practical demonstrations of the contents of these 
mounds in Central Iowa was furnished by the excavation of the 
mound near the Boone viaduct. This was opened in the spring of 
1910, by the historical department of the state. Persons who saw 
the contents of this mound could have no doubt of it being a mound 
of a race of people who preceded the Indians. This was made plain 
by the bones and pottery found in the mound, as well as by the 
arrangement of the interior of the mound. The stone floor in the 
center, and the stones which lay in a zigzag manner about two feet 
above the floor and around the sides, presented a problem which was 
difficult to solve. The stone floor referred to was about fourteen 
feet square, and was laid with flat stones of various sizes, from a foot 
square to a very small size. They were laid down unskilfully, some 
overlapping, and at other places showing large crevices. On top nf 
the floor it appears that a layer of sandy soil was spread, and then 
four logs were placed upon this, forming a square about twelve feet 
each way. Within this square the dead bodies were laid, with many 
of their personal effects. Then another layer of sandy soil, about 
two feet deep, was placed over the bodies. Then the upper stones, 
to which we have already referred, were laid in a desultory way. 

It cannot be thought for a moment that the crevices between 
these upper stones in the excavation represented burial vaults, for 
they certainlv did not. There were no outer walls around the scjuare, 
as some have reported, except at the southeast corner, where a very 
few stones stood up edgewise. The four logs mentioned are so rotten 
that they are now good soil. 


This mound was built exclusively for burial purposes, and it is 
this class of mounds in which the relics are found. Those classes of 
mounds which were built for fortifications and those that were built 
for sacred purposes contain few relics. 

lu none of the excavations thus far made has any inscription been 
found to show who the Mound Builders were or in what age they 
lived. The Union Historical Society thinks it probable that these 
people were overpowered by the Indians who came down from the 
North. A remnant of the Mound Builders was driven into Mexico 
and their descendants were found there when Cortes invaded that 
country and conquered it. 

Prof. S. Ellis, in his standard history of the United States, 
\'()I. I, page 28, says: "At first the belief obtained that the Mound 
Builders were a distinct race from thfe Indians, but it is now generally 
supposed that they were simply the ancestors of those people." Pro- 
fessor Ellis does not say how it was that the Indians annihilated their 
ancestors and took their country from them, which is a strange treat- 
ment for a people to administer to their forebears. 

The Encyclopedia Britannica, in a sketch of the Mound Builders, 
advances the idea that they were an agricultural people and derived 
the main part of their sustenance from that source. That in time a 
part of their race ceased to be agriculturists and became hunters. 
Finally trouble arose between the two branches, and this trouble 
led to war, in which the Mound Builders were overcome and extin- 
guished by the hunters, who were the better warriors. In the Indians 
we have the descendants of the hunters, who were the ofTshoot of the 
Mound Builders. 

All of these conclusions are based more or less upon conjecture, 
Iiaving no solid foundation on which to rest. The time may come 
when some light will be thrown upon this inquiry; but until then, the 
question as to who the Mound Builders were, or when they lived, will 
remain an unsolved problem. At present we simply have the traces 
showing that thev were once here, but from whence they came and 
where and why they went, has not yet been answered. The chances 
are it never will be. 


According to Quaife, in his book entitled "Chicago and the Old 
Northwest," the Sac and Fox Indians had a village of fifty-five 
lodges on the west bank of the Des Moines River, sixty leagues from 
its mouth. This, Mr. Quaife thinks, would locate the village about 
where Des Moines, the capital city, now stands. He says a battle 
was fought here between a company of French soldiers under the 
command of De Noyelles, aided by some Indian allies, in which the 
Sac and Fox warriors came out victorious. The date of this battle, 
he says, was the year 1734. He further says that the Sac and Fox 
Indians had just come from Wisconsin into Iowa at that date. If he 
is correct in his statement and his dates, his is the only definite date 
of the location of the Sac and Fox Indians in Iowa. That of most 
other writers is based on conjecture. 

The other writers convey the idea that the Sacs and Foxes never 
lived in Iowa until Black Hawk and Keokuk were in the prime of 
life and when both of them were chiefs of great influence. Black 
Hawk was born in 1767, thirty-three years after the date of the battle 
at the Raccoon Fork as set forth in Mr. Quaife's book. Keokuk 
was born in 1780, which is forty-six years later than the battle of the 
Raccoon Fork. 

At the time of the treaty of 1825, the Sac and Fox Indians owned 
about all of the land in the present State of Iowa. If they did not 
locate in Iowa until the time of Black Hawk and Keokuk, it is plain 
that they did not come until about the year 1810. If this were true 
it would have been impossible for them to have possessed all of this 
beautiful land in the short space of fifteen years. This is a good 
proof of the claim of Mr. Quaife that the Sac and Fox Indians came 
to Iowa as early as 1734. Mr. Quaife, it will be seen, has given us 
the only definite date of the coming to Iowa of the Sac and Fox 
Indians, the location of their first village, and the first great battle 
fought by them within the bounds of the state. It seems strange 
indeed that, after becoming masters and owners of all the beautiful 



Territory of Iowa, they should so soon have relinquished their right 
and title to it. There was nothing to compel them to sell their lands 
if they had not chosen to do so, except in the case of the Black Hawk 
Purchase, which was a forced relinquishment, to pay the expense 
of the Black Hawk war. This purchase was made in 1832, and con- 
sisted of a strip of land fifty miles wide and extending from the 
neutral ground to tiie north boundary line of the State of Missouri. 
October 11, 184^, thirteen years from the date of the Black Hawk 
Purchase, the last vestige of title to the beautiful Territory of Iowa 
passed til the I'nited States. 

Tiieir cessions were made as follows: In 1830 two cessions were 
maeie. One of these was the neutral strip, twenty miles wide, which 
was bought from the Sac and Fox tribes in that year (1830) by the 
(Government to be added to a similar strip purchased from tiie Sioux 
Indians, making in all a strip forty miles wide, owned and policed 
bv the United States for the purpose of ke.eping these hostile tribes 
apart, thus preventing their almost constant warfare with each other. 
This strip extended from the Mississippi Ri\-er on the east to tlie 
Des Moines River on the west. Tiie other one was the cession of all 
their right, title and interest in their lands west of the divide between 
the Des Moines and Missouri rivers. The next cession was the Black 
Hawk Purchase in 1832. Then came the cession of Keokuk's Reserve, 
of 4(1(1 sections of land on the lower Iowa River, in 1836. The next 
was the cession of 1,250,000 acres of land west of the Black Hawk 
Purchase, in 1837. The last cession covered all the remaining lands 
of the Sac and Fox Indians in Iowa. This treatv was dated October 
M, 1842. By its terms the Indians were to remain on the lands until 
October 1 1, 1845. At this date they were to move west of the Mis- 
souri River. Fort Des Moines was built at the Raccoon Fork May 
9, 1843. As soon as the fort was established Keokuk moved his 
village from Agency City, and located five miles southeast of the 
fort, on what was called for many years Keokuk's Prairie. While 
camped here these Indians made many hunting tours in quest of 
game. The game was found to be more plentiful in and along the 
belt of timber skirting tlie Des Moines River than anv other place. 
It is evident that at least three hunting tours were made up the river 
and into Boone County during their stay near Fort Des Moines. 

Tradition has come down from these Indians that a great battle 
was fought at Pilot .Mound between the Sac and Fox Indians, com- 
manded by Keokuk, and a band of Sioux Indians, commanded by 
^^^lmsal■lasia, a wandering Sioux cliief, in wiiich Keokuk was vie- 


torious. There is no date given on which this battle was fought, but 
it must have been prior to the Black Hawk war. The number of 
Indian bones found about there is good evidence that a battle was 
actually fought. This battle and the hunting tours up the river, 
already mentioned, prove that the great chief Keokuk, his expert 
hunters and brave warriors, were often on the soil of Boone County 
years before the coming of the first settlers. 

As before mentioned, the first village of the Sac and Fox Indians 
was built at or near where Des Moines, the capital city of Iowa, 
now stands. It is indeed a strange coincidence that the last village 
built by these same Indians, in the state, was also built near the 
present capital city. The first one was built in 1734, and the last 
one in 1843. From the time of the building of the first one to that 
of the last was 109 years. Add to this the three years' time given 
them in the treaty of 1842, to remain in the territory, and we have 
112 years as the full time that the Sac and Fox tribes lived and 
hunted on Iowa soil. Thus, for more than a century their dominion 
extended over what is now Boone County, in common with the other 
parts of their possessions. When they came to Iowa they found the 
country in a state of nature. They built no houses, fenced no land 
and made no farms, except for the primitive fields which were tilled 
by the women of the tribes. They left the country almost exactly as 
they found it. Had it not been for the records which white men 
kept of them during their 112 years' stay in Iowa, their history 
during that period would have been a blank. 

When the treaty of 1842 expired, October ir, 1845, with many 
regrets, wails and sobs, Keokuk and his Sac hunters and warriors 
took their departure for their new home west of the Missouri River. 
After a long, weary journey they reached their destination with 
their wives and children and located near the site of the present City 
of Ottawa, Kansas. There another village was built, and life in the 
new home commenced. In 1847, two years after locating there, 
the great Chief Keokuk died, at the age of sixty-seven years. 

About two hundred of the Fox Indians refused to obey the terms 
of the treaty, and refused to go west with Keokuk. They escaped, 
went up the river and encamped on and around the two large mounds 
in the southeast part of Cass Township, in Boone County, where 
they went to fishing and hunting for a living. Captain Allen, upon 
learning of their new location, sent Lieut. R. S. Granger, with a com- 
pany of dragoons, after them. When he returned it was too late to 
take them to the new home in Kansas, so they were kept at Fort 


Des Moines until the next spring, when they were sent West. A 
few years ago a stone tablet, now in the collection of the Madrid 
Historical Association, was found near the largest of the mounds 
already mentioned, which has attracted much attention. It con- 
tained the following inscription: "December lo, 1845, Found Two 
Hundred Indians Hid on and Around This Mound. They cried, 
•No Go, No Go,' but took them to Fort D., Lt. R. S. Granger." 
Fort D. meant Fort Des Moines. 

Some of these Indians returned after going to Kansas and, uniting 
with a band of Pottawattomie Indians, they located on the Iowa 
River in Tama County. There they purchased a body of land, and 
they or their descendants are still living in the Tama County Colony. 
They draw an annuity of about twenty thcmsand dollars from the 
Government. This is their part of the price paid for their Iowa 

It has been estimated tiiat the average price per acre which the 
Indians received for their Iowa lands was 14 cents. When we con- 
sider the fact that they subsisted mainly upon the spontaneous prod- 
ucts of the soil, we are inclined to believe that 14 cents per acre was 
about as near its value then as $150 per acre is now, under the 
costly improvements and high cultivation of the present time. 

Keokuk was the last of the Indian chiefs who held sway and 
dominion over the territory of which Boone County is now a 
part. In many respects he was the greatest of all the rulers in any 
of the Indian tribes. He was at all times the friend of the white 
people. He never lifted a finger against them in any Indian war. 
His valor and prestige as a warrior were won in battle with other 
Indian tribes. He was always ready to obey the terms of every treaty 
into which he entered, and that without dispute or protest. When 
the time of his stay in Iowa expired he took his departure for the 
country beyond the "Big Muddy." At that time, what is now Boone 
County, began to be settled by white people, who commenced to 
build houses, plow the soil, and make farms. In other words, the 
Indians, who subsisted practically upon the spontaneous products 
of the earth, gave place to those who would more thoroughly till 
the soil and live upon its better and more nutritious products. 

The Indian graves in Boone County were not so numerous as 
in those parts of the country where the larger and more permanent 
villages were located, but some of them have been found in the 
county. In the vicinity of the mouth of Honey Creek a number of 
them have been found. On being opened, skeletons, or parts of 


skeletons, pipes, Hints, guns and powder-horns were found. In a 
grave opened in the west part of Worth l^ownship by B. F. Hull 
and Joseph Vontress, beside the bones of an Indian, a pipe, some 
pieces of pottery and the bit of a copper ax were found. 

The pioneer settlers are often asked by the members of the rising 
generation if any depredations were ever committed by the Indians 
in Boone County. Those who ask this have heard and read of many 
outrages committed by the Indians, and they wonder why so little 
of the kind ever transpired in Boone County. There were two 
reasons for this. One is that the Sac and Fox Indians never com- 
mitted outrages upon the white people of Iowa. The other is that 
they had gone west before the first settler located in this county. 
There were no Indians claiming the country during the settlement 
of Boone County. 

Although the Sac and Fox Indians were gone before any settler 
came to this county, the people had two Indian scares after the 
settlement of the countv began. One of these scares occurred in 
the latter part of the year of the first settlement (1846) when there 
were but few people in the county. This is fully described in the 
account of the Milton Lott tragedy, which will be found farther 
on in this chapter. The other occurred in the spring of 1857, eleven 
years after the first settler had located in the county. This one was 
a genuine Indian scare. March 8, 1857, was the date of this, the 
Spirit Lake Massacre. 

Ink-pa-du-tah, and his band of outcasts from the main body of 
the Sioux Indians, came up the Little Sioux River from the Mis- 
souri River. He and his inhuman band entered the little settle- 
ment of Spirit Lake and, after being treated in the most friendly 
manner, went to work and murdered the whole settlement, except 
four women, whom they took with them as prisoners. Two of these 
were brutally murdered and the other two were ransomed and 
returned to their relatives. The two who were murdered, after 
being taken prisoners, were Mrs. Noble and Mrs. Thatcher. Those 
ransomed were Mrs. Marble and Miss Gardener. The latter, about 
two years after her release, was married to a man named Sharp, 
and under the name of Abbie Gardener Sharp, she wrote a book, 
which contained a full account of the massacre, the hardships of 
the four women prisoners, the murder of two of them, and many 
other things. It is a very interesting book. The news of this mas- 
sacre did not reach Boone County until the ist of April, about a 


month after it occurred. Many settlers left there homes and fled in 
terror toward the more populous part of the state. As they passed 
thev asserted that Ink-pa-du-tah and his band had murdered all of 
the settlers north of Fort Dodge and Webster City, and had both 
of these towns surrounded. This news reached Boonesboro on or 
about the 6th of April, 1^57. A meeting was immediately called 
and a company of 100 men organized. Judge C. J. McFarland 
was chosen superior officer; S. B. McCall was chosen captain; E. B. 
Redmon, Hrst lieutenant; j. H. L'pton, seccjnd lieutenant; Doctor 
De Tarr. surgeon; and John A. Hull, commissary. Hon. Cornelius 
Beal locked his house, took his wife behind him on his pony to her 
father's house on the west side of the river, and started north on his 
own responsibility, recruiting and gathering up guns as he went. 
Great indeed was the excitement. Every gun and all the ammuni- 
tion that could be found was pressed into the service. A ton of 
flour was conflscated from the store of John Grether, about the 
same amount of bacon from Clark Luther, all the oats that \\'illiam 
Pilcher had, and all the firewater in town. The company was reaoy 
to march by 2.30 P. M. Although it was late when the company 
set out on its march, Hook's Point was reached before going into 
camp. On the march to Hook's Point many settlers were met, who 
had abandoned their homes, and were fleeing to a place of safety. 
They related frightful stories of the depredations of the Sioux 
Indians under their leader, Ink-pa-du-tah, and they insisted that 
these murderous demons were coming south, sweeping everything 
before them. Four large log heaps were built and set on fire, and 
the men circled around them to keep warm. Pickets were stationed 
in all directions, with strict orders to keep wide awake and to main- 
tain a very careful outlook lest the camp should be surprised by the 
cunning foe, who might be expected at any hour; but the foe did 
not come, and the wild yell of the murderous savages was not heard. 
After a hurried breakfast next morning, the company started for 
Webster City, about fifteen miles away. They reached that place 
about 2 o'clock in the afternoon, where they met with a very wel- 
come reception. The freedom of the city was given them, and they 
were welcomed into the homes of the citizens. A meeting was called 
and a vote of thanks was extended to the company for the assistance 
it had offered and the good will it had manifested. Responses were 
made by John A. Hull, I. J. Mitchell, J. H. Upton, and Doctor 
De Tarr. Evidence was received here that Ink-pa-du-tah and his 
band were not in the state at that time. The next day the company 


returned home without the loss of a man, the burden of fear was ofif, 
and all minds were free again. 


Of all the men who acted a part in the settlement of the Des 
Moines Valley, there is no name around which clusters more of 
thrilling history than that of Henry Lott. Much has been written 
about him and his troubles and conflicts with the Sioux Indians, 
and the death of his wife and son. Many of the statements are 
misleading. The following is the true story, as nearly as possible 
to obtain it: 

Henry Lott was born in the State of Pennsylvania, grew to man- 
hood and was married there. His wife was a widow named Hunt- 
ington and was the mother of a son by her first husband. This son 
acted a very prominent part in the subsequent history of the Lott 
family. By her second marriage a second son was born, whose 
untimely death and the facts and circumstances surrounding it, form 
the chief theme of this story. 

We first hear of Lott in Iowa in the spring of 1843, at which 
time he was in business as an Indian trader at Red Rock, in what is 
now Marion County, Iowa. It is said that he did a thriving business 
there, until October 11, 1845, at which date, according to the treaty 
of 1842, the Sac and Fox Indians bid adieu to Iowa and moved west 
beyond the Missouri River. 

So well pleased was Lott with his success as an Indian trader, 
that in the summer of 1846, he moved north from Red Rock and 
located on the north bank of Boone River, near its mouth. Here 
he expected to carry on a thriving trade with the Sioux Indians, 
but for some reason he did not get along with them as well as he 
had with the Sacs and Foxes at Red Rock. Three reasons are 
advanced as the origin of the trouble between Lott and Si-dom-i-na- 
do-tah and his band of Sioux. The author of the "Historic Atlas," in 
his sketch of Humboldt County, states that the Sioux chief informed 
Lott that he was an intruder, as he had settled on the Sioux hunting 
grounds, and he gave him a certain time to leave. His refusal to 
leave by the time set caused the Indians to make a raid upon his 
family and stock. The Union Historical Company, in their sketch 
of the Indian chiefs of Iowa, make the same statement. 

When the Sioux chief told Lott that he was an intruder on the 
Indian hunting grounds, he either uttered a falsehood, or was mis- 


informed himself, as Lott had not located upon the Sioux hunting 
grounds. According to the map issued by W. S. Tanner, in 1838, 
the Sioux hunting grounds did not extend farther than the upper 
fork of the Des Moines River, and this was at least thirty miles 
north of the place where Lott had located. 

Ex-Lieut. Gov. B. F. Gue, in his "Historic Sketch of Iowa," 
says that Lott's cabin was the headquarters of a band of horse thieves, 
who stole horses from the settlers in the valley below the mouth of 
Boone River, and ponies from the Indians above it, then running 
them east to the Mississippi River and selling them. Mr. Gue 
thinks it was the stealing of the Indian ponies which brought the 
wrath of Si-dom-i-na-do-tah and his warriors down upon Lott and 
his family. There is another story to the effect that Lott had sold 
whisky to the Indians, and that it was while they were drunk, as a 
result of this, that they destroyed his property and were the cause 
of the death of two innocent members of his family. 

Among these conflicting statements it is impossible to arrive at 
the exact cause of the trouble. However, it is certain that the attack 
was made and by a band of Sioux Indians, who were miles beyond 
the borders of their hunting grounds, being themselves intruders 
upon territorv already ceded to the United States by the Sac and 
Fox tribes, and then open to settlement. As to the nature of the 
attack, it is safe to conclude that the Indians were painted in their 
usual hideous manner, and that as they surrounded the cabin they 
gave the blood-curdling war-whoop, which was their custom, and 
which always struck terror to their intended victims. Lott told 
Doras Eslick, who settled near the scene of this horror, that he con- 
cealed himself across the river and watched the Indians destroy his 
property. Then, as he could do nothing in the way of defending 
his family or property against the whole band of Indians, he and 
his stepson, a boy of about sixteen years of age, started for the nearest 
settlement to obtain help. This left the wife and twelve-year-old son 
alone. The Indian chief ordered this boy, Milton Lott, to catch all 
the horses on the place and deliver them over, on penalty of death 
in case of his failure t(j do so. This so frightened the poor boy that 
he fled terror-stricken down the Des Moines River, and was never 
again seen alive. This left his mother alone, at the mercy of the 
savages. Some say she fled into the thick timber to escape the toma- 
hawk, and others that she remained in the cabin and plead for mercy. 
However, her lite was spared, but the nervous shock, together with 


the grief and exposure which she suffered, were the cause of her 
death a week or so later. 

It was three days before Lott returned from the settlements, with 
seven white men and twenty-six friendly Indians, belonging to Johnny 
Green's band of Musquawkies and Pottawattamies, then camped on 
the river below Elk Rapids. The names of the settlers who accom- 
panied him were: Doctor Spears, who lived on a claim near where 
the Rees coal shaft is situated; John Pea and Jacob Pea, his son; 
James Hull and William Hull, of Pea's Point; John M. Crooks and 
William Crooks, who lived on the Myers Farm, south of Boone. 

When these settlers and the friendly Indians, led by Henry Lott, 
reached the mouth of Boone River, they found that Si-dom-i-na-do- 
tah, after plundering the cabin and killing and wounding some of 
Lott's cattle, had retreated up the valley with his plunder and all 
the horses he could lay hands on, and was now at a safe distance. 
They found Mrs. Lott in a sorrowful condition, more dead than 
alive. She had been left alone three days in that wild country, as 
it was at that time, not knowing what had become of the other mem- 
bers of her family, nor at what moment the Indians might return 
to the cabin. We, at this day, surrounded by all the safeguards of 
civilization, can never realize the crushing grief and sorrow that 
fell to the lot of this poor woman during those three lonely days and 
nights, with no one to minister to her wants, or speak a word of 
cheer. In a short time death came to her relief, and she was laid 
to rest on the Boone River Bluff, where her grave may still be seen. 

Finding that their services were not needed, the friendly Indians 
and the settlers, except John Pea, returned home. He remained 
behind to assist Lott and his stepson in caring for the sick wife and 
mother, and in finding Milton Lott, the twelve-year-old son, who 
had fled down the river. 

It was the middle of December, 1846, when the raid was made 
upon the family, the weather was cold and the river was frozen over. 
There was snow both upon the ice and on the ground, so they could 
follow the boy's tracks. He was thinly clad when he left home, and 
without doubt suffered with cold from the start. Henry Lott, the 
father, and John Pea followed his tracks until they reached a point 
about forty rods below the mouth of a little creek, which comes into 
the Des Moines River a short distance below the Village of Center- 
ville, where they found the dead body of the unfortunate boy, stiff 
and still in the embrace of the piercing frost. At this place he had 
attempted to climb the bench that separates the lower and upper 


bottoms, but must have been so benumed by cold that he fell back- 
ward and was unable to rise again. Not having any way to convey 
the bodv to anv of the settlements, they decided to place it in a 
hollow log, which thev found near by, and close tlie entrance with 
timbers, so as to prevent the wild animals from molesting it, until 
such time as a burial in the proper way could take place. The date 
on which the body was found was December i8, 1S46. 

Tlie bodv remained in this log until the 14th of the following 
month. Ilenrv Lott came down from Boone River to Pea's Point 
on the 13th to attend the burial of his son. The 14th was Sunday. 
The weather had moderated and the day was warm and beautiful; 
warmer bv many degrees than the day on which the poor boy had met 
his death. -At tiiis time the county was not organized, and there was 
not an established road within its borders. With axes, spades and 
guns the men set out from Pea's Point on foot for the place of burial, 
a distance of eight miles. The names of those who attended the 
funeral were: John Vca, Sr., John Pea, Jr., Thomas Sparks, John 
M. Crooks, \\'illiam Crooks and the father, Henry Lott. On arriving 
at the place where the body had been left, a part of the men was 
detailed to dig the grave, while the rest of them felled a tree, out of 
which they hewed enough small pieces to construct a rude coffin. 
'I'he b(ntv was then taken from the IidIIhw hjg, a sheet was wrapped 
around it, and it was then lowered into the grave; the dirt was thrown 
in, the grave was Hlled and the little mound was rounded up. It 
was a funeral without a ceremonial word. There was no Scripture 
read, no prayer offered and no hvmn sung, but tears stood in the eyes 
of the pioneers who stood around the grave of Milton Lott to pay 
their last tribute of respect. 'Ihe tree near the grave, on which the 
boy's name was cut. has long since vielded to the woodman's a.\. 
No stone was set, or staken driven, to preserve the identity of the 
spot. As time passed on the little mound graduallv became merged 
with the surrounding soil, so the location of the grave was finally 
almost forgotten. 

After the death of his wife and son, Lott gathered up what 
propert\ the Indians had left him, and moved south to the settle- 
ments. He built a cabin on (). D. Smalley's claim in Dallas County, 
Iowa, about five miles southwest of Madrid, where he and his step- 
son lived during the summer of 1847. In the spring of that year the 
first assessment of Dallas County was made, and in the list of prop- 
erty holders appears the name of Henry Lott, among whose pos- 
sessions were thirteen head of cattle. The records show that he \^■as 


the largest cattle owner in the county at that time, owning one more 
head than any other man. These were the cattle which the Indians 
tried to kill at the mouth of Boone River by shooting them with 
arrows. During the spring and summer these cattle grew fat on 
the range and in the fall were sold for beef. A man named Ramsey 
bought one of these beeves and butchered it. Mr. Smallcy bought 
a front quarter of this beef and, while carving it, found one of the 
arrow-heads which tiic Indians had shot into it. 

While living here Lott often spoke of his dead wife and son in 
a very svmpathetic way, but would usually wind up his talk by 
declaring that he would some day wreck vengeance upon the old 
Sioux chief who caused her death. In the autumn of 1847 he moved 
to Fort Des Moines and remained there over a year, during which 
time he was married to a woman named McGuire. In the spring 
of 1849 he moved north and located at the mouth of Boone River 
again, occupying the same log cabin in which his first wife died, and 
from which his twelve-year-old son had fled from the Indians, never 
more to be seen alive. It was a place around which, for him, the 
gloomiest recollections hovered. While living here three children 
were born to him and his second wife, the two oldest being girls 
and the youngest a boy. At the birth of the boy the wife died, 
making it necessary for him to find homes for the children. The 
infant boy was adopted by a family named John H. White, in whose 
care he grew to manhood, and is now the head of a family, being a 
citizen of Boone, Iowa. The two girls were raised by a family 
named Wm. Dickerson, in Boone County, where they grew to woman- 
hood, and were married. 

After finding homes for his children, Lott sold his possessions at 
the mouth of Boone River and, with his stepson, in the fall of 1853, 
moved north forty-five miles and located on a creek, which still 
bears his name. Whether by purpose, or by accident, he was once 
more a neighbor to Si-dom-i-na-do-tah, the old Sioux chief, whom 
he so much hated. By the terms of the treaty with the Sioux Indians, 
their stay upon the territory, then occupied by them, would expire 
the following spring, at which time they would have to take up their 
line of march for regions farther west. If Lott was bent on having 
revenge, the time was growing short in which to get it. Numerous 
times he visited the chief in disguise and made himself agreeable 
by giving him presents. During one of these visits to the wigwam 
of Si-dom-i-na-do-tah, tlic old chief unsuspectingly exhibited to him 
the silverware which he had taken from Mrs. Lott at the mouth of 

Vol. 1—5 


Boone River. By his actions and expressions, it was plain that he 
regarded them as trophies of a great victory. The sight of the silver- 
ware brought vividly back, to Lott's mind the memory of his dead 
wife, and immediately his thirst for vengeance was redoubled. 

This silverware consisted of a set of silver spoons and a set of 
silver knives and forks, which were a present to Mrs. Lott from Mr. 
Huntington, lier first husband. She had always prized them very 

It is not known wliether the killing of Si-dom-i-na-do-tah and his 
family took place then and there; but it is known that Lott in some 
way got possession of the silverware, for be exhibited it when he 
reached the settlement, to John Pea, William Dickerson and (). D. 
Smallev. He also told each of these men that the old chief would 
never rob anotlier house or cause tlie deatli of another woman. There 
are two stories told of the way in which Lott committed this crime, 
for crime it must be called. Some palliate this act by calling it 
justifiable killing, which may be true, so far as the chief himself 
was concerned, but there was no justification for the killing of his 

One story is that the killing occurred on the evening that the 
chief displayed his stolen silverware to Lott. Another is tiiat early 
one morning Lott went to the wigwam of the chief and reported to 
him that lie liad just seen, in a beautiful vallcv not far awav, a large 
number of elk, and urged the chief to go with him in pursuit of 
them. The chief was soon astride of his pony and, in companv with 
Lott, was on the way to tlie valley mentioned in search of the elk. 
This story was only a ruse to get tlie chief awav from his wigwam. 
On the way his life was taken and the pony on which he rode passed 
into the hands of a new owner. Lott then returned to the wigwam 
and killed the chief's familv, after which he and his stepson escaped 
to the settlements witiiout being detected by the other Indians, who 
were camped near by. 

Whichever story is the correct one, so cunningly was this crime 
committed that it was several weeks before it was discovered who 
had perpetrated it. The chief's pony was found in the possession 
of Lott and his stepson, and they were finally indicted bv the grand 
jury at Des Moines. Before tiie oflicers could take them in charge, 
however, they made their escape to the farther West, and what later 
became of them was never definitely known. 

In September, 1903, almost Hfty-seven years after the tragic death 
of the boy, Milton Lott, the writer of this chapter (Corvdon L. 


Lucas) made inquiry through the press, asking if there was anyone 
still living who could identify the spot where the boy's body was 
laid to rest. This inquiry developed the fact that there were two 
men still living in Boone County who were present and assisted at 
his burial. These were John Pea and Thomas Sparks. On being 
interviewed, John Pea said he felt sure he could point out the spot 
where the burial took place, so it was decided to make a trip for 
that purpose. 

On the morning of October ii, 1903, a party, consisting of J. F. 
Eppert, T. P. Menton, John Pea and C. L. Lucas, drove from the 
City of Boone to Centerville, on the Des Moines River. At this 
place John Pea was appointed guide and the other members of the 
party followed his lead. He turned south and passed the mouth of 
the creek already mentioned. At a distance of about forty rods 
south of this creek, and near a little rivulet, fed by a spring on the 
second bottom, he came to a halt and exclaimed, "Here is the place," 
pointing to a spot near the bench which separates the lower and 
upper bottoms at that place. "We drank water out of that little 
rivulet on the day of the burial," said he. Mr. Pea was very positive 
that this was the correct location of the grave. As no argument 
could shake his belief in this, the weeds were cleared away and a 
stake was driven to mark the spot, the necessary notes being taken. 

Some time after this stake was driven, Thomas Sparks was taken 
to the spot marked by the stake, by J. F. Eppert, and he also identified 
it as the correct location. John Robinson, who had seen the grave 
a short time after the burial, also says the location is correct. 

In November, 1905, the Madrid Historical Society resolved to 
place a monument to commemorate the fact that Milton Lott was 
the first white person to die within the boundaries of Boone County, 
and to perpetuate the historic event which caused his death. This 
monument was manufactured by Norris Brothers, of Madrid, Boone 
County, Iowa, and it was placed December 18, 1905, just fifty-nine 
years from the time his body was found. The monument was placed 
on the second bottom, above high water-mark, and about thirty feet 
from the grave. An iron marker, a foot wide and three feet long, 
two inches thick, was placed on the grave. 

On the day of the dedication, the writer of this chapter (Corydon 
L. Lucas), Dr. H. S. Farr, J. P. A. Anderson and L. D. Norris, 
members of the Madrid Historical Society, and Rev. W. Ernest 
Stockley, H. A. Oviatt and Clarence Peterson, of Madrid, attended. 
There were also about one hundred persons from other parts of the 



coimtv piL'scnt, amoiif,' wliom were j. R. Herron, of the Boone 
Democrat; U'. H. Gallup, of the Boone Standard; A. J. Barkley, 
L. Ziniblenian, John Pea, j. F. Eppcrt and S. S. Payne, of Boone; 
D. C. Harmon and F. D. Harmon, of Jordan; C. K. Patterson, of 
Centervillc; Harry Hartman, the owner of the land on which the 
j^rave is situated; Mr. and Mrs. Henry Burgess; Joe Adamson, of 
Pilot Mound; James Wayne, Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Cadwell and Mrs. 
Joseph Herrman, The last two ladies named asked the privilege 
of being contributors to the monument fund. 

After the monument was placed in position the blessings of God 
were invoked by Rev. \V. Ernest Stockley, o"f the Christian C^hurch, 
of Madrid, followed by the dedication address by the writer (Cory- 
don L. Lucas), president of the .Madrid Flistorical Society. This 
address follows : 

".M\ I-"riends: The work we iiave done, the task we have per- 
formed, is of special historic interest to the people of Boone County, 
of special interest to the people of the Des Moines Valley, and of 
general historic interest to the people of the State of Iowa. 

"We have placed this monument here at the grave of Milton 
Lott, which in ages to come will perpetuate the history and the 
pathetic storv of his death; it will give the date and show the young 
and tender age of his taking oti'; and it will make known to future 
generations the important fact that he was the first of our race to 
die within the boundaries of Boone County, and the first of our race 
to be huiied beneath her soil. 

"We know not what the last word, or the last wail, of this unfor- 
tunate bov was, just as his spirit took its flight, for there was no one 
present to hear. We onlv know that his bodv was found here by his 
father and [ohn Pea, fiftv-nine vears ago todav, stiff and still in the 
embrace of the piercing frost, with his two faithful ilogs keeping 
watch over his dead body. But alas, it was then too late for help. 

"He felt not the sympathetic touch of his father's hand, nor that 
of the pioneer friend who was with him. We mav reasonably sup- 
pose that his last word and last thought went back to the fond mother 
who had so often caressed him and whom he had last seen a prisoner 
of the Siou.x Chief Si-dom-i-na-do-tah and his band of warriors in 
the little log cabin home at the mouth of the Boone River. The 
cruel fates had decreed that lie should never look upon the face of 
that fond mother again in this world. 


"When the stern Sioux chief ordered him to secure and deliver 
to his warriors all of the horses on the premises, on the penalty of 
instant death, he was so scared that he undertook to reach the settle- 
ment at Red Rock, eighty miles down the river, where the family 
had formerly lived. In his effort to do this he lost his life. 

"My friends, this is indeed a sad and pathetic story. To per- 
petuate its history we have dedicated this monument. For the work 
the Madrid Historical Society has done it asks neither praise nor 
laudations. It simply felt that it had a duty to perform, and the 
consciousness of having discharged that duty, is, to it, a sufficient 
reward for its labor. 

"To those who say that this work is an expenditure of too much 
time and labor for nothing, we have no reply to make. Such people 
should not be noticed. To the unfriendly critics who may seek to 
point out faults in the promoters of this work, or in the work itself, 
we wish to say to them, that they had fifty-nine years to produce a 
better work. Have they done so? Those who have given courage 
and friendship to this work, have our love, our thanks and our esteem. 
To Mr. Perry Hartman, the man who owns this land, through whose 
kindness and liberality we are permitted to dedicate this monument 
today, we extend our sincere and heartfelt thanks. To the people 
who have come out here today to be present and assist in the dedi- 
cation of this monument, we extend our most sincere thanks." 

The monument is of solid iron, set in a concrete base. It is four 
feet high, twenty inches wide and two inches thick. 

Some people think that the Indians were all alike, and that to 
understand the customs of one tribe was to comprehend all of them. 
This is a mistake. No two tribes are alike in their manner of life, 
customs and habits, nor in their language. 

Some tribes are much cleaner and neater in personal appearance 
than others. Some are more friendly and hospitable and less treach- 
erous than others. 

The Sac and Fox tribes lived on the lower Des Moines River, 
while a branch of the Sioux tribe lived on the upper Des Moines. 
The Sac and Fox tribes call the Des Moines River "Keosauqua 
Sepo." The Sioux tribe, but a hundred miles further up this river, 
called it "In-Yan-Sha-Watpa." "Keosauqua" meant "dark blue," 
and "Sepo" meant river. "In-Yan-Sha" meant red stone, and 
"Watpa" meant river. This alone shows that the language of the 
two tribes was entirely different. 


The Sac and Fox tribes were much cleaner tlian the Sioux. I 
speak of these tribes because they once inhabited Iowa soil. The 
Indians on the little reservation in Tama County are a part of the 
Sac and Fox Indians in the south iialf of Iowa, before it was opened 
for white settlement. They sold their Iowa possessions to the Gov- 
ernment and moved west in 1S4:; and 1846, locatin<,^ near where the 
Town of Ottawa, Kansas, now stands. After the death of Chief 
Keokuk, in 1.S47, the little band, now in Tama County, returned 
to Iowa. 

Durinj; the times the timbered lands along the streams were un- 
fenced, these Indians would come around hunting and trapping. 
They would set up their wigwams in the creek valleys, where they 
were sheltered from the winter storms, and would remain for weeks 
in one place. The S(|uaws would cut wooil and make a small fire in 
the center of the wigwams, and around the little fire the family 
would gatiier at night to warm themselves. In the top of the wig- 
wams a hole was left for the smoke to escape. 

During the dav the men and boys would hunt and trap, and in 
the evening thev would return with their game. I he si]uaws would 
provide wood enough to last over night, and in each wigwam a 
good-sized pot hung over the Hre. In this the meat for the evening 
meal was boiled. When supper was over they would get their pipes 
and circle around the fire for an hour in silent smoking. Visitors 
would sometimes call to sec them, but thcv were usuallv none too 

\\'hen the weather was nice, the scjuaws would go around through 
the neighborhood begging meat, sugar and fiour. If they could not 
get these in this way tliey would trade beads, bracelets and other 
trinkets of their own manufacture for supplies. One of the novel 
features of the Indian manner of doings things was the treatment 
of the Indian mothers to their papooses. The little fellows were 
strapped to a board, and in this condition thev remained during 
all their travels from place to place. This is discontinued when the 
child gets big enough to walk and run. 

On one of their trapping and hunting trips to the Des Moines 
River, they camped in the north part of Douglas Township, in this 
county. It was midwinter and the snow was deep. After selectin<7 
the spot in which to pitch their wigwams, the squaws went to work, 
for they had everything to do. First they set the boards, to which 
the papooses were strapped, against various trees. The little fellows 
were wrapped in blankets w ith no part of them exposed to the winter 


air, except their faces. There they stood in the deep snow, while 
their mothers cleaned off various spots, placed the lodge poles and 
finally threw the covering, forming the wigwam, around them. The 
papooses kept patiently silent for an hour, but at last one of them 
set up a cry and was joined by all the other little black-eyed fellows. 
There was a sound that echoed among the hills along the little creek, 
when the voices of these fifteen Indian babies united in one plantive 
wail for the attention of their mothers. Their mothers, however, 
paid no attention to them until they had their wigwams ready for 
occupancy, and a fire made in the center of each of them. Then 
the little fellows were taken into the wigwams and unstrapped. It 
is claimed that this strapping process is the cause of the Indians 
being so erect. 

At another time these same Indians were encamped on the Des 
Moines River, near where the Jones Ford Bridge now spans the 
stream. After securing all the game in that region the men went over 
on the Beaver for a few days' hunt. It so happened that they did not 
return at the time set, and this caused much trouble among the 
squaws and children. They did not sleep much that night, and the 
next morning their eyes were set in the direction from which their 
husbands and fathers were expected to return. Some time during 
the day they espied some uncouth citizen walking along the west 
bluff, with a red blanket thrown around him. Instantly they came 
to the conclusion that this was a Sioux Indian, and that a band of that 
blood-thirstv tribe had come down from the north, tomahawked the 
absent hunters, and were preparing to cross the river, with the inten- 
tion of capturing the camp. There were cries and lamentations. 

All of them left the wigwams to seek a hiding place, except one 
big-faced squaw. She seemed to have the courage of a true soldier. 
She took charge of the only gun left in the camp, and taking a posi- 
tion behind a log, awaited the approach of the dreaded foe. She 
evidently expected them to come from the direction in which her 
gun was pointed, for she kept jabbering, "Kill one, two, three." 
Toward sunset, however, the hunters returned safe and sound and 
loaded with game. The squaws and children came forth from their 
hiding places with shouts of joy. The fires were rekindled in the 
wigwams, a feast was prepared and great was the joy in the camp 
that night. 

One of the amusements of the Indians was throwing the hatchet, 
or tomahawk, as they called it. They would stand off ten or fifteen 
yards from a tree and throw the tomahawk so that the bit would be 


driven into tlic tree and remain until drawn (Hit. An expert thrower 
could place three tomahawks, one above another, in the tree with 

A white man named River practiced throwing the tomahawk 
until he became as skilful as any of the Indians. River was a very 
large man. As before stated, the Indian word for river was "sepo." 
For this reason they called this big white man "Big Sepo." They 
would pat hiin on the shoulder and say, "Big Sepo throw tomahawk 

At the Agency, in what is now Wapello County, they called 
General Street, the Indian agent, "Meah." Trail, in their language, 
was "meah," a place to walk, and as street meant the same thing, 
thev called the general "meah." 


Boone County, Iowa, is situated near the center of the State of 
Iowa, being about thirty miles west and a little south of the geo- 
graphical center. It is in the fifth tier of counties numbering from 
the north or south boundary of the state, in the eighth numbering 
from the eastern, and in the fifth from the western boundary. 

It is bounded on the north by Webster and Hamilton counties, 
on the east by Story County, on the south by Dallas and Polk coun- 
ties, and on the west by Greene County. It comprises the congres- 
sional townships 82, 83, 84 and 85, and ranges 25, 26, 27 and 28 
west of the fifth principal meridian. 

The county is square in shape, being twenty-four miles each way. 
It has a superficial area of 576 square miles, and contains 368,640 
acres. The civil townships, as now constituted, are: Harrison, 
Dodge, Pilot Mound, Grant, Amaqua, Yell, Des Moines, Jackson, 
Colfax, Worth, Marcy, Beaver, Union, Peoples, Cass, Douglas and 
Garden. Dodge is the largest and Douglas the smallest township. 

The changes which have occurred during the gradual develop- 
ment of the present divisions of the county are fully set forth in our 
chapter on "County Organization." 

All the townships have regular boundaries except those border- 
ing on the Des Moines River. Owing to the difficulty and expense 
of bridging this river in the early days, it was arranged that no 
township should extend to both sides of the river. 

The county is named after Capt. Nathan Boone, son of Col. 
Daniel Boone, of Kentucky. This is covered in detail in our chapter 
on "County Organization," from the pen of Mr. Corydon L. Lucas, 
of Madrid, this county. 

The elevation of Boone County is somewhat greater than that of 
other Iowa counties in this latitude, hence it early gained the 
soubriquet of "High Boone." The average elevation of the county 
is about 950 feet above the level of the sea, or 506 feet above low 
water-mark in the Mississippi River at Keokuk. The highest point 



1)11 a line lirawii Irom cast to west across the center of the county, 
according to the railroad levels, is near the eastern boundary line, 
where ilie elevation is i,i88 feet above sea level, or 744 feet above 
low water-nuirk in the Mississippi River at Keokuk. The elevation 
at Boone, the county seat, is g^y feet above sea level, at Moingona 919 
feet, at Ogden i,oSo feet, and at Heaver Station i,<\^9 feet. 

The level of tiie Dcs .Moines River in Boone County is about 460 
feet higher than at its mouth, there being that much fall in its descent 
of about 2on miles to that point. 

The surface of the county presents generally an undulating 
lirairie. though it is more diversihed than is usual in a similar area 
in this part of the coinitrv. At a varying distance from the streams 
rises an irregular line of blufi's, or low hills, sometimes wooded, and 
sometimes covered with a lu.xuriant growth of grass. Between these 
hills lie the bottom lands, of unsurpassed fertility. The hills are 
usually gentle slopes, casilv ascended and descended by wagons, sink- 
ing into benches, moderately lifted above the surface of the valleys. 
Again thev rise to the height of tqo feet above the streams. Between 
the hills the streams gently flow, with banks varied by hill, meadow 
and forest. From the higher ground one commands views of ex- 
quisite loveliness, the silverv ribbon of river or creek, the waving 
trees, with their wealth of foliage, the ever-changing contour of the 
hills, as seen from varving points of view, or in varying lights, the 
undulating surface of flower-decked prairie, interspersed with cul- 
tivateif farms and cozy farmhouses. 

.\ chain of bluffs called "Mineral Ridge" extends across the 
entire width of the northern end of the countv. When surveys of 
this section were made, the compasses were deflected, showing the 
presence of iron, which fact gave rise to the name "Mineral Ridge." 

Opposite the mouth of Honey Creek, in Section 18, Township 84, 
Range 26, and west of the Des Moines River, is a row of ancient 
mounds, nine in number. The largest one is in the center, and is 
over fifteen feet high. These are more fully described in our chapter 
on "Prehistoric Races." 

The county presented to the early settlers a comparatively easy 
task in opening farms and establishing new homes. The natural 
prairies supplied fields ready for the planting of crops, e.xcept for 
the breaking of the tough prairie sod, anil the rich black soil was of 
extreme fertility. The farms of Iowa are, as a rule, large, level and 
unbroken by swamps, without stumps, or other obstructions. They 


furnish ideal conditions for the use of reapers, mowers, planters, and 
other labor-saving machinery. 

Boone County is well supplied with living streams. The Des 
Moines River is the principal stream crossing the county- It enters 
a mile west of the center of the northern boundary line, and after 
pursuing a southeasterly course, leaves the county four miles east of 
tlie center of the southern boundary line. Its average width is 300 
feet, and its waters are crystal clear when not rendered turbid by 
freshets. The avaihible water-power along this river, if fully utilized, 
would prove a valuable source of wealth to the county, and would 
add many profitable industries. The value of the river as a source 
of power is now just beginning to be appreciated, and it is to be 
liopcd that it will not be many years until it will be operating exten- 
sive municipal and private plants of various kinds within this county. 

According to Nicollet the name Des Moines, which has been 
applied to the state's largest river, to one of the first counties organ- 
ized, and to the capital city of the state, is a corruption of an Indian 
name meaning "at the road," but of late years this name (Rivere des 
Moins) has been associated with the Trappist Monks (Moines de la 
Trappe), who resided on the Indian mounds of the American Bot- 
tom, and it is thought that the true rendering of "Rivere Des Moins" 
should be River of the Monks. The spelling of this name has under- 
gone gradual change since the time of the old settlers, it having 
then been spelled "Demoin." Now it is "Des Moines" on all later 

The other streams of the county are small, but important. A 
description of these from the pen of Mr. Corydon L. Lucas, of 
Madrid, Boone County, follows: "Big Creek rises in Des Moines 
Township, Boone County, a short distance southeast of the City of 
Boone, and empties into the Des Moines River in Crocker Town- 
ship, Polk County, Iowa. It is about twenty-five miles long, and it 
drains a large extent of country. The Town of Polk City is situated 
on its west bank, and the old Town of Corydon was located near its 
mouth. Back in the '50s a man named Gross Cross built a mill on this 
creek and ground cornmeal, and sawed native lumber, which was 
very helpful to the early settlers; but at the expiration of two years 
Mr. Gross Cross moved his mill to Boone River, where he did a 
flourishing business. This stream was named Big Creek because it 
was larger than any other creek near it, but was too small to be 
called a river. 


"There arc two prominent groves of timber on Big Creek, north 
of Polk City, around which cluster some historical incidents. These 
are Pierce's Grove and Hat Grove. 

"Another stream which heads in Boone County, and wliicli has 
been honored with a name, is the Murphy Branch. It took its name 
from Isaac Murphy, who was the hrst to reside upon its banks. It 
is about six miles in length, and near its source is situated the Town 
of Madrid. The old track of the Chicago & Milwaukee Railroad 
runs down the valley of this creek to where it discharges its water 
into the Dcs Moines River, oppc^site the Town of Scandia, in Dallas 

"The ne.\t stream we come to as we go north is Hull Creek. It 
is estimated to be about seven miles in length, and it took its name 
from Jesse Hull, who settled near its source in 1847, being the^ first 
in that localitv. The point of timber projecting out from the source 
of this stream was first called Hull Point, but the name was changed 
to Belle Point. This change of name was brought about by the 
establishment of a postoffice at this point. The petition to the depart- 
ment at Washington asked for the appointment of Mrs. Elizabeth 
Hull, wife of Jesse Hull, as postmistress. In honor of this lady the 
authorities named the ofiice Belle Point. This was the hrst office 
in the county. In iSt;4 Richard (irecn and John Dickerson built a 
mill on Hull Creek. It did well for a time, but was ot short 

"The ne.xt creek north, which is named upon the map of Boone 
Countv is Pea's Branch. It took its name from John Pea who. in 
the spring of 1846, headed the second group of settlers in the county, 
and who formed a settlement near the source of this creek, at a 
point of timber called Pea's Point, now about two miles southeast 
of Boone, riie first countrv hotel in the county was erected at this 
point of timber in i8c;i. It was called the Boone County House, 
and for several vears was a place of much prominence. In 1853 
W. D. Parker and James Hall built a mill on Pea's Branch, with 
which thev sawed native lumber, which helped the settlers mate- 
rially; but it also hail a short life. 

"The next stream as we go north, which is named on the maps 
of Boone County, is Honey Creek. It is about six miles long, and 
near its source is the City of Boone, the county seat. The name of 
this creek originated from the fact that numerous bee trees, and 
much honey, were found along its banks by the early settlers. 


"In 1849 a schoolhouse was built in the Valley of Honey Creek, 
in Section 33, Township 82, Range 26. 'I'his was probably the first 
schoolhouse built in the county. 

"The remains of the first man murdered in Boone County were 
buried on the west bank of this creek. This was Jacob Pea, killed 
by Lewis Jewett in 1849. 

"The first track built by the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad 
runs down the valley of this creek. 

"Honey Creek has a west brancli named Polecat Slough. This 
runs through the west part of old Boonesboro, now the Fifth ward 
of the City of Boone. In the spring of 1854 the first steam mill in 
Boone County was erected on the bank of Polecat Slough. The 
name of this branch of Honey Creek originated from the large 
number of quadrupeds of this species found along the little stream. 

"There is but one other creek running into the Des Moines 
River on the east side, and north of those already mentioned, that 
has a name on the map of the county. That one is called the Mineral 
Branch, and is in the north part of Dodge Township. This little 
creek is only three miles long, and is without any historical incident 
connected with it. 

"Boone County is not all drained by the Des Moines River 
and its tributaries. There are about two townships in the northeast 
part of the county, the drainage of which goes into the Squaw Fork, 
and through it to the Skunk River, which empties into the Missis- 
sippi River. The Squaw Fork runs almost diagonallv through Har- 
rison Township and across the northeist corner of Jackson Town- 
ship, and there enters Story County. The 'Iowa Atlas,' published 
in 1904, says the Squaw Fork is a tributary of the Des Moines River. 
This is a curious mistake. Lieut. x'\lbert M. Lea, on his 'ALap of 
Iowa,' published in 1836, calls the Squaw Fork 'Gaston's Range.' 
Squaw Creek has one tributary in Boone County, called Mont- 
gomery Creek. The name of this creek originated from an histori- 
cal incident. J. B. Montgomery was a pioneer minister of the M. E. 
Church. On one occasion he went from Boonesboro over to the 
Squaw Fork to fill an appointment. A heavy rain had fallen the 
previous night and the little tributary was full of water, but he sup- 
posed that he could drive over it in perfect safety. To his great 
surprise the stream was so deep, and the current so swift, that he 
was thrown from the vehicle and barely escaped drowning. The 
horse reached the opposite shore in safety. After over an hour's 
delay he succeeded in getting started again. He finally reached the 


house of a friend, who kindly loaned him a suit of clothing to wear 
while his own went through the process of drying. From this inci- 
dent the name of the little creek originated, it being named Mont- 
gomery Creek, after the minister. In the days of the county judge 
system, Rey. |. B. Montgomery was chosen by the people of Boone 
County to fill that office for three terms. 

"There are six streams on the west side of the Des Moines Riyer 
in Boone County which are honore(i witii names on the county maps. 
'J'he largest of these is Beayer Creek. The Indian name of this 
stream was Amaqua, meaning Beayer. Its two names have supplied 
the names of two townships in Boone Coun.ty, Amaqua and Beaver. 
'J'liis is tlie only stream that runs entirely across the county, except 
the Des Moines River. It rises near the northwest corner of Boone 
County, and its course is almost due south to the south boundary of 
the county, where it turns toward the southeast, running through 
parts of four townships in Dallas County, and parts of two town- 
ships in Polk County. It empties into the Des Moines River a few 
miles north of the capital city of the state. It is about fifty miles 
long and there are numerous little bodies of timber along its banks. 
It took its name from the vast number of beavers that were trapped 
along its course in the days of the trappers. The towns of Granger, 
Berkley and Beaver and situated on its banks. 

"Buffalo (iroye, in Boone County, was often mentioned in the 
early settlement period, and around it cluster some interesting inci- 
dents of the pioneer times. This grove is on the Beaver and it was 
here that the Moore and Mower families settled. The Beaver has 
one tributary, called the Little Beaver. It rises in the northeast 
corner of Union Township, and runs southeast through Peoples 
'J'ownship, in Boone County, and empties into the main Beaver, in 
Beaver Township, in Dallas County. 

"Bluff Creek is on the west side of the Des Moines River and is 
the longest stream wholly \\ithin the county. It rises near the north 
line of the county and runs almost due south through Pilot Mound 
'I'ownship, and from thence southeast to about five miles of Veil 
Township, emptying into the river due west from Boone. It is about 
fifteen miles long, and its name originated from the high hhifts 
found near its mouth. The Town of Pilot Mound and the station of 
I' rasier Junction are situated on this creek. The elevation of ground 
known as Pilot Mound, from which both the town and township took 
their names, is near this creek. From the summit of this mound a 
view of the country in all directions can be obtaned. On his 'Map of 


Iowa,' published in 1836, Lieut. Albert M. Lea calls Pilot Mound 
'Prospect Hill.' It may be inferred with certainty that in 1835 Col. 
S. W. Kearney, Lieutenant Lea, Capt. E. V. Sumner and Capt. 
Nathan Boone all stood upon the summit of this mound. It was in 
the valley of upper Bluflf Creek, just a little west of this mound, 
that the great battle between the Sac and Fox Indians, commanded 
by Keokuk, and the Sioux Indians, commanded by Wamsapasha, was 
fought. Keokuk gained a great victory. Those of his warriors who 
were slain in the battle were buried on top of this mound. This 
accounts for the many bones that have been found there. 

"South from the mouth of Bluff Creek we come to Bear Creek. 
It is about six miles long and is entirely in Marcy Township. It 
drains a large body of land. In the early settlement along Bear 
Creek, Capt. William P. Berry, and another hunter, killed a bear 
on its banks, and from that incident the name of the creek originated. 
There does not appear to be any other historic incident connected 
with this creek. 

"In the south part of Cass Township are three branches, all of 
which have names on the maps of the county. These are the Eber- 
soll Branch, the Cayton Branch and the Preston Branch. The 
Ebersoll took the name from Moses Ebersoll, who lived near its 
source nearly forty years. Eighteen years of this time he was a 
justice of the peace, and his residence was called the seat of justice 
of Cass Township. The Ebersoll Branch is only about four miles 
long. It is a tributary of the Cayton Branch and empties into it a 
short distance from the river. The Cayton Branch is about ten miles 
long and it drains a vast body of land. At a beautiful grove of timber 
near its source, in the early '50s, a man named Cayton settled here, 
and made some improvements; although he did not remain long, 
the stream took its name from him. By reason of some bad spelling 
the name has appeared as Carton and Canton, but the correct name 
is Cayton. There was a tine body of timber along this creek before 
the woodman invaded it with his ax. There are no thrilling inci- 
dents connected with this creek. 

"The Preston Branch is about six miles long. It took its name 
from Victor Preston, who located on its headwaters in the '^os, and 
spent the remainder of his life there. This little stream empties into 
the river about six rods north of the site of the old water mill built 
at Elk Rapids in 1850. This was the first mill built on the Des 
Moines River north of the Raccoon Fork. Near its moutii and on 


the south bank of this stream Judge Montgomery McCall passed 
the hist years of his life, and died in February, 1855." 

Some of the finest timber in Iowa grew in Boone County. The 
most plentiful being black walnut, of the best grade, but the high 
price paid for tliis timber, and the desperate need of ready money 
among the settlers, resulted in the early cutting of all the market- 
able trees of this beautiful and valuable species. Red, white and 
black oak were also plentiful. Crabapple, elm, maple, ash, cotton- 
wood and white cherry are also found. In fact, this has been one of 
the best timbered comities in the state. Along the Des Moines River 
was a belt of timber averaging four miles in width, and all of her 
streams were well supplied with timber, but this has been gradually 
cut awav to a large extent. Detached groves, both natural and arti- 
ficial, are scattered throughout the county, being both ornamental 
and useful, as they have a very beneficial clTect upon the climate. 

There is a wide variety of soils in the county, though they are 
mostly prairie soils. Portions along the Des Moines River are some- 
what broken and uneven, though they are very productive, and espe- 
cially adapted to the raising of wheat, corn, oats and other cereals. 
Grasses of all kinds grow luxuriantlv, and the county is well adapted 
to stock raising. 

Boone Countv is well supplied with stone for building purposes. 
Quarries of the best quality of limestone, resembling the celebrated 
Joliet limestone, are in operation in various parts of the county, the 
best being located in the vicinitv of Elk Rapids. There is also an 
abundance of stone suitable for the manufacture of lime, and this 
is being extensively used. 

Potter's clay of good (]ualitv is found all along the course of the 
Des Moines River, and this has for many vears been utilized in the 
manufacture of stoneware and earthenware. The potteries of the 
county have a wide reputation, and their capacity can be largely 
increased by the investment of additional capital, rendering possible 
more extensive oju-ration. 

CMay for ilic manufacture of brick and tile is found in large 
quantity, being superimposed and also underneath the coal seams. 
These products are being extensively manufactured in the county. 

From the river bluffs gush seemingly inexhaustible springs of 
pure water, and good well water is obtainable almost anv place in the 
county at a depth of from 15 to 30 feet, though in places deep wells 
are necessarv. 


On early maps of the county many lakes were indicated, but these 
were mostly only sloughs or marshy spots which are rapidly being 
drained by modern methods, and converted into productive corn 

The climate of Boone County is that of Central Iowa, and is 
healthy, though subject to sudden changes from heat to cold and the 
reverse. The county lies nearly on the same parallel as that of Cen- 
tral New York, but owing to nearness to the Great Lakes, and to the 
sweep of the winds across the prairies, the winters are colder, while 
the summers are warmer. The summer nights are warm, which has 
much to do with the bumper corn crops for which the county is noted. 

The population of the county, as shown by ten year census per- 
iods, is as follows: In 1850 it was 735; in i860, 4,232; in 1870, 
14,581; in 1880, 20,838; in 1890, 23,772; in 1900, 28,200, and in 
1910, 27,626. 


Boone County was established, with its present boundaries, in 
February, 1847, by an act of the Legislature, about two months after 
the state was admitted. The county was named in honor of Capt. 
Nathan Boone, of Company H, First Regiment, United States 
Dragoons, the youngest son of Col. Daniel Boone, the great pioneer 
of Kentucky and Missouri. Captain Boone was in the expedition 
which marched from Old Fort Des Moines, where Montrose, in Lee 
County, now stands, to Wabasha's village, in Minnesota, located 
about where the City of Winona now stands. 

This expedition consisted of three companies of the First Regi- 
ment of United States Dragoons under command of Lieut. Col. 
S. W. Kearney. Company B was commanded by Lieut. Albert M. 
Lea. This was made necessary by the sickness of Jesse B. Brown, 
the captain of that company. Company H was commanded by 
Capt. Nathan Boone, as before stated, and Company I was com- 
manded by Capt. E. V. Sumner. 

The expedition left Old Fort Des Moines on the 7th of June, 
1835. The march was along the divide between the Des Moines 
and Skunk Rivers. On the evening of the 23d of June this little 
army camped in what is now Boone County, a little south of the 
Mineral Ridge and about three miles east of the timber that skirted 
the Des Moines River. The encampment on the next evening was 
near the mouth of Boone River. From there the march was north- 
east to Wabasha's village. 

The object of the expedition was to become acquainted with 
Wabasha, who was a great chief among the Sioux Indians, and to 
make a treaty of peace with him. This being done, the expedition 
returned, marching almost due west for a few days and then, turn- 
ing southwest, crossed the West Fork of the Des Moines River near 
the southeast corner of Palo Alto County, marched then south on the 
west side of the Des Moines River. On the return trip the little 
army again encamped in what is now Boone County. These three 



luin.lrcd dragoons, as tlicy rode through tlic wihi country, must have 
made a deep impression upon the Indians. 

In 1S150, five years before this expedition, Capt. Nathan Boone, 
under a commission from the Government, surveyed the Neutral 
Strip. This neutral ground was forty miles wide and e.xtended 
from the mouth of the upper Iowa River west to the Des Moines 
River. In doing this surveying. Captain Boone became actjuainted 
with much of the country in Northeastern Iowa. 

Captan Boone continued in the service of the Government until 
1853, when he resigned and returned to his family. After ten years 
of private life, he died at his home in Ash Grove, ten miles west of 
Springfield. Missouri, in the summer of 1863, at the age of eighty- 
one years. 

He was held in high esteem by the members of his company and 
bv his fellow oflicers. He was brave and honest, and our people 
have good reason to feel proud of the man after whom their county 
was named. 

For judicial, voting and revenue purposes, Boone County 
remained a part of Polk County for two and one-half years after it 
was located and named. The first settler was Charles VV. Gaston, 
who settled on the southwest i]uarter of Section 34, in Township 82, 
Range 26, on the 12th of [anuarv, 1846. Mr. Gaston has repeatedly 
said that the weather was nice and warm, and that he turned his 
horses out to browse in the timber, while he cut the logs to build his 
cabin. This was the first log cabin erected in Boone County. He 
did not locate for a month or a year, but he became a permanent 

I'nun the date of his location here to the 1 qth of April, a period 
of three months, he was the only resident of the county. On the last 
date named, John I'ea, John M. Crooks, James Hull, and their 
families, located at Pea's Point. Tiiey came from the State of 

1 he settlement of the county was (]uite rapid, considering the 
transportation facilities of that time. This is evidenced by the fact 
that in 1848 the people began talking about county organization. 
In the spring of 1849, they went to work in earnest to organize the 
count\. I hey were tired of voting, transacting their business, and 
paying ta.xes in Polk County. 

By an act of the Legislature, approved Februarv 24, 1847, ^^ 
became necessary for the judge of the judicial district to appoint an 
organizing sheriff, whose duty it was to order an election for county 


officers, post notices at a specified number of places, and in fact 
discharge all the duties of sheriff until the result of the election 
should be proclaimed, and his successor qualified, in counties ready 
for organization. 

The following is the proclamation of Judge William McKay, 
judge of die Fifth Judicial District, in which Boone County was at 
that time situated : 

"To all to whom these presents shall come: Know ye that I, 
William McKay, judge of the Fifth Judicial District of the State 
of Iowa, have and here by appoint Samuel B. McCall, of Boone 
County, in said district, sheriff to organize said county of Boone 
according to an act for the organization of Pottawatame and other 
counties, approved February A. D. 1847. to have and hold the said 
office of sheriff, with all the rights, duties and privileges thereunto 
appertaining as fully and completely as I have right or power to 
grant unto him according to said act, and that he have and hold the 
same until the first Monday in August 1849, and until his successor 
is duly elected and qualified. 

"I here by fix the first Monday in August next as the time of 
holding a special election in said county of Boone, for the election 
of county officers, within and for the said county of Boone, given 
under my hand at Fort Des Moines, this 8th, day of May, 1849. 
William McKay, Judge." 

In accordance with the order of Judge McKay, S. B: McCall, 
as sheriff, proceeded to divide the county into voting precincts as 
directed by law and the necessities of the voters of the county. In 
the discharge of these duties he divided the county into three town- 
ships. The south one-third of the county was named Pleasant Town- 
ship and the place of voting was Belle Point. The central one-third 
was named Boone Township, and the place of voting was the house 
of John M. Crooks, one mile south of Boone, while the north one- 
third was named Boone River Township and the place of voting 
was at the house of Thomas McNeal. At the time of his appoint- 
ment, S. B. McCall had been a citizen of Boone County about two 
years. His father, Judge Montgomery McCall, then owned and 
lived on a farm one mile south of Boone. 

The first election was held August 6, 1849, and the following 
officers were elected to transact the business of the county: County 
Commissioners, Jesse Hull, Jonathan Boles, and John Boyles. 
Commissioners' Clerk, Reuben S. Clark. Clerk of the District 
Court, John M. Wane. Recorder, Collector and Treasurer, John 



M. Crooks. Sheriff, Samuel H. Bowers. Surveyor, Thomas Sparks, 
and Prosecuting Attorney, W. C. Hull. 

'I'hcre were ninety votes cast at the first election, and twenty-si.\ 
ot tiicse were cast in Boone Township. We have been unable to 
find the poll books of Pleasant and Boone River Townships among 
the county records, wiiicli is much to be regretted. However, as 
there was a total of ninety votes cast at the lirst election and twenty- 
six ot these were cast in Boone Township, it follows that sixty-four 
were cast in Pleasant and Boone River Townships combined. 

The following very interesting record of the election of Boone 
Township is here given in full. "Organization poll book of Boone 
Couiuv. Pol! book of the election held at the house of John M. 
Crooks, in Boone Township, Boone County, Iowa, on the first Mon- 
day and si.xth day of August 1849, for the purpose of electing county 
officers and a board of County Commissioners. 

"Jacob Crooks and (ieorge Hull, Judges, and Jolm .M. Wane 
and .Montgomerv McCall, Clerks of election, were severally sworn 
bv me, as the law directs, previous to entering upon the duties of 
their respective offices. John Pea, Judge of Election. 

" John Pea, |udge of Election, was sworn by me as the law directs 
previous to entering upon the duties of his office. George Hull, 
Judge of Election." 

Following are the names of voters at this first election in Boone 
Township: i, James Turner; 2, Henry H. Fisher; 3, David Noah; 
4, .Montgomerv McCall; q, Albert Myers; 6, Samuel H. Bowers; 
7, Samuel B. .McCall; S, fames Corbin; 9, Henry Hofifman; 10, 
lames B. Hamilton; 1 i, i^embroke Gault; 12, James Hull; 13, Jacob 
Crooks; 14, (Jeorge Hull; 1 q. John I^ea; 16, William Hull; 17, 
Nicholas M. Bonnett; iS, Reuben S. Clark; 19, 'I'homas Sparks; 
20, Lewis Keniiev; 21, John M. Crooks; 22, James Hull, Jr.; 23, 
Feli.x O'Neal; 24, I'riah Hull; 2q, John (iault; 26, John Boyles. 

Ihe votes were divided as follows: 

For County Commissioners, I'lcasant Chitwood had nineteen 
votes, James Corbin, twelve votes, John Boyles, sixteen votes, Jesse 
Hull, twelve votes, and Jonathan Boles, ten votes. 

For Sheriff, Samuel H. Bowers had twenty-six votes. 

For Recorder, Collector and 'I'reasurer, John M. Crooks had 
seventeen votes, and William Sawyer, five votes. 

For I'robate Judge, John (iault had twelve votes and Samuel 
B. Fisher, nine votes. 


For Clerk of Court, Philip K. Detrick had fourteen votes and 
Reuben S. Clark, nine votes. 

For Commissioners' Clerk, Joiin M. Wane had ten votes and 
Reuben S. Clark sixteen votes. 

For School Commissioner, James Hull had twenty-five votes 
and Montgomery McCall had one vote. 

For Prosecuting Attorney, Montgomery McCall had twenty-five 

For County Surveyor Thomas Sparks had twenty votes. 
For Justice of the Peace James Turner had twelve votes, and 
Pembroke Gault had nine votes. 

For Constable, Nicholas M. Bonnett had eighteen votes, and 
Uriah Hull had one vote. 

Jacob Crooks, 
John Pea, 
George Hull, 

Judges of Election. 

Montgomery McCall, 
JoHxN M. Wane, 

Clerks of Election. 

The votes cast at the election in 1850 were as follows: 


Pleasant Township 79 

Boone Township 137 

Boone River Township 35 

And in 1851 they were: 


Pleasant Township 130 

Boone Township 106 

Boone River Township 48 

This was the last election held in these three original townships. 

The first meeting of the county commissioners was held on the 
ist day of October, 1849, at the house of John Boyles. At that time 
no county seat had been located, nor had any building been erected 
for the county officers. Each officer had to carry his records in his 
pocket, when out on ofiicial business, and when he returned home 
had to lock them in a box for safe keeping. Discharging the duties 
of a county officer under these circumstances was rather an unpleas- 
ant business. 



The first orders (if the county commissioners were as follows: 

No. I. "Ordered: That Reuben S. Clark purchase two dollars 
worth of writing paper for the use of the County Officers of Boone 
County. Iowa, the said Clark to be paid out of the first county funds 
that mav not he otherwise appropriated." 

No. 2. "Ordered : That the Commissioners' Clerk grant Samuel 
B. McCall an order for seventy-five cents for an order book." 

No. 3. "Ordered: That the Commissioners' Clerk use the eagle 
side of an American half dollar as the seal of the commissioners' 
court, until otherwise provided for." 

The next three orders related to the 're-establishment of the 
three townships which S. B. McC\ili had already established. They 

are as follows: 

No. 4. "Ordered : That Pleasant Township, Boone County, Iowa, 
shall be as follows: Beginning at the southeast corner of said county, 
thence nr)ith with the east line of said county eight miles. Thence 
west twenty-four miles to the west boundry of said county, thence 
south, with the west boundary of said county eight miles, thence east 
twenty-four miles with the south boundary of said county to the 
place of beginning, which shall also constitute a commissioners' dis- 
trict. No. I, of said county." 

No. i;. "Ordered: That Boone Township, Boone County, Iowa, 
shall be bounded as follows, to-wit: 

"Beginning at the northeast corner of Pleasant Township, thence 
north with the east boundary of Boone County, eight miles, thence 
west twenty-four miles to the west boundary of said county, thence 
south along the west boundary of said county, to the north west 
corner of Pleasant Township, thence east twenty four miles to place 
of beginning, which also shall constitute a commissioners district, 
No. 2 in said county." 

No. 6. "Ortiered : That Boone River Township, of Boone County, 
Iowa, shall be bounded as follows, to-wit: Beginning at the north- 
east corner of Boone Township, thence north with the east boundary 
of Boone County, eight miles, to the northeast corner of Boone 
Countv, thence west with the north boundary of said county, twenty 
four miles to the northwest corner, thence south with the west 
boundary of said county to the northwest corner of Boone Township, 
thence east with the north line of Boone Township to place of begin- 
ning, which shall cdustitute a commissioners' district. No. 3, in said 



The next business of this session of the commissioners was the 
approval of the official bond of Reuben S. Clark, commissioners' 
clerk. The amount of the bond was $2,000 and the sureties were 
Montgomery McCall and John Pea. This was the first official bond 
approved in the county. 

The following bills were allowed at this first session: 

Samuel B. McCall, for services in organizing the county $21.00 

Judges and clerks of election 5.00 

Commissioners' fees -5.00 

Commissioners' Clerk i .00 

Total claims allowed at the first session 30.75 

These claims were very insignificant when compared with the 
claims of the present time, as our needs have grown greater with 
the increase of population and more modern improvements. 

The second meeting of the board was held at the house of John 
M. Wane, but two members being present, Jesse Hull and John 
Boyles. Little business was transacted at this meeting. It was 
ordered that the future meetings of the board be held at the house 
of John M. Crooks. Three claims were allowed, but only one of 
them is mentioned in the record. A claim of $1.65 was allowed the 
Commissioners' Clerk for making out the tax list and making the 
following record: "Personally appeared John Pea and asserted to 
our satisfaction that he was grievously assessed in March, 1849, of a 
sum of $41.50. Be it ordered therefore that the same be remitted." 
The date of this meeting is not given in the record. 

The third meeting of the commissioners was held at the house 
of John M. Crooks, as before ordered, on the 7th day of January, 
1850. At this meeting the full membership of the board was present, 
viz., Jesse Hull, John Boyles and Jonathan Boles. 

At this meeting of the commissioners we note the first petition 
for the location of a road in Boone County. This petition was pre- 
sented by P. K. Detrick and read as follows: "We, the citizens of 
Boone County, do hereby present to your honors, that a road com- 
mencing near section two on the north side of said county, range 26 
and township 85, to run southerly, near Henry Fisher's Point, thence 
to run through section 33, near a school house on Honey Creek, in 
range 26, township 84, thence by the nearest and most accessible 
route through sections 4 and 9 of said range in township 83, thence 
at or near Luther's in section 14, in township' 82, thence running by 
the nearest and most accessible route to intersect with the present 


county ri)ad leading tiDin Panoach, Dallas County, Iowa, to the 
county line near Boles' mill site, would tend greatly to the advantage 
of the public and of utility to us and tlie public in general. \\c 
therefore, the petitioners, pray your honors to appoint suitable per- 
sons to view out and locate as much of the said road as may be, from 
Fisher's Point to intersect with the road leading from Panoach near 
Boles' mill site." Signed by thirty-eight citizens of the county. 

This is, in some respects, a very singular petition. Although the 
settlement of the county began at the soutii side of the county, this 
road was to commence at the nortii side and run south. In the 
descriptions giving the ranges, the ranges are mentioned Hrst. The 
town Panoach was at that time the county seat of Dallas County. 
Panoach is an Indian name, meaning "far away." The name was 
later changed to Adel. 

'I'he Board of Commissioners was favorably impressed with this 
petition and made the following order: 

"Ortiered, That the above petiti(Hi be granted and that the fol- 
lowing named persons be named for viewers: Matthias White, 
Colonel lolin Rose and N'ickers Preston, and S. C. Wood, Surveyor, 
of said road. Said viewers and surveyors to meet at Benjamin 
William's on the first Monday in March, 1850, and having taken to 
their assistance the necessary hands, shall proceed to view said route 
and report to this board, as the law directs. 

(Signed.) JOXATH.W BOLES, 

Jesse Hlle," 
The next session of the board of commissioners was held January 
2S, i<S50, all of the members being present. James Hull presented a 
petition for a county road, commencing at the terminus of the Polk 
County road, at, or near, the northwest corner of Polk County, Iowa, 
and a little south of Swede Point (now Madrid) and running by the 
nearest and best route to the north line of the county- This petition 
was signed bv twenty-one citizens of the county. This was a rival 
of the other road petitioned for, and there arose some bitterness and 
contention between the advocates of these two roads. However, 
this petition was also granted and viewers were appointed to view 
the proposed route and to report their observations to the board at 
its ne.xt meeting as provided by law. 

The clerk of the board was also directed to set up three adver- 
tisements in each township in Boone County within three weeks from 
this date, forewariiing all persons whatsoever from taking timber. 
or timbers, ofif of any school land, river land, or other public lands 


lyint^; in Booiic County. So far as this warning related to the river 
hmd, it was very much disregarded. 

At the meeting of the board Marcli i, 1H50, but one order was 
made. "Ordered; That Tyler Higby, Matthias White, and John 
Ridpath be appointed as judges of an election to be held in Boone 
River Township, Boone County, Iowa, in April A. D. 1850." 

At the meeting of the board held in April, i8(;o, four orders were 
made to relieve as many citizens from erroneous assessments: 
"Ordered, That Matthias HofTman receive an order for fifty cents, 
the same being as compensation for an excess of taxation for 1849." 

"Ordered, That James Hull receive an order for five dollars and 
five cents, for services rendered as School Fund Commissioner." 

"Ordered, That two hundred and forty six dollars of the prop- 
erty of Nicholas Bonnett, assessed in 1849, be and the same is hereby 
remitted, having been satisfied that he was over assessed that 

"Ordered, That sixty dollars of the value of the property of 
Isom Hull assessed in 1849, be and the same is hereby remitted, 
having been satisfied that he was over assessed that amount." 

At the July meeting of the commissioners the clerk was directed 
to issue to Samuel H. Bowers an order for $4.00 as payment for 
assessing Boone County in June, 1850. The clerk was also directed 
to draw an order in favor of John Gault for the sum of zz, cents in 
payment for paper furnished to the school fund commissioner. 

The following is a copy of the order levying the taxes for the 
year 1850, the same being the first regular tax levy in Boone County: 

"Ordered; That the Commissioners' Clerk make out a correct 
list of the state, county and school tax on all real estate and personal 
property of the county, according to the assessment list returned and 
made out by the sherifif for the year 1850; and also to levy the same 
at four mills on the dollar for county purposes, two and a half mills 
on the dollar for state purposes, and one mill on the dollar for school 
purposes, for which the said clerk shall take the treasurer's receipt." 

The fact that this order was for the first tax lew in the county 
makes it a very historic one. The first acts and the first things done 
are always things of much interest. Beginnings mav at times be 
awkward and crude, but the historians are always looking for them. 

At this meeting of the board of commissioners the chrk was 
ordered to issue notices for the election of officers, for and in the 
Township of Pleasant, County of Boone, State of Iowa, said election 
to take place on the first Monday in August, 1850. An election was 


ordered for tlic same time in Boone Township, to fill the vacancy 
occasioned by the resignation of Pembroke (iault, justice of the 
peace, in and for Boone County, Iowa. 

The commissioners seem to have given attention to all matters, 
however small they may have been, that were brought before them. 
'Jhc board of commissioners was in one sense the legislature of 
Boone Countv, and it transacted all such orders and regulations as 
were at that time really necessary to give the county a start in its 
business and industrial career. This fact gives to the acts of this 
first board of commissioners added historical interest. 

At the ne.\t session of the board the- report of the persons 
appointed to view the first road heated in the county was presented. 
The record runs as follows: "The report of the viewers appointed 
at a former session of the court, to view and locate a road, com- 
mencing at Henrv Fisher's Point, thence through Section thirty 
three, near a school house on Honey Creek, in range 26, township 
84: thence through section four and nine in said range, township 83; 
thence through section fourteen, in township S2; near Luther's 
thence to intersect with a countv road from Panoach. Dallas County, 
Iowa, at the county line near Boles Mill, having been received at a 
former session of this board, and the said report having been favorable 
to the establishment of said road, agreeable to the survevor's plat, of 
the same, returned to the hoard, and the said report having been read 
on three several days, and no objection having been made to the 
establishment of the same, and none for a review, or for damages 
having been presented to the board, it is therefore ordered that the 
report aforesaid be accepted and that the road described therein be 
established, and declared a public highway, and that road super- 
visors be ret]uired to take notice thereof." 

John Rose and V'ickers Preston were allowed $4.50 each and 
Matthias White ^^3.75, as viewers of said road. S. C. Wood was 
allowed $7.50 for surveying and platting the said road; John G. 
Adams. Philip Detrick and others were allowed the sum of $9.37^ 
for services as chain bearers and a.\ men in laying out the said road. 

As this was the first public highway established in Boone County, 
it was thought best to give the full record of the proceedings of the 
board establishing it. Fisher's Point, mentioned in the petition, and 
report of the viewers, is the point of timber north of Boone about 
two miles. The schoolhouse on the route in Section 33, on Honey 
Creek, was doubtless the first schoolhouse built in the county, and 
certainlv the first one on this first road. 


The Madrid Historical Society has among its relics the hand ax 
used in blazing the trees and driving the stakes in the location of 
this first road of the county. Although it lias been sixty-four years 
since tiiis road was established, there are a number of sections of it 
yet in use. One of these sections is four miles in length. The total 
cost of locating this road, as given in the foregoing proceedings, 
was $22.37^1-. 

At the same session of the board the report of the viewers who 
were appointed to view the road from Swede Point (now Madrid) 
to the north line of the county, was received and the road estab- 

The expense in viewing, surveying and platting this second road 
established in the county was $ig.27y2- The point from which this 
second road started was near the northwest corner of Polk County, 
only a short distance south of Madrid. This point was the terminus 
of a road established by the Commissioners of Polk County, com- 
mencing on the east bank of the Des Moines River on Court Avenue, 
thence by way of Sailorville, Polk City and the twenty-mile house, 
and terminated at the point above mentioned. The terminal and 
commencement of the two roads is a very historical one, from the 
fact that both roads were used by the Western Stage Company in 
carrying the mails and passengers in a very few years after their 

The Madrid Historical Society has the wedge-shaped stone that 
stood for years at the point at which these two county roads joined. 
More than one-half of the second road established in Boone County 
is still as originally located and is still in use. 

The next session of the board was held in October, 1850. The 
official term of Jonathan Boles having expired, he was succeeded by 
James Corbin, who was elected at the regular August election of 
1850. At this session there were petitions presented for changes in 
certain portions of the two roads established at the previous session. 
Some of these petitions were granted and the changes made by the 

At the meeting of the board in January, 1851, it was ordered that 
the sessions of the board thereafter should be held at the schoolhouse 
on Honey Creek in Section 33, Township 84, Range 26. This con- 
tinued to be the place of meeting until the countv seat was located. 

At the April meeting of 1851, the following order was made: 
"Ordered; That Reuben S. Clark, as Commissioners' Clerk, receive 
an order for $14.00 for services in making out the receipts and 


expenses and making out the delinquent tax list of Boone County, 
for advertising the April election, and making out poll books for 
said election, and making assessors books for the sheriff." The work 
mentioned would now cost not less than $50. The simplicity of 
living in those pioneer davs makes up much of the difference in the 
cost of work then and now. Tea, coffee, sugar and clothing were 
higher in price here at that time than the same articles are now. 

At the April meeting of 1S51, a petition for a small change in 
the road running from Fisher's Point to the Dallas County road 
was presented. This petition was laid over until the July meeting 
of that year. It does not appear that any action was taken at any 
future session of the board in relation to this petition. This seems 
to have been the Hrst petition upon which the board, up to this time, 
had failed to take favorable action. 

At the session of July, 1S51, the only business transacted by the 
board was the following order: "Ordered that the Commissioners' 
Clerk make out a correct list of the state, county and school tax on 
all real and personal [iropcrtv, according to the assessment list 
returned by the sheritif for the year 1H51, and also make out and levy 
the same at four mills on the dollar for county purposes, two mills 
on the dollar for state purposes and one mill on the dollar for school 
purposes, and deliver the same unto the treasurer on, or before, the 
15th of August, 1S51, for which the said clerk shall take a receipt 
for the same." At the time of the organization of Boone County 
and for some years thereafter the sheriff assessed the property of the 
county, or in other words the offices of sherif? and assessor were 
combined in one. 


All these actions of the board of county commissioners, up to 
the date of July, 1851, and the official actions of all the other county 
officers, up to that date, were performed before the county seat was 
located. A period of about two years had now passed since the 
first county officers were elected and there was yet no place provided 
for them to transact the business of the county, or to file awav for 
safekeeping any of the official records or documents. If anv one 
had business with a county officer, he was forced to go to the officer's 
house in order to transact it. If a young man wanted a marriage 
license, he had to go to the iiousc of the clerk of the court and in 
the presence of his family, and any other persons who might be 


there, name his business. When a citizen wished to pay his tax, he 
had to go to the house of the county treasurer to do so. This was 
very unpleasant and inconvenient. The popuhition of the county 
had by this time increased until a county seat, a place to transact 
the official business of the county, had become an absolute neces- 
sity. So the people took action and sent a petition to the legislature, 
asking for the establishment of a county seat. This petition resulted 
in the following act: "Be it enacted by the general assembly of the 
state of Iowa, that David Swcem, of the county of Marion, S. K. 
Scovell, of the county of Dallas, and Samuel Haworth, of the county 
of Warren, be and they are hereby appointed commissioners to locate 
and establish the seat of justice of the county of Boone." This act 
was approved January 21, 1851. 

The time fixed for the meeting of these locating commissioners 
was between the ist and the 15th of July, 1851. It appears that a 
day was fixed for their work through correspondence, but, at the 
time set, David Sweem was the only one of the commissioners who 
put in an appearance. There were heavy rains about that time, the 
streams were all about bank full of water, and this seems to have 
been the reason the other commissioners did not appear. Mr. Sweem 
could not locate the county seat without one of the other commis- 
sioners being there to unite with him in making the location, so after 
waiting two days over the time set for the meeting he decided to 
return home. 

A number of the citizens came together and appointed Samuel 
B. McCall to go to Adel and bring Mr. Scovell to his post of duty. 
They then persuaded Mr. Sweem to remain until Mr. McCall 
should return, which he consented to do. It was a perilous journey 
which Mr. McCall took upon himself. After fording a number of 
deep, swift and unbridged streams, Mr. McCall returned next day, 
bringing Mr. Scovell with him. It was an heroic act on his part, 
and that act secured the location of the county seat at that time, 
which otherwise would have gone over to some future time. The 
citizens were greatly pleased and they heaped many praises upon 
S. B. McCall. 

The two commissioners met that night at the house of Mont- 
gomery McCall, father of S. B. McCall, and on the next day sub- 
scribed to the following oath, before Reuben S. Clark, commission- 
ers' clerk : "We do solemnly swear, that we have no personal interest 
in the location of the seat of justice of Boone Countv, Iowa, and that 


we will faithfully locate the same according to the best interests of 
the county, taking into consideration the future as well as the present 

population of the county. 

(Signed.) S. K. Scovell, 
David Swkkm. 
Locating Covunissioners." 

After taking the oath prescribed by the act of appointment, the 
two commissioners proceeded to examine the county. 'J'here were 
some faithful guides who went with tiiem and pointed out certain 
available sites which had been lrci|ucntly spoken of and discussed 
around many log fires in log cabins by the-settlers. After listening 
to all the claims and arguments upon the different places and passing 
over all the surrounding country, the commissioners retired to a 
room and after a short consultation agreed upon the following 

liOOXESliORO. j 

"We the undersigned commissioners, appointed by an act to pro- 
vide for the location of a seat of justice of Boone county. Approved 
February 21, iSi;i, do, hereby locate and establish the scat of justice 
of the said countv of Boone, upon the northwest quarter of section 
twenty nine, (29) in township eighty four, (84) north, and range 
twenty si.v (26) west, of the Hfth principal meridian. King and situ- 
ated in the district of lands subject to entry at the land office at 
Dubu(]ue. Given under our hands and seals at the place of location 
this 9th day of July, A. D. i8(;i. 

(Signed) S. K. ScoVELL, 
David Sweem, 

Locating Coinnn SSI oners." 
There was great rejoicing over the location of the county seat. 
The people wanted a certain and fi.\ed place for the transaction of 
county business. On the morning of the day on which the location 
was made, the locating commissioners drove along the line of settle- 
ment for miles and consulted with the settlers in relation to their 
choice of location, and it seems that a majority of the settlers near 
the central part of the county favored the location selected by the 
commissioners. We have been informed by numbers who were 
present, that about all the settlers for miles gathered at the place of 
location in time to see tlie stake driven which marked the location. 


A flag was at that moment raised and a shout of exultation went up 
from those assembled. 

The stake was driven near where the north wall of the court 
house now stands. It is said that S. B. McCall suggested to the com- 
missioners the name Boonesboro for the county seat, and by this 
name the county seat was known until it was changed to the Fifth 
Ward of the City of Boone, April 8, 1887. 

At the time of the first election, after the organization of the 
county, held in August, 1849, the population numbered about four 
hundred. One year later, in 1850, the population had increased to 
756, and in 1851, at the time of the location of the county seat, the 
population was 890. This was in that day looked upon as a rapid 
increase in population. The settlers were now prouder of their new 
homes than they ever were before. 

On the day of the location of the county seat the board of county 
commissioners met and passed the following orders: 

"Ordered: That the Commissioners' clerk issue unto David 
Sweem forty dollars, and unto S. K. Scovell fifteen dollars as Com- 
missioners to locate the seat of justice of Boone County, to be paid 
out of the lot fund of said county, for services rendered." 

"Ordered: That the Commissioners' clerk notify Thomas Sparks, 
County Surveyor, to take to his assistance the necessary hands on the 
31st inst, and lay ofif two hundred lots near the stake driven by the 
locating Commissioners of the County Seat, on the northwest quar- 
ter of section 29, township 84, and range, 26, and continue from day 
to day until said number be laid oflf." 

"Ordered : That the County Commissioners meet at the desig- 
nated place for the county seat of Boone County, on the 31st day of 
July, and lay ofif the public square, in the town of Boonesboro, the 
designated place of the Seat of justice of Boone County." 

"Ordered : That the Commissioners have a called session the 
26th of July, at the designated County Seat, called Boonesboro. 

It seems that Mr. Sparks did not wait until the 31st of July to 
begin the survey of the county seat, for when the called session of 
the board met, on the 26th of July, the two orders passed by them 
related to the sale of town lots, giving the numbers of them. The 
orders passed are as follows: 

"Ordered: That lots nos. 3 and 4, in block 12, in Boonesboro, 
Boone County, Iowa, be granted to Wesley C. Hull, lot 4, valued at 
$35, and lot 3, at $45, one fifth in hand, one fifth in six months, one 
fifth in twelve months one fifth in eighteen months, and the balance 


in two years with ten per cent on cacii payment after due until paid, 
and said Hull is to furnish a suitable room in said Boonesboro to hold 
court at the October term, free of charge." 

"Ordered: That the Commissioners' Clerk cause to be published 
a sale of lots in the town of Boonesboro, Boone County, Iowa, on 
the first Monday in October next, and on Tuesday and Wednesday 
following, the same to be published in each of the Fort Des Moines 
papers, and in the paper published at Oskaloosa; the payment; one 
fifth in hand, one fifth in six niontiis, one fifth in twelve months, one 
lifth ill eighteen months, and the balance m two years. If the last 
payment when due, with ail former payments and interest thereon, 
at ten per cent, after due, is iiDt made, then the same will fall back 
to the county." 

This called meeting on July 26, 1851, was the last one held by 
this board of county commissioners. The meeting called for July 31, 
181; I, to lay out the public square, was never held. The reason most 
certainlv was that the laying out of the public square was the business 
of the county surveyor, and not of the county commissioners. 

A law passed the Legislature at the session of 1850- 1, abolishing 
the commissioner system and substituted for it the office of county 
judge. At the election on the first Monday in August, 185 1, Samuel 
B. McCall was elected county judge and entered immediately upon 
the discharge of the duties of that office. This brought to a close the 
labors of the pioneer board of county commissioners. 

The first session of this board was held on the first Monday in 
October, 1849, and the last one was on the 26th of July, 1851. It 
was in official existence two vears. It held nine meetings during 
that time and jtassed upon twenty-one orders. Not one of these 
meetings was held in a public office, or a public place of meeting. 
Every one of its twenty-one orders were passed upon either in a 
private house, or in the little schoolhouse on Honey Creek, in Sec- 
tion 33. 'I'ownship 84, Range 26. It is very lioubtful if a more faith- 
ful discharge of duties, in any two years of official work, can be 
found in any other county of the state. As elected in 1849, the board 
consisted of Jesse Hull, John Boyles and Jonathan Boles. At the 
end of one year the official term of Jonathan Boles expired and at 
the election on the first Monday in August, 1850, James Corbin was 
chosen his successor. These commissioners, and the faithful com- 
missioners' clerk, Reuben S. Clark, have left a good record behind 
them. It is a record of good and faithful work for which thcv 


received slight compensation. Although all of them have passed 
and gone, their memories still live in the official records they have 
left behind. 

Jesse Hull never missed a session of the board. He settled at 
Belle Point, five miles north of Madrid, in 1847. The first post- 
office in the county was kept in his house. From 1854 to 1864 he 
kept a station of the Western Stage Company. He passed away at 
his Belle Point home in 1874. 

John Boyles settled in what is now the north part of Worth Town- 
ship in 1848. Shortly after the close of his official term as county 
commissioner, he moved to the Pacific Coast, where he spent the 
remainder of his life. 

Jonathan Boles settled at Elk Rapids in 1848, where he and his 
brother, Adam Boles, built a mill on the Des Moines River, which 
was the first mill built in the county. Later he exchanged his inter- 
est in the mill for land in Marcy Township, where he spent the 
remainder of his life. 

James Corbin lived in what is now Yell Township, near the site 
of the Village of Centerville, when he was elected a member of the 
board of county commissioners. He was a man of more than ordi- 
nary intelligence and he possessed considerable local influence. 
Along in the '70s he moved to Kansas, where he passed the remainder 
of his life. 

Reuben S. Clark came from Indiana and settled in Boone 
County in 1847. ^e was a man of good ability and had acquired a 
good education. He began his official career in Boone County in 
1849, when he was elected commissioners' clerk. His two years' 
term in that office came to a close with the outgoing of the commis- 
sioner system. On the first Monday in August, 1851, he was elected 
treasurer and recorder of Boone County, to succeed John M. Crooks. 
So he passed from one office into another. At the close of this term 
of office he rested one year, but at the election of 1854 he was elected 
clerk of the District Court, and re-elected in 1856 and 1858, finishing 
his official career January i, 1861, making in all ten years of official 
life in Boone County. In 1868 he sold his farm and moved to Ray 
County, Missouri, where he became the owner of a fine farm and 
there departed this life some years ago. 

John M. Wane, who was elected clerk of the District Court in 
1849 and the pioneer in that office, came to Boone County in 1848 
and settled two miles south of where is now the City of Boone, where 
he made a beautiful farm. Before coming here he had been a printer 


in the office of the New York Tribune, and was well acquainted with 
Horace Greeley, whom he held in high esteem. Mr. Wane was well 
c]ualificd to fill the office to which he was elected, but there was little 
business to transact durinj^ his official term. There was but one ses- 
sion of the District Court wliilc he was in office and that was the first 
term of that court held in this county. Not being an office seeker, 
Mr. Wane never held another county office. He preferred to remain 
upon his farm and follow his chosen occupation. Here his life came 
to a close but a few years ago. He was held in high esteem by all 
his neighbors. 

John M. Crooks came from Indiana in April, 1846, and located 
a mile south of where the City of Boone now stands, on what has 
since been known as the Michael Myers farm. At the first election 
in 1849, he was chosen treasurer and recorder, which proves that he 
was held in high esteem by the voters of the county. Some time 
after the close of his official term he moved to the Pacific coast, 
where he spent the remainder of his life. 

Samuel H. Bowers moved to Boone County in 1848 and settled 
less than a mile due south of the site of the present hospital in Boone. 
He was a man Who had sufficiently impressed himself upon his fel- 
low citizens to induce them at the first election, in 1849, to select 
him for sherifif of the county. It does not appear that there was 
much business to transact in this office in that early time, but it does 
appear that Mr. Bowers had some other things in mind which he 
wished to bring to a successful termination. During his term of 
office he succeeded in getting a postoffice established at his house. 
This office was named Booneville. By this action he expected to 
secure the location of the county seat at Booneville, but when the 
time came for such location to be made he had the influence of the 
McCalls, Reuben S. Clark, Col. John Rose and others with which 
to contend, and in the shuffle of conflicting interests his hopes were 
defeated. Shortly after this Mr. Bowers was taken sick and died. 
He was the first of the original nine county officers to pass away. 

Thomas Sparks, who was elected county surveyor, at the organiz- 
ing election in 1849, was a native of the State of Pennsylvania and 
came to Boone County in 1846. After carefully looking the country 
over he located in what is now Worth Township. Mr. Sparks was 
a man of more than ordinary attainments. He was a practical book- 
keeper and he was often called upon by the other county officers for 
assistance in their official work. He understood the art of survey- 
ing, and when the tinie came to select one to fill the place Mr. Sparks 


was chosen county surveyor. He filled the office with marked ability, 
but he declined another term of office, preferring to use his time in 
improving his farm. Mr. Sparks was also a good educator and 
taught many terms of school in various parts of the county. He 
assisted numbers of the youths of the county in their private studies, 
which was of much benefit to them. When Mr. Sparks could no 
longer attend to the duties of the farm, he moved to Boone, where 
he died only a few years ago. He was the last of the pioneer officers 
of the county to pass away. 

Wesley C. Hull, who was elected prosecuting attorney at the 
organizing election, August 6, 1849, settled in Boone County in 1848. 
He was a man of considerable ability and he was an active worker 
in the beginning of the county organization. Mr. Hull built the 
house in which the first two terms of the District Court were held 
in this county. The first term was held in October, 1851, and at this 
term Wesley C. Hull was admitted to the bar. P. M. Casady and 
Barlow Granger, of Fort Des Moines, examined him as to his legal 
ability and made a favorable report to William McKay, the presid- 
ing judge, and it was then, "Ordered; That Wesley C. Hull be 
admitted as an attorney at law and solicitor in chancery in this 
court." Whereupon he appeared in court and took the oath required 
by law. Mr. Hull practiced but little, if any, in the county. About 
a year after his admission to the bar, he moved to Oregon and died 
there years ago. 

Of the two commissioners who located the county seat we can 
say but little. We can only say that David Sweem was a citizen of 
Marion County and of sufficient ability to be appointed a commis- 
sioner to locate the county seat of Boone County. That he came at 
the time appointed and discharged his duty faithfully and well. 
Of Mr. Scovell, we know at the time he was appointed locating com- 
missioner he was clerk of the District Court of Dallas County. He 
did not appear at the appointed time to discharge his duties, but 
had to be sent for. He came with the messenger and discharged his 
duty well. After his term of office in Dallas County expired, 
Mr. Scovell moved to the Pacific coast and permanently located 

Around the old county seat, located by these commissioners, and 
where the final work of the first officers of Boone County centered, 
there has gathered a sincere respect and a halo of sacredness, which 
commands the affections of the people of the county. 


Having given most of the official acts of the first board of county 
commissioners, it seemed appropriate to give a brief sketch of each 
member of tlic board, and the other county officers elected in 1849, 
as these men did the first work in shaping the business and laying the 
foundation upon which the government of the county has been 
built. Tt is but fitting that a sketch of their lives be given on the 
pages of the new history of Boone County. [Many of these men 
were known to the editor as well as to many others now living in 
the county.] 


We now come to that part of the organization of the county which 
was done under the direction of the county judges. Among the first 
official acts of Judge McCall were those relating to the settlement 
of the bills for surveying the county seat. 

September i, 1851, Thomas Sparks presented a bill against the 
County of Boone for the services of himself and assistants in laying 
off the Town of Boonesboro. The said bill being duly considered, 
the court allowed and ordered that each of the following named per- 
sons, as set forth by said bill, receive a warrant on the funds of said 
county, calling for the amount set opposite to their respective names, 
to wit: 

Thomas Sparks, for 5 days surveying $16.50 

William Ball, 2j4 days carrying a flag 2.25 

William Thomas, 3^ days driving stakes 3.25 

Solomon Webster, ^/i days carrying stakes 3.25 

James Corbin, 2^4 days carrying chain 2.25 

David Hamilton, 2^4 days carrying chain 2.25 

George W. Lacy, i day carrying a flag i.oo 

Total . . $30.75 

The following statement will show that with even the small 
expense of the county at that early day, the receipts in taxes were 
not sufficient to pay them: ''July 5, 185 1, after examination it is 
found that the receipts and expenditures of the respective years since 
the organization of the county have been as follows, to wit: 
Amount of available tax for the year ending June 30, 1850. . .$ 64.00 
Amount of expenditures for the year ending June 30, 1850. . 77.92 

Indebtedness of county 13-92 

Amount of available tax for the year ending June 30, 1851 . . 170. '^3 
Amount of expenditures for the year ending June 30, 1851... 340.01 

Indebtedness of county 169.68 



Amount of tax for the year ending June 30. 1852 421.S2 

Amount of expenditure for the year ending June 30, 1852. . . 391.84 

Amount due county officers 169.68 

Indebtedness of 1850 '3-32 

Indebtedness of 1851 169.68 

Total indebtedness 744-52 

Tax deducted 421.82 

Net indebtedness 322.70 

S. B. McC.ALL. County Judge." 

Up to July, 18153, there were two separate and distinct county 
funds, one arising from taxation, the other from the sale of lots. 
Certain obligations were payable out of the lot fund and such fund 
could be used only for such purposes. These funds were up to this 
time kept strictly separate, but by an order of the court, issued at 
this time, it became possible to use the two funds alike for all county 
purposes. The order was as follows: 

"Ordered : That the Lot Fund shall be used as part of the county 
fund proper, in common with tlie fund arising from taxation, for 
county purposes and that it be accounted available to defray the 
ordinary expenses of the Cf)unty." 

The following report shows the Hiiancial condition of the county 
July 4, 1 854, which is a very interesting report: 
"Expenditures of F^oone County for the year ending July 31, 

1854 $i456.7> 

Indebtedness July 1 , 1 853 634.89 

rotal 2091.60 

Receipts for years i8£;3 and 18154 1758.49 

Net indebtedness 333. 1 1 


Value of lots sold to July 1, 1854 $3365.20 

Notes on hand July i, i8i;4 1494.73 

Cash 1 870.47 

Paid into county fund $ 968.52 

Expense in 1853 51 5- 12 

Expense in 1854 341-57 

Balance due Lot Fund 45.26 

Totals 1870.47 

Notes on hand 1494.79" 


The foregoing statement shows that the expenses of the county 
up to July I, 1854, exceeded the amount of cash on hand by $287.85. 
Yet at the same time the county had on hand good notes to the amount 
of $1,494.73. Tlliis would leave the county out of debt, with avail- 
able means on hand of $1,206.88. This was a good financial showing 
of county management. The population of the county at that date, 
July I, 1854, was 1,678. In 1849 the population was only 419. In 
1850 it was 739. In 1851 it was 890. In 1852 it was 1,024, while 
in 1854 it had increased, as stated, to 1,678. In 1856 it was 3,518, in 
1859 it was 4,018, and in i860 it was 4,232. 

One of the prominent things in the history of the organization 
of the county was the holding of the first session of the District Court 
in this county. It convened October 6, 1851. As has already been 
stated the board of county commissioners in July, 185 1, entered into 
a contract with W. C. Hull, by which the latter was to provide a 
suitable room in which the sessions of the District Court were to be 
held. Although the people were peaceable, good natured and indus- 
trious, yet they seemed to want the court to hold its sessions at their 
county seat the same as in the other counties of the state. 

Honorable William McKay, judge of the Fifth Judicial District 
of the state at that time, was the presiding judge. W. C. Hull had 
erected a double log house and in the south room of this house the 
court convened. 

At the August election, held on the first Monday of that month, 
James Lacy was elected sheriff, to succeed Samuel H. Bowers. The 
following record is very interesting: "Now comes James W. Lacy, 
sheriff of Boone County, and returned unto the court the service 
heretofore issued for grand jurors, and the following named persons 
being called, came, to wit: Jefferson Hoffman, James M. Carson, 
William Dickers(jn, Solomon Smith, James Hull, Amos Rose, S. Z. 
Tomlinson, and William Enfield. It appearing that the legal number 
of grand jurors summoned have not appeared, the following named 
persons were selected from the bystanders: D. F. Hamilton, David 
Noah, William Ball, William Thomas, W. D. Parker, G. W. Payne, 
and S. Godfrey. The court having appointed S. Z. Tomlinson fore- 
man, they were duly impaneled, sworn, and, after receiving instruc- 
tions from the court, retired in charge of James Corbin, a sworn 
bailiff, to inquire of such things as might come to their knowledge. 
It appearing to the court that no legal prosecuting attorney had been 
elected, the court appointed Madison Young to act as such during 
this term." 


The above named fifteen grand jurors constituted the first grand 
jury impaneled and sworn in Boone County- This makes it the most 
historic one of the county and entitles its members to prominent 
mention on the pages of the history of the county. 

It appears there were thirteen cases came up for trial at this first 
term of court. Three of these were suits for debt, one entry and 
detainer, four recognizances, and one appeal. 

During this term the grand jury returned two indictments. One 
was against Lewis Jewett, for murder, and the other against Hiram 
Mitchell, for passing counterfeit money. It seems that Mitchell was 
unable to give bail and was ordered committed. There being at that 
time no jail in Boone County, he was sent to Polk County for safe 

The finding of the grand jury in the Jewett case is as follows: 
"Now comes the grand jury, presents an indictment against Lewis 
Jewett for murder." This was the first indictment for murder ever 
placed upon the records in Boone County. The murdered man was 
Jacob Pea, a son of John Pea, one of the noted pioneers of Boone 

It is stated that they were both suitors for the afifections of the 
same woman and from this a quarrel arose, which brought on an 
encounter between them, in^which Jewett stabbed Pea, inflicting a 
wound from which he died. This murder took place about a year 
before the indictment by the grand jury. Jewett had been arrested 
and placed under bond, his sureties being David Jewett, an uncle, 
and Addison Michall. 

The title of this case and the orders of the court are as follows: 



"Now comes Madison Young, who prosecutes for the state, and 
Lewis Jewett, having been three times solemnly called, comes not, 
but makes default. It is therefore ordered that a scire facias issue 
against one David L. Jewett and Addison Michall, his sureties, 
returnable at the ne.xt term of court to show cause why the recog- 
nizance herein be not forfeited and judgment entered thereon 
against them." 

At the ne.xt term of court, in t8;;3, the bail bond was declared 
forfeited and judgment rendered against the sureties for $500. D. O. 
Finch, the attorney for the sureties, filed a motion to set aside the 
judgment. The court sustained the motion and the case was con- 


tinued until next term of court. In 1854 the case came up again, 
and the defendants, by their attorney, D. O. Finch, filed a demurrer 
to the scire facias. The demurrer was sustained and this ended the 

Jewett, on giving bond, fled for parts unknown, and was never 
seen in this county again. The woman over whom the trouble 
originated married another man and died but a few years ago in 
this county. 

The appeal case, which came up at this first term of court ever 
held in Boone County, had been tried before John Rose, who was 
justice of the peace for Boone Township. It was, in fact, a very 
historic case for several reasons. It was the first case ever tried in 
the county before a justice of the peace. It was also heard and 
passed upon by a jury of six men, which was the first trial jury in 
the history of the county. The title of this case and the names of 
those six jurors should not, and must not, be passed over. The title 
was, David Noah vs. Lewis Kinney. 

The suit was brought for the payment of a promissory note for 
fifteen dollars. The names of the jurors were: Montgomery McCall, 
foreman; Michael Myers, John Pea, William Thomas, J. B. Hamil- 
ton, and John Houser. The jury found for the plaintifif, and their 
finding was confirmed in the District Court. 

At this first term of court John Dalander and A. P. Anderson 
were declared citizens of the United States. The court transacted 
all of the business before it in two days, and adjourned. It would 
seem that this court spent little time on preliminaries. 

The first person to apply to the county for support was an aged 
widow named Catharine Rule. This application was made before 
S. B. McCall, county judge. The 9th day of February, 1854, was 
the day set for hearing this application. At this hearing it developed 
that the applicant had a son who was amply able to support his 
mother, but who had neglected to do so. The court "ordered that 
the son shall himself give her such relief as shall prevent her from 
becoming a public charge." This was a very good and correct order, 
and it reflected much honor upon the sense of the court. 

The court room prepared by W. C. Hull proved to be inadequate 
for a court room. It does not appear that more than one term of 
court was ever held in this room, and that was the first term. A 
schoolhouse had been built in the southwest part of Boonesboro, and 
for about three years the sessions of the court were held in this school- 
house. The house built by W. C. Hull, in which the first term of 


court was held, stood directly across the street east from where the 
present courthouse stands. 


The year 1851 brought forcibly before tiie people of the county, 
and particularly before the county officers, the cjuestion of the build- 
ing of a courthouse by the county. So pressing did the necessity 
seein to be that the lot on the corner of Third and Fremont Streets, 
in Boonesboro, was set apart as a site for the building. 

In the spring of 1856 a contract was entered into by and between 
County Judge J. B. Montgomery, Jeremiah E. Black and Thomas 
Benton Beazell for building the courthouse, the first one erected in 
Boone County. The contractors named commenced work early in 
the summer of 1856. Tiie building was to be a two-story frame 
structure, about thirty by si.xty feet in size. The lower story was to 
be linishcd off as a court room and the upper story was to be divided 
into rooms for county offices. The building was completed and ready 
f(jr use about September 1, i8t;7. It stood on the corner where the 
Mallary drug store is now situated. The folhjwin^ orders will 
show what this courtliouse cost the county. 

August 8, 1856. "Ordered: That the county treasurer of Boone 
C(junty pay to Jeremiah E. Black and Thomas Benton Beazell the 
sum of $8()() out of the county funds as the Hrst payment toward the 
building of a county courthouse, and rooms for the county officers." 

December 5, 1856. "Ordered: That Thomas Benton Beazell 
receive a county warrant calling for $206.69 f"r work done on tiie 

December 31, 1856. "Ordered: That Thomas Benton Beazell, 
receive a county warrant for $680.30, due him for work done on the 
courthouse." Besides the above, there were allowed smaller sums 
up to the time of the completion of the building amounting to $i;o^. 
All these sums, with the addition of sixteen dollars for putting in 
two extra windows, brought tiie total cost of the building, when 
completed, up to $2,207.99. 

The people were proud of this, tiicir first courthouse, not only 
because of the need of it for handling the business of the county, but 
because it afforded them a place for hcjlding all manner of meetings 
of the people. It is within the memory of many still living that 
numerous political meetings, revival meetings, and other religious 
services, and mass meetings, were held in the court room of this 


building. Here political speeches were made by Senator A. C. 
Dodge, Senator James Harlan, Brick Pomeroy, Congressman Van 
Dever, D. O. Finch, Col. John Scott, Enoch Eastman, John F. Dun- 
comb and many others. 

At the time this pioneer courthouse was completed the population 
of Boone County was 3,700. When the second courthouse was built 
the old one \yas converted into a dry goods store. Not long after- 
wards the house and store were consumed by lire, and this marked 
the destruction of the pioneer courthouse of Boone County. Judge 
C. J. McFarland, Judge John Porter, and Judge D. D. Chase all held 
court in this house. 

It was also here, at the term of court in the spring of 1859, that 
William P. Hepburn appeared as district attorney. The law creat- 
ing that office passed the Legislature March 22, 1858. Mr. Hepburn 
was elected in October of that year. He then lived at Marshall- 
town. The members of the Boone County bar at that time were: 
John A. Hull, C. Beal, N. W. Dennisson, C. W. Williams, I. J. 
Mitchell, and Charles Pomeroy. 

Having now followed the trend of county organization up to the 
erection of the first courthouse, it will be necessary to give an outline 
of the various changes in the townships of the county up to their 
present boundaries. The Des Moines River is the west boundary 
of all of the townships on the east side of that river and the east 
boundary of all those on the west side, as they were finally established 
in 1871. The river comes into the county at the center of section 
3, township 85, range 27, makes its many crooks and turns and passes 
out of the county through the center of section 34, township 82, range 
26. Its trend is from northwest to southeast, the place of its exit 
being six miles east of its place of entry. It comes nearer dividing 
Boone County into two equal halves than any other county of the 
state through which it runs. As divided by the river the west side 
has a little more territory than the east side. 

As already stated the county was originally divided into three 
townships, for election purposes, in 1849. They we're named 
Pleasant, Boone, and Boone River Townships. Pleasant Township 
contained the south one-third of the county. Boone Township con- 
tained the central one-third, and Boone River Township the north 
one-third of the county. These three townships remained unchanged 
from August 6, 1849, to March 8, 1852, a period of nearly four years. 
On the latter date there were five changes made by Judge Samuel 
B. McCall, then county judge of Boone County. The first of these 


changes was as follows: "Ordered: That for the convenience of the 
inliabitants, and for election purposes, tlie following described pre- 
cinct is created, to be called Berry Township, of Boone County, Iowa, 
to wit: Commencing on the section line dividing sections 7 and 18, 
township 83, range 26, at the Des Moines River, thence west on said 
section line to the west boundary of the county, thence south on said 
boundary line to the southwest corner of Boone County, thence east 
to the Des Moines River, thence up said river to place of beginning. 
Said township to be organized at the April election, to be held 
April 5, 1H52. This 8th day of March, 1852. 

. S. B. McCall, 

County Judge." 

Tiiis township was named in honor of Captain William P. Berry^ 
a prominent citizen afid noted hunter of that part of tiie county. 

The boundaries of Berry Township contained the territory now 
included in the Townships of Cass, Peoples and Union, and the 
south two-thirds of Marcy and Beaver Townships. 

This made it much more convenient for voting and transacting 
township business for the people in the southwest part of the county. 
In the organization of Berry Township, Pleasant Township lost 
over one-half of its territory, though it still contained all of the 
territory now included in the Fownships of Douglas, Garden, and 
the south one-third of Colfax and Worth Townships. 

On the 8th of March, 1852, Boone Township was changed as 
follows: "Ordered: That the boundaries of Boone Township be 
changed as follows: Commencing at the east boundary line of said 
county, at the southeast corner of section 1, township 84, range 2 c;, 
thence running west to the Des Moines River, thence down said 
river to where it crosses the section line dividing sections 26 and 35, 
in township 84, range 25, thence running due west to the west 
boundary line of said county, thence south along said west boundary 
line to the southwest corner of section 7, township 8:5, range 28, 
thence due east to the Des Moines River, thence down said river to 
the southwest corner of section 21, township 83, range 26, thence due 
east along the section line to the east line of said county, thence north 
to the place of beginning. This 8th day of March, i8!;2. 

S. B. McCall. 

County Judge." 
This order gave Boone Township a very singular shape; in fact, 
a very ludicrous shape. On the east side of the river it contained all 
of the territory comprised in the present Townships of Des Moines 


and Jackson, except the north tier of sections, and the north two- 
thirds of the present 7^)wnships of Colfax and Worth. On the west 
side it had a strip three miles wide extendinjf to the west line of the 
county. Perhaps there was never a township laid out with such a 
peculiar shape. 

The following is the order creating the Township of Dodge: 
"Ordered : That the township heretofore known as Boone River 
Township, Boone County, Iowa, be henceforth called Dodge Town- 
ship, of the same county, to wit: Commencing at the northeast corner 
of Boone County, thence west to the Des Moines River, thence down 
said river to the southwest corner of section 6, township 84, range 26, 
thence east, on the section line, to the east line of said county, thence 
north to the place of beginning, to be considered a new township, but 
name and boundaries as established this 8th day of March, 1852. 

S. B. McCall, 

County Judge." 

With the establishment of Dodge Township, Boone River Town- 
ship, one of the three original townships organized in 1849, ceased 
to exist and passed from the map of Boone County. This new town- 
ship was named in honor of Senator A. C. Dodge, of Iowa. It 
contained all of the territory now included in the present Townships 
of Dodge and Harrison, and the north tier of sections of the present 
Townships of Des Moines and Jackson. 

The last of the orders of March 8, 1852, follows: "Ordered, That 
for the convenience of the inhabitants, and election and municipal 
purposes, the following described new precinct is created, to be 
called Yell Township, Boone County, Iowa: Commencing on the 
north boundary line of said county, at the Des Moines River, thence 
west along the north boundary line to the northwest corner of said 
county, thence south to the southwest corner of section 30, township 
84, range 28, thence east along said section line to the Des Moines 
River, thence up said river to the place of beginning. Said township 
to be organized at the election to be held at the house of Solomon 
Smith at Badger Point, in said township, on Monday, April q, 1852. 
This 8th day of March, 1852. 

8. B. McCall, 

County Judge." 

This township was named in honor of Colonel Yell, of Arkansas,, 
who fell at the head of his regiment at the Battle of Buena Vista. 
It contained what is now included in the present Townships of Yell, 
Pilot Mound, Grant, and Amaqua. There were no more changes: 

120 iiis'i'oRN' ()!•■ i;(K).\'K cou^■T^■ 

ol tlic towiisliips of Bdoiic Ci)unt\ until February 21, 1856, a period 
oi nearly four years. 

In the southwest part of the county, clustering around Buffalo 
Grove, there were a number of early settlers who wished to have a 
township of their own, so that they nii^ht erect a schoolhouse in 
which to begin the education of their children. These settlers peti- 
tioned the countv for the creation of a new township and obtained 
favorable action from County judge John B. Montgomery, who, in 
i8f;4, had succeeded judge McC'all in that office. 

The order creating the new township was as follows: "Ordered, 
That ail of Boone County now included in. Berry Township, which 
lies west of tiie section line between sections 16 and 17, township 83, 
range 27, be stricken off' from Berry Townsliip and formed into a 
new one, to be called Union Township. Said new township to be 
bounded as follows: Commencing at the northeast corner of section 
17, township 83, range 27, thence to the west line of Boone County, 
thence south along said countv line to the southwest corner of said 
countv, thence east on said countv line to the southeast corner of 
section ^2, township S2, range 27, thence north along section line to 
place of beginning. This 21st dav of February, 1856. 

JOHX B. Montgomery, 

County Judge." 

Union Township, as above laid out, contained all the territory 
now within its present boundaries and two tiers of sections off the 
west side of the present Township of Peoples, and the south two- 
thirds of Beaver Township. Judge Montgomery named this town- 
ship Union by reason i^i the unanimity of the settlers around Buffalo 
drove demanding a new township. 

Jackson Township was created by judge Montgomery in 18157, 
at the urgent re(]uest of the settlers along the belt of timber of Squaw 
Creek. The request of these settlers was both sensible and reason- 
able. It was named in honor of (ieneral Andrew Jackson, but at 
whose request it was so named we find no record. Union and Jack- 
son were the only townships in the county laid out by the official acts 
of judge Montgomery during his first official term of the three 
years of 1855, 1856 and i8:;7. 

Pilot Mound Township was organized in September, i8i;8, bv 
judge S. B. McCall, who had succeeded judge Montgomery in that 
office. 'I'his township took its name from the remarkable mound 
within its boundaries, which has attracted the attention of all persons 
passing near it. Pilot Mound Township was cut off the north end 


of Yell Township, and as originally laid out, it contained also the 
territory now comprising Grant Township. 

The next change of townships, both in name and in boundaries, 
came March 6, 1858. These were the last official acts of this kind 
made by Judge McCall and the last made under the county judge 
system. The names of the townships given in the last five official 
orders are still the same, though the boundaries were afterward 
changed slightly. 

The order establishing Des Moines Township follows : "Ordered , 
That all that portion of Boone County, included in the following 
boundaries, to wit: Commencing at the northeast corner of section 
6, township 84, range 25, thence running west along the township 
line to the Des Moines River, thence down said river to a point 
where the section line dividing sections 7 and 18, township 83, range 
26, crosses said river, thence running east on the said line to the 
southeast corner of section 8, township 83 range 25, thence north on 
the section line dividing sections 8 and 9 to the northeast corner of 
section 20, township 84, range 25, thence west one mile, thence due 
north to the place of beginning, be and the same is hereby erected 
into a township for election, judicial and revenue purposes, and 
designated as Des Moines Township, the same to take the place of 
Boone Township. March 6, 1858. 

S. B. McCall. 

County Judge." 

Old things pass away and new ones take their places. From the 
foregoing order it will be seen that, with the creation of Des Moines 
Township, Boone Township passed from the map of the county. 
Des Moines Township took its name from the river bordering it on 
the west. Then, as now, it contained the county seat of the county, 
making it the center of activity. 

The next township to be established and named was Worth Town- 
ship. The official order follows: 

"Ordered, That for the convenience of the inhabitants, and for 
judicial, revenue and municipal purposes, all that portion of Boone 
County within the following bounds, to wit: Commencing at the 
correct northeast corner of township 83, range 25, thence running 
west on the township line four miles, thence south on the line dividing 
sections 4 and 5, in said township, to the southwest corner of section 
9, thence west on the line dividing sections 8 and 17, in said township, 
to the Des Moines River, thence down said river to the southwest 
corner of section 4, township 84, range 26, thence due east to the 

Vol. 1—8 


southeast corner of section 2, township 82, range 26, thence north one 
mile, thence east to the east line of Boone County, thence north to 
the place of beginning; said township to be known as Worth Town- 
ship. March 6, 1858. 

S. B. McCall, 

County Judge." 

Worth Township was at that time ill shaped, and many cornered, 
but this was made necessary in order to satisfy groups of settlers 
located in various parts of its area. J'he township still retains the 
name given it by Judge McCall, but its present boundaries were 
established in 1871. Worth Township was named in honor of Gen- 
eral William J. Worth, a soldier of the war with Mexico. 

The order for the creation of Douglas Township, the third one 
of this date, follows: "Ordered, That for the convenience of the 
inhabitants, and for judicial and municipal purposes, the following 
new township be created and bounded as follows: Commencing at 
the northeast corner of township 82, range 2c;, thence west on said 
township line to the northeast corner of section 2, township 82, range 
26, thence south one mile, thence west to the Des Moines River, 
thence down said river to the south line of Boone County, thence 
due east on said line to the soutiieast corner of the countv, thence due 
north to the place of beginning, to be known as Douglas Township, 
Hor)ne County, Iowa. March 6, 1858. 

S. B. McCall, 

Countx Judge." 
Douglas Township, at the time of its creation, contained, in addi- 
tion to its own territory, that of the present Township of Garden. 
It was named in honor of Stephen A. Douglas, United States senator 
from the State of Illinois. He was a famous orator and one of the 
best debaters the nation has produced. With the erection of Douglas 
Township, the old Township of Pleasant, established in 1849, took 
its place among the things that were. It occupied a place on the 
map of the county for about nine years and was the last of the original 
three to be stricken ofif. 

The fourth township to be laid out on this date by Judge McCall 
was the Township of Cass. The official order for that purpose 
follows: "Ordered, That for the convenience of the inhabitants, and 
for election, judicial, revenue, and municipal purposes, the following 
described new township be created to-wit: Commencing at the 
southwest corner of section 33, township 82, range 27, thence running 
north on the section line six miles to the township line dividing town- 


ships 82 and 83, thence east along said township line to intersect the 
Des Moines River, south along Des Moines River until it intersects 
the south houndary line of Boone County, thence west along said 
boundary line to the place of beginning. Said township to be known 
as Cass Township, Boone County, Iowa, and that the same be or- 
ganized at an election to be held in said township on the fifth day of 
April, 1858. March 6, 1858. 

S. B. McCall, 

County Judge." 

With the creation of Cass Township, the township of Berry 
passed from the map of the county, to be seen and known no more 
except in memory. Berry Township lived but four years. During 
that short period its population increased and many acres of land 
were put under cultivation. 

At the time of its creation Cass Township contained the territory 
included in its present boundaries and the east two-thirds of Peoples 
Township. It was reduced to its present boundaries in 1871. Cass 
Township was named in honor of Gen. Lewis Cass, who held 
many official positions, among which were secretary of war during 
Jackson's administration. United States senator from Michigan, and 
secretary of state under President Buchanan. 

The last of the townships to be created under the date of March 
6, 1858, and the last one to be laid out by Judge McCall, was the 
Township of Marcy. The official order was as follows: "Ordered, 
That for the convenience of the inhabitants, and for election, revenue, 
judicial and municipal purposes, the foUowmg described new town- 
ship be created: Commencing at the northwest corner of section 31, 
township 84, range 28, thence on the county line to the southwest 
corner of township 83, range 28, thence east along said township line 
to the Des Moines River, thence up the channel of said river to a 
point where the section line dividing sections 26 and 35, township 
84, range 27, crosses the same, thence west along said line to the place 
of beginning; said township to be known and designated as Marcy 
Township and to be organized at an election to be held in said town- 
ship on the 5th day of April, 1858. March 6, i8i;8. 

8. B. McCall, 

County Judge." 

Marcy Township was named in honor of William L. Marcy, who 
was United States senator, from the State of New York, was secretary 
of war under President Polk and secretary of state under President 
Pierce. In addition to its present boundaries, Marcy Township, at 


the time of its creation, contained all of the territory now included 
in Beaver Township. 

It was reduced to its present boundaries in 1871. The naming of 
and giving the first boundaries to Marcy Township was the last offi- 
cial act under the county judge system. Marcy made ten townships 
then legally established in Boone County. 

On the 22nd dav of March, i86n, a law passed the Legislature 
relieving the county judges of the power and duties of transacting 
countv business and transferred those powers and duties to a board 
of supervisors, consisting of one member for each legally organized 
township, to be elected by the legal voters of such township. The 
first board of supervisors, under this law, was elected in November, 
i860, and their terms of office commenced January i, i86r. The 
county judge system, with the power to transact county business, was 
in existence from r8c;i, a period of ten years. During this time only 
two men held this office. S. B. McCall held it from 1851 to i8i;4. 
J. B. Montgomery held it from 1854 to 1857. ^- ^ McCall from 
1857 to 1859, and J. B. Montgomery from 1859 to 1863. 

S. B. McCall laid out and named eight of the townships now on 
the map of the county, as follows: Dodge, Des Moines, Worth, 
Douglas, Cass, Marcy, Yell, and Pilot Mound Townships. He also 
laid out and named four townships which have passed from the map 
of the county. These were: Pleasant, Boone, Boone River, and Berrv 
Townships. J. B. M(jntgomery laid out and named two townships 
which arc still on the map of the countv. These are Union and 
Jackson 'I'owiiships. It was also under his official supervision that 
the first courthouse in the county was built. Samuel B. McCall 
did more official work in the organization of Boone County than any 
other man. Next to him, in this regard, comes John B. Montgomery. 

Samuel B. McCall was born in the State of Indiana. He moved 
to Dallas County, Iowa, in 1846, and to Boone Countv in 1847, two 
years before the county was organized. He was the first man to 
act in an official capacity in the county, acting as organizing sheriff, 
as already stated. He was elected county judge in i8i;i, and re- 
elected in 1853. In 1 854 lie was elected a member of the Legislature 
by the voters of Boone, Story, Green and other counties. In i8q7 
he was again elected county judge. In 1861 he entered the service 
of the Union in the Civil war as captain of Company E, Third 
Regiment, Iowa Volunteers, where he served three years. He re- 
turned to Boonesboro, wiiere he lived until about 1870, when he went 


west. For about sixteen years he held a position in the Soldiers' 
Home at Santa Monica, California, where he died March 5, 191 1. 

John B. Montgomery moved to Boone County in 1851, being 
the first Methodist Episcopal minister to permanently locate in 
Boone County. In 1854 he was elected county judge to fill a vacancy 
of one year, caused by the resignation of Samuel B. McCall, who, as 
before stated, had been elected to the Legislature. Rev. Montgomery 
was elected for a full term as county judge in 1855, reelected in 1859, 
and again in 1861, his final term expiring January i, 1863. He con- 
tinued to reside in Boonesboro up to the time of his death, which 
occurred late in the '70s. 

The names of the first board of supervisors elected under the act 
of March 22, i860, were as follows: Almond Stinson, of Dodge 
Township; Hiram Bennett, of Des Moines Township; Charles 
Weston, of Jackson Township ; Thomas Sparks, of Worth Township ; 
C. J. Cassel, of Douglas Township; J. O. Harris, of Cass Township; 
Peter Mower, of Union Township; W. H. C. Jenkins, of Marcy 
Township; Wesley Williams, of Yell Township, and Peter Shaffer, 
of Pilot Mound Township. This first board of supervisors met for 
the first time January i, 1861. It was one of the most representative 
boards Boone County ever had. This system continued for ten years, 
or from 1861 to 1871. There were no changes in the boundaries of 
the townships during this period of ten years. The board of super- 
visors consisted of ten members in 1861, and went out of existence in 
1871, with the same number. It did much work during that time. 


In 1864 and 1865 the Northwestern Railroad was built through 
Boone County. The citizens of Boonesboro failed to comply with 
the requirements of the railroad company, and the result was that 
the road ran down Honey Creek to the Des Moines River, thus 
leaving Boonesboro out in the cold. This caused great excitement 
in Boonesboro, and the friends of the town throughout the county 
listened to their wails with feelings of sympathy. Although the first 
courthouse had only been built eight years, the people of Boonesboro 
at this early date wanted a new courthouse built on the public square. 
The railroad company had laid out the Town of Boone, a mile and 
a half east of Boonesboro, and the people of the latter town became 
very uneasy lest the new town should in some way secure the removal 
of the county seat. As the leading men of Boonesboro had influence 


with the voters of the county, they circulated a petition, and placed it 
before the board of supervisors asking for a special election to vote 
a tax to build a courthouse on the public square in Boonesboro, at a 
cost not to exceed $5(),0()(:). If this could be done they felt sure that 
Boonesboro would continue to be the county seat for many years. 
This special election was held on the first Monday in April, 1865. 
But contrary to their hopes the proposition lost out, there being 828 
votes cast, with 384 for it and 444 against it. This defeat did not 
deter the leading citizens of Boonesboro, for with them it was a 
vital question. 

On the 6th of September, of the same year, they placed before the 
board of supervisors another proposition for the people to vote upon 
at the October election. This time there were 1,181 votes cast, of 
which 713 were for the proposition and 471 against it. There was 
great rejoicing in Boonesboro over this result. The new courthouse 
was assured, and when built on the public square Boonesboro would 
continue to be the center of business, regardless of any rival town 
which the railroad might build up. This was the conclusion at 
which thcv had arrived and the basis upon which their efforts rested. 

The board of supervisors built the new courthouse in accordance 
with the vote of the people of the county, completing it in 1868. The 
Des Moines Register of December 23, 1868, said : "Boone County has 
just completed one of the finest courthouses in the state, at a cost of 
$38,000, a special tax having been levied for that purpose." 

The Legislature of 1870 passed a law which reduced the board 
of supervisors to a number not less than three, nor more than seven, 
based upon the population of the counties of the state. The first 
board in Boone County, under the new law, was elected in October, 
1870, and commenced the discharge of its official duties on the first 
Monday in January, 1871. There were three members on the new 
board, their names being, S. R. Page, Levi Colvin and Z. J. Vontrees. 
At the first meeting of this board seven new townships were named 
and established. These were as follows: Harrison Township was 
taken ofif the north end of Jackson Township and named in honor of 
Cieneral William H. Harrison, the hero of Tippecanoe, a prominent 
officer in the War of r8r2 and who was elected President of the 
United States in 1840. 

Colfax Township was taken oflf the east side of Worth Township 
and named in honor of Schuyler Colfax, a prominent statesman of 
Indiana, and at that time vice president of the United States. Z. J. 
Vontrees, a member of the board, desired to name this new township 


Croy, in honor of Samuel A. Croy, one of its first settlers, but that 
gentleman objected to this and proposed that it be named Colfax, 
to which the board consented. 

Garden Township was taken ofif the east side of Douglas Town- 
ship, and was named Garden because of the fertility of its soil, the 
beauty of its surface and the high estimation placed upon it by those 
who made it their home. 

Peoples Township was taken ofif the west side of Cass Township 
and the east side of Union Township and named in honor of David 
Peoples, the first permanent settler within its boundaries. Mr. 
Peoples was a very exemplary citizen and he was the only settler in 
the county after whom any permanent township of the county was 

Beaver Township was taken ofif the west side of Marcy Township 
and took its name from Beaver Creek, which runs through it from 
north to south. 

Amaqua Township was taken ofif the west side of Yell Township 
and Amaqua, the Indian name for Beaver, was given to it. Beaver 
Creek runs also through this township. 

Grant Township was taken ofi the west side of Pilot Mound 
Township. It was named in honor of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who 
at the time was President of the United States. 

This action of the board in 1871 completed and made permanent 
the present seventeen townships of the County of Boone, thus com- 
pleting its township organization. The population of the county at 
this time was 14,581. 



The first governing body established to control the affairs of 
counties in Iowa was the Commissioners' Court, adopted as early as 
the period when this great state was a part and parcel of Wisconsin 
Territory. When Boone County was created, provisions were made 
in the organizing act for the election of a board of three commis- 
sioners, the jurisdiction of which was almost without limitation under 
the law. But the system was time worn and the county had barely 
gotten started on its way when it became apparent the days of the 
Commissioners' Court in Iowa were numbered. Throughout the 
state dissatisfaction arose with the methods of the commissioners in 
conducting county affairs and the office was the subject of much un- 
favorable criticism in various bailiwicks of the commonwealth. The 
Boone County commissioners had no place in the controversy, how- 
ever, as their incumbency was of short, but satisfactory duration. In 
1 85 1 the Commissioners' Court was abolished by law and by an act 
of the Legislature 


system was substituted therefor. This court was given equal power 
to that of its predecessor in all matters of the county, and coordinate 
jurisdiction with justices of the peace. 

Ten years' trial of the County Court seem to have been sufficient 
for the people to determine that the best means of running the affairs 
of the county had not been adopted. It was far from being satis- 
factory. Many of the early ta.xpayers claimed that the judge of the 
court had altogether too much power and that the general interests 
of the communty were continually imperiled. Then the township, or 


came to the fore by legislative enactment, and in 1861 the first board 
of township supervisors was inducted into office, each township being 



represented by one member. This plan prevailed until 1870, when 
again the system was changed bv an act of the General Assembly, 
which made it optional witli the people whether they elect three or 
five members to compose the board of supervisors, provided for in 
the previous year. Bomic chose to have a board of three members 
and that has been its strengtli m numbers from that dav to the present 

When the county was organized tlie offices created by the Legis- 
lature for county government consisted of the Commissioners' Court, 
commissioners' clerk, sheriff, surveyor, treasurer and recorder, coro- 
ner, inspector of weights and measures, prostcuting attornev, probate 
judge and clerk of the District Court. In i<S6t; the business of the 
District Court had become so great that a new tribunal was created 
and designated as the Circuit Court. This court exercised general 
jurisdiction concurrent with the District Court in all civil actions and 
special proceedings and cxclusixe jurisdiction in all appeals and 
writs of error t rom interior courts and had a general supervision 
thereof in all civil matters, it also had the power to correct and 
prevent abuses where no other remedv was provided. The Circuit 
Court also had original jurisdiction of all probate matters. Prior 
to the year 1869 the clerk was elected as clerk of the District Court. 
When the law went into effect establishing the Circuit Court, the 
official duties were circumscribed by both courts. On January i, 
I 887, the Circuit Court was abolished ; at the time of its establishment 
in 1869, however, the office of county auditor, or business agent, was 
instituted. These explanations are rendered so that the reacfer may 
consult the list of county officials, which follows, understandingly. 
As far as the records show, the name of every person who filled an 
office of the County of Boone is here given: 


i8(;o. Jesse Hull, John Bovles, fames Corbin; clerk, Reuben S. 


i8i;i, Samuel B. McCall; i8i;4, J. B. Montgomerv; i8s7, Samuel 
B. McCall; 1859, j. B. .Montgomery; 1865, S. B. Mitchell; 1867, 
M. M. King. 



With the establishment of the county judge system in t8i;i, it 
appears that the office of probate judge was discontinued. The first 
and only person to hold this office was David Hamilton, who was 
elected in 1849 ^"^ fulfilled the duties as probate judge until the office 
was abolished. 


1850, John M. Wane; 1852, J. K. Detrick; 1854-56-58, Reuben 
S. Clark; i860, James Chapman; 1866-68, H. R.Wilson; 1870-72-74, 
Philip Livingston; 1876-78, James Hazlett; 1880-82, J. J. Snell; 
1884-86, Robert J. Hopkins; 1888-90, John S. Friedly; 1892-94, S. L. 
Spurrier; 1896-98, E. Harner; 1900-02, J. H. Eade; 1904-06, Frank 
H. Johnson; 1908-10, Carl Fritz Henning; 1912, D. B. Ashenfelter. 


1850, Samuel H. Bowers; 1851, James W. Lacy; 1853-55, P- 
Chitwood; 1857-59, William Holmes; 1861, G. B. Redman; 1865-67- 

69-71, George Crooks; 1873, J- B. Hurlbert; 1875, Canfield; 

1877-79, S. S. Webb; 1881-83, S. S. Webb; 1885-87, Samuel P. Zenor; 
1889-91, J. B. Patterson; 1893, S. P. Zenor; 1895, H. C. DeFore; 
1897-99, George Garner; 1901-03, Willard Foster; 1906-08, George 
E. Hannum; 1910-12, John Reid, Jr. 


1850, John M. Crooks; 1851, Reuben S. Clark; 1853, L. J. Dunn; 
1855-57-59-61, C. W. Hamilton. 


1865, J. B. Hurlbert; 1867, George E. Jones; 1869, A. Downing; 

1871, J. R. Epperson; 1873, George E. Jones; 1875, Snell; 

1877, W. S. Colvin; 1879, J. T. S. Williams; 1881-83, Joseph G. 
Spurrier; 1885-87, Miles Becket; 1889-91, Duncan Grant; 1893-95, 
W. D. Moore; 1897, t" fiH vacancy, Bert M. Huntley; 1899, B^ M. 
Huntley; 1901-03, S. A. Bengston ; 1906, F. M. Lorenzen; 1908, A. 
Henderson; 1910-12, Theodore Duckworth. 



1868, A. J. Barklcy; 1870-72-74, J- F. Brett; 1876, Matt Webb; 
1878-82, C. A. Ebcrsoie; 1884-86, William Fisher; 1888-90, John L. 
Engstrom; 1892-94, (iustaf A. Holm; 1896-1901, C. C. Olson; 1904- 
06, J. S. Halliday; 1908, May F. Wells; 1910-12, Herbert C. Sayre. 


When the Circuit Court was created in 1869, the office, of county 
auditor, or business agent, was instituted. W. C. Harrah was then 
chosen and continued in office until 1873, when L. L. Sawyer was 
elected as his successor; 1875-77, J. A. Head; 1879-83, l'. S. Boyd; 
1885-87, John H. EversoU; 1889-92, F. E. Cutler; 1894-96, M. D. 
McCiregor; 1 898-1900, A. M. Burnside; 1902-04, Archie Patterson; 
1906-08, E. F. Jones; 1910-12, G. H. Getty. 


1850, Wesley C. Hull; 1851, Timothy Wilson; 1852, Lewis Kin- 
ney; 1854, James Corbin; 1856, V. R. L. Large. 

The office of district attorney was established about this time and 
the incumbent's jurisdiction extended throughout the judicial district 
in which he was elected. The records do not show that Boone 
County furnished a man tor this office. The General Assembly of 
1885-86 passed an act abolishing the office of district attorney and 
creating the office of county attorney, thereby confining the duties 
of the prosecutor to his own county. The county attorney under 
the act holds his office by tiie votes of the electorate of the county 
the same as any other officers. The first election in Boone County 
for county attorney was held in 1886. 


1886. J. R. Wiutaker; 1888, O. i\L Brockett; 1890-92, J. R. 
Whitaker; 1894-96, A. J. Holmes; 1898-1900, Charles L Sparks; 
1902-04, H. L. Ganoe; 1906-08, C. J. Cederquist; 1910-12, Frank 


Prior to the creation of the office of couiitv superintendent of 
schools, the office of school fund commissioner was maintained and 


the duties thereof consisted chiefly in the collection of moneys ob- 
tained from school lands and other resources provided for educational 
purposes and the disbursement thereof as the law directed. It does 
not appear from the records now on file in the county auditor's office 
that the office of school fund commissioner was filled in this county 
and the first record of a county superintendent of schools is of the 
election of 1859, when C. W. Williams was returned as county super- 
intendent of schools. The names of his successors follow in the order 
of their election: 1861, Levi'Emmerson; 1865, W. T. Harlan; 1867, 
H. Selby; 1869, A. E. Simons; 1871-73, T. P. Coin; 1875, T. A. 
Cutler; 1877, G. W. Lloyd; 1879-1881, J. H. Chambers; 1883-87, 
George W. Ashton; 1889-90, B. P. Hoist; 1890- 1903, R. V. Vene- 
man; 1903-1908, R. R. Cobb; 1910-12, Gracia E. Tucker. 


1850, Thomas Sparks; 1851, S. C. Wood; 1853, S. C. Wood; 
1857, S. C. Wood; 1 859- 1 865, L. Regan; 1867, J. B. Torbert; 1881- 
85, A. M. Mullinix; 1887, Curtis M. Kennedy; 1889, Ambrose 
Blythe; 1890, to fill vacancy, I. A. Worcester; 1891, I. A. Worcester; 
1892, to fill vacancy, G. W. Brown; 1893-1903, G. W. Brown; 1906- 
10, H. A. Chambers. 


1850, James Hull; 1851, James Turner; 1853, W. L. Pilcher; 
1855, James Lacy; 1857, Michael Myers; 1859, West Myers; 1861, 
Joseph Barnes; 1867, Lewis Davis; 1881-83, George Doran; 1885-91, 
D. N, DeTar; 1893, O. Clark; 1895, D. N. DeTar; 1896-97, Andrew 
White; 1899-1903, H. C. Ebersole; 1904-10, J. C. Walker; 1912, 
N. M. Whitehill. 

At the election of 1904 the question was before the electors to 
change the time of elections from yearly to biennally. The proposi- 
tion carried and those officials whose oflices would otherwise have 
expired in 1905 held over for one year. The first biennial election 
therefore was held in the fall of 1906, when a full list of county 
officials was elected. 


No legislative act has ever affected the interests of the people 
of the Des Moines Valley in so great a measure as the act known in 
history as the Des Moines River Land Grant; nor has any land grant 
made to the state for any purpose created so much excitement and 

In the first place it was a great mistake for any one to have sup- 
posed that the Des Moines River could have been made navigable by 
any process of improvement. The only excuse which can be offered 
is the fact that at, and preceding the date on which the grant was 
made, there was a greater volume of water in the river than there has 
been since that date. All the streams of an unimproved country 
contain a larger volume of water than they do after the country is 

The Des Moines River Land Grant was passed and became a law 
August 8, 1846. Just who it was that formulated this act is not 
generally known, but as the act was passed by Congress about four 
months before Iowa became a state, the grant must first have been 
proposed by A. C. Dodge, who was then the territorial delegate in 
Congress. Through his influence, most likely, it was placed before 
the committee on territories, of which Stephen A. Douglas was then 
chairman, and by him placed on its passage. 

The wording of this act was not sufficiently specific to prevent 
differences of opinion as to its meaning. The language of the act 
first says that the grant was made for the improvement of the naviga- 
tion of the Des Moines River, from its mouth to the Raccoon Fork; 
and then follows the language defining the grant to be "a moiety in 
alternate sections of the public lands (remaining unsold, and not 
otherwise disposed of, encumbered or appropriated), in a strip five 
miles in width on each side of the river to be selected within said 
territory, by an agent, or agents, appointed by the governor thereof, 
subject to the approval of the secretary of the treasury of the United 



If tlic lanj^Liage defining the grant had been as specific as that 
dcliniiig the extent of the improvement to be made, there would 
have been no trouble in defining its extent. The failure to fullv 
define the extent of the grant brought about different opinions and 
different rulings by officers who had to transact the business relating 
to the grant. 

On the 17th of October, 1846, a little over two months after the 
passing of this act, the commissioner of the general land oflice at 
Washington made a request of the governor of the territory that he 
ap[ioint an agent to select the land under the river grant, giving it 
as his opinion at the same time, that the g.rant extended only to the 
Raccoon Fork of the Dcs Moines River. This was the first official 
opinion as to the extent of the grant ever given. There is not much 
doubt that this opinion was sirictly in accord with the original intent 
of the grant. 

On the 17th of December the territorial authorities designated the 
odd numbered sections as the land selected under this soon to be 
vexatious grant. This selection included every odd section in five 
miles of the Des Moines River below the Raccoon Fork. 

I'his was the last act under the territorial government relating 
to the river land grant, for eleven days from the date of its passage 
the territory was admitted into the Union as a state, and the ter- 
ritorial officers stepped down and out, being succeeded bv the state 
officers. The state authorities accepted the selection made by the 
territorial agent, January 9, 1847, which was the first act done by 
the state authorities relating to the business of this grant, though not 
the last one by any means. 

On the 24th of the February following, the state created a board 
of public works and to it was assigned the work of construction and 
management of the river improvement, and the care, control, sale, 
disposal and management of the lands granted to the state by the act 
of 1846. 

This board was elected by a majority of the voters of the state at 
an election held on the first Monday in August, 1847. It consisted 
of a president, secretary and treasurer, each of whom took the oath 
of office on the 22nd day of September, 1847. The names of those 
on this board were: President, Hugh VV. Sample; secretary, Charles 
Corkery; treasurer, Paul Brattain. After filing their bonds and tak- 
ing the oath of office on tiic date above named they entered upon the 
discharge of their duties. 


On the 17th of February, 1848, the commissioner of the general 
land office, in an official communication to the secretary of the board 
of public works, gave it as the opinion of his office that the river land 
grant extended the whole length of the river within the state. This 
was the second opinion of this same officer, the last one being the 
exact opposite of the first. This ruling was the beginning of the 
confusion, misery and woe of this historic land grant. 

On the 19th of June, 1848, the President of the United States, 
without regard to these rulings, if he knew that such rulings existed, 
placed on the market, by proclamation, some of the lands above the 
Raccoon Fork. Here were the acts of two officials relating to the 
extent of the river land grant. This conflict of opinions led to a 
correspondence between the officers of the state and the United 
States, which resulted in the promulgation of an opinion of the secre- 
tary of the treasury of the United States, on March 2, 1849, to the 
effect that the grant extended to the source of the river. The secretary 
of the treasury, who rendered this opinion, was Hon. Robert J. 
Walker, in the last days of the administration of President Polk. 

By reason of this ruling, on the ist of the following June, the 
commissioner of the general land office directed the receivers of the 
local land offices to withhold from sale all the odd numbered sections 
within five miles of the river above the Raccoon Fork. 

Up to this time, March 2, 1849, four rulings or conclusions had 
been made and acted upon. As has already been stated the com- 
missioner of the general land office had decided first that the river 
land grant extended only to the Raccoon Fork; but in a subsequent 
ruling decided that the grant extended to the north line of the state. 
President Polk's proclamation of June 19, 1848, placing the odd 
sections north of the Raccoon Fork upon the market, shows that he 
did not think the grant extended above the fork. But the official 
opinion of his secretary of the treasury. Robert J. Walker, given 
March 2, 1849, to the effect that the grant extended to the north line 
of the state seems to have changed his views so much that his procla- 
mation was withdrawn and the sale of the odd sections above the 
Raccoon Fork by the government discontinued. 

The ruling was made by Gen. Thomas Ewing, who, under the 
new administration of President Taylor, was appointed to fill the 
office of secretary of the newly created department of the interior, 
to wiiich all matters pertaining to the public lands had been assigned 
by law. 


On the 6th of April, 1850, Mr. Ewing declined to recognize the 
grant as extending above the Raccoon Fork, without an explanatory 
act on the part of Congress. The state appealed from this ruling to 
President Tavlor. who turned to the matter over to Reverdy Johnson, 
his attorney general. Mr. Johnson decided that the grant extended 
to the north line of the state and that the ruling of Robert J. Walker, 
on the 2nd of March, 1849, was a final adjudication of the subject. 
This decision settled the question until the death of President Taylor, 
which occurred July 10, 1850. Mr. Fillmore, the vice president, was 
sworn in and a new cabinet was chosen. 

On the 29th of October, 1851, the question of the extent of the 
river land grant came up again. It was discussed by Fillmore's 
cabinet, \\ iiich decided to recognize the claim of the state, to approve 
the selection of the odd sections above the Raccoon Fork and to 
permit the state to go on with disposal of the lands without prejudice 
to their claimants. After this ruling the question of extent of the 
grant rested until 1860, of which more will be said further on in this 

Up to December, 1853, the state, through its board of public 
works, carried on the work of improving the river, and the sale of the 
lands included in the grant. A land office for the sale of these lands 
had in tiie meantime been established at Ottumwa, Iowa. 

On January 15, 1849, an act passed the Legislature to reorganize 
the board of public works, making their official terms three years 
instead of two, but the hrst term of the secretary was to be two years 
and that of the treasurer one year. This would bring about the elec- 
tion of one of tlie three members of the board every year instead of 
electing all three of them at one time. The election was held on the 
first Monday in August, 1849, and the following gentlemen were 
chosen: President, William Patterson; secretary, Jesse Williams; 
trcrasurer, (ieorge Gillaspy. 

The wording of this reorganizing act shows that the law makers 
of 1859 were not altogether satisfied with the doings of the board of 
public work for the preceding years. 

The next two years' experience with the reorganized board was 
little more satisfactory than that of the Hrst board. 'I'iie result was 
that in February, 1851, an act of the Legislature abolished the board 
of public works, and in lieu of it the offices of commissioner and 
register of the Des Moines River improvement were created and 
filled by appointment of the governor. The gentlemen appointed 
to fill the new oilices were: For commissioner, Ver Plank Van Ant- 


wert; register, George Gillaspy. The Legislature seems to have 
been very hard to please or else the men so far chosen were very 
unsatisfactory. At all events the Legislature of 1853 made a law 
providing that the commissioner and register should be elected by 
the voters of the state at an election to be held on the first Monday 
in April, 1853. The gentlemen elected were: For commissioner, 
Josiah H. Bonney; register, George Gillaspy. In 1855, William 
McKay was elected commissioner; in 1858, William C. Drake was 
elected, and in i860 the office was abolished. In 1855, John C. 
Lockwood was elected register, and in 1857 that office was abolished. 

The legislative act of 1853, providing for the electing of these 
officers, also empowered them to enter into a contract with some 
individual or company to complete the improvement of the river, 
and thus relieve the state of the prosecution of the work. To assist 
these officers in making and entering into a contract of this kind, 
Hon. George C. Wright, of Van Buren County, afterwards United 
States senator, and Uriah Biggs, of Wapello County, were chosen 
as assistants. These were the officers who entered into the historic 
contract, first with Henry O. Reiley, and then with the Des Moines 
Navigation and Railroad Company, to complete the work of the 
improvement of the river. 

For its services the navigation company was to have all the lands 
included in the original land grant not already disposed of by the 
state. This contract was made June 9, 1854. It was no doubt 
entered into with good intentions on the part of the state officers, but 
before the state got rid of the company it was woefully swindled. 
In fact, the whole river land business from start to finish was poorly 
managed by the state officers. 

The company took charge of the work of the river improvement 
on the date of their contract, and continued it until March 22, 1858, 
at which time disagreements and misunderstandings arose between 
the state and the company. 

Prior to the time of entering into the contract with the Des 
Moines Navigation & Railroad Company the state had sold 327,314 
acres of the river land grant, the proceeds of which were paid out 
for salaries, work and material furnished during the time the state 
board of public works had charge of the improvement. Of the 
amount of land above named, 48,830 acres were above the Raccoon 
Fork. These 327,314 acres of land were sold at $1.21; per acre, the 
proceeds amounting to $409, 142. It is a well settled fact that the state 
was never benefited a single dollar for all this outlay of money. That 


anv set of men sliouM fritter away such a sum of money without any 
visible results seems incredible. 

The Des Moines Navigation &: Railroad Company had charge 
of the improvement from June 9. 1H54, to March 22, 18^8, a period 
covering nearlv four years. During this time little progress was 
made on the work of the improvement, and it was this slow and 
dilatory progress that caused the disagreement between the company 
and the state. 

In pursuance of this contract the state on the 14th of May, 1S55, 
conveyed to this companv 88,8153 acres of the land grant, and again on 
the 6th of May, 18156, conveyed 116,636 acres more, making in the 
two conveyances 205,489 acres. At $1.25 an acre, this amounted to 
$2<;6,788. It is not to be wontfered at that the state should be dis- 
satisfied over the expenditure of this amount of money with nothing, 
or next to nothing, accomplished. 

On the 22nd day of March, 1858, a proposition for settlement was 
made by the state, by the terms of which the company was to execute 
to the state a full release of all contracts, agreements and claims 
against the state, including water rents and dredge boat and pav the 
state $20,000, the state agreeing to convey to the navigation companv 
all of the lands granted by Congress in the act approved August 8, 
1846, which, up to that time, had been approved and certified to the 
state by the general government, except such as had been sold. 

Although the state gave the company sixty davs in w hich to accept 
this proposition, it was accepted on the double quick, and the $20,000 
was paid. In pursuance of this settlement the state deeded to the 
navigation company 256,703 acres of land on the 3rd dav of Mav, 
1858, and again on the iSth of May, 1858, another patent was issued 
to the company by the state conveying 9,303 acres, making a total of 
266,108 acres. 

As already stated, 205,489 acres had been conveved to this com- 
pany on May 14, 1855, and May 6, 1856, and in these two convev- 
ances 266,108 acres more, making a total of lands received by this 
company from the state of 471,597 acres of land, which, at $1.25 an 
acre, amounted to $589,311. This settlement was one of the most 
colossal swindles or blunders which, up to that date, had taken place 
in the state. The navigation company seems to have iiad the Legisla- 
ture completely under its control. 

In this settlement the Des Moines Navigation & Railroad Com- 
pany claimed to have expended on the improvement from first to 
last $554,547.84. The state commissioner on examination of the work 


figured the amount expended at $274,542. A joint committee of the 
Legislature had also reported upon this expenditure, making it about 
the same as the state commissioner had figured it. These figures are 
given in the special message of Governor Ralph P. Lowe to the 
Legislature, dated February 16, 1858, only one month and six days 
before making the settlement with the company. The surprising 
part of this settlement is that the Legislature gave to the company 
lands amounting in cash to many thousands of dollars more than it 
claimed to have expended, as the figures given show. 

At the conclusion of this settlement all further thought of making 
the Des Moines River navigable was abandoned. By this time the 
people were completely disgusted with the navigation scheme and 
had turned their thoughts toward a railroad. 

March 22, 1858, an act passed the Legislature granting to the 
Keokuk, Fort Des Moines & Minnesota Railroad Company all 
the lands included in the River Land Grant not then sold by the 
state or pledged to the navigation company in the settlement just 
made. This grant was made to aid in the construction of a railroad 
from the mouth of the Des Moines River to the north line of the 
state, provided Congress would consent that the remainder of such 
lands should be used for that purpose. 

At'the fall election in 1858, the proposition to so divert the re- 
mainder of these lands from the original purpose of improving the 
navigation of the river, to the building of the railroad, was sub- 
mitted to the people of the state and a large majority voted in favor 
of it. After this decision of the people. Congress gave its consent 
that the remainder of the lands might be so diverted. 

As it afterwards developed the navigation company was really 
the Keokuk, Fort Des Moines & Minnesota Railroad Companv, and 
instead of improving the river it had been devoting a portion of its 
time to the building of the railroad which, at the time of the settle- 
ment, was completed from Keokuk to Benton's Port, a distance of 
about forty miles. 

Work on the railroad continued, and it was completed to Ot- 
tumwa early in the year i860. About this time another conflict of 
rulings took place in the land department at Washington. In 1859 
the Dubuque & Pacific Railroad Company claimed a part of the 
lands conveyed by the state to the navigation company, and a case 
entitled "Dubuque & Pacific Railroad Company vs. Litchfield" was 
tried in the Supreme Court in April, i860. 


The court decided that the original river land grant did not 
extend above the Raccoon Fork. This decision brought the sale 
of the "river land," as it was then called, and the further extension 
of the railroad, to a standstill. As a pacification to the settlers on a 
considerable portion of these lands, the commissioner of the general 
land office at Washington gave notice that none of the land would 
be sold by the Government until the matter was thoroughly con- 
sidered by Congress. 

On the 2d day of .Marcii, 1H61 (112 stat. 2151) Congress passed 
a joint resolution to quiet title to lands in the State of Iowa. This 
joint resolution was simply intended to confirm the title of all bona 
fide purchasers claiming title of these lands above the Raccoon 
Fork, to whom the state, or any of its grantees, had conveyed title. 

After the passage of this resolution, the river company claimed 
title uniier it, but the courts decided that titles to real estate could 
not pass by resolution, and that an act of Congress would be necessary 
to pass title. 

On the 12th of July, 1862, Congress passed an act extending the 
river land grant of August H, 1846, from the Raccoon Fork to the 
north line of the state. This act confirmed the title of the river 
companv and the railroad company, giving them the privilege of 
selling their lands to the settlers at an exorbitant price, a thing that 
greatly troubled and discouraged the settlers on these lands. It was 
thought when this act passed Congress that it would settle forever 
the question of title to the land in dispute, but it worked such a 
hardship to the settlers that further litigation followed. 

From first to last this land grant seems to have been a stumbling 
block among the officials at Washington. As late as 1863 a patent 
was issued to Hannah |. Riley for 160 acres of land in Webster 
County, signed by Abraham Lincoln. It seemed to the settlers that 
this patent would hold the land, and that if it held good the Govern- 
ment could convey also in like manner any of the lands claimed 
bv the ri\er companv. 

In 1868 a man named Wells, who was a grantee of the river 
company, brought action to dispossess Mrs. Riley of the home on 
which she held the patent referred to. The court decided that the 
river land title was good and assessed the cost against Mrs. Rilev, 
alter which papers for her eviction were issued and executed. This 
was the last of the court decisions and under it most of the settlers, 
who did not buy their homes at an advanced price, were forced of? 
ol them by orders from the courts. Finally in iSq^ an act to indem- 


nify the settlers was passed and the few remaining ones received a 
small compensation for the home they were forced to leave. This 
ended the historic river land troubles, extending over a period of 
forty-eight years, beginning in 1846 and ending in 1894. 


When the settlement between the Iowa Legislature and the Des 
Moines Navigation & Railroad Company was made, in March, 
1858, it was justly pronounced the most colossal swindle upon the 
people of the state which up to that time had occurred within its 
history. By the terms of that settlement the navigation company 
received patents for 471,000 acres of Iowa lands, for which the state 
did not receive the value of a penny. The river land grant consisted 
of every odd numbered section within five miles of the Des Moines 
River on both sides of the stream. 

When the terms of this unfair settlement became known to the 
people living along the Des Aloines River, they came to the con- 
clusion that they had at least an equitable claim upon the timber 
on the land the company had got for nothing. In Boone County at 
that time there were thousands of acres of good river land timber. 
The capital of the state had about that time been moved to Des 
Moines and the city took on a building boom. Numerous citizens 
of Boone County engaged in rafting logs to Des Moines, which were 
easily disposed of at a good price. Many of these logs were taken 
from the river land, for it was not looked upon as much of a crime 
to take timber from the lands of the navigation swindlers. But it 
was not long until the navigation company became informed of what 
was going on and it sent men up to Boone, Dallas and other counties 
to look the matter up. The plan devised by the company was to 
brand all the logs found in rafts in the river, or that had been 
placed upon its banks to be rafted. This brand was put on in a 
way that it would not be easily noticed. When the logs were floated 
down the river to Des Moines they were replevined by the naviga- 
tion company, using their brand as evidence of ownership, and in this 
way the rafters of the logs often lost them. In this way many logs 
were also taken which did not grow on the river land, as it was called. 

There were men engaged in rafting their own logs who some- 
times lost them through this branding process. The branders became 



very unpopular. 'I'hcrc was a braiuicr on the west side of the river 
and one on the east side. The people engaged in rafting became 
so exasperated at the branders that they went gunning for them. 

in the early spring of i8(;9, a man named Farr, who was the west 
side brander, was caught and severely whipped with switches. The 
men who ditl the whipping were masked, so Farr could not recog- 
nize any of them. After this man Farr was whipped he was turned 
loose and ordered to leave the country as fast as he could go. This 
command he obeyed as well as sore and lacerated limbs would 

Having disposed of the west side brand-er the squad of gunners 
proceeded to the river, where they came upon Captain Warner, the 
east side brander, who was on a raft just in the edge of the water 
on the east bank of the river, plving iiis branding iron and entirely 
unconscious of the near proximity of the indignant rafters. With- 
out giving Warner any notice of their presence or purpose, they sent 
a volley of bullets across the swollen stream which whizzed so close 
to his head that he retreated for Boonesboro with wonderful rapidity 
for a lame man. Both of the branders returned to Des Moines and 
reported to the company the dangerous condition of things up the 
river and refused to serve any longer as branders. 

D. O. Finch and M. I\I. Crocker, who were the attornevs for 
the navigation company, raised a companv of men and went to 
Boonesboro for the purpose, they said, of enforcing the law and of 
prosecuting and punishing those who had so brazenly mistreated 
Farr and Warner. The men who came up from Des Moines were 
very boastful and overbearing, and their conduct soon aroused the 
ire of those who had taken no part in rafting hjgs, or in the treat- 
ment given to Farr and Warner. Several men were placed under 
arrest, among whom was an aged man named Phipps, who had taken 
no part in anything that had been done. In fact, Farr could not, 
and did not identify any one who took part in whipping him, for 
they were all masked. When Farr saw the venerable gray hairs of 
Mr. Phipps, he ordered D. O. Finch to release him. 

By this time the people were coming in from the country and 
the excitement ran so high that it took hard work on the part of the 
sheriff, \\'illiam Holmes, and other level-headed citizens to prevent 
a bloody encounter between the aroused people and the company 
from Des Moines. 

Finally the attorneys for the navigation company were given 
two hours' time in which to leave Boone County with their company 


of men, and this time they made good use of and departed for their 
homes. It was a wise and good thing for them that they did so, for 
the people had borne witli these men as long as they could or would. 

About si.\ months after this another very thrilling river land 
incident occurred further down the river, which was known only 
to a few people. In fact, it would have been stepping upon dan- 
gerous ground to have given the affair much publicity at or near 
the time it occurred. 

The fact that Farr and Warner refused to serve any longer as 
log branders did not deter the navigation company in the least. Tf 
Farr and Warner would serve no longer, other men bold enough 
to brave the dangers could be found. Money, they said, could do 
almost anything, and, to be sure, they had it. 

Finally two young men named Burril and Mercer, respectively, 
were induced to take the vacant places. The navigation company 
knew it could hold the rafted logs if they came down the river 
branded, but if they were brought down the river without the com- 
pany brand on them they stood but little show of making a valid 
claim of them. Therefore, it was highly necessary that two shrewd, 
bold and fearless men be sent up the river for this purpose. They 
were instructed to brand all the logs found in rafts, or on the banks 
of the river. They were also instructed to brand all logs found on 
the river lands and to take the name of every man found on these 
lands cutting timber. These young men were very wily and cautious 
in all of their movements. They were determined not to be caught 
or taken by surprise and disposed of in the way that Farr and Warner 
had been. This they had vowed should never be. But it will be 
shown farther on that neither of them was endowed with the spirit 
of prophecy. 

It must be remembered that many of the men who were taking 
timber from the river lands were also shrewd fellows, who were 
on the lookout for spies and branders. As a rule they were prepared 
for an emergency at any time and knew how to extricate themselves 
from difficulties and dangers. They fully believed that they had 
as good a right to take and use the timber on these lands as the 
swindling navigation company had. But they knew at the same 
time that this company would be upheld by the courts and that they 
would be prosecuted if sufficient evidence against them could be 
secured. From the swindled people they had nothing to fear. From 
the spies and branders the trouble, if any, would come. 


On a beautiful afternoon in the autumn of 1859, while three men 
were engaged in loading logs upon their wagons, the two astute spies 
came upon tliem. I'hey were very clever, talked very nicely and 
even assisted the woodmen in loading one of the logs. 

On being asked what tiieir business was, one of them replied that 
they represented an eastern coal company and that they were looking 
up coal lands and securing long-time leases upon them. After the 
conversation had run for some time, one of the spies said: "Would 
you gentlemen be willing to lease the land you are now chopping off 
for coal mining purposes?" 

"No," said one of the woodmen, "we will not lease this land 
for any purpose." 

"We regret to hear you talk that way," one of them replied, "for 
we have leased nearly all the land in this hilly region." 

"Let me see one of your leases," said one of the woodmen. A 
blank was taken from a large bill book and handed to him. 

"No, no," said the woodman, "let me see one of the leases already 
signed by one of tlic landholders in these parts." 

"Yes, certainly," said the spy, "I will gladly do so." Hastily 
putting the blank lease again into his pocket, he said with consider- 
able anger, "if you doubt the truth of what I have told you I will 
show you a document which has never failed to convince a timber 
thief." So saying he commenced to draw a revolver from another 

1 lie other two woodmen had watched and carefully listened to 
what was going on and during the parley had adroitly changed their 
positions, until they now stooii behind a large stump only a few feet 

Just as the spy began to draw his revolver, two double-barreled 
shotguns from across the top of the stump were leveled upon them 
with the peremptory demand to hold up their liands on penalty of 
instant death. This sudden and unlooked for change in the appear- 
ance of things took from the spies their defiant attitude and their 
defiant look, and immediately they became humble and submissive. 
They were now caught and all they could do was to submit and 
so up went their hands. 

While the two woodmen held the spies under their guns, the 
other woodman took their weapons, and in going through their 
pockets tound the commission which authorized them to act as spies 
and branders tor the navigation company. 


The woodmen were now puzzled to know what to do with their 
prisoners. If they were to turn them loose they would go and file 
information against them, and they would be arrested and prose- 
cuted for stealing timber. It was plain that some other plan would 
have to be pursued in order to put these two spies and branders to 
silence. For the time being they were placed in an unoccupied log 
cabin which stood near by and one of the men was left to guard 
them. The other two took the loaded logs to a sawmill, and a little 
after dark returned with a fresh team, a light wagon and some 

The three woodmen felt that they were in a close place, for they 
had been caught stealing timber and had placed the spies and 
branders under arrest and held them as prisoners over four hours. 
They did not want to do violence to the spies, and yet they felt sure 
that their own safety depended on getting rid of them in a way they 
would not soon be heard of again. The course to pursue was now 
much of a puzzle for them. After two hours had passed by, the 
boldest and the most resourceful of the three woodmen said if they 
would leave the matter to him and follow his advice he would lead 
them out of the difficulty. To this the other two readily agreed. 
A gunnv sack was placed over the head of each of the spies, their 
hands and feet were tied and they were placed in the wagon. With- 
out the utterance of a word the woodmen drove out of the timber 
and on the prairie some three or four miles, where there was a 
prominent crossroads, and there came to a halt. The woodman who 
had the disposition of things in charge left the prisoners in the hands 
of his companions and was absent about half an hour, during which 
he was in consultation with some friends. When matters were ar- 
ranged to suit him, he returned to the wagon, bringing with him 
two good horses, each of which was saddled. He then ordered the 
prisoners to be unmasked and unbound, after which he spoke to 
them and said: "I believe it wcjuld be perfectly right for us to 
hang both of you spies to one of these trees standing here on these 
corners. You drew vour weapons and would have killed us if we 
had not been too quick for you. For this reason you are murderers 
at heart. You called us thieves for taking timber from land that 
your employers stole from the people of the state. We can hang you, 
or we can prosecute you for assaulting us with intent to commit mur- 
der. You are a desperate set of outlaws and scoundrels and you 
should be hung at once, but we will be better to you than vou intended 
to be to us. If vou will take an oath that vou will never be seen in 


[he upper Dcs Moines Valley again, we will let you go and will 
furnish each of y(ju a good horse and saddle to get away on." 

'I'his proposition the spies eagerly accepted and each of them 
most solemnly pledged himself never to return to tiiose parts again, 
or in any wav to disturb, molest by word or act either of the three 
woodmen or any of their friends. They were then put on the horses 
and ordered to take their departure down a lane leading south. It 
was quite dark, but the spies went off on a gallop aiul each of them 
seemed to be a good rider. When they reachetl the ne.\t crossing 
a mile south, four men armed with lanterns, guns and clubs, sud- 
denly arose from the ground and stood in front of them. They were 
commanded to stop, dismount and gi\e up the stolen horses they 
were riding, on penalty of death. "Those two horses were stolen 
from a barn not more than three miles from this place and not more 
than three hours ago. We were looking for you two thieves and we 
have found you. So come along with us; we will put you where 
you will do no more horse stealing for a long time." 

The spies denied that they had stolen the horses and undertook 
to explain matters, but they were toUi to hush their foolish story 
about being innocent. "Horse thieves always tell just such stories as 
that. Nice thing indeed to talk about your innocence when you have 
the stolen horses now in your possession. You are old hands in the 
business no doubt." 

The spies were told that a magistrate lived down the road, anti 
they were taken before him, where an information was filed against 
them charging them with the crime of theft. They were left in the 
care of the magistrate and a constable, and the men who had cap- 
tured them returneti to their homes, promising to be back ne.xt morn- 
ing to gi\e evidence in the preliminary examination. The magis- 
trate put the prisoners to sleep in a good room and a good bed, but 
he forgot to lock the door. The result was that the prisoners escaped 
during the night and were never seen in Boone County again. 

lioth of these river land stories are strictly true. D. O. Finch, 
wiio was the attorney of the navigation company, years afterward 
told one of the three woodmen so prominently mentioned in the last 
one of these stories, that when the spies returned to Des Moines, 
they came to iiim and told the whole story of the treatment they 
had been subjected to and they wanted him to begin an action by 
whicii they might arrest and punish those three woodmen who had 
held them as prisoners. Mr. Finch advised them to have nothing 
more to do with the woodmen of Boone County. "If you commence 


action against them, that charge of horse stealing will be revived 
against you, and you may come out of it much worse off than you are 
now. You had better let the woodmen of Boone County alone. They 
are a hard lot to contend with." The spies took his advice. 


One of the first associations of men in Iowa was the "Claims 
Club." The object of this primitive organization was to protect the 
claimants on the public lands against claim jumpers and land specu- 
lators. There was a well organized claims club in nearly every settle- 
ment, with messengers passing from one to another, thus keeping up 
a mutual understanding and friendly cooperation. The officers of a 
club consisted of a president, secretary and an executive committee 
with a wide range of discretionary powers. 

It was the duty of each member to keep a strict outlook for claim 
jumpers, land speculators, or any signs of treachery in their own 
neighborhood and among their own members. In case of any dis- 
coveries of this kind a report of the same was made to the president 
who, if he deemed it necessary, called a meeting of the members and 
laid the matter before them for their consideration. 

A large per cent of the pioneer settlers were poor when they came 
west in search of homes and per force of circumstances they had 
to make their living and the purchase money for their lands after 
selecting their claims. The custom was to select a claim of i6o 
acres of land, move on it, and improve it, those who did so being 
regarded as bona fide claimants. In many cases there were fairly 
good improvements made before the lands were subject to entry. 
When that time arrived many of the claimants did not have the money 
with which to purchase their lands, even at the low price of $1.25 per 
acre. This was before the passage of the homestead act and a mere 
claim by location and improvement had no legal efficiency. Any 
person had the legal right to go to the land office and purchase any 
unsold lands whether claimed or not, but in that day the exercise 
of that right over a claimant was looked upon as an unpardonable 
crime. Claim jumpers and land speculators were looked upon as 
demons, and it was the sworn duty of each club member to keep up 
a strict scrutiny for them at all times. If one of them was found 
looking over an unentered claim he was sorely punished. If a mem- 

Vol. I— 10 



bcr turned out to be a traitor to his fellow members he was treated 
as an outlaw. 

In its day the Claims Club was productive of much good and 
served well the purpose for which it was organized. There are many 
interesting scraps of history, which grew out of the workings of the 
Claims Club that have never been published and which at this day 
dav of much interest. 

One of these incidents occurred at a settlement in the Des Moines 
Valley, about si.xtv miles north of P^)rt Des Moines, in 1853. It very 
seldom happened that a traitor was found among the members of a 
"Claims Club," but this incident proved to be an exception to the 
general rule. Hiere were but twelve of the chosen disciples of our 
Savior, and one of them was a Judas. In this club there was a Judas, 
and a bad one at that. About this time the country swarmed with 
homeseekers and speculators. These land speculators, in particular, 
were much to be feared and the eyes of the claimholders were upon 
them. Among the strangers who came into the settlement just men- 
tioned was a man who made his stopping place at the house of Amos 
Wilson, who was a member of the local "Claims Club." This man 
had secured his claim and held a certificate of purchase for it; but 
his neighbor, Owen Brown, had a valuable claim, with only half 
enough money to pay the government price for it. Wilson and 
Brown were both members of the local club, but it was plain that 
Wilson wanted Brown's claim. He had on one occasion offered Brown 
a small sum for his claim, telling him at the same time that he had 
better take that than nothing, for he would most likely lose the claim 
anyway. Brown rejected this proposition with firmness and reported 
it to the club wiiich, from that time, began to look upon Wilson 
with an eye of suspicion. 

The following week enough evidence came to the surface to re- 
quire prompt action on the part of the club. The stranger stopping 
at Amos Wilson's proved to be his brother. One morning \A'ilson's 
children boasted to Brown's children tiiat their uncle would start 
home that afternoon, that he would go by way of the land oflice in 
Fort Des Moines and enter Brown's claim in his own name. He 
would hold it until all the trouble should pass by, he would then deed 
it to their fatiier, and the Browns would be compelled to move ofif. 
The Brown children lost no time in giving this statement to their 
mother. Mr. Brown was seriously ill at the time and this dreadful 
news was kept from him. Mrs. Brown sought the president of the 
club and with sobs and tears told him her sad story, for to her it was a 


sad story. The president sent messages around and brought together 
such members of the club as were truly reliable and whose services 
could be depended upon in case of emergency. By 2 o'clock in the 
afternoon the club was called to order by the president, and the facts 
of the situation vividly stated by him. "What I have called you 
together for," said he, "is to devise the best way under the circum- 
stances to save our sick brother's claim, which he and his family by 
hard labor have improved and designed for a home, and which by 
right they should have and own themselves. What will you do?" 
Several plans were briefly proposed, one of which was that a com- 
mittee of three should immediately follow Wilson, overtake him and 
bring him back, and that both of the Wilsons should then be taken 
to the nearest tree and be hung. The president ruled this out as being 
an act beyond the legal rights of the club. "What we want to do 
first," said he, "is to secure a title to Brother Brown's claim, and after 
that we can decide what punishment to inflict upon the traitor who 
has violated his pledge." 

Among the members present was a young man of twenty-eight 
years named Thomas Parsons, who had served five years among the 
dragoons under Col. Nathan Boone, and who was held in high esteem 
bv the entire membership of the club. Parsons was now called upon 
to give his opinion as to the best plan of procedure. As he arose to 
speak every eye was fi.xed upon him and the best attention was given 
to every word he uttered. "If," said he, "this young man, David 
Wilson, did not start until i o'clock this afternoon, it is plain to my 
mind that he does not intend to go further than the Twenty Mile 
House today, where he will lodge tonight. It is certain, then, that 
the claim will not be entered today, for young Wilson will take break- 
fast tomorrow morning twentv miles this side of the land office. There 
are, then, just two things for us to do, and which we must do in order 
to head oflf this treacherous and infamous work against our brother. 
The first is to get money enough to enter Brother Brown's claim. If 
that can be done the other will be an easy matter. I understand that 
our brother has $100, and it will take $100 more to pay for that claim, 
which of course we will have to make up ourselves. We must be 
prompt in what we do, for there is no time to be lost. I can let him 
have $50 for a while," and as Parsons said this he stepped forward and 
laid $150 on the secretary's desk. No sooner had he done this than two 
more members stepped forward, each laid $25 on the desk and the 
money was made up. 


"Now. Mr. Parsons," said the president, "you have accomplished 
the most difficult of the two things you said must be done. Now tell 
us what the other is." 

"Mr. President, it is now past 2 o'clock. The land office will close 
this evening at ^, and will not open until 9 tomorrow morning. It is 
si.xty miles from iiere to the land office, and some member of this club 
must travel that distance this evening and tonight, be at the land 
office wlien it opens tomorrow morning, and enter that claim in the 
name of Owen Brown at all hazards. I move that the president 
appoint a member of this club wIid shall start forthwith and who 
shall sjiare no effort to perform the duties -outlined." The motion 
carried unanimously. After a moment's reflection the presdent said, 
"that in mv opinion the originator of the plan is the most com- 
petent man to carry it into execution, and for that reason I appoint 
Thomas Parsons as the man above all others to discharge those 

Parsons sat down at the desk and hastily wrote a few lines, to 
which he signed the name of Amos Wilson, put them in an envelope 
and addressed it to David Wilson. No one knew what he intended 
to do with this letter, but the purpose he designed it to serve will 
appear further on. Rising from the desk Parsons addressed the presi- 
dent, and said : "\\'hen 1 was in the service T performed all the duties 
assigned to me with(iut a murmur, and I shall do so in the present 
emergency. 1 shall do mv best to make mv errand a successful one. 
It is now 3 o'clock, and 1 shall start at half past 3. Send a man for 
Brown's hundred dollars and have everything ready by that time." 

Parsons went from the club to his boarding place, put on a regular 
suit worn In the dragoons in service, mounted his horse, whicii was 
the best the country could afford, and returned to the !iead(]uarters 
of the club, where everything was in readiness for him to start. Here 
he ainiounced that he would be back next evening at 6 o'clock, and 
for all members to meet him at Mr. Brown's residence at th;\t hour. 
'1 hen with a wa\e ot his hand lie galloped across the prairie in the 
direction of the road leading south. As he rode away lie looked 
every inch a hero, and never did a man go to the discharge of a dutv 
who had more fully the confidence of those who assigned to him 
tliat iluty. Indeed, they had a right to so regard him, for ne\er was 
there a braver or truer man than Tom I'arsons placed on dut\' any- 
where. The president of the club elated that he sent word to 
Mrs. Brown that her home would be safe bv sundown the next even- 
ing, or he would pay the price of uttering a falsehood. 


Looking back over the years that have intervened since that time, 
with their many changes, it is next to impossible for our people to 
grasp the true situation or the vital importance to this pioneer family 
of the mission which Tom Parsons had undertaken. No one could 
feel the full burden of his mission as did Tom Parsons himself and 
no one could more earnestly desire to succeed in the undertaking, so 
all his energies were employed for that purpose. 

When Parsons reached the road or trail leading south, he gave his 
horse a touch of the spur and a quick pull on the bit which told the 
well-trained animal that hard riding was the next thing in order, 
and instantly his courage was aroused for the task. It was now a 
sixty-mile race for a valuable home of i6o acres of valuable Iowa 
land, with the difference that one of the competitors had two and a 
half hours' start of the other. Parsons had figured on riding forty 
miles from 3.30 to 7.30 P. M. On that warm, sultry afternoon, in 
the month of June, taking into consideration the kind of roads 
traveled over in those days, this was making good speed. He expected 
to reach the Twenty Mile House by sundown, and he also expected 
to overtake David Wilson before he reached there, notwithstanding 
the fact that Wilson had two hours and a half the start of him. The 
fact proved that Parsons had figured well, for about three miles north 
of the famous hostelry he came up with his man. The enemy was 
now located. Greek was arrayed aganst Greek and the tug-of-war 
was on. Parsons and Wilson had never met before, and were there- 
fore strangers to each other. The dragoon's suit that Parsons wore 
was designed to keep down all suspicion as to the object of his trip 
or the business he intended to transact. When Wilson heard the 
sound of the horse's feet coming up behind him, he turned to the 
roadside, reined up his horse and looked back in blank astonishment. 
Parsons allayed Wilson's surprise by a wave of his hand, a nod of 
his head and a friendly smile. 

"A United States soldier, and where from?" exclaimed Wilson. 
"Yes, sir, from Fort Dodge, taking a message to Fort Des Moines." 
"Ah, indeed; are you going into Fort Des Moines tonight?" 
"No, sir; I will stop over night at the Twenty Mile House a few 
miles ahead from here." 

"Good," said Wilson. "It is my intention to lodge there for the 
night, and I will be glad to have such distinguished company." 

"Thank you," said Parsons; "I am also glad to be blessed with 
good company on this lonely route. Where did vou come from and 
to where are vou bound?" 


"I have been on a visit to tlie Rooiie Forks Settlement, ami am now 
on mv vvav to niv liome in Illinois." 

"Indeed, sir, I am j^lad to learn that you are acquainted with the 
people in the Boone Forks Settlement, for 1 often stop with them 
for refreshments. At 2 tliis afternoon I took dinner with Amos 
Wilson of tiiat settlement, whose kindness I will ne\'er forget." 

"I\Iy dear sir, I am happy to tell you that /\mos Wilson is my 
brother, and to visit him was my reason for going there." 

"Oh, ves, I remember now," said Parsons, "that he spoke of a 
brother who left there todav, and that reminds me of a little errami 
he re(]uested me to do in case 1 should sec you in Fort Des Moines." 

Parsons then took from his pocket the letter referred to in another 
part of this story, and handed it to Wilson, who opened and read it 
eagerly. "Thank you," said he, "that corrects a fatal error in some 
business directions from mv brotlier. Many thanks, sir." 

'Idiat letter read as follows: 
"Mv Dear Brother: 

"In giving you the numbers of the land you are to enter at the 
land office, I made a mistake and gave you Range 26 instead of Range 
21;, the correct one. Please give this your careful attention. 

"From your brother, 

"Amo.s Wilson." 

]'arsons could now rest assured that in case so strange a thing 
slioidd happen that Wilson should beat him to the land office, he 
would follow the directions of this letter, and in that event he would 
enter a tract of land si.\ miles east of Brown's claim and which ten 
years from that date would be worth little more than the $1.21; per 
acre paid for it. Parsons intended not only to outwit and outgeneral 
the Wilsons in their attempt to steal Brown's claim, but wished to 
further mortify them by making tliem the victims of a clever trick at 
the same time. 

\\'hen tiiey arrived at the Twenty Mile Mouse, they were both 
cordially welcomed by Josiah Hopkins, the clever and genial land- 
lord, and botli were treated to the best the house afiforded. After 
supper was over, Wilson complained of being weary and sleepy, and 
at 8 o'clock retired, all vmconscious of who Parsons was or what was 
his mission. Parsons knew that the landlord was a pioneer of the 
true t\pe, that he was a member of a claims club himself and that, 
should he conlide any of the secrets of his mission to him, they would 
be faithfully kept. So he and Landlord Hopkins were soon engaged 
in a confidential conversation, the result of which was that Parsons 


left that evening at lo o'clock for Fort Des Moines. The next morn- 
ing Wilson was entertained in such an interesting manner that he 
did not get away from the Twenty Mile House until 9 o'clock. 

When the land office opened in the morning Parsons was the first 
to put in an appearance at the business window, and in a short time 
he had a certificate of purchase for the much coveted claim in the 
name of Owen Brown. The race was now ended, the victory was 
won and right had triumphed over wrong. At 10 A. M. Parsons 
started on his return trip. Five miles out he met Wilson wending his 
way for the land office, in blissful ignorance that Parsons had in his 
pocket a certificate of purchase for the claim he intended to enter, 
and also in ignorance that he had been silentlv beaten in an attempt 
to commit a piece of rascality for which he and his brother came very 
near being introduced to the business end of a hempen rope. 

After the usual travelers' greetings had passed between them, 
they separated, never to meet again. At noon Parsons took dinner 
at the Twenty Mile House, where he and Landlord Hopkins enjoyed 
a good laugh over the successful termination of the matter. 

At half past 5 that evening every member of the Claims Club 
in the Boone Forks Settlement had assembled in Owen Brown's front 
yard anxiously awaiting the arrival of their messenger. Just about 
6 Parsons rode up in front of the house, both horse and rider looking 
fresh and gay. He dismounted, tied his horse and, as he passed in at 
the gate, took from his bill-book the certificate of purchase, and as 
he handed it to the president, said: ''There, Mr. President, is the 
document after which you sent me." The president rose to his feet 
and read the certificate aloud. Parsons was then greeted with a 
hearty shake of the hand by the president, followed by each member 
of the club. He was then called into the house and to the bedside 
of Mr. Brown, who embraced him with tears in his eyes, while Mrs. 
Brown shed tears of joy, in which she was joined by the three little 
Browns, who stood around her. 

The same evening the club expelled Amos Wilson, after which 
he became so unpopular that he had to leave the settlement, to which 
he never returned. Parsons came to the conclusion that holding 
down claims was too monotonous for his impetuous nature, so he 
joined the regulars and went farther west to assist Uncle Sam in 
chasing the red man. 



By George IF. Crooks 

The Spirit Lake Massacre took place in the early part of the 
year iSqj. It was a very atrocious affair and the early settlers became 
much concerned about their safety, especially those living as far south 
as the City of Des Moines. 

In April following it was reported from what seemed to be a 
reliable source that a large body of Indians were moving from the 
north in two divisions, one following the Des Moines and the other 
the Boone River, and were murdering settlers as they advanced and 
laying waste their improvements. When the news reached Boones- 
boro the people became aroused and the question was "What shall 
Vv'e do?" Some were in favor of deserting their homes, which they 
did, while a large majority were in favor of defending their homes 
at all hazard. The people had but a short time to decide what they 
should do, the news having reached Boonesboro late in the evening 
by a person who claimed to know the facts and said that his purpose 
was to notify the settlers of their dangerous situation. On the follow- 
ing morning it was decided to raise and equip a military company 
at once to march north for the purpose of relieving the settlers and 
assist in checking the advance of the Indians. By i o'clock of that 
dav about one hundred and fifty men had enlisted and were armed 
and equipped with all kinds of firearms, from the best rifles then 
used to a very inferior quality of shotguns. After selecting S. B. 
McCall captain and the other necessary officers, the names of whom 
the writer of this scrap of history, although a member of the com- 
pany, has forgotten, except that of C. W. Williams, who was one of 
the lieutenants, the company selected Hon. C. J. McFarland, J. M. 
Thrift and Joseph Hardin as a strategy board, particularly relying 
upon J. M. Thrift and Joseph Hardin, they having had much expe- 
rience as frontiersmen and understood the disposition of Indians. 
The company was christened "Boonesboro Tigers." About 2 o'clock 



the company started north on the Des Moines and Fort Dodj^e high- 
way. They had not marched more than three or four miles until they 
were met by many settlers and their families, fleeing south from the 
Indians. Soon after we began to meet the settlers, Joseph Hardin, one 
of the strategy board, met some persons with whom he was well ac- 
quainted, who informed him that there were no less than five hundred 
Indians, and tliat tlicv were devastating the country, killing, robbing 
and doing other depredations usually carried on by unfriendly 
Indians. It seemed to alarm him very much, and he rode up beside 
the companv, relating what he had heard, the tears coursing down 
Iiis cheeks. He stated that it was useless for us to engage in battle 
with the Indians in such force and suggested the idea of returning 
to Boonesboro, inquiring of the company what they thought of the 
suggestion. The answer came quick and decided: "Retreat, never. 
We have started to relieve the settlers north and we are going, and 
we are going until we meet the Indians. It may be that we will all 
be scalped, hut it will not he until we have offered every resistance 
in our power!" And the cry rang out from the entire line: "For- 
ward, march!" It was no trouble to see bv the twinkle of their eyes 
that they meant just what they said, and it was demonstrated later 
on that such was the case, for quite a number of that company became 
soldiers in the War of the Rebellion and acquitted themselves with 
marked distinction. 

It soon became impossible for the soldiers to march in the high- 
way, it being entirely taken up with fleeing settlers. When we would 
meet a wagon in which there were two men, unless they were quite 
old, one of the two was pressed into the service, and when he was a 
married man it was much sport for the bovs to witness the parting 

The company reached Hook's Point, where it camped for tiie 
night. We were on the march early next morning and were nearing 
the Boone River, when a man rode up and inquired which way we 
were going, whether up the Boone or the Des Moines River. Being 
informed that he must see the captain in regard to the matter, that 
we knew nothing as to where we would probably be taken, he seemed 
very much excited, saying in language that demonstrated his feel- 
ings: "For God's sake, go up the Boone River; the Indians are 
killing all the people in and about \^\'bster Citv." He said he saw 
their campfires and heard the firing of the guns during the night. 
The horse he was riding was the most exhausted animal that the 
writer has ever seen, being hardly able to remain standing. He saw 


the captain and it was agreed that the company would go on to the 
Town of Homer and that lii<.ely they would meet the stage there 
from Fort Dodge and learn the situation in and about Fort Dodge 
and then determine as to whether or not we would go on to Fort 
Dodge or go up the Boone River. 

When the company reached the Town of Homer, the stage from 
Fort Dodge was at the hotel and the driver informed the captain 
that the Indians were from fifteen to twenty miles north of Fort 
Dodge and doing great depredation. But the people of Fort Dodge 
were prepared to defend the city, so it was decided by the officers 
that they would go up the Boone River, in view of the report re- 
ceived in the morning near Hook's Point. The captain sent forward 
eight or ten scouts on horseback, among whom I remember was 
J. M. Thrift, Joseph Hardin and some other experienced backwoods- 
men, with explicit instructions that if they discovered the Indians, 
to ascertain as near as possible the number and their location, and 
after so doing to return and report the number and location as near 
as it could be ascertained. The infantry had been marching for 
quite a while, and had become footsore and fatigued. In many cases 
it had sought an opportunity to ride. When about halfway from 
Homer to Webster City we saw three of the scouts coming back at 
full speed, and it was then thought they had discovered Indians. 
The captain ordered the company to make ready for action, and it 
was surprising to see how quickly every man was in line, with his 
gun in hand, and with that eager expression of countenance that 
showed the captain that they were ready to defend the homes of their 
wives, children, fathers and mothers at all hazard. But when the 
scouts arrived, the only report was "we were on the wrong road to 
reach Webster City." 

When we neared the city we found a large number of people 
camped in a grove a short distance north and west of the town, who 
had left their homes for miles and miles north of the town and 
assembled in the grove, awaiting further developments at to whether 
or not it would be necessary for them to move farther south. No 
military company was ever received with a more hearty welcome 
than the Boonesboro boys were received by the refugees and the 
people of Webster City. It seemed impossible for them to do too 
much for us. They threw open their dwellings, stores, churches and 
schoolhouses to give us shelter from the inclement weather and fur- 
nished us with provisions more than was necessary for our con- 
sumption. They went so far as to detail two ministers of the gospel 


each with a tin pailful of brandy and a tin dipper, to pass along the 
two flics of soldiers and give each who desired it a drink of brandy. 
It seemed as if all the rules of society were suspended, everybody 
present becoming as one family and interested in each other's wel- 
fare as such. 'I'he women especially seemed to appreciate the fact 
that we had been mindful nf their dangerous situation and had come 
to their relief. 1 am unable to command language to express their 
gratitude toward us. 'I'he captain was informed that the people 
of the citv had taken the precaution to send ten nr twelve scouts up 
the Boone Ri\er with fleet horses to discoxer whether the reports 
of the advance of the Indians were well founded or ncjt, and go a 
sufficient distance to determine the truth or the falsity of the report 
and that it would be well for the company to remain in the city until 
a report was received from the scouts, which we liid. Just about 
nightfall five or si.x of the scouts returned and reported that they 
had gone ninetv or a hundred miles north and were unable to dis- 
cover anv Indians. I'pon the report of the scouts being made known, 
the jov of the people of the t(jwn seemed to break out anew and lasted 
almost through the night. Gatherings were had and speeches made 
by many of the citizens and soldiers. Early in the morning, in order 
to show our appreciation of the kindness the company had received 
at the hands of the citizens of the town, we marched through the 
principal streets and saluted the people. We then returned home and 
disbanded without the loss of a single soldier, and we felt thankful 
that we had been true to our country and our neighbors. Soon after 
our return a meeting was held by the old veterans for the purpose 
of the formation of a military company and the following proceed- 
ings were had : 

"Boonesboro, Boone County, Iowa, Mav 2, 1857. 

"Citizens met in courthouse pursuant to call for the purpose of 
organizing a military company for the protection in the impending 
war. W. D. Parker was chosen chairman; C. J. Couch, secretary. 
Remarks were made by V. B. Crooks, C. Beal, S. B. McCall, ludge 
Montgomery and C. J. Couch. 

"Motion was carried that we organize ourselves into a military 
company to be styled The Boonesboro Frontier Guards. Roll was 
prepared and a large number of names were immediately placed 
thereon. The following officers were reelected: Captain, S. B. 
McCall; rtrst lieutenant, G. B. Redmon; second lieutenant, J. H. 
Upton; third lieutenant, W. D. Parker; first sergeant, W. L. DeFore; 
second sergeant, Solomon McCall; third sergeant, Charles Goetzman; 


first corporal, William Smith; second corporal, Richard Hiatt; third 
corporal, R. Upton; fourth corporal, George Vontrees. 7'he follow- 
ing committees were chosen: On uniform, Cornelius Beal, G. B. 
Redmon, J. H. Upton, S. B. McCall; on music, S. B. McCall, 
Charles Goetzman, E. Bowman, Thomas Parr, W. L. DeForc; on 
by-laws. V. B. Crooks, J. H. Upton, C. Williams, Charles Goetzman, 
G. B. Redmon. 

"A collection was taken for procuring musical instruments. A 
motion was carried that the expenses of the company's Indian expe- 
dition be brought in and paid for by the company. The committee 
on uniform made the following report: Jackets of blue cloth with 
single row of military buttons; military collar trimmed with red; 
noncommissioned ofiicers with chevrons on arm in red; pants of 
blue satinet with red stripes on the legs; cap of blue cloth made in 
some approved military style, trimmed with red. The commis- 
sioned officers to wear the regular uniform of the United States 
army. Motion was carried that each member immediately advance • 
$io for the purchase of material. The regular meeting of the com- 
panv was fixed on Saturday of each week. Adjourned. 

"W. D. P.ARKER, 


"C.J. Couch. 

The meetings of the company were kept up regularly for some 
time and occasionally until about the time the War of the Rebellion 
broke out. The formation of the company above referred to was the 
inception of the formation of the company in the spring of 1861 by 
Capt. S. B. McCall, that served in the War of the Rebellion with 
such great distinction, and as I now remember, constituted Company 
E, Third Iowa Volunteers. Many of the boys who enlisted in the 
company at the time of the emergency call in Boonesboro were mem- 
bers of different companies in the War of the Rebellion and demon- 
strated beyond question or doubt their ability to serve their country. 


By John M. Brainanl 

In the autumn of 1863 the writer of these paragraphs was publish- 
ing the Story County Aegis at Nevada. It was "war time" and the 
boys were marching away to Dixie, or being brought home to recoup 


from wounds or disease, llic railway had been completed only to 
Marshalltown and Boone County. In dwellers situated one county 
nearer market, Boonesboro was only a vague myth, a locality where 
coal existed, but was unattainable because of the prohibitive freights 
incident to wagon carriage, in 1S64 the railway reached Nevada, 
and for a vear she put on (]ueenly airs over towns and regions not 
familiar with tiie "iron horse." 

In the spring of iS6q \V. W. Walker, chief engineer and vice 
president of the Chicago, Iowa & Nebraska Air Line Railroad (under 
which name the present Chicago & Northwestern Railroad was con- 
structed) began to advertise a lot sale in the new Town of Boone. 
Nevada "looked wise" but felt rather patronizing. She knew more 
in less than a year. 

The sale was appointed ior March 29, 1865, and the first train 
carrving passengers was run over the line to Boone, the engine driven 
by that veteran engineer, George W. Dutton, and this writer being 
one of the passengers in the coaches behind him. Regular trains 
did not commence running until the 17th of Julv following this "Lot 
Sale Special." 

There were some surprises at this sale, for we had seen the land 
sales of the Osage Land District, in Mitchell County, with its excite- 
ments and desperate "figuring;" but this Boone sale was "straight 
goods." The train stopped on the east side of Honey Creek, some- 
where in the neighborhood of the Wilson residence on Eighth Street, 
and the passengers crossed the little rivulet on fence rails covered 
with straw or hav; thence walked up to the Keeler House, over 
plowed ground, and looked about. Tlie broken corn stubble still lit- 
tered the field, the mud was of the usual quality known to early Iowa 
in the March season, a row of cottonwood trees marked the west side 
of Story Street opposite the Keeler House and a farm wagon stood 
in the street in front of it, from which the auctioneer announced his 
decisions and the successful bidders. 

The first lots offered were i and 2, block 68, being those now 
carrying the street number, 924 Story Street, occupied by E. A. Ring- 
land & Company. George Lowe secured tiiem at $600 — a tremen- 
dous price [tioncer folks thought, wlio had been accustomed to lots 
at $25 to $50. Lowe had been in the farm implement and lumber 
business at Nevada during the sojourn of the "end of the road" 
there, and was preparing to follow up the advance to Boone, as he 
continueci to eio until the Missouri River was reached. 


The next property was a business site on the west side of Story 
Street, between Eighth and Ninth, about the middle of the block, 
probably lot 6 or 7, block 93, say i\o. 81 1 of that row now. It went 
for $200 and again the Nevada folks were astonished. The third 
sale was a residence lot — one on Fifth Street, where A. E. Munn 
now lives. No. 1015 of that street and occupied for several years by 
Rev. Joshua Cooke. It was "knocked off" at $75. Then there was 
an adjournment for dinner. Mr. Walker remarked that the land 
company was not anxious to make a record sale in quantities, his 
principal desire being to "establish prices." Then the Nevada com- 
pany dispersed and visited in Boonesboro until the train was ready 
to return eastward. 

In the fall of 1869 the writer came to "Montana," a name which 
caprice had fastened on the young city in the effort to get release 
from the primitive title of "Boone Station," bestowed by the railway 
folks, and commenced the publication of the Standard, thus bring- 
ing iiim personally in contact with the growth of the City of Boone. 
Some time in this autumn of advent the foundations for the Knight 
& Smith flouring mill were laid, and by either that fall or early the 
next spring, the mill was in full blast. It was a profitable property 
and was followed in a few years by a storage elevator for grain and 
the first one by still another. The mill had extensive contracts for 
the making of flour for the Government order, for military posts 
beyond the Missouri River and for the Indians on reservations, an 
arrangement which permitted the use of varying qualities of grain. 
But the settlement of the cheaper lands, even better for raising 
small grain than those of Iowa, militated against the mill, which 
gradually was reduced to corn grinding, or the making of flour from 
wheat brought from the north. Its business became less from year 
to year until finally that great enemy of flouring mill property, fire, 
intervened and the mill was no more. Now we buy our flour; then 
made it. 

The Historical Museum of the Ericson Public Library shelters 
an old photo of R. M. Weir's foundrv and machine shop, which stood 
in the pioneer days of Boone upon the site now occupied by the 
Boone Electric Company. It was rather an imposing factory for 
those days and supplied the necessities of users of machinery — miners, 
millers, threshers, etc. — for several counties in this part of the state. 
Mr. Weir was the inventor and patentee of a very good heating 
furnace for dwellings, some of which are yet in commission, and 
were made in the old brick structure spoken of. His health, none 


too ruj^j^cd after his return from the navy during the Civil war, failed 
in the trying climate of Iowa and for many years he has been a 
resident of California, first at the navy yard at Vollejo and now at 
Santa Cruz. 

In 1S69 tlie high school was iicld in the second floor of the school 
building situated on the same lots now occupied by the Franklin 
school, the same being a four-room structure of brick. Afterwards, 
to accommodate the increase in attendance at the grades, the high 
school was shifted to the second floor of the city hall building, 
offices now occupied by tiic city clerk and city engineer. Ihis must 
have been in 1X74, for the city hall was not .in existence prior to that 
date. The school board was often hard put in finding accommoda- 
tions for the school pupils, for the town grew faster in numbers than 
in wealth. So public opinion said : "Build a high school structure." 
A site for the same had been in possession of the school authorities 
for some time awaiting the opportunity to build upon it — being the 
lots now occupied bv .Mr. Barklev's residence on Boone and Fourth 
streets, but previously owned by the Baptist congregation and occu- 
pied by a (]uaint little structure of brick. Col. C. W. Lowrie, a 
prominent figure in those days, resided near this site and did not 
fancy the presence of a school so neighborly, and to prevent its use 
busied himself in finding fault with the location and in discovering 
a new one. He was successful and the present site of the high school 
was chosen, the other propertv being sold. The museum has the 
original "Articles of Agreement" between the school board repre- 
sented by its president, O. T. Marshall, and the owner of the 
lots, Daniel S. Love, bearing the date, December 4, 1874. The con- 
sideration was $i,0(50, $200 paid down and the rest at interest at 10 
per cent. The abstract of title is also in the same envelope, certified 
by Recorder J. F. Brett and carrying only three entries: John I. 
Blair to W. W. Walker, power of attorney; Blair, by Walker, show- 
ing town [flat; and Blair and wife, by Walker, deed to Daniel S. 
Love; the several transactions extending from 1864 to 1869. The 
property is in Block 89, Boone, but by an oversight the figure "9" 
is omitted and the certification is made to apply to "Block 8." It 
is probable that the title is not in peril, however; the district has 
had undisputed possession for the full reijuired time to aci]uire title. 
The school board was urged when building began to make the base- 
ment high enough for occupancy with classes, when the future should 
demand the same; also to acquire the remainder of the then vacant 
lots in the half block. Neither of these self-evident precautions were 


adopted and the public has sufifered from the lack of judgment in its 
officers ever since. In fact, but one school building in our city has 
the proper convenient space — that in the First ward with its full 

On the west side of Story Street, midway between the lot line 
and the curb and extending from Ninth to Eighth streets, was a row 
of Cottonwood trees, marking the half section boundary during the 
farm-day period, and at the time of the founding of the city being 
1 6 to 20 inches in diameter. One or two like trees stood in front 
of the Keeler House on the east side of the street. These furnished 
nice "roosting places" for loafers' feet and were usually so employed 
at all times of the day in the summer season. As the young city grew 
the presence of these trees became a badge of its minority and their 
removal was demanded by the majority, but stoutly resisted by the 
owners of adjacent properties as a rule. The city council "ordained" 
and "instructed its marshal" in favor of cutting down the cotton- 
woods, but they did not fall. In fact, one more vigorous individual — 
or at least more bellicose — declared he would resist with bayonet 
and musket any attack upon his trees! There had obtained a belief 
that things in the street might belong to the adjoining lot owner. 
One night Marshal Rhoads, who long held the sword of office, at- 
tacked the forest; bv midnight it was laying corded up in the street, 
and no blood shed ! 

It seems ludicrous at this day to recall how thoroughly a trifle 
like the one recorded should disturb the serenity of a whole village 
or embryo city. 

Portions of the Keeler House, the first hotel on the site of Boone 
in the spring of 1856, remain, in which Keeler, Beal and Holcomb 
bought in that spring season 160 acres of prairie, now included in the 
central portion of Boone, being well convinced that the expected 
railway would turn down Honey Creek for a river crossing, ana that 
a town would be made at "the top of the hill." Keeler had put up the 
frame of a hotel, 46x40 feet and two stories high, in Boonesboro, and 
had the roof on when this second thought occurred. The building 
was razed and set up on the new site, where it was afterwards re- 
christened Wescott House. The St. James and again the Butler 
House occupied the ground now covered by the Wells House. A 
part of that original building stands at the rear of the Wells House 
property, next to the alley, covered with red iron rust; another por- 
tion became a part of the dwelling house of Mr. Lawson, at 1228 


Story Street; and some of the lumber in the Keeler House doubtless 
has found place in the interior of the Wells House. 

The Keeler House stood on the post-road leadinsj; from Des 
Moines to Fort Dodge and was a stage station from the time ot its 
erection until the advent of tiie railway, which latter was in 1865. 
Other farmhouses on the original site of what is now Boone (east 
end) such as the Phelan home, the original log house of the Hol- 
combs, and it may be of others, have vanished, so far as the w riter's 
memory serves. 

l^he first city hall in Boone still stands at the northeast corner of 
Seventh and Keeler streets, an illustration .of "the survival of the 
unfit!" The term is not a new one; it was applied to the building 
as far back as A. I). 1S72-73, and when items were scarce could be 
held in reailiness for a "stickful of local." As a continual dropping 
will wear away a stone, so the persistent comments of the local press 
wore out the endurance of the city fathers, and the lots where now 
stands the citv building were purchased and the structure, prac- 
ticallv as it now stands, was erected in 1H74. The date is assured, for 
it was "cast in the walls." The surface of the ground at that site was 
some eight or ten feet above the present street level and had to be 
dug down and carried away in order that the "traditional hole," in 
which Boone establishes her public buildings, should be obtained. A 
customarv lack of foresight which has ahvavs characterized our city 
was invoked in that case in not buying sufficient ground for the 
plainly seen growth of the city. The result has been embarrassment 
for lack of room and the dispersion of citv buildings in several direc- 
tions, when public policy would have centered them, or should do 
so. Another blunder in that "enterprise" was the planning of an 
ostentatious tower to cap the roof. But the architect had failed to 
make provisions for a foundation to carry this ornament; the builder 
either did not notice the deficiency or cared to ignore it until reached, 
and so the Council was obliged to order its omission and it is said the 
contractor was something more than a thousand dollars "to the good" 
in conse(]uence. 

In the first years of Boone there was no provision wiiatever, save 
access to a very few wells, for fighting iires. The newspapers con- 
tinued to harp upon this neglect but without avail, until there should 
be a verification of their predictions. This came one night when the 
blazes ate up the frame building of James (trace's meat market and 
adjoining buildings to tiie corner of Eightli and Keeler, south side 
of Eighth. Mr. Grace was buried in Des Moines a few days ago. 


His shop stood on the ground on which the Boone National Bank 
is now rising to its sixth story. 

Apropos of fires, the "finest one" was wiien the h)\ver portion of 
Story Street, west side, burned down. The entire side of the street 
had been built up in wood, save one structure of brick, about four 
or five numbers south of Eighth. A fire started at or near the south 
end of the row. The summer weather was perfect — no breeze and 
but very little water protection. What there was consisted of a con- 
nection with the Northwestern Railway's water-tank, by tiie line 
which had been carried up to the depot, at which place the city was 
permitted to tap it with a three or four-inch pipe, carried down Story 
Street to Eighth and, it may be, extended to Seventh. The pressure 
was very small and the stream was not carried with any force upon 
the buildings, which burned down without much more efi:"ort than 
an autumn bonfire. Most of the movable property was saved and 
the burned district was built up in brick within a year or so. The 
picturesque feature which remains most vivid in memory of this 
"quiet, domestic conflagration" is the immense vociferation which 
E. L. Hafif communicated to the occasion. He had been an old fire- 
man in some eastern citv, was a shoe merchant in Boone and "enjoyed 
a scrap with flame" as a matter of course. What a carrying voice he 
had! Brother A. P. Fogg's articulation was paralyzed while Hafif 
had the top of the ladder. The brick building stopped the per- 

When the writer came to Boone (1869), he found the following 
brick buildings used for business: The Eagle Hotel, by C. E. 
Phipps, ne.xt to (now) Fitzgerald's drug store; D. F. Goodykoontz's 
drug house, on site of his rebuilt store, now occupied by H. T. Cook; 
Metropolitan Block, now First National Bank and adjoining num- 
bers; almost, if not all, of the intervening property south of the 
foregoing to the end of the Goeppinger holdings, on the east side of 
Story Street between Eighth and Seventh streets; the one lone build- 
ing on the west side of Story between Eighth and Seventh ; the 
wooden building on the corner, same side (now Mason's retail), 
had the siding removed that fall and was veneered with brick; there 
was no brick ofif Story Street. Within a year or so G. H. Welsh's 
present store building, the Boone County Bank Building, the build- 
ing now occupied by Hoxsie & Wilder and the James Grace Build- 
ing following his fire was erected. Still later the erection of the 
McFarland Bank Building, now occupied by the Boone National 
Bank, was considered a notable structure, one in which the town took 


great pride. The D. B. Knight Huilding ( Hoxsic & Wilder) was the 
first to sport plate-ghiss windows in its from and Boone "strutted 
Sf)me"' when the same were perfectly installed. In February, 1873, 
the writer was appointed bv President Grant as postmaster at Boone, 
the otike building being a frame on the site of the Germania Build- 
ing of Goeppinger Brothers. A. K. Wells, the only banker, profifered 
to build a brick at the alley corner just west of the city hall for a post- 
office, and the same was occupied by the postoffice when ready 
and by tlie bookstore of Mr. Burtus. The latter failed in business, 
l)ut tlie postoHice was retained there during tlie rest of the official term. 
Metropolitan Hall was the somewhat aspiring title given to the 
third story of the block before menti(jned, the same being under the 
mansard roof of the structure a rather flimsy one and a source of con- 
stant apprehension wlicn an audience was present through dread of 
lire and panic in its cramped (]uarters. It finally did burn down, 
without other disaster. Tiiere cluster about the old building many 
interesting memories, for it was the aniusement and business center 
of the embryo city. There was held the famous "hot-term congres- 
sional convention" which nominated Charles Pomeroy for Congress, 
when the district embraced almost a quarter of the state, extending 
from Marshal! County to Sioux City. It resounded to the fervid 
"Indiana-pioneer" oratory of L. Q. Hoggatt, of Story, to the long 
roll calls of its thirty or more counties, and its heated walls caused 
an efifort for relief by accepting the offer of the little frame Methodist 
Episcopal Church, on the common in Boonesboro south of the school- 
house, which came nigh breeding a riot between Boonesboro and 
"Plugtown." In the same auditorium was fought out the contest for 
supremacv really between the two communities, but ostensiblv for or 
against the nomination of Capt. Jackson Orr. 

On June 26, 1882, the rails of the Wabash Road, under the name 
of St. Louis, Des Moines & Northern Railway, were laid into 
Boone and b\ the 2Stii the manager, C. E. Kinnev, announceil the 
readiness ot the company to receive freight and passengers. It had 
been an unusually wet season, greatly embarrassing the work of grad- 
ing, etc. 

.\ year or two tlierealtcr tlie street railwav was built by L. W. 
Reynolds. It was an unpretentious afTair, a small car, narrow gauge 
rails, drawn by one horse, but it beat the "mud wagon" and walking. 
The system, practically under the same management, has grown tf) 
the importance of its present existence and may ere long become a 
part of the trolley system of this region of Iowa. How much the 


installation of this "horse car railway" influenced the sentiment 
which led to the union of the east end and the west end may be a 
subject for conjecture, but it did have a tendency in that direction. 
The substantial growth of Boone dated from the construction of 
these two public utilities. 

It may not be recalled by many present residents that Boone at 
one time went through the "oil excitement." It had its "gold craze" 
in the very early day, be it remembered, and about a dollar a day 
could be panned out from the sands of Honey Creek, between town 
and the river. The oil though grew out of the release of gas by bor- 
ing a stock well down in Douglas Township, some time about 1883 
or 1884. A company was organized, charters obtained in Des 
Moines, Boone and perhaps Ames and Perry. A well was sunk in 
the neighborhood of Crocker and another on the county courthouse 
grounds in Des Moines and in Boone a pretense for finding water by 
boring at the present waterworks was encouraged until a depth of 
3,012 feet had been attained. The hope of finding oil did not mate- 
rialize, nor was the gas which was found a permanent supply, but 
proved to be only the familiar "marsh gas." But it was a famous 
season for building — "air castles!" 

The church edifices in Boone in 1870 were the Presbyterian, a 
small frame on the present site; the Methodist, with about the same, 
on the site now occupied by that denomination; a like building by 
the Baptists, on a lot a short remove north of the present postofTice; 
an African about the locality of Mr. Cadd's marble shop on Arden 
Street, and possibly a Swedish church on Crawford, north of Eighth; 
and the "little brick" on Division Street, the only one of all yet 
standing in its original site. There was also the Catholic, now used 
as Sodality Hall. The Baptist brick, on the Barkley residence lot, 
corner Fourth and Boone, was idle and somewhat dilapidated. The 
improvement in the character of the church buildings is apparent to 
all observers and does not need recapitulation here. 

The temptation to protract these reminiscences must be curtailed 
or they will lead to an undue length. They are pleasant in the recita- 
tion, it must be confessed; and recall the equally pleasant social state 
of the new society gathered here in a frontier town from all quarters 
of our common country. It must be remembered that the great 
Civil war had but just closed in 1865 when Boone was launched on 
the yet turbid waters. The returning soldiers were changing their 
"spears for pruning hooks" and the new West tendered the lines of 
least resistance. That bloodshed had ceased was a cause of great joy, 


making assimilation of mixed ingredients the more easy. We had 
hut one ehiss of society — those w lio heliaved themselves and were 
willing to be friendly. The usual mite societies, Christian Endeavor, 
P.pworth League and the like, together with an occasional dancing 
affair, music and dramatic home entertainments, formed the chief 
opportunities for social gatherings. I'hen there was the presence of 
almost Lhiiversal Youth to aid. A gray iiead was so rare that one 
turned on the street to look back at it. Father Thcron Reed and the 
very youthful white head of Chauncey Lowery are the only ones 
which loom up through tiie mists of the past upon our recollection. 
We seem to see a greater sense of chivalry in the young gallants of 
those days than prevails at this date; and there was a sweet gracious- 
ness in the voung women which somehow contrasts with the occa- 
sional masculine swing of the girl of the hour — who "don't have to 
ask mother!" The literary entertainments were decidedly superior 
to those of the present. Our lecture courses embraced a portion (^f 
the very best talent in the land — Professor Swing, of Chicago; Theo- 
dore Tilton, Wendell Piiillips, Camillo Urso, the Mendelssohn Quin- 
tette Club, and later the Andreas family, were samples of the aesthetic 
food wliich tile tastes of that day demanded. Our course tickets cost 
$5 for the winter, and the community was much less wealthy then 
than now. It wanted the best or none. 


George W. Crooks, one of Boone County's oldest living citizens, 
was well acquainted with and at one time was a neighbor of Henry 
Lott, who figures quite prominently in a history of Boone County, 
published in 1880. Feeling that Lott had been done an injustice, 
Mr. Crooks some years ago prepared the following paper for the 
Boone County Historical Society: 

Henry Lott, about whose character and conduct much has been 
said and written, and not a little of which is incorrect, is charged by 
historians with many crimes of which he was not guilty; this I will 
endeavor to prove : 

With his family, consisting of wife, two sons and a stepson, Henry 
Lott settled near the mouth of the Boone River in the spring of 1846. 
He was not a desperado, nor a horse thief, as claimed, but was a 
trapper, hunter and front'iersman in every sense of the word; very 
much attached to his family and quite industrious. It was not true, 
as some writers claimed, that he stole ponies from the Indians, which 
caused him and his family to be disturbed, "but by reason of the fact 
that his cabin was located upon a section of the country called 
"Neutral Ground," where quite a few Indian tribes claimed they 
each had a right to hunt and trap without molestation, but that the 
white man had no right to do so. 

Lott was not disturbed until about January, 1847, at which time 
an Indian chief, by the name of Sidominadotah, who was also called 
"Old Chief Three Fingers," by reason of having lost a finger from 
one hand, appeared at Lott's cabin with six or eight of his band, all 
tricked out with war paint, who demanded supper, which Mrs. Lott 
cheerfully furnished. After all had finished the meal the chief 
informed Lott that he was an intruder on the land; that he had set- 
tled on the Sioux hunting ground and that he must leave; to all of 
which Lott refused to agree. Thereupon the Indians appropriated 
to their use Lott's property of every kind that they could carry away. 
The miscreants robbed beehives, and shot horses, cattle and hogs so 



full of arrows that many of thcni died. Not satisfied with this, they 
threatened and abused Lott and his family. At this juncture it was 
thought best, for the safety of the family, that Lott and his stepson 
should secretly leave the premises and make their way to the nearest 
settlement, which was some twenty miles distant. 'I'his they accom- 
plished. \A'hen they reached the Boone River Bluff man and boy 
looked back and thou,<.(ht they could see the Indians killing the bal- 
ance of the familv. It even appeared to them that they could hear 
screams of terror and distress. 

Of tile two bovs left at home, one became so frightened that he 
ik'd down the Des Moines River to escape from the Indians. Lott 
had a voung horse that the Indians were an.xious to take away with 
them. They ordered the other boy to catch it or they would kill him. 
This frightened him so badly that he ran into the timber and secreted 
himself in a clump of brush on a nearby hill, from which vantage 
point he was able to see, by moonlight, what took place about the 
cabin. He often during the night saw his mother driven out of the 
house into the cold by the Indians. This boy remained in hiding 
until the Indians fled. 

Lott and his stepson reached Pea's Point earlv the next morning, 
giving the alarm and telling a terrible story. Lott was then sent 
further south to secure more men. When he reached Elk Rapids he 
ran across Johnnie Green, a Pottawattomie chief, with whom he was 
acquainted. The Indian was encamped there with quite a number 
of his tribe. I'pon hearing Lott's story, Johiuiie Green held a coun- 
cil with his warriors and it was determined that the chief and about 
twenty-five of his braves would accompany the white men to Pea's 
Point, there to join others of the white force who were to complete 
the expedition against the Sioux. 

All settlers in the neighborhood of Pea's Point assembled at the 
house of John AL Crooks, who then lived on \vhat is now known and 
called the Myers farm. l"he settlers, fearing that the Siou.x might 
come down the Des Moines River and commit further depredations, 
were on the lookout for the foe. Late that afternoon Lott, with the 
chief, Johnnie Green, and his braves, together with a number of 
white men, came across the prairie from the east at full speed for 
Crooks" house. The Indians were in front with their war paint on 
and were yelling, as was their usual custom. The settlers supposed 
them to be the Sioux prepared for battle, and marched out to meet 
them, and were on the point of firing. When Lott saw what was 
about to happen he rode out from the rear with other white men, all 


of whom were soon recognized by the settlers. It is needless to add 
that the latter were much pleased to find the approaching whites 
and Indians were friends instead of enemies. 

John Pea, Thomas Sparks and five or six other white settlers 
joined the relief expedition and with all possible haste marched to 
the Lott cabin, where they found that the family had not been killed, 
as Lott supposed, but that one of the boys, who had been left at home, 
was missing. The condition of things about the place indicated that 
the Sioux had robbed the family of nearly everything it possessed. 
It was also evident that when the Sioux left Lott's cabin they had 
gone north but a short time before the arrival of the rescue party. 
However, the conditions of the weather were such that it was con- 
sidered inadvisable and practically useless to follow the marauders. 
The Pottawattomies and all the white men soon returned south 
except Pea. Lott was much overcome when he saw the condition of 
his place and property. He found himself almost destitute of the 
necessaries of life, and with the further distress of mind in that he 
had a son missing, who perhaps might either be killed or a prisoner 
in the hands of the Sioux Indians. 

There being snow on the ground, Lott and Pea were able to fol- 
low the trail of the boy. Soon they came upon his dead body, where 
he had frozen to death, near the now town site of Centerville. On 
account of the ground being frozen and the bitterly cold weather 
all that could be done with the body was to give it a temporary burial. 
Early in the following spring a more permanent interment was 
efifected near where the unfortunate boy came to his untimely death. 

By reason of the abuse and insults heaped upon Mrs. Lott by 
the Sioux, and exposure to which she was subjected during that 
dreadful night, disease overtook her and in about three months 
afterwards her body was laid in the grave, wasted away by hasty 
consumption. Soon after her death Lott and the two boys remain- 
ing, one a stepson, removed from the claim where they had met with 
so much misfortune, and located in or near Fort Des Moines. About 
a year later Lott married a girl by the name of McGuire. The step- 
son then left home and the pioneer, wife and son, in company with 
quite a few other families, returned to the locality near the mouth of 
Boone River. However, Lott did not again settle on the old claim 
but located on another a short distance north and west of it. 

By this time and soon after quite a few settlers had located claims 
in that neighborhood, one of which was my father's family. Hence 


\vf became well ae(]uainted w ith Lntt and Iiis family, as it appeared 
by his last marriage and which was comprised of twin girls and a 
son. Soon after the birth of the latter Lott's second wife died. He 
found a home for his motherless twin girls in a family by the name of 
Dickinson. 1 lere thev grew to womanhood. The son was adopted 
into a family bv the name of White living in Webster County. 

After the death of his second wife, Lott closed up all his business 
affairs and in the fall of 1H53, accompanied by the son born to him 
by his first wife, went up the Des Moines River some distance above 
Fort Dodge to engage in hunting and trapping. They set their traps 
on what is, or was called, Lott's Creek, in H'umboldt County. After 
being there some time Lott learned that old Chief Three Fingers, 
the Indian who was the cause of the death of his wife and son, \vas 
camped on another creek not very far away. Lott did not, as some 
writers claim, pretend to be friendly to Chief Three Fingers upon 
meeting him, but lost no time in locating his camp and making a 
survey of the surroundings. At an opportune time Lott and his son 
secreted themselves near a spot where the old chief made his daily 
visits to his traps, and when he came that way shot him t(^ death. 
They then went to the Indian's camp and killed all of the family, 
e.xcept a girl about fourteen years of age, who escaped. Taking all 
of the chief's ponies and furs and property which they found of their 
own, the avengers made their way to Boonesboro, where they staved 
three or four days. 

When Lott and his son made ready to leave Boonesboro he made 
this remark to certain of his friends: 'T am now going to leave this 
country, never to return. I am fully satisfied, and you will hear the 
reason not many days hence." Where they went I know not, but it 
has been the general understanding that they went to California. 

NN'hai 1 have w ritten was not gotten from Major Williams. The 
most of it was obtained from the lips of Lott and his son. From my 
personal acquaintance with the family 1 am led to raise this query: 
What did Lott do for which he should be condemned? Killing the 
chief's family oidy. 'l"he balance of his acts was the taking of life 
for life, and property for property. What would most any other 
man have done in that day and generation under tiie same circum- 
stances and surroundings? 


On the 1 6th of April, four days following the assault on Fort 
Sumter, Gov. Samuel J. Kirkwood, of Iowa, received the following 
telegram from Simeon Cameron, secretary of war: 

"Call made on you by tonight's mail for one regiment of militia 
for immediate service." 

That very day the governor proclaimed to the people of Iowa 
that the nation was imperiled and invoked the aid of every loyal 
citizen in the state. The telegram above alluded to was received at 
Davenport. The governor was then residing at Iowa City, but there 
was no telegraphic communication in those days between the two 

It was important that the dispatch should reach the eyes of the 
governor at once, and General Vandever, then a civilian, volunteered 
to take the message to Iowa City. The governor was found on his 
farm outside the city by the self-appointed messenger, dressed in 
homespun and working in the field. Reading the dispatch. Governor 
Kirkwood expressed extreme surprise and exclaimed: "Why, the 
President wants a whole regiment of men! Do you suppose I can 
raise so many as that, Mr. Vandever?" When ten Iowa regiments 
were olifered a few days later the question was answered. 

"Whether in the promptitude of her responses to the calls made 
on her by the general Government, in the courage and constancy of 
her soldiery in the field," said Col. A. P. Wood, of Dubuque, upon 
one occasion, "or in the wisdom and efficiency with which her civil 
administration was conducted during the trying period covered by 
the War of the Rebellion, Iowa proved herself the peer of any loyal 
state. The proclamation of her governor, Samuel J. Kirkwood, 
responsive to that of the President calling for volunteers to compose 
her first regiment, was issued on the fourth day after the fall of 
Sumter. At the end of only a single week men enough were reported 
to be in quarters (mostly in the vicinity of their own homes) to fill 
the regiment. These, however, were hardly more than a tithe of the 



number ulio had been offered by company commanders for accept- 
ance under tlie President's call. So urgent were these offers that the 
governor requested on the 24th of April permission to organize an 
additional regiment. While awaiting the answer to this request he 
conditionally accepted a sufficient number of companies to compose 
two additional regiments. In a short time he was notifieti that both 
of these would be accepted. Soon after the completion of the sec- 
ond and third regiments, which was near the close of May, the adju- 
tant general of the state reported that upward of one hundred and 
seventy companies had been tenilereii to the governor to serve against 
the enemies of the Union. 

"Much difficulty and considerable delay occurred in fitting these 
regiments for the field. For the First Infantry a complete outfit — ■ 
not uniform — of clothing was extemporized, principally by the vol- 
unteered labor of loyal women in the different towns, from material 
of various colors and qualities obtained within the limits of the state. 
The same was done in part for the Second Infantry. Meantime an 
extra session of the General Assembly had been called bv the gov- 
ernor to convene on May 15th. \\'ith but little delay that body 
authorized a loan of $8oo,0(Xt to meet the extraordinarv expenses 
incurred and to be incurred by the executive department in conse- 
quence of the new emergency. A wealthy merchant of the state — 
ex-Governor Merrill, then a resident of McGregor — immediately 
took, from the governor a contract to supply a complete outfit of 
clothing for the three regiments organized, agreeing to receive, 
should the governor so elect, his pay therefor in state bonds at par. 
This contract he executed to the letter, and a portion of the clothing 
W'hich was manufactured in Boston to his order was delivered at 
Keokuk, the place at which the troops had been rendezvoused, in 
exactly one month irom the day on which the contract had been 
entered into. The remainder arrived only a few days later. This 
clothing was delivered to the regiments, but was subsequentlv con- 
demned by the Ciovernment for the reason that its color was gray, 
and blue had been adopted as the color to be worn by national troops. 

"The first order for the Iowa volunteers to move to the field was 
received June 13th. It was issued by General Lyon, then com- 
manding the United States forces in Missouri. The First and Second 
Infantry immediately embarked in steamboats and moved to Han- 
nibal. Some two weeks later the Third Infantry was ordered to the 
same point. These three, together with many others of the earlier 
organized Iowa regiments, rendered their first field service in Mis- 


souri. The First Infantry formed a part n( the little army with 
which General Lyon moved on Springfield and fought the bloody 
battle of \^^ilson's Creek. It received unqualified praise for its gallant 
bearing on the held. In the following month (September) the Third 
Iowa with very slight support fought with honor the sanguinary 
engagement of Blue Mills Landing; and in November the Seventh 
Iowa, as a part of a force commanded by General Grant, greatly 
distinguished itself in the battle of Belmont, where it poured out its 
blood like water, losing more than half of the men it took into action. 
The initial operations in which the battles referred to took place 
were followed by the more important movements led by General 
Curtis of this state and other commanders, which resulted in defeat- 
ing the armies defending the chief strategic lines held by the Confed- 
erates in Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas, and compell- 
ing their withdrawal from much of the territory previously controlled 
by them in those states. In these and many other moveinents down 
to the grand culminating campaign by which Vicksburg was cap- 
tured and the Confederacy permanently severed on the line of the 
Mississippi River, Iowa troops took a part in steadily increasing 
numbers. In the investment and siege of Vicksburg the state was 
represented by thirty regiments and two batteries, in addition to 
which eight regiments and one battery were employed on the out- 
posts of the besieging army. The brilliancy of their exploits on the 
many fields'where they served won for them the highest meed of 
praise both in military and civil circles. Multiplied were the terms 
in which expression was given to this sentiment, but these words of 
one of the journals of a neighboring state — 'The Iowa troops have 
been heroes among heroes' — embodies the spirit of all. 

"At the beginning of the war the population of Iowa included 
about 150,000 men, presumably liable to military service. The state 
raised for general service thirty-nine regiments of infantry, nine 
regiments of cavalry and four companies of artillery, composed of 
three years' men, one regiment of infantry composed of 100 days' 
men. The original enlistments in these various organizations, includ- 
ing 1,727 men raised by draft, numbered a little more than 69,000. 
The reenlistments, including upward of 7,000 veterans, numbered 
very nearly 8,000. The enlistments in the regular army and navy 
and organizations of other states will, if added, raise the total to 
upward of 80,000. The number of men who under special enlist- 
ments and as militia took part at different times in the operations 
on the exposed borders of the state was probably as many as 5,000. 


''Ii)\va paid no bouiitv on accDunt of the men she placed in the 
field. In some instances toward the close of the war, bounty to a 
comparatively small amount was paid by cities and towns. On only 
one occasion, tiiat of the call of July iS, 1864, was a draft made in 
Iowa. This did not occur on account of her proper liability, as 
established bv previous rulins,' of the war department to supply men 
under that call, but grew out of tiie great necessity that there existed 
for raising men. The Cjovernment insisted on temporarily setting 
aside in part the former rule of settlements and enforcing a draft in 
all cases where subdistricts in anv of the states should be found 
deficient in their supply of men. In no .instance was Iowa, as a 
whole, found to be indebted to the general Government for men on 
a settlement of her quota account." 


It truthfully may be recorded tiiat when the citizens of Boone 
Countv fully awoke to the terrible significance of the firing on Fort 
Sumter, there was hardly an able-bodied man of any importance 
in the community who was not ready and willing to meet upon the 
field of battle the enemies of his country, to fight for her honor, her 
integrity and the union of states for all time. And to her lasting 
fame and pride, it is a matter of enduring historv, that during the 
wiiole struggle of the Federal Government for supremacy, but once 
was the draft put in execution in Boone Countv, and that onlv in 
two townships, to fill the quota of her troops. 

When word reached Boonesboro that the South had declared 
war ujion the North, there was some doubt among her citizens as 
to the accuracy of the intelligence; but later dispatches confirmed 
the dreadful tidings and a spirit of sadness, rather than of revenge, 
was in evidence on every hand; and the dread of an internecine war 
was made manifest by leading men of the communitv, in private 
conversation and hastily called public meetings. However, the spirit 
of loyalty was uppermost and soon meetings were held in the various 
townships for the purpose of recruiting troops for the field. S. B. 
McCall, who was the organizing sheriff of Boone County, was the 
first to recruit a company for the service, securing men for the pur- 
pose in Boone and adjoining counties; not, however, in time to be 
assigned to a regiment under the first call. This mattered little, as 
the second call was soon sent throughout the land and Captain 
McCalTs company was ordered by the governor to encamp at 


Keokuk, where it was mustered into the volunteer service of the 
United States June 8, 1861, as Company E, Third [nfantry. 

The second company raised in Boone County was recruited by 
W. P. Berry, who was ably assisted by W. j. Wheeler, William D. 
Templin and S. G. Moffatt. This body of men was mustered into 
the service in September, 1S61, as Company D, Tenth Iowa \^)lun- 
teer Infantry. 

C. W. Wilson and Isaac J. Mitchell recruited tiie next company 
in Boone County. Wilson was elected captain and witii his com- 
pany was mustered in at Davenport in January, 1862. The organi- 
zation was assigned to the Sixteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry and 
became Company D. 

The most popular military organization formed in Boone County 
was made possible by the patriotic and strenuous efiforts of Dr. Theo- 
dore DeTar, W. L. DeFore and P. J. Shannon, who, by their deter- 
mined efiforts in raising money, holding war meetings in various 
parts of the county and in personal appeals to the patriotic hearts 
of the citizenry, induced a sufficient number of willing and liberty 
loving men to enlist. Great enthusiasm and display of loyalty were 
manifest when these brave men left their homes and loved ones for 
the many unknown dangers confronting them. Public demonstra- 
tions were in order at the courthouse the day of their departure, a 
beautiful flag was presented by a delegation of ladies and leading 
citizens took it upon themselves to escort in wagons the soldier boys 
to Iowa City. At this point the company entrained for Dubuque, 
where it was mustered into the United States army, as Company D, 
Thirty-second Iowa Infantry. 

The companies becoming a part of the volunteer forces of the 
United States army raised in Boone County have been mentioned, 
but these do not cover the full list of brave men who went into the 
Civil war from Boone County. Many others joined various com- 
panies, not only of the Iowa contingent, but of other states. 

The data for this article were procured from the adjutant gen- 
eral's report, and every man's name obtainable by careful and dili- 
gent effort, has been preserved in the war archives of the state. The 
roster following contains, as near correctly as possible, the names of 
all serving in the Civil war from Boone County: 


Samuel B. McCall, first lieutenant; wounded at Shiloh, April 6. 
1862; promoted captain June 26, 1861 ; mustered out June 18, 1864; 


appointed captain and C. S. U. S. V.. March i i, 1865, and brevet 
major U. S. V'., July 25. 1865. 

lohn H. Smith, second surgeon; killed at Shiloh, April 6, 1862. 

Thomas Mulvana, fifth surgeon; wounded at Blue Mills, Mis- 
souri, September 17, 1861 ; killed at Shiloh, April 6, 1862. 

Henry M. Groves, fifth corporal; promoted to third corporal, 
September i, 1862; reduced to ranks, June 16, 1862. 

William H. Cummings, musician. 

Privates — Atkisson, William K. ; Atkisson, James, promoted to 
wagoner; Barrett, George W., wounded July 12, 1863, at Jackson, 
Mississippi; Bennett, Jesse, discharged December 15, 1862; Cham- 
bers. William C, promoted to eighth corporal. May 27, 1862; 
wounded at Shiloh, April 6, 1862; Castine, John, wounded at 
Sliiloh; transferred February 16, 1864, to invalid corps; Gilmore, 
David B., promoted to third corporal, November i, 1861; killed 
July 12, 1863, at Jackson, Mississippi; Hope, John H.; Harris, 
Lewis, captured February 27, 1864, near Pearl River, Mississippi; 
Harlan, Michael T., discharged December 18, 1861 ; Kirkendall, 
John W., discharged July 10, 1862; Mullen, Guilford, promoted to 
fourth corporal, April 6, 1862; Mitchell, James H., discharged 
May 3, 1862; Mitchell, James, died at Quincy, Illinois, November 
17, 1861; Martin, Nathan G.; Marsh, Samuel, wounded at Meta- 
mora, 'I'ennessee, October 5, 1862; discharged December 20, 1862, 
for wounds; Paynes, James R. ; Pardee, Bartley N., wounded at 
Blue Mills, Missouri, September 17, 1861 ; wounded May 18, 
1863, on steamer near Island No. 82; Paxton, \\'illiam K., promoted 
to sixth corporal, October 16, 1862; Ross, Albert C. ; Ramsey, 
M. Kennedy; Ramsey, George, Jr.; Spurrier, William A., promoted 
to sixth corporal, June 26, i86r; died at Savlorville, November 23, 
1 861 ; Spurrier, Joseph J., promoted to sixth corporal, November 16, 
1861 ; wounded at Shiloh, April 6, 1862; promoted to fourth sergeant, 
April 6, 1862; Walker, Martin V., died at Macon City, Missouri, 
September 18, 1861; Ward, Obed R. ; Zenor, Samuel P., wounded 
and captured at Shiloh, April 6, 1862. 


William 1'. Berrv, captain, enlisted [ulv 11, r86i; resigned 
March 1, 1862. 

William J. \\hceler, first lieutenant; enlisted Julv 11, 1861; 
resigned March 29, 1862. 


William Rankin, second lieutenant; reported but not commis 
sioned ; enlisted July ii, 1861; discharged December 20, 1861. 

John (Josiah) Fritz, first sergeant; enlisted August i, 1861; 
died at Mound City, Illinois, November 11, 1862. 

Stephen G. Moffatt, second sergeant; enlisted August 3, 1861; 
promoted to first lieutenant March 30, 1862; mustered out Decem- 
ber 26, 1864. 

Isaac Stover, third sergeant; enlisted August i, 1861; promoted 
to first lieutenant March 30, 1861;, but not mustered; was mustered 
out as first sergeant; wounded at Mission Ridge November 25, 1863. 

George Meyers, fourth sergeant; enlisted August 3, 1861. 

Alanson C. Eberhart, fifth sergeant; enlisted August 19, 1861; 
promoted to second sergeant February i, 1864; to captain March 30, 
1865, but mustered out as first sergeant. 

Paschal D. Robertson, first corporal; discharged January 21, 

Reuben Parcell, third corporal; died March 8, 1863, at Memphis, 

Jerome B. White, fourth corporal; promoted to sergeant; 
wounded May 16, 1863, at Champion's Hill, Mississippi; died 
June 18, 1863, of wounds at Champion's Hill; enlisted August 17, 

Alexander Draper, fifth corporal; enlisted August 24, 1861 ; dis- 
charged November 10, 1862. 

Oliver Lewis, seventh corporal, enlisted August 3, 1861; dis- 
charged November 11, 1862. 

Privates — Blunk, Moses, enlisted August 24th, discharged Octo- 
ber 13, 1862; Coe, Samuel, enlisted August 20th; Doren, John V., 
enlisted August i8th, died December 24, 1861, at Bird's Point, Mis- 
souri; Eads, James R., enlisted August 15th; Gaston, Larne, enlisted 
October 28th; Goodman, Jacob, enlisted August 12th; Hornbuckle, 
George W., enlisted August 26th, promoted to second sergeant, killed 
at Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 25, 1865; wounded at Cham- 
pion's Hill, Mississippi, May 16, 1863; Hagan, John B., enlisted 
August 1 2th, discharged June 26, 1862; Holcomb, Charles L., en- 
listed September 2d; Hull, James, enlisted August 24th; Hurst, 
Andrew, enlisted August r3th, discharged December 11, 1862; Jesse, 
Samuel, enlisted August 12th; Joice, Peter, enlisted August 12th, 
wounded September 19, 1862, at luka, Mississippi; Kirby, George 
W., enlisted September 30th; Madden, Malen M., enlisted August 
i6th, died at Mound City, Illinois, December 7, 1861 ; Marks, David, 


enlisted Aiii^Hist I 2th; Miller, Robert G., enlisted August 12th, dis- 
charged lanuarv 26, 1S62; Myers, Delany, enlisted August 26th, dis- 
charged May 6, 1S62; McAnuIly, James L., enlisted October 28th; 
McCall, John, enlisted September 29th; wounded at Mission Ridge, 
Tennessee, November 25, 1863; Xeedham. Mclvin, cidisted August 
]2th, discharged January 26, 1862; Needham. Sylvester, cidisted 
Februarv 23, 1864; Noland, Albert C, enlisted February 23, 1H64; 
died April 16, 1H64, at Huntsville, Alabama; Noland, Nathaniel, 
enlisted August 2(;th, jiromotcd to corjioral February 1, 1864; Fhipp, 
William D.. enlisted September 3'>tli, promoted to corporal Janu- 
arv 1, 1864; Price, Israel, enlisted August. 13th, promoted to sec- 
ond sergeant January 1, 1864; Radcliff, William, enlisted Septem- 
ber V'f'i; Sanford, Alonzo L., enlisted February 23, 1864; Sanford, 
|ohn II., cidisted August 2(>tli ; Shockey, Henry, enlisted August 
13th; Smith, Oliver, enlisted July 21, 1864; Sprague, William D., 
enlisted February 29, 1864; Starr, Edgar, eidisted August 20th, trans- 
ferred to invalid corps Februarv i q, 1864; Stine, Isaac, enlisted 
August 12th, Jiromotcd to corporal Januarv 1, 1864; Stone, Henry 
|., enlisted August 26th, wounded Mav 16, 1863, at Champion's 
Hill; 'I'emplin, \\'illiam, enlisted August 24th, promoted October 
21, 1861; resigned March 29, 1862; L'pton, Jonas H., enlisted 
August 1 2th, discharged April 6, 1862; Wheeler, William J., en- 
listed August 19th; Wilson, Edward, enlisted August i8th. 


Barnes, .Martin V. B., enlisted November qth, wounded and 
missing at Shiloh April 6, 1862; Benbow, Barclav, enlisted Octo- 
ber loth, appointed wagoner April i q, 1862; Boudinot, Lucius, 
enlisted October loth, promoted hospital steward February 22, 1862; 
discharged June 4, 1862; Boudinot, William A., enlisted Novem- 
ber ist, captured near Atlanta, Georgia, July 22, 1864; Bushnell, 
Drayton, enlisted January 24, 1862; Dyer, William, enlisted Janu- 
ary 27. [862; discharged June 17, 1862; Hamilton, Joseph H., en- 
listed October 30th, discharged December 27, 1862; Hamilton, 
William S,, eidisted October 30th, died at Keokuk, Januarv 9, 1862; 
Hughes, (Jeorge T., enlisted November ist, wounded July 22d, near 
Atlanta, Georgia; Hurst, John H., enlisted October 22d; Torr. Wil- 
ford H., enlisted November 6th, wounded May i, 1862; died June 
12, 1863, at St. Louis; Waldo, Joseph A., enlisted October 12th, pro- 
moted to si.\th September 8, 1862; to first corporal Novem- 


ber I, 1862; Waldo, William W., enlisted October 12th, discharged 
February 8, 1862. 


Crandall W. Williams, captain; enlisted October 9th, captured 
at Corinth October 3, 1862. 

George H. Holcomb, second lieutenant; enlisted September 
25th; wounded at Shiloh; killed in battle at Nick-a-jack Creek, 
Georgia, July 21, 1864. 

William C. Crooks, second sergeant; enlisted November 1 1 th ; 
wounded at Shiloh; died of wounds April 9, 1862. 

Amos S. Collins, third sergeant; enlisted October 19th; wounded 
at Shiloh; promoted to second sergeant April 17, 1862; discharged 
July 7, 1862. 

David C. Hull, first corporal; enlisted January 7, 1862; pro- 
moted fifth sergeant April 17, 1862; reduced to ranks. 

Caleb Greene, eighth corporal; enlisted January 7, 1862; pro- 
moted to seventh corporal March 7, 1862; reduced to ranks April 17, 

John Mitchell, wagoner; enlisted October i6th; died at Mon- 
terey, Tennessee, May 22, 1862. 

Privates — Boone, Harrison, enlisted January 4, 1862; killed at 
Shiloh; Bromley, Joseph, enlisted January 27, 1862; Bustram, 
Charles, enlisted January 24, 1862; discharged October 4. 1862; 
Cromwell, Newton, enlisted January 7, 1862; wounded and captured 
at Nick-a-jack Creek, July 21, 1864; Cromwell, Thomas J., enlisted 
December 25th, transferred May i, 1864, to Invalid Corps; Cun- 
ningham, Maximilian, enlisted December 26th, supposed to have 
died in a northern hospital in 1862; Cunningham, Solomon C, 
enlisted January 5, 1862; died near Corinth May 17, 1862; Francis, 
John, enlisted November 27th; Gildea, Jefiferson, enlisted December 
23d, discharged August 18, 1862; Gildea, Oliver, enlisted November 
9th, died at Corinth June 25, 1862; Higbee, James W., enlisted 
December 2d, wounded at Kenesaw Mountain, Georgi^i, June 24, 
1864; Howard, George B., enlisted November i ith; Huffman. John, 
enlisted January 7, 1862; died in hospital at Davenport February 17, 
1862; Hull. George, enlisted December 23d; died at Monterev June 
8, 1862; Hull, Jackson, enlisted December 23d, promoted to corporal 
January 5, 1864; captured at Atlanta, Georgia, July 22, 1864; Hull, 
Martin, enlisted December 23d; Long, Jacob, enlisted January 24, 
1862; died at Davenport February 17. 1862; Long, Madison, enlisted 


Jamiarv 24, 1862; died at Corinth August ro, 1862; Lair, Abraham, 
eiih'sted January 23, 1862; captured at Atlanta July 22, 1864; Mil- 
ligan, William P., enlisted October 20th, discharged September 4, 
1862; Myers, Thomas, enlisted January 7, 1862; captured at Atlanta 
Julv 22, 1864; rs'eedham. Captain ()., enlisted October 2()th, died at 
Davenport January 14, 1862; Parr. Thomas J., enlisted October 9th, 
promoted to seventh corporal Ajiril 17, 1862; wounded at luka Sep- 
tember 19. 1862; promoted to fifth corporal July 4, 1862; to third 
corporal September i, 1862; Peck, Charles W., enlisted October 9th, 
discharged July 4, 1862; Rozcll, Joshua J., enlisted January 24, 1862; 
captured at Atlanta July 22, 1864; ScramHn, Charles H., enlisted 
October loth, captured at Atlanta July 22, 1864; Shaw, William, 
enlisted November 9th, died at Davenport January 12, 1862; Stark, 
Ancel, enlisted February 22. 1864; wounded at Kenesaw Mountain, 
Georgia, June 2^. 1S64; killed July 21, 1864, at Nick-a-Jack Creek, 
Georgia; Stark, Cieorge S., enlisted October 18th, wounded at Big 
Shantv, Georgia, July 14, 1864; Thrift, Josiah M., enlisted Decem- 
ber 2d, captured at Shiloh, discharged March 7, 1863; Thrift 
William H., enlisted December 21st, discharged November 21, 1862; 
Zenor, Spear S., enlisted November 28th, wounded at Shiloh, dis- 
charged July 24, 1862. 


David F. Hamilton, first corporal from private March 27, 1862; 
enlisted February 15, 1862; died August i, 1862, place unknown. 

Privates — Barnes, James M., enlisted January 29, 1862; wounded 
at Shiloh April 6, 1862, and at luka August 19, 1862; missing after 
September 19, 1862; supposed to be dead; Buchanan, John, enlisted 
February 13, 1862; died March 20, 1862; Carpenter, Hezekiah. en- 
listed February 15, 1862; wounded at Shiloh, discharged Novem- 
ber :;, 1862; Carpenter. John, enlisted March 7, 1862; wounded at 
Shiloh April 6, 1862, and luka August 19, 1862; Carpenter, William, 
enlisted February 15, 1862; discharged June 22, 1862; Hamilton, 
Wesley B., enlisted February 13, 1862; died June 20, 1862; Smith, 
Fillman, enlisted February 15, 1862; discharged May 27, 1862. 


J. F. Alexander, first lieutenant; enlisted February 24, 1862; 
resigned June 7, 1862. 

N. N. Stringer, second lieutenant; enlisted February 14, 1862; 
resigneil May 4, 1 862. 


William D. Kinkade, fifth corporal; captured at luka Septem- 
ber 19, 1862, and at Atlanta July 22, 1863. 

George Huxford, eighth corporal; enlisted February 28, 1862; 
promoted to first sergeant February 28, 1865; to second lieutenant 
July I, 1865, but not mustered; was mustered out as first sergeant. 

Privates — Bass, D. M., enlisted February 8, 1862; wounded at 
Nick-a-jack Creek July 21, 1864; Coe, H. P., enlisted February 8, 
1862; wounded June 12, 1864, at Big Shanty, Georgia, and July 21, 
1864, at Nick-a-jack Creek; transferred to veteran reserve corps 
April 28, 1865; Corbin, Americus V., enlisted November 30th, cap- 
tured at Atlanta July 22, 1862; transferred to veteran reserve corps; 
Cox, Jonathan, enlisted January 29, 1864; Diel, James, enlisted 
February 26, 1862; wounded at luka, discharged February 3, 1863; 
DoUason, Austin, enlisted February, 1862; captured March 16, 1865, 
at Goldsboro, North Carolina; Dollason, John, enlisted February 9, 
1862; died July 4, 1862, at Fort Dodge; Fisher, Jesse, enlisted 
February 20, 1862; died September 9, 1862, at Bolivar, Tennessee; 
Hamilton, Jacob, enlisted February 24th; Harlan, Joshua, enlisted 
February 13, 1862; died August 20, 1862, at Corinth, IVIississippi ; 
Harris, John M., enlisted February 20, 1862; wounded June 27, 
1864, at Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia; Hofifman, George, enlisted 
February 7, 1862; captured at Atlanta July 22, 1864; Parks, Levi, 
enlisted February 26, 1862; died August 24, 1864, at Nick-a-jack 
Creek, Georgia; Parks, Samuel S., enlisted February 13, 1862; 
wounded at Shiloh April 6, 1862; captured August 27, 1864; Rem- 
ington, Samuel, enlisted February 13, 1862; discharged May 10, 
1862; Roister, Robert, enlisted April 21, 1864; captured at Atlanta 
July 22, 1864; Shaffer, Amaziah, enlisted February 28, 1862; Tom- 

linson, , enlisted November 18, 1864; Vontrees, William, 

enlisted March 8, 1862; wounded June 7, 1863, at Vicksburg; died 
of wounds June 9th; Ward, Allen, enlisted February 10, 1862; cap- 
tured at Atlanta; Ward, William, enlisted February 24, 1864; Wil- 
liams, Alfred E., enlisted October 27, 1864; Wilson, Albert, enlisted 
February 24, 1862; killed June 24, 1864, at Kenesaw Mountain, 
Georgia; Wilson, H. R., enlisted February 6, 1862; Zimbleman, 
Philip, enlisted February 12, 1862; died April 29, 1862, at St. Louis. 


Theodore DeTar, captain; wounded December 16, 1864, at 
Nashville; discharged May 15, 1865. 



William D. 'rcinpliii, first licuiciumt ; wouiulcd May i8, 1864, 
at Yellow Bayou, Louisiana; discharged March 30, 1865, for wounds. 

Rohcrt [. Shannon, second lieutenant; promoted first lieutenant, 
March 10, 1865; commanding captain August 23, 1865, but mustered 
out as Hrst lieutenant. 

Joseph G. Miller, first sergeant; captured April 9, 1864, at 
Pleasant Hill, Louisiana; died in rebel prison at Tyler, Texas, July 
28. 1864. 

Joseph M. Harvev, second sergeant; promoted to first lieutenant, 
August 23, 1865, but not mustered. 

Willis S. Defere, third sergeant; (fetailed as regimental wagon- 
master, December 26, 1862. 

I'rancis ^L Spurrier, fourth sergeant; wounded at Pleasant Hill, 
Louisiana, April 9, 1864; discharged November 24, 1864. 

Isaac C. Nutt, fifth sergeant; died November 8, 1863. 

Jasper W. Holmes, first corporal. 

Austin C. Worrick, second corporal ; discharged January 20, 1865. 

Martin Summers, third corporal ; reduced to ranks at own request. 

Malbern Pettibone, fourth corporal; killed at Pleasant Hill, 
Louisiana, April 9, 1864. 

Daniel W\ Robbins, fifth corporal; captured at Pleasant Hill, 
Louisiana, April 9, 1864. 

William .\L Petty. si.\th corporal. 

John Weston, seventh corporal, wounded at Pleasant Hill, Louis- 
iana. April 9, 1864; died of wounds May 18, 1864, at Memphis, 

William Stover, eighth corporal ; reduced to ranks at own request; 
wounded at Little Red River, Arkansas. August 14, 1863. 

Joseph Bone, musician; discharged May 12, 1863, for promotion. 

Samuel Bone, musician. 

Xorman P. Rogers, wagoner; discharged I\Lirch 4, 1863. 

Privates — Abercrombie, Harrison, enlisted August 11, 1862; 
wounded August 14, 1863, at Little Red River, Arkansas; discharged 
December 16, 1864; Ainsworth, Willard C, enlisted Januarv 20, 
1864; Andrews, Samuel, enlisted August 11, 1862; Annis, Francis, 
enlisted August 11, 1 862 ; Arasmith, Abner, enlisted August 11, 1862; 
died June 16, 1863, at Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Atkinson, James, 
enlisted August 11, 1862; Atkinson, John A., enlisted August 11, 
1862; killed July 14, at Tupelo, Mississippi; Atkinson, Robert, 
enlisted .August 11, 1862; killed August 27. 1863, at Bavou Metoe, 
Arkansas; Battin. Peter, enlisted August 11. 1862; killed April 9, 


1864, at Pleasant Hill, Georgia; Berry, William S., enlisted August 
II, 1862; Blunk, Amos I., enlisted August 11, 1862; wounded at 
Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, April 9, 1864; discharged November i, 
1864, for wounds; Blunk, Samuel C, enlisted August 11, 1862; 
wounded April 9, 1864, at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana; discharged 
September 4, 1864, for wounds; Boone, Edward M., enlisted August 
ir, 1862; BufRngton, Jacob AL, enlisted August 11, 1862; captured 
at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, April 9, 1864; Burkley, Alonzo J., en- 
listed August II, 1862; wounded and captured at Pleasant Hill, 
Louisiana, April 9, 1864; Carpenter, Hezekiah, enlisted April 11, 
1864; Carpenter, William D., enlisted August 11, 1862; Cline, Ed- 
ward M, enlisted August 11, 1862; discharged March 13, 1863; 
Cline, Joseph L W., enlisted August 1 1, 1862; discharged March 13, 
1863; Cree, Stephen W., enlisted August 11, 1862; Cummings, Isaac 
B., Jr.. enlisted August 11, 1862; Dalander, Andrew J., enlisted 
August II, 1862; Davis, Cyrus IVL, enlisted August 11, 1862; Davis, 
James A., enlisted August 11, 1862; wounded and captured at 
Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, April 9, 1864; died May 4, 1864, while 
in hands of rebels; Dooley, Thomas E., enlisted August 11. 1862; 
Dooley, John B., enlisted August 11, 1862; Dyer, William R., en- 
listed November 8, 1862; Ebersole, Cyrus A., enlisted August 11, 
1862; wounded at Little Red River, August 14, 1863; transferred to 
Invalid Corps; Eckley, Edward, enlisted August 1 1, 1862; discharged 
November 16, 1863; Fox, George H., enlisted August 11, 1862; 
killed August 14, 1863, at Little Red River, Arkansas; Gilliland, 
John W., enlisted August 11, 1862; Gaskill, James, enlisted August 
II, 1862; Goodrich, W. W., enlisted August 11, 1862; wounded 
August 14, 1863, at Little Red River, Arkansas; discharged January 
16, 1864; Grayson, William G., enlisted August 11, 1862; Gwinn, 
Robert M., enlisted August 11, 1862; transferred before muster to 
Company 1; Harter, Nicholas, enlisted August 11, 1862; killed at 
Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, April 9, 1864; Herron, John, enlisted 
August II, 1862; discharged March 24, 1864; Hickman, Benjamin 
N., enlisted August 11. 1862; wounded and captured at Pleasant 
Hill, Louisiana, April 9, 1864; Hickman, Lewis S., enlisted August 
II, 1862; Hickman, William C, enlisted August 11, 1862; Higbee, 
Tyler, enlisted August 1 1, 1862; Hughes, Isaac W., enlisted January 
5, 1864; Hull, Fenolon W., enlisted August 11, 1862; promoted to 
eighth corporal December 26, 1862; wounded July 14, 1864, at 
Tupelo, Mississippi; Hunter, George D., enlisted August 11, 1862; 
discharged March 7, 1863; Hurlburt, Jehiel B., enlisted August 11, 


1862; Irwin. William H., enlisted August 11, 1862; Joice, John F., 
enlisted August 11, 1H62; died July 23, 1863, at Cape Girardeau; 
Joice, Garrett L., enlisted August 11, 1S62; captured April 9, 1864, 
at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana; Jewett, David S., enlisted August 11, 
1862; promoted to third sergeant December 26, 1862; captured April 
9, 1864, at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana; Jones, Levi, enlisted August 
II, 1862; discharged November 16, 1863; Karby, John W., enlisted 
August 1 1, 1862; wounded August 27, 1863, at Bayou Metoe, Arkan- 
sas; discharged August 13, 1864, for wounds; Kelly, Thomas, enlisted 
August II, 1862; died April 26, 1863, at Bloomfield, Missouri; Kin- 
kead, Joseph H., enlisted August ir, 1862; Kirkendall, Henry C, 
enlisted August 11, 1862; died September i, 1863, at Duval's Bluff, 
Arkansas; Kirkendall, John W., enlisted January 5, 1864; Landers, 
John W., enlisted January q, 1864; Lawton, William B., enlisted 
August II, 1862; killed April 9, 1864, at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana; 
Lee, Abbott, enlisted August n, 1862; Lefferts, Charles, enlisted 
August II, 1862; Leonard, William P., enlisted January 5, 1864; 
Linn, Augustus, enlisted January 5, 1864; missing at Pleasant Hill, 
Louisiana, April 9, 1864; McCall, Zachariah S., enlisted August 11, 
1862; died October 5, 1863, ^t Little Rock, Arkansas; McFarlin, 
John W., enlisted January 5, 1864; ^Lihaffey, Isaac N. W., enlisted 
August II, 1862; Manchester, William, enlisted January 5. 1864; 
Merrick, John H., enlisted August i i, 1862; wounded April 9. 1864, 
at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana; died April 20, 1864, of wounds; 
Moriarty, John J., enlisted August 11. 1862; missing at Pleasant 
Hill, April 9, 1864; enlisted January 28, 1864; Nelson, Jones W., 
enlisted August 11, 1862; Nutt, Edward O., enlisted August 11, 
1862; discharged March 15, 1863; Overman, John W., enlisted 
August II, 1862; died January 10, 1863, at Cape Girardeau, Mis- 
souri; Parker, David U., enlisted January 2, 1864; Patterson, Josiah 
B., enlisted August 1 1, 1862; Paxton, Sharon A., enlisted August 1 1, 
1862; died September 14, 1863, at Brownsville. Arkansas; Payne, 
Thomas, enlisted August 11, 1862; Peoples, William M., enlisted 
August II, 1862; killed April 9, 1864, at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana; 
Peterson, Peter, enlisted August 11, 1862; Peterson, Yonse, enlisted 
August 11. 1862; discharged October 4, 1863; Petty, Robert C, 
enlisted January 5, 1864; Segrin, John, enlisted August 11. 1862; 
Shafiing, James, enlisted August 11, 1862; died September 25, 1863, 
at Little Rock, Arkansas; Spicklcmire, Thomas M., enlisted August 
II, 1862; wounded April 9, 1S64, at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana; died 
July I, 1864, at Memphis, Tennessee, of wounds; Starr, Jedediah L., 


enlisted August ii, 1862; killed April 9, 1864, at Pleasant Hill, 
Louisiana; Strunk, Elias D., enlisted August 11, 1862; transferred 
March 12, 1863, for promotion to captain Fifth Regiment, U. S. 
V. A. D. ; Tappin, Martin, enlisted August 11, 1862; died July 16, 
1864, at Mound City, Illinois; Thompson, Adam, enlisted February 
20, 1864; Thompson, Hiomas B., enlisted August 11, 1862; killed 
April 9, 1864, at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana; Walker, Calvin AL J., 
enlisted August 11, 1862; Williams, Isaac, enlisted August 11, 1862; 
promoted to corporal; died January 24, 1864, at Mound City, Illi- 
nois; Williams, James P., enlisted August 11, 1862; promoted to 
third corporal, September 26, 1862; Williams, Richard S., enlisted 
August 1 1, 1862 ; wounded August 14, 1863, at Little Rock, Arkansas; 
Williams, Samuel B., enlisted August i i, 1862; wounded August 27, 
1863, at Bayou Metoe, Arkansas; Williams, Spencer K., enlisted 
August II, 1862; died September 5, 1863, at Brownsville, Arkansas; 
Webster, James W., enlisted Februarv 29, 1864; Wright, John E. 
R., enlisted August 11, 1862; killed April 9, 1864, at Pleasant Hill, 


Anderson, Charles J., enlisted February 24, 1864; Berry, Levi, 
enlisted February 20, 1864; Blunk, Moses, enlisted February 20, 
1864; Haggan, James A., enlisted February 20, 1864; Staley, Joseph, 
enlisted March 20, 1864; Thompson, Adam, enlisted February 20, 


Birchard, Abner T., enlisted August 22, 1862; promoted to 
quartermaster sergeant, November 8, 1862. 

Gwinn, Robert M., musician; enlisted in Company D, August 
1 1, 1862. 

Huxford, Morton V., enlisted August, 1862. 


John J. Adams, first lieutenant; promoted to captain, June i, 1864. 
William F. Boggs, first sergeant; promoted to first lieutenant, 
June I, 1864. 

Randolph Schoonover, second sergeant. 


Madison [. NN'illiams, fiftli sergeant, from private. 

Adam Messmore, first corporal; returned to ranks June lo, 1864. 

Thomas J. Gilden, fourth corporal, June 10, 1864. 

Thomas Johnson, fifth corporal; promoted to fourth corporal, 
June 10, 1864. 

John A. Kees, seveniii corporal; promoted to sixth corporal June 
10, 1864. 

Privates — Berhow, Oliver; Bromily, Arthur; Caldwell, Eon W. ; 
Contwright, James; Decker, William H.; Gooden, Henry; Hetrick, 
John W. ; Hoffman, Jefterson; Hofiman^ Pleasant B. ; Jay, Eli; 
Rintzley, Winfield S. ; Kintzley, William Worth; Mclntire, William 
K. ; Xutt, F'rancis M,; Nutt, John; Parker, Robert S.; Parks, David 
M.; Pierce, Jasper; Sanders, William N., promoted to seventh 
corporal, June 10, 1864; Thomas, James S. ; Thrift, William H.; 
Webster, Bird; Williams, J. Madison. 



Ricket, Jonathan N.; Company E; enlisted July 15, i86r. 


Pagan, Benjamin, Company K; enlisted December 2, 1861 ; trans- 
ferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, June 1 1, 1865. 


Allen, \\"illiam, enlisted October 27, 1864. 
Broom, Tyler, enlisted October 27, 1864. 
Browhard, Martin, enlisted October 27, 1864. 
Cartright, Robert X., enlisted October 27, 1864. 
Daw kins, Thomas, enlisted October 27, 1864. 
Elsbury, John, enlisted October 27, 1864. 
Fruit, Jonathan W., enlisted October 27, 1864. 
Glidden, Jefiferson D., enlisted October 27, 1864. 
Hall, Henry W., enlisted November 4, 1864. 
Holloway, Oliver, enlisted October 27, 1864. 
Hunt, Charles, enlisted October 29, 1864. 


Noland, William, enlisted October 27, 1864. 
Shaw, Levi, enlisted October 27, 1864. 
Silver, Allen T., enlisted October 27, 1864. 
Starke, Jesse B., enlisted October 27, 1864. 
Starke, Nelson, enlisted November 7, 1864. 
Vernan, Job B., enlisted October 27, 1864. 
Vest, John, enlisted October 27, 1864. 
\\'illiams, James S., enlisted October 27, 1864. 
Wilson, William, enlisted October 27, 1864. 


Clayton, William T., musician. Company A; enlisted August i, 

Broyhill, George C, Company A; enlisted July 20, 1862; trans- 
ferred to Invalid Corps, April i, 1864; died August 13, 1864. 

Buckhart, David L., Company A; enlisted July 25, 1862; 
promoted to corporal; discharged July 21, 1863. 

Buckhart, William H., Company A; enlisted July 25, 1862; 
died July 18, 1863, at Milliken's Bend. Louisiana. 


Ericson, Augustus, fourth sergeant Company I; enlisted August 
22, 1862; wounded and captured October 5, 1864, at Altoona, 

Hanson, John A., Company I; enlisted August 22, 1862; dis- 
charged February 9, 1864. 

Johnson, John A., enlisted August 22, 1862; Company L 

Sodlund, Ale.x, enlisted August 22, 1862; Company L 


Johnson, Gabriel, Company C; enlisted May 23, 1864. 
Johnson, Enos, Company C; enlisted May 23, 1864. 
Johnson, Larkin, Company C; enlisted May 23, 1864. 


Herring, William B., Company F; enlisted May 17. 1864; died 
at Helena, Arkansas, June 26, 1864. 

Underville, William H., enlisted May 16, 1864; Company F. 



Richardson, Franklin, Company C; enlisted September 26, 1862, 
as first sergeant. 

Landon, Joseph, lirst corporal, Company C; enlisted September 
26, 1862. 

iXickerson, Francis M., Company C; enlisted September 26, 1862. 

Payne, Samuel S., Company C; enlisted September 26, 1862. 

Richardson, Columbus, Company C; enlisted September 26, 1862. 

Wilson, William, Company C; enlisted September 26, 1862. 



Bennett, L. C, seventh corporal. Company E; enlisted March 18, 
1S63; died August 26, 1865, at Fort Kearney, Nebraska. 
Oliver, Thomas R., Company E; enlisted April 18, 1863. 
Hull, William, Company L; enlisted November 10, i86r. 


Averill, William C, Company H; enlisted October 10, 1863; 
died August 4, 1865, at Little Rock, Arkansas. 

Kelly, Henry C, Company H; enlisted October 12, 1863. 

Slish, Benjamin F., Company H; enlisted October 4, 1863; died 
February 6, 1864, at St. Louis, Missouri. 


Miller, Benjamin E., Second Battery; enlisted September 22, 
1862; died February 15, 1864, at Memphis, Tennessee. 

Truester, Cyrus J., Second Battery; enlisted October 2, 1862; 
transferred March i, 1863, to Mississippi Marine Brigade. 


When Boone County was organized August 6, 1849, the north 
one-third of the present Township of Yell was contained in Boone 
River Township, and the south two-thirds were contained in Boone 
Township. This division continued until March 8, 1852, at which 
date Boone River Township passed from the map of Boone County 
and Dodge and Yell Townships were organized in its stead. This 
division was made by S. B. McCall, who had full legal authority 
to do so. 

The boundaries of Yell Township as laid out in 1852 show that 
it contained all of the territory in its present boundaries except the 
south tier of sections, all of the present Township of Pilot Mound, 
all of the present Township of Grant and all of the present Township 
of Amaqua, except the south tier of sections. This division con- 
tinued until September, 1858, at which date Pilot Mound Township 
was organized. This act cut ofT from Yell the territory now con- 
tained in the Townships of Pilot Mound and Grant. This division 
of September, 1858, continued until 1871, at which date the township 
was reduced to its present boundaries. 

The first election was held at Badger Point. The township was 
named in honor of Archibald Yell, of Arkansas. He was the colonel 
of a regiment of Arkansas cavalry, and was killed at the battle of 
Buena Vista, February 23, 1847, ''"■ ^ charge of the Mexican lancers. 
He was buried on the battlefield, but his body was later disinterred 
and buried at Fayetteville, the place of his residence. He was the 
second governor of Arkansas, having been inaugurated November 
5, 1840. 

Yell Township is bounded on the east by the Des Moines River, 
on the north by Pilot Mound Township, on the west by Amaqua 
Township, and on the south by Marcy Township. 

Among the names of the first settlers may be mentioned Solomon 
Smith. Lewis Kinney, P. A. Dutell, Rollen Spurrier, David Hamil- 
ton, John Buffington, a Mr. Crawford, Elisha Spickelmicr, Esau 



Daily, A. M. Cliiic, William Cliiie, Jehu Johnson. James Corbin, 
Henry Fisher, George Colwell, William Crooks, William Hall and 
Andrew Johnson. 'I'hese pioneers were the first settlers of the town- 
ship. Their names all appear on the assessor's book of 1853. Wil- 
liam Hall was the township assessor for the year 1853, which was 
the first assessment in the township. He was five days assessing the 
township and two days attending the County Court, for which he 
received :f;i.5() per day, being a total of $10.50. 

'i'iic pioneers of Yell Township endured the same hardships in 
common with the other early settlers, and this they did with courage 
and heroism. Tiiey came to secure and -build up homes in a new 
country and thev had figured upon the difficulties to be encountered 
while doing so. 

Yell Township consists of all that part of township 84, range 27, 
situated west of the Des Moines River. The eastern boundary is 
very irregular, being governed by the windings of the river. The 
township is therefore a little less than a full congressional township. 
That part of the township which is composed of prairie land is very 
fertile and well adapted to farming. But that part of it bordering 
on the river is very broken. In the early settlement this land was 
covered with a heavy growth of timber. This has been nearly all 
cut ofif and disposed of and manv acres of this land is in a high 
state of cultivation. The greater part of it, however, is now used 
for pasture, for which it is well adapted. Generally speaking, the 
township is in a high state of cultivation. The farmers are indus- 
trious and energetic, which is well attested to by the splendid farms 
and beautiful homes they have built up. There is no home so sub- 
stantial and so inviting as a beautiful farm home. 

In 1867 steps were taken to organize an agricultural society for 
Boone County. In October of that year a meeting was held in the 
courthouse at Boonesboro, at which a committee of five persons in 
each 0I the townships of the county were appointed, and to them was 
assignetl the duty of organizing the society. The members of the 
committee appointed for Yell Township were as follows: fames 
Spickelmier, (J. \Y. Berrv, Jacob Myers, Lewis Kinnev and G. W. 

The first birth in ^'ell Township was that of Theodore Crawford. 
The first death was that of a man named King. He was buried in 
what was afterward known as the Spickelmier Cemetery. 7'his was 
the death of an actual settler, but the first death which occurred in 
Yell Township, and also in Boone County, was that of Milton Lott, 


which was on December i8, 1846. He froze to death in an effort to 
escape the Sioux Indians, who had raided his father's house at the 
mouth of Boone River. His body was found near the center of 
section 13, township 84, range 27, a few days later by his father, 
Henry Lott, and Jolin Pea. A little monument has been placed near 
where his body was found, by the Madrid Historical Society. This 
was done December 18, 1905. 

There is no date at hand as to when the first schoolhouse in the 
township was built, nor the date at which the first school was taught. 
But it will be safe to conclude that these essentials were looked after 
and attended to by the pioneers of Yell Township as soon as they 
were needed. The township now has six school districts and six 
schoolhouses, outside of the district of Ogden. These schoolhouses 
are all kept in good repair and each of them has eight months of 
school every year. Competent teachers are employed and the schools 
are in a prosperous condition. Among the early teachers in the 
township were Reuben Parcell, V. B. Crooks, Joshua Corbin, M. T. 
Harlan, William Hall and Miss Mary Williams. 

The first religious services in the township were held at Badger 
Point, in the house of Solomon Smith, by Rev. William Sparks, of 
Marcy Township. 

The people of Yell Township have been quiet and law-abiding, 
but on two occasions they took the law into their own hands and 
undertook to enforce it to suit themselves. One of these occasions 
was in April, 1858. During the winter and spring of that year 
many articles, such as corn, meat, chickens, log chains and other 
things were missed and after looking the matter up for a while the 
blame was centered on the Pardee family, consisting of John Pardee 
and his three sons, Nat, Ben and Bart. The Pardees were notified 
to leave the country, but they did not go, and whether by accident 
or purpose, all the Pardees occupied the senior Pardee's house, which 
was a large, hewed log building that stood in the east part of section 
33, township 84, range 27. One morning the Pardees found them- 
selves besieged in their own house. If one of them exposed his 
person he was fired upon. The siege lasted a day or so. There 
were four of the besieged and twenty of the besiegers. Finding it 
impossible to dislodge the Pardees, withcjut using more drastic 
measures, and fearing they had means to continue their resistance 
to the besiegers, they resolved to use a different method. They loaded 
a wagon with hay arid Joseph Masters, provided with a firebrand, 
hid himself in the hay, while two (jthers, Washington Phipps and 


J'ctcr Harshniaii, puslicd tlic wagon down the descent to the house. 
Just as Masters raised to throw the Hrebrand on the house, a bullet 
from one of the guns within pierced his brain and he fell dead. At 
the same time the men in the house shot under the wagon, wounding 
Washington I'hipps in the leg and lodging a bullet in Peter Harsh- 
man's foot. 'Ihis spread dismay among the besiegers. They had 
not intended to kill any one nor intended that any of them should be 
killed. Their intention was to intimidate the Pardees and drive 
them out of the country; and liad the house taken tire and the Pardees 
run out, tiiev would not have been shot. But the Pardees were in 
earnest and shot to kill. It was said the boy Bart shot Masters, 
contrary to the wishes and orders of his father and older brothers. 
Under a flag of truce the besiegers carried ofif the body of Masters, 
took care of the wounded and withdrew from the Held, leaving the 
Pardees masters of the situation. The matter soon found its way 
into court. Warrants were issued and thirty residents of Yell Town- 
ship, at least half of whom were innocent, were arrested and brought 
before County Judge McCall, acting as magistrate. The times grew 
so iiot that the judge dismisseti the proceedings and advised all of 
the parties to go and sin no more. But the grand jury indicted a 
good number of them and all were ultimately fined. One of the 
men who took part in the siege said that it cost every one of those 
indicted and tried seventy-five dollars. 

The night after the shooting of Masters, the Pardees abandoned 
the house they were besieged in and the ne.\t morning it was burned. 
Some time after this a man named Miles Randall, a friend of the 
Pardees, was caught and unmercifully whipped, but the parties who 
did the whipping were never fountl. Randall left the country in 
a short time after the whipping and the l\irdecs sold out and did 

During the notorious river land troubles, a man employed by the 
River Land Company as log brander for the west side of the river, 
whose name was Farr, was caught in the timber of ^'ell Township 
and terribly whipped. The men were all masked, so that Farr 
could not identify any of them. After whipping Farr, the masked 
men told him to leave the countrv and never return. He obeyed. 

^'ell I'ownship has two railroads. The Chicago & Northwestern 
runs across the south part of the township from east to west. The 
Minneapolis & St. Louis runs through the west tier of sections of the 
township from north to south, the roads forming a junction at Ogden, 
which is the only railroad station in the township. Bluff Creek is 


the only stream in Yell Township of any importance and the only 
one named on the map of the county. 

The coal shaft which was doing a good business in 1880, at 
Incline, in Yell Township, has long since been abandoned. The 
vein has been worked out, the machinery moved to other parts and 
nothing is left to mark the place but a large mound of cinders and 
the brick and stone contained in the foundations of the buildings 
which composed the Village of Incline. 

Incline was situated on section 23, township 84, range 27. An- 
other shaft has been sunk on the lands of the Boone Valley Coal & 
Railway Company, in section 3, township 84, range 27, which is a 
new venture. The Town of Fraser is looking anxiously toward the 
success of this venture. 

As near as can be ascertained, the following list is the number 
of men who went from Yell Township as soldiers in the Civil war: 
J. W. Kurkendall, Bartley N. Pardee, A. C. Ross, W. A. Spurrier, 
J. J. Spurrier, W. P. Berry, Reuben Parcell, Barclay Benbow, W. C. 
Crooks, F. M. Spurrier, W. S. Berry, J. W. Cline, B. N. Hickman, 
L. S. Hickman, W. C. Hickman, T. H. Spickelmier, R. S. Williams, 
J. J. Moriarty, Jesse Fisher and John Buchanan. Considering the 
sparsely settled condition of the township from 1861 to 1865, the 
above is a good showing. 

There is but one postoflice in Yell Township at the present time 
and this is at Ogden. A country postoflice is no longer a necessity. 
Rural delivery and the telephone have come in as a substitute. Rural 
delivery has given the country people a daily mail, while the tele- 
phone has placed them in communication with all the other parts 
of the county in which they live. This is a wonderful contrast to 
the time when there was no telephone and mail was received but 
once a week. 


There have been three towns laid out in Yell Township. In 
1855 James Corbin and Henry Fisher laid out a town which they 
named Centerville. It is situated on the west bank of the Des Moines 
River, in section 12, township 84, range 26. Mr. Corbin and Mr. 
Fisher expected to see Centerville grow into a town of some import- 
ance. A mill was in operation on the river when the town was 
laid out and it was supposed this would help the town to put on a 
healthy growth. The place after the lapse of years grew large 

Vol. 1—13 


enough to have two stores and a blacksmith shop. This was during 
the time that the heavy body of timber near the village was being 
cut off. The town onlv lasted about three years and then the break 
commenced. About the same time the mill was washed away by a 
freshet of the ri\er, which sealeil the doom of Centerxille. A village 
of a half dozen houses is all there is left. 

In 1852 Lewis Kinney, who owned the mill at the site of Center- 
ville, was elected prosecuting attorney. In i8q4 James Corbin, 
one of the proprietors of C'enterville, was elected to the same oflice 
to succeed Mr. Kinney. This was very complimentary to Center- 
ville and a very interesting item in its history. 


The town of Daily City was laid out July 26, 1855, by Jacob 
Daily. It was situated on section 4, township 84, range 27, in Yell 
Township. Its proprietor fondly hoped to see it prosper and thrive, 
but in this he was doomed to disappointment. Daily City never 
materialized. It was never even a hamlet, nor did it have a place 
ujion any of the county maps. 

In the sketch of Dodge Township, mention is made that three 
companies of the First Regiment of United States Dragoons on the 
march from Old Fort Des Moines to Wabasha's Village camped 
within the present bounds of that township on the night of June 21, 
1835. According to the trail of the march and the dots of the en- 
campments as they appear on the map of Lt. Albert M. Lea, another 
encampment was made on the return march upon the soil of Boone 
County. This encampment was on Bluff Creek, in the present limits 
of Yell Township. On the return march the Dragoons crossed the 
west fork of the Des Moines near the northwest corner of Humboldt 
County and marched south on the west side of the river. The note 
in the journal on the date of this encampment is as follows: 

"Thursday, August 6, 1835. Marched 25 miles. Encampment 
good; much game killed by our men and Indians." 

riic map above referred to locates this encampment to be on Bluff 
Creek in Veil Township. The Indians mentioned in the note of the 
journal were si.x Sac and Fox Indians who belonged to Keokuk's 
Village, near the present Town of Agency, in Wapello County. 
Among these was Frank Labasher, the half-breed interpreter and 
guide. 'Hiese Dragoons were the first white people to set foot upon 
'he soil of "WMI Township. 

New Hank ]iiiil(liii<r 

State liaiik 

:\Ii'tli(«list l-:|ii~rupal Clmn-li 

S\\i'(li>li i:v;nij;elical Mis^imi ( liinrli 

Main Street 

('oiigri'Katioiial ( liiirrh 

Opera House 

viKWs IX i)(;|)p;n" 



Yell Township has been well remembered in the way of county 
offices which have been bestowed upon her citizens. The record 
shows that the first county office accorded to Yell Township was 
that of prosecuting attorney, held by Lewis Kinney from 1852 to 
1854; James Corbin, same office, from 1854 to 1856; Wesley Wil- 
liams, township supervisor, from 1861 to 1864; M. E. Cline, same 
office, from 1864 to :866; T. P. Coin, same office, from 1866 to 
1868; member of the Board of Supervisors, Peter V. Farley, from 
1876 to 1878; county auditor, L. L. Sawyer, from 1874 to 1876. 
J. H. Eads held the office of clerk of the District Court two terms; 
J. J. Snell also filled the same office two terms. Mr. Lorenzen was 
elected treasurer of Boone County. He qualified and entered upon 
the discharge of his duties but resigned at the end of six months. 
Mr. Clark and Mr. Howell have each served as members of the 
Board of Supervisors. 

According to the census of 1910 the population of Yell Township, 
including Ogden and a small part of Fraser, was 2,322. Deducting 
the population of Ogden, which was 1,298, and of West Fraser, which 
was fifty, the population of the township proper was 974. 

The present township officers are: Trustees, H. C. Heldt, Clinton 
McCaskey and O. J. Wilcox; assessor, Lincoln McCaskey; clerk, 
D. Jones, Jr.; justice of the peace, E. L. Merriam; constable, J. C. 


Ogden is the metropolis not only of Yell Township, but of the 
west half of Boone County. It is the largest town and the most 
active commercial center between Boone and Jeflferson. In fact, 
there are few towns in Central Iowa better equipped with territorial 
surroundings than Ogden. Its chances for putting on a future 
growth are encouraging. The Town of Ogden is a product of the 
Chicago & Northwestern Railroad. It was laid out by John I. Blair 
and the plat was recorded June 6, 1866. About this time a dispute 
arose as to the title of a part of the land on which Ogden was laid out, 
between the railroad company and E. C. Litchfield, one of the bene- 
ficiaries of the old Des Moines Navigation and Railroad Company. 
Mr. Litchfield came out victorious in the legal contest as to the 
title of the land, and his agent, a Mr. Brown, resurveyed the town, 
together with Brown Addition. This plat was dated May 6, 1870. 
The town is located on sections 31 and 32, township 84, range 27. 


It was nanicii m honor ot \\'. B. Oi^uIlmi, a distinguished railroad 
man and capitalist. During the time of the litigation the town did 
not make mueii progress, but since then its growth has been steady. 

The first residents of the town were William Patterson, John 
Regan and (jeorge Stanley, who were railroad laborers. About 
this time I'attcrson and .Stanley had a (]uarrel .uid Patterson went 
to .Ames; Stanley followed, the quarrel was renewed an(f Stanley 
killed I'atterson. Stanley was sentenced to a life term in the state 
penitentiary, but has since died. 

In 1867 Dr. I. II. Noves located in Ogden and commenced the 
practice of his profession. With the exception of Dr. Grimmel, 
of Quincy, in Marcv Township, and Dr. Mower, of Buffalo Grove, 
in L'nion Townsiiip, lie was the first of his profession to practice in 
the west half of Boone County. Dr. Noyes was the first to engage 
in the drug business in Ogden. He sold his drug business in 1875 
that he might devote his entire time to his professional duties. 

A. \y. Blumberg was among the first merchants of Ogden, but 
he failed in 1872 and moved to California. J. C. Soward was also 
among the early merchants of Ogden. He and a partner opened 
a general store, but they so(jn failed and went to Nebraska, seeking 
a new location. A rtrm by the name of Heath & Shaw succeeded 
Soward & Company, and this in a short time also failed. This suc- 
cession of failures had rather a gloomy efifect upon the progress of 
the town. So manv failures in so short a time made it appear that 
a business venture at that place would be an unsafe thing. 

But the country around Ogden was settling up with industrious 
and energetic farmers, which gave assurance of good business in the 
years to come, and it did come. About the time of the failures 
above mentioned, Peter Rattray opened a general store and by eco- 
nomical management and the increase of business he became a pros- 
perous merchant. 

The Town of Ogden was incorporated in May, 1878. The names 
of the town officers were as follows: Mayor, Oscar Whitehead, who, 
after serving three months, resigned and Dr. Noyes was elected 
as his successor; recorder, J. Eversoll; treasurer, J. J. Snell; marshal, 
Charles Jewell ; attorney, Earl Billings; councilmen, N. Eads, T. H. 
Webster, Dr. Orson Clark and A. H. Mertz. 

The following year the officers elected were: Mayor, Dr. J. H. 
Noyes; recorder, E. Evans; treasurer, H. B. Wagers; assessor, James 
Sickler; marshal, L. Jones; attorney. Earl Billings; councilmen. 

evax(:i:lkal lftherax church, ogden 





Bcnjainin Blanford, A. Green, Dr. Orson Clark, J. J. Snell, J. H. 
Powers and Edward Amey. 

The following is a list of the business houses of Ogden in 1879 
as given bv the Union Historical Society, which is of sufficient 
interest to include in this sketch. Although the list may not be 
complete, it is believed it embraces the more important places of 
business and that the list is accurate so far as it extends. The list 
is as follows : 

The first hotel was called the Ogden House and was presided 
over by G. A. Tobey; general merchants, Peter Rattray, H. Shryver 
& Atwood, Brice & Wagers, Brammer & Lorenzen; drugs and medi- 
cines, J. S. Pitman, T. J. Goodvkoontz; millinery and dressmaking, 
Mrs. E. M. Jones, Miss E. A. Ratkie; hardware, Nelson & Farley, 
O. L. Sturtevant; grain dealers, Sylvester Huntley and Osborne; 
bankers, Sylvester Huntley and J. D. Gillett; blacksmiths, F. Emer- 
son, T. J. Finch, John Botdorf; photographer, C. Rhodes; wagon- 
makers, John Johnson, Olif Oberg, James McElroy; shoemakers, 
A. Youngberg, C. J. Alum; hotels, L. A. Caswell, Mrs. C. B. Stiles, 
James Lamb; physicians, Dr. J. H. Noyes, Dr. E. H. Melott, Dr. D. 
Sickler, Dr. Orson Clark; newspaper and lawyer. Earl Billings; 
flouring mill, John S. Lord; bakery and restaurant, C. L. Zollinger; 
jeweler, A. C. Roberts; carpenters, W. C. Wells, F. Wilkins, G. C. 
Miller, J. S. Sperry, J. Eversoll, L Blake; livery stable, Allen & 
Nelson and C. W. Clark. 

There is no postoffice in Yell Township outside of Ogden. Prior 
to the time Ogden was laid out there was a postoffice at the house of 
Wesley Williams, near the central part of the township. It was 
later moved to Ogden. The first postmaster at Ogden was William 

The first birth in Ogden was a child born to Mr. and Mrs. A. W. 

The first marriage was that of Charles Soward and Jennie 

The Ogden Reporter was the first newspaper issued in the Town 
of Ogden or in the west half of Boone County. It was established 
June 4, 1874. The founder and first editor of the Reporter was 
Edward Adams, a young man who was in the lumber business at 
that place. He was a printer of some experience and becoming con- 
vinced that Ogden needed a newspaper even in that early stage of its 
career, sent for a press and commenced the publication of the Ogden 
Reporter. Mr. Adams was not an experienced newspaper man, but 


he continued to edit the Reporter until October of the same year, 
when he sold the press and paper to Earl Billings and retired from 
the newspaper business. Mr. Billings was a bold, defiant newspaper 
man, very complimentary at times and at other times very abusive. 
But he had a long career as editor of the Reporter and made fast 
friends and bitter enemies during the tiiiie. On October 4, 1904, 
Billings sold the Reporter to Williams & Lund, who continued to 
give the people of Ogden a good, live paper until February i, 1914, 
when they sold the Reporter to W. D. Miller, its present editor and 
proprietor. It will thus be seen that the Reporter is now in its 
forty-first year. 

The Ogden Messenger was the second newspaper venture in 
Ogden. Its publication commenced in 1890, its proprietors and 
editors being 'Hiompson & Weaver. They believed that the west 
side of the river needed another newspaper. The Reporter had been 
in good, healthy condition for sixteen years, and as it was republican 
in politics, the second newspaper should be democratic. At the end 
of two years Mr. Weaver sold his interest in the Messenger to his 
partner, Mr. Thompson, and became the foreman printer of the 
Boone Democrat. Mr. Thompson continued to publish the Mes- 
senger until some time in the year 1908, when its publication was 
discontinued and Mr. Thompson, its editor, retired from the news- 
paper business. 

About the year 1909, Marshall Cooper started a paper called the 
Ogden Democrat. Its career was short and in about six months its 
publication was suspended. 

W. D. Miller, the present editor of the Reporter, is a gentleman 
of dignity and ability and he will, without doubt, give the people of 
Ogden a good local paper. He has been a citizen of Ogden twelve 
years. He came to Ogden as station agent of the Milwaukee & 
St. Louis Railroad and continued in this place four years. He then 
assisted in organizing the Farmers State Bank of Ogden, remaining 
with it one year. He then acted as assistant postmaster one term 
and was acting postmaster about six months during the year 1913. 

At the present time Ogden has five general stores, two grocery 
stores, two drug stores, one milliner store, two clothing stores, one 
harness shop, two lumberyards, two hardware stores, four grain 
dealers, two stock buyers and four banks — the Farmers State Bank, 
the City State Bank, the Ogden State Bank and the Farmers Security 
Bank. There are also four practicing physicians, as follows: Drs. 
Mellotte, Noland, Ganoe and Clark. There is one flouring mill, 

^.^ M>»-* TSi. ,ir*» 


V T).i :, i:i 

::.. 1 



three bakeries and restaurants, two dentists, one jewelry store, two 
garages, one livery barn, one hotel and one lawyer, in the person 
of B. F. Porter. 

Ogden has two school buildings, one being the high school build- 
ing, the other the graded school building. Both these are good 
structures and speak well for the educational enterprise of the people 
of Ogden. The enrollment in the schools exceeds four hundred. 
The school board employs thirteen teachers. There were ten gradu- 
ates at the close of the last term. J. R. Nevelen is the present 
superintendent of the Ogden schools, and Miss Geneva Way is the 
principal. The other teachers for the fall term of 1914 have not 
been elected. The schools are in a prosperous condition. 

Ogden has seven church organizations and' seven church build- 
ings. There is a Catholic, a Methodist Episcopal, a Free Methodist, 
Swedish Lutheran, Swedish Mission, Congregational and German 
Lutheran. These all are said to have fair sized congregations, and 
each has a Sunday school. 

Ogden Lodge No. 281, L O. O. F., was organized May 2, 1874. 
The following are the names of the charter members: R. U. Whee- 
tock, Amos DeHaven, George G. Miller, John M. Bellon, Ephraim 
Sayres. The order now has one hundred members. The present 
officers are : John Christianson, N. G. ; Arthur Stanburg, V. G. ; C. E. 
Beck, secretary; J. W. McCollum, treasurer. 

On the 3d of April, 1871, there was granted a dispensation to 
organize an order of Free and Accepted Masons in Ogden by John 
Scott, then grand master of the. State of Iowa. This was granted 
upon the petition of James Sickler, Orson Clark, Richard Tembv, 
Cyrus K. Babb, David H. Randall, Fairfield Sylvester, Dr. James 
H. Noyes, O. L. Sturtevant, A. W. Blumberg and C. B. Sylvester, 
who were the charter members. The first regular communication 
was held April 21, 1871, when the following officers were elected: 
James Sickler, W. M.; Orson Clark, S. W. ; Richard Temby, J. W. ; 
O. L. Sturtevant, treasurer; D. H. Randall, secretary; F. Sylvester, 
S. D. ; Dr. James Noyes, J. D. The lodge under dispensation was 
very prosperous and it continued to work until July i, 1872, when it 
held its first meeting under a charter from the grand lodge of Iowa, 
at which time they read the name and number of Rhodes Lodge, 
No. 303. The lodge now has ninety members. The present officers 
are: W. D. Miller, W. M.; Orson Clark, S. W. ; Charles Morgan, 
J. W. ; S. P. Clark, treasurer; James H. Noyes, secretary. 


Tlic names of tlic present officers of the Town of Ogden are as 
follows: Mayor, D. Sickler; treasurer, W. D. Kruse; assessor, D. O. 
Clark; marshal, Fred Taylor; attorney, B. F. Porter; councilmen, 
Henry Klepple, Henry Khler, Charles Morgan, William Bakley and 
Charles Erickson. 

There are several coal shafts near Ogden — three north of town 
and three south of town, 'lliese mines employ 300 men. Some of 
them are not running now but they expect to be in a short time. The 
coal is said to be of good quality and the vein four feet thick. 

The Town of Ogden is putting on a healthy growth. The beau- 
tiful country that surrounds it, with the aid of the coal mines near it, 
give assurance that Ogden will grow into a city of considerable 
importance. Its outlook is good. According to the census of 19 10 
the population of Ogden was 1,298. The census to be taken next 
year will give it a much greater population than this, as the most of 
its mining population has been added since the last census was taken. 

There is a Grand Army Post in Ogden, consisting of forty mem- 
bers. They have regularly elected officers and hold regular meetings. 
The people of Ogden most certainlv have a high appreciation of this 
membership of the veterans of the Civil war. There is no associa- 
tion of men more deserving of respect and honor than they are. 


lll(;ll .^( IliKll.. iii.i)i;x 



THr; NEV.' VOn K 



At the time of the organization of the county, August 6, 1849, 
the present Township of Dodge was included in Boone River Town- 
ship. This division continued until March 8, 1852, when Boone 
River Township was discontinued and Dodge Township established 
and named. Judge McCall, who had the official authority to locate, 
establish and name the township, when petitioned to do so during his 
official terms, was an admirer of prominent men and he named this 
township in honor of United States Senator A. C. Dodge, of Iowa, 
the first man to be honored with that position. The Union Histori- 
cal Company says: "A. C. Dodge became known to the early settlers 
through his connection with the Black Hawk war." This is a mis- 
take. A. C. Dodge had nothing to do with the Black Hawk war, but 
his father, Gen. Henry Dodge, acted a prominent part in the defeat 
and capture of Black Hawk and his band of warriors. At first Dodge 
contained a large territory, but after the establishment of Jackson 
and Des Moines townships, it was reduced to its present size. But 
Dodge is still the largest township in the county. It contains the 
congressional township of 85, range 26, and the east one-third of 
township 85, range 27. It is bounded on the west by the Des Moines 
River; on the south by Des Moines Township; on the east by Harri- 
son Township; six miles on the north by Hamilton County, and two 
miles on the north by Webster County. 

Among the first settlers of the township were M. White, J. Rich- 
ardson, Joel Baker, W. L. DeFore, W. R. Cole, C. Maupin, I. C. 
Hull, J. B. Godwin, Almon Stinson, Daniel Knight, M. Leininger, 
C. Castine, J. Crim, Orlin Hinman, H. Friedley, A. Swigart, J. C. 
James, Peter Nicholson, John Ridpath, Robert Martin, W. C. Mar- 
tin, Johnson Dawkins, Benjamin Dawkins, Levi Emerson, Joseph 
Landon, T. J. Johnson, David Aldrich, Henry T. Martin, C. Stotts, 
Absalom Kelley, John Kelley, P. K. Detrick, Thomas Neal and 
J. M. Stotts. 



riic first school in tlic township was taught in a dwelling house 
by '/.. |. V'ontrccs, who was a soldier in the Mexican war and who, 
in 1S70, was chosen a member of the board of county supervisors. 

'J'he first sermon was preached by Ezra Rathburn, a Portuguese, 
who settled upon a claim but did not become a permanent settler. 
Tile services were held in a private house. 

The first marriage in the township was that of Jacob Baker and 
Elizabeth Lent, by W. L. DeFore, justice of the peace. 

'I'he soil of Dodge Township is very fertile and the best of crops 
are produced every year. The farmers of the township are up-to- 
date, industrious and energetic. They have well impro\ cd farms and 
beautiful and substantial homes. I'here is nothing which brings 
happiness and contentment like the home. That part of the township 
situated along the Des Moines River and its tributaries is much 
broken. In the early settlement of the township these lands were 
covered with a heavy growth of timber, most of which has been cut 
off and disposed of at good returns. Some of these broken lands 
have been put under cultivation, but the greater part of them are 
now good pasture land, which makes them valuable. By far the 
greater part of the township is composed of prairie land which has 
fine drainage facilities and every acre is utilized. 

The tax book of Boone County for the year 1853 g'ves a list 
of thirty-four names of citizens of Dodge Township who were subject 
to assessment. There were no real estate assessments in the township 
for that year and for this reason the personal property only was as- 
sessed. J. F. Alexander was the largest taxpayer in the township that 
year. Next to him came W. L. DeFore, John Mitchell and P. J. 
Nicholson. J. F. Alexander was tiie assessor of the township for the 
year 1H53. He was four days assessing the people of the township 
and two days before tlie county judge completing the assessment list. 
For his services he received $1.50 per day, or $9.00 for the whole 
of the work. 

The trail and encampment dots on the map of Lt. Albert M. Lea, 
published in 1836, indicate that the camp of the three companies of 
United States Dragoons in their march across the Territorv of Iowa 
camped on section i q, township 85, range 26, in Dodge Township, on 
the evening of June 21, 1835. These were the first white people to 
set foot upon the soil of the township. Among these Dragoons was 
C. W. Gaston, who, a little over ten years later, became the first 
permanent settler of Boone Countv. 


The first petitioner for a county road was P. K. Detrick, who 
was a citizen of Dodge Township. Through his efforts the road 
that runs from the south side of Boone County through Dodge Town- 
ship to Hook's Point in Hamilton County, was established. The 
hand ax which was used in driving the stakes and blazing the trees 
along the route of tiiis historic road is now in the possession of the 
Madrid Historical Society. This hand ax was a gift from a 
descendant of the P. K. Detrick family. 

The first real estate mortgage placed upon the records of Boone 
County was made by John Ridpath to P. K. Detrick, to secure the 
payment of $75. The land mortgaged was situated in section 35, 
township 85, range 27, in Dodge Township. The date was May 3, 
1851. Mr. Ridpath and Mr. Detrick were both citizens of Dodge 

In 1857 th^ necessary steps were taken to organize the first agri- 
cultural society in the county. A meeting was held at the courthouse 
in Boonesboro, October 6, 1857. At this meeting five persons of each 
of the townships in the county were appointed, whose duty it was 
to organize the society. The five persons appointed for Dodge Town- 
ship were Robert Martin, John Ridpath, W. L. DeFore, Almon Stin- 
son and Daniel Dillon. 

A large part of the people of the township are good, law-abiding 
citizens, but there have been a number of crimes committed within 
its borders, as the dockets of the local magistrates and the criminal 
dockets of the county show. Like the other townships of the county 
bordering on the Des Moines River, certain transitory citizens took 
up their abode on the timbered lands long enough to make trouble 
for the more permanent settlers. Dodge Township has had trouble 
with many of these transitory citizens. But very few people who 
build homes with the intention of becoming permanent citizens are 
lawbreakers. The mining Town of Fraser, like all other mining 
towns, has had a shifting population, the kind that commits more 
crimes than any other, and they are places where lawbreakers prefer 
to go. More crimes iiave been committed in Fraser than all the rest 
of Dodge Township. 

Dodge Township has thirteen school districts and thirteen school- 
houses, all in good repair. They have school in all of these districts 
every year. The teachers are among the best and the schools are in 
a prosperous condition. There is no township in the county that has 
as many schools as Dodge. Fraser also has a school building with 
four departments. I ] 


Dodge 'I'owiisliip has the hmior of the locatimi of the county poor 
farm. This coiuitv institution lor tlie care of the poor and destitute 
people of the county liad been talked about for a number of years, 
but no definite action was taken until 1867. The county was at that 
time in debt and there was strenuous opposition to increasing tiie 
debt even to purchase a county poor farm. But the need of such 
an institution had become so imperative that the board of supervisors 
submitted a proposition to the people to be voted upon at the October 
election in icSOj, to borrow $12,000, with which to purchase a county 
poor farm. The proposition carried by a vote of 882 for the proposi- 
tion and 291 against it. Having thus received authority to proceed 
with the work the board of supervisors, after looking around in 
various parts of the county, decided to purchase a farm owned by 
J. F. Alexander, located in Dodge Township. The farm consisted 
of 240 acres situateii in sections 19 and 20. township 85, range 26. 
The farm is well located and it has been well managed and is now 
an institution that every citizen of the county has good reason to 
be proud of. Ihere was one horrible misfortune which occurred 
at the county farm in the year 1888, which was a very lamentable 
one. In some unaccountable wav a fire occurred in the insane 
building, which was some distance from any of the other build- 
ings, and it was entirely consumed, together with the eight inmates 
that occupied it. This much regretted accident aroused the pitv 
and sympathy of every citizen of the county. The fire did not reacli 
any of the other buildings on the farm. The burned building 
was replaced with another one much better than the one destroyed. 
The other buildings of the farm are ample for the accommodation 
of all who have been admitted to the farm. There are now thirtv- 
iour paupers at the county poor farm and thirtv in the insane depart- 
ment, making a total of si.xty-four. It is an honor to Dodge Township 
to have this most prominent institution in the countv within its 

Among the citizens who have been called upon to serve the countv 
in an official capacity was Levi Emerson, who was elected county 
superintendent and served from 1862 to 1864. He was succeeded in 
office by W. C. Martin, who served from 1864 to 1866. He was then 
elected representative and served from 1866 to 1868. Almon Stinson 
was elected county supervisor for Dodge Township in i860 and 
served two terms, or until 1865. This was during the period that 
each township had a member of the board of supervisors. Mr. Stin- 
son was succeeded by Benjamin Dawkins, who served two terms, at 


the end of which time the tnwiiship supervisor system was discon- 
tinued by act of the Legislature and the membership of the board 
of supervisors was reduced to three. In 1866 A. J. Barkley was 
elected county recorder and reelected in 1868. In 1888 John S. 
Friedlev was elected clerk of the District Court and was reelected 
in 1890. In 1906 George Hannum was elected sheriff and was 
reelected in 1908. 

Of the men whose names appear in tlie above list W. C. Martin 
may be noted as a man of considerable ability. He was a graduate 
of DePauw University of Greencastle, Indiana. He was a minister 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church and an able speaker. After 
leaving Boone County he located in Southwestern Iowa, where he was 
chosen a presiding elder at least one term. Later on he moved to 
Indianola, where the title of LL. D. was conferred upon him by 
Simpson College. Mr. Martin was also a prominent teacher, having 
taught about fifty terms. 

Another citizen of prominence who was called upon to serve as 
a member of the Legislature was W. L. DeFore. He was elected in 
1873 and he took an active part in securing the Granger legislation 
of 1874, about which so much has been said and written. 

One of the most singular formations of land to be found anv- 
where in Central Iowa is that range of hills and bluff's known as the 
Mineral Ridge. It extends across the north end of Dodge Township., 
The elevations and peaks of this ridge are high above all the sur- 
rounding country. They present a striking appearance. The early 
surveyors could not get the needles of their compasses to work upon 
this ridge. They said there were deposits of iron beneath the ridge 
and so they named it Mineral Ridge. 


Two towns have been laid out in Dodge Township. One of 
these is Ridgeport, situated near the summit of the Mineral Ridge. 
It was laid out in May, 1854, by John Ridpath and Absolom Kelley 
and is located on section 18, township 85, range 26. A postofTice was 
established the same year and J. F. Alexander was appointed post- 
master. Ridgeport has never put on much of a growth and its 
population will not now exceed one hundred people. It has one 
general store, operated by Mr. Condon, one blacksmith and wood- 
work shop, two churches and a number of good residences. 


The oldest chureli in ilie village is of the Baptist denomination, 
organized in 1853, with a membership of sixteen. A brick church 
was erected in 1869, at a cost of $2,300. Their present membership 
is said to be seventv-live. They liave a good Sunday school. Rev. 
William Sparks, of Marcy Township, was the minister who organ- 
ized this church. The other church is of the Methodist Episcopal 
denomination, which was organized in 1866. The charter members 
were H. Condon, D. Sterrett and wife, Lorenzo Skinner and W. C. 
Martin and wife. With this small beginning the number has in- 
creased until it has now reached about fifty. They have a frame 
church of sufficient dimensions to accommodate the church and 
Sunday school. 

Of the old-time settlers who located in the early 'qos there remains 
but one and this is Jonathan Bucchler, who is now ninety years of age. 


The second town laid out in Dodge Township was Eraser. It 
was platted September 21, 1S93, by the Eraser Coal Company, the 
chief man being Hamilton Brown. Eraser is situated on the west 
half of the southeast quarter of section 35 and on the southeast (juarter 
of section 34, township 85, range 27. Much coal was taken out and 
shipped from the Eraser mines, between the years 1894 and 191 2, a 
period of eighteen years. The place was never anything but a mining 
town and the population has been of the shifting kind, but it grew to 
such proportions that according to the census of 1900 it had nearly 
one thousand people. Ten years later, in 1910, the population had 
fallen to a little over four hundred. It is claimed bv some that at 
one time Eraser had a population of miners and floaters of 1,200 
people, but such is not the case at the present time. The mines are 
now worked out and nothing is being done. A visit to this town on 
the 20th of June, 1914, found the population reduced to less than 
three hundred. Half the buildings, both business and residences, 
were empty. There is still a store of three departments, one for 
groceries, one for clothing, and one for boots and shoes; a hardware 
store, a billiard hall and a barber shop; but the hotels, boarding 
houses and restaurants have all closed. The streets have never been 
graded and no sidewalks have been made and the town is anything 
but inviting. 

Eraser still has a schoolhouse of four departments, and for a 
number of years they were all used. At present onh two of them 


are needed. There are two church buildings in the place, but the 
membership is much reduced. One of these is of the Methodist 
Episcopal denomination and the other is, or rather was, a colored 
church. Since the mines are worked out the members have all left 
but one, and he is the minister. He still preaches to a small gather- 
ing of white people who, out of courtesy, go to hear him. They say 
he is a very good man and has the respect and confidence of all his 

It will not be long until the houses of Eraser will be sold, torn 
down and hauled away. That part of Eraser which is on the west 
side of the river in Yell Township is in a more prosperous condition 
than that on the east side, but it is only a small part of the town. 
There are two industries on that side. One of these is the tile factory 
which employs about forty hands. The other is a pumping machine, 
which takes up sand and water from the river bed. In the process 
the sand is separated from the water and conveyed into a receptacle, 
while the water flows into the river again. Much of this river-bed 
sand is used in the tile factory, and during the cement season an 
average of about eight carloads per day of it are shipped to other 

The names of those who enlisted in the Union army during the 
Civil war were, as near as can be ascertained, as follows: Samuel 
Coe, James W. Higby, G. S. Stark, J. E. Alexander, W. S. DeEore, 
H. P. Coe, George Huxford, John W. Harris, A. Shafer, Philip 
Zim.,leman, Robert Royster, W. L. DeEore, Joseph Bone, Samuel 
Bone, Edward Eckley, Tyler Higby, Thomas Kelley, J. L. Starr, 
Edgar Starr, John Segrin, Martin V. Huxford, Thomas Dawkins,. 
Nelson Stark, A. T. Silver, Jesse Stark, William Wilson, B. F. 

The following are the names of those who served in the JN'orth 
Border Brigade: Eranklin Richardson, Joseph Landen, F. M. Nich- 
olson, S. S. Payne, Columbus Richardson, William Wilson, H. M. 
Lucas, Robert Musgrove. All of these were citizens of Dodge Town- 
ship but S. S. Payne and H. M. Lucas, who were citizens of Worth 

The sketch of Dodge Township would be incomplete without 
mention of Hon. C. J. A. Ericson. He came to Ridgeport and 
npened a store in March, i860. His stock was very small when he 
commenced, but his prosperity was so rapid that at the end of ten 
years he had a large store and did a good business. At that date he 
was persuaded, rather against his will, to purchase the store of Hon. 


Jackson Orr, in Boone, who had received the nomination for Con- 
gress. .Mr. Ericson then moved to Boone and took, charge of the 
store purchased there, but the respect and good will of all the people 
of Dodge Township followed him. His banking and official careers 
commenced after he moved to Boone. 

According to the census of 19 lo the population of Dodge Town- 
ship, independent of the Town of P^-aser, was 1,13c;. 

'I"he ttnvnship officers at the present time are as follows: 
Trustees, Herman Lindmark, [ohn Schmidt and Robert .Mc\'icker; 
assessor, T. ]. Ridpath; clerk, j. F. Condon; justice of the peace, 
G. V. Mavf^eld. 


Jackson Township is bounded on the west by Des Moines Town- 
ship, on the south by Colfax Township, on the east by Story County, 
and on the north bv Harrison Township. It contains a full con- 
gressional township. At the time of the organization of the county, 
in 1849, the south two-thirds of the present Township of Jackson 
was included in Boone Township, and the north one-third was in- 
cluded in Boone River Township. This division of the township 
continued until March 8, 1852, at which date Boone River Town- 
ship was discontinued. The boundaries of Boone and Pleasant town- 
ships were changed and the Townships of Berry, Yell and Dodge 
were organized. 

In the changes of this date the two tiers of sections on the north 
side of the present Township of Jackson, which were formerly con- 
tained in Boone River Township, were equally divided between 
Dodge and Boone townships. The north tier was included in the 
new Township of Dodge and the second tier from the north was 
annexed to Boone Township. These changes were all made in 
March, 1852, by County Judge S. B. McCall. 

Five years later, in 1857, Jackson Township was established and 
named by County Judge J. B. Montgomery. At this date it con- 
tained all of the territory within its present boundaries and all that 
of the present Township of Harrison. Within these boundaries it 
continued until 1871, when it was reduced to its present boundaries. 
Thus we see that this township was in process of formation for 
twenty-two years. Judge Montgomery was an admirer of General 
Jackson and this accounts for the name of the township. 

The first settlers of Jackson Township were the families of Milan 
and William Zenor, who located in Section 12, in the spring of 1851. 
They came from Clay County, Indiana. They settled in the edge 
of the beautiful belt of timber along Squaw Fork, a tributary of the 
Skunk River. The next year John Mitchell and Thomas Eads also 
settled in Section 12. 

Vol I— 1 4 



In 1855 Amos l^lunk, Moses Blunk, Charles Weston, King 
Weston, Henry Latham, Andrew Houghton, John Lundy, Samuel 
Musgrove and Charles Hunt all settled in the northeast part of the 
township, near the little stream above named. 

These people made up a school district, and in 1S156 the first 
schoolhouse in the township was erected. The work of construction 
was performed by Milan Zenor and William Bell. The first school 
was taught by William Bell, which was a three months' term, and 
for which he received a compensation of $55 for the term. At the 
close of this school term Mr. Bell returned to Ohio. 

The first township officers elected 'in the township were: 
Trustees, Milan Zenor, John Lundy and Samuel Musgrove; clerk, 
Charles Hunt; assessor, John Mitchell. The first official meeting c)f 
the board of trustees was held at the house of Thomas Eads. 

The (irst birth in the township was that of Sarah Zenor, a daughter 
of Milan and Amanda Zenor, which occurred in 18^3. 

The hrst death was that of Mary ). Zenor, which occurred in 

The Hrst marriage in Jackson Township was in 1855. This was 
the marriage of Michael Zenor and Amanda Zenor, a daughter of 
William Zenor, both of whom were natives of Indiana. The mar- 
riage ceremony was performed by Judge J. B. Montgomery, who 
was also a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

The first religious services in the township were held at the house 
of Milan Zenor and were conducted bv Rev. Willis Reynolds, a 
United Brethren minister. Reverend Reynolds was the means of 
doing much good in the early settlement of Jackson Township. 

The Hrst physicians to attend to the wants of the people in Jack- 
son Township were Doctor Mathews, of I'olk City, and Dr. M A. 
Parr, of Boonesboro. 

The Hrst road running from the first settlement in Jackson Town- 
ship to the county seat was not located with any regard to section 
lines, the object being to shun all the ponds and travel (Jn the high 

I he second settlement in Jackson Township commenced in the 
fall of 1 854. At that time John Dinwiddie, Joseph Dicas, William 
Beard and (Jeorge Beard settled in Section 31. About the same time 
William Harmon, Lafayette Harmon and Isaac Harmon settled near 
where Jordan Station is now located. In fact, the station is on the 
farm owned bv William Harmon. 


The first settlers ol jackscjii eiicoiiiitereil niany of the liardships 
and privations that the other pioneer settlers of the county did. They 
had to go a loni^ distance to find mills to manufacture their grain 
into bread stuff, and they had to haul their fuel and other supplies a 
long distance. It took work, patience and suffering to withstand the 
hardships that existed before the building of good mills in the county 
and before the coming of railroad transportation. 

The settlement of the township was not very rapid until the 
Chicago & Northwestern Railroad was built. After this home- 
seekers came and in a short time every acre was placed under culti- 
\at'on or in pasture. The soil is very fertile and it produces good 
crops of all kinds. The farmers of this township are industrious 
and energetic and their homes are nice and inviting. From an ex- 
panse of wild land in 1853 it has been changed to a block of nice 
and fertile farms. 

With the exception of a small belt of timber along the Squaw 
Fork, in Sections i and 12, there was no native timber in the town- 
ship at the time the first settlement was made. 

The Chicago & Northwestern Railroad was built across the south 
end of the township in 1864 and 1865. There is one station on the 
line in the township. It was first called Harmon's Switch, but 
since then a small town has grown up under the name of Jordan, 
which will be more fully mentioned further on. The Newton & 
Northwestern runs across the extreme southwest corner of the 

The streams of this township are the Squaw Fork and Onion 
Creek. A short sketch of these streams will be found in another 
part of this work. 

From the humble little schoolhouse built in Section 12 by Milan 
Zenor and William Bell in 1856, Jackson Township now has nine 
good schoolhouses in good repair, in each of which eight months of 
school is taught every year. This is a glowing proof that the people 
of Jackson are friends of progress and education. 

The lay of Jackson Township is generally level, with here and 
there rises and slopes; but none interfere with the cultivation of 
land except a small acreage along the breaks of the Squaw Fork. 

The territory contained in the present Township of Jackson was 
surveyed into two sections in 1847 by Thomas Harley, deputy sur- 
veyor, and certified to by Henry A. Wilse, surveyor general, at 
Dubuque, Iowa. 


In tlic assessment of Boone 7^)\vnship in 18^3, which inciudcii 
all of the present Township of Jackson except the north tier of sec- 
tions, there were only two citizens then residing within its present 
boundaries assessed. These were Milan and William Zenor. Milan 
Zenor gave to the assessor the east half of the northeast quarter of 
Section 13, 'I'ownship 84, Range 25, valued at $240, and the south- 
east (]uarter of the southeast quarter of Section 12, T(nvnship 84, 
Range 25, valued at $60. William Zenor gave the southeast quarter 
of the southeast (]uarter oi Section 12, Township 84, Range 21;. 
valued at $\nn, and the northeast ijuarter of the southeast quarter of 
Section 12, lOwnship 84, Range 25, valued at $100. These assess- 
ments of lands were very moderate when compared with the present 
assessments of lands. We may state with certainty that this 200 acres 
of land was all that had passed from the Government in the present 
bounds of Jackson Township when this assessment was made in the 
spring of 1853. All the other lands in the township were then 
subject to entry at $1.25 per acre. 

Mitchell's Grove Cemetery was laid out in i8c;4, and is still in use. 

Sparsely settled as the township was during the Civil war, ten 
of its young and middle-aged men volunteered their services and 
went to the front to sustain the union of the states. The names of 
those who did so were as follows: William K. Atkison, James Atki- 
son, .Moses Blunk. James Eads, Malen Madden, Isaac Stine, Robert 
Atkison, John Atkison, Samuel Blunk, Amos Blunk and Isaac 

Rut few crimes have been committed bv the citizens of Jackson 
Township. 'I'he records of the criminal dockets of the county con- 
tain but little in the way of criminal charges against anv of them. 
In 1877 a criminal assault was made upon a nice and respectable 
young lady nametl Duckworth bv two tramps, who approached her 
while she was picking wild strawberries. This young hulv li\ed 
with her father and mother in the southeast part of the township. 
The tramps fled after the Hendish assault was made. Diligent search 
was made and one of them was captured, indicted, tried, convicted 
and sent to the penitentiary. 

In 1879 a miner in one of the coal camps near Zenorville was 
killed in a drunken row. The name of the man who committed the 
crime was Ed Curran. He was sent to the penitentiary at Anamosa 
for a term ol years, \^'hile working on a house there he fell and 
broke his neck. 


Hie winter of 1856-57 tried the patience of the few settlers of 
Jackson Township. It was a winter of very deep snow and exces- 
sively cold weather. All the settlers in the township, except those 
who lived near the little belt of timber on the Squaw Fork, had 
to haul their firewood from five to ten miles through the deep and 
drifted snow. There were no coal mines developed in this part of 
the state at that time and no transportation system to bring coal to 
them from other parts, and for these reasons the settlers had to use 
wood for fuel. The houses were crudely built and it took much 
fuel to keep them warm. It took the work of a man and a team to 
keep a house supplied with firewood during that long, cold winter. 
There were many cases of frozen feet, hands, ears and noses. It 
was a winter that none of the settlers in the township, or for that 
matter any of the townships, ever became forgetful of. One morning 
before daylight during that awful winter, John Dinwiddie heard a 
man at his cabin door piteously begging for admission. He arose 
from his bed, opened the door and let the man in. Fuel was placed 
upon the fire and soon the little cabin was warm. The man sat down 
in front of the fire and soon was fast asleep. It took him about four 
hours to again return to consciousness. He had started on the day 
before to w^alk across the prairie from the Squaw Fork to Boones- 
boro. The traveling was so bad that he became belated and lost and 
wandered around until his strength was exhausted and his limbs and 
body were benumbed with the cold. It was very fortunate that he 
succeeded in reaching Mr. Dinwiddie's house as soon as he did, 
for if he had remained out another hour his doom would have been 
sealed. It took him until noon to get fully warmed up and then, 
with the aid of a hearty meal, he went on his way rejoicing. Mr. 
Dinwiddie's house was located in Section 31, in the southeast corner 
of Jackson Township, and at that time was the farthest house east 
on the line running into Ontario. 

According to the census of 1910 the population of Jackson Town- 
ship was 874; in 1900, 928; and in 1890, 1,041. This decrease was 
caused by the decline of the mining population at Zenorville, of 
which more will be said farther on. 

In 1857 an effort was made to establish an agricultural society 
in Boone Countv. A meeting was held at the courthouse in Boones- 
boro, at which a committee of five persons was appointed from each 
township to perfect the organization. The names of those appointed 
for Jackson Township were as follows: John Mitchell, Andrew 
Haughton, R. M. Madden, Milan Zenor and William Blunk. 


Jackson IDwiisliip never had a town plattcil within its borders. 
None of its citizens ever became enthused with the belief that a 
town could be made to j^row and prosper within its borders. Not- 
\\ itlistanding this, two villages have grown up of their own accord 
in the township. One of these is Jordan, on the Chicago & North- 
western Railroad, and located on Section 32, Township 84, Range 25, 
about midway between Br)one and Ontario. The place was first 
called Midway, then Harmon's Switch, but was finally changed to 
Jordan. It contains a postoffice, one store, one blacksmith shop, a 
grain elevator, a number of residences and a population of about 
one hundred. Much grain and stock are bought and shipped from 
this point to Chicago. Jordan is situated in a country unsurpassed 
in beauty and fertility. It was never platted. The land on which it 
is situated is a part of the William Harmon Farm, which that gentle- 
man settled upon in the spring of 1855. 

The other village above mentioned was Zenorville, situated on 
Section 12, Township 84, Range 25. About midway in the '70s it 
was discovered that coal in considerable quantity was deposited under 
the surface of the section above mentioned. Mining operations soon 
started, so that from 1876 to 1890 considerable coal was mined. In 
1880 the report of the inspector of mines stated that there were three 
mines in operation at Zenorville. The J. Clemens Mine employed 
50 men; the Hutchinson Brothers Mine, 35; and the Joseph York 
Mine, 8 men, making 93 men employed. The same report says 
that the vein of coal at each of these mines was four feet, two inches 
thick. The houses it took for these men and their families to live 
in made up a village of about four hundred people. There were 
at one time a store, a postofiice, a blacksmith shop, a meat market 
and a few other little places of business, one church and a school- 
house. Finally the coal was worked out, the mining ceased, the 
miners left for other places of employment and Zenorville was no 
more. Gradually the houses and shanties were sold and moved away 
until they were all gone. Where the village stood and where the mines 
were operated the ground is now under cultivation, leaving nt) trace 
of the village that once stood there. Verily the change is wonderful. 
The Zenorville church and schoolhouse have been moved out to the 
west upon a public highway and are still in a flourishing condition. 
The church is of the Evangelical order. It has a good number of 
members and a well attended Sunday school. The minister who 
has charge of the work at this place lives at Story City. This is the 
only church in Jackson Township. 


Jackson Township has been rather fortunate in the number of 
her citizens who have hehi county offices. These arc as follows: 
Charles Weston held the office of county supervisor from 1861 to 
1865, and the office of clerk of the District Court from 1866 to 1868. 
Mr. Criswell held the office of county supervisor one or two terms. 
V. O. Holcomb held the same office two terms. S. P. Zenor held 
the office of sherifif one term. Archie Patterson held the office of 
county auditor two terms. Mr. Jones held the same office two terms, 
and R. R. Cobb held the office of county superintendent three terms. 
This is enough to satisfy the aspirations of any township. 

The present township officers are as follows: Assessor, S. H. 
Sadoris; clerk, George L. Dix; trustees, Fred Pohl, M. Schlegel 
and Arthur Wills. 


Douglas Township officially received its present name March 8, 
1858. It contains about one-half of a civil township. Elk. Rapids 
and Madrid, the two oldest towns in the county, were laid out within 
its boundaries. The first of these has passed out of existence, but 
the latter is in a flourishing condition. Charles W. Gaston was the 
first settler in Douglas Township and also the first one in the county. 
This is a distinction which no other township in the county can claim. 

Charles W. Gaston was a native of the State of Pennsylvania, 
and in 1833, when the call was made for volunteers to make up the 
First Regiment of United States Dragoons, he enlisted and became 
a member of Company I of that regiment, under command of Capt. 
Jesse B. Browne. In 1834 Companies B, H and I were sent from 
Fort Gibson with orders to occupy a new fort, built that year, in Lee 
County, Iowa, where the Town of Montrose now stands. This was 
named Fort Des Moines and was the first one of the three forts of 
that name built in Iowa. Mr. Gaston was with Company I in the 
famous expedition to Wabasha's Village in 1835. One of the camps 
of this company, on that famous march, was about six miles south- 
west of Colfax, in Jasper County. This camp was named Camp 
Gaston in honor of our first settler. When his term of service ex- 
pired, he located at Hannibal, Missouri, where he was married. His 
wife died about five years after their marriage. The next thing we 
hear of him is on January 12, 1846, when he became the first settler 
of Boone County. In the year 1849 Mr. Gaston was married to 
Anna C. Dalander, his second venture on the sea of matrimony, and 
to them was born a son, who died before reaching the age of man- 
hood. Later in life, after the death of his second wife, Mr. Gaston 
was married to Mrs. Charmichel, who survived him a few years. 

Mr. Gaston had much to do with the platting and sale of the 
lots in the Town of Swede Point, now Madrid, in its early days, 
which will appear further on. He was successful in accumulating 


[iropcrty, but was careless and nAA in his expressions and ai limes 
sarcastic. The foHowing deed and bill of sale is a specmien of 
his carelessness in spelling and extravagance in expression, it ap- 
pears on the records of I^)lk County, because it was written before 
Boone County was organized and while it was yet a part of Polk 

Di'cJ and Bill of Sale 
"May 3rd, 1847. 
Boone County, Iowa. 

"Now" all men by these "presence" thfit 1, C. W. Gaston, of the 
county of Boone and State of Iowa, of the Hrst "parte dwo" hereby 
sell, "convav" and deliver unto the said Joseph Harden of the second 
"parte," the following described property to-wit: Commencing to 
"discribe" the property, one "clame" being on the Des Moines River 
in "Boon" and "Dalls Countv, " split bv the supposed county line; 
"bound reys" of said "Clame;" bounded on the east by a "clame" that 
was "maid" bv a man named Ivins, on the south by the Des Moins 
River on the west bv a "clame" that Alexander Caton sold in the 
"faul" of I S46 to a man bv the name of Williams, on the north bv 
the "Sweads." Tiiis claim containing 220 "acars" more or less; two 
horses, one "sorl" horse seven years old with a "blase" in the "fase," 
one bav horse, age not "nowen," blind with both "eys;" "harns" and 
gears "fur" both iiorses; one small two horse "wigan" with box bed 
on it painted "rhead," one "slead maid fur holin railh," one cow and 
sucking calf, one yearling "hefifer," calf marked with a slit in the 
right "vear." "oilso" the sucking calf marked with slit in the right 
"year," sixteen heacf of "hoges, sewes, burrows and peges," marked 
with slit in the "righte vear" one "bea gum of beas" all the corn and 
hay on the "claime," one "bead and beading" consisting of one straw 
tick, one feather tick, two "sheats," two "blankites," two quilts, one 
spread, three "pillau slipes," eight "barles," one small "cag" one 
extra horse collar, two blankets and riding bridle, martingales, and 
old saddle "trea." one hundred pounds of bacon, one whip saw, one 
"craidlen sith," 3 broad hoes, one "bufYalow robae," one side of upper, 
"lather" one side of harness "lather," one broad "axe," one small 
"loaking" glass, one log chain, four clevises, two "axes," two iron 
wedges, one gallon jug one bell, one "grine" stone, "fier shovel" and 
tongs, two trunks, one "chist," and all therein, two skillets, one pot, 
one tea "cittle," two buckets, two "cofTey" pots, two sets of plates, two 
tin "panes" one "shugar" box. one tea "pott," two cream "ptchers." 


one set of tea cups and "sasers," one paper box, two "boules," three 
glass tumblers, two glass butter plates, two pint "flaskes," one tin 
jar, nine table spoons, six teaspoons, nine "nives" and nine forks, one 
tin cup, one "cofifey" mill, one "ban" saw one claw hammer, two 
"argers," three chisels, one "tvvol chist," and all the "twols" that is in 
it to the amount of two hundred "dolcrs" with this "chist" the said 
Hardin takes it on "fox" River at "moser meners" one other chain, 
every thing that ever belonged to the said C. W. Gaston on the 
"clame" now belonging to the said Joseph Hardin. All this property 
1 "dwo" sell, "convay" and deliver unto the presents of and for in 
consideration of the sum of five hundred and fifty dollars in hand 
paid, "therefour" 1 set "mi" hand and fix "mi" seal this third day of 
MayA. D. 1847. 

Charles W. Gaston. 



The witness to this remarkable document, S. K. Scovell, was clerk 
of Dallas County at that time, and later was one of the commis- 
sioners who located the county seat of Boone County. Mr. Gaston 
died in the spring of 1892, and his remains repose in the Dalander 

The next settler to locate in Douglas Township was Benjamin 
Williams, who came in June, 1846, and located on a claim adjoining 
that of C. W. Gaston, the first settler. The Pottawattamie Indians, 
under Johnnie Green, camped upon Mr. Williams' claim the winter 
and spring prior to his arrival and manufactured maple sugar. Mr. 
Williams fell heir to their sap troughs, which he used for a number 
of years. Mr. Williams was a man of push and energy and he soon 
began to prosper. In 1847, the year after locating here, he had the 
misfortune to lose his wife, her's being the first death among the 
white settlers of what is now Douglas Township. She was buried 
on his claim, and from this first burial originated the Elk Rapids 
Cemetery. Thus we see that Mr. Williams was the first citizen in 
the township to donate ground for a cemetery. 

The first store for the sale of dry goods and groceries was opened 
in Mr. Williams' smokehouse by a man named Dawson. This was 
in the year i8i;o. Mr. Dawson was the first merchant, not only in 
what is now Douglas Township, but the first also in the county. 
About this time a water mill was completed just across the Des 
-Moines River. This brought the settlers from far and near for 


breadstuCLs. Boili cormncnl ami Hour were made in tliis mill. It 
was the first mill in the inunty ami the hrst on the Des Moines River 
north of the Raeeoon Fork. In iH:;i Mr. Williams laid out the 
Town of Klk Rapids, and in about four years it developed into a 
fair-sized [lionecr village. In the year 1S55 it had three stores and 
dwellings for 15(1 people. A postoffiee was established in iS:;(i. and 
the people for miles in all directions came here for their mail. In 
1857 a freshet carried the mill away, and from that time the Town 
of Klk Rapids began to decline. It is now among the things that 
were. Dr. Jonathan Rice, one of the first phvsicians to practic: 
his profession in the county, was located iii Elk Rapids while it was 
in tile zenith of its glory, later removing to Boonesboro. This first 
town laid our in tlie county has passed and gone, being now onlv a 

'J'he town stood on tlie east bank of the Des Moines River, in 
Section 34, Township 82, Range 26. It derived its name from the 
rapids in the river at that point. The elk, which were plentiful at 
the time the settlements were made, were in the habit of crossing 
the river at the rapids, because the water was shallow there, and 
from tliis fact originated the name of the rapids. The village school- 
house stood at the foot of the hill in the east part of the town, and it 
remained there until the year 1870. The early teachers were H. R. 
Wilson, Phillip Eversoll, J. Madison, Williams and John A. Keys. 
No one could now tell by looking at the site of Elk Rapids that a 
village ever stood there. I'he pioneer schoolhouse has disappeared 
and a better one has been built about a mile northeast of wliere the 
old one stood. The district and the schoolhouse are still known 
under the name of Elk Rapids. There is a county bridge across the 
river where the village once stood which is also called the Elk 
Rapids Bridge. 

W'e come now to the first people of foreign birth to settle in 
Boone County. These were Swedish people, consisting of Mrs. Anna 
Dalander, a prominent lady in the history of Douglas Township, 
and her four sons, Eric, Peter, Swaim and John Dalander, and her 
two daughters, Ulla and Anna C. Dalander. llie first of these 
daughters married C. J. Cassel and tlie second marrieii Charles W. 
Gaston, the first settler. They came in September, 1846, and settled 
on Section 36, Township 82, Range 26. By reason of the fact that 
the Dalander family were all natives of Sweden, the point of timber 
which projected out upon the prairie in the section referred to, was 


called Swede Point, where Madrid now stands, and it was known 
by that name for many years. 

The first deed placed on record in Boone County was made by 
Henry Everly to Eric, Peter and Swaim Dalander. It conveyed 
the northeast quarter of Section 35, Township 82, Range 26, and 
is dated March 29, 1849. This deed is now in possession of the 
Madrid Historical Society. The descendants of the pioneer 
Dalander family are quite numerous in Douglas Township, there 
being not less than twentv-five of them now within its borders. 
Jesse Hull was the third settler in Douglas Township. He came 
with his family from Missouri in the spring of 1847, and located 
at what is now Belle Point, five miles north of Madrid. He was 
the forerunner of the numerous Hull family which shortly after- 
wards located in Boone County. There were no settlers nearer than 
Swede Point at that time. Jesse Hull was an enterprising man. In 
a few years he had made a farm, had erected good buildings, and 
kept the first house in the county where travelers and prospectors 
could find lodging without intruding upon some of the settlers. In 
184Q Mr. Hull was elected county commissioner, being the first 
man honored with a countv oflice whose residence was within the 
present limits of Douglas Township. 

November 27, 1849, a postoflice was established in his house, 
and it was named Belle Point. Up to that time the point of timber 
at this place was called Hull's Point, but by reason of the fact that 
Mrs. Elizabeth Hull, wife of Jesse Hull, was appointed post- 
mistress, the Government named the ofiice Belle Point, in her honor. 
For a number of years the elections in Pleasant Township were held 
at Belle Point. It is claimed that the first schoolhouse erected in 
the county was at Belle Point. This may be true, but it cannot be 
definitely stated. The first teachers there were: Thomas Sparks, 
Z. J. Vontress, Clark Luther and V. B. Crooks. Belle Point still 
has a schoolhouse which perpetuates the original name. 

In 1848 C. J. Cassel, a son-in-law of Mrs. Anna Dalander, ar- 
rived and also located in Section 36, Township 82, Range 26. As 
Mr. Cassel will come in for a prominent mention in the section on 
Madrid, no further mention will be made of him here. In this same 
year of 1848, Richard Green, James Carrel and his three sons, Wil- 
liam, Weslev and John Carrel; William Holston, John Dobkins, 
John Hull, Henry Holcomb, William Sawyer, Adam Messmore 
and Albert Williams, all located in Douglas Township. This made 
a good addition to the number already here. They were all honest 


homeseekcrs, who made good citizens and good neighbors. In i^^<) 
Samuel Luther, Henry Graves, John Dawson, Jacob Nelson, A. P. 
Anderson, John Anderson, Nimrod Rule, Z. J. Vontress and otiiers 
settled in the township. 'Ihis brings us up to the time of the organi- 
zation of the countv, when neighbors were numerous enough to 
associate together, to begin building schoolhouses, to meet together 
for devotional purposes and to hold elections for county and town- 
ship officers. 

After the Hrst election in the county, settlers came rapidly. 
Among these were: Fred Bolle, William and Lewis Bolle, Joshua 
Wheeler and his sons, William, Isaac, B. J. and L. L. Wheeler; 
Fred Johnson, R. Rissler, Isaac Murphy, S. Underbill, John Kieg- 
ley, J. F. Hopkins, John Bilsland and others, who located in Douglas 
Township. It will be impossible to mention in detail all. The 
township continued to fill up with settlers until all the land was 
purchased and occupied. 

It must be remembered that when these settlements were being 
made all tlie supplies, such as dry goods, groceries and tools with 
which to work, had to be hauled on wagons from the Mississippi 
River, a distance of 200 miles. Add to this the fact that for the 
first five or si,\ years the pioneer settlers had to go fifty miles to find 
a mill which manufactured breadstuff. It often happened that fami- 
lies were out of both meal and flour and had t(i subsist upon potatoes 
and hominy for d;iys, and even weeks, when the weather was bad 
and the roads were so teams could not travel. In such times as these 
the hominy mortar was used to much advantage. These were times 
that tried the patience of men and women. But thev lived over them 
and came out victorious. They lived to see better times and better 
facilities for securing the necessaries of life. 

The first land entry in Douglas Township was in October, 1848, 
by William Sawyer and Jesse Hull, each of whom entered 160 acres 
in Section i. Township 82, Range 26. 

By 1850 three postoffices were established in the county. Two 
of these were in Douglas Township, one at Elk Rapids, another at 
Belle Point, and the third at the house of Samuel H. Bowers, which 
was named Booneville. This office was less than a mile due south 
from the hospital in Boone. The first mail carrier was Solomon 
McCall. He commenced work in the spring of i8i;o. Leaving the 
Booneville postoffice on horseback in the morning, he went to Belle 
Point, then to Elk Rapids, and from there through the timber south- 
east, the nearest and best route to the Twenty Mile House, and from 


thence by way of Polk City and Saylorville to Fort Des Moines, 
returning next day. Mr. McCall was at that time but fourteen vcars 
old, but performed the duties assigned him faithfully and well. He 
is still a citizen of the county. In 1852 the contract for carrying the 
mail over this route was let to Hinton & Son, and in 181;^ it passed 
to the Western Stage Company. 

Every acre of land in Douglas Township is now utilized. Good 
homes have been built and the people are happy and prosperous. 
Although it is the smallest township in the county, its population, 
outside of Madrid, is 453. The township has four school districts 
and four good school buildings outside of Madrid. The schools 
are as prosperous as any in the community. The streams of the town- 
ship are Hull's Creek and the Murphy Branch. On the former, a 
mill was built in 1854, by Richard Green and John Dickerson. It 
lasted about a year, and during that time manufactured much corn- 
meal. Two lines of railroad enter the borders of Douglas Township, 
the main line of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway passes 
through the southeast corner, and the Des Moines and Boone branch 
line of this road runs through it north and south. Two county 
bridges unite Douglas and Cass townships. By far the greatest im- 
provement in the township is the Elk Rapids Viaduct. This great 
steel bridge is 2,380 feet long and 146 feet high. The fill east of the 
viaduct contains 1,250,000 cubic yards of dirt. This is a wonderful 
piece of work. 

The following is the list of county offices held by citizens of 
Douglas Township: 

County Commissioner — Jesse Hull, from 1849 to 1852. 

Clerk of the District Court — James Chapman, from i860 to 1864. 

County Supervisor — C. J. Cassel, from i860 to 1863. 

County Supervisor — William Patterson, from 1863 to 1866. 

Clerk of the District Court — H. R. Wilson, from 1866 to 1870. 

County Supervisor — J. F. Hopkins, from 1866 to 1868. 

Representative — J. F. Hopkins, from 1869 to 1871. 

County Recorder — Watt Webb, from 1876 to 1878. 

Clerk of the District Court — R. J. Hopkins, from 1884 to 1888. 

County Treasurer — W. D. Moore, from 1894 ^'^ 1898. 

County Supervisor — John Anderson, from 1895 to 1905. 

County Treasurer — S. A. Bengston, from 1900 to 1906. 

County Supervisor — J. M. Carlson, from 1908 to 191 5. 



Matlrid has on lilc four town plats. The first phu was surveyed 
by Thomas Sparks. May 20, i8i;7, and filed for record February 25, 
1852. Tlie secoml plat was surveyed by S. C. Wood, June 6, 1853, 
and filed for record December 9, 1853. The third plat was surveyed 
by S. Underbill, May 25, 1855, and filed for record July 16, 1855. 
The fourth plat was surveyed by L. Regan, September 14, 1857, and 
filed for record the same day. 

The two lirst plats were filed under the name of Swede Point, 
but between the dates of filing the second and third plats Mrs. Anna 
Dalander died intestate, and Charles W. Gaston was appointed 
adiTiinistrator of her estate. When he had the third plat surveyed 
he changed the name of the town from Swede Point to Madrid. The 
question has often been asked why this change of name was made. 
Postmaster E. P. Dalander, a grandson of Mrs. Anna Dalander, 
says that a difiference of opinion arose between the sons of Mrs. Anna 
Dalander and Mr. Gaston, the administrator, and out of resent- 
ment to them he changed the name of the town to Madrid. About 
the time of this change Mr. Gaston had in his employ a Spaniard, 
who often spoke of Madrid, the capital of his native country. He 
held the Spaniard, his country and capital, all in contempt; so to 
get even with his Swedish brothers, he took from the town its Swed- 
ish name and substituted for it the Spanish name. This much platted 
town was located on the west half of the northeast quarter of Section 
3A, Township 82, Range 26, on the claim on which Mrs. Anna 
Dalander and her sons and daughters settled in September, 1846. 
There is no pioneer woman whose name is more prominent in the 
early history of Douglas Township than that of Mrs. Anna Dalander. 
She died November 28, 1854, after a residence of seven years here 
in her pioneer home. This was the first death among the Swedish 
people in Boone County. 

The first plat surveyed contained nine blocks; the second one 
added several blocks to these, three on the north side and four on the 
west, making a total of si.xteen blocks. The third survey added si.x- 
teenth blocks, making a total of thirty-two blocks in what is known 
as the original plat of Madrid. The fourth survey did nothing more 
than drop ofif one-half of the south tier of blocks, and added four 
half blocks to the north side of the town. Since then there have 
been seven plats added to the original ones. Although the first plat 

(H,l l'r,.|.l<'> II. 

.Mailri.l \ iailiK-t 

High Uridjie, Lookinj; Soutli 

The Mill 


THE ^F^,' VOKK \ 


was made and the lots surveyed in 1851, it does not appear that any 
lots were sold until 1853. 

The first merchant to embark in business here was William 
Hopkins, who opened a small store on Main Street near where the 
bridge on that street now spans the Milwaukee Cut. This was in 
the summer of 1854. In the following year came John Hannah 
and George Hornback, who both became merchants of the town. 
Mr. Hornback erected a store building on the corner of Market and 
Second streets, where the residence of John Lundahl now stands. 
Mr. Hornback conducted a store in this building from 1856 to 1876, 
a period of twenty years. The old store building now stands on the 
rear of the lot, being used for a barn. In 1856 came Jospeh Bernico, 
who commenced business in a building which he erected on the 
southwest corner of the schoolhouse square. Mr. Bernico died about 
fifteen years after commencing business here, but his widow and son 
continued in business until 1885, when the stock was closed out. 

About the year 1870 Mr. Aldrich kept a store and hotel in what 
is now the A. T. Moyers property. Soon after this William Johnson 
embarked in the mercantile business, and continued in it the re- 
mainder of his life. He died in 1901, a much esteemed citizen. 

Andrew Erickson engaged in the mercantile business a short 
time after Mr. Johnson, but his career in that line was cut short by a 
robbery which took place about midway in the '70s. While passing 
from his store to his residence, only a few steps away, one evening 
after the close of business, he was knocked down with a bludgeon 
and robbed of $350. The wound he received came very near termi- 
nating in death. Two young men, William Jarnagan and Isaac 
Radclifif, were indicted by the grand jury. They asked for separate 
trials and Jarnagan, who was tried first, was convicted. Radclifif 
was not tried until the next term of court, and, although he was tried 
on the same charge as was Jarnagan, he was acquitted. This ac- 
quittal gave Jarnagan his freedom. Mr. Erickson recovered and 
moved to Kansas. 

Henry Hutton went into the drug business some time in the 
'70s, and continued in the business until 1887, when he sold out and 
moved to Colorado. Mr. Hutton was postmaster most of the time 
while he was in business in Madrid. 

When work began upon the construction of the railroads leading 
into Madrid, new people came, new enterprises were entered into 
and Madrid started out on a new era of prosperity. Its growth has 
not been rapid, but it has been solid and substantial. The first three 


brick buildings were erected in 1883 by C3. A. Young, Keigley 
Brothers, and E. B. Hepburn. Since then twenty-five more have 
been erected. There are now no less than forty places where busi- 
ness is carried on and a large volume is transacted from year to year. 
Among the business interests are four grocery stores, two hardware 
stores, two drug stores, three clothing stores, two bakeries, five res- 
taurants and confectioneries, two banks, one harness shop, one shoe 
shop, one shoe store, one electric light plant, two lumber yards, one 
implement store, one wagon box factory, two grain elevators, one 
cement block factory, two jewelry stores, two meat markets, two 
billiard halls, one garage, one printing j)<lice, two livery barns, 
three real estate offices, one millinery store, one hotel, one boarding 
house, four blacksmith and wood shops, one flouring mill, one furni- 
ture store, twt) barber shops, telephone office and system, one picture 
gallery and one icehouse. 

Madrid has four church organizations and four church build- 
ings. The Swedish Lutheran Church is the largest one in the city. 
It now has a membership of 375 and a Sunday school enrollment 
of 160. I'he church was organized in 1859; Rev. F. M. Hokanson 
was the first pastor. Since then the church has had as pastors. Revs. 
O. J. Silverstrom, A. Sundberg, O. A. Landell, j. E. Holtz, C. E. 
Benson and C. O. Morland, the present pastor. They have a good 
frame church building. Although this church was not organized 
until i8(;9, its originators and forerunners were the first body of 
worshipers to meet together for that purpose, here or elsewhere, 
in the county. As early as 1849 and 1850, the few Swedish settlers 
met at the house of Mrs. Anna Dalaiidcr to sing songs and offer 
prayers, and one of them would then read a sermon from a book 
of sermons, which they brought across the ocean with them. 

The Christian Church was organized in 1856 by Rev. A. D. 
Kelison, who was its first pastor. The church now has a member- 
ship of 2t;() and a Sunday school enrollment of 270. They have a 
good frame church building, in which services are held every Sun- 
day. Among the pastors who have had charge of the church may 
be mentioned. Revs. W. B. Golden, James Ackley, A. B. Burnham, 
Iv (J. Coirui. J. E. Stockley, M. A. Hamer, W. H. Harward and 
R. A. Lewis, the present pastor. 

The M. E. Church was organized in 1857, by j. F. Westwood, 
who was its first pastor. At that date the territory in charge of the 
pastor was coextensive with the county. This church has erected 
two church buildings. One of these was destroyed by fire in 1906 


and on the same site the present brick church stands. The church 
has a membership of 125 and a Sunday school enrollment of 150. 
The following pastors of this church are still well remembered: 
Reverends Elliott, Todd, Stratton, Thompson, Golden, Cain, Doug- 
las, and Stephenson. The Rev. W. H. Harvey is the present pastor. 

The Swedish Mission Church was organized in 1872 by C. J. 
Bjorkman, who was the first pastor. About the year 1882 this church 
built a house of worship which was used until 191 2, when a new and 
more pretentious building was erected, which is now the home of the 
church. It now has a membership of seventy-five and a Sunday 
school enrollment of sixty. Reverends Hedlund, Anderson and Cole- 
man have been pastors of this church; but at present they have no 
regular minister. 

The first school building in Madrid was erected in 1855, and it 
stood on Lot 2, in Block 18. The first teacher was Rollen Niles, 
who came from the State of Massachusetts, and began teaching here 
in i8(;5. Our townsmen, George Kearby and Isaac Stover, were 
among his pupils. This continued to be the village schoolhouse 
until about the year 1869, when a new building was erected on Lot 3, 
in Block 6, which is now used for a poultry vending establishment. 
This building had two departments, one occupying the first floor, 
and the other the second floor. When the railroads were built and 
Madrid became a railroad town, this building was no longer large 
enough to accommodate the children and youths desiring to attend 

In 1884 the necessary steps were taken to erect a new building, 
and in the following year the east division of the present brick school 
building was erected. It had four departments, which accommo- 
dated all for a number of years. In 1901 the necessity for still more 
room and better accommodations led to the erection of the west 
division of the building, which since then has furnished room for 
all the scholars. The chances are that it will not be long before the 
question of erecting another school building will be before the people 
of our city. Thus it will be seen that Madrid has had three school 
buildings, beginning in [855 and extending over a period of fifty- 
nine years, which if equally divided would make an average of about 
twenty years for each of them. 

In the first of these houses can be recalled the names of teachers 
as follows: Rollen Niles. J. Madison Williams, M. Pettibone, 
James Chapman and Lucy Cottrel. In the second one: M. T. Har- 
lan, Z. T. Sullivan, Charles Tucker and W. M. Wilkins. In the 


present one: C. Scoonover, John Miller, A. Luce, S. A. Darland, 
R. V. Venaman, H. C. Graves. R. R. Cobb, G. E. Huton, E. L. 
Meek and C. T. Reed. The present enrollment is 315 scholars. The 
present teachers are: Principal, Merle S. Templeton; teachers, 
Gladys L. Snyder, Laura D. Frick, P'rankie M. Murray, Edith 
Norris. Alice Crank, Amanda Peterson, Edna Boyer, Edna New- 
man and Bertha Mah.iflic. The present enrollment is the largest in 
the history of the school. The following is a list of the graduates of 
the Madrid High School to the present date: 

1895, under Prof. A. Luce: John Stover and Earl Crabtree. 

1896, under Prof. S. A. Darland: Nova Barnavelt, Thamer 
Noggle and Sada Murpha. 

1897, under Prof. S. A. Darland: Belle Todd, Daisy M. Hut- 
zell, (lertie Anderson and Nellie Dennis. 

1898, under Prof. R. V. Venaman: Viola Hornaday, Edwin 
Carlson, Blanch Halsey, Bessie Warden, Harvey Hutton, Ada 
Barnavelt, Arthur Johnson and Dollie Norris. 

In 1899 there was no class graduated. 

1900, under Prof. E. L. Meek: Ida Crank, Ralf Oldridge, 
Edith Norris, David Eckenbom, Lois Stover, Ada Wheeler, Iva Lee 
and Lula Helms. 

1901, under Prof. E. L. Meek: Edna Miller, Frank Simmons, 
Walter Wheeler, Frank Hutzell, Delia Kenison, Ethel Taber, Veta 
Hepburn and Golde Young. 

1902, under Prof. E. L. Meek: A. Roy Thompson, Ida E. John- 
son and Nannie Thompson. 

1903, under Prof. E. L. Meek: Milton Wallace, Bessie Norris, 
Walter Miles, Betta Berry, Roy Carlston, Alta Vestal, Jacob Farlien, 
Mae Williams, Robert Breakfield, Olivia Miller, Frank Kenison, 
Hannah Southerlaiui, Edwin Sundberg, Goldie Luther, Fred Gran- 
dall, Mattie Wheeler, Lennie Miller, Mattie Stover, Elzie Caskie 
and Blanch Simmon. 

1904, under Prof. E. L. Meek: Hattie Wyeth, Willie Murry, 
Lillian Adams, Clififord Luther, Gertrude Ackley, Marion Berry, 
Clara Heath, Clarence Miller, Rena Barnavelt, Emil Eckenbom 
and Clara Jacobson. 

190^, under Prof. E. L. Meek: Imogena Farr, Mabel Acton, 
Myrtie Kenison, Clarence Carlson, Mina Mougin, Carl Bundy. 
Ellen Sundberg, Ray Noland, Jennie Miles, Mark Boyd and Mary 

Sueilisli Free Clmrcli 
Jli'tliodist IO|>is(ii|ial ( liur<-li 

.Madrid Public Scliool 

LutliC'ian Cliiiro!! 
Cliristiaii ( IiuilIi 


] THI-: ;-;£■/.■ '/opK 


1906, under Prof. Charles T. Reed: Carl Anderson, Ethyl Cas- 
per, Clayton Peterson, Edith Latta, Sevena Hardy, Orma Hutton, 
Edith Yearnshaw, George Berg, Amanda Peterson, Eva Williams, 
Fay Williams and Durock Norris. 

1907 under Prof. Charles T.. Reed : Joshua Van Zant, Libbie 
Newell, Clairie Keigley, Alice Crank, Harold Peterson, Lilian 
Godfrey, Ed Jacobson, Milden Farr, Edna Mason, Chads Godfrey, 
Golda Field, E. Wheeler, Alice Peterson, Raymond Miller, Mada- 
iine Miller, Margaret Blaine, Earl Blaine, Blanch McBride, Mar- 
jorie Nash, Ina L. Hutzel, Edna Miller, Eula Farr, Bessie Davis, 
Maud Metcalf, Laura Patterson, Leland Ransom, Elmar Carlson, 
Bertha L. Hillis, W. Luther, Hazel Davidson, Violet Skortman, 
E. F. Cassel, Helen Hopkins, Willie Carlson, Edith Bryant and 
Otto Scott. 

1908, under Prof. Charles T. Reed: Sarah Olson, Agnes Ander- 
son, Nella Latta, Jessie Reed, Edna Peterson, A. Ringstrand, 
A. Anderson, Carl Lundall, Marjorie Hillis, Lola Stover, Harvey 
Wheeler, Orvil Anderson, Therisia Anderson, Paul Anderson, Ruth 
Peelstrom, Paul Anderson and Willie White. 

1909, under Prof. Charles T. Reed : Trace Swanson, Lois Camp- 
bell and Hannah Jacobson. 

1910, under Prof. Charles T. Reed: Alma Kinsey, Myrtle Bov- 
ers, Olga Peterson, Selma Seaburg, Ester Sundberg and Helen 

191 1, under Prof. Charles T. Reed: Faye Farr, Eda Birdsal, 
Martin Dalander, John Hubby, Edna Anderson and James Bowen. 

1912, under Prof. Charles T. Reed: Flo Williams, Myrtle Kel- 
lison, Pearl Johnson, Roy Hubby, Pearl Alsin and Zylph Godfrey. 

1913, under Prof. Charles T. Reed: Harold Jones, Edna John- 
son, Ethel Jenkins, Esther Peelstrom and Elenora Cassel. 

1914, under Prof. Merle Templeton: Irene Taylor, Edna C. 
Hook, George F. Crank, Ida F. Alquist, Hester H. Howard, Mabel 
Bowen, John W. Wheeler, Robert G. Kinsey and Katherine S. 

The first doctor who opened an office in our city of Madrid was 
Dr. A. S. Pendleton. He commenced the practice of his profession 
here in the summer of 1855, and remained about two years. He 
then removed to Homer, Iowa, where he died three years later. 
The next disciple of iEsculapius to locate here was Dr. M. C. Wood, 
who practiced here for a number of years. While in Madrid Doctor 
Wood was largely instrumental in organizing the Masonic lodge, 


which is still in a prosperous condition. He moved away about the 
fear 1865. In the year 1867 Dr. E. L. Gilbert came from Wisconsin, 
and he made such a favorable impression upon the people of Madrid 
and vicinity that he soon obtained a large practice. A little over 
three years after locating here he took sick and in a few days passed 
away. He was succeeded in the practice by Doctor Palmer, whose 
career was cut short in about the same length of time as that of 
Doctor Gilbert. After iiim came Doctor Guynn, who soon built up 
an extensive practice. From 1877 to 1884 he was so constantly 
engaged in the arduous work of his profession that his health failed 
and he also passed away while in the prirrie of life and in the midst 
of his usefulness. Doctor Mason located here in 1873, practiced 
about ten years and then moved to Kansas. Doctors Hueling, F. L. 
Rogers and A. M. Rogers have also practiced medicine here and 
moved away. Doctor Rawson located here in the spring of 1913, 
but his health failed and he died in February, 1914. 

Of the present medical men of Madrid Dr. Hermon S. Farr 
and Dr. Q. A. Sturgeon were the first to locate here. Then came 
Dr. P>ncst C. Brown, Dr. M. M. Shaw and Dr. E. Earwood. They 
are still with us. There are also two lady physicians, of the Osteo- 
pathic school, Dr. Mrs. Sylph Sturgeon and Dr. Mrs. Ida Kenison. 

Madrid has two dentists, Dr. C. E. Anderson and Dr. R. G. 

There is one veterinarian. Dr. R. E. Larimer, who has an office 
and a place to care for any animals left in his charge. 

There were no lawyers in Madrid prior to 1881, but the town 
always had a justice of the peace. Phillip Snyder, of Snyder Point, 
Dallas County, practiced law before the justices of the peace in the 
early days. His wife did his reading and writing, as he was unable 
to do either. Some time in 1857 Doctor Wood sued a man named 
Bailey for a bill. Bailey was a citizen of Dallas County, and the 
suit was brought before 'Squire Holcraft, who lived at Madrid, in 
Boone County. Bailey had some counter claims to set up against 
Doctor Wood's claim. He employed Phillip Snyder as his attor- 
ney. Mr. Snyder told his wife to get the code and read the law 
defining the jurisdiction of a justice of the peace. When she came 
to that section which says, "No process can go from a justice of the 
peace from one county into another, except upon a written contract 
to pay money in the county and township where the justice resides," 
he exclaimed: "That is the law I wished to find. Now," said he, 
"get a pencil and a piece of paper and write the number of the page 


and section of that law." This being done, he put the slip of paper 
in his vest pocket and on the morning of the trial he arrived at the 
justice's office just as the case was called. The court asked him if 
he was ready for trial. "No, sir," said he, "but 1 wish the court to 
enter in the docket this motion : 'That the pending case be dismissed 
because the court has no legal jurisdiction to try it.' " 

"Where do you find that law, Mr. Snyder?" asked the court. 

Taking the slip of paper from his pocket, Mr. Snyder handed it 
to the court, saving: "Read the section there referred to, your 

The court did so and was much astonished to find that Mr. Snyder 
was entirely correct. The motion was sustained and the case dis- 
missed. Mr. Snyder's native sagacity triumphed. 

At another time Phillip Snyder was defending a client before 
a justice of the peace in Madrid. This time there was no question 
as to the jurisdiction of the court. A member of the Boone County 
bar had charge of the case for the plaintifif. Mr. Snyder made some 
dilatory motions, which so aroused the ire of this lawyer that he 
applied some rather unbecoming epithets to him. When he had 
exhausted his vocabulary of abuse, Mr. Snyder, who was an expert 
tongue lasher, replied to him in such a way that his anger was again 
aroused to the highest pitch, and rising to his feet he seized the Code 
of Iowa, which was upon the table, intending to knock Snyder's head 
off with it, but instead of doing so he brought it down upon the 
table with such force that the binding flew ofif of it. The justice 
became so much excited that he ran out of his office and across the 
street to the office of the township clerk and there wrote and filed 
his resignation. This ended the case and Snyder was again vic- 

R. B. Likes was the first lawyer to locate in Madrid. He came in 
i88i. Although he had considerable practice he had no office other 
than his family residence, and few law books. He remained less 
than two years and then moved to Kansas. 

Charles G. Moberg was the second one of the legal profession 
to locate here. Like unto Mr. Likes, he did not open a law office 
and had not many law books. Still he had some cases in the justice 
courts and a limited number in the District Court. He remained in 
Madrid but a short time, moving from here to Boone. Mr. Moberg 
was the first Swedish lawyer in the county. 

A. K. Webb came in 1882. He was the first lawyer to open an 
office in Madrid and furnish it with a law library. He started out 


well, but had the misfortune to incur the disfavor of a portion of 
the citizens. One night, while he was absent, these displeased citi- 
zens banded together, pulled his office down and destroyed his 
library. 'Ihis lamentable afTair was much regretted. Mr. Webb, 
soon after this, moved to Kansas, but later returned to this state and 
began practicing law at Cambridge, Iowa. 

]. W. Near came in 1884, opened a law office and practiced the 
remainder of his life. He was here longer than any other of the 
Madrid lawyers. 

Attorneys M. C. Creighton and H. W. Hull came near the same 
date, about 1901. Mr. Creighton's health failed in a few years 
after coming here, which made it necessary that he should go west, 
where he died shortly afterward. H. W. Hull was here about ten 
years, but bad health often interfered with his business, finally result- 
ing in his death. 

(". |. Ccdcrcjuist is now the only lawyer in Madrid and he enjoys 
a monopoly of the legal business of the place. He came here in 
1910 from Boone, having held the office of county attorney two terms. 

The first mill in Madrid was built in 1855 by C. J. Cassel and 
the Dalander brothers. It was used for manufacturing lumber only 
and supplied a long felt need. In a little less than two years the 
proprietors sold the mill and in 1858 it was moved to Dallas County. 
In i8i;7 C. |. Cassel and the Dalander brothers built the first steam 
flouring mill, not only in Madrid, but in the county. An immense 
amount of work was done with this mill, for it saved the citizens 
from many long drives to more distant mills. In 1868 it was sold 
to other parties, who moved it to Boone. 

The flouring mill, now operated in Madrid, was erected by 
Messmore and Stover, about the year 1870. From that date to the 
present the mill has changed hands many times and is now owned 
and operated by the Madrid Milling Company, which is doing a 
good business. The engine used to run the machinery of this mill 
was hauled on a wagon from Keokuk, to Elk Rapids in 1855. After 
being used there a period of fifteen years, it was moved by Mr. Mess- 
more to Madrid, and is still in line running order. It has been in 
constant use fifty-nine years. This is certainly a very historic engine. 

The first newspaper published in Madrid was called the Madrid 
Pilot. The first number was published in August, 1881. Edward 
Lunt was its editor and manager. The Pilot flourished only a short 
time. In about three months its publication was suspended and the 


press was moved back to Perry, from whence it came. The Pilot 
died for want of financial nourishment, having insufficient patronage. 

In 1882 M. N. Tomblin shipped a printing press and outfit to 
Madrid and in the fall of that year commenced the publication of 
the Madrid Register. Mr. Tomblin continued the publication of 
the Register until 1887, when he sold the paper to D. B. Davidson. 
In September of the same year Mr. Davidson was nominated for 
state senator and in that month sold the paper to Clint Scoonover. 
Mr. Scoonover was not at that time an experienced newspaper man 
and continued in the business onlv a little over a year. January i, 
1 889, the paper was sold back to D. B. Davidson. After another year 
in the newspaper business, Mr. Davidson sold the paper to J. W. 
Lucas and R. M. Keigley. In about a year Mr. Keigley sold his 
interest to Lucas & Company, who continued to publish the paper 
until March, 1894, when they sold to C. S. Lawbaugh. 

A few months prior to this time D. V. Smith had commenced 
the publication of the Madrid News. The two papers were con- 
solidated under the name of the Madrid Register-News, and the 
firm name of Smith & Lawbaugh. This firm name continued for a 
little over a year, when Mr. Lawbaugh sold his interest to his part- 
ner, who became sole editor and proprietor of the paper. Mr. Smith 
continued to edit the paper until February, 1897, when his health 
failed, and he died soon after. 

In April of that year the paper was sold to G. B. Heath, who 
continued to occupy the editorial chair until September 15, 1899, 
when he transferred the paper to C. A. Silford. For about five years 
Mr. Silford gave to the people of Madrid a good local newspaper. 
In December, 1904, he disposed of the paper, with the supplies and 
fixtures he had added to it, to J. G. Lucas, the present editor and 

Northwest of Madrid about three miles, near the breaks of the 
Des Moines River, on Section 15, is the home of David E. Allyn, 
in whom are combined the qualities of writer, publisher and trapper. 
During the time Mr. Allyn has lived in Madrid and Douglas Town- 
ship he has been the editor and publisher of two magazines. One 
of these was the "Trapper's World," which he sold to other parties 
and which is now published elsewhere. Since locating where he 
now lives, in Douglas Township, he has established and is now pub- 
lishing a monthlv magazine under the name of "Gameland," which 
is devoted entirely to the trapping interest. 


[. Filmcr Post, No. 347, Department of the Grand Army of the 
Repuhlic, was organized in Madrid July 30, 1884. Out of the 
twenty-four charter members only six are now living. For a num- 
ber of years the membersiiip increased until there were at one time 
ninety active members, but time, death and change of location have 
diminished their numbers until only twenty-four now answer the 
roll call. 'Ihe post has a nicely furnished hall and meets once a 
month for the transaction of business. The Hrst commander was 

A. Lansing, and the present one is G. H. Simmons. 

The Madrid postoffice was established March 28, i8(;6. Marcus 

B. Rutherford was the first postmaster. "The office was established 
under the name of Swede Point and it continued under that name 
almost a year before it was changed to Madrid. Ihe name of the 
town was changed from Swede Point to Madrid Mav 21;, 1851;. 
Why the postofiice should have retained the name of Swede Point 
for nearly a year after the name of the town was changed to Madrid 
is very strange. Those who drew up the petition for the postoffice 
must have been opposed to the change in the name of the town. 
From a small beginning the office has grown until it is now a presi- 
dential office. E. P. Dalander is the present postmaster. 

Star Lodge, No. 1 1 1;, A. F. and A. M., of Madrid, was organized 
June 2, 1858, and fully admitted November 27, 1858. The first 
officers were as follows; M. G. Wood, worshipful master; senior 
warden, R. K. Keigley; junior warden, Jacob Soart. There is no 
record of the full number of charter members to be found. The 
minutes of the first meetings, it seems, have been lost. The present 
membership is i 19. The lodge has a nice, well furnished hall, in 
which regular meetings are held. None of the charter members 
are now living. The present officers are as follows: Worshipful 
master, J. H. Hillis; senior warden, C. S. Adams; junior warden, 
M. M. Shaw; treasurer, J. M. Carlson; secretary, H. C. Graves. 

The Odd Fellows' lodge, I. O. O. F., of Madrid, No. 433, was 
organized on the 20th day of October, i88[. The charter was issued 
by John Van Valkenburg, grand master of Iowa, attested by William 
(jarrett, grand secretary, to five charter members as follows: 
.M Keith, A. J. Spence, A. K. Ersland, L. D. W'oodward and J. M. 
Stover. The present membership nf the lodge is 1 in members and 
its financial resources, consisting of monev and propertv, amount to 
$4,500. The average annual disbursements for the sick, relief and 
burial of members are $200. It has twenty-seven grands yet living 
and manv who have passed awav. Tiie present officers are: Henry 


Martinson, N. G. ; C. R. Frey, W. G. ; Simon Barrick, secretary, and 
F. H. Graves, treasurer; trustees, J. O. Wilson, W. J. Jenkins and 
Charles Hoop. 

The Woodmen's lodge, M. W. of A., of Madrid, was organized 
in 1900. Its present membership is i 10. It has a well furnished 
hall and the meetings are well attended, the lodge being in a very 
prosperous condition. The present officers are: Chief councilman, 
H. D. Lucas; assistant councilman, Charles Hoop; secretary, Clar- 
ence Carlson. 

The Swedish Home for Old Folks was established in Madrid in 
1906, the building being erected in 1908. It is a solid, substantial 
brick building, two stories in height, above the basement, and in 
size is 36 by 120 feet. The location is a very beautiful one and the 
building and grounds present a neat and inviting appearance. The 
home is an institution of which not only the Swedish people but 
all the people of Madrid are proud. There are at present twenty- 
eight inmates in the home. 

For many years Madrid has owned a park, which has been well 
cared for. It is a pleasant place for the people to meet. The town 
has just closed a deal for about eighteen acres of land adjoining the 
original plat of Madrid which will be converted into an additional 
park. The improvement of this tract will begin at an early date. 
This is a very fine tract of land and will add much to the attractive- 
ness of the park system. 

Madrid was incorporated in 1883. The first municipal election 
was held June 6th of that year. The officers chosen at the first elec- 
tion were: Corydon L. Lucas, mayor; councilmen, William John- 
son, G. A. Young, C. J. Cassel, August Peterson, A. Rutherford and 
E. W. Edwards; recorder, Ashiel Rutherford; marshal, Daniel Rob- 
erts. The first council had no place to hold its meetings and was 
forced to the necessity of meeting wherever a suitable room could 
be secured. A wonderful change has taken place during these more 
than thirty years of city government. 

It will be impossible to mention in detail the names and valuable 
services of all the mayors and councilmen who have filled these 
offices during this long period, but we point with satisfaction to the 
products of their minds and labors, among which are: our neat and 
convenient city building, our miles of cement walks, our improved 
streets, our cement bridges, our waterwc^rks and our fire department. 
All these stand as monuments to their discretion and efforts. The 
present officers are: Mayor, C. J. Cederquist; councilmen, F. H. 


Graves, C. G. Johnson, H. D. Lucas, A. E. Skortman and j. O. 
Wilson; recorder, C. S. Adams; marshal, J. O. Olson; street com- 
missioner, C F. Metcalt. 

Early in the year 1857, the leading citizens of the territory now 
included in Cass, Douglas and (harden townships, in Boone County, 
Des Moines Township, in Dallas County, and Madison Township, 
in I'olk County, made a united effort to accomplish for themselves 
a very important thing. They originated the idea of forming a new 
county to be composed of the townships mentioned and to also 
include Lincoln Township, in Polk County, and Palestine Town- 
ship, in Storv County. This territory was to constitute a new county, 
with a new name, and Madrid was to be made the county seat. That 
amount of territory would have made a small county, but as a jus- 
tification of the movement the originators claimed that it was too 
unhandy to live so far from the county seats as they did at that time, 
that it required too much of their time in going to and from the 
county seats in transacting county business. Tn short, they wanted 
things handy, and owing to bad roads and the unbridged streams i)f 
those days, they were far from handy as then constituted. 

Early in January, 1857, a meeting was called to consider the 
question and to formulate plans for carrying the new idea into 
effect. This meeting was well attended by the leading men of ail 
the townships interested, which were then settled. There was a 
strong feeling among them that the new county would be very desira- 
ble and all were ready to contribute money to defray the expenses of 
the movement. Among the men who took part in this historic meet- 
ing were: Phillip Snyder, Judah Leaming, John Breakfield and 
O. D. Smalley, of Dallas County; M. Keith, Jacob Rohr, Josiah 
Hopkins, Alexander Pierce, Joseph Meader and William Roe, of 
Polk County, and J. F. Hopkins, C. J. Cassel, George Hornback, 
Benjamin Williams, John Bilsland, Isaac Murphy, William Har- 
low, Eric Dalander, John Dalander, Swaim Dalander, Peter Ander- 
son and John Anderson, of Boone County. On looking up the law 
it was found that legislative actii)n would be necessary before the 
new county could be organized. Accordingly money was con- 
tributed and George Hornback was appointed and empowered to 
proceed to Iowa City at once to lay the matter before the Legisla- 
ture, then in session at that place. This was before the state capitol 
was moved from Iowa City to Des Moines. 

Some days passed before Mr. Hornback could get started, and, 
there being no railroad over the route, he had to make the trip by 


team. By reason of bad roads and deep snow, it required nearly a 
week, to reach the capital, but the tiresome journey was not the worst 
thing Mr. Hornback had to encounter. Upon his arrival he was 
dumfounded by the announcement that the Legislature had ad- 
journed the evening before. Walter C. Wilson, who represented 
the district in which Boone County was then situated, had not yet 
left the city and he assured Mr. Hornback that he would have done 
all he could for the establishment of the new county had the matter 
been brought to his attention before the Legislature adjourned. 

Every one of the pioneers whose names are mentioned in con- 
nection with this movement for a new county was honest and sincere 
and not one of them would have done any act which he thought 
would have been injurious to the community in which he lived. 
Each one of them with whom the writer has conversed on this sub- 
ject was fully impressed with the belief that if Mr. Hornback had 
been sent a month earlier the new county would have been granted 
and Madrid would have become a county seat. All hail to these 
pioneer boosters of Madrid. 

The darkest years Madrid ever saw were between 1865 and 1881. 
Boone and Des Moines each had an east and west railroad. The 
Des Moines Valley Road, it was expected, would build its line 
along the timber on the east side of the river, and on this Madrid's 
hopes were centered. Instead of doing this, however, the road 
crossed the river at Des Moines, ran its line north on the west side 
and laid out the town of Perry, sixteen miles west of Madrid. A few 
years later the Des Moines & Minnesota line was built, which ran 
seven miles east of Madrid. It then looked like the last ray of 
hope for the town. Instead of improving, the town began to lose 
in population. Amid this sadness and gloom word was received in 
the winter of 1881 that representatives of the Milwaukee Railway 
Company were six miles east of Madrid surveying a route and were 
then discussing the question whether they would come to the Des 
Moines River by way of Madrid or turn to the southwest and cross 
at the Chestnut Fork. John Bilsland and a number of others, who 
were still hoping for something good to happen for Madrid, drove 
out and met the surveying party. They fully explained the advan- 
tages to the railway company of coming in by way of Madrid. This 
friendlv disposition had the desired elTect. They came to see and 
satisfy themselves, and, like the Queen of Sheba. found that the half 
had not been told. The road came and ran centrally through the 
town, east and west, and great was the jov of the people. Scarcelv 


had they passed through the first impulse of joy over this event 
when the Des Moines & Northern came along and ran centrally 
through the town, north and south, which filled the cup of their joy 
to overflowing. ]\ew men came in, lots sold fast and at good prices, 
new enterprises sprang into existence and Madrid started out on a 
new era of prosperity. 

With the building of the two roads in 1881 the gloom and 
despondency of sixteen years passed away and a burden was lifted 
from the shoulders of those who had lived through them. There 
is no earthly joy sweeter than that which comes to a people after a 
long series of reverses have passed away. ' Mr. Bilsland never did a 
better day's work for his fellow citizens of Madrid than he did on 
the day he headed the little delegation out to the camp of the Mil- 
waukee surveyors and induced them to come to Madrid. For this 
one act he should be regarded as a public benefactor. 

Madrid has two lines of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 
Railway system. The main line passes through east and west. The 
Des Moines branch, formerly the Des Moines & iNorthern, passes 
through north and south. The main line is now double-tracked and 
is in a highly improved condition. The depot building at this place 
is old and inferior, but it will soon be replaced by a new and modern 
one. This system furnishes excellent transportation service to and 
from the world at large. 

Among the manufacturing and commercial interests of Madrid 
are: The Madrid Ciicmical Company, which is one of the new 
industries, and the outlook is that it will have a steadv growth. The 
company manufactures Heath's Daiidrufif Remover, and all toilet 
articles used by barbers. The headquarters of the company are 
under the Farmers Savings Bank, and the officers are: President, 
William Heath; vice president, J. H. S(^uthworth; secretary, F. H. 
Graves; treasurer, Frank Mains. 

D. W. Crank, of Madrid, manufactures the famous Crank 
Violins and Crank's Lens Eye End Pins (for violins), tools and 
supplies. Mr. Crank sells a large number of violins to parties in 
various parts of the country. He recently filled an order from 
August Gemunder & Sons, violin makers of New York Citv, for 
four violins. He also sells tools to this firm and to Lyon 6c Healy 
of Chicago. 

Erickson Brothers, manufacturers of cement blocks, are doing a 
good business, their cement blocks being used in many places. 


The Sutherland Wagon Box Factory has been in operation about 
three years. This industry has a number of emphiyes and the out- 
look for its business in the future is good. The wagon boxes which 
they manufacture are selling in many parts of the country. Every- 
where they have given entire satisfaction. 

The Electric Light and Power Company of Madrid was organ- 
ized in 1 90 1. A. R. Westerberg is the president and manager of 
the company. The plant has given the people of Madrid good 
service and they highly appreciate both the plant and the man- 

The telephone system of Madrid has been in operation about 
twenty years. It has given the people good service all these years.. 
The management has fulfilled all of the requirements of the patrons 
of the system, and the people have a high appreciation of the benefits 
they have derived. The present officers are: J. S. Kenison, presi- 
dent; H. C. Graves, secretary and manager. 

The enterprising firm of Krantz Brothers have a brick garage 
in operation. The building is 66 by 90 feet in dimensions and in- 
built of the best material. The firm makes many sales of automo- 
biles and is doing a good business. 

The Madrid State Bank and the Farmers Savings Bank are the 
money centers of Madrid. They are both well patronized, and 
transact a large volume of business annually. 

The Farmers Savings Bank's last reports shows that its capital 
stock is $25,000; surplus, $2,500; undivided profits, $1,800; and 
deposits, $204,000. Officials: John Van Zandt, president; S. A. 
Bengtson, vice president; Frank H. Graves, cashier; G. C. Carlson,, 
assistant cashier; Blanche Frise, bookkeeper. 

The Madrid State Bank is under the official charge of Oscar Oak- 
leaf, president; Peter Cassel, vice president; Z. M. Hamman, cashier; 
C. Fred Carlson, assistant cashier. The condensed statement of the 
bank rendered under the state auditor's call April 6, 1914, shows 
that the capital stock is $25,000; surplus, $25,000; undivided profits, 
$2,500; deposits, $313,000. 

The "Game Preserve," established by Game Warden H. E. 
Perry during the winter and spring of 1914, is located mainly within 
the borders of Douglas Township. Some of the birds placed in the 
"Preserve" have already appeared in the barnyards and feed lots 
of the citizens who have leased their lands for the "Game Preserve," 
which is under the charge of the state. Game placed within this 
preserve is not allowed to be killed or in any way molested for a 


period of years, thus restocking the county with game birds and 

Douglas Township gave liberally ot her sons to the Union forces 
during our Civil war, as will be seen from the following list, which 
shows those who went from this township, and, so far as we have been 
able to ascertain, tliose who returned, those who remained among 
us, and those who moved away. This honor roll is as follows: 

Henry M. Graves. Returned, and has lived in the township 
ever since, being now a constable, living in Madrid. 

Lewis Harris. Did not return to the township. 

Samuel Marsh. Lost an arm in the service. Returned to the 
township, but later moved to Des Moines, Iowa. 

William Rankin. Returned to the townsiiip, but later moved 


fosiah Fritz. Was killed in the service. 

Lewis Oliver. 

John B. Hagan. 

Henry }. Stone. Returned to the township, and later moved to 
the West. 

George W. Kirby. Returned, and is now living in Madrid. 

Larne Gaston. 

William Radcliff. Returned to township. 

Thomas Cromwell. Returned, and died in the township in 1914. 

Newton Cromwell. Returned to the township, and later moved 
to Kansas. 

Solomon G. Cunningham. Died in the service. 

Henry R. Wilson. 

Albert Williams. 

William Stover. 

Francis Annis. 

x'Yndrew J. Dalander. 

John Kerby. 

Abbot Lee. Returned, and later moved from the township. 

Peter Peterson. Returned to township, and died here in 1912. 

fonse Peterson. Returned, and later moved from township. 

Spencer K. Williams. 

Charles J. Anderson. Returned, and died in township a num- 
ber of years afterwards. 

Levi Berry. 

Randolph Scoonover. 

J. M. Williams. 





;.' viji-iK 







T \>H . 

1 1 N * 


N fO 

u^::;^ r.cvs 



Isaac Stover. Returned, and still lives in Madrid. 

This list shows that twenty-nine citizens of Douglas Township 
joined the Union Army in the troublous times following the fall 
of Fort Sumter, in 1861. This might seem a small number at the 
present day, but when we consider the sparse population at that time, 
it was a large percentage. We do not know how many of these are 
still living, but we do know that three of them, Henry M. Graves, 
Isaac Stover and George W. Kirby, are yet living in Douglas Town- 
ship. We all unite in giving honor to our sons who aided in uphold- 
ing the llnion when its life hung in the balance. 

The present officers of Douglas Township are as follows: Trus- 
tees, John Van Zant, Samuel Bryant and George Hubby; clerk, 
Simeon Eslick; assessor, Oscar Johnson; justices of the peace, 
George H. Simmons and Corydon L. Lucas; constables, M. J. Scott 
and Henry M. Graves. 


Cass Township is situated on the west side of the Des Moines 
River and is but little more than half a congressional township. 
From 1849 to 1852 Cass was a part of Pleasant Township. From 
March 8, 1852, to March 6, 1858, it was a part of Berry Township. 
At the last named date Cass Township was established and named 
by S. B. McCall, county judge. At that date the township of Cass 
contained all of the territory within its present boundaries and four 
tiers of sections ofif of the east side of Peoples Township. It was 
named in honor of Gen. Lewis Cass, a much honored and distin- 
guished statesman and politician. When Peoples Township was 
established in 1871 the four tiers of sections mentioned above were 
taken from Cass, at which time it was reduced to its present size. 

There are some early items of history to be found in the south- 
east part of Cass Township of which mention will be made. The 
two large mounds found there have from time immemorial attracted 
the attention of both the Indian and white men. When the treaty 
with the Sac and Fox Indians expired, October 11, 1845, fhe great 
chief Keokuk, and the Sac Indians went to Kansas Territory to live, 
but the Foxes went up the river thirty miles and established a lodge 
around these mounds. Captain Allen sent Lieut. R. S. Granger with 
a company of Dragoons after them and he took them to Fort Des 
Moines and they remained there until the next spring, when they 
were also sent to Kansas. Five years ago a stone tablet was found 
near the largest of these two mounds, with the following inscrip- 
tion on it: 

"December 10, 1845. 

"Found 200 Indians hid on and around these mounds. 

"They cried no go! no go! but we took them to Fort D. 

"Lt. R. S. Granger." 

This tablet is now in the possession of the Madrid Historical 



The first family of permanent settlers to cross the Des Moines 
River at Elk Rapids was that of O. D. Smalley, the Christopher 
Columbus of Dallas County, who in company with some other men 
and teams moved from North Missouri to Fort Des Moines, and 
from thence up along the river on the east side and camped on the 
site of the present town of Madrid. This was in the spring of 1846. 

Finding that the land at tlie point of timber here was already 
claimed, Mr. Smalley made up his mind to cross the Des Moines 
River and look for a location on the west side. The next morning 
he and the parties with him drove to Elk Rapids, intending to cross 
the river there, but found the stream full of water from bank to 
bank. On the large expanse of bottom land to the south of the rapids 
there were hundreds of hard maple trees. A band of Pottawattamie 
Indians had a lodge among these maples and every spring they manu- 
factured large quantities of maple sugar. At the time Mr. Smalley 
arrived there the sugar season was over and the Indians were off 
on a hunting tour. Mr. Smalley took the large troughs, which the 
Indians had made and used for storing the sap of the maple trees, 
and made a raft of them on which the families, the wagons and ccm- 
tents were taken across the river in safety. The horses and cattle 
were forced to swim the river. This company of emigrants were 
the first to cross the river at Elk Rapids and they were the first 
homeseekers to set foot on what is now the soil of Cass Township. 
Mr. Smalley cleared out a way up the river hill on the west side 
and the teams were driven up the hill exactly where the road is now 
located. Mr. Smalley turned south when he reached the prairie on 
the west side and located near Snyder Point, in Dallas County. He 
was the first settler there, lived there many years and was honored 
with two county offices. 

The first mill built in Boone County, or in the Des Moines Val- 
ley north of the Raccoon Fork, was situated at the lower end of Elk 
Rapids on the west bank of the Des Moines River, in what is now 
Cass I'ownship. This mill was built by Adam and Jonathan Boles 
in 1849 and 1850. It was known for many miles in all directions as 
the Elk Rapids mill, and it was of much advantage to many of the 

Near this mill site there is a famous stone quarry, which has fur- 
nished stone for the foundations of many buildings. Manv loads 
of this stone were in pioneer times hauled on wagons to Des Moines 
and used in the erection of buildings. 


In this part of Cass Township is the western terminus of the great 
Elk Rapids viaduct across the Des Moines River, erected in 1913 
by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad C(jmpany. This 
viaduct is a solid steel structure, 2,380 feet long and 146 feet above 
the ordinary stage of water in the river. The west end of the viaduct 
is six feet above the natural bluff on the west side of the river. When 
looked at from the summit of either of the mounds above referred 
to it presents a most beautiful sight to look at. On the right of way 
of the railroad on the slope of the river hill and about seventy-five 
feet from the west end of the viaduct is the grave of Crawford Cole, 
one of the pioneers of this part of the country. He was buried here 
at his own request, in 1874. As the grave is many feet below the 
viaduct and fifty feet north of it, the railroad company made no 
request that the remains be removed. As Crawford Cole was a 
prominent member of the Masonic lodge at Madrid, Iowa, the mem- 
bers of that lodge have improved and beautified the grave of this 
brother until it now attracts the attention of all who pass near it. 

Right here in this corner of Cass Township is the junction of 
two pioneer roads, one of which was laid out by the authorities of 
Dallas County, and the other by the authorities of Boone County. 
The Dallas County road was established in the spring of 1850 and 
it ran from Panoach (now Adel) northeast and terminated at Boles 
Mill. The Boone County road commenced at the north line of the 
C(junty a little north of the present town of Ridgeport, and running 
south and a little east intersected the Dallas Countv road at Boles 
Mill. This road was petitioned for in the fall of 1849 and estab- 
lished the following year. These were the first roads established in 
Boone and Dallas Counties. The junction of these two roads in 
Cass Township is a historic event, well worthy of mention. In fact 
the whole number of events mentioned in connection with the south- 
east corner of Cass Township are sufficiently interesting to merit the 
mention here given. 

The first settlements in Cass Township were made in 1848. In 
that year Jonathan Boles, John Woods, V. Preston. Crawford 
Cole and Jacob Rhodes settled. Just which of these was the first 
settler of the township is a thing that cannot now be definitely deter- 
mined. In 1849 J. H. Rhodes, William Noland and James Noland 
settled in the township. In 1850 Roland Spurrier, George Spur- 
rier, Lawda Hurst, James Hurst, Henry Hurst, S. B. Williams, 
Jesse Williams and William P. Berry all located and became citi- 
zens of Cass Township. In 1851 William Harlow, Perry Scott, 


J. O. Harris, Andrew and Orlow Oviatt, J. B. Vernon, Fllisha Ben- 
nett and many others became residents of Cass Township. 

The first land purchase was made by Alfred Williams in 
November, 1848. He purchased the southeast quarter of the south- 
east quarter of Section 28. In July, 1849, Albert G. Preston pur- 
chased the southwest quarter of Section 28 and the southeast quarter 
of Section 30. 

The first marriage in the township was that of James Hurst tn 
Susan Messmore, in the spring of 1850. 

The first birth in the township was that of Samuel Preston, son 
of Mr. and Mrs. V. Preston, in November, 1849. He died in 
December of the same year. This was also the first death in the 

These first settlers had the hardships and privations of frontier 
life to encounter in their endeavor to make homes in a new country. 
At first they went a long distance to find mills that manufactured 
breadstuflfs. Their nearest postoffice was Fort Des Moines, where 
they had to go to get their mail and purchase their groceries. It took 
men and women of courage and endurance to overcome these dif- 

Among the early settlers who yet have descendants in the town- 
ship are the Harlows, the Prestons, the Hursts, the Williams, the 
Oviatts, the Le Masters, the Vernons, the Nolands, the Woods, all 
of whom are prosperous citizens of the township, and all of whom 
date back into the pioneer families. 

At least one-third of the surface of Cass Township was origi- 
nally timbered land. Most of this has been cut ofif and used up or 
disposed of and many small farms have been cleared up and placed 
under cultivation. Much of this timbered land is underlaid with 
coal, none of which has been developed. There are also numerous 
gravel beds in Cass Township, which will some time be valuable. 
Some time in the future there will be a railroad switch built into 
the coal fields and gravel beds and they will be worked and utilized. 

Among the pioneer families which have not been mentioned are 
the Hornbuckles, James and Melvin Nance, Moses Eversoll anH 
Joshua Eversoll. During the Civil war JeflFerson Hornbuckle was 
appointed deputy provost marshal and he exercised his official 
authority in a way that did not at all times meet with the approval 
of his superiors and certainly not with those over whom he exercised 
his authority. 


The Nance families were good, law-abiding citizens and well 
respected by all of their neighbors. 

Moses Eversoll was justice of the peace of Cass Township for 
eighteen consecutive years. He was as a rule the only justice in 
Cass Township and this gave him considerable legal business. It is 
claimed that there never was a decision of his reversed in the Dis- 
trict Court. 

Joshua Eversoll was one of the pioneer schoolteachers of the 

The first schoolhouse erected in Cass Township was a log build- 
ing located on Section 2. In this house Joshua Eversoll taught 
three or four terms. It is claimed that Claiborne Wright taught the 
first school in the township in a house that stood near where the 
McClellan schoolhouse now stands. Mr. Wright was an Indiana 
schoolteacher, who was at one time a student in what is now De 
Pauw University. Cass Township now has five schoolhouses, all of 
which are in good repair. The schools are all in a prosperous con- 

There was no effort made to lay out or build up a town in 
Cass Township. There was no inducement at any time to make a 
venture of this kind. Joseph Rhodes at one time kept a small store 
near the Elk Rapids mill and J. G. Porter kept another near the 
center of the township, but neither of these ventures lasted very long. 

Dr. C. E. Porter is the only medical man who ever located in 
the township. For about ten years he practiced his profession and 
he met with good success. But in time his farm interests grew so 
large that he abandoned his practice and now gives all his time to 

About the year 1857 Andrew Orlow and John Oviatt estab- 
lished a wagon and blacksmith shop on the farm of Andrew Oviatt, 
where they did the work in this line for all the people in that part 
of the country. They also manufactured a number of good wagons. 
This was the only manufacturing concern that Cass Township ever 

The soil of this township is very fertile and the farms as a rule 
are of medium size. There are no very large farms in the township. 
The largest landholders are the Harlows and Burrels in the south 
part of the township, the Porters and Ramseys in the central part 
and the Oviatts and Williams in the north part. 

Of the local schoolteachers may be mentioned John A. Keys, 
F. M. Betteys, Tom Davis, Mrs. Enos Rhoads and Mary Preston. 

2r>6 T^ST()R^' of r.ooxi-: county 

The Union Historical Society says that the first religious services 
in the township were conducted by Rev. John De Mass at the resi- 
dence of Jonathan Boies during the fall of 1851. There is nothing 
said as lo wiiat part of the township Mr. Boles lived in at the time, 
but as he and his brother were the builders of the Elk Rapids Mill, 
which was completed about that time, the service must ha\c been 
in the southeast part of the township in Section 34. 

The first Methodist Episcopal church organized in Cass Town- 
ship was in I'ebruary, 1880. The first members were Andrew Oviatt 
and wife, Orlow Oviatt and wife, Mrs. Drake, Mrs. Hurdman, Mrs. 
Meek, Mrs. Halsey, Mrs. Bernard, Emma'and Ella Vernon, Phillip 
Carrel and wife, John Perry and wife and Charles Russell and wife. 
This church still survives and is now called Liberty Church. It has 
a good church building, with regluar preaching services and a good 
Sunday school. The present pastor is Rev. W. H. Harvey, of 

Ellijali Pierce was the only one of the early settlers of the town- 
ship who was a minister of the Gospel. He worked on his farm and 
preached when his services were required. He belonged to the 
Church of Christ, and at one time there was a small congregation 
of this denomination in this township. Reverend Pierce died at 
his home in the township some years ago, loved and respected by all 
of his neighbors. 

There was at one time a congregation of Presbyterians in the 
township, but it long since ceased to exist. 

The people of Cass have been a very law-abiding petjple. No 
crime of a serious nature is found on the records against them. 

There is a cemetery near the Liberty Church, but this is the only 
one there is in the township. 

In 1851; a large bufTalo was chased down and killed in Cass 
Township. This incident raised a little excitement among the hunt- 
ers of the township iri that early day. This wild animal had become 
separated from the herd to which it belonged and had come into 
Cass Township from the north. It had probably been chased bv 
other hunting parties before coming into the township. This buf- 
falo was headed toward the south, as was the custom of the buffalo 
herds in the fall season of the year. When this buffalo came into 
Cass Township it was seen bv S. B. Williams, who lived near the 
north line, and he saddled his horse, took his gun, and calling his 
dogs began the final chase of this lost animal. He iiad not gone 
far until he was joined by Phillip Carrel, John Carrel, Melvin 


Nance and Moses Eversoll, each on horseback and rifle in hand. 
The buffah) being hard pressed left the prairie and passed into the 
timber a little south of the Eversoll place, with half a dozen dogs 
close after him. The dogs brought the doomed animal to bay on 
Section 22. S. B. Williams, who was in the lead of all the pur- 
suers, succeeded in sending a bullet through the animal just behind 
the shoulders, which brought him to the ground. The dogs were 
called ofif, the bufifalo was dressed and the meat divided among the 
settlers. This was the only bufifalo chase that ever occurred in Cass 

There were sixteen citizens of Cass Township who became sol- 
diers in the Civil war, as follows: Andrew Hurst, G. W. Horn- 
buckle, Melvin Needham, Nathaniel Noland, A. C. Noland, S. C. 
Needham, J. H. Hurst, J. A. Waldo, William Waldo, C. O. Need- 
ham, Charles Peck, John A. Keys, Jasper Pierce, William Noland, 
J. B. Vernon and A. Preston. Whether any of the sixteen men 
whose names appear in the above list are still living cannot be here 
stated. But it is reduced to a certainty that not one of them is now 
a citizen of Cass Township. 

The streams of Cass Township are the Preston Branch, the Caton 
Branch and the Eversoll Branch. A sketch of these is given in an 
article to be found in another part of this work, under the heading 
of "The Small Streams of Boone County." 

It was not until the year 1913 that there was any railroad track 
in Cass Township. In relocating the track between Madrid and 
Woodward the new track of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 
Railroad runs across the southeast corner of the township, but there 
is no station within its borders. 

The State Colony for Epileptics recently established by the 
Board of Control of State Institutions consists of 960 acres of land. 
Of this body of land 900 acres are situated in Cass Township, Boone 
County, and 60 acres in Des Moines Township, Dallas County. 
The 900 acres in Cass Township are situated as follows: Four 
hundred and eighty acres in Section 31 and 420 acres in Sections 29 
and 30, all in Township 82, Range 26. The board of control had 
arranged for the extension of the interurban line north to the col- 
onv, a distance from its depot in Woodward of about one mile 
north, but the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul authorities have 
objected to the crossing of its track and it will be some time before 
this matter is settled. It is understood that there will be no improve- 
ment in the way of the erection of buildings in the present year. 


There is perhaps no township in the county that has as well pre- 
served records as Cass Township, (jcorge Mougin, the township 
clerk, is still using the same record book which was purchased and 
used when Berry Township was organized in April, 1852, — sixty- 
two years ago. It contains many interesting records. When Berry 
Township was discontinued in March, 1858, this record book 
became the property of Cass Township and it has been used by the 
township clerks of Cass Township to the present time. Mr. Mougin 
estimates that it will last fifty years longer. The book is a large, 
leather bound volume of about five hundred pages of blue tinted 

The trustees elected at the organization of Cass Township in 
1858 were J. O. Harris, Samuel Williams and W. W. Wade. The 
present township officers are as follows: Trustees, Augustus Mougin, 
Hugh Oviatt and Archibald Williams; clerk, George Mougin; 
assessor, James Swisher. There has not been a justice of the peace 
elected in the township for the past eight years. J. O. Harris was 
elected a member of the board of supervisors in i860, when each 
organized township was entitled to a member of that body. He 
held the office for two terms and was succeeded by James Bausman, 
who held the office until the membership of the board was reduced 
by law to three members. Charles Olson of Cass was elected and 
has served two terms in the office of county recorder. These are 
the only county officials that Cass Township ever had. 


Worth Township is bounded on the west by the Des Moines 
River and for this reason it is not a full congressional township 
The southwest part of it is cut ofif by the incline of the river, which 
part belongs to Marcy Township. The south one-third of Worth 
Township was at the time of the organization of the county a part 
of Pleasant Township, and at the same time the north two-thirds 
was a part of Boone Township. It was surveyed in 1847 by James 
Davis, deputy surveyor, and certified to by Henry A. Wiltse, sur- 
veyor general at Dubuque, Iowa. There were four tracts of land 
purchased from the Government as early as October, 1848. Lewis 
Kinney and John Boyles purchased land in Section 2 and Jefiferson 
Hoffman and Matthias HofTman in Section 15. 

Worth Township was organized and named in March, 1858. It 
was named in honor of William J. Worth, a general of the Mexican 
war and the hero of Monterey. It was organized by Samuel B. 
McCall, county judge at that time, and named by him. 

The first settlers of Worth Township were John Pea and his 
family and James Hull and his family. They settled in Section 2, 
Township 83, Range 26, May 26, 1846. The point of timber where 
this settlement was made continued to be known as Pea's Point for 
many years. The little stream that heads at this point of timber is 
known as Pea's Branch unto this dav. When the raid on the Lott 
family was made by the Sioux chief, Si-dom-i-na-do-tah, at the 
mouth of Boone River, in December, 1846, the settlement at Pea's 
Point was the nearest one to the scene of that historic event. When 
Henrv Lott and his stepson arrived at Pea's Point, soliciting help to 
go to the rescue of his family, John Pea and Thomas Sparks were 
two of the men who went to aid in the rescue. They also assisted 
in the burial of the dead bodies of Mrs. Lott and her son, Milton Lott. 
Mr. Sparks became a settler of what is now Worth Township some 
time during the summer of 1846. 


260 IllSTOR-S' ()!■ I'.OOXE COUNTY 

There is rather an amusing incident which occurred during the 
winter of 1846 and 1847 ^' Pea's Point. John Pea had been away 
from home helping to erect a log house for some settlers who were 
late in arriving in the country and did not reach home in time to 
provide wood for the tire next morning. On looking out next morn- 
ing he was much surprised to find snow on the ground a foot deep. 
This snow had covered up every dry stick of timber near his log 
cabin and lo start a hre with green wood from the forest could not 
be done in a reasonable time. Around his few cultivated acres there 
was a rail fence and most of these rails were large and well seasoned. 
They looked so tempting that he exclaimed: "Fifty good rails will 
make fifty good fires and it is a poor specimen of a man who can- 
not make fifty rails in a day when the spring opens." So suiting his 
action to the expression, it was but a short time until he had a good 

In 1848 John Hull, Henry Holcomb, William Dickerson, Wil- 
liam Hull, George Hull, Nathan Hull, Henry HofYman, Jefiferson 
Hofifman and Matthias HofTman came and located in the township, 
nearly all of them purchasing land. 

In 1849 John Long, Clark Luther, James E. Moss, John Boyles, 
Pembroke Gault, John Gault and many others came and located 
in the township. 

From 1849 to i8i;2 came David Parker, W. D. Parker, John B. 
Montgomery, Squire Boone, W. M. Boone, George Drake, James 
Gildea, John Sturdivant, James A. Cunningham and William Dyer, 
all of whom became land owners in Worth Township. 

At the end of the year 18153 'ibout all the land in Worth Town- 
ship was purciiased from the Government and improvements made 
thereon. One of the serious things that confronted the earlv set- 
tlers of this and other townships in the pioneer times was the long 
distance they had to haul their grain in order to get it manufactured 
into breadstufifs. At first the settlers of Worth Township went to 
Oskaloosa, a distance of one hundred miles. This was a great hard- 
ship, especially in winter time. Sometimes as many as eight teams 
went together, and it would frequentlv be three weeks before all ot 
them could return home. Families often ran out of breadstuff and 
subsisted for davs upon hominv and potatoes as a substitute for bread. 
These were trials and hardships that make people of the present day 
shudder. But the pioneers lived through them without the loss of a 
single person from starvation. Elk, deer, wild turkeys and prairie 
•chickens were plentiful in those days and the good hunters kept the 


settlers well supplied with wild meat and wild fowls. This was a 
rough way of living but it kept starvation away from the cabins of 
the settlers until better facilities came nearer them. 

It has already been stated that Boone was a part of Polk County 
for election, revenue and judicial purposes prior to the time of its 
organization. In pursuance of this authority the Board of County 
Commissioners of Polk County, in July, 1847, organized a voting 
precinct in Boone County. The action of the board is as follows: 
"Ordered, That the County of Boone and the country north and west 
of said County of Boone, which is by law attached to the County of 
Polk for revenue, election and judicial purposes, be and the same 
is hereby set off into, and shall constitute a separate precinct by the 
name of Boone, and the place of holding elections in said precinct 
shall be at the house of John Pea in said precinct." 

The election of 1848 was a closely contested one. After making 
a careful canvass of the votes in Polk County, the democrats found 
that they were a few votes in the minority. Hoyt Sherman was the 
whig candidate for the office of clerk of court, and Henry Early 
was the democratic candidate. A council of the leading democrats 
was held in the office of Barlow Granger to decide what would be 
the best course to pursue in order to elect Mr. Early their candidate. 
After thinking the matter over for a while Mr. Granger gave it as 
his opinion that the opposing candidate, Mr. Sherman, nor any of his 
friends, had thought of the new voting precinct in Boone County. 
"The thing for use to do is to keep quiet about it, get our tickets 
printed and send a man up to the Boone precinct and get the voters 
out, and in this way I think we can elect our candidate." The plan 
was carried out just as Mr. Granger had outlined it. The election 
was held and the returns of Polk County elected Mr. Sherman by a 
very small majority. The whigs were rejoicing over their victory, 
when Mr. Spofiford, the man sent to the Boone precinct, arrived with 
the returns, and the result changed the joy of the whigs to grief and 
sorrow. Barlow Granger's plan elected Mr. Early and at the same 
time perpetrated a good joke on the whigs. 

The first schoolhouse built in Worth Township was located in 
section 11, on what is now the farm of W. H. Wane. It was built 
in 185 1 by donations and work of the citizens and not by taxation. 
It was a frame house built of native timber. In i8i;6 this house and 
the land on which it stood were sold to G. W. Brown, who used it for 
a dwelling. He raised it one story higher and used it for a residence 
the remainder of his life. This building has been moved back to 


the rear of the yard and it still stands there. This is the only one 
of the early pioneer schoolhouses yet remaining. Of the pioneer 
schoolteachers who taught in this schoolhouse may be mentioned 
Thomas Sparks, L. J. Dunn, James Purcell, D. M. Dunn and Irene 

The second schoolhouse in Worth Township was built on section 
34. It was a log house, built in 1852, by the citizens for temporary 
use. It was called the Elm Grove schoolhouse. It was used for 
school purposes until 1858, when the Pleasant Grove schoolhouse 
was buili, ami it ceased to be used longer for school purposes. 
Among the teachers employed here may b6 mentioned V. B. Crooks, 
John S. Green, Irene Holcomb and Thomas R. Gildea. In 1858 
the Boone schoolhouse was built on section 23. This was the same 
year in which the Pleasant Grove schoolhouse was erected, and whicii 
was located on section 35. About the same time the Des Moines 
schoolhouse was built on section 2. These have all been moved as 
the result of redistricting and are now among the things that were. 
Worth Township now has seven schoolhouses, one of which is within 
the corporate limits of the Town of Luther. The schools are in a 
prosperous condition. 

The streams of Worth Township are Big Creek, Pea's Branch, 
Honey Creek and Pole Cat Creek. A sketch of these streams is 
given in an article elsewhere under the heading of Small Streams 
of Boone County. A singular formation of clifYs of rock on both 
sides of Pea's Branch, about half a mile above its mouth, known 
as the Ledges, as always attracted the attention of the people. The 
ledges consist of perpendicular walls of rock, twentv feet high, on 
both sides of the branch and extend a distance of about ten rods. 
The Ledges were a place of considerable resort for a period of about 
five years. Some parties from Des Moines and Boone erected a 
building there, which was called Beaulah Home. Many children 
from Des Moines were brought there for a two or three weeks' open 
air outing. But the Ledges were so difficult of access that the outings 
were discontinued, the buildings were sold and moved away and 
Beaulah Home is now among the things that were. But the Ledges 
are still there — majestic and immovable. 

There are two railroads that pass through portions of Worth 
Township. The Chicago & Northwestern passes through the north- 
west corner and the Boone line of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. 
Paul passes through the entire length of the township. This line has 
two stations — one at Luther, the other at Grayson. 


From first to last there have been five postofiices in Worth Town- 
ship. The first one was established in 1863 at the house of W. M. 
Boone in section 23, the gentleman above mentioned being the first 
postmaster. Two years later Mr. Boone resigned and J. B. Hurl- 
burt was appointed postmaster and the office was moved to his 
residence a mile and a half south on the mail route. When Mr. 
Hurlburt was elected county treasurer in 1866, he resigned and J. 
A. Cunningham was appointed postmaster. The office was then 
moved to his residence, a ibile farther south on the mail route. Mr. 
Cunningham kept the office a little over a year, when he resigned, 
and Thomas Doran was appointed postmaster. The latter moved 
the office to his residence a mile north on the same route. About 
two years later Mr. Doran resigned and the postoffice was dis- 
continued. Each of the postoffices above mentioned was named 
Worth, after the name of the township. 

The fifth and last postoffice established in the township was 
located at Luther and it was named Luther in honor of Clarke 
Luther, who owned the house it was kept in and the land on which 
it stood. It was established in 1884, with J. K. Jenkins as the first 
postmaster. This postoffice is still distributing mail to the citizens 
of the south part of Worth Township. 


There have been two towns laid off in Worth Township. The 
first of these was Parkersburg, which was laid out by David Parker, 
in the month of November, 1852, on the northwest quarter of section 
2, at the point of timber known as Pea's Point. This town was de- 
signed to be a rival of Boonesboro. All of the settlers at that time 
believed that the first railroad to come into Boone County would 
come from the south and that it would run on the prairie touching 
the points of timber on its route. In running thus, it would miss 
Boonesboro about two miles and Parkersburg would be a station, 
which in a short time would become the county seat. This north 
and south railroad so fondly hoped for did not come until long 
after the Chicago & Northwestern had spanned the state from east 
to west. But when the line from the south running into Boone was 
built, in 1882, it ran within eighty rods of the eastern limits of 
Parkersburg, but by that time it was among the things that were. 
Parkersburg never so much as got a start toward being a town. The 
old Boone County House, kept by David Parker, became one of the 


most prominent country hostelries ever kept in Central Iowa. Tfiis 
countrv liotcl was tiic only thinti; beyond the ordinary that Parkers- 
burj^ ever had. 


The second and last town laid out in Worth I'ownship is the 
Town of Luther. It has already been stated that the postoffice 
at Luther was established in 1884. But the town was not laid out 
until January 26, 1893. '" ^'^^ fall of 1883 Clark Luther built a 
storehouse on the site of Luther and J. -K. Jenkins opened a store 
which in a short time met with considerable patronage. J. K. 
Jenkins was the first postmaster at Luther. 

From the above it will be seen that the postofTice at Luther was 
established about nine years before the town was laid out. For 
a town of its size there is a large amount of business transacted there. 
Much grain and stock are shipped from Luther. There are now 
about three stores in the town, one bank, a blacksmith and woodwork 
shop, a livery barn, a telephone oflice, a practicing physician, two 
grain elevators and a number of nice residences. Although Luther 
has not more than one hundred and fifty people within its limits 
it has been incorporated for a number of years and has a system of 
waterworks and electric lights. It has, during its short career, lost 
two stores and a lumber yard by fire. None of these places of busi- 
ness have been rebuilt. The outlook for Luther to continue to grow 
and maintain a good volume of business is assured. It is on the 
Boone line of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, at a 
safe distance from any other town and in the midst of a fine agricul- 
tural country. Luther has two churches and two good church build- 
ings. One of these is of the Methodist Episcopal denomination, the 
other the Church oi Christ. It also has a schoolhouse large enough 
to accommodate the pupils of the district. George Abraham is the 
present mayor of the town. 

About two miles west of Luther is the Meadow Grove Church. 
This is the oldest church society in the township, having been or- 
ganized in 1 88 1. This society has a good, energetic membership 
and a splendid little building. They have preaching on alternate 
Sundays and Sunday school every Sunday. 

There are two incorporated and well kept cemeteries in Worth 
Township. One of these is the Hull Cemetery, in the southwest 
part of the township, the other the Sebers Cemetery, in tiie north 


part. The remains of many of the early settlers and some of the 
first county officers repose in these cemeteries. 

The population of Worth 'I'ownship, according to the census 
of 1910, was 655. This includes the Town of Luther, which was 
incorporated in 1903. 

The first brick houses in Boone County were erected in Worth 
Township. These were built in 1857, both two-story residences. 
One was erected by Clarke Luther and the other by James E. Moss. 
Both are still standing and are occupied. . 

Worth Township has been honored above nearly all the other 
country townships in the number of its citizens who have been called 
to fill county offices. At the first election in 1849 two citizens then 
in tlie present limits of Worth Township were chosen to fill county 
offices. Thomas Sparks was elected county surveyor and John Boyles 
countv commissioner. In i860 Mr. Sparks was elected a member 
of the board of supervisors and was reelected in 1862. In 1852 
James Lacy was elected sheriff of the county and served two years. 
In 1864 John Long was elected county supervisor and served one 
term. In 1851 S. C. Wood was elected county surveyor and held 
the office four terms, or eight years. In 1854 J. B. Montgomery 
was elected county judge and was reelected in 1856, 1859 and 1861. 
In 1865 M. K. Ramsey was elected county judge and M. T. Harlan 
superintendent of schools, while J. B. Hurlburt was elected county 
treasurer. In 1870 J. B. Vontrees was elected a member of the 
board of supervisors and later on Henry L. Davis was also elected 
a member of the board of supervisors. Some time in the '80s J. B. 
Patterson was elected sheriff for two terms. In 1879 J. H. Jennings 
was elected representative, which makes twelve citizens of Worth 
Township who have been honored with county offices. 

The first crime of theft amounting to an indictable ofifense com- 
mitted within the borders of Boone County occurred in 1854, the 
location of which was in Worth Township. At the date above 
named Richard Green owned and lived upon a farm in the south- 
west corner of section 35. This crime was committed on Sunday. 
On that day Mr. Green and his wife visited at the home of a neigh- 
bor in the vicinity, leaving three of their children at home to take 
care of the things about the house, two of whom were half grown. 
Some time in the afternoon the parents returned home and upon 
entering the house it occurred to Mr. Green that he had better look 
and see if his money was safe and untouched. The money in amount 
was $180, which was in a satchel which hung upon the wall of the 


house. He first noticed tliat the satclu-I was in phice, hut upon h)ok- 
ing inside of it found that the money was gone. This was a very 
improper place to leave money for safe keeping, but in that day a 
crime of theft bv one of tiic pioneer settlers was a thing unknown 
and uniookeii for. However, in most all things there is an excep- 
tion to the general rule and this was one of them. Mr. Green called 
the children before him and asked them if anv of them had taken 
the satchel from the wall during the day. They all denied having 
so much as tiiought of such a thing. Mr. Green then asked if any- 
bodv had been about the house during his absence. They answered 
that a man named George Redmon had been there and had remained 
over an hour, but he did not touch the satchel which contained the 
money during his stay. This they were certain of, but he had asked 
them what their father had done with the monev recently paid him 
for an interest in a certain mill he had sold. Although the children 
could not furnish any proof that Redmon had taken the money, yet 
Mr. Cireen believed he had returned to the house while the children 
were out playing and had stolen the money. So he called in about 
six of his neighbors and laid the case before them. After thinking 
the matter over they all came to the conclusion that Redmon had 
taken the money. This man Redmon was single and he \yas stopping 
for the winter with a relative who then lived in the neighborhood. 
One of the men called in was quite witty as well as resourceful in 
planning for the execution of difficult things. To this man was 
assigned the plan of procedure for the recovery of the money. He 
was well acquainted with Redmon and knew that he would take a 
sip of intoxicating liquor with a relish when an opportunity pre- 
sented itself. 

On the southeast corner of the farm lived a man in a small log 
cabin who kept a small stock of intoxicating liquors for sale. So 
this manager of alifairs ordered the other six men to mask and secrete 
themselves in some underbrush along a by-road leading west from 
the log cabin just referred to, "and when 1 pass along that road in 
company with Redmon," said he, "you must jump from your hiding 
places and capture him, and to keep him from knowing that I led 
him into the trap we are now preparing for him, you must make 
a little effort to catch me also." This they understood and agreed 
to do. 

Then leaving the residence of Richard Green, the man from 
whom the money was stolen, the manager proceeded to the place at 
which Redmon was stopping while the other six men prepared and 


adjusted their masks and made ready to take their position at the 
phice he had assigned them. Redmon was found at his usual stop- 
ping place, but he seemed to be rather suspicious and at first refused 
to take a walk with the manager, who was always kind and friendly 
to him. But he was told that it was Christmas time and that it 
would be a nice thing as well as an apt time to take something to 
brace up on. To this persuasion Redmon finally yielded and in a 
short time the two were on their way across a field and then across a 
belt of timber that lay between it and the log cabin. Redmon ap- 
proached it very cautiously, looking in all directions as if he expected 
there was trouble in store for him. They found the occupant of the 
log cabin, the custodian of the "stufif," at home and at his post. The 
manager soon made their business known and in a short time the two 
men were taking a few swallows of the "stufif," which soon began to 
raise their spirits. After a short stay it was decided to purchase a 
pint of the "stufif" and take it along with them to keep their spirits 
aroused. They went west from the log cabin along the by-road 
already referred to. By this time Redmon had lost all his fears and 
suspicions and declared that he would like to fight a whole band of 
Indians just to show them how quick he could send as many as a 
dozen of them to the happy hunting grounds. Just as he reached 
the full height of his boasting, the place of concealment was reached 
and the six masked men sprang from their hiding places and in an 
instant he was in their grasp. The manager ran as fast as he could, 
with one of the masked men in pursuit, commanding him to stop, 
but he soon was out of sight and the chase after him discontinued. 

In a short time he returned as completely masked as any of them. 
Near where Redmon was caught stood a large oak tree, the monarch 
of all the surrounding forest. He was taken to this tree and securely 
tied to it. A demand was then made that he should deliver the 
money he had taken from Mr. Green to the masked men or he would 
be most cruelly treated. Redmon vigorously denied that he had 
stolen anv monev from Mr. Green or any one else. Two of the 
masked men then plied some switches to his back, during which he 
cried and begged most piteously. The men then ceased whipping 
and told Redmon if he would restore the money his torture would 

Again he denied any knowledge of the money, but when the men 
commenced whipping him again he confessed that he had taken the 
monev and if thev would cease whipping him he would go and find 
it. Thev had not gone over a hundred yards from the tree when 


Rcdnioii came to a halt ami denied that he had taken the money or 
knew where it was. lie was then taken back to the tree and the 
switches w-ere applied more vigorously than ever. In a short time 
he confessed the second time and a second time agreed to find the 
money. Once more thev left the tree and had gone about two hundred 
yards when Reiimon again declared his innocence and refused to go 
furtiier. One of the men said they would not whip him any more 
as his back was then bleeding, but that they would take him to the 
most convenient tree and hang him. Suiting his actions to the words 
uttered, he placed a rope around his neck, gave it a quick jerk and 
ordered Redmon to follow. Believing that his last day on earth had 
come, Redmon made a third confession of his guilt and promised a 
third time to return the money. After making his third confession 
he never faltered, but went directly to tlie place he had concealed the 
money and bending upon his knees dug up every dollar of the money 
— nine twenty dollar gold pieces. 

The money was now recovered, but it had taken nearly all night 
to do it. The wounds on Redmon's person were more serious than 
anv of the men had intended to give him, but this was the only treat- 
ment that would induce him to give up the stolen money. Having 
taken the law into their own hands, they now felt a little shaky over 
his bleeding wounds, although they knew that none of the wounds 
inflicted were dangerous. So after securing the money they told 
Redmon that seven men were witnesses of the fact that he had stolen 
$i8o, for which they could send him to the penitentiary, but if he 
would leave the countrv and never return they would let him go. 
To this proposition he readily consented and he left that morning 
and was never seen bv any of them again. It was reported that 
Redmon was compelled to stop at the Twenty-Mile House, ten miles 
from the scene of his crime, and have his wounds dressed. The place 
where the money was buried was in a corner of a rail fence, about 
forty rods south of the Saunders home in Worth Township. 

The ne.xt crime committed within the bounds of section "515 was 
the first robbery or attempted robbery ever committed in Central 
Iowa. This attempted robbery took place in the summer of 1856. 
Clarke Luther, who for many years enjoyed the distinction of being 
the richest man in Boone County, lived on tiiis historical section of 
land. He owneil a large farm and devoted his time to farming, his 
chosen occupation. He raised and sold both grain and stock and 
from time to time handled large amounts of money, which soon 
attracted attention. 


In December, iSqq, he was united in marriage to Miss Laura A. 
Long and commenced housekeeping on Mr. Luther's farm. At the 
date of their marriage Mrs. Luther was quite young, being only 
seventeen years old. Mr. Luther had a number of work hands 
employed and along with them he also worked on the farm. One 
day in the latter part of June, 1856, while Mr. Luther and his men 
were at work at some distance from the house, and while Mrs. 
Luther was alone, a large, strange looking man came to the door 
of the little log house and spoke in a very abrupt manner. She did 
not know he was about until she heard the sound of his voice. The 
house was a log cabin which had but one door, which was on the 
south side, and as the robber stood in it Mrs. Luther had no means 
of escape and so she was for the time being a prisoner in her own 
home. The robber had a revolver in one pocket, with a good part 
of it visible, while in his right hand he held a bowie knife. One can 
well imagine what must have been the feelings of Mrs. Luther when 
she was thus confronted by this horrible looking and well armed 
robber. "Madam," said he, "I have not come here to hurt you, 
but I have come for your money and I want you to give it to me at 
once, as I have no time to waste." At first she tried to make a noise 
so that Mr. Luther or some one else might hear and come to her 
assistance. The robber very resolutely told her that if she made a 
noise loud enough to bring her husband to the house he would shoot 
him as soon as he arrived and at the same time brandished his 

Mrs. Luther then told him the money was in the smokehouse 
and that if he would let her out she would go and get it for him. 
This she said in hopes she might get out and make her escape. But 
as she passed out at the door the robber took her by the arm and 
walked along with her, thus preventing every chance of escape. After 
looking around in the smokehouse for a while she told the robber 
that the money had the previous week been deposited in a Des Moines 
bank by her husband, which fact she did not call to mind when she 
told him it was in the smokehcnise. 

The robber at once ordered her to return to the house and then 
told her not to make any noise on penalty of death. He then charged 
her with telling a falsehood about the money and at the same time 
seized her by the throat and choked her almost into a state of insen- 
sibility. The brutal robber then thrust her into a corner of the 
house and ordered her to remain there and not to make the slightest 
movement. The robber then commenced looking for the money him- 


self. Every trunk ami box in tiic house was broken open and every 
crevice looked into. The clothing upon tiie beds was taken off and 
piled upon the floor, but not so much as a dollar was found to reward 
him for his trouble. This greatly exasperated him, for he expected 
to make a good haul. After telling Mrs. Luther that he did not 
believe they ever had any money the disappointed thief took his 
departure, going into tiie thick timber along the Des Moines River. 
Just a short time after the robber left, Mr. Luther came to the house 
for some drinking water and there found Mrs. Luther in a condition 
that greatly alarmed him, for she could .hardly speak so as to be 
understood. It so happened that a man named Hoffman came to 
the liouse about that time, llie neigliborhood was aroused and all 
of the settlers went in searcii of the robber, but after a two days' hunt 
failed to capture him. If this robber had come a week sooner he 
would have found $2,000 in the house and without doubt would have 
secured the whole sum. The week prior to the robbery Mr. Luther 
had deposited it in a Des Moines bank for safe keeping and this 
defeated the plans of the robber and his confederates. At that time 
a man named Edward Clark lived in the vicinity and the suspicion 
of the citizens pointed to him as the man who had planned the 
robbery and brought this strange man into the country to do the job. 
It was also thought that after the attempt had been made Clark had 
assisted tiie robber in making his escape. Ihe reasons for the sus- 
picions against Clark were based upon the fact that a strange man 
which suited the description of the robber as given by Mrs. Luther 
was seen in company with Clark at Swede Point (Madrid) the day 
before the robbery and the further fact that he took no part in try- 
ing to find the robber when tiie search was in progress. Accordingly 
a warrant was issued, based upon the information charging Clark 
with being an accessory in this attempted robbery and he was placed 
under arrest and taken before Joseph Saunders, justice of the peace, 
who bound him over for his appearance at the next session of the 
grand jury. Clark gave bail, then left the country and was never 
seen in those parts again. Tiie grand jury failed to find a bill of 
iniiictment against iiim at tlie following session because tliere was no 
direct testimony against him, and this exonerated his bondsmen. 
There were very few citizens in all tlie country around who did not 
believe that Clark was guilty of all tliat was charged against him 
but believing a thing and proving it are two very different things. 


This brought to a close the first case of attempted robbery in 
Boone County and so far as the writer is informed, the first in the 
upper Des Moines Valley. 

It was a number of weeks before Mrs. Luther recovered from 
the shock of the attack of this brutal robber. The imprint of his 
fingers upon her throat did not disappear for some months afterward. 
The main part of the above sketch was given at the request of the 
writer by Mrs. Luther, who now resides at the Town of Luther, 
about a mile east of where the attempted robbery took place fifty-one 
years ago. 


After the lapse of thirteen years the home of Mr. and Mrs. Clarke 
Luther became the scene of another crime of theft and robbery. By 
this time the family was domiciled in a two-story brick residence, and 
the old log house in which the first robbery took place had been 
converted into a tool house. 

Some time in the summer of 1869 Mr. Luther missed $1,000 
which was stolen from a stand table drawer that stood in one of the 
rooms of his residence. There were no less than a dozen men at work 
on the farm at the time of this theft and at least half of them boarded 
at the residence. 

There seemed to be no doubt but that some of the men had stolen 
the money, but to ascertain which one was a difficult thing. After 
making strict inquiry among the men and after questioning them 
carefully about the matter, suspicion pointed to two young men 
named John Curry and Oliver World, who came from Illinois and 
who had been in Mr. Luther's employ but a short time. When 
informed that they were suspected of being the perpetrators of the 
crime they vigorously denied any knowledge of the money and at 
the same time declared themselves innocent of taking it; but they 
still continued to work on the farm. Mr. Luther kept a strict watch 
over them and all of their movements, not venturing to leave home 
for fear they would get away with the money, which he felt sure 
they were seeking an opportunity to do. 

Hon. G. W. Crooks was then sheriff of Boone County and had 
been very successful in ferreting out the guilty parties to a number 
of crimes. For this reason he was looked upon as a fairlv good 
detective. Mr. Crooks was sent for and on his arrival he took the 
two suspected men in charge, giving them to understand at the same 


time tliat he was in possession of sufficient evidence to convict them 
of the crime. This and the prestige of his official position had a 
telling effect upon them. After taking them through a scathing 
examination thev confessed to him the crime and went to the hiding 
place of the monev, delivering every dollar of it to the sheriff. This 
was the first crime or theft ever committed by these young men and, 
of course, they were not skilled in the management of their crime 
like older ones in that business would have been. 

The monev was hid in a windmill in the barn. Mr. Luther and 
his familv had looked in every part of the barn for the money except 
in this windmill, into which they did not think it necessary to look. 
Sheriff Crooks took the two young thieves with him to the county 
seat and lodged them in the county jail. They were afterwards 
bound over to await the action of the grand jury by a magistrate in 
a bail bond of $9)0. They then left the state and their bail bonds 
were paid by relatives in Illinois. 

Tn the spring of t86£; Mr. Luther sold $13,000 worth of fat cattle 
and deposited the money in the county safe. C. W. Hamilton was 
then countv treasurer and was filling his fifth and last term in that 
office. At the close of this official term, January i, 1866, to the 
surprise of nearly all of the county he proved to be a defaulter of 
county funds to the amount of nearly $7,000. Not only this but he 
had paid off and reissued county bonds to the amount of $1,000 and 
had used up the monev which had been deposited in the county safe 
by various individuals. Mr. Luther lost the whole of $13,000 de- 
posited for safe keeping, as already stated. It is true that he received 
a deed for a few small tracts of inferior land, but as he was on his 
official bond the land received was worth but little more than it took 
to pay his part of the bond. These historic sketches show that Mr. 
and Mrs. Luther have had a varied experience with bold, bad and 
slippery men. 

On the 24th of December, 1H77, a fracas occurred between two 
young men named Henry Loafman and Polk Bonnett. This fracas 
took place at the old Pleasant Grove schoolhouse, in the ill fated 
section 35, where the robberies and thefts above mentioned occurred. 
On the evening of the day above mentioned, a Christmas tree enter- 
tainment was held at this schoolhouse and when it was over and about 
all the people who had gathered there had departed for their homes, 
a quarrel arose between the above named young men, in which they 
came to blows. During the encounter Bonnett stabbed Loafman with 
a knife, inflicting wounds upon him from which he died in about 


two weeks. Bonnett escaped the clutches of the law and was never 
heard of again in these parts. 

About the year 1892 John Long, who lived on the southeast cor- 
ner of this same section 35, lost $1,000 from its place of concealment. 
He had placed the money in a tin can and had set the can in a cider 
mill in one of his granaries. This was a very unsafe place to keep 
money, though the granary was locked most of the time. A man 
named Ramsey who worked for Mr. Long ascertained the where- 
abouts of the money and one evening a little after dark he took it and 
went his way. After keeping it about a week he repented of his crime 
and turned the money over to the sheriff of the county, with the 
request that he restore it to Mr. Long. This the sheriff did, but 
Ramsey was indicted, tried and convicted and was sent to the peni- 
tentiary for a year and a half. 

In the month of June, 1894, a midnight robbery w-as perpetrated 
at this same place. Three masked men broke through the door of 
the Long residence and rushing into the bedroom where Mr. and 
Mrs. Long slept, forced gags into their mouths and ordered them 
not to move on penalty of death. They searched the house for money 
but only found $350. The robbers appeared to be much disappointed 
because they did not get more money. When they departed they 
took Mr. Long's revolver as far as the woodpile and left it there. 
The next day a search was made for the robbers but none of them 
were ever found. Who they w'ere and whence they came no one 
could find out. It is very remarkable that two robberies, three 
thefts and one murder were all committed on one section of land. 
The first thought will perhaps be that the citizens were a bad lot, 
but the fact that not one of the perpetrators of these crimes except 
Polk Bonnett ever lived in Worth Township dispenses with that 
idea. The reason the robberies and thefts were committed in this 
particular location was the well known fact that the families named 
were known to have large sums of money. 

According to the census of 1910 the population of Worth Town- 
ship was 655, including the Town of Luther. Luther has about one 
hundred and fifty people. 

The following list of soldiers of the Civil war went from Worth 
Township: G. W. Barrett, Jordan Redmon, David Gilmore, M. T. 
Harlan, James R. Payne, W. K. Paxton, M. K. Ramsey, George 
Ramsey, S. P. Zenor, D. E. Myers, D. S. Bushnell, William Dyer, 
Wilford Torr, Caleb Green, Harrison Boone, Charles Bustrom, M. 
S. Cunningham, Oliver Gildea, Jefferson D. Gildea, George Hull, 


Martin Hull, Jackson Hull, John Huffman, Madison Long, Jacob 
Long, 'I'homas Myers, Joshua Rozell, Joshua Harlan, William Von- 
trces, M. Pcttibonc, Edward Boone, Cyrus Davis, W. G. Grayson, 
J. B. Hulburt, J. B. Patterson, S. A. Paxton, James P. Williams, 
William R. Dyer, Thomas J. Gildea, John Nutt, R. N. Cartwright, 
Sylvanus Bennett, H. W. Hull, Tyler Boone, Jesse Boone, James A. 
Davis, S. S. Zenor and N. H. Schooler. Of this list of fifty-one sol- 
diers who went from Worth Township, only six are still living in the 
township. These are Jackson Hull, Jefferson D. Gildea, Tyler 
Boone, Jesse Boone, Cyrus Davis and W. G. Grayson. 

The present officers of Worth Township are: Trustees, William 
Gildea, T. Burlingamc. M. Bixby; township clerk, Edward North- 
up; assessor, B. F. Hull. 


At the time of the organization of the three original townships 
of Boone County in August, 1849, the present Township of Pilot 
Mound was contained in Boone River Township. It continued to 
be a part of Boone River Township until March 8, 1852. At that 
date Boone River Township was discontinued and Yell Township 
was organized. In this division, Yell Township contained all that 
part of Boone River Township which was situated west of the Des 
Moines River. At this date the present Township of Pilot Mound 
became a part of Yell. This division continued until September, 
1858, when Pilot Mound Township was organized and named by 
County Judge S. B. McCall. It was named after the very promi- 
nent mound of that name situated near the central part of the town- 
ship. This mound is by far the largest and most interesting one in 
the borders of Boone County. 

At the date of its organization Pilot Mound Township contained 
all of its present territory and all of the present Township of Grant. 
This division continued until 1871, at which time the complete 
organization of all of the townships of the county was effected by 
the board of county supervisors and at which time Pilot Mound 
Township was reduced to its present boundaries. It contains less 
than two-thirds of a congressional township. It is bounded on the 
east by the Des Moines River, on the north by Webster County, on 
the west by Grant Township and on the south by Yell Township. 
Douglas and Cass are the only townships in the county having less 
territory than Pilot Mound. 

The first board of trustees elected in the township was as follows: 
Bethel Owen, A. Abercrombie, Peter Runyan, M. F. Schleight was 
the first clerk and J. M. Carson was the first assessor. The first 
official meeting of the township board was held at the house of A. 

The first settler in the township was Matthias White, who moved 
from the State of Indiana and settled in section 15 in 1847. Solo- 



moil Tomlinsoii moved from the State of Ohio and took up a claim 
in section lo in 1847. 

Ihe first marriage was that of John Atkinson and Mary Peterson, 
tlie ceremony being performed by Judge S. B. McCall. 

Rev. William Sparks preached the first sermon in the township 
at the house of J. M. Carson. 

The first scliooi in the township was taught by Sarah Scott, in a 
little log liouse on section 3. township 8t;, range 27. The first school- 
house was built on section 3, in iSqo. It was a log building, roughly 
finislied and crudely furnished. It cost, besides the volunteer work 
put upon it, fifty dollars. 

'I'he early settlers of Pilot Mound Township were subjected to 
many hardships. 'Phey had to go to Des Moines for all of their 
supplies and they had no road but the old Dragoon trail to travel on. 
They had to go to Oskaloosa to find a mill that manufactured bread- 
stufif. This was a distance of one iiundrcd miles. 

Pleasant Chitwood took up a claim in this township in 1848. He 
hired Thomas Sparks to break some prairie for him in the spring. of 
1848. The river had to be crossed to get to his claim. He under- 
took to move his family across the river, which had to be done by 
forcing the team to swim the river and by taking the family and 
household goods across in a small boat. In the attempt to force a 
span of oxen into the stream, Mr. Chitwood was accidentally thrown 
into the stream with them. The river was bank full and Mr. Chit- 
wood could not swim. He clung to the ox yoke, and team and man 
were carried down the river. Finally they reached tiie top of a tree 
which had fallen into the water and taking hold of the branches he 
succeeded in reaching the dry land. Just then he saw his wife going 
down the river in a boat, intending to use her best efforts to save 
her husband. Almost frantic at the sight, Mr. Chitwood seized a 
long pole and ran along the bank of the river to a place where the 
channel came near the bank. 'Phere he succeeded in reaching the 
boat with the pole and brought it with its precious cargo to the shore. 
There was great rejoicing when they realized that both were saved. 
The team was drowned. The family postponed the time of crossing 
the river until the water sunk to a level that permitted them to cross 
in safetv. Thomas Sparks, who was present at the tune, related this 
incident at an old settlers" meeting in Boonesboro some years before 
his death. He trieil to persuade Mrs. Chitwood not to go into the 
river with the boat but she would not listen. 


After this incident both Mr. Sparks and Mr. Chitwood served as 
county officers, the former as county surveyor and the latter as sherifif. 

Bluff Creek, which rises near the north line of the township, ex- 
tends through it from north to south. 

There are si.x school districts and six good schoolhouses in Pilot 
Mound Township. School is taught eight months in the year. 
Good teachers arc employed and the schools are in a prosperous 
condition. These school districts and schoolhouses speak well for 
the intelligence and the progress of the people of the township. 

This township has fine drainage facilities and the soil is very 
fertile. The farmers are up-to-date, energetic and industrious. They 
have splendid farms, beautiful and inviting homes and such things 
as make a country prosperous and valuable. 

Among the number who were soldiers in the Civil war were 
W. M. Petty, Robert C. Petty, A. Shafifer, William Tomlinson, H. 
Abercrombie. At the time of the Civil war Pilot Mound Township 
had but a small population. The township had been organized less 
than three years at the commencement of the war. 

According to the census of 1910 the population of Pil(3t Mound 
Township, exclusive of Pilot Mound Town, was 498. 

The present officers of the township are: Trustees, D. W. Crouch, 
William Larson and J. O. Youngren ; assessor, J. F. Butoph; clerk, 
A. J. Wolf; justices of the peace, J. C. Peterson and M. D. SchofT- 
stall; constables, R. J. Hunt, William Stark. 

There are two railroads within the borders of Pilot Mound 
Township. One of these is the Minneapolis & St. Louis, which runs 
through the township from north to south, and the other is the Inter- 
urban, or Newton & Northwestern, which runs through the south 
part of it, crossing the Minneapolis & St. Louis two miles south 
of the Town of Pilot Mound. This crossing is called Fraser 

As a rule the people of Pilot Mound Township have been as 
peaceable and law-abiding as those of any other township in the 
county. But there is an assumed story which comes down to us 
from the early times that a band of horse thieves and counterfeiters 
had headquarters among the hills along the river between Center- 
ville, in Yell Township, and the center line of Pilot Mound Town- 
ship. Much has been said and written about this headquarters of 
the band of thieves, but nothing of a definite character has yet been 
brought to light. No one has been able to give the exact location of 
the habitation of these bold, bad men, nor to prove that any stolen 


hcjrses were cvlt kept liiddeii aninnjj; tlie hills of that reyjion of the 
country. Nor have the tools or instruments used in the manufacture 
of counterfeit money ever been found there. The story is simplv a 
fabrication, it seems to be a well established fact that there was 
the head of a family in that part at one time in the habit of concealing 
guiltv men and stolen horses in his barn, but when this fact became 
known to the citizens they iS,A\'c him notice to leave the countrv bv 
the expiration of a certain time, and at tlie termination of that period 
he had taken his departure. From this must have originated the 
storv above referred to and whicli had been published in some lead- 
ing papers of the state. 

The postoflice at Pilot Mound is now the onlv one in the township. 
Tiiere was a postoflice in the north end of the township, at Casady's 
Corner, but it has been discontinued since the people in that part 
have been supplied bv the rural delivery lines. 

There is an old settlers' association in Pilot Mound Township 
which has been holding annual meetings. One of the places of 
meeting is Owen's Grove, in section 4, near the \^'ebster Coimty line. \ 
It is a pleasant place for holding meetings. 

Mr. Owen found the skeleton of a bufifalo in the bed of a small 
creek on his farm a few years ago. He still has the bones of the 
animal in his possession. 

Pilot Mound l^)wnship is connectecf with Dodge Township by 
two countv bridges that span the Des Moines River. One thing that 
makes this township more historic than the other townships of the 
county is the fact that it contains the great battleground where the 
Sac and Fox Indians under Keokuk gained a great victory over the 
Sioux, under Wamsapasia. The many human bones tound there 
prove that a battle was actually fought. 

The large pond or lake in sections 6 and 7, township 85, range 
27, has. attracted much attention for many years. The old Dragoon 
trail which trended north from Fort Des Moines at the Raccoon 
Fork, passed a short distance east of this body of marsh land and 
water. The Dragoons afterward made mention of it. At that tmie 
(from 1 84:; to 1H4O, it was seven miles long and from one to three 
miles wide. The outline given of it, on a map of the county, pub- 
lished by the Tnion Historical Company, in 1879, show that it was 
six miles long and three miles wide across the center at that date. 
Its complete drainage and cultivation will soon be accomplished. 



The Town of Pilot Mound was laid out September 8, 1881. 
There had been a postoffice established there for a number of years 
before the town was laid out, which was named Pilot Mound, so 
when the town was laid out it was very appropriate to name it Pilot 
Mound also. Here are four different things having the same name. 
First the big upheaval of earth which towers above the surrounding 
country was very appropriately named Pilot Mound. When the 
township was laid out the name was applied to it. So with tiic post- 
office and town. Here are a combination of names the like of which 
cannot be elsewhere found in the state. 

Pilot Mound has two general stores, one drug store, one restaurant, 
two garages, one barber shop, one harness shop, two grain elevators, 
one lumber yard, one blacksmith shop and a bank. The latter is the 
Pilot Mound Savings Bank, of which S. L. Moore is president and 
A. M. Kenyon is cashier. The latter is a brother of Senator W. S. 
Kenyon, one of the noted men of the nation. 

The town has a weekly newspaper, which is a true reflector of 
the town and the country around it. The paper is named the Pilot 
Mound Monitor, its present editor being J. C. Burton. It is now 
rounding out its sixteenth year. The Pilot Mound Monitor was 
established in October, 1898, its founder and first editor being August 
Samuelson. He had only gotten fairly started on his editorial career 
when he sold the paper and printing outfit to A. J. Wolf. The 
paper was one year old when Mr. Wolf took charge, and he con- 
tinued in the editorial chair, giving his patrons a good local paper 
until 1905, when he sold the plant and fixtures to George Kick. The 
latter continued to give the readers of the Monitor a good home 
paper for about eight years. In that time he made many friends 
and doubtless, some enemies, as is usually the case. In 1913 he sold 
the Monitor to J. C. Burton, the present editor and proprietor. Mr. 
Burton is a genial and accommodating gentleman, who has improved 
the ofiice by adding many new fixtures to it. Mr. Burton is himself 
a practical printer and will no doubt prosper in his business. 

Pilot Mound has a school building with two departments. The 
present enrollment is about one hundred. There were ten graduates 
at the close of the last term. The schools are in good condition. 
The principal for the term of 1914 is E. E. Bentley. 

There is an Odd Fellows lodge of fifty members. The present 
ofiicers are: Elmer Germer, N. G. ; E. E. Durrcl, secretary. There 


is also a Masonic lodge of thirty members. The officers are: W. M., 
A. S. Kirkman; secretary, E. E. Bentley. 

The Wooiimen's lodge has thirty-five members. A. J. Wolf is 
chief councilman, and D. C. Wiley, clerk. 

Pilot .Mound has four ciuirches and four church buildings, as 
follows: Methodist Episcopal, Swedish Mission, Adventist and Bap- 
tist, it is said that each of these churches has a good working 
congregation and that each has a good Sunday school. 

Drs. W. (i. Laidlev and R. S. Shame arc the practicing physicians 
here. Tlicre are also two dentists and one specialist located here. 

According to the census of 1910 Pilot" Mound had a population 
of 347. The state census to be taken next year may increase the 
populati(Mi to 50(i. 

'i'hc present citv officers are as follows: Mayor, Arthur Alban; 
clerk, L. C. Carlson; councilmen, George Carlson, E. E. Bentley, 
Elmer Cartwright, William Forney, O. W. Tornell. 

There are no coal mines in operation in Pilot Mound Township, 
but there is no doubt but that much of the land in the township is 
underlaid with valuable beds of coal whicii some time will be 
mined. There are also vast beds of gravel which will in time be 

Amonif those who were honored with countv offices and who 
were citizens of Pilot Mound Township were Peter Shaffer, Pleasant 
Chitwood, George E. Jones and B. P. Hoist. 



The south one-third of the present township of Marcy was origin- 
ally contained in Pleasant Township and the north two-thirds in 
Boone Township. These divisions continued from August 6, 1849, 
to March 8, 1852. At the last named date Berry Township was 
created, established and named by S. B. AlcCall, who was elected 
• county judge at the August election in 1851. The south two-thirds 
of the present township of Marcy was contained in Berry Township, 
while the north one-third still made up a part of Boone Township. 
Under these divisions the county government continued, so far as it 
related to the present Township of Marcy, until the 5th of April, 
1858. On that date Marcy Township was organized and named by 
Judge McCall. The township as laid out at that date contained all 
of the territory in its present boundaries and all of the present 
Township of Beaver and the south tier of sections of the present 
Township of Yell. Marcy Township remained within the boundaries 
given it by Judge McCall from April 5, 1858, to January, 1871, at 
which date it was reduced to its present boundaries. The township 
contains about seven sections more than a congressional township. 
This is caused by the incline of the river to the east, taking the seven 
sections just mentioned ofif the southwest corner of Worth Township, 
thus making Marcy rank among the large townships of the county. 
In the early settlement the township was well supplied with timber. 
There were about six sections along the Des Moines River which 
were entirely covered with heavy and valuable timber. Phillip 
Livingston, of Moingona, recently gave out the information that the 
piles used in the construction of the first bridge built across the 
Missouri River between the cities of Omaha and Council BlufTs 
were cut ofif of the timber land of Marcy Township and shipped over 
the Northwestern Railroad to the Missouri River. Mr. Livingston 
was at that time station agent at Moingona and he bought the piles 
and shipped them. Thousands of railroad ties and thousands of 

Vol. I— IS 



cords of wood were taken from these lands and shipped to other 
parts. The result of this is that native timber in Marcy is scarce 
compared with what it once was. 

Coal has been found in large quantities in Marcy. 1 lie upper 
veins in the north part of the townshiji have to some extent been 
worked out and abandoned but those in the south part have not yet 
been developed. The gravel beds of central and south Marcy are 
still undeveloped. At some time in the future these coal fields and 
gravel beds will be worked and utilized. 

South of Moingona, on section i<S, are nine small mounds which 
have attracted attention from the early settlement of the township. 
These mounds are more fully mentioned in the article in another 
part of this work under the heading of The Prehistoric Race. Marcy 
has but few creeks and mention of these will be found in another 
article in this work. 'Ihe soil of this township is very fertile and 
this places it among the chief agricultural townships of the county. 
The northeast corner of Marcy Township is a very historic part of 
the county. Years before any settlement in the county was made 
the remains of a camp of French and Indians — half-breeds — were 
discovered here on the beautiful bottom land bv the early explorers 
of the county. Among those who became interested in the story 
of the half-breed Indian village was Col. L. W. Babbitt. In the 
fall of 1843 he and a company of hunters and trappers came to this 
beautiful bottom on a hunting expedition. It was claimed bv some 
that a part of his reason for coming here was to investigate the 
remains of the camp, or village, above mentioned, as well as to hunt 
and trap. It is also claimed that he found here some tools and 
utensils used for various purposes, which are used by a more civilized 
people than tiie Indians. Colonel Babbitt could not have come 
here at the date mentioned on a hunting and trapping expedition 
without a permit from Captain Allen, who at that time was the chief 
government officer at Fort Des Moines. This he must have done, 
for Colonel Babbitt was above being an intruder. He remained here 
from the fall of 1843 to the spring of 1844. Just how many relics 
he collected from the ruins of the half-breed village is not known, but 
it is claimed that he took to the markets a good amount of furs, pelts 
and venison hams. Shortly after tiie date of this hunting and trap- 
ping tour. Colonel Babbitt located at Burlington, where he became a 
leading citizen of that citv and did much in aid of its improvement. 
Late in the '50s he moved to Council Bluffs and there became the 
editor of the Council Blufifs Bugle — a democratic newspaper — which 


was an influential journal of Western Iowa. The little log house 
which he built in the beautiful bottom to shelter in during his stay, 
remained there until the spring of 1851. In the great freshet of 
tiiat year Colonel Babbitt's hunting shanty was carried away. Al- 
though Colonel Babbitt was the first one to build a house in the 
county, he had no intention of becoming a permanent settler. 

The first entry of land in Marcy Township was made by Michael 
Gregg, in April, 1849. At that date he became the owner of the 
southeast quarter of section 30, township 82, range 26. The second 
entry was made by P. F. Repp, in May, 1849, by which he became 
the owner of the southeast quarter of section 32, township 82, range 
26. The third entry was made December, 1849, by J. C. Culbertson, 
who at that date became the owner of the southwest quarter and the 
north half of the southeast quarter of section 32, township 82, range 26. 

The first settler in Marcy Township was David Noah. He 
settled on the beautiful bottom in section 36, township 84, range 27, 
in 1848. After this settlement was made the fertile region of bottom 
land on which Colonel Babbitt located his hunting camp in the 
fall of 1843 was called Noah's Bottom. The records show that 
Dav'id Noah, the first settler of Marcy Township, voted at the first 
election in 1849 and that he was the plaintiff in a law suit at the 
first term of the District Court in 1851. In the spring of 1852 he 
moved to Oregon. 

In 1849 Col. John Rose settled on this rather famous bottom 
and he lived there the remainder of his life. In a few years after 
locating here the name was changed to Rose's Bottom and that name 
still applies to it. Col. John Rose was the first justice of the peace 
in Marcy Township. The names of David Noah and James Turner 
appear in the list of voters in 1849. 

W. H. C. Jenkins, William Sparks, Gordon Allen, Thomas, 
James and Levi Shaw, James and William Canfield, David and 
John Sparks, Elisha Bennett, Amos Rose, James and Joshua Stumbo, 
Jesse Williams, William P. Berry, Zachariah McCall, John A. 
Crawley, Willis Holoway were among the first settlers of the 

Marcy Tow-nship has three town plats on file as shown by the 
records at the county seat. The first of these was Quincy, which 
was laid out by Jerome Gordon and Thomas Shaw, in section 14. 
It was laid out November 2, 1854, being the first town platted on the 
west side of the river. This town failed to build up as its proprietors 
had hoped. There is a Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest one 


ill the township, standing on the site of Quincy and als(j a school- 
house. F(ir about three years Doctor Grinnell practiced medicine at 
Quincy and built up a good practice. This is all the headway it ever 
made toward being a town. 


The town which ranked the highest in importance of any wliich 
the township has had in its borders is Moingona. It was a product 
of the Chicago & Nortlnyestern Railroad and of the coal mines in 
its immediate yicinity. It was laid out July 6, 1866, and a railway 
station was established there. It put on a c^uick growth and in a 
short time became a place ot considerable importance. Much coal 
was mineil iwd shipped from Moingona. It had a numerous mining 
population and for a while had a population of about one thousand. 
For a number of years M(jingona was incorporated and maintained 
a city government. The town is located on section 12, township 83, 
range 27. It has three churches — Swedish Lutheran, Swedish Mis- 
sion and Presbyterian. It also has maintained a good school building 
and a number of fairly good business houses. When the coal veins 
were worked out there and the railroad straightened its line and 
crossed the river four miles above Moingona, the time of its pros- 
perity came to a close, its business greatly declined and the town 
found it necessary to surrender its charter. The Presbyterian Church 
at that place has been discontinued and the building has recently 
been purchased by Reverend Crawford, of Boone. The road bed, 
which for many years ran around by Moingona, is still kept in repair 
and two trains run over this road each day. Mr. Livingston claims 
that Moingona still has a population of 300. 

CO.Al, \-.\l.LEV 

Coal Valley was the third of the towns platted in Marcy Town- 
ship. It was laid out by Amos Elliott, in September, 1867, and is 
located on section 2, township 83, range 27. It was intended to be 
a miners' town only and while the supply of coal lasted it was a 
place of considerable activity. Coal in abundance was for several 
years mined and shipped from Coal Valley. But when the mines 
were worketi out the miners moved to other places to obtain work and 
tile place ceased to be a town of business interest. \'ery few people 
li\e there now, but it is nearer the geographical center of the county 
than any town within its borders. 


Besides the three churches in Moingona ami the one at Quincy 
already spoken of, there are three other churches in Marcy I'ownship. 
One of these is a Freewill Baptist denomination, which has a brick 
building, situated in the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 83, 
Range 27. There is also a Methodist Episcopal Church with a frame 
building, situated near the northwest corner of Section 36, Township 
83, Range 27, and a Swedish Lutheran Church, situated near the 
northeast corner of Section 30, Township 83, Range 27. It will be 
seen from the above that there are four churches in the rural part 
of the township, which is more than any other township in the 
county has. 

William Sparks was an early settler of the township and a Baptist 
minister. He took up a claim in the early settlement of the town- 
ship, made a good farm upon it and lived there the remainder of his 
life. He spent all of his spare time preaching in various parts of 
the county. He was a man much respected and it was mainly 
through his efiforts that the Baptist Church was established in Marcy 
Township. Among his religious co-workers were Andrew Toliver, 
David Sparks, Joseph Staley, Barton Wire, Jesse Williams, Samuel 
Williams and others. 

Those who worked for the upbuilding of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church were Elisha Bennett, Daniel Noland, James Stumbo, James 
Miller and John Williams and their families. 

A large per cent of the settlers of the west part of Marcy Town- 
ship are Swedish people. They have made good farms, erected 
good buildings upon them and have nice homes. Their church is 
verv well supported and is in a prosperous condition. 

The Town of Ogden has extended its corporate limits so as to 
include a part of Section 6, in the northwest corner of Marcy 

There are thirteen schoolhouses and thirteen school districts, 
including that of Moingona. This shows that Marcy Township is 
well equipped for educational purposes. Among the educators may 
be mentioned John F. Curran, John L. Cunningham, Caroline and 
Emily Holloway, John Hand, M. T. Harlan, W. H. King, Ida 
McCall and Annette McCall, who have in the past done good educa- 
tional work. The present teachers are all doing good work in the 
public schools, which is highly appreciated. 

The old Moingona line of the Northwestern Railroad runs across 
the northeast corner of the township, but the new line does not touch 
it. The Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad runs across the extreme 


northwest corner of tlie townsliip and these are all tlic railroads 
within its borders. 

In the early '60s there was a postoffice at Quincv. But like all 
country postofficcs it was a different matter to get a citizen to act 
as postmaster. After two or three years the postoffice at Quincy 
was discontinued, 'riiere has been a postoffice at Moingona from 
1866 to the present time. This is the only postoffice in the township. 

There is an incident known to some of the citizens of the south 
pan of Marcv Township well worthy of mention here. A citizen 
of that part moved to the State of Arkansas, taking with him a very 
large dog, which he prized very highly. After he reached the end of 
the journey and had located he arose one morning and found that iiis 
dog was gone. This brought sorrow upon the family. Search and 
inquiry throughout the neighborhood were made but no tidings of 
the dog could be found. All hope of ever hearing cjf this much 
prized animal had passed from the owner and his family. But in 
about ten days a letter came from the former home in Marcy Town- 
ship, stating that the dog had returned, verv tired, with very sore 
feet and much reduced in flesh. I'he date i^f his arrival given in 
the letter when compared with that of his departure proved that the 
dog was seven days making the 700 mile trip from Arkansas to his 
former home in Marcy Township. The dog must have traveled day 
and night, getting little nourishment along the route. Taking all 
of the circumstances in thought it was a wonderful trip for a dog 
to make. 

In the number of her citizens who have been honored with 
county offices Marcy has no good reason to complain. W. H. C. 
Jenkins, Jesse Williams and Abel Carlson have each held the office 
of county supervisor two terms. Phillip Livingston has held the 
office of clerk of the District Court three terms. Harry Selby held 
the office of superintendent one term and G. W. Lloyd held the same 
office one term, and G. A. Holm held the office of county recorder 
two terms. 

The first marriage in the township was that of William McCall 
and Sarah Rose. William McCall was a son of Montgomery McCall 
and a brother of Capt. S. B. McCall, the organizing sheriff' of Boone 
County. The bride was a daughter of Col. John Rose, who has 
already been mentioned in this sketch. Mr. McCall died about a 
year ago but Mrs. McCall is still living. 

The first death in Marcy Township was that of an Irishman, 
who died in the fall of 1849. He belonged to a party of surveyors 


and was much respected by them and by the settlers with whom he 
became acquainted. He was buried on a hit^h point of land in Section 
2 and his grave can still be seen there. There were some incidents 
related as having taken place at the death and burial of this man 
which, if true, were of a supernatural character. 

The people of Marcy have, as a rule, been agreeable and \il\v- 
abiding. But there were a few crimes committed witliin its borders 
which were much lamented by a large majority of the people. In 
1872 a difficulty occurred between Jackson Williams and G. W. 
Hays, which resulted in the death of Williams. A public highway 
passed near Hays and there being a slough which made the road 
impassable, people were in the habit of laying down the fence and 
driving through the field. Hays objected to this and one evening 
he put up the fence, drove the stakes into the ground and weighted 
them down with heavv rails. Williams came along next morning 
with a team and not daring to venture through the slough tore down 
the fence and was in the act of driving through when Hays made 
his appearance and assaulted Williams with a knife, inflicted wounds 
from which he died. Hays was indicted and tried at the October 
term of court. The jury found him guilty of manslaughter and he 
was sentenced to a term of two years in the penitentiary and to pay 
a fine of $100. 

April 20, 1877, a shocking murder and suicide occurred at Moin- 
gona. One George Merrington, of that place, had for a year or two 
been desperately in love with Mrs. Abbie B. Gronow, a young widow. 
Merrington was not encouraged in his advances of love making and 
he brooded over his terrible disappointment until he finally deter- 
mined upon killing both the object of his love and himself, which 
frightful determination was carried out at the time stated. No one 
was a witness of the affair. Pistol shots were heard at the residence 
of Mrs. Gronow, and a brother-in-law of the lady, Morgan by name, 
went to the house to see what was the matter. When near the house, 
about one rod from the front gate, he found Mrs. Gronow in a dying 
condition, with two bullet holes through her head. A few paces from 
where the woman lay, Merrington was found wallowing in his blood 
with a bullet hole through his head. Mrs. Gronow was about twenty- 
seven years old, an accomplished and intelligent lady, universally 
respected and admired by all who knew her. 

In 1891 a familv trouble which ended in murder occurred at the 
Phipps home in the south part of the township. It appears that 
Mr. Phipps, the head of the family, returned from town in a state 


of intoxication and wliilc in tliis condition got into a quarrel with his 
wife. He was in the act of striking her when a sixteen-year-old son 
seized a gun which was in the room and discharged its contents into 
the person of his father, from the effects of which he died. I'he boy 
was sent to the reform school at Kldora. 

In the spring of 1912 a shooting affair occurred at Moingona, 
which terminated in the death of a man named Martin. A week or 
so before the shooting occurred a man named Biggs was married to 
a young lady at or near Moingona. A small company of men and 
youths were organized to go and salute the young couple. Martin 
was made captain of this little company of men, and after the saluta- 
tions and congratulations were over, Biggs gave one of the party some 
money to buy refreshments with. Martin was much insulted because 
the money was not turned over tn him. In a few days Martin and 
Biggs met in Boone. Martin being under the influence of liquor, 
began to abuse Biggs. Biggs kept out of the way of Martin while in 
Boone. That evening they took the train to Moingona, and on arriv- 
ing there Biggs started home, but Martin overtook him and became 
very abusive and aggressive. Biggs took from his pocket a revolver 
and Hred, inflicting a wound upon .Martin, from which he died in n 
short time. Biggs was indicted, tried, convicted and sent to prison for 
a number of years. 

The following is the list of men who went from Marcy Township 
to the army during the Civil war: John McCall, \V. D. Phipps, 
Samuel Williams, Jonathan Fruit, Levi Shaw, Zachariah McCall, 
William Shaw, William Lawton, Jesse Bennett, Oliver Hollowav and 
Joshua Bennett. 

The population of Marcv Township is given in the last census as 
92q. The township has perhaps gained considerable since then. 

There is one church in the township which was not mentioned in 
the regular order. This was the last church organized in the town- 
ship. This organization and the erection of the church building was 
accomplished through the efforts of Reverend Crawford, of the Bible 
College of Boone. The building is but a short distance from the 
Methodist Episcopal Church Building, which is situated on the 
northeast corner of Section 35, Township 83, Range 27. 

The present township officers are as follows: Trustees, Ernest 
Hedstrom, Adil Treloar and C. O. Anderson; clerk, A. A. Nystrom; 
assessor, C. |. Lvdon; justice of the peace, Phillip Livingston. 


Long before Beaver Township had received its present boundaries 
and its present name, it made up a part of other divisions of the 
county. Everything has a beginning and if its beginnings are not 
given in detail, its history will be incomplete. 

Like Marcy, Worth and Colfax townships, the south one-third of 
Beaver was included in Pleasant Township and at the same time the 
north two-thirds were contained in Boone Township. This division 
continued from August 6, 1849, until March 8, 1852. At this last 
named date Berry Township was established and named. It con- 
tained the south two-thirds of the present Township of Beaver, while 
the north one-third was still contained in the Township of Boone. 
This division continued until April 5, 1858, at which time Marcy 
Township was organized and all of the present Township of Beaver 
was contained within its borders. This division continued until 1871, 
at which time Marcy Township was reduced to its present boundaries 
and the Township of Beaver was established and named. The beau- 
tiful creek, that runs through it from north to south was named 
Beaver long before the township was named. So many of the little 
animals of that name were trapped along this stream by the trappers 
that they named it Beaver Creek. 

The Indian name for Beaver is Amaqua. The English name of 
the creek was given to Beaver Township and the Indian name of it 
to Amaqua Township. Beaver Creek is the only stream in Beaver 
Township. A sketch of this creek will be found in another part of 
this work under the heading of The Small Streams of Boone County. 

The first settlement in Beaver Township was made in May, 1867. 
It will be seen from this that the pioneer hardships of the county had 
passed bv before the first settlement in Beaver Township was made. 
By that time we had good mills, good mail facilities, plenty of mer- 
chants and stores and a railroad crossing the county from east to west. 
The Civil war had just closed and homeseekers came in large numbers 



and Beaver Township settled up with surprising rapidity. Tiie 
thrilling iiistory of the pioneer days does not and cannot attach to 
Beaver Township as it does to the earlier settled townships of the 
county. But for rapidity of settlement and (juick development, it is 
in advance of any of them. 

The first settlers of Beaver Township were Patrick Vaughan, 
John Vaughan and Patrick Cronin. They settled on Section lo, ia 
May, 1867. The next year Patrick Mahoney, John 'J". S. Williams 
and numerous others settled in the township. 

The first board of trustees of the township were Enos Barrett, 
Patrick Mahoney and John Garlie. The first official meeting of this 
board was held at the house of John T. S. Williams, who was the 
first township clerk. 

The first marriage was that of Dennis Vaughan to Mary Ma- 
honey, which occurred April 28, 1869. 

The first male child born in the township was William Vaughan, 
on the 15th of September, 1869. He died August 25, 1870, being the 
first death in the township. 

There were a few native groves of timber along the Beaver in 
the south part of the township, which is all there were in its borders. 
The hunters and trappers in the early times were in the habit of 
camping on the Beaver and remaining for weeks at a time to hunt, 
fish and trap. 

The soil of Beaver Township is very fertile. From an area of 
unbroken prairie sod in 1867, it has changed to a solid block of 
farms like a vast checker board. Beaver is strictly an agricultural 
township, without a town or a postofiice within its borders. It pro- 
duces abundant crops of all kinds and every year its farmers ship 
many fat cattle and hogs to the markets. These things speak well for 
the industry, enterprise and intelligence of the farmers of Beaver 

There are some large landholders in Beaver Township, but a 
large per cent of its surface is liberally divided up among the citizens. 
As time passes on, the large farms will be cut up into smaller ones, 
which will be better for the citizens and will place the land in a 
higher state of cultivation. 

The first schoolhouse built in Beaver Township was located near 
the northwest corner of Section 10. It was built in 1871, at a cost 
of $800. The first school in the township was taught by Patrick Coil, 
who moved to California. The township now has eight school dis- 


tricts and eight schoolhouses, all of which are said to be kept in good 
repair. The schools are among the best country schools in the county. 

The Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad runs across the southeast 
corner of the township. The length of the line in Beaver Township 
is about six miles, but there is no station in its borders. Ogden, in 
Yell Township, is about a mile from where the line of this railroad 
enters Beav^er Township and just over the south line in Union Town- 
ship is the Town of Berkley. At each of the places named there is a 
station and this is the reason there is no station in Beaver Township. 

The rural delivery and telephone communication now enjoyed by 
all the country townships make country life very pleasant. Through 
the rural delivery lines they have daily mails and the telephone places 
them in communication with all the surrounding country at any 

Back midway in the '50s there was a furrow plowed through the 
southeast part of Beaver Township, which was the first prairie sod 
turned in its present boundaries. 

About the time above referred to there was a congregation of 
Predestinarian Baptists located at Pea's Ford, on the Des Moines 
River, near where the Boone viaduct spans it. The minister of this 
congregation was an aged man who lived in the northeast corner of 
Guthrie County. He owned a gentle horse and a good buggy and 
he was very willing to preach for them, but his eyes were growing 
dim and he sometimes became lost on the open prairie and would fail 
to arrive on time. So the members of this little church plowed a 
furrow from the residence of John A. Crawley, who lived on Section 
10, Marcy Township, diagonally across the country to the vicinity of 
Rippev, where there was a road which led to the home of Rev. John 
Shanks, the minister. After this the good old minister had no trouble 
in finding the way to the home of John A. Crawley, who was a mem- 
ber of his congregation. This furrow finally became a temporary 
highway for people to travel on. But the improvement of the country 
has entirely efifaced this road, and it is doubtful if there is a citizen 
in Beaver Township who has any knowledge of the sacred trail, over 
which the grand old minister passed in the discharge of his minis- 
terial duties. 

No coal mines have been developed in Beaver Township and if 

any coal is ever found under its surface it will be of lower vein quality. 

The people of this township have a good record for law-abiding 

citizens. There is no record of any crimes of a serious character to 

be found in any of our criminal court proceedings. Nor does it 


appear tliat any considerable number of the citizens of this township 
have been aspirants for county offices. 'I'hey ha\c been satisfied in 
attending to their own business, leaving the office seekers to take care 
of the county business. 1 he only man who has been honored with a 
county office while a citizen of Beaver Township was John T. S. 
Williams, who in i^~() was elected county treasurer. But few town- 
ships in tlie state can show a record of political modestv the equal 
of this. 

Ihere is but one cinirch in Beaver lOwnship. It is of the Baptist 
denomination .uid the church building is situated on tiie southwest 
corner of Section 20, Township S3, Range'28. It has a fairly good 
membership with regular service, and a Sundav school. The reason 
there is but one church in the township is because there are so many 
towns near the borders of Beaver. There are the towns of Ogden, 
Berkley, Grand junction and Beaver, where there are places of wor- 
ship and where most of the people of Beaver Township attend. 

In a trip made through the township the writer did not have the 
pleasure of meeting any of the township (jfficers except James Mc- 
Elroy, who is a gentleman of social and friendly qualities and who is 
well informed in respect to the local history of Beaver Township. 
He was among the early settlers of that part of the county. 

The present township officers are as follows: Trustees, James 
McElroy, Lewis Savits, John Hanbaker; clerk, Emet Gonder; asses- 
sor, Anton Shelberg; justices, John Gimmel and Albert Barnes. 



At the time of the organization of Boone County, August 6, 1849, 
the county was divided into three voting precincts or townships. 
Each of these townships contained one-third of the territory of the 
county. That is, the south one-third was called Pleasant Township; 
the central one-third was called Boone Township, and the north one- 
third was called Boone River Township. The present territory of 
Grant Township was all contained in Boone River Township. This 
division continued from August 6, 1849, to March 8, 1852 — a period 
of little less than three years. At this last-named date Boone River 
Township was discontinued and Dodge and Yell townships were 
organized in its stead. In this division all that part of Boone River 
Township which was situated west of the Des Moines River was 
contained in Yell Township, which included all of the present Town- 
ship of Grant. This division continued until September, 1858, a 
period of about six years and a half, when Pilot Mound Township 
was established and named. In this last division Pilot Mound Town- 
ship contained all of its present territory and all of the present terri- 
tory of Grant Township. This division continued from September, 
1856, to January, 1871, a period of over fourteen years. At the last 
named date Grant Township was organized and named. It contains 
a full congressional township. It is bounded on the east by Pilot 
Mound Township, on the north by Webster County, on the west by 
Greene County, and on the south by Amaqua Township. 

Among the early settlers of Grant Township were John L. Good, 
Henry Bierman, Gustaf Johnson, Alex Lobeck, Philip Meyer, James 
E. Robertson and A. P. Sniggs. 

The first house built in the township was the residence of A. P. 
Sniggs. It was built in 1868. From this date the township settled 
up very rapidly. From the date of the first settlement in 1868 to 
1875, the population had increased to 411. 

The first township officers elected were: Justice of the peace, 
Frank Barrot; clerk, Peter Johnson; trustee, James E. Robertson. 



The only stream in the township is the Beaver, which rises near 
the north line of tlie townsliip and runs south through its entire length 
from north to south. Jt is a Hne little stream and furnishes good 
drainage for the whole township. With the exception of a clump 
of willows here and there along the Beaver, there is no native timber 
in the township. Since the lands of the township have been drained 
it has become one of the best agricultural localities in the county. 
The soil is very fertile, which is evidenced by the bounteous crops 
which are produced from year to year. The farmers of Grant Town- 
ship are fully up with any in the county in their industry and energy, 
which their farms and homes abundantly prove. 

There are no statistics to show where the first school in the town- 
ship was taught, nor who taught it, nor in what year it was taught, 
but we may rightly conclude that all these things were attended to 
by the people of the township when it became necessary. The authori- 
ties of the township have established nine school districts in the 
township and have built nine good schoolhouses, which are kept in 
good repair. The schools are well regulated and competent teachers 
are employed. 

According to the census of 1910 the population of Grant Town- 
ship was 982. With the exception of Des Moines and Dodge town- 
ships, Grant leads all of the other townships of the county in 

Grant Township has one railroad line that runs almost diagonally 
through the township from southeast to northwest. This is the New- 
ton & Northwestern, commonly known as the Interurban Line. Box- 
h(jlm is the only station in the township. 

The present officers of the township are: Justice of the peace, 
F. A. Snvder; constable, Theodore Freil; clerk, Joseph E. Reutter; 
assessor, J. N. Nichols; trustees. Gust Brod, W. A. Swanson and 
F. A. Hall. 

In the year 1912 the township trustees paid out for road and 
ilrainage purposes $2,012.34 and had a balance of $991.09. 

The lav of the land in Grant Township is very level. It took 
much drainage to make dry farms and good roads. Much of this 
has been accomplished, but there is still more to do. In the begin- 
ning of the settlement of the township there were seven very large 
ponds within its borders. Some of these partook of the nature of 
lakes, but nearly all of them were near enough to Beaver Creek to 
make their drainage easy. Some of these ponds or small lakes were 
originally three miles long and from one to three miles in width. 


These ponds are traced on the map of the county made by the Union 
Historical Association, in 1879, just as they appeared in their natural 
state. With all these natural difficulties to encounter the people of 
Grant Township have made good roads and have placed under good 
cultivation hundreds of acres of land which were formerly under 
water a part of each year. These lands are now the richest in the 
world. With proper care they will last for all time to come. The 
township contains 23,040 acres of land. If this were equally divided 
between the citizens of the township at the present time there would 
be a fraction over twenty-three acres for each one of them. 

There are three cemeteries in the township — one in Section 30, 
one in Section 3^ and one in Section 15. 

There is but one postoffice in the township. This is located at 
Boxholm near the central part of the township. The other parts 
are supplied by rural delivery, giving the citizens a daily mail. 


Boxholm, the only town in Grant Township, was laid out April 
21, 1900. It is located in Section 15, Township 85, Range 28, and is 
on the line of the Newton & Northwestern Railroad. Years before 
Boxholm was laid out, John B. Anderson kept a small store on the 
present site of the town. He also kept a postoffice in the little store, 
which he was instrumental in having established by the Government. 
He was the first postmaster. It was his request that the town be 
named Boxholm, the name of a town in Sweden, in which he was 
born and raised. This request was granted, as it should have been. 

Boxholm has two general stores, two implement stores, two hard- 
ware stores, two garages, one drug store, one lumber-yard, one black- 
smith shop, two grain elevators and two banks. One of these is the 
Farmers Savings Bank, the other the Farmers State Bank. J. E. 
Reutter is the president of the Farmers State Bank and A. Hender- 
son is cashier.. J. H. Roberts is president of the Farmers Savings 
Bank and A. Westeen is cashier. 

Dr. E. G. Johnson is the practicing physician of the place. There 
is an Odd Fellows lodge of fifty members and the lodge is in good 
working order. 

The town has a good school building of two departments, and an 
enrollment of eighty scholars. The principal for the coming term is 
Delia Wilson. The other teachers have not been elected. 


The town has two churches — one a Swedish Lutheran, with a 
membership of 190 and good Sunday school, and the other, a Metho- 
dist Episcopal, with a membership of 150 and a live Sunday school. 

The town has a population of 200, and at the spring election 
there were hfty-seveii votes cast. The present officers of the town of 
Boxholm are as follows: Mayor, N. G. Wilson; councilmen, A. T. 
Johnson, J. A. Anderson, H. C. Steen, P. A. Stark and A. S. Thorn- 

Boxholm is situated im a little elevation of land which makes one 
think it was destined for the location of a town. On Monday, July 
20, 1914, the people of the town will vote upon two propositions. 
One of these is the building of a town hall and the other the granting 
of a franchise for electric lights. It is the consensus of public opinion 
that both propositions will carry. 

Boxholm is in the midst of a very rich farming country and the 
outlook is that a large volume of business will be transacted here 
from year to year. 

The people of (Jrant Township have been very law-abiding and 
peaceful, and for this reason no crimes of a serious nature have been 
laid against them. 

No coal mines have been developed within the borders of the 
township, it may not be long, however, until discoveries of coal 
will be made. For the present all the fuel used in the township has 
to be shipped from other parts. 

There is one church in Grant Township, situated on the bank of 
the Beaver, in Section 29, Township 85, Range 28. It is of the Evan- 
gelical denomination and it is said to have a fair sized body of faith- 
ful workers. 

Among the citizens of the township who have been honored with 
county offices may be mentioned John L. Good, who served as a 
member of the board of supervisors and as a member of the lower 
house of the Iowa Legislature in the twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh 
General Assemblies, and A. Henderson, who served the unexpired 
term of F. M. Lorenzen, of Ogden, who resigned the office of county 
treasurer, after serving six months. Mr. Henderson was then elected 
for the term following. Swan Johnson was a member of the county 
board of supervisors in the earlv '90s, and G. F. Frie is the present 
member of that bodv from the west side of the Des Moines River. 


At the time of the first election in Boone County, held August 6, 
1849, the present Township of Amaqua was divided as follows: The 
north two-thirds of it were included in Boone River Township, and 
the south one-third was in Boone Township. This division continued 
until March 8, 1852, at which date Boone River Township was dis- 
continued, the boundaries of Boone Township were changed and 
Yell Township was laid out and named. At that date Yell Township 
contained all of the present Township of Amaqua, except the south 
tier of sections, which were still contained in Boone Township. This 
division continued until March, 1858, the date in which Boone Town- 
ship passed from the map of the county and Des Moines, Marcy and 
other townships were established. At this last-named date the south 
tier of sections of the present Township of Amaqua were included 
in Marcy Township. This division continued until 1871, when 
Amaqua Township was established within its present boundaries and 

The Indian name of the beautiful little creek that runs through 
this township from north to south is Amaqua. As the township south 
of this one received the English name of the creek, this one was given 
the Indian name — Amaqua. It contains a full congressional town- 
ship. Amaqua is bounded on the east by Yell Township, on the north 
by Grant Township, on the west by Greene C(Hmty and on the south 
by Beaver Township. 

Among the first settlers may be mentioned John Smyth, M. K. 
Beck, Capt. G. W. Leonard, David Van Pelt, A. T. Sh'adle, J. R. 
Doran, Hans Hagge, Daniel Powers, who, along with many others, 
settled in the township about the time it was organized. 

The first board of trustees elected in the township were: George 
Wood. D. M. Girard and D. B. Carrey. John Smyth was the first 
township clerk, and Gilbert H. Pardell was the first assessor. 

It must be borne in mind that but little of the history of the pioneer 
times can apply to Amaqua Township. The first settlers of the 

Vol 1—19 



county located in and along the belt of timber situated along the 
Des Moines River. 'I'iiis they had to do in order to get fuel to 
supply their wants and logs to build their cabins. There was no fuel 
in those days in tlie county but wood. 

Another reason for settling in or near the timber was to secure 
shelter and protection for themselves and stock from the cold piercing 
wind of the winters that swept the open prairies. L'nion Township 
was only six miles from Ama(]ua Township, but it had settlers as 
early as 1849. This was because of the body of timber along the 
Beaver in that township, known as BufTah; Grove. Amaqua had no 
groves of timber to attract the settlers.. The few clumps of low 
willows along the Beaver were rather more of a detriment than a 
blessing. For these reasons Amaqua Township was not settled until 
good flouring mills were running in the county, good stores were 
selling all necessary supplies and good transportation furnished by 
the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, which was built through the 
south end of the township in 1866. This saved the settlers of Amaqua 
Township from the hardships and privations of the pioneer days. 
The hunters and trappers were often on the banks of the Beaver 
plying their trade and capturing tlie fur-bearing animals. The sports- 
men of Bonesboro and vicinity frequently went out to the Beaver in 
what is now Ama(]ua Township to shoot geese, ducks and prairie 
chickens. Judge C. J. McFarland, Col. John Rose, J. H. Upton, 
C. Beal, C. W. Williams, Dr. P. S. Moser and Ger)rge Haskell were 
the main sportsmen. They usually were out on these hunting e.xpedi- 
tions two days at a time. The territory now contained in Amaqua 
was one of their favorite places to hunt. 

The Indians who reside in Tama County for years were in the 
habit of erecting their wigwams on the Beaver, in what is now 
Amaqua, to trap, hunt and fish. They had many feasts upon the game 
they captured. But those times have passed and gone, never to return 

iM. K. Beck, in his biographical sketch given by the Union His- 
torical Association, says that when lie settled on Section 4, in Amaqua 
Townsliip, in 1869, there were not over three houses in sight of his 
home. This was twenty years after the first settler in I/nion Town- 
ship located there. 

Amaqua Township settled up very rapidly after getting a start and 
in a few years the whole township was changed from a wilderness 
of wild grass to a solid block of farms. Although this township was 


slow in making a start in its settlement, it made up for this in the 
rapidity of its settlement. 

Amaqua is made up exclusively of prairie land. It is an agricul- 
tural township in the fullest sense of that term. The soil is very 
fertile, which is evidenced by the crops which are produced every 
year. The farmers are industrious and energetic, as the splendid 
farms and beautiful homes in the township abundantly prove. 'I'he 
Beaver is the only stream in the township. It furnishes good drainage 
facilities for the entire township. 

The people of Amaqua have proved their faith in the good of 
educating their children by locating nine school districts in the town- 
ship, of building nine schoolhouses and keeping them in repair. They 
also have eight months of school each year. Their schools are well 
regulated and their teachers are among the best. 

No coal mines have ever been developed in Amaqua Township. 
The people here are dependent on other parts for their fuel. 

Amaqua Township contains 23,040 acres of land, nearly every 
acre of which is profitably utilized. Under the present drainage 
system there are perhaps as few acres of waste land in Amaqua as in 
any township in the county. According to the census of 1910 the 
population of the township was 803. If the lands of the township 
were equally divided among the inhabitants, there would be a fraction 
over twenty-eight acres for each one. 

The present township officers are as follows: Clerk, William 
Heineman ; assessor, William Paulson ; trustees, John Paulson, Albert 
Rinehart and Will Berger. 

In the year 191 2 Amaqua Township paid out more money on 
roads and drainage than any other township in the county. Notwith- 
standing this, the balance on hand at the end of the year was $395.98. 

The postoffice at Beaver is the only one in the township. The 
people are supplied by the lines of rural delivery, one of the greatest 
blessings which has come to the people of the country in recent years. 
The people of the country districts now have daily mails. This and 
the telephone system have added much to the pleasure and facilities 
of the country homes. 

The Northwestern Railroad is the only one that crosses the bor- 
ders of Amaqua. It runs across the south end of the township, Beaver 
being the only station within its borders. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized at the Center 
schoolhouse in 1869, which was the first church society in the town- 
ship. Reverend Snodgrass was the first minister and at the time of 


the organization of the churcii tiic membership numbered twenty- 
five. The society now has a buihfing of its own. 

There are three cemeteries in the township — one in Section 13, 
one in Section 14, and one in Section 16. 

The Town of Beaver was hiicf out June 30, 1879. It is located in 
the southwest corner of Section 32, Township 84, Range 28, and is 
in ilie midst of a rich farming section. It was not hjng in becoming 
a trading point of considerable importance. Beaver draws consid- 
erable trade from Greene County. Thus we see that the town is not 
altogether dependent upon Boone County for its trade. Beaver has 
a population of about one hundred. Jt has two churches and two 
church buildings, both of which are frame structures. One is a 
Methodist Episcopal Church, with forty members and a good Sunday 
school. The other society is of the denomination of Dunkards, with 
a membership of fortv and a well-attended Sunday school. Both of 
the churches have regular services. 

There are two general stores, a barber shop and pool hall and 
three grain elevators. The Beaver Cooperative Association does a 
very extensive business in shipping grain and stock and in furnishing 
supplies to the farmers. It is owned by ninety farmers. Last year, 
it is claimed that this association transacted over four hundred thou- 
sand dollars' worth of business. Beaver also has two blacksmith 
shops, one garage and one bank. It has one school building with 
two departments. It has a consolidated district of eight sections, four 
of which arc in Amaqua Township and four in Beaver Township. 
The name of this district is Dewey, so called in honor of the hero 
of Manilla Bay. This school has an enrollment of si.\ty-five scholars. 
The citizens here are well pleased with the plan of consolidation. 

The town was incorporated about three years ago and is now a 
well-regulated little town. The present officers are as follows: 
Mavor, H. D. Hagge; clerk. C. A. Black; assessor, Lafe Shadle; 
marshal, Cleve Starks; councilmen, D. T. Anderson, C. H. Last, 
Chris Harten and L. D. Henry. 

The impression in various parts of the county has been that 
Senator Justin R. Doran resided in the Town of Beaver. Such, how- 
ever, is not the case. He resides just across the line in Beaver Town- 
ship, while the Town of Beaver is in Amaqua Township. Mr. Do- 
ran's farm on which he resides joins the Town of Beaver and his 
residence is only a few rods distant. Mr. Doran settled where he 
now resides in November, 1874. At that time he was the only 
settler in District No. 3, Beaver Township. He is one of the four 


Boone County men who have been Iionorcd with the office of state 
senator. The first was J. D. Gillett, oi Ogden; the second, D. B. 
Davidson, then of Madrid; the third, C. J. A. Ericson, of Boone, 
and the fourth, Justin R. Doran, of Beaver Township. Mr. Doran 
owns large tracts of land in Beaver and Ainaqua townships, amount- 
ing fo 3,100 acres. This land is all under cultivation. 

Northeast of Beaver, in Section 16, is located a German Lutheran 
Church, which has a membership of about fifty and a good Sunday 

The first citizen of Amaqua Township to be honored with a 
county office was John Smyth, who, in 1873, was elected a member 
of the board of supervisors. 

The people of Amaqua have as a rule been very peaceable and 
law-abiding and there is little in the way of criminal proceedings 
against any of its citizens. But there is a very interesting scrap of 
history of a stage robbery which occurred in Amaqua Township in 
the time preceding its settlement. From 1854 to 1866, a period of 
twelve years, the carrying of the mails and the conveyance of travelers 
from one point to another in Iowa, and particularly in Central Iowa, 
was done by the Western Stage Company. Early in the year 1855 
it established a line between Des Moines and Fort Dodge by way 
of Boonesboro, and as the latter point was about half way between 
Des Moines and Fort Dodge, it was made the division point on this 
line. About the year 1858 a line was established between Boonesboro 
and Jefferson, the county seat of Greene County, a distance of about 
twenty-four miles. This line crossed the Beaver Creek, about one 
mile north of the present Town of Beaver, and in the present 'I'own- 
ship of Amaqua. Over half of this line passed through a wild and 
unsettled country. The route to travel upon was simply horrible. 
Great complaint was made by the drivers on this line and particularly 
of the crossing of the Beaver. The authorities of Boone County were 
appealed to, but nothing was done. Finally the company built a 
barn a short distance east of the crossing on the Beaver and arranged 
that the teams should stop over night there, resuming the journey 
next morning. They also built quarters for a station agent, whose 
duty it was to take care of the passengers over night. This was called 
the line barn, or line station. This made the trip from point to point 
much easier for both drivers and teams. When the construction of 
the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad commenced, there was con- 
siderable travel between Boonesboro and Jefferson. This made it 
necessary to put on this line a four-horse stage. M. L. Burke, one 


ot ilic famous drivers, was on this line a part of the time. One 
fairly nice day the stage left Boonesboro at i o'clock P. M., with 
the mail and four passengers. It arrived safely at the line barn and 
lodged for the night. jMcxt morning the start was made for Jeffer- 
son, but just as the stage emerged from the Beaver and reached the 
west bank, some robbers came from a clumj-i of willows, and pre- 
senting their guns, called upon the driver to stop the stage. Instead 
of doing so, he struck the lead horses with his whip, intending to 
escape the robbers by increasing his speed. But before he got under 
headway the robbers shot one of the lead horses, which fell dead 
upon the spot, and the stage came to a standstill. The robbers entered 
the stage, cut the mail pouch open and took all the valuables out of it. 
They ne.\t compelled the passengers to turn over all their pocket 
change and then made their departure. Although diligent search 
was made, none of them were ever found. The driver left the dead 
horse and harness and immediately returned to Boonesboro. This 
was the trip which M. L. Burke should have taken, but other business 
detained him. Had it not been for this, he would have been the man 
the robbers encountered instead of the other driver. 

The agent who had charge of the station at the time of the robbery 
was a man named Shipman. Years after tiiis incident Shipman be- 
came a transgressor of the law and officers undertook to place him 
under arrest. He resisted, and in st) doing, shot one of the officers. 
The house in wliich he took refuge was surrounded by armed men, 
but he still refused to surrender to the officers. The cellar in which 
he had taken refuge was flooded with water. He then undertook to 
make his escape by flight, but in doing so his body was riddled with 
bullets. It was thought bv some that Shipman was a confederate in 
the stage robbery which occurred in what is now Amaqua Township. 


Years before Peoples became a township of itself, it was made 
the component part of other townships on various occasions. At the 
time of the organization of the county it was a part of Pleasant 
Township. When Berry Township was organized and named by 
Judge McCall, March 8, 1852, the present Township of Peoples was 
included within its borders. This division continued until February 
21, 1856, at which date Union Township was organized and named by 
John B. Montgomery, who was at that time county judge. The 
boundaries of Union Township as then fixed included the west one- 
third of the present territory of Peoples Township, while the east 
two-thirds of it still made up a part of Berry Township. This divi- 
sion continued until March 6, 1858, at which date the Township of 
Berry was discontinued and Cass Township was laid out and named 
by Judge Samuel B. McCall, who succeeded Judge Montgomery in 
1857. Cass Township contained the east two-thirds of the present 
Township of Peoples until 1871. In that year the townships of Cass 
and Union were reduced to their present boundaries and Peoples 
Township was established and named. 

The first permanent settler was David Peoples, who had located 
within the present borders of the township in 1855. This was long 
before the township was established or named. From the time he 
located here, March 6, 1858, Mr. Peoples was a citizen of Berrv 
Township. From the last-named date to May 12, 1871, he was a 
citizen of Cass Township. Peoples is the only township in the countv 
named in honor of one of its settlers, a distinction which places much 
emphasis upon the name of David Peoples. There was one settler 
who preceded Mr. Peoples. This was Joseph Dart, who located on 
the bank of the Little Beaver in Section 33, in the year 1854, but he 
did not become a permanent settler. 

W. W^ Wade, Jeremiah Williams and Alonzo Bettis were the 
first settlers in the northeast part of the township. While the east 




two-thinls of the township was a part of Cass. W. W. Wade held the 
oflke of justice of tlic peace. 

The first marriage in the township was that of Enos Rhoads to 
Henrietta Peoples, on the 26th day of March, i860. William Sparks, 
the pioneer Baptist minister of Marcy Township, officiated. 

The first births were those of Albert B. and Alfred B. Wade, 
twin sons of W. W. and Lucy Wade, on January 12, 1857. 

The first death was that of Albert B. Wade, one of the twin sons 
of W. W. and Lucy Wade, above mentioned, which occurred Novem- 
ber 2, 1857. 

'J"he first scliooliiouse was built in Section 12, in the spring of 
i8!;7. This house was erected by the donations and labor of th 
people who needed it and who would make any reasonable sacrifice 
for the education of their children. The first school taught in the 
township was in this schoolhouse by ALirtha J. Page, one of the 
pioneer lady teachers of the county. 

The first sermon was preached in this schoolhouse by Rev. Wil- 
liam Sparks, whose services were then in demand in numerous places 
in tiie county, and they were always given free of charge. 

The first postofiice was located on the southwest corner of Sec- 
tion 12. It was called Prairie Hill and was established in 1S67. 
Alonzo Bettis was the first postmaster. 

Everything thus far written under this heading occurred before 
Peoples Township was organized and named. The settlers men- 
tioned in the foregoing and their neighbors of that time sufifered the 
hardships and privations in common with the other frontier settlers. 
Like the other pioneers they had to haul their supplies a long distance, 
going many miles to find good mills, and living without any mail 
facilities such as the people now have and enjoy. 

Peoples Township settled up very slowly until the close of the 
Civil war. Many homeseekers then came, and it was not many years 
until all the land was changed from prairie sod to fertile farms. 
The only thing in the way of a stream in Peoples Township is the 
Little Beaver. With the exception of a few scattering willows and 
white elms along this little stream there is no native timber in the 
township. This little stream is mentioned in an article found else- 
where in this work under the heading of The Small Streams of 
Boone Countv. 

There are no towns within the boundaries of Peoples Township, 
nor has any effort been made by any of its citizens to lay out and 
build a town. There is not a railroad that touches anv of its borders. 


The Milwaukee east and west line runs near its south border, but 
nowhere touches it. Peoples is exclusively an agricultural township. 
Its surface is nearly level, its soil is rich, its drainage is good and the 
result is that it produces crops of all kinds in abundance. From a 
state of nature only a few years ago the township has been changed 
to a solid block of nice farms and beautiful homes, all of which 
present a nice and inviting appearance. These homes, these farms 
and their products of grain, hay, horses, cattle, hogs and poultry all 
speak well for the industry, energy and intelligence of its men and 

Among those who became citizens of the township mav be men- 
tioned Levi and William Colvin, Capt. Marion Brooks, James R. 
and John B. Swain, Miles Becket, Duncan Grant, Enos Rhoads, J. G. 
Spurrier, Fred Miller and many others equally prominent, whose 
names cannot be mentioned for the want of space. 

That Peoples Township has manifested a friendly attitude toward 
public education is evidenced by the nine school districts and the 
nine schoolhouses that stand within its borders. Their schools are 
up-to-date and the equal of any in the county. 

The first general election in Peoples Township was held at Elk- 
horn schoolhouse, October lo, 1871, at which time the following 
officers were elected: Justices of the peace, W. W. Strickling and 
W. W. Wade; trustees, J. G. Vernon, J. F. Craig and E. H. Smith; 
clerk, James R. Swain; constables, M. Shepherd and J. P. Colvin. 

At this election there were eighty-two votes cast. The population 
of the township at that time was 300. On the 4th of July, 1868, the 
people of the township celebrated Independence Day at Peoples 
schoolhouse. This is a common thing in a country township. 

The first official meeting of the township trustees was held at the 
house of J. B. Swain in Section 16, on the 3d of February, 1872. In 
the way of holding county offices the records show that the people 
of this township have been more aspiring than any of the neighboring 
townships. The first citizen of Peoples Township to be honored 
with a county office was Levi Colvin. He was elected a member of 
the first board of county supervisors under the law which reduced 
the membership of the board from one member for each township 
to three members for the whole county. It was at the first session of 
this board of supervisors that the organization of the townships of 
the county was completed. It was Levi Colvin who named Peoples 
Township. His father-in-law, David Peoples, was the first settler 
of that township. Mr. Colvin said it was right and proper that the 


towiisliip be named in liis hDiior. Mr. Vontrees and Mr. Page, the 
other members of the board, also thought so, and, therefore, the 
official sanction to that name was given. William Colvin, J. G. Spur- 
rier, Miles Becket and Duncan Grant each filled two terms as treas- 
urer of Boone County. Capt. Marion Brooks had two terms in the 
Legislature and Seluiyler Spurrier had two terms in the clerk's office. 
No coal mines have yet been developed in Peoples Township 
and no claim has vet been made that the township or any part of it 
is underlaid with coal. There are some of the veterans of the Civil 
war who are citizens of Peoples Townshipand who came from other 
states. Tlieir names, of course, do not appear in the roster of those 
who went from Boone County. As Peoples Township was not organ- 
ized until after the Civil war, the names of those who lived in its 
present boundaries at the time of enlistment will be found in the list 
of Cass or Union townships. 

There are two churches in Peoples Township. One of these is 
a Baptist Church, the other a Methodist Episcopal. The Baptist 
Church first organized was a branch of the Perry Church in 
1874. In 1879 it was reorganized as an independent church. The 
original members were E. R. Swain and wife, David Peoples and 
wife, Levi Colvin and wife, James R. Swain and others. Their 
church building is located on the northwest corner of Section 8, 
Township 82, Range 27. They have services every Sunday, with a 
membership of fortv, and a good Sunday school. 

'l"he Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1875. The 
original members were Daniel Woods and wife, John Kirby and 
wife, Nathaniel Noland and wife, Richard Grant and wife, Enos 
Rhoads and wife, Mrs. L. Spurrier, Mrs. Stewart and Mrs. A. Por- 
ter. The church building was erected in 1875 and is located on the 
corner of Section 15, Township 82, Range 27. They have a fair 
sized membership and a Sunday school, but they have no local 
preacher. It is at present supplied from Bouton. The construction 
of the church was largely done through the work and energy of 
Capt. Ahirion Brooks and G. M. Burrington. These men hauled the 
frame timbers from the Des Moines River and hewed them out 
ready to be placed in the building— a start which secured its com- 

Captain Brooks still lives at the home, where he settled in 1867, 
and he owns 400 acres of fine land. Years after the erection of the 
church, G. M. Burrington moved to Perry and died there. 


The present township officers arc as follows: Trustees, Marion 
Burrell, Emanuel Burk and Miles Peoples; clerk, Mathew Francis; 
assessor, James R. Swain. The township has no justice of the peace 
and no constables, and they say they need none because they have no 
lawsuits and do not commit any crimes. This is a fine record. 

One of the trustees in the above list is a descendant of the Peoples 
family, which has the honor of being the first one to settle in the 
township and it also has the honor of the name of the township. It 
speaks well of this family that one of its descendants is yet called into 
service in the transaction of the business of the township. It must be 
noted also that in the above list of township officers appears the name 
of James R. Swain, who is the assessor of the township. At the first 
election held in the township, October lo, 1871, James R. Swain was 
elected township clerk. It is said that Mr. Swain has held more 
township offices than any other citizen of Peoples. That he was 
among the list of the first officers chosen and is still an officer of the 
township is a compliment to Mr. Swain. 


Colfax is the only township on the cast side of the Des Moines 
River in Boone County that did not have a native grove of timber 
within its borders. Its lands were exclusively prairie, the lay of 
which was beautiful and inviting to the settlers. From August, 1849, 
to March, 1858, the south one-third of Colfax Township was a part 
of Pleasant Township, and during the same period the north two- 
thirds was a part of Boone Township. From 1858 to 1871, Colfax 
was a part of Worth Township. At the last-named date Colfax 
Township was organized and its present boundaries established. It 
was named in honor of Schuyler Colfax, of Indiana, who at that time 
was vice president of the United States. Z. J. Vontrees, one of the 
three members of the board of supervisors, proposed that it be named 
Croy Township in honor of Samuel A. Croy, who was the first settler 
in the northeast part of the township. Mr. Croy was present at the 
time the board established the township and he refused to have the 
honor of the name conferred on himself, but as he was an admirer 
of Mr. Colfax and had an acquaintance with him he insisted that 
the new township be named Colfax, and from this suggestion it took 
its place on the countv map under that name. 

The first settler in Colfax Township was William Francis, who 
located in the north part of Section 6, Township 83, Range 25, in 
the spring of 1855. ^^ ^^'^^ ^" Englishman by birth and a ditcher 
bv trade. The land he located upon is now a part of the Menton 
Farm. The second settler in the township was Mr. Fitzpatrick, father 
of Senator Joseph A. Fitzpatrick, of Nevada, Iowa. In the spring 
of 1855 he erected a house and improved a farm in the west part of 
Section 20. The next year Thomas Reed and T. A. Duckworth each 
built a house and commenced the improvement of a farm in pioneer 
fashion. Mr. Reed's improvement was in the nortliwcst part of 
Section 20 and that of Mr. Duckworth was in the southwest part of 
Section 5. 



In 1858 Joseph Tarplce built a house and commenced to make a 
farm in Section 28. About the same time Samuel A. Croy built 
a house and made a farm in Section 12. Mr. Croy was a Christian 
minister and the first one to locate in the township. He moved here 
from the State of Illinois, anil while living in tliat state, had hlled 
the office of state treasurer. 

The settlement of the township was not very rapid until the close 
of the Civil war. In 1 S66, or about the time the Chicago & North- 
western Railroatl was built into Hoone, the settlement of the township 
was rapid and continued so until every acre of land was taken up 
and utilized. It will be impossible to mefition all of the settlers and 
give tlie date at which each one located, nor can the good that each 
one has done in buikling up the tovi'nship be given in iletail in a 
write up of this kind. It will be but sufficient to say that the settlers 
of Colfa.x Township were good, energetic and industrious people and 
they have improved and built up a township which thev have good 
reason to be proud of. 

The first road in Colfa.v 'J'ownship ran diagonally across it from 
southwest to northeast. This road was made in 1851 by G. B. Zenor, 
John Zenor and Jesse Hoosong. They cut down a tree at Belle Point 
and hitched si.\ span of o.xen to it and dragged this tree across the 
prairie from Belle Point to about where the Town of Ontario now 
stands. This made a trail to travel upon by the people passing from 
one side of the prairie to the other. It was called the Zenor trail and 
for a number of years was a much traveled road. But when the 
township was settled up, this pioneer trail had to give place to the 
roads upon the section lines. With one exception every section line 
in the township is now a public highway. There is no township in 
the county better equipped for roads than Colfa.x. 

Among the prominent families who were of the early settlers 
and who did much in the improvement of the township may be men- 
tioned the Waits, the Bronsons, the Reichenbaughs, the Abrahams, 
the Luthers, the Mosses and the (iilletts, in the southwest part; the 
Boyds, the Welches and the Yeagers in the central part, and the 
Judges, the Jordans and the McGraths in the eastern part. 

Big Creek, which runs across the southwest part of Colfax Town- 
ship, is the most important stream within its borders. There are 
some very fine farms along the banks of this creek, which afifords 
drainage facilities for them. A sketch of this creek will be found in 
an article elsewhere under the heading of The Small Streams ol 
Boone County. There is another little creek which rises in the north- 


west corner of Colfax, runs southeast, crossing the county line into 
Washington Township of Story County, and empties into the Skunk 
River. It also drains many good farms. 

There is a scrap of unwritten history connected with Colfax 
Township which few people have heard. There are still living some 
of the sons and daughters of the early settlers who located near Pea's 
Point, who have a distinct recollection of the event now for the first 
time to be recorded. They say that in the spring of 1854 but little 
of the land in what is now Colfax Township had passed from the 
Government and that any one could have choice of these lands at 
$1.21; per acre. About the middle of June of that year, George G. 
McKinley, a rich farmer of the State of Indiana, sent a man to 
Boone County, Iowa, to select land on which to make a model farm. 
He wanted not less than four sections of land situated in a scjuare 
on which to make this model farm. After spending a week or more 
looking around, the man selected Sections 7, 8, 17 and 18 as the land 
on which this model farm was to be made. v\t the time the land 
was being looked up for this big farm there were many others coming 
into the country who were also looking for lands. Some time passed 
before Mr. JMcKinlev's man reached the land office and when he 
did, to his great surprise he found that nearly one-half of the four 
sections of land he had selected had already been entered by other 
parties. This put an end to all further effort to locate the model 
farm that Mr. McKinley had in mind. If nothing had prevented 
the onward movement, a very historic farm would have been made on 
the four sections named in Colfax Township. This was another one 
of the times in which a little delay spoiled a great enterprise. 

For many years Colfax Township had no railroad within its 
limits. During these years the farmers of the township took their 
products to such markets as suited them best. But in the years 1904 
and 1905 the Newton & Northwest Railroad, commonly called the 
Interurban Line, was built and from that time has been in operation. 
It runs almost diagonally through the township and has established 
two stations within its borders — one in the northwest corner called 
Ericson, and the other down near the southeast corner called Napier. 
The station of Ericson has a grain elevator, some corn cribs and a 
little grain office, and this is all that has developed in the way of a 
town at that station. It was named in honor of C. J. A. Ericson, who 
was one of Boone County's most prosperous and historic men. 

Napier is located on the farm of James Judge, one of the leading 
farmers and stockmen of the township. The station should have been 


the deep-toned crowing of the prairie chickens and the doleful song 
of the sandhill cranes. When they reached the west line of the pres- 
ent Township of Colfax they could see the timber on some tributaries 
of the Square Fork. It did not seem to be very far away, so they 
concluded to walk over there. They were on the line one mile south 
of the line between Jackson and Colfax, as now established, and 
there was not the sign of a road to travel on. About noon they reached 
the timber on the other side, about a mile east of the Story County 
line, both tired and hungry. Here they found a house and a small 
farm, owned and occupied by a man named Thomas Vest. On mak- 
ing inquiry it was found that not one of the four boys had a cent of 
money. They made this fact known to Mr. Vest, who assured them 
that they should have their dinners, money or no money. Mr. Vest 
was a very social man, and among other things he stated that he was 
a Kentuckian by birth and that in his boyhood days he was a school- 
mate of John C. Breckenridge of that state. The dinner was very 
good and the boys enjoyed it. When they took their departure they 
shook hands with Mr. and Mrs. Vest, assuring them they would some 
day pay them for their kindness. The afternoon of that day was very 
warm and when the boys had arrived at about the center of Colfax 
Township, east and west on the line above referred to, they came to a 
very large pond, with high grass around the edges and tall rushes 
and flags in the center. The boys were now very thirsty and they 
concluded to wade in to the center of the pond, which was full of 
water, in order to find enough of it sufficiently clean to wet their 
throats. Before going half the distance a wonderful plunging, which 
made a loud noise, commenced among the rushes in the center of the 
pond, where the water was deepest. At first the boys were much puz- 
zled to know what this could mean, but suddenly there came from 
among the rushes a dozen deer and they ran with great speed to the 
west with the two dogs, bellowing to the boys in hot pursuit. As 
they ran thev made a nice sight to look at, but they soon disappeared 
over the hill and were never seen by any of the boys again. The 
dogs did not return home till some time during the night. This herd 
of deer while passing from one side of the prairie to the other had 
gone into the water of the pond to cool themselves and drink. How 
near the dogs were to them at any time during the chase will never 
be known. But the people of Colfax may know that as many as 
twelve wild deer in one herd were seen in the borders of their town- 


ship as late as June, 1854. At that date there was not a house or a 
.fence or a plowed acre in the township. 
I The only volunteer to enter the army from what is now Colfax 

Township during the Civil war was John Francis. After the war 

he became a resident of the State of Illinois. 


the dccp-toncd crowinj^ of the prairie chickens and tlie doleful song 
of the sandiiii! cranes. When they reached tlie west line of tlie pres- 
ent Township of Colfax they could see the tiniher on some tributaries 
of tlie S(|uare Fork. It did not seem to be very far away, so they 
concluded to walk o\er tiiere. I hey were on tlie line one mile south 
of the line between Jackson and Colfax, as now established, and 
there was not tiie sign of a road to trayel on. About noon thev reached 
the timber on the other side, about a mile east of the Storv County 
line, both tired and hungry. Here they found a house and a small 
farm, o\yned and occupied by a man named Thomas Vest. On mak- 
ing ini]uiry it was found that not one of the four boys had a cent of 
money. They made this fact known to Mr. Vest, who assured them 
that they should have their dinners, money or no money. Mr. Vest 
was a very social man, and among other things he stated that he was 
a Kentuckian by birth and that in his boyhood days he was a school- 
mate of John C. Breckenridge of that state. The dinner was very 
good and the boys enjoyed it. When they took their departure they 
shook hands with Mr. and Mrs. Vest, assuring them they would some 
day pay them for their kindness. The afternoon of that day was very 
warm and when the boys had arrived at about the center of Colfax 
Township, east and west on the line above referred to, they came to a 
very large pond, with high grass around the edges and tall rushes 
and flags in the center. The boys were now very thirsty and they 
concluded to wade in to the center of the pond, which was full of 
water, in order to Hnd enough of it sufficiently clean to wet their 
throats. Before going half the distance a wonderful plunging, which 
made a loud noise, commenced among the rushes in the center of the 
pond, where the water was deepest. At Hrst the boys were much puz- 
zled to know what this could mean, but suddenly there came from 
among the rushes a dozen deer and thev ran with great speed to the 
west witli the two dogs, bellowing to the boys in hot pursuit. As 
they ran they made a nice sight to look at, but they soon disappeared 
over the hill and were never seen by any of the boys again. The 
dogs did not return home till some time during the night. This herd 
of deer while passing from one side of the prairie to the other had 
gone into the water of the pond to cool themselves and drink. How 
near the dogs were to them at any time during the chase will never 
be known. But the people of Colfax may know that as many as 
twelve wild deer in one iierd were seen in the borders of their town- 


ship as late as June, 1854. At that date there was not a house or a 
fence or a plowed acre in the township. 

The only volunteer to enter the army from what is now Colfax 
Township during the Civil war was John Francis. After the war 
he became a resident of the State of Illinois. 


Harrison Township has not undergone as many changes and divi- 
sions as some of the other townships of the county. From the organi- 
zation of the county, August 6, 1849, to March 8, 1852, it was entirely 
included in Boone River Township. At the last named date Boone 
River Township was discontinued and Dodge Township established 
and named by S. B. McCall, county judge. The present Township 
of Harrison was at that date included in Dodge Township. Harrison 
continued to be a part of Dodge Township until 1857, in which year 
Jackson Township was organized and named. At this last named 
date the present Township of Harrison was included in Jackson 
Township. It continued to be a part of Jackson until 1871, when it 
was organized and named as a separate township. It was named in 
honor of Gen. William H. Harrison. 

Harrison Township is bounded on the west by Des Moines Town- 
ship ; on the south by Jackson Township ; on the east by Story County 
and on the north by Hamilton County. The surface of Harrison is 
generally level except along the Squaw Creek, where it is somewhat 
broken. The soil is very fertile and produces bounteous crops every 
year. The farmers of Harrison are energetic and industrious and 
they have made nice farms and built beautiful homes, of which they 
have good reason to be proud. From an unhabited prairie of fifty 
years ago, Harrison Township has been changed to a solid block of 
nice farms, placing on the markets a vast amount of grain and stock 
every year. 

The only streams of this township are Squaw Creek and Mont- 
gomery's Creek. A sketch of these is given in another article in this 
work. Squaw Creek afifords a fine drainage for the whole township. 
This little stream runs almost diagonally through the township from 
northwest to southeast. The drainage of Harrison and Jackson town- 
ships passes to the east into the Skunk River, while the drainage of 
all of the other townships of the county goes into the Des Moines 



River. The name given to the S(|ua\v Creek, as it appears on the 
map published by Lieut. Albert M. Lea, is called Gaston's Range. 
This map was published in 1S36 and the material for making it was 
mostly gathered up during the expedition of the three companies of 
Dragoons through tiic 'I'erritory of Iowa in 1831;. Mention of this 
expedition is made in the article on organization in this work. C. W. 
Gaston was a member of Company I and on account of the illness of 
Capt. Jesse B. Browne, Lieut. Albert M. Lea commanded it on the 
expedition across Iowa Territory in 1835. The three companies of 
B, H and I left old Fort Des Moines in Lee County on the 7th of 
June, 1835. These three companies were under command of Col. 
Steven W. Kearney. According to the map above referred to, the 
encampment on the 21st day of June, 1835, was in Dodge Township, 
Boone County, Iowa, and near the west line of Harrison Township. 
It was onlv a short distance to the east of the camp to Squaw Fork, 
the trend of which was outlined by the trees that stood along its 
banks. Of course Lieutenant Lea wanted the little stream located 
and named in order to place it on his map. Mr. Gaston and a few 
of his comrades were sent out on the morning of the 22d to get an 
idea of the size and source of the stream. As a reward for his work 
the stream was named Gaston's Range. He also named Cario Lake, 
"Swan Lake," and the Skunk River was named "Chicaqua River." 
But none of these names is retained upon the maps of the present 

The wording of the journal kept of this expedition of the 
Dragoons, so far as it relates to the encampment in Boone County, 
is as follows : 

"Sunday, June 21. 1831;. Marched twenty-i)ne miles over hand- 
some rolling prairie. The weather cold even for this season in a 
northern latitude. We expect to reach the Raccoon Fork tomorrow." ■ 

The march of the Dragoons was on the divide between the Des 
Moines River and its tributaries and the Skunk River and its tribu- 

The next note of the journal is as follows: 

"Monday, June 22, 1835. Came only twelve miles. It is sup- 
posed we have passed the Raccoon Fork and come forty or fifty 
miles out of the direction. What ct)urse our Colonel Kearney will 
pursue is uncertain." 

From the above it appears that the half-breed guide and inter- j 
preter. Frank Labashure, had mistaken the Boone Fork of the Des 
Moines River for the Raccoon Fork. The encampment on the 


evening of the 22d was near the mouth of the Boone Fork and about 
fifty miles north of the Raccoon Fork. The line of march on Lieuten- 
ant Lea's map shows that the Dragoons went from the mouth of 
Boone River the most direct course to Wabasha's village, which 
was located on the present site of the City of 'Winona, in Minnesota. 

The march on the 23d of June shows tliat the Dragoons passed on 
the south side of Swan Lake (now Cario Lake) between it and the 
present site of Jewell Junction. These Dragoons were the first white 
men to set foot upon the soil of Boone County. The people of Har- 
rison Township may rest assured that C. W. Gaston rode along the 
banks of the little stream that runs diagonally across their township 
over ten years before he became the first settler of Boone County. 
The journal of the three companies of United States Dragoons from 
Old Fort Des Moines, in Lee County, Iowa, across the Iowa Terri- 
torv to Wabasha's village and back again during the summer of 1835, 
is now in possession of the Madrid Historical Society. It is a very 
valuable and interesting document. 

The first permanent settler of the township was S. Mackey, who 
located at what has since been called Mackey's Grove, where he 
improved a farm of over four hundred acres and for a number of 
vears was the leading farmer of the township. He came from Piatt 
County, Illinois, in 1856. About the same time Mr. Madden located 
in the same part of the township and in time became a prominent 
farmer. Some other families settled along the Squaw Fork late in 
the 'i;os, and these were about all the settlers in the township until 
after the close of the Civil war. 

From 1866 the township settled up so rapidly that by the year 
1880 the township was all under the plow and in a high state of cul- 
tivation. One of the chief hindrances to the early settlers of this 
township was the bad roads leading to the markets over which their 
produce had to be hauled. But now under a better system of road 
making this trouble is much reduced. 

The first board of trustees elected in the township was as follows: 
M. Mackey, S. Ritter and E. Starr. Their first official meeting was 
held in the Mackey Schoolhouse in January, 1872. 

No coal mines' have yet been developed in Harrison Township. 
As there is no railroad within the borders of the township, fuel has 
to be hauled from railroad stations of other parts. 

According to the census of 1910 the population of Harrison Town- 
ship was 747. The number of acres of land in the township is 23,040. 


This is an avcraj^c of a fraction over thirty acres of land for every 
inhabitant of the township. 

The Union Historical Company says: "The first schoolhouse 
erected in the township was located in Section 5 and was known as 
the Smith Schoolhouse." Nothing is said as to the date of its erection. 
Late in the '^os a schoolhouse was built at Mackey's Grove, wliich 
served the people for many years. Meetings of all kinds were held 
within its walls, from the township caucus to religious services. In 
those pioneer days the schoolhouses were open and free for all meet- 
ings. Harrison Township now has nine school districts of four sec- 
tions of land each ,and nine schoolhouses, kept in good repair. They 
have well regulated schools and competent teachers, making their 
schools the ecjual of any in the county. 

In the first settlement of Harrison Township the nearest postothce 
was Boonesboro, a distance of fourteen miles. Under the circum- 
stances it was not often that the settlers received their mail oftener 
than once a week. When we think of the present facilities of getting 
mail every day, and the telephone system which places the people in 
all the rural districts in communication with all other parts of the 
country, the contrast between this and the pioneer davs is indeed 
wonderful. The people of the rural districts get tlieir mail about as 
early as the people of the towns and cities. This adds much to the 
pleasure of the country homes and country life. 

The Union Historical Company tells of a very serious experience 
which fell to the lot of two hunters and trappers, whose hunting camp 
was located in Harrison Township near the mouth of Montgomery's 

"In the earlv times and before there was anv settlement in the 
northeast part of the county two men went out there for the purpose 
of hunting and trapping. The name of one was Holton and of the 
other Merkle. Holton went away from the camp one evening and 
during his absence a terrible storm set in. He lost his way and before 
he could find his way back was terribly frozen. So badly had he been 
affected by the cold that some of iiis fingers and toes became useless 
and had to be amputated. Holton was unable to help himself for 
some time and, having no money and no relatives, was sent to Des 
Moines, where he was cared for by public charity. After he recov- 
ered sufiiciently to get around he returned East, wiierc he came 

Such incidents as this frequently occurred among the hunters and 
trappers of tlie early times. 


There are two churches in Harrison Township, one at Mackey 
and the other on Section i8, Township 85, Range 25. The church at 
Mackey is of the Methodist Episcopal denomination. It has a fairly 
good number of members and a good Sunday school. The minister 
of this church resides at Pilot Mound. The church in Section 18 is 
a German Lutheran. It is said to have a fair-sized membership and a 
well attended Sunday school. It is situated in the midst of a beau- 
tiful farming country and the people around are (]uict, industrious and 

None of the citizens of the township has ventured upon locating 
a town within its borders. As no railroad has ever entered the town- 
ship, there has been no hope of building up a prosperous town. The 
little Village of Mackey came into existence by force of circum- 
stances. The people needed a postoflice, a store, a blacksmith shop 
and a harness shop. Mackey is located in the geographical center of 
the township. The scenery around there is charming. The little belt 
of timber along the Squaw Creek adds much to the beauty of the 
country. Both the grove and the name of the village were given in 
honor of Sebastian Mackey, the first settler of the township and a man 
held in high esteem by all his acquaintances. Mackey has a store, 
a blacksmith and woodwork shop, a harness and repair shop, a church 
and a schoolhouse. On account of being supplied by rural delivery 
the postoffice at Mackey was discontinued about a year ago. Mackey 
was never platted as a town. 

The people of Harrison Township have been very law-abiding, 
and but very few criminal prosecutions have been instituted against 
any of them, from first to last. Nor have there been many aspirants 
for county offices among them. Harrison is strictly an agricultural 
township and its people are an agricultural people. 

There are two cemeteries in the township, one at Mackey and one 
on Section 25. 

The present township officers are: Justice of the peace, Charles 
Scholmeyer; clerk, Albert Whalen; assessor, Anthony McCoy; trus- 
tees, Henry Ahrens, George Keller and S. J. Wheeler. 



From 1849 to 1858 Garden Township was a part of Pleasant 
Township. From 1858 to 1871 it was a part of Douglas Township. 
In the last named year Garden Township was organized and its pres- 
ent boundaries established. The first entry of land in Garden Town- 
ship was made in December, 1848, by Jacob C. Overly, who entered 
about nine hundred acres in Sections 22, 25 and 28, Township 82, 
Range 25, which included that beautiful body of timber known as 
Hat Grove and the prairie adjoining it on the south and west. Hat 
Grove and the scenery thereabout in pioneer times were very attrac- 
tive. The grove and a part of the prairie adjoining it passed into the 
hands of John A. McFarland in 1850, and in 1851 or about that time 
he built a small log house in the edge of the timber. McFarland held 
out the idea that he intended to move to Hat Grove and would make 
his home there. He placed a good number of acres under cultivation, 
but he never moved there. He remained in Boonesboro and became 
its first banker. The house Mr. McFarland built at Hat Grove was 
the first one erected in Garden Township. From the time it was 
built in 1 85 1 it was occupied by various parties, who leased it from 
time to time, but none of them became permanent settlers of the town- 
ship. The Hat Grove farm was well known before any other part of 
the township was placed under cultivation. The grove is situated 
on the banks of Big Creek, the only stream in the township. A sketch 
of this stream will be found in an article under the heading of The 
Small Streams of Boone County. 

How Hat Grove received its name is among the unknown things. 
Some people claim it was because the grove was round like a hat that 
the name was applied to it. Others say that a hat which was blown 
from the head of some explorer lodged there and was found by the 
government surveyors and from this the name originated. Be this 
as it may, the name still clings to the grove and no one has suggested 
a change of name. 



Among those who lived on the Hat Grove farm in the early days 
was a Swede named Peterson. One winter during his stay there a 
nice lot of shoats owned by him strayed from the grove and went east. 
He soon missed them and taking his dog followed their tracks made 
in the snow. The day was cloudy and dark and a snow storm set 
in, which in a short time covered the tracks of the shoats. The 
storm so increased that the man was lost in its blinding fury and 
did not know what direction to go, for the prairie was open, unfenced 
and uninhabited. He wandered around with nothing to guide him 
until the darkness of the coming niglit set in and from exhaustion he 
sank down upon the snow in a daze and stupor. It was now cold, and 
before the coming of dawn the poor man was no more. His faithful 
dog remained with him until about midway in the forenoon of that 
fatal morning, when he wended his way home and by Iiis whines 
and actions indicated that something dreadful had happened. Two 
men arrived at the grove about that time and they followed the dog 
as he returned on the trail made as he came home; after going about 
three miles the dog suddenly ran at full speed about a hundred rods, 
when he reached the spot wliere his master lay. The poor animal 
would rub his head against the cold face of his master and then howl 
piteously. But alas! he was beyond the reach of remedy — stiff and 
still in the embrace of the piercing frost and deaf to the fond 
caresses of his faithful dog. It was a sad circumstance and a mourn- 
ful one for the bereaved wife and children. 

Garden Township was named from the beautiful lay of its land 
and the fertility of its soil. The first permanent settler in the town- 
ship was George Keigley. He built a house on the southwest quarter 
of the northwest quarter of Section i8. Township 82, Range 25, and 
moved into it in 1854. 

The first birth in the township was that of Norman Keigley, a son 
of Mr. and Mrs. George Keigley, who was born in 1H55. As this son 
died the same year, his death was the first to occur in the township. 

Late in the 'qos William Goodrich, a family named Myers, Fred 
Johnson and a Mr. Armstrong all settled along the west border of 
Garden Township. But the township did not settle up with any 
rapidity until 1866. From this date on the settlement was rapid. 
A man named Robins had for years owned a large body of land in 
the north part of Garden Township, wliich he offered for sale in 
1866. The sale of these lands was very rapid and the purchasers 
located upon them with equal rapidity, so that a school became one 
of the things needed in 1868. There was no schoolhouse at that time, 


but Jesse Goble had an empty dwelling house and it was pressed into 
the service for a schoolhouse. This house was located about one- 
fourth of a mile north of where the Garden Prairie Schoolhouse now 
stands. The teacher was Miss Rachel Patterson, now Mrs. Rachel 
Reichenbach. This was the first school held in Garden Township 
and Miss Patterson had the honor of being the first teacher. During 
the year 1869 the first schoolhouse in the township was erected and 
is known as the Garden Prairie Schoolhouse. Miss Lucy Lyman had 
charge of the first school taught in the new building. 

In this same settlement the first religious services in the township 
were held. This was in the summer of 1867. The services were held 
in a private house, one mile north of the present location of the Gar- 
den Prairie Church. The services were conducted by Reverend 
Snodgrass, of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Boonesboro. Two 
years later, in 1869, Rev. O. C. Dickerson, a Congregational minister, 
came out from Boone and held the first religious services in the Gar- 
den Prairie Schoolhouse. Through the influence of Reverend Dick- 
erson and the families of O. N. Bagwell, Albert Lyman, Jesse Goble, 
John and Wesley Guthridge, the Garden Prairie Church was organ- 
ized February 7, 1870, with a charter membership of twenty-seven. 
Reverend Dickerson was the pastor of the new church until he was 
called to another field of labor at Marshalltown, Iowa. After him 
came Rev. A. A. Baker and Reverend Snodgrass, who occupied the 
pulpit alternately. 

In 1875 the Garden Prairie Church was erected and on Febru- 
ary 6, 1876, it was dedicated by Rev. J. W. Pickett, of Des Moines, 
assisted by Reverend Hand, of Polk City, Reverend Parmenter, of 
Madrid, and Reverend Knapp, of Des Moines. Rev. C. O. Par- 
menter was the first pastor of the church after it became domiciled 
in the new church building. This was the first and only church 
building ever erected in Garden Township. 

The first postoffice in the township was located at the house of 
James Irving, near the church building, and James Irving was the 
first postmaster in the township. A few years later he resigned the 
postmastership and was succeeded by J. B. Strouse, who moved the 
office to his house, about one mile west of Mr. Irving's. Mr. Strouse. 
continued as postmaster for about two years, when he, like Mr. Irving, 
came to the conclusion that there was not compensation enough in the 
office to pay for the time it took to look after it, so he resigned, and 
from that time to the present there has never been a postoffice in the 


The first justice of the peace in Garden Township was James 
Irving and the first constable was William Guthridge. For many 
years George Thrap was assessor and William Tebus was township 
clerk. T. R. Dresser and J. B. Frise have held township oflices. 

For a number of years the settlers on the Robins lands in the north 
part of the township by reason of their numbers took the lead over 
all other parts. Even the name of the township originated with them. 

Worth Keigley, son of George Keigley, the first settler, was born 
in the township September i6, 1H57, and still lives at the place of his 
birth. There is no one in the township who has been a citizen as 
long as Mr. Keigley. 

In the south part of the township Eric Croft, Cana Green, P. A. 
Sholand, William and Lewis Bolle settled late in the '60s and made 
farms. At an early date a man named Barkley settled in the north- 
east part of the township and built a small house. He lived so far 
from any settlement that his was called the "lone house." His team 
consisted of one horse and one o.\, with which he did his teaming 
and farming. 

At one time there were two blacksmith and repair shops in the 
township, one at the north end operated by a man named Churchill; 
the other at the south end operated by A. Holcraft. In the east part 
of the township the last settlements were made. Here August Skort- 
man, Henry Anderson, A. J. Cromwell, John Applegarth. L. D. 
Norris, Chester Norris and many others whose names cannot now be 
recalled, settled and made homes. A large per cent of settlers of 
Garden Township were Swedish people who have made nice farms, 
erected good buildings and have become prosperous and happy. It 
will be impossible to mention all the names of the settlers who have 
contributed to the upbuilding of the township. But it must be said 
that through their industry and energy they now have an agricultural 
township the equal of any in the county. 

There are nine school districts in the township and nine school- 
houses, all of which are in good repair. The schools are all in a pros- 
perous condition. 

Before Garden Township settled up there was a road which 
started from Madrid and ran northeast diagonally across the town- 
ship, terminating at New Philadelphia, near the present Town of 
Ontario, in Story County. This was the first road in Garden Town- 
ship. It now has three east and west and three north and south roads 
that run through the township. 


No town was ever laid out in Garden Township. The Town of 
Sheldahl extends over the county line and takes in a small piece of 
land in the southeast corner of Garden Township, on which some 
houses of that town are built, but this is the only shadow of a town 
within its borders. 

It has but one railroad — the main line of the Chicago, Milwaukee 
& St. Paul — which runs across the south end a distance of six miles, 
but there is no station in the township. The people of this township 
have been very law-abiding, no serious crimes having been charged 
against any of them. But there was an incident which occurred in 
Garden Township which raised considerable excitement. 

Late in the fall of 1878 two young men, named respectively Gar- 
rison and Martin, came across the prairie from the northeast, appro- 
priating turkeys, chickens and other portable property along the 
route unto themselves. It was Sunday evening and they arrived at the 
Garden Prairie Church at the hour in which the services were in 
progress and when all of the attendants were inside of the church. 
Numerous teams were hitched to the racks, silently awaiting the 
return of their owners. It occurred to the young criminals that it 
would be a good plan for them to visit the buggies and wagons 
standing there and take from them such articles of value as they 
might find. So they passed around and took whips, robes and blan- 
kets, enough in addition to what they had already stolen to fill their 
wagon box, and got away with them without being seen or heard. 
The next morning a search for the property and thieves was insti- 
tuted. The property was found and restored to the owners and the 
petty thieves were arrested, tried, convicted and punished. They 
were not citizens of Garden Township. 

In the spring of 1878 a disagreement arose between A. Richhart 
and Asahel Rutherford, both of whom were citizens of the south 
part of Garden Township. A few days later they met in a store at 
Swede Point (now Madrid), where the trouble was renewed. So 
abusive and insulting was the language used that Rutherford seized 
a weight from the scales in the store and threw it with all his strength, 
striking Richhart near the right eye. The result caused Richhart 
much pain and the loss of his eye. Some legal proceedings were insti- 
tuted, but the matter was settled without going into court. The afTair 
caused much excitement at the time. 

In the early settlement of Garden Township the Indians located 
in Tama County were in the habit of coming around and camping 
at Hat Grove, sometimes remaining there for three weeks. During 

:i2S IlISTom' Ol' r.OONE COUNTY 

their stay they would hunt, fisli and trap in the grove and surrounding 
country. At one time while encamped here sickness invaded their 
wigwams and carried off some of the inmates. There was much 
weeping and wailing among them at that time. Tradition has it that 
they buried their dead in the edge of the grove, but there is no mark 
to indicate where the final resting place is. 

In the east part of Garden Townsliip there were hundreds of 
acres of swamp lands. Section 13 and parts of 14, 23 and 24, Town- 
ship 82, Range 25, were surveyed as swamp land and were for tlie 
most part covered by a body of water called Goose Lake. In the 
spring of the year this lake abounded with swans, geese, ducks, mud 
hens and sandhill cranes. Here, too, the muskrats built their houses 
and multiplied in great numbers. In the proper season the lake 
was a famous resort for hunters and trappers. William Guthridge, 
Byron Fish and George Abraham spent the winter of 1869-70 hunt- 
ing and trapping at Goose Lake. Their winter's catch was 131; mink, 
1,1500 muskrats, 27 weasels, 29 skunks, 10 prairie wolves and 4 gray 
wolves. But a great change has taken place at what was once the 
site of Goose Lake. A great open ditch now runs through the bed of 
the lake and out across the county line into Story County, taking witii 
it all tlie waters of this swamp land region and discharging them 
into a tributarv of the Skunk River. This great ditch and its 
brandies were made by the Board of Supervisors of Boone County 
at a cost of $100,000. Goose Lake is no longer known except in 
memory. The site it once occupied and the surrounding country no 
longer produces mosquitoes, frogs, snakes, turtles and wild fowls, but 
is now cut up into beautiful farms, the fertility of which is unsur- 
passed by any in the world. 

It cannot be said that the people of Garden Township, or any 
considerable number of them, have been aspirants for county offices. 
But three of them have ever held county office and each of them was 
a member of the board of supervisors. These were Jesse Goble, 
O. N. Bagwell and G. H. Simmons. Not one of these is now a citi- 
zen of the township. 

The present population of Garden Township is 914. Of this 
number 9^ are in the limits of Madrid and 35 within the limits of 

There were three volunteers who entered the army during the 
Civil war from what is now Garden Township. These were William 
Goodrich, W. C. Chambers and Cyrus Myers. 


The present officers of (harden Township are as follows: Trus- 
tees, V. F. Lundahl, A. E. Check and George Burkey ; township clerk, 
J. B. Frise; justices of the peace, W. O. Anderson and R. P. Toll; 
constables, Peter Harleen and Edward Johnson. 


Union Township is bounded on the north by Beaver Township, 
on the west by Green County, on the south by Dallas County and on 
the east by Peoples Township. At the time of the organization of 
the county the present Township of Union was a part of Pleasant 
Township and so continued until March 8, 1852. At this date Berry 
Township was organized and Union Township was contained within 
its borders. This division continued until the 21st of February, i8£;6, 
when Union Township was organized by Judge John B. Montgom- 
ery and named by him. It contained all the territory within its 
present limits and twelve sections off of the west side of the present 
Township of Peoples. This division continued until 1871, when the 
township was reduced to its present size. Thus the township came 
into being step by step, until it came into its present permanent 

The first settler in Union Township was John Moore and his 
family, in October, 1849. He located on Section 35 and lived there 
the remainder of his life. Two of his sons, John D. Moore and 
Charles R. Moore, also located with him. They came from Cham- 
paign County, Illinois. 

On Beaver Creek in Union Township there was a prominent 
little body of timber which was known from the earliest settlement 
as Buffalo Grove. This name was applied to it before the Moores 
settled there. There is a tradition which comes down to us that a 
party of hunters found a small herd of buffaloes in this grove and 
succeeded in killing one of them there, and from this event the name 
originated. There is not much doubt but that this grove of timber 
presented an inviting appearance at the time the Moores settled there. 
John D Moore, one of the sons of John Moore, who settled in the 
edge of Buffalo Grove in .849, is now an aged man, hvmg m the Fifth 

Ward of Boone. 



Some of the citizens wanted the township named Buffalo Grove 
Township at the time of its organization in 1856, but this name was 
rejected by Judge Montgomery. 

In 1848 a man named Carson Wood took up his abode at Buffalo 
Grove and broke eight acres of prairie, intending to return the next 
year and make a home there, but he did not do so. To him belongs 
the honor of turning the first prairie sod in Union Township. 

Within five years from the time the Moores settled at Buffalo 
Grove in Union Township numerous other settlers came and made 
permanent locations. Among these may be mentioned James Carnes, 
Larsford Mills, John Carnes, George Burgctt, John H. Moore, Isaac 
Moore and Abel Lum. 

On April 7, 1856, the first election, to elect township officers, was 
held at the house of James Carnes, and the following officers were 
elected: Justices of the peace, James Laughridge and Calvin F. 
Brown; township clerk and assessor, Edward Vail; trustees, Isaac 
Moore, Abel Lum and James Carnes; constables, Isaac Crable and 
Moses Rolorson. At that election there were twenty-eight votes cast, 
which was a very small beginning. 

At this first election one member of the Moore family was chosen 
township trustee. It was a very appropriate thing that a member of 
the first family that settled in the township was one of the first officers 
chosen. Some of the descendants of the Moore family still live in 
Union Township and they own considerable real estate in Sections 
25 and 36. 

About the year 1858 a town was laid out by Edward Vail and 
Calvin Brown, which they named Unionville, but they failed to 
make it materialize, and for this reason it was never honored with a 
place on the map of the county. 

At the time of its organization Union Township had a popula- 
tion of seventy-five people, divided into seventeen families. 

The first marriage was in 1858, in which the contracting parties 
were Samuel Weeks and Miss Matilda Johnson. 

The first birth was that of Hannah Moore, a daughter of Charle^ 
Moore, in 1858. 

The first death in the township was Sarah Moore, wife of John 
Moore, in 1852. 

John Moore, the first settler, was himself a practicing physician 
and he was the first to ply the profession in the township. 

The first lawsuit in the township occurred in 1856, in which 
Francis Johnson was plaintiff and Jesse Petts defendant. It seems 


Strange that a lawsuit should originate in a community of early set- 
tlers consisting of only seventeen families. 

The first religious services in the township were held by Claiborne 
Wright, a Campbellite preacher, in the spring of 1854, and the first 
person baptized was Mary McKeon, also in 1854. This shows that 
the early settlers were religiously inclined. 

As soon as there were children and youths enough in the town- 
ship to make up a small school, the necessary steps were taken to 
form a district and erect a schoolhouse. The first meeting for this 
purpose was held at the home of James Carnes, on October 14, 1855. 
The result was that Isaac Crable, James Laughridge and James 
Carnes were chosen as a board of school directors. Early in the 
spring of 1856 a log schoolhouse was erected on the land of James 
Carnes (in Section 27), 16 feet square. This was a log school- 
house, which was not built by taxation, in the common and usual 
way schoolhouses are built, but each man interested furnished from 
one to three logs and helped to lay up the walls and finish up the 
house ready for the children and youths to assemble in. This old log 
house still lingers in the minds of some of the children who attended 
there in those primitive days. The first school commenced in this 
historic log house on the 5th of May, 1856. It was taught by Miss 
Caroline Palmer at a compensation of $1.75 per week, board included. 
The number of pupils in attendance was fifteen. The picture of this 
old log schoolhouse, with the teacher and scholars in front of it, 
would be a relic worth having. 

On the 22d of August, 1856, Union Township was organized into 
a school district to be known as No. i by A. L. Speer, school fund 
commissioner of Boone County. The little log schoolhouse con- 
tinued to supply the wants of the people until June 17, 1859, at which 
date the board of directors divided the township into two districts, 
and on the 17th of June, 1861, it decided to build two new school- 
houses, one in each of these districts. On the ist of July, 1861, the 
contract was let at $700. The house in District No. i was named 
Lincoln, and the house in District No. 2 was named Douglas. The 
number of pupils in 1861 was fifty — an increase of thirty-five since 
the first schoolhouse was built in 1856. In 1865 the number of schol- 
ars enrolled in the township was eighty-five. In 1871, the date at 
which the township was reduced to its present size, it contained five 
schoolhouses and the number of children and youths between the ages 
of five and twentv-one years, according to the census of 1871;, was 159. 
In 1875 the district township was divided into nine independent 


school districts. In each of these nine districts there is now a good 
schoolhouse, kept in good repair, with from seven to nine months 
of school every year. They have as good, up-to-date teachers as any 
township in the county. It will be seen from the foregoing that the 
people of this township have from the beginning taken an active 
interest in building up and sustaining the common schools. 

Although Union Township was but sparsely settled at the out- 
break of the Civil war, it furnished eighteen soldiers, as follows: 
Francis M. Burgett, Ariel S. Collins, Manford Paige, John E. 
Carnes, William Peoples, Orin Mills, Calvin Johnson, Charles R. 
Moore, Joseph Elliot. None of the above" named men returned to 
their homes and fields again. The following nine men were per- 
mitted to return: Lewis Athey, Thomas Athey, William R. Moore, 
John D. Moore, George Lum, James Mills, Abraham Tulk, iS'athan 
Mower and John Ricketts. 

The only stream that has a name and a place on the map of this 
township is Beaver Creek. A history of this stream is given in 
another part of this work, under the heading of The Small Streams 
of Boone County. 

The native timber along the Beaver furnished the fuel and 
building material for the first settlers of the township. There was 
also much wild game found along the Beaver in the beginning of 
the settlement. O. D. Smalley, the Christopher Columbus of Dallas 
County, often spoke of the number of deer he brought down with his 
rifle near Buffalo Grove from 1846 to 1850. At one time Mr. Smalley 
ran out of patching for his rifle bullets and had to use a portion of 
his shirt for that purpose. 

The early settlers of Union Township encountered the hardships 
of frontier life the same as the pioneers of other parts of the county. 
For years they had to haul all of their supplies from the Mississippi 
River towns, a distance of 200 miles. They also had to take their 
wheat and corn a long distance to find mills to manufacture their 
grain into bread stuff. It must be remembered that in that day 
there were no graded roads nor bridged streams to make traveling 
easy and rapid, like it is over the good roads and bridged streams of 
the present day. It took patience and courage to surmount th.e dif- 
ficulties of the pioneer times. 

Like the other townships of the county, the soil of Union Town- 
ship is rich and productive and the farmers raise large crops. Horses, 
cattle and hogs are extensively raised and placed upon the markets 
by the farmers of Union Township. Their homes are nice, substan- 


tial and inviting. For a number of years the early settlers of Union 
Township were separated from the county seat and from the settle- 
ments along the Des Moines River by miles of unsettled prairie, over 
which there were no laid out roads to travel upon. From 1849 to 
1852 the voters at and in the vicinity of Buffalo Grove had to go to 
Belle Point, a distance of sixteen miles, to cast their votes. 

The first citizen of Union Township to be honored with a county 
office was Peter Mower. In i860 he was elected by the voters of 
that township a member of the board of county supervisors. This 
was at the time and under the law giving each organized township 
the right to elect a member of the board of supervisors. Mr. Mower 
was at the time a man advanced in years, but he filled the office in 
such a careful, honest and dignified manner that he was elected for 
a second term. Dr. A. M. Mower, a son of Peter Mower, was for 
many years a practicing physician in Union Township. Some of 
the Mower familv still reside in the township. 

There are two railroads in Union Township — the Des Moines & 
Fort Dodge and the Minneapolis & St. Louis, and two railroad sta- 
tions — Angus and Berkley. These roads and stations have helped 
very materially in the development of the township. 

Another citizen of Union Township who was honored with a 
county office was Lovell W. Fisk, who was elected superintendent 
of schools in 1869, and ran for reelection, but was defeated. L. W. 
Fisk and his son, J. A. Fisk, were among the early teachers in Union 
Township. Mr. Fisk owned at one time a large body of land and 
for a number of years he was supposed to be quite wealthy. But 
suddenly he became financially swamped and took his departure from 
the country and never returned. The young Fisk died a few years 
before this financial disaster of his father's occurred. 

The coal development in Union Township presents the most 
interesting, remarkable and romantic history of any township in the 
county — perhaps in the state. A full history of the coal develop- 
ment in Union Township and of the Town of Angus, its growth and 
its decline and of its newspapers is here given in a write-up clipped 
from the Register and Leader a few years ago, which is entitled "The 
Rise and Fall of Angus." The article follows: 


"The old Des Moines Valley Railroad, which in the early '70s 
built a northward extension to its line running from Keokuk to Des 


Moines, was the pioneer railroad, north and south, in Iowa. Of the 
numerous towns which sprang up along its line was one called Coal- 
town. Coaltown is not on the map today, because the name was later 
changed by Hamilton Browne, now of Geneva, Illinois, to Angus, in 
honor of one of the railroad officials, in turn, Angus is in danger 
of losing its place on the map, not because some one is dissatisfied 
with the nomenclature, but because of lack of inhabitants. 

"Angus was in 1885 by far the largest coal mining town in all 
Iowa. It rose in a boom that extended over a period of five or six 
years. At the zenith of its prosperity it contained something over five 
thousand inhabitants. After 1885 the decadence set in and now there 
is almost nothing left. The municipal incorporation was abandoned 
four years ago and would have been abandoned sooner had not fiscal 
difficulties prevented. The jerry built houses and stores have all 
been moved away. When Angus began to decline they were sold in 
bunches, sometimes for a mere song, were torn down or put on rollers 
and shifted to neighboring towns. The mining industry has com- 
pletely run out, save two or three country pits, which combined do 
not hoist enough coal to keep a large-sized furnace hot. 


"The rise and fall of Angus is rather a pathetic story. The town 
has struggled bravely these twenty years against adverse fate, but its 
struggles in the last half of this period have been very weak and 
indeed very hopeless. The downward movement has been practically 
continuous, save for two or three spurts that turned out to be mere 
flashes in the pan. 

"There are today hundreds of residences in Perry that have been 
reconstructed out of buildings moved from Angus. Rippey, Dawson 
and Berkley all have many houses that originally stood in Angus. 
There are others at Fraser and not a few were cut up in sections, 
loaded on flat cars and taken to the mining settlements in and around 
Des Moines. Houses in that period of industrial darkness sold at 
bargain prices startling to conceive. For a mere bagatelle a pur- 
chaser could get warranty deeds to a dozen houses and lots. The lots 
were of no use to him. It was the lumber in the houses that he 
wanted. The lots were denuded of every stick and left to accumulate 
ta.xes until finally sold at county tax sales and reverted back into fertile 
farm land. 


"The first mine operated in Angus was sunk by the late John F. 
Dunscombe, capitalist, of Fort Dodge. After a time he sold his 
interests to the Climax Coal Company, in which James J. Hill, rail- 
way magnate, was interested. This company was the first to develop 
the coal resources of the locality to any great extent. Altogether they 
operated three of the largest mines in the state, hoisting hundreds of 
tons of coal daily. Other companies were on the ground at once, 
secretly drilling and securing options on tracts of land. The coal 
supply every one said was inexhaustible. But time proved that the 
term inexhaustible applied to the Angus coal fields was like the term 
impregnable applied to Port Arthur. Nine companies were soon in 
operation in Angus and its nearby suburbs and with coal rattling 
down their chutes day and night, in time found the diggings 'worked 
out." Then these companies closed their pits, laid ofif their workmen 
and moved to greener pastures, as it were. 


"Fate set the Town of xAngus back from the railroad and its charms 
were invisible from the passing trains. But the town, shortly after 
the advent of the Climax Coal Company, grew with wonderful rapid- 
ity. Its rough and ready population flocked in from all the coal 
mining districts of the Union and many from the coal regions across 
the seas. Great strings of coal cars loaded to the brim with some of 
the best bituminous ever mined in the middle West, daily wended 
their way from the various banks and were distributed to all parts 
of this and adjoining states. The coal was from three to five feet 
thick, with a good roof and of quality unsurpassed. When Angus 
coal became known it was saleable by the carload and trainload. 
The record of production of one of the Climax shafts for one day 
was eighty cars of coal, fifty-three of which were lump coal. 

"The nine companies which operated there were as follows: 
Keystone, Climax, Standard, Moingona, Panic, Milwaukee, Dalbey, 
Ohio and Armstrong Coal companies. 

"Probably next to the Climax in amount of coal produced in one 
day's run was the Standard Mine, of which John McKay, Sr., of Des 
Moines, was superintendent. Mr. McKay states that as nearly as 
he can remember the largest amount of coal hoisted in one day from 
the Standard Mine was 650 tons. It is said that this company made 
as much as $34,000 in one year out of its single mine. 


"Tlie outlook was golden in promise and it was freely predicted 
that Angus would soon be the metropolis of the state, with Des 
Moines a mere village in comparison. The Minneapolis & St. Louis 
Railroad Company had just built a line from Albert Lea to Angus 
and had surveyed two or three hundred miles south, headed toward 
its projected southern terminus — St. Louis. The line was even graded 
many miles south of Angus and today the old piling for the crossing 
of the Raccoon River may still be seen. When trouble overtook the 
M. & St. L. Railroad and extension work was dropped, Angus' 
enthusiastic population did not lose hope and faitli in tlic future. 
It was a year of railroad construction and all, seemingly, were headed 
toward Angus. The populace was inexpugnably certain that the 
town would be a great railroad center, because of its mineral 
resources, fine surrounding territory and admirable geographical 
location. O. M. Brockett, now a prominent attorney of Des Moines, 
was editor of the Angus Tenderfoot in those days and in his issue of 
July 24, 1884, he painted quite a beguiling picture of hopes and ambi- 
tions of this booming town where coal was king. Said the Tender- 

" 'The Moingona Coal Company has been quietly prospecting 
ever since the spring in Wirth's Addition, the company owning the 
coal rights to that tract. The prospecting has been extensive and 
thorough and it is claimed that tlie field is one of the most valuable 
yet found in Angus. The company will begin operations this week 
sinking their first shaft and expect to be ready to operate on an exten- 
sive scale in time for the fall and winter trade. The fact that from 
the thousands of acres of coal fields in and adjoining our thriving 
city — as fine in quality as any in Iowa, and probably from railroad 
facilities and geographical location the best paying in the state — 
only about eighty acres has been taken out and the further fact that 
another as strong, wealthy and driving a company as the Moingona 
is coming here to live with us ought to convince the most skeptical 
that our coal supply is simply inexhaustible and the permanent pros- 
perity of Angus is assured. 


" 'This is one of the most valuable acquisitions to the place it has 
yet secured and will be the means of adding many thousands of dol- 
lars worth of improvements, besides furnishing employment for 
manv more men. The few men already here who were able, but 


were hesitating about investing in property, building and improving 
will now make a tardy move in the matter while many more will come 
and build new homes. Business speed will feel an accelerating influ- 
ence and step with a firmer tread. It has never seen such a boom as 
the one that will be on before the snow flies. If there are any skep- 
tical kickers and hangers-on let them hasten to clear the track for 
the wheels of the juggernaut are rolling and the chariot of Angus' 
prosperity will move right along until its coal and fine surrounding 
grain and stock raising country make of it a solid city as far out as 
its now most remote and scattered suburbs, and the smoke from many 
a factory, shop and mill shall wreath the spires, belfries and towers 
of the churches and institutions of learning that shall tower to the 
pathway of the floating clouds.' 

"But in less than two years thereafter the bright hopes of Angus 
had passed under a cloud of Cimerian blackness. The Tenderfoot 
had already passed out of existence and its owners, Messrs. O. M. 
Brockett and G. A. Clark, gone elsewhere. But between the time 
the Tenderfoot had printed its glowing prophecy and the time the 
decline began, the paper had assumed the dignified title of The Iowa 
Times, presumably preparatory of the day when it would be the 
leading city of the state. When it suspended there was but one paper 
left, the Black Diamond, owned and edited by Robert Lowrey, who 
later removed to Oklahoma and gained considerable political prom- 
inence there. 

"At the beginning of 1887 the town had begun to show remarkable 
evidences of decay. Several of the larger companies had closed 
down, several stores had gone out of business and the population had 
decimated surprisingly. It was discouraging, discouraging even to 
the Black Diamond, and Mr. Lowrey found it necessary to publish 
this ominous warning in his paper: 

" 'So far, the newspaper business in Angus has been dull. Appear- 
ances indicate that it will be much more so before the summer season 
is over. We have no reflections to cast upon our business men for 
not extending a more liberal support toward the paper. But to 
attempt to run a paper of any size, such as the Diamond is, and make 
a living out of it in Angus, is beyond the powers of anyone. We 
have managed to make expenses, but we are not here for just that 
purpose, and when we begin to find the necessary expense incurred 
in running it not forthcoming, we'll lock up and put it on ice for 
the summer.' 



"That was printed in the issue of May 27, 1887. A few weeks 
later the paper was 'put on ice' and, although many summers have 
come and gone since then, the paper is still in cold storage. 

"The most exciting chapter in the history of Angus was that 
relating to the big strike which began in September. 1884, and ended 
with a riot in January, 1885. ^t was a troublesome period for every 
one concerned. Backed by the Knights of Labor, every man walked 
out, demanded the usual fall raise of 12)/. cents in the price of mining, 
wliich the operators had refused to grant. * It was a complete shut- 
down. Offers of compromise and arbitration were rejected again 
and again. After several weeks of complete idleness the operators 
made an attempt to bring a number of strike breakers into the town. 
What had been a (]uiet game of freeze-out at once developed into a 
serious, belligerent affair. Mischief was afoot in a moment and the 
miners truculently announced that they would not let the 'black- 
legs' mine an ounce of coal. They marched from place to place, held 
open air mass meetings and formulated plans for the reception of the 
strike breakers. It was a puzzle to the operators how to get the 
men into town and out to the mines without bloodshed, but after one 
or two futile attempts they finally succeeded in landing a trainload 
of men at Snake Creek, three miles west of the depot. But this 
cunning trick did not baffle the miners, who, when they learned the 
whereabouts of the so-called 'blacklegs,' marched en masse to Snake 
Creek, armed and determined. There they found the new men in a 
lodging house, barricaded against attack. It was the middle of a 
cold winter night and the attack was somewhat unexpected. The 
striking workmen, determined 'to drive the rascals out,' partly tore 
down and finally set fire to the building. This had all been done so 
swiftly and unexpectedly that many of the cowering 'blacklegs' had 
to flee from the burning house sans coats and shirts and in many 
cases sans trousers. Without being given time to complete their 
toilets, the unwelcome men were literally kicked out of town. Two 
companies of militia arrived early next morning from Des Moines. 
The companies were H, Third Regiment, in charge of Capt. Frank- 
lin DeFord, and A, same regiment, in charge of B. W. Bartlett. 
But all was quiet when the soldiers arrived and the strike settled by 
arbitration soon thereafter. Company H remained until a settle- 
ment was made. 



"In less than five years after the end of this strike half the popu- 
lation had moved away and most of the big mines shut down. Some 
even returned to 'the old country,' but more sought work in other 
camps wherever coal was mined in the Union. Hundreds of former 
Angus citizens are now residents of Des Moines and many of that 
city's most prominent coal operators were formerly connected with 
mines at Angus. 

"The belief that there is a larger and better vein of coal in the 
Angus quadrangle is still one of the promissory assets of the town. 
But years of waiting have about strangled the belief that anyone will 
ever spend the money to go down for it. In America they do not 
drill down until they either strike mineral or ashes. 

" 'There is plenty of coal here,' you can still hear an occasional 
old timer say; 'all that is needed is some one with capital and confi- 
dence enough to go down after it.' 

"In 1892, after years of declining, the coal business in Angus did 
take a temporary spurt. The eternal hope in the human breast led 
many to believe that at last the tide had turned. So flush did times 
get to be that on January loth of that year, an ambitious printer, 
J. Y. Steir, started a weekly paper, the Angus News. In the sixth 
issue of the paper it was announced in clarion tones that big things 
were in store for the town. 

" 'The town limits of Angus are not quite as large as Des Moines,' 
said the News, 'but they are not too large for what Angus is likely 
to be in the next few years. It is believed by many of our citizens 
that there is a vein of coal a few feet below the vein that is now 
being worked, that is thick enough to give work to several hundred 
miners for several years to come. It will not be very long until this 
coal field will be more thoroughly prospected and if there is a good 
vein of coal below the one now being operated it will be mined for 
all there is in it.' 

"The spurt lasted one winter, then retrogression began again; 
the old despondency returned. The News never saw its first birth- 
day. It was under four managements the last month of its brief 
existence, its last proprietor being John Hall, later of Des Moines. 


"The bank that flourished in the palmy days 'went to the wall,' 
August 7, 1893. It was the period of the Cleveland panic. It was 


a private bank owned by A. T. Pearson. Its deposits consisted 
mainly of hard-earned savings accumulated after years of toil. After 
months of anxiety and waiting they finally got back about thirty-five 
cents on the dollar. 

"There are two churches in the town — Methodist Episcopal and 
Primitive Methodist, the latter of which is presided over by Rev. 
William A. Morris. He came to Angus in 1883. The town was 
then at the height of its hurry and tumult and glow. It had about 
everything excepting religious services. These the people did not 
seem to hanker for and Mr. Morris labored against difficulties in 
starting the first Sunday school and church services. But he was 
an indefatigable worker in the cause of Christ and soon rallied 
around him a little coterie of men and women who set themselves to 
fight the forces of evil which had gained such a stronghold upon 
the town. In a dwelling house about three miles west of the depot 
the Methodists had established a meeting place, but the attendance 
was slim and interest lax. Mr. Morris realized that a more central 
location was needed. He started street prayer meetings and preached 
the word of God in the open air. Meetings were also held in school- 
houses, residences and wherever an audience would congregate. Suc- 
cess finally began to crown the efforts of this missionary miner and 
the saloon element found they had a real potent force with which to 
deal. The first church to be built in the town was built by the 
Swedish population, and in it Mr. Morris and T. A. Ray started 
a Union Sunday school. But for church services it was used solely 
by the Reformed Lutherans, the denomination which had built it. 
About this time, 1884, the Welsh Congregationalists built a church 
near the center of the town. This made two houses of worship with 
services in foreign tongues, but none in English. However, m that 
year the Methodist Episcopal denomination erected a large, substan- 
tial building in the southwestern portion of town (Miller's addition). 
It was then no longer necessary to use the South Angus and Maple 
Grove schoolhouses for services. Meetings, however, continued to 
be held in the open air in the heart of the town. Rev. John Elliott, 
one of the best known Methodist ministers in Iowa at the time, was 
appointed pastor of the new church, September 22, i88(;, and re- 
appointed in September, 1886. (Bishop) B. F. W. Cozier was 
presiding elder of the district at the time. Mr. Elliott began revival 
services that spread a wave of religious enthusiasm over the whole 
city. This earnest, energetic soldier of the cross and his able lieu- 
tenants were the means of making many converts. This wholesale 


change of heart was not appreciated by the saloon element, and out 
of revenge one night in May, 1886, they set the church on fire and 
it burned to the ground. 


"Meetings were then held in a store building and later in the 
Welsh Church. The revival broke out again with fresh warmth. 
At that time a Mrs. C. Watson, revivalist, was holding meetings in 
Grant County, Wisconsin, for the western conference of the Primi- 
tive Methodist Church and she was induced to come to Angus and 
deliver her wonderful exhortations. People flocked to the church 
like sheep, and on the strength of this the erection of a Primitive 
Methodist Church was begun in 1887. The star of prosperity was 
then sinking and it was difiicult to get funds, but the church was 
finally completed. Three or four years later the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church was rebuilt, though on a much smaller scale. All 
the religious leaders have gone, all save Mr. Morris, and he has not 
changed, nor cared to change his place. 

"The last blow that avenging fate took at Angus was at the first 
of the present year, when the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad 
assumed control of the Des Moines & Fort Dodge line, formerly 
operated by the Rock Island. Previous to that time Angus had been 
the terminus of the M. & St. L. and the engine and train crews of 
both lines made their headquarters there. This only meant a half 
dozen or so families, but it seemed to be the climax of bad luck and 
quenched forever the hope of the M. & St. L. ever extending south- 
ward and making the town a division point. 

"The traveler would never suspect that he were in a town, for 
the original incorporation lines were large and widely apart and 
when the denuding process began it left a house or two here and 
there, miles apart from extreme points. The company houses on Red 
Hill are all gone; the yellow houses of the Standard Company are 
all gone; the Milwaukee Company houses are all gone. All, all are 
gone, the old familiar houses. What few buildings remain are cut 
ofY from one another by stretches of land under the plow that sold 
for fabulous prices when the bull movement was on. Where roads 
and streets once were there are now barbed wire fences. Here and 
there arc heaps of useless mine machinery, rusty old boilers, enfenced 
pitholes and slack dumps. 


"Such is Angus today. A desolate, anomalous picture to look 
upon. A town with considerable past but not much present or 
future to speak of." 

A visit to the old Town of Angus on the iHth of May, 1914, 
fully confirms all that is said in the foregoing article in relation to 
the decline and fall of this historic town. The scattered condition 
of the buildings, showing the outlines of tlic streets, prove that it was 
once a town of considerable size. Although Angus is surrounded 
by a good farming country and has two railroads, its decline still 
continues. Its population in 1886 was 3,(;oo. In 1900 it was 333 
and in 1910, 248. Angus, however, still has a postoffice, two stores, 
one grain elevator, two churches and one schoolhouse. One of the 
churches is of the Methodist Episcopal denomination, which has a 
church building, a fair sized membership and a Sunday school. But 
it has no local minister and is supplied from Rippev. The other 
is a Primitive Methodist Church, which has a churcii building, a 
fair sized congregation and a Sunday school. They have a local 
minister in the person of Rev. William A. Morris, who came here 
in 1883 and commenced preaching and is still there and still preach- 
ing for the same denomination. 

Angus has had for a number of vears some old buildings which 
are empty much of tlie time. These buildings often become the 
abode of bad citizens, which is another bad thing for the town. 
For a few years past what has been known as the Burns gang has 
made Angus its headquarters. The towns for miles in all directions 
have been visited by burglars and thieves, who have committed many 
depredations, but no trace of them has been found until very recently. 
About the ist of April of the present year a burglary was committed 
in Madrid and Sheriff John Reed of Boone County got on their 
trail and found them located in a building at Angus. He arrested 
three of them and they are now in jail at Boone. One of these is 
thought to be the ring leader of the gang. They had in their pos- 
session a large number of articles of stolen goods. 

To look over Angus in its present condition it is hard to believe 
that it ever had a population of 3,500 and supported two newspapers, 
but there is plenty of evidence to prove that such was the case. One 
of these newspapers was issued under the name of The Tenderfoot 
and edited by O. M. Brockett, now one of the leading lawyers of 
the City of Des Moines. During the editorship of Mr. Brockett 
the paper was changed to the Angus Times, which was a good change. 



The third town to be laid out in Union Township was the Town 
of Berkley. It was laid out in 1883 and is situated on section 4, 
township 82, range 28, and on the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad. 
It is now claimed that Berkley has a population of 150. It has a 
postoffice, two stores, one implement store, a bank, a grain elevator, 
a blacksmith shop, one restaurant and a number of nice residences. 
There is one church of the Methodist Episcopal denomination, with 
regular services and a live Sunday school. There is one school 
building, with an enrollment of forty pupils. 

The country around Berkley is nice and inviting, the soil is rich 
and good crops are produced every year. Much grain is also shipped 
from here. Besides Peter Mower and L. W. Fisk, who have held 
county offices, as already mentioned, A. L. Mace also held the office 
of county supervisor for two terms. 

But few crimes have ever been committed in Union Township 
outside of the Town of Angus. The records of the county show 
but very little criminal procedure against the permanent settlers 
of Union Township. 

The present officers of the township are: Trustees, R. G. White, 
R. P. Mower and Joseph Hager; clerk, Ira Johnson; justice of the 
peace, Robert Fuller; constable, J. J. Moore. 

The population of Union Township, according to the census of 
1910, including the Town of Angus, was 904. Not including Angus, 
it was 656. 

Vol, 1—22 


In the original division of Boone County into the three townships 
of Pleasant, Boone and Boone River, it will be seen that the present 
Township of Des Moines was divided as follows: The south two- 
thirds was contained in Boone Township and the north one-third in 
Boone River Township. This division of the county continued until 
March 8, 1852, when Boone River Township disappeared from the 
county map and Dodge Township was established. In this division 
Dodge Township included the north tier of sections of the present 
Township of Des Moines. The next change in the townships took 
place in 1857, when Jackson Township was established and named, 
by which the east line of the present Township of Des Moines 
was established. This was a year before the township itself was 

In January, 1858, S. B. McCall was again installed into the office 
of county judge. In March of that year he made many changes 
in the townships of the county, among which were the discontinu- 
ance of Boone Township, which had been on the map of the countv 
about nine years, and the establishment of Des Moines Township in 
its stead. The boundaries given it at that time were almost the same 
as the present ones. Des Moines Township was named after Iowa's 
greatest river, which divides Boone County into nearly two equal 

Des Moines Township is bounded on the north by Dodge Town- 
ship, on the west by the Des Moines River, on the south by Worth 
Township, and on the east by Jackson Township. It contains about 
three sections more than a congressional township. One advantage 
which this township enjoys over any of the others is the fact that 
it contains the county seat. 

The first settler in this township was John M. Crooks. He came 
in April, 1846, and located a claim in section 33, township 84, range 
26. His claim is a part of what has long been known as the Michael 


;M8 history OF BOONE COUNTY 

Myers farm. The next year Montgomery McCall and his sons, 
S. B. and William McCall, Samuel H. Bowers and R. S. Clark 
located in the township. 

At the time of the Indian raid on the Lott family at the mouth 
of Boone River, Henry Lott came down from the scene of the raid 
soliciting help to go to the rescue of his family. He made it appear 
that the Indians were coming south to murder the settlers and ad- 
vised them to prepare to defend themselves. Lott went further 
south to secure help and the few settlers at and near Pea's Point and 
vicinity gathered at the house of John M. Crooks, with their guns 
and ammunition, and made ready to give Si-dom-i-na-do-tah, the 
Sioux chief, and his band a warm reception should they come within 
the range of their rifles. Lott succeeded in getting about four white 
settlers, and Johnnie Green and twenty-six of his band, who were 
then camped at Elk Rapids, to go north with him to chastise the 
Sioux Indians. The next evening after the settlers had met at the 
house of John M. Crooks they saw Lott and his Indian confederates 
coming across the neck of prairie from Pea's Point, and not knowing 
there were any Indians camped south of them, they at once took 
them to be the Sioux Indians, who were coming to attack them. 
They took up their rifles and made ready to defend themselves till 
the last man should die. As they approached, one Indian made a 
dash upon his pony toward the house in advance of the others, and 
as he approached John M. Crooks raised his rifle to his shoulder and 
was in the act of firing when John Pea, his father-in-law, recognized 
Henry Lott among the Indians as they approached. This convinced 
the settlers that the Indians were of a friendly tribe and not the 
murderous Sioux. The expected battle was now over, but one inno- 
cent Indian came near losing his life. This was the nearest to a battle 
between the settler and the Indians that ever occurred in the county. 

The next day Lott and the friendly Indians and five of the settlers 
went to the mouth of Boone River to chastise the Sioux Indians, 
but when they arrived there Si-dom-i-na-do-tah and his band were 
many miles from the scene of the Lott tragedy. The outcome of 
the raid of the Sioux Indians will be found in an article elsewhere in 
this work under the head of the Milton Lott Tragedy. 

In 1848 and 1849 Dr. James Hull, John M. Wane, Samuel A. 
Hull, James Carrel, William Thomas, John Thomas, Jonathan God- 
den all settled in the township. A number of the above named 
voted at the organizing election in 1849. Three of them, R. S. 


Clark, Samuel H. Bowers and John M. Wane, were elected to 
county offices. 

From 1849 to 1851 a large number of settlers came, all of whom 
were homeseekers and nearly all settled upon claims. They built log 
houses and commenced the improvement of their farms. Some of 
these were William Mcintosh, W. L. Pilcher, W. M. Boone, Joshua 
Wheeler, Jeremiah Gordon, Wesley, William and Samuel Carrel, 
and William Webster. These were all good citizens. 

The first schoolhouse built in Des Moines Township was located 
in Honey Creek bottom, in section 33, township 84, range 26. It 
was built in 1850. From that time until the county seat was located 
the board of county commissioners met in this schoolhouse to transact 
their official business. 

The first school in the township was taught here in this school- 
house by S. B. McCall. Solomon McCall, a young brother of the 
teacher, was one of the pupils. Strange to say, this pupil is still 
living in Des Moines Township and his residence is about one block 
from the Milwaukee depot in Boone. 

The first murder in the county was committed in Des Moines 
Township. It occurred at the house of Montgomery McCall, in 
February, 1850. A quarrel arose between Jacob Pea, son of John 
Pea, the pioneer, and a man by the name of Lewis Jewett. An 
encounter between the two young men ensued, in which Jewett 
stabbed Pea, from the efifect of which he died. 

The first postoffice in the present limits of Des Moines Township 
was located in the north part of section 33, township 84, range 26, 
only a short distance south of the corporate limits of the present City 
of Boone. It was established August 28, 1850, The postoffice was 
named Booneville and Samuel H. Bowers was appointed postmaster. 
He was the first postmaster in Des Moines Township and the third 
to be appointed in the county. On July 9, 1851, the county seat was 
located and on November 29, 1851, the Booneville postoffice was 
moved to Boonesboro and Jonathan F. Rice was appointed post- 
master. It will be seen from the above dates that the postoffice at 
Booneville remained there one year and three months. At the date 
the Booneville postoffice was established, it was further north than 
any other postoffice in the Des Moines Valley. At this date also 
the first mail carrier between the Booneville office and Des Moines 
was appointed. It does not appear that any particular mail route 
was at that time established, but it does appear that the carrier took 
the most suitable route he could find. As the mail over this forty 


miles was carried on horseback the best route to supply the other 
postoffices on the line could be more easily chosen. The country 
was about all unfenced at that time. Ihe name of the hrst mail 
carrier was Solomon McCall, who at that time was a boy of only 
fourteen years. Mr. McCall has always been mentioned as one who 
attended the first school taught in Des Moines Township and in the 
hrst schoolhouse built within its borders. It is very remarkable that 
Mr. McCall, one of the first school boys in the township and the 
first mail carrier between the Booneville postoffice and the present 
capital city, is still a citizen of Des"Moiues Township. Sixty-four 
years have come and gone since these events" occurred. 

Four streams rise in Des Moines I'ownship, but all of them empty 
into the Des Moines River outside of its borders. These are Big 
Creek, Pea's Branch, Honey Creek and Polecat Creek. There is a 
small creek which rises at the point of timber north of Boone near 
the east line of section 8, township 84, range 26, and empties into the 
river opposite the Town of Centerville. The interurban high bridge 
now spans this creek near its mouth. The point of timber above 
mentioned was first called Henry Fisher's Point, later Gordon's 
Point, and still later, Bass' Point. The name was changed as the 
land at the point changed owners, Henry Fisher being the first 
settler there. 

Lawrence Wahl, Fritz Wahl, S. D. Jewett, J. M. Thrift and 
Henry Goetzman were early settlers near this point of timber. 

Des Moines Township is well adapted to farming, except that 
part of it which lies in the hills of the Des Moines River. These 
are good pasture lands. The farmers of the township have well 
improved farms and have nice homes. They are up-to-date in their 
methods of farming and raise the best of crops. They have also 
shown themselves to be friends of common-scliool education, in the 
fact that they have established nine school districts and built nine 
schoolhouses, which they keep in good repair. Eight months of 
school is held each year and the best of teachers are employed. This 
speaks well for their progress and intelligence. 

The farmers and their families are supplied with daily mail bv 
the rural routes and they are in communication with their neighbors 
through the medium of the telephone lines. It does not seem there 
is anything to prevent them from living happy and contented lives. 

All that part of Des Moines Township situated in the great bend 
of the river west of Boone was originally underlaid with beds of 
coal. For over forty years mining on an extensive scale has been 


done in this part of the township and the work is still in progress. 
In time other coal beds in the township will be developed and mil- 
lions of tons of coal will be mined. 

The present officers of the township are as follows: Justices of 
the peace, Samuel McBirnie and William J. Carswell; constables, 
John Dickson, E. C. Snedeker; clerk, W. M. Bass; assessor, J. N. 
Ross; trustees, A. P. Alsin, Simon Kemmerer, Claus Anderson. 

To give a list of the number of citizens of Des Moines Township 
who have held office in the county from the first election in 1849 
to the present time would make a very long list. It has been sixty- 
six years since the first election in the county was held. Very few 
elections have been held during that time in which from one to four 
citizens of Des Moines Township were not elected to county offices. 
The list would be too long to insert here in this write-up. The 
reader is referred to the general list which will be found in another 
part of this history. 

According to the census of 1910 the population of Des Moines 
Township, exclusive of the City of Boone, was 1,557. I" 1900 the 
population was 1,785, and in 1890 it was 1,399. The census to be 
taken by the state next year will probably make a different showing. 
The number of miners has varied from time to time. 

The following are the names of the citizens of Des Moines Town- 
ship who enlisted and took part in the Civil war: S. B. McCall, John 
H. Smith, W. H. Cummings, James Mitchell, N. G. Martin, S. W. 
Cree, J. B. White, A. Draper, J. V. Doran, C. L. Holcomb, Peter 
Joice, W. D. Templin, J. H. Upton, Edward Wilson, M. V. Barnes, 
C. W. Williams, John Miller, Thomas Parr, C. W. Summer, J. M. 
Thrift, J. M. Barnes, A. N. Stringer, W. D. Kinkade, Austin War- 
wick, M. Pettibone, N. P. Rogers, Samuel Andrews, I. B. Cummins, 
T. E. Dooley, J. B. Dooley, C. A. Eversole, George Fox, R. M. 
Gwinn, Nicholas Harter, D. M. Bass, James Diel, George Hofifman, 
Samuel Parks, Levi Parks, Samuel Remington, Albert Wilson, Theo- 
dore DeTar, W. D. Templin, R. J. Shannon, J. G. Miller, J. W. 
Holmes, John Herron, F. W. Hull, J. F. Joice, C. Leflfers, John 
Merrick, Thomas Payne, James Shufling, E. D. Strunk, John E. 
Wright, W. C. Ainsworth, D. U. Parker, J. W. Webster, J. J. Adams, 
W. F. Boggs, A. Messmore, E. W. Caldwell, W. H. Decker, Henry 
Godden, W. S. Kintzley, W. W. Kintzley, D. M. Parks, R. S. Parker 
and Bird Webster. 

The above is thought to be a reasonably correct list of the volun- 
teers who went from Des Moines Township to the Civil war. 


The following speech delivered by C. L. Lucas at an old settlers' 
meeting, held on the courthouse square in Boone on tlie i itii day of 
August, 1911, contains some very interesting incidents which occurred 
in Des Moines Township and they are here given in full: 

"It affords me sincere pleasure to be here at this meeting. 1 am 
glad to meet with the old settlers of Boone County and to have the 
pleasure of clasping hands with them (jnce more. 

"We are here today on historic ground. We are here today where 
the county government had its beginning and where the county rec- 
ords are kept. 

"During the short time allotted to me here today I shall talk but 
little of anytliing except what has come under my own observation. 

"I never come into the Fifth Ward that my mind does not run 
back to the hrst time 1 visited the place. This was in 1853. It \\as 
then a town of itself. It was then the county seat; it was then Boones- 
boro. The stake driven by the commissioners authorized to locate 
the county seat was yet visible, but there is no man now who can point 
out the exact spot on which it was driven. It was a sacrilegious 
omission of duty not to have kept the place marked and I charge this 
omission as much to myself as I do to any one whose duty it was to 
have watched after it. Every historic landmark should be sacredlv 

"Curator Harlan, as you all know, has recently gone over the old 
trail made bv the Mormons in their exit from Navoo across the State 
of Iowa on their way to Salt Lake. It is his purpose to relocate and 
preserve this historic trail. It will cost the taxpayers of the state 
something to relocate and mark the old trail. 

"This efifort should incite us to keep and perpetuate our own 
local landmarks. 

"When I came here in 1853 there were three stores in Boonesboro. 
Diagonally across from the southwest corner of this square there was 
a store kept by William and Wesley Carrel. Across the street east 
from the square there was a store kept by John A. McFarland, Boone 
County's first banker, who also kept the postofhce. On the southeast 
corner of the block just north of this square was a store kept by John 
Houser. These were the business houses of the place at that date. 

"During the year of 18153 an affair which caused considerable 
excitement took place between John A. McFarland and John Houser. 
Houser came into the postofTice to register a letter. This was the 
only way there was at that time to transmit money through the mails 
as nobody could get a money order or a bank draft at that time. 


"Postmaster McFarland took the letter, and seeing the return 
was on properly, he gave Houser a receipt for it and was just in the 
act of finishing the registry of the letter when a customer came in 
for some goods. He laid the letter on his desk and waited on his 
customer. When he came back to finish up Houser had taken his 
receipt and gone out and the letter was also gone. So he went to 
Houser's place of business and asked him if he had taken the letter 
back with him. He was assured by Houser that he had not. 'What 
did the letter contain?' asked the postmaster. The answer was that 
it contained $20.00. 'I suppose then,' said the postmaster, 'that, as I 
cannot find the letter and receipted you for it, I will have to pay 
you the $20.00.' 

" 'To be sure,' said Houser, 'I shall expect you to make good 
your failure to find the letter, or in other words your failure to send 
it through the mails.' McFarland paid the $20.00, took back 
the receipt and returned to his place of business. But after thinking 
the matter over carefully, he arrived at the conclusion that Houser 
had taken the letter from the desk and had carried it away when he 
went from the postoffice. As he meditated upon this his anger arose 
to such a pitch that he secured a cowhide and went again to Houser's 
place of business, called him out in front of the building and laid 
upon his back many stripes. McFarland was arrested, tried and 
found guilty of assault and battery and was fined $4.50. 

"This was the end of the first case of cowhiding in the county. 
In 1856 there was a case of horse whipping on the street east of this 
square. Elisha Bowman claimed that William Francis had cap- 
tured, killed and used for meat in his family a pet elk which belonged 
to him, and he demanded pay for the same. Francis contended that 
the elk was running wild and at large, and that it was not a pet and 
never had been, and for this reason he should not give him a cent 
for it. Bowman went away, secured a horse whip and as he went 
south on the street found Francis standing in front of the old Parker 
House. Without form or ceremony he commenced plying his whip 
to the shoulders and back of Francis. The latter undertook to make 
his escape by fiight, but Bowman kept up with him, giving him a 
hard stroke every few steps as thev went. When Francis reached the 
allev at the center of the block he saw an a\e in a wood pile a few 
feet east of the street and with one bound he seized the a.\e and 
turned upon Bowman with the ferocity of a Bengal tiger. Bowman 
turned and went up the street faster than he came down it, with 
Francis after him, having the axe raised in a striking attitude. When 


Bowman reached the barroom of the Parker House he made a hurried 
entry while others headed Francis off, ended the fracas of the pet 
elk, and took the a.\e from him. Ihis was the first case of horse 
whipping in the county. 

"The ne.\t thrilling incident I shall call attention to took place 
between two prominent individuals, both of whom at the time 
occupied official positions. One of them was C. J. McFarland, \yho 
at the time was judge of the District Court, and the other was Hon. 
Cornelius Beal, at the time a member (jf the State Legislature. For 
some reason these officials had a spite one against the other. 

"The action which Beal took in support of the bill redistricting 
the state under the Constitution of 1857 met the disapproval of 
judge McFarland and greatly intensified his anger toward Repre- 
sentative Beal. This was in the year 1857. One day they were both 
at home, and free for that day from official duties. They met acci- 
dentally in front of the Parker House about where the Bowman- 
Francis encounter commenced. Judge McFarland was a large man 
with long, luxuriant whiskers and of very prepossessing personal 
appearance. Beal was a small man but very quick of motion. Mc- 
Farland commenced the action by aiming a blow at Beal with his 
list, which, if the latter had not succeeded in dodging, would have 
brought him to ground. Beal then made a quick lunge and caught 
a handfull of the judge's whiskers, and pulled with all his might 
until he separated a good bunch of them from the judge's face. By 
this time friends of both these men came up and separated them and 
thus the encounter ended. 

"There is a little piece of history connected with the election of 
Judge McFarland which is very interesting. It will be remembered 
that he was first appointed to fill a vacancy in 1854, by Governor 
Hempstead, and in April, 1855, he was elected for a full term. 
The district was very evenly divided as to party strength. Polk 
County was then in this judicial district, and W. W. Williamson, 
who lived in Des Moines, was the opposing candidate. When the 
votes were counted it developed that one precinct in one of the 
sparsely settled counties of the district had not held their election 
in the way prescribed by law, but had held it in a new and novel 
way. This precinct had not been furnished with a ballot box, poll 
books or tickets. So on election day they met, elected a president 
and secretary. The president called for every man who wanted to 
vote for McFarland to stand up in a row on his right hand side, and 
all who wished to vote for Williamson to stand up on his left hand 

• v^g T :c •':: ' " ! Oia AXII flO.T L'DOC'J 


side. It appears that nearly all of them voted in this way for Mc- 
Farland. The secretary took note of all the proceedings and sent in 
the names of all the voters and the persons voted for to the county 

"Immediately there was a dispute as to whether or not these votes 
should be counted. It so happened that if these votes were counted 
McFarland would be elected and if thrown out Williamson would 
be elected. So here was a contest of a very interesting character. 

"Those who had the count in charge decided the matter in favor 
of Williamson. McFarland appealed from the decision of this 
count and the court decided that unless it could be shown that there 
was fraud practiced in casting the votes in the precinct above referred 
to, they should be counted, for these voters were citizens of the state 
and entitled to their elective franchise. This gave the office to Judge 
McFarland, because no claim of fraud was ever made. 

"In the year 1858 there was an incident which occurred on the 
streets of the Town of Boonesboro which is now entirely forgotten so 
far as I know. There was a place up the street east from the corner, 
where a large amount of whiskey and beer was sold and drank. 
Boonesboro was not then incorporated and there did not seem to be 
any easy way to stop this place from doing business. Finally the 
women of the town to the number of about twenty-five met and or- 
ganized themselves into an executive committee of which Mrs. Ben- 
jamin Brunning was chairman. They marched in a body to the 
place where the evil spirits were sold and there they found, as usual, 
a good number of men gathered. They were surprised at the sight 
of so many ladies in a saloon, and they gave place to them. 

"The committee rolled the beer kegs into the street, took the 
bottles from the shelves and carried them out and all were emptied 
of their contents upon the ground. This action caused intense excite- 
ment but Boonesboro was a dry town for several weeks afterward. 
When the committee was through with its work of casting out the 
evil spirits, Mrs. Brunning made a speech, thanking the committee 
for its triumphant action and then the committee adjourned subject 
to the call of the chairman. 

"Take notice that this took place long before Carrie Nation was 
heard of." 


The pioneers of the healing art in Boone County were the 
guardians of a widely dispersed population. Aside from their pro- 
fessional duties, they contributed their full share to the material 
development of a newly opened country. Some were men of culture, 
who had gained their medical education in college. Others were of 
limited educational attainments, whose professional knowledge had 
been acquired in the offices of established practitioners of more or 
less ability in the sections from which they emigrated. Of either 
class, almost without exception, they were practical men of great 
force of character who gave cheerful and efficacious assistance to the 
suffering, daily journeying on horseback scores of miles, over a 
country almost destitute of roads and encountering swollen, unbridged 
streams, without waterproof garments or other now common protec- 
tion against the elements. Out of necessity the pioneer physician 
developed rare quickness of perception and self-reliance. A specialist 
was then unknown, and the physician was called upon to treat every 
phase of bodily ailment, serving as physician, surgeon, oculist and 
dentist. His books were few and there were no practitioners of more 
ability than himself with whom he might consult. His medicines 
were simple and carried on his person and every preparation of pill 
or solution was the work of his own hands. 

During the summer and autumn of 1837 cases of bilious remitting 
fever occurred, which readily vielded to treatment. The winter 
following several cases of bilious pneumonia demanded prompt at- 
tendance and special vigilance in the observance of changes indicative 
of greater danger. These were the diseases and the principal ones 
which called for medical help up to the year 1849. Since that 
year, or from that period, the summer and autumnal fevers ceased to 
be epidemical and pneumonia became less frequent. It may be well 
to mention here that the fevers of 1849 after the third or fourth day 
assumed a typhoid character, the remission hardly observable, and 
the nervous depression occasioning great anxiety. 



It was probably Doctor Rush of Philadelphia — a great name up to 
about 1825 — who said the lancet was a "sheet anchor" in all inflam- 
matory diseases, so it might have been said of quinine, as used in 
remittent and intermittent fevers, in both the Mississippi and Mis- 
souri valleys from 1830 up to 1850. During that period 120.000 
square miles west of the Mississippi and north of St. Louis became 
populated and all of it more or less malari(;us. In some of these 
years the demand for quinine was so great that the supply in the 
American market became exhausted. "Sappington's pills" were in- 
directly the power which worked steamboats up the river from 1835 
to 1843. They were, verily, the "sheet • anchor" not only aboard 
boats but in many households. Doctor Sappington was a regular 
allopathic physician of considerable ability residing up the Missouri 
River, who thought it would be a benefaction to the new civilization 
of the West to prepare quinine ready to be taken in the form of pills. 
Bo.xes of his pills contained four dozen each and the pellets two 
grains each. The direction on the box was to take from two to 
twenty as the urgency of the case seemed to require, without reference 
to the stage of the paroxysm. 


George W. Crooks makes the statement from memory that Dr. 
James Hull was the first physician to practice medicine in Boone 
County. He lived southeast, in Des Moines Township, and traveled 
all over this section of the country. James Hull was known as a 
botanical doctor and practiced at intervals when not needed on his 

According to Mr. Crooks' recollection, the first regular practi- 
tioner in Boonesboro was Dr. D. S. Holton, who settled in the com- 
munity before the town was laid out. His practice was not very 
extensive. His residence at Pea's Point was known as the first 
country hotel in Boone County. It was two miles southeast of the 
City of Boone and was erected in 1851. This house was long known 
as the Boone County House, being a hostelry where the wayfarer and 
traveler was given a hearty welcome and a bounteous entertainment. 
Doctor Holton arrived in the communitv about 1849 and boarded 
with John Pea. The doctor was a Frenchman and was a surgeon in 
the British army. He came here from Canada and while a member 
of the Pea family married Nancy, a daughter. He first established 
an office in the house of his father-in-law and then went to the county 


seat, where he hung out a shingle and there practiced until the 
spring of 1852, when he and his wife crossed the plains to Oregon 
and he there rose to prominence not only in the practice of his 
profession, but in politics. He was elected state senator and a dele- 
gate from Oregon to the national convention in i860, which nominated 
Abraham Lincoln. He was also a member of the Ogden State Board 
of Health. Both he and his wife died in the Oregon country. 

Dr. J. F. Rice settled in Boonesboro shortly after Doctor Holton 
and was one of the early physicians and took quite a prominent part 
in the afifairs of the county. 

Doctor Williams was in practice at Boonesboro as early as 1867, 
but before this, when George W. Crooks moved to Boonesboro, his 
memory now recalls that at that time there were practicing at the 
county seat Drs. J. F. Rice, P. S. Moscr. William Pollock, Theodore 
DeTar and L. J. Royster. 

The first physician to take up the practice in Montana, or tiic 
City of Boone, was Dr. L. J. Alleman. He was a learned physician 
and a skilled surgeon, serving in the Civil war as assistant surgeon 
of the First New York Veteran Cavalry. He was mustered out in 
September, 186c;, came to Boone and took up the practice of his 
profession. He became well known throughout the county and the 
respect shown him was as wide as his acquaintance. 

Among the worthy physicians and surgeons locating in Boone 
was Dr. Theodore DeTar. He was a native of Franklin County, 
Indiana, and attended a course of lectures at the Evansville Medical 
College. He came to Boone County in 1854 and engaged in practice 
in Boonesboro. During the Civil war he assisted in recruiting Com- 
pany D, Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, and was commissioned as 
captain. At the battle of Nashville he lost his right leg, but was 
retained in the service until the close of hostilities, when he returned 
to Boone and resumed the practice of medicine. He was the father 
of Dr. David N. DeTar, who graduated from the medical depart- 
ment of Ann Arbor University. He, as his father before him, 
became prominent in his profession. Both have passed away. 

Dr. P. S. Moser was considered one of the best physicians who 
ever practiced medicine in Boone County. All these worthy pro- 
fessional men have long since passed to their final account. 

Dr. A. A. Deering was another physician who secured a high 
and enviable place in the ranks of his profession in Boone County. 
He first settled at Moingona in 1868 and later took up the practice 

:itiO llISTUkY (.)!•■ r.UUXK COUNTY 

and his residence at Boone, where he continued to distinguish himself 
in the profession until his death, which occurred a few years ago. 

Dr. M. Cjarst first came to Boone County from Champaign 
County, Illinois, in 1S58. He returned to Champaign County but 
again took up a permanent residence on a farm near the City of 
Boone. He had applied his energies for years before coming here 
to the practice of his profession, but it appears he had discarded 
medics for the more charming life of a tiller of the soil. 

Dr. H. D. Ensign was an Ohioan by birth. He served three 
years in the Civil war and while residing in La Salle County, 1 llinois, 
engaged in the drug business, read medicine and graduated from the 
Chicago Medical College in 1875. In December of that year he 
came to Boone and practiced here for many years with great success 
until his death. 

Dr. Robert M. Huntington was a New Yorker by birth. He 
drifted out West, attended a year's lectures at Hillsdale, Michigan, 
and from there received his diploma from the University of Missouri 
in 1861. He was an assistant surgeon in the Confederate service 
during the Civil war. He went to Kalamazoo, Michigan, after the 
surrender of Lee and in 1871 began the practice of homeopathy in 

It is difficult to learn the names of all the early physicians who 
practiced their profession in the county and it is not the province 
of this article to mention their names here, for the reason that Judge 
Lucas, who has ably and interestingly prepared the history of the 
different townships, has left nothing of historical importance go by 
him; so that, it would show a repetition here if the various pioneer 
physicians in the various townships should be given place in this 
chapter. Another thing, it is not the intention, nor has there been 
any attempt made in this place, to speak of men of the profession now 
either in active professional life or living in retirement, for the 
reason that extended sketches of most of them will be found in the 
second volume of this work. 


Iowa has an interesting territorial history. By an act of Congress, 
approved June 28, 1834, the Iowa country was attached to the Terri- 
tory of Michigan. On April 20, 1836, it was made a part of the 
original Territory of Wisconsin, and two years later, on June 12, 
1838, Congress passed an act establishing the Territory of Iowa. 
After eight years of territorial existence, Iowa was admitted to the 
Union as a state on December 28, 1846. 

There really was no judicial districting of the Iowa country 
during the two years that it formed a part of the Territory of 
Michigan. However, on September 6, 1834, by an act of the legis- 
lative council the territory lying west of the Mississippi and north 
of a line drawn due west from the lower end of Rock Island to the 
Missouri River was organized into the County of Dubuque. The 
territory south of this line was organized as the County of Demoine. 

Moreover, section three of this act of the Legislative Council of 
the Territory of Michigan provided that "County Court shall be 
and hereby is established in each of the said counties;" while section 
six declared that "Process, civil and criminal, issued from the Circuit 
Court of the United States for the County of Iowa, shall run into all 
parts of said counties of Dubuque and Demoine, and shall be served 
by the sheriff or other proper officer, within either of said counties; 
writs of error shall lie from the Circuit Court for the County of 
Iowa, to the county courts established by this act, in the same manner 
as they now issue from the Supreme Court to the several county and 
circuit courts of the territory. 

Thus it will be seen that during the Michigan period tlic Iowa 
country formed an area which was subject to the jurisdiction of the 
Circuit Court of the United States for the County of Iowa. 

Section nine of the Organic Act establishing the original Terri- 
tory of Wisconsin made provision for dividing the territory into 
three judicial districts. Accordingly, among the first acts passed by 

Vol. 1—2 3 



the first Legislative Assembly was one entitled "An act to establish 
the judicial districts of the Territory of Wisconsin, and for other 
purposes." By this act the counties of Dubuque and Des Moines 
were constituted the second judicial district and Judge David Irwin, 
of the Supreme Court of tiic territory, was appointed district judge. 
During the Wisconsin period, therefore, the Iowa country formed a 
distinct and independent judicial district. 

'Ihe first act of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of 
Iowa relative to judicial districts was one entitled, "An Act Fi.xing 
the Terms of the Supreme and Districts Courts of the Territory of 
Iowa and for Other Purposes," approved" January 21, 1839. This 
act divided the territory into three judicial districts. Other judicial 
districts were subsequently created by the Legislature, the history of 
which does not add materially to the interest of this article. How- 
ever, it appears, in the first constitution of the State of Iowa, that the 
following provisions found a place in that great magna charta, to wit: 
"The judicial power shall be vested in a supreme court, district 
courts and such inferior courts as the General Assembly mav from 
time to time establish." 


William McKay, of Des Moines, was the first district judge who 
sat upon the bench in this county, then being in the fifth judicial 

C. J. McFarland, of Boonesboro, was appointed a judge in this 
district in 1854 ^"d was elected to fill the office in 1855; but his 
election was contested. The district then included Marion, and in 
that county the ticket had his initials transposed. Upon this techni- 
cality the votes were rejected upon the final count, which declared 
William W. Williamson elected. McFarland contested and the 
Supreme Court of Iowa sustained the contest. He continued as 
judge four years. The district was then changed in number to the 
eleventh and this county has continued to remain in the eleventh 
judicial district to the present time. 

In 1858 John Porter, of Eldora, was elected, and was reelected in 
1862, but resigned and D. D. Chase, of Webster City, was app(jiiitcd 
in his stead in 1866. He was elected twice thereafter. 

I. J. Mitchell, of Boonesboro, was elected in 1874; James W. 
McKensie, of Hampton, was elected in 1878; Henry C. Henderson, 
of Marshalltown, was elected in 1882; D. D. Miracle, of Webster 


City, was elected in 1886; John L. Stevens, of Ames, and Silas M. 
Weaver, of Iowa Falls, were elected at tiie same time. Tiie district 
was at this time and thereafter under the jurisdictit)n of three judges. 

D. D. Miracle had been one of the judges of the Circuit Court 
when it was abolished, and in the act disposing of this court it was 
provided that all the circuit judges whose terms of office had not 
expired should be district judges in their respective districts for the 
balance of the term then to be completed. Judge Miracle died 
before his term expired and David R. Hindman, of Boone, was 
appointed in 1888 in his stead. He was elected to the office in 1890 
and reelected in 1892. 

John L. Stevens was reelected in 1890 and resigned. M. B. 
Hyatt, of Webster City, was appointed, in 1893, •" h'S stead; Silas 
M. Weaver was appointed and reelected three times. 

J. R. Whittaker, of Boone, was elected in 1898. 

Benjamin P. Birdsall, of Clarion, Wright County, was elecTed 
in 1892 and reelected in 1896. He resigned in 1898 and William 
S. Kenyon, of Fort Dodge, was appointed to take his place. He was 
elected in 1899 and served until 1902. 

J. H. Richards, of Webster City, was elected in 1901 and was 
reelected ; W. D. Evans, of Hampton, was elected in 1902 and was re- 
elected, but resigned; R. M. Wright, of Fort Dodge, was elected 
in 1906 and was reelected; C. G. Lee, of Ames, was elected and re- 
elected; Charles E. Allbrook, of Eldora, was elected in 1908 and 
was reelected in 1910; John M. Kamrar, of Webster City, was 
appointed in 1914, Lee having resigned. 


In 1867 a circuit court was created in the eleventh judicial 
district, divided so that Boone County became part of the first circuit. 
Henry Hudson, of Boone, was elected for four years. At the end 
of that time the circuit courts were consolidated and in 1871 John 
H. Bradley, of Marshalltown, was elected and reelected, but in 1886 
the Circuit Court was abolished to take effect January i, 1887, and 
Judge Miracle served out the balance of the Circuit Court term as 
district judge. 


It is a matter of fact and the records show that at the time of the 
organization of Boone County, or to be more explicit, the first term 


of the District Court held in Boone County, was in the month of 
October, 1851. It was tlic fortune of Boone to be a component 
part of the fifth judicial district, in which it remained until the 
creation of the eleventh district in the winter term of the General 
Assembly in 1866. 


The Hrst term of the District Court held in the County of Boone, 
State of Iowa, was convened on the 6th day of October, in the year 
i8qi, lud^e William McKay on the benCh. 

It will not be out of place here to digress and ijuote George W. 
Crooks, who is at tiiis time one of the oldest living members of the 
local bar. To inform the writer of this work and in this connection, 
Mr. Crooks, in speaking of other things, gave out the following 
facts, adding very largely to the history of Boone County's bench 
and bar. In substance he had this to say upon request: "In the early 
days of Iowa, the judicial districts of the state were so conformed 
as to necessarily embrace a large number of counties. When Boone 
was organized it was placed in the fifth judicial district, which em- 
braced the counties of Webster, Marion, Pt)lk, Dallas, Madison, 
Warren, Jasper, Story and Boone. The courts were held in some 
of the counties twice a year and in others sometimes, but not always, 
once a year. 

In those primitive times, notwithstanding that Iowa had reached 
the piiuiacle of her first ambition, in becoming a member of the 
Union as a state, still being in her infancy clothes and with nothing 
but the resources, bountifully laid at her door by a gracious Creator, 
had within her boundaries men not only of daring proclivities, hardi- 
hood and a will to do, but also among them were characters who 
subsequently attained national reputation. Boone was very for- 
tunate in getting a share of these master minds, many of whom 
became the nucleus of the Boone County bar, and started on a career 
that has alwavs stnod out prominently as a landmark of local history. 

The first case tried in Boone County before the District Court, 
as has before been related, came up for judicial disposal in October, 
1 85 1. It was in the matter of William A. Jordan vs. Jonathan Boles, 
an action in debt, which was dismissed at the cost of the defendant. 
A similar case was that of David Noah against Lewis Rinney, which 
was decided in favor of the plaintiff. 


James W. Lacy was sheriff of the county. He had been in- 
structed under legal forms by the judge of the court to issue his 
subpoenas for a grand and petit jury. His returns, as shown by the 
records, are as follows for the grand jury: Jefferson Hoffman, James 
M. Carson, William Dickinson, Solomon Smith, James Hull, Amos 
Rose, S. Z. Tomlinson, William Enfield. 

The record makes it clear that the sheriff was not successful in 
bringing into the court a sufficient number of jurors under the panel, 
so that he was put to the further trouble of supplying the deficiency, 
which was filled by the selection of certain bystanders in the court- 
room, who answered to the names of D. F. Hamilton, David Noah, 
William Ball, William Thomas, W. D. Parker, William Payne 
and S. Y. Godfrey. S. Z. Tomlinson was selected as foreman and 
this first inquisitorial body legalized to act in its official capacity 
after having received instructions from the court retired for delibera- 
tion under the charge of James Corbin, bailiff. No attorney having 
been elected to represent the county and the State of Iowa, Madison 
Young was appointed by Judge McKay to act in that capacity, and 
it was during this first term of court that Wesley C. Hull, having 
been presented to the court and certified that "He is of good moral 
character and possesses the requisite qualifications for an attorney at 
law, signed by P. M. Cassady and B. Granger, Esquires, heareafter 
appointed by the court for that purpose, it is therefore ordered that 
Wesley C. Hull be admitted to practice as an attorney at law and 
solicitor in chancery in this court," whereupon Mr. Hull appeared 
to take the required obligations as an attorney at law and was duly 

Perhaps no body of men, not excepting the clergy, may e.xercise 
a greater influence for good in a community than those who follow 
the profession of the law, and it must be admitted that to no other 
body, not even to the so-called criminal classes, are committed greater 
possibilities for an influence for evil. \Miat that influence shall be 
depends upon the character of the men who constitute the bar of the 
community — not merely on their ability or learning, but on their 
character. If the standard of morality among the members of the 
bar is high, the whole community learns to look at questions of right 
and wrong from a higher plane. If the bar, consciously or uncon- 
sciously, adopts a low standard of morality, it almost inevitably 
contaminates the conscience of the community. And this is true not 
only in the practice of the profession itself, not only because of the 
influence of members of the bar as men rather than lawvers, but in 


the effect upon other professions and occupations to which the bar 
acts as a feeder. The members of the Legislature are recruited 
htrgely from the legal profession. How can legislation, designed 
solelv for the welfare of tiie public, be expected from one whose 
honor as a lawyer has not been above suspicion? And since lawyers, 
outside of the Legislature, have a great influence in shaping the law. 
how can the people expect that inHuence to be exerted in their behalf 
when the bar itself is unworthy? Still more does the character of 
the bar effect the judiciary, wliich is supplied from its ranks. It is 
not always, perhaps not generally, the case that members of the bench 
are chosen from those lawyers who have attained the highest rank 
in their profession. If a judge be industrious and honest, but not of 
great ability, or if he be able and honest, tiiough lacking industry, 
the rights of the litigants are not likelv to sufYer seriously at his 
hands. But there have been instances where judicial office was 
bestowed solely as a reward for political service; and while it is 
sometimes realized that one who has been a strenuous and not too 
scrupulous politician up to the moment of his elevation to the bench, 
has thereafter forgcjtten that there was such a trade as politics and 
has administered justice without fear or favor, the experiment is a 
dangerous one. No one need be surprised if in such a case the old 
maxim iiolds true: "He who buvs the office of judge must of neces- 
sity sell justice." Let our judges be men who arc subject to other 
influences than those of the facts submitted to them and the law 
applicable to those facts, let them lack that independence which is 
an imperative requisite to one who holds the scales of justice, let a 
well founded suspicion arise that their decisions are dictated bv some- 
thing outside of their own minds and consciences, and the confidence 
of the people in the maintenance of their rights through the agencv 
of the courts is destroyed. 

It has been the good fortune of the City of Boone and the County 
of Boone that the members of the bar here have been, for the most 
part, men of high character as well as of abilitv and learning, so 
that its bar has won a high and honorable reputation throughout 
the rest of the state, and because of the high character of the bar it 
has followed that those of its members who have been elevated to 
the bench have enjoyed the confidence and respect of the public and 
have been honored not only in their own localitv but in manv cases 
throughout the state and in other states. 

Yet the preparation of a history of the bar, so far at least as that 
part of it which lies back of one's own generation is concerned, is 


attended with considerable difficulty. Probably few men wlio in 
their time play important parts in the community or even in the 
state or nation, leave so transient a reputation as lawyers do. A 
writer on this subject who took for his text, The Lawyers of Fifty 
Years Ago, said: "In thinking over the names of these distinguished 
men of whom I have been speaking, the thought has come to me how 
evanescent and limited is the lawyer's reputation, both in time and 
space. I doubt very much if a lawyer, whatever his standing, is 
much known to the profession outside of his own state." Those who 
attain high rank in the profession must realize that with rare excep- 
tions, their names are "writ in water." One may turn over the leaves 
of old reports and find repeated again and again as counsel in dififerent 
cases the name of some lawyer who must have been in his time a 
power in the courts, onlv to wonder if he has ever seen that name 
outside of the covers of the dusty reports in which it appears. Hamil- 
ton, in the conventions, in the Federalist and in the treasury, and 
Webster in the senate and in public orations, have perpetuated and 
increased the fame of lawyers Hamilton and Webster, but were it 
not for their services outside the strict limits of their profession, one 
might come upon their names at this date with much the same lack 
of recognition as that with which one finds in a reported case the 
names of some counsel, great perhaps in his own time, but long since 

And there is another difficulty in preparing such a historv as 
this, brief and therefore necessarily limited to a few names, and that 
is that some may be omitted who are quite as worthy of mention as 
those whose names appear. It is not often that any one man stands 
as a lawyer head and shoulders above the other members of the pro- 
fession; and the same may be said of any half dozen men. In many 
cases the most careful measurement would fail to disclose a difference 
of more than a fraction of an inch, if any. Lives of eminent men 
who have at some period been practicing lawyers, have contained 
the assertion that while they were engaged in the practice of their 
profession they were the "leaders of the bar," but there is almost 
always room for doubt as to whether the title is now a brevet bestowed 
by the biographer alone. Therefore, the mention in this article of 
certain lawyers must not be taken as any disparagement of those who 
are not mentioned, and finally, it is to be observed that this article, 
so far as the bar is concerned, will treat not only of those members 
who are past and gone, but will make mention of some of those now 
in the flesh. 


Tt is our province in this relation, as a matter of studied sequence, 
lirst to contemplate and in a desultory though careful manner, neces- 
sarily from want of space, to pass upon the men who distinguished 
themselves, ami tiic bciuli and bar, in the judicial districts o) wliich 
Boone County has been maiie a component part. 


'["lie first practicing lawyer in Boone Countv was Lewis Kenney, 
who came to the county from Ohio about 1848 or 1H49. He was a 
fairly well prepared lawyer, but in the course of his practice was 
more inclined to rely upon technicalities than upon the merits of the 
case at the bar, hence he was not a very successful attorney. 

The first lawyer to be admitted to the bar in Boone Countv was 
Wesley C. Hull, who was admitted in October, i8i;i. He came to 
the county from Terre Haute, Indiana, practiced for a short time in 
i^oonesboro and then removed to the State of Oregon. 

The third attorney was Cornelius Beal, who came here about the 
latter part of the year 1851 or first part of 1852. He was fairly well 
prepared for his profession and was regarded at that day as an average 
lawyer, in the matter of practice. From that on for several years 
there was not a case of importance tried in Boone County but what 
Mr. Beal was in some way connected with it. 

The ne.xt lawyer to come to the county was C. J. McFarland. 
He came from Mount Vernon, Ohio, in 1852. He was well educated 
and well informed in matters of law. He was a very fair trial lawyer. 
He was subsequently elected district judge and served four vears, if 
not longer. 

The ne.xt lawyer was John A. Hull, father of the present John A. 
Hull, attorney, in this city. He was from the time he entered the 
practice up to the time of his death regarded as one of the best attor- 
neys at the bar of Boone County. He was a man of verv bright mind 
and was able to take in the issues of the case verv readilv. Hiere 
never has been a lawyer who practiced in Boone Countv who excelled 
him in matters of the practice of law. He was able to present his 
theory of a case to a jury in a forcible manner and could induce the 
jury to adopt his theory in the case more than any man who practiced 
in the county. He died about 1887. 

H. W. Hull, the son of the pioneer of 1846 and first white child 
born in Boone County, prepared himself for the practice of law, 
becoming a member of the bar when about thirty Years old. He was 


fairly well versed in the law, but he was unable to apply the principles 
of law to a given set of facts and hence was not a very successful 
lawyer, too many times taking a wrong view of the law that applied 
to the facts of his case. He never made the law business very profit- 
able to himself, but remained in practice until about four years ago, 
when he died. 

Isaac J. Mitchell, wlio was admitted to the bar about iHi;4 or 
1855, came here from the State of Indiana. He was an extraordinary 
advocate before a jury. He was not so proficient a trial lawyer as 
Mr. Hull, but was able to make himself understood in a presentation 
of facts and the law. 

C. W. Williams was from Ohio. He was admitted to the bar 
about 1 857. He was a fairly well prepared attorney and was able to 
command a fair share of the practice. He was captain of Company 
D, Sixteenth Iowa Regiment, from the time of his enlistment in the 
latter part of 1861 until the close of the war. He practiced here after 
his return from the war, with about the same success. 

N. W. Dennison, who came from Ohio, was also editor of the 
Boone County Democrat. He was a man with more than ordinary 
preparation for his profession and tried his suits upon the matter of 
justice and equity, never attempting to win a case upon technicalities, 
but only after a thorough investigation of facts and to obtain justice 
for his clients, if his client was entitled to win the case. 

V. B. Crooks did but very little practice in this county. He 
moved to Greene Countv and practiced in JefTerson. He died in 

L. J. Mechem came from Kentucky. He was as well a prepared 
attorney for his profession as there was at that time at the bar of 
Boone County. He was strict and honorable in all matters of every 
kind. He remained here but a short time, going back to Kentucky, 
where he died a short time afterward. 

About 1855 Richard Ballinger engaged in practice at the bar of 
Boone County. He was a man of more than ordinary intelligence, 
a smooth, nice appearing gentleman, careful in all his matters of busi- 
ness, social relations, etc. He was the father of Richard Ballinger, 
who has since been commissioner of the land ofSce at Washington. 

E. S. Waterbury came in 1864 and was for a short time in partner- 
ship with I. J. Mitchell, but he was not successful as a practitioner. 
He took the view that it was the business of a lawyer to win his case 
regardless of what was required to be done in order to accomplish 
that end. He soon lost his practice and moved from the county. 


I). II. Iliniimaii came in 1H65 from New York and remained in 
the practice of law, except eight years that he was district judge. 
He was a man of more than ordinary ability as an attorney. He was 
a gentleman in all respects, one whose word could be relied upon in 
all matters relating to business afifairs. He died in 1908. 

1. X. Kidder came from Massachusetts in 1868 or 1869 and en- 
gaged in practice in Boone. He had thoroughly prepared himself 
for his profession and theoretically was as good, if not the best, lawyer 
who practiccil in Boone County. He was in practice here a number 
of years and then moved to California, dying in Pasadena about 1885. 

C. W. Lowrie, who came from Pennsylvania, served as colonel 
on Governor Kirkwood's stall during the war. He was very well 
prepared for his profession, but he was able to see only the side of the 
case that lie represented. He was unable to see the pitfalls ahead of 
him on the other side until it was too late to prepare himself to meet 
them, and for that reason was not a very successful practitioner. 

j. F. Eckelston was a very fair lawyer and was counted a very 
good office lawyer, but was not up to the average as a trial lawver. 

[acob S. Smith came from New York to Boone County. He did 
but little practice, but was justice of the peace a number of years. 
When he came he was well advanced in years and was not successful 
as an attorney. 

|. \y. Barnhart was a member of the bar and hatl thoroughly 
prepared himself for his profession. He was what might be called 
more than an ordinarv office lawyer, but for some reason was unable 
to carry forward a case at a trial with the success that his ability 
would seem to warrant. He gave a large portion of his time to the 
real-estate business. 

J. M. Ritchey, of Indiana, was a member of the firm of Hindman 
& Ritchey for a number of years. He was very diligent in the matter 
of practice, faithful in every particular to his clients and a fair lawyer 
in all respects. He died about 1880. 

Henry Hudson came to Boone in 1867 and engaged in practice. 
He was fairly successful. Some years later he was elected circuit 
judge, served a term of four years and then reentered the practice. 
He moved from here to Chicago. 

E. L. Bittinger came about 1867 and engaged in the real-estate 
and law business, so continuing for eight or ten years. He did only 
a fair business and was not regarded as a very good lawyer. How- 
ever, he was faithful to the interests of his clients. 


E. E. Webb entered the practice in Boone about 1867 or 1868 
and became a member of the firm of Webb & Dyer. He moved 
from here to the State of Alabama and died there about 1895. 
Mr. Webb was a very fair lawyer, an honorable, upright gentleman, 
and the firm was regarded as a very good firm of lawyers. S. R. Dyer 
is still living here and is in practice, as the head of the firm of Dyer, 
Jordan & Dyer. He is the nestor of the bar in Boone. 

M. K. Ramsey, who came here in 1867, as a boy from Illinois, 
was a member of the firm of Hull & Ramsey for a good many years. 
He was regarded as one of the best counselors and office lawyers at 
the bar and was a very good trial lawyer. He continued in practice 
to the time of his death, which occurred in this city about eight years 

R. F. Jordan, who has been referred to above, engaged in practice 
here about 1869, first as a member of the firm of Ramsey & Jordan, 
afterward a member of the firm of Crooks & Jordan, later of Jordan 
& Brockett and still later Jordan & Goodykoontz. Mr. Goodykoontz 
is still living. Mr. Jordan was a very studious and well informed 
attorney, a gentleman in all respects and fair in his dealings either in 
or out of court. He could always be relied upon as a lawyer and 
never was inclined to lead his clients into litigation. His son is John 
Jordan, a member of the firm of Dyer, Jordan & Dyer. Mr. Jordan, 
Sr., died some fifteen years ago. 

A. J. Holmes settled in the city of Boone about 1867 and entered 
the practice of law, continuing in the same until the time of his 
death, with the exception of six years that he served as a member of 
Congress from this district. He perhaps was as well informed gen- 
erally in respect to matters of law as any man who practiced and 
was a very successful lawyer. He was a man of more than ordinary 
energy, large, powerful physique and very much of a gentleman. 
He died about twelve years ago. 

L. W. Reynolds came about the same time as Mr. Holmes and 
they formed a copartnership in practice, continuing until a short time 
prior to the death of the latter. Mr. Reynolds was regarded as a 
very good lawyer. He did a limited amount of practice in the courts, 
but the greater portion of his law business related to practice in 
higher courts than the District Court. He was well prepared in his 
profession and remained in practice here until the time of his death, 
about seven or eight years ago. He built the first street railway here 
and was more of a speculator than a lawyer. He entered into mat- 


ters of improvement and constructed the street railway from the 
courthouse to Story Street in the City of Boone. 

George C. Hull was a native of Boone County, became a member 
of the bar in 1871 or 1S72 and continued in practice until tlie time 
of his death, about three years ago. He was a very good collector, 
diligent in matters of his practice and fairly well prepared as a law- 
yer. He was inclined to take cases on speculation and did quite a 
little business in that direction. He was always honorable and up- 
right in his dealings. 

E. L. Green came from Wisconsin to Boone and engaged in prac- 
tice here about 1878. He was a very well informed man, of more 
than ordinary aptitude and was a very successful criminal lawyer. 
He practiced his profession until the time of his death, which oc- 
curred about twelve years ago. He was perhaps as successful a 
lawyer in the defense of criminals as practiced at the bar. 

R. F. Dale, who came here from Indiana, engaged in practice 
here about 1880. He was possessed of an unusual eloquent mind. 
He was one of the best counselors at the bar, but was not a very suc- 
cessful trial lawyer. He was a partner of J. R. Whitaker for a 
number of years. He was justice of the peace ten years and died 
about five years ago. 

John C. Hall came from Ohio to Boone in 1883 ^nd engaged in 
the practice of law. Soon thereafter he formed a partnership with 
D. R. Hindman and they continued together until about 1897. 
Mr. Hall was very well prepared in his profession and was a suc- 
cessful attorney, particularly in equity practice, more than in any 
other branch of the law. He moved to Kansas City, where lie had a 
large equity practice and died there about a year ago. 

J. J. Southworth was from New York and engaged in the practice 
of law in Boone County perhaps twenty-five or thirty years ago. His 
business generally related to matters of collection, being attorney for 
quite a few business houses as their collector, and he was quite suc- 
cessful in his undertakings. He was not what would be considered 
more than an ordinary trial lawyer. He was reliable in regard to 
matters of financial affairs and otherwise. He moved awav from 

E. L. Penfield came to Boone from Nebraska about 1890. He 
was a very careful attorney, but in the preparation of his pleadings 
he was so doubtful whether or not he had covered the ground suffi- 
ciently that he recapitulated and would use several different words 
purporting to mean the same thing. He was a very good office law- 

*»."^- * . 





1 7lLDf-N /= .■-, N UA f '0N•• 

TILDf '. .'■"0-j'Ju'=. ■ IONS 


yer, but was not a successful jury lawyer. He very seldom tried a 
case before a jury. He was very careful and conscientious and was 
very much opposed to any lawyer who would even intimate that he 
was not trying his case in an honorable, upright manner. He prac- 
ticed here until about 1907 or 1908 and is now practicing in Fruita, 

O. M. Brockett came from Angus to Ogden and then to Boone. 
He settled in Angus about 1890 and stayed there but a short time, 
then practiced for a short time in Ogden, this county, afterward 
coming to Boone. He was a member of the firm of Ramsey & Brock- 
ett, and later of Jordan & Brockett. He was a very fair trial lawyer. 
In fact, he was a better trial lawyer than he was an office lawyer. 
He was a capable man in examining witnesses and in presenting his 
case to a jury. He left here about 1900 or 1901 and is now practicing 
in Des Moines. There was associated with him at Angus and at 
Ogden, Clayton Harrington, and after Mr. Brockett came to Boone, 
Mr. Harrington also came and practiced law alone. He was above 
the average lawyer and well prepared for his profession. His only 
defect seemed to be that he was able to see the mountain on the other 
side and lost confidence in meeting the issues on the opposite side. 
He is now believed to be in San Francisco in the employ of the 
United States in connection with the internal revenue service. 

J. R. Whitaker entered the practice of law as a member of tiie 
firm of Hull & Whitaker and has continued in practice except eight 
vears he was district judge, being regarded among the best trial 
lawyers in the citv. He is still in practice as a member of the hrm 
of Whitaker & Snell. He is a well prepared and capable attorney. 

W. W. Goodykoontz, a member of the firm of Goodykoontz & 
Mahoney, was raised in this city and entered the practice something 
like twelve or fifteen years ago. He is above the average in ability 
and has been a very successful practitioner. 

M. I. Cooper, of Ogden, entered the practice here about fifteen 
years ago and so continued for about ten years. He was a man very 
well prepared for the practice and a fair trial lawyer — rather above 
the average. He was very courteous with the court and bar, but 
for some reason he was unable to make the practice a success. While 
he was capable, yet he was negligent and allowed matters to go along 
beyond a reasonable time before they were looked after and trials 
were too frequently put ofif. He is now deceased. 

J. T- Snell entered the practice in this county in 189;^ and is now 
a member of the firm of Whitaker & Snell. He is regarded as one 


of the best probate lawyers at the bar and docs more of that business 
than any other member of tlie bar. He is a very reliable and honor- 
able man. 

T. J. Mahoncy, of the firm of (joodykoontz & Mahoney, has been 
in practice here since about 1894. He is regarded, taking into con- 
sideration his age, as good a lawyer as is now practicing at the bar. 

Charles I. Sparks, who was raised in Boone County, prepared 
himself for practice by attending the law school at Iowa City. He 
began practice in the county about 1895, and so continued here for 
ten years. He was fairly successful in the prosecution of criminal 
cases and was a fair lawyer generally. He was county attorney for 
four years. He is now practicing in Kansas. 

John A. Hull, jr., son of John A. Hull, Sr., above referred to, 
was raised in this county and prepared for the practice of law at 
Iowa City. He has been in practice here since about 1894. He is a 
very reliable gentleman and is fairly successful in all branches of 
the law. 

George Yeaman, who was a resident of Boone up to tiie time ot 
his removal from tliis town, was a very successful criminal lawyer 
practicing in this county from about 1897 until about 1907. He 
moved to Sioux City and is a resident of that city at this time. For 
a young man of his age and opportunities he was quite a successful 
attorney, and was regarded as an honorable gentleman. He was once 
charged in a criminal case of knowingly accepting money that had 
been stolen and was tried, but was acquitted. 

H. L. Ganoe engaged in practice here about 1897. He was very 
energetic and quite a successful attorney, a man of high character and 
an honorable, upright gentleman. He served as county attorney of 
Boone County for four years. 

L. V. Harpel became a member of the bar at Boone about 1898 
or 1899 and is still in the practice as a member of the hrm of Harpel 
& Cederquist. He is very studious, giving his cases a great deal of 
thought and tries his cases above the average lawyer. 

C. J. Cederquist is engaged in practice at Madrid and may be 
classed above the average lawyer for the experience he has had. He 
was county attorney four years. 

Frank Hollingsworth, the present county attorney, has been in 
practice here about twelve years. He is a very fair trial lawver and 
has been a very successful county attorney. 

John L. Stevens became a member of the bar of Boone County 
after serving on the district bench about eight years, forming a part- 


nership with S. R. Dyer about 1896. He is one among the best trial 
lawyers in practice at this time, and as judge was very successful in 
the determination of all equity proceedings. He is one of the best 
equipped lawyers in this section of the country. 

H. E. Fry was raised in this county and has been engaged in 
practice nearly ten years, as a member of the firm of Stevens & Fry 
and of the firm of Stevens, Fry & Stevens. He is a careful, studious 
lawyer and, taking into consideration the length of his practice, he is 
a very good lawyer. 

D. G. Baker was raised in Boone County and prepared himself 
for the bar by attending the law school of Iowa State University, at 
Iowa City. He entered the practice in Boone several years ago, and 
has been a successful attorney. His business is largely confined to 
criminal practice. He is a man of great determination and is a very 
successful trial lawyer. 

John Jordan, son of R. F. Jordan, who was in practice here, has 
been engaged in practice about seven years. He is a very fine young 
man and has the making of a good lawyer. In fact, he is a very good 
lawyer now and is a gentleman in all respects. 

Walter Dyer, son of S. R. Dyer, has been engaged in practice 
about five years, and during the length of time he has been in practice 
has been as successful as any other man. He is studious and careful 
and has the making of a good attorney. 

Frank Ganoe first entered the practice at Ogden in this county, 
then formed a copartnership with his brother. H. L. Ganoe. He left 
here some years ago and now lives at Portland, Oregon. Frank has 
a very good practice and is a very successful lawyer. He is a man 
of more than average ability and is a very reliable counselor. 

John Stevens, who was a member of the firm of Stevens, Fry & 
Stevens, is a son of John L. Stevens. He practiced here several years 
and was regarded as a very studious young attorney and did well in 
the practice, but lost his health and is now on a farm in Minnesota, 
trying to regain his health. He was above the average in ability for 
the opportunities he had to practice at the bar. 

Frank Porter, who lives at Ogden, has been a member of the 
Boone County bar for eight or ten years and has been engaged in 
general practice, meeting with success. 

Earl Billings, editor of the Ogden Reporter, also an attorney, 
did quite a little practice, but most of his time and attention were 
given to the matter of the publication of his newspaper. He came 
here about forty years ago. He was fairly successful as an editor, 


but lost his health and moved to Washington, D. C, about ten vears 
ago, where he is still living. 


This society was organized about twenty-five years ago and in- 
cluded all the members of the bar. It held regular elections provided 
for by the association, and in case of injury or death of any of the 
members the association lent its aid and has continued to do so since 
its organization. It now embraces all the members of the bar of 
Boone County. 



By IF. H. Gallup 

In 1856, during the first national campaign of the republican 
party, when "Fremont and Jessie" made the inspiring rallying cry 
of the party, although Fremont and Dayton were the candidates, a 
young, enthusiastic republican, with a slight stutter in his speech, 
hailing from the "Nutmeg" State, came boldly into the then demo- 
cratic County of Boone, some two hundred miles beyond any line 
of railroad, and commenced issuing at Boonesboro a republican 
paper, the first paper printed in Boone County, and called it the 


Since that date some thirty-five different newspapers have been 
started in Boone County, but today only about one-seventh of that 
number is left to carry the news of the county, the state and nation to 
the county's 30,000 population. 

Lute C. Sanders, the name of this pioneer newspaper man, was a 
part of a Yankee colony, mostly from Connecticut, who settled in 
Boone County about that time, the majority of them on land just 
east of Boonesboro, and which now constitutes a part of the town 
plat of Boone. Old county residents will recognize the names of 
Charles Pomeroy, A. B. Holcomb, Benjamin Brunning and S. M. 
Ives as members of this Yankee crowd. Lute C. Sanders, assisted in 
the office by his brother, N. W. Sanders, soon made for his paper a 
state reputation that was highly complimentary to his ability as a 
clear and forceful editor, and one who could drive home a conviction 
that he was earnest, honest and sincere in his beliefs. In short, he 
early made it known to the balance of the state that Boone County 
was on the map and must be counted with when measures of im- 
portance were before the people. But he was not a strong man 

Vol I -2 4 

■ 111 


physically; his mental powers were too great for his bodily strength 
and he died in 186;,. his remains being taken East to his old home 
for burial. The last two or three years before his death hb was able 
to do but little newspaper work and other names appeared as pub- 
lishers, or assistants, such as Sanders & Capron and J. F. Alexander. 
The paper ceased to e.\ist in 1S62, a few months before Mr. Sanders' 


The second paper in Boone County was started by N. W. Denni- 

son in i<S^7 and named the 


Its publisher, Mr. Dennison, was from Ohio and was a lawyer 
as well as editor. He was a man of culture and dignity, of pleasing 
address and polished manners, but unfortunately for a pioneer editor, 
of a very sensitive nature. He had received much encouragement 
and many golden promises and bright descriptions of a brilliant 
future for a democratic editor; but when he found he could not realize 
upon them, he became disheartened and died in about three years. 
His paper was published about two years. 

The third paper to make its appearance in the county was given 
the name of 


and made its Hrst appearance in i S60. It was published by Cornelius 
Beal, a lawyer by profession, in politics a democrat, and at that time 
a member of the Legislature. Mr. Beal was a man of a good deal 
of note and by some of his quaint speeches gave Boone County a 
reputation that still brings a smile upon the faces of most of its older 
citizens. In 1862 Mr. Beal went to Portland, Oregon, where he 
conducted a law office for many years, dying only a few years ago. 
Other publishers of the Herald were J. H. Upton, who is still alive 
and is a resident of Oregon; and Messrs. C. L. & H. M. Lucas, the 
former an editor of long experience, in after years of Madrid, and 
the best posted man on the history of Boone County that is living 


was established by John A. Hull in 1861 and was published by spells, 
as it were. The spell of its publication always seemed to be in the 
fall of the vear when delinquent tax lists were ready to gather at 


thirty cents per description compensation. In principles the Times, 
as well as its editor, always stood squarely on the democratic plat- 
form, except as to prohibition, which Mr. Hull favored in public 
speeches, when the question of constitutional prohibition was before 
the people. The l^imes never had any other editor and proprietor 
than John A. Hull. 

In 1863, J. F. Ale.xander, who was a strong republican and an 
active farmer and dealer and shipper of fat cattle, with the assistance 
of N. W. Sanders, a younger brother of Boone County's first editor, 
and Mr. Cummings established the 


At first the paper appeared with the name of J. F. Ale.xander 
as sole editor and proprietor. After a few months the name of J. F. 
Alexander was succeeded by Sanders & Cummings as publishers. 
It was republican in politics, and with all the county officers demo- 
cratic, could get but very little if any county business, so that by the 
fall of 1864 it was taking a rest. A few years after that date Mr. 
Alexander sold his large farm to the county for a poor farm and 
moved to Waco, Texas, where he lived the remainder of his days, 
passing away about fifteen years ago. N. W. Sanders died many 
years ago, when in the prime of life, while his partner, Mr. Cum- 
mings, returned to his native State of Vermont. 

In December, 1864, W. H. Gallup came to Boonesboro from 
Marshalltown and purchased the printing material that Sanders & 
Cummings had put into the Tribune office and the hand press of 
Mr. Alexander, which he still owned, and with some job printing 
material, which he brought with him from Marshalltown, com- 
menced the publication of the 


the first number of which appeared February i, 1865. At that date 
there was no paper published in Boone County, the News, Democrat, 
Herald, Times and Tribune all having been laid away in tlicir w ind- 
ing sheets. The county election of 1864, by the aid of the soldiers' 
vote, having gone republican, there appeared to be a chance for a 
republican paper to make a living, if the editor was willing to work 
hard in earning as well as work hard in saving. After publishing 
the Index about a year in Boonesboro, it was moved to the new town 


of Boone, which h;ui ^(rown from four hnuscs which were on the town 
plat in March, to a town of 800 population in December. The pub- 
lication of the paper was continued until September, 1867, when the 
ollice was sold to L. M. Holt, who changed the name of the paper 
from Index to 


Montana was the new name Boone had assumed to enable it to 
get a postoflice, being unaiile to use the name of Boone, as that name 
for a postoHice was already in use in the ^tate. Mr. Holt published 
the paper for about eight months, with the aid of V. A. Ballou a 
part of the time, then soUi his share of the office to W. H. Gallup, 
and after a short time Mr. Gallup purchased Mr. Ballou's share. 
He published the paper until September, 1869, when he sold the 
office to John M. Brainard. The latter associated with him his 
brother, Justin M. Brainard, and for about a year the firm name 
was Brainard Brothers. When Justin M. Brainard retired from the 
Standard he moved to Waterloo and became a traveling man. John 
M. Brainard continued the publication of the paper until 1902, 
making a record of nearly thirty-three years of continuous newspaper 
work on one paper. In 1902 he sold the good will and subscription 
list to W. H. Gallup, who published the paper alone for a little over 
a year, then sold the office to E. E. Carter. Mr. Carter continued 
the paper for a year, then sold a half interest to W. H. Gallup, who, 
uiuier the lirm name of Gallup & Carter, published the paper until 
June, igciS. when they sold the gocni will and subscription list to the 
Boone County Democrat, and the Standard and Inde.x, as the paper 
was first named, after over thirty-seven years, disappeared from the 
newspaper held in Boone County. Mr. Gallup, the founder of the 
paper, and .Mr. Brainard, its longest continuous editor, are both liv- 
ing in retirement in Boone. Mr. Brainard, before coming to Boone, 
had had newspaper experience at Clear Lake, in Nevada, and on the 
Daily Council Bluffs Nonpareil. Since retiring from the Standard, 
he has been curator in the P>icson Public Library. Mr. Holt, before 
coming to Boone iiad been editor of a paper in Adel, and after leav- 
ing Boone started a state temperance paper at ALarshalltown. He 
soon discontinued that and went to California, where he was engaged 
in various newspaper enterprises, the last, as far as known, being a 
horticultural paper at Riverside. Mr. Ballf)u had his first newspaper 
experience as editor of the Hamilton Freeman at W^ebster City, and 


after leaving Boone located in Nevada, where he published the Story 
County iEgis about a year and the Story County Watchman for 
twenty or more years. He passed away there about ten years ago. 
Mr. Gallup had his first newspaper experience as publisher of the 
Marshall County Times from 1861 to 1864, and came to Boonesboro, 
where he started the Index, afterwards named the Standard in 18615. 
After leaving Boone in 1870, he published the Nevada Representa- 
tive over twelve years, the Perry Chief about five years, then returned 
to Boone and was connected with the Republican five years. He was 
then for five years more with the Standard. E. E. Carter, who was 
connected with the Standard five years, is now a lively insurance 
agent, with headquarters at Des Moines. 


made its first appearance in Boonesboro about the middle of Sep- 
tember, 1865, its publisher being O. C. Bates. At first the paper 
claimed to be neutral in politics, but in a year or so it was classed 
as republican. It continued under the name of Advocate until 1873, 
about eight years. During those years its different publishers after 
Mr. Bates were Mitchell & Hilton, B. F. Hilton, O. A. Cheney, 
Means & Lawrence. In 1873 W. B. Means and A. Downing ac- 
quired the paper from the firm of Means & Lawrence, changed the 
name to 


and moved the oflice from Boonesboro to Boone. They published 
the paper about ten years, making it a bright and influential paper, 
a consistent exponent of the principles its name indicated. Their 
successors as editors and owners of the office during the next fourteen 
years were N. E. Goldthwait, C. Tomlinson, Clapp & Tomlinson, 
Evans & Tomlinson, Goldthwait & Evans, Wrigley Brothers, Gallup 
and N. E. Goldthwait, Gallup & S. G. Goldthwait, W. H. Gallup, 
H. S. Kneedler, Boys, Loomis & Curtis and Boys & Loomis. In 
1896 W. H. Gallup and S. G. Goldthwait published a daily called the 


This daily was continued about six months, when S. G. Goldthwait 
sold his interest in the weekly and daily newspaper plant to W. H. 

;5f^.j 11IS'^()R^■ OI' IIOOXI'. C'OUXTY 

Gallup, who discontinued the daily, but continued the publication 
of the weekly for about one year, then he sold the plant to H. S. 
Kneedler. Mr. Knecdler continued the weekly for a time, but in 
1899 commenced the publication of another daily called the 


which was continued by hmi and his successors. Boys, Loomis & 
Curtis, about five years, or until the weekly and daily Republican 
was sold to S. G. Goldthwait, the then owner of the Daily News, and 
the two papers were consolidated under the title of News-Republican. 
This closed out the separate existence of the daily and weekly Re- 
publican and buried the bone of contention that cannot help but 
exist where two dailies are in a small city. 

In mentioning the dififerent publishers of the Advocate and Re- 
publican as briefly as possible, it appears that the founder of the 
paper, O. C. Bates, had had newspaper experience at DeWitt, Clinton 
County, and after leaving Boonesboro established the Vindicator at 
Estherville, in Emmett County, going from there into iMinnesota, 
where all trace of him was lost. 1. J. Mitchell was an early day 
lawyer of Boone County, a state senator and a district judge of the 
eleventh judicial district, and was only an editor for a few months. 
B. F. Hilton was connected with the Advocate for three or four 
years and when he left Boone located in Blair, Nebraska, where he 
engaged in the newspaper business and was elected to the state senate 
of Nebraska. O. A. Cheney, after disposing of the Advocate, settled 
in Lvon County, engaging in the publication of a newspaper there, 
but he Hnallv moved across the line into South Dakota. W. R. Law- 
rence came from Danville, Illinois, and was a law partner of John 
A. Hull a part of the time while here, as well as editor. In a few 
years he returned to his ohi home, where he became a successful 
lawyer. A few years ago he was appointed United States Circuit 
judge of a district including Indian Territory and the Territory of 
Oklahoma. He is now a resident of Muskogee, Oklahoma. W. B. 
Means was also from Danville, Illinois, but when he came to Boone 
he staved. Since being here he lias been connected with the Repub- 
lican about ten \ears, has been twelve vears postmaster of Boone and 
is now senior member of the firm of Means Brothers, abstractors and 
land and loan agents. A. Downing, who was Mr. Means' newspaper 
partner, was (Mie of the first settlers of the City of Boone. He was 
the city's fust postmaster, the Hrst mayor, was county treasurer one 


term and for many years was pension inspector. At present he lives 
in Phoenix, Arizona. 

N. E. Goldthvvait came to Boone in 1868. He has been connected 
with the Republican several times, also with the News. He has 
always taken a great interest in schools and educational matters, was 
for several years connected with the Baptist College at Des Moines, 
but is now wholly retired from business, passing his time in com- 
fortable circumstances and with ease and contentment, which are the 
rewards of a well spent life. 

Clinton Tomlinson was one of Boone's brightest young men. He 
was so good a writer that he was retained as editor in three different 
changes of proprietors of the Republican, and when he did retire 
from the paper he established a daily in Springfield, Missouri. When 
he disposed of that paper he was engaged as editor of the Dry Goods 
Economist. He died while filling that responsible position, his re- 
mains being brought to Boone for burial. 

}. B. Clapp was not a practical newspaper man, but possessed a 
great deal of energy and was a pusher and an enthusiastic worker 
for the good of Boone and Boone County- He was a member of the 
board of supervisors, was school director and took a great interest in 
the moral and religious advancement of the community. The later 
years of his life were spent in evangelistic labors. 

C. S. Evans was a stirring newspaper man whose name is found 
connected with more than one paper of the county, although his resi- 
dence here was not of long duration. From Boone he went to Ains- 
worth, Nebraska, where he immediately engaged in newspaper work 
and so remained several years. He finally changed his location to 
Norfolk, Nebraska, and died there several years ago. 

Wrigley brothers, three in number, came from the west part of 
the state, having published papers at both Denison and Mapleton 
before coming here. They remained with the Republican about five 
years, then removed to Fremont, Ohio, where they are today and 
where they have been for over twenty years publishing the Daily 
News of that city. 

H. S. Kneedler had been a writer on different dailies of the state, 
owner and editor of the Cherokee Times for a few years and came 
into possession of the Republican in 1897, remaining with it about 
five vears. From Boone he went to California, where he was engaged 
in several occupations for about ten years, then returned to Eldora 
and purchased the Ledger, which paper is now engaging his atten- 
tion. Bovs, Loomis & Curtis, wlio succeeded Mr. Kneedler. came 


from Illinois, the two former conducting the Daily and Weekly 
Republican about five years. Mr. Curtis, after a few months in 
Boone, purchased the Knowillc Chronicle, which paper he is still 
issuing. W. W. Loomis, after selecting liis cliicf life adviser, Miss 
Alice Bibbs, located in Chicago, and is at the head of a company 
that publishes several papers for different Chicago suburbs. J. H. 
Boys is now a banker in the growing young State of Oklahoma. 
Upon the retirement of Boys & Loomis from the daily and weekly 
Republican, the paper went into the hands of S. G. Goldthwait, pro- 
prietor of the daily and weekly News, the consolidated papers 
appearing under the name of 


This consolidation occurred in 1907 and since that date the city 
has had but one daily and one less weekly. The Boone News- 
Republican is a highly creditable paper to the City of Boone. In 
fact, but few cities double the size of Boone can boast of as good a 
daily. It is clean and bright in all of its departments and never on 
the wrong side of any moral questions or any measures that are for 
the good of the community. 


was the first paper started in the county that was not commenced in 
Boonesboro, and the first one to continue for over forty-tive years 
without change of name or location. It was started in Boone in 1865, 
and in Boone it is still published. Its founder, L. Raguet, has never 
been surpassed in the county as an all-around editor. He could 
defend his party principles vigorously and strongly without incurring 
antagonism or bitter enmity and was never Happy unless every issue 
of his paper contained some local witticism or something to build 
up a smile. Mr. Raguet was a native of Ohio and published his 
first paper at Mount Vernon in that state. His first paper in Iowa 
was at Afton and his next place Boone. He remained in Boone only 
about si.\ years, when he returned to the southern part of the state 
and engaged in the grocery business. He afterwards moved to Kan- 
sas, dying at Marysville about a year ago, aged about eighty-four 
years. His successor as owner of the Democrat was J. Hornstein, 
who was a very successful editor and the best financier amono- the 
numerous editors of Boone County. He made monev in his paper 


but made more money outside of his paper. He was editor of the 
Democrat about twenty-five years. He went from Boone to Chicago, 
where he was engaged for several years in an extensive job printing 
establishment, dying only a few years ago. His remains were brought 
back to Boone for burial. In the beginning of his newspaper career 
here, a Mr. Waldo was associated with him for a year or two, but 
who soon after selling his interest to Mr. Hornstein moved to 

Miller & Boynton succeeded Mr. Hornstein, Mr. Miller being 
the newspaper man and Mr. Boynton only interested in the paper 
financially. They were both from Carroll County, where Mr. Miller 
had had newspaper experience and had also been chosen a member 
of the Legislature. Mr. Miller went from Boone to Southeastern 
Kansas, where he re-entered the newspaper business and also engaged 
in the oil business. In fact, prospecting for oil and selling stock in 
oil companies was his chief occupation. During Mr. Miller's last 
year or two of connection with the office John R. Herron, who had 
grown up in the office, was interested with him in the publication of 
the paper and in the management of the business. The firm of 
Barnett & Herron succeeded Miller & Herron. Mr. Barnett was 
not a practical newspaper man, but was a good writer and careful 
manager during the short time that he was editor. John R. Herron 
and W. F. Menton succeeded the firm of Barnett & Herron in the 
year 1900 and continued as partners for two years. In the year 1902 
W. F. Menton sold his interest to his brother, J. A. Menton, who is 
still with the paper. W. F. Menton soon afterwards went to Cali- 
fornia and is now a resident of Santa Ana. For the eleven years 
succeeding 1902, J. R. Herron and J. A. Menton were owners and 
editors of the Democrat. On October 5, 191 3, a stock company was 
formed under the name of the Democrat Publishing Company. The 
stockholders of the company are the two former proprietors of the 
paper, with two or three members of the family who have no man- 
agement of the paper, only a financial interest. The paper has always 
maintained a high standing as a democratic paper of the countv and 
has been a success financially as well as sound politically. Both 
Mr. Herron and Mr. Menton are Boone County young men and 
are entitled to a great deal of credit for the success they are making. 


This is the name of the first daily paper started in Boone County, 
having its origin as far back as r88(D — thirty-four years ago. The 


name of tlic venturesome publisher was Frank Rice. It was pub- 
lished in Boonesboro, but aimed, as its name indicates, to be a true 
representative of the then separate towns of Boonesboro and Boone. 
But the licld was too new at that time to afford it a living support, 
hence it was compelled to cease its existence after about a three 
months' struggle. 


In the latter part of 1HH8, two ambitious Boone young men, be- 
lie\ing that Boone ought to have a daily, took upon their shoulders 
the task of issuing a daily paper in Boone County. Iheir names 
were Fred Shulters and Harry Mitchell. The latter was the practical 
printer, while the former did the hustling. Their outfit could hardly 
be called elaborate, as it consisted only of an Army press, large 
enough to print one page at a time, a very moderate supply of type 
and a liberal use of plates and telegraphic news and general reading 
matter. They labored faithfully and long each day for about a year 
and then sold the plant to E. G. Erwin. Mr. Shulters went from 
Boone to Des Moines, where he remained for some time, but at 
present is in Hot Springs, South Dakota. 

Mr. Mitchell continued to work at his trade for a few years in 
Boone and then went South and is now proprietor of a prosperous 
job printing establishment in Petersburg, Florida. Mr. Erwin had 
had daily newspaper experience in the eastern part of the state, 
having been connected as a writer with papers in both Clinton and 
Rock Island. He continued as publisher of the Daily News for 
about ten years, building the paper up from the smallest beginning 
a daily newspaper could possibly have to one of prominence in the 
state, and one of which the city could be proud. Before Mr. Erwin 
left the paper the people realized its importance as a local booster 
in making Boone known throughout the state. From Boone Mr. 
Erwin went to Denver and then to Kansas Citv, where he published 
for a short time a monthly, devoted to mining interests in the West. 
He died there about ten years ago. Messrs. N. E. Goldthwait and 
J. S. Hullinger followed Mr. Erwin as proprietor of the Dailv News. 
This firm existed for only a short time, two or tfjree months perhaps, 
and was then succeeded by Hullinger & Corev for five or six months 
and then the names of O. E. Carter and Charles Olson appeared as 
proprietors for one week. They were succeeded by Carter and S. G. 
(ioldthwait, and then, after about a year, or in 1903, S. G. Gold- 
thwait became the sole owner and propreitor of the paper and is 


Still at its head. S. G. Goldthwait has changed the paper from a 
struggling small city daily to a prosperous daily that would do credit 
to a much larger city than Boone. He has given it a character that 
commands attention and high respect in all parts of the state. In 1906 
Mr. Goldthwait purchased the Daily Evening Repuhlican, consoli- 
dated the two dailies of the city and hyphenated the name to Daily 
News-Republican. Since that consolidation, a fine two-story brick 
building, about 25.\ioo feet, with basement under the whole structure, 
besides extending nearly twenty feet under the front sidewalk, has 
been constructed for a permanent home for the paper, and which is 
ample for a great number of years to come. Besides the magnificent 
new home for the paper, the equipment for the production of the 
paper has been increased in like proportion bv the addition of two 
Mergenthaler linotypes, a fast running press that will print and fold, 
four, six, eight, ten or twelve pages at a time. Nothing has been 
omitted in its equipment that would give facility and speed in the 
production of its class of daily papers. Like the Iowa land that has 
advanced in fifty years from $3 to $300 per acre, the News has grown 
from an Army press birth that printed one page at a time to its 
present high efficiency, power and influence. For the past four years 
George Brunton, who for twelve years previous was connected with 
the paper as local editor, has been associated with Mr. Goldthwait 
as manager and has aided greatly in the growth and business of the 
paper. He is a Boone production whose entire business life has been 
spent here and mostly in the newspaper field. He is highly esteemed 
by all doing business with the office. S. G. Goldthwait has also 
spent nearly all of his life in Boone. He learned the printer's trade 
before going to college. Upon returning to Boone he became the 
reporter and local news writer for the Boone Daily News under 
Mr. Erwin, then came to the Boone Republican office. He soon 
became a part owner and was interested in the first daily issued from 
the Republican office. When that was discontinued he went to Chi- 
cago, remaining there about three years. He then returned to Boone 
to take an interest in the Boone Daily News. He is now serving his 
second term as postmaster of Boone. After that goes into democratic 
hands he will spend his whole time giving the people of Boone a 
still better daily, if possible, than they are now getting. 


was Started by E. G. Erwin soon after his purchase of the Boone 
Daily News in 1886, and has always been issued from the News office 


as a part of that establishment's business. The owners of the Daily 
News are owners and managers of the Weekly News and of the 
weekly News-Republican, as it has been called since the consolida- 
tion of the News and Republican offices. The same character that is 
borne bv the daily is also borne by the weekly. 

lionxF. corxTV .\mocATE 

This Boone County Advocate was started in 1891 by A. E. Evans, 
a son of C. S. Evans, who had formerly been connected with the 
Boone County Republican and should be called Advocate No. 2, 
the first one being started in 1865 — over twenty years previously. 
It was published only a short time, a year or so, and never had any 
other owner. Mr. Evans afterwards spent several years in Nebraska, 
where it is understood he still resides. 


When Means & Downing moved the Boone County Republican 
from Boonesboro to Boone, thev left a part of the material in the 
former place, which they run as a job office. This material was 
purchased by J. N. Reynolds, principal of the Boonesboro public 
schools, who started in about the year 1878 the Boonesboro Herald. 
He continued the paper about a year and then sold to E. C. Evans, 
who changed the name to 


but continued it only a short time, when the material was sold and 
removed from the county. The News was the last paper published 
in Boonesboro. Mr. Rickard moved to Adel, where he published 
a greenback paper for several years, then journeyed on to Colorado, 
where he died several years ago. J. N. Reynolds, who started the 
Herald, was sentenced to Fort Madison for four years, but was 
pardoned after about a year. He was next heard from at Leaven- 
worth, Kansas, where he published a red-hot paper of some kind 
that caused him to be sent to jail there. But while thus imprisoned he 
continued his paper, writing his editorials while in jail. 


was launched in Boone in 1886. its object being purely a conveyor 
of local news, with society news for its chief feature. Its publishers 


were Stillman & Wilkins. Mr. Stillman was a bright young man 
and thorough printer of Jefferson, whose father, E. B. Stillman, was 
then owner and editor of the Jefferson Bee. Of Mr. Wilkins' history 
either preceding or succeeding his career in Boone we have no knowl- 
edge. The paper was bright and attractive as long as it lasted, but 
it appears its patronage was not such as its publishers anticipated, 
hence it was discontinued before its first anniversary had been 


Herald seemed to be a favorite name for newspapers in Boone 
County, four having appeared under that name, but at present they 
are all a matter of history. The Herald, of which we are now writ- 
ing, made its first appearance in 1893 with the name of F. E. Moore 
as the responsible party for its existence. Mr. Moore published the 
paper alone for a while, and, being quite liberal with his charges of 
bribery and graft among certain Government officials, he was called 
upon by a United States marshal and taken before a Federal judge 
at Council Bluffs. The judge looked him over carefully, and because 
of his youthfulness and inexperience, gave him a good talking to 
and allowed him to go in peace. He afterwards took into partner- 
ship with him J. W. Hullinger, an enthusiast and stirrer in whatever 
business he undertook. He could build the finest air castles and 
clothe them in the most beautiful hues of any pen swinger who ever 
worked on the Boone press. For a time, perhaps two or three 
months, the paper was a boomer. Mr. Hullinger was succeeded by 
Mr. Shipley in about 1896 and the firm of Moore & Shipley were 
proprietors for a time. They sold to Harry Walton, who conducted 
the paper alone for a time, then took into the business as a partner 
Miss Adda Emerson. The firm of Walton & Emerson sold the paper 
in April, 1899, to G. H. Kick, who continued it until June, 1900, 
when the paper was discontinued. In the meantime Miss Emerson 
became Mrs. Kick, and the couple were afterwards for several years 
the owners and publishers of the Pilot Mound Monitor. Mr. Moore 
went from Boone to the northern part of the state, where lie continued 
the newspaper business for a while, then took up the study of law. 
Mr. Walton engaged in newspaper work at Oelwein after leaving 
Boone. Mr. Hullinger, after quitting the Herald, purchased an 
interest in the Daily News, which held his attention for a year or two. 
He mf)ved from Boone to Clinton, went on the road as a traveling 


man and died in that city in a few years. Of Mr. Shipley there is 
no history after parting with his interest in the Herald. 


made its appearance in 18H3, under tiie guardianship of C. vS. Evans 
as editor and owner. It was continued about three years and was 
apparently well managed, but failed to get a foothold sufficient to 
make it a fixture in the county. Mr. Evans had formerly been asso- 
ciated with N. E. Goldthwait as (nvner of the Republican and 
moved to Nebraska after winding up his business relations with the 


a weekly paper printed in the German language, was established in 
1883 and lasted about three years. It was started by a stock company, 
the German residents of the city being the stockholders. Its first 
editor was J. W. Weippert, a good editor, but who continued with 
the paper only about a vear or so. The stockholders then transferred 
their interests to Henry Kaul, of Chicago, who continued the paper 
a year or two, then discontinued its publication and returned to 
Chicago. But before discontinuing Der Herold, which was a paper 
of local or state news only, he started a paper called 


a paper devoted exclusively to giving the news in the most thorough 
manner and to the minutest detail of the Schleswig-Holstein German 
provinces. It speedily became a favorite with every former citizen 
of that couiitrv residing not onlv in the Cnited States, but in whatever 
country they had emigrated to. Its rapidly increasing business and 
growing circulation induced Mr. Kaul to move his headquarters to 
Chicago in 1890, where the paper is still issued by him and is still 
meeting with the highest success. Mr. Weippert, the first editor of 
Der Herold, went from Boone to Des Moines, where he engaged 
in business for a time and died there a few vears ago. 


a paper in the Swedish language, was started by Ernest Carlson in 
1895. It was a paper devoted to county news mostly and attained a 
circulation among the Swedish people of ten or twelve hundreds. 


Mr. Carlson devoted about a year to building up the paper, but, being 
a meinber of the firm of Carlson, Rickseen & Nelson, general mer- 
chants, was unable to devote the necessary time to the paper that it 
should have, so sold it to C. A. Nystrom. Mr. Nystrom's previous 
business experience was such as was acquired in the schoolroom. 
He was a good Swedish scholar and made an acceptable Swedish 
paper. He continued the paper about a year, then sold the subscrip- 
tion list to Mr. Erwin, of the Boone News, thus closing the issuance 
of a Swedish paper in the county. Mr. Carlson is still in the general 
merchandise business in Boone and his firm is one of the most pros- 
perous in the county. Mr. Nystrom took up teaching in the county 
again for a few years, then moved to Plankinton, South Dakota, 
where he was principal of the city schools. For the last few years 
he has been at Bufifalo Gap and a few months ago was admitted to 
the bar as a lawyer. His numerous friends in Boone County wish 
him much success in his career as a lawyer. 


In 1899 Messrs. P. D. Swick and C. S. Alexander commenced the 
publication of The Independent, a paper devoted to the interest of 
labor and labor unions. In less than a year Mr. Alexander retired 
from The Independent and became one of the proprietors of the 
Holcomb Printing Company, a leading job oflice of the city that has 
been in existence about twenty years. B. P. Hoist succeeded Mr. 
Alexander financially, but Mr. Swick has ever been the writer on the 
paper. He is always happy in his command of language and has 
a style all his own. Mr. Hoist's interest in the office was not long, 
being soon turned over to Mr. Swick, thus giving him the entire 
ownership of the office. Mr. Swick has had nearly forty-five years' 
experience in the printing line, either as foreman, local writer or 
owner and editor. He was a Union soldier in his teens. After laying 
aside the blue he learned the printer's trade, then started his first 
paper — the Pioneer — at Northwood, in Worth County, in 1869. He 
was like a great many editors of those early days, always ready to sell. 
He found his buyer, or the buyer found him, in 187:; and the Pioneer 
became the property of A. T. McCargar. In 1877 ^^^- Swick com- 
menced publishing the Lovilia Gazette in the southern part of the 
state, which occupied his time for about two years. His next news- 
paper work was in Newton, on the Iowa National. After leaving 
Newton he was associated with Ham Robinson for a short time in 


issuing the Colfax Clipper. The next several years were spent in 
Des Moines. He came to Boone in 1 896 and spent three years writing 
locals and articles concerning anything that needed mentioning for 
the Daily News. The Independent is now fifteen years old and con- 
tains fifteen years of Mr. Swick's life work. For the last two or three 
vears his son, Bert D. Swick, has heen a partner in the Independent 
establishment and gives full evidence of a disposition to rival his 
father in the length of time he expects to devote to the printing and 
editorial business. The newspaper field in Boone would not be filled 
witlidur the ufimuzzlcd Independent. 


was first issued in k^io and is edited by George D. Crissman, pastor 
of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Boone. It is four pages 
in size, each page about 4x9 inches. It is mailed every Friday, the 
members of that church being almost its exclusive recipients, and 
it is devoted wholly to the interests of that church. It gives a pro- 
gram of both the morning and evening services, noting the texts to 
be used and the hymns that will be sung. In the reading matter will 
be founil notices of church meetings and items of interest relating 
to the dififerent members of the church. It is a verv interesting pub- 
lication and conveys news to the members of the church which it 
would be impossible to disseminate in any other way. 

This closes the list of papers that have been started in Boonesboro 
and Boone during its newspaper history — fifty-eight years. Of the 
list above mentioned, one daily and eight weeklies were established 
in Boonesboro before its consolidation with Boone, which official 
date was March 21, 1887, or eight days short of two and a half years 
after the first town lots were sold in Boone. Of the eight weekly 
papers established in Boonesboro, not one exists today under the 
name given it at birth. The Advocate, established in 1861;, name 
changed to Republican in 1873, when the office was moved to Boone, 
then consolidated with the Boone News in 1907, under the name of 
Boone News-Republican, is the only one that has any Boonesboro 
history connected with it. 

In Boone three daily papers have been started, the Boone Daily 
News being the oldest. It was started in 1885 — nearly twenty-nine 
years ago — and is still doing business. The Boone Daily Republican 
was published about six months in 1896 and then discontinued. The 
Boone Evening Republican was established in 1899, was consoli- 


dated with the Daily News in 1907 under the name of News-Repub- 
lican and now is the only daily in the city. 

Ten weeklies have had their beginning in Boone, but four only 
now continue to make their weekly appearance, namely: the Boone 
County Democrat, the weekly News-Republican, tiie Boone Inde- 
pendent and the Methodist Bulletin. The other six have closed their 
careers for all time. 


Three monthly publications mailed through the postoffice accord- 
ing to United States postal laws have been started in the county. 
There have been several others published for a few months at a time 
to further some particular interests, but none except the three here- 
inafter named that were mailable as second-class matter. The first 
monthlv published in Boone Countv was the 


It was Started by W. H. Gallup in 1 899. It contained eight pages, 
six columns to the page and fully three-fourths of it devoted to read- 
ing matter. It made a specialty of giving a review of the county 
news for the preceding month, and as far as possible giving the news 
by townships. It was discontinued after thirteen numbers had been 


was started by H. S. Kneedler in 1900. He was also owner and 
publisher of the Daily evening and weekly Republican at that time. 
The pages were about 6x9 inches and each issue contained forty- 
eight or more pages. It was purely a literary publication, the mat- 
ter nearly all from Mr. Kneedler's pen, as he was an easy, smooth, 
and in many ways a brilliant writer. Large numbers of each issue 
were published and put on sale at the various news stands through- 
out the country, but the sales were not sufficient to make its estab- 
lishment a financial success, hence it was discontinued before it had 
reached its first year's anniversary 


was commenced in 1909, by J. Charles Crawford, and is for the 
purpose of representing the work of the western district of the 


Christian Alliance and spreading information as to the work, aims 
and advancement of the Boone Biblical College and its associated 
institutions. It carries no ads, but devotes its entire twelve pages of 
each issue to giving the best information possible of the Biblical 
College, the Old Peoples' Home and the Children's Home — institu- 
tions which Mr. Crawford has built up in the City of Boone in the 
last twenty years, it should receive a hearty support from all those 
w iio arc interested in the moral and religious advancement n\ the 


Boone County News, 1856, by L. C. Sanders; Boone County 
Democrat, 18^7, by N. W. Dennison; Boone County Herald, i860, by 
Cornelius Beal ; Boonesboro Times, 1861, by John A. Hull; Boones- 
boro Tribune, 1863, by J. F. Alexander; Boonesboro Inde.x, 1865, 
W. H. Cjallup; Boone County Advocate, 1865, O. C. Bates; Boones- 
boro Herald, 1880, by J. N. Reynolds; Boonesboro News, 1880, by 
Evans (S: Rickard; Twin City Daily, 1880, by Frank Rice. 


Boone Standard, 1S67, by L. M. Holt; Boone County Democrat, 
1868, bv L. Raguct; Boone County Republican, 1873, by Means & 
Downing; Der Boone Herold, 1883, by Herold Printing Company; 
Nachrichten aus Schleswig-Holstein, 1885, by Henry Kaul; Boone 
Daily News, 1881;, by Shulters & Mitchell; Boone Weekly News, 
1886^ by E. C. Erwin; Boone Saturday Globe, 1886, by Stillman & 
Wilkins; Boone County Advocate. 1893, by A. E. Evans; Boone 
County Herald, 1893, by F. E. Moore; Svenska Herald. 189c;, by 
Ernest Carlson; Boone Daily Republican, 1896, by Gallup & Gold- 
thwait; Boone Evening Republican, 1899, by H. S. Kneedler; Boone 
Independent, 1899, bv Swick iS: Alexander; The Methodist Bulletin, 
1910, bv George D. Crissman. 


Review & Advertiser, 189Q, by W. H. Gallup; Optimist, 1900, 
bv H. S. Kneedler; Western Christian Alliance, 1909, by J. Charles 





Ogden is the chief town of Boone County on the west side of tlie 
Des Moines River and contains a popuhition of about fifteen hun- 
dred. It was laid out by the Cedar Rapids & Missouri River Rail- 
road Company when it was pushing the railroad across the state with 
the greatest possible speed. Its favorable location, being the first 
town on the level beyond the river bluffs, speedily established its 
reputation as a good trading point as well as being a place where a 
newspaper could expect a liberal amount of patronage and speedily 
win a good paying line of business. The first paper to be established 
in the town was called the 


which is still doing business there and just completing the fortieth 
year of its existence. It made its first appearance June 17, 1874, 
Ed E. Adams being its founder and promoter. Mr. Adams was a 
Boone young man who learned his trade in the Boone printing offices. 
He continued with the paper only about four months, when he sold 
to Earl Billings, a voung lawyer from the northern part of the state. 
Mr. Billings proved to be a stayer, publishing the paper for thirty 
years and being the second longest continuous newspaper record in 
Boone County, John M. Brainard of the Boone Standard exceeding 
Mr. Billings bv about two years. In 1904 Mr. Billings sold the 
paper to Williams & Lund, two energetic young men of fine news- 
paper abilitv and both practical printers, who had learned their 
trade in the Reporter ofiice. They continued the paper in a flour- 
ishing condition, enlarging its patronage and influence for ten years. 
They retired in Februarv, 1914, and were succeeded by W. D. Miller, 
who associated with him in the general and business management of 
the paper L. R. Ross, a gentleman of newspaper experience as editor 
and owner of the Grand Junction Globe. Messrs. Williams and 
Lund have not as yet taken up any new newspaper work. Mr. Bill- 
ings was very successful, both editoriallv and financially, and now 
resides in Washington, D. C, with his only child, Mrs. Gardner, 
whose husband is a government employe. 


was Ogden's second paper and was established in 1S91, by J. W. 
Thompson and Charles A. Weaver. Mr. Weaver was the practical 


printer and manager of the ofiice, while Mr. Thompson was the 
writer and general outside worker. The firm of Thompson & 
Weaver continued about four years, when Mr. Weaver retired, and 
Mr. 'I'hompson continued the paper until about 1910, when its pub- 
lication was discontinued. Its material was moved to Boone and 
used in the publication of Tiie Western Christian Alliance. Mr. 
Thompson still resides in Ogden, a cheerful, philosophical octogena- 
rian. Mr. Weaver is a resident of Los Angeles, California, where 
he holds an important and prosperous position as linotype operator. 1 

was the tiiird and last paper to make its appearance and was started 
in i9()S by .Mr. Copper, a lawyer of good ability legally but not of 
good ability financially. It attained quite a good circulation, but 
after a few months, finding that the financial burden was growing 
heavier and heavier to bear, the subscription list was sold to the 
Boone County Democrat. Mr. Copper afterwards moved from 
Ogden and died in Polk City two or three years later. 


The first newspaper published in Madrid was called the Madrid 
Pilot. The first number was published in August, 18S1. Edward 
Lunt was its editor and manager. The Pilot flourished onlv a short 
time. In about three months it suspended publication and the press 
was moved back to Perry, from whencj it came. The Pilot died for 
want of financial nourishment, having insufficient patronage. 


In 1882 M. N. Tomblin shipped a printing press and outfit to 
Madrid and in the autumn of that year began the publication of the 
Madrid Register. Mr. Tomblin continued the publication of the 
Register until 1887, wlien he sold the paper to D. B. Davidson. In 
September of the same year Mr. Davidson was nominated for state 
senator, and in the same month he sold the paper to Clint Schoonover, 
who was not at that time an experienced newspaper man. He con- 
tinued in the business only a little over a year and on January !, 1HH9, 
the paper was sold back to D. B. Davidson. After another vear 
Mr. Davidson sold the paper to J. W. Lucas and R. M. Keigley. 


In about a year Mr. Keigley sold his iiuercst to Lucas & Company, 
who continued to publish the paper until March, 1894, when tney 
sold it to C. S. Lawbaugh. A few months prior to this time D. V. 
Smith had commenced the publication of the 


The two papers were consolidated under the name of the 


and the firm name of Smith & Lawbaugh.. This partnership so con- 
tinued for a little over a year, when Mr. Lawbaugh sold his interest 
to his partner, who became sole editor and proprietor of the paper. 
Mr. Smith continued to edit the paper until February, 1897, when 
his health failed and he died soon after. In April of that year the 
paper was sold to G. B. Heath, who continued to occupy the editorial 
chair until September 15, 1899, when he transferred his interests to 
C. A. Silford. For about five years Mr. Silford gave the people of 
Madrid a good local newspaper. In December, 1904, he disposed 
of the paper, together with the supplies and fixtures which he had 
added to it, to J. G. Lucas, the present editor and proprietor. 


This progressive small Boone County town is situated on the west 
side of the Des Moines River, near the north line of the county, and 
is surrounded by as good $300 an acre land as can be found in Iowa. 
It has its churches, its grade schools with an able corps of teachers, 
its mayor and city council, and ranks equal to the best towns of the 
state of its size. About fifteen years ago it began to feel the neces- 
sity of a newspaper all its own, and this public want was supplied by 
A. R. Samuelson, who established the 


The first number appeared in November, 1898. After about a 
year Mr. Samuelson sold the paper to A. J. Wolf, who continued as 
its proprietor until 1906. During the six years he owned the paper, 
except for a few months when it was leased to a young man by the 
name of Daniels, Mr. Wolf was actively engaged in publishing it. 


Mr. Daniels soon surrendered his lease and moved to Nebraska and 
Mr. Wolf then resumed the publication of the paper until he was 
succeeded bv Mr. Kick, who was owner of the Monitor from March, 
1906, to May, 1913 — over seven years. He was succeeded by Jerome 
C. Burton, who is its present editor and owner. Mr. Burton had the 
misfortune to have his office destroyed by fire, but has secured 
a new outfit and the Monitor is now brighter than ever before. When 
Mr. Wolf retired from the paper he returned to tlie farm, where 
he is extracting dollars faster tiian he could make them in a printing 
office. Mr. Kick is now at Hiiiton, in Plymouth County, where he 
is editor and proprietor of tlic Hinton (iazette. 


The modest little cluster of houses in the southwest corner of the 
county containing todav a probable population of one to two hun- 
dred, was some tiiirty-two or thirty-three years ago a hustling and 
bustling small citv of an estimated population of thirty-five hundred. 
Tt was purely a mining town, its citizens miners, and its business 
iiouses almost exclusively handling miners' goods and dependent upon 
the miners' patronage for tlieir business and prosperity. Like all 
other small cities of rapid growth and apparently great future possi- 
bilities, it needed its newspapers to spread abroad its wonderful 
attractions and apparently future greatness. To meet this severely 
felt want, a newspaper called 

THE BI,.\CK DI.\\Fn\D 

was established tliere about 18S1 or 1882, by Robert A. Lowry, who 
was a lawyer as well as a newspaper man. He kept the paper run- 
ning about five years. But the miners' strike, which occurred in the 
fall of 1883. closed everv mine but one and paralyzed the business 
of the place. People commenced leaving the town until only dead 
mines, emjnv houses and abandoned store buildings were all that was 
left of its once famed prosperity. The Black Diamond made a brave 
fight for two or three vears after hope had ceased to exist, but finally 
acknowledged the inevitable and closed its career. Its editor remained 
a few vears longer, carrying on his law business, but finally journeyed 
to Ckithrie, Oklahoma, where he is reported to have made good in 
his law business, and was elected to the territorial Legislature, where 
he served with distinction. 

The second iMper established in Angus was called 



and was launched by O. M. Brockett, now a prominent lawyer of 
Des Moines. Mr. Brockett, when applied to for a history of his 
newspaper career there, gave a full and interesting description of tlie 
influences that led him to locate there and of his career while living 
there. He writes: 

''About the month of February, 1883, 1 went to Angus with a 
view to considering its desirability as a location to practice law. 
I received the report that it was a town of about thirty-five hundred 
people; that there was but one lawyer there, who was also engaged 
in publishing a newspaper. It is my recollection that the place was 
then about three years old. Possibly one or two of the coal mines 
had been operated longer, but the real growth of the town at that 
time had been confined to a period of about three years. There 
seemed to be work for everybody and money was plentiful. On 
visiting the business men and talking with some of the leading miners, 
I met with the suggestion and encouragement, apparently from all 
classes, to start a. competing newspaper as well as law office. 

"I had never had any experience in newspaper work and had no 
means, but the use of money was voluntarily ofifered to get a 
newspaper outfit. Robert A. Lowry was the name of the young 
lawver who was then publishing the established newspaper called 
The Black Diamond. As soon as he learned that I was being encour- 
aged to consider the proposition to conduct an opposition news- 
paper, he began the publication of a series of irritating personal 
paragraphs and articles on the subject, frequently alluding to me as 
the 'tender-foot.' It was probably the element of truth in the asser- 
tion that made it irritating. Instead of deterring me, however, it 
had the opposite efifect of inclining me to rashness involved in the 

"It was learned that W. A. Helsell, an attorney of Odebolt, had 
acquired the press and outfit with which a newspaper had been pub- 
lished at that place by some Georgia fire-eater, whose name 1 can- 
not now recall, who had made a financial failure of his venture, but 
who afterwards went south and acquired considerable fame because 
of his peculiar style of writing. This material was bought on credit 
and a newspaper was issued some time in the spring, which immedi- 
ately attained considerable local popularity because it appropriated 
the characterization that Mr. Lowry's paper had applied to me. and 
called itself 'The Tender-foot.' 


"Things went fairly well considering that it had neither experi- 
ence niir money behind it, until the following fall, when the miners' 
organizations declared a general strike in that district, which involved 
all the mines except one. I immediately investigated conditions as 
thoroughly as I could and became satisfied that the operators could 
not afiford to give the increase of pay the miners demanded and upon 
so announcing a boycott was immediately directed against my paper 
and against those who patronized it. I was wholly unfamiliar with 
such a condition as existed and was probably poorly prepared to 
understand the class of people who largely composed the population. 
Some time afterward I changed the name of the paper to the Times, 
but continued to tell what I believed to be the truth about conditions 
during the strike, which lasted all winter, and was one of the worst 
that ever occurred in the state. About October of the following fall 
I abandoned the publication and disposed of the material in some 
way, as I now remember it, that effected a payment of the balance 
due on its purchase price. 

"That was in the fall of 1884. I then moved to Ogden and con- 
ducted a law office there for one year, at which time I moved to 
Boone and entered into partnership in the practice of law with Judge 
M. K. Ramsey." 


Some people think there was no pleasure to be enjoyed, and that 
no progress could be made, in the days that antedated the railroads. 
This is a mistake. All phases and conditions in life have their good 
things and their bad things. All periods of life have their means 
of progress and have to all appearances been satisfied with that prog- 
ress however slow it may have been. 

To those of the present generation it would indeed be a gloomy 
outlook were they reduced to the necessity of hauling all of their 
supplies 200 miles on wagons, with the slow-going ox teams, as 
was the case during the early settlement of the county. All of our 
commercial towns were then on the Mississippi River and in touch 
with the steamboats. It took twenty days to make a trip from Boone 
County to one of these commercial towns and back, with an ox team. 
From 3,000 to 4,000 pounds made a good load for two spans of oxen, 
over the kind of roads we had in those days, and the price paid for 
hauling was from $2 to $2.50 per hundred. The question is often 
asked, why it was that ox teams were so generally used in those days. 
The main reasons are that ox teams were better adapted to the unim- 
proved roads of the early settlement of the country than horse teams. 
They could also live upon the grass in the open country along the 
roads at that time, while feed had to be purchased for horse teams, 
which made them rather too expensive. 

It would not be possible to supply the interior cities of Iowa at 
the present date with teams only. If Iowa had no railroads today 
her populous and commercial cities would all be on the banks of the 
Mississippi and Missouri rivers and her present interior cities would 
be small villages. 

Some people think that the life of a teamster and particularly the 
ox drivers was one of extreme hardship. While this is true in a large 
measure, it is also true that here and there a glimmer of pleasure 
was found. When the weather was good and the roads were dry 



the teamster enjoyed his employment, but in time of wet weather 
and muddy roads the teamster had plenty of hardships and little 
pleasure. In such seasons as many as eight teams would travel 
together. If one of them got fast in the mud the others would hitch 
on and pull him out. In this wav thcv could travel on the ungradei 
roads, crossing the unbridged and swollen streams in times of wet 
weather, but no teamster could travel alone at such times. 

I remember that at one time the merchants of Boone County ran 
out of coffee and for ten davs couhl not furnish their customers with 
a single pound. At the end of tiiat time si.\ teams arrived from 
Keokuk, having on board sixteen sacks of coffee. There was great 
rejoicing over this arrival and lovers of coffee were once more happv. 

At another time there was not to be found in the county a single 
sack of flour for sale. The roads were e.xtremelv muddy and had 
been for two weeks. The people were becoming much alarmed over 
this state of affairs when three ox teams, belonging to the famous 
Goul brothers, unexpectedly arrived from Oskaloosa with 150 sacks 
of flour. Two hours after the arrival of these teams in Boonesboro 
every sack of this flour was sold, which created another season of 

One of the most exciting circumstances I ever witnessed during 
the days of wagon transportation of goods occurred near the Town of 
Mount Pleasant, in Henry County. This was in September, 1855. 
Three teamsters, the father, a brother and the writer of this article, 
went to Burlington the first of that month to haul goods for the firm 
of Shanon & Grether, whose store stood across from the courthouse 
on the east side of the square in Boonesboro (now- the Fifth \\'ard of 
Boone) . 

Down near Oskaloosa we fell in company with two young men 
from Red Rock who were on their way to Burlington after a steam 
boiler. They had two new wagons attached together with a platform 
of strong timbers built upon each wagon. 'I'he intention was to place 
the ends ot the boiler on these platforms, making each wagon carry 
one-half the weight of the boiler. Hitched to these wagons were six 
spans of oxen, and the young men were very proud of their big team. 
They were all very nice animals and the smaller teams had to give 
the road. 

just before entering Mount Pleasant we met two heavilv loaded 
four-horse stages coming at a high speed. Thev belonged to the 
Western Stage Company and this was their second vear in Iowa. 
The drivers were saucv, bold and aggressive, and claimed that all 


teams should give them the road, because they carried the United 
States mail. The oldest of the two brothers from Red Rock was in 
the rear of the string of teams, riding and talking with the father of 
the writer, all unconscious of what was about to take place at the 
front. The younger brother was driving the big team and was in the 
lead of all the other teams. He felt very important and was as saucy, 
bold and defiant as any one on the road. He said his team was too 
big and important to give even a stage more than half of the road, if 
it did carry the mail. The stage in the lead came dashing up and 
was just in the act of running against the big ox team, when the young 
ox driver from Red Rock struck the front span of stage horses a ter- 
rific rap upon the head with his big ox whip. In spite of all the skill 
of the stage driver they made a quick turn to the other side of the 
road, pulling the wheel horses around with them, and turned the 
stage coach over on its side. The stage driver leaped from the box 
and caught his leading span of horses by the bits. The passengers 
crawled out through the upper door of the coach as it laid upon its 
side, and as good fortune would have it none of them was hurt, 
though most of them were badly scared. There was loud talk between 
the two drivers, mixed up with much profanity. 

About this time the older brother came up from the rear. He 
was greatly astonished at what had happened and, feeling more grave 
about it than his brother, he was very apologetic. He peremptorily 
ordered his brother to pull around the stage and drive on, while he 
assisted the stage driver in getting his horses disentangled, then as- 
sisted the passengers and aided in turning the coach right side up 
again. He then made a genteel apology for what his brother had 
done and assured the stage driver that if he had been present nothing 
of the kind would have happened. This apology and the assistance 
rendered by the elder brother pacified the stage driver and he went 
on his way rejoicing. One of the passengers in the coach which was 
turned over was from the East, and he said that if this was a sample 
of how things were done in Iowa he wished to get out of the state as 
soon as possible. 

A wagon load of goods often reached the value of $i,ooo, and 
it was understood that a teamster was held for all goods lost or dam- 
aged while in his possession. An attempt was made to steal from a 
teamster's wagon one night in July of 1856 near Birmingham, in Van 
Buren County. The barking of a faithful dog aroused the teamsters 
just as the thieves were starting away with a box of readv made cloth- 
ing. Some of the teamsters discharged their firearms, which caused 


the thieves to drop the box and make their escape. This they suc- 
ceeded in doing. It was said that a band of thieves was located on 
the river, not far from Birmingham and that they made some suc- 
cessful robberies of this kind, but this was the only one of which 
the writer had any personal knowledge. 


The Western Stage Company, operating the Western Stage Line, 
established its line between Des Moines and Boone in 1854. At that 
time E. S. Alvord, of Indianapolis, Indiana, was president of the 
company and Col. E. S. Hooker was its manager. He opened the 
new quarters in Des Moines and inaugurated the new service to 
Boone. Others prominently connected with the line were: Kimball 
Porter, of Iowa City; W. H. Sullivan, D. Talmage, Mr. Shoemaker 
and Mr. Campbell, of Ohio. Colonel Hooker retired from the posi- 
tion of manager in i<S66. being succeeded by R. Lounsberry, who 
continued as manager of the line until its final abantionment on the 
advent of the railway. 

The stages of the Western Stage Line carried the members of the 
Thirtv-third and Thirty-ninth Iowa Infantry, with all their per- 
sonal equipment, to Davenport, when tiiey left to join the I'nion 
army at the front during the Civil war. Only two days were required 
for the transportation of each regiment, which was excellent time 
in those days. These stages also carried detachments of the Second, 
Sixth, Tenth and Fifteenth regiments to their rendezvous. In this 
wav also most of the members of the state Legislature were trans- 
ported to the capital and returned to their homes. 

The last coach belonging to the company in Des Moines was 
sold to lames Stephenson, of Omaha, in 1874. This company was 
an important factor in the early days of the settlement of Iowa. 
It had t\\() lines to Council Blufifs, one to F\)rt Dodge, by way of 
Boonesboro, and branch lines leading in many directions. It was 
the onlv means open t(5 the general public for the transportation of 
the mails and of passengers in those days. The arrival and departure 
of the stage then was a much greater event to the communities along 
the lines than that of the palatial railway trains which now pull 
majesticallv in and out of the railway stations so many times each 
day. The schedule was changed gradually from semi-weekly to tri- 
weekly and Hnally to daily trips, as the state settled up and business 
increased. In one vear the receipts of the stage company on the line 


between Des Moines and Boone reached the sum ot $100,000 — a large 
business for that day. 

With the building of the railroads, wagon transportation of goods 
over long distances and stage transportation of passengers gradually 
ceased. The teamsters and stage drivers turned to the peaceful pur- 
suits of home, which was better, but not so exciting. 


At the time that Boone was organized as a county there was not 
a railroad within its borders. This was not so strange when it is 
considered that the great City of Chicago, then beginning to assume 
proportions, was without this great transportation facility which has 
made this country what it is today. There were then less than five 
thousand miles of railroad in the United States and not a mile of 
track hiid west of the Mississippi River. It was not onlv thought im- 
possible to secure railroad communication with the East, but for many 
years the efforts to bring Illinois and Iowa together bv the building of 
a bridge across the Mississippi River appeared to be not only a phys- 
ical impossibility bu<- one to be resisted by the river interests. This 
latter fear was fully realized after the first bridge was built span- 
ning the Mississippi River and connecting Rock Island, Illinois, with 
Davenport, Iowa. It was presumed by many that river navigation 
sufficient to take care of the trafiic along the navigable streams would 
meet the necessities of the people for practically all time to come. 
Thus it was that the opening up of water communication was first 
adopted in this state. It was supposed that by means of locks and 
dams the Des Moines River could be made navigable, and even prior 
to the time the first settlements were made in Boone County, over- 
tures were made to the National Congress for appropriations to be 
used in improving this great inland river of the Hawkeye state. 
A large grant of lands for the purpose was made by Congress in 1846. 
Appropriations of large sums of money were also made and work 
of a stupendous character was applied to the reclamation of the 
stream in the effort to secure this body of water to the people for 
practical navigable purposes. The money, time and labor were all 
expended in vain and it is a question today among certain interests 
and the Government whether or not the Des Moines River is actually 
a navigable body of water, within the meaning and spirit of tlic term. 

The first railroad to enter Iowa was laid into Davenport in Mav, 
1857. and is now the main line running west from tiie City of Chicago 


of the Chicaj^i), Knck Island & Pacific system. The iron track (they 
had no steel rails in those days) was completed in the year above 
mentioned from Davenport to Iowa City — a distance of fifty-four 
miles. This created, one might sav, a passion among the settlers of 
that primitive time for the building of railroads, and the question 
was coiitinuallv in the minds of tlie people anil discussed in private 
and public places. Numerous lines were projected, some surveyed, 
but it soon became evident that the roads already projected, and new 
ones in embrvo, could not be built without verv material aid from 
the people themselves, or from the state, 'ibis position developed 
into a movement, fostered bv numerously signed petitions, asking the 
state for a public grant of lands to aid in the construction of rail- 
roads, lliese petitions, with the influence of senators and representa- 
tives from the state, had the desired efifect, and grants were finally 
made. The act granting land was approved May 15, 1856, and was 
made to aid in the construction of four lines of railway to cross the 
state from east to west. One of these was known as the Iowa Central 
Air Line Railroad, which was to cross Iowa as nearlv as practicable 
on the forty-second parallel. This road received a grant of land 
comprising about seven hundred and thirtv-si\ thousand acres. For 
some reason, however, the Iowa Central Air Line failed to take 
advantage of the grant and the land set apart for this pri)ject was 
regranted to the Cedar Rapids & Missouri Railroad, which was 
essentially the same as the Air Line above reefrred to, and now 
known as the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad. This was the first 
railroad to be built through Boone County and is todav part of one 
of the greatest systems of railroads in the world. 

The grant of land to this road was approved A Lav i c;. 1856. 
Before the railroad could come into possession of the lands it was 
necessary for the company having the project in view to locate the 
trend of the improvement and deposit in the general land office at 
Washington a map showing all the physical details of the proposed 

The act granting to the Cedar Rapids & Missouri Railroad Com- 
pany the tracts of land within the State of Iowa was approved May 15, 
1856, and the Cedar Rapids & Missouri Railroad Companv was 
allowed to modify or change the incompleted portion of its line, 
which had been built in the eastern part of the state. This was to 
enable the company to secure a better and more expeditious line to 
the Missouri River. At least that is the reason given bv promoters 
of the railroad company, but it has often been intimated that the 


real object of the railroad company wanting tiic privilege to change 
the location of the line was to permit it to secure in a more or less 
arbitrary manner subsidies in the way of lands, depot sites, right of 
way, money, notes, labor and the like from individuals owning prop- 
erty in the tow^ns along the proposed line and from the various coun- 
ties whose territory it would traverse. Special legislation was secured 
and then certain citizens of Boonesboro and other parts of Boone 
Countv received communications from John I. Blair and W. W. 
Walker, the principal promoters of the Cedar Rapids & Missouri 
Railroad Company, to meet them in Cedar Rapids, in order to con- 
sult among themselves the question of building the line of railroad 
through the county and county seat of Boone. The invitation was 
accepted and after the interview with Mr. Blair and Mr. Walker 
it developed that in order to secure the railroad through Boone 
County it would be necessary for the county to donate to the railroad 
companv all its available swamp lands and swamp land funds. 

It further developed that the people of Boonesboro, in order for 
them to secure the road and have a depot established there, would 
be compelled to donate to the railroad companv twentv acres 
of depot grounds, right of way through the county and $10,000 in 

It is needless to say, when one considers how eager the people of 
the early days were to secure railroad facilities, that each and every 
one of the demands set before them by John I. Blair and W. W. 
Walker were acceded to, and the board of supervisors did thereupon 
enter into the following contract: 

"That the said partv of the first part, in consideration of the sum 
of one dollar, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, and of 
the stipulations hereinafter mentioned, and for the purpose of making 
or aiding in making the Cedar Rapids & Missouri Railroad through 
the County of Boone, has this day bargained and sold, and by these 
presents does bargain and sell, to the parties of the second part, all 
and singular the interests, rights, privileges and powers which the 
County of Boone has or may hereafter acquire in and to the swamp 
lands and funds which mav be received from the sale of said lands, 
or as indemnity for lands heretofore sold by the general Government 
under the several acts of Congress and of the State of Iowa in rela- 
tion to such lands, so far as same pertain to or are applicable to such 
swamp land and swamp land funds in said County of Boone, hereby 
intending to place fully at the disposal of said party of the second 
part all the said lands and monev or scrip or notes, or other obliga- 


tions received in lieu of such lands, whether now at the disposal of 
said county or hereafter accruing to said county under any law or 
laws of Congress or of the State dI Inwa, which are now in force 
or mav hereafter he enactxi in rchitinn to said swamp land and 
swamp land funds, as full as the same imw or hereafter may be at 
the disposal or under the control of said county. 

"Provided, however, that this tyrant is made subject to the condi- 
tions imposed bv law in relation to such swamp lands and swamp land 
funds, and that the title tti ihc same shall not be delivered to the said 
party of the second part until at least ten miles of said road westerly 
from the east line of said county is completed and put in operation 
in said C^)unty of Boone, e.xcein the money now on hand, or 
that mav hereafter be received by said county, may at any time be 
paid to the said party of the second part by order of the board of 
supervisors, to be useil by the said party of the second part as the 
work progresses, but onlv in the construction of said road in said 

"Provided, further, that if the ten miles of the said road westerly 
from the east line of said countv is not completed and put in opera- 
tion in said countv on or befdre the ist day of Januarv, 1866, then, 
and in that case, this contract shall become null and void, but not 

"It is, however, agreed between said parties when said road is 
completed as aforesaid, or in respect of the moneys and notes on 
hand, or that mav be received during the progress of said work, as 
the work progresses in said county the same shall be conveved, 
assigned, paid over and delivered to said partv of the second part, 
to which end the said party of the first part hereby agrees and cov- 
enants with the said party of the second part shall be entitled to the 
same under this contract anv and all deeds, releases, assignments so 
as fullv to carrv out the object and intent of this contract. And the 
said party of the second part agrees to carry out all the legal con- 
tracts heretofore made by said county for the sale of said swamp 
lands upon terms and conditions agreed upon between the countv 
and said purciiasers. 

"It is also agreed and up.derstood that said partv of the first part 
may reserve in the even numbered sections a sufficient number of 
acres of said swamp lands, not exceeding three sections, or igzo acres, 
to satisfy the swamp land warrants now outstanding in said countv, 
one-hall of saitl three sections to be selecteil bv said countv, and the 
other half by said company. 


"It is further agreed that any indebtedness of the County of 
Boone to the swamp land fund, to the said County of Boone shall be 
and is hereby balanced and canceled. 

"And the said party of the second part hereby accepts the said 
grant, subject to all the provisions of the act of Congress of Septem- 
ber 28, 1850, and hereby expressly releases the State of Iowa and the 
County of Boone from all liability for reclaiming said lands. 

"This contract is to be and become of full force and effect, to be 
binding on said parties hereto according to the true meaning and 
intent thereof, from and after the same shall be satisfied by a vote 
of the people of said county as in such cases made and provided for 
by law. 

"Thomas Sparks, 

"President of Board of Supervisors. 

"James Chapman, 

"W. W. Walker, 
"For Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad." 

The proposition being submitted to a vote of the electorate, was 
ratified. Similar arrangements were made with other counties along 
the line and the work of construction was pushed forward, so that 
by the year 1865 it had reached the limits of Boone County. Work, 
had already been accomplished beyond Boonesboro and ties were 
strewn along the roadbed, to be placed for the setting of the rails, 
but at this juncture John I. Blair and W. W. Walker exhibited some 
dissatisfaction regarding the conduct of certain of the leading Boones- 
boro people in that the entire amount of their subsidy had not been 
raised. It was therefore agreed that the subsidy of Boonesboro 
should consist of $7,000 and an additional amount of land, besides 
the twenty acres already secured for depot purposes, and a right of 
way across the county. All the conditions had been complied with 
excepting the payment of $1,200. Blair insisted that John A. McFar- 
land should endorse the notes issued for this amount. McFarland 
refused and then Blair informed a committee of the Boonesboro citi- 
zens having the matter in hand that he would give the people of 
Boonesboro three days to arrange matters. 

A. B. Holcomb, one of the pioneer business men, had as early as 
1856 conceived the idea that if a railroad was built through the 
county it would take a course a few miles east of Boonesboro and 
that a depot would be established at a point of deflection which 
would be at too great a distance from Boonesboro; hence, a new town 


would spring up in the neighborhood of the depot. Feeling well 
assured in his mind that he had figured the matter out properly he 
secured possession of a tract of land near where he thought the depot 
would be established. A man by the name of Keeler, who had the 
same idea in regard to the matter as Holcomb. erected a frame build- 
ing designed for a hotel near where the depot is now located. A man 
by the name of Beal also secured an interest in the land adjoining 
the place where Holcomb conceived the depot would be placed, and 
eventualities have proven that Holcomb either had prophetic visions, 
or was in touch with individuals giving him information not reach- 
ing others who might be interested. The road was built as Holcomb 
judged it would be, and with the building of a depot Holcomb, 
Keeler and others realized large profits ofi their investments in land 
and drawing the business interests of Boonesboro to the new town 
of Montana, now the City <'f Boone, which was laid out and platted 
by John 1. Blair, a leading factor in the construction of the Cedar 
Rapids & Missouri Railroad, now a part of the great Northwestern 
system. 'I he road was completed across the county, leased to the 
Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company and long since has 
become a part and parcel of its great property interests. 

Since its inception the Northwestern has invested large sums of 
monev in valuable properties here. Their yards are filled with cars 
that contain merchandise consigned to all parts of the civilized world, 
giving emplovment to many crews of men, totaling probably two 
hundred. In addition, there are men employed in great numbers at 
the rountlhouse and repair shops. 

Tlie passenger traffic through Boone, which is the Iowa division 
of the road, is also very heavy. Many passenger trains pass through 
the citv loaded with tourists and travelers and for the accommoda- 
tion of those who stop off in Boone, the company maintains a hotel 
and restaurant at the station — a splendid brick structure, erected by 
the company. 

The company has a thirty-eight stall roundhouse, which took the 
place of a large brick stable built for its engines early in the com- 
pany's existence. This building was condemned and demolished in 
the summer of 19 14. 

The construction of the viaduct was begun in [899 and two years 
were required in the building. At the time it was the greatest bridge 
of its kind in the world and was opened for traffic by the Chicago & 
Northwestern Railroad on Sundav morning, Mav 19, 1901. The 
primarv object ot the construction of this expensive piece of work 



was anniliilatinn of distance. The bridge is located four miles west 
of Boone and crosses the Des Moines River at one of its most pic- 
turesque spots. It is 2,685 ^^^^ '"iigi 27 feet wide and stands 181; feet 
above the water. The cost was $1,000,000. 


The Hubbclls and other capitalists of Des Moines constructed 
the Boone branch of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, 
which enters the county at the south, having Madrid for its first sta- 
tion. Its passenger and freight traffic makes this line one of the 
important ones of the county. It has a very neat and comfortable 
depot on West Sixth Street, which is easily reached bv the trolley. 


The coming of the Fort Dodge, Des Moines & Southern Railroad 
to Boone was hailed with acclaim by all her citizens. It was in 
February, 1906, that under the direction of the general manager, 
J. L. Blake, it was determined to electrify and lease from the Newton 
& Northwestern Railroad Company, a steam road running from 
Newton to Rockwell City, that part of the line from what is now 
Fort Dodge Junction to Des Moines Junction, and build lines inter- 
mediary between the junctions and the cities whose names they bear, 
tapping a rich rural territory and making a short line from Des 
Moines to Fort Dodge. The Fort Dodge, Des Moines & Southern 
Interurban was organized for this purpose, and in the deal the Fort 
Dodge street car system and the Ames and College dummv line 
were included, involving the construction of a seven-mile branch from 
Kelly to the Iowa State College, the electrifying of the College road 
and the building of a college depot. The work of construction was 
immediately begun early in the year 1906 and was completed in 1907. 
The track, roadbed and rolling stock were designed and constructed 
to handle heavy freight and traffic as well as a fast passenger service. 
The Fort Dodge, Des Moines & Southern crosses or reaches every 
trunk line in the State of Iowa, has through freight rates and billing 
arrangements with every one of them, and through these agreements 
Boone enjoys almost the same advantages of transportation facilities 
as if it were actually reached by these trunk lines. 

The main powerhouse was built at Fraser at a great cost. The 
roadbed can hardly be surpassed, as it is well constructed with 


jo-pound steel rails, laid upon the best white oak ties. The streams 
are crossed bv steel bridges, one of which, over the Des Moines River, 
five miles south of Fort Dodge, is of the very highest character in 
point of material and construction. Another is the trestle whicii 
spans one of the canvons west of Boone, which is mo feet long and 
150 feet high. 

The general office building of the road was C(Mistructed in 1907 
and stands on the east side of Story Street, between 'i'enth and Elev- 
enth streets, it is a two-story brick and afifords depot facilities and 
office rooms for olhcials located here. The car barns are at Eleventh 
and Harrison streets. 

IOWA K.MI.W'.W .\.\1) IJtillT COMP.XXV 

No enterprise in the City of Boone has shown such rapid develop- 
ment as its public utilities. We would especially mention the street 
railway system and the electric lighting system of the city. In the 
beginning these were separate. Now thev are combined under one 
ownership and management and have grown to enterprises of great 

In 1883 J. R. W'hitaker, L. W. Reynolds and I. B. Hodges organ- 
ized the Boone & Boonesboro Street Railwav Companv, with a capi- 
tal stock of $30,000. Tracks were laid from the courthouse square 
to Eighth and Story streets, and thence one block north, along prac- 
ticallv the same route as is now traversed bv the street railway line. 
The track was narrow gauge, the cars were drawn bv a single horse, 
and the seating capacitv of the first cars was for ten people, although 
frequentlv three times this number crowded aboard. Later as pat- 
ronage increased cars of twice the capacity of the first ones were 
purchased, the track broadened and two horses were emploved in 
pulling the cars. 'l"he horse cars continued until 189:5; in the mean- 
time .Mr. Reynolds had acquired the entire ownership of the propertv. 

The first electric lights were installed in i88q. In that vear the 
Hoone Electric Light Company was formed with the following cor- 
porators and officers: Louis Goeppinger, president; Frank Chanip- 
lin, secretary and treasurer; Louis Burgis, superintendent; C. J. A. 
Ericson, J. .M. Herman and F. Holbrook. The capita! stock was 
$10,000. The articles of incorporation adopted bv them declared the 
business to be "the establishment and operation of central lighting 
stations at Boone and Boonesboro." These men were the principal 
owners ot the B lone Linseed Oil Companv, and thev had conceived 


the idea of generating electricity at tlie linseed oil mill with the en- 
gines used to run the mill during the daytime. A franchise was 
readily granted them by the city; lines were extended to supply such 
customers as wished the service, but electric lighting besides being 
novel was regarded much as an experiment, customers were few, the 
cost of manufacture and distribution was expensive and the service 
was regarded as a luxury. It must be said for the promoters of this 
enterprise that they were the pioneers in the field of electric lighting 
in Central Iowa. The system they installed, then called the Kdison 
system, was among the first, if not the first, of its kind, in the state. 
This plant continued to operate until April i, 1892, when it was 
found that the same would have to be rebuilt, involving larger expen- 
ditures, and these men, who had been operating the plant largely out 
of public spirit, wished to retire from the field, and closed down the 
plant. For more than a year the city had no lighting system. 

Came forward now L. W. Reynolds. He had long been one of 
Boone's leading attorneys. He was a builder and organizer. He 
was the owner of the horse street railway, he w^as observing the growth 
of the city, he could see its bright future, he had been watching the 
application of electricity as a motive power, electricity for lighting 
had passed its experimental stage and had become a necessity rather 
than a luxury. His proposition was to unite the lighting and street 
railway systems and operate the latter with electric power. Many 
looked upon this as an experiment, and an unwise one at that, but 
he was willing to hazard his capital, and the coterie of gentlemen 
'who had started the Boone Electric Light Company joined hands in 
the enterprise. 

Mr. Reynolds in 1892 organized the Boone Electric Street Rail- 
way & Light Company with a capital of $200,000. Bonds amounting 
to $75,000 were issued to take over the properties and rebuild them. 
A new electric plant, a model for its day, was erected, lighting lines 
extended, street railway electrified, and all went into operation in 
the summer and fall of 1893. In 1901 Mr. Reynolds built a suburban 
line from the courthouse to Shepardtown, west of the city, and later 
extended this to the Boone viaduct. In 1902 he built the central 
heating system operated in connection with the electric plant, by 
which the business district and a part of the residence district of the 
city is heated. He had other plans for the extension of his properties 
when death overtook him July 31, 1903. 

John Reynolds, son of L. W., succeeded him as president and 
manager of the companies and properties. His management was 


efficient and successful, but iidw it was found again tliat the system 
his fatlur had built up had been outgrown by the growing city. In 
1910 he secured new franchises and had begun to rebuild the prop- 
erties when the present owners of the properties came upon the scene, 
anti completed the purchase of the same. 

Col. William G. Dows, Isaac B. Smith and |ohn A. Reed, of 
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, ac(]uired these properties in 191 1, and operated 
the same under name of Boone Electric Company, until September 
I, 1912, when the same was taken over by Iowa Railway & Light 
Company, a company organized by them, which also acquired the 
electric properties and public utilities of numerous other Iowa cities 
and towns. Their policy lias been to build up their properties. At 
Boone, the [lowerhouse was entirely abandoned and a new jiower- 
house with new machinery was installed, the lighting lines renewed 
and extended, the street railway improved and new equipment added. 
This company owns and operates the Cedar Rapids & Iowa City 
Railway running between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City and Cedar 
Rapids and .\It. Vernon, the street railways at Boone, Marshalltown, 
Tama and Toledo, heating properties in Cedar Rapids, Boone, 
IMarion and Perry, the gas plant in Marshalltown; but their growing' 
field is in tiie manufacture and sale and distribution of electricity 
for liglit and power. At Cedar Rapids, Marshalltown, Boone, Perry 
and Neyada they operate electric power plants and bv a system of 
transmission lines reaching out from these plants light the cities and 
towns and furnish power for the industries for manv cities and towns 
through the central portion of the state. 

From the Boone plant electricity is transmitted for lighting and 
power purposes to Madrid, Slater, Sheldahl, Woodward, Bouton 
and connected for the operation of their plant in the City of Perry. 
In all the cities and towns in which this company is operating prac- 
tically all of the wheels of industry are turned with the power 
supplied by them. 

So it will be seen that from the small start that Louis Goeppinger 
(still living) made thirty years ago the Boone Electric System has 
become not only large enough to meet the future needs of the city for 
years to come, but is built to supply the surrounding cities and towns. 
As this article is being written, word comes that Jefiferson, county 
seat of Cjreene County, and a number of towns of that county will be 
supplied with electric current from these plants of Iowa Railway & 
Light Company over high voltage lines. 


This all means that wc arc in a new era so far as electricity is 
concerned, and Boone has taken the same prompt place in tiie 
advancement within this era as our enterprizinL? townsmen took in 

However, in these days of highly developed efficiency, manage- 
ment and service, history must record the pioneers in the electric 
lighting and street railway field in the city. The name of L. W. 
Reynolds will always be remembered in connection with these days 
of the early development of these enterprises. For many years S. T. 
Stanfield was secretary of his companies and actively engaged in their 
management; around here are also those who helped in their way to 
make these public enterprises a success. Looking forward it would 
seem that further advances were impossible, but who knows but that 
the future holds as much as did the past, covered by this article. 


The reader has been familiarized up to this point with the acts 
of those in authority leading to the locating of the county seat and 
the naming of it Boonesboro. A former chapter gives the details of 
this important event. The province of this chapter is to portray, in 
a general way, how the town was settled, by whom, the first habita- 
tions, business places, courtrooms, hotel, church, school, etc. 

As will be remembered, the Town of Boonesboro was laid out 
early in the summer of 1851, and almost immediately thereafter 
Wesley C. Hull erected a log house, the first building put up in the 
county seat town. This crude and primitive structure was built on 
a lot just east of the public square and for some time served the 
varied purposes of a home for its proprietor, boarding house or 
tavern, business house, postoffice, courthouse, school and church. 
And after the old building was removed, the site upon which it stood 
served for many years as a location for local hostelries, chief among 
which were the Parker House and its successor, the Occidental 
Hotel. To Wesley C. Hull is given the distinction of being Boones. 
boro's first inhabitant, but his advent was probably coexistant with 
the coming of S. B. McCall, John Houscr, J. A. McFarland, William 
Carroll, Dr. J. F. Rice, Dr. D. S. Holtonand Wesley Carroll. 

Boonesboro's growth the first two or three years was practically 
a negligible quantity, as no business concern is recorded as coming 
into existence until 1854. In the month of December of that year, 
J. A. McFarland established the first mercantile house, opening a 
general stock of goods in a small building east of the present court- 
house square. Mr. McFarland, even for those early days, when the 
countv was sparsely settled and money scarce, carried a large stock 
of goods, and as the town grew he prospered. He was the pioneer 
merchant of Boonesboro, became successful in his undertakings and 
was a powerful and consistent factor in building Boonesboro, and 
later, its successful rival, Boone. He became a banker, and in 1873 



built tlic most pretentious business structure for that day in Boone, 
still standing on the nortlnvest corner of Eightli and Keeler Streets, 
and used for banking purposes until early in the year 1914, when it 
was vacated bv the Boone Security Trust and Savings Bank to take 
up (]uarters in its new :f6o,(X)(:) home on the opposite corner. 

Bv the vear 18(54 Boonesboro had grown to a hamlet of eleven 
log houses and two of frame. The first frame building was put 
up bv [. A. iMcFarland in i<S:;j^; the second structure of like material 
was built bv C. lieal in the fall of iH£;4, and the third by Joiin 
Houser, who, ostensiblv Iiaving the means and also the desire to 
outshine his neighbors, built a frame structure in the winter of 
1854-;;^, the size and architectural design of which made him tiie 
envv of all beholders. Unfortunately, the Houser effort, soon after 
completion, was destroved by tire during the absence of its owner, 
but being heavilv insured, it is surmised the loss was only regretted 
b\ those having no interest in the property other than that of local 
pride in the growth of the embrvo city. Mr. Houser retired from 
Boonesboro after the incident to take up the threads of a futuie 
career in the farther western country. 

The spring of i8qq found Boonesboro active and growing. By 
this time there were eighteen families living here, a number of whose 
names follow:}. A. McFarland, S. B. McCall, John A. Hull, Wesley 
Carroll, William Carroll, C. J. McFarland, A. L. Spcer, Dr. L. J. 
Royster, Elisha Bowman, C. T. Large, E. L. Hinton, James W. 
Black and L. Regan. Before the end of the year George W. Crooks 
and his widowed mother moved into town from the farm and Mr. 
Crooks remembers there were then about three hundred inhabitants 
in Boonesboro. John A. McFarland had a general store; John 
Houser a hotel and store; \\'illiam Carroll had ready-made clothing 
and notions; Shallum Thomas, a general store and afterwards prac- 
ticed law; R, J. Shannon had the largest stock of goods of anv man 
in town, which he installed in a building erected by himself in i8i;4. 
Thomas Claflin was also one of the merchants in the latter part of 
i8i;q. John McCarty dealt in stoves and tinware in a little frame 
building, the second story of which soon became the first Odd Fellows' 
temple in Boone County. William Bell was the village blacksmith, 
and one Newhouse ran a diminutive sawmill, built in 1854. Fie 
continued in the business about five years and then sold the mill to 
Doctor Rice. James \Y. Black was long in the trade at Boonesboro 
and then became a mercliant at Boone, later applving his energies to 
the buying aiid selling of live stock. 


The first schoolhousc was built of logs and stood on the site of 
the old I'ifth ward school building. C. W. Hamilton presided 
over this primitive institution of learning. The building was used 
for many purposes. Church societies, then in their infancy, held 
religious mcLtings within its walls. It was here that Reverend Mont- 
gomery, a Methodist circuit rider, and afterwards county judge, 
preached the Word to the spiritually famishing, and in the old 
schoolroom Judge C. J. McFarland, noted for his erudition, legal 
acumen and eccentricities, held the early courts of the fifth judicial 
district, of which Boone County was then a part. 

The original Town of Boonesboro lay within the confines of 
the northwest quarter of Section 29, Township 84, Range 26, and con- 
sisted of a public square, devoted to courthouse purposes; twenty- 
four blocks of eight lots each, four streets and five alleys. The 
streets were si.\ty feet wide. Several additions were laid out, the 
most noteworthy of which was the one of 1865, when the railroad 
was completed and Boone sprang into existence. The object of its 
proprietor was evidently to extend Boonesboro in the direction of the 
depot, far away from the old town, and thus bring the two places 
together, to the advantage of the county seat. But the effort "died 
a-bornin'." The new town (Montana) grew apace, while Boones- 
boro and Capp's Addition, despite every efifort, took a retrograde 
movement and at last, meeting and recognizing the inevitable, 
acknowledged defeat. Extensive and fatuous building operations 
ceased and soon Montana, now the City of Boone, was in full sway 
and the county seat, as a separate entity and controlling municipal 
factor, lost its identity in that of its rival and successful competitor. 


Boonesboro remained a part of the township in which it is situ- 
ated, for governmental purposes, until June 4, 1865, when it was 
incorporated. An election was held soon thereafter and the follow- 
ing officers were elected: Mayor, John A. Hull; recorder, Samuel 
B. McCall; aldermen, Charles Schleiter, D. C. Ketchum, Walter 

In November, 1865, the town council of Boonesboro, m?t and 
adopted a seal and described the boundaries of the municipalitv. At 
this time the population was about two thousand and the communitv 
had prospered and C(jntinued so to do, even up to the year 1869, not- 
withstanding the serious blow sustained in losing the railroad depot 


and having an active and strenuous competitor right at her door. 
The county seat was in for another bhick eye, however, when, in 
1866, Montana (Boone) was gi\en a postoffice, named Boone Station, 
Not satisfied with tins, the new town vainly attempted to wrest from 
the county seat its temple of justice, by defeating at the polls in the 
fall of 186^ a proposition to build a new courthouse. In the summer 
of 1914, Boone's ambition in this direction again was thwarted by 
residents of the localitv in which the old town is located, when tiiey 
successfullv retarded the construction of a new courthouse, sought to 
be located in another place from its present site, by having a tem- 
porary injunction allowed, enjoining the board of supervisors from 
issuing $200,000 in bonds, to be expended on a site and new court- 
house building. 


The Citv of Boone was laid out bv John I. Blair, March 4, 1865, 
and named Montana. Blair was the chief factor in the building 
of the first railroad into Boone, which is now known as the Chicago 
& Northwestern, and when he died a quarter of a century ago, he 
left an estate estimated to be worth $40,000,000. The original site 
of the town was located in the north part of Section 21, Township 84. 
An auction sale of lots tt)ok place S(Jon thereafter. But all of this 
occurred before the railroad was finished and operating into the 
place. As an inducement to purchasers of lots it was advertised by 
Blair that a depot would be located in the proposed town, that the 
latter would be made a division point, the erection of a roundhouse 
was assured and that shops of the company and the general offices 
would be established here. Relying upon these promises manv per- 
sons assembled nt the place chosen for the purpose on the 29th day 
of .March. i86q, and bought fiftv lots, at prices ranging from $c;o 
to $1500 each. 

At the time Boone was laid out one house stood within its con- 
fines. This had been built by a Mr. Keeler in 1856, and was a 
two-story frame affair, put up for a tavern, and stood on Storv Street, 
a short distance south of the railroad. The building was removed 
to another location soon after the first sale of lots and became the 
St. James Hotel, "mine host" being Capt. Samuel Crozier. Not 
long afterward a building was erected opposite the St. James for ' 
hotel purposes by C. E. Phipps and was named the Eagle House. 
During this season of 186:;, over one hundred houses, most of them 


- s- 

i **^ 

J' -^ 












of a temporary character, were built, designed for both business and 
residence purposes. In 1H66, building increased over the former 
years by at least one hundred per cent and in 1S67 the number of 
houses erected of all kinds exceeded the efforts of the two first years. 

Andrew Downing, a native of Illinois, was one of the first pur- 
chasers of lots in the new town. Desiring to buihl on his lot, which 
is situated on Story Street and south of Eighth, he was compelled 
to haul his lumber and other heavy material from Nevada by teams, 
as the railroad was not yet in operation at this place. He had the 
building under way by th? last of May and on the first day of Sep- 
tember, 1865, Mr. Downing opened in this, the first building erected 
in the town after it had been laid out, a stock of groceries and other 
necessaries, and thus became the premier merchant of the future 
City of Boone. The building in which he began business was a 
two-story frame, with ground dimensions of 20x34 feet. The second 
storv was occupied as a residence. In March, 1866, the new town 
was successful, after much difficulty and vexation of spirit, in pro- 
curing a postofiice. Mr. Downing received the appointment as 
postmaster and kept the office in his store. The further history of 
the Boone postoffice is treated elsewhere. However, it should be 
here stated that the department at Washington named the first post- 
office here Booneville. This was subsequently changed to Montana 
and finally to Boone. 

Henry Hile put up the second house in Boone, a frame structure, 
which stood on the corner of Eighth and Allen streets. In this 
building Mr. Hile began a general mercantile business and continued 
manv vears. About the year 1893. Otto Hile, a son of this pioneer 
merchant, removed the little old frame from the lot and erected in 
its stead a modern three-story brick building, the two upper floors 
of which are given over to the Boone branch of the Des Moines 
Knitting Mills. 

Before the expiration of the year 1865 Louis Burgess built a 
two-story frame structure on the corner of Eighth and Story streets, 
which he stocked with a varied selection of dry goods. After serving 
its purpose long and well the old frame gave way to the present 
large brick business and office building known as the Mason Block. 

A business building was erected on the corner of Story and 
Seventh streets in the same year of Boone's birth by A. Robinson. 
Here was probablv the first boot and shoe store, as such, in the tow^n. 
The house was subsequently moved to the corner of Eighth and 
Keeler streets and serves as a dwelling and business place. H. 


Robinson, when the town was started, also built a house on Story 
Street, and here began the clothing business of the place. About 
this time A. J. Roberts erected a building on the lot where the old 
City Bank, stood and engaged as a retail grocer; J. B. Crafts was 
another one to build tins Hist year; Reynolds Brothers opened a stock 
of boots and shoes on the ground floor of the buihling and in the 
second story was a photograph gallery. During all this time many 
residences had gone up in different parts of the town, which gave to 
Messrs. Blair, Holcomb, Beal, Keeler and other proprietors of the 
land much comfort and financial gain. 'I'hose taking chances in 
leaving their Eastern homes and building a new town and making an 
anchorage for themselves and families were greatly encouraged by 
the outlook. Boone was coming on apace, and a pretty swift one at 
that, so tiiat all who were interested were gratified and induced to go 
on with the venture. 

The hrsl building in Boone put to tiie uses of a sciiool was erected 
by David Lutz in 1865, on Seventh Street. The hrst floor was 
converted into a schoolroom and the second served for living rooms. 
Another important feature of the year 1865 pertinent to this history 
is the fact that before the year had waned and passed away, religious 
services were held in the new town under some Cottonwood trees 
that stooii in the front of the St. James Hotel. Reverend Snodgrass, 
wlio figures in the history of the Methodist Church of Boonesboro, 
now known as the Marion Street Methodist Church, preached to a 
mixed congregation and was the first person to deliver a sermon in 
Boone. In December of that memorable year the Methodist Church 
was organized by Presiding Elder D. Larmont. During the month 
of March, 1867, the Presbyterian Church was organized and about 
the same time the Baptists efifected an organization. 

in the years 1866 and 1867 building operations were continuous 
and the place showed wonderful activity in every line of endeavor. 
Over three hundred buildings dotted the landscape. Early in the 
vcar 1867 the Metropolitan Mall Building was erected on the corner 
of Eighth and Storv, in which the first bank in Boone was opened by 
A. K. Wells; and the Goeppingers built their large brick business 
block and liarness factory on Story Street, still standing as a monu- 
ment to the skill and iionesty of the contractors of the time. The 
roundhouse promised bv the railroad company was built this year 
and stood until the summer of i()\-\., when it was torn down, having 
been condemned and discarded some years ago. A thirty-eight stall 


roundhouse has been in use by the company ever since the old one 
became useless. 

Men of the professions were soon attracted to Boone. Among 
the first were Bittenger & Hudson, lawyers, and Dr. L. J. Alleman, 
physician. To further particularize in this regard would be but to 
make repetitions, as both the legal and medical professions are 
treated in chapters of their own. 


The new town up to the time of its incorporation was known as 
Boone, the "ville," as a tail to the name, not being used. Early in 
the year 1866, there being some fifteen hundred inhabitants, most 
if not all of whom were loyal and ambitious for their town, began 
to take steps looking toward incorporation, and on the 7th day of 
May, 1866, their desires were gratified, as the following excerpts 
from the records of the city clerk show: 

Your petitioners, qualified voters and residents of the territory 
to be embraced in the proposed incorporation, the plat of which is 
hereunto annexed, would pray the honorable court to grant them 
incorporation for the same, as a bodv politic, to be named Montana, 
Iowa, which embraces all that tract of land known and designated as 
"The Town of Boone, Iowa," being situated in Boone County, Iowa. 

The west part of the northwest quarter of Section 27; the north 
part of Section 28, and the south part of Section 21, in Township 84, 
Range 26, west of the fifth principal meridian. And we name Bit- 
tinger & Hudson as our agents, to act for us before the court and 
elsewhere, in reference to this petition for incorporation. William 
H. Gallup, James G. Crozer, Jacob H. Lockwood, William Groner 
A. B. Holcomb, Levi Norton, R. D. Coldren, George A. Lowe 
E. G. Fracker, Jacob Snell, W. C. Martens, John A. Cotton, L. W 
Cook, L. H. Pepper, J. P. Drabeck, A. J. Roberts, E. B. Cook, ]. W 
Grosh, C. E. Phipps,' J. E. Dififenbacker, J. M. Dififenbacker,"T. J 
McChesney, J. Reece, J. W. Reece, A. M. Gould, H. C. Lewis, Mike 
Flattery, J. B. Crafts,'G. Harris, ]. S. Gregory, W. D. Moore, N. 
Whitehead, N. J. Meyers, John Meakin, C. T. Culver, R. C. Rocke, 
H. Burlingame, William H. Fuller, E. C. Lawrence, Henry Hile, 
John McFarland, S. Hills, J. Shelters, L. Young, W. C. Dillon, E. 
Renter, I. B. Peck, L. D. Babcock, Daniel Crafts, Michael Sod- 
wiski, H. P. Burleigh, Ira Price, H. W. Kistner, F. C. Hill, A. H. 
Ingersoll, C. E. Ripley, J. H. Adams, J. C. McChesney, George 


Holmes, Samuel Crozcr. J. S. Walters, Sol Kuh, J. T. Smith, W. H. 
Munger, E. Newton, V. W. Sawyer, G. W. Heugh, Perry Brocken, 
Anthony Kopitsky, Edward Carlton, Martin Davlin, C. C. Lambert, 
Thomas Gerrard, David Lutz, Benton Post, E. C. Whiting, G. W. 
Soverling, Thomas Conners, W. A. Aker, Thomas Fate, John Ack- 
ley, James L. Seber, Philip J. Gulp, G. A. Williams, H. F. Pratt, 
George Bates, E. C. Gould, L. Burgess, B. Hardcastle, H. Borigo, 
L. Ford, John Digby, J. D. Evans, H. Hudson. G. L. Bittenger, 
W. T. Tripp, G. S. Eddy, H. Weaver. 


In County Court, Boone County, Iowa, May 7, 1866. 
Having heard the witiiin petition for incorporation, ] hereby 
order that the same be granted according to the rcijuirements of said 

M. K, Ramsey. County Jinhjc. 
Filed 22d of February, 1866. Time set for hearing, the first 
Monday in May, 1866. 

M. K. Ramsey. County Judge. 

Filing fees, $1.50. 

Filed for record May 21, 1866, at 4 o'clock P. M. Recorded 
in Village Record Book No. "B," pages 501 and 502. 

Fees $2.2 1; paid. Recorder Boone County, louti. 


I- ss 

1. A. C. Lowry, recorder of Boone County, Iowa, do hereby 
certifv tiiat the foregoing is a true copy of the petition of incorpora- 
tion for the Town of Montana, Iowa, as the same appears of record 
in Book No. B, Village Record, pages 501 and 502, of Boone County 

in witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 26th day 
of June. 1866. A. C. LoWRY. 

Recorder of Deeds. Boone County. loua. 

An election was then held to fill the various oflices prescribed 
by law. with the following result: For mayor, Henry Hudson; 
treasurer, W. H. Gallup; recorder, Andrew Downing; marshal, A. 
Geer; trustees, W^ D. Hambel, C. T. Culver, A. J. Roberts, C. T. 
Isham, S. K. Dev. 


Boone, or Montana as it here should be called, continued to grow 
and prosper. By the year 1868 the population had increased to 
2,000 and the desire for greater privileges and a more honored place 
in the subdivisions of the state gave rise to a movement for an elec- 
tion to test the views and desires of the electorate of Montana as to 
abandoning the charter and seeking the position of a city of the 
second class. In this relation the records of the city clerk's office 
display the following: 

Montana, January 11, 1868. 

Council met at mayor's office. Present — A. Downing, mayor; 
L. Burgess, S. Burlingame, T. J. Goodykoontz, D. L. Smith, B. 
Wilmot, councilmen. 

A petition signed by O. Sturtevant, D. F. Goodykoontz, A. A. 
Budd and fifty others, asking for an election on the question of 
abandoning the charter, with a view to become an incorporated 
city of the second class, was read. On motjon the prayer of the 
aforesaid petition was granted and an election ordered. Yeas — 
Burgess, Burlingame, Smith, Wilmot and Goodykoontz. Nays — 

On motion of D. L. Smith, the following preamble and resolu- 
tion was adopted: 

Whereas, The incorporated Town of Montana has a population 
of 2,000 inhabitants, and a petition has been presented signed by 
fifty legal voters asking for an election upon the question of 
abandoning the charter with a view and for the purpose of becoming 
an incorporated city of the second class. Therefore be it 

Resolved, by the Board of Trustees of the incorporated Town of 
Montana, that the mayor be authorized to issue a proclamation to 
the voters of said incorporated town, for an election to be held on 
Monday, February 10, 1868, at the mayor's office in said Town of 
Montana, for the purpose of voting on the question of abandoning 
the present charter. Yeas — Burgess, Burlingame, Goodykoontz, 
Smith and Wilmot. Nays — none. 

On motion, T. J. Goodykoontz, H. Hudson and C. Whitaker 
were appointed judges, and J. C Haines and J. C. Kennedy clerks 
of said election. 

On motion, it was ordered that the marshal, J. W. Campbell, be 
appointed to take a census of the Town of Montana, and make 
returns of the same at the next regular meeting. 

T. J. Goodykoontz, 

Recorder pro tern. 



To the Qualified Electors of the Incorporated Town of Montana, 

Iowa : 

At a mcctinjj; ol the Boarcl of Trustees of said incorporated Town 
of Montana held January ii, 1868, the following preamble and 
resolution was adopted by said board, to wit: 

Whereas, The incorporated Town of Montana has a population 
of 2,000 inhabitants, and a petition has been presented, signed by 
fifty legal voters, for an election upon the question of abandoning 
the charter, with the view of and for the purpose of becoming an 
incorporated city of the second class, 

Therefore, be it resolved, by the Board of Trustees of the in- 
corporated Town of Montana, that the mayor be authorized to issue 
a proclamation to the voters of said incorporated town for an election 
to be held on Monday, February 10, 1868, at the mayor's office in 
said Town of Montana, for the purpose of voting on the question of 
abandoning the present charter. 

Now, therefore, in pursuance to the foregoing preamble and 
resolution, I hereby proclaim that a special election will be held 
on Monday, February 10, 1868, at my ofiice in said Town of Mon- 
tana, for the purpose above specified and in accordance with the 
statute in such cases made and provided. 

Those in favor of abandoning the present charter will deposit 
ballots having the words "For Abandonment" written or printed 
thereon. Those opposed to such abantionment will deposit ballots 
"Against Abandonment." 

Given under my hand this 1 5th day of January, 1868. 

A. Downing, Mayor. 

I hereby certify that tliis proclamation of Mayor Downing was 
published in the Montana Standard for four consecutive weeks prior 
to the (lay of election, to wit: January 16, 23, 30, and Februarv 6, 
1868, as appears by the files of said paper. 

V. TOMLINSON. City Clerk. 

Having become incorporated as a city of the second class further 
changes became desirable. The name, Montana, was not desirable, 
and a petition, generously signed by citizens in the early part of 
1871, was filed in the Circuit Court, asking that the name be changed 
from Montana to Boone. The effort was successful. In 1876, the 
outskirts of the city having become largely occupied by residences, 
the owners of which desired school and other privileges of the city. 


the council was petitioned for an enlargement of the municipal 
boundaries. To this end an election was held on the 9th day of 
September, 1876, to learn the sense of the electorate on the proposi- 
tion. The result of that election is given below, being also of record 
in the city clerk's office: 



- ss 


Be it remembered that a regular term of the Circuit Court of 
Iowa, in and for Boone County, begun and held at the courthouse in 
Boonesboro on the 22d day of May, A. D. 1871, at which was present 
Hon. Henry Hudson, sole presiding judge; George Crooks, sheriff 
of said county, and Philip Livingston, clerk of said court. And 
now, on the 2d day of June, A. D. 1871, it being the fourth day of 
said regular term, the following proceedings among others were 
had and entered of record, to wit: 
In the Matter of Change of Name of the City of Montana, Boone 

County, Iowa: 

On this day this matter coming to be heard by the court, it is 
ordered that notice be posted as by law required, and the same to be 
heard at the August term of this court. 

And afterwards, to wit, on the 30th day of August, A. D. 1871, 
it being the third day of the August term of said court, the following 
further proceedings were had and entered of record, to wit: 


And now, on this, the 30th day of August, 1871, and it being the 
third day of said term of the Circuit Court, this cause coming on 
for hearing on the petition filed on the part of the city, J. A. Eaton 
appearing as counsel on the part of the city, and no appearance to 
file objections to said change; and the court having first examined 
the petition and notice, and the sheriff's return on the same, finds 
that said petition has been regularly filed and submitted, and that 
due and legal notice has been given of such contemplated change, 
and hearing the arguments of the counsel, finds that said city is 
entitled to such change of name as asked and prayed for in said 
petition. It is therefore ordered, adjudged and decreed by the court 


that the name of said city be and is changed from Montana to Boone, 
and that said change of date take place from the date of the decree. 

H. Hudson, Judge. 


1, James Hazlett, clerk of Circuit Court of Iowa, in and for 
Boone County, do hereby certify the above and foregoing to be ,a 
full, true and complete copy of the record and judgment entries in 
the above entitled cause as rendered by said Circuit Court as full 
true and complete as the same remains of record in my office. 

J. L. Hazlett, Clerk of Said Court. 
Boone, Iowa, September ii, 1871. 

Called meeting of the city council called to order by naming 
J. M. Smith to the chair. S. R. Page was appointed clerk pro tem. 

The following resolution was passed and ordered put upon the 
record as part of the minutes. 

Be it resolved by the city council of the incorporated City of 
Boone, That whereas, the name of said city has been changed from 
Montana to Boone by a decree of the Circuit Court of Boone County, 

Resolved, i. That all acts and actions of said city council, and 
that the officers be and are in full force and authority the same as 
before such change, and that all orders and papers to be henceforth 
in the name of Boone, and all seals of such city be changed to Boone. 

2. That the decree be placed on file and recorded in the ordinance 
record of said city, and be made a part of the same. 

E. E. Webb, Mayor. 

S. R. Page, Clerk pro tem. 


To the Electors of the Incorporated City of Boone, as proposed to be 

enlarged : 

Whereas, The city council of said city have fixed the proposed 
boundaries of said city as described below, and whereas, the city 
council have, by resolution passed August 7, 1876, instructed the 
mayor of said city to issue a proclamation calling an election to be 
held on Saturday, the 9th of September, 1876, for the purpose of 
voting on the question of extending the limits of the City of Boone 


to the boundaries hereinafter described, as fixed by the council of 
said city, to wit : 

South Line. Beginning at the tiiiarter section post between sec- 
tions twenty-eighth (28) and twenty-nine (29) Government survey; 
town eighty-four (84), range twenty-six (26), east four hundred and 
seven and one-third rods (407 1/3) into section twenty-seven (27) 
town and range as above. 

East Line. Thence north parallel to section line, between sec- 
tions twenty-seven (27) and twenty-eight (28) and twenty-one (21) 
and twenty-two (22), town and range as above, four hundred and 
seven and one-third rods (407 1/3). 

North Line. Thence west eighty-seven and one-third rods 
(87 1/3) to the south line of Nineteenth Street, and thence on south 
line of said street to section line between sections twenty (20) and 
twenty-one (21) three hundred and twenty rods (320) town and 
range as above. 

West Line. Thence on said section line between sections twenty 
(20) and twenty-one (21) and sections twenty-eight (28) and twenty- 
nine (29) four hundred and seven and one-third rods (407 1/3) to 
place of beginning, town and range as above. 

Now, therefore, I, D. C. Wilmot, mayor of the incorporated 
City of Boone, Iowa, do hereby give notice and proclaim that there 
will be at the city hall in said city on the 9th day of September, 
A. D. 1876, an election to determine by vote the boundaries of said 
city as proposed to be enlarged. 

Those who are in favor of extending the city limits as proposed by 
said boundaries as fixed by said council will have written or printed 
on their tickets the words "For extending the city limits," and those 
opposed to such extension will have written or printed on their 
tickets the words "Against extending the city limits." 

It is to be understood that all lands or parcels of lands within 
said proposed limits are to become a part of said city. 

It is to be understood that the question of extending the city 
limits is submitted to the vote of all the qualified electors inhabiting 
the whole city as proposed to be enlarged. 

Polls of election to be opened at 9 o'clock A. M. 

Witness my hand and the seal of said city this 7th day of August, 
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-six. 

D. C. Wilmot, Mayor. 


I hereby certify that the foregoing proclamation was published 
in the Boone County Republican August 9, 16, 23 and 30, 1876, as 
required by law. 

V. TOMLINSON, City Clerk. 
Official canvass of votes cast at the special election held in and 
for the City of Boone, Towa, on the 9th day of September, A. D. 
1876, when the cjuestion of extending the city limits of Boone was 
voted upon. The result of said election we find to be as follows: 
There were 233 ballots cast, of which 197 were "For extending the 
city limits," and thirty-six were "Against extending the city limits." 
Therefore wc find that the proposition to extend the citv limits is 

Signed this 13th day of September, 1876. 

D. C. WiLMOT, 

Board of Canvassers. 

mayor's proclamation 

Whereas, at an election held at the city hall, in the incorporated 
City of Boone, Iowa, on the 9th day of September, A. D. 1876, for 
the purpose of determining by vote of the qualified electors of said 
city as proposed to be enlarged, the question of extending the city 
limits to the boundaries thereof as fixed by the city council of said 
city on the 7th day of August, A. D. 1876, it is found there were 
233 ballots cast, of which 197 were "For extending the city limits," 
and thirty-six votes were "Against extending the city limits." 

Therefore, 1, D. C. Wilmot, mayor of the City of Boone, Iowa, 
hereby give notice and proclaim that the city limits are extended to 
the boundaries as fixed bv the city council August 7, 1876, and that 
all territory, land and parcels of land within said limits are hence- 
forth subject to the jurisdiction of said city government as provided 
by law. 

Witness my hand and the seal of the city this 14th day of Sep- 
tember, A. D. 1876. 

D. C. Wilmot, Mayor. 

I hereby certify that the above proclamation was published in the 
Boone County Republican (the official paper of the city) on the 
20th day of September, 1876. 

V. TOMLINSON, City Clerk. 

I, V. Tomlinsiin, citv clerk of the Citv of Boone, Iowa, hereby 
certify that the foregoing statement as to the action of the city coun- 



.", '■■{ ) 



cil of the City of Boone, Iowa, and the notice for holding a special 
election given by the mayor's proclamation, the same having been 
published for four consecutive weeks in the Boone County Republi- 
can prior to the day of election, and the canvass and abstract of the 
votes cast at said election, and the mayor's second proclamation giving 
notice of the result of said election (a certificate of the publication 
of the same being entered on the margin) on the 20th day of Septem- 
ber, 1876, and the accompanying plat of the City of Boone, as 
enlarged, are all correct. 

Given under my hand and official seal this 7th day of October, 
A. D. 1876. 

V. TOMLINSON, City Clerk. 

I certify that a copy of all the papers were, with the plats, trans- 
mitted to the county recorder of Boone County, and to the secretary 
of state, as required by law, on the 23d day of October, 1876. 

V. TOMLINSON, City Clerk. 


The last act in the drama, of which Boonesboro and Boone have 
been the principal characters, so to speak, was the changing of the 
name of the seat of government of Boone County. This consumma- 
tion took place at the time as given below and in the manner as shown 
by the record of the city clerk, of which the following is a true copy: 

On the 2 1 St day of March, 1887, by proper ordinance, the territory 
which constituted the former incorporated Town of Boonesboro, 
became annexed to and a part of the City of Boone; and on the 7th 
day of March, 1892, by vote of the electors at the regular March 
election of said year, the limits of the then City of Boone were 
extended so as to embrace within the territory of the City of Boone 
the following described property, to wit: 

Commencing at the northwest corner of section twenty-one (21), 
township cightv-four (84), range twenty-six (26), west of the qth 
P. M., Iowa; thence south one-half {'A) mile; thence west one and 
one-fourth (ij^) miles ; thence south one and one-half (I'S) miles; 
thence east on section line to a point which would be seven and one- 
third (7 1/3) rods east of the southeast corner of the southwest 
quarter (yl) of the southwest quarter {%) of section twenty-seven 
(27) in the same township and range; thence north to the south 
line of the north half (>/>) of the northwest quarter (I4) of said 
section twenty-seven (27) ; thence east along the north line of the 


southeast quarter (14) of the northwest cjuarter ('4) '>f said section 
twenty-seven (27) to Delaware Street; thence north on Dehiware 
Street to north line of Seventh Street; thence northwesterly on the 
north line of Seventh Street to a point seven and one-third (7 13) 
rods east of the west line of the north half (j/2) of the northwest 
quarter (4 ) of section twenty-seven (27) ; thence north to the section 
line between sections twenty-two and twenty-seven (22 and 27), the 
same township and range; thence east on said section line to the 
southwest corner of the east half ( ' j) of the southwest quarter (34) 
of section twenty-two (22), thence north to section line between 
sections fifteen and twenty-two ( 15 and 22), and thence west to place 
of beginning. 

CHAPTER 1 87 ; LAWS OF 1 888 

An act to change the name of county seat of Boone County, Iowa, 
from Boonesboro to Boone. 

Whereas, An act of the Legislature, approved January 18, i8i;i, 
being chapter nineteen of the laws of A. D. 1851, was passed and 
provided that the county seat of Boone County, Iowa, be located by 
commissioners named therein; and 

Whereas, David Sweem, Marion County, Iowa, and S. K. Scovell 
of Dallas County, Iowa, being two of the three commissioners so 
appointed, did on the Qth day of July, A. D. 1851, locate said countv 
seat of Boone County as by law required on the northwest quarter 
of section No. twenty-nine (29), township eighty-four (84), range 
twenty-six (26), west of the qth P. M. in said county; and 

Whereas, The territory so designated came within the corporate 
limits of the incorporated Town of Boonesboro, Iowa, as the same 
was incorporated June 4, 1861;; and 

Whereas, Said incorporated Town of Boonesboro, Iowa, became 
by proper proceedings in March, A. D. 1887, annexed to the City 
of Boone, Iowa, and no conditions were mentioned as to the name 
the county seat of Boone County should have after such annexation; 
therefore be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Iowa : 

Section i. That the name of the county seat of Boone County, 
Iowa, shall be known and designated as Boone, Iowa, instead of 
Boonesboro, Iowa. 

Approved March 23, 1888. 



Boone is situated upon the crest of an expansive prairie and is 
the trading point of a wide and productive territory. It is essen- 
tially a home town, with beautiful residences and lawns. The thor- 
oughfares and residence streets are substantially paved, while concrete 
sidewalks are deeply shaded by maple, elm and other varieties of 
trees indigenous to this latitude. Almost evervthing within human 
ingenuity has been requisitioned to make life a pleasure in Boone 
and large sums of money have been expended by the city itself in 
contributing to the comfort, convenience and welfare of its inhabi- 
tants. Its public utilities compare favorably with cities many times 
its size. The population is about fifteen thousand. 


Before erecting a building for the purpose, the officials of Boone 
utilized as a city hall a little one-story frame building that stood on 
the southeast corner of Keeler and Seventh streets, and which was 
torn down in 1907. The site is now used by an air-dome. For some 
years after the present city hall was occupied the little old "shack" 
answered the purpose of a calaboose. 

The city hall was made a possibility by the late Frank Champlin 
in 1874, who, in that year, while a member of the city council, sub- 
mitted a motion to that body to purchase a suitable lot and erect 
a brick building thereon for the use of the council. The motion 

At a meeting of council held May 6, 1874, an appropriation of 
$5,000 for the purchase of a lot and erection of a city hall was passed, 
and on the 13th of the month a building committee, composed of 
J. E. Ingersoll, J. K. Flint and C. W. Carr was appointed and plans 
and specifications were ordered. On May 27th the committee was 
ordered to purchase the lots upon which the building stands, to have 


4;j4 history OF UOOXK COUNTY 

necessary excavating done and to contract for a stone foundation. 
At the same time bonds in the sum of $5,(xx) were sold to A. K. 
Wells, then in the banking business. "The work of laying brick was 
commenced on July 8th by the day and F. Castle was employed by 
the day to oversee the work; bids to be received for carpenter work, 
and committee authorized to make contract for roof of the city hall." 
One reading carefully between the foregoing quotation marks can 
plainly see that those intrusted with city affairs were business men 
and that they were determined that the people should have their 
money's worth when this job was completed. No graft or peculation 
entered into the building of Boone's city hall; that is evident! 

Tlie city hall is a two-story brick structure, with stone foundation; 
ground dimensions, 48x50 feet. It is located on the corner of Eighth 
and Allen streets, was finished [unc 25, 187^, but sooner occupied, 
and cost originally $9,100, of which sum $1,000 was paid for the lot. 
In 1908 the second Hoor was remodeled and equipped with vault and 
metal fixtures, at a cost of $1,100. Further remodeling was done 
in 191 2, on the first floor, at an expenditure of $700. 

The building is arranged for council chambers, mayor's office, 
city clerk's office, engineer's and superintendent of waterworks' office, 
police station and jail. 


In its deportment Boone is a model city, notwithstanding its 
licensed saloons. Crimes and misdemeanors are few and the policing 
of the corporate limits is not a difficult proposition. But a com- 
paratively small sum of money is necessary to be appropriated to 
sustain the police department, which is made up of a body of six 
men and a police matron. 


The first effort in the wav of fire protection in Boone was the 
tacit consent of every inhabitant to answer a call of alarm and render 
every assistance in his power to subdue flames and save property 
therefrom. Thus the bucket brigade was formed, each person of 
which passed a bucket of water from one to the other, while standing 
in line, which was dashed upon a burning building bv the persons 
nearest to it. As the place grew in numbers and buildings became 
larger, this method of fighting fire was found inadequate and danger- 


FIRST CITY [L\LL IN liOdNK. 1)KM( M.ISII Kl ) ( i( IdliKR. I'JOT 


ous; then the volunteer fire companies came into existence. A few 
months after it was organized the venerable A. P. Fogg, custodian of 
Champlin Memorial Masonic Temple, was elected fire marshal and 
served in that capacity twenty-six years. The first company to come 
into existence was Neptune Hose Company, June 8, 1877. It con- 
sisted of seven men and three officers: W. T. Evans was foreman; 
H. Hofifman, secretary; A. Lowry, treasurer. 

Daniel Boone Hook & Ladder Company was organized June 14, 
1877, S. L. Moore, foreman; N. Harding, assistant foreman; C. A. 
McCune, secretary; J. A. McFarland, treasurer. This company 
consisted of twenty-six members, besides the officers. On August 
II, 1877, A. P. Fogg was elected fire marshal and Daniel Finley, 

The American Engine Company was organized January 19, 1878. 
C. J. Elwell was elected foreman; M. A. Hills, assistant; W. T. 
Evans, secretary; A. Lowry, treasurer. Besides the officers there 
were twenty-three men. 

Other volunteer companies were organized that were short lived. 
On July 9, 1903, a paid fire department was created and had, in 
addition to other apparatus, a combination chemical and hose fire 
wagon. Station No. i is situated on Keeler Street, in a brick build- 
ing costing, with the lot, about $3,400. Station No. 2 is in the Fifth 
Ward in a little stone front building, erected in 1909, at a cost of 
$1,700. The lot was purchased for $250. The department is a 
combination of paid and volunteers. The latter consist of Hose Com- 
pany No. I, Home Company No. 2, Hose Company No. 3, Hook and 
Ladder Company No. i, and Hook and Ladder Company No. 2; 
the former is composed of a fire chief, assistant chief and four 


The City of Boone built and owns its system of waterworks and 
has in this utility practically all that reasonably should be tiesired. 
Before the construction of the improvement, resort to wells and cis- 
terns was necessary in cases of emergency. A volunteer fire company, 
with primitive equipment, often was handicapped by a scarcity of 
water. Manufacturing concerns, public places and institutions felt 
the need of a more ample supply of the fluid, and homes of the city 
were unable to enjoy the luxuries of running water, baths, etc. Last, 
but not least, rates of insurance on property were high, owing to the 
absence of adequate fire protection. 


The question of installing a system of waterworks being 
submitted to the electorate of the city in 1884, was settled by a 
gratifyingly large vote in its favor and the works, consisting of deep 
wells, a brick tower 100 feet in height, on which is a steel tank, 
pumping station, machinery and mains, was that year completed and 
furnished an unsurpassed quality of water to patrons. The water 
was forced from the wells by an air-lift system, using the air under 
pressure furnished by compressors, located in the pumping station 
at Eightli and Cedar streets. Hydrants, or (ire plugs, stand at cor- 
ners of streets throughout the city. 

From 188410 1906, the sum of $133,396 was expended in building 
and perfecting the system, and from 1907^0 1910 a further sum of 
money, amounting to $39,000, was spent on the utility. In 1910, 
preliminary steps were taken to secure a water supply from the Des 
Moines River, and during the years 191 1 and 1912 such a system 
was constructed. The work included the construction and instalia 
tion of wells, suction mains, pumping station, with pumping 
machinery and reservoir located at the river, 14-inch supply main 
from the river station to the main station on Eighth and Cedar 
streets, also a building, machinery and reservi^r at the city, or main 
station. This system, together with the distributing mains, water 
tower, small reservoir and certain equipment of the old plant, con- 
stitutes the present waterworks system. 

The total amount paid out for waterworks purposes during the 
period January, 1884, to March 31, 1914, was $344,000. 


Boone is (^ne of the best paved cities in the State of Iowa and has 
at this time over seven miles of paving, six and two-thirds of which 
is of brick, and four and three-fourths of asphalt. The improve- 
ment began on Eighth Street, from Arden to Story streets, in 1893, 
and consisted of two-course brick pavement on sand foundation. 
The price per square yard was $1.64. Total amount for this piece 
of work was $7,712. 

The total cost of all paving constructed in the city from 1893 
to 1914 is $382,067. 


The first sanitary sewer system constructed in Boone was in 1904. 
Since then extensions have been made as follows: Fair ground addi- 






,:' r\ .-\ :> 1 f 

...roi-. Lt~OX 

'_.!■: : ioRAKY 


Tiu."-'!. s f" w.^fvC* r >0^'S 


tion sewer, 1906; Herman addition sewer, 1907; Fifth Ward sewer, 
1910; Garst addition sewer in 191 2; the total of which is approxi- 
mately thirty-eight miles. This means that with its splendid water- 
works system and equally well constructed sewerage system, pure 
water, pure air and many other gifts a kind Creator has bestowed, 
Boone has the earmarks of a healthful and delightful place in which 
to live. 


Below is given a complete list of the men who have served Boone 
in an official capacity since its first incorporation as Montana until 
the present time: 

1866 — Mayor, Henry Hudson; treasurer, W. H. Gallup; re- 
corder, Andrew Dcjwning; marshal, A. Geer; E. G. Wood in place 
of Geer, resigned; trustees, W. W. Hambel, C. T. Culver, A. J. 
Roberts, C. T. Isham, S. K. Dey; D. L. Smith in place of Isham, 
resigned; T. J. Goodykoontz, in place of Dey, resigned; Louis 
Burgess, in place of Hambel, resigned. 

1867 — Mayor, A. Downing; treasurer, A. K. Wells; recorder, 
W. H. Gallup; marshal, S. L. Moore; J. DifTenbacker in place of 
S. L. Moore, resigned; J. W. Campbell in place of J. Diffenbacker, 
revoked; trustees, S. Burlingame, B. Wilmot, D. L. Smith, L. Bur- 
gess, T. J. Goodykoontz. 

1868 — Mayor, I. B. Ringland; recorder, W. H. Gallup; treas- 
urer, A. K. Wells; assessor, L. W. Cook; marshal, J. W. Campbell; 
A. J. Holmes, clerk in place of Gallup, resigned; councilmen, W. H. 
Adams, Charles Whitaker, J. M. Smith, A. Lockwood, William 
Nixon, W. A. Simmons, L. C. Wells, J. P. Tilson; George H. Car- 
ney, in place of Lockwood, resigned. 

1869 — Mayor, W. W. Nixon; treasurer, A. K. Wells; marshal, 
C. E. Earle; city attorney, J. A. Eaton; assessor, Samuel Scott; 
clerk, W. B. Sherman; G. M. Stone in place of Earle, resigned; 
C. J. Parker in place of Sherman, resigned; councilmen, D. B. 
Knight, J. Orr, J. M. Smith, William H. Adams, W. A. Simmons, 
L. C. Wells, L. W. Cook, Solon Burgess. 

1870 — Mayor, W. W. Nixon; treasurer, A. K. Wells; marshal, 
G. S. Rhoads; attorney, J. A. Eaton; assessor, C. T. Culver; clerk, 
C. J. Parker; councilmen. J. Orr, J. M. Smith, J. K. Flint, L B. 
Peck, George Wilmot, S. R. Page, L. W. Cook, J. Snell. 

1871 — Mayor, William B. Wells; treasurer, A. K. Wells; mar- 
shal. G. S. Rhoads; attorney. J. A. Eaton; assessor, George C. 


Caringer; clerk, V. Tomlinson; E. E. Webb in place of Wells, 
resigned; councilmen, J. K. Flint, C. l. Culver, I. B. Peck, S. R. 
Page, J. Snell, J. M. Smith, J. P. Tilson, E. Schoonover. 

1872 — Mayor, C L. Gates; treasurer, A. K. Wells; marshal, G. 
S. Rhoads; attorney, E. E. Webb; assessor, R. J. Hiatt; clerk, V. 
Tomlinson; councilmen, George H. Welsh, J. K. Flint, Jacob 
Stevens, J. P. Tilson, J. M. Smith, H. M. Case, Frank Champlin, 
C. T. Culver; Fred Castle in place of Jacob Stevens, resigned. 

1873 — Mayor, S. R. Page; clerk, V. Tomlinson; marshal, G. S. 
Rhoads; treasurer, A. K. Wells; assessor, V. Tomlinson; attorney, 
E E. Webb; councilmen, J. K. Flint, J. E. Ingersoll, George H. 
Welsh, Chauncy Lowry, Frank Champlin^ H. M. Case, T. C. Hoxie, 
J. M. Smith. 

1874 — Mayor, S. S. Webb; assessor, D. F. Goodykoontz; clerk, V. 
Tomlinst)n; treasurer, A. K. Wells; attorney, S. R. Dyer; marshal, 
G. S. Rhoads; councilmen, William Coast, C. W. Carr, J. M. Smith, 
J. E. Ingersoll, J. K. Flint, T. C. Hoxie, F'rank Champlin, L. H. 

1875 — Mayor, Clinton S. Mason; assessor, Charles Schoonover; 
clerk, V. Tomlinson; treasurer, A. K. Wells; attorney, S. R. Dyer; 
marshal, Cj. S. Rhoads; councilmen, Frank Champlin, C. W. Carr, 
H. Barron, O. T. Marshall, A. E. Munn, William Coast, L. H. 
Pepper, J. M. Smith. 

1876 — Mayor, D. C. Wilmot; attorney, S. R. Dyer; assessor, 
Charles Schoonover; engineer, I. A. Worcester; treasurer, W. F. 
Clark; clerk, V. 'Fomlinson; marshal, G. S. Rhoads; councilmen, 
J. K. Flint, J. W. Thompson, O. T. Marshall, P. Wells, S. R. Page, 
J. M. Smith, A. B. Holcomb, A. E. Munn; C. T. T. Mason in place 
of Smith, resigned. 

1877 — Mayor, S. R. Dyer; attorney, John C. Hall; assessor, 
Charles Schoonover; engineer, L A. Worcester; treasurer, W. F. 
Clark; clerk, V. Tomlinson; marshal, G. S. Rhoads; councilmen, 
J. K. Flint. P. Wells, S. R. Page, C. J. A. Ericson, S. L. Moore, 
A. B. Holcomb, C. T. T. Mason, Allan Smith. 

1878— -Mayor, S. R, Dyer; treasurer, W. F. Clark; solicitor, John 
C. Hall; clerk, V. Tomlinson; marshal, C. T. Culver; assessor, 
Charles Schoonover; councilmen, First Ward, Allan Smith, J. R. 
Ikeler; Second Ward, C, J. A. Ericson, P. Wells; Third Ward.S. L. 
Moore, S. L. Page; Fourth Ward, William Groner, J. N. Gildea. 

1879 — Mayor, John King; treasurer, W. F. Clark; solicitor, John 
C. Hall; clerk, V. Tomlinson; marshal, R. Sutton; assessor, Charles 


Schoonover; councilmen, First Ward, J. R. Ikelcr, M. A. Hills; 
Second Ward, P. Weils, D. F. Goodykoontz; Third Ward, S. R. 
Page, Oscar Schleiter; Fourth Ward, J. N. Gildea; William Groner. 

1880 — Mayor, A. R. Everett; treasurer, A. Zandell; marshal,. 
G. S. Rhoads; clerk, J. J. Southworth; solicitor, A. J. Holmes; 
assessor, Charles Schoonover; councilmen, First Ward, M. A. Hills, 
John Rogan; Second Ward, D. F. Goodykoontz, T. L. Jackson; 
Third Ward, Oscar Schleiter, John T. Nelson; Fourth Ward, Wil- 
liam Groner, L. W. Reynolds. 

1881 — Mayor, A. J. Holrpcs; treasurer, A. Zandell; solicitor, I. 
N. Kidder; clerk, J. J. Southworth; marshal, G. S. Rhoads; assessor, 
Charles Schoonover; councilmen. First Ward, John Rogan, George 
H. Welsh; Second Ward, T. L. Jackson, J. R. Crary; Third Ward, 
John T. Nelson, Oscar Schleiter; Fourth Ward, L. W. Reynolds, 
C. E. Phipps. 

1882 — Mayor, J. J. Southworth; treasurer, Alfred Zandell; 
solicitor, J. R. Whitaker; clerk, F. D. Gay; marshal, G. S. Rhoads; 
assessor, Charles Schoonover; councilmen, F^irst Ward, George H. 
Welsh, John Rogan; Second Ward, J. R. Crary, Henry Loshe; Third 
Ward, Oscar Schleiter, G. F. Miller; Fourth Ward,' C. E. Phipps, 
W. B. Weaver. 

1883 — Mayor, John Y. Smith; treasurer, Alfred Zandell; soli- 
citor, J. R. Whitaker; clerk, F. D. Gay; marshal, John Kendall; 
assessor, Charles Schoonover; councilmen. First Ward, G. H. Welsh, 
A. S. Farrow; Second Ward, Henry Loshe, L. D. Cooke; Third 
Ward, G. F. Miller, Henry Goeppinger; Fourth Ward, W. B. 
Weaver, Louis Burgess. 

1884 — Mayor, J. R. Whitaker; treasurer, C. J. A. Ericson; solici- 
tor, I. N. Kidder; clerk, L. J. Farrow; marshal, C. H. Peterson; 
assessor, Charles Schoonover; councilmen. First Ward, A. S. Farrow,. 
George H. Welsh; Second Ward, L. D. Cooke, A. J. Munn; Third 
Ward, Henrv Goeppinger, L. J. Rice; Fourth Ward, Louis Burgess, 
W. B. Weaver. 

1885 — Mayor, J. W. Black; treasurer, S. L. Moore; solicitor, 
L N. Kidder, resigned, John A. Hull to fill vacancy; clerk, F. D. 
Gay; marshal, C. H. Peterson; assessor, Charles Schoonover; council- 
men. First Ward, George H. Welsh, Joseph Geddes; Second Ward, 
A. J. Munn, D. F. Goodykoontz; Third Ward, L. J. Rice, Charles^ 
Goetzman; Fourth Ward, W. B. Weaver, William Ringland. 

1886 — Mayor, George Wilmot; treasurer, S. L. Moore; solicitor. 
R. F. Jordan; clerk, F. D. Gay; marshal, J. E. Hiatt; assessor,. 


Charles Schoonovcr; councilnicii, First Ward, Joseph Geddes, J. K. 
i'lint; Second Ward, D. F. Goodykoontz, R. M. Huntington; Third 
Ward, Charles Goctzman, Alfred Zandell ; Fourth Ward, William 
Ringland, John M. Brainard. 

1887 — Mayor, W. B. Weaver; treasurer, S. L. Moore; solicitor, 
R. F.Jordan; clerk, V. D. Gay; niarsiial, James B. IngersoU; assessor, 
Charles Schoonover; councilmen. First Ward, J. K. Flint, Joseph 
Geddes; Second Ward, R. M. Huntington, Charles Hall; Third 
Ward, Alfred Zandell, Henry Goeppinger; Fourth Ward, John M. 
Brainard, Enos Barrett; Fifth Ward^ Charles A. Sherman, J. B. 

1888 — Mayor, W. B. Weaver; treasurer, S. L. Moore; solicitor, 
R. F. Jordan; clerk, F. D. Gay; marshal, J. B. IngersoU; assessor, 
Charles Schoonover; councilmen, F'irst Ward, R. Sutton, E. C. 
Culver; Second Ward, Charles Hall, P. Wells; Third Ward, Henry 
Goeppinger, W. H. Slade; Fourth Ward, Enos Barrett, William 
Ringland; Fifth Ward, J. B. Barnett, Charles A. Sherman. 

1889 — Mayor, P. Wells; treasurer, S. L. Moore; solicitor, R. F. 
Jordan; clerk, F. D. Gay; marshal, J. B. IngersoU; assessor. Charles 
Schoonover; councilmen. First Ward, R. Sutton, C. Deering; Second 
Ward, R. J. Hiatt, Levi Bcrl ; Third Ward, S. R. Page, Eric Ander- 
son; Fourth Ward, William Ringland, James Bolitho; Fifth Ward, 
Charles A. Sherman, 1. C. Mather. 

1890 — Mayor, P. Wells; treasurer, S. L. Moore; solicitor, R. F. 
Jordan; clerk, F. D. Gay; marshal, G. S. Rhoads; assessor, Charles 
Schoonover; councilmen. First Ward, C. Deering, John Jordan; 
Second Ward, Hawlev Main, W. H. Crooks; Third Ward, Eric 
Anderson, S. S. Worley; Fourth Ward, James Bolitho, W. C. Brem- 
merman, J. H. Eversoll to succeed James Bolitho, resigned; Fifth 
Ward, L C. Mather, L. Zimbelman. 

1891 — Mayor, Hawley Main; treasurer, S. L. Moore; solicitor, 
R. F. Jordan; clerk, W. W. Nixon; marshal, G. S. Rhoads; assessor, 
|i)hn S. Crooks; councilmen, First Ward, John Jordan, C. Deer- 
ing; Second Ward, W. H. Crooks, John Riekenberg; Third Ward, 
S. S. Worley, James Staley; Fourth Ward, W. C. Bremmerman, 
J. N. Gildea; Fifth Ward, L. Zimbelman, Samuel McBirnie. 

1892 — Mayor, Hawley Main; treasurer, S. L. Moore; solicitor, 
R. F. Jordan; clerk, W. W. Nixon; marshal, G. S. Rhoads; assessor, 
John S. Crooks; councilmen. First Ward, C. Deering, William 
Wells; Second Ward, B. B. V'alentine, John Herring; Third Ward, 


James Staley, C. A. McCune; Fourth Ward, L. D. Sparks, J. N. 
Gildea; Fifth Ward, Samuel McBirnie, W. B. Sherman. 

1893 — Mayor, John Hornstein; treasurer, S. L. Moore; solicitor, 
R. F. Jordan; clerk, J. L. Hull; marshal, G. S. Rhoads; assessor, 
I. C. Mather; councilmen, First Ward, W. H. Gallup, John Larson; 
Second Ward, S. R. Wane, John Herring; Third Ward, C. A. 
McCune, C. R. Carlson; Fourth Ward, L. D. Sparks, L. F. Feh- 
leisen; Fifth Ward, W. B. Sherman, J. B. McHose. 

1894 — Mayor, John Hornstein; treasurer, S. L. Moore; solicitor, 
R. F. Jordan; clerk, J. L. Hull; marshal, Pat Brady; assessor, T. 
E. Means; councilmen. First Ward, John Larson, Caleb Warner; 
Second Ward, John Herring, E. E. Chandler; Third Ward, C. R. 
Carlson, F. D. Gay; Fourth Ward, L. F. Fehleisen, E. O. Mont- 
gomery; Fifth Ward, J. B. McHose, John Birmingham. 

1895 — Mayor, A. S. Farrow; treasurer, S. L. Moore; solicitor, 
O. M. Brockett; clerk, Jesse L. Hull; marshal, George W. Striker; 
assessor, T. E. Means; engineer, R. M. Mitchell; councilmen, First 
Ward, Caleb Warner, J. W. Phillips; Second Ward, E. E. Chand- 
ler, P. Wells; Third Ward, F. D. Gay, S. J. Wester; Fourth Ward, 
E. O. Montgomery, Charles A. Weaver; Fifth Ward, John Birming- 
ham, William Crowe. 

1896 — Mayor, A. S. Farrow; treasurer, S. L. Moore; solicitor, 
W. W. Goodykoontz; clerk, Jesse L. Hull; marshal, George W. 
Striker; assessor, T. E. Means; engineer, George W. Brown; coun- 
cilmen. First Ward, J. W. Phillips, John Gerken; Second Ward, P. 
Wells, Ed Scott; Third Ward, S. J. Wester, M. Sellhorn; Fourth 
Ward, Charles A. Weaver, James Mcintosh; Fifth Ward, William 
Crowe, John Birmingham. 

1897 — Mayor, J. M. Goodson; treasurer, C. S. Hazlett; solicitor, 
R. F. Dale; clerk, Jesse L. Hull; marshal, George W. Striker; 
assessor, T. L. Jones; engineer, W. T. Finley; councilmen, First 
Ward, John Gerken, E. C. Jordan; Second Ward, Ed Scott, T. J. 
Skidmore; Third Ward, M. Sellhorn, F. G. Peterson; Fourth Ward, 
James Mcintosh, Thaddeus Gregory; Fifth Ward, John Birming- 
ham, C. H. Zimbelman. 

1898 — Mayor, J. M. Goodson; treasurer, C. S. Hazlett; solicitor, 
R. F. Dale; clerk, Jesse L. Hull; marshal, J. A. L. Bixby; assessor, 
T. L. Jones; engineer, W. T. Finley; superintendent waterworks, 
W. T. Finley; councilmen. First Ward, E. C. Jordan, C. J. Sun- 
strom; Second Ward, T. J. Skidmore, Ed Scott; Third Ward, F. G. 

Vol. 1—28 


Peterson, C. H. Goeppiiij^er; Fourth Ward, Thaddeus Gregory, 
Timothy Mahoney; Fifth Ward, G. H. Zimbehnan, M. VV. Galpin. 

i^gg — Mayor, T. J. Skidmore; treasurer, C. S. Hazlett; solicitor, 
R. F. Dale; clerk, Jesse L. Hull; marshal, Charles A. Weaver; 
assessor, 'F. L. Jones; engineer, W. T. Finley; superintendent water- 
works, W. T. Finley; councilmen. First Ward, C. J. Sunstrom, E. C. 
Jordan; Second Ward, Ed Scott, F. E. Allen; Third Ward, C. FF 
Goeppinger, F. G. Peterson; Fourth Ward, Timothy Mahoney, 
Thaddeus Gregory; Fifth Ward, J. S. Halliday, W. W. Brunton. 

1900 — Mayor, T. J. Skidmore; treasurer, C. S. Hazlett; solicitor, 
R. F. Dale; clerk, Jesse L. Hull; marshal, Charles A. Weaver; 
assessor, T. L. Jones; engineer, C. E. Russell; superintendent water- 
works, C. E. Russell; councilmen. First Ward, E. C. Jordan, John 
G. Schwein; Second Ward, F. E. Allen, M. J. Reilly; Third Ward, 
F. G. Peterson, W. W. Goodykoontz; Fourth Ward, Thaddeus 
Gregory, E. A. Ringland; Fifth Ward, W. W. Brunton, B. P. Hoist. 

1901 — Mayor, ). |. Snell; treasurer, T. L. Ashford ; solicitor. 
D. G. Baker; clerk, Jesse L. Hull; marshal, S. Moyer; assessor, 
T. L. Jones; engineer, Charles E. Russell; superintendent water- 
works, C. E. Russell; councilmen. First Ward, J. G. Schwein, George 
Moerke; Second Ward, M. J. Reilly, P. Wells'; Third Ward, W. W. 
(joodykoontz, L. G. Carlson; Fourth Ward, G. A. Holm, Miles 
Becket; Fifth Ward, B. P. Hoist, Samuel McBirnie. 

1902 — Mayor, J. J. Snell; treasurer, T. L. Ashford; solicitor, 
D. G. Baker; clerk, Jesse L. Hull; marshal, S. F. Moyer; assessor. 
L. A. Kruse; engineer, Charles E. Russell; superintendent water- 
works, C. E. Russell ; councilmen. First Ward, H. C. DeFore, George 
Moerke; Second Ward, M. J. Reilly, P. Wells; Third Ward, S. S. 
Payne, L. G. Carlson; Fourth Ward, Miles Becket, T. P. Menton; 
Fifth Ward, Samuel McBirnie, B. P. Hoist. 

1903 — Mayor, J. J. Snell; treasurer, T. L. Ashford; solicitor. 
D. G. Baker; clerk, Jesse L. Hull; marshal, S. F. Moyer; assessor, 
L. A. Kruse; engineer, Charles E. Russell; superintendent water- 
works, C. E. Russell; councilmen. First Ward, H. C. DeFore, W. H. 
Airhart; Second Ward, M. J. Reilly, W. H. McNerney; Third 
Ward, S. S. Payne, Peter Thorson; F^)urth Ward, T. P. Menton. 
H. H. Otis; Fifth Ward, B. P. Hoist, I. A. Grififee. 

1904 — Mayor, J. J. Snell; clerk, T. L. Jones; solicitor, D. G. 
Baker; treasurer, T, L. Ashford; marshal, S. F. Moyer; assessor, 
L. A. Kruse; engineer, K. C. Kastberg; superintendent waterworks, 
K. C. Kastberg; street commissioner, T. J Black; councilmen. First 


Ward, Ed Mocrke, A. E. Murphy; Second Ward, W. H. McNer- 
ney, W. H. Roberts; Third Ward, Peter Thorson, C. A. Wight; 
Fourth Ward, H. H. Otis, Albert Coates; Fifth Ward, B. P. Hoist, 
I. A. Griffee. 

1905 — Mayor, W. W. Goodykoontz; clerk, Otto Hile; solicitor, 
H. E. Fry; treasurer, Reed T. Duckworth; marshal, T. B. Holmes; 
assessor, L. A. Kruse; engineer, K. C. Kastbcrg; superintendent 
waterworks, K. C. Kastberg; street commissioner, A. W. Hunter; 
fire chief, John J. Snell; councilmen, First Ward, A. E. Murphy, 
J. Keleher; Second Ward, W. H. Roberts, A. N. Peters; Third 
Ward, C. A. Wight, Peter Thorson; Fourth Ward, R. Wittig, F. S. 
Garner; Fifth Ward, B. P. Hoist, A. M. Steele. 

1906 — Mayor, W. W. Goodykoontz; clerk, Otto Hile; solicitor, 
H. E. Fry; treasurer, Reed T. Duckworth; marshal, T. B. Holmes; 
assessor, L. A. Kruse; engineer, K. C. Kastberg; superintendent 
waterworks, K. C. Kastberg; street commissioner, A. W. Hunter; 
fire chief, John J. Snell; councilmen. First Ward, J. Keleher; Ed 
Collins; Second Ward, A. N. Peters, C. F. Henning; Third Ward, 
Peter Thorson, T. L. Jones; Fourth Ward, F. S. Garner, R. Wittig; 
Fifth Ward, A. M. Steele, B. P. Hoist. 

1907- 1908 — Mayor, A. S. Farrow; clerk. Otto Hile; solicitor, 
H. E. Fry; treasurer, E. E. Hughes; marshal, M. B. Jones; assessor, 
L. A. Kruse; engineer, K. C. Kastberg; superintendent waterworks, 
K. C. Kastberg; street commissioner, A. W. Hunter; fire chief, L. E. 
Lillie; councilmen, First Ward, E. W. Collins, D. L. Houser; Sec- 
ond Ward, C. F. Henning, H. Schroeder; Third Ward, T. L. Jones, 
P. Thorson; Fourth Ward, R. Wittig, J. E. Hart; Fifth Ward, B. P. 
Hoist, A. M. Steele. 

1909-1910 — Mayor, C. L. Wilder; clerk. Otto Hile; solicitor, 
J. J. Snell; treasurer, E. E. Hughes; marshal, M. B. Jones; assessor, 
L. A. Kruse; engineer, K. C. Kastberg; superintendent waterworks, 
K. C. Kastberg; street commissioner, S. C. Graft; fire chief, William 

A. West; A. M. Burnside to succeed E. E. Hughes, treasurer; council- 
men. First Ward, E. C. Jordan; Second Ward, A. N. Peters; Third 
Ward, P. H. Kneeland; Fourth Ward, J. E. Hart; Fifth Ward, 

B. P. Hoist; at large, William Crowe and Peter Thorson; F. L. 
Goeppinger to succeed P. H. Kneeland, resigned. 

1911-1912 — Mayor, John S. Crooks; clerk, Otto Hile; solicitor, 
J. J. Snell; treasurer, John F. Herman; marshal, S. F. Moyer; as- 
sessor, L. A. Kruse; engineer, K. C. Kastberg; superintendent water- 
works, K. C. Kastberg; street commissioner, S. C. Graft; fire chief, 


William A. West; W. F. Hargan to succeed L. A. Kruse, resigned; 
councilmen, First Ward, E. C. Jordan; Second Ward, A. N. Peters; 
Third Ward, F. L. Goeppinger; Fourth Ward, J. F. Diehl; Fifth 
Ward, B. P. Hoist; at large, William Crowe and Peter Thorson; 
A. M. Burnside to succeed A. N. Peters, resigned; J. S. Halliday to 
succeed B. P. Hoist, resigned. 

1913-1914 — Mayor, John S. Crooks; clerk. Otto Hile; solicitor, 
J. J. Snell; treasurer, John F. Herman; marshal, S. F. Moyer; as- 
sessor, W. F. Hargan; engineer, K. C. Kastberg; superintendent 
waterworks, K. C. Kastberg; street commissioner, S. C. Graft; fire 
chief, William A. West; chemist and health officer, M. A. Healy; 
councilmen. First Ward, E. C. Jordan; Second Ward, A. B. Silli- 
man; Third Ward, F. L. Goeppinger; Fourth Ward, Archie Patter- 
son; Fifth Ward, W. G. Hardie; at large, William Crowe and C. M. 



At the commencement of Methodism in this neighborhood, the 
whole of Iowa was included in the Iowa Conference. Boonesboro 
had not as yet been platted, consequently the first religious services 
and preaching was at the settlements along the timber on both sides 
of the river. 

In 1 8i;o Rev. J. H. Burleigh came into the settlement as a mission- 
ary and formed the first class in Methodism in Boone County, thus 
establishing the oldest religious organization in the community. 
The hrst house built in Boonesboro was put up by Wesley Williams 
in 185 1 on the lot just north of the old motor line barn. It was a 
storv and a half log structure, with two rooms fronting the street, and 
a wing extending back for family use. The north front room was 
used as a hotel bar room. This bar room was the first Methodist 
preaching place in Boonesboro. Wesley Williams himself being a 
stanch Methodist. About that time a log schoolhouse, the site of 
which is now occupied by the present brick school building, was used 
bv the Methodists for their meetings. From here the services were 
transferred to the old frame courthouse first built for county use, 
which stood on the corner later occupied by Mallory's drug store. 
Here through the kindness of the board of supervisors the society 
was permitted to worship until it became strong enough to erect a 
building of its own. 

Rev. J. B. Montgomery was the first circuit rider to be appointed 
to this change. He came in 18 qi and served two years, when he was 
followed by Rev. Enoch Wood, whose circuit extended from Saylor- 
ville to Boone River, which meant long rides in inclement weather 
and many hardships. This worthy divine served the church faith- 
fullv and well from i8i;3 to i8c;(;. In the latter year his successor 
came in the person of Rev. T, D. Boyles, who was pastor one year.. 



Rev. J. W. Stewart was called to this Held in the latter part of 1856 
and performed the duties of a pastor and religious teacher about six 
months, when he gave way to Rev. J. F. Hestwood, whose offices as a 
minister in charge were faithfully performed from 1857 to 1859. 
S. B. Guiberson served from 1859 to i860; B. Holcomb from i860 to 
1861; J. L. Kelley, 1861 to 1862 ; William P. Holbrook, 1862 to 1863. 
In 1858 steps were taken toward the erection of a church building. 
The frame for the structure was put up, enclosed and supplied with 
split logs and slabs with legs inserted for seats, but for want of suf- 
ficient means the building remained unfinished until about 1864, 
under the ministrations of Rev. J. VV. Snodgrass, who came to Boones- 
boro in 1863 and remained until 1S66. This building was dedicated 
by Reverend Snodgrass and a small frame parsonage was also pur- 
chased during his pastorate. On August 22, 1866, the Des Moines 
annual conference convened at Boonesboro, Bishop E. R. Ames pre- 
siding. At this session of conference Boonesboro was made a station 
and Rev. George Clammer was appointed pastor. On September 
23, 1867, Rev. J, G. Eckles was sent to this charge and remained 
until 1868, when he was followed by M. D. Collins. At this time 
the official board resolved to build a new church edifice to cost not 
less than $10,000. Subscription papers were circulated and liberal