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Allamakee County 


A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and 











R 1914 L. 


The history of a community must be composed largely of the biography of a 
few people, and, as such, may seem to some trivial and valueless. But the nation 
is made up of similar individuals, and the life and character of the mass goes to 
make the history and character of a world-power for good or evil to the human 
race. Hence the local history is not unimportant. In submitting the following 
pages to the public the writer is aware of their incompleteness as a history, and 
begs the lenient judgment of the reader. After an arduous research for facts 
and dates the futility of an attempt at completeness in a work of this character 
has been pressed home upon him ; but he cherishes the belief that as regards the 
statement of facts the work will be found generally correct and reliable. Any 
errors discovered should be brought to his attention, that they may be noted for 
future correction. If he has succeeded in presenting the chief points of our his- 
tory in a readable and entertaining manner, and has collated the reminiscences 
of others previously published or written at divers times in a form suitable for 
preservation and reference, he has accomplished the task assigned him. 

In this connection full credit should be given to those who have rendered 
valuable assistance in the work, among whom should be prominently named A. M. 
May, Ellison Orr, and Jas. T. Metcalf. The published papers of Judge Dean, 
D. B. Raymond, J. S. Bryson, T. C. Medary and others have been liberally drawn 
from ; and the members of the press have generally assisted willingly, the files 
of the Standard, Democrat, and Mirror, having been of especial value. The 
Postville history is based chiefly on the painstaking work of A. R. Prescott in the 
old county history, while assistance has been freely given by Wm. Shepherd, 
Geo. S. Tuttle and others. The Lansing sketch written by Dick Haney thirty 
years ago, has also been utilized, with his permission, as also the interesting con- 
tributions to the Lansing Mirror by Mrs. Martha T. Hemenway and Miss Fanny 
Hemenway. Assistance is also acknowledged from B. F. Thomas and N. A. 
Nelson of that city. Numerous others have generously responded as called upon, 
among whom may be mentioned! .'O. Larson arid Mrs". M. A. R. Bellows, of the 
early settlers, and R. W. Erwin in his cU scripticn of the iron mine. 



Early Dawn g 

Encroaching Civilization 17 



Black Hawk War 36 



County Organization 44 

Allamakee County 47 

The Old Mission 55 



First Terms of Court k 69 



The Stratified Rocks yy 

Iron Hill 99 

Geological Character 99 



Agricultural Society 108 

Farmers' Institute 112 





Vote for President 114 

Vote for Governor 115 

Secretary of State 115 



State Legislature — Senate 125 

State Legislature — House 126 

District Court 1 27 

Circuit Court 128 



Some Other Early County Affairs [42 



Journalistic Adventures of Late T. C. Medary, by Himself, in 1890 147 

Local Affairs — A Digression 1 52 

The Craft Again 1 54 

( )ff to the Front and After 155 

In Conclusion 157 

Another "Country Editor." — Jas. T. Metcalf 161 

Others of the Fraternity 165 

The County Bar 171 



School Townships 183 

Independent Districts '. 183 

Summary of the Annual Report, 191 1-12 [86 



The Standard Telephone Company 1S7 

< Hher Telephone Companies 188 

Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paid Railway 191 

Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway 191 

United States Express Company 192 

Wells Fargo & Co. Express 192 

Western Union Telegraph Company 192 

Upper Iowa Power Company 192 


A Dark Chapter IO c 



Judge Dean's Narrative 206 

D. B. Raymond's Recollections 213 

North of the Oneota 218 



Center Township 227 

Fairview Township 233 

Franklin Township 237 

French Creek Township 245 

Hanover Township 246 

Iowa Township 251 

Jefferson Township 257 

Lafayette Township 263 

Lansing Township 267 

Linton Township 271 

Ludlow Township 273 

Makee Township 274 

Paint Creek Township 277 

Taylor Township 288 

Union City Township 301 

Union Prairie Township 305 

Waterloo Township 307 



The Shattucks 313 

Name 318 

Waukon in 1858-61 321 

County Officials 321 

Municipal History 323 

City of the Second Class 326 

Waukon's Financial Condition — Spring of 19 13 328 

Fire Department and Fires 331 

Public Utilities 334 

Railroad 335 

The Waukon Schools 341 

Early School History 341 

Allamakee College 348 

The Press 352 

Postoffice 354 

Public Library 355 

Financial Institutions 355 

Churches 361 

Grand Army of the Republic 376 

Spanish War Veterans 277 

Women's Clubs 378 

Old Company "I" 378 

Captain Nichols 385 



Fraternal Societies 386 

Some Waukon Pioneers — One of the Maine Families 394 

A Typical Pioneer 396 

Other Pioneers of Waukon and Vicinity 401 

Some of the F. F. Allamakees 406 



Recollections of 185 1 416 

Lansing in 1852-53 420 

City Government 422 

The Water Supply 423 

Fire Department 425 

Lansing Schools 426 

Churches 430 

The Press 44° 

Financial Institutions 441 

Fraternal Societies 443 

Postoffice 446 

Public Library 449 

Military Company 449 

Railroad 450 

Some Lansing Pioneers 452 

Pearl Button Industry 466 

Early Business Items 467 



Public Schools 477 

Municipal 479 

Churches 48/ 

Early Sunday Schools 49° 

Fraternal Societies 49° 

Public Library 49 1 

City Park 49 1 

The Early Professions 49 1 

Postmasters 49 2 

Postville Business Directory 1882 492 

Militia Company 493 

Newspapers 493 

Banks 494 

Brick and Tile Manufactory 497 

Some Old-Time Voters 497 

An Ancient Autograph 498 

Early Villages 498 



Iowa Regiments 5 01 

Extracts from Diarv of Corp. F. E. Hancock of Company B 510 

Shiloh Battle Field' 527 

Illinois Regiments 558 

Missouri Regiments 558 

Wisconsin Regiments 559 

Chronology 561 



The "dawn of history" appeared, for what is now Allamakee county, and 
indeed for all of Iowa, when Marquette and his companions floated from the 
Wisconsin into the broad expanse of the Mississippi river, on the 17th of June, 
1673, two hundred and forty years ago. This is true even if it be admitted, 
as seems now to be fairly well established, that two French fur-hunters had 
preceded them down the Wisconsin by fourteen years or more. Nothing ap- 
pears to have come of their explorations until followed up by those of others, 
more responsible, and under authority that might utilize their discoveries, for 
the settlement and civilization of the regions thus opened up. 

However, this was but the first faint glimmering of the dawn. Although 
other fur-traders and the Jesuit missionaries soon began to follow the course 
pointed out by Radisson and Marquette, a century elapsed before a white man 
trod the soil of Allamakee, so far as any known record shows; and another 
half century before any sign of permanent occupation. Three or. four genera- 
tions of the native occupants enjoyed undisturbed the hunt and other rude 
pleasures of their wild life, except as these were from time to time exchanged 
for the more savage joys of the warpath, in struggle with adjacent tribes for 
the possession of choice hunting grounds. 

There can be no doubt that the explorers mentioned were the first Euro- 
peans to look upon the rocks and trees of Allamakee, as the majestic bluffs along 
our southern shore-line were well within their range of vision as they emerged 
from the mouth of the Wisconsin river. We were situated at the earliest gate- 
way to the Northwest; but partly because of our rugged and forbidding "coast- 
line," and partly because the natural routes of travel were along the larger 
rivers, the first explorers passed us by both to the north and south. As the tide 
of exploration was thus directed to our very doors as it were, it will be of 
interest to look back and trace the progress of these explorations which de- 
veloped the Wisconsin river route as the most natural channel of emigration to 
the regions west of the upper Mississippi, as the Ohio river was to the regions 
further south, and Lake Superior to those of the far north. 

In 1608 Samuel de Champlain, who was called the father of New France, 
made a permanent settlement at Quebec. In 1615 he had pushed his explorations 
to the banks of Lake Huron, and missionary stations were soon after established • 
among the Indians of that name. 


Vol. I— 1 


The first European to enter the upper Mississippi valley appears to have been 
Jean Nicolet, an explorer and interpreter for the merchants of Quebec, who 
visited Green Bay in 1634-35, and there met the Winnebago and Mascoutin, 
and made a treaty with them in the name of France, in an assembly of four 
or five thousand. He related his discoveries to the Jesuit priests, and from the 
translations of their writings these facts have but recently been established. It 
has been inferred by some that he visited the Mississippi river; but after a 
careful study it has been established that he went no further than up the Fox 
river to the Wisconsin portage.* It is interesting to note that this first estab- 
lished route of Nicolet. by way of Green Bay, and the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, 
continued for more than two hundred years to be a main path of exploration, 
travel, and commerce, to the West and Upper Louisiana. 

The zealous Jesuits, frequently accompanying the licensed traders, were 
the reporters of what they discovered, though they were not usually the first to 
visit the new regions. In 1641 Fathers Jogues and Rambault arrived at the out- 
let of Lake Superior, the falls of St. Alary ( Sault Ste. Marie), where they met 
a band of Pottawottomi fleeing from the Dakotas, "who lived to the west of the 
falls about eighteen days' journey." Two adventurous French traders, by name 
Radisson and Chouart, the latter often called Groseilliers, passed a year or two 
among these warlike Dakotas. or Naudowessi (Sioux), in 1654-55, but their 
place of staying is not clearly established, the best authorities locating it at the 
Isle Pelee, or Prairie Island, (at or near the head of Lake Pepin). Winchell says: 
"If we are to accept the implication of Radisson himself, he had apparently been 

011 the Mississippi and had seen the country far toward the mouth. 

There is great difficulty however in accepting this assumed trip down the Mis- 
sissippi, and some authorities have rejected it as fictitious. If we consider, 
however, that Radisson * * relates what was 'tould' him by some people 

that he met. we may perhaps attribute some of his discrepancies to his imperfect 
manner of narration." But it appears probable that these explorers sailed down 
the Wisconsin and discovered the Mississippi in 1655 (or 1659), and that they 
ascended the latter river to Prairie Island, where they spent about a year, and 
returned by the same route. 

Keyes says : "The first white men actually to view the 'Great Water' and to 
set foot upon what is now Iowa soil appear to have been Pierre Radisson and 
Medard Groseilliers. * * * In the .spring of 1659 f they determined to 
visit the Mascoutins, or Fire Nation, and passing up Fox river crossed the 
portage to the Wisconsin, and sailed on down into a greater river. Here are 
Radisson's own words: 'We went into ye great river that divides itselfe in 2, 
where the hurrons with some Ottonake & the wild men that had warrs with 
them had retired. There is not great difference in their language as we weare 
told, against those of the forked river. It is so called because it has 2 brandies. 

*Father Paul Lejeune and Father Bartholem-y Vimout, 1640-1642. — X. H. Winchell in 
"The Aborigines of Minnesota," published by the Minn. Hist. Soc. 191 1. and Charles R. 
Keyes, Ph. D.. in "Annals of Iowa." Jan., 1912, "Earliest Explorations of Iowa Land." 

tWinchell says they returned to Xorthern Minnesota in the early spring of [655 by the 
south shore of Lake Superior, suffering famine and frost, to an appointed rendezvous with 
the Sioux, when they met to celebrate the feast of the dead, in the early spring, and after 
six weeks passed directly back to Chequamegon Bay, on Lake Superior. 




the one towards the west, the other toward the south, wch we believe runns to- 
wards Mexico.' " There is no doubt that Radisson and his associate entered the 
Mississippi river and gazed out upon the high bluffs of Iowa land at 'about 
where McGregor now stands. * * * Thwaites is of the opinion that the 
west branch of the forked river, as Radisson calls the Mississippi, may have 
been the Iowa river. Richman, in his sketch of 'Mascoutin, a Reminiscence of 
the Nation of Fire," considers it the Upper Iowa river. There appear to be 
good reasons for believing it was really the Missouri river. Raddison's informa- 
tion on this point was manifestly hearsay. 

The news of the great river conveyed to Canada by Nicolet and Radisson 
created great enthusiasm, both among the traders and the missionaries who ever 
followed closely upon their heels in their zeal for new fields of labor. An 
expedition was fitted out from Montreal in the spring of 1660, but was attacked 
by the Iroquois and dispersed with some loss of life. 

Not until 1665 was further progress made in western exploration, when 
Father Pierre Claude Allouez coasted along the south shore of Lake Superior 
to La Pointe, on Chequamegon bay, where he established the mission of the 
Holy Ghost, near the present Ashland, Wisconsin. Here he wrote about the 
Dakotas, who dwelt to the west, toward the great river called Messipi, and this 
appears to be the first mention in literature of the name "Mississippi." In 1669 
the renowned Marquette succeeded Father Allouez, who about this time estab- 
lished the mission of St. Francis Xavier on the west shore of Green Bay, and 
soon after returned to Sault Ste. Marie, although he "longed to visit the Sioux 
country and see the great water the Indians called the Missi Sepe." 

In 1665 also. Nicolas Perrot left the east and spent several months with 
the Pottawottomies around Green Bay. In the spring of 1666 he entered the 
Fox river and visited the Outagamies, or Foxes, who dwelt above Lake Winne- 

Perrot was a very active agent for the French Crown throughout the north- 
ern region then known, and was the authority who summoned the chiefs from 
fourteen tribes to Sault Ste. Marie in 1671 to celebrate the formal taking pos- 
session of all the country along the lakes and "southward to the sea," by the 
erection and ceremony of consecration of a large cedar cross. Alongside of the 
cross a cedar column was also erected, marked with the lilies of the Bourbons. 
Thus, says Bancroft, "were the authority and the faith of France uplifted in 
the presence of the ancient races of America, in the heart of our continent. 
Yet this daring ambition of the servants of a military monarch was doomed to 
leave no abiding monument — this echo of the middle age to die away." Allouez 
and Joliet were among the fifteen Frenchmen present on this occasion. 

It was now well known that a great river to the west ran southwardly, but 
it was not known whether it flowed into the Gulf of Mexico or, as they hoped, 
into waters leading to China. Soon after this, Father Jaques Marquette and 
Louis Joliet, the latter as agent for the French government, were given authority 
to make an expedition for the purpose of solving this question. 

Starting from St. Ignace, a mission station at the straits of Mackinaw, on 
the 13th of May, 1673, these two distinguished men, with five boatmen and two 
birch-bark canoes, coursed along the north shore of Lake Michigan and Green 
Bav, and found there a welcome at the mission of St. Francis Xavier established 


by Father Allouez four years before. Continuing their journey, they paddled 
up the Fox river to the portage, launched their canoes in the waters of the Wis- 
consin, and on the 17th of June, 1673, emerged from that river upon the broad 
bosom of the Missi (great) Sepe (river, or water), "with a joy I cannot ev- 
press," writes the devout Marquette in his journal. Marquette named it "Con- 
ception River," because of the day on which it was discovered, and it appears 
by that name on a map which he drew after returning from the expedition, 
printed in some of the earlier histories, and the original of which is said to be 
still preserved in St. Mary's College at Montreal. He says, "the river is narrow 
at the mouth of the Wisconsin, and the current slow and gentle ; on the right is 
a considerable chain of very high mountains. It is in many places studded with 
islands." He found "ten fathoms of water; its breadth is very unequal, some- 
times three-quarters of a league and sometimes narrows to three-arpents or two 
hundred and twenty yards." 

They did not stop here, but proceeded on their journey south. As they passed 
down the river and the banks became less precipitous the country appeared to 
them more promising, and occasional herds of buffalo were seen grazing on the 
prairies. It is to be presumed that they made their camp on the western bank 
at times, but no record of any stop or landing is made until after eight days 
they approached the extreme lower corner of the state, where they first saw 
Indians, and stopped for a few days in a village of the Illinois tribe, who at 
that time occupied most of the present Iowa. 

Continuing their journey, at a point near the present city of Alton, Illinois, 
they were startled by the sight of a painting of a monstrosity in human form, 
high up on the face of a cliff, which was attributed by Marquette to the work 
of the evil one himself, and he would have destroyed the sacrilegious picture 
could he have gained access to it. 

[This is mentioned here to show that there were several "painted rocks" 
along the course of the upper Mississippi. This one is said to have remained 
until 1850 or later, when the rock was quarried out for building purposes. — Ed.] 

The party proceeded on down the river arriving at the mouth of the Arkan- 
sas river in July, where the Indians they there met informed them that in ten 
days more they could reach the mouth of the Mississippi. They were now near, 
or below, the point where the unfortunate De Soto had discovered this river 
in 1 541, one hundred and thirty-two years before. Having determined that the 
great river emptied into the Gulf of Mexico instead of into the Pacific ocean, 
on the 17th of July the voyagers set out on their return. It was a different 
proposition, pulling up stream, and upon arriving at the mouth of the Illinois 
river they gladly availed themselves of the guidance of the Indians up that 
stream, and the Desplaines, and portage to the Chicago river, whence they pro- 
ceeded along the shore of Lake Michigan to the mission at Green Bay, where 
they arrived before the end of September. Marquette's strength was exhausted 
and he remained here for the winter to rest. But he was thereafter an invalid, 
and although he once more resumed his work his death took place May 19, 1675, 
on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. The following year his bones were re- 
moved to St. Ignace and interred beneath the floor in the chapel there. 

The next recorded visit of Europeans to our vicinity was that of Father 
Hennepin, in 1680. He was a member of the party of Cavelier La Salle who had 


undertaken an expedition to the mouth of the Mississippi, by way of Lake 
Michigan and the Illinois river, and was constructing therefor a large boat at 
a fort he had built at Peoria, Illinois, which, after the failure of this first attempt 
was named Fort Creve-Coeur. Of the four priests in his party, it seems that Hen- 
nepin was the least popular, and La Salle conceived the idea of sending him to 
explore the head-waters of the Mississippi. Father Hennepin accepted the mission 
with no good grace, but started in an open canoe with two companions, Accan and 
DuGay, in the last days of February, 1680, amply provided with presents for 
the Indians, as well as provisions, guns and ammunition. They fared well until 
the 12th of April, when, landing at a point now supposed to be at or just above 
Prairie du Chien, to roast a wild turkey, they were made captive by a large war 
party of Sioux, and taken to their homes in the region of Lake Mille Lac in 
northern Minnesota, reaching there in May. Here the three were adopted, each 
by a different chief, and so separated from each other. In the summer the 
Indians determined on a buffalo hunt, and Hennepin, disgusted with Indian life 
and the semi-captivity which had deprived him not only of his liberty but of his 
stock of goods brought along for presents, of which his captors had nearly 
despoiled him, told them that a party of Frenchmen were to meet him at the 
mouth of the Wisconsin river, in the summer, with a new supply of goods and 
thus obtained permission to go to meet them at that point. Hennepin asserts 
that La Salle had promised this, but the statement is questioned, especially as 
Hennepin's mendacity was later established by a book of travels he published 
upon his return to France. 

Hennepin and his companion, DuGay, started down the river, arriving at the 
falls on St. Anthony's day, in honor of which event he gave them the name which 
became permanent. Long before reaching the Wisconsin, however, they met a 
party of the Sioux who had outstripped them to that destination and found 
no Frenchmen there ; and they returned with the Indians to the site of St. Paul, 
where they had heard there were five more white men awaiting them. They found 
them to be Daniel Greysolon DuLhut (Duluth), and four companions, who had 
been two years among the far-off lodges of the Sioux, and other tribes to the 
north, exploring under the patronage of the Canadian governor, having entered 
that region by the way of Lake Superior. At the approach of autumn the entire 
party, eight in number, started upon their return to Canada, by way of the Wis- 
consin river. At its mouth they found no traders and no Indians. 

From this time on the visits of traders and travelers to the Mississippi by 
the Wisconsin river route became more frequent. In 1683 Nicholas Perrot was 
sent to the Iowa and Dakota Indians to establish friendly alliances ; and it is 
supposed that it was about this time that he established Fort St. Nicholas on the 
Mississippi river just above the mouth of the Wisconsin and a short distance 
below the present city of Prairie du Chien. (Keyes, in Annals of Iowa, Jan. 
1912.) He also established a post on the west side of the Mississippi near the 
site of Wabasha, Minnesota, called Fort Perrot. And in 1685 Fort St. Antoine 
on the east side, at the mouth of the Chippewa river. 

Salter, in his "Iowa, the First Free State in the Louisiana Purchase," p. 30, 
says: "The Indian trade of the upper Mississippi centered at the mouth of 
the Wisconsin river, where trading posts were established, some of them on 
the west bank of the Mississippi. Thence traders and missionaries went up 


into the Sioux country or down the Mississippi, or followed a long path to the 
Missouri river overland, which was marked on English maps as the 'French 
Route to the West.'" And at page 17: "Perrot was the first trader with the 
Indians upon the Mississippi, and made several establishments: one among the 
Sioux near Lake Pepin, another near the mouth of the Wisconsin, probably 
in what is Clayton county, Iowa. The latter had his Christian name. It was 
Fort St. Nicholas. * * * While thus engaged. Perrot was commissioned 
by the governor of New France, Denonville, to take formal possession of the 
upper Mississippi. * * * This was done on the 8th of May, 1689, at Post 
St. Anthony, a few miles above La Crosse. De Bois Guillot, commandant at 
Fort St. Nicholas, Le Seuer, and other witnesses were present." 

In 1689 Baron La Hontan entered the Mississippi from the Wisconsin, Octo- 
ber 23, and journeyed up the river. His accounts of his experiences, like Henne- 
pin's, are not regarded as fully trustworthy. In this year the French are supposed 
to have had a trading post near the mouth of the Wisconsin, but if so it was soon 

In the spring of 1693 Le Seuer first came down the Wisconsin to go to the 
country of the Sioux, where he lived at different times for seven years. There 
appears no record of settlers at Prairie du Chien until 1726, when one Cardinell 
came as a hunter and trapper and located there. The Outagamies had a good- 
sized town there in 1736. In 1755 the French established a military post at 
Prairie du Chien, and a number of families settled there. That entire region 
passed into the possession of the English in 1763, when this post seems to have 
been abandoned. 

This brings us down to the time of Captain Jonathan Carver, an English 
officer who traveled a great deal among the Indians in the years 1766-67, and 
who obtained from them an immense tract of land in northern Wisconsin, 
extending along the Mississippi from the lower end of Lake Pepin to and includ- 
ing the site of St. Paul. This was shown on many of the old maps as "Carver's 
Tract." Carver died in London in 1780. His heirs gave quit-claim deeds to these 
lands, and the purchasers endeavored to have the claim confirmed by the L nited 
States Government, but it was finally rejected in 1823. 

Captain Carver wrote a very interesting book entitled "Travels Through the 
Interior of North America, for more than Five Thousand Miles, by Jonathan 
Carver, Captain of the Provincial Troops in America," but its publication was 
delayed by the British government for over ten years, he says because of the 
information it might convey to the Americans in that disturbed period. While 
some of his stories are improbable, his descriptions of the country and the 
natives seem to be on the whole reliable, except when speaking of the geography 
of the country beyond his personal observation, when the dense ignorance of 
those days in this respect is exhibited. He says in introduction : 

"What I chiefly had in view, after gaining a knowledge of the manners, cus- 
toms, languages, soil and natural productions of the different nations that 
inhabit the bank of the Mississippi, was to ascertain the breadth of that vast 
continent * * * and facilitate the discovery of a Northwest passage, or a 
communication between Hudson's Hay and the Pacific ocean. * * * But 
that the completion of the scheme I have the honor of first planning and attempt- 
ing, will some time be effected, I have no doubt." ( !) Hut this is prophetic: 


"To what power or authority this new world will become dependent, after 
it has arisen from its present uncultivated state, time alone can discover. But 
as the seat of empire from time immemorial has been gradually progressive 
towards the west, there is no doubt but that at some future period, mighty king- 
doms will emerge from these wildernesses, and stately palaces and solemn temples 
with gilded spires reaching the skies, supplant the Indian huts, whose only deco- 
rations are the barbarous trophies of their vanquished enemies." 

And here is some information that might be "valuable to the Americans:" 
* * * "four great rivers take their rise within a few leagues of each other, 
nearly about the center of this great continent, viz. : the river Bourbon, which 
empties into Hudson's Bay ; the waters of the St. Lawrence ; the Mississippi ; 
and the river Oregon, or the river of the west, that falls into the Pacific ocean 
at the Straits of Annian." 

Captain Carver set out from Boston in June, 1766, and arrived at Fort 
Michillimackinac in September, and Fort La Bay, at southern extremity of 
Green Bay, September 18. On the 15th he arrived at the great town of the 
Winnebagoes; launched his canoes in the Ouisconsin, October 8, and on the 15th 
entered the Mississippi. About five miles from the junction of the rivers he 
observed the ruins of a large town, evidently the old town of the "Ottigamies," 
before mentioned, and says : 

"This people, soon after their removal, built a town on the bank of the 
Mississippi, near the mouth of the Ouisconsin, at a place called by the French, 
La Prairies les Chiens, which signifies the Dog Plains ; it is a large town and 
contains about three hundred families ; the houses are well built after the Indian 
manner, and pleasantly situated on a very rich soil, from which they raise every 
necessary of life in great abundance. I saw here many horses of good size and 
shape. This town is the great mart where all the adjacent tribes, and even 
those who inhabit the most remote branches of the Mississippi, annually assemble 
about the latter end of May, bringing with them their furs to dispose of to the 

"The Mississippi at the entrance of the Ouisconsin, near which stands a 
mountain of considerable height, is about half a mile over; but opposite to the 
last mentioned town it appears to be more than a mile wide, and full of islands, 
the soil of which is extraordinarily rich, and but thinly wooded." 

In all the preceding accounts of the early explorations along the Mississippi 
we have not found a mention of any landing upon the Iowa shore, north of that 
made by Marquette. But upon leaving Prairie du Chien, Captain Carver tells 
us : "A little further to the west, on the contrary side, a small river falls into 
the Mississippi, which the French call Le Jaun Riviere, or the Yellow river. 
Here the traders who had accompanied me hitherto, took up their residence for 
the winter. I then bought a canoe, and with two servants, one a French Cana- 
dian and the other a Mohawk of Canada, on the 19th proceeded up the Missis- 
sippi." This indicates that the traders were now accustomed to making their 
home at Yellow river periodically, thus establishing the first temporary settlement 
in Allamakee county ; and as Carver makes no mention of meeting any white 
inhabitants at Prairie du Chien at this time, it is quite probable that the French 
had abandoned their post on the east side of the river after that region, with 
Canada, had passed under the control of the English three years before. It is well 


established that the present settlement of Prairie du Chien was begun in 1783, 
by Mr. Giard, Mr. Antaya and Mr. Dubuque; and not until the summer of 1786 
was the fort formally surrendered by the British to the United States. It is to 
be regretted that Captain Carver does not inform us as to how long the French 1 
men had frequented Yellow river; and when and how it had become known by 
that name. It is noticeable that he also makes no mention of the Painted Rock, 
a few miles above. 

The greater part of Captain Carver's narrative relates to his travels and life 
among the Indians, with entertaining accounts of their customs and beliefs, and 
has no particular connection with our county's history. 


The foregoing reference to Mr. Giard at Prairie du Chien leads naturally 
to a notice of the "Giard Tract" just west of McGregor. Although it lies just 
outside our borders it is interesting to us to know that this was the second parcel 
of land granted to an individual, in the state of Iowa, that of Julien Dubuque 
being the first, in 1788. In 1795 the lieutenant governor of the Spanish province 
of Upper Louisiana granted to Basil Giard this tract of 5,760 acres. In fact it 
seems that this was really the first, of the Spanish grants, as that of Dubuque 
in 1788 was only a cession from the Fox Indians, and was not confirmed by 
the Spanish governor until 1796. It is possible that the grant to Louis Honori 
Tesson, at Montrose, in the southeast corner of the state, was made in the same 
year with that of Giard, but it is generally stated to have been in 1796. The 
settlements at Giard and Montrose did not then become permanent, as did that 
at Dubuque. They were abandoned and resettled after the Indians were removed. 
On the other hand, the grants to Honori and Giard were confirmed by the United 
States, while that to Dubuque was not confirmed. The first United States patent 
in Iowa was issued to the creditors of Honori, February 7, 1839 ; and that to the 
assigns of Basil Giard (in his own right) July 2, 1844, signed by John Tyler, 

Giard occupied this farm until Louisiana passed from Spain to France and 
from France to the United States, and there were three cabins thereon in 1805, 
when Lieutenant Pike ascended the Mississippi and planted our flag on the bluff 
at McGregor, since known as "Pike's Peak.'' Running through this tract is a 
small stream first known as Giard creek ; but its name was later changed to 
"Bloody Run,'' the story of the change being as follows: 

"In 1823 the commandant at Fort Crawford detailed men to cultivate a public 
garden on the old Giard farm, under direction of Lieut. Martin Scott of the 
Fifth Infantry. He was fond of shooting, and took his dogs and gun every morn- 
ing, got into his little hunting canoe, and spent the day in shooting woodcock, 
which were plenty about there, and other game, and returning in the evening 
would boast of the number that had bled that day. After a while this gave the 
creek the name of Bloody Run, which it still bears. The name suggests to 
strangers the idea of a sanguinary battle having been fought there, but it was 
derived from the hunting exploits of this Lieutenant Scott. He later served with 
distinction in the Mexican war, and, as Brevet Lieut. Col. Martin Scott he was 
killed in the hard fought battle of Molino del Rey, in 1847." 



Another version of the derivation of Bloody Run is as follows (as related in 
Fonda's Recollections) : "It was years ago, before the English were guided to 
and captured Prairie du Chien, and before the traitorous guide hid himself in 
a cave in Mill Coulee, when Prairie du Chien was inhabited by only a few 
French families and Indian traders, that an event occurred which gave to the 
coulee wherein North McGregor is now built, the name of Bloody Run. A 
couple of traders lived on the prairie and as was the custom with those extensively 
engaged in the fur trade, these two traders had their clerks, or agents, whom 
they supplied with goods to dispose of to the Indians. Among others were two 
who had lived with their families in Bloody Run. Their names were Stock and 
King. The latter's wife was a squaw of the Sauk tribe, while Stock and his wife 
were English, and both families lived on a little bench or table land about a mile 
and a half from the mouth, on the north side of the valley. 

"The clerks had sold a quantity of goods to the Indians on credit, who were 
backward in paying. Among those who had got in debt was a Sauk chief, Gray 
Eagle. He had been refused any more credit and would not pay for what he 
had already obtained. This made King impatient, and he told his wife that he 
would go to Gray Eagle's village and if the chief did not pay he would take his 
horse for the debt. His wife told him it would be dangerous to treat a chief 
in that way and urged him not to go ; but he said he had traded too long with the 
Indians to be afraid of them, and started to collect the debt. On his way to the 
village he met the chief, unarmed, riding the very horse he had threatened to 
take. Approaching him he dragged the chief off, gave him a beating, rode the 
horse home and tied it before the shanty door. Soon after his wife rushed into the 
cabin and said Gray Eagle was near at hand with some of his people. King went 
out to meet them but had scarcely passed the door when a bullet from the rifle 
of Gray Eagle pierced his brain. Mr. Stock, the remaining trader, persisted in 
refusing the Indians further credit, which so enraged them that they shot him also 
shortly after. After this last tragedy the survivors of these two families removed 
from the old claim and for years no other white man lived in the valley." 

In 1805 Lieut. Zebulon Montgomery Pike, U. S. A., was ordered by Gen. 
James Wilkinson, then commanding at St. Louis, to make an exploration of the 
head-waters of the Mississippi. He sailed from St. Louis August 9th, with 
one sergeant, two corporals, and seventeen privates, in a keel boat seventy 
feet long, provisioned for months. From his journal, and letters to General 
Wilkinson, we learn that on September 4th they passed the "Ouisconsing" (Wis- 
consin river) after breakfast and "arrived at the Prairie des Chiens about 11 
o'clock, took quarters at Fisher's (captain of militia and justice of the peace) 
and were politely received by him and Mr. Frazer." On the 5th, looking for 
a suitable location for a fort, "ascended a hill on the west side of the Mississippi, 
and made choice of a spot which I thought most eligible, being level on top, 
having a spirng in the rear, and commanding a view of the country around." 
This hill has since been known as Pike's Peak, at the present city of McGregor. 
Sunday, September 8th, "we sailed well, came 18 miles and encamped on the 
west bank." September 9th, "embarked early ; dined at Cape Garlic, or Garlic 
river, after which we came to an island on the east side, about five miles below 
the river Iowa (Upper Iowa), and encamped. Distance 28 miles." 


The expedition spent the winter exploring the sources of the Mississippi, and 
was from April 16th to the 27th on the return voyage along the eastern shore 
of Iowa. April 17, 1806, "arrived at Wabasha's band at 11 o'clock." April 18th, 
"Departed from our encampment very early ; stopped to breakfast at the Painted 
Rock ; arrived at the Prairie des Chiens at 2 o'clock, and were received by crowds 
on the bank." 

Lieutenant Pike noted the settlements of Giard, Dubuque, and Tesson, "the 
only white people then in Iowa." 

The location of "Cape Garlic, or Garlic river," mentioned in Pike's journal, 
has not been identified ; but old settlers say there were several places along the 
river where so much garlic grew that butter made there was unfit to eat because 
of the garlic taint, notably so at a distance above Harper's Ferry, say about 
Ryan Creek. But from the time, and distance traveled, as mentioned in the 
journal, Pike's Garlic river must have been further north, perhaps Village creek 
or Clear creek. 

In the observations, in the appendix to the journal, Pike says: "From the 
village (Prairie des Chines) we have on the west side, first, Yellow river, of about 
20 yards wide, bearing from the Mississippi nearly due west; second, the Iowa 
river (Upper Iowa) about 100 yards wide bearing from the Mississippi about 
northwest. From the Upper Iowa river to the head of Lake Pepin the elk are 
the prevailing species of wild game, with some deer, and a few bear." * * * 
"The Reynards are engaged in the same wars and have the same alliances as 
the Sauks. * * * They hunt on both sides of the Mississippi from the Iowa 
river of that name above Prairie des Chines. They raise a great quantity of 
corn, beans, melons, the former in such quantities as to sell many hundred bushels 
per annum." 

Early in 1814 the government authorities at St. Louis fitted out a large boat, 
having on board all the men that could be mustered, and dispatched it up the 
Mississippi to protect the upper country from the British. Upon reaching Prairie 
du Chien the men commenced putting the old fort in a condition for defense. 
Not long after Colonel McKay descended the Wisconsin with a large force of 
British and Indians, and captured the fort after a determined resistance. It is 
said his utmost exertions were required to prevent an indiscriminate massacre of 
the Americans by the Indians. Upon the establishment of peace in 1815 the fort 
was evacuated by the British. In 1816 the United States troops took possession 
again, and the old fort was rebuilt. 

In 1817 Major Stephen Ft. Long, U. S. topographical engineer, kept a journal 
of a voyage to the falls of St. Anthony from Prairie du Chien, afterwards printed 
in the Minn. Hist. Collection, Vol. 2, 1889, in which he says : 

"Wednesday, July 9. — Passed Yellow river on our left, about two miles 
above. It is navigable for pirogues, in high water, about fifty miles ( !) from its 
mouth. About a mile further up, of considerable size, called Painted Rock. 
Passed a prominent part of the bluffs called Cape Puant. The circumstance 
from which it derived its name was as follows: The Sioux and Puants (Winne- 
bagoes) were about to commence hostilities against each other; and a large party 
of the latter set out to invade the territory of the Sioux and attack them by 
surprise. But the Sioux, gaining intelligence of their design, assembled a supe- 
rior force and laid in ambush, waiting for the Puants to land on this side. 


Immediately after their landing the Sioux rushed down from the bluffs, attacked 
the Puants in a small recess between the two promontories, drove them into the 
river and massacred the whole party. Just above this is Garlic Cape, remarkable 
from the singularity of its appearance. In shape it resembles a cone, cut by a 
perpendicular plane passing through its apex and base. Its height is about four 
hundred and fifty feet. A little east of its base is a fine spring. The valley of 
the river in this part is almost entirely occupied by the river which spreads in 
some places to the width of three or four miles, giving place to numerous islands., 
some of which are very large. The bluffs are generally between four and five 
hundred feet high, cut with numerous ravines, and exhibiting other signs of being 
the commencement of a very hilly country. The wind failed about n A. M., 
and we had to row the rest of the day. Encamped on the head of an island about 
sunset. Distance 28J/ miles. 

"Thursday, July 10. — Our companions in the birch canoe encamped on the 
same island about four miles below. The weather was calm this morning. Got 
under way at sunrise, and came six miles before breakfast, during which we 
caught five catfish and one drum. A favorable wind rising, we set sail. Passed 
Little Ioway river coming in from the west. There is a small village of the 
Foxes about three miles up this river, consisting of five or six wigwams. The 
river is navigable in time of high water about fifty miles, and at all times a little 
above the Indian village. Its current is generally rapid, but not precipitate. 
Passed several Sioux lodges or wigwams on our left, at which there was a small 
war party of ten or twelve. As soon as they saw our flag they hoisted the 
American colors, and we returned the compliment by discharging a blunderbuss, 
upon which they fired two guns ahead of us. Finding we were not disposed to 
call upon them (for we had a very fine wind), six of the young warriors, very 
fine looking fellows, took a canoe and waited on us. We slackened sail to enable 
them to overtake us. When they came up, their chief warrior gave me his hand, 
and a few commonplace remarks passed between us. I gave him some tobacco 
and a pint of whiskey, and they left us apparently well satisfied." 

Major Long reached St. Anthony's Falls on the 17th, and started on the 
return trip the same day. Reaching the northeastern point of Iowa, the journal 
continues : 

"Monday, July 21. — Floated last night; made very little progress on account 
of bad winds. Met twelve canoes of Fox Indians on a hunting tour from the 
Upper Ioway river. There were three very aged squaws with them, one of whom 
was entirely blind. She was busily engaged in twisting slips of bark for the 
purpose of making rush mats. This labor, notwithstanding her blindness and 
great age, she performed with much expedition. Passed Painted Rock on the 
right of the river, nine miles above Prairie du Chien. It has obtained this name 
from having numerous hieroglyphics upon it, painted by the Indians. These 
figures are painted on a cliff nearly perpendicular, at the height of about twenty- 
five feet from its base. Whenever the Indians pass this cliff they are in the 
habit of performing certain ceremonies, which their superstition leads them to 
believe efficacious in rendering any enterprise in which they may be engaged 

The trip was made from Prairie du Chien to St. Anthony's Falls and back in 
thirteen days. 






In 1820 an expedition under government authority was dispatched to explore 
the head-waters of the Mississippi, proceeding by way of Lake Superior and 
returning down the Mississippi to Prairie du Chien. Henry R. Schoolcraft, a 
scientist who by this and other explorations became famous, was attached to this 
expedition, and from his narrative we quote the following regarding the home- 
ward journey: 

"At four o'clock in the afternoon (August 4th) we reached and landed at 
Wabashaw's village (near Winona). It is eligibly situated on the west shore, 
and consists of four of the large elongated Sioux lodges, containing a population 
of about sixty. 

"At the rapids of Black river, which enters opposite our encampment, a 
sawmill, we were informed, had been erected by an inhabitant of Prairie du 
Chien. * * * By the hour of three o'clock the next morning the expedition 
was again in motion descending the river. It halted for breakfast at Painted 
Rock, on the west shore. While this matter was being accomplished, I found 
an abundant locality of unios in a curve of the shore which produced an eddy. 
With the increased spirit and animation which the whole party felt on the pros- 
pect of arriving at Prairie du Chien, we proceeded unremittingly on our descent, 
and reached that place at six o'clock in the evening." 

This would indicate that Mr. Schoolcraft either found another Painted Rock 
way up above the Minnesota line, or he got his notes mixed as to where they 
breakfasted, as they made eighty or ninety miles that day if they traveled from 
the Black river to Prairie du Chien. In two or three other places he speaks of 
Painted Rock, but only in connection with its many large and fine specimens of 
unios and other fresh water shells, not definitely locating it. Upon a very early 
map we find a "Paint Rock creek" laid down in Minnesota, but apparently put 
on at random as to relative position with other streams. 

In the same year, 1820, three Mackinaw boats loaded with wheat, oats, and 
peas, passed up the river for the Selkirk colony. And in 182 1 Lord Selkirk 
purchased a number of cattle at the Prairie, and hired men to drive them to the 
Red River of the North, under the charge of J. B. Loyer. After looking at a 
map of the country, Loyer "proceeded west to the high lands, and by taking 
frequent notice of the north star succeeded in striking within five miles of the 
point of destination." 

This route taken by Loyer may have been pointed out to him by the Indians. 
At any rate it appears likely it was along the ridge on which the military road 
was opened twenty years later by Monona and Postville, or possibly to the north 
of Yellow river, in either case a course which would lead to the avoidance of 
large streams. This seems to have been a usual route of travel in later years, 
as in the case of an early mail carrier in 1832. In May of that year James Halpin, 
a soldier in the United States army, was detailed to carry the mails between 
Prairie du Chien and Fort Snelling, by order of Col. Zachary Taylor, then in 
command at Fort Crawford. He traveled most of the time on foot, and con- 
tinued the duty for one year. The time spent in going and returning was four- 
teen days, the distance between the two posts being near three hundred miles, 
he said. He crossed the Mississippi at Prairie du Chien, and traveled on the 
western side, doubtless far inland, as he says there was no stream of any conse- 
quence to cross except the Upper Iowa, until he reached the St. Peter's river 


near Fort Snelling. There was no shelter, cabin, or tent for him on the route, 
but sometimes he would come across an Indian encampment, where he was 
always well treated ; but he seldom found the encampment a second time in the 
same place. 

To go back to Lover. He was said to be a natural pilot, and became skilled 
in guiding the early steamboats on the upper river. The first steamboat in these 
waters, according to D. S. Durrie, Wisconsin State Librarian, writing in 1872, 
was the Virginia, which appeared in 1821. It was a small stern-wheeler, and a 
man with a pole was stationed on the bow to aid in steering. It proceeded to 
St. Peter's, or Fort Snelling. with Lover as pilot. There is some disagreement 
as to the year, but Colonel Brisbois says it was in 1821. Judge Lockwood wrote 
in 1856: "Until the year 1824 it was believed that a steamboat could not come 
up over the Des Moines and Rock river rapids. But in the spring of that year 
David G. Bates brought to Prairie du Chien a very small boat called the Putnam, 
and proceeded to Fort Snelling. In June following, boats of a much larger 
class came over the rapids, and went to Fort Snelling with supplies for the 
troops." Mr. Durrie says: "In 1823 Count Beltrami came up the river on the 
steamer Virginia (118 feet long and 22 feet wide) in the month of May, and 
stopped at Prairie du Chien." Another writer declares that the Virginia was 
the first boat, in 1823, and the Putnam the second, in 1824. 

In 1823 J. C. Beltrami, a judge of a royal court in Italy at an earlier date, 
made a journey to the sources of the Mississippi, and in 1828 published an 
account of the journey, with a map of the river. With him was William Clark, 
of the famous Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-6, afterwards governor of 
Missouri territory, and Lawrence Taliaferro. Indian agent among the Sioux. 
The account says of that portion of the voyage pertaining to the borders of our 
county, and vicinity : 

"The Owisconsin river is the principal channel of the fur trade carried on 
by the savage countries by way of Michilimackinak and the lakes with Canada 
and New York, of which Prairie du Chien is a considerable entrepot. * 
Nine miles above the Prairie, at a point where the savages pay their adoration 
to a rock which they annually paint with red and yellow, the Mississippi presents 
scenes of peculiar novelty. The hills disappear, the number of islands increases, 
the waters divide into various branches, and the river extends in some places 
to a breadth of nearly three miles. * * * The vigorous fertility of these 
countries imparts strength to the grass and brushwood. Once a year the Indians 
set lire to the brushwood, so that the surface of the vast regions they traverse 
is successively consumed by the flames. It was dark, and we were at the mouth of 
the river Yawoha (upper Iowa), the second of that name, when we saw at a 
distance all the images of the infernal regions. The trees were on fire, which 
communicated to the grass and brushwood, and was blown by a violent north- 
west wind to the plains and valleys. The flames towering above the hills gave 
them the appearance of volcanoes, and the fire winding in its descent through 
places covered with grass, exhibited a resemblance of the undulating lava of 
\ esuvius. This fire accompanied us with some variation for fifteen miles." 

He gives a "table of short distances" as they were then estimated, some of 
which are as follows: 


River Owisconsin to Prairie du Chien 6 miles 

To Painted Rock 9 miles 

To Cape Winnebegos 18 miles 

To Cape aTale Sauvage io miles 

To Upper River Yawoha 19 miles 

These estimates are evidently made from the windings of small boats, pro- 
pelled by sail or human muscle against the current. 

In Schoolcraft's "Mississippi River" he gives a table with somewhat shorter 
estimates : 

Prairie du Chien, American Fur Co.'s house, to Cap-a-1'ail 

(the summit, height 355 ft. above the Mississippi).. 32 miles 

To Upper Iowa River, island at the mouth 14 miles 

To Hoka River (Root River), the mouth 23 miles 

The Cap-a-1'ail of these and other early travelers is supposed to have become 
the Capoli Bluff of later times. And Cape Garlic, and Cape Puant, previously 
mentioned, somewhere between Harper's and Heytman's. 

In 1826 the troops at Fort Crawford were transferred to Fort Snelling, 
leaving the former undefended. The Winnebagoes became very insolent, and 
in the following spring and summer frequent murders were committed by them, 
so that the settlers took refuge in the old fort. In March, 1827, as narrated by 
Tudge Lockwood, a halfbreed by the name of Methode, with his wife and five 
children, "went up the Yellow river or Painted Rock creek, about twelve miles 
above the Prairie, on the Iowa side, to make maple sugar. The sugar season 
being over and he not returning, and hearing nothing from him, a party of his 
friends went to look for him and found his camp consumed, and himself, wife 
and children burned nearly to cinders, and she at the time enciente. They were 
so crisped and cindered that it was impossible to determine whether they had 
been murdered and then burned, or whether their camp had accidentally caught 
fire and consumed them. It was generally believed that the Winnebagoes had 
murdered them, and Red Bird was suspected to have been concerned in it." 
From the above statement of the distance from the Prairie, and other evidence, 
it seems that the locality of this murder was on Paint creek rather than Yellow 
river. The situation throughout the region became so alarming that J. B. Loyer, 
the guide before mentioned, was furnished with a horse and went across the 
Mississippi and through the back country to inform the commander at Fort 
Snelling of the conditions, and in due time two companies of the Fifth Infantry 
were sent to their relief, and the Winnebago outbreak was quelled. Some of 
them were brought to trial in 1828 for the murders, and two sentenced to be 
hung, but all were finally discharged, the supposed instigator of the crimes, Red 
Bird, having meanwhile died in jail, of smallpox. 

An anecdote presenting the Indian character in a more favorable light should 
be appropriate here. The Winnebago chief De-kau-ray had been held as a host- 
age for the delivery of the young men suspected of the murders. He disclaimed 
the responsibility of his nation for the behavior of the "foolish young men, over 
whom I and the other wise men have no control ;" and charged it to the authori- 
ties themselves, who had supplied them with unlimited whisky. He was ready, 
however, to receive the punishment himself if need be for the honor of his people, 
being assured that if Red Bird was not given up he was to die in his stead. 


Finding that confinement injured his health he requested permission to range 
the country on his parole. He was given liberty to go where he pleased during 
the day, but at sunset he was to return to the fort on pain of being considered 
an old woman. His friends urged him privately to flee, but he spurned their 
advice. At the first tap of the retreat De-kau-ray was sure to present himself 
at the gate ; and this he continued to do until the culprits were apprehended and 
General Atkinson set him at liberty. 

This De-kau-ray was the one known as the "grand old chief," whose Indian 
name was Scha-chip-ka-ka, or Ko-no-kah De-kau-ray, or the Eldest De-kau-ray, 
who died on the Wisconsin river April 20, 1836, in his ninetieth year. 

The building of the new Fort Crawford was begun in 1830, and completed 
in 1832. This was located about midway between the old French fort to the 
south and the fort to the north near the Dousman residence. 


Of the native tribes that occupied a wide region in which Allamakee county 
is central, during the past three centuries, the Sioux, or Dakotas (Naudowessies 
of the early writers), were the most permanently located, and among the most 
powerful. The very earliest traders found their home to be in Minnesota, to 
the westward of Lake Superior, and their numbers were estimated at many 
thousand. There were various branches of this powerful family, covering a 
widespread territory. The Iowa, or so-called "Prairie Sioux," at the time of 
Marquette's visit occupied the most of what is now the fair state of Iowa, but 
a century later they had become supplanted throughout its eastern portion by 
other tribes, and were eventually retired beyond the Missouri. They had, how- 
ever, given their name to one of our principal rivers, and to at least two smaller 
upon which their bands had dwelt: our own Upper Iowa (now called Oneota), 
and the Little Sioux, which is shown on an early map (1817) as the "River of 
the Iowas." The name very naturally passed on to designate one of the early 
organized counties in the Wisconsin Territory, and finally to this territory and 

Of the northern Sioux, the only record we have of a habitation in Allamakee 
county is of the party known as Wabasha's band,* who established a village on 
the Oneota river, near New Albin, about the year 1800, migrating from about 
St. Paul. Doubtless they had camped and hunted and fought along that stream 
for generations before the advent of the whites, in common with various other 
tribes, as the abundance of Indian relics throughout the valley shows. The old 
Wabasha had taken sides with the British in 1776, and led a thousand Sioux 
in 1780 destined to augment their forces at Kaskaskia. He died in Houston 
county, Minnesota, while the village was on the Oneota, having abdicated in 
1805 or before in favor of his son, second Wabasha. The latter was considered 
a wise and prudent chief, and it is said was strictly temperate as to whisky. 
In 1805 he heartily welcomed Lieutenant Pike, and claimed that he himself 
had never been at war with the new father (Louisiana then having recently been 
transferred to the United States) ; but in 1812 his band again sided with the 
English. Pike's map shows this Sioux village on the south side of the Upper 
Iowa, at a point now definitely located at Sand Cove, two or three miles from 
New Albin. 

*N. H. Winchell, "Aborigines of Minnesota." 



This band removed to "Wabasha's Prairie" (now Winona) before the date 
of Major Long's expedition up the Mississippi in 1817, an account of which 
appears in a previous chapter. At this date there were both Sioux and Foxes 
on the Upper Iowa, which by the treaty seven years later was to become the 
boundary line between them, and the center line of the Neutral Ground in 1830. 
Wabasha was the "Leaf" or the "Red Leaf," the leading signer of both these 
treaties on the part of the Sioux. Wabasha's band were allied with the whites 
in the Black Hawk war in 1832, and fell upon their old enemies the Sacs and 
Foxes as they fled across into Iowa near New Albin after their defeat at the 
Bad Axe river, and it is said slaughtered the helpless fugitives mercilessly, 
women and children included. Wabasha died in 1836 of smallpox, with many 
of his people, which reduced the band to twenty-seven when third Wabasha 
became chief. 

The Sacs (Saukies) and Foxes ( Outagamies, or Reynards) were originally 
two separate tribes of the Algonquin family, but of so aggressive habits that 
their eastern neighbors could not get along with them, and they were forced far- 
ther west until, about the year 1760, at Green Bay or vicinity, being reduced in 
numbers, they formed an alliance, and from that time became known as prac- 
tically one nation. They continued to be very annoying neighbors, however, being 
ever ready for warfare, and their more powerful enemies forced them again to 
move, first from the Fox to the Wisconsin river, and about 1767 to the Mississippi 
in the vicinity of Rock Island, where the famous Sac chief Black Hawk was born 
soon after. Here they prospered, supplanting the Iowa and Illini, and soon 
occupied all the eastern part of this state, up to the Upper Iowa river, where they 
were continually at war with the more powerful Sioux. 

The Winnebagoes. early known as Puants, are generally considered as a 
division of the great Dakota family. They are declared by eminent authority to 
have been the parent stock of the Omahas, Iowas, Kansas, Quappas or Arkansas, 
and Osages. Their own traditions (as learned by Captain Carver and others) 
point to an origin far to the southwest, from whence they were driven by the early 
Spanish invaders with great cruelty. It is said they reached this northern region 
much reduced in numbers and very destitute, and were succored and befriended 
by the Minnesota Sioux, by whom they were placed (being a comparatively 
peaceful people) as a "buffer" between themselves and their adversaries, the, 
Chippewas, on the east. The great difference in the Winnebago language from 
that of the northern Dakotas would go to support the belief of a different tribal 

Captain Carver says: "On the 20th of September (1766) I left Green Bay 
and proceeded up the Fox river. On the 25th I arrived at the great town of the 
Winnebagoes, situated on a small island, just as you enter the east end of 
Lake Winnebago. Here the queen, who presided over this tribe instead of a 
sachem, received me with great civility, and entertained me in a very distinguished 
manner during the four days I continued with her. * * * 

"The time I tarried here I employed in making the best observations possible 
on the country and in collecting the most certain intelligence I could of the origin, 
language and customs of this people. From these inquiries I have reason to 
conclude that the Winnebagoes originally resided in some of the provinces 
belonging to New Mexico ; and being driven from their native country, either 


by internal divisions or by the extensions of the Spanish conquests, they took 
refuge in these more northern parts about a century ago. 

"My reasons for adopting this supposition are, first, from their unalienable 
attachment to the Naudowessie Indians (who, they say, gave them the earliest 
succor during their emigration) notwithstanding their present residence is more 
than six hundred miles distant from that people. 

"Secondly, that their dialect totally differs from every other Indian nation 
yet discovered ; it being a very uncouth, guttural jargon, which none of their 
neighbors will attempt to learn. They converse with other nations in the Chip- 
peway tongue, which is the prevailing language throughout all the tribes, from 
the Mohawks of Canada to those who inhabit the borders of the Mississippi, and 
from the Hurons and Illinois to such as dwell near Hudson's Bay. 

"Thirdly, from their inveterate hatred to the Spaniards. Some of them 
informed me that they had many excursions to the southwest, which took up 
several moons. An elder chief more particularly acquainted me, that about 
forty-six winters ago, he marched at the head of fifty warriors, towards the 
southwest, for three moons. That during this expedition, whilst they were cross- 
ing a plain, they discovered a body of men on horseback who belonged to the 
black people : for so they call the Spaniards. As soon as they perceived them 
they proceeded with caution, and concealed themselves till night came on ; when 
fhey drew so near as to be able to discern the number and situation of their 
enemies. Finding they were not able to cope with so great a superiority by day- 
light, they waited till they had retired to rest ; when they rushed upon them, 
and, after having killed the greatest part of the men, took eighty horses loaded 
with what they termed white stone. This I suppose to have been silver, as he 
told me the horses were shod with it, and that their bridles were ornamented 
with the same. When they had satiated their revenge, they carried off their 
spoil, and having got so far as as to be out of the reach of the Spaniards that had 
escaped their fury, they left the useless and ponderous burthen, and with which 
the horses were loaded, in the woods, and mounting themselves in this manner 
returned to their friends. The party they had thus defeated I conclude to be 
the caravan that annually conveys to Mexico the silver which the Spaniards find 
in great quantities on the mountains lying near the heads of the Colorado river; 
and the plains where the attack was made, probably some they were obliged to 
pass over in their way to the head of the river St. Fee, or Rio del Nord, which 
falls into the Gulf of Mexico, to the west of the Mississippi. 

"The Winnebagoes can raise about two hundred warriors. Their town con- 
tains about fifty houses, which are strongly built with palisades. * * * The 
'Winnebagoes raise a great quantity of Indian corn, beans, pumpkins, squashes 
and watermelons, with some tobacco." 

Captain Carver's belief that the Winnebagoes came into this region about a 
century before his visit to them was far from correct, as Nicolet had found 
them at Green Bay upon his first reaching that point in 1634, and in considerable 
numbers. Other authorities have considered them as among the earliest of our 
aboriginal tribes. 

Upon the removal of the Sacs and Foxes to the Mississippi, the Winnebagoes 
spread over the region from Lake Winnebago and Green Bay to that river, north 
"of the Wisconsin, and thus became the prospective occupants of our own county 


when, some sixty years later, a portion of them were assigned to the Neutral 
Ground between the Sioux on the north and the Sacs and Foxes to the south, 
after the Black Hawk war. As was said, the Winnebagoes were not warlike: and 
the array officers posted at Prairie du Chien generally considered them less 
honorable than the Sioux, their patrons, more vindictive and generally mean. 
Some of them were implicated in brutal murders near that post, as narrated in 
another place. On the other hand, they were more amenable to the influences of 
civilization; and Gen. Joseph M. Street, the government Indian agent at that 
point, declared the bad element among them was the demoralizing result of their 
long contact with unprincipled whites, and the whisky-sellers especially. It 
is deplorable that nearly all of the early explorers, as admitted in their narra- 
tives, made a practice of giving whisky with their presents to the Indians. 

The Winnebagoes, though taking no very active part, naturally allied them- 
selves with their first white friends, the French, in their warfare against the 
English ; and later with the English against the Americans in the Revolution, and 
in the War of 1812. Thev were neutral in the Black I lawk war. 

By the treaty of August 19, 1825, at Prairie du Chien, it was agreed that 
the United States government should run a boundary line between the Sioux, 
on the north, and the Sacs and Foxes, on the south, along the Upper Iowa, as 
follows: Commencing at the mouth of the Upper Iowa river on the west bank 
of the Mississippi and ascending said Iowa river to its west fork ; thence up the 
fork to its source ; thence crossing the fork of the Red Cedar river in a direct 
line to the second or upper fork of the Des Moines river. 

The cause which led to the establishment of this boundary line continuing to 
exist, namely, the frequent hostilities between these hereditary enemies, another 
treaty was entered into on July 15, 1830, at Prairie du Chien, by the terms of 
which the Sacs and Foxes ceded to the United States a strip of country lying 
south of the above boundary line, twenty miles in width, and extending along 
the line aforesaid from the Mississippi to the Des Moines river. The Sioux 
also ceded to the government, in the same treaty, a like strip of twenty miles on 
the north side of said boundary ; thus making a territory forty miles wide, and 
in length from the Mississippi to the Des Moines, which was known as the 
"Neutral Ground." Within these limits both tribes were permitted to hunt and 
fish unmolested by each other except at the peril of the aggressor, from the gov- 

In the maps of that day upon which this neutral ground was shown, there 
appears a little jog of perhaps six or eight miles in each of the three lines, north, 
south, and central, at a distance of about thirty miles west of the Missssippi, 
which has puzzled not a few. The key to this appears in the language of the 
treaty of 1825 establishing the central, or original boundary line: "ascending 
said Iowa river to its west fork (some texts read left fork), thence up the fork 
to its source," etc. This fork, judging from the maps which show it as a little, 
short, unnamed stream, can be no other than Trout Run, near Decorah. The 
corresponding jog in the northern line, twenty miles north, appears along the 
course of the "Red Cedar creek," apparently the Canoe; and a similar deflection in 
the southern line is along the Turkey river. No explanation is given of this break 
in the course of the original boundary, that we have been able to ascertain. 

John Waukon, son of the noted Chief of the 
Winnebago Indians after whom the city of 
Waukon was named. 

Aunt Eliza'' Waukon. mother of John 


The original boundary line striking the upper fork of the Des Moines river, 
at Dakota City in Humboldt county, the southwest corner of the Neutral Ground 
would be a short distance below Fort Dodge, in Webster county ; and the north 
line being carried to the west fork would terminate in the southeast corner of 
Palo Alto. 

By a treaty made September 15, 1832, at Fort Armstrong, now Rock Island, 
the eastern forty miles of this neutral ground was allotted to the Winnebagoes 
for a new home, in part consideration for their surrendering all their possessions 
on the east side of the Mississippi, south and east of the Wisconsin, which it 
became necessary for the government to open for settlement; and a portion of 
the tribe reluctantly entered upon this territory during the following year, the 
other part remaining in the vicinity of Fort Winnebago. Under the terms of 
this treaty a school and farm were established for their benefit, on the Yellow 
river, which will be found more fully described in another chapter, as the "Old 
Mission." It is related that in the spring of 1833 Father Lowrey, who was 
appointed to take charge of this school, explained the plans and purpose of its 
establishment to a council of Winnebago chiefs, and called for an expression of 
their views on the subject; whereupon Chief Waukon arose and expressed his 
sentiments as follows : "The Winnebagoes are asleep, and it will be wrong to 
awake them; they are red men, and all the white man's soap and water cannot 
make them white." 

In a treaty at Washington, November 1, 1837, the Winnebagoes ceded all 
their lands east of the Mississippi river. They agreed, further, to relinquish the 
right to occupy, except for the purpose of hunting, that portion of the Neutral 
Ground included between that river and a line twenty miles distant therefrom 
to the west ; and to remove to the west of such line within eight months after 
the ratification of this treaty. In accordance therewith, in 1840-41 the govern- 
ment erected a fort in the southwest corner of the present Winnisheik county, 
on Turkey river, calling it Fort Atkinson from the general who conducted the 
war against Black Hawk; and in 1842 a mission house and school were built near 
by and a farm opened, to which Rev. Lowrey and Farmer Thomas were trans- 
ferred. The Yellow River mission was abandoned, and the Indians received 
their annuities thenceforth at this post until they were removed to Minnesota, 
in 1848. 

Long exposed to the greed and the vices of the white man, from their contact 
with him since the appearance of the first traders and their whisky, the Winne- 
bagoes unfortunately yielded readily to these influences, and their annuities from 
the government were an additional cause of increasing profligacy and idleness, 
notwithstanding the endeavors of Father Lowrey for their welfare. An officer 
of the United States army was appointed to treat with them as to a removal 
farther away from these influences, and held a council with their chiefs November 
1, 1844, at which their principal chief and orator, Waukon,* said in reply : 
"Brother, you say our Great Father sent you to us to buy our country. 
"We do not know what to think of our Great Father's sending so often to 
buy our country. He seems to think so much of land that he must be always 
looking down to the earth. 

*Salter, "The First Free State in the Louisiana Purchase. 


"Brother, you say you have seen many Indians, but you have never seen one 
yet who owns the land. The land all belongs to the Great Spirit. He made it, 
He owns it all. It is not the red man's to sell. 

"Brother, the Great Spirit hears us now. He always hears us. He heard 
us when our Great Father told us if we would sell him our country on the Wis- 
consin, he would never ask us to sell him another country. We brought our 
council fires to the Mississippi. We came across the great river, and built our 
lodges on the Turkey and the Cedar. We have been here but a few days, and you 
ask us to move again. We supposed our Father pities his children ; but he can- 
not, or he would not wish so often to take our land from us. 

"You ask me. Brother, where the Indians are gone who crossed the Mississippi 
a few years ago. You know and we know where they are gone. They are gone 
to the country where the white man can no more interfere with them. Wait, 
Brother, but a few years longer, and this little remnant will be gone too ; — gone 
to the Indian's home beyond the clouds, and then you can have our country 
without buying it. 

" brother, we do not know how you estimate the value of land. When you 
bought our land before, we do not think we got its value. 

"Brother, I have spoken to you for our nation. We do not wish to sell our 
country. We have but one opinion. We never change it." 

The chiefs refused to hear anything further from the commissioner, and 
abruptly broke up the council. They said, "We are in a hurry to get off on 
our winter hunt. The sun is going down. Farewell." But the territory of Iowa 
was now soon to become a state. The Indian population must give place to the 
hand of industry, and the forces that make for civilization must control and 
occupy this fair spot of the earth's surface, with the abundant yield from its 
prolific soil, the wealth of its mines, the power of its rivers. 

Hence it was that by another treaty, October 13, 1846, at Washington, the 
Winnebagoes were persuaded to cede all claim to the "Neutral Ground," the 
United States agreeing to give them a tract of not less than 800, 000 acres north 
of St. Peter's river in Minnesota, and the sum of, of which $85,000 
was retained by the government in trust, and 5 per cent interest payable annually 
to said tribe. But there was no clause in this treaty for the exclusion of intoxi- 
cating liquor. By a later treaty, in 1855, the Winnebagoes ceded this tract, for 
a smaller one on Blue Earth river, from which ardent spirits were excluded. In 
1859 and 1863' this was sold by the United States in trust for the Winnebagoes, 
and the president authorized to set apart a reservation for them of 18 square 
miles, in Dakota. 

Under the treaty of 1846. which was proclaimed February 4, 1847, the removal 
of the Winnebagoes from the Neutral Ground to the Long Prairie (or St. 
Peter) purchase, was carried out in the summer of 1848, under difficulties. The 
whisky sellers hung about and incited dissatisfaction and desertion ; and Waba- 
sha III, the Sioux chief at Winona, tried to sell them a share of his territory. He 
was arrested by soldiers from Fort Snelling, and a conflict between the soldiers 
and the Winnebagoes was narrowly averted. Two principal parties abandoned 
the tribe, one going back to their old haunts on Black river in Wisconsin, and one 
moving southwest through Iowa, finally uniting with the Otoe in Nebraska, but 
later returning in part to Wisconsin. 


While on the Blue Earth reservation, 1855 to i860, the Winnebagoes who 
remained there prospered, and the annual reports of the agent showed encourag- 
ing progress in agriculture and mechanics. A treaty was made by which they 
were to be allotted land in severalty, but this was never consummated, owing to 
the Civil war, and the Sioux outbreak of 1863. While the Winnebagoes mostly 
remained quietly on their reservation, a few were implicated with the Sioux, 
and all were later removed to the north side of the Missouri river, "dumped in 
the desert" about eighty miles above Fort Randall. They were greatly dissatisfied, 
and in 1865 were permitted to occupy a tract ceded to them by the Omahas, in 
Nebraska, though many returned to their old haunts in Iowa, Minnesota, and 

As to the number of Winnebagoes, they were estimated in 1842 at about 
2,500, of whom but 756 were counted at the Turkey River mission. In 1890 
there were 1,215 on the Nebraska reservation, and it was thought nearly as 
many had returned to their favorite hunting grounds along the Mississippi. In 
1909 they numbered 1,069 in Nebraska and 1,094 in Wisconsin. 

In reply to an inquiry as to the present numbers, and material condition, of 
the Winnebagoes, a letter from the commissioner of Indian affairs, dated at 
Washington, January 18, 1913, brings the following information : 

"According to the census of June 30, 1912, there were 1,086 Winnebago 
Indians in Nebraska and 1,243 m Wisconsin. This number is slightly in excess 
of the number for the year 191 1. 

"The Winnebago Indians have $883,249.58 in the treasury of the United 
States to their credit under the act of March 3, 1909. This amount draws five 
per cent interest, and yearly payments of the interest are made to the Indians. 
Provision has been made by Congress for a division of the fund between the 
two branches of the tribe, and this question is now under consideration by the 
Department of the Interior. After this shall have been done, the Secretary of the 
Interior has authority to divide the money per capita among the Nebraska 
Indians, and to pay the Wisconsin Winnebagoes per capita or use it for their 

"The land reserved for the Winnebagoes in Nebraska has been allotted to 
them in severalty. The Winnebago Indians in Wisconsin have no reservation, 
but some of them took up allotments on the public domain. 

"The Indians near La Crosse are probably part of the Wisconsin Winnebagoes, 
and will share in the division of the fund when made. The amount to be paid 
to the Wisconsin branch of the tribe has not as yet been determined by the 
Secretary of the Interior, who is authorized to adjust the differences between the 
two branches of the tribe by the Act of July 1, 1912." 

From the foregoing it will be seen that the Winnebago tribe is keeping up 
well numerically, and as a whole is not poverty stricken, having about $380 per 
capita in the keeping of their Great Father at Washington, in addition to the 
lands which have been allotted to them. 

Indeed it is a mistaken notion that the native race is dying out. According 
to the latest census there are 265.683 Indians in the United States, and we are 
told by the Conference of American Indians, held in October, 1912, at Columbus, 
Ohio, that they are "the most wealthy people in America per capita: each one 
is worth $3,500 on an average." Dr. Charles A. Eastman, the famous full- 


blooded Sioux lecturer, says that "the policy and ultimate purpose of Americans 
towards my race has been admirable, Christian in tone and theory. * * * 
You will find men of Indian blood in the congress of the United States, and in 
several of the state legislatures. Many of these were born in the tepee. Is this 
not much to achieve in half a century ?" 


An account of the Black Hawk war belongs more properly to the history of 
Illinois and Wisconsin ; but the scene of its closing tragedy being upon our very 
border, requires a brief outline of its conduct here, especially as some of the 
Winnebagoes were implicated therein. In April, 1832, Black Hawk with his 
braves, including their families, crossed the Mississippi at Rock Island with the 
avowed purpose of raising a crop of corn on the Rock river in Illinois, their old 
home. General Atkinson, then at Fort Armstrong (or Rock Island), sent orders 
for them to return to their new reservation, but Black Hawk was angered, and 
feeling that his people had been greatly wronged he had come prepared for war 
or peace as circumstances might dictate. He declared afterwards that the Win- 
nebagoes and Pottawattomies had encouraged him to believe they would assist 
him to recover his lands in Illinois. This they denied ; but upon the commence- 
ment of actual hostilities, which resulted in a victory for the Indians on May 14, 
it is said that a considerable number from both these tribes joined his forces, 
only to desert him when success shortly after came to the whites. Finding him- 
self vastly outnumbered, and short of provisions, Black Hawk moved northward 
to the Wisconsin river, with occasional fights, and closely followed by the 
military under General Atkinson and Colonel Dodge, who pursued them toward 
Fort Winnebago. 

On the 21st of July the Indians were overtaken, on the banks of the Wiscon- 
sin, where they were defeated with considerable loss. A party of Black Hawk's 
band, including many women and children, now attempted to escape down the 
Wisconsin in canoes, but they were attacked by troops, some were killed, some 
drowned, a few taken prisoners, and others escaped to the woods and perished 
of starvation. Black Hawk now abandoned all -dea of resistance, and with his 
main band attempted to reach the Mississippi and effect their escape farther to 
the north. They struck it at the mouth of the Bad Axe river, directly opposite 
the outlet of the Upper Iowa, and attempted to get their women and children 
across, in such canoes as they could procure. A steamboat, the Warrior, had been 
dispatched from Prairie du Chien, however, with an armed force to intercept 
them, and on the 1st of August this party fired upon the Indians on the east shore, 
while under a flag of truce attempting to surrender, killing a number of them, 
claiming the white flag was a decoy. 

On the 2d of August the army overtook the Indians at this point, and brought 
Black Hawk to bay; and after a two or three hours' fight his people were driven 
into the river, men, women and children, but only a few escaped, those who suc- 
ceeded in swimming to the islands opposite falling into the hands of the merciless 
Wabasha. It has been claimed that Black Hawk was captured here by the Win- 
nebagoes; but he himself says (in his narrative dictated to a U. S. interpreter for 
the Sacs and Foxes, in 1833) : "I started with my little party to the Winnebago 


village at Prairie la Crosse. On my arrival there I entered the lodge of one of 
the chiefs and told him that I wished him to go with me to his father — that I 
intended to to give myself up to the American war chief, and die, if the Great 
Spirit saw proper. * * * During my stay at the village the squaws made 
me a dress of white deer-skin. I then started with several Winnebagoes, and 
went to their agent at Prairie du Chien, and gave myself up." 

On the contrary, the fact is well established that he did not come in of his 
own volition. William Salter in his "Life of Col. Henry Dodge" says: "Early 
in the battle of Bad Axe, Black Hawk and the Prophet fled * * * After 
the battle Colonel Dodge called Waukon-Decorra to him and told him that their 
Great Father at Washington wanted 'the big warriors taken. Parties were sent 
in search of them, and they were captured and delivered up to the Indian agent 
at Prairie du Chien." And Drake's "Life of Black Hawk" states that "it is to 
two Winnebagoes, Decorie and Chaetar, that the fallen chief is indebted for 
being taken captive. On the 27th of August they delivered Black Hawk and 
the prophet ( Wabokieshiek) to the Indian agent, General Street, at Prairie des 
Chiens. Upon their delivery, Decorie, the One-eyed, arose and said: 

" 'My father, I now stand before you. When we parted, I told you I would 
return soon ; but * * * we have had to go a great distance. You see we 
have done what you sent us to do. These are the two you told us to get. We 
have done what you told us to do. We always do what you tell us, because we 
know it is for our gbod. You told us to get these men, and it would be the cause 
of much good to the Winnebagoes. We have brought them, but it has been very 
hard for us to do so. You told us to bring them to you alive ; we have done so. If 
you had told us to bring their heads alone we would have done so, and it would 
have been less difficult than what we have done. * * * We want you to keep 
them safe ; if they are to be hurt we do not want to see it. Wait until we are gone 
before it is done. Many little birds have been flying about our ears of late and 
we thought they whispered to us that there was evil intended for us ; but now 
we hope these evil birds will let our ears alone. We know you are our friend, 
because you take our part, and that is the reason we do what you tell us to do. 
You say you love your red children ; we think we love you as much if not more 
than you love us. We have confidence in you and you may rely on us. We 
have been promised a great deal if we would take these men; that it would do 
much good to our people. We now hope to see what will be done for us. We 
now put these men into your hands. We have done all that you told us to do.' " 

General Street, the agent, replied to this speech, reminding them that some 
of the Winnebagoes had proved unfaithful, but the capture of Black Hawk would 
be to their credit ; and Col. Zachary Taylor, then the military commandant, upon 
taking charge of the prisoners also made a few remarks to their captors ; after 
which Chaetar, the associate of Decorie, arose and said : "My father, I am 
young, and do not know how to make speeches. * * * I am no chief ; I am 
no orator; if I should not speak as well as the others, still you must listen to 
me. When you made the speech to the chiefs, Waugh Kon Decorie Caramani, 
the one-eyed Decorie, and others I was there. I heard you. I thought what 
you said to them you also said to me. * * * I left here that same night, 
and I have been a great way ; I had much trouble. * * * Near the Dalle 
on the Wisconsin I took Black Hawk. No one did it but me, * * * what 


I have done is for the benefit of my nation, and I hope to see the good that 
has been promised us. That one, Wabokieshiek, the Prophet, is my relation; if 
he is to be hurt I do not wish to see it." 

Black Hawk, and some other prisoners who were to be held as hostages dur- 
ing the pleasure of the President, were sent down the river to St. Louis, under 
charge of Lieut. Jefferson Davis, later President of the Southern Confederacy. 
Albert Sidney Johnston, who became a famous southern general in the Civil war, 
commanding the southern army at Shiloh, where he was killed in the first 
day's fight, was General Wilkinson's A. D. C. and adjutant at the battle of 
Bad Axe; and President-to-be Col. Zacharv Taylor personally commanded the 
United States regulars there engaged. He remained at Fort Crawford until 1836. 
General Atkinson reported the total force of whites in the Bad Axe battle at 
twelve hundred; and twenty- four killed and wounded. Abraham Lincoln was 
among the young volunteers in this war too late to get into action. And General 
Winfield Scott reached the seat of war about the time it was ended. 


From the time the earliest French explorers entered the Mississippi valley, 
soon after the middle of the 17th century, the crown of France claimed control 
over all this region by right of discovery, and occupation. This claim remained 
undisputed for a hundred years, when all west of the Mississippi was trans- 
ferred to Spain by the treaty of Paris, January 1, 1763, but not until 1770 was 
the actual possession turned over to a Spanish Governor. 

October 1, 1800, Spain re-ceded all of Louisiana to France, by a secret treaty; 
and formally surrendered possession at New Orleans November 30, 1803, several 
months after the treaty of re-sale to the United States, under which another 
ceremony of transfer took place twenty days later, December 20, 1803. In a 
similar manner a double transfer of Upper Louisiana took plaee at St. Louis 
the following spring, the Spanish flag giving place to that of France on the 9th 
of March, 1804, which itself was lowered on the following day and permanently 
replaced by the stars and stripes. Thus was consummated the famous "Louisiana 
Purchase," under the treaty of April 30, 1803, ratified by the United States Senate 
in October following, by which Napoleon reluctantly relinquished to us of to-day 
the heritage of this vast empire west of the Mississippi river. 

On the 1st of October, 1804, that part of the Louisiana Purchase lying north 
of the south line of Arkansas, or the 33d parallel, was constituted the "District 
of Louisiana," and placed under the authority of the Governor of Indiana Terri- 
tory, at that time William Henry Harrison. The southern portion became the 
"Territory of Orleans." 

July 4, 1805, the District of Louisiana was constituted the "Territory of 
Louisiana," and so continued until December 7, 1812, it became the "Territory 
of Missouri," including all north to the British possessions. From this was 
organized the state of the same name; and, on March 2, 1821, the State of 
Missouri was admitted to the Union, under the provisions of the famous "Missouri 
Compromise" bill, prohibiting slavery in the territory north and west thereof. 
The act carried with it the disappearance of the "Territory" of Missouri ; and 
all that part not included within the state boundaries "was left without law or 
government, except as to the prohibition of slavery and laws to regulate the 
Indian trade. Traders and army officers, however, as occasion served, still 
carried slaves into the territory. The soil of Iowa continued in the occupancy 
of a few tribes, who lived in villages on the banks of rivers, and often fell foul 



of one another as they roamed over the prairies in their hunting expeditions. 
There were about six thousand Sacs and Foxes, with a thousand Iowas in eastern 
and central Iowa, one or two thousand Otoes, Pawnees, and Omahas in western 
Iowa, and roving bands of Sioux in the northern part, numbering a thousand 
or more — in all about ten thousand souls. War was their native element, the 
ideal- of savage life." — (Salter: "Iowa: the First Free State in the Louisiana 

A bill was reported in Congress, January 6, 1830, to establish the Territory 
of Huron, with boundaries embracing what now constitutes the states of Wis- 
consin, Iowa, Minnesota, a part of Dakota, and the upper peninsula of Michi- 
gan, but it did not become a law. A somewhat similar bill passed the House 
of Representatives in 1831, but not the Senate. — History of Wisconsin, by Moses 
M. Strong. 

October 1, 1834, all of what is now Iowa. Wisconsin, Minnesota, and most of 
Dakota, was attached to the Territory of Michigan, under which two counties 
were organized lying on the west side of the Mississippi : Demoine and Dubuque. 
The latter constituted all of the recent Black Hawk purchase lying north of a 
line drawn due west from Rock Island, and therefore included a small portion 
of Allamakee county, in the southeast corner, adjoining the south line of 
the Neutral Ground. This was the first civil government that concerned people 
living in Iowa, as it was only the previous year that the Black Hawk purchase 
was opened for settlement. "Iowa county ( Wis. ) was at that time the nearest 
organized portion of Michigan Territory to the new counties. It was con- 
stituted in 1829, and named by Henry R. Schoolcraft. From the judicial rela- 
tion of Iowa county to the new counties, those counties were called the Iowa 
District. This was the earliest application of the name 'Iowa' to a part of what 
became the State of Iowa." ( Salter. ) 

By an act approved April 30, 1836, Congress created the Territory of Wis- 
consin, covering the country between Lake Michigan and the Missouri river 
north of the States of Illinois and Missouri, and Gen. Henry Dodge was 
appointed its first Governor. The first legislative session was held at Belmont, 
Iowa county, now in Lafayette county, Wisconsin, in the fall of 1836. A second 
session November, 1837, and also a special session, June. 1838, of the first legis- 
lative assembly, were held in Demoine county, at Burlington. At the second 
session, (December 21, 1837,) the county of Dubuque was divided, Clayton being 
one of the new counties, its northern boundary being identical with the south line 
of the Neutral Ground, and its western boundary on the line dividing ranges six 
and seven, where it has remained. Fayette county was also established at this 
time, being partly taken from Dubuque. It was probably the largest county ever 
constituted, comprising "the whole of the country lying west of the Mississippi 
river and north of the southern boundary of Clayton county, extending westward 
to the western boundary of Wisconsin Territory, and not included within the 
proper limits of the said county of Clayton." It extended to the British pos- 
sessions on the north, and included all of the present State of Minnesota west 
of the Mississippi, and nearly all of the Dakotas. It, however, had no county 
organization until some years after it had been reduced to its present boundaries, 
in 1847, when Allamakee was taken therefrom; and indeed not until after this 
county was organized. 

uti:i; low \ riiw i i; < ojip VN"i i •< >\\ 1:1: PLANT NO. i 



A convention was also held during this session, by citizens west of the Missis- 
sippi, to ask the organization of a new territory, and the Legislature adopted a 
memorial to Congress to that effect. The names of Jefferson, Washington, 
and Iowa were discussed, with a decision in favor of Iowa. In Congress the 
prospect of another free state was displeasing to the South, and John C. Calhoun 
was determined in his opposition. The delegate from this (Wisconsin) terri- 
tory, George W. Jones, told him the inhabitants were mainly from Kentucky, 
Illinois, and Missouri, and the South had nothing to fear from them. Mr. 
Calhoun replied that this state of things would not last long; that immigrants 
from the New England and other abolition states would soon outnumber them. 
Both statements were true. 

An act of Congress to constitute the Territory of Iowa from that part 
of Wisconsin west of the Mississippi was approved by President Van Buren 
June 12, and took effect July 4, 1838. Robert Lucas, of Ohio, former Governor 
of that state and a native of Virginia, was appointed by the President as the first 
Governor of the Territory of Iowa, which included Minnesota and was practically 
unlimited to the west. The first Legislature assembled at Burlington, November 
12, 1838, and comprised thirty-nine members in both houses. Of these, nine 
were natives of Virginia, eight of Kentucky, two of North Carolina, one of 
Maryland, one of Tennessee, twenty-one in all from the South. Four were 
natives of New* York, four of Pennsylvania, four of Ohio, two of New Hamp- 
shire, two of Vermont, one of Connecticut, one of Illinois, eighteen in all from 
the North. At the election, in September, of the members of this assembly, 
Wm, W. Chapman, a native of Virginia, was elected first delegate to Congress. 
The seat of government was established by this assembly in Johnson county, 
at a town to be called Iowa City. At the October election in 1840 the people 
voted down a proposal for a state government, and again at the election in 1842. 

In 1-841, when William Henry Harrison became President, he appointed 
John Chambers, Governor of Iowa. He was a member of Congress from Ken- 
tucky, but a native of New Jersey. In 1845, James K. Polk appointed James 
Clarke, of Pennsylvania, as his successor. 

At the April election in 1844 there was a large majority for a convention 
to form a state constitution ; and such convention met at Iowa City, October 7, 

1844, and continued in session until November 1. The boundaries settled upon 
were the Mississippi river on the east, the State of Missouri on the south, the 
Missouri river to the mouth of the Sioux on the west, and a direct line from that 
point to the mouth of the Blue Earth river in Minnesota, thence down the St. 
Peters (Minnesota) river to the Mississippi. But when the constitution and 
memorial asking admission were submitted to Congress that body objected to 
the boundaries prescribed as creating too large a state, and cut us off from the 
Missouri river by making the western boundary on the line of ij° 30' west from 
Washington, a few miles west of Fort Dodge. The bill as passed, March 3, 

1845, provided for the admission of Florida and Iowa together — one slave and 
one free state — and was approved by President John Tyler as one of his last 
offical acts. The plan failed, for although Florida came in at once, Iowa rejected 
the boundary conditions at an election in April following, and remained a ter- 


Another convention of the people of Iowa assembled in May, 1846, and 
formed a constitution with the present boundaries of the state. Congress mean- 
while having reconsidered its former action and prescribed lines identical with 
those of the convention. L'pon the submission of this constitution to the people 
on the 3rd of August, 1846, it was adopted; and by act of Congress approved 
by President James K. Polk December 28, 1846, Iowa was admitted as the 
twenty-ninth state of the Union, the fourth formed (the first free state) from 
the Louisiana purchase, and having a population of over one hundred thousand, 
the first state to be admitted with a population entitling it to two members of 
Congress from the start. Meanwhile, at an election held October 26, 1846, 
Ansel Briggs, a native of Vermont, was chosen as the first Governor of the 
State of Iowa, and assumed the duties of the office. 


Of the ninety-nine counties which constitute the State of Iowa, none was 
created under the present constitution of the state, although several were later 
organized which were located and named prior to its adoption in 1857, and 
acts have been passed looking to new counties or division of old ones, and 
found unconstitutional, or defeated by the voters. The organization of the 


older counties, prior to 1853, was provided for by special legislative enactments. 

Two counties were created by the legislative council of Michigan ; twenty- 
two ( including three now extinct ) by the legislative assembly of Wisconsin ; 
twenty-three by the legislative assembly of Iowa Territory; and the remaining 
fifty-five by the general assembly of the state. Most of these were given an 
existence by the third general assembly, 1850-1851, of which Hon. P. M. Casady 
was a member in the Senate ; and some forty years later he read a paper before 
the Pioneer Law Makers* Association, telling of the origin of county names in 
the following interesting manner : 

"When the Territory of Iowa was established the work of creating new 
counties was carried on as rapidly as the growth of population warranted. The 
session of 1843 showed itself imbued with the spirit of the latter-day ethnologist, 
for all the counties authorized at this session w?re given Indian names, most of 
the chiefs prominent in the pioneer history of the territory. The last territorial 
legislature, however, showed its disapproval of such relapse into barbarism by 
refusing to give a single Indian name to the new counties which it established 
and as an additional token of its convictions along these lines it changed the 
name of Kishkekosh given by its predecessors to Monroe. All the new counties 
of this vear were named after American statesmen and soldiers, two heroes 
of the Revolution being honored in naming the counties of Wayne and Jasper, 
while Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Chief Justice Marshall and 
others were remembered in the assignment of names. 

"The work was continued in a desultory way until fifty counties had been 
organized before the convening of the third general assembly of the state, which 
made a new record in that line, a record probably never equalled by any other 
legislative body. The bill was introduced by Senator Casady. 

"When the bill came up for consideration in the Senate there was a group 
who favored more Indian names than were assigned by the committee, but 


their plans were anticipated by Senator Casady. He and his associates had 
prepared a slate of names and these were finally adopted. 

"In those days there was no 'hands across the sea' sentiment toward the 
British government, and the pioneers of the west were warm sympathizers 
with the patriots who were leaders of Ireland's revolt against English oppres- 
sion. Consequently it was determined to name three counties for the martyrs 
of the Irish struggle, and Mitchell, O'Brien, and the younger Emmet were the 
ones chosen. It was recommended that three be named after the battles of the 
Mexican war, Cerro Gordo, Buena Vista, and Palo Alto. Three were named 
for colonels who fell in that war: Col. John J. Hardin of Illinois, Colonel 
Yell of Arkansas, and Lieut. Col. Henry Clay, Jr., of Kentucky, the gallant 
son of the famous statesman, all three of whom were killed in the battle of 
Buena Vista. Some years later the name of Yell county was changed to 
Webster, at the same time that the adjoining county of Fox was changed to 
Calhoun. When this change was made there seems to have risen a tendency 
to associate the name of Clay with the other of the famous triumvirate who 
were so long the giants of the United States Senate, and the memory of the 
gallant Kentucky soldier who fell at Buena Vista has been neglected. 

"It seems strange that John C. Calhoun, who stood for principles so unpopular 
in the North, should have been honored by Iowa, but the people of the county 
which had been named Fox to correspond with its neighbor Sac had conceived 
a violent dislike to the name and were ready to adopt anything as a substitute. 
One of the settlers who had come from Michigan, and who in earlier days had 
in some way been befriended by the South Carolina statesman, circulated a peti- 
tion for the name Calhoun and this was granted. 

"The correct form of the name of the famous tribe associated with the Foxes 
is 'Sauk', and in this form it is preserved in the name of a Wisconsin county 
and of a Minnesota city. But the earlier settlers of Iowa corrupted the name 
to its present form, and as such it has been retained. 

"The name Pocahontas was the suggestion of Senator John Howell of Jef- 
ferson county. He was the patriarch of the two houses and in his earlier days 
had been a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. He was accorded the 
privilege of naming one of the counties and suggested this name. Of all the 
states carved out of the Northwest Territory ceded to the national government 
by Virginia not one had named a county for the heroine of the Old Dominion's 
colonial traditions, and he asked that this tardy honor be paid to her memory. 
There, were some of the legislators who demurred when this name was pro- 
posed, but upon being informed that Senator Howell was the sponsor, they 
withdrew all objections, saying that the old gentleman could have anything he 
asked for. 

"In the original bill the name of Floyd was proposed for the county having the 
present boundaries of Woodbury. Sergeant Floyd of the Lewis and Clark- 
expedition had died in camp and was buried on the east bank of the Missouri 
river south of Sioux City, and in early days the river flowing into the Missouri 
at Sioux City bore his name. Those who favored Indian names, however, got 
the name changed in the house to Waukon, or Wahkaw, and this name was 
retained until 1853, when the present name of Woodbury was adopted. Sergeant 


Floyd is remembered by the town of Sergeant's Bluffs, which was ordinarily 
the county seat of Wahkaw. 

"The name Ida was suggested by Hon. Eliphalet Price, who was noted among 
the pioneers for his classical lore, and who wished the new state to be linked 
with the ancient civilization by adoption of the name of the famous mountain 
of Greece. 

"Bremer county, named for Frederika Bremer, the famous Swedish author, 
was the second in the state to be named for a woman, Louisa being the other. 
The name was suggested by Hon. A. K. Eaton, then a member from Delaware 
county, and father of Hon. W. L. Eaton, recently Speaker of the House. 

"In 'the original list of counties the extreme northwest county was given the 
name of Buncombe in honor of a North Carolina colonel of the Revolutionary 
war. The members of the lower house in the third general assembly were 
opposed to the name, but finally agreed to its adoption. On account of its slangy 
associations, however, the name was never popular. It acquired this significance 
from a North Carolina legislator's retort. That state had a county named after 
its old hero and the representative from the county was at one time making a 
speech 'to the galleries.' One of his colleagues called him to task for the princi- 
ples he was advocating, and he retorted, 'I'm not talking for principle, I'm talking 
for Buncombe.' The new use of the name spread until it was generally associated 
with insincerity; and after the battle of Wilson's Creek, .the first of the Civil war 
in which Iowa troops were engaged, the name of Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, who fell in 
the battle, was chosen to be given a place in the roster of Iowa counties, and 
in looking over the list for one to strike out the members were moved by the 
old prejudice against the name Buncombe to sacrifice it. 

"Audubon county was named for the famous naturalist, whose great 'Bird 
Book' is the choicest treasure of the state library. He died in January, 1852, 
probably before the news reached him of the honor paid him by the frontier 

"The historian Bancroft was remembered and his name was given to the 
county north of Kossuth, the original division of the state being into one hundred 
counties instead of ninety-nine. Four years later this county was abolished 
and the territory incorporated into Kossuth, which was named after the famous 
Hungarian patriot. In 1870 there was a proposition to re-establish the one 
hundredth county under the name of Crocker, in honor of the brigadier general 
who had commanded the Thirteenth Iowa regiment when it started to the front 
in the Civil war. The people of Kossuth were successful, however, in resisting 
division of their county." 



As has been heretofore shown, the area of the present Allamakee county was 
included in the two counties of Clayton and Fayette by the first legislative assem- 
bly of the Territory of Wisconsin in its first session on Iowa soil, at Burlington, 
December 21, 1837; far the greater portion of it in Fayette. No further changes 
looking to our civil organization were made until after Iowa had become a state. 

The first general assembly of the State of Iowa convened at Iowa City, Novem- 
ber 30, 1846, and adjourned February 25, 1847. Chapter 66 of the laws of this 
assembly approved by Governor Briggs, February 20, 1847, was "An act to estab- 
lish new counties and define their boundaries in the late cession from the 
Winnebago Indians." This refers to the treaty dated October 13, 1846, but not 
proclaimed until February 4, 1847, surrendering the Neutral Ground. This chap- 
ter 66 names but two counties, Allamakee and Winneshiek, and defines their 
boundaries as at present constituted. Both were taken from Fayette, except 
a small triangle in the southeast corner of Allamakee which had theretofore 
belonged to Clayton, which county was reimbursed therefor by a similar though 
smaller parcel from within the Neutral Ground, squaring out its northwest corner. 

The question of the origin of the name given to our county by this act 
of the Legislature has long been a mooted one, but the prevailing opinion is that 
it was an Indian name. At a meeting of the Early Settlers' Association of 
Lansing, the proceedings of which were published in the Mirror of November 
28, 1879, "Dr. J. I. Taylor spoke of the selection of the name of the county, as 
he had it from John Haney, Jr., deceased. It was his recollection that David 
Olmstead, in the Legislature for this unorganized portion of the state, gave 
the county its present title. An old friend of Olmstead was Allen Magee, an 
Indian trader, who was familiarly known to the Winnebagoes and in their gut- 
tural dialect called Al-ma-gee. Calling to mind this fact, Mr. Olmstead caused 
the name Allamakee to be inserted in the organizing act and it was thus 

According to the official records, however, David Olmstead did not repre- 
sent this section in the second general assembly (which organized this county, 
in 1849), although he was a member of the constitutional convention of 1846, 
from Clayton county. The name was given to this county by the first general 
assembly as before stated, in 1847, when its boundaries were defined, this being 
the actual birth of the county, and Samuel B. Olmstead was a member of that 
Legislature. Col. S. C. Trowbridge, who came to Iowa in 1837, stated posi- 

Tol. 1—3 



tivelv that the name Allamakee is an Indian name purely; and Fulton, in his 
"Red Men of Iowa," says the same. If so. it is remarkable that we nowhere 
find the name mentioned in printed accounts of the Indian tribes, as we do the 
names Winneshiek, Decorah, and Waukon. 

Allamakee county was organized under Chapter III of the acts of the second 
general assembly, approved by Governor Ansel Briggs, January 15, 1849, an d 
taking effect the 1st of March. The first organizing election was to be held 
April 2, 1849. Thomas C. Linton was appointed organizing sheriff, and William 
C. Linton, John Francis and James C. Jones were selected to locate the county 
seat. The sheriff thus appointed was required to appear at the county seat of 
Clayton county to qualify for the office, and to make returns of his doings 
thereto. In the performance of his duties Sheriff Linton called the election to 
be held at his house, the Old Mission property, on Monday, the 2d day of April, 
1849, and the officers chosen at this election were as follows: 

County Commissioners — James M. Sumner and Joseph W. Holmes. 

Sheriff — Lester W. Hays. 

Clerk Commissioners' Court — D. G. Beck. 

Clerk District Court — Stephen Holcomb. 

The officers elect qualified at the house of Thomas C. Linton, April 10, 1849. 

While there is no written record remaining of this election, or of any elec- 
tion in the county prior to 1856, the results here stated are quite well substan- 
tiated by old newspaper files ; and as to dates by the legislative records. 

It has been claimed that an earlier election was held at the Old Mission, and 
that is very likely true, as it was designated several years before as a voting- 
place in Clayton county : but the election above referred to was undoubtedly the 
first in our county organization. At a session of the county commissioners of 
Clayton county, held April 4, 1844, the boundaries of various election precincts 
were defined, and one was described as follows: "Yellow River precinct 
I Xo. 4), commencing at the Painted Rock on the Mississippi river; thence down 
said river to the corner of township ninety-five, range three, west of the fifth prin- 
cipal meridian ; then down said river two miles, thence due west on section line 
to west side of township ninety-five, range four, west ; thence north to the neutral 
line; thence following said line to the place of commencing, at Painted Rock. - ' 
In this election precinct "the house of Thomas C. Clinton, on Yellow River," 
was designated as the place for holding the elections." Hence it is quite probable 
that an expression of the few voters in this precinct may have been taken on the 
submission of the state constitution, in the elections occurring in April. 1845, an d 
August, 1846. 

Indeed, there was a still earlier election precinct established embracing the Old 
Mission. The first meeting of the county commissioners of Clayton county was 
held at the county seat, Prairie la Porte, now Guttenberg, October 6, 1838, at 
which meeting the county was divided into four election precincts, the third 
precinct being defined as follows: "Commencing at the southeast corner of 
range three west, ninety-four north, thence west to the southwest corner of 
fraction six west, ninety-four north, thence following the Black Hawk line to the 
obtuse angle of six west, thence following the purchase line to the Mississippi 
river." While a little ambiguous, this description necessarily includes the two nor- 
uh'ernmost tiers of townships in the present Clayton county ( except a triangu- 


lar tract in the northwest corner) and that part of Allamakee south of the 
Neutral Ground ; the place of elections was designated at the house of Jesse 
Dandly. The jurisdiction of Clayton county extended a great distance, shown 
by the following order of the commissioners, of date July 13, 1839: "License is 
hereby granted Lewis Massey, of St. Peters, to keep a ferry across the Missis- 
sippi one mile above Fort Snelling, for one year from date hereof, for the sum of 
$10." At tbe December, 1839, meeting it was "ordered, that the settlement at the 
outlet of Lake Pepin compose an election precinct, to be called the sixth precinct," 
and "that the settlement at the' mouth of St. Peters River compose an election 
precinct, to be called the seventh precinct." And at the meeting held February 
1,1841, the assessor was ordered to assess the people at St. Peters, and at all 
intermediate points between the county seat and that place. But at the October 
session the assessor was instructed not to assess any property more than fifty 
miles beyond the bounds of Clayton county. 

At the December, 1839, meeting, the third election precinct, the boundaries of 
which are above given, was abolished by the commissioners, and no further pro- 
vision seems to have been made for any voter that might be in our Old Mission 
vicinity until the Yellow river precinct above described was established in 1844; 
but under a former ruling it was left to the discretion of those living in any 
precinct not of sufficient number to organize an election, to cast their votes at the 
nearest voting place adjoining their place of residence. 

The second election in Allamakee county was held at the same place on the 
first Monday of August, 1849, and the following officers elected: 

County Commissioners — James M. Sumner, Thomas A. Van Sickle, and 
Daniel G. Beck. 

Clerk Commissioners' Court — G. A. Warner. 

Sheriff— L. W. Hays. 

Treasurer and Recorder, and Collector — Elias Topliff. 

County Surveyor — James M. Sumner. 

Judge of Probate Court — Stephen Holcomb. 

Inspector of Weights and Measures — G. A. Warner. 

Coroner — C. P. Williams. 

The list of officers elected at the first two elections mentioned, is quoted from 
a copy of the North Iowa Journal, published at Waukon in i860; and in most 
instances there are official signatures in the various early records of the county 
to substantiate its correctness. It also says that at the August, 1851, election, Elias 
Topliff was elected the first county judge, succeeding the county commissioners, 
and served until 1857. James M. Sumner was elected recorder and treasurer, 
combined ; and Leonard B. Hodges, clerk of the district court. And these state- 
ments are substantiated by the county records — not, however, by any election 
records, because, as the editor adds, "the records previous to 1856 are verv in- 

The paper gives the total amount of taxable property in the county in 1849, 
$1,729; in 1851, $8,299; m T 8S4. $700,794; and in 1859, $1,967,899. This would 
indicate a very rapid development in the first ten years. 

From a paper read by G. M. Dean before the early settlers' association of 
Makee township, in January, 1880, we quote the following: 


"Thomas Van Sickle died in Nebraska about 1878. Daniel G. Beck died in 
Missouri about 1866. Thos. B. Twiford moved to Minnesota and was the founder 
of the town of Chatfield.* Stephen Holcomb died at the Mission about 1851. 
Moses Van Sickle (who was elected school fund commissioner at the August, 
1849, election, according to his recollection) is living at this date, in Fairview 
township. Elias Topliff died in Waukon in i860. Thomas C. Linton lives in 
Oregon. [Where he died a few years later. — Ed.] 

"Lester W. Hays was for several years before his death a county charge, 
living sometimes at the county farm, and sometimes in Fairview township, where 
he had a little log hut hardly high enough to stand erect in, nor large enough 
to afford room for many visitors ; and being about eighty years old and too infirm 
to labor, he was allowed from the poor fund the pittance of $1.00 per 
week, and this with the charity of kind neighbors kept life in the old man until, 
last Christmas night, the coldest night of the year, when the mercury ran down 
to thirty-three degrees below zero, he perished. The next morning some of the 
neighbors went to the hut and found the old man lying on his rude cot, with his 
legs and arms frozen. The county furnished a coffin, and poor Hays is no more. 
" 'Rattle his bones over the stones, 

For he's but a pauper, whom nobody owns.' 

"The county records of those early times as left by the commissioners, are 
either lost, mislaid, or were made in so transient a manner as to preclude 
their being handed down to posterity, and so much as we have gathered has 
been obtained from other official records, and the personal recollection of our 
early settlers, and has taken much time and labor, and as the years roll on 
these items of early history are more and more difficult to obtain in consequence 
of the death, removal or incapacity through age or infirmity of the parties par- 
ticipating in them. 

"From Elias Topliff I learned that the first tax list was put into his hands 
for collection ; that the gross amount of it was about ninety dollars ; that he 
traveled all through the eastern part of the county to collect, and that after doing 
his best, collecting about one-half of the list and making his returns to the 
commissioners, they charged up to him the uncollected portion and took it from 
his compensation as treasurer." 

Mr. Dean himself, who penned the foregoing, — widely known as Judge Dean 
from his serving as county judge in the early days, or as Captain Dean from his 
rank in the Civil war, — remained an honored citizen of Waukon for twenty-four 
years after the date of the above paper, and a brief biography appears in another 
chapter. He was an interesting writer on our early history, and liberal quota- 
tions from his sketches will be found in these pages. 

The number of voters at the two elections heretofore mentioned, is not 
known ; but Moses Van Sickle in 1880 stated that only about fifteen votes were 
cast at the election in August, 1S49. The officials elected in the later years. 
so far as can be ascertained, are named in a separate chapter on county officers. 

*Thos. B. Twiford had been a lieutenant in Captain Parker's Company, Iowa Volun- 
teers, in the Mexican War, and as such received a warrant for forty acres of government 
land, which he sold to Alden N. Merriam, who located it upon the S. W. N. E. Sec. 17-98-3. 
After going to Minnesota Twiford prospered, but lost what he had in the panic of 1857, and 
removed to Kansas. 




No record of the number of voters is found until 1853, when at the August 
election, it was as follows : 

Franklin twp 21 

Jefferson twp 19 

Lafayette twp 44 

Lansing twp 46 

Linton twp 32 

Ludlow twp 22 

Makee twp 47 

Paint Creek twp 25 

Post twp 36 

Taylor twp 15 

Union City twp 8 

Union Prairie twp 36 



At this date it will be noticed that six out of the eventual eighteen townships 
were not yet organized. Of the twelve above which made returns six had as yet 
no definite boundaries and doubtless included the unorganized townships for 
voting purposes. The township organizations will be treated more fully further 


The Winnebago Indian mission established by the United States government 
in 1833, in the east part of section 9. township 96, range 3. in Fairview township, 
about a mile and a half east of the village of Ion, in the Yellow River valley, 
became the first permanent settlement within the boundaries of what is now 
Allamakee county. 

This mission has possessed a greater historic interest than any other spot 
in northeastern Iowa, north of Dubuque, but the circumstances leading to its 
establishment have not been familiar to the general public. In the "Annals of 
Iowa" for January, 1899, appears a "Chapter of Indian History," by Ida M. 
Street, from which some of the facts are gleaned which are used in the follow- 
ing sketch. 

Joseph M. Street of Kentucky, who had been made agent of the Winnebagoes 
at Prairie du Chien in 1828, had been for three years revolving in his mind 
some plans to improve the condition of the Indians at his agency. His efforts 
to carry out these plans brought him into more or less open conflict with the 
fur traders and those Indian agents and commissioners who were in sympathy 
with the American Fur Company and its methods. Their object was to keep 
the Indians savage hunters, who could be easily gulled. Their chief instruments 
in accomplishing this were "fire-water" and the credit system. They took care 
that each Indian should run up a bill at their stores almost equal to his annuity, 
so that when the yearly payments were made to the Indians by the government 
most of the money went directly into the hands of the traders, as well as the 
skins brought in by the Indians from their winter hunts. 

Mr. Street began in a quiet way to take steps for the carrying out of his 
ideas. He feared that owing to the presence of the traders, and the miners 
in the lead region, he could not settle and civilize the Winnebagoes on the east 
side of the Mississippi. Moreover, the Sioux and the Sacs and Foxes, were such 
bitter enemies that it was hard to keep peace between them on the west side 
of the river. So he suggested that the government buy a strip of land forty 
miles wide extending from the Mississippi westerly to the Des Moines, half 
from the Sioux and half from the Sacs and Foxes, to be held as a neutral ground. 
This was accomplished by the treaty of July 15, 1830. His plan was ultimately 
to settle a part of the Winnebagoes upon this strip. The Winnebagoes were not 
as warlike a tribe as either of the others, and were on friendly terms with both, 
which made them suitable to occupy the neutral ground. 



General Street succeeded in getting his further plans incorporated in the 
treaty concluded at Fort Armstrong (Rock Island. Illinois), September 15, 1832, 
between Major Gen. Winfield Scott and Hon. John Reynolds, governor of Illi- 
nois, and the Winnebago nation. In this treaty the Winnebagoes ceded all their 
land lying east of the Mississippi (south of the Wisconsin), and in part con- 
sideration therefor they were granted that portion of Iowa known as the Neu- 
tral Ground, which had been purchased of the Sacs and Foxes, and the Sioux, by 
the treaty of July 15, 1830. This exchange was to take place on or before the 
1st day of June, 1833. In addition to the Neutral Ground the United States was 
to pay the Winnebagoes $10,000 annually for a period of twenty-seven years, 
partly at Prairie du Chien and partly at Fort Winnebago. The government fur- 
ther agreed to "erect suitable buildings, with a garden, and a field attached, 
somewhere near Fort Crawford, or Prairie du Chien, and establish and maintain 
therein for the term of twenty-seven years a school for the education, including 
clothing, board and lodging, of such Winnebago children as may be voluntarily 
sent to it ; said children to be taught reading, writing, arithmetic, gardening, 
agriculture, carding, spinning, weaving, and sewing, and such other branches of 
useful knowledge as the president of the United States may prescribe." The 
annual cost of the school was not to exceed $3,000. Six agriculturists, twelve 
yoke of oxen, ploughs and other agricultural implements to be supplied by the 
government ; and the services and attendance of a physician at Prairie du Chien. 
It was further agreed to remove and maintain in the Neutral Ground the black- 
smith shop heretofore allowed to the Winnebagoes on the Rock river. 

The treaty of 1832 was not the first one in which a school was provided for, 
but it was the first from which the Winnebagoes derived any benefit. However, 
this forerunner of the present day "vocational education" proved a failure. 

There seems to have been an attempt, in carrying out the provisions of the 
treaty, to establish the school on the east side of the river ; but the protests of 
Indian Agent Street that it should be removed as far as practicable from the 
traders and their "fire-water" prevailed with the department, and on April 12, 
1833, he was authorized to select a location on the west side of the Mississippi, 
erect the buildings, and employ two teachers, a male and a female, at not to 
exceed $500 for the former and $300 for the latter, per annum. His proposition 
however to erect a substantial stone building was at first emphatically overruled 
by the war department at Washington, the instructions in August being that 
"plain, comfortable log buildings such as can be erected at a small expense, not 
exceeding one or two in number at present, are all that the department can 

Having received authority to go on with the school, General Street had se- 
lected a place on Yellow river (in what is now Allamakee county), and let the 
contract for a stone building to be completed the following fall, 1833 ; but through 
the influence of the traders with General Cass (secretary of war appointed "by 
President Jackson in 1831), the work was stopped. When the contract was let 
General Street obtained Rev. David Lowrey's consent to come on and take charge 
of the school ; and then taking a surveyor, and a guard of soldiers from Col. 
Zachary Taylor ( then in command at Fort Crawford, and later General Taylor 
and President of the United States), he proceeded to run the south line of the 
"Neutral Ground." It was while he was gone on this trip that the work on the 


school was stopped. When he returned, Mr. Lowrey had made his arrange- 
ments to come, but because of the delay had to remain in Prairie du Chien until 
the spring of 1834. By that time General Street had obtained permission to go 
on with the stone building and Mr. Lowrey occupied temporary quarters at 
Yellow River until it was completed the following fall. In the spring of 1835 
he bought oxen, cows and horses, in Sangamon county, Illinois, and they were 
driven up by the men who were to open the farm in connection with the school 
and were in charge of Rev. John Berry. 

While the provisions of the treaty were to have been carried out by June 1, 
1833, it will be seen that the removal of the Winnebagoes to the west of the 
Mississippi was long delayed, and obstructed largely by the traders, aided by the 
natural indisposition of the Indians to make the change. The Fur Company had 
a double motive in preventing the removal to the Neutral Ground : First, they 
did not wish to let the Winnebagoes out of their sight and influence ; and they 
did not wish the Sioux driven from their hunting grounds. And in fact it seems 
there were comparatively few of the Winnebagoes ever located in this portion 
of the Neutral Ground, and the attendance at the school was small. We can only 
guess how far it fell short of General Street's ideal. His object in insisting on 
a stone building was perhaps to assure the Indians of the permanency of the 
school and of the reservation, but very few years elapsed before the school was 
removed further west. 

In a report written in January, 1838, General Street says: 

"In the spring of 1834 I let out the erection of the buildings, and before I 
could do more was ordered to the Sac and Fox Indians, and gave up the business 
of the Winnebagoes to the commanding officer of Fort Crawford. When the 
buildings were ready the school was commenced, but nothing more was done 
with the farm. Late in 1834 I was ordered back to Prairie du Chien too late for 
active operations on a new farm, and some hesitation was expressed by the com- 
missioner of Indian affairs as to the place where he could suffer the farming 
operations to commence. However, at the beginning of 1835 I ventured to em- 
ploy hands and set them to work near the school, under the superintendence of the 
Rev. David Lowrey, but * * * had scarcely time to place the oxen and 
horses upon the farm before I was again ordered to the Sacs and Foxes, and 
* * * the commanding officer at Fort Crawford who unwillingly took charge 
(Col. Zachary Taylor) did not feel at liberty to enlarge the operations which I 
had only commenced." 

He adds that Colonel Taylor felt averse to the measure, believing it would 
not succeed ; but that during a temporary command of Captain Jowitt, in the 
winter of 1836-7, Colonel Taylor having gone to Jefferson Barracks, he deter- 
mined to carry out the provisions of the treaty of 1832 as to the school and farm. 
Requisitions were made, but the hands and oxen did not arrive until late in the 
spring. So the Indians lost the use and benefit of oxen and hands from the 
spring of 1833 to that of 1837. As to the school he says: 

"Through opposition from the traders, and natural habits of idleness with 
Indians, and a distaste for any restraint on the subject of literary improvement, 
the advances have been slow. In the early commencement of the school the 
Indians did not send children enough to require the whole expenditure of the 
school fund. Last spring (1837) on coming again to this agency, I changed the 


plan of reception and exerted myself in conjunction with the principal teacher. 
Mr. Lowrey, to put the school into full operation, and now Mr. Lowrey assures 
me that he can get pupils to any amount he may inform the grown up Indians 
can be taken." 

In 1837 Mr. Street was permanently transferred to the Sac and Fox agency, 
so his connection with our Old Mission ceased. He had been opposed by General 
Cass, secretary of war, who would have removed him but for the friendship of 
President Jackson, who is reported to have said, "I know General Street is a 
Whig, but he is an honest man, and I shall keep him in office while I am presi- 
dent." He died near Ottumwa, Iowa, May 5, 1840. 

While the name of Father Lowrey has long been familiar as the principal 
teacher at this mission school, that of the female assistant provided for in the 
instructions of General Street has been left in obscurity. In the Wisconsin His- 
torical Collections of 1892, however, is an account of an interview (in 1887) 
with Moses Paquette, a half-breed, in which he says: "I was born March 4, 1828, 
at the Portage, in Wisconsin. * * * Two years after my father's death, 
when I was ten years old, my sister and I were sent by our guardian, H. L. 
Dousman, for education in English, to the Presbyterian Indian Mission on the 
Yellow river, in Iowa. Rev. David Lowrey was the superintendent. His as- 
sistants were two young ladies. Minerva and Lucy Brunson, sisters, who did the 
teaching, while Mr. Lowrey preached to us and superintended the agency. 
Minerva, in after years, married one Thomas Linton, who had in early days 
been employed at the old agency house at the Portage. There were about forty- 
children at the mission, all of us more or less tinctured with Winnebago blood. 
The English language was alone used, the grade of instruction being about the 
same as the average rural district school. Of course the religious teaching was 
wholly of the Presbyterian cast, and the children were very good Presbyterians 
so long as they remained at the mission ; but most of them relapsed into their 
ancient heathenism as soon as removed from Mr. Lowrey's care." 

Some of Paquette's recollections relate to noted Winnebagoes, for instance: 
"It is related by the descendants of the Winnebago Black Hawk of that day 
that One-Eyed Decorah (Big Canoe) had a village at the mouth of Black river. 
Out hunting one day he came across a Sac fugitive and notified his companions ; 
they had instructions if found to bring him to Prairie du Chien. Winnebago 
Black Hawk declined to do so, so One-Eyed Decorah went and found the Sac 
leader and took him to Prairie du Chien. I knew One-lived Decorah well when 
I was a boy at school on the Turkey river. He was an old man then, quite 
stout, hale, with heavy features, and hair somewhat gray." 

The Old Mission was located on the north side of the Yellow river. The 
building stood facing the south, built almost into the south slope of a high bluff 
in the rear. There was also a bluff on the east and west sides, the location being 
an amphitheater in the shape of a horse shoe, almost completely sheltered from 
winter winds and storms. In size it was about 40 by 60 feet with dressed stone 
walls, excellent building stone being quarried from the bluff side, near the spring. 
a few rods northeast of the house. It was two stories and a roomv, high attic. 
It included six rooms in the lower story, the school room being on the second 
floor. In the center of the building there extended from the cellar up a strongly 
built chimney about ten feet square with a large, open fireplace for each of the 


lower four rooms and all others connecting with it, each fireplace being provided 
with immense iron andirons for holding the large "backlog." This chimney was 
made a "witness tree" when the government survey was made in 1848; and our 
county surveyor, H. B. Miner, has several times climbed to its top when sur- 
veying in that locality. 

The water from a large spring close by in the bluff in the rear, and of suf- 
ficient height, was taken directly into an upper story by wooden pipes, and fur- 
nished all the water needed. Connected with the mission were about two hun- 
dred acres of magnificent farm land cultivated by and for the mission. 

Judge Murdock wrote in 1878: "The contract to build the Old Mission and 
the other buildings was let to Samuel Gilbert, father of General Gilbert who dis- 
tinguished himself in the late war; and he employed John Linton to superintend 
the work." 

John Linton, born in Kentucky, was employed by Rev. Lowrey in 1837 as 
general manager for nearly five years. The government having discontinued 
the mission, sold this land in 1842 to John Linton and his brother, Thomas C. 
Linton, one of the county commissioners of Clayton county which included that 
location. John Linton sold his interest to Thomas C. Linton and afterv/ard 
graduated from a St. Louis medical college, and for many years practiced his 
profession at Garnavillo, Clayton county, where he died in 1878. Thomas C. 
Linton became the organizing sheriff of Allamakee county, as narrated in another 
chapter, and afterwards went to Oregon, where he died. 

Colonel Thomas was placed in charge of the Mission farm, when it was 
opened in 1837, and was in 1842 transferred to the Fort Atkinson farm. 

Dr. F. Andros, the pioneer physician of this corner of the state, was located 
at the mission for a time, about the year 1835. 

In 1840 the Old Mission was made an appointment by the Methodists, and 
was filled at stated times by the Rev. Sidney Wood, whose curcuit was Clayton 
county; and in 1841 quarterly meeting was held here, Rev. Alfred Brunson 
coming over from Prairie du Chien to preside. These were the first Methodist 
appointments ever made in Allamakee county. 

The first Baptist church in Allamakee county was organized by Elder Miles, 
in January, 1841, at the Old Mission on Yellow river, consisting of eleven mem- 
bers. It is safe to presume that Elder Miles, who came to the Mission from 
Indiana, was the first Baptist minister to preach in the northeastern part of 
Iowa. He and some of the members soon after removed to Wisconsin, and this 
pioneer church lost its vitality. Two of its constituent members were John and 
Hiram Francis, the former removing to Clayton county. Hiram Francis and 
family came to the Mission in the employ of the government, in 1839, from 
Prairie du Chien, where he had lived since 1836, and his duties were to issue the 
daily rations to the Indians, which he did until the Mission was abandoned in 
1842. He remained a consistent member of the Baptist church, transferring to 
the Rossville church, and died at the residence of his son-in-law, Samuel Den- 
ning, near Rossville, in 1890, aged eighty-three years. He was buried at Council 
Hill, on the edge of Clayton county. 

In 1841 there lived at the Mission Mr. and Mrs. Rynerson, and there was 
born unto them a son, and this was thought to be the first white child born in the 


David Lowrey, D. D., was born in Logan county, Kentucky, January 20, 
1796. His parents were worthy members of the Presbyterian church, but. like 
many other good people, were entrusted with little of this world's treasury. The 
widowed mother died when he was only a little over two years old, leaving him 
a penniless and friendless orphan. He was bound out to a family that, in course 
of time became very reckless and intemperate ; but at a Cumberland Presbyterian 
camp meeting, held near his residence, he solemnly consecrated his heart and his 
life to God. This event happened when he was eighteen years of age. Shortly 
after his conversion he became a candidate for the ministry, under the care of 
Logan Presbytery, and his proficiency and usefulness were so great that he was 
soon licensed and ordained to the work of the ministry. On the 16th of Decem- 
ber, 1830, he began the publication in Princeton, Kentucky, of the "Religious and 
Literary Intelligencer." It was a weekly journal, ably edited, and was the first 
paper published under the auspices of that church. To him, therefore, belongs 
the honor of being the father of Cumberland Presbyterian journalism. Some 
years afterward he was editor of the "Cumberland Presbyterian," then published 
in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition to his editorial duties he had the pastorate 
of the Cumberland Presbyterian church in Nashville, which was then in its in- 
fancy ; and for his year's labor he received, as compensation, the astonishing 
sum of one wagon load of corn in the shuck ! 

In the year 1833, under the administration of his friend, President Jackson, 
he received the appointment of teacher to the Winnebago Indians. He arrived 
at Prairie du Chien with his family in the month of November, of the above 
year. Shortly after his arrival he organized a "Military church," and here was 
spread the first communion table in the northwest. He was an able and original 
preacher, and in many respects a remarkable man, loved and admired by all. 
A traveler visiting Prairie du Chien in 1837, Wm. R. Smith, says in his letters 
from Wisconsin, published at Philadelphia in 1838: "I was much pleased and 
instructed in attending divine service on the Sabbath day, in the courthouse, lis- 
tening to an excellent discourse by the Rev. D. Lowrey, who is stationed in this 
neighborhood, teacher of a Winnebago school. He is a gentleman of strong mind 
and original conception, eloquent and persuasive. The numerous congregation, 
their perfect decorum, and the presence of so many well dressed ladies and 
gentlemen, formed a striking contrast with the rude and half-naked Indians 
within a stone's throw.'' 

When the Yellow River Mission was discontinued Rev. Lowrey was trans- 
ferred to the Fort Atkinson charge (as was also Farmer Thomas), and remained 
with the Winnebagoes the greater part of the time, until about 1863, when the 
tribe was moved west of the Missouri river. At the close of the late Civil war he 
removed from St. Cloud, Minnesota, where he was then living, to Clayton county, 
Iowa, near the scene of his early labors with the Indians. Some years prior to 
his death he removed to Pierce City, Missouri, where he died in January, 1877, 
leaving an aged wife. He had two sons, both of whom he outlived. 

The creation of the Yellow river election precinct by the Clayton county 
commissioners in April, 1844, with the voting place at the house of Thomas C. 
Linton, establishes the fact that the Old Mission was not located within the 
neutral grounds, but a short distance south of the line, in Clayton county (or 
prior to 1837, Dubuque county), a part of the Black Hawk purchase of 1832. 


It is presumed that the first election ever held in what is now Allamakee county 
was at this voting place in April, 1845, on the question of the adoption or re- 
jection of the first submitted state constitution; although, as narrated in a 
previous chapter, the Old Mission was included in an election precinct established 
in October, 1838, with voting place at the house of Jesse Dandly, no election is 
known to have occurred during the year that the precinct continued. 

The first, or organizing election, in this county, was held at the Mission in 
April, 1849; and tnis P lace was virtuau y. although not nominally, the county 
seat, most of the officers living there or near there, until Columbus became the 
first actual county seat in 1851. As a landmark in the history of Allamakee 
county the Old Mission house itself should have been sacredly preserved, but 
it was nobody's business to do- so ; and a portion of the walls having fallen a 
good many years ago, it has since disappeared, having furnished excellent ma- 
terial for the construction of other buildings. The property changed hands 
many times, and in 1912 passed into the possession of the present owners, Stephen 
and Michael Walsh. 




Upon the establishment of Allamakee county by the Legislature in Feb- 
ruary, 1847, it was placed in the Second Judicial District of the State, presided 
over by Judge James Grant from November 15, 1847, to the spring of 1852. 

During the jurisdiction of Judge Grant there was no regular term of District 
Court held in Allamakee county, and no venire issued for jurors. All the 
authorities agree that Judge T. S. Wilson held the first terms in Allamakee and 
Winneshiek counties in the summer of 1852. But it appears well established 
that Judge Grant did appear and hear cases at the Old Mission — there being 
then no county seat — once, and possibly twice. Mr. Wm. C. Thompson, who 
was elected sheriff in 1851, stated in 1882, that a court was held there by Judge 
Grant, he thought, in the fall of 1849, that being the home of Thomas C Lin- 
ton, then sheriff, but that little or no business was done. The time was fixed 
in his mind by his returning to Wisconsin for his family that fall, and it was 
during his absence he understood this court was held. Mr. C. D. Beeman, 
another pioneer of '49, thought the first court was held at Postville in 1851, at 
which a divorce was granted to Mrs. Post. But Judge Samuel Murdock, the 
first lawyer to settle north of Dubuque, was of the opinion that this was at the 
Old Mission. In a letter to A. M. May in December, 1893, published in the 
Waukon Standard, of which Mr. May was then the editor, Judge Murdock very 
judicially and entertainingly disposes of the question which had arisen, and 
from which the following quotations are here made : 

"I infer there was a discussion as to two questions : First, when, where, 
and by what judge was held the first court in your county? Second, when, 
where, and before what judge did Mrs. Zerniah Post [the founder of Postville 1 
obtain a divorce? And I am greatly pleased with the opportunity offered to 
settle these two questions, and moreover, to sustain and affirm the accuracy 
of Mr. Hancock's history [published in 1882] * * * . 

"I have before me, while writing this letter, biographical sketches of Judge 
Grant, Judge Wilson, and Mrs. Post, all either written or dictated by themselves, 
and from that of Judge Grant I find that he was elected judge of the District 
Court on April 5, 1847, a °d ne kd the office five years to April, 1852, and that his 
district included Allamakee County. From that of Judge Wilson I find that he 
succeeded Judge Grant, and was elected April, 1852. * * * In regard to 
Mrs. Post, * * * she had three husbands, all of whom were personally 
known to me, but from some cause or other her biography is silent as to the 



second. She was first married to Joel Post, March 6, 1831, in the state of New 
York, and they settled where is now Postville, in 1841. After the death of Joel 
[January, 1849] she was married again to another person by the name of 
Post, a cousin to the former, and they lived together very happily for one or 
two years until one day she received a letter which informed her that her 
husband had a lawful wife still living in Rock county, Wisconsin, and present- 
ing this letter to him, he broke down and confessed. * * * All of this evi- 
dence of his confessions, letters, and facts, afterwards fell into my hands, and 
it was these that I subsequently used to procure her a divorce from this man Post. 
"In January, 1852, Mrs. Post was married for the third time, to George S. 
Hayward. with whom she lived at intervals for several years. * * * Mr. 
Hayward was a quiet, kind, good man, but wayward, unsteady, unsettled, fickle, 
discontented, and had a passion for rambling, and left her and went to California! 
where he later met with an accident that put an end to his life. After he went 
to California Mrs. Post was greatly bothered and annoyed in the way of selling 
and conveying lots in her town (Postville), as every deed had to be 'sent to him 
for his signature, and she got tired of this, and the writer of this, as a member of 
the firm of Murdock & Stoneman, on the second day of May, 1863, filed a peti- 
tion for Mrs. Zerniah Hayward for a divorce from George S. Hayward, which 
was granted by Judge E. H. Williams, September 29, 1863. [District Court 
Record "B", page 345. There was a deed of separation between them dated 
October 11, 1855, in Deed Record "D", page 58.] It will therefore be seen from 
these facts that she was three times married and twice divorced. Now, upon 
the condition that Air. Beeman's term of school [which he was teaching at 
Monona in 1851] continued from the fall of 185 1 into January, 1852, which is 
very likely, then he did, no doubt, dismiss the Post children in January, 1852, 
to go and see their mother married to Mr. Hayward." * * * 

Referring again to the court at Old Mission, Mr. Murdock says: "At this 
time that Old Mission farm on Yellow river was owned by Thomas Linton, 
from whom the township takes its name, and he had been appointed organizing 
sheriff -of the county, and called the court at his place. Mr. Linton moved into 
Minnesota, and again into Oregon, where he and his wife died but he has a brother 
still living in Mitchell county, and not long since I received from him a letter, in 
which, in answer to my inquiry. 'Where was the first court held in Allamakee 
county?' he says: 'At my brother's house at the Old Mission on Yellow river, and 
my brother was the organizing sheriff of the county.' This William Linton was 
then living in the north part of Clayton county within seven or eight miles of 
his brother, and they married sisters, so that he had every opportunity to know 
or hear all about the court being held there by Judge Grant. * * * 

"I think it was in the latter part of the summer of 185 1 that I was retained 
by Mrs. Post as an attorney to procure for her a divorce from her second hus- 
band Post, and I drew up the necessary papers, had them sent to L. B Hodges 
who was then living at Hardin, and who I think was acting as clerk of the court 
[Mr. Hodges was postmaster at Hardin in 1851, and was elected clerk in August. 
-Ed.], and I think I sent the notice and had it personally served on defendant 
in Rock county, Wis., and in the fall of that year I accompanied Judge Grant 
to Postville, where he took the testimony [this may have created the impression 
of a court held at Postville.— Ed.], * * * and the next day we drove down 


to the Old Mission, where we were heartily greeted by Mr. Linton and his 
amiable wife, and after dinner the judge directed the Sheriff to open court, 
which was done, when the case of Post vs. Post was called, and no defendant 
appearing, he proceeded to make a record thereof, and entered a decree for the 
plaintiff. There was no clerk present, but I distinctly remember of the judge 
handing the records he had made, with all the papers, to Mr. Linton and direct- 
ing him to see that they were filed in the clerk's office. I make no doubt that 
if you inquire of those who now reside in the old building, they will have a 
tradition that the first court in the county was held in their house. In the after- 
noon I borrowed Mr. Linton's rifle and went out to get a shot at some deer, 
which were very plentiful there at that time. We were hospitably entertained 
over night and I came home the next day. 

"I have been thus particular to give you all of the above facts that they 
may not only clear up controversy but that they may become an addition to the 
history of your county." 

Judge Murdock in this letter assumes that this was Judge Grant's first court 
in Allamakee, in the fall of 1851, and if so Mr. Thompson was in error as to 
the year. In that case it is not explained how Mr. Linton would be the sheriff, 
as he was appointed as organizing sheriff only, early in 1849, and later the same 
year, Lester W. Hays was elected and was sheriff during 185 1, in the latter part 
of which year W. C. Thompson was elected, according to good authority. We 
are led to the conclusion that Judge Grant first appeared at the Old Mission in 
a judicial capacity late in 1849; and again in 1851 to hear the Post case. The 
record of the County Court shows on December 2, 1851, a warrant issued in 
favor of Lester W. Hays for services as sheriff in summoning grand and petit 
jury; but there is no record of any jury assembling until Judge Wilson's term 
at Columbus in July, 1852. 


The first term of District court of which there is official record remaining 
in the county archives was held at Columbus, then the county seat, Monday, 
July 12, 1852, presided over by Judge T. S. Wilson, who had recently succeeded 
Judge Grant, May 8, 1852. Leonard B. Hodges was the clerk, and Wm. C. 
Thompson, sheriff. The first grand jury was empaneled as follows : Wm. H. 
Morrison, foreman ; Edward Eells, John Clark, H. R. Ellis, R. Woodward, Jesse 
M. Rose, W. W. Willson, Darius Bennett, G. A. Warner, Henry Botsford, Tru- 
man Stoddard, Wm. Smith, A. J. Ellis, Jeremiah Clark, and T. A. Winsted. 

The first petit jury was: Reuben Smith, A. W. Hoag, B. D. Clark, David 
Miller, John Stull, Charles R. Hoag, A. L. Barron, Thos. Cosgrove, and H. M. 

The first term in Waukon was set for Monday, June 6, 1853 ; but it is 
recorded that "the presiding judge, in order to give time for the preparation 
of a suitable place at Waukon, the newly-selected county seat, by written order, 
directed that the court be adjourned till tomorrow." June 7th the court was 
again adjourned one day. W. C. Thompson was sheriff; and R. Ottman, deputy 
clerk, acted in the absence of his superior, L. B. Hodges. Much delay in the 


business of the court was occasioned by the fact of jurors and witnesses having 
been summoned to appear at Columbus. 

On the eighth the sheriff returned into court with the grand jury, and the 
court was opened with Judge Wilson of Dubuque presiding. Files of the old 
Lansing Intelligencer show that Judge Wilson arrived at Lansing on the seventh, 
on the steamer West Point, and opened the court the next morning in the court- 
house at Waukon, which is described as being a small and rather inconvenient 
log cabin, "but considering that the official whose duty it was to provide suitable 
accommodations (referring to Elias Topliff, county judge) had refused to do so, 
and that the structure was erected by a private enterprise, as good as could be 
expected." The difficulty arose from the unwillingness of Topliff and Hodges, 
who were interested in the town site of Columbus, to surrender the county seat 
from that place, as will be narrated in the chapter on county seat elections. 

In the records of this June term at Waukon, appears the following: "Then 
came Benjamin M. Samuels and moved the court to adjourn to Columbus, for 
the reason that Columbus was legally the county seat of Allamakee county ; 
which motion, after the argument of counsel, was overruled by the court, where- 
upon the counsel for the motion excepted." 

L. B. Hodges, clerk of the court, not appearing at his post, the sheriff was 
dispatched in search of him. When brought into court he resigned his office, 
and no proceedings were had against him. Lewis W. Hersey was appointed to 
fill the vacancy. After disposing of a good-sized docket of some forty-five cases 
the court was adjourned until November 7. 

At this June term the grand jury consisted of M. B. Lyons, Joel Baker, J. W. 
Hoag. James Hoag, Harman S. Cooper, A. Cheedle, James S. Mitchell, Ezra 
Reed, Ezra Pettit, Robert Isted, David Jamison, Thos. Newberry. Henry Noble, 
Peter M. Gilson, and Henry Johnson. 

It is interesting to note that at this early day there was a demand for divorces, 
one being granted at this term, and one case dismissed only to come up again 
at the fall term, when two divorces were granted. There had been one granted 
at the Columbus term of court ; and the famous case of Post ■z's. Post was the 
first case tried in the county, as before narrated. 

The next term was opened at Waukon, November 7, 1853. Judge Thos. S. 
Wilson ; S. Goodridge, district prosecutor ; L. W. Hersey, clerk ; John Laughlin, 
sheriff ; Thos. A. Minard, deputy. There was a large number of cases on the 
docket, among them a number of indictments for gambling and betting, keeping 
gambling houses, selling liquor, and assault and battery. These were all con- 
tinued under $200 bonds, and at a later term nearly all were dismissed. The 
first state case that came to trial was one against Grove A. Warner and James A. 
Davis for robbery. They lived near Merrian"s Ford, or later Myron, in Post 
Township, and Warner had served as clerk of Commissioners' Court in '49 and 
'50, was a justice of the peace, and a shoemaker by trade. It seems that Thos. 
and Jerry Gorman came into possession of some $600 or $700 and in considering 
where to place it for safety against the time they should have occasion to use it, 
one of them consulted Justice Warner. Not long after the Gormans were robbed 
of all they had about them, which happened to be only about $60. they having 
found a depository for the main portion of their funds. Davis was convicted, 
at this term, the verdict being "robbery in the first degree," and received a sen- 


tence of ten years in the state penitentiary. Warner disappeared, and his bonds- 
men forfeited his bail. 

Judge Dean in 1880 wrote thus entertainingly of the first courthouse: 

"Waukon, now having become the seat of justice (by recent county seat 
election), and there being a term of the District Court to be held in June follow- 
ing, some provision must be made, and a proper place provided; so a purse of 
money and labor was raised, and a log cabin about ten feet by fourteen that 
belonged to Mr. Pilcher and stood near the place where Mrs. Cooper now lives 
(now owned by John J. Arnold), was purchased and moved to the new town 
site, and erected on or near the spot where the Mason House now stands. [Now 
the Allamakee. — Ed.] This was the first courthouse in the town. To this was 
attached a small board addition in the shape of a lean-to for a grand jury room, 
and in this building the Hon. Thos. S. Wilson of Dubuque held the first court 
ever held in Waukon, opening June 9. 1853. The building was so small that 
when the jury took a case to make up their verdict, the court, attorneys, and 
spectators took the outside, and they the inside, until they had agreed. During 
this court all parties here from abroad found places to eat and sleep as best 
they could, every log cabin in the vicinity being filled to overflowing. 

"This little log cabin was so utterly lacking in size and accommodations for 
county business, that in the fall of the same year it was moved down on what is 
now Spring Avenue and used as a blacksmith shop, but was subsequently moved 
onto the farm now (1880) owned by Dr. Mattoon, and is used by the doctor as 
a corn crib; [a few years later it was demolished. — Ed.] and Sewell Goodridge, 
prosecuting attorney and ex-officio county judge, built a small frame building 
on the east side of Allamakee Street, with hardwood lumber and basswood siding, 
made at some of the sawmills on Yellow River. This building was used for 
county officers, courts, etc., until 1857, when it became too small for the business 
of the county, and Elias Topliff, then county judge, built alongside of it another 
frame building about the same size, and the two were used for county purposes 
until the county seat was removed to Lansing, in 1861." 

The action of the County Court providing for this building is thus preserved 
in the court records: "On this 6th day of September, A. D. 1853, being the day 
(by previous arrangement ) for entering into a contract for putting up a county 
building, the proposition of William Ramsdall being the lowest bid, it was ordered 
by the court (by said. Ramsdall giving sufficient security) that the said William 
Ramsdall should have the contract, which contract was entered into for the 
amount of $325." This was the first of the two small buildings referred to by 
Judge Dean, the second being added in 1857. 

These little buildings having withstood the vicissitudes of nearly sixty 
years, having escaped the dangers of fire and storm to which many stauncher 
structures have succumbed, still stand on the spot where first erected, in mute 
appeal to the interest of all who possess a spark of reverence for the venerable, 
or near-venerable, or a sympathy for high estate brought low. Various have 
been their uses and occupancy since vacated by the courts of justice and the high 
officials of our county government in 1861. The writer of these lines has a vivid 
recollection of a line of men and "big boys" drawn up in the vacant room when 
used as a recruiting station, late in 1861, or 1862; and a strong impression was 


made upon his youthful mind by the wavering, but finally ail-but unanimous, 
response to the call, "for three years or the war, two paces to the front!" 

In 1859 "and '60 the present courthouse was built, completed in 1861. The 
contract was let to Chas. W. Jenkins and John W. Pratt for $13,500; of which 
sum Waukon contributed $5,000, and after the county seat was once more 
restored to her in 1867 the new building was occupied by the county and the 
little old frame buildings on the east side of Allamakee Street were sold, and are 
now occupied as a cabinet shop and a barber shop. 

Herewith is presented a view of this little old original courthouse as it now 
appears, the last picture that it will be possible to produce as it has at this writing 
just been sold and will soon be replaced by a substantial structure. 



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By Ellison Orr 

"Geology treats of the Structure of the Earth, of the various stages through 
which it has passed, and of the living beings that have dwelt upon it, — together 
with the agencies and processes involved in the changes it has undergone. It is 
essentially a history of the earth." In these words Professors Chamberlain and 
Salisbury, in their very complete work, define the science which we will apply 
to a study of the rock and soil formations of our county. 

It is quite well settled that no matter when or how the great interior bulk 
was formed, great changes have taken place and much has been added to the 
outer or crustal portion of our world, the only part at all accessible for investi- 
gation and study. 

It may be said that the very latest changes were made and are still going on 
at the surface, and that there we find the newest formations. Just beneath the 
surface we find those somewhat older. Below these are those older still, while 
at the greatest depths to which we have been able to penetrate are found the 
oldest. This is generally but not always the condition. Sometimes the surface has 
been heaved up in long, narrow and much broken, distorted, and folded moun- 
tain chains, in which rock strata hundreds or even thousands of feet in thick- 
ness are in places found standing on edge, and in other places great masses are 
entirely overturned so that the natural order is reversed and the oldest rocks 
are found on top. 

It may be remarked in passing that mountain making instead of being a sudden 
and tremendous upheaval, is a slow process, the formation of a range taking a 
long time, and that while the great rock masses are being broken and twisted 
and thrust skyward, they are at the same time being disintegrated and dissolved 
by frost and water, ground down by moving ice and snow, and worn by winds. 
One force building up, the other wearing down. After the mountain making forces 
cease to operate, the forces that tear down still continue, and very old mountain 
ranges formed long ago, have the least height, sometimes being worn down to 
chains of rounded hills. 

In places the up-thrust, instead of breaking the crust along an extended line, 
forming mountains, is heaved up into great flat domes covering large areas, some- 
times thousands of square miles in extent. Such are plateaus. Where such up- 



heavals are of great age, much of the later formations has been eroded away, 
exposing often rocks of great antiquity. 

The Labrador Plateau illustrates such an ancient upheaval and later erosion. 

It is by studying the rocks brought up from below and exposed in mountain 
making, those brought to view by the wearing away of plateaus, and those ex- 
posed by the cutting downwards of stream and river valleys, that it has been 
possible to classify the rocks, learn the materials of which they are composed, 
and discover the plant and animal remains buried and hidden in them. 

Beginning at the surface, we find it very generally covered by a mantle of 
soil, clay, sand, gravel, and broken rock. This is rock waste. Sometimes this 
mantle is largely formed by the disintegration and decay of the solid rock on 
which it lies and the crevices of which it fills. The soluble portion of the rock 
has been carried away by air and water action, the insoluble part left. This is 
usually a stiff tenacious red clay over limestone rock, to which geologists have 
given the name of geest. and a bed of loose sand over sand rock. Over the geest, 
in northeastern Iowa, and just below the black soil at the very surface, is a 
stratum of yellow clay varying in thickness from a couple of feet up to twenty 
or more. In places there is found between the geest and this yellow clay, a blue 
clay filled with reddish pipe-like concretionary formations. Both of these clays 
are called loess. The origin and manner of formation of the loess is still in dis- 
pute. By some geologists it is regarded as of aeolian origin, that is. that it was 
formed by dust caught up and carried by the winds from large areas of arid 
clay at no great distance and redeposited where found now. By others it is 
thought to be of lacustrine origin, — the settlings of a lake. As the loess differs 
in different places both are probably right. The loess of the Missouri valley is 
most likely wind formed, that of our locality may have been deposited at the 
bottom of a lake surrounded by glaciers. For at one time all of North America, 
as far south as the Ohio river, the northern part of Missouri and Kansas, nearly 
to the Rocky mountains, was covered with a great sheet of ice. A study of this 
great glacier by the record which it left behind when it finally melted away seems 
to indicate that during an age of much greater cold than we now have, it began 
to accumulate in Labrador and Keewatin, forming an ice cap such as now 
covers Greenland. As it became thicker and thicker it began to spread and flow 
or move very slowly southward, in the course of time reaching the limits men- 
tioned. Then there came a change. The climate became milder and the front 
of the ice began to melt and recede. As the glacier in its southward movement 
had gathered up the sand, the geest and clay, and had broken up and ground the 
hard rocks over which it passed and mixed and frozen them into itself, so. when 
it began to melt, the water running away in the swollen streams and rivers left 
behind the clay and rocks, where they were when the ice movement stopped. 

Sometimes the deposit thus left is only a few feet thick, sometimes it is 
hundreds. It is a stiff sandy clay containing abundant ice-worn rocks from the 
size of a marble to that of a house and is known as the drift or glacial till. If 
the front of the glacier remained stationary for a long time, — that is, if it melted 
away at the front as fast as it advanced, — this glacial till was heaped up in small 
rounded hills, and a range of such hills marking the place where the old glacier 
seemed to rest is called a terminal moraine. Glacial till dropped from a rapidly 
receding glacier, — one that melted much faster -than it advanced. — is called a 


ground moraine, the surface of which is usually very flat. This is the reason 
for the monotonous dead level of our western prairies, they being largely gla- 
ciated areas where the till was deposited as a ground moraine. The ice worn 
rocks or boulders are of kinds not found near the surface in this region but have 
been torn from their beds far to the north. It is by them that we have been 
able to trace the course of the glacier's movement. 

These erratic boulders are largely of granite, greenstone, quartz, and other 
ancient rocks from the Labrador table land. From their hardness they have re- 
ceived the local name of "nigger heads." 

Four times the great ice sheet advanced across what is now Iowa and four 
times receded, finally to disappear from the continent except on the high moun- 
tains and Greenland. It was thousands of years advancing and thousands re- 
treating. From data obtained from the cutting away of the gorges below Niagara 
Falls and the Falls of St. Anthony at Minneapolis, it has been computed that it 
has been about eight thousand years since the ice disappeared from the most 
northerly parts of the United States, and hundreds of thousands of years since it 
first invaded the same territory. The era of time during which this was taking 
place was called the Ice Age. 

The rock mantle then of the country we are to study is formed of the black 
soil at the surface, — clay containing much humus or decayed vegetable matter; 
the loess of two kinds below that, resting on the geest, or where there is drift, 
on that ; then the geest resting directly on the hard rocks. 

An exception to this is the flood plain of the Mississippi river. The islands, 
and the soil and sand under the ponds, sloughs and channels of the great stream, 
down many feet to bed rock are alluvial deposits, washed in from the sur- 
rounding country. 

For Allamakee county these formations may be approximately expressed in 
the following table : — 

Black surface soil ' i inch to 2 ft. 

(Alluvial, Mississippi flood plain) 100 ft. 

Iowan ( yellow ) loess 1 foot to 20 ft. 

Kansan (blue) loess o foot to 6 ft. 

Drift (only in S. W. part of county ) o foot to 60 ft. 

Geest ( rock residue) o foot to 3 ft. 


If the mantle of soil, clay, sand and glacial till were to be removed, the hard or 
indurated rocks would be exposed for inspection. 

Particularly noticeable then would be the much greater depth of the valleys, 
and their existence where they are now unknown. Everywhere under the drift 
soil, could be seen on the rocks the scratches and grooves made by the boulders 
frozen in the great ice plow as it moved slowly but irresistibly over them. 

The rock exposed, if it were examined over wide areas would be found to 
vary greatly in color, composition, hardness and the manner of its occurrence, 
but still could readily be grouped together in two great classes. About four- 
fifths of all the land surface would be rock arranged in layers or strata, and 


generally not very hard. The remaining one-fifth would be hard, generally crys- 
talline rock, usually massive or without stratification, and usually showing evi- 
dence of having at one time been heated extremely hot. The latter are called 
crystalline rocks and are the older, being always found beneath the former or 
sedimentary or stratified rocks, except where overturned in mountain making, or 
where they are cooled lava, volcanic ash or other matter ejected by volcanoes, in 
which case they are often of the newest formations. Many of our great moun- 
tain cones like Vesuvius and yEtna in Europe and Mount Hood in this country are 
made up wholly of rock formed of matter thrown up from deep in the earth. 
Such rocks are called igneous, and when of great age are often very crystalline. 

In places, notably in Idaho, New Mexico and Arizona, matter in a molten 
condition appears to have flowed out of fissures in vast quantities and covered 
great tracts of country with sheets of igneous rock of quite uniform thickness. 
Where this occurs, and in the case of the ordinary volcanic cone, these rocks are 
then often found overlying the sedimentary rocks. 

The crystalline granites are of the oldest of the rocks. They were once 
thought to be part of the earth's original crust. But later investigations lead to 
the belief that no part of such crust is now in existence in its original form, but 
that it has been so folded, crushed, and ground, and changed chemically and by 
metamorphism, eroded and redeposited, that it is now entirely different. These 
granites are only exposed in mountain chains or on very ancient plateaus, — the 
"first dry land" up thrust from the sea, — or where very shallow deposits of 
sedimentary rocks overlying them have been entirely worn away by erosion. 

Most of the rocks of the crystalline class now exposed have once existed as 
rock in a very different form and had a different composition from their pres- 
ent one. In all probability, excepting those of igneous formation, they were at 
one time all sedimentary. The change has been produced by great heat, pressure, 
and crustal movement, and they are said to have been metamorphosed, and are 
called metamorphic rocks. Marble is a metamorphic limestone. 

All the older rocks of the crystalline class bear evidence of great crushing, 
folding and fracturing. They were shattered again and again by the violent 
crustal movements of the young earth. The fissures filled with hot solution. of 
rock material that hardened to be again shattered and again made a solid rock, 
the process often being repeated many times. 

Geologists have given to these older rocks of this class in North America 
the name of the Archaean complex. No rocks of this complex are found in our 
county, or even in the state except in the extreme northwest corner, where there 
are a few outcrops of Sioux quartzite, a rock of this era. 

Stratified rocks are those found in layers or strata. Most stratified rocks 
were formed as a sediment or deposit at the bottom of the sea or of other bodies 
of water. Some stratified clays and sands have been formed by the winds, and 
river flood plain deposits formed by running water have more or less stratifica- 
tion. The strata may be as thin as paper or may be many feet in thickness. 

The stratified rocks of sea formation may be divided into three kinds: — 
Sandstones, clays and shales, and limestones. The first two have been formed 
from the disintegrated, crushed and pulverized rocks of the land surfaces washed 
by the rain into the rivers and carried by the rivers to the sea. 

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The sand was precipitated, or settled, first near the shores of the ocean, or 
other bodies of water, where it was spread out evenly by wave action, forming 

The clay and other minerals dissolved out of the rocks by the rains and 
brought down by the rivers, were mostly carried farther out and deposited in 
deeper and quieter waters. 

The same processes that formed our oldest sedimentary rocks formed our 
newest and are still at work. 

In ages to come the sandy beaches of our present sea shores, and the mud 
flats, and the clays of the quieter waters, will be by heat, pressure and chemical 
changes, changed, the loose sand to sandstone or quartzite, and the mud and 
clay to indurated clays and shales. 

When animals, fishes and plants, living in the sea, die, the fleshy and other 
soft parts decay and the skeletons, teeth, shells, and scales of animals and fishes, 
and parts of the plants, settle to the bottom, are covered by the sand, the mud, 
or the clay, and are preserved. Land animals, birds, and plants are washed 
down by the rivers and their least destructible remains scattered over the sea or 
lake bottom and preserved in the same way. This was just as true in the past 
as the present. 

Such remains, when found in rocks, are called fossils. In the rocks of latest 
formation they are often but little changed. In the older formations they have 
usually undergone chemical and other changes. Often after the bone, the shell 
or other part is covered up it is dissolved away or decays leaving a cavity of the 
exact shape of the part imbedded. This cavity is later filled by lime or silica 
held in solution by water filtering through the rock. A perfect cast of the original 
is thus formed. 

Sandstone rocks were poor preservers of animal remains, and except when 
they are of recent formation few fossils are found in them. 

Clays and shales being formed of much finer material covered up and pre- 
served some wonderfully perfect fossil animal and plant remains. Impressions 
and casts of leaves are found so perfect that even the parts so minute that they 
can be seen only with a microscope, are just as in the original leaf, only of stone. 

A large part of the stratified rocks are of limestone. Lime was dissolved from 
the older rocks forming the existing dry land, or formed by chemical union of 
their component parts and was carried in solution by the rivers to the sea. There 
limestone deposits that ultimately became lime rock were formed in two ways. 
One was by precipitation, settling the same as mud in dirty water settles to the 
bottom of a pail. Limestones thus formed are called tufas. The lime incrusta- 
tion on the inside of a tea kettle is a sample of what such rock is like. But little 
limestone was formed in this way. 

The great body of lime rocks, often many hundreds of feet in thickness, 
was formed in a very different way. The sea is and has been inhabited by count- 
less myriads of animals of a low order, such as clams, snails, corals and micro- 
scopic creatures called protozoans or animalcules that formed a covering or pro- 
tection of lime for their soft body parts. This lime they had the power of ex- 
tracting from the sea water and of it forming their shells. 

And the great body of limestone rocks is formed largely of the pulverized 
and comminuted shells of these animals when dead. 


As by far the greater bulk of such rock is formed by shells that are micro- 
scopic, some idea may be formed of the immense number of the minute or- 
ganisms producing them that existed in the old oceans, and of the immense length 
of time required to produce such great deposits of their dead shells. 

The great mass of sedimentary or stratified rocks of the interior of North 
America have been but little disturbed by movements of the earth's crust, and so 
far as their order and position is concerned, are now much as they have always 

As the ancient backbone of the American continent. — the "first dry land." — 
lav to the north, there was the shore line of the sea when sedimentary rocks first 
began to be formed on its bottom. This sea bottom sloped very gradually to the 
south and west where the deeper waters lay, so that all stratified rocks of the in- 
terior area or Mississippi valley, have a uniform slope or dip to the southwest. 
For the area under consideration it approximates eight feet to the mile. 

It appears that the deeper parts of the sea have through the ages been con- 
tinually getting deeper, and the land had been gradually elevated, what was once 
sea bottom being lifted above the waters and added to the land area. This is 
why stratified rocks, once sea bottom, are now found far inland. 

With these remarks on general geology we may now proceed to a stud)' of 
the different formations exposed in our county. 

The Mississippi river along the eastern border of the county has cut deeply 
into the limestone, shales and sandstones, forming a gorge from two to four 
miles wide, and the tributary streams, large and small, have eroded their valleys 
to the level of the flood plain of the great stream. 

The high steeply rounded bluffs and hills, the castellated rocks at their tops, 
the escarpments and sheer precipices, the wooded crests and slopes, with the 
river, the islands, sloughs and lakes form scenery of great beauty. Professor 
Calvin has called it the Switzerland of Iowa. Except for its ruined castles, and 
the interest which attaches from its long occupancy by man, we doubt if the 
famous Rhine valley affords its equal. 

For a general description of the topography we copy Norton's description 
in Volume NNI of the Iowa Geological Reports. 

''Allamakee, the northeasternmost county of Iowa, lies almost wholly in the 
driftless area. The region is a deeply and intricately dissected upland, attaining 
an elevation of 1,300 feet above the sea level, and rising about 700 feet above the 
Mississippi river, which forms the eastern boundary of the county. The valleys 
of the streams are flat-floored and wide. The Mississippi flood plain attains a 
width of four miles and embraces a maze of sandy islands and braided bayous. 
The floor of the valley of the meandering Upper Iowa river has a general width 
of three-quarters of a mile, widening in its lower course to a mile and more. The 
valley of Yellow river is narrower but conforms to the same general type. The 
tributary creeks have well-opened mature preglacial valleys, and the courses of 
even their wet-weather affluents are graded. 

"The topographic age of the region is best read in the semi-circular coves 
carved by the ancient stream on both sides of the valley of Upper Iowa river. 
These deep amphitheaters are guarded at their entrances by lofty isolated buttes. 
remnants of the rock spurs cut by the stream as it entrenched its curving course. 
No such cme-; and buttes are seen along the bluffs of the Mississippi, though 


the succession of strata is equally favorable to cliff recession and planation. the 
vast volume of water of the latter Pleistocene times having cut back any salients 
of the valley sides and left a wall of rock singularly continuous and even and 
sweeping in its curves. 

"The interstream areas consist of parallel east- west ridges or uplands, whose 
summits, where broadest, are cut by shallow valleys into a gently rolling topog- 
raphy. Their dissected flanks consist of lobate ridges of sinuous crest whose 
steep sides are gashed by deep ravines. 

The summits of the divides rise to a common level. If the valleys could be 
filled with the material that has been swept away by running water they would 
constitute a plain whose origin may be ascribed to long subaerial erosion near the 
level of the sea. An additional proof of the former existence of this ancient 
peneplain, of which the summits of the divides are the remnants, is found in the 
valuable limonite and hematite deposits of Iron Hill on the crest of Waukon 
Ridge. Such deposits are common on peneplains where the rocks have long been 
wasted by slow decay. 

"Some evidence of a second and lower erosion plane is seen in the accordant 
level of the long lateral spurs that separate the valleys of the creeks tributary 
to Upper Iowa river. The crests of these spurs, which are capped by the Saint 
Peter sandstone, fall into a common plane about 1,100 feet above sea level, and 
thus lie distinctly below the level of the upland. Measured by the distance be- 
tween the escarpments of the Galena and Platteville limestones of the upland, 
the width of the valley floor of the Upper Iowa, developed 1,100 feet above sea 
level, was about ten miles. In age the planation of this valley floor would seem to 
correspond with that of the similar peneplain of the second generation devel- 
oped at Dubuque on the weak Maquoketa shale. In each place, however, an- 
other explanation may be found in cliff recession under weathering. In Alla- 
makee countv the Galena- Platteville escarpment may be supposed to have re- 
treated because of the weak Saint Peter sandstone on which it rests and which 
caps the ridges defining the 1,000- foot level ; and in Dubuque county the Niagaran 
escarpment may be held to have receded in a similar manner because of the un- 
dermining of the immediately subjacent Maquoketa shale." 

The lowest and consequently the oldest rock exposed in the county is that 
along the foot of the bluffs from Lansing to New Albin. 

A very line outcrop can be seen just in the rear and to the north of the 
second business block from the river in Lansing. Here at the south end of a 
short, low and narrow ridge is a vertical section of sixty feet of sandy shales and 
clays of shades of dirty yellow, brown, red, gray, and green. These shales are 
quite firmly bedded in the hill, but on exposure to the atmosphere disintegrate 
and fall to pieces. 

They have no economic value except as a surface dressing for clay roads, 
for which purpose they are excellent, forming a firm smooth surface. No fossils 
are found in this formation, which extends down to and for 700 feet below 
the surface of the river as shown by the record of the strata encountered in drill-' 
ing the city artesian well. 

It rests unconformably on a hard crystalline quartzite. Above the formation 
described lies twenty-five feet of a harder bedded rock that has been quarried to 
some extent for building purposes. 


The entire 825 feet from the quartzite to the harder quarry beds has been 
given the name of the Dresbach sandstone. This is the western equivalent of the 
old Potsdam sandstone of New York. It outcrops along the valley of the Mis- 
sissippi from New Albin to near Heytmans where the dip carries it below the 
level of the river. It also can be seen as far up the valley of the Oneota as sec- 
tion 6, township 99, range 5, Union City township, where there is an outcrop 
beside the highway in a gorge a few rods west of Mr. Regan's. 

This is the rock from which the water of the flowing wells at Lansing, New 
Albin, and in the valley of the Oneota, comes the interstices between the sand 
grains forming a vast reservoir having the hard impenetrable quartzite for its 
bottom. In the Oneota valley artesian water will rise but a few feet above the 
top of this formation. 

Above the quarry beds over the Dresbach is twenty feet of a formation yellow 
in color, described by Calvin as "horizontally laminated, fine in texture, quite dis- 
tinctly calcareous (formed of lime) and easily split into thin leaves along the 
planes of lamination." This is the St. Lawrence limestone of the Minnesota 
geologists, and the quarry beds below should probably be included with it 
under the same name. In it are found the fossil impressions of a trilobite, an 
ancient animal having a little resemblance to a crawfish without the claws. Also 
what may have been a giant sponge, three or more feet across and a foot or 
more high. 

A fine exposure containing the characteristic fossils of this formation is 
found on the top of the hill of Dresbach at Lansing. 

Above the St. Lawrence limestone lies another bed of sand called the Jordan 
sandstone. At Lansing the top of this bed lies 100 feet above the top of the 
exposed St. Lawrence which would make the sandstone 100 feet thick, but as 
the rock forming the bluff side for forty feet above the St. Lawrence ledge is 
concealed by a covering of loose rock and soil it is more than likely that the 
sandstone is not so thick, but that the St. Lawrence is thicker than the part 
that can be seen. Except near the top, the Jordan is a deposit of incoherent 
sand, in places having numerous harder, very irregular layers, that when the 
softer part is washed or blown away, form very curious designs and figures in 
relief, a common one in cliff faces being that of a giant hour glass. Occasionally 
these concretionary forms are very regular, taking the form of almost perfect 
spheres, from the size of a marble up to those having a diameter of a foot or 
more. Where such occur they are often found washed out in numbers and 
strewn along on the bottom of the drainage ravines cutting the formation. 

Farther south towards the central part of the state, where the dip has carried 
this sand bed several hundred feet below the surface, it is one of the notable 
reservoirs for artesian water. But in Allamakee it is too high to afford flowing 
wells, though in the central, western and southern part of the county, deep wells 
find in it an abundance of water but not artesian. 

Near the top the grains of sand are usually very coarse. The formation is 
barren of fossils, and has no economic value except for use in making mortar. 

Above the Jordan lie beds of impure limestone alternating with sandy layers 
gradually changing to heavy beds of pure limestone. At places cherty or flinty 
strata are to be found with some quartzite. These beds, having a total thickness 
of around 200 feet, were given the name of Oneota limestone by Professor 


1 — Stroptelasma cornicnlum. 3 — Praspora. 3 — Branching forms, species not de- 
termined. No. 1 is a true coral; Nos. 3 and 3 are Bryozoan corals. 


Calvin because they form the conspicuous vertical cliffs and escarpments along 
that stream from near its mouth westward to and beyond the boundary line of 
the county. This was the lower Magnesian limestone of the older geologists. 

The upper heavy beds afford an abundant and convenient supply of excellent 
building stone. Quarries have been opened in them at New Albin, Lansing, near 
Dorchester and in many other places. 

Scattered abundantly through the rock at a horizon near the center, are very 
thin veins, layers and incrustations of iron ore, often beautifully crystallized, 
but so much diffused through the rock as to be of no commercial value. Asso- 
ciated with it is much crystallized calcite, a rock having the appearance of milky 
glass, but soft enough to scratch with the point of a knife. 

Lead, too, is found in it in places. Many years ago prospectors found this 
ore in the hills along Mineral creek, in section 13, of Hanover township. It is 
said that about one hundred thousand pounds were taken out of crevices at this 
place. But the crevices "pinched out," and no more being found, the miners 
went their ways, the cabins disappeared, and all that is now known about it is 
but little more than a tradition. 

About the year 1891, Capt. J. M. Turner, discovered on the northwest quarter 
of the northeast quarter of section 10, township 99, range 4, about six miles 
northwest of Lansing, a lead bearing north and south vertical crevice which on 
development proved to have a length of 1,200 feet and a maximum depth of 
seventy-five feet, and from which about five hundred thousand pounds of ore 
was mined by a local company. 

The vertical sheet of mineral was about three inches in thickness, having 
generally, a very considerable residual product (geest) on each side between 
it and the body wall. The interior of the ore body was a lead sulphide, the out- 
side being a carbonate. 

While float ore has been picked up in many different places in the northern 
part of the county where the' Oneota outcrops, no other crevices containing it have 
been found. Small pieces of zinc carbonate are occasionally found. Few fossils 
are found in the Oneota except in the cherty layers which occur near the mid- 
dle of the formation. In this in places, are found some very well preserved 
fragmental impressions of orthocerata (chambered shellfish), and gasteropods 

The crevices and seams make this a dry rock. In sections of the county 
immediately underlaid by it, wells usually have to be drilled entirely through it 
into the Jordan sandstone before finding water. 

The dip of the Oneota carries it out of sight near Clayton station midway 
between McGregor and Guttenberg. In going by train from Waukon Junction 
to McGregor this dip is very noticeable in the outcrops of ledges of the massive 
upper strata, along the sides of the Wisconsin bluffs on the opposite side of the 
river. Beginning at the very tops opposite Harper's Ferry, when the Wisconsin 
river is reached, they have dropped to near the bases of the bluffs and disappear 
a few miles below the mouth of that river. 

This maker of bold headlands, high precipices, and altogether rugged and 
picturesque scenery, is succeeded by twenty to twenty-five feet of a thin bedded 
red sandstone known as the New Richmond Sandstone. The layers of this for- 
mation, mostly one to three inches in thickness, are formed of a fairly coherent 


red sand, differing from the sand making up the beds of the Dresbach, Jordan 
and later St. Peter, by having each separate grain surrounded by a coating or 
incrustation of silica or crystallized quartz, the facets of which make it sparkle 
in the sunlight. Near the bottom are thicker and much harder strata, in places 
being beautifully ripple marked, one such locality being in an exposure by the 
roadside near the southeast corner of Southwest, Northwest, Section 29, Town 
98, Range 3, Lafayette township. At the top it is again a close-grained quartzite. 
The central portion of this sand rock breaks down very easily and is usually 
covered by gentle slopes of clay and soil and is only seen in ditches anil gullies. 
A very good exposure of nearly the entire thickness can be seen in the ditch 
at the side of the road near the top of the 1 Iartley hill in Southeast, Southeast, 
Section 3, Town 99, Range 5. 

The change from the Oneota limestone to the New Richmond sand is very 
abrupt, enough so as to lead to a suspicion of slight unconformity. 

So far in the rock formations we have been describing, there is no break in 
the continuity. One stratum laid down on the old sea bottom was succeeded by 
another perhaps a little different, deposited under perhaps slightlv different con- 
ditions, but there was no sudden and complete change indicating that deposition 
under certain conditions had ceased, and after a period, during which the sea 
bottom had probably been elevated and become dry land and its surface worn and 
gullied by erosion, had again sunk beneath the waves and deposition commenced 
anew under changed circumstances, the strata of the new sea bottom being spread 
continuously over the broken and worn layers of the old. 

Where such a condition is shown by the rock exposures it is called an uncon- 
formity. There is a very decided such unconformity between the Dresbach 
and the quartzite on which it rests. But from there on, while the old sea over 
what is now Iowa was very shallow, and there must have been great areas of mud 
flats and low sandy islands over which the waves washed, no part was above 
the water for any great length of time and the formation is unbroken and con- 
tinuous through the Dresbach. the St. Lawrence, the Jordan, and the Oneota. At 
the close of the Oneota there may have been an elevation above the sea for a long 
enough period to show some of the effects of erosion, after subsidence the New 
Richmond being laid down on this slightly changed bottom. 

The thicker, harder slabs of this rock made good building stone, but are 
not readily accessible except where washed down into the gullies and ditches. 
Such rocks are easily recognizable, two to four inches of the center being uncol- 
ored, while about the same thickness on both the under and upper side of the 
slab is stained red by oxide of iron. 

Superimposed on the New Richmond is the Shakopee limestone, a lime forma- 
tion quite largely dolomitic, but not usually massive, having but little good quarrv 
stone, and "not showing much tendency to form cliffs." It has an approximate 
thickness of fifty feet and is chiefly of interest on account of numerous "peculiar 
structures." at certain horizons that are supposed to be fossils of large animal 
formations of a very low order called cryptozoons. The very oldest animal or 
plant remains discovered fossil so far belong to this low order, which may be 
either plant or animal, — or neither. 

Next in the ascending scale is the St. Peter sandstone, so called because of 
its outcrops being very abundant near St. Peter, Minnesota. This is simply a vast 


bed of incoherent and nearly pure sand having a very uniform thickness of from 
sixty to one hundred feet, extending southward and westward under Iowa, 
Illinois, and Southern Wisconsin and Minnesota. There is no bedding or strati- 
fication except in a few places where, for local reasons unknown, it has been 
hardened into a firm quartzite, excellent for building purposes. Usually it can 
be readily dug with a pick and shovel. Exposure to the atmosphere has a ten- 
dency to harden it so that continuous low cliffs or ledges are common where it 
outcrops. In places portions of the body harden into domes ten to twenty feet 
high, underneath which the sand seems even less coherent than usual. Where 
such domes are cut through by stream valleys, the softer part is often washed 
out, forming small caves. Such a cave is to be seen beside the public road on 
southeast, northeast, section 8, town 96, range 5, about one mile south of Forest 
Mills in Franklin township. 

Contrary to the usual opinion this loose sand rock appears to be more resistant 
to weathering and erosion than the limestone formation beneath and the shales 
and limestones above. And in the northern and central parts of the county in 
Waterloo, Hanover, French Creek, Lansing, Center and Lafayette townships, 
its runs from the main divides between Paint Creek, Village Creek and the Oneota 
River out along the minor ridges between the numerous tributary stream valleys, 
in long, narrow tongues, forming a very decided step up from the peneplain or 
level of the top of the Oneota, of its full thickness. Usually these tongues are 
capped by a thin veneer of a few feet of Platteville limestone, but nowhere does 
the limestone approach near to the edge of the vertical scarps of the sandstone, 
much less over-hang it as it would do were the latter the less resistant. 

The dendritic divides described above are marked features of the landscape 
all along the northern and eastern boundary of the St. Peter. 

The dip carries it beneath the river at Guttenberg. 

Except near its northeastern limit it is the source of an abundant pure water 
supply, furnishing artesian wells from Elkader, near its boundary, down to the 
south central part of the state. 

At Clayton, in Clayton county, it has been mined for thirty years on a small 
scale, and shipped to Clinton and Milwaukee for glass and malleable iron man- 
ufacture. At this place there seems to be almost no impurity or coloring, what 
little there is being washed out in moving it by water in a trough several hundred 
feet, from the pit to the bins beside the railroad. At this place, in 1910, the point 
of contact with the Shakopee was exposed in the ravine alongside, and from what 
could be seen there seemed to be unconformity between the two formations. 

All along the top of the St. Peter from a few inches to a foot or more, is 
highly impregnated with iron oxide which has cemented it into a very hard cap 
stratum very resistant to erosion. At places, like the pictured rocks below 
McGregor, the oxide seems to have been present in greater abundance and to 
have penetrated deeply into the formation, coloring it beautiful shades of red, 
brown, yellow and pink. The side of a cut about one mile northeast of Waukon 
on the railroad to the Iron Mine shows some fine coloring. 

The St. Peter changes very abruptly at its top to a three-foot bed of blue 
slightly sandy shales containing imperfect fossil bryozoon corals. This is the 
Glenwood shale, so called because of a number of good exposures studied by 
Lalvin in Glenwood township, Winneshiek county. 


The Glenwood shales again change quite as abruptly as their top to the Platte- 
ville limestone. This, at the bottom, is often massive and dolomitic for the first 
four to six feet. Above that it changes to thin, hard beds that break up much in 
weathering and that contain an abundance of fossil fragments of brachiopods 
(shellfish, whose shells somewhat resemble those of small clams), corals and 
gasteropods. These strata, in their turn, near the top of the formation, change 
to heavy bedded quarry stone, some of which are excellent for building purposes, 
while others that are solid and firm when freshly quarried crumble on exposure 
to the action of frost and rain. The rock wall around the courtyard at Decorah 
is built of this latter kind. 

Some layers of these beds are in places composed entirely of comminuted 
fragments of fossil shells and corals, cemented together into a hard stone. At 
Decorah a number of years ago such layers were sawed up into slabs and polished, 
making beautiful "fossil marble," used for mantels, table tops and other such 

The Platteville limestone has a thickness of about fifty feet. Good, partial 
exposures can be seen in the ravines just north of Waukon, to the west of the 
Ice Cave at Decorah, near Hesper, where the quarry stone beds have been worked 
for building purposes for years, and on Yellow river below Myron. 

This is the first of the highly fossiliferous formations. Up to this horizon 
fossils are rare when the whole rock mass is considered, but from this point 
upward through the succeeding ages, animal life, judging from the fossil remains, 
was very abundant and of an endless variety. 

Beginning with the very lowest forms of life there came into existence suc- 
cessively, higher and still higher forms culminating finally with man. 

The Platteville changes quite abruptly so far as physical appearance is con- 
cerned, but without great change of fossils, and conformably, to the Decorah 
shales, a highly fossiliferous bed of clay, shales, and thin strata of limestone, 
having a thickness of twenty-five to thirty feet. There is an abundance of beau- 
tifully preserved, complete and unbroken fossils in this bed of shales, the great 
body of which is made up largely of powdered and broken fragments of corals 
and shells. The predominating kinds aje bryozoon, corals, true corals, brachio- 
pods, gasteropods, lamellibranchs (clams) and trilobites. 

Wherever an exposure of several feet of greenish-blue clay and shales with 
layers of limestone, all containing fossil corals and brachiopods, is seen any- 
where in the south half of Allamakee county it may be safely set down as Decorah 

Probably it is nowhere better exposed than in its numerous outcrops in the 
vicinity of Waukon. 

Overlying the Decorah shale, and resting on it conformably, is from 200 
to 250 feet of bedded limestone known as the Galena limestone. This is the lead 
bearing limestone of the Galena-Dubuque region but it contains no lead ore 
in Allamakee county. At Dubuque it consists of massive dolomite but in Alla- 
makee, of thin bedded strata of carbonate of lime rock, separated in places by 
thin shale and clay partings. It is a hard rock weathering slowly into vertical 
cliffs with a tendency to recede at their bases, where cut through by streams. 
Fine exposures can be seen in the vicinity of Myron, on the southeast, southeast 




~ Sal 

_ X 




of section 17, in Post township, and along the north line of section 18 in Franklin 

In all this great body of limestone there is little really good building stone, 
the strata being for the most part too thin, irregular or fragmentary. The whole 
formation is much broken up by two sets of fissures or crevices which intersect 
each other nearly at right angles. 

These crevices are the cause of the ''sinkholes" found in Ludlow, Post, and 
Jefferson townships, the overlying loess and soil having been washed down 
into the crevices leaving funnel shaped depressions in the surface. 

The Galena is usually a dry rock, the numerous fissures giving the under- 
ground water a chance to run off to lower levels. 

Fossils are not abundant except at certain horizons and are usually in the 
form of casts. Gasteropods and orthoceratites are the most common. At about 
twenty-five feet above the base, a fossil commonly spoken of as a "petrified sun 
flower" occurs quite plentifully. It was not a sunflower at all — not even a plant, 
but was an ancient sponge. At a higher level, not far below the top of the forma- 
tion, it is again found, but not so plentifully. 

The Galena merges so gradually into the overlying Elgin limestone of the 
Maquoketa formation that the division line may be said to be an arbitrary one. 
There is a change in the fossils, — gasteropods, the most abundant fossil of the 
Galena, giving way to trilobites in the Maquoketa. This member of the forma- 
tion has a thickness of eighty feet and is succeeded by the Clermont shale, a bed 
of blue clay and limestone with a thickness of thirty feet. In these shales are 
found some finely preserved fossil brachiopods, of different species and larger 
size than those in the Decorah shales. In the limestone below is found the first 
coiled chambered orthoceratite. 

As the Clermont shale is impervious to water it holds that which enters the 
ground above it from going lower. Underlying the southwest part of Post 
township at a depth of sixty to one hundred feet, good wells are had there with 
an abundant supply of pure water by drilling down to, but not through it. It 
is from this clay bed that the Clermont white brick is made. The highest and 
newest formation of indurated rock found in Allamakee county is the Fort Atkin- 
son limestone, a yellow crumbly limestone containing much chert, a few small 
outcrops of which are found in the southwest part of Post township. 

Altogether there is exposed in, and underlies the county, over 1,000 feet of 
beds of stratified limestones, sandstones, and shales and clays as shown in the 
ideal section in the plates at the end of this article. Seven hundred feet of Dres- 
bach sandstone lies below the Mississippi river, so we may say that we have 
studied a stratified layer of the earth's crust one-third of a mile in thickness. 

Ages long was the time it took to lay down this thousand feet of sand and 
clay and lime at the bottom of the oceans of the hoary past. Ages long has 
been the time since the receding shores left the region we have been studying 
high and dry above the waters. And through these latter ages heat and cold, 
snow and rain and ice, frost and percolating water and wind, have been busy 
tearing down, dissolving and wearing away that which it had taken so long to 
build up, carrying it away to newer oceans and laying it down again in newer 
deposits of sand and clay and lime. 

Vol. 1— 5 


It is estimated that erosion lowers the entire valley of the Mississippi river 
one foot in five thousand years. 

There is no doubt but that since the wearing away of the Mississippi valley 
began it has been lowered many hundreds of feet. At one period for thousands 
of years it was held in the grip of the great glacier that plowed off the ridges 
and filled in the valleys of the ancient watercourses. Part of Allamakee, Clay- 
ton and Dubuque counties alone of all Iowa escaped. 

The oldest glacier, the Kansan, invaded the southwest part of the county, 
traces of it being found as far east as Waukon. Only a remnant of its ground 
moraine is left in places under the loess. A few inches or feet of red sandy clay 
filled with pebbles of granite, greenstone and quartz. The best exposure of this 
till in the county is probably the one tc be seen beside the road from Waukon 
to Postville on the section line on the east side of the northeast, northeast, sec- 
tion 34, town 98, range 6. 

A lobe of the later Iowan glacier covered a few sections in the extreme 
southwest of the county. Time enough intervened between the melting away 
of the Kansan ice and the oncoming of the Iowan, for an abundant forest growth 
to take possession of the land, continuing long enough to form a bed of humus 
and soil one to two feet thick, — a thicker bed than is found in the forests of this 
age in this locality. In digging wells at Postville this ancient soil or "forest 
bed" as it is called is struck at a depth of twenty to forty feet from the surface 
between the till left by the Iowan glacier and that of the older Kansan. Pieces 
of roots, trunks and twigs of trees are found in this old soil. 

When the great Iowan glacier that lay to the west of us was receding, the 
rivers that reached it, like the Turkey, the Oneota and the Root, were enormously 
swollen by the flood of water from the melting ice. This water was heavily 
laden with silt, and sand and pebbles were carried down by the current. 

It is this silt, sand and pebbles, left by those floods, that formed the benches 
or terraces of the Oneota, and the other rivers named, and of the Mississippi 
at New Albin, Harper's Ferry, Prairie du Chien. Guttenberg and other places. 

A few pieces of native copper are said to have been found in the county. 
Such were undoubtedly brought from the Lake Superior region by the Indians 
to be used in making their copper implements and ornaments, many of which 
are found with other prehistoric relics in the Oneota and Mississippi valleys. 

Gold dust has been found in the sand deposits washed out of the Iowan drift, 
just over the line on the Judge Williams farm in Clayton county. Near the 
farm buildings is a pit in one of these sand out-washes, and to it the barnyard 
fowls resorted for gravel, and from their crops at different times several dozen 
flakes of gold were taken. It is supposed that the chickens, attracted by the 
shiny gold, picked it out of the sand. There are no similar deposits in Allamakee. 
At one time considerable excitement was occasioned by the reported discovery 
of gold in the cherty strata of the Oneota limestone near Prairie du Chien, and 
some mining operations were commenced but were soon abandoned. Whether 
or not there really were traces of gold in the rock at that place is not known. 

About two miles north and a half mile east of the corporate limits of Waukon, 
in the center of section 17, Makee township, is a deposit of iron ore having an 
area of about two hundred and forty acres. 


This ore deposit known as the "Iron Hill" is the highest point in Allamakee 
county, having an elevation of 1,320 feet above sea level. 

Another high point along the south line of the southeast quarter of section 
27 in the same township is capped by a much smaller deposit, and about a mile 
east of this near the Fan school, at a lower elevation, some boulders can be seen 
by the roadside. 

At both the first named places the ore with its associated impurities occurs 
as a lenticular deposit, having its greatest thickness at the center, — about seventy 
feet in the Iron Hill, — and thinning out to nothing at the edges. 

The Iron Hill deposit rests on limestone of lower Galena formation, that 
on section 27 probably on rock of the same formation, though possibly on 
Decorah shales or Platteville. Over both deposits there is a thin veneer of from 
one to three feet of yellow loess. The ore itself occurs in abundant small flakes, 
scales, and particles, called wash ore, disseminated through the associated clays, 
and in irregular concretionary masses of all sizes from those of a few inches in 
diameter up to many feet. These larger "boulders" are found at any level, some- 
times singly and at others bunched together in large masses. All the "chunks" 
and "boulders" are filled with very irregular pockets and cavities, some of which 
are empty, some lined with crystallized ore, and some containing different colored 
clays or sand. 

The impurities associated with the ore are residual clays, sand and chert, and 
these form quite a considerable part of the whole, the entire deposit forming a 
very heterogeneous mass. 

Fossils of the lower Galena are found scattered through the deposit seemingly 
at all horizons, in places being quite common. Sometimes they are found 
imbedded solidly in fragments of ore broken from the boulders. Perhaps the 
most common is the coral, Streptelasma Corniculum. 

Professor Calvin advanced the theory that this was a deposit of bog ore 
formed by precipitation from the waters of a marsh or bog that were highly 
charged with iron oxide. This accumulation of iron ore at the bottom of bogs 
and marshes in this way is quite common in parts of New Jersey and Pennsyl- 
vania. He supposed the existence of an ancient marsh surrounded by higher 
ground. As time passed the surrounding land or rock was eroded away until 
it became lower than the more resistant ore bed which resisted as a high point, 
afterward being covered by loess. 

If this theory be true then the rocks of the land around this marsh could 
not have been of later age than the lower Galena, as none of the fossils washed 
out of that surrounding rock into the marsh and now found in the ore bed, are 
of later age than the lower Galena. Also as the existence of marshes implies a 
flat country with little drainage, and as all the ore deposits occurring near Waukon 
were evidently laid down at the same time, and most likely were formed in dif- 
ferent parts of a chain of marshes of the same age, these ores may be of very 
ancient formation, since the entire valley of Village creek may have all been cut 
down since that time. 

At certain places in the deposit are found very compact chunks and boulders 
of ore filled with smoothly rounded, waterworn pebbles of different varieties of 
quartz, greenstone and other rocks usually associated with the drift, of a size 
from one-eighth to one inch in diameter. Such pieces of ore are usually so hard 


that in breaking them up the line of fracture will run through ore and pebbles 

Identically the same kind of small pebbles are found in abundance under the 
loess and on top of both limestone and St. Peter sandstone in the vicinity of the 
ore deposit. 

These pebbles may have found their way here from the north by some very 
ancient drainage system that disappeared years ago, or they may be outwash from 
or residue of the Kansan or Iowan glacier, in which case our ore bed is com- 
paratively recent. 

If the deposit is a bog formation of an old marsh in the ancient preglacial 
peneplain, then the presence of quartz pebbles and other foreign rocks transported 
from localities hundreds of miles to the north presents an interesting phenomenon, 
not easy to account for. 

On the other hand the absence of glacial till under or around the ore deposit ; 
the character of the associated clays and sands which seem to be clearly residual 
rock products and not derived from drift ; and the fact that all the evidence goes 
to show ;hat the valley of Village creek separating the two principal deposits, 
and of all other streams in Allamakee, were cut down to their present levels in 
preglacial times, shows a preglacial origin. In fact it is pretty well settled that 
the topography of the county was almost wholly (except in the river valleys) 
formed before the coming of the ice. 

Besides waters drained from any probable tributary area of till would not 
be likely to contain sufficient iron in chemical solution to form so large a deposit. 
It is true that the Buchanan Gravels, an outwash from the Kansan, are often 
much stained and cemented by iron, but nowhere is there more than enough to 
make more than a few inches of ore if the gravels were removed. 

To Mr. Chas. Barnard, a pioneer resident of Waukon, belongs the credit of 
first calling attention to this ore deposit. 

About the year 1900 local capital was interested, a concentration plant built, 
and the development of a mine begun. 

The plant was located near the center of the area, on a re-entrant of the east 
edge, and consisted of a crusher and log washer driven by steam power. 

The ore was freed from flint by hand picking. 

A pit having an area of about one-fourth acre was excavated to about one-half 
the depth of the ore bed, and the resultant cleaned product shipped to different 
markets. But a number of causes, chief among which was the cost of hauling 
by team from the mine three miles to the railroad, operated to make the venture 
unprofitable and work was abandoned. 

About 1909 the interests of the local company, the Waukon Iron Company, 
were acquired by the Missouri Iron Company of St. Louis, Missouri. This com- 
pany has erected a large concentration plant for the reduction of the ore, to 
which a spur railroad has been built from Waukon. 

The work is in charge of Mr. R. W. Erwin, by whom a paper further 
describing this ore deposit and the processes used by his company in concentrating 
it is found elsewhere in this volume. 


1 — Orthis subaequata. 2 — Rynehotrema inaequivalvis. 3 — Orthis tricenaria. 4 — 
Orthis plicatella. 5 — Strophomena septata. — Lingula iowensis. 7— Orthis testu- 
dinaria. 8 — Orthis bellarugosa. 9 — Leptaena, sp. 



The deposit covers an area of one-half mile east and west by one mile north 
and south and is slightly in the shape of a crescent with its terminal points to 
the northeast and southeast, and is situated in township 98, range 5 west of the 
fifth principal meridian in section 17, and is some two and one-half miles north 
by east of Waukon, Iowa, and has an extreme elevation of 1,320 feet, although 
ore is found at an elevation of 1,250 feet. This is one of the highest points in 
the state and is the highest point in a direct north and south line between the 
Lakes and the Gulf. 


In general the conditions are similar to those encountered in the Brown ore 
deposits of the southern States, being different, however, in the fact that there 
is very little or no sand associated with the residual clay. It is a brown ore, a 
hydrated sesquioxide of iron and is made up of probably the following types : 

Chemical Formula Iron Ox. Water 

Turgite 2 Fe 2 3 1 H 2 94.7 5.3 

Gothite 2Fe 2 3 2H,0 89.9 10.1 

Limonite 2 Fe,0 3 3 H 2 85.5 14.5 

Xanthrosiderite 2 Fe 2 3 4 H 2 81.6 18.4 

in which the Limonite predominates, next in order coming Gothite with small 
quantities of Turgite and Xanthrosiderite. They resemble most of all the Oris- 
kany ores of Virginia. 

The body rests upon a limestone strata of the Lower Silurian age (Galena 
Trenton) which has a depth of some forty feet, while the ore varies in depth 
from one inch to seventy-three feet. Below the limestone is the St. Peter sand- 
stone with a depth of some ninety feet. Below this is the Oneota limestone some 
two hundred and fifty feet thick, when the Jordan sandstone is encountered. 
This is the water-bearing stratum of the country. The ore is concretionary and 
varies in size from a fraction of an inch to aggregations weighing twenty tons. 
At times these concretions are solid ; other times they contain cavities which may 
be filled with sand in various stages of impurity — clay and round pebbles of clay. 
These cavities vary in size from a fraction of an inch to a foot or more and 
possess the spherical shapes usual in nodular structures. 

The ore body contains throughout its entirety, clay, gravel, sand, chert or 
flint nodules of various forms and shapes. In some instances the sand and gravel 
are cemented together by the iron, forming masses of considerable size. This 
also holds true of the gravel. The boulders of conglomerate are found in all 
parts of the deposit — in the richest as well as the leanest. 

The ore as it occurs in situ has the following analysis : 

Iron .' ... 3 1 .82 per cent 

Phos 207 per cent 

Manganese 60 per cent 

Silica 41 .80 per cent 

Alum 7.27 per cent 

Water 6.40 per cent 



This may be taken as an average. Samples may be taken which will run 
60 per cent in iron. 

It is generally assumed that all brown ore bodies are replacement bodies in 
limestone. Suffice it to say that this deposit is of recent origin, owing to its 
depth and the very large number of rounded quartz pebbles which may be found. 
Another fact is the round clay balls often found on the interior of large boulders 
of ore. 

The ore is of two classes : Wash Ore and Boulder Ore. By wash ore is meant 
the smaller concretions embedded in clay. Boulder ore is solid and the masses 
are separated by joints of clay. 

The body is estimated to contain 10,000,000 tons of ore. 

In January, 1907, Iron Hill, as it was locally known, was brought to the atten- 
tion of Mr. Edward F. Goltra, of St. Louis, Missouri, who turned the prospect 
over to Mr. R. W. Erwin. The prospect looked favorable, and as Mr. Goltra and 
associates were in the market for an iron mine at that time, after further investi- 
gation, R. W. Erwin came to Waukon and secured an option on the property 
from the Waukon Iron Company and at once made arrangements for the explora- 
tion of the property by drilling and test pitting. This property was sufficiently 
explored so that Mr. Goltra and his associates felt that there was sufficient ore 
for a commercial period. 

The next thing to be done after finding out that there was sufficient ore, as 
the ore was of low grade, was that of finding a process of concentrating the ore 
in a commercial way. After going into the matter thoroughly it was decided to 
locate an experimental plant at Waukon Junction, Iowa, as it was intended to 
use water as a cleaning agent. This was done and a plant was thoroughly equipped 
with crushers, washer, jigs, rolls, tables and roaster for trying out a number of 
processes in a commercial way. A series of experiments covering some two years 
was undertaken to find out the best and most economical method of treating the 
ore. In trying out the various methods and when practically all the experiments 
had been completed, a process of dry treatment had been evolved. In this no 
water was used, heat and electricity being the agents employed. In view of this 
fact it was decided to vacate the plant entirely at the Waukon Junction and put 
the concentrating plant closer to the mine. 

A plant site and right of way was purchased and in 1910 a railroad was built 
to the mine and work on a permanent plant started. This was completed in 
June, 1912 and increased in 1913. The method of treatment consists essentially 
in first drying the ore as it is mined by steam shovels, going from there to the 
crushers, screening out the finer particles of sand and clay in a large screen and 
cobbing out the larger size gangue, roasting and reducing the ore from Fe^0 3 
to Fe.,0 4 and magnetically separating the product below one-half inch in size. 
The method is entirely original and is in use in no other place in the world, and 
has been devised and worked out on a commercial basis at Waukon. The com- 
pany has now completed a plant which will have a capacity of 350 to 400 tons 
of finished iron ore per day. It is expected to increase this capacity to 1,000 
tons per day. The ore is especially desirable for making pig iron for open hearth 
use. The concentrated ore has an analysis of from 55 to 61 per cent metallic 
iron; 8 to 12 per cent silica; .50 to 1.25 per cent manganese, with phosphorous 
slightly above the Bessemer limit. Owing to its physical character — viz. — large 


pieces from one-fourth to two and one-half inches in diameter, make it a specially 
desirable and easy working ore in the blast furnace. Owing also to its porous 
character which has been left by the expulsion of combined water, it "comes 
down" very easily in the blast furnace, and requires less fuel for smelting than 
the Mesaba ores. The ore as it occurs in the ground is known as a hydrated 
sesquioxide of iron, or, a brown hematite, containing from 10 to 14 per cent of 
combined water. It is to relieve the ore of this water and also of the free water 
and to free it of clay and sand and prepare it for reduction that the drying and 
roasting is given it. 

The property was more thoroughly explored in 1910 for the Missouri Iron 
Company by the Wisconsin Steel Company. In all, some 300 test pits and drill 
holes have been put down to bed rock, and 10,000 analyses made, 

The Missouri Iron Company now have a thoroughly equipped and up to date 
plant. The power plant contains two 220-hp. Westinghouse gas engines, direct 
connected to generators and a 440-hp. automatic gas producer with the necessary 
scrubbers; one 250 hp. motor generator set; a deep well, 400 feet deep, equipped 
with an eight and three- fourths inch Downie pump, which affords an abundant 
supply of pure water. Machine shop and blacksmith shop adjoin power plant. 
Crushers, screens, dryer, roasters, reducers, sizer, magnetic separators, bins, etc., 
are of steel construction of very best type. All the machinery is individually 
motor driven. Ore is brought from the mine in seven-yard electric cars which 
are under the control of central operators. The ore is blasted and then loaded 
into cars by a 70-ton, two and one-half yard, Vulcan steam shovel. Track is 
standard gauge and laid with 60-lb. rails — double tracks, one for loaded cars, the 
other for empty cars. Coal is received in hopper-bottom cars and dumped 
directly into bins. All departments of the plant are connected with the office by 
a central telephone station. A complete chemical laboratory is maintained. 

The officers of the company are as follows : Edward F. Goltra, president, 
St. Louis, Missouri ; Thomas S. Maffitt, vice president, St. Louis, Missouri ; 
J. D. Dana, treasurer, St. Louis, Missouri ; R. W. Erwin, general manager, 
Waukon, Iowa. 

The regular working staff at Waukon consists of R. W. Erwin, manager and 
superintendent ; Harry Orr, chief engineer ; R. F. Burkhart, electrical engineer ; 
Ernest Wander, chemist ; Will Riley, chief clerk. 

The foregoing sketch of the iron mine at Waukon, and the plant there 
installed by the Missouri Iron Company, was prepared at our request by Mr. R. 
W. Erwin, the resident manager. A detailed history of the gradual development 
of this mine cannot be given here, but an outline of the steps taken to bring 
the deposit to the attention of capitalists who could and would demonstrate its 
value as an important addition to the resources of Allamakee county, may be 
briefly stated. The main body of this tract came into the possession of Mr. John 
M.Barthell in the year 1875 ; and it was about this time that Mr. Charles Barnard 
began to insist that it contained a remarkable deposit of iron ore. Mr. Barnard 
came from an iron region, the vicinity of Pittsburg, and had a sufficient practical 
acquaintance with iron mining to know what he was talking about, however 
skeptical others might be. He enlisted in the cause Mr. A. M. May, editor of 
the Waukon Standard, who gave much attention to the matter in his columns, 
and the articles were widely copied and soon began to bring correspondence 


from iron men. Mr. Barnard, though engaged in other business, devoted much 
time to correspondence with a view to interest practical men of means in the 
enterprise, working early and late to bring about an investigation that would 
prove, what he fully believed, the practicability of working this mine with profit, 
to the great advantage of his community. Various parties visited the place, and 
numerous analyses were made of the ore, all indicating a paying percentage of 
iron, but all attempts made to negotiate working leases proved futile, from one 
cause or another. Some of the difficulties were the distance from water and fuel, 
and the absence of railroad transportation facilities. 

It was not until the year of Mr. Barnard's death, in 1898, that mining leases 
were made with Geo. S. Finney that began to promise a development of the 
mine. Numerous test pits had been dug, and all looked promising. • Several 
shipments of ore had been made for practical tryout in the furnace, and these 
were continued from time to time, with promising results. The lease to Mr. Fin- 
ney was "for the purpose of boring and mining for iron and other minerals for 
the period of twenty years from May 1, 1899. Second party to pay ten cents 
per ton royalty for all iron mined, and pay for annually 10,000 tons as a minimum 
output, whether mined or not. Lessee shall have the sole and exclusive option 
to purchase said premises at any time before the first day of May, 1901, at or 
for the sum of $20,000, less the amount of royalty already paid at time of pur- 
chase." In April, 1900, Mr. Finney assigned his lease and option to George A. 
Nehrhood, and the Waukon Iron Company was organized and incorporated, with 
D. J. Murphy, president ; C. H. Earle, vice president ; Geo. A. Nehrhood, secre- 
tary, and S. H. Eddy, treasurer, who with M. K. Norton comprised the board 
of directors. The capital stock of the company was $50,000, which was increased 
to $500,000 in June of the following year. Mr. Nehrhood transferred the lease 
and option to this corporation, and a plant was erected for the reduction of the 
ore as stated by Mr. Orr in his chapter on the geology of the region. 

The transportation question was one of the greatest problems to be solved, 
but in 1902 a promoter of interurban railroads appeared and incorporated "The 
Iowa Hematite Railway Company," with the plausible purpose of connecting 
Lansing and Waukon with other points, and furnishing transportation of ore to 
Waukon or down the Village Creek valley to the Mississippi river. The incorpo- 
rators were William Ingram, president, and Lewis W. Beard, secretary-treasurer; 
with a capital first placed at $25,000 but later increased to $250,000, with an 
authorization for an increase to $1,500,000. Franchises were obtained of the 
towns and of the county, but the scheme did not materialize. 

John M. Barthell died in March, 1902, and his two sons, M. J. and B. F., 
became the owners of the property by transfer from the other heirs, and they in 
October, 1906, executed a deed of the premises to the Waukon Iron Company 
for the consideration originally named, $20,000. In 1907 the Missouri Iron Com- 
pany with unlimited capital and experience to utilize it obtained control of the 
property, with the gratifying result as told by Mr. Erwin in his paper. 

In this connection it is appropriate to give a brief sketch of Mr. Charles 
Barnard, who was instrumental in bringing this mine to the attention of the 
public. Born on the Isle of Wight, and on the farm later occupied by Queen 
Victoria's summer residence, when a year and a half old he was brought to 
America by his parents, Thomas and Mary Barnard, who settled on Wheeling 


island, in the Ohio river. Here he learned the rudiments of fruit growing, his 
father starting a nursery, and when he was about fifteen they moved to Belmont 
county, Ohio, and ran a market garden for the city of Wheeling. In 1865 he 
came to Iowa and settled at Waukon, where he engaged in the nursery business 
which he carried on very successfully until the close of a busy life. He was a 
practical man and wanted to see all our natural resources utilized. It was at his 
insistence that L. W. Hersey united with him in building, of stone from local 
quarries, the double store on the east side of Allamakee street, in 1867. Two 
years later the upper story was finished off for a public hall, and Barnard Hall 
was for years the hall of the town. Mr. Barnard had two great desires: one 
the building of a local railroad, which he helped very materially to accomplish; 
and the other the development of the iron mine, which he began to see hope for 
previous to his death. 


Allamakee county is classed as one of the finest agricultural regions, because 
of the fertility of its soil a"nd the diversity of its physical features. Although 
considerable of its area is uncultivable because of its bluffs, a large part of this 
formation is suitable for stock ranges, and the valleys between are extremely 
fertile. In the earlier years the principal crop was wheat, the continued growing 
of which so impoverished the prairie soil that it was gradually discontinued, 
and greater attention paid to other grains, stock-raising and the dairy ; and this 
diversity of products introduced a new area of prosperity for the farming com- 

But little can be said of manufactures, as this branch of industry has not 
been properly fostered, owing largely to inadequate transportation facilities. 
Our streams afford many fine water powers, which were early utilized for milling 
purposes until the failure of the once staple crop, wheat. Statistics are meagre 
as to present manufacturing plants in this county; the state census of 1905, the 
latest authority available, being silent on this point. With the establishment of 
immense dams for the creation and dissemination of electric power, and the 
facility and cheapness with which this power can be applied, it would seem 
to be only a question of time and transportation when a new source of wealth 
may be properly developed, and manufactures established which will support 
a largely increased population. In 1875, when the flouring mills and woolen 
mills were in operation, the value of our manufactures was given at $745,072; 
while in 1895 the output had dwindled to $307,542. 

The question of the decreased population throughout the state during the 
past twenty years has received considerable attention of late. In Allamakee 
county this has been quite marked since 1880 when our population reached its 
height, as shown by the annexed table : 

1849 277 1869 16.766 

1850 777 1870 17,868 

1851 1,300 1873 18,304 

1852 2,000 1875 , 19,168 

1854 4,266 1880 19.791 

1856 7-/09 i88S i8,335 

1859 !0,843 1890 17,907 

i860 12,237 1895 17,981 

1863 13465 190° 1871 1 

1865 13,957 1905 18,222 

1867 16,003 IQI ° !7,3 2 8 



One explanation of this decrease may be read in the following comparisons: 

Year 1880 1905 

Number of farms in the county 2,441 2,241 

Number of acres in farms 345.795 37 I ,9^>5 

Value of farms and buildings $5,836,445 $1 1,600,777 

Value of farm implements 334,126 459,907 

It is noticeable that while the number of farms decreased by 200 in the twenty- 
five years, their acreage increased over 26,000, and their value almost doubled ; 
indicating that of the large families in the earlier years very many of the sons 
have found new homes in the farther west, while those remaining have increased 
their holdings. 

The following tables are suggestive also, showing among other things the 
decrease in wheat and the great increase in other crops and livestock : 

Improved Wheat, Corn, Oats, Barley, Potatoes, Apples, 

Year. Lands. Bushels. Bushels. Bushels. Bushels. Bushels. Value. 

187S 134,767 946,089 906,620 443,129 22,315 I34,H9 

1880 535,674 i,Sio,394 628,387 177,377 

1885 162,782 272,242 1,179,885 886,405 166,862 

1890 104,836 1,590,217 1,440,377 197,891 

1895 190,385 51,255 920,526 1,386,530 166,400 81,215 $7,527 

1905 208,065 19.051 1,760,078 1,266,299 3+2,655 162,509 22,380 


Horses and Mules, Cattle. Swine, Sheep, and Eggs, 

Year. No. Value. No. Value. No. Value. No. Value. Value. 

1875 7,610 19,652 19,770 7,372 

1880.... 7,921 16,408 22.939 4,055 

1895 12,291 $348,884 30,195 $390,278 43.135 $254,227 3,683 $9,269 $67,119 

1905.... 10,470 637,978 45,685 668,062 44,269 244,675 5.731 19,528 153,733 

The dairy products of the county as given by the state census were $300,146 
in 1895, and $329,295 in 1905. 


Agreeable to a notice signed by Geo. C. Shattuck, John Raymond, D. H. 
Gilbert, John A. Townsend, Thos. A. Minard and Robert Isted, a meeting was 
held at Waukon, on the 7th day of June, 1853, of which John Raymond was 
president and Joel Baker, secretary, and which resulted in the formation of the 
"Allamakee County Agricultural and Mechanical Society." The first officers of 
the society were: 

President — John A. Wakefield. 

Vice Presidents — Robert Isted, John Laughlin, Win. C. Thompson. 

Recording Secretary — J. J. Shaw. 

Corresponding Secretary — John Haney, Jr. 

Treasurer — A. J. Hersey. 




The original roll showed a membership of eighteen persons, as follows : 

John Raymond, John S. Clark, Robert Isted, M. B. Lyons, John A. Wake- 
field, Reuben Smith, C. W. Cutler, Absalom Thornburg, L. S. Pratt, M. Lash- 
man, G. C. Shattuck, D. H. Gilbert, J. M. Cushing, Ezra Reed, A. J. Hersey, 
Scott Shattuck, Austin Smith, John Haney, Jr. 

June 23d at a meeting of the directors it was voted that there be a county 
fair at Waukon on the 13th of November. At this fair Ezra Reed and G. C. 
Shattuck took premiums on sheep. Robert Isted, John M. Cushing, and Shat- 
tuck, took premiums on swine. Patrick Keenan, John Raymond, D. H. Gilbert, 
Robert Isted, and Abraham Bush, took premiums on cattle. Jehial Johnson, 
J. B. Cutler, Moses Shaft, G. C. Shattuck, took premiums on vegetables. L. Ab- 
bott took premium on wheat. Moses Shaft on corn. John A. Wakefield on 
best ten acres of corn. Benjamin Beard, L. Abbott, Mrs. L. T. Woodcock, Mrs. 
J. A. Townsend, Mrs. J. M. Cushing, and Mrs. Prescott, took premiums on house- 
hold products. This was the first agricultural fair ever held in the county, and 
for those early days was a grand success, although held on the open prairie. 

The society continued to hold occasional fairs with more or less success, for 
years. At a meeting held in Waukon January 8, 1868, the society was reorgan- 
ized as the "Allamakee County Agricultural Society," under which title it still 
exists. At the time of reorganization John Haney, Jr., became president, John 
Plank, Sr., vice president, D. W. Adams, secretary, and Charles Paulk, treasurer. 
A tract of seventeen acres adjoining the town of Waukon on the north, was 
purchased for fair grounds, enclosed with an eight-foot tight board fence, and 
a half mile race course laid out and graded, at a total cost of $2,129.48, and 
nearly all paid for by the ensuing fair that fall. Exhibition buildings, grand 
stands, and other improvements were made from time to time, and the fairs 
were very generally successful until recent years, when all county fairs were 
largely given over to the amusement features. 

A few years ago the society sold its grounds to the city of Waukon. which 
has its waterworks plant located thereon, and devoted the proceeds to the con- 
struction of a new and larger grand stand and other improvements, and clearing 
off of incumbrance. It reserved the use of the grounds for fairs and other 
exhibitions, and its later exhibits have met with better financial results, a renewed 
interest being manifested through the county. Its forty-fifth annual fair is to 
be held in this year, 1913. The present officers of the society are: 

President — B. O. Swebakken. 

Vice President — Otto Helming. 

Secretary — George S. Hall. 

Treasurer — T. B. Stock. 

Directors — Center, Ole Rema ; Fairview, J. J. Broderick; Franklin, Floyd 
Clark ; French Creek, Andy Laughlin ; Hanover, Tom O'Brien ; Iowa, Fred 
Meyer ; Jefferson, Tom Mullaney ; Lafayette, James Mooney ; Lansing, Lou 
Hirth; Linton, J. C. Campbell; Ludlow, A. S. Pieper ; Makee, E. W. Goody- 
koontz; Paint Creek, H. A. Hendrickson ; Post, C. P. Bachtell; Taylor, O. H. 
Monserud ; Union City, Ben Hartley ; Union Prairie, John T. Baxter ; Waterloo, 
Ben Schwartzhoff ; Makee, J. C. Beedy, honorary member. 


farmers' institute 

Of greater practical benefit than the fairs, to the farming community, has 
been the Farmers' Short Course held annually for the past three winters at 
Waukon, under the auspices of the Allamakee Farmers' Institute, with instructors 
from the State College at Ames. These courses have attracted a large attend- 
ance from all over the county, and aroused much enthusiasm in regard to 
improvement of agricultural conditions. The officers of the Farmers' Institute 
for the current year are: 

President — C. G. Helming. 

Treasurer — D. D. Ronan. 

Secretary — A. G. Meiners. 

Assistant Secretary — B. C. Opfer. 

Vice Presidents — Center, Fred Ericson ; Fairview, Anton Wachter ; Frank- 
lin, Gordon Clark; French Creek, Andrew Laughlin ; Hanover, Oscar Jacobson; 
Iowa, Thomas Reburn ; Jefferson, James Barlow; Lafayette, Leslie Gruber; 
Lansing, Thomas Teeling; Linton, Muryl Hefner; Ludlow, John Simmons; 
Makee, Adam Herman; Paint Creek, I. I. Satrang; Post, E. R. Smith; Taylor, 
Bernard Houlihan; Union City, Alfred Meiners; Union Prairie, J. P. O'Neill, 
Ir. ; Waterloo, John Hermanson. 


In considering the politics of the county we should take a look at the early 
political conditions in the state. The tradition that "Iowa was settled by emi- 
grants from New England" is but partly true. The predominance of the southern 
element up to the middle fifties has been fairly well established, made up chiefly 
of sons of Virginia and their sons from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri. 
This accounts for the system of county government by commissioners, at first, 
instead of the New England town meeting plan; and it is responsible for the 
county judge plan prevailing from 1851 to i860, which became intolerable for 
its autocratic power. 

The influx of settlers from the south by way of the Ohio river and through 
Missouri came about chiefly through the fact that the Iowa region, from 1821 
to 1834, while a part of the unorganized territory of the United States, was 
looked after by army officers and Indian agents who were largely of southern 
nativity and predilections. Numerous instances bear out this theory. Col. 
Zachary Taylor, stationed at Fort Crawford, was a Virginian, and Lieut. Jeffer- 
son Davis, with him, a Kentuckian. Lieut. Albert M. Lea, Iowa explorer, was 
a North Carolinian ; and one of his chief aids was Capt. Nathan Boone, youngest 
son of Daniel Boone. Gen. E. B. Gaines, another Virginian. Gen. Henry 
Atkinson, after whom was named Fort Atkinson in Winneshiek county, a 
North Carolinian. And Lieuts. Simon B. Buckner, Henry Heth, A. Buford, and 
Alex. W. Reynolds, stationed here at times, and Robert E. Lee in the southern 
part of the state, all became general officers in the Confederate army. Their 
reports attracted pioneers from their own states. 

The mining regions at Galena and all southwestern Wisconsin were largely 
occupied by men from Kentucky and Tennessee, many of whom returned to their 
native states for the winters. Robert Lucas, first territorial Governor, was a 
native of Virginia, as was also Gen. Joseph M. Street, the Indian agent at Fort 
Crawford. In the first territorial legislature in 1838, there were twenty south- 
erners and five New Englanders, the remainder being from intermediate states. 
In the state legislature of 1854 were twenty-six southerners to thirteen New 
Englanders. In the constitutional conventions of 1844, '46, and even in '57, 
the delegates from south of Mason and Dixon's line considerably outnumbered 
those from New England. Rev. D. D. Lowrey, Allamakee's first preacher, was 
a Kentuckian. 

Of course not nearly all of the settlers from the south were committed to 
the southern institution ; many doubtless had emigrated to escape from regions 



of human bondage. In 1846 Iowa was admitted as the first free state west of 
the .Mississippi. And in the early fifties the prairie schooner was getting in its 
work across the northern part of Illinois and Wisconsin, and the tide from New 
England flowed so abundantly that in i860 occurred the change of county gov- 
ernment from one man power to that of the township system, resulting in the 
county board of supervisors. 

It seems, however, that the township system did not continue in general 
favor with the people of the state. Objections were made that the body was 
unwieldy and expensive, and that the thinly populated townships, wielded an 
undue proportion of power in the board compared with their actual voting 
strength, and in 1871, the system was so modified as to vest the powers of the 
former board in a body to be composed of three or five supervisors. From the 
time of this law going into effect, the affairs of this county have been under the 
control of a board of supervisors consisting of three members. 

In 1854 James W. Grimes was elected Governor, indicating a revolution in 
the political control of the state; and at the same time James Harlan was sent 
to the L T nited States senate. From this time down to the present day the line 
of republican governors is unbroken except by the election by small majorities 
of Gov. Horace Boies, in 1889 and 1891. 

From the time of its organization Allamakee county has fluctuated in its 
political faith, though for the first forty years it was generally counted in the 
democratic column, where it was found in over two-thirds of the elections for 
state officials. But in presidential years, with a full vote and the greater princi- 
ples at stake, it nearly always showed its allegiance to the republican party, the 
only exceptions being in the 1864 McClellan campaign and the three Cleveland 
campaigns. The 1912 election was no exception to the rule, as less than one-half 
of the Roosevelt vote would have given the county to Taft instead of Wilson. 

In this connection the following tables will be found of value for reference : 



Year. Republican. Vote. Democratic. Vote. Rep. Dem. 

1852. Scott (Whig) 142 Pierce 123 19 

1856. Fremont 630 Buchanan 500 130 

i860. Lincoln 1,185 Douglas 1,151 34 

1864. Lincoln 1,146 McClellan 1,331 185 

1868. Grant 1,543 Seymour 1,403 140 

1872. Grant 1,455 Greeley 1,384 71 

1876. Hayes 1,709 Tilden 1,646 63 

1880.* Garfield 1,838 Hancock 1,531 307 

1884. Blaine 1,731 Cleveland 2,005 274 

Harrison 1,903 Cleveland 2,023 


1892. Harrison 1,832 Cleveland 1,956 124 

1896. McKinley 2,472 Bryan 1,897 575 

1900. McKinley 2,660 Bryan 1,850 810 

1904. Roosevelt 2,609 Parker 1,571 I0 38 

1008. Taft 2,521 Bryan 1,725 796 

1912.T Taft 1,296 Wilson 1,767 498 

*Weaver (Greenback), 332. 
tRooscvelt (Progressive), 1,273. 




Year. Republican. Vote. 

1850. J. L. Thompson (Whig)... 27 

1854. Jas. W, Grimes (Whig) 299 

1857. Ralph P. Lowe 543 

1859. S. J. Kirkwood 743 

1861. S. J. Kirkwood 955 

1863. Wm. M. Stone 997 

1865. Wm. M. Stone 1,004 

1867. Samuel Merrill 1,216 

1869. Samuel Merrill 1,485 

1871. C. C. Carpenter 1,257 

1873. C. C. Carpenter 1,049 

1875. S. J. Kirkwood 1,833 

1877. John H. Gear 1,547 

1879. John H. Gear 1,795 

1881. Buren R. Sherman 1,355 

1883. Buren R. Sherman 1,564 

1885. Wm. Larrabee 1,514 

1887. Wm. Larrabee 1,627 

1889. Jos. Hutchinson 1.704 

1891. H. C. Wheeler 1,762 

1893. Frank D. Jackson 1,971 

1895. F. M. Drake 2,122 

1897. Leslie M. Shaw 2,174 

1899. Leslie M. Shaw 2,251 

1901. A. B. Cummins 2,206 

1903. A. B. Cummins 2,338 

1906. A. B. Cummins 2,215 

1908. B. F. Carroll 2,349 

1910. B. F. Carroll 2,176 

1912. Geo. W. Clarke 1,922 

*Anti- Monopoly. 
**Greenback vote, 109. 
*t*Greenback vote , 206. 




Rep. Dem 

Stephen Hempsteac 



Curtis Bates 



Ben M. Samuels. . . 



A. C. Dodge 



Wm. H. Merritt... 



J. M. Tuttle 



Thos. H. Benton.. 



Chas. Mason 



Geo. Gillaspic 



Joseph C. Knapp. . 



T. G. Vale* 



Shephard Leffler . . 

2,1 57 


John P. Irish**.... 



H. H. Trimble***.. 



L. G. Kinnet 



L. G Kinnet 



Chas. WhitingS . . . 



T. J. Anderson. . . . 



Horace Boies 



Horace Boies 



Horace Boies 



W. I. Babb 



F. E. White 



F. E. White 



T. J. Phillips 



J. B. Sullivan 



Claude R. Porter. . 



Fred E. White 



Claude R. Porter. . 



Edward G. Dunn . . 



tGreenback vote, 


^Greenback vote, 




Year. Republican. Vote. 

1856.* Elijah Sells 444 

1858. Elijah Sells 660 

i860. Elijah Sells 1,153 

1862. James Wright 792 

1864. James Wright 1,147 

[866. Ed Wright 1,211 

1868. Ed Wright 1,549 

(870. Ed Wright 1,314 

[872. Josiah T. Young 1,455 

1874. Josiah T. Young 1,229 

1876. Josiah T. Young 1,953 

1878. J. A. T. Hull 1,712 

18S0.J J. A. T. Hull 1,839 

1882J J. A. T. Hull 1,235 

1884. Frank D. Jackson. 1,731 

1886. Frank D. Jackson 1,783 

Vol. I— 6 






George Snyder . . 

■ 359 


Samuel Douglas . 

• 789 


J. M. Corse 

• 1. 137 


R. H. Sylvester... 

• 1.047 


J. H. Wallace.... 

• i,335 


L. G. Van Anda. . 

. 1,242 


David Hammer . . 

• i,4i3 


Chas. Doerr .... 

■ 1,256 


E. A. Guilbert. . . . 

• 1,430 


David Morgant . 

. 1,400 


J. H. Stubenrauch 

■ i,932 


E. M. Farnsvvorth 

. 1,805 


A. B. Keith 

• 1,522 


T. 0. Walker 

. 1,488 


Jas. Dooley 

. 2,010 


Cato Sells 

• i,934 






J 904 


Frank D. Jackson 1,903 

W. M. McFarland [,788 

W. M. McFarland 1,817 

W. M. McFarland 2,136 

Geo. L. Dobson 2.4<)5 

Geo. L. Dobson 2. 287 

W'm. B. Martin 2,645 

\\ 111. B. Martin 2.1S7 

Win. B. Martin 2,578 

Win. C. 1 1 ay ward 2.305 

Win. C. Hay ward 2,367 

Wm. C. Hayward 2,073 

Wm. S. Allen 1,910 

W. McHenry 



W. H. Chamberlain 



J, H. McConlogue. 



Horatio P. Dale. . . 



II. L. Carr 



C. R. Porter 



S. B. Crane 



Richard Burke .... 



Chas. A. Dickson. . 

1 .S')-: 


J. S. McLuen 



Tulins Ruge 



A. J. Anders 



Chas. B. Murtagh. 



*First record found. ^Greenback vote, 334. 

tAnti-Monopoly. iGreenback vote, 303. 

The first record we find of a formal organization in this county of the fol- 
lowers of a designated political faith bears date, December 10, 1853, when the 
following notice was circulated : 
To the Democratic Voters of Allamakee County: 

Fellow Citizens: You are hereby notified that a meeting will be held at 
Waukon on Saturday, Dec. 24, 1853, for the purpose of taking into considera- 
tion the propriety of an immediate organization of the democratic party in our 
county. Also for the further purpose of appointing delegates to the state con- 
vention, etc. 

W. C. Thompson, 
Jas. W. Flint, 
M. B. Lyons, 


At this meeting Edward Eells was chosen chairman and C. J. White, secre- 
tary, and it was 

"Resolved, That the democrats of the county of Allamakee ought to and hereby 
do organize themselves into a regular political party, according to the time-hon- 
ored usages of the same, both in the state and nation, and as an auxiliary thereto." 

The central committee consisted of Archa Whaley, Reuben Sencebaugh, 
Wm. H. Morrison, Edward Eells and A. J. Hersey. 

The township committees were : 

Union City — Geo. Spence, Wm. Dennison, G. W. Carver. 

Lansing — Richard Luckins, A. J. Tillotson, Jas. P. Hughes. 

Lafayette— W. C. Thompson, R. Ottman, O. S. Conkey. 

Makee — C. Paulk, T. Minard, Aug. Hersev. 

Union Prairie — J. E. S. Morgan. Loren Eells. George Merrill. 

Ludlow — E. Reed, Luther Howes, Henry Beaver. 

Jefferson — W. F, Ross, Henry Coffman, H. Burgess. 

Paint Creek — Andrew Mitchell, Thos. Anderson, Geo. Watkins. 

Taylor — David Harper, Michael Dignan, Otto Langfield. 

Linton — Allen Scott. L. W. Hays. Henry Johnson. 

Franklin — John Brisco, Austin Smith, John S. Clark. 

Post — fames Arnold, Reuben Smith. 


Wm. H. Morrison, S. A. Tupper and J. W. Flint were appointed delegates 
to the state convention. 

The convention thereupon "resolved" to authorize the central committee to 
fix the ratio of representation ; "that we have undiminished confidence in the 
administration of the general government, and will continue to give our undi- 
vided support ;" the state government "merits our approbation and continued 
confidence;" our senators, "for their uniform attachment to democratic principles, 
are entitled to the cordial support of every true democrat," and the "gratitude, 
influence and support of every true friend of western interest." 

It is noticeable that in the foregoing list occur the names of certain New 
Englanders and others, who in later years became staunch supporters of the 
republican party, which was organized in Iowa at a convention held at Iowa City, 
February 23, 1856. At the presidential election of that year Allamakee county 
gave a majority of 130 for the new party. , 

The following notes on some of the county campaigns will be found of 
interest : 

In 1868 the county went republican on the state ticket for the first time in 
eight years, and gained the offices of county recorder, clerk and sheriff. The 
first five amendments to the state constitution striking out the word "white" from 
certain sections carried by 35. 

In 1869 occurred a tie vote for state representative, John Haney, Jr., and 
P. G. Wright each receiving 1.444. It was decided by lot, twenty slips of paper 
numbered from 1 to 20 were drawn alternately, resulting for P. G. Wright, demo- 
crat, 108 to 102. 

The feature of the 1870 campaign was the hotly contested struggle for 
republican candidate for congress in this Third district. J. W. Thomas of Lan- 
sing was endorsed by our county convention, but at the convention at Charles 
City in August, W. G. Donnan received the nomination on the 108th ballot, and 
was elected by 4,966 majority. 

In 1871 the democrats made a clean sweep after a hot campaign. For sheriff, 
fames Ruth received 1,302 and James Palmer 1,303, but there were found two 
surplus ballots in Lansing and one in Ludlow, and a new election was called for 
those townships, which made the final result 1,373 f° r Ruth and 1,378 for 
Palmer, democrat. 

In 1874 the interest centered in the republican contest for congress, C. T. 
Granger receiving the nomination over D. N. Cooley at McGregor on the 76th 
ballot, but was defeated by L. L. Ainsworth, democrat, at the ensuing election. 

The county seat contest in 1875 brought out the largest vote in the county 
up to that time, 4,000. The democrats secured all the county offices except sheriff, 
Geo. Hewitt, and supervisor, Robt. Crawford. J. T. Metcalf was the chairman 
of the republican county committee. 

In 1877 the county went republican again, electing all officers except Auditor 
W. C. Thompson. For the first time in many years a republican, Benj. Ratcliffe, 
was sent to the legislature. Peter Karberg of Lansing was chairman of the 
republican committee. 

In 1880 the jail tax proposition was lost, and the poorhouse tax carried. In 
1881 the jail tax carried. W. C. Earle was elected to the legislature on the 
republican ticket, over Dick Haney of Lansing. In 1882 and 1883 the county 


was heavily democratic on state ticket, in the latter year by 222. Mrs. Martha 
T. Hemenway of Lansing, candidate for county superintendent on the republican 
ticket, lost to L. Eells by only 148. 

From this time on the county remained solidly democratic until 1893 when 
the tide again turned and the republicans made a clean sweep, majorities ranging 
from 144 to 540 on county officers and 71 on the state ticket. A. M. May was 
chairman of the republican county committee, and Douglass Deremore of the 
democratic. Since that time the county has remained republican, and events 
so recent hardly require further comment here. 

K S 

— /. 

~S- 2 



The following is as complete a list of the Allamakee county officials, from 
the organization of the county to the present time, as it is possible to produce at 
this day, it being borne in mind that the early records are very incomplete, as 
stated in the account of the first elections. 

The year first mentioned against each name generally indicates the year of 
election, though in most cases possession of the office was taken the first of 
January following, except in the very early years. 

County Commissioners — James M. Sumner, Joseph W. Holmes, 1849 (April 
election). August election, 1849, James M. Sumner, Thomas A. Van Sickle, 
Daniel G. Beck. Whether any others served as Commissioners before the sys- 
tem gave way to that of a County Judge in 1851, we have been unable to ascertain. 

Clerk of Commissioners' Court — Daniel G. Beck, 1849; Grove A. Warner, 

'49 to 'si. 

Clerk of District Court — Stephen Holcomb, 1849-50; Thos. B. Twiford, 
1850-51 ; Leonard B. Hodges, 1851-53; Lewis W. Hersey, 1853-56; C. J. White, 
1856-64; J. G. Orr, 1864-66; Giles P. Eells, 1866-68; John W. Pratt, 1868-74; 
H. O. Dayton. 1874-80; L. M. Bearce, 1880-90; Wm. S. Hart, 1890-resigned 
Jan'y, 1894, and H. G. Fisher appointed to vacancy, through 1894; W. O. Bock, 
1894-98; Ellison Orr, 1898-1902; Nic. Colsch, Jr., 1902-06; James Collins, 1906- 
10; A. G. Meiners, 1910-, present incumbent. 

Sheriff — Thomas C. Linton was appointed organizing sheriff to call the 
election for county officers, held April 2, 1849. The sheriff then elected was 
Lester W. Hays, 1849-51; William C. Thompson, 1851-53; John Laughlin, 
1853-55; John A. Townsend, 1855-59; W. C. Thompson again, 1859-61; James 
Palmer, 1861-65; J. A. Townsend again, 1865-67; Robert Bathan, 1867-71; Jas. 
Palmer again, 1871-73; Geo. Hewit, 1873-81; Chris. A. Leithold, 1881-resigned 
June, 1887, and F. J. Haberkern appointed, and then elected, 1887-89; J. B. 
Minert, 1889-93; J- H. McGhee, 1893-99; Jas. T. Bulman, 1899-1903; Geo. S. 
Hall, 1003-08; B. O. Swebakken, 1908-12; A. D. Larson, 1912-, present incumbent. 

Treasurer and Recorder — (Prior to 1865 the offices of Treasurer and 
Recorder were united.) — Elias Topliff, 1849-51; James M. Sumner, 1851-52; 
James Bell, 1852-53; Thos. C. Linton, 1853; John J. Shaw, 1853-55; L. O. Hatch, 
1855-57; Eli as Topliff, 1857-60; A. H. Houghton, 1860-61 ; L. H. Howe, 1861 — 
died summer of '63; James Duffy, appointed to fill vacancy, 1863; Michael Healy, 
elected 1863-65. 



fudge of Probate Court — Stephen Holcomb, 1849-51. This office was 
abolished in 1851, and that of County Judge created. 

County Judge— Elias Topliff, 1851-57; Geo. M. Dean, 1857-59; John A. 
Tnwnsend, 1859-61 ; O. S. Conkey. [861-67; M. B. Hendrick, 1867-68, when 
the office of County Judge was discontinued and Judge Hendrick became ex- 
officio Auditor until the close of his term, December 31, 1869. 

Drainage Commissioner — A. J. Hersey, 1853 — ; G. W. Gray, 1857-58; J. W. 
Merrill. [858-59; Geo. L. Miller, 1859-69. 

Inspector of Weights and Measures— G. A. Warner, 1849—; m January 
session of Board of Supervisors, 1863, L. H. Howe was appointed Sealer of 
Weights and Measures for Allamakee county. 

Coroner— C. P. Williams, 1849—; M. F. Luark, 1857-58; F. W. Nottingham, 
1858-59; J. W. Granger, 1859-61; John Ryan, 1861-63; John Farrell, 1863-65; 
David Harper. 1865-66; Fred Bartheld, 1866-67; J. Farrell. 1867-69; A. G. 
Collins, i869-7[; L. B. Adams, 1871-73; W. D. Morgan, 1873-75; John Farrell, 
1875-77; D. H. Bowen, 1877-81 ; W. D. Morgan, 1881-83; S. C. Hulse, 1883-85; 
D. F. O'Brien, 1885-87; J. W. Pennington, 1887-89; Wm. Xopper. 1889-93; 
G. E. Thompson, 1893-94; Wm. Xopper, 1894-95; S. C. Meyers, 1895-1902; 
D. Strock, 1902-08; O. J. Blessin, 1908-10; D. Strock again, 1910-13, resigned 
July, 1 9 1 3 , and Dr. J. C. Lewis appointed. 

Surveyor — James M. Sumner, 1849. Between this date and 1857, L. B. 
Hodges. S. P. Hicks. John M. Cushing, Joel Dayton. W. W. Hungerford, 1857 
-59; John Ryan. 1859-61; H. O. Dayton. 1861-65; Henry Dayton, 1865-69; John 
G. Ratcliffe, 1869-71; H.. O. Dayton again, 1871-74; James McAnaney, 1874-77; 
A. R. Prescott, 1877-79; Harvey B. Miner, 1879-83; Joseph Fahey, 1883-89; 
Y. H. Stevens. 1889-91; Joseph Fahey, 1891-93; H. B. Miner, 1893-99; J. J. 
McGuinnis, 1899-1901 ; H. 1'.. Miner, 1901-11, when the office was abolished, and 
Mr. Miner and his son W. H. Miner were employed by the Board as engineers. 

County Engineer — W. 11. Miner appointed by Board of Supervisors in 1913. 

Prosecuting Attorney — John W. Remine appointed in November, 185 1, to 
"serve until his successor be duly qualified after the April election of 1852;" 
Sewell Goodridge, 1852-54; John T. Clark, 1854, resigned June 30, 1857; Geo. 
W. Camp, appointed July 2, 1857, and elected that fall. This office was super- 
ceded by that of District Attorney in 1858. 

School Fund Commissioner — Elias Topliff, 1851-54; Wm. F. Ross. 1854 until 
the office was discontinued in 1858. 

Superintendent of Schools — This office was established in 1858, and J. W. 
Flint was elected that year. In 1859 R. C. Armstrong was elected, and served 
until he departed in 1861 ; J. Loughran appointed 1861 ; A. H. Houghton in 
1861-62; John O. Havens, 1863; T. C. Ransom, 1863-65; Theo. Nachtwey, 
1865-69; Lenthel Eells, 1869-71; Thos. F. Healy, 1871-73, died May 31st, and 
the Board of Supervisors appointed John W. Hinchon, who was elected in Octo- 
ber following and served until September 23, 1876 when he resigned and Lenthel 
Eells was appointed, and later elected to fill vacancy; J. Loughran, 1877-79; 
Amos Row, 1879-81; Lenthel Eells again 1881-85; Wm. J. Mitchell, 1885-89; 
J. P. Raymond, [889-9] '< Wm - J- Mitchell, 1891-93; J. F. Smith, 1893-99; E. L. 
Coffeen, 1899-1901 ; J. F. Mills, 1901-06; Wilber L. Peck, 1906-13, present 


Treasurer — Michael Healy, 1865-67; H. H. Stilwell, 1867-69; James Duffy, 
1869-73; J ohn R y an » l8 73~77; George H. Bryant, 1877-85; J. F. Dougherty, 
1885-93; Geo. J. Helming, 1893-99; Anton C. Larson, 1899-1903; John M. Lep- 
pert, 1903-08; L. T. Hermanson, 1908-12; Frank T. Bulman, 1912 — , present 

Recorder— Patrick Ryder, 1865-68; D. W. Reed, 1868-78; E. D. Purdy, 1878- 
94 (J. D. Brennan was elected in 1882, but appointed Mr. Purdy as his deputy, 
who was in charge during his term 1883-4) ; E. M. Hancock, 1894-1906; T. J. 
Collins, 1906-08; Fred Straate, 1908-10; T. J. Collins, 1910 — , and present in- 

Auditor — The office of County Auditor was created in 1868, the duties begin- 
ning January 1st, 1869, and were performed the first year by the ex-County 
Judge, M. B. Hendrick, 1869-71; Win. C. Thompson, 1871-79; S. R. Thompson, 
1879-83; John M. Collins, 1883-94; H. L. Johnson, 1894-96; Otto Hagen, 1896- 
1900; J. B. Jones, 1900-04; James Ruth, 1904-08; S. K. Kolsrud, 1908-12; Joe 
Keiser, 191 2-, present incumbent. 

County Supervisors — The first meeting of the Board of Supervisors convened 
at Waukon January 7, 1861. Under the new system of county government the 
following named represented their respective townships, until 1870 when the 
system was changed, viz : 

Center — W. Bacon, 1861 ; F. B. Hale, 1862-64; Adam Cavers, 1864-67; P. 
Soderstrom 1867-70. 

Fairview — Peter O'Malley,' 1861-65; Nicholas Drumm, 1866-67; J. S. Deremo, 
1868-69; P. O'Malley, 1870. 

Franklin — Selden Candee, 1861-66; D. W. Lyons, 1867-68; D. Dickerson, 
1869; S. Candee, 1870. 

French Creek — Hugh Riley, 1861-66; Porter Bellow, 1867-68; Hugh Riley, 

Hanover — Erick Ellefson, 1861-66; John C. Barr (appointed), 1866; Oscar 
F. Ferris, 1867-68; Hans G. Hanson, 1869; Wm. H. Reid, 1869-70. 

Iowa — Martin Moore, 1861-63; William Cox (appointed), 1863-65; Michael 
Gabbett, 1866-69; Martin Moore, 1870. 

Jefferson — George N. Burger, i86i<-65; Robert Bathan, 1866-67; H. S. Cooper, 
1868; James Bryson, 1869-70. 

Lafayette — James Duncan, 1861-65; Philip Byrne, 1866; H. O. Dayton, 1867; 
P. Farley, 1868-70. 

Lansing — Gustav Kerndt, 1861-64; C. J. White, 1865-66; G. Kerndt, 1867-69; 
John Haney, Jr., 1870. 

Linton — Wm. Moshier, 1861 ; John B. Sutter, 1862-64; N. Davis, 1865; H. 
H. Stilwell, 1865-67; Jeremiah Leas, 1868-70. 

Ludlow — Isaac Greer, 1861-63; P. G. Wright, 1864-65; Thomas Feeley, 
1866-68; Jas. C. Smith, 1868-69; Wm. J. Jones, 1870. 

Makee — Moses Hancock, 1861-62; Sidney Burlingame, 1863; L. M. Bearce 
(appointed), 1863-64; Richard Wilber (appointed), 1865-66; D. W. Adams 
( appointed upon Wilber's resignation, September), 1866-69; H. H. Stilwell, 1870. 

Paint Creek — James Bryson, 1861 ; James Duffey, 1862-63; Reuben Sence- 
baugh (appointed), 1863; Wm. S. Cooke, 1864; T. M. Van Horn (appointed), 
1864-65; James R. Conway, 1865-67; Hans Smeby, 1868-70. 


Post— Wm. H. Carithers, 1861-63; S. McArthur, 1864; E. Higby, 1865; Wm. 
H. Carithers (appointed), 1865-67; S. F. Goodykoontz, 1868-70. 

Taylor—Michael Healy, 1861-63; John Ryan (appointed), 1864-66; Bernard 
Finegan, 1867-68; Michael Barry, 1869-70. 

Union City— Josiah Everett, 1861-62; Wm. Yeoman, 1863-64; Josiah Everett, 
Jr., 1866; John Gilchrist (appointed), 1866; Wm. Yeoman, 1867-70. 

Union Prairie— John Goodykoontz, 1861-63; G. P. Eells, 1864-66; A. L. 
Grippen, 1867; Jacob Goodykoontz till June, '68, resigned and Board appointed 
John Goodykoontz, 1868; A. J. Eells, 1869; G. P. Eells. 1870. 

Waterloo— A. Schwartzhoff, 1861-62; T. C. Smith. 1863-66; S. H. Haines 
(appointed), 1866-70. 

During the existence of this system the following named members were each 
president of the body, in this order: 

Moses Hancock. Makee, 1861. Michael Healy. Taylor, 1862 and '63. P. G. 
Wright, Ludlow, 1864 and '65. C. J. White. Lansing, 1866. D. W. Adams, 
Makee, 1867, '68 and '69. G. P. Eells, Union Prairie. 1870. 

By the change of system in 1870 to that of three supervisors, now in vogue, 
the new Board was to organize in January. 1871, since when it has been com- 
posed of the following: 

1871 — Thomas H. Barnes, Chairman, Gustav Kerndt, Selden Candee. 

1872 — T. H. Barnes, Chairman, G. Kerndt, T. C. Smith. In June Mr. Kerndt 
tendered his resignation on account of poor health, and Abner Wood was appointed 
to fill the vacancy. 

1873 — T. H. Barnes, chairman; T. C. Smith. Martin Moore. 

1874 — T. C. Smith, chairman ; H. S. Cooper, Martin Moore. 

1875 — Martin Moore, chairman; H. S. Cooper, Henry Bensch. 

1876 — H. S. Cooper, chairman; Henry Bensch, Robt. Crawford. 

1877 — Henry Bensch, chairman; Robert Crawford, Joseph Schwartzhoff. 

1878 — Robert Crawford, chairman ; Joseph Schwartzhoff, Gilbert Satrang. 

1879 — Joseph Schwartzhoff, chairman ; Gilbert Satrang, X. J. Beedy. 

18S0 — Gilbert Satrang, chairman; N. J. Beedy, E. A. Blum. 

1881 — N. J. Beedy, chairman; E. A. Blum, Gilbert Satrang. 

1882 — E. A. Blum, chairman; Gilbert -Satrang, N. J. Beedy. 

1883 — G. Satrang, chairman; E. Bartheld, X. J. Beedy, resigned. 

1884 — W. C. Thompson, chairman; E. Bartheld, Hans Simenson. 

1885 — E. Bartheld, chairman ; W. C Thompson, Hans Simenson. 

1886 — W. C. Thompson, chairman; Hans Simenson, Jeremiah Leas. 

1887 — Hans Simenson, chairman ; Jeremiah Leas, Andrew Sandry. 

1888 — Jeremiah Leas, chairman; Andrew Sandry, Lewis Coppersmith. 

1889 — Andrew Sandry, chairman; Lewis Coppersmith, Jeremiah Leas. 

1890 — Lewis Coppersmith, chairman ; Jeremiah Leas, John M. Meier. 

1891 — Jeremiah Leas, chairman; John H. Meier, Henry Froelich. 

1892 — J. H. Meier, chairman; Henry Froelich, W. M. Kelly. 

l8 93— Henry Froelich, chairman; W. M. Kelly, Lewis Coppersmith. 

1894 — L. Coppersmith, chairman; W. M. Kelly, M. W. Eaton. 

J 895 — L. Coppersmith, chairman; M. W. Eaton, T. A. Drogset. 

1896 — M. W. Eaton, chairman; J. A. Drogset, J. W. Hartley. 

1897— M. W. Eaton, chairman; J. W. Hartley, J. A. Drogset.' 


1898 — J. W. Hartley, chairman ; J. A. Drogset, M. W. Eaton. 

1899 — M. W. Eaton, chairman; J. A. Drogset, J. W. Hartley. 

1900 — J. A. Drogset, chairman; J. W. Hartley, M. W. Eaton. 

1901 — J. W. Hartley, chairman; M. W. Eaton, James Cavers. 

1902 — M. W. Eaton, chairman ; James Cavers, John Waters. 

[903 — James Cavers, chairman; John Waters, M. W. Eaton. (Iver Iverson 
was selected in November, 1902, but died on election day, November 4, and under 
the statutes supervisor Eaton held over until the next election, November, 1903, 
when N. J. Quandahl was elected to fill the vacancy.) 

1904 — John Waters, chairman; James Cavers, N. J. Quandahl. (Mr. Cavers 
died this spring, and J. A. Drogset was appointed to vacancy before the April 

1905 — N. J. Quandahl, chairman; J. A. Drogset, John Waters. 

1906 — J. A. Drogset, chairman ; John Waters, N. J. Quandahl. 

1907 — John Waters, chairman ; Ole L. Rema, Martin McLaughlin. 

1908 — Martin McLaughlin, chairman; Ole L. Rema, W. H. Weihe. 

1909 — Ole L. Rema, chairman; Wm. H. Weihe, D. D. Ronan. 

1910 — Wm. H. Weihe, chairman; D. D. Ronan, S. H. Opfer. 

191 1 — D. D. Ronan, chairman; S. H. Opfer, Julius Gruber. 

1912 — S. H. Opfer, chairman; Julius Gruber, D. D. Ronan. 

.1913 — Julius Gruber, chairman; D. D. Ronan, Wm. H. Weihe. 

County Attorney — John F. Dayton appointed by the Board of Supervisors 
January, 1886, for that year. At the election in the fall of that year S. S. Powers 
was elected, serving until December, 1887, when his death occurred, and Henry 
Dayton was appointed to the vacancy, and by reelection held the office through 
1894. In this year Earl M. Woodward was elected, and again in 1896. Mr. 
Woodward died early in January, '98, when H. H. Stilwell was appointed to the 
vacancy, serving by reelections through 1904, when H. E. Taylor was chosen. 
Mr. Taylor was succeeded January 1, 191 1, by Frank L. May, the present in- 


In the Third General Assembly which convened at Iowa City December 2, 
1850, and adjourned February 5, 1851, the counties of Allamakee, Winneshiek, 
Clayton, Dubuque, Delaware, Buchanan and Black Hawk, composed one sena- 
torial district, represented by John G. Shields and Warner Lewis. 

In the Fourth General Assembly the counties of Grundy, Butler, Bremer, 
Howard, Mitchell, Floyd, and Chickasaw, represented by John G. Shields, Warner 
Lewis, and Maturin L. Fisher, 1852-3. 

Fifth General Assembly, 1854-5, the district was unchanged, represented by 
Win. W. Hamilton, Maturin L. Fisher, and John G. Shields. 

Sixth General Assembly, 1856-7, Allamakee, Winneshiek, Howard, Chicka- 
saw, Mitchell, Floyd, Worth, Cerro Gordo, Hancock, Winnebago, Bancroft and 
Kossuth, composed the Thirty-fourth senatorial district, Senator Jeremiah T. 
Atkins, of Winneshiek. 

Seventh, 1858-59, unchanged. This was the first assembly held at Des Moines. 



Eighth and Ninth, [860-63, Allamakee and Winneshiek composed the Thirty- • 
ninth district, represented by Geo. W. Gray of Lansing, the first state senator 
from this county. 

Tenth. lanuarv to March. [864, Allamakee was the Fortieth district, Senator 

Geo. W. Gray. 

Eleventh, [866, this was the Forty-first district, Senator Chas. Paulk. 

Twelfth and Thirteenth, 1868 and 1870, Senator L. E. Fellows. 

Fourteenth to Seventeenth, 1872 to 1878, Senator Samuel H. Kinne. 

Eighteenth and Nineteenth, 1880 and 1882. Henry Xielander. 

Twentieth. [884, Mlamakee and Fayette counties were united forming the 
Fortieth district. Senator William Larrabee of Fayette county. 

Twenty-first. 1886, W. C. Earle, of Waukon. 

Twenty-second to Twenty-fifth. 1888 to 1894, Fayette county. 

Twenty-sixth to Twenty-ninth, 1896 to 1902, Jas. H. Trewin, of Lansing. 

Thirtieth to Thirty-second, 1904 to 1908, A. C. Wilson, of Fayette county. 

Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth. 1909 and 191 1, Henry L. Adams of Fayette 

Thirty-fifth, 191 3, A. M. Fellows of Lansing. 


In the Third General Assembly, 1850-51, Clayton. Fayette, Allamakee and 
Winneshiek composed one district, represented by Eliphalet Price of Clayton 

1852-53, Howard, Mitchell, Floyd, and Chickasaw, were added to this district, 
represented by Edwin Montgomery and John Garber. 

1854-56, Winneshiek and Allamakee composed the First district, James D. 
McKay of the former county being the representative. 

1856-57, Allamakee was the Forty-fifth district, represented by James Bryson, 
first member of the House from this county. 

1858, this was the First district again, and our member G. W. Gray. 

1860-fii, two sessions of Eighth General Assembly, Allamakee the Fifty- 
sixth district, our member Chas. Paulk. 

1862-63, two sessions Ninth General Assembly, Allamakee the Fifty-first 
district, represented by Joseph Burton. 

1864, Allamakee the Fiftieth district, Chas. Paulk. 

1866, two representatives, P. G. Wright and L. E. Fellows. 

1868. Pierce G. Wright and Geo. R. Miller. 

1870. Allamakee the Fifty-second district, P. G. Wright and D. Dickerson. 

[872, Henry Dayton and Andrew Sandry. 

1874, Allamakee the Sixtieth district, one representative, Henry Dayton. 

[876, Sixteenth assembly. Luther Brown. 

1878, Seventeenth Assembly, Benjamin Ratcliffe. 

1880, Eighteenth, Allamakee the Sixty-fourth district. Thos. H. Barnes. 

1882, Nineteenth General Assembly, W. C. Earle. 

1884 and [886, Twentieth and Twenty-first Assemblies. Allamakee the Sixty- 
fifth district, Theo. Nachtwey. 


188S and 1890, Twenty-second and Twenty-third Assemblies, the Eighty- 
ninth district, and 1892, Twenty-fourth Assembly, Eighty-seventh district, John 
F. Dayton. 

1894, Twenty-fifth Assembly, J. H. Trewin. 

1806 to 1900, Twenty-sixth to Twenty-eighth Assemblies, D. H. Bowen; 
speaker of the House in the Twenty-eighth. 

1902, Twenty-ninth Assembly, Robt. Hufschmidt. 

1904 and 1906, Thirtieth and Thirty-first Assemblies, W. S. Hart. 

1907, Thirty-second Assembly, Allamakee the Ninetieth district, W. C. Earle. 

1909 and 191 1, Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth Assemblies, E. H. Fourt. 

1913, Thirty-fifth Assembly, Otto A. Helming. 


Judges — 1847 to 1882 — Second Judicial District, State of Iowa, after this 
county was added in 1847, comprised the counties of Buchanan, Cedar, Clayton, 
Clinton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Jackson, Jones, Muscatine, Scott, Alla- 
makee and Winneshiek. Judge James Grant, commissioned November 15, 1847. 
to May 8, 1852, when Judge Thomas S. Wilson qualified, who remained judge of 
this district till after Allamakee was withdrawn to help form the — 

Tenth Judicial District, created in 1855, comprised Allamakee, Cerro Gordo, 
Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Floyd, Howard, Mitchell, Winneshiek and Worth. 
Judge Samuel Murdock, of Clayton county, 1855 to 1858. With the exception 
of Cerro Gordo and Worth, and the addition of Bremer and Butler, this territory 
became the Tenth judicial district under the present constitution in 1858. In 
1858 Elias H. Williams, of Clayton county, was elected judge, and served until 
Milo McGlathery, of Fayette county, was elected in 1866. The counties of Bremer, 
Butler, Floyd and Mitchell were detached in 1864, but remained connected with 
this district (except for election purposes) until January, 1865. Judge 
McGlathery served from 1867 to 1874 inclusive. Judge Reuben Noble 1875 to 
November, 1879, when he resigned and the governor appointed in his stead 
Ezekiel E. Cooley, who was elected at the general election in 1880 and served 
through 1882. In that year L. O. Hatch was elected, continuing as judge of the 
Tenth district from 1883 to 1886, when it became the Thirteenth district, of which 
he continued judge until his death in 1894. In 1886 the Circuit Court was abolished 
and Judge Chas. T. Granger became one of the two district judges, until 1888, 
when he was called to the Supreme court. L. E. Fellows of Lansing was 
appointed in January, 1889, to fill this vacancy, and elected in November, 1890, 
to serve through 1891. W. A. Hoyt was elected that year and served through 
1894, when Mr. Fellows was again elected and served until 1912, in which year 
he died. W. J. Springer of New Hampton was appointed to the vacancy, and 
elected at the following election. Upon the death of Judge Hatch in 1894, 
E. E. Cooley was appointed to the vacancy in August, and elected in November 
to fill out the year. A. N. Hobson was elected for the full term, at the same 
election, and has been reelected continuously and is still on the bench. 

District Attorneys. 1858 to 1882. — At the October election, 1858, Milo 
McGlathery was elected prosecuting attorney for the Tenth judicial district, and 
reelected in 1862. In 1866 L. O. Hatch was elected to this position, but resigned 


in l868, and Charles T. Granger was appointed his successor. At the general 
election in 1869 Mr. Granger was chosen to continue in the position, to fill out 
the unexpired portion of the term until the close of 1870, and at the election of 
that year he was reelected. In 1872 he was elected circuit judge, thus creating 
a vacancy in the office of district attorney, which was filled by the appointment 
of Orlando J. Clark, and the appointment was ratified at the next general elec- 
tion, in 1873. In 1874 Mr. Clark was reelected for the full term, and at the close 
of the year 1878 was succeeded by Cyrus Wellington, who served until the office 
was dispensed with, in January, 1886. 


The Circuit court was established by act of Legislature in 1868. Each judicial 
district in the state was by the act divided into two circuits, in each of which, at 
the general election in November, 1868, a circuit judge was elected for four years. 
In this, the First circuit of the Tenth judicial district, comprising Allamakee, 
Winneshiek and Howard, Martin V. Burdick was elected judge; and in the Second 
circuit, Benjamin T. Hunt. The division into two circuits was found unnecessary, 
and the two were consolidated. The Circuit court had concurrent jurisdiction 
with the District court, except as to criminal cases, and exclusive jurisdiction in 
probate matters. In 1872 Charles T. Granger was elected to succeed Judge Bur- 
dick, and by reelection continued to occupy this position until the Circuit court 
was dispensed with in 1886, when he was transferred to the District court. 

ru;Lic uc; 




I Ml <>\\ l.s HEAD 


A volume might be written of the ten or more county seat contests in Alla- 
makee county in the first quarter century following its organization, and it 
would be interesting to go into the details, although unprofitable from any point 
of view. Even at this late date, thirty-eight years since the last county seat 
election, it is a delicate matter to treat of them in such a manner as would seem 
to all parties strictly impartial, so bitter was the sectional feeling aroused in 
the early days. Of course the location of the seat of county government at 
any place was considered a great advantage, and numerous hamlets at one time 
or another entertained high hopes of securing a lasting prestige thereby. But 
when the contest narrowed down to the principal towns of the county, the other 
sections turned in on one side or the other according as they were moved by 
feelings of local advantage, public weal, or disappointment and revenge, and the 
contest between Lansing and Waukon beame prolonged and bitter, until repeated 
decisions at the polls settled the question permanently in favor of the present 
location at Waukon. 

In the second General Assembly an act was passed organizing the county of 
Allamakee, and approved by Gov. Ansel Briggs — the first state Governor — Jan- 
uary 15, 1849. Under this act the first election was held — as heretofore stated. 
Commissioners were also appointed to locate the county seat of said county, 
consisting of Wm. Linton, John Francis and James Jones and they performed 
their duty by selecting a location in Jefferson township, about a mile and a half 
northwest of the present village of Rossville, on the road from there to Waukon, 
near the Pettit place. It has ever since been known as "The Old Stake." This 
selection was never utilized, however, and at the April election of 1851 the ques- 
tion was submitted to a vote of the people, the contesting points being: Vailsville, 
on Paint Rock Prairie (now Harper's Ferry), "Smith's Place, sec. 12," in Post 
township, and Columbus, at the mouth of Village creek in Lansing township. 
As neither point received a majority another vote was taken on the first Monday 
in May following, between Columbus and Smith's Mill, Vailsville being out of 
the contest, resulting in a small majority — 14 it is said — for Columbus. We 
have no means of ascertaining the number of votes cast ; neither do we know 
how many polling places there were in the county at that time; but if we are 
not mistaken Reuben Smith's place (one of the contesting points) was one of 
these. He stated in the fall of 1877 that a county seat election in '51 was held 
in a log cabin of his, and that voters came there from a distance of many miles, 



of whom he remembered Shattuck and Bush from what is now Makee township 
among others. 

About this time there existed a spirit of rivalry between Lansing and Colum- 
bus, which developed into a jealousy on the part of Lansing (which had become 
an aspiring little town ) toward her next door neighbor, and induced her to 
attempt to deprive Columbus of her honors and the advantages accompanying 
them. Although Columbus had really no natural advantage which would entitle 
her to the county seat, except that of a boat landing, her proprietors and their 
friends were too powerful to warrant a direct issue, and so Lansing resorted to 
strategy, and urged the property of a relocation of the county seat at the geo- 
graphical center of the county. Of course the settlers in the western portion were 
nothing loth to enter into this movement, and a meeting was held at Ezra Reid's, 
in Ludlow township, December 4, 1852, to consider the matter. Edward Eells 
was selected as chairman of the meeting, and John W. Remine, of Lansing, and 
C. J. White, of Makee, were secretaries. The result was that the General Assem- 
bly was petitioned to have another point designated as the future county seat of 
the county. In January, 1853, the Legislature granted the petition, and for the 
purpose of selecting such point, appointed a commission consisting of Clement 
C. Coffin, of Delaware county, John S. Lewis, of Clayton county, and Dennis A. 
Mahony, of Dubuque. The third section of the act establishing this commission, 
reads as follows : 

"Said commissioners shall locate the county seat of the county aforesaid as 
near the geographical center as a due regard for the present and prospective 
interests of the county shall appear to them just and proper; they shall, also, be 
influenced by the comparative eligibility of locations, and the convenience of 
water, roads and building materials as also by the comparative facilities of 
acquiring for said county suitable building lots, or blocks, if the county seat 
should be located by them on private property." 

Judge Dean, writing in 1880, narrated the sequence of events thus: "Their 
commission required them to meet at Columbus, then the county seat, about the 
first Monday in March following, take the oath of office and proceed to select 
a point for a new county seat as near the center of the county as was practi- 
cable. This they did, and in selecting the spot they took into consideration the 
place where the original liberty pole was planted at the head of Union Prairie, 
as mentioned in Chapter 5, Makee Ridge, and some other points ; but the absence 
of water at those places made them objectionable. 

"At this time there were several splendid springs bubbling out of the prairie 
sod where Waukon now stands, and Father Shattuck then living here offered 
to give the county forty acres of land for county seat purposes if the commis- 
sioners would locate the county seat thereon. The stake was driven bv them 
on the land thus donated, and the proposed town site was named at the time, 
the commissioners requesting Mr. John Haney. Jr.. who was present and took 
an active part in the matter, to christen the spot. He having been a trader 
among the Indians and having a good friend among them in the person of Tohn 
Waukon. a chief of the Winnebago tribe, gave it his name and it has been called 
Waukon from that time. 

"The spot for the new county seat having been selected as narrated in the 
last chapter, it became subject to ratification or rejection by the legal voters of 


the county at the ensuing April election ; and in order to create for the new 
location as favorable an impression as possible, a mass meeting was called at 
the selected spot two days before the election, and assembled near where the 
Episcopal church now stands. This was the largest white assemblage ever seen 
in the county, there being present nearly three hundred persons. The meeting 
was organized by electing John Raymond of Union Prairie president, and A. J. 
Hersey and Mr. Beeman, secretaries. John A. Wakefield, who owned the farm 
on the Lansing Ridge that Hugh Norton now owns, and John W. Remine, a 
lawyer from Lansing, made speeches in favor of the new location ; and Thos. B. 
Twiford of Columbus, the then county seat, against it; after which Father Shat- 
tuck drove on to the ground with a large supply of cooked provisions, among 
which were a plentiful supply of baked beans, and from the wagon fed the multi- 
tude of three hundred. 

"On the following Monday, April 4th, 1853, tne voters of the county ratified 
the choice of the Commissioners by a majority over Columbus of two hundred 
and forty-five votes, there being seven voting precincts in the county." 

That the relocation of the county seat at Waukon was not accepted by the 
proprietors and friends of Columbus without a struggle, may be imagined. At 
the first term of District court held at Waukon in June, 1853, Hon. Thos. S. 
Wilson, Judge, the matter was at once brought up, and we quote from an old 
file of the Lansing Intelligencer relating to it. as follows : 

"A motion was made by Ben M. Samuels, Esq., who appeared on behalf of 
the proprietors of Columbus, to adjourn the court to that place. The grounds 
stated for this motion were : first, that the law providing for the relocation of 
the county seat, was unconstitutional, relying in support of the position, on the 
10th article of the Constitution of the United States, wherein it is declared that 
'no State shall pass any law impairing the obligation of contracts.' It was argued 
that the proprietors of Columbus, by deeding to the county two acres of land 
under the act of 185 1, providing for the location of the county seat of Allamakee 
county, thereby made a contract with the county, and that the Legislature had 
no right to pass a subsequent act providing for a relocation. It was further 
argued that the town of Columbus was a close corporation and had acquired a 
substantial legal interest in the county seat, and that the Legislature, in passing 
the original act for the location of the county seat, had an eye to the permanent 
benefit of the town of Columbus. The act of 1851, authorizing the people to 
vote on the question, declares that 'the point receiving the largest number of 
votes shall be and remain the permanent seat of justice of said Allamakee 
county, provided that the owner or owners of such town or point, shall, within 
ten days after the result of said election has been declared, make and execute 
to the Board of Commissioners of said county, a satisfactory and sufficient deed 
for at least two acres of land in said point.' Considerable emphasis and reliance 
were placed on the word 'permanent,' which appears in the clause quoted, and 
it was argued that inasmuch as the word appeared in the act, the Legislature 
had thereby forestalled all subsequent action with regard to the matter. The 
other objections which were made, more particularly pertained to the action of 
the county judge, who, it is well known, had refused to discharge any of the 
duties enjoined on him by the act of the Legislature. Some other reasons, of 
minor importance, were adduced, but the foregoing were the most noticeable. 


Mr. Samuels made quite a pathetic oration in behalf of Columbus (as a close 
corporation), and spoke in a very affecting manner of her alleged rights. 

"The motion was opposed by John W. Remine, Esq., of Lansing, and Jas. 
Burt, Esq., of Dubuque. 

"The court overruled the motion, and gave at length, and in a very plain and 
clear manner his reasons. As to the objections on account of the unconstitution- 
ality of the act, he said, that the town of Columbus had, in law, acquired no 
interest in the matter of the county seat, that no contract existed between the pro- 
prietors of the town and the county. 

"With regard to the word "permanent.' which appears in the act of 185 1, 
he said that the Legislature did not by that word intend to make the act immu- 
tably durable — that even if the Legislature had so intended it was an excess of 
legislation and consequently void. The Legislature could not pass a law and 
make it impossible to change or repeal the same by subsequent legislation. 

"He further said that the duties required of the county judge in the act, 
providing for the relocation of the county seat, were not discretionary. The 
District court could compel the county judge by mandamus to perform the duties 
required of him in the act — that if he refused to reconvey the land and lot spoken 
of in the act, to the proprietors of Columbus, he could be compelled." 

At the March term of the County court, 1856, a petition was presented, pray- 
ing that the question of removing the county seat from Waukon to Rossville 
be submitted to the people, and John T. Clark, prosecuting attorney and ex-officio 
county judge (Judge Topliff at the time being in temporary suspension pending 
a suit for official neglect ) decided that the question should be so submitted at 
the April election. A similar petition was also presented in favor of Whaley & 
Topliff's Mill, in Center township, and was likewise granted. This made a 
triangular contest, and Waukon received a large majority over both the other 
points, the vote being, Waukon 717, Whaley & Topliff's Mill 314, and Rossville 

Early in 1859 a petition was circulated by Lansing for submitting the question 
of removing the county seat to that place, and her citizens offered to donate 
suitable lots (Park Block) and erect a courthouse thereon to cost $8,000. At 
the same time $5,000 was offered by Waukon to aid in the erection of county 
buildings at that place. A meeting was held at the latter place and a committee 
appointed, consisting of A. J. Hersey, John T. Clark, L. O. Hatch, W. S. Cooke, 
A. Hersey, L. T. Woodcock, W. W. Hungerford, J. C. Smith and Jehial John- 
son, to select an eligible point on the Mississippi other than Lansing, through 
which Waukon might transact her shipping business. At a later meeting the 
committee reported that there was no one point to which they could in good faith 
pledge their entire support, but suggested that Columbus was the nearest and 
most accessible point at which to transact river business, provided she would 
furnish the necessary facilities; and that Johnsonsport was the best point for 
the transaction of railroad business, provided she would furnish ferry-boat 
connection with the railroad at Prairie du Chien, and other facilities. On March 
7th the petition was presented to the county judge (G. M. Dean) by S. H. 

A motion was made by John T. Clark that the petition be dismissed on the 
ground that the court had no power to order an election in April, as the law for 


the regular April election had been repealed. Messrs. Clark and Hatch argued 
the question for the dismissal and G. W. Camp and L. H. Howe on the part of 
Lansing. Judge Dean reserved his decision until the following morning, when 
he granted the petition and ordered an election to be held on the 4th day of April. 
The contest was a hot one. It was originated by the most honored and influential 
citizens of Lansing; and all the means at their command were used on both 
sides to win the public favor. On the part of Lansing, John Haney and H. W. 
Houghton entered into bonds to the amount of $15,000 to guarantee the use of 
Park Block to the county as long as the county seat should remain in Lansing, 
and a number of her best citizens gave similar bonds for $16,000 that in case 
the county seat should be removed to Lansing they would expend $8,000 in the 
erection of public buildings on said block, to be the property of the county so 
long as the county seat should remain at that place. While on the part of Waukon, 
seventeen of her most substantial men bound themselves in the sum of $10,000 
that in case the county seat should remain where it then was the citizens of 
Waukon would pay $5,000, to be expended in the erection of county buildings on 
the land already owned by the county at that place. The verdict of the people 
was in favor of Waukon by a majority of 420. Waukon, 1,248; Lansing, 828. 
Regarding this result as the end of controversy, and as evidence of the wish of 
the people that our donation should be used for the purpose for which it was 
offered, the county judge, on the 2d of August, 1859, let a contract for the 
erection of a permanent courthouse (including a jail), at a cost of $13,655, $5,000 
of which sum was paid by a transfer of the proceeds of the Waukon bond, and 
the remainder of which was paid by the county. The contractors were J. W. 
Pratt and C. W. Jenkins, and the building was erected and completed during the 
years 1860-61. 

Meanwhile the matter had not been allowed to rest, and in February, i860, 
petitions were circulated asking for the submission of the question of removal 
of the county seat to Rossville. A largely signed remonstrance was presented 
at the same time, defeating the object of the petition, and it was charged that 
this was accomplished by sharp practice on the part of Waukon interests. Be 
this as it may, the affair had its unfavorable effects for Waukon in the next 
contest. The fact is that both sides used some questionable means at times, 
to attain their ends in these struggles for supremacy. 

Again, on the 3d day of December, i860, a petition was presented to the 
County court, Judge John A. Townsend, praying for the relocation of the county 
seat at "the point" between Lansing and Capoli, and an election was ordered, in 
accordance therewith, on the 8th day of April, 1861. This time one of the points 
raised was the legality of the contract for the erection of the county building 
at Waukon without first submitting it to a vote of the people, but this was vir- 
tually set at rest by an opinion expressed in a letter from Hon. Milo McGlathery, 
district attorney, in reply to questions submitted by Moses Hancock, then chair- 
man of the Board of Supervisors. 

However, a certain effect remained, which, together with the combination of 
Columbus with Lansing, a bond entered into by their people to erect a courthouse 
at "The Point," without expense to the county, and the dissatisfaction of Ross- 
ville people resulted in a relocation by a vote of 1,257 for tne Point, against 


1,231 for Waukon-a majority of 26 votes, and the county records and furniture 
were immediately removed to that place. 

Believing that this combination of circumstances would not operate a second 
time the people of Waukon the same year circulated a petition for the removal 
of the object of controversy to the new building at Waukon. and it was presented 
to the Board of Supervisors, October 14. 1861, and another election ordered to 
be held in April 1862. Again was the ground hotly contested, and again was 
-The Point- victorious by a majority of 22— that place receiving 1.332, against 

1,310 for Waukon. 

' Once more in 1864, Waukon decided to make an effort to regain the seat 
of justice and the contest waxed hotter than ever before. At this time there 
was a project to build a railroad up the valley of Paint creek, by the Prairie du 
Chien and Cedar Vallev Railroad Company, and a great deal of sport was made 
of this "paper railroad" on the part of Lansing people, who declared it to be an 
electioneering dodge to make votes for Waukon. In June the Board of Super- 
visors ordered an election to be held at the time of the general election, Novem- 
ber 8th. Again the fight was very close, and when the board met to canvass the 
returns, the result was found to depend upon Franklin township, from which no 
record of the vote had been received, so the canvass was made without it, giving 
■■The Point" a majority of 69—1.205 for "The Point," and 1,136 for Waukon, and 
the matter was carried into the District court. E. 11. Williams, judge. "The Point" 
took a change of venue to Delaware county, and when the decision there was 
rendered adversely to their interests, appealed to the Supreme court, by which 
it was not decided until 1867. when it was adjudged that Waukon was rightfully 
the county seat, and the records were once more removed to that place, where 
they have since remained. 

The records and all portable property were transferred on the 3d to the 6th 
of September, 1867, and the officials took up their duties in the new courthouse 
em the latter date. 

Pending this decision, in June, 1866, occurred the attempted removal of the 
documents from Lansing by Sheriff Townsend and a posse of about thirty men 
from Waukon. which created a great deal of excitement at the time, and has 
since been a prolific topic for good natured raillery. After the case had been 
heard before the District court in Delaware county, decision was rendered in 
favor of Waukon. and a writ of mandamus issued, ordering the board to count 
the vote of Franklin township— the returns having been obtained — giving Waukon 
a majority of 23 votes. Whereupon the board appointed Sheriff Townsend as 
a committee to remove the records, which he proceeded to do. Meantime Lansing 
had taken an appeal to the Supreme court, a writ of supersedeas was issued and 
served upon the board June 7th, only eight of the eighteen members accepting 
such service, however. The sheriff received no orders countermanding his author- 
ity to remove the records, and early on the morning of June ()th the "raid" was 

hi writing of this in after years T. C. Medary, then publishing the Lansing 
Mirror, says in his Waukon Democrat: 

"They arrived at the courthouse in Lansing between 8 and 9 o'clock in 
the morning before the several officers had fairly settled down to business 
for the day, and making their business briefly known witli lint very little cere- 


mony, proceeded at once to take possession of the contents of the several offices. 
Of course it did not take many moments to get the news of what was going on 
circulated through town and the wildest excitement was created. Darwin Shaw 
mounted his little cream colored pony and galloped him through the streets, 
arousing the patriotism of Lansingites, and it was but a short time before at 
least a hundred men, and not a few women, were on the spot to see the sport. 
The gathering of the clans seemed to have frightened the raiders and they were 
even more excited than the Lansing crowd was, and they did their work so 
bunglingly that the official papers and books were scattered all through the court- 
house and out in front, and the wagons were driven off only partially loaded. 
Lansing promptly turned out a large posse to recapture the county property, and 
then began a lively chase after the fleeing Waukonians. While this was going on 
we issued extras from the old Mirror office and distributed them about the city : 

"Lansing, June 9, 9 A. M. 

"A messenger just arrived from South Lansing reports a large band of guer- 
rillas, led by Corporal General Townsend, entered that town about 8 o'clock 
this morning, and took possession of the courthouse, and proceeded at once to 
carry off the records of Allamakee county. They met with strong opposition 
among the county officials, but the raider forces were too strong and the officials 
gave way. Treasurer Healy was assaulted by one of the raiders, a brave officer 
who during the late rebellion rose to the position of colonel. The treasurer 
repelled the assault, and with his fist wounded the valorous colonel in the short 
ribs. The raiders finally succeeded in capturing the records and beat a hasty 

"9:05 A. M. 

"Lansing regulars called out, Lieutenant Generals White and Shaw in com- 
mand. Transportation furnished and troops in pursuit of the raiders. 

"10 A. M. 

"A gentleman just from the front says the Lansing regulars are closing up 
to the raiders and will soon have them surrounded. No chance for escape. 

"10:25 A. M. 

"Another dispatch from the front says that the raiders have been overtaken 
near Milton. 

"Generals White and Shaw formed their forces in line of battle, threw out 
flankers and advanced steadily upon the retreating column, whose advance had 
met a sudden check in the town of Milton. The command was given for a charge 
when the whole line moved off in fine style, descending upon the forces of 
Corporal General Townsend with 'one foul swoop' and putting his whole com- 
mand to flight. They abandoned wagon train, captured property and everything 
of value. Many prisoners were taken, but were immediately paroled upon their 
forking over all county papers in their possession. 

"11 A. M. 

"The regulars have just returned, bringing with them the stolen property. 
They were enthusiastically received by the citizens. Hats were thrown skyward, 
handkerchiefs were waved and lager quaffed. Quiet is again restored, and the 
county seat remains at Lansing! 


"The tables were turned, however, in after years, and it became Waukon's 
turn to laugh while Lansing grew rather sombre visaged and has not fully recov- 
ered from it to this day, as the outgrowth of Waukon's final triumph in securing 
and retaining the county seat. Of course we, as publisher of a Lansing paper, 
did our level best for her interests, as we would have done for Waukon had we 
been located here then ; yet our subscriptions among those who stood for Waukon 
held up remarkably well, probably because they wanted to see how confounded 
mean we could be in the fights ! 

"The feeling was so intensely bitter on the part of Waukon that many of the 
citizens would hardly admit there was such a place as Lansing, and they ignored 
that town almost entirely in a business way. * * * We remember of a large 
delegation coming down from Waukon one time during a county seat struggle 
to attend a republican county convention, and taking their dinners and feeding 
their horses out in the brush around the courthouse. So, too, this feeling predomi- 
nated in the election of county officers of both parties." 

Another account of this episode we obtained recently from an eyewitness 
in the person of Mr. Geo. H. Bryant, a Lansing resident at the time, who came to 
Waukon in 1877 as county treasurer, and has been a resident here ever since. 
Asked for his recollections of the affair, he writes : 

"At the time of the county seat raid I was employed by the saw mill com- 
pany, D. L. & S. V. Shaw, at Lansing. Early one morning I was on the top of a 
high pile of lumber in the yard and saw teams coming around the bluff just south 
of the courthouse. They drove rapidly to the courthouse and the men jumped 
from the wagons, ran inside, and began to bring out the records and load them 
into the wagons ; and as fast as loaded started them off for Waukon. In the 
mean time I reported what was going on to the Shaws and E. R. Jones, who 
started their teams and about fifty men after the raiders, while I went over to 
town to report, and in a short time Lansing had a force at the courthouse and 
on the road who made short work of convincing the invaders that they had 
better return the property they had started with, and that when the court had 
settled the matter, if in favor of Waukon, they could then come in an honorable 
way and remove the records. This hasty action on the part of Waukon aroused 
such a sentiment in Lansing that they placed their cannon in the rear end of 
the hallway of the courthouse, heavily loaded with powder and shot, in charge 
of R. G. Edwards, with positive instructions to shoot if the raiders appeared 
again. * * * In those days Lansing had no communication with the outside 
world except by steamboat or stage, and Waukon by stage only." 

But again Lansing returned to the attack, and in August, 1868, S. V. Shaw, 
Israle Bequette, and J. M. Rose published a notice in compliance with law that 
at the next September session of the Board of Supervisors a petition would be 
presented asking that another election be ordered between Lansing and Waukon. 
The board met on the first Monday in September as usual, but it was thought 
that all the business necessary might be transacted in a short session, as, owing 
to the pressure of 'fall work" it was the wish of some of the farmer members 
to be at home again as soon as possible. Accordingly a committee on school 
house tax levy labored a good share of that night to prepare their report, and 
Tuesday forenoon the remaining business at hand was transacted and board 
adjourned sine die, by a vote of twelve to three, there being three of the eight- 




een members absent. Later in the day the Lansing petitioners put in an appear- 
ance, but the board having adjourned no election could be ordered that year. A 
bit of strategy doubtless justified by the saying that all is fair in love and war. 

Early in the spring of 1869 the contest was reopened and waxed warm from 
the start. A petition for an election was widely circulated, as was a remonstrance 
to the same, and each party charged the other with obtaining many illegal sig- 
natures. At the June session of the board, on the first day, the petition was pre- 
sented and referred to a committee, and on the following day the remonstrance 
appeared and was also referred, and was found to outnumber the petition by 86 
names — 2122 on the remonstrance and 2036 on the petition. A majority report 
of the committee was made by D. Dicker^on, J. S. Deremo, Jeremiah Leas, and 
S. F. Goodykoontz, stating their belief that a large number of signers to the 
petition had also signed the remonstrance, which would swell the majority of the 
latter over the petition by 150 to 200 names, and therefore recommended that no 
election be ordered. A minority report by G. Kerndt, S. H. Haines and William 
Yeoman, was also submitted, representing it as their belief that the petition con- 
tained a majority of the names of the legal voters of the county, and that they 
were in favor of allowing the people to express themselves at the polls. After 
some close work the minority report was adopted and an election ordered by a 
vote of ten to eight. 

One recourse was left to the Waukon managers, and proceeding to Decorah 
they laid the matter before Judge M. V. Burdick, who granted an injunction 
restraining the board from taking any further steps towards holding such elec- 
tion, until permission should be granted. In the District court a petition was 
filed asking for a writ of certiorari, commanding the board to certify to said 
court a record of its proceedings relating to the county seat, which was granted, 
and a special term appointed for July 7th for a hearing in said case. At the time 
appointed the case was heard and judgment rendered annulling and setting aside 
the order of the board for an election. The defendant appealed, but after the 
election the previous decision was affirmed, at McGregor. Meanwhile, when 
the Circuit court sat, in July, the injunction was dissolved and the election was 
held as ordered, October 5th, resulting in a majority of 254 for Waukon — 1,544 
to 1,290. 

After this decisive quietus, there was a lull in the county seat war for six 
years, when, at the June session of the board, 1875, a petition was presented 
containing 1,906 names, and another election was duly ordered to be held at the 
general election in October. During this summer was begun the construction of 
the Waukon and Mississippi Railroad. Realizing that it was "now or never" 
with her, Lansing massed her forces for the final conflict, and the campaign was 
pushed vigorously on both sides, resulting in the largest vote ever cast in the 
county, and a majority of 340 in favor of Waukon, she receiving 2,145 against 
1,805 f° r Lansing. It has been generally accepted that the reason for this large 
vote was a sudden increase in population of the townships bordering on adjoining 
counties, on all sides, and the practice of "repeating" indulged in at both Waukon 
and Lansing and "winked at" by those in authority ; a practice that it is hoped 
would not be tolerated in these latter days of an enlightened public conscience, 
even in a county seat election. 



The earliest entry in any of the county records now preserved in the court- 
house appears in a book of naturalization of aliens, as follows : 
"State of Iowa. Allamakee County : 

"Be it remembered, that on the 9th day of July, A. D. 1849. Patrick Keenan. 
an alien, has this day filed in this office his declaration to become a bona fide citi- 
zen of the United States, took and subscribed an oath required by law. 

"Stephen Hoi.comb. 
"Clerk of the District Court." 
Nothing appears to indicate where the office of the clerk was situated. 
The county seat had recently been located at "The Old Stake" on the prairie 
near Rossville. 

The first marriage record is as follows : 

"Be it remembered, that upon the 23d day of November, A. U. 1849. that a 
license was issued from this office authorizing any person qualified by law to 
solemnize a marriage between Elias J. Topliff and Anna Reed. 

"Stephen Holcomi;. 
"I lerk of tin- District Court. 
"This certifies that on the 6th day of December, A. D. 1849, I, Grove A. 
Warner, a Justice of the Peace, united the above named Elias J. Topliff, aged 
22 years, and Anna Reed, aged 18 years, in the holy bonds of matrimony. 

"Witness my hand at Allamakee County this 6th day of December, A. D. 1849. 

"Grove A. Warner. 
"Justice of the Peace." 
Upon the establishment of the County court in 185 1, Elias Topliff being the 
first county judge, the first entries appear thus: 

Minutes of the County court commenced and held in the town of Columbus, 
the 18th of September, 1851, by Elias Topliff, county judge. 

It appearing to the court that no tax has been levied for the year 1851, it is 
therefore ordered by the court that the following tax be levied and collected, 
to-wit : 

For state revenue 3 mills on a dollar, and for poll tax 50 cents ; for county tax, 
6 mills on a dollar; for tax for support of schools, \y 2 mills; road poll tax, $2; 
road property tax, i l / 2 mills. 

At the October term, 185 1. an order was made for a special election, to take 
place November 18th, to decide whether a tax be levied to raise $250 for the 
purchase of suitable books for the use of the county, and a county seal. At such 
special election all vacancies in the several township offices were to be filled. 

At the November term, on motion of A. J. Ellis, W. C. Thompson was ap- 
pointed a commissioner to view the location of "Road No. 2," proposed to be 
established from near Thompson's place in Lafayette southwesterly, "crossing 
Paint creek at Riley Ellis' grist mill, thence southward to W. F. Ross's on the 
divide between Paint creek and Yellow river, thence on the nearest and most 
practical route to Esquire Sutter's, south of said Yellow river, thence southward 
to county line between Allamakee and Clayton counties," and report to the court. 
Mr. Thompson reported unfavorably at the following January term, and another 
route was eventually adopted. It was while on this prospecting tour, and not 


expecting to meet any white inhabitants except at the points mentioned, that Mr. 
Thompson ran across Reuben Sencebaugh, who had erected a log hut and was 
hard at work making a "clearing" in the heavy timber. He staid over night 
with him, and tried to persuade his host to abandon his attempt to make a farm 
in the woods and take a claim on the prairie where there was an immense "clear- 
ing" already prepared by nature, but Mr. Sencebaugh was too used to a wooded 
country to act upon his advice. He also discovered J. C. Smith, over in the Yellow 
river valley, and related how pleasant it was to meet a white man in those days 
when the settlements were so scattered. 

At the December term, 185 1, Thos. B. Twiford was appointed to view pro- 
posed road No. 3, "beginning at Columbus and running thence up Y'illage creek 
to the forks of said creek, thence by the most practicable route to George C. 
Shattuck's, thence to the county line at or near James Cutler's." 

At the same term, December, 1851, Ezra Reid was appointed to view pro- 
posed road No. 4, from a point "at or near where the state road from Paint Rock 
to Fort Atkinson crosses the west line of the county, thence east bearing north to 
the schoolhouse in Ezra Reid's district," thence north along the center of sections 
to intersect the Lansing road. This description raises a point not heretofore 
considered in the historical sketches of the county. It has been generally ad- 
mitted that the first school in this part of the county was on Makee Ridge two 
miles north of Waukon, in the year 1852-3, but here is a reference to "the school- 
house in Ezra Reid's district," in 185 1. Ezra Reid's place was in section 1, Lud- 
low township, two miles southwest of Waukon; and it would appear from this 
that Ludlow is entitled to the honor of one of the earliest public schools in the 
county, perhaps second to that near Hardin in '49. 

Warrant No. 1, for $16.00, was issued December 2, 1851, to Lester W. Hayes 
"as sheriff of this county for summoning a grand and petit jury." 

Warrant No. 2 was issued to Wm. M. Smith, for 3^ days as chain carrier in 
laying out a road from opposite Monona to the old county seat, in June, 1850. 
at $1.25 per day; and two days as clerk of election in Franklin township on the 
first Monday in April and first Monday in May, 1851 ; amount of warrant, $6.37^. 

Warrant No. 3 issued to James C. Smith for like services. It was at this 
May election that the county seat was located at Columbus. 

At the January, 1852, term of this County court A. W. Hoag renewed his 
bond as supervisor of roads. 

At this January, 1852, term the account of James Stephenson was presented 
for $5.00 "for services as juror at October term of District court." Also a like 
account of Nelson Shattuck, for $4.00. The accounts were allowed and warrants 
Nos. 7 and 8 issued in payment. And at the February term, 1852, of County 
court a warrant for $5.00 was issued to Hiram Jones "for services rendered as a 
juror at the October term, 1851." These items, with that of L. W. Hayes above 
mentioned for summoning jurors, would show that there was a term of District 
court held in the fall of 185 1, but as elsewhere stated there is no record of any 
such term now to be found. 

The above mentioned county warrants, beginning with No. 1, were not the 
first orders on the county treasury, but evidently a new series begun with the 
advent of the county judge system. Mr. A. M. May now has in his possession 
orders No. 1 to No. 7, of which we are permitted to copy : 



"State of Iowa, 
"Allamakee County, ss tovvit 

"The Treasurer of Allamakee County will pay Joseph W. Holmes or bearer 
$2.50 cents out of any moneys in his hands for services rendered as County 
Commissioner this 10th day of August A D 1849 

"D G Beck Clerk of the 
Board of Co. Corns" 

Order No. 7 reads: 
"State of Iowa, 
"Allamakee County ss towit 

"The Treasurer of Allamakee County will pay Joseph W. Holmes one dollar 
out of any moneys in his hands for three quires of paper for the Clerks office of 
the District Court this 14th day of August A D 1849 

"D G Beck elk of Board 
of Co Com." 

These orders were assigned by J. W. Holmes to one J. Jennings by endorsement 
October 1. 1849. They later came into the possession of Hiram Francis (of whom 
mention is made in the old mission chapter ) , who presented them for payment but 
the Board of Supervisors would not allow them. Mr. Francis gave them to Mr. 
May over twenty-five years ago. 

At the January term, 1852, the county officers presented their accounts and 
were allowed pay as follows: 

E. Topliff, County Judge, to January 1, 1852 $58.77 

Jas. M. Sumner, Recorder 58.77 

Thos. B. Twiford, District Clerk (for seven months) 64.92 

J. W. Remine, Prosecuting Attorney 1500 

Jas. M. Sumner, County Commissioner 15.00 

Jas. M. Sumner submitted a statement of his accounts as Treasurer and Col- 
lector as follows : 

whole amount charged 

State tax $195.23 

County tax 497-9(3 

School tax 9-. 61 

Road tax 527.61 


State tax $ 97 2I 

County tax 2 \2 4 ■* 

School tax 48.60 

Roa<1 tax g66o 


The report was filed for examination at the next March term. 

At the July term, 1852, the county officials were allowed a small "salary 
grab,'' the entry appearing: 

"It appearing from the census returns of 1851 which have recently been pro- 
duced by the Sheriff that the population of this county on the first day of August, 

1851, was 1,117, it was adjudged by this Court that the salaried county officers 
were entitled to receive $200 per annum instead of $150 as had been hitherto 
supposed; consequently it is ordered that they be permitted to draw upon the 
county for as much as will bring their salaries to the legal allowance of $200 
per annum." 

At the April term, 1852, a warrant was issued to O. S. Conkey for services as 
as deputy county recorder. D. W. Low resigned as deputy assessor May 7th ; 
John Sutter appointed deputy assessor by Sheriff Hayes. At the August term, 

1852, T. B. Twiford was appointed deputy assessor by Sheriff Thompson. Who 
was the county assessor at this time we have been unable to ascertain. We find 
several references to a deputy assessor, and at the July term, 1853, "Assessors 
all present but those of Taylor, Fayette, and Paint Creek townships." In the elec- 
tion register we find that John B. Sutter was elected county assessor at the April 
election, 1857 ; but this is the only record in any shape, of such an election. 

September 14, 1852, "petitions were presented by P. P. Cady, John S. Clark, 
Benjamin Clark and Thos. B. Twiford, asking to be discharged from their lia- 
bility on the official bond of James M. Sumner, as recorder and treasurer of Alla- 
makee county, and the court being satisfied that the petitioners had good ground 
of apprehension, ordered that a notice be served on the said James M. Sumner 
requiring him to file new bonds by the 25th day of Sept., inst., or his office 
would be declared vacated." What these grounds of apprehension were will suf- 
ficiently appear from the fact that one of the very first indictments found by the 
grand jury, at the first term of District court, at Columbus, July 12, 1852, was 
against Jas. M. Sumner, for wilfully neglecting and refusing to make report, etc., 
and it was ordered that process issue against defendant, returnable at next term 
of court. 

On the 23d of September, Sumner saw fit to resign his office, and the vacancy 
was shortly after filled by the appointment of James Bell, who held the office but 
a few months and later went to Tennessee. 

On the 26th day of November, 1852, an order was made that notices should 
be issued as follows : 

"Notice is hereby given that a contract for building a courthouse on the 
County square of Allamakee county, in the village of Columbus, in said county, 
will be let to the lowest bidder on the fifteenth day of December next, at ten 
o'clock, at my office in said village. Approved securities will be required for the 
faithful performance of said contract. Sealed proposals will be received until 
that day. Any person wishing said contract will be furnished with a plan and 
specifications of said building by calling at my office. 

"Given under my hand this 26th day of November, A. D., 1852. 

[Signed] "Elias Topliff, 

"County Judge." 

On the day specified the contract was let to Thos. B. Twiford, with W. C. 
Thompson and J. M. Rose as security, his being the lowest bid with security. 


The amount of the contract is not stated. The following spring the county seat 
was relocated, at Waukon. 

The county farm comprises the southeast quarter of section 8, Makee town- 
ship, and an eighty in section 17. The tract in section 8 was the site of the first 
log cabin anywhere in the central part of the county, built by Patrick Keenan and 
Jas. Cassiday in 1848. Mr. Keenan having made the selection in 1847. tne nrst 
settler in this region. Joseph Burton later became the owner of this land, and in 
1856 built a large and substantial frame house thereon, 29 by 37 feet in size, to 
which he added one ell 14 by 16 and another about 15 feet square. Mr. Burton 
sold this property to the county in October. 1866, for $4,000, and the building was 
raised to full two stories. January 23, 1880, this house was destroyed by fire. 
A temporary building was erected for the accommodation of the inmates, until a 
substantial brick structure was built in 1881, 38 by 40 feet, two 10-foot stories, 
heated by furnace, at a cost of about $5,000. It was built from the proceeds of a 
special tax of one mill on a dollar voted by the people at the general election in 
1880. Other buildings have since been erected from time to time as the growing 
needs of the unfortunates required, until now. with its modern conveniences, 
waterworks and fire apparatus, it is in all respects a model establishment of its 
kind, and for the past several years its affairs have been ably managed bv O. A. 
Dixon, the present steward. 

The county jail is situated on the county square in Waukon. a short distance 
south of the courthouse, and was erected in 1882 with the proceeds of a special tax 
of one mill voted in 1881. at a cost of $10,000. to which considerable amounts 
have since been added for modern improvements and safety. The building is 
74 by 23 f eet - which dimensions include the two-story sheriff's residence in front. 
The contractors were Samuel Peck & Sons, masonry. $3,000 ; A. J. Rodgers. car- 
pentry. $3,000; and Diebold Safe and Lock Co., steel work. $3,400: and the 
Ruttan Furnace Co., heating plant, $600. 


No calling or profession has had a more important part in shaping and preserv- 
ing the history of the county than that of "the art preservative of all arts." 
Unfortunately no complete files of the early publications have survived the 
destructiveness of time — and fires. But much information contained in stray 
copies of the pioneer papers has been collated in the various chapters, adding 
much to the value of this volume. Indeed, a systematic search through the files 
now existing would furnish the most complete history of the county obtainable, 
and the editor has drawn heavily from these sources, as fully as the time and 
space allotted would permit. Xo detailed history of the press of the county is 
here attempted, as it would fill a volume of itself. But a brief account of the 
local press will be found in the respective chapters devoted to the four news- 
paper towns. 

It seems appropriate here to recount the personal experiences of two of our 
veteran publishers, which have heretofore, in part at least, been given to the 
public, viz. : Thomas C. Medary and James T. Metcalf : the former twenty 
years ago passed to his long home, and the latter still living at Washington, 
retired from high official position and devoting the declining years of his long 
and useful life to affairs connected with his first love, the printer's art. 

The following narrative of Mr. Medary was written in 1890. but a few years 
before his death, while editing the Waukon Democrat, and contains much of 
interest relating to members of the craft throughout this region, and hence is 
entitled to the place of honor in this chapter. 


Thirty years ago, as the old year of 1859 was in its closing hours, the editor 
of this paper passed through the then little village of Waukon, by stage, on his 
way to Lansing to take a situation that had previously been secured on the old 
Lansing Mirror, then published by H. R. Chatterton, one of the ablest editors 
ever connected with the press of this county. W r e made our pilgrimage by stage 
from McGregor to Lansing around by the way of Decorah by the old M. O. 
Walker stage line, with Tom Tokes, the half-breed Indian so well known in those 
days, as driver between McGregor and Decorah, and Dave Telford guided the 
raw-boned steeds between Decorah and Lansing, and will be remembered by the 



old residents of Waukon and Lansing. Tom H. McElroy, a Milwaukee printer, 
was then publishing the Waukon Transcript, having purchased the office a few 
months before. The material of the then Transcript office had previously been 
owned by Frank Belfoy, who started the first paper. in Waukon, in 1859 [1857 — 
Ed.], under the name of Waukon Journal, but in a few months quit its publica- 
tion and went to Decorah and took charge of the old Republic, now Republican 
office, succeeding the Tuppers, father and son. Belfoy, however, did not last 
long in Decorah. either, although the field was a good one, for the reason prin- 
cipally that he was more fond of sitting hour after hour and day after day in 
"Hank" Geddes' saloon and feasting on crackers, cheese and beer, than he was 
of attending to his newspaper duties, and as a consequence the paper "busted" 
in the fall of 1859. 

We, with James Zbornik and Dan. Burt, were in Belfoy's employ when the 
paper suspended, and were left without any means whatever to get out of town. 
However, a happy thought meandered into the brain of one of the trio of 
penniless printers who was somewhat poetically inclined, and that was to inflict 
upon the public a poem — so-called — which we would sell around town and 
thereby try to raise enough money to get away with. The little screed took well, 
each one of the impecunious printers selling the slips about town and realizing 
funds sufficient for the purpose desired. With our portion of the wealth thus 
acquired we paid our stage fare to McGregor, where we applied to that good old 
soul, Col. A. P. Richardson, of the Times, for work, but his office was then sup- 
plied with more help than he really needed. He advised us, however, to go over 
to Prairie du Chien, where he thought we might find temporary employment. 
We acted on his suggestion and the following morning we footed it across the 
river on the ice to the Prairie, and stating how badly reduced our surplus had 
become to Mr. William Merrill, the then and now proprietor of the Courier, 
that gentleman set us at work immediately, kindly informing us that we could 
remain until we obtained a permanent situation elsewhere. And from that day 
to this he has been a warm personal friend of the writer, and for whom we enter- 
tain the warmest regard. 

We began at once to make written application to the offices in the surrounding 
towns for work. Finally, a reply came from H. R. Chatterton of the Lansing 
Mirror, offering us a place in his office. The next morning we set out for 
McGregor bright and early, again walking across the river on the ice and reaching 
McGregor in time to take the morning stage for Decorah on our way to Lansing, 
our object in going by Decorah being to see if we could not get some of our 
"back salary" due from Belfoy, but in which we did not succeed, as Frank was 
in a really worse financial strait than we were, for he had a family on his hands 
to provide for. We. shall never forget our midwinter's ride from McGregor to 
Decorah. Our seat was on the outside with driver Tokes, the inside of the 
coach being filled with other passengers, and as we were without an overcoat, 
and perhaps no underclothing, and as the weather was intensely cold, we suffered 
terribly from the piercing blasts of one of Iowa's old-fashioned winters. On 
the 31st of December we started for Lansing from Decorah. stopping at the old 
Dunlap House, now the Mason House, of this city, for dinner. This brings us 
back again to McElroy and the old Transcript office, for while in town at that 
time we called at the office and became acquainted with "Mac." Frank Pease, 

Bird's-eye view of Postville 

St one house on Yellow river. 
built in lSJT 

Street scene 

Sand Cave 
Clay pit brick yard 

The Devil's Elbow 


who had conducted the office for a few months just prior to McElroy's taking 
possession, was at work for him. And, by the way, Frank was a dandy — dude 
he would be called in these days — a regular ladies' man, as it were. In this con- 
nection we may state that he was not unknown in and about the old Dunlap 
House. Indeed, so familiar was he with the premises that when Dunlap would 
go gunning for him with a pepper-box revolver, Frank knew just which door or 
window to scoot out of the quickest in order to escape the visitation of Dunlap's 
wrath, which was often wrought up to its highest pitch, it is said, because Frank 
frequently courted the smiles of Mrs. D. * * * Frank always dressed in the 
height of fashion, if he did not make a cent, and we remember how stunning 
he used to look in that blue broad-cloth, brass buttoned, swallow-tailed coat, 
white vest, black pants, low cut shoes, white stockings, and topped off with a 
black silk hat. He was indeed a regular masher. But the last time we saw 
Frank there was a striking contrast in his appearance from the above. It was 
at Hot Springs, Arkansas, about sixteen years ago. He was city clerk at that 
place, and had been connected with the press there in one capacity and another 
ever since the close of the war. He had aged very fast, and dissipation was 
plainly visible in his features and in his negligent dress. Not the dandy and 
neat looking Frank of former years by any means. What has become of him in 
these later years we do not know. We may mention that prior to his enlistment 
in the army, after leaving newspaper work here, he was editorially connected 
with the Lansing Mirror and the McGregor Times, a few months in each place. 

We arrived in Lansing on New Year's eve, stopping at the Bates Hotel. The 
Masonic fraternity were having a sociable that evening, and as Mr. Chatterton 
was one of the guests, we were unable to report to him that night for duty. 
However, we went down to the office, which was then situated in a little frame 
building adjoining James I. Gilbert's office or brick building, now occupied by 
Mrs. Hartbauer, and we found one of the worst dilapidated print shops we had 
ever been into. The old Decorah Republic was bad enough, but this was ten 
times worse. Neither had it improved any in appearance when we went into it 
again the next morning, and we felt blue enough at the prospect before us, for we 
saw every evidence of bad management and "a screw loose" somewhere. In a 
few days we found out that the loose screw was "budge." The employes of 
the office at this time were two boys named John VanEmberg and Aaron 
Marshall, both of whom have been dead for many years. The material was all 
old, with nothing but a hand press to do all classes of work, and on that old 
press, one card at a time, did we print thousands of those grain tickets then in 
use in those days. This material had been brought up from the Gazette office in 
Galena, 111., owned by Horace H. Houghton, brother of Rev. H. W. Houghton, 
now of Lansing, who sole this outfit to W. H. Sumner and from which emanated 
the Lansing Intelligencer in November, 1852. As printers Mr. Sumner brought 
with him to Lansing Tom Butler and Joe Taylor, the latter a negro, who in a 
short time went to La Crosse, and in after years became an attache of Brick 
Pomeroy's office, remaining with Brick for many years through his ups and 
downs in newspaper life. Joe finally became the owner of an office over in the 
interior of Wisconsin, but died a few years ago, having accumulated wealth 
enough to place him in easy circumstances. Tom Butler got homesick, went 
back to Galena and died there. Mr. Sumner, being in poor health, was obliged 


in about a year to give up the paper, and it passed into the control of Chatterton, 
whom Mr. H. H. Houghton had induced to take hold of it. Mr. Sumner soon 
died and his remains lie in an unkept grave by the roadside a short distance 
helow DeSoto, the picket fence surrounding it being in a rotten and tumble- 
down condition when we last saw it a few years ago. 

We will now go back to the old Mirror office at Lansing and pick up Mr. 
Chatterton from the rickety old lounge on which he would frequently recline 
after his almost daily but fruitless efforts to reduce the surplus beverages of 
various kinds that were on tap in the several saloons about town. That was the 
only failing that the gentleman had, but it was master of him to such an extent 
that it sadly interfered with his business, and the affairs of the office were at 
sixes and sevens all the time, the issuing of the paper depending almost wholly 
upon the boys in his employ, while the limited income went into the saloon tills, 
and the boys seldom got enough of the revenue to pay their wash bills. Speak- 
ing of the financial transactions reminds us of an incident that occurred one day. 
One of the patrons of the paper came in to pay his subscription, handing Mr. 
Chatterton a five-dollar gold piece, which he coolly dropped into his pocket, 
informing the gentleman that he did not have change enough for it that day, but 
the next time he came he would have the necessary change ready for him ! We 
don't know whether that change was ever made or not, but the event made an 
impression on us boys, for we each thought there might be some prospects for 
getting a little of the gold piece. We believe we didn't, however. 

The office was often without wood, and as it was necessary to have a fire the 
boys had to skirmish around to get the material for it. but as wood piles were 
not very far between we managed to keep the room reasonably warm except on 
very cold days, when we would pull our case stands close up to the stove. We 
used to feel a little guilty, though, when some one would come in from that 
vicinity and remark that he thought he recognized his wood piled up by the 
stove ! Of course under such adverse circumstances the life of the 

paper was only a question of time. The editor would have spasms of bracing 
up occasionally and matters would run along more smoothly for a few weeks, 
but the first we would know "Chat" would be "in the soup" again, to use a vulgar 
phrase of to-day. 


In those days, just on the eve of the outbreak of the rebellion, political excite- 
ment ran high, and the politicians used to gather in the office to discuss the 
issues. Colonel Spooner, Mrs. L. E. Howe's father, would drop in occasionally 
for a chat, and old father Bentley and father Brownell, of Village Creek, old 
gentleman Haney. and other old settlers of the town and countrv, would come 
and make the political pot boil in their efforts to settle the grave questions then 
pending between the North and South, while us boys wished the statesmen there 
assembled were removed out of our hearing where they would not disturb our 
typesetting and burn out the wood we had been obliged to rustle around the 
neighborhood for. 

The embryo local republican statesmen in those days were Homer Hemenway, 
Doctor Taylor. John Haney. John J. Shaw. John J. Berry and some lesser lights. 


while the stars of great magnitude on the democratic side were G. W. Gray, S. H. 
Kinne, G. W. Hays, George Kemble, W. H. Burford, George W. Camp, James 
Palmer, John Farrell and others whose names we do not now recall ; but when 
these opposing forces, or any of them, met to chew each others' tobacco around 
the store stoves, they would often make "Rome howl," so to speak, especially 
Homer Hemenway, who could talk a barn door off its hinges in five minutes, and 
can do it yet if necessary. Mr. A. W. Purdy was the postmaster then, and his 
two sons, Edward, our present county recorder, and George, were his clerks. 
When the administration changed, however, and Lincoln became president, Mr. 
Purdy was promptly fired out and Homer Hemenway was appointed to the 
place as a reward, no doubt, for that rapidity of speech above referred to in 
political arguments. 

In those days Columbus and Lafayette were quite busy little villages, and all 
steamboats landed at those points, receiving and discharging considerable freight 
at each. There were two stores, quite a large hotel and a steam saw mill at 
Columbus, and a store and saw and gristmill at Lafayette. The store at Lafay- 
ette was kept by John Tierney, and he did quite a flourishing business, accumu- 
lating considerable property, but lost it all in after years in Lansing when Lafay- 
ette and Columbus dwindled away as trading points. For some years afterward, 
however, Michael Brophy maintained a ranch at Lafayette, the character of 
which was announced by this somewhat singular sign attached to the corner of 
the house : 




I larper's Ferry was also a flourishing town and David Harper did a large 
business in merchandising, buying and shipping produce, etc. He was consid- 
ered one of the leading and influential men of the county. The steamboats nearly 
all passed through the Harper channel then, except in low water stages, and the 
Ferry was quite a rival of Lansing as a grain market. But even before the 
advent of the railroad the town began to lose its prestige. 

Village Creek or Milton was then known as Jesse Rose's town, he being the 
owner of the flouring mills there and possessor of considerable village property. 
There were two stores and they enjoyed a fair trade from the immediate vicinity. 
It was always a good'milling point and for many years flour has been shipped 
from there to various markets along the river. 

In those days Lansing's manufacturing industries consisted of the steam saw 
mill owned by the Woods and Shaws, the Morgan pork packing house and the 
brewery then operated by Julius Kerndt and Jacob Haas ; James I. Gilbert was 
running a lumberyard and dealing in grain. The Mill Co., W. D. Morgan & 
Co., G. W. Gray, George W. Hays, Battles & Day, Kerndt Bros., Nielander, 
Shierholz & Co., and perhaps one or two others also bought and stored grain. 
Farmers then from away out on the Wapsie and Cedar rivers used to market 
their wheat in Lansing and buy lumber there, but it was not until years after- 
wards that the town became known far and wide as one of the very best wheat 
markets on the river. Thousands of bushels would be stored by the farmers 


to await higher prices, they paying for the storage privileges, and it would very 
often happen that they would be obliged to sell for a much less price than had 
been offered them early in the season, and pay a very large storage fee besides. 


Now we will get back to newspaper matters again. Through the summer 
of i860 the Mirror continued to eke out a sickly existence, occasionally missing 
a week's issue for want of the necessary paper, it being all home print, the pub- 
lishing of patent outsides and insides not having come into existence in those 
days & The circulation of the Mirror was only about 350 copies, yet it was impos- 
sible for the publisher to keep even enough stock on hand for that number and 
he frequently had to buy or borrow a few quires at a time from the offices at 
McGregor. Prairie du Chien or Decorah. During the fall and early part of the 
winter Frank Pease was engaged on the paper and used to set type and do most 
of the writing when the editor would have his tired spells. Finally, Frank went 
to the Times office at McGregor, and towards spring Stephen W. Smith, a printer, 
came over from Bad Axe. Wisconsin, and went to work in the office, and he. too, 
did most of the writing. Charley Smith, a carpenter by trade, who had been at 
work in the sawmill, concluded to take up typesetting, and as "Chat" would give 
any one a place who asked him, old Charley was employed. 

' In the meantime the writer had become acquainted with a certain red-haired 
girl in town and by his persistency finally induced her to commit the giddy act 
of marrying him, which she probably regrets to this day. This marriage took 
place in November, i860. That winter the Mirror petered out entirely, and we 
(wife and I) took a stage ride, on the ice. most of the way, to Winona, stopping 
for a day or two in La Crosse seeking work there. At Winona we got a situa- 
tion in the Tri-Weekly Democrat office, published by Charles Cottam, remaining 
there until along in April, when that paper, too, ceased publication for the same 
reason, principally, that the Mirror had. We returned to Lansing and for a 
short time got work with McElroy & Parker, who had moved the old Transcript 
office from Waukon and changed the name to the Democrat. The first issue 
of the paper was in February, 1861, and it contained the longest tax list ever 
published in the county, amounting, if we remember correctly, to about $800. 
We know they bought about 300 pounds of new long primer type to set the list 
up in. The firm of McElroy & Parker did not hang together, however, more 
than a few months. Doctor Parker, who was a former resident of McGregor, 
was not a printer, neither was he much of a writer, and most of the work, both 
mechanical and editorial, devolved upon "Mac," and he was not too fond of work 
either, and would rather sit around Sims & Burgess' shoe shop hour after hour 
than to put in the time at his office. Doctor Parker withdrew from the concern, 
and in the winter of '61-2 McElroy threw up the sponge and returned to Mil- 
waukee, where he re-entered the composing room of the Daily News, which he 
had left to go to Waukon. He afterwards enlisted in the Twenty-fourth Wis- 
consin, and the last we ever saw of him was in camp at Milwaukee with that 
regiment just before leaving for the war. The office was taken possession of by 
S. H. Kinne, who had claims against it for himself and other democrats in town 
who had advanced money to aid McElroy in moving from Waukon to Lansing. 


Meanwhile, Rev. H. W. Houghton had taken possession of the old Mirror 
outfit for his brother Horace, of Galena, who had a mortgage on it, and the 
material was stored away upstairs in the old stone warehouse. This left Lansing 
for a few months without any paper. During the spring of 1862, however, a 
German printer named Christian Lomann came down from Fountain City, Wis- 
consin, and succeeded in getting possession of the McElroy office, and began the 
publication of a democratic paper called the Argus ; but Lomann was an erratic 
cuss with an uncontrollable appetite for strong drink, of which his not very loving 
and affectionate wife endeavored to cure him by drugging his coffee, from which 
we have seen the poor devil so sick that death would undoubtedly have been a 
great relief to him. We worked several weeks in the office, but the woman's 
fiery temper and her interference in the business affairs of the office were too 
much for our weak ( ? ) nerves and we quit, going thence to the Daily Sentinel 
office in Milwaukee. Shortly before this, however, the building which Lomann 
occupied as a residence and little huckster shop on the south side of Main street, 
about whera Ruth's clothing store is now, caught fire one night very mysteriously 
and burned out the entire row of buildings, incurring a heavy loss. Lomann 
had his personal effects pretty well insured in a company represented by W. F. 
Bentley, and after considerable delay he got his money from the company, and 
from that, by a strategy agreed upon between Mr. Bentley and ourself, we 
managed to get the balance due us for our work, some $28, we believe. The 
insurance money was to be paid over on a certain day and was to go into Mrs. 
Lomann's hands, as her husband, she considered, coidd not be trusted with it. 
We were to be present when the payment was made and Mr. Bentley was to 
count out the amount due us, but to do it apparently as if he were running it all 
off for Mrs. L., and when he named our amount we were to snatch the pile, and 
we did, too, with "neatness and dispatch." About the maddest woman on earth 
for a little while was right there at that time, and her cussing of Mr. Bentley and 
ourself made the atmosphere turn fairly blue. 

The life of the Argus extended over a few months only, when Mr. Lomann, 
between the setting of^he sun one evening and the rising of the same the next 
morning, loaded the office onto two or three wagons and run it over into Wis- 
consin, by the way of McGregor, and located the outfit at Boscobel. Thus was 
the old Waukon Transcript office disposed of. 


During these several ups and downs of the papers the rebellion had broken 
out and the feeling of patriotism that prevailed among printers everywhere 
spread to those in Lansing, and the old Mirror turned out a pretty fair list of 
those who had been employed on it in one capacity or another, from editor down 
to the youngest "devil," the latter being Tommy Orr, who, without doubt, was 
the most youthful soldier who went to the war from Iowa. At the time Tommy 
went out he was not quite fourteen years old. The following is a list of those 
from the office who entered the country's service : 

H. R. Chatterton, editor. Charles Smith, compositor. 

S. Smith, associate editor. T. C. Medary, compositor. 

Frank Pease, associate editor. — . — . Miller, devil Sr. 

A. B. Marshall, compositor. Tom G. Orr, devil Jr. 



I„ this connection we may state that we had a singular expo encen i our 
efforts to get into the army. Our first enlistment was m the 16th Regulars, 
Company B which was recruited at Lansing, but when the tune came for sending 
the boys forward to the regiment at Columbus. Captain Stanton concluded we 
were not in a physical condition to make a good soldier, and we were left at home. 
Our next effort was at Milwaukee, where we tned to get into the a£h ^Wis- 
consin, but the examining surgeon stood us to one side. Our next tr as 
at Warren. Ohio, in the 105th Ohio, but here. too. we couldn t pass > muster. 
We did however, manage to get into a company of home guards at Canneld, 
Ohio in the spring of 1864. and went down "to the front" in Columbiana county, 
to assist in capturing |ohn Morgan and his troops when they made their famous 
raid into Ohio, and our force got within six miles of Scroggs church the morn- 
ing Morgan was captured there. But in October. 1864. after our return from 
Ohio to Lansing, when the Government had got over being so darned particular 
about what kind of men they took to make soldiers of, we did manage to make 
an enlistment in the 27th Iowa that stuck, and we got right into active service, 
too. right from the word go, and saw more real war down in the enemy s country 
than many men who put in a three or four years' enlistment. 

This left Lansing without a paper again for a short time, until Charles G. 
Cole in the year of '62-3, moved the North Iowa Journal from Waukon to 
I ansing and began the publication of a democratic paper. Cole was in poor 
health and died a short time after commencing the publication of the paper, and 
it was suspended for a few weeks, when it passed into the hands of John G. 
\rmstrong, who issued his first paper on the 18th day of June. 1863. Armstrong 
was a versatile and witty writer and made his paper immensely popular. He 
was not a practical printer and the mechanical department was looked after by 
an excellent printer named Charles Keesecker, of Dubuque, who is now a com- 
positor in the Telegraph office in that city. No paper ever published in the 
county, before or since that time, made the money that the Journal did. Arm- 
strong had full control of the county printing, advertising and blank book work, 
and county warrants running away up into the hundreds of dollars were issued to 
him at each session of the board, and John ought to have grown rich ; but his 
generous social qualities were a bar to his retention of the wealth that came into 
his possession. 

In the fall of 1863 George Haislet bought the old Mirror outfit and began the 
publication of a republican paper called the Union. Thus each party had a 
representative organ, and the music they used to make was pleasing to a certain 
class of their readers, as is usually the case; but Armstrong's volubility and wit 
were a little too much for the Union man. and he generally kept pretty well 
under cover. Haislet continued the publication of the paper until February, 
1866, when ourself and brother-in-law, F. P. Price, bought out the concern and 
at once changed the name back to the Mirror. After several months Mr. Price 
retired from the firm and we continued its publication until the summer of 1870, 
when we sold the office to James T. Metcalf and his cousin, John Metcalf, the 
latter of \ iroqua, Wisconsin. J. T. had been a clerk in the Surgeon-General's 
office at Washington, 1). C. ever since the close of the war. but tired of the 
monotonous work, and. being a practical printer, decided to engage in the news- 
paper business, and through negotiations made by his cousin John he came to 


Lansing. We paid Haislet $500 for the old office, made many additions to it in 
the way of new material and also increased its subscription list largely, thereby 
increasing its value to $1,200, the price paid us by the Metcalfs. Mr. J. T. Met- 
calf was a thoroughly methodical business man and a good writer, and he suc- 
ceeded well in the publication of the paper and in gaining the confidence and 
esteem of the citizens of Lansing, which he continues to hold, although he has 
been out of the business for several years. He became sole owner of the office 
in 1874, and in 1881 he turned the business over to his brother George and E. M. 
Woodward, and the former is now the proprietor of the paper. 

Lansing never was known as an extraordinarily good town for advertising 
and the columns of the papers published there today bear evidence that it still 
keeps up its reputation in that direction, and in the earlier days the newspaper 
business was an almost continual from-hand-to-mouth struggle, although there 
has been some improvement in later years and the publishers have managed to 
get ahead a little, yet they have hardly done as well as they might have done 
perhaps with the same amount of capital invested in some other business. We 
know that it was a hard pull with us while running the Mirror, and good butter 
and pie and cake occasionally were luxuries on our table. We had but a small 
share of the county printing, and what little we did get was paid for in county 
warrants, which we were obliged to dispose of at from forty to sixty cents on 
the dollar. In some respects, therefore, the publishers there now have bonanzas 
compared to the business years ago. However, when Lansing started on its 
boom, which was kept up for several years, the printing business improved some- 
what and has been much better ever since. 


After selling out the old Mirror to the Metcalfs in 1870 we went back to our 
old home in Ohio for a brief visit, but arrived there just in time to get right into 
the editorial harness again for a short time. * * * Messrs. Saxton & 
Hartzell, of the Repository and Republican, wanted to issue a daily morning 
paper during that time [referring to a convention lasting a week or two], and 
as there was no one about their concern who had ever had any experience in the 
daily paper business they immediately put us in charge of that project. Our 
youngest brother was in their employ as local reporter for their weekly paper. 
By the way, the Saxton we speak of, Thomas by name, and son of father Saxton, 
the oldest and most widely known newspaper publisher in Ohio, was a brother-in- 
law of Congressman William McKinley, the father of the present tariff bill now 
under discussion in Congress [later President McKinley]. Thomas died several 
years ago, and his sister, Mrs. McKinley, and her husband now occupy the old 
Saxton homestead at Canton. This was the first daily newspaper venture in 
that city. A year or so after that Messrs. Saxton & Hartzell began the perma- 
nent publication of a daily. 

Returning to Lansing, in a few weeks, we learned that the DeSoto, Wisconsin, 
folks were anxious to have a paper started in their village. We concluded 
arrangements with them to that end and soon had the DeSoto Republican under 
way, agreeing on our part to keep the craft sailing at least a year, and if the 
prospects were favorable we would continue the enterprise. At the end of the 



year however, the outlook for the future was not very encouraging and we con- 
cluded to retire from that field, packed up our outfit, removed it to Lansing and 
began the publication of a new paper called the Iowa North-East. The Sher- 
burnes father and son, were running the Allamakee Democrat, having a few 
months before bought the office of R. V. Shurly. When we started in the busi- 
ness again they became discouraged and after a few weeks they made very 
favorable propositions for a consolidation of our business, which we accepted, 
but retaining our material, which we sold to T. C. Ankeny, who removed it to 
Viroqua and began the publication of a new paper which subsequently went into 
the hands of Bryan L Castle, who is known to some of our citizens. We will 
remark here that in this deal we made a clear $1,000 for our year's stay in 
DeSoto. which was more than could be said of several other parties who after- 
wards struggled with newspaper enterprises in that classic village. 

Our copartnership with the Sherburnes not being wholly satisfactory, we 
made a proposition to buy out their interest, which they accepted, and we became 
sole proprietor. We then changed the name of the paper to the Lansing Journal 
and continued its publication until December, 1879, when we became imbued 
with the idea that a removal of our office to Mason City would enhance our 
financial condition to a marvelous extent, having been led to this conclusion 
from representations made to us by parties in whom we had implicit confidence. 
We therefore went there, remained a year, lost all the wealth, nearly, that we 
had accumulated in the previous several years, got discouraged and sold out to 
parties who moved the office to Chamberlain, Dakota, where the material is still 
doing good service in printing a paper, the Register by name. 

Frank Hatton, who was then editor-in-chief of the Burlington Hawkeye, 
gave us the city editorship on that paper, but as we were in very poor health we 
had to relinquish the position after several months. Our family returned from 
Mason City to the old home in Lansing, around which our love still lingered, 
and does yet for that matter. Shortly after leaving the Hawkeye we went on 
the Dubuque Herald, doing editorial work and soliciting and corresponding on 
the road. It was while in this capacity that we made the deal with Mr. Hinchon 
for the purchase of the Democrat, of which we took possession in July. 1882, 
and here we are to-day, after the trials and tribulations incident to country jour- 
nalism in all its various forms, with a fair business, a well equipped office in its 
own home, and still possessed of a will to try to keep up with the newspaper 
procession in Northeastern Iowa. 

But a few months after the publication of the foregoing reminiscences Mr. 
Medary passed from this life, his death occurring on June 21, 1893, in his fifty- 
fourth year. He had on his fiftieth anniversary prepared a most entertaining 
sketch of his boyhood days, which is too lengthy to insert here. In substance 
the record of his early life is as follows: 

Thomas Corvvin Medary was born at Champion, Trumbull county, Ohio, 
April 29, 1840, but his early home was Deerfield, Portage county. His parents 
died while he was a boy, and his early life was one of hardships. As he himself 
said, all his relatives took a hand in managing him, and as a natural consequence 



he was "numerously managed to his sorrow." He was a mail carrier, a canal 
boy, worked on the railroad, drove stage while yet in his teens, and compelled 
to make a living the best way he could. He learned the printer's trade, and 
removing with relatives to Iowa in 1856 worked a while at his trade in Indianola. 
The first two winters he chopped logs and worked in a lath mill in Mitchell and 
Winneshiek counties, and took the last of his little schooling, at Otranto. Dur- 
ing the summers worked at farm work. He then had employment in the old 
Decorah Hotel of "Uncle John Mason," and next secured work in the Decorah 
Republic office. From this time on his "Journalistic Adventures," as heretofore 
quoted, fills out the account of his somewhat checkered but finally successful 

In i860 Mr. Medary was married to Miss Ellen Price, of Lansing, who is 
still a resident of Waukon. At his death his eldest son, George C, took up the 
management of the Democrat, but survived his father but a few weeks, when 
the management passed to the second son, Edgar F., who inherits the qualifica- 
tions of a good practical printer and ready paragrapher. 

In 1887 President Cleveland commissioned him postmaster at Waukon, which 
position he filled acceptably until the political vicissitudes of 1889. He was a 
member of the Masonic, A. O. U. W., K. of P., and I. O. O. F. fraternities, and 
of the G. A. R. The remains were deposited in Oakland Cemetery, with Masonic 
ceremonies conducted by Dr. J. C. Crawford, W. M. 


At the request of the editor of this volume Mr. Metcalf furnishes the data 
for the following sketch, under date of Washington, D. C, April 12, 1913. No 
apology is needed for the presentation of matter largely personal, because the 
life of every man of action is full of incidents of interest to those who come 
after him. Mr. Metcalf's prominence among the editorial fraternity in north- 
eastern Iowa while conducting the Lansing Mirror, is well remembered. And 
his reminiscences of "men and affairs of Lansing," in our chapter devoted to 
that city, will be found very entertaining. 

James Thomas Metcalf was born in St. Clairsville, Ohio, February 25, 1845. 
Printing offices attracted him from childhood, and he importuned his father so 
much that the latter reluctantly consented to his becoming the "devil" in the office 
of the Belmont Chronicle, in 1857. There he remained three years. In i860 he 
went to Wisconsin, worked in various places, and returned to Ohio in 1861. 
Only his youth prevented enlistment in the three months service, in April; but 
in August he joined Co. E, 15th Ohio Regiment. Of this he writes: 

"I was the youngest in my company, and perhaps in the regiment. We were 
organized at Mansfield. ' When my turn came to step forward from the ranks, 
to approach a stern-looking army officer, who passed upon the recruits, my 
knees shook, and I trembled violently, but tried to appear as old as possible. I 
felt sure he would reject me, but, after scanning me from head to foot, (it seemed 
an age) he nodded acceptance, and ordered me to return to the ranks." 

His first experience with printed blanks, which led to that which became 
almost his life work, was as "company clerk," in making up the pay roll, etc. 
Camp fever became epidemic, when the regiment was near Bowling Green, Ken- 


tucky. and he was sent to Louisville hospital. December 31, 1862. he was pro- 
moted to be a sergeant of ordnance ( hospital steward ) in the regular army and 
served as such three years. Upon his discharge is written by the commanding 
officer: "The best officer in every respect I have ever known: he is competent, 
honest, faithful, trusty and industrious." 

After filling many positions of trust, he was appointed a clerk in the War 
Department, at Washington, in April, 1866. December 31, 1867, he was married 
at Florida, Ohio, to Miss Lavinia M. Cook, whose death occurred May q. 1906. 
Four children were born to them, all of whom are living. 

While residing in Washington he had a visit from his cousin, John T. Metcalf. 
then on his way to his home at Viroqua, Wisconsin, and it was agreed that the 
latter should look over the newspaper field in the west, and they would become 
partners if a suitable location were found. 

John T. Metcalf, born February 9, 1842, in Ohio, was an apprentice in the 
office of the Circleville Watchman, went to Wisconsin, and while at Portage 
enlisted April 19, [861, in the Second Wisconsin Regiment, lie was transferred 
to the Fifth U. S. Cavalrv in [862. He participated in no less than forty-five 
engagements during his six years' service. Few soldiers have a record more hon- 
orable: he was never sick a day while in the service, nor was he injured in battle, 
although several horses were shot from under him, and his musket blown out of 
his hands at Bull Run. He is in failing health, and resides at the Soldiers' Home 
in Washington. 

A year after the visit referred to John T. wrote that he had learned of the 
office of the Lansing Mirror being for sale, visited the town, was favorably 
impressed with the outlook for business, and advised that the partnership arrange- 
ment be carried out. At once the bargain was made, and July 23, 1870, they 
became owners of the Mirror, paying therefor $1200 to T. C. Medary, who 
soon afterward returned to his former home in Ohio. . 

The initials of the owners being alike, the firm name of "Metcalf & Co." was 
used, and continued until July 17. 1874, when John decided to join relatives in 
Kansas, and his interest was purchased by James, who retained the owner- 
ship until the fall of 1891. 

Of later events he writes : 

"For the three years I served as an apprentice I received respectively $20, 
$25 and $30, a fact not without interest as compared with the wages paid now- 
adays. From that day in 1857 when I began the printing business I have made 
my own way in the world. My career as a printer remains one of the happiest 
memories of my life. While other activities had my attention in after vears, 1 
have never ceased to be intensely interested in and have kept in close touch 
with every branch of printing and publishing. The printing art is a real educator, 
and I know of no occupation which opens up so diversified a field for after-life 
employment in other directions. The composing-room became my high school 
and the world my university. 

"It is the proverbial inclination of old age to regard the past with an appre- 
ciation it cannot accord the present. In the winter of life we do not find the bloom 
and aroma that we perceived in its spring and summer. We are more inclined 
too to admit the errors of younger manhood, and to feel that at least in some 
directions we have gained wisdom through experience. There are some things 


which the country editor is prone to indulge in, and of which I too plead guilty 
with regret. If I should again become an editor, I would not use my paper to 
asperse a contemporary, albeit he might be a horsethief , and I could prove it ! 
1 would not indiscriminately 'puff' Tom. Dick and Harry, as is the tendency 
nowadays, nor would I use my columns to dun delinquents." 

The local papers of the period named were certainly creditable to the com- 
munity, and stood well throughout the state. 

February 9, 1880. he was appointed Supervisor of Census for the Second 
Iowa District. This appointment was made upon the unanimous recommendation 
of the Iowa delegation in Congress. At the conclusion of the work the Superin- 
tendent wrote that "it was the best of the state, and completed the first." It is 
worthy of note that three such appointments fell to Allamakee county ; the 
others being George H. Markley and David W. Reed. 

Of his connection with the postal service he writes : 

"Having had such an attack of the ague as used me up for a time, I decided 
to temporarily quit business. I leased the Mirror office to Woodward & Metcalf 
— the first named. Earl M. Woodward, a young lawyer, who came from New 
York state ; the latter my brother, George W, who had been with me several 
years in the office. I went to Kansas, and was so much benefited by a few 
months' change that I concluded to engage in other business. P>y merest accident 
I happened to hear of a vacancy in the postal service, and within a few days there- 
after, merely by writing a single letter (February 2. 1882), I was appointed 
a postoffice inspector. I was graduated from a business college in 1866; from 
childhood I had a love of figures, and of details connected with them. There 
was a fascination about accounts, and this natural trait, developed by practical 
familiarity with printed matter and blanks, served me so well in after years that I 
have always regarded my scholarship in the college as the best investment I 
ever made. It was pleasing to be assigned by the postoffice department to the 
money order branch of that service, and I was directly connected with it for 
the next five years. My experience in the service, then and afterward, covered 
travel in every state and territory, Canada, Mexico and Newfoundland, and 
I was by President Cleveland appointed as a representative of the government 
to visit Norway, but this trip was later found not to be necessary. 

"I might write at great length of the life I led during these years, of the 
privations and perils I was subjected to, and of many thrilling events in which 
I took some part, covering my duty. From delinquent postmasters I collected 
very large sums of money, often at great personal risk, in localities far from 
home, and amidst circumstances not without personal danger, but I never met 
with any mishap. 

"1 had widest authority and discretion, but it is a source of satisfaction, now 
that I am on the downhill of life, to know that I exercised no undue harshness 
toward the hundreds of weak, misguided men with whom I had to do ; with 
others, my heart always prompted mercy, and I never failed to show kindness 
and compassion toward those who were the subjects of misfortune and unwise 
enough to use the funds which they were entrusted with. I have seen such 
keenness of suffering, even suicide, following in the near wake of gambling, 
liquor, evil associations, and kindred wrong-doing, as few men perhaps have 



any knowledge of. and, were I to recall these events, the chapter would disclose 
many circumstances which might well appear to be imaginary rather than facts. 

"September 27. 1885, I was made inspector in charge of the division head- 
quarters at Chicago, with twenty-five others under my direction ; the duty of train- 
ing newly-appointed inspectors was assigned me, and I filled this position until 
September 14, 1887, when, tiring of the service, and desiring to be with my 
family, I voluntarily resigned, to become secretary of the Lansing Lumber Com- 
pany, and I at once entered upon a business entirely new to me. but very pleasant 
because of being at my home. 

"One day in April, 1889, I received a telegram from Washington, 'Will you 
accept position chief clerk money order system?" and I was surprised beyond 
measure, not knowing of such a vacancy, and not expecting to ever return to 
Washington. I held the matter under advisement for a day, and was then 
undecided, but finally answered. 'Will he in Washington' (naming a day), thus 
leaving the matter open for consideration. On reaching the city I found two 
positions open for me, if I desired to accept them, and, after much thought, 
decided to take that of chief clerk of office of first assistant postmaster general, 
temporarily, which was followed by appointment as chief clerk of the money 
order system, May 31st, in which position I served until promoted to be superin- 
tendent, September 16, 1897. 

"It was my privilege to serve under eleven postmasters general. The war 
with Spain brought about conditions never before known in the governmental 
service, and there were no precedents to guide the officers of the department 
in meeting conditions which arose immediately. It became my duty to devise 
methods whereby funds might be sent home by soldiers in the field, as well as 
remittances made them ; when the army reached Cuba conditions were wholly 
changed, as the currency there in use was not only depreciated but not current 
in the States. The greater obstacle was the use there of a foreign language, and 
this was of an especially trying nature when the Philippines were annexed. 
In like manner, different conditions had to be met in Porto Rico and Hawaii. 
The banks in Cuba were unable to meet conditions of trade, and as a conse- 
quence many millions of dollars accruing from sales of money orders were sent 
to New York, in the shape of depreciated Spanish coins, and the annoyance and 
vexation which resulted may well be imagined but not described. I may be 
pardoned for claiming some credit for the successful operation of this vast busi- 
ness, without any serious losses, and for the establishment, through my own per- 
sonal labor, of systems which proved to be highly successful and permanent. 
It was upon my recommendation that eventually the government exchanged all 
the Spanish and other coins in Cuba for our own currency ; if this had been done 
at the time it was suggested a vast amount of trouble and loss might have been 

"It was my aim to negotiate with Russia and Mexico arrangements for 
exchange of business upon the basis followed with other countries, efforts of 
others in that direction having failed. I personally visited Mexico, and success- 
fully made the arrangements; with Russia a convention was also made, upon 
favorable terms, and so much to the satisfaction of that government (there was 
no money order system in Russia before that time) that the emperor was 


gracious enough to confer upon me the decoration and medal of honor granted 
only to those 'who have served the state with distinction.' 

"I might write at great length upon matters of interest connected with my 
public service, but already these personal reminiscences have taken too much 
space. I can look back only with pride upon every act, and can point to results 
in evidence of an intense interest and unfailing industry in seeking to perform my 
duty. Of these things others however might better state the facts." 

As to the facts indirectly alluded to in Mr. Metcalf's closing paragraph it 
is enough to say that in our own judgment, and that of his old acquaintance here- 
about who knew him so long and well, he stands fully justified of any aspersions 
cast upon his official integrity by those envious of his well earned success in the 
department which he so ably and faithfully served. — Editor. 


It appears upon good authority that the Lansing Intelligencer, established by 
H. H. Houghton, November 23.. 1852, was the first paper in Iowa north of 
Dubuque, preceding the Clayton County Herald (at Guttenberg) by only a few 
weeks. Mr. Houghton was at the time conducting a paper at Galena. Illinois, 
being indeed a veteran in the profession, apprenticed to the trade in 1824. in Ver- 
mont. Becoming interested in the welfare of the town, of which he was one of 
the founders, he brought this press to Lansing and placed W. H. Sumner in 
charge, from all evidence a man of considerable ability whose early death was a 
loss to the community, as well as to the craft. He was succeeded by H. R. Chat-' 
terton likewise an able editor, of whose peculiarities Mr. Medary tells in his recol- 
lections. A sketch of Mr. Houghton's remarkable career appears in the Lansing 
chapter. Considering the Lansing Mirror as a continuation of the Intelligencer, 
the Waukon Journal became the second paper established in Allamakee county, 
free soil like its contemporary, and first issued in the spring of 1857, by Frank 
Belfoy, who soon disposed of it to Frank Pease who changed both its name and 
its politics, but his Herald was discontinued in '59. After a few months T. H. 
McElroy came on the stage of action with the Transcript. All three of these 
erratic stars are recalled in Medary's entertaining paper. 

These were followed by some individuals of greater strength of character and 
greater merit. E. L. Babbitt and W. H. Merrill came from New York state, 
where they had published the Wyoming County Mirror, and in May, i860, estab- 
lished the North Iowa Journal at Waukon, republican-in politics and ably edited. 
Mr. Babbitt was appointed postmaster by President Lincoln, but he was in poor 
health, and disposing of the paper late in '61 both he and Merrill returned to 
Wyoming county, where Babbitt died in 1863. Mr. Merrill, born in Chautauqua 
county. New York, in 1840, entered the Wyoming County Mirror office at Warsaw 
in 1855, and became one of the proprietors and editors. After returning from 
Waukon to Warsaw he conducted the Western New Yorker until 1875, when he 
went to Boston and became editor of the Golden Rule, in company with Rev. 
W. H. H. Murray, of "Adirondack" fame. He was called to New York in 1886 
and for fifteen years was chief editor of the New York World. Returning to 
Boston in 1905 he became associate editor of the Boston Herald, and died at 
Bingham, Massachusetts, September 6, 1907, in his sixty-seventh year. 


Of the next proprietors of the W'aukon Journal the writer has but little recol- 
lection, further than they were both lawyers and not practical printers, hence 
unqualified for the successful conduct of a country paper; and no record of 
their subsequent careers is at hand. Goodwin sold his interest to Calkins, 
who became postmaster upon the resignation of Babbitt in 1862 and turned over 
his interest in the paper to his printer partner Chas. B. Cole, who took the plant 
to Lansing and made it democratic. 

George W. Haislet published the Lansing Union from 1863 to '66, but he was 
so widely known throughout northeastern Iowa for his newspaper ventures that 
no extended mention is due here. His activities were chiefly in Winneshiek and 
Howard counties. He published the Decorah Radical from 1876 until his death 
in 1881. 

Charles W. McDonald, who established the W'aukon Standard in January 
1868, was an excellent printer who had been publishing the Blairstown, Iowa. 
Gazette, previous to this venture, which has endured and thrived for over forty 
years. No question existed as to where Mr. McDonald stood politically, as from 
the very start he displayed at the head of his Standard the line, "For President, 
Schuyler Colfax, subject to the decision of the Republican National Convention." 
At the end of three months Air. McDonald availed himself of a favorable oppor- 
tunity to sell out, to R. L. Hayward & Co., and went east, first, and then west, 
continuing in the same avocation until 1882. when he was superintendent of 
schools of Aurora county. South Dakota. 

Of A. M. May, who then became the editor (if the Standard and so con- 
tinued for a generation, this writer may be unable to speak with unbiased judg- 
ment, having been first an employee and later business associate for fourteen 
years. During this period the institution saw some pretty close times, encountered 
occasional problems of both financial and editorial management, built a brick 
building in which the Standard is still housed, and developed a stability and a 
character that have become a valuable asset to the concern to this day. Not 
always did we agree in these various matters; but however we differed the 
writer does not recall an instance in which he doubted the sincerity of the 
other's convictions or his honesty of purpose. As an editor Mr. May was a 
logical reasoner, a trained thinker, a ready and forceful writer, and put up a 
good fight for whatever cause he championed, winning or losing. And perhaps 
he is still capable of it to-day though retired a decade from the editorial chair. 
It occurs to us in looking back through the old Standard files for history material 
that, though mistakes were made, on the whole the editorial services of those 
thirty years for republican principles were never properly appreciated. In these 
latter days, there is not one-tenth of the editorial labor devoted to public questions 
as was given by such writers as A. K. Bailey, A. M. May, or W. N. Burdick, 
in their prime. Doubtless it does not pay — and never did, financially— but there 
seemed to be a satisfaction which they enjoyed in laboring for a principle. 

W. N. Burdick, who conducted the Postville Review for twenty-six years, 
from 1875 until his death in 1901, was born in New York in 1837, his parents 
emigrating to Kane county. Illinois, in 1830. With them he went to West Union, 
Iowa, in 1852, where he worked on the farm until 1856, when he engaged in a 
printing office at Decorah, and subsequently at Cresco for a short time. He then 
resumed farming for two years, after which he entered the mercantile business. 


For nearly seven years he was postmaster at Cresco. In 1873 he became a partner 
with G. W. Haislet in the" Winneshiek Register at Decorah, soon after purchas- 
ing the entire interest. In 1875 he sold out and purchased the Review, at Post- 
ville. which he continued to publish until his death. He wielded a facile pen, 
writing in an entertaining manner on almost any subject and not without a poetic 
vein. His political argument was insistent and plausible, if not always orthodox. 
It was a pleasure to read his articles, as we are reminded by a recent research 
in some local files of the seventies, at a time when the N. E. Iowa Editorial 
Association was holding semi-annual sessions. Mr. Burdick's and Mr. Shannon's 
poetic effusions on these occasions, while perhaps not exactly epic, were greatly 
appreciated by the (for the time being) epicures, assembled; and the banquet 
addresses by A. K. Bailey of the Decorah Republican, C. H. Talmadge of the 
West Union Gazette. H. I.. Rami of the Manchester Press, J. W. Shannon of the 
Elkader [ournal, Judge Toman of the [independence Bulletin, and Hofer of the 
McGregor News, indicated a lot of keen intellects among the district press. 

\l the present day the newspapers of Allamakee county comprise the fol- 
lowing: Lansing— Mirror by Geo. W. Metcalf; Journal by John J. and Thos. 
F. Dunlevy (Waukon branch I ; Waukon— Standard by John H. DeWild ; Repub- 
lican by A. P. Bock; Democrat by Ed. F. Medary ; Postville — Review by the 
Burdicks and Bert E. Tuttle; Volksblatt by Paul Ronneberger; and New Albin— 
News by Ludwig Schubbert : all in the hands of good practical printers and expe- 
rienced newspaper men and all apparently nourishing. 


»- - - 



In the preparation of a history of the county it is necessary to give a prom- 
inent place to those who naturally took a large share in the labors, as well as the 
honors, of formulating and interpreting the laws by which it is governed. The 
prosperity and well-being of a community, as well as of a state or nation, depend 
largely upon the wisdom and integrity of those who are commissioned by its 
people to establish the character of its government, and these are, naturally, 
drawn largely from the legal fraternity. To quote another writer, "It may be 
truly said of the legal fraternity that members of the bar have been more 
prominent actors in public affairs than any other class of the American people, 
the result of causes which need no explanation. The ability and training which 
qualify one to practice law is supposed to also qualify for other important callings 
in life ; especially so in regard to legislative duties and the making of laws." 

In enumerating the practitioners at the bar of Allamakee county we must go 
back to the time when this was for all judicial purposes a part of Clayton county. 
In a previous chapter will be found a sketch of the early courts within our 
present territory, but it will be well to take a glance at the "itinerant" lawyers 
who practiced at that time and some of whom later became judicial timber. 

The first term of the District court "for the county of Clayton, in the territory 
of Wisconsin," was held at Prairie la Porte (now Cuttenberg) the first Monday 
in May, 1838, Hon. Charles Dunn, district judge, presiding. Frederick Andros 
was appointed clerk. Allamakee county was then included in Clayton county and 
the jurisdiction of the court, and its first court, in one sense, was held while 
yet a part of Wisconsin. Before the next term of court, Iowa Territory was 
formed and the first term of the Iowa court for Clayton, including this county, 
was held September, 1838, Hon. T. S. Wilson, presiding judge. ""For five years 
there were no resident lawyers in the county, itinerant attorneys attending the 
courts and attending to what business there was. Among these was James 
Crant, who was afterward appointed judge and held the office from 1847 to 1852, 
and who heard cases in Allamakee county, whose boundaries were established 
by the General Assembly of 1846-7, at the "Old Mission" on the Yellow river, 
in 1849 t0 J^Si. Mr. Murdock was the first resident lawyer of Clayton county, 
locating on a farm near Garnavillo in August, 1843, coming with Dr. Frederick 
Andros, mentioned above, as guide. Reuben Noble located at Garnavillo the 
same year, and Elias H. Williams in 1846, all of whom became itinerant lawyers 
and practiced law in Allamakee and other counties. They were able men, and 



each of them was afterward elected to the office of district judge and they each 
filled the position with signal ability. Judge Williams also was a supreme judge 
for a short time. To these earliest itinerants were added Elijah Odell, John T. 
Stoneman and J. O. Crosby, of Clayton county, able men, who continued this 
method of law practice till along in the later '60s, making their trips by stage, 
livery, or private conveyance. Many stories are told of their experiences, for 
one spring term of court four or five started from McGregor for Waukon. 
Arriving at the Yellow river at Volney they found it overflowed, a "raging flood" 
which no team could ford, and the bridge gone. Liberal pay induced a resident 
to risk his life and theirs, and take them over the river one at a time in an old 
boat. One refused to go; they urged him to "come on!" but appeals were in 
vain, he answered, "No! Good men are scarce." and returned to McGregor 
while a fresh team brought the others to Waukon. and it was years before the 
retreating one heard the last of "No! Good men are scarce." 

Coming down to the time of the establishment of the first county seat of 
this county, at Columbus, and the holding of regular terms of District court, 
thereafter within our borders, it is found that the following named have at one 
time or another been admitted to the bar in this county. The list is probably not 
complete, but is as nearly so as the present data will supply, viz : 

Lansing. — John W. Remine, John J. Shaw. Sewell Goodridge, Cyrus Watts, 
Geo. W. Cam].. S. II. Kinne, L. E. Fellows, M. Healy, H. F. bellows. Dick I laney, 
W. W. Ranney, M. V. Burdick, Geo. W. Kiesel. E. M. Woodward, James Mc- 
Ananey, A. J. O'Keefe, W. W. Peasley, Thus. J. Vinje, J. H. Trewin. J. IV 
Conway, Frank L. May. The three last named are still located in Lansing. 

Waukon.— John T. Clark, L. O. Hatch. M. M. Webster, L. G. Calkins. A. B. 
Goodwin. R. Wilbur, F. M. Clark. C. T. Granger, F. M. Goodykoontz. A. E. 
Goodykoontz, G. B. Edmonds, Henry Dayton, John F. Dayton, Del! J. Clark, 
Geo. M. Darling. J. W. Pennington, C. S. Stilwell, II. II. Stilwell, M. B. Hendrick, 

J. H. Boomer, A. M. May, D. W. Reed, A. G. Stewart, J. 1',. II. Baker, 

Robert, M. B. Smith, H. L. Dayton, Douglass Deremore, W. S. Hart. C. C. 
Banfill, D. J. Murphy. II. E. Taylor, J. E. O'Brien. Burt Hendrick, Calvin S. 
Stilwell. W. W. Bulman, James Byrnes. C. M. Stone, B. W. Ratcliffe. 

Of these, the following are still in practice here: Henry Dayton, [ohn I-'. 
Dayton, H. L. Dayton, C. S., H. H. and Calvin S. Stilwell, W. S. Hart, D. I. 
Murphy, H. F. Taylor, J. E. O'Brien. Burt Hendrick. and C. M. Stone. 

Postville.— F. S. Burling. II. A. Stowe, T. C. Ransom. S. S. Bowers. T. F. 
Johnson, W. C. McNeil. Win. Shepherd, and W. II. Burling. The Burlings and 
Wm. Shepherd are the only ones now located here. 

Harper's Ferry. — P. V. Coppernoll. 

New Albin. — O. H. Maryatt. 

Volney. — E. W. Robey. 

Rossville.— Geo. R. Miller, H. W. Holman. 

Of the foregoing it would be impossible to give here even a brief sketch of 
each. Indeed, it is surprising how little biographical material can be found for 
any but the most notable in the list, when you come to look for it. For these 
reasons no attempt is made to present a sketch of any except some of the older 
and more prominent in the profession, and in most cases briefly at that. 


In addition to those here presented, biographical reference more or less 
extended of the following named will be found in other pages of this work, viz : 
Judge Fellows, Dick Haney, J. P. Conway, Frank L. May, John F. Dayton, C. S. 
Stilwell, A. M. May, W. S. Hart, D. J. Murphy, and others. 

John T. Clark was born in Madison county, New York, in 1811, attended the 
common schools, followed farming till 1843. when he began the study of law, 
and was admitted to the bar in 1851. He came to Waukon, Iowa, in the fall of 
1853 and built the third frame dwelling in the town. He was prosecuting attor- 
ney for Allamakee county for several years, and was one of the delegates to the 
Iowa Constitutional Convention at Iowa City in 1857. He moved to Decorah 
in 1859 but returned to Waukon in 1874, and located at Postville in 1880, and 
later made his home with his son. F. M. Clark at Lime Springs. In the early 
days Mr. Clark was one of the most prominent attorneys in this part of the state. 

Leander O. Hatch was born in Mesopotamia, Trumbull county, Ohio, April 
13, 1826. His parents were natives of Massachusetts. He was the fourth son, 
attended the public schools, and worked on his father's farm till sixteen years 
old. He graduated from the Farmington Academy in 1S42, taught school in 
Ohio and New York, and studied law until 1849, when he was admitted to the 
bar at Chardon, Ohio, then taught school eighteen months. Came to Delhi, 
Delaware county, Iowa in 1853, and soon after came to Waukon. He taught 
the first school in Waukon, in the winter of 1854-5. 

He was elected and served as county recorder and treasurer for the years 
1855-57. He was elected district attorney for the tenth judicial district in 1866 
but resigned in 1868 and moved to McGregor, where he became a partner of 
Hon. Reuben Noble, continuing till 1874, when Mr. Noble was elected district 
judge. Mr. Hatch was elected judge of the District court and served for the years 
1 883- 1 894, in which year he died, having served nearly three terms. 

Mr. Hatch was married November 18, 1856, to Miss Albina Spaulding, a 
daughter of Asher Spaulding, of Waukon. who survived him until a year or two 
ago. Their children were four sons and one daughter. 

Charles Trumbull Granger was born in Monroe county, New York, October 
9, 1835, the youngest of eight children of Trumbull and Sallie (Dibble) Granger. 
In 1837 the family removed to Ohio, where his mother died when he was but 
a few vears old. After this his home was with a brother-in-law for a number 
of years ; but at thirteen years of age he left him because of ill treatment and went 
to Illinois, where his father was living, he having remarried. Up to this time 
his educational advantages had been very limited, and not fully improved. But 
now, a new ambition awoke within him, and he found time while tilling the soil 
to obtain a few months schooling, at Waukegan, Illinois; studying only the com- 
mon English branches. In November, 1854. he came to Allamakee county with 
his people, and taught a district school on Yellow river the following winter. In 
August, 1855, he returned to Illinois, and again attended the academy at Wau- 
kegan for a few months. Subsequently while engaged in farming for a couple 
of years or more he improved his spare time in reading law books borrowed from 
lawyers in the nearby town. 

In March, i860, he returned to Allamakee county, read law with Hatc+i & 
Wilber, of Waukon, and was admitted to the bar near the close of the same year. 
It was in this office, he has stated, that he received that substantial encouragement 


and assistance which marked the time as an epoch in his life, and his preceptors 
as true benefactors and friends. 

Before commencing practice Mr. Granger went to Mitchell. Mitchell county, 
and commenced teaching. He was elected county superintendent of schools in 
1861, and in August of the next year resigned that office and enlisted in Company 
K, 27th Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry, of which he was commissioned Cap- 
tain, and so served until the close of the war. He was very popular with his 
command; and his judicial mind was recognized by frequent calls to act as Judge 
Advocate. After he was mustered out, August 8. 1865, he returned to Mitchell 
county, but on January 1. 1866, commenced the practice of law in partnership 
with his former preceptor, L. O. Hatch, at YVaukon. Three years later he was 
appointed district attorney of the tenth judicial district, to fill the vacancy occa- 
sioned by the resignation of Mr. Hatch. At the general election following he was 
elected for the unexpired term, and at the election of 1870 for a full term of 
four years. However, when this term had but half expired he was elected 
circuit judge of the tenth circuit. For fourteen years he served in this capacity, 
until the circuit court was abolished in 1886, when he was elected judge of the 
district court, thirteenth district. 

By this time Mr. Granger's ability as a jurist had become widely recognized, 
and he w-as called to the supreme bench of Iowa at the election in 1888. Again 
six years later was he complimented by the people of the state by a reelection 
for a second term of six years, ending with 1900, during which latter year he 
was chief justice of Iowa. Having thus rounded out twenty-eight years of judicial 
service, crowned with the greatest honor of all, and admonished by symptoms of 
failing health, Mr. Granger declined to consider further honors which would 
entail further labors, now becoming burdensome, and retired from public life 
to enjoy a well-earned competency and needed rest. 

From the beginning of his public service Judge Granger's familiarity with 
legal principles, his common sense in their application to the case in hand, and 
his clear, fair, and convincing style of argument, attracted at once the attention 
of the bar and the people, and their judgment of his qualifications proved cor- 
rect. As a judge the language of his decisions was always simple, clear and 
vigorous. The decisions themselves were models of clearness, and always unques- 
tionably in harmony with a keen sense of justice. 

In 1855 Mr. Granger married Sarah J. Warner, who died in 1862, just before 
he entered the army. In 1868 he married Miss Anna Maxwell, whose death 
occurred in 1890. Two children were born to them, the daughter, Ula, dying 
at the age of twenty-one; the son, Rollo S., now living in Arkansas. Judge 
Granger was a staunch republican from the organization of that partv. He was 
very prominent in the Masonic order, his connection with this being more fully- 
treated in the history of the W'aukon Lodge. Mr. Granger continues to make his 
legal residence at W'aukon, though spending much of his time in California and 

Henry Dayton was born September 30, 1836, near Hadley, Saratoga county, 
New York. Telem Dayton, father of our subject, was born near Hadley, New 
York, August 21, 1797. lived on the homestead fifty years, then moved farther up 
the Hudson river, and continued farming. Mr. Dayton, subject of this sketch, 
was the seventh of a family of eight children. He attended the public schools 


when young, and when eighteen years of age entered the Fort Edwards Collegiate 
Institute, New York, and completed a two years scientific course, then attended 
the New York Conference Seminary at Charlottsville, New York, then taught 
school in Warren county, New York, and came to Hardin, Allamakee county in 
December, 1859, where he taught school that winter. He then went to Arkansas 
where he studied law for a time, returning to Iowa in 1861, and read law with 
Hon. M. V. Burdick of Decorah, and was admitted to the bar at New Oregon, 
Howard county, in 1862, Hon. E. H. Williams presiding judge. For the next 
eight years he taught winter schools at Hardin. Lansing and Decorah, acting as 
deputy under H. O. Dayton, county surveyor, during the summers. In the fall 
of 1870 he became a law partner of G. B. Edmonds in Waukon, which continued 
for one year. In 1873 he formed the law firm of Dayton & Dayton, with his 
nephew, Hon. J. F. Dayton, the firm continuing ever since, and his son H. L. 
Dayton, being later added to the firm. 

Mr. Dayton has always been a democrat. He was elected county surveyor 
in 1865 and again in 1867, and for eight years, prior to the change to county attor- 
ney he was attorney for the county Board of Supervisors, in 1888 was elected 
county attorney and held the office six years. In 1871 he was elected by a good 
majority to represent this county in the fourteenth general assembly at Des 
Moines, and made so good a record that he was reelected in 1873. During each 
session he served on important committees. 

Mr. Dayton was married at W'aukon. Iowa, May 24. 1874. to Miss Mary M. 
Wilcox, a native of Fort Edward, New York. They have two children both 
now residents of Waukon. 

Mr. Dayton has been one of the most successful and respected attorneys of 
the county, his upright business character and long residence have made him 
friends among all classes of the citizens of the count} - . 

Harrison W. Holman was born in Erie county, Pennsylvania. August 22, 1841. 
He attended the common schools, and a higher school and taught school for nearly 
a vear, when answering Lincoln's call for volunteers for three months, at the 
beginning of the rebellion, in April, 1861, he enlisted and served three months, 
then reenlisted for three years in the 83d Pennsylvania Infantry. In January. 
1862, he was transferred to the signal corps of the army, was with the Army of 
the Potomac, taking active part in all the important battles fought by that army 
including the battle of Gettysburg. Being mustered out August 22, 1865. he 
shortly afterward came to Rossville, this county, and began reading law with the 
Hon. George R. Miller, who afterwards moved to Mason City. He was admitted 
to the bar at Waukon in December, 1868, and remained here till 1871. when he 
moved to Waterloo, Iowa, and became a member of the law firm of Lichty & 
Holman. In 1872 he was appointed official court reporter for the district court 
for that judicial district and removed to Dubuque. In 1877 he resigned and 
opened a law office in Independence, where he continued in successful practice 
till his death a few years since. He was a man of fine attainments, a good 
speaker, and excellent social qualities. In October, 1867, he was married to Miss 
Harriet Smith of Rossville, and their family consisted of four children, all of 
whom attained honorable positions. 

Albert G. Stewart was born at Broadhead, Wisconsin, March 1, 1854. of Vir- 
ginia parents. His father, Thomas, was an early steamboat captain on the Ohio, 

Vol. 1—9 



and a graduate of William and Mary College, Virginia. He settled in Wisconsin 
in 1841, and A. G. was the fifth of a large family. The subject of this sketch 
came to Waukon March 1. 1875. studied law in the office of Granger & Stilwell, 
and was admitted to the bar in October, 1876. In 1877 he entered into partner- 
ship with C. S. Stilwell. and ten years later with H. H. Stilwell. Mr. Stewart was 
chairman of the republican county central committee for twelve years, and mayor 
of Waukon three years. He made an excellent record in the Iowa National 
Guard, attaining the rank of colonel, and later commanding the Waukon com- 
pany during the Spanish war. Of recent years he has resided in the East. 

James Henry Trewin was born at Bloomingdale, Illinois. November 29, 1858. 
He was educated in the public schools of Illinois and Iowa, at Bradford Academy, 
Chickasaw county, and Lenox College at Hopkinton, Iowa. His first sixteen 
years were mostly spent on a farm. He taught school when sixteen years old, 
and for seven years was attending school or teaching. He began studying law 
with Robinson & Powers of Dubuque in 1 88 1 , and was admitted to the bar April 
27. 1882. For six years he practiced law at Earlville, Iowa, a part of the time 
being mayor of the town. In February, 1889, he came to Lansing, this county, 
where he continued to practice till he removed to Cedar Rapids. In 1893 he was 
nominated by the republicans to represent Allamakee county in the twenty-fifth 
general assembly and was elected, though the county had been democratic by a 
large majority. In 1895 he was elected as a republican for state senator from 
the fortieth Iowa district, composed of Allamakee and Fayette counties. Mr. 
Trewin soon became the leading lawyer of the county, as he also soon became 
one of the leading politicians of the state. He secured, when a member of the 
house, the passage of a bill for the recodification of the laws of the state, became 
the chairman of the committee which had charge of the work, and the result was 
largely due to his active work. He has continued to be a power in the politics 
of the state, and has been classed as the leader of the "'stand-pat" wing of the 
republican party. When the Legislature created the "Hoard of Education," 
approved March 29. 1909, Governor Carroll appointed the nine members com- 
posing it, with Mr. Trewin as president of the board. No question before the 
HM3 Legislature caused more differences of opinion and discussion than the 
changes in the management of the state's educational institutions proposed by this 
board, Mr. Trewin being the leading spirit for the changes. A compromise was 
reached, deferring the matter to the next assembly. 

Mr. Trewin was married at Earlville, Iowa, April 14, 1883, to Miss Martha 
E. Rector, a native of Earlville. A son, Harold R., was born May 30. 1890, a 
most promising young man, whose untimely death last year was a great affliction 
to the parents. 

Earl M. Woodward was born in Truxton, Cortland county. New York Decem- 
ber 16, 1848, of New England ancestry. He obtained his preliminary education 
in the common schools and an academy, and when a mere boy enlisted in the I42d 
Regiment, Illinois Infantry, served six months and was honorably discharged 
before he was sixteen years of age. In May. 1874, he was graduated from the 
Albany, New York, Law School. Soon after he came to Lansing, Iowa, which 
was his home, except a few years passed in Minnesota. Having a good knowl- 
edge of law, conscientious, ambitious and energetic, he soon made an honorable 
position for himself. He was city solicitor of Lansing for two terms, and was 


elected county attorney in 1894, and was thorough and successful, faithfully serv- 
ing the people in that capacity for successive terms. He was also for a time 
interested in the Lansing Mirror and was a writer of ability. He was a pleasing 
speaker. Politically he was a republican and was an important factor in securing 
success for the party. He was greatly handicapped by ill health, which undoubt- 
edly considerably shortened his life, his death occurring in January, 1898. 

H. H. Stilwell was born in Wyoming county. New York, in 1841 ; came to 
Janesville, Wisconsin, where he lived a few years and then removed to Stephen- 
son county, Illinois. He came to Allamakee county in 1864, served as county 
treasurer one term, 1868-9, and ever since has been engaged in the practice of 
his profession, with his home at Waukon. In the fall of 1862 he married Miss 
Fliza Bow-en, his brother, C. S. Stilwell, marrying her sister at the same time 
and place. Mr. Stilwell has been very prominent in the councils of the republican 
party, both in the county and the state. 

['. S. Curling came from West Union in 1872. and settled down at Postville 
where he has since resided. Here he built up a good practice, in which he has 
been continuously engaged for forty-one years. In recent years he has asso- 
ciated with him his son, W. H. Burling, one of the rising young attorneys in this 
section of the state. 

Herbert E. Taylor was born at I'ostville, July 3, 1876, and became a graduate 
from the State University at Iowa City, in the liberal arts class of 1898, and 
from the law course in igoo. Admitted to the bar in June. 1900, he practiced at 
Lansing until April, 1005. when he removed to Waukon, having been elected to 
the office of county attorney in the fall of 1904. Me was twice reelected to this 
position, which he ably filled until January, 191 1. and since then has continued 
his practice at Waukon, with gratifying success. While at Lansing he married 
Miss Thomas, daughter of the pioneer banker of that city. 

Main amusing incidents occur in the court room. A case was on trial before 
Judge Noble in Waukon with a < lerman complaining witness on the stand who 
was asking for damages for injuries received by a blow on the head. It was 
difficult to make him understand the questions. He was told to "show the jury 
how he struck you on the head," but seemed not to comprehend what was wanted. 
Finally the judge turned in his chair toward him and directed him to show the 
manner of the action when the defendant struck him. Quickly he rose from his 
seat, turned and gave Noble a good whack on the head, saying: "Shust like dot, 
Shudge!" The judge and jury understood and after the laughter had quieted 
down the trial proceeded. 

Another instance was in the early days when the lawyers went about the county 
trying cases before justices of the peace. About forty years ago during the trial 
of a case wherein a tenant was charged with appropriating some undivided grain, 
the prisoner took the stand to testify in his own defense; and after stating that 
he had weighed up some grain to use and given his landlord credit for his share, 
the prosecuting attorney, a small man, commenced a rapid fire of cross questions, 
and finally said. "You understand you are under oath, do you?'.' "Yes," said 
the witness. "You know you must tell the truth, do you?" "I am telling the 
truth." "You are sure you are telling the truth?" "You must not tell me I am 
not telling the truth." replied the witness. "You dare me do you?" said the little 
lawver. "Don't vou tell me I lie," said the prisoner. "I believe you are lying," 


was the reply. The prisoner was sitting in front of the prosecutor, and the 
constable was immediately back of the latter, sitting on the floor with his back 
against the wall, fast asleep. At the accusation the witness, a wiry young man, 
suddenly leaped and struck at the prosecuting attorney with great force, but the 
lawyer quick as a flash slipped from his chair to the floor and his assailant went 
through thin air head foremost and landed on the stomach of the sleeping con- 
stable. Half awake he sprang up exclaiming. "What's all this about?" "Just 
exemplifying the testimony." said the little lawyer; and the case went on. 

The subjoined is a verbatim copy of an old legal document of sixty years ago, 
which was supposed to be a certificate of divorce. 

May 3 the 1852 St of Iowa Alemakea County Linton Township 

Know allmen Buy these Presantes that the under sind Partes Win Hale and 
Mary Ann Hale whwo was joined to gether in the Solomon bond of matrimono 
on the fourth of Aprele Eighteen fifty two Has this day Buy Mutul cont of Booth 
Parteyes Desolvd the solem bond of Matrimonev Xow in the presentes of 
theese witness wee doe Fermly vow and Protest aggans tring tolive to gether 
any longer. For it is im posibel for us to in joy peece and hapines As man and 
wife For Reson Best none tourselfs We doe further eck nolleg that Wee have 
taken oureon time to Reflect on this mater and it is uter im Posibel For us to at- 
temp any to liv to gether in Peece and Hapines Now in the Presents of these 
witness I doe Here Buy asine all of My Lawful and just Game Against Wm 
Hale as alawful and wed husban and also to all PursOnal Property or Real 
Estate Aires or Enter for ever in the Present of the witness I doe Here Buy eck 
knoleg this to be af ree and voluntary Act of my will 1 doe here buy ack this to bee 
My Bond An seel. 

Mary Ann Hale seal 
Wee the under sind Witness doe here buy Eiknolleg that wee have this day seen 
Boath Partis to gether and it is Em Posibel for them to liv together any longer 
Sian seeled and delivrd in the Presons of 

Wm L Cowes 
Thomas Dickson seal 


It would naturally be expected in a state so devoted to its public school system 
as was our own state from its beginnings, that in a county like ours, largely set- 
tled from New England and other parts of the East where the free school priv- 
ileges were most highly prized, an effort would be early made for the attainment 
of similar privileges for the families of the pioneers. And so it was, that as soon 
as the log cabin was provided for shelter, and the first essentials of a habitation 
supplied, the parents looked about for other families, the nearest perhaps some 
miles away, with whom to unite in setting up a neighborhood school, that their 
young children might not be deprived of the rudiments of an education. 

To the founders of Postville belongs the honor, it is believed, of opening the 
first school in the county (aside from the Old Mission), in the house of Mr. and 
Mrs. Post, in the summer of 1848. The first schoolhouse was built near Hardin 
in 1 S4<j. In the central portion of the county the first school was undoubtedly 
that taught by L. W. Hersey, in 1853, in a log cabin built by Deacon Azel Pratt 
for a dwelling in the fall of 1850. The first school in Lansing was in 1850 or '51. 
The first in Waukon in the winter of 1854-5, taught by L. O. Hatch. Previous 
to this D. D. Doe taught in Makee township just east of Waukon. Quite early 
in the fifties, Reuben Smith built a small schoolhouse on his place on Yellow river, 
and employed a teacher to instruct his children, probably admitting those of his 
neighbors to the benefit of the school also. The first public school in Smith's dis- 
trict was taught by C. T. Granger in the winter of 1854-5. He became the hon- 
ored chief justice of the supreme court of Iowa; and still retains his residence 
in Waukon, though spending much of his time of late years in California. 

More complete history of the principal schools of the county will be found in 
the chapters relating to the various towns. 

The improvement of educational conditions by means of associations of teach- 
ers and school officers was given early attention. The first official mention of 
teachers' institutes in the educational records of Iowa, occurs in the annual report 
of Hon. Thomas II. Beaton, Jr., superintendent of public instruction, December 
2, 1850. 

In March, 1858, an act was passed authorizing the holding of teachers' insti- 
tutes for periods of not less than six working days, whenever not less than thirty 
teachers should desire. The office of county superintendent was created this 
year, and he was authorized to expend not to exceed $100 for any one institute, 
for teachers and lecturers. The first institute in Allamakee county was held at 
Waukon, in September, i860, R. C. Armstrong being county superintendent at 
the time. And since 1868 the record of annua! institutes is complete. 



In addition to the official institutes a teachers' association was kept up for a 
number of years, "designed to aid in carrying out the object of the state law re- 
quiring county institutes to be held, and to make the same profitable to all ;" and 
to this end it solicited the county superintendent to use as many evenings as pos- 
sible for lectures on subjects connected with county schools. 

A county association of this character was organized at Waukon, April 24. 
i860, with the following officers: 

President — J. H. Hazleton. Lansing. 

Vice Presidents — A. M. May. Waukon; Anna W. Robinson. Makee: S. S. 
Robinson, Jefferson; H. Booth, Franklin; L. Jackson. Taylor; F. W. Sencebaugh, 
Paint Creek; Jennie Grattan, Ludlow; Mrs. Reed. Post; Catherine Tovey, Union 
Prairie; H. R. Andrews. Lafayette; L. P. Stillman, Center: Harvey Miner. Fair- 
view; S. H. Butts. Linton; Rosa Schott. Waterloo: Amelia Wolcott. Lansing; 
M. Agnes Ratcliffe, Iowa. 

Secretary — Hattie C. Keeler. Postville. 

Treasurer — DeEtte Clark. Waukon. 

Executive Committee — President and secretary, ex-officio ; and Geo. M. Dai- 
ling, Lansing; A. J. Miller. Rossville; Miss Mary E. Post. Ion. 

Other members were: Flora Peck. Katie St. Cyr. Mary E. Johnson. Eva Mc- 
Lenahan. Zetta E. Crouch, Dell Huffman, Dora E. Clark, Malinda Marietta, 
Fmma M. Newell, Ella M. Hayward, Emma A. Spaulding, W. P. Dodds, Emma 
E. Hayward. Emma Able, Rachel E. Hall. 

For purposes of comparison of school conditions in the county at three dif- 
ferent periods, we have with the assistance of County Superintendent Peck pre- 
pared the following statement : 

1873 1SS1 1912 

Value of school houses $75,285.00 $82,741.00 $154,625.00 

Value of apparatus 1 .204.00 10,378.00 

Volumes in libraries 10 9-&95 

No. of persons between 5 and 21 7-5 11 7- 2 5° 5- h i° 

Number enrolled 5-5° 2 5,413 3>98o 

Average cost of tuition per month, per pupil $0.72 $1.40 $2.43 

Amount paid teachers $26,1 1 1.97 $28,023.12 $53,477.66 

Paid for fuel, rent, etc 6,452.09 6,754.32 1 1 ,547.55 

Paid for secretaries and treasurers 793-37 968.50 [,352.01 

Number of school houses: 

Franie 95 125 

Brick _j ^ 

Stone 10 4 

Log (1877.22) l7 o 

Total (1873. 117) ,2i, 133 

Average compensation of teachers per month : 

Males $38.88 $3111.. $72.49 

Females 27.59 22.56 38.58 

No fair comparison can be made of the teachers' certificates issued in these 
periods, owing to the different methods of classification from time to time. It 


is safe to say, however, that the standard of qualification has kept pace with the 
increase of salaries paid, until now the requirements of the rural teacher are far 

greater than they formerly were. For the year ending in October. 1881, there 

were 258 certificates issued as follows: Professional, 5; first class, 36: second 
class, 70; third class, no. 

During the past year there were 201 issued, as follows: First grade, 9: second 
grade, 96; third grade, 43; provisional, 52: special certificates, 1. 

The enumeration of 1912, and enrollment, are given as follows: 


Enumeration Enrollment 

Center 234 172 

Fairview 97 75 

Franklin 210 164 

French Creek 1 74 H7 

Hanover 122 84 

Iowa 13 6 8 9 

Jefferson 223 212 

Linton 203 138 

Ludlow 227 189 


Capoli, Xo. 1 14 7 

Capoli, No. 2 14 9 

Village Creek 41 20 

Prairie 33 2 3 

Mound City 20 18 

Climax 19 *4 

Wexford 34 27 

Russell 36 23 

Lafayette Center 4 1 3 1 

Lafayette No. 2 27 23 

Three Corners 44 24 

Lansing No. 1 5 l 7 276 

Lansing No. 2 35 J 8 

Lansing No. 3 65 45 

Lansing No. 4 35 25 

Lansing No. 5 29 19 

Lansing No. 6 21 19 

Lycurgus 64 48 

Howard l 7 l 7 

Makee 3§ 18 

Paulk 12 12 

Hanson 42 24 

Fan 48 15 

Elk 24 18 

\\ aukon 622 406 


Storla 28 2 4 

Ness 5i 30 

Cross Roads 2 3 l8 

Waterville 55 47 

Paint 2 9 23 

Cherry Mound 2 4 24 

Dahl 30 25 

NorthWest 3° 12 

Evergreen 33 24 

Lybrand 26 18 

West Grove 33 2 5 

M inert 25 10 

Woodland 14 12 

Myron 21 18 

Empire 3 8 l8 

Highland 34 35 

South Grove 20 9 

Postville 333 262 

Hardin (joint district, part in Clayton Co. ) 21 25 

Monona (joinst district, record in Clayton Co.) 11 

New Albin 220 161 

Little Paint 14 12 

St. Joseph 26 23 

Harper's Ferry 142 114 

Excelsior 17 14 

Spring Brook 23 15 

Paint Rock 67 32 

Wheatland 45 25 

Harmony 42 30 

English Bench 30 23 

Clear Creek 31 23 

Union ^ 21 

Columbus 25 15 

Eells 38 15 

Union Prairie No. 2 30 25 

Pleasant Ridge 25 30 

South West 28 20 

Helming 34 22 

Union Prairie No. 6 30 26 

Emmett 24 16 

Iowa River 21 26 

Dorchester 79 60 

New Galena 31 26 

Bear Creek 34 19 

Washington 24 14 

Waterloo Ridge 50 29 

Bergen 5I 4D 


Upon request, County Superintendent Peck has kindly contributed the follow- 
ing interesting items relating to the present conditions, which indicate a gratify- 
ing progressiveness in the educational interests of the county : 

Allamakee county is composed of eighteen townships, nine of which are 
divided into sixty-three independent school districts and nine into school town- 
ships containing sixty sub-districts. 

Ludlow township in 191 1 erected a modern school building in district No. 8 
and at the spring election, 1913, the people of the same township voted to erect 
a similar building in district No. 7. 

Franklin township in 1912 built two modern schoolhouses in districts Nos. 
4 and 11. Waterville at the spring election in 1913 voted $2,000 for the erection 
of a two-room school building. 

A number of schools in the county have installed the Smith or Waterbury- 
Waterman systems of heating and ventilation. 

Lansing, Waukon and Postville have fully accredited high schools. New 
Albin about eleven grades, and Harper's Ferry, ten. 

The St. Patrick's Parochial school, located at Waukon, besides doing eleventh 
grade work, offers a normal and business course. This school supplies many 
teachers for the rural schools. 

The Immaculate Conception School, under the direction of Franciscan Nuns, 
is located at Lansing. 

An attempt has been made to grade the rural schools of the county and en- 
courage the pupils to remain in school until they have completed the eighth grade 
and then attend some high school. Pupils who pass the eighth grade examination 
in the rural schools are given a certificate admitting them to their nearest high 
school and the local district must pay their tuition for four years. 

Two examinations are given each year to eighth grade pupils who care to write 
for a diploma. In 1907, 30 diplomas were granted; in 1908, 72; in 1909, 115; 
in 1910, 131 ; in 191 1. 151 ; in 1912. 108. 

The average compensation paid female teachers per month in 1906-97 was 
$31.01, and in 1911-12 was $38.58. The average compensation paid males per 
month for the same years was $62.89 ar >d $72.49, respectively. 

A spelling contest is held in the county each year and has been very beneficial 
to the pupils. 

School fairs were held in 1910-11-12 and teachers were asked to make exhibits 
of work actually done in the schools or the products of the industry of the school 
boys and girls in the home, on the farm or in the shop. 

A school field day was held in connection wth the fairs. About two thousand 
people attended each fair and viewed the exhibits. It brought patrons, pupils 
and teachers together and I believe has increased the interest in school matters. 

Individual drinking cups have been placed in over one-half of the schools. 

A professional teachers' library was started in 1907 by small contributions 
of the teachers, and 141 teachers have joined. The books are kept in the office 
of the county superintendent and a record kept of the books read. 

Agriculture has been introduced by teachers using some text on the subject 
as a supplementary reader. 



Value of schoolhouses $154,625.00 

Value of apparatus 10,378.00 

Volumes in libraries 9.^95 

Number of persons between the ages of 5 and 21 5> 4° 

Number enrolled in each corporation 3.980 

Average cost of tuition per month, per pupil 2.43 

Amount paid teachers 53,477.66 

Paid for fuel, rent, etc 11,547.55 

Paid for secretaries and treasurers 1,352.01 

W. L. Peck, 
County Superintendent. 
Waukon, March 27, 1913. 


The Standard Telephone Company was incorporated August 15, 1895, for 
a term of fifty years, with a capital of $25,000, divided into small shares of $5.00 
each. This made it possible for many to invest small amounts in the enterprise, 
making it popular with the people, and its early growth was remarkable. 
Mr. V. H. Stevens of Waterville was the originator of this corporation, having 
begun in a small way with a local plant, which proved so successful that he con- 
ceived the idea of branching out into a wider field. The result was the perfect- 
ing of the above organization, with principal place of business at Waukon, but 
with Lansing, Postville, New Albin and Decorah capital likewise interested. 
The first officers elected were: President. V. H. Stevens; Vice- President, Her- 
man Boeckh; Secretary, John J. Dunlevy; Treasurer, O. J. Hager; Directors 
were the above officers ex-officio and J. F. Dougherty, W. O. Bock, and Robert 
I lufschmidt. 

This is not intended as a detailed history of this corporation, but only an out- 
line of its more important and patent transactions. 

For the first few years, after the putting into operation of the first simply 
constructed lines, the company was able to pay good dividends, thus increasing 
its popularity and necessitating increased construction. It apparently continued 
to prosper, and -Mr. Stevens continued as manager for some eight or ten years, 
during which time the capital was increased three times, viz.: January 12, 1899, 
to $50,000: January 8, 1900, to $100,000; and January 6, 1902, to $200,000. 

But injudicious expenditure of capital, loss of business on account of the 
organization of farm telephone companies, increased cost of operating and main- 
tenance, the necessity for expending more and more capital to improve and 
rebuild the system, and other causes, had so decreased the revenues that later 
the company passed its first dividend. 

January 1, 1904, Mr. Ellison Orr was employed as general superintendent and 
has proven an efficient manager, as shown by the official reports on file in his 
office. The cheaply and hastily constructed lines and exchanges first built were 
soon found to be inadequate for the business of the company, and besides were 
beginning to go down from natural decay. 

Since Mr. Orr has had charge of the business the entire net revenues after 
the payment of general, operating and maintenance expenses, have been expended 
in entirely rebuilding the toll lines, exchanges and farm lines belonging to the 
company, which when completed will provide adequate construction for giving 
service equal to the best. 



On April 9, 1907, a mortgage and deed of trust was executed to B. F. Thomas, 
trustee, to secure an issue of $50,000 six per cent bonds, due June 1, 1918, the 
purpose being to refund an old floating indebtedness of $35,000 and provide a 
fund of $15,000 with which to begin repairing, improving, equipping and extend- 
ing the lines and town exchanges of the company. 

From the report for the year ending December 31, 1912. we glean the follow- 
ing interesting facts : 

Capital stock actually paid up, $126,290.00, or 25,258 shares at $5.00. 

The company operates in Allamakee. Clayton. Fayette and Winneshiek coun- 
ties in Iowa, and Houston and Fillmore in Minnesota, with lines across the 
Mississippi to La Crosse and De Soto. The gross receipts for the year are 
given as $48,281.51; general, operating, maintenance and all other expenses as 
$33,571.56; three-fourths of which amounts were in Iowa. The difference or 
net revenue was expended in rebuilding. 

The company has 190 miles of toll lines in Iowa and N8> 4 miles in Minne- 
sota. The total miles of pole lines is given as 528, of which 278J4 is toll line as 
stated above, the remainder being in exchanges and farm lines. Number of 
instruments on town exchanges in Iowa. 1,472; on rural or farm lines, 717. The 
number in the principal town exchanges being as follows: Decorah. 618; Wau- 
kon, 471 ; Elkader, 216; Garnavillo, 141; Monona. 148; Lansing, 134; Gutten- 
berg, 112; the foregoing figures include farm phones ; and Caledonia, 225; and 
Preston, 240 ; no farm phones included. 

Total number of phones in use December 31, 1912, in Iowa 2,363; in Min- 
nesota, 491 ; total, 2,854; an increase of 178 during the year. Total valuation of 
all fixed properties, $106,164.93. 

About seventy-five employees are carried on the company's pay rolls, includ- 
ing thirty-six salaried operators and local managers, twenty station operators, 
five trouble-men, two district managers, two general office employees, five to 
twelve in construction gang, with foreman ; anil superintendent. 

Although it is generally understood that a controlling amount of stock is now 
owned by outside parties, the affairs of the Standard Telephone Company are 
carried on entirely independent of any other concern, the present officers being 
residents of this county, as follows: President. M. W. Eaton; Vice-President 
(vacant); Secretary, Ellison Orr; Treasurer, O. J. Hager; Directors, W. T. 
Gilchrist, Matt Heiser, P. S. Narum, Henry Luhman. 

The mileage in Allamakee county and valuation for assessment are fixed by 
the Board of Supervisors as follows: Mileage. 148.25; valuation, $43 per mile. 

Other telephone companies operating in Allamakee county, with their 
mileage and valuation as fixed by the Hoard of Supervisors in 191 1, are as 
follows : 

Iowa Telephone Company, 42.25 miles, in Post. Ludlow, Union Prairie, 
Makee, French Creek and L'nion City ; valuation. $100 per mile. 

Eitzen and New Albin Telephone Company, 19 miles, in Union City and 
Iowa townships; $16 per mile. 

Ludlow Telephone Company. 60 miles, in Union Prairie and Ludlow; $16. 

Luana-Monona Farmers' Telephone Company. 6 miles, in Linton, at $11. 
Paint Creek Farmers' Telephone Company, 202.75 miles, in Center, Fairview, 




French Creek, Jefferson, Makee, Linton, Lafayette, Lansing, Paint Creek and 
Taylor townships, at $16 per mile. 

LTnion Prairie Telephone Company, 17.25 miles, at $12. 

Highland Northeastern Telephone Company, .60 of one mile in Waterloo, 
at $12. 

Bear Creek Private Telephone Company, 6 miles, in Waterloo, at $12. 

Bergen Farmers' Telephone Company, 5 miles, in Waterloo, at $12. 

Farmers' Mutual Telephone Company, 33 miles, in Post and Franklin, at $12 
per mile. 

Frankville and Postville Telephone Company, 12 miles, in Post, at $12. 

Glenwood Farmers' Telephone Company, 12 miles, in Union Prairie and 
city of Waukon, at $12. 

Winnebago and Jefferson Telephone Company, one-half mile in Iowa town- 
ship, at $20. 

Harmon\- Telephone Association, 11.50 miles, in Union City, at $11. 

Iowa River Farmers' Telephone Company, 18 miles, in Union City and Iowa 
townships, at $10 per mile. 

Henderson Prairie Farmers' Mutual Telephone Company, one mile, in Post 
township, at $16. 

New Albin and Sand Cove Telephone Company, 11 miles, in Lansing and 
Iowa townships, at $20. 

New Albitl and Irish Hollow Telephone Company, 8 miles, in Iowa, at $12. 

Xordness Telephone Company, 14 miles, in Ludlow and Post, at $12. 

Pleasant Ridge Telephone Company, 2 miles, in Post, at $14. 

Sattre Telephone Company. 1 mile, in Hanover, at $12. 

State Line Mutual Telephone Company, 6.50 miles, in Union City and Water- 
loo, at $12. 

South Harmony Telephone Company, 7.75 miles, in Union City, at $10. 

North Ridge and Jefferson Telephone Company, one-fourth mile in Iowa, at 
Si (>o per mile. 

Patterson Creek Telephone Company, 11 miles, in Hanover, Union Prairie 
and Makee townships, at $10. 

Silver Creek Farmers' Telephone Company, 8 miles, in French Creek and 
Makee, at $10. 


Dubuque Division has 35.81 miles of line in Allamakee county, along the 
entire eastern border, built in 1872, assessed valuation $7,000 per mile. 

Waukon Branch, 22.81 miles, at $3,000 per mile. 

Iowa and Dakota Division has but 4.02 miles in this county, assessed at 
$8,300 per mile. 


Has but 1. 6 1 miles, in Post township, assessed at $4,200 per mile. 



Operates on this small mileage of the C, R. I. & P., and is assessed at $35 
per mile. 


Operates in this comity over the lines of the C, M. & Si. P. Ry., 02.04 miles, 
and is assessed at $35 per mile. 


Covers all rail lines in the county, and is assessed 64.5c; miles, at $80 per mile. 


On March 28, 1896, the City Council of W'aukon granted to Charles F. 
Speed a franchise for the construction and operation of an electric light and 
power plant in W'aukon, and at a special election held April 21, 1896, the action 
of the council was sustained. Mr. Speed was acting in the interest of Messrs. 
Clark W., Helmus \Y. and Mackey J. Thompson of La Crosse, Wisconsin, by 
whom he was then employed as manager of the lighting plant at McGregor, Iowa. 

In casting about for some one of experience in the electrical field who would 
become financially interested with them and erect and operate the plant, the 
Thompson brothers were directed by a mutual friend to Purtis & Howard, 
electrical contractors of Minneapolis, Minnesota, who were in the business of con- 
structing municipal lighting plants and who having previously looked over both 
Waukon and Decorah. with a view to securing franchises in these towns, took 
up with their proposition and joined them in the organization of the Waukon 
Electric Light Company in May. with Clark W. Thompson, President and 
Treasurer, W. H. I'.urtis, Vice-President, Helmus W. Thompson, Secretary, and 
M. S. Howard, Superintendent. Early in June active operations were begun on 
the construction of a steam plant near the depot and the lines for distributing the 
current, and the plant was completed and put in service September 21. 1896 (first 
night of the County Fair). 

In September, 1896, the city of Decorah granted a franchise to Burtis & 
Howard, and the Decorah Electric Light Company was organized, W. H. Burtis 
being made President and Manager, M. S. Howard. Vice- President and Treas- 
urer, and H. L. Tanner, Secretary, and a light and power plant constructed 
which was put into operation in February, 1897. 

The matter of water power from the Upper Iowa or Oneota river was given 
some consideration at this time and a visit was made in January, 1897, to a 
power site in Winneshiek county on the Frank Drew farm near the Winneshiek 
and Allamakee county line, a site which has since been developed, the plant at 
that point being known as Power Plant Xo. 1. The project did not appear 
feasible at that time, however, and nothing further was done until October, 1903. 
when a systematic study of the river was begun with a view to determining the 
minimum flow and normal flow. By 1905 the business in both towns had 
increased to such an extent as to tax the capacity of the existing steam plants 
and it seemed advisable to construct a hydro-electric plant and transmission svs- 


tern to supply the needed power, rather than to install additional steam machinery. 
Negotiations were therefore begun looking to the consolidation of the Waukon 
Electric Light Company and the Decorah Electric Light Company, and the con- 
solidation was consummated in June, 1906, under the name Upper Iowa Power 
Company, with the principal office at Decorah, and the officers of the company 
were W. H. Burtis, President and Manager; M. S. Howard, Vice-President and 
Treasurer, and J. H. Duncan, Secretary. 

In the meantime surveys had been made and a power site seven miles below 
Decorah on the James Lannon farm in Winneshiek county, a few hundred feet 
up the river from the point where the abandoned grade of the Waukon and Mis- 
sissippi Railway, between Waukon and Decorah, crossed the river, was selected, 
and plans were prepared by a Cleveland engineering firm for a dam and power 
plant at this point on which work was begun early in May, 1906. The work on 
this dam and power plant and the transmission line to Decorah was completed 
in the latter part of March, 1907, and was only awaiting the completion of the 
sub-station at Decorah to begin supplying that place with power, when on March 
24th, a beautiful spring Sunday, the dam was undermined and destroyed. The 
failure occurred when the river was at its normal stage, and was due to faulty 
design by the engineers who planned the work, the foundations not having been 
carried to sufficient depth to prevent undermining. 

The dam and power house were completely wrecked but the machinery was 
only slightly injured and the work of removing it was begun immediately. 

Undismayed by the destruction of this dam, the company, at once, began 
preparations for the construction of another. During the following summer a 
survey was made of the site at the mouth of Coon creek on the Frank Drew farm, 
four miles further down the river, which has been referred to earlier in this 
article, and the site was purchased and flowage rights obtained for a dam twenty- 
five feet high. In the winter and spring of 1908 plans were prepared by the 
Arnold Company of Chicago for a twenty-five foot dam and power plant at this 
point and the contract for the construction was let to Rich and Carlson of Chi- 
cago. Work on the dam and power plant was commenced about the first of May 
by the contractors and about the same time the power company began extending 
their transmission line from the old to the new dam site and on to Waukon, and 
the system was completed and put into operation on February 19, 1909. 

Previous to this time the electric light service in Waukon had been limited to 
the hours between dusk' and midnight, except that in the winter months current 
was supplied also from 5 A. M. till daylight, but the service now was made con- 
tinuous throughout the twenty-four hours for light, heat and power, and electric 
power rapidly supplanted steam and gasoline wherever power was used. 

In 1910, a franchise and contracts for street lighting and pumping water 
were granted by the town of Postville and in the fall of the same year a trans- 
mission line was built from Postville north to the Waukon transmission line 
connecting with that line at a point five and one-half miles west of Waukon. 
The transmission lines and the distribution lines in the town were completed and 
the current turned on in March, 1910. 

During the summer of 1910 the transmission line was also extended from 
Waukon to the iron mines three miles northeast to supply power for the opera- 
tion of the reduction plant that was being installed. 



On April 7, 191 1, a franchise and contracts were secured at Lansing and the 
Lansing electric light plant was purchased, and during the summer and fall the 
distribution system was reconstructed and the transmission line was extended 
from the iron mines to that city. This work was completed about November 1, 
191 1. 

As it had become apparent that more power than one dam could supply would 
soon be needed, preparations were made for the construction of a new power 
plant near the site of the one that was destroyed in 1907, and in September, 1911, 
work was begun on this plant, which was completed and put in operation Decem- 
ber 1, 1912, and is known as Power Plant No. 2. 

In September, 191 2, the Cresco electric lighting system was taken over and 
work was at once begun on the extension of the transmission lines from Decorah, 
and the weather being very favorable the work was carried on throughout the 
winter, and was completed and the current turned on, making the fifth city to 
receive its power from the two dams on the Upper Iowa river. 

A recent issue of the Popular Electricity Magazine contains the following 
additional facts of interest as to this plant : 

Five Taintor gates, ten feet wide and twenty feet high, operated by an electric 
hoist and two spillways, one forty feet and the other one hundred feet wide, con- 
trol these flood waters. The operator at danger times keeps his ear close to the 
telephone and at the first warning lowers the water in the pond. The dam, with 
an effective head of twenty-seven feet when the pond is full, is the highest in 
Iowa, barring the great structure at Keokuk. 

Sufficient electricity was generated by the plant to supply quite an area. The 
demand for the current grew as the plant tested out a success and last year the 
company found it feasible to enlarge its capacity by putting in a second dam and 
power plant. The work was completed in January and interesting developments 
are rapidly following. From an engineering standpoint, the two plants together 
form probably the most complete small hydro-electric development in the central 
states. From a practical point of view the system is unique. 

The transmission lines have been strung on thirty-foot cedar poles along the 
public roads and private right-of-way through the fields for seventy-seven miles. 
Over these lines the current is now flowing up from the Upper Iowa into three 
counties. On the way it is supplying the five leading towns, Decorah, Postville, 
Cresco, Waukon, and Lansing, with both light and power. Iron mines near W'au- 
kon, button factories at Lansing, clay works at Postville and several minor indus- 
tries are using the current and further manufacturing development is indicated. 

Between these larger towns quite a number of villages too small to support 
a steam plant are supplied with electricity. The best and most significant feature 
of the system, however, is the bringing of electricity into rural life. Several 
hundred farms are adjacent to the lines. All that is necessary for a farmer to 
do is to pay for a transformer, lightning arrester and the wiring, and then at 
the same rate as town customers he may light barns and house and install motors 
to pump the water, grind the feed, separate the cream, do the family washing 
and a score of other things. New as the system is, already quite a number of 
farmers have taken advantage of the great convenience which has been brought to 
their doors. 


Aside from the Indian tragedies at Paint Rock, Giard, and Monona, as nar- 
rated elsewhere, Allamakee county history must needs chronicle a half-dozen or 
more murders enacted after the country become "civilized." It is with reluctance 
that this dark chapter is given place, but it is the duty of a faithful historian to 
record the evil with the good ; and as said before, history teaches by warning as 
well as by inspiration — by evil as .well as by good example. The details of these 
criminal episodes, however, will not be unduly enlarged upon. 

The county may be congratulated that it has never been called upon to per- 
form a legal execution ; and more heartily congratulated that no mob execution 
has occurred within its borders. 

A few of the more noted instances of other heinous offenses brought to the 
attention of our courts may well be included here ; and some portions of this 
chapter are re-written (and corrected) from a former work. 

There was at one time a great demand in this western country for "borrowed" 
horses ; and so great was the apparent demand that it was found necessary in 
this county, as well as in many others, to sometimes send out armed patrols to 
search the country for those who did the borrowing, that is in cases, of course, 
where it was done without leave. We cannot say that actual lynching was ever 
practiced, but certain it is that some parties were badly scared ; and it is also 
certain that more than one desperate character was arrested and brought to jus- 
tice by them, and others informed that another part of the country would doubt- 
less prove more conducive to their health. 

The first case of horse stealing we have run across in our researches is that 
of David Clark, examined in Lansing in December, 1858, and committed to the 
Decorah jail. His plan was said to be, after stealing an animal, to run him off 
and sell him, and then lie about until he got a chance to poison the horse to 
destroy the evidence. The grand jury found a bill against him May 25, 1859, but 
before he could be brought to trial he escaped from jail by nearly killing the jailer, 
and was never recaptured. 

A remarkable case was that of Wm. Presho, a most desperate character, who 
was arrested for stealing horses from the livery in Waukon, we believe, in the 
spring of 1865. His trial came off at Lansing in June following, and on the 17th 
of that month he was found guilty and sentenced to two years in the Fort Madi- 
son penitentiary. Sheriff Palmer started down river with him aboard a stern- 
wheel steamer, taking along one Doctor Hall, a man well known and highly 

Vol. I— 10 




respected, as an assistant. Late one evening. Hall accompanied Presho to the 
stern of the boat and both disappeared. As soon as they were missed a search 
was made, but neither was found, and the theory received credence for several 
years that both were drowned, as it was supposed that Presho had attempted to 
drown his guard and had gone down with him, being handcuffed at the time. 
Presho afterward turned up alive and sound, and his version of the affair is said 
to be. that after knocking Hall insensible and throwing him into the river ( Hall 
was rather slight, while the prisoner was powerful and an excellent swimmer ) 
he jumped over and supported himself upon a board close by the wheel, where 
he was concealed by a projection above, and escaped discovery in the darkness 
when the search was made, and when the boat made her next landing he dropped 
into the water and got safely to the sh< ire. I le that as it may, he escaped, and was 
again at his old tricks. Stealing a valuable horse somewhere in the central part 
of the state, he ran the animal off into .Minnesota and entered it in a race. The 
owner followed in search and it is said discovered his horse just as it was coming 
victorious from the race course, having won the purse. Seeking the pretended 
owner he demanded how he came by the animal and Presho answered that he 
had a bill of sale which he would produce if he would accompany him to his hotel. 
The man did so, accompanying Presho to his room, where the latter went to his 
trunk and taking a revolver therefrom coolly confronted the rightful owner of 
the horse declaring "there is my bill of sale, d — n you." He then cleared out, 
but being hotly pursued swam the .Minnesota river and made good his escape, 
although several shots were fired at him from the shore. He was never 
apprehended, but was heard of afterward in various places in the west, and is 
said to have later owned a stock farm in a western state. 

One of the earliest murders, of which there is record, occurred in what was 
called "Dutch Hollow," in Linton township, in 1863 or '64. It appears that a dif- 
ficulty of long standing existed between one Girard Riley and a neighbor named 
Cunningham, and finally Riley assassinated him, lying in wait in a wood as he 
passed by. The murderer had made careful preparations for the deed, having 
a saddled horse near, and immediately left the country. He was not heard of for 
over ten years, when a letter came to Sheriff Hewitt from one John O'Toole at 
Lexington, Kentucky, to the effect that if the sheriff would come to Lexington the 
writer would point out to him a man named Girard Riley who committed a mur- 
der in Linton township some eleven years previous. 

Acting upon the request of O'Toole, the sheriff procured from Governor 
Carpenter, of this state, a requisition on the Governor of Kentucky, armed with 
which he started for Lexington, and was soon in communication with the writer 
of the letter. Judge of the indignation and astonishment of the official, when 
O'Toole doggedly refused to point out the whereabouts of the man, or to give 
any information whatever about him, unless Mr. Hewitt would pay him in cash 
$300. His claims were based upon a statement to the effect that he had been 
Riley's neighbor and friend; that he was perfectly familiar with all the circum- 
stances and facts of the tragedy : that he was shortly afterward in communication 
with the murderer, and finally both settled in Kentucky. There O'Toole loaned 
Riley $300 to start in business. This sum he demanded back from Riley, but the 
fellow coolly informed his benefactor and friend that all his property was in his 
wife's name; that O'Toole could not make him pay it, and he refused point blank 


to return the money. Determined to seek revenge, he told Riley that he would 
yet be even with him ; and in due time the letter to Sheriff Hewitt was written, 
and that official summoned. He stated that Riley was living under an assumed 
name, and was in good circumstances; that all he (O'Toole) wanted was the 
borrowed money, and if that was forthcoming he would at once deliver him up. 
The sheriff refused to comply with this demand, but consulted with the sheriff of 
1 .exington county, and put him in possession of all the facts; and with the promise 
of all the assistance in the power of that official the case still rests. 

Another most foul murder was that of Barney Leavy by Charles O'Neil, on 
Lansing ridge in 1866. the circumstances being as follows: 

Leavy was a teamster between Lansing and Decorah, and much of the time 
put up at Marsden's on the Ridge. O'Xeil lived not far from there on the same 
road. One Sunday a young man by the name of Hughes, somewhat intoxicated, 
was driving back and forth along the road, and stopped with a companion at 
Mauch's brewery for a glass of beer, where he met Leavy and got into an alterca- 
tion with him, both being in a mood to indulge in pugilism. One or two Sundays 
after this occurrence it was being talked over at Mauch's, when Leavy. in the 
presence of O'Xeil declared he could whip Hughes; whereupon O'Neil, who was 
an old friend of young Hughes' father, with whom he had chummed in California, 
resented his language and hot words passed between them. At a later hour, after 
they had left the brewery. Leavy whipped O'Neil, who then went home and armed 
himself with a knife and gun. but apparently concluding that the knife would do 
the work the best, secreted the gun under the fence. He then proceeded to a 
point on the road where he knew Leavy would pass, and which was darker than 
elsewhere, the trees at that time almost meeting overhead from either side, and 
lay in wait until his victim had passed, when he sprang upon him from behind 
and accomplished his revenge. This spot was a short distance east of the stone 
schoolhouse which was built a couple of years later. It is said that Hughes, Sr., 
father of the young man alluded to, had some years previously killed a man, 
but died before he was brought to trial. O'Neil was indicted for murder in the 
first degree, and confined in the Waukon jail, from which he escaped on the even- 
ing of February 28, 1867, but was recaptured twenty-four hours later near 
Prosser Whaley's. In June. 1867, a jury found him guilty of murder in the 
second degree, and he was sentenced to the Fort Madison penitentiary for life. 
At this time I bni. Milo McGlathery was presiding judge, L. O. Hatch, district 
attorney, J. A. Townsend, sheriff and G. P. Eells, clerk of the District court. 
O'Neil remained in the penitentiary between fifteen and sixteen years, and be- 
coming utterly broken down in health he was pardoned in November, 1882. 

There seems to have been an epidemic of savagery along here in the later 
sixties. Only about three months after the conviction of O'Neil, occurred the 
killing of John Minert by Jas. H. Stafford, on Yellow river, in September, 1867. 
r;oth were prominent and respected citizens. Minert owned a mill, and Stafford 
felt injured by his raising the dam, as it would overflow some of his land; and 
coming upon him with an ax one day he made a sudden and savage assault, 
doubtless incited by drink, with immediately fatal effect. Realizing what he had 
done, he at once left the vicinity, but after some time had elapsed, and sufficient 
rewards were offered to warrant the undertaking, certain parties discovered his 
whereabouts down in Arkansas. He was there arrested and brought as far as 



Memphis, where he escaped from his guard, and although handcuffed, eluded 

In the sixties there were also several indictments rendered for the passing 
of counterfeit money ; and in '62 a press for printing same was found in Whaley's 
mill pond, on Village creek, which was deposited in the courthouse and remained 
a public curiosity until sold for old iron a few years later. In 1868 Jas. K. Rine- 
hart was lodged in jail for passing counterfeit money, but escaped by digging 
through a number of planks and a brick wall. He was recaptured a few weeks 
later, and again escaped, but finally landed in the Wisconsin penitentiary, where 
he is said to have died. 

That he possessed a sense of humor is evidenced by the note which he left 
for his jailor upon his first escape, as follows, verbatim: 

Jail, May 27. 

Mr. Huffman'. — My cincere thanks are to you and your family for the kind 
treatment to wards me while in confinement. Here I cannot stay longer. You 
can tell the friends of the town to morrow morning will have me Xomber of 
miles a head. My friends awates we with Horse. It is now 10 o'clock and I 
must go. You will find the hole which I escaped from. 

Yours truly. 


With a five-eighth bit he had bored through two solid two-inch planks, and 
two 4x4 oak crosspieces, and with some instrument had dug through an eighteen- 
inch brick wall, just above the blind window sill, middle cell on the south side. 

In January, 1869, Frank X. May shot his nephew. Charles May, dead, at 
their place on the Iowa near Xew Galena, they having had some dispute as to the 
division of the crops. The murderer declared it was done in self-defense, but 
nevertheless took himself out of the country, it was supposed. About the first 
of October following some unknown person attempted to take the life of James 
May. brother of the one killed the previous winter, firing at him with a charge of 
buckshot, which, however, did not take effect in a vital part. The assassin was 
supposed to be the missing uncle, who we believe was never apprehended. 

On the night of July 30, 1869, a man who gave his name as Fredrick Shaffer, 
broke into the Kelley House at Postville, but being discovered fired at Mr. Kelley, 
who returned the fire, breaking Shaffer's thigh, near the body. He was lodged 
in the county jail; but in Xovember he escaped by digging down and under the 
foundation wall — "gophered" out — and upon a horse he stole, or which was 
stolen for him, he rode to near Monona and took the train for Chicago. There 
he was arrested in December for a burglary committed at P>eloit, Wisconsin, the 
summer before, and recognized as an old offender by name of Frank Leonard 
with many aliases. His career, as narrated in a Chicago paper, included a robbery 
in Michigan, burglary in Juneau, Wisconsin, a bank robbery at Xashville. Ten- 
nessee, and burglary and shooting at Dubuque. In each of these cases he had 
been arrested, sometimes escaping from custody, and again being released upon 
revealing the whereabouts of his "swag," or serving his term. He had also 
engaged in bounty jumping during the war. In his Reloit affair he was arrested 
but escaped by shooting and wounding two officers. The last heard from he was 
sent to the Wisconsin penitentiary for five years in March. 1871. for crime in 
that state. 








In November, 1870, Anderson Amos was convicted of passing counterfeit 
money, and sentenced to fifteen years. At the same time Douglas was sentenced 
for eight years, and others had narrow escapes from implication. 

January 20. 1872, John Martinson fatally stabbed Christian Hanson at a dance 
in Lansing. Martinson fled the country, but in July of the following year, 1873, 
he was arrested in Chicago, brought to Lansing for examination, and lodged in 
the Waukon jail. At the next December term of the District court he was 
convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary, but 
received a pardon about September, 1876. 

December 21, 1876, one Andvvay Torfin, who lived on the Upper Iowa in 
Hanover township, while returning from Decorah with others, got into an alterca- 
tion with a party of other Scandinavians near Locust lane, one of whom gave 
Torfin a blow upon the head with a sled stake, from the effects of which he died 
a few days later. One of the party, Helge Nelson by name, was held for murder, 
and in June following, was convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced to six 
months in the penitentiary. The affray really occurred on the Winneshiek side 
of the line, and the trial took place in Winneshiek county. 

A fatal affray occurred in Waterville, October 20, 1878. James G. Savage 
was an experienced railroad hand and section boss on the narrow gauge. He was 
an intelligent, well disposed man, and peaceable when sober; but the demon of 
intemperance had gained the mastery of him, and he was given to indulgence 
in "regular sprees," at which times he was an ugly customer, as liquor made 
him wild and quarrelsome. In the few months preceding he had figured prom- 
inently in numerous fights and one serious stabbing affray. In company with 
several congenial spirits, Sunday morning. Savage went down to Johnsonport by 
handcar and procured liquor, returning to Waterville in the afternoon consider- 
ably intoxicated. In this condition his party went to the Adams House, a tavern 
kept by Ed Xeudeck, and called for liquor. They were refused, whereupon 
Savage proceeded to demolish things generally, throwing bottles, glasses, etc., 
out of doors, and treating the "boys" all around. They afterwards went out, and 
returning about dusk, found the doors locked, and Neudeck warned them to keep 
away, and that he would shoot them if they forced an entrance. Regardless of 
this, in his drunken bravado. Savage kicked in the door, and as he did so, Neu- 
deck fired one barrel of his shot-gun, the charge not taking effect, and immediately 
fired again as Savage pressed forward to seize the gun, whereupon the unfortu- 
nate man fell to the floor, and Neudeck in the excitement slipped away. Neudeck 
was a man of more than ordinary intelligence and ability, a miller by trade, who 
came from Clayton county the preceding fall. The next day he presented himself 
to the sheriff at Waukon, and was lodged in jail. At the next November term 
of the District court he was acquitted, on the ground of self-defense. 

Early on the morning of August 24, 1879, two burglars went through the office 
and safe of the mill company — Hemenway, Barclay & Co.. at Lansing; first 
overpowering the night watchman, R. G. Edwards, whom they beat nearly to 
death and left bound and gagged, and in an insensible condition. They blew 
the safe open with powder, but for all their trouble obtained scarcely fifty dollars. 
Then they joined their companion who was awaiting them with a skiff and 
escaped. Two of the burglars, Charles Wood, alias "Pittsburg Kid," and Frank 
Lucas, were captured at LaCrosse two or three days later, with tools in their 



possession and checks of the firm. Wood owned up the crime, and tried to ex- 
onerate Lucas from any participation in the affair, further than rowing the 
burglars to the scene and away again, claiming that his companion was one James 
White alias "Sandy" or "Red,- and this one was arrested at Lansing shortly 
after ' They were ail placed in the Decorah jail to await the next term of the Dis- 
trict court our county jail not being sufficiently secure. It was ascertained from 
Wood or "the Kid" as he was generally called, that he was one of the parties 
who burglarized two or three stores in Waukon the previous spring, and 
it was evident that he was a hardened criminal and skilled cracksman, besides 
being much older in years than his looks would imply. The three had been in 
the Decorah jail but a short time when one night they made an unsuccessful 
attempt to overpower the sheriff and escape. Shortly after they endeavored to 
gopher out of the jail, but were discovered and their plans again frustrated. 
"The Kid" had his trial at the November term of court, and was sentenced to six- 
teen years. The cases of the others were continued, and they remanded 'to the 
Decorah jail, from which they finally succeeded in escaping late in January fol- 
low ing. by sawing off a bar to a window. Lucas was recaptured on the following 
evening, "in the Yellow river timber, near Myron; but White made good his 
escape! and afterwards kept clear of this vicinity. Lucas came to trial in May. 
1880. when he was also convicted and given twelve years. On an appeal to the 
Supreme court a new trial was granted him. at which trial, in May of the next 
year, he was again convicted and sentence confirmed. 

One of the coolest and most revolting cases of murder that must he chron- 
icled here was that of one A. C. Johnson, by poison, at the home of Mrs. Hanora 
Curtin. better known by her former name of Mrs. Garvey, in the evening of 
December 6, 1881. It ^eems that Johnson had recently returned from western 
Iowa to dispose of some property in this vicinity and to make collection of some 
debts, and was stopping temporarily at Mrs. Curtin's, northwest of Waukon. 
she being one of his debtors. Mrs. Curtin prepared him a chicken soup, after 
partaking of which he became violently ill and dispatched a messenger for some 
neighbors, to whom he declared that Mrs. Curtin had poisoned him and he was 
going to die, and requesting them to take charge of his clothing, in which he had 
some three or four hundred dollars, and write to his boys. 1 lis death followed 
in a few hours, and Sheriff Hewitt was summoned, together with the coroner, at 
that time Dr. D. H. Bowen. An inquest was held, resulting in a verdict of death 
by strychnine, and Mrs. Curtin was arrested and kept under guard at the old 
Central House in Waukon, for want of a suitable jail. The preliminary examina- 
tion was set for the 9th. but during the night of the 8th Mrs. Curtin made her 
escape. Later she was apprehended and placed in the Decorah jail for better 
securitv, but nearly succeeded in getting away again. She was transferred to the 
new county jail at Waukon when completed that fall. Not until the May term, 
1883, did the case come on for trial, when the testimony showed that she had 
on the dav of Johnson's death purchased a half-drachm of strychnine at a drug 
store in W r aukon, and other evidence was so positively incriminating ( including 
an analysis of the stomach ) that the jury promptly returned a verdict of murder 
in the first degree, and placed the punishment at imprisonment for life at hard 
labor in the Anamosa penitentiary. The testimony indicated that John Barley- 
corn had a hand in this murder, as in all the other cases, the murderess having 


nerved herself up with whisky and was intoxicated that night. She was event- 
ually pardoned, and went to Dakota, where she died. 

One more unfortunate instance of the taking of human life, that of Mrs. 
Geddes by Ballzell, occurring as recently as five years ago, and this unpleasant 
chapter is closed — for the present. 

William Ballzell was said to be an industrious and previously inoffensive 
farmer in Post township, near its northwest corner, where he had lived for a 
number of years and had become the owner of a ninety-acre farm. His wife had 
died a few years previously, leaving a family of seven children, the eldest about 
nineteen. His victim was his deceased wife's sister, Mrs. Geddes, who had sep- 
arated from her husband and was then employed at the home of Mrs. Henry Boll- 
man, not far off. She left a little girl of about nine years. Ballzell had urged 
his sister-in-law to marry him, and was greatly incensed at her refusal. On the 
day of the murder, January 20, 1908, he drove to Postville, and indulged freely 
in liquor. Upon returning home he stopped at Mrs. Bollman's for an interview 
with Mrs. Geddes, which, being unsatisfactory, his talk became abusive and 
threatening, so that after he left Mrs. Bollman telephoned for her nephew John 
1 '.oilman, who repaired to her home. 

.Meanwhile Ballzell had driven to his home, put up his team, and taking a gun 
and a revolver went back to the Bollman place, where he was met by John in the 
yard. He had left his gun in the woods and kept his revolver out of sight. This 
was about 5 o'clock. He obtained an interview with Mrs. Geddes, in the door- 
way, renewing his plea, and receiving an evasive reply suddenly whipped out 
his revolver and shot her through the heart. He then hurried to the home of 
Marshall Bollman, whose people he accused of influencing Mrs. Geddes against 
him. Unable to gain admission to the house, which they securely closed, the 
frenzied man set fire to the large barn on the place. The neighborhood was 
aroused, and as men hastened to the fire he took to the woods. 

Sheriff Hall was notified and with Deputy Svebakken drove hurriedly to the 
scene, about twelve miles southwest of YYaukon. The locality is on the head- 
waters of the Yellow river, and heavily wooded. Realizing the advantage the 
murderer would thus have in evading capture, and the liability of his committing 
further bloodshed, in his frenzied condition, and considering the terrorized state 
of the neighborhood, the sheriff telephoned to Waukon for a number of the 
militia company. Captain Colsch rounded up four or five of the marksmen of 
Company I, and started out about 11 P. M., but before arriving on the scene 
Sheriff I [all had effected the capture. After threatening one home and getting 
a cup of coffee there, Ballzell had returned to his own place, where his brother 
had taken his gun from him but was unable to detain him. The sheriff reached 
the Ballzell home soon after, and learning the direction taken by the fugitive 
started after him on a pony, overtaking him after a mile or two, when he sub- 
mitted with but little resistance. The party reached Waukon with the prisoner 
about six in the morning. 

When in jail afterwards Ballzell claimed that he could not recall anything of 
the time intervening between his leaving Postville and being overtaken bv the 
sheriff in the night. His attorney it is said was preparing a defense on the 
ground of insanity, when in the night of March 27th following the prisoner 
became his own executioner, knotting a handkershief about his neck and inserting 


a broomstick which he twisted with such resolute purpose that strangulation 
ensued, and in the morning he was found dead in his cell. 

There is much more that might be recorded here, in the way of near tragedies, 
and minor crimes; but let the foregoing suffice. Why needlessly reopen old 
wounds nearly healed, and renew old sufferings once forgot? Those who paid 
the penalty of misdeeds, and have made good in their efforts to live down the 
past, should be spared such unkindness. 



There is a charm in the story of the 'pioneer settlement of any locality, that 
holds the interest of almost every reader, especially of those whose former home 
it may have been, or of those whose fathers or friends participated in its settle- 
ment. The privations — largely offset by the joys of the simple life — the trials 
and triumphs, the failures and fortunes, of those scouts of civilization who first 
peopled the prairies and valleys of our own country, and cleared for themselves 
homes in its native forests, appeal most strongly to our sympathies. It is well 
that this interest in the experience of our fathers exists, as it is the incentive to 
the permanent record of their lives, in form of biography, anecdote and — in fact, 
history. History is and must be largely biography. History teaches from expe- 
rience, and its teachings are always beneficial to a generation that will heed them, 
either as inspiration or warning. Charles Lever wrote that "any man, no mat- 
ter how insignificant the part he may have filled in life, who will faithfully record 
the events in which he has borne a share, even though incapable himself of deriv- 
ing profit from the lessons he has learned, may still be of use to others — some- 
times a guide, sometimes a warning." So it is, there is a demand for permanent 
narrative of the events occurring in the days of our fathers, before the partici- 
pants have all passed away and nothing remains relative to their lives but tradi- 
tion, in place of facts, from which to draw our lessons. 

As is well known the earliest permanent settlement in Allamakee county was 
at the Indian mission on Yellow river, the building of which was begun in 1833, 
but was not occupied until 1834, and then by parties in the Government employ. 
Thomas C. Linton bought this farm of the Government about 1842, and became 
in 1849 the organizing sheriff of this county. Hiram Francis came to the mission 
in 1839, and was doubtless the earliest comer who became a permanent resident, 
living in that vicinity until his death near Rossville in 1890. The first white child 
born in the county was a son to Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Rynerson at the mission in 
1841. More about the "Old Mission" will be found in a separate chapter under 
that heading. 

About 1837 one Henry Johnson made a squatter's claim at or near the site 
of Johnsonsport. And in 1840 Jesse Danley built a sawmill a short distance below 
the mission. [See sketch of Fairview township.] 

The establishment of a tavern under Government patronage by Joel Post and 
wife in 1841, was the beginning of the Postville settlement. 



No further settlements are recorded until the removal of the Indians, in 
1848. Then came the era of the true pioneers, who struck out independently, 
some with means and some with very limited resources, to make homes for them- 
selves and their growing families. Quite a number settled near Post's some of 
whom are said to have made their claims in 1N47, as will be seen by reference to 
Postville history. 

The principal settlers aside from the Post neighborhood in 1848, were: Garri- 
son, John Haney and son William, later joined by H. H. Houghton, the founders 
of Lansing; and Patrick Keenan and Richard Cassiday in Makee township, who 
removed to Jefferson township the following year. Hugh McCabe came up 
through here on a hunting trip with some half-breeds, to Lansing I when there 
was no Lansing), and stopped with Keenan. though he was quite a young man 
at that time and did not make his permanent home here until a year later. He 
worked for a time with the surveying party of J. G McDonald, who made the 
government survey of Jefferson and Paint Creek townships in 1849. So far as 
we are able to ascertain Air. McCabe enjoys the honorable distinction of being the 
only person still living here 1 [913) who visited this region prior to 1849. 

In 1849 George C. Shattuck became the pioneer settler of the site of Waukon, 
with Prosser Whaley and Win. Niblock in the near vicinity. C. D. Beeman and 
II. S. Cooper located in Jefferson township, James Haney and others at Lansing 
and vicinity; Reuben Smith in the northeast corner of Post township, where he 
a few years later built a big two-story and basement stone house, on Yellow river, 
which is still standing though now dismantled ; and Win. C. Thompson, at Thomp- 
son's Corners, Lafayette township. Others had settled near the south line of 
the county, so there was sufficient timber from which to select the few necessary 
county officers at the first election in April, 1849, listed elsewhere. Though seem- 
ingly few, because so scattered, an enumeration in the fall of that year, showed 
a total of 2jj souls within our borders, mostly located in the southern part of the 

In 1850 there was a considerable increase in immigration, more especially in 
the eastern and central parts, and along the Yellow river, where the numerous 
mill sites were rapidly being located for use in the near future. And from 1851 
and after, the entire county was rapidly settled up. The sketches of the various 
townships in another chapter will show some of the early arrivals in their respec- 
tive localities. 

In regard to the settlement of the central portion of the county, the following 
is quoted from the narrative of Judge Dean, written in 1880 : 

judge dean's narrative 

"The earliest settlers in what is now Makee and Union Prairie townships came 
in overland from the south, through Clayton county, there being no town then 
where Lansing is now. In conversation with the late Elias Topliff he related to 
me that while living in Clayton county he, with several others, started out to 
hunt land on which to make a home ; they followed an Indian trail north across 
the Yellow river and on to the Iowa river somewhere, where the party camped 
over night, and caught and cooked a splendid mess of speckled trout. He thought 
they traveled across what is now the prairie on which Waukon stands, but could 


not positively identify their old route, for at that time the country traveled over 
was in a state of nature and there was not a white man to be seen on the trip 
after leaving the settlements of Clayton county. In the morning they retraced 
their steps and returned to Clayton county, not finding a single foot of land that 
suited them. My recollection now is that the judge located this trip in 1847. 

"The first white settlers in Makee township were Patrick Keenan and his 
brother-in-law, Richard Cassiday. They lived together, and in October, 1848, 
settled on Makee ridge, where they grubbed out and broke up about three acres of 
land, built a log cabin, and in 1849 abandoned it and made themselves farms in 
Jefferson township, where they lived until they passed on to 'the better country.' 
Air. Keenan was the first man in the county of his nationality ever made an 
American citizen through the naturalization law [in 1849]. He died in March, 
1878, leaving a large and respectable family and a handsome property, and was 
buried at Cherry Mound. Mr. Cassiday died in 1879, and was buried at the 
same place. 

"In the spring of 1849, there was born to Mr. and Mrs. Cassiday a daughter, 
Margaret, now ( 1880) Mrs. Murphy, living in McGregor, and she was the first 
white child born in Jefferson township. 

"The selection first made by these men on Makee ridge was subsequently 
owned by one Doctor Lyon. W'm. K. Martin. Joseph Burton, and is now owned 
by the county and used as a home for the unfortunate. Mr. Keenan built the first 
house here ever erected in Makee or Union Prairie townships, near a spring in 
the timber south of the dwelling house and barn. 

"In June of 1 S4 < j , \V. C. Thompson was up through this region prospecting 
and pitched his tent near the big spring on James Reed's farm (northwest of 
\\ aukon), and from there looked around to find something that suited him for a 
stock farm, and in his wanderings found Mr. Keenan on his claim hard at work, 
making improvements. This log house was then built but not chinked. Mr. 
Thompson afterward made a selection at what is now known as Thompson's Cor- 
ners, in Lafayette township. 

"The next white settlers were Geo. C. Shattuck and Prosser Whaley, who 
came in August, 1849. Mr. Whaley made his claim on section 32, cut and made 
hay enough to keep his stock over winter, and returned to Wisconsin for his 
family, bringing them here in October of the same year. He made a house for 
them by putting a pole from one tree to another, then setting shorter poles all 
around it with one end on the ground, the other end resting against the main pole, 
and coverng the whole up with hay. In this house they lived about six weeks, 
cooking at a fire outside, the cooking utensils being a long-handled frying pan, an 
iron dinner-pot, and a tin bake-oven. The coffee mill was nailed to one of the 

"During this six weeks Mr. Whaley built a house 16x18, and after moving 
into it the hay house was set apart for a stable. This log house was a general 
stopping place for newcomers until the settlement grew so that other accommoda- 
tions were provided, and it has sheltered as many as thirty-two persons of a 
night ; on such occasions it was necessary for the men to make their toilet early 
in the morning before the women were awake, and the women to make theirs 
after the men had gone out to see what the weather was likely to be for the com- 
ing day. Every old settler understands from personal recollection that a log 


cabin is like an omnibus or street car in this, that there is always room inside for 
one more. This house was the second one in Makee township, on the farm now 
the property of August Meyer just east of Waukon. 

"In the spring of 1850 Mr. Whaley cultivated the three acres of land that Mr. 
Keenan broke up on the poor farm before abandoning it, by putting it into corn, 
and raised a good crop, notwithstanding the fact that it was not fenced, and this 
was the pioneer corn crop of the settlement. This crop was very acceptable to 
the family, and Mrs. Whaley commenced to cook it as soon as it was roasting ears, 
and after it was glazed she prepared it for cooking by grating it. If our women 
now-a-days had to go through this, they would agree with the Hoosier emigrant 
woman, that a new country was powerful hard on women and horses, and power- 
ful easy on men and dogs. 

"During the winter of '49 and '50 Mr. Whaley killed seventeen wolves, and 
venison enough to keep the family in meat, and being blest with new country 
appetites they put away full rations of it. 

"Mr. Whaley, or Uncle Prosser as he was generally called, died in May, 1866, 
but lived long enough to see a flourishing settlement spring up around him with 
its churches, schoolhouses, and other conveniences of civilized society. Mrs. 
Whaley is still living in Waukon and from her personal recollections we gather 
many of these particulars. [Mrs. Whaley died June 10, 1883. — Ed.] 

"The next white settler was Mr. Geo. C. Shattuck, who came in the same time 
Mr. Whaley did and made a claim on sections 30 and 31, where Waukon now 
stands, and like Mr. Whaley he cut and made hay enough to feed his stock and 
went back after his family, bringing them in in November of the same year. He 
built a hay house for his family and occupied it until himself and boys could 
build a log house, when they moved into it. This was built near a tine spring on 
what is now the field of Michael Deveny, in town, and lies between the residences 
of Mr. Duffy and Samuel Peck. This house stood until within a few years, and 
was the nucleus around which the town gathered, and like Uncle Prosser's was 
often filled to its utmost capacity. Mr. Shattuck was born September 9, 1787, 
and died near Platteville, Wisconsin, April 6, 1876. 

"At this time Prairie du Chien was the trading point for the settlement, but 
there was however a small grocery in what is now Monona, kept by one Olmstead, 
but it was very small, and one was not certain of getting supplies there. 

"When these two families came in, the nearest settlers were Wm. C. Thomp- 
son on the east. Tim Fuller about ten miles west. Pat Keenan on the south, Mr. 
Post [Postville] on the southwest, and Mr. Haney [Lansing] on the northeast. 
There was at Columbus, on the Mississippi, an Indian trader by the name of 
Stevens, but he soon followed the departing Indians. 

"The early settlers were generally men of limited means, and as soon as they 
had secured some land, and made a place for themselves and families to live in, 
they broke up some of it and the first crop was generally buckwheat, sod corn, 
ruta-bagas, turnips, potatoes, and if the breaking patch was large enough some 
spring wheat and oats were sown ; but buckwheat was the staple, and buckwheat 
pancakes baked on a griddle was a standard dish. In many families there was 
not fat enough to grease the griddle and the women soon learned that by rubbing 
it with a rag between every griddle full they could give it a polish that would pre- 
vent the sticking and burning of the cakes. In 1850 there was a small pair of 






burrs near Decorah for grinding, but no bolt attached, and our settlers from this 
locality with their ox-teams hauled their little grists up there ; but soon after 
one Ellis put in a small pair of burrs, without bolt, on Paint creek, just around 
the bend below where Waterville now stands, and this settlement then went there 
to mill, where they waited with patience the slow process of flouring the grist. 
The remains of this first mill in the county still stand just around the bend of the 
stream below the town. [1880.] 

"In the spring of 1850 the following families came into the settlement, and 
perhaps others that we have failed to note . Seth Patterson, Darwin Patterson, 
Archa Whaley, William Xiblock, James Gillett, Horace Gillett, Christopher 
McXutt, James Conway, David Whaley, David Whaley, Jr., Richard Charles, 
and Robert S. Stevenson, of whom the following settled in what is now Makee 

"Archa Whaley on section 33. on the farm now owned by Mr. Bronsmeier; 
Mr. Whaley now lives on Village creek, and is the proprietor of Whaley's mills. 

"Mr. Xiblock on section 32, on which he built a log house near a spring and 
near the south line of the farm, which is still standing but used of late years 
as a slaughterhouse. In the spring of 1851 he sold this claim to Thomas A. 
Minard, who sold to James Maxwell, who lived and died there and it is known 
as the Maxwell farm to-day. [Xow the Petit farm.] 

"David Whaley made a claim on section 20, but soon after sold it to C. J. 
White, and he to Mr. James Hall, who owns it to-day. Mr. Whaley after selling 
this entered the land that is now the farm of Raiser Fultz, just north of town and 
after selling this removed to Minnesota where he died about 1867. David 
Whale}-, Jr., made a claim near his father's which he sold to Almarin Randall, 
and he to James Nichols, and it is owned by Mrs. Xichols today. [Xow by C. R. 
Williams.] Randall lives in Minnesota at this time, and Mr. Whaley lives in 
Waukon at this date. James Conway made a claim on section 28, where he still 
lives. I Xow owned by L. L. Meier, j 

"Robert Stevenson became a lawyer, married Mr. Geo. C. Shattuck's daughter 
Minerva, and subsequently removed to Wisconsin, and during the late war was 
among the first in that state to enlist for three years or during the war. He was 
a private in Company C. 2d Wisconsin Volunteers, and now fills and honors a 
soldier's grave on the bloody field of Antietam. During the first battle of Bull 
Run, while our forces were everywhere scattered, and confusion and disorderly 
retreat was the rule, he volunteered to relieve the color sergeant of the regimental 
colors and bore them safely out of the conflict, knowing that the colors in an en- 
gagement are always the rallying point for the regiment. In the severe battle 
of Gainesville, on the 28th of August, 1862, where his regiment in eighty minutes 
lost over two hundred and fifty officers and men out of the 450 engaged, and when 
every man of the color guard had fallen, he rushed to the post of danger, seized 
the colors, and after the enemy were driven back bore them from the field and car- 
ried them all through the two days fierce contests of that bloody engagement. At 
South Mountain, September 14th, though too unwell for duty he was there to 
float his favorite flag in the face of the foe. At Antietam in the early morning 
of September 17th, as the sound of the first gun announced the opening of that 
memorable conflict, he left a sick bed in the hospital at the rear, and disregarding 
the protests of the medical officers, sought his regiment then in line of battle under 


lire, and saying to his commanding officer. "Captain. I am with you to the last,' 
took his post with his favorite colors and within sixty minutes fell, fairly riddled 
with bullets, as brave a soul as ever was ushered into the presence of his Maker. 
After the engagement the National colors showed two bullet marks on the staff 
and twenty-two in the colors; the state flag showed three in the staff and twenty- 
four in the colors ; and besides these a portion of the colors were shredded away 
from hard usage. 

"The following families made claims in Union Prairie. Seth Patterson and 
Darwin Patterson on section 23; each built a log house near a large spring that 
is the source of Patterson creek, but at this writing there is nothing left to mark 
the spot but a mound of earth. The creek was named after them and still bears 
their name ; it runs northwest and empties into the Iowa river in Hanover town- 
ship. Seth Patterson is dead, and Darwin is a merchant in Minnesota. 

"Richard Charles made a claim on section 24, and built a log house near a 
spring that is the source of Village creek. This creek runs northeast and empties 
into the Mississippi river at Columbus. This farm is now the property of Mr. 
James Reed, and his dwelling stands near the spot where the original log house 
stood. [Now owned by S. J. Blagen.] The present whereabouts of .Mr. Charles 
are unknown to the writer, lames Gillett made a claim on section 26, ami. with 
his son Horace, and son-in-law McNutt, built a log house near the spring that 
is the source of Coon creek, which runs northwest and empties into the Iowa 
river in Winneshiek county. This claim afterwards became the property of 
Edward Eells, and is now owned by his sons A. J. and G. I'. Eells. [ Now owned 
by John Conrad.] Of all these first families in Union Prairie, not one is living 
in the county to-day. 

"All these families spoken of in both townships came in previous to June 
1st. and as the 4th of July approached the settlement decided that the day should 
be duly honored; so Mr. Xiblock and I'itt Shattuck were detailed to prepare 
a liberty pole for the occasion, and on the 3rd they cut a tall, straight, young 
tree in the Paint creek timber, near where Gay I'enheld now lives, and hauled 
it to the head of Union Prairie, wdiere it was erected by the men of the settle- 
ment, and on the next day. July 4th. 1850. the whole settlement, men. women 
and children, gathered around the pole where they listened to an oration from 
Darwin Patterson. Esq., delivered from the stump of a tree by; after which 
they had their picnic dinner, and on this occasion Mr. Shattuck gave the prairie 
the name of "Union." All these exercises were carried on with much Eourth of 
July patriotism and sociality, and this was the first public picnic dinner, and the 
first Eourth of July celebration that history records in Makee or Union Prairie 
townships. The main traveled road from steamboat landing on the Mississippi 
river at Pausing, to Decorah. in Winneshiek county, ran past this pole; and 
before this region was tapped by railroads it was a much-traveled thoroughfare, 
and this pole stood for many years as a landmark, and was known far and wide. 
The owner of the land on which it stood recently committed an act of vandalism 
by cutting it down, not knowing or not caring about the early associations that 
clustered around the spot, and were it not for this record of the historian these 
facts would soon be forgotten. 

"In the fall of 1850. Azel Pratt and Lemuel Pratt came in. and settled on 
Makee ridge. Azel building a little log cabin south of the road near a spring, on 


what is now the farm of Mr. John Kasser. In this they lived, and Lemuel having 
brought in a small stock of goods, they were opened out in the chamber, or up- 
stairs part of the house, and customers supplied therefrom. Thus Deacon Pratt 
owned the first building used as a store in Makee. He is to-day an honored and 
respected citizen among us, and the treasurer of our Early Settlers' Association. 
[Deacon Pratt died in 1881.] 

"Lemuel Pratt entered the land where Michael McCroden now lives, and 
kept hotel there. [Present owner P. J. Quillin.] The postoffice for all the region 
round about was kept in his house, and he was the first postmaster in Makee 
township. In 1856 he sold out and moved to Minnesota. 

''In the spring of 1851 Augustine and L. W. Hersey came in with a small 
stock of goods, purchased the remnant of the stock of Lemuel, and opened a 
small store in the dwelling house of Augustine on Makee Ridge, later owned by 
G. Schellsmith. 

"In the sprng of 1851 several familes came into the settlement, among whom 
were Abraham Bush, David Bartley. Elijah Short, George Randall, Howard Her- 
sey. John Pratt, Doctor Flint, the pioneer physician of the settlement. John A. 
Wakefield and perhaps others, who settled in what is now Makee; and George 
Merrill, Henry Harris, John Harris, H. H. Horton, Francis Treat. John Ammon, 
Eells brothers, Moses Bush, John Bush. Win. S. Conner, and others, who settled 
in what is now Union Prairie ; and the country began to present an appearance 
of age and prosperity, but there was as yet no Makee, Union Prairie or Waukon." 

i>. 1:. Raymond's kixollectioxs 

In 1877 Mr. David B. Raymond, then living in Ohio, contributed a series of 
papers to the Waukon Standard which were so interesting that copious extracts 
are given here for preservation in permanent form. Mr. Raymond was one of 
eight children of John Raymond, who located the whole west half of section 35, 
in Union Prairie township in 1852. After describing their journey, and arrival 
at Lansing on a steamer three days and nights from Galena, he tells something 
of their disappointment in finding so rudimentary a town ; and the narrative 
continues : 

"Before leaving Lansing I must tell what was there in the fall of '52 in 
September. I cannot recall who kept the hotel then under way. A Mr. Birchard 
[Bircher] kept a grocery directly at the landing, just opposite where G. W. Gray's 
warehouse was afterwards built. I remember Birchard had a large yellow 
rattlesnake confined in a box ; this was the first rattlesnake I ever saw, and it left 
no pleasant recollections of the breed. A Mr. Ballou had established a lumber 
yard. The Hasseys were then making some additions to their plat of the town ; 
there was a fine strip of bench land between the creek and the bluff, extending 
cut to where the sawmill was in course of construction. I think there was not 
more than six or eight dwellings completed then, but all was bustle and activity; 
everv boat brought from two to three hundred passengers, and a few days or 
weeks made great changes. 

"The first gambling I ever witnessed was in an unfinished saloon in Lansing; 
the glittering coin in stacks is now fresh in mind. * * * Gambling in the 
Mississippi Valley in those days was considered a legitimate business. * * * 


John W. Remine, John Mobley, John J. Shaw, James I. Gilbert, and the Cowles 
came about this time. The Grant brothers kept a hotel soon after. There were 
many others whose names I cannot recall. There was a constant noise like a 
bedlam from carpenters' tools, and like Jonah's gourd Lansing grew in a night. 

"But hark! The same sounds are heard down the river. What means this? 
A rival town in existence only one mile away, and upon inquiry learned the 
name was Columbus. How my pulse beat upon learning the name ! I had left 
the good old State of Ohio with its capital of that name ; but this young Columbus 
was hardly distinguishable. Nevertheless the same racket was there, and an 
enterprising man, Mr. Elias Topliff, had already the county seat in embryo at 
the foot of Capoli bluff, but was in danger of slipping off into the river. If he 
and Mr. Leonard B. Hodges had expended their energies on a favorable location 
their prestige would have won them much that was otherwise lost. 

''But we must leave Lansing and see what is out on the 'cow-path,' which 
wc found to be a tolerably good wagon road. A mile or more out we came to 
the first of Iowa's famous springs. The sparkling water came gushing out of 
the limestone rock at the foot of the bluff and dashed across the road as if to 
hurry on to mingle with the Father of Waters. I drank from this spring my 
first square drink on Iowa soil, and many times after stopped to drink of this 
sparkling water. 

"A few- miles out we came to an abrupt hill which we wound up with diffi- 
culty and when on the summit found we were on the famous 'Lansing Ridge,' 
and within the range of the eye there seemed a dozen more just like it. Away 
to the south was the so-called Columbus Ridge. These two rival towns had 
rival ridges running parallel, and rival roads on these two ridges terminating at 
nearly the same point on Union Prairie. Between them flowed a beautiful stream 
called Village creek. 

"Standing on the Lansing ridge about eight miles out from the river and 
looking over the valley of Village creek, and to the north where the ridges and 
ravines with their rippling streams are lost in the view towards the Upper Iowa 
river, I think is as romantic as any view ever beheld by the writer ; the more so 
as the first view was when not a living white man had a house in this region 
save what I call to mind in these papers. I believe I am correct when I say 
that Mr. Thos. [this doubtless should be John A.] Wakefield was the first who 
put up a dwelling on the ridge out from Lansing; at least we found him 
ensconsed in a good house with some improvements at our first advent there. 
He was a man of considerable avoirdupois and went by the title of colonel or 
major. He had a great desire for prominence and office, and was subject to 
many hard hits from competitors. As he often gloried in his valorous deeds in 
the war with Black Hawk, the keen cutting sarcasm of J. W. Remine and some 
others drove the old colonel almost to frenzy on some occasions. I believe he 
never succeeded to any office while a resident of the ridge, which sorely discour- 
aged him. As he was indeed a pioneer he sold out and moved to Nebraska in 
the summer of '54. He was quite enterprising in improvements, and had a 
water ram in operation several rods below his house to force the water from a 
nice spring to his dwelling, which was considered a great luxury on the ridge, 
* * * the elevation carrying the traveler many feet above some good springs 


on either side. Thus my memory reverts to the many draughts of cool water 
from the pipe at the colonel's place and can only think of him as a true benefactor. 

[A sketch of Colonel Wakefield's career will be found in another chapter.] 

"In the summer of '53 the writer walked from Union Prairie to Lansing and ' 
back on a hot day to get medicine for a sick mother, there being no physician 
nearer than Lansing at that time to our knowledge, unless Dr. J. W. Flint had 
located in the Hersey and Pratt settlement prior to this. 

"The next dwelling out from Col. Wakefield's was, I think, Mr. Judson 
Hersey's, where we found this true Yankee behind a counter selling goods to 
the passing immigrants. My first impression of this man was lasting, and I can 
only think of him as a genial gentleman with genuine enterprise. In subsequent 
years I met him and found him the same. He was the pioneer merchant of all 
the country west from Lansing. [This is not quite correct, as A. J. Hersey 
(known as Judson) purchased the stock from his brothers Lewis and Augus- 
tine, who had a year or so the start of him ; and they had taken over the rem- 
nant of goods opened up by Lemuel Pratt in 1850.] 

"The first settlement formed in '52 [i850-'5i] by the Herseys and Pratts at 
the western termination of Lansing Ridge was at that time a prominent place, 
characterized by great enterprise, but when the commissioners drove the stake 
for the future county seat at Waukon, the enterprising residents of Makee fol- 
lowed like a flock of sheep and became pioneers in building up this beautiful 
village within plain view of the scenes of their first labors. Much of the early 
enterprise of Waukon is due to the Herseys and Pratts. But I am running ahead 
of my story, as I intended to note a chain of circumstances. 

"As we approached the level country eighteen or twenty miles west from 
the river — I say level because near the river the bluffs and ravines were so unlike 
what I was used to in Ohio that the country at the head of the streams was to 
my mind level, although it was all rolling and interspersed with miniature ridges 
and ravines — when we reached Union Prairie after traveling through two or 
more miles of 'openings' from Hersey's store, what a beautiful scene was pre- 
sented to view ! The open prairie gently rolling like waves of the sea, all covered 
with grass, apparently as even as a floor; the fluttering prairie chickens as they 
rose from the wagon path ; and the bright crimson waves of the sun towards 
evening glittering over the waving grass ; such a sight can never be seen again 
in the same place and under the same circumstances. 

"I will name a few of the first families that preceded us to Union Prairie 
township and vicinity: Mr. Edward Eells had one of the finest selections in 
the county, and had commenced improvements on the lovely spot where he chose 
to erect a cabin, alongside a beautiful spring. He was a prominent man and his 
place was an intermediate point between Lansing and Decorah, consequently 
it was a stopping place for all travel on this road, and the first postoffice in this 
part was kept by Mr. Eells. He had a family of boys, of which I remember 
Andrew, Giles, Enos, Edward, and Spicer. I think there were two daughters, 
one of whom married a Mr. Williams, of Lansing, a tinner. 

"A brother of his, Mr. Loren Eells, made a fine selection just west of 
Edward's. Just north of this two brothers, Welshmen, Henry and John Harris, 
had a splendid location and had raised some fine crops that season. * * * 



"Following down this spring brook were others who located about the same 
time, and to the north there were many who came and took up land. The set- 
tlement was so rapid that the land was soon all taken in this region, far in the 
direction of the Upper Iowa river. 

"To the south of the Eells selection were others: Mr. Wm. Abbott, and 
Mr. Wm. Conner, who soon sold to a Mr. Freeman, who became so homesick 
he soon sold out and went back to York state. * * * South of Mr. Abbott's 
was John Raymond's selection, and south of that the Woodward brothers, Ben- 
jamin and Reading; the latter sold out and went to Minnesota. Just west of 
the Woodwards. Mr. James Logan located. He was a true Scotch farmer and 
prospered well. Just east of John Raymond's was a selection made by Mr. Rob- 
ert Isted, a very enterprising man and a most untiring worker, who aided in 
every enterprise to improve the country. 

"Mr. Ezra Reid had located on the southeast of this prairie, with a choice 
rivalling the Eells selection. He was indeed the pioneer of this section. Mr. 
Luther Howes, his son-in-law, located on the west of 'Uncle Ezra ;' and south of 
R. Isted was Air. Henry Holcomb. 

"This brings us near to the beautiful prairie where Waukon is now located. 
The first time I beheld the gentle rolling land on which your town now stands 
my impression was that the Allwise Being had bestowed uncommon beauties 
on this spot. * * The pioneer cabin of Mr. George Shattuck was like a 

dot on this rare picture. It stood in a clump of hazel thicket with a few burr 
oak trees around, and near the spot where the Episcopal church stood later. 
Mr. Shattuck had entered considerable land here, and made a wise selection, 
never dreaming his location was to become the future county seat. The writer 
worked for Mr. Shattuck a few days in the fall of '52. and took turnips for pay. 
Mr. Shattuck was a staunch whig then, and the election of Winfield Scott was to 
him almost bread and butter. I being schooled differently thought the old man 
overzealous, hence some bickerings between us ; I being young and having no vote 
was always worsted in these talks. Mr. Shattuck was anxiously awaiting the 
return of a son from California with funds to free him from debt and make 
improvements. He was advanced in years and could not labor much, but was 
hale and hearty for his age." 

The county seat was located by the commissioners upon Mr. Shattuck's 
land in the spring of 1853, — or. rather, upon the land of his sons, Scott and 
Pitt Shattuck, who had entered claims adjoining, and the embryo town was 
christened Waukon (after John Waukon, a Winnebago chief), by John Haney, 
Jr., of Lansing, it is generally believed, as narrated in the history of W r aukon, 
in another chapter. Mr. Raymond gives the credit to John W. Remine, also of 
Lansing. They may both have been present at the time. Mr. Raymond makes 
the assertion that the prominent men of Lansing assisted in the selection of 
Waukon as the county seat for the purpose of crippling their down-river neigh- 
bor. Columbus, with the ulterior purpose of securing the prize for Lansing at 
a later date, which was temporarily accomplished in 1861. Continuing Mr. Ray- 
mond writes : 

"Soon after the location of the county seat some of the more wise considered 
the necessity of giving it a name. Many were the names proposed, of which 
the writer cannot remember any except the one now so familiar, and which 


seemed so fitting. * * * The name Waukon was proposed by J. W. Remine, 
and adopted. Thus one of Lansing's citizens gave the name to the embryo 
county seat. The writer had the pleasure of seeing this old chief some years 
prior to his death while on his way to Washington to see the 'Great Father.' 
He was represented to be then past eighty years of age. He was tall and straight 
as a reed, but showed the feebleness attending old age. His whole appearance 
was commanding, and his voice superb. 

"About the time or immediately after the stake was set a son of Mr. Shattuck 
returned from the land of gold and deeded the land then held by his father, a 
part of which was school land. If I mistake not they deeded forty acres to the 
county for the new county seat, and commenced to improve and build on some 
lots as soon as the plat of the town was laid out. The first building put up in 
the new town was put up by Scott Shattuck, nearly due south from the old 
cabin, just across the ravine near the spring. This building served as a dwelling 
and hotel in one, and faced on Main street, running east and west. [This was 
on the north side of the street, and is still standing, in 1913, shown in the pic- 
ture on page 209.] 

"Scott Shattuck also put up a barn at the same time, which was unroofed 
by a storm in July following. This was the first storm witnessed in the new 
state by us newcomers, and was a fearful one indeed. Heavy hail fell and 
destroyed the crops in its track, the cornfields being utterly destroyed as if immense 
droves of cattle had roamed over them. * * * 

"There were a number of buildings put up in Waukon nearly simultaneously. 
One was for the county, a low frame * * * a little south of the courthouse 
square on the east side of Allamakee street. [This little building still stands, 
1913, and is shown on page 209. with an addition built on the south in 1857.] All 
was hustle and activity. Many came and bought lots and prepared to build before 
the deeds were made out. Carpenters were in demand, and a goodly number 
came. Among the first was one Wm. Ramsdel, who I think, built the first two 
or three buildings in town. His brother Joseph worked with him.'' 

Mr. Raymond's reminiscences were interrupted here by pressure of other 
duties ; but a few years later, after another visit here he called up further recol- 
lections, from which we quote: 

"Thomas Howe expressed my thought when he first looked over Union 
Prairie in my company one morning in September, 1852, and in answer to my 
question what he thought of it, replied, 'Why, it's a rale hiven on airth.' 

"I also remember the log cabin where Dr. J. W. Flint lived as the first prac- 
ticing physician in the locality, and how one cold winter day I called to have a 
tooth extracted. The appliances were of the old style and the doctor strong and 
not very cautious or tender in his manner ; he drew from his pocket an old jack- 
knife which had been a stranger to the whetstone for months; with this he cut 
the gum, or rather tore it loose, down to the jaw, 'and don't you forget' that 
tooth had the ache taken out suddenly. I suggested to the doctor the propriety 
of having the tooth in as the aching ceased but he never left jobs half finished; 
the old cant hook was wrapped with a very ancient looking handkerchief and 
crowded into my mouth which then felt like a hardware and dry goods store com- 
bined ; one twist and that tooth left its hold and rolled on the floor and for a 
moment I conceived it had gone through the top of my head and left a big hole, 



but in a few minutes the doctor suggested that I could safely return home. I 
deposited a half dollar with him and left, since which time I have retained my 
teeth intact, but will always remember the doctor and my first rough experience 
with him. He was afterward a physician of good practice in Waukon and a 
good souled man. One Anderson, who kept a livery at the time in town, and was 
quite a wag, said the doctor was very liberal in administering medicine as his 
powders were usually as large as a good sized frog. But the good doctor has 
long since gone to his rest, and I must kindly remember him now as no doubt 
many of your citizens will, as a prominent man in business and politics in Alla- 


In a booklet entitled "Old Times on Portland Prairie," published by It. V. 
Arnold in 191 1, we find some interesting recollections regarding the settlement 
of the northern part of the county, which, though written more particularly for 
the edification of those residing north of the state line, contain references to 
Allamakee people as well; and being a truthful narrative of the settlement and 
building up of an agricultural community applies it to any similar locality, the 
experiences related are those of all our early settlers. The region known as 
Portland Prairie has long been noted for its beauty and fertility, and is partly 
located in Waterloo and Union City townships, its drainage being largely through 
Waterloo and Clear creeks into the Oneota river, or. as Mr. Arnold says, "the 
Upper Iowa of maps." To quote: 

"The early settlers found the sunshaded sides of the ravines and tops of 
some of the ridges between them fairly well stocked with timber, largely full- 
grown, with groves of smaller growths where the bluffs merge into the swells 
of the rolling prairie. There was but little pine anywhere, and the chestnut, so 
common in the eastern states, was not found here. The sides of the bluffs that 
received the rays of the sun in winter, were high and steep, were apt to be bare 
of trees. The border prairie groves contained oaks of different varieties and 
sizes, but largely consisted of poplar and wild cherry. 

"The first comers into this section did not occupy the open prairie, but rather 
sought out locations about its south and eastern borders, where the land was 
partially timbered. Two or three considerations usually influenced them, to-wit, 
the shelter of timber, and nearness to water combined with good land. A log 
cabin once built, other conveniences might be left to be attained as soon as might 
be, while some privileges commonly enjoyed in the communities from which 
they had emigrated, were to be indefinitely postponed or left to come as they 

"The first settlers to locate in the neighborhood of Portland Prairie appear 
to have been Freeman Graves, Everett brothers, George Carver, John Edger, 
Mrs. Jas. Robinson with her sons and daughters (all in Allamakee except Edgar), 
and a few others who did not remain long in the country. Freeman Graves was 
a native of Vermont, and came to section 34, Winnebago township, March 15, 
1851. After the government survey of the state line in 1852 he found that most 
of the land he had selected lay on the Iowa side of it. He spent the remainder 
of his long life on his farm and ten children were born to the family. 


M Him |^yy '. Jj 

* > 

gt if: 








"James Robinson was a native of Ireland, and died in 1841. In 1851 Mrs. 
Robinson and family located on what is still known as the Robinson place on 
the southern border of Portland Prairie and on the Iowa side of the line. Her 
four sons were William, Henry, George and John. William only was old enough 
to make entry of a claim. The Fourth of July was observed by raising a log 
cabin. Another early settler was John Coil who located south of the Robinson 

"George Carver settled some distance to the south of where Eitzen now is, 
in 1852. He was a native of New York. The sons of Col. Josiah Everett, 
as he was called, also settled on the Iowa side of the line. The sons were Josiah, 
Andrew, Franklin, Benaiah, and Seth. Two daughters, named Orra and Lucy. 
The family were from New Portland, Maine. Possibly the Everetts gave to Port- 
land Prairie the name that has come down from settlement days. The settlers 
had to get their mail at Lansing, or bring it out for several families. An old 
Indian trail from the Iowa to the Root river followed the watershed of the 
prairie in its course northwesterly, and the first road followed essentially the 
course already marked by the old trail. 

"John Edger and three other Irishmen located in section 32, Wilmington, in 
1852, but Edger soon moved his location to the southeast corner of section 36, 
where he built a log cabin, and the others soon sold out and left. It was from 
Rhode Island and a neighboring portion of Massachusetts that quite a contin- 
gent of the early settlers of Portland Prairie came, and those from Rhode Island 
being more numerous than those from any other single state, the prairie was 
referred to by some as the 'Rhode Island Settlement.' The first from Rhode 
Island came in the spring of 1854. These were James M. and Duty (or Darius) 
S. Paine, Charles F. Albee, and Jeremiah Shumway. They bought out John 
Fdger and occupied his log cabin until they could establish themselves on places 
(if their own. Edger moved down on the Mississippi river bottom somewhere 
to the south of the state line. This party came by boat to Lansing without any 
very definite idea where in southeastern Minnesota they would locate. Learning 
of a prairie tract some twenty miles northwest of Lansing as yet scarcely occu- 
pied by settlers, some of the party went out to view the land there and reported 
that there would be no need of looking for any other location. J. Shumway 
remained on the Edger claim, having land on both sdes of the state line. For 
the present C. F. Albee lived in the Edger cabin with the Shumway family and 
worked at building the few frame houses that were put up that year, the lumber 
Being teamed from Lansing. It is said that at one time the cabin sheltered 
sixteen inmates. Mrs. Albee in her old age wrote out her vivid recollections of 
those times, of which the following is a part : 

"'Our goods had not come; we had only what we brought in our trunks. 
The roof of the cabin was thatched with shakes, and leaked. Now it rained so 
much it made the Iowa river raise so it could not be crossed, and Lansing was our 
trading point. * * * The boys had got two cows and these had calves, so 
we had milk, with some little string beans, and potatoes as large as marbles, with 
a little flour for our first meals. Monday night Mary was so sick she was 
unconscious ; then Charles really seemed to have the cholera and was very sick. 
* * * Up north about a mile, Duty and wife and James and wife and my 
father had their log cabin, and were just as hard up for food. They were trying 


to fix a better roof. Well, news came that a neighbor's wife had died with cholera 
on her way home from Lansing, and what could be done? One of the neigh- 
bors asked if Jerry could not make a coffin if he brought some boards. He said 
he would try, and' so went to work. Charles would raise up on his elbow and 
tell Jerry how and what to do. My two brothers and Jerry with Mr. J. Coil 
went along to bury her. They had not been gone long before a regular tornado 
swept in upon us. The floor boards of the cabin were not nailed down and 
began to fly up, and the shakes flew from the roof. I expected the logs would 
tumble next, and no one but myself able to do anything. So I got my babies' 
wraps on and Charles got Alary and her baby to the door ready to go. I never 
can forget how Charles looked, so much like a dead man with my white bed- 
spread over him. I looked up on the hill and what a sight! My poor old father 
trying to keep up with the oxteam in which the women and babies were loaded. 
The roof of their house was gone, trunks blown open and clothing scattered to 
the winds. This was Thursday, and I had not been in Minnesota a week. 

" 'The men soon came back, and Jack Coil came riding up saying the cattle 
were in our cornfield, the fence having mostly blown down. Then they all took 
hold and fixed up the fence. * * * The next Tuesday we heard that the 
Iowa river could be crossed, and they got Jack's team and brought flour and 
eatables from Lansing. We did not suffer for food any further. The crops 
were soon ripe, and we had both wheat and corn.' 

"The Iowa river was not bridged on the Lansing road at that time, but could 
easily be crossed by teams when the water was low, at a ford. * * At this 

period the cultivation of wheat, corn, oats, and garden stuff had become quite 
general on such acreage as had been brought under plow, but there was as yet 
little in the way of agricultural machinery. No great amount of wheat could 
be raised, since it was sown by hand, dragged in by oxen, cut with cradles, and 
pounded out with flails. * * * The financial panic of 1857 was severely 
felt. For nearly a year there was little or no money in circulation, and it became 
hard to get such things as people have to buy at store-." 

Coming down to about 1865 there were better conditions existing, described 
by Mr. Arnold as follows: "The people were fairly well provided with agricul- 
tural machines and common farm implements. There was a great deal of 
exchanging of work, particularly in harvest and threshing time. Some who had 
a limited acreage in wheat hired their cutting done by a neighbor, offsetting the 
bill as much as possible by an exchange of work. As late as the spring of 1865, 
some of the people were still sowing grain by hand, though the broadcast seeder 
was coming into use. Spring wheat was then the principal crop ; next in acre- 
age came corn, and then oats. Harvest time was the busiest season, which began 
in the latter part of July. Some men from a distance came in at this time, but 
largely the crews were made out by exchanging with neighbors, their grown 
boys or their hired men. The same usage applied to threshing crews. Various 
self-raking reaper- were in use, * * the self-binder was unknown, although 


"There was no threshing in the field direct from the shock. The harvest 
over the grain was stacked, generally about the stable yards for use of the straw. 
On the larger farms some stacking was done in the fields and sooner or later the 
straw burned. The steam thresher, although beginning to be used, was never 


seen here during the wheat-raising period. Various horsepower machines were 
in use. run by four or five span of horses walking around in a circle and attached 
to the arms of a low machine composed largely of iron gearing, placed back 
about three rods from the threshing machine, the two being connected by a 
shaft in loose-jointed sections so it could be slanted from a low level where the 
horses stepped over its covering, gradually upward to the shaft of the cylinder 
of the thresher. 

"In comparison with the present times it might almost be said that there 
were no barns. But as the stock required shelter, makeshifts for barns were 
constructed that served the purpose for those years. They were called 'straw 
barns.' Crotches placed eight to ten feet apart were set in three rows, the center 
row being the highest. Large poles were run in the tops of the crotches and 
smaller poles and fence rails were set leaning against the crotch poles and end 
rafters all around the outside. Poles or fence rails were used for rafters, and 
all this formed the framework of the structure. In threshing time a large amount 
of straw was run upon and banked around it, and what was left would be stacked 
in the yard against some part of the stable for the cattle to work on. Sometimes 
the stable had a fence of posts and poles built around it within three feet and 
straw was tramped into the spaces between, making a straw wall for the sides 
and ends. The entrance might be provided with a door made of boards. The 
tops of these straw barns or sheds were rounded up like the top of a rick of hay, 
so as to shed the rain. In such sheds, horses, cattle, and poultry were warmly 
wintered. A few had log stables, but they were covered at first as were the 

"It may be wondered at now that in a section where wheat was the principal 
crop>, how so many had to tide along without granaries. Of course various make- 
shifts had to be resorted to. One method was to build bins of fence rails, line 
them with straw, and fill them up with wheat as threshed. Another method 
was to build bins of scantling and pine boards, blocked up a foot or more above 
the ground, but in either case roofed over with a rounded packing of straw. 
Those were times when people had to get along without many things of which 
the) often stood in need. 

"The cleaning up of wheat for market or for seeding was attended with 
some inconvenience. A wagon body had to be lifted off the wheels and placed 
on the ground near a bin. The fanning mill was placed inside of it, and the 
wheat run from the bin as needed into a pail or half -bushel measure. At inter- 
vals, as cleaned and collected in the wagon body, it was shoveled into cotton 
wove sacks, which at that time cost a dollar apiece. Each sack held a little 
over two bushels, and eighteen of them made a fair load. The cleaning job 
over, the body had to be placed back on the wheels, the sacks loaded into it, 
and it was now ready for the trip to Lansing, which took the most of two days 
to go and return with horse teams, A part of the crop was marketed in the fall, 
but many trips being required much of it remained stored in the bins until after 
corn-planting time of the next year. There was no marketing of corn, oats, or 
potatoes, these being all used at home. 

"The first few years after the cessation of the raising of spring wheat was 
a transition stage which gradually opened up more prosperous conditions than 
the older times had ever produced. First came creameries in this section of the 


country, followed by an increase in the number of hogs and cattle raised, with 
attention to good breeds of the same, and a more careful looking after the land. 
Then came the big red barns, drilled wells and windmills on farms that did not 
before have them. Many more substantial houses were built, and others more or 
less remodeled. In the middle nineties the telephone came into the community, 
and later the rural mail delivery with the possibility of the city daily paper 

* * * At last children began growing up in the community to whom the hard- 
ships and privations which their grandparents had experienced were only family 
traditions. The old times ended with the wheat raising days." 

And now, in addition to the telephone and the daily mail, the modern house 
with bath, steam heat, electric light and power, and to cap the climax the 
automobile, belong to the country as much as to the town, and the farmer is the 
most independent being in existence. It paid for him — or his fathers — to suffer 
privations. Truly the past half-century was a marvelous period! 

In the Annals of Iowa, January 1897, Ira Cook tells some of his experiences 
as a government surveyor, in which he says : 

"Early in 1852 the United States commenced the location of the boundary 
line between Iowa and Minnesota. As soon as the commission was well under 
way. I was sent up there to close up and sub-divide Township 100. I think 
my district included five ranges in Allamakee and Winneshiek counties. My 
work was partly in that portion of those counties which a writer in a recent 
number of the 'Midland Monthly' calls the 'Switzerland of Iowa.' Here among 
swiftly running streams, deep canyons, mountainous hills, and rocky precipices, 
I worked for two months, and really here I had the most pleasant and enjoyable 
time of all my different trips. I found that the brooks and the creeks were 
pretty well stocked with speckled trout. I had not seen one since a boy of ten 
years, and I could not resist the temptation to go after them, and go I did. For 
one whole week a cousin and myself whipped the streams, large and small 

* * * enough to say we were satisfied. 

"One incident that happened on this survey I must relate as a curiosity. 
The most of the land that was available had been taken up by squatters, and 
so there were a good many settlers in my district. This township 100 consists 
of five full sections north and south, but the sixth section was only about two 
or three chains wide, say eight to twelve rods. One day in running up my 
range lines I struck a man's farm which was partly in Iowa and partly in Minne- 
sota. When I was through running my lines, his cultivated land was situated 
in two States, four townships, and six sections! 

"My work completed, we came down to Lansing, expecting soon to get 
a steamboat for Dubuque. We were informed, however, there would not be 
a boat down for five days, so I decided to build a boat of my own. 

I bought two Indian canoes about twelve feet long, some two-by-fours and enough 
lumber to deck my craft. We lashed the canoes firmly side by side, decked 
them over, loaded our traps, and we seven men stepped on board. When we 
were all on board we had not more than four inches between the surface of 
the water and the top of the canoes, but the craft was as steady as a seventy- 
four gun ship, and we made the trip to Davenport in safety." 

In a little book published in Boston in 1856, Nathan H. Parker gives an 
entertaining description of a trip through this part of Iowa, in which he says: 


"The tourist who would visit northern Iowa should take one of the regular 
packets at Gelena and Dunlieth, and register himself for Lansing, one hundred 
miles northwest. If there is a more comfortable way of traveling than aboard the 
floating palaces of the Upper Mississippi, or a more grand and picturesque 
portion of country to be seen than is beheld on this route, I have thus far failed 
to find it ; and persons who have traveled extensively on both continents repre- 
sent the scenery in this section of country as superior to even that of the far- 
famed Rhine. 

"After a very pleasant trip with my namesake. Capt. J. W. Parker, of the 
Golden Era, I landed at Lansing. The first sight of interest that greeted my 
eyes was a party of three or four hundred hardy Norwegians, with their goods 
and chattels piled up on the wharf, awaiting conveyance to the country. As 
near as I could understand them, a large colony had purchased a tract of land 
a few miles west, and they were on their way to their new home. They were 
in good health and excellent spirits, and had not lost one of their number since 
leaving Norway. From the fact that these immigrants came over in a steamship, 
as well as from the appearance of a small, well-guarded iron chest in their pos- 
session, it may be inferred they are a well-to-do and industrious class, who 
will be a great accession to this portion of the State. 

"Lansing is the most important town in the State, above Dubuque on the river. 
It is rapidly increasing and will eventually become a city of note, as it is the 
natural landing for a large section of very fertile country which is being rapidly 
filled by actual settlers. At the Lansing House you will take a stage for the 
interior. Yes, there you will find the real old-fashioned stage-coach, and per- 
haps recognize ere you return, some of the old coaches which have been driven 
west by the locomotive, and in which you have already traveled in the eastern or 
middle states. 

"What an 'institution' the stage-coach is, to a newly-settled country, and what 
a convenience is the accommodating driver ! Our load embraced fifteen pas- 
sengers, a large rear boot full of baggage and luggage, while the front boot 
contained mailbags. mealbags, dogs, jugs, and what not. The road from Lansing 
to Decorah, for several miles after leaving the river, winds through a beauti- 
ful valley ; and when at length you reach the table-land the scenery is, we might 
say enchanting. To the north, beyond the valley of the upper Iowa river, 
can be seen the graceful hills and green fields of Minnesota, while far away to 
the south the landscape is checkered with prairies and groves ; and on every 
side the smoke from the humble dwelling of the settler, marking the spots where 
the wanderers from almost every state, and every country in Europe, are making 
new homes. In a drive * * * through a beautiful, though rough country 
we reached Waukon, the county seat, a place of perhaps 300 inhabitants, in 
the midst of a good farming country. 

"Less than ten years have elapsed since this section was in full possession of 
the Winnebago Indians. How changed the scene ! No longer shall these groves 
and plains be the red man's hunting-ground; no longer the deep ravines serve 
as lurking-places for the wily foe, nor the bluff-side as a battle-field between con- 
tending tribes. On these peaceful waters, no longer, 
"With tawny limb, 
And belt and beads in sunlight glistening, 
Does the savage urge his skiff, like a wild bird on the wing. 


Look now abroad — another race has filled 
These populous borders— wide the wood recedes, 
And towns shoot up, and fertile realms are tilled; 
The land is full of harvest and green weeds; 
Streams numberless, that many a fountain feed, 
Shine disembowered, and give to sun and breeze 
Their virgin waters ; the full region leads 
New colonies forth, that toward the western seas 
Spread, like a rapid flame among the autumnal trees.'* 

Carlvle D. Beeman was born in Vermont, March 27, 1827, and came to Iowa 
in his twenty-third year, arriving in Jefferson township September 12, 1849, 
' one of the three or four earliest, where he bought the farm upon which he lived 
for twenty-five years, and which he owned for over fifty years until he sold it 
to his son C. M. Beeman, in 1901. October 16, 1853, he married Miss Sarah 
Martindale. who died in 1893, and he later married Mrs. Jennie Falby. His 
was a pioneer record, and a record of close application to his calling which was 
rewarded with large material success. In 187 _j Mr. Beeman entered into com- 
mercial business in Waukon, which he made a success also, and in 1879 erected 
the brick block in West Waukon, and continued the business there until succeeded 
by his four sons in 1897. Mr. Beeman was closely identified with the business 
interests of the town, and took a prominent part in the prosecution of the railroad 
project to completion, as well as in all charitable work and the good government 
of the city, lie was also a leader in the Grange movement, state and national. 
Mr. Beeman died May 1, 1903, leaving four sons and one daughter, all prominent 
in business and social circles. 

J. B. Mattoon, M. D., pioneer physician, was a native of Massachusetts, born 
in Hampshire county. November 14, 1814. His grandfather, Gen. Ebenezer Mat- 
toon, left college to go into the Revolutionary war. and after the war was for a 
time law partner of Thomas Paine. His father, Noah D. Mattoon, was a class- 
mate of Daniel Webster, and graduated from Dartmouth in 1801. At nineteen 
our subject went to Ohio, and graduated at twenty-six from Willoughby Uni- 
versity, afterward the Cleveland Medical College. He then practiced twelve 
years in Crawford county, Pennsylvania. In 1852 he concluded to seek his for- 
tune in the far west, and went to California. After two years he returned and 
settled at Freeport, Winneshiek county, Iowa, then a lively village with the 
promise of becoming the county seat. Here he followed his profession for 
another twelve years with the exception of a year or two in California again, 
and in 1866 came to Waukon, which he made his permanent home. During the 
following twenty-seven years of active practice in Waukon and vicinity Dr. 
.Mattoon endeared himself to the people, by his plain and honest life, being indeed 
one of •"the old school." an ideal family physician, counsellor and friend. Dr. 
Mattoon was married in 1842 to Miss D. E. Heath, and reared two sons and two 
daughters. In 1882 they celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary, and Mrs. 
Mattoon died the following year. A few years later the doctor began spending 
his winters in Florida, and made his home there from 1892 to 1897, when he 
returned to Waukon, where he died April 22, 1900. 


The county records are very incomplete and unsatisfactory as to the organ- 
ization of the civil townships, and little additional information is to be found 
in the township records. The order in which they were organized is probably 
as follows : 

Linton, Taylor and Post, in 1851. At the April, 1852, term of the County 
court the course of Paint creek was officially recognized as the division line 
between Linton and Taylor townships ; a petition for the division of Linton 
township was rejected; and a petition for the separate organization of "Town- 
ship 96, Range 4" was also rejected. Linton originally included the whole tier 
of township 96, but Post voted separately at the April, 1852, election, as perhaps 
Franklin did likewise. 

Lansing in February, 1852. 

Makee, Ludlow, Union Prairie, Union -City, Lafayette, Jefferson and Paint 
Creek, in April, 1852. At the December term, 1853, the boundaries of the fol- 
lowing townships were established : Linton, Taylor, Paint Creek, Jefferson, Frank- 
lin and Post. But all these had held separate elections previous to this date. 
Franklin and Post were taken from Linton. Jefferson and Paint Creek from 

Fairview, March 5, 1855, taken from Linton. 

Hanover and Iowa, March 5, 1855, taken from Union City. 

French Creek and Waterloo, March 3, 1856, taken from Union City. 

Center (or Village Creek), March 5, 1856, taken from Lafayette. This com- 
prising the eighteen townships of the county. 

Taking up the settlement and progress of the townships alphabetically the 
first in order is 


At a term of the County court, March 5, 1856, an order was issued appoint- 
ing O. Deremo as organizing officer to call an election for the organization of 
"Village Creek Township." comprising Congressional township 98, range 4, to 
be taken from the township of Lafayette. The election was held April 8, 1856, 
at the house of Eric Sund, supposed to have been situated on the southeast 
quarter of northeast quarter of section 20, later belonging to A. G. Oleson and 
now owned by David Sjogren. At this election the first township officers 



m T7 c.,.^1 r T Drake Thomas Gordon; 

were elected, as follows: Trustees, E. Sund C .J. »jf\ Smith and 

clerk. A. Drake; assessor, O. Deremo; justices of the peace, 

A. Drake. „.u; n h^ides those above mentioned, 

Among the earliest settlers m the townsh P be*cks thos ^ ^ 

the following names appear: James BakewelL came » m [5 ^ 

east half of northeast quarter of section 5 G. H. *aegre , 

from Norway, to northeast quarter of section 9, ^^ckLenz, ^^ J'. 

Abraham Bechtel and Peter J. *^^*\*£?g*%^£ 
Geo Griswold and L. T. Fearon. section 7 ; Peter Johnson, J o. 

Kittleson section 2 S ; Patrick O'Connor, section 27; O. W. Streeter, section iu 
O K, dsoi A v a 5 Ellefso,, Ole Jacobson, and Lars Oleson Puma, section 34, 
O Deremo section 32; Tohn Johnson and John Peterson, section 28; Andrew A 

^^STcaiSS-* Pe- Larson, section .; Silas Troen- 
dle section o- Willard Bacon, section 22; John Reed, section 31. 

Dr O Deremo the organizing officer appointed by County Judge Tophff 
J££J£Z as well as farming, and taught the first school m h< |T£» 
Anderson district in the adjoining township of Paint Creek „ ^ t e winter of 
l8S 4-5 At the time of the organizing election m 56 he had the honor of select 
nJ the name "Center" for the township in place of the name \ 1 age Creek 
hv wn c "he rein had formerly been known, derived it is said from the 
1 rous native%illages along the valley of this stream when the country 
was first explored by the whites. Dr. Deremo died September ^0| 

h is said the first frame house in the township was built by O. W. btreeter 
in ,850 OS, on the southeast quarter of section sixteen, the farm later owned 
b - P T- Swenson, and now by Eddie Larson. Streeter sold out about ,84, 
trading his land to Bell & Co. of Dubuque, for a stock of dry good,, with 
whkh he opened a store at Caledonia. Minnesota. In the year igcx, he was prac- 
g w m the city of Superior, Wisconsin, where he had been for many years 
e believe and where he was then conducting a suit in the Federal court mvolv- 
Z t He tit le to fourteen quarter sections situated within the limits of that city 
Laving a value of several millions. According to his account he was censurable 
of a fawyer, and had already had two decisions in his favor in this case, but 
wis just then being appealed to the Supreme court, as he stated m a letter 
-it the time to this writer. 

' According to Mr. Deremo. who looked up some matters of the early history 
of "the township, the first funeral was that of Joseph Reynolds who was a 
soldier of the war of 1812. He entered the southwest quarter of sect.on 33 
from the government, and was buried thereon. Rev. E. Howard conducted the 

'The lust school meeting was held at the house of this Mr. Howard, on the 
later Deremo farm, in section 32, May r 4 , 1835. and Mr. John Reed was secre- 
tary Mr Howard was a Methodist minister who had preached at I ostville 
as early as 1848. He had preached also at Lansing and Waukon. The first 

Harper's Ferry church, Taylor township 
New Swedish Baptist church, Center township Presbyterian church, Jefferson township 

Bethlehem Presbyterian church. Ludlow Lycurgus Catholic church, Makee township 

Zalmona Presbyterian church, Ludlow Wexford church. Lafayette township 



school was taught the following winter, 1855-6, by Miss L. Stillman, a daughter 
of John Stillman who had come here that year. It was held in a log school house 
situated in what was later sub-district No. 4, near west line of section 32. 

The first church building was begun in 1856, by the Norwegian Lutherans, 
where the East Paint Creek Church now is, near Dalby. 


In August, 1853, Rev. Gustav Palmquist, then pastor of the Swedish Bap- 
tist church at Rock Island, Illinois, visited Village Creek, or the Swedish settle- 
ment in Center township, and on August 10th twelve were baptized — a significant 
number. Immediately after, the Swedish Baptist Church of Center township 
was organized with these twelve members. A. G. Swedberg was chosen pastor, 
and Eric Sanderman, deacon. No secretary was chosen until 1855, when John 
PeLerson was chosen. 

The first four years the meetings were held in private houses, and in 1857 
a small log house was bought, for $50, which was fixed up and used for a 
church for ten years. In 1867 a frame church was erected valued at about 
$1000, and was considered as a remarkable edifice at that time. This house 
stood on the creek bottom, but owing to the high water at times it was removed 
to the present site. In 1884 a small farm of twenty-two acres, with a six 
room house, was purchsed for a parsonage. 

This old church building served its purpose for forty-four years, when it 
was torn down and a new modern church built in its place, in 191 1, valued at 
some $7000, which was dedicated September 22, 191 2. Considering the few 
Swedes tributary to this church it may be truly said that it has made progress 
fully up with the times. It has the distinction of being the second oldest 
Swedish Baptist Church in America. During the sixty years of its existence 
some four hundred have been enrolled as members. At present the membership 
is about seventy. During this time the church has been served by the fol- 
lowing pastors: A. G. Swedberg, A. Levin, U. P. Walberg, F. Fors, Hamren, 
Sjogren, C. J. Ericson, Floden, C. W. Broms, L. E. Peterson, C. F. Lindberg, 
Paul Johnson Sjoholm, J. R. Lindblom, A. Paulson, John Lundin, and G. D. 
Forsell. Rev. Paul Johnson is the present pastor. 

There are three years during the history of the church that are memorable 
as revival years. In the spring of 1862 twenty were added to the church. In 
the fall of 1873 Rev. Sjogren came and preached, not as pastor. During the 
following January fifty were baptized, and by May seventy-four had joined 
the church by baptism, and not a few were restored. Rev. Sjogren was called 
as pastor and served eight years. In 1886 through the instrumentality of Rev. 
Paul Johnson twenty-seven were added by baptism. 

Some have gone out from this church as ministers of the gospel, as Rev. 
C. W. C. Ericson and Rev. Hans Soudh ; one has acquired nation-wide reputa- 
tion, Rev. Dr. Frank Peterson, son of the first church secretary, now district 
secretary of the American Baptist Foreign Missionary Society; and one mis- 
sionary to India, Miss Erica Bergman. Dr. Peterson when visiting his former 
home here in 1912, recalled with pleasure his early struggles for an education, 
fifty years before, when he attended Professor Loughran's school at Waukon and 


did any kind of chores he could find to do to pay his way, working early and late 
and studying as he could catch the time, and at night. 

A Sunday school in connection with the church was organized in 1862, which 
has been faithfully kept up; a ladies' society in 1865; and a young people's 
society in 1885, which is now a B. Y. P. U. This little church in Center has 
weathered many storms, and stands as a lighthouse on a solid rock. The united 
hope is that its future may have in store still greater blessings than its past 
has brought. 

The Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Fagri Prairie was incor- 
porated in November, 1869, the church officers at that time being: Gulbrand 
Hanson, president; Hans H. Fagri, secretary; Johannes Rund, treasurer; and 
these three constituted the board of trustees. They have a church building, 
but at present without regular weekly service. 


The mills of Village Creek were famous in their day. Among the earliest 
was the Whaley & Topliff Mill near the west line of Center township, on the 
southwest quarter of northwest quarter of section 19. Archa Whaley bought 
of Elias Topliff a half interest in this forty, in 1852, and put up a gristmill 
here. This was one of the contesting points in the triangular election for county 
seat in 1856, and received 314 votes. Mr. Whaley afterwards became the sole 
owner of this mill and continued to operate it for twenty-five or thirty years. 

About the same time B. T. McMillan erected a gristmill on the west half 
of the northwest quarter of northeast quarter section 13, near the east line of the 
township, known as the Allamakee Grist Mill, and later sold to Jesse M. Rose 
and himself engaged in milling in the north part of the county. This mill came 
later into the possession of W. H. Otis, who sold it to C. L. McXamee about 
1875, and he made it famous through the county as the Union Flouring Mills 
for many years, lie finally sold it to A. C. Doehler in 1893. It is now owned and 
operated by Otto Mahlow, and we believe it is the only flouring mill now running 
in Allamakee county except those at Waukon, Forest Mills, and Dorchester. 

What was known as the upper mill, or the Deremore Mill, was not started 
for several years later than the others mentioned. It came into the possession 
of Mr. A. Deremore about 1875, and his son J. A. Deremore bought it in 1881 
and ran it for many years. 


The Elon postoffice and store, on northwest quarter of section 33, were kept 
for many years by Edward Roese. Mr. Roese but recently closed out his busi- 
ness and removed to the West. A store has just been opened here by the Roe 
brothers. Mail for this region is now supplied from Waterville. Dalby was 
another long-time postoffice, on northeast quarter of section 35. And another 
postoffice was Lvndale, kept by John Drake, northwest quarter of section 23. 


Center township officers are now : Clerk, Louis Drake ; trustees, D. R. Anderson, 
Iver Thorson, J. A. Moellerman ; assessor, David Sjogren; justice of the peace, 
F. W. Ericson ; constable, J. E. Ericson. 

The population of Center township in 1856 was 398; in 1910, it was 721. 


This township has the most interesting history of any in the county, having 
been the first visited by white men, the French traders with the Indians. It was 
also the scene of the first industries in the county, engaged in by the lumbermen 
from Prairie du Chien with their sawmills; and the site of the old Indian 
mission, school, and farm, established in 1834. These subjects can be only 
touched upon here, being treated more fully elsewhere in these pages. 

But again extracts from Judge Dean's interesting sketches written in 1880 
find an appropriate place here, although a full chapter has been devoted to the 
Old Mission in the earlier pages of this volume. 

"In 1834 the United States, through its military authorities at Prairie du 
Chien, built on what is now section 19, township 96, range 3, in Fairview town- 
ship, a mission school and farm. At this time Col. Zachary Taylor, afterwards 
President of the United States, commanded the post, and Jefferson Davis, since 
President of the so-called Southern Confederacy, was on duty there as Lieuten- 
ant. General Street was Indian Agent ; all the agents at that time being army 
officers, and the Indians being under the control of the Secretary of War. The 
mission w r as for the purpose of civilizing and Christianizing the Indians, and was 
opened in the spring of 1835 with the Rev. David Lowrey, a Presbyterian in 
faith, as school teacher, and Col. Thomas as farmer. But the effort to make good 
farmers, scholars or Christians out of these wandering tribes proved abortive, 
and poor 'Lo' remained as before, 'a child of nature,' content to dress in breech- 
clout and leggings, lay around the sloughs and streams, and make the squaws 
provide for the family. 

"After their removal, the Government having no further use for the mission, 
put it on the market and sold it to Thomas C. Linton, who occupied it as a farm 
a few years and sold it to Ira Perry, and on the death of Mr. Perry in 1868, it 
became the property of his son, Eugene Perry, the present owner. The build- 
ing is a large two-story stone house, the chimney of which was taken for a 'wit- 
ness tree' when the government survey of public lands was made. * * * 

"This house has become historic in many repects. It is one of the very 
prominent landmarks in the history of the development of Allamakee county, and 
we earnestly hope its owners will let it stand as long as grass grows or water 
runs, and thus preserve to those who may come after us at least one thing that 
may be considered venerable." 

I Since 1880 the mission property has changed hands many times, and for the 
past year has been owned by Stephen and Michael Walsh. Several years ago 
the then owners demolished this fine old landmark, to utilize the stone and other 
building material in the construction of more useful buildings for the present 
day farmer.] 


"It is a very difficult matter for us who live in Allamakee county today to con- 
ceive of the condition of things in the Mississippi valley when this old mission 
was built, 111.1834, and it is still more difficult for the writer to convey a clear 
idea of it. 

"There was at that time no Allamakee county, no Clayton county, no Winni- 
shiek county, and in fact no territory organization, but simply a wilderness waste. 
* * * The Indian tribes roamed over this whole region, and Jefferson Bar- 
racks, a military post about eight miles below St. Louis, was headquarters for the 
military operations of the Mississippi valley. Just think of it! This valley knew 
no railroads, no telegraphs, and a very large per cent of its present inhabitants 
were not then born. The military post at Prairie du Chien had been established, 
and when they wanted to utilize the resources of this wild region about them, 
they detailed soldiers for the work, and in 1828, being in want of lumber, they 
sent a part of the garrison over to Yellow river and built a saw mill about two 
miles below what is now the old mission house, the remains of which was burned 
down in 1839. 

"In 1840 one Jesse Dandley built a sawmill on the river about one mile below 
the mission, but the floods came and took the dam away, and the proprietor meet- 
ing with one mishap after another, finally abandoned it, and in time it was torn 
down. [Probably the Jesse Dandley whose house was made the voting place 
of a Clayton county precinct in 1838, described on a preceding page.] 

"In 1839 Hiram Francis and family came from Prairie du Chien to the old 
mission in the employ of the government, and remained there until it ceased to be 
a mission, and from him we learn that his duties were to issue daily rations to 
such Indians as were fed at that place, and that in November, 1840 [1842], the 
last of them were removed to the Turkey river, and this school closed." 

Fairview township was set off from Linton, March 5, 1855, but who gave it 
its appropriate name is not recorded. At its first enumeration, in 1856, the 
population was 177. In 1910, 321. January 14, 1858, the township of Fairview 
obtained from that of Taylor all of sections 3 and 4, township 96, range 3. On 
July 4. 18(10, it received another accession, being sections 24, 25, 26, 35, and 36, 
from Linton; but on January 10, 1867, the west half of section 26 was returned 
to Linton, leaving the boundary between these townships as at present existing. 
In January, 1873, sections 3, 4 and 5 were set off to Taylor; and in June, 1874, 
sections 1 and 2 were also set off to Taylor township ; since which last date 
the boundaries of Fairview have remained unchanged. 

In 1858 there was a mill on the north side of Yellow river, in the southwest 
one-quarter of section 19, known as Maloney's Mill. 

Johnsonsport. — Situated south of the mouth of Paint Creek, was an early 
steamboat landing, and supposed to be the place of the next permanent settle- 
ment after that at the Old Mission. Judge Dean is the authority for the state- 
ment that it was named after a soldier who had served out his time at Prairie 
du Chien, and was paid off and discharged in 1837. He took several Indian 
wives, living among the tribes or at the post, and finally settled on the river 
bank. Some of the older residents remembered him as "Squaw Tohnson." The 
landing which was given his name was an important point at one time, but few 
houses were ever erected there. Armstrong Glover was the prominent settler 


here when the land was placed upon the market, and became postmaster when 
the first postoffice was established near this point in 1850, called "Tom Corwin." 
The town plat of Johnsonsport was laid out on the north front half of section 15, 
township 96, range 3, April 3, 1856, by Henry and Mary Johnson, Armstrong 
and Emily Glover, Geo. L. and Ann Miller, Wm. F. and S. I. Ross, Michael and 
Mary Clark, and Michael Rafter. Surveyed by Joel Dayton, county surveyor. 
Geo. L. Miller was justice of the peace. 

The sawmill industry was thriving in this vicinity in the early days. About 
1875 tne Flack brothers were operating a stave-mill, employing ten or twelve 

Allamakee — Lay to the north of and adjoining Johnsonsport, on fractional 
lots 5 and 6, section 10, and was platted in February, 1858, Wm. W. Hunger- 
ford, county surveyor. The plat fails to show the names of the proprietors. 
At a later date a post office called "Allamakee" was established some two miles 
further clown the river. It was in 1857 that the Prairie du Chien & Mankato 
Railroad Company was organized, for the purpose of bringing about an extension 
of the Milwaukee road which had just been opened to the Prairie, up the valley 
of Paint Creek to Waukon and westward ; and this platting of the Johnsonsport 
and Allamakee townsites was doubtless in conjunction with this project. Mr. 
Hungerford was a proficient civil engineer-, and ran the line through for this 
proposed extension. He became quite prominent in this profession in later years. 
After the failure of this project these villages were lost sight of ;' and when 
twenty years later the narrow gauge railroad was built up Paint Creek valley, 
the station was established on the north side of that stream, and is now 
Waukon Junction, just outside of the Fairview boundary. 

Nezeka — Was another of Fairview's paper towns, whose existence is forgot- 
ten by most of our people. It is a pity that more care had not been taken in 
the early days to preserve some record of the origin of the names of streams 
and villages, when in many instances, like this, it would have been easily ascer- 
tained. This townsite was laid out December 12, 1856, on government lots 3 and 
4, section 34, by Chester N. Case, I. N. Bull, Lawrence Case, F. I. Miller, H. L. 
Dousman, B. W. Brisbois, Preston Lodwick and F. C. Miller; names which 
were later widely known. Its location was at the mouth of Yellow river, on 
the south side, in the extreme southeast corner of the county, and was doubt- 
less the spot where the white man first put foot on Allamakee soil. This river 
is mentioned by name, by Capt. Jonathan Carver in his travels in 1766, one 
hundred and forty-seven years ago, when he put ashore here with some French 
traders ; and how much earlier they had traded with the Indians here is only a 
matter of conjecture. It is not at all improbable that Radisson and Groiselliers 
may have visited this spot a hundred years earlier than Carver, even, it was so 
noticeable and accessible in passing up from the Wisconsin where they entered 
the Mississippi. (See opening chapter.) And it is possible this was the site of 
one of the trading posts established by the indefatigable Perrot in or about 1683. 

Nezeka was surveyed by Ira B. Brunson of Prairie du Chien, December 12, 
1856. It was a postoffice in 1861, but did not so continue long. The site of this 
village is now owned by J. M. Collins, of Waukon. For nearly a century the 
lower Yellow river valley has been drawn upon for lumber, and it is still yielding. 


Mr. J. G. Laird is the present lumber man who is operating a sawmill in here, 

0,1 ?ftL a Lr fi n f£ Alfl. F. Liebhardt bought hundreds of acres of govern- 
men 1 and ng he Yellow river with the intention of raising grapes on the 

Wuftsides for the making of wines on an extensive scale, but the venture was 

^Ref Landing-Was situated in the south part of section 2 , Fairview 
township At the September, r8 53 , term, of the County court a license was 
granted to W. C. Thompson to operate a ferry line across the Mississippi, between 
this point and the east side at or near Prairie du Chien. 

L an illustration of the importance attached to this locality in the days of 
early railroading, and the possibility at one time of this pent becoming a station 
on transcontinental line, it is interesting to note a project of vast magmtude 
for those days which was launched in 1856, as shown by our county records, 
beng the incorporation of the Mississippi & South Pass Railroad Company 
The articles of incorporation were dated October 10, 1856, hied for record 
January 12, 1857, and provided for a capital of $30,000000 with pnv.lege to 
increase to Sso^ divided into shares of $100 each, "for the purpose of 
surveying, locating, constructing, owning, maintaining and operating a ra. road 
with single or double track, from the Mississippi river at or near the mouth of 
Yellow river in Allamakee county, state of Iowa, or at any other place in Alla- 
makee or Clayton counties that the directors may determine, through the ter- 
ritories of Minnesota and Nebraska to the South Pass, at or near forty-three 
degrees north latitude." The instrument was executed by the following named 
men of more or less national reputation in financial circles, viz; Joseph \ ander- 
pool Jr . Samuel J. Reals, Geo. W. Matsell, Benjamin P. Fairchild, Frederick S. 
Vanderpool. William MacKaller. Henry R. Conklin, Allan McKeach.m. and K. L. 
Havs of the city of New York; and Gilbert T. Sutton, of Peekskill, New York 
Mathew P. Bemis of Chautauqua county. New York, Isaac Marsh Denman of 
Newark New Jersey, and Pratt R. Skinner. Henry C. Matsell and Mathew R 
Finn of the state of Iowa. This was but one of the numerous projects which 
followed the construction of the Milwaukee road to Prairie du Chien in 1856. 
Within the next decade the Pacific railroad scheme was consummated by the 
Union Pacific from Omaha. 

Of the earlv settlers of Fairview who took lands of the government or ot 
the school fund of the state, in the early fifties, the following names appear 
to have been prominent: Wm. H. Morrison in section 3 (Paint Rock, now m 
Taylor township 1, I. H. Beckwith in section 8 (sold to Daniel Gibbs), Mathew 
Johnson, Michael Carpenter, Henry Johnson, Armstrong Glover, John Boswell, 
Peter Rider (section 16), lacob Worth (met his death by drowning in the Mis- 
sissippi river, September 24. 1883), John Walsh. Lawrence Maloney, Jacob F. 
Liebhardt, James McCaffery, Wm. Dennison (northwest one-half section 28), 
George Baker, Fielding True. Peter (TMaley, John Kelly (section 30), Louis 
Carding, Geo. Branshos ( Nezeka), Baptiste LaPoint (section 32). 

The Fairview township officers in 1913 are as follows: Clerk, T. E. Wilkins ; 
trustees, Robert F. Aird. James Brennan, P. B. Luce; assessor, J. J. Broderick ; 
justices, Pat Cahalan and A. M. L. Brainard ; constables, Wm. Nicholson and 
Ed. McAndrews. 



In December, 1853, the boundaries of Franklin township were established 
by the County court, with the east and west sides two miles further east than 
they now are; but on March 28, 1855, the west one-third of township 96, range 
5, was taken from Post and added to Franklin; and on February 4, 1856, the 
west one-third of township 96, range 4. was set off to Linton, making the boun- 
daries conform to the congressional township lines. In 1854 the enumeration 
showed the population of Franklin to be 321. In 1910 it was 825. 

Among the early comers into this township are found the names of the fol- 
lowing who entered their claims and took title directly from the government, 
or from the state in the case of school lands; all of these as early as 1854 
or prior to that year, viz : In section 1 — John Thomas, Moses A. Ross, John 
B. Pettit, J. L. Holman; section 2 — Nathaniel Mitchell, C. B. Churchill, Samuel 
Pettit ; section 3 — Ed. Stanley, Henry Coffman, John D. Demerre, W. F. Ross, 
John D. Koontz; section 4— Peter Moore, M. B. Lyons, Cyrus Lyons, Josiah 
Mitchell; section 5 — Isaac Arnold, Wm. Wehrhan, P. M. Gilson, A. W. Hoag; 
section 6 — Alexander Dawson, southeast one-quarter; section 7 — Theodore 
Saucer; section 8 — Wm. Smith, Stephen Merriau, Cyrus F. Miller; section 9— 
David Clark; section 10 — Job D. Halsey, Alanson Coon; section 11 — Michael 
Miller, John S. Clark; section 12 — Robert Crawford, Samuel S. Holmes, James 
Palmer, John Briscoe; section 13 — Geo. A. Clark, Wm. Mastin, Samuel Biggs. 
A. F. Newcomb, Austin and Harriet Smith; section 14 — John S. Clark, B. C. 
Clark (and section 15), M. B. Henthorn ; section 15 — James McGarigill ; section 
16 — James Smith, Wm. M. Smith; section 17 — Selden Candee ; section 18 — James 
Latham, Wm. Mcintosh, John Fulton, S. P. Hicks; section 20 — Francis and 
Vine Dunning; section 21 — L. Van Valkenberg (sold Oscar Collins) ; section 23 
— James Vaughn ; section 24 — James C. Smith (all east one-half section), Samuel 
Candee; section 26 — Alex Falconer, James Davis; section 2-j — Samuel A. and 
John Gregg, fohn Ferguson. Mary McAndrews, Alex. Gilchrist; section 28 — 
John Rowe; section 29 — C. C. Sawyer and Jas. P. Sawyer, John Taggart (Lam- 
born farm); section 30 — Henry D. Evans (and section 33), Jas. M. Sumner; 
section 31— L. B. Hodges, L. R. Herrick, J. C. Beedy ; section 32— Joseph 
Collins; section 33 and 34— J. S. Smith; section 35— Thos. F. Sargent, James 
Carnaw (Canoe); section 36 — Patrick Cummins. 

Wm. B. Smith came to Franklin township in 1850, where he has ever since 
resided with the exception of one year in Howard county, lately living with his 
daughter, Mrs. Ida Douglass in Waukon. He celebrated his 85th birthday anni- 
versary April 20. 191 3. 


Hardin — In the early fifties this was the most important and flourishing 
inland town in northeastern Iowa. Located on the Clayton county line (now), 
in the extreme southwestern corner of Franklin township, it was but a couple 
of miles north of the reservation line, south of which the region had previously 
been settled by scattering farmers for eight or ten years. Lying on an old 
Indian trail from their village near Luana to the Decorah village, which route 


was also an early mail route and shown on early maps as the direct route between 
Dubuque and St. Paul, by way of Monona, Hardin, Lybrand, Granville ( or 
Grantville), Frankville, Trout river, Decorah. Burr Oak, Elliota (Minn.), Cari- 
mona, and Rochester, it began to be settled as soon as the Indians were removed, 
in 184S. and there was a postoffice here January 1st, 1851, L. B. Hodges, post- 
master. This was one of the four only in Allamakee county at that date, the 
others being Postville, Lansing, and Tom Corwin ( later Johnsonsport, in Fair- 
view ) ; but the fifth was established the latter part of that year at Lybrand. 
Thus it was a natural "port of entry" to the newly opened reservation, and sev- 
eral professional men who located here at first soon after removed to new towns 
as they began to promise better; instances being: Lawyers Ransom and Powers 
to Postville; also Dr. John S. Green; and L. B. Hodges, clerk of the District 
court, went to Columbus from here. James M. Sumner, one of the first county 
commissioners, and we believe Joseph W. Holmes, another, were from this vicin- 
ity. County Surveyors S. P. Hicks, Joel Dayton and H. O. Dayton, began their 
duties from this point; and if we mistake not our veteran attorney Hon. Henry 
Dayton, of Waukon, entered the county by this gateway, teaching the Hardin 
school in the winter of 1857-8. 

The first store in Hardin is said to have been opened by A. D. Frazier, one 
of the original proprietors, in 1851, and in the following spring R. T. Burnham 
brought in a stock of goods. In 1855 there were five general stores, and other 
lines of trade well represented. On the Clayton side of the line there was at one 
time a large steam gristmill ; and the widely known "Collins Tavern," kept by 
one of the town proprietors. The first school was kept by L. B. Hodges in a log 
schoolhouse built in the fall of 1849, m tne west part of the village, barely west 
of the present township line. The first religious services were held in this log 
house, Rev. Bishop, Methodist, officiating. In 1858 and '59 a Baptist church or- 
ganization existed at Hardin, ministered unto by Rev. James Schofield as mis- 
sionary. This church ceased to exist about 1863. 

Hardin was platted in January, 1854, by Leonard B. Hodges, the owner of 
the land in Allamakee county, and Joseph Collins, owner of that on the Clayton 
side of the line. Additions were platted in 1856, Hardin Center, and in 1857, 
East Hardin ; but the lots have been mostly vacated. The name adopted was in 
honor of Colonel Hardin, of Illinois. 

Sniithfield — Located on the northwest quarter of northwest quarter section 
24, was platted into village lots February 11. 1854, by Win. M. and Sarah 
Smith, and Austin and Harriet Smith, proprietors, John R. Wilson being the 
justice of the peace before whom acknowledgment was made. Austin Smith 
established in this vicinity one of the very early sawmills on Yellow river, per- 
haps the earliest in this township, from which was obtained much of the lumber 
used in the first frame buildings in Waukon, in 1853 and '54. There was 
splendid waterpower here, and one of the largest flouring mills on Yellow river 
was later erected at this place. In 1877 it was owned by Koontz & Clark, 
who were operating three run of burrs, and were obliged to often run for twenty 
hours out of the twenty-four to keep up with their custom. This was in the 
prime milling days, when 'here were not less than six flouring mills in operation 
along the valley and another in course of construction at Sixteen, a few miles 
below. It was not long after this that wheat growing was given up. 




Volney — Laid out on the northeast quarter of southeast quarter section 13, 
hardly a mile down the river from Smithfield, by Samuel and Margaret P>iggs, 
February 12, 1856, according to a survey made in October previous. Plat ac- 
knowledged before Thos. Crawford, justice of the peace. There had been a 
settlement here for some years prior to this, and a postoffice was established in 
February, 1852, which was kept up until a few years ago, the vicinity now being 
supplied by rural delivery from Monona. The Volney mills were widely known 
and patronized from a very early day. It would be interesting to note the 
changes in ownership and management of these mills in detail, but the facts are 
not at hand. And, indeed, a volume might be written on the mills of Yellow 
river valley which have finally ceased to exist. In 1869 the mill here was 
known as Gurney's mill, but later in the same year D. Tangeman became part 
owner. In 1872 the Tangeman Brothers were in command, and both saw and 
flouring mill were in full blast, and they were putting up a wood-working fac- 
tory. In 1877 the Tangemans were running the Volney flouring and gristmills 
to their full capacity, day and night; also the sawmill, and a cooperage business. 
August Tangeman later became the sole owner and operated the flouring mill 
for many years. 

The business of the village today consists of a grocery store by Chas. Boll- 
man, and a blacksmith shop by Chas. Rose. 

The Volney M. E. church was incorporated March 22, 1890 (this organized 
at a very early date), with the following named trustees: J. P. Emerson, F. W. 
Tangeman, H. A. Burnham, A. J. Campbell, and W. H. Adams. It has been 
supplied recently, we believe, by Rev. James B. Bird, from Monona. 

Manchester — Or, usually called Manchester Mills, was in section 6, close to 
the Post township line and the sister city of Cleveland, so that the mills here 
were called by either name indiscriminately. All these villages were located 
along Yellow river at the numerous places where this stream offered available 
waterpower for milling purposes, which in the early days was of the utmost 
importance ; and each one of them at one time or another gave promise of healthy 
village growth, until the decline of the milling industry. 

Peter M. and Judith Gilson were the proprietors of the Manchester plat, 
which bears date May 10, 1859, from the suvey made by Joel Dayton in 1856. 
Trumbull Granger was the justice of the peace who took their acknowledgment. 

Forest Mills — Was at first known as Werhan's Mill, but received the later 
name of Forest Mills when a postoffice was established there, in 18 — . William 
Werhan came to this spot in 1851, and in company with P. M. Gilson built a 
sawmill in 1854. In a later year Mr. Werhan bought out Mr. Gilson, who then 
took hold of the Manchester mill, two miles further up the river. In 1865 Mr. 
Werhan built a much larger and better mill, and this flouring mill has continued 
to do a good business to this day. In 1877 he was doing a large business in both 
sawmill and flouring mill. About this time the flouring industry was being 
rather overdone throughout the county, there being at the beginning of 1878 
between twenty-five and thirty mills in the county ; and soon a good portion of 
them had to drop out because of decreasing business in this line. A postoffice 
was established here of which Mr. Werhan was commissioned postmaster, and 
so continued for many years. He was also justice of the peace. His death 
occurred December 23, 190:. A store has been kept in this vicinity for a long 


time, under different managements, and at present is conducted by Frank 

" Tchurch of the United Brethren in Christ was incorporated near Forest Mills 
in December, 1897 (though earlier organized), of which the trustees were J H. 
Hendrickson C W. Bender, Abe Evans, Henry Werhan, and L. H. McOhee 
It continues 'to nourish, served by Rev. A. E. Hursh, together with the Bethel 
church in Post township. 

1„ 1913 the Franklin township official roster is: Clerk. J. H. Palmer ; trustees, 
Geo. Decker, YYm. Biggs, Herman Peglow ; assessor, J. H. McShane; justices, 
Frank Russell and J. P. Gilson; constable, F. J. Beuge. 

On a map published in 1859 the mills in Franklin township are shown as 
follows : YYerhan's mill, in the east part of section 5, and Gilson's mill, near the 
center of same section; Dawson's mill, on section 6. and a gristmill near by; 
Deucher's mill, on section 9, at the mouth of Williams Run; Blain's mill, on sec- 
tion 14, near west line; and the Hardin mills, on section 31, probably the Burn- 
ham mill, later removed to Myron. 

"sodom and gomorrah" 

While not occurring within the limits of Franklin township, the incidents 
here narrated took place close to its southern border, and tradition kept the cir- 
cumstances in the minds of early settlers in this region. The story has been 
variously told, but from a comparison of different versions the facts seem to be 

as follows: 

In the summer of 1840 when P. P. Olmsted and his brother, David, became 
the first settlers in Monona township, Clayton county, near the present site of 
the town of that name, there was a large Winnebago village some two miles north- 
west of their location whose chief was Whirling Thunder. The band was removed 
to near Fort Atkinson in 1841 or '42, but the site of their village, supposedly on 
Hickory creek near the county line, was later occupied by smaller bands of 
Indians until their final removal in 1848. The line of reservation, or formerly 
neutral ground, crossed the government road from Fort Crawford to Fort Atkin- 
son at or about the present village of Luana, and conscienceless liquor traders 
established their resorts on this road as near to the reservation line as they 
dared, being forbidden over the line. One of these places was kept by Taffy 
Jones, a reckless character who hailed from Fort Crawford, and the passing 
troops between the two posts gave it the name of "Sodom." A genius named 
Graham Thorn started a similar resort not far away, and not to be outdone in 
wickedness dubbed his place "Gomorrah." 

Sometime in the winter of 1847 a band of Winnebagoes, then encamped on 
Hickory creek, collected in the neighborhood of these cabins for a spree, and 
one of their number, an old man, traded all his belongings, including his blanket, 
for whisky, and his dead body was found the next day by his son, where he had 
died from exposure and intoxication, doubtless, though perhaps he had been 
maltreated. At any rate, the son being filled with the desire for revenge crawled 
up to one of the whisky dens, in the evening, and fired his gun through the win- 
dow with the intention of killing Jones, or Thorn, but unfortunately mistook his 
man and killed an inoffensive customer named Patrick Riley. The young 


Indian was captured by a detachment of troops and brought to trial, found guilty 
of manslaughter, fined $500 and sentenced to ten days' imprisonment. He was 
defended by Samuel Murdock, the pioneer lawyer of Clayton county. It is said 
that he was confined in the Fort Atkinson guardhouse from whence he escaped 
with the connivance of a friendly white man, and was never recaptured. 

Jones lived but a short time after this occurrence. Dr. Andros, a pioneer 
physician, was present at his death, having been called in as he was passing from 
Fort Atkinson to Prairie du Chien. He found Jones on his bed in a miserable 
condition, dying from chronic alchoholism, his one desire being for more whisky. 
Thorn left the country, but returned after the Indians were removed to 


There has been more or less dispute over the location of the Sodom and 
Gomorrah cabins— as was the case in the originals of Bible times— and in 
July, 1907, Capt. John Tapper of Monona, an old government teamster of those 
days', drove some* iron pegs to designate the respective spots as he remembered 
them. From the Monona Leader, of a date in July, 1907, these quotations 

are made: 

"Capt. John Tapper first set foot on Monona soil in 1840 and in the fall of 
1841 and a part of the year of 1842 was a teamster in the employ of the govern- 
ment between Prairie du Chien and Fort Atkinson, transporting military supplies, 
so that he became familiar with the locality and well acquainted with the people 
along his route of travel over the old military road. He was for many years a 
resident of Monona township, conducting a farm two miles east of Monona. As 
he was familiar with Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Anthony Falls and Minnehaha 
Falls all through their early period in the '40s, so he became familiar with this 
section in its earliest pioneer days, and in relating the story of the settlement of 
the country has proven time and again the accuracy of his statements, in the 
naming of persons who took an active part in the destiny of this great west coun- 
try, and in locating prominent points of material interest to historians. For a 
ma'n of his age, now past eighty-eight years, he is still robust, healthy, active 
and energetic, and if put to the test, would no doubt run a foot race, leap the 
hurdle, or wrestle with his even weight, and be the victor in each bout. From 
Captain Tapper we gain the information for this article, locating to a certainty 
the two rival saloons, named Sodom and Gomorrah. 

"The Military road, as laid out by the government, and in use until the con- 
struction of the railroad between Monona and Luana, followed the ridge from 
near the Snell farm along the present line of the railroad, passing through Main 
street from where the depot in Luana is now located, northwest, thence directly 
west. The wagon road now is north of the railroad track and the original line 
of the Military road. The object in following the ridge was to avoid the sags, 
deep gullies and ravines, through which it was impossible to haul heavy loads of 
merchandise. All government wagons then in use were hauled by six mules, 
driven bv one line, the driver riding on the nigh mule and with a six foot black 
snake whip could make the mules get-up-and-get and pull for dear life, and by 
the resound of the crack of the whip give notice of the coming to the loungers 
at Sodom and Gomorrah." 

Then follows a detailed description of the locations of the respective cabins 
at Luana. and the contentions over the water supply for same. The two places 


were rivals for trade, and every means was resorted to for controlling the 
patronage. Continuing the quotation : 

"Taff Jones was proprietor of the cabin called Sodom. He was of Irish- 
Welsh descent, his father from Ireland and his mother from Wales. Taff was 
a pugilist by nature and practice. He was always ready for a scrap and brooked 
no threats in his hearing. His fighting qualities were tested on every possible 
occasion and he had many an encounter with the soldiers and the rough and ready 
fellows who were hoofing it through the country in search of homes. Notwith- 
standing the brutal part of the man there was a kindness of heart in Taff Jones. 
To a friend he was a friend indeed. While the exterior of the man was of the 
brutish type, the inner man gave demonstrations of a worthy character. There 
were two sides to the man, the good and the bad. He could fit a case to either 
as his emotions seemed to dictate. After three or four years he left the country 
and Sodom became a thing of the past. 

[Note the discrepancy: Dr. Andros said he died there.] 

"Graham Thorn was the proprietor of the Gomorrah cabin. He was a dis- 
charged soldier — Hospital Steward — from Fort Crawford, having served two 
enlistments in the regular army. Me came into this country in the latter part 
of 1840, following in the wake of the moving Winnebago Indians, bringing with 
him a few dentist tools and a case of medicine, and to some extent administered 
to the sick and needy. 

"Upon the reservation Thorn built his first log cabin, about five rods west of 
the corner store, which he named Gomorrah. While Thorn was absent at 
Prairie du Chien, purchasing a supply of liquors and groceries, the U. S. 
Dragoons came along and finding Thorn's cabin on the reservation set fire to it 
and it was burned to the ground. Only a pile of ashes were left for Thorn to 
view on his return. Nothing daunted, however, Thorn proceeded to rebuild, 
this time locating his cabin on the south side of the main traveled road as pre- 
viously described. 

"Sodom and Gomorrah, as now located, were about an eighth of a mile apart, 
in view of each other. Thorn remained selling liquors and nicknacks until he 
got into trouble with a roving band of Indians and in a fight killed one of the 
braves. Becoming alarmed and fearing the vengeance of the Winnebagoes, 
Thorn skipped the country. His cabin was burned to the ground, supposedly by 
Indians. On removal of the Winnebagoes to another and distant reservation, 
Thorn returned and again built a log cabin, this time on the Andrew Walch 
farm, in the field near the junction of the Monona and McNeil roads, about 
where the bunch of evergreens appear, in the neighborhood of five rods west 
from center of north road. Here Thorn resided for several years. He was 
here in 1852, since which time no trace is had of him. Perhaps someone of 
the '50s can throw light on his future movements. 

"Both of the cabins were in size about 12x14 and while they answered the 
purpose for which they were erected there were times when their capacity was 
fully tested. Drunken brawls were of frequent occurrence in both places and 
many hot encounters between the proprietors, soldiers and roving Indians are 
remembered. The U. S. Dragoons were constantly on the trail between Prairie 
du Chien and Fort Atkinson, made necessary by the scattering members of the 
Indian tribes and the constant travel of homeseekers who began pouring into the 


country. Up to 1844 there was only a scattering of settlers' cabins to be seen on 
this broad prairie, and while there were earlier selections of homesteads their 
occupancy was delayed until the government began the movement of the Indians 
further north, sixty miles above St. Paul. H. M. Rice had the contract with 
the government for the removal of the Red Men from this immediate vicinity." 


This township was officially organized March 3, 1856, being taken from the 
township of Union City as originally organized, and comprises all of the con- 
gressional township 99, range 5, with the exception of the north half of sections 
4, 5 and 6, which owing to the meandering of the Oneota river was left in the 
jurisdiction of Union City. It was mostly settled in 1854, the population in '56 
being 278. 

Alton was the only village platted in this township, and it was a paper 
town, laid out January 5, 1858, by W. W. and Nancy Woodmansee. It was 
situated on section 1, near where French Creek flows into the Oneota, or Upper 
Iowa river. The plat was placed on record, and perhaps some few lots sold, 
but it soon became unknown and but few now remember that there ever was 
such a place on the map. 

French Creek Postoffice was established in 1859, with Porter Bellows as 
postmaster, commissioned by President Buchanan. His wife, Mrs. A. M. Bellows, 
succeeded him at his death in 1879, serving until her death which occurred in 
January, 1894, when Mrs. M. A. R. Bellows served until the family removed to 
Waukon in January, 1903, when the office was discontinued after an existence 
of forty-three years. 

This township took the name of the creek flowing through it, called French 
Creek from a man by the name of French, who lived near the head of that stream 
when the first permanent settlers located in its valley. 

One of the first settlers in French Creek township was Porter Bellows, 
coming in the spring of 1851, from Rockton, Illinois, and settling on the Iowa 
river just south of Union City. Many tepee poles were standing near the bend 
of the river, opposite the mouth of Clear creek, where the Indian thicket bore 
plenty of grapes, plums, gooseberries and crab apples; and just above on the 
side hill was the Indian burying ground. Mr. Bellows drove several hundred 
sheep from Illinois by way of Mineral Point, Wisconsin, crossing the Mississippi 
on a ferry below McGregor. There were no made roads leading to the new 
home in the Iowa river valley. Ravines were without a break, smooth and 
grassy. During the ffrst winter supplies were brought from Monona, to a 
point on the high ridge nearest the house, and drawn down the hill on hand 
sleds. Mr. Bellows built one of the first gristmills in the county, near the mouth 
of French Creek, at the foot of a high lone bluff rivaling Mount Hope on the 
opposite side of the river and valley, which they named "Owl's Head." This 
was so named because of a large stone or boulder which stood out on the flat 
summit of the front crags. Some years later it was struck by lightning and 
knocked into the valley. To this mill came settlers with their grists from the 
surrounding country and from points far distant in Minnesota. 


The first manufacturing plant on French Creek was a sawmill operated by 
Barney Hunt below where the Leppert schoolhouse is located. Farther down 
the vallev at the confluence of a large spring with the creek one Gordon had a 
shingle mill for a time. These were very early structures. George Wild built 
a sawmill above the mouth of Silver Creek about the year 1861 ; but a few 
years later built the second grist mill on French Creek, selling later to Henry 
Hirt who sold to ). W. Hartley and the building was removed. 

The first schoolhouse in the township, probably, was built on the Bellows 
farm in 1861. although several terms of school had been taught in the district 
in a vacant dwelling house. 

Mr Bellows served as justice of the peace during his life, and was one of 
the county supervisors for a time, besides filling other township offices and that 
of postmaster as before referred to. At the top of the high hill just west of his 
place were the families of John Stone and J. T. Beetem. coming in 1854; the last 
a tall Kentuckian with a family of boys, two of whom. Charles and J. T., served 
in the army and later opened up farms near by. but after the death of the father 
in the late 'sixties sold out to Germans and all emigrated to Nebraska and South 
Dakota, where they prospered. Other early settlers were the Schusters, and J. 
Asbacher and Geo". Wild, young men. In the valley were Wm. Yeoman, Geo. 
Kibby ('51), Clark, and Daniel Lahey. 

Among others the following took land of the government in other parts of 
the township: John A. Wakefield in the extreme south, on Lansing Ridge, 1850; 
Geo. W. Spence, "51; N. Till, Benedict Troendle. and A. G. Howard, in '52; 
Edward Mahoney and John O'Brien, '53; and in '53 or '54 and closely follow 
ing were, Geo. Munz, Martin Engelhorn, Patrick McCormick, James O'Donnell, 
Michael O'Brien, Wm. Collins, James Harkins, James Deviny, Michael Kelleher, 
Terence Brushnahan, J. M. Lisher, Tim and Phil Meagher, John Ronan, Pat 
McCauley, Thos. Howes, Andrew Collins, Cornelius Casey, Andrew Leppert, 
Jas. Sweeney, Martin Devit. and James Dougherty. 

The only church organization possessing a house of worship in French Creek 
township, we believe, is the German Methodist church located on the south 
line of section 10, where services are sustained at more or less regular intervals, 
conducted, we believe, by Rev. John F. Daacke. 

The present township officers of French Creek are: Clerk, P. J. McCauley; 
trustees. Joe Zoll, James Howes, J. T. Welsh: assessor, J. C. Ebner. The pop- 
ulation of the township in 1856 was 278; and by the census of 1910, it was 498. 


At the March 5, 1855, term of the County court the boundaries of this town- 
ship were defined, comprising the congressional township of 99-6, taken from 
Union City township, and a warrant was issued to Marshall Cass to organize 
same. As in the case of most of the townships no record is found of the elec- 
tion of the first officials. The population in 1856 was 211. Among the early 
settlers were: Michael Halvorson in 1852; Wm. Reed, in '53, at what was after- 
wards known as Reed's Corners: Dan Carr, about '55, a well known and popular 
character and goed judge of a horse, went to California in 1892 on account of 
ill health, and died there the following spring; Hans Simenson : Wm. Mc- 


Laughlin ; John C. Barr, a fine old Scotchman ; Lars Peterson, Marshall Cass, 
Ole Simenson, Maurice Brushnahan and others, James Delaney, the Larsons, 
Jeffrey McGrath, Hans Hanson, Christopher McNutt (who started the first 
gristmill in the early fifties, on the Iowa river in section 30), John Cunningham, 
Michael Stack, Peter and William Fitzgerald, Andrew Jacobson. 

The first postoffice in Hanover was at New Galena, prior to 1861. Reed's 
Ridge postoffice established July, 1873, eight miles north of Waukon, on the 
Galena road, Wm. H. Reed, postmaster. Hanover postoffice established at 
Ferris Mills on the Oneota river, February, 1875, O. F. Ferris, postmaster. 
This was later removed to section 29, where John Ward conducted the office for 
many years. He died December 9, 1893. Ferris Mills (formerly McNutt's 
Mills), was for many years the best known in this part of the county, and was 
a frequent resort for Waukon fishermen and picnic parties. The dam was almost 
completely destroyed by the flood of June, 1875; and in the July storm, 1882, 
the race was so badly damaged that, considering the failure of wheat raising, 
it was not thought best to make repairs again. 

Cavins' Ford, in the fifties, was the Iowa river crossing in the northeast 
quarter of section 8; and prior to 1859 a gristmill was in operation on Bear 
creek in the northeast part of section 4. 

The Catholic church in Hanover was early established, but we have no in- 
formation of the date. It was incorporated November 20, 191 1, as St. Mary's 
church of Hanover, Most Rev. James J. Keane, archbishop, ex-officio president; 
who, with Vicar General Roger Ryan, and the pastor, Rev. F. McCullough, 
ex-officio vice president, and laymen, Lawrence Byrnes and Michael Tierney, 
constituted the board of directors. 

New Galena, so named for its lead mines, was the only village ever platted 
in this township, but the plat was never recorded. It was situated on the north 
side of the Oneota, in section 1, below the mouth of Waterloo creek and nearly 
opposite the mouth of Mineral creek in the valley of which was the principal 
lead deposit. 

In 1856 one A. C. Tichenor discovered what he supposed to be paying quan- 
tities of lead, in the valley of Mineral creek, and not having sufficient means of 
his own to carry out his plans, went to New York city to get men of capital in- 
terested, stopping in Indiana to see Phineas Weston, the owner of the land, with 
whom it is supposed he made satisfactory arrangements for opening a mine. 
In New York he succeeded almost immediately in interesting one Jas. T. Moul- 
ton, who laid the matter before another party of some means, Aug. F. Lee, and 
together they proceeded to act in the matter. Mr. Lee came on with Tichenor, 
looked over the ground, procured specimens of the ore and had it tested, and 
everything proving satisfactory, Moulton and his son Arthur came on with all 
the necessary materials and laborers and proceeded to erect buildings. Among 
others, they built a large store, which was filled with a huge stock of goods pur- 
chased in New York by F. M. Clark, who had accompanied Tichenor east for 
that purpose, and who clerked for Moulton & Lee until the following January. 
At one time the company had as many as a hundred men in their employ. The 
village site was laid off into lots and streets, and some of the lots were sold at 
good round prices. The village at its best comprised some eight or ten houses, 
but they have disappeared, and at this time the land where the town stood is one 



of the best farms in the Iowa valley, and is owned by Levi Green. Some of the 
buildings were moved off, and others left to fall to pieces. Among the latter 
was a large stone barn which stood until about 1880, a monument of the New 

Galena folly. 

The company penetrated the side of the bluffs on Mineral creek and took out 
ore in such quantities that they felt warranted in erecting a smelting furnace, 
which was done some fifteen rods south of the bridge which was built at a later 
day, and smelted a considerable quantity or ore, but it did not pay. The ore was 
mostly in the shape of floats, but they kept on, hoping to strike a paying "lead." 
In this they were disappointed, however, as no well defined lead was developed, 
and the store part of the venture was the only thing about it that paid. It was 
not long before Tichenor had run through what little means he had invested in 
the concern, and Moulton and Lee, disappointed in their bright expectations, 
were inclined to blame him for the result of the enterprise, and so cast him off. 
The elder Moulton took to drink ; and sometime in the course of a year the whole 
thing collapsed under the stress of circumstances. The creditors got what they 
could out of the property, and we believe Moulton and Lee returned to the east. 
Tichenor, it seems, could not give up the idea of getting riches out of a mine, 
and sought the mines of the west. Twenty odd years later he was heard of in 
connection with a fraudulent mining concern, shares of stock in which he had 
sold to the extent of $20,000 or $30,000. 

Among our county records we find the "Articles of Association of the New 
( ialena Lead Mining and Real Estate Company," entered into on the 18th day 
of August, 1857. 

James Thorington, James T. Moulton, J. Arthur Moulton, Aug. F. Lee, Win. 
L. Easton, Leonard Standring, Warren Ballou, James I. Gilbert, Grant Telford, 
Milo C. Fuller, Alanson H. Barnes, D. B. Defendorf, L. B. Defendorf, S. H. 
Kerfoot, James L. McLean, Robt. L. McClelland, Horatio Hill, Solomon Good- 
rich, E. E. Cooley formed themselves into a body corporate under the name and 
style above mentioned, "for the purpose," the document goes on to say. "of min- 
ing, smelting, and manufacturing, lead, and for the purpose of acquiring, by pur- 
chase or otherwise, any lands in the state of Iowa, or any other state or territory 
in the United States ; and for lying out such lands into towns or villages, addi- 
tions to town or villages, and disposing of the same at private or public sale; 
and also for engaging in interal improvements, manufactures, agriculture and 
commerce, and in any or all financial or monied operations not inconsistent with 
the laws of the State of Iowa," etc. "The document further provides that the 
capital stock shall consist of $200,000, of $20 a share, with power to increase 
to not exceed $500,000. The principal place of business was to be the village 
of New Galena, and the directors shall cause semi-annual dividends to be de- 
clared out of the profits of the company." About how many dividends were 
declared may be readily imagined. We believe this company did continue to 
operate the diggings for a time, but they were finally abandoned entirely. 

A store with general merchandise for the convenience of the neighborhood 
is now kept by Thos. Delaney on the south side of section 26, on the Waukon 




Hanover township had a population of 211 in 1856, and only 458 at the 
census of 1910. The township officers are: Clerk, E. L. Cunningham; trustees, 
Thos. Lyons, Jerry O'Hare, Michael F. Burke; assessor, Henry Ouanrud ; justice 
of the peace, O. H. Monson. 


Occupies the extreme northeast corner of the state of Iowa. It was taken 
from the previously organized township of Union City, and was organized under 
a warrant from the March, 1855, term of County court. It was not settled 
up so early nor so quickly as some of the townships, and had a population of 
only 128 as enumerated in 1856. But it has made the steadiest growth of any 
township in the county, and in 1910 it had 961 souls, including of course the 
town of New Albin, with 588. 

Among the earliest to take government land in this township were: John 
Ross in sections 10 and 11; James Brookman, section 15; Thomas McMahon, 
section 19; Hugh Hardy, section 20; Eugene Kerrigan, section 20; Nancy J. 
Jenks, section 31; Frederick Weymiller, section 32; Martin Moore, section 22' 
James A. Botts, section 34. It is impossible to tell from the records who the 
earliest settlers were, as the government survey of this township was not made 
until 1853 and the original entries date subsequent to that, although some may 
have occupied their selections long before. 

October 2, 1853, the County court granted a license to James Brookman to 
operate a ferry across the Iowa river in the southeast quarter of section 15, 
township 100, range 4. It is claimed that the first bridge over this river was 
built at this place in 1858, which would antedate the Chilson's Ford bridge in 
Union City, built in 1859. That veteran contractor as well as soldier, Capt. 
E. B. Bascom, of Lansing, recently wrote us: "I was sent to locate a position 
for the bridge and selected the place where the bridge is at present, but Brook- 
man had a pull on the authorities and it was built near his house. I built the 
bridge for G. W. Hays to settle a matter growing out of the 'Fleming war' as 
it was called at that time. This bridge was all right but went out the first high 
water for the reason it had nothing to stand on ; it was built according to in- 
structions, to pay for a 'dead horse.' as the saying is." The next bridge at Brook- 
man's Ford, or ferry, was built by Salmon Wood, in 1863, while Captain Bascom 
was in the army. It cost $840, mostly raised by subscription in Lansing, but the 
county made up a deficiency of $200 on this in January, 1864. 

Iowa township was the seat of considerable early Indian warfare, the Sacs 
and Foxes having had villages here at various times, as well as the Sioux vihage 
of Wabasha's band as told about in a previous chapter. It is claimed also by 
some that the prominent bluff known as Brookman's Bluff was actually the 
place of capture of Black Hawk after the battle of Bad Axe in 1832, and not 
the Dells of the Wisconsin as the authorities mostly agree to be the fact, and as 
stated in a previous chapter, on this war. In regard to this matter Captain 
Bascom writes us: 

"There is another matter of history that I think ought to be corrected. I 
claim that Black Hawk surrendered to the Winnebagoes at the Brookman Bluff, 
which is the central point of the neutral ground established in 1825. It was 



also a signal station used by the Indians, and directly opposite Battle Island, 
where the remnants of Black Hawk's band retreated when he gave up. I had 
the story as long ago as 1856, by Brookman, and the story was confirmed by the 
old Indians living here at that time. John Waukon, Jim Brown, Indian Doc 
and others have told me the same story. Colonel Hitt, of Dixon, Illinois, was 
here about twenty-five years ago, who was an early settler in that state and a 
surveyor, and was also in the Black Hawk war. He went with me to the Brook- 
man Bluff and after looking it over said he believed my story was correct. If 
you and others will go with me to that point I will give the story as I got it 
from the Indians and Brookman. Townsend, who was in the fight at Battle 
Island, and who delivered an address at the first meeting of the Battle Island 
Association, said on that occasion that Black Hawk was a coward and ran away 
at the first fire of the artillery from the boat, and was seen on top of the Wis- 
consin bluffs after the battle. That story will do to tell the marines, but not old 
soldiers. He said that part of Black Hawk's band had crossed the river before 
they overtook him. Now, the most reasonable thing to do was to retreat to the 
first high point of land on the Iowa side, which is the Brookman Bluff, and right 
there was then a large village of Winnebagoes, and it would be a very easy 
matter for three Indians to take him to Prairie du Chien." 


The history of this enterprising young town dates from the construction 
of the river railroad in 1872, or rather from its inception shortly before that 
year. It is located on the northwest quarter of section 11, which was bought 
of the government by John Ross, August 21, 1854. In March, 1871, Mr. Ross 
contracted with S. H. Kinne to sell an interest in this land to him and J. K. 
Graves and J. A. Rhomberg, of Dubuque, for the purpose of a town site on the 
Chicago, Dubuque & Minnesota Railroad, originally the Dubuque & Minnesota, 
Ihe construction of which had been begun at Dubuque the fall before. Septem- 
ber in, 1871, Mr. Ross executed his deed to said parties in accordance with the 
contract, and died twelve days later. The arrangement for the platting of a town 
was carried out by his widow, Hily Ross, as administratrix and in her own right, 
who together with said other parties executed the town plat in November, 1872, 
the road then being in operation. 

Previous to 1868 the surplus grain harvested on the prairie farms out in the 
Portland prairie region on both sides of the Minnesota line had been hauled to 
Lansing as the most available market town on the river. In that year Wm. 
Robinson and Hays built a stone warehouse on the banks of ihe slough north 
of Winnebago creek, across the Minnesota line, a mile or so north of the site of 
New Albin which was then a farm. A house or two and a store were built 
nearbv ; and lumber to sell to farmers was barged in there, the place being 
called the "New Landing." There was not space for a town at the foot of the 
bluff, while at "Ross's Bench" was an ideal site for a large town. This caused 
the new town to be located there, by those interested in the railroad, and after 
some four years of uncertainty the upper warehouse was abandoned. 

From the very start the village was a live one, the population increased rap- 
idly, stores were built, and elevators and warehouses for the handling of grain 


and produce, the town becoming an active market at once. The Tartt & Palmer 
elevator was built in 1874. A new schoolhouse was completed in the fall of 
1874, at a cost of $1,800; and a Catholic church building was raised in September 
of that year, 35x60, to cost $4,000. 

At the April, 1895, term of the District court a petition of C. J. Travis and 
twenty-eight others was presented asking an order of the court for the incor- 
poration of the town of New Albin, to comprise the northwest quarter of section 
11 and the west half of fractional section 2, and showing the number of in- 
habitants within said territory to be 489. On the 18th of that month the court 
granted the petition and appointed the following named commissioners to order 
an election: John Haugh, Ben Pohlman, William Ions, Sr., C. A. Petrehn. and 
L. Ferris. The commissioners caused an election to be held on the 20th day of 
May, at which the proposition was carried by a vote of sixty-eight for and 
twenty-eight against. At the ensuing election for town officers, in June, the fol- 
lowing were elected, viz: Mayor, Wm. Coleman, Jr.; recorder, Louis Fritz; trus- 
tees, H. Martin, R. Thompson, G. A. Erickson, M. Moore, Fred Meyer, and 
A. Sahli. 

The present corporation officials are: Mayor, Fred Wild; clerk, Reuben May; 
assessor, Michael Moore. The Iowa township officers are: Clerk, Michael 
Moore; trustees, Fred Meyer, Thos. F. Reburn, L. P. Weymiller; assessor, Dan 
Kelly ; Justices, J. W. Irons and G. A. Erickson ; constables, Ed Fish and Chas. 

The town has no waterworks system as yet, but there is plenty of water at 
hand for all purposes, supplied by eight artesian wells, 470 to 550 feet in depth, 
with a good head above the curbing. A volunteer fire company is organized, 
with equipment of a hand pump and three and five-gallon extinguishers. 

The population of New Albin by the census of 1910 was 588. Of Iowa town- 
ship, exclusive of the town, 373, as against 128 at the first enumeration, in 1856. 

The present township official roster is as follows: Clerk, Michael Moore; 
trustees, Fred Meyer, Thos. F. Reyburn, L. P. Weymiller; assessor, Dan Kelly; 
justices, J. W. Irons and G. A. Ericson ; constables, Ed Fish and Chas. 


The Catholic church of New Albin was established at an early day, the exact 
year of which we have not been informed. Father Haxmeier of Lansing, had 
charge of this church also, from 1880 to 1903. A good substantial building was 
erected about 1875, but was replaced in 1910 with a much larger and finer edifice 
at a cost of $16,000. The incorporation of this, St. Joseph's church, was effected 
December 9, 191 1, Archbishop James J. Keane, ex-officio president, the resident 
pastor. Father E. Ryan, ex-officio vice president, with Vicar General Roger 
Ryan, being the incorporators. They together with the associate lay members 
in the corporation, Herman Martin and John Bacon, constituting the board of 
directors ; the secretary and treasurer to be elected by the board. Father Ryan 
is still the resident pastor. 

St. Joseph's Court, Catholic Order of Foresters, was organized here some 
years ago, and is a flourishing institution. 



Methodist Church— The New Albin class was organized in January. 1874, 
by Rev. H. W. Houghton. W. Ft. Tuthill being appointed leader. From this 
time until 1895 Lansing and New Albin were one charge. 

Reverend Houghton carried on the pastoral work until 1S78, without any 
salary. He was succeeded by Dr. R. C. Ambler, who supplied for the year end- 
ing October, "79. his salary being $75. 

Rev. A. M. Sanford, the next pastor, remained three years, at a more respect- 
able salary. Rev. L. N. Green was appointed as his successor, also remaining 
three years. The ensuing year there was no pastor. The Sunday school work 
was kept up by A. P. Petrehn. The next year Rev. F. J. Heatly was appointed. 
He supplied both New Albin and Lansing from May until conference time, when 
H. J. Bowder took up the pastoral work and carried it for three years. J. B. 
Wyatt, the next pastor, remained two years, and his successor, W. A. Allan, 
one year. 

In 1894 it was decided that the work was too heavy for one man, and Squire 
Heath was appointed assistant to the Lansing pastor, E. D. Hall. This arrange- 
ment lasted one year, after which Mr. Heath assumed full control and New 
Albin became an independent charge. Mr. Heath remained two years, with an- 
nual salary of $600. 

Rev. R. L. Finney was appointed his successor and remained for one year, 
till 1897 conference, when W. G. Crowder became pastor for one year only. 
A. A. Hallett succeeded him. in 1899. B. C. Barnes followed and stayed two years 
ending with 1901 conference, when H. E. Kester was appointed, remaining 
through 1904. W. Lease, 1905-6; C. C. Casper, 1907-09; Henry Allshouse, 
1910-11; E. T. Gough, 1912-13. 

Quarterly conference roll: \Y. O. Bock, C. J. Travis, Ed. Bock, R. C. May, 
H. Riser, Win. Thompson, R. G. May, C. M. Steele, Mrs. W. Thompson, Mrs. 
J. F. Goble, Cora Thomson, Mrs. O. C. Tartt 

The church sustains a flourishing Sunday school, of which W. O. Bock is 

In the year 1902 this church built a parsonage at a cost of $2,500, located 
upon as fine a site as there is in town. 

German Evangelical — In the year 1885 was organized the German Evan- 
gelical St. Peter's church at New Albin. with the following named trustees : 
Henry Burmester, Henry Luetschens, Louis Missall, Ferdinand Kubitz. L. 
Missall was the clerk. 


The New Albin public schools comprise about eleven grades, and employ five 
teachers. No data being at hand regarding the beginning of the schools 
here, a list of those who have had charge cannot he given. Prof. Frank Rice 
was principal in 1884, and since that time some of the more prominent ones have 

been J. R. McKim, J. P. Conway, C. E. Wright, Craig, and numerous others, 

mostly remaining but one year each. The present incumbent is now on his sec- 
ond year, Prof. Erich C. R. Jordan. There is a good school building, and a good 
interest manifested, the enrollment being 161 out of a possible 220 of school age 
in the district. The officers of the school board are: President, E. Rice; secretary, 
R. G. May; treasurer. G. F. Wild. 



The New Albin Savings Bank was incorporated April 14, 1898, with a capital 
of $15,000, and the following officers: president, H. Martin; vice president, Wm. 
Coleman; cashier, L. H. Gaarder; directors, the foregoing officers and G. A. 
Erickson, R. H. Thompson, F. C. Meyer and W. O. Bock. After a period of 
about ten years the capital stock was increased to $30,000, March 3, 1908; and 
the present officers are: President, A. T. Nierling of Waukon; vice president, 
O. I. Hager of Waukon ; cashier, L. H. Gaarder, and assistant cashier, Carl E. 
Weymiller of New Albin. In April, 1913, their total assets were $418,627.18. 
Deposits, $332,959.75. Undivided profits, $8,602.85. 

The Farmers' Savings Bank of New Albin, organized in 1909, became in- 
corporated November 27th of that year. Its capital stock was $20,000, and the 
first officers were : President, Joseph Coleman ; vice president, Henry Wuennecke ; 
cashier, William Lager. Directors, the officers as before named, and George 
Muenkel, Albert Kuehn, Henry Vonderohe, and Dennis J. Ryan. Present offi- 
cers: President, J. C. Coleman; vice president, H. Wuennecke; cashier, M. J. 
Cavanaugh; assistant cashier, A. H. Frieberg. Assets in April, 1913, $187,814.63. 
Deposits, $110,071.10. Undivided profits, $454.03. 


The first postmaster of New Albion was, we believe, Jacob Fitschen, who 
was followed by Wm. Coleman, who held the office until in the Harrison regime 
in 1889, when he was succeeded by Wm. O. Bock. In President Cleveland's 
second administration Michael Gabbett went in, July 1893, and he gave place to 
G. A. Ericson in President McKinley's time, sometime in 1899, we believe. Mr. 
Ericson served about four years, being succeeded by W. O. Bock, in January, 
1903, who has served since and is the present incumbent. 


The New Albin Herald, a small folio sheet, was established about June 1, 
1873, by Dr. J. I. Taylor of Lansing, who placed his son, James E. Taylor, in 
charge of it as publisher. It was discontinued the following year, and the Spec- 
tator, an eight-page paper, was established by E. S. Kilbourne, who continued 
its publication for about five years, when he removed to a new town in the 
West, in May, 1879, and the paper was discontinued. 

About the year 1893 the New Albin Courier began publication, by Walter 
Travis, but it was discontinued in 1898, and the material (with the excep- 
tion of the press) sold to Coffeen & Bock, who added it to their plant of the 
Waukon Republican. Soon after this, in the same year, 1898, H. J. Metcalf 
began publishing the New Albin Globe, continuing it for three years when it 
was, in the latter part of 1901, consolidated with the Mirror at Lansing, which 
continued for some time to run a New Albin page. After an interval, of three 
years the New Albin News entered the field, the first number appearing in 
December, 1904, and under the practical management of the proprietor, Ludwig 
Schubbert, this venture appears to have proven a success and a needed adjunct 
to the business of this thriving little town. 

Vol. 1—13 



St. Joseph's Court, Catholic Order of Foresters, was organized here some 
years ago, and is a flourishing fraternal institution. 

New Albin Camp, No. 3309, Modern Woodmen of America, chartered in 
the latter part of 1895, proved popular here, as the order has elsewhere in the 


A remarkable figure in the history of New Albin was the venerable Charles 
L. Poole, who died at the home of a daughter, .Mrs. H. II. May, December 10, 
1893, nearing the completion of his one hundred and eighth year. Born in 
Congrasbury, Somersetshire, England, March 15, 1786, he came to this country 
in 1849, at tne a S e °f sixty-three, with his second wife and ten children, leav- 
ing his eldest son in England. They settled first in Kane county, Illinois, where 
his wife died in 1850, and in 1851 he came to Allamakee county which continued 
to be his home until his death, except for one year in Dakota, where he took a 
homestead to "grow up with the country.'' lie left seventy living descendants, 
seven children and sixty-three grand and great-grandchildren. A month before 
his death Mr. Poole walked to the polls as usual to cast his vote at the general 
election disdaining aid from the kids of sixty and seventy with their carriages. 
At one time he owned several hundred acres of land near here, but lost it all, 
largely it is said through his helpfulness to others. 

Another aged and respected resident of New Albin died early in the same year 
as Mr. Poole, namely Mr. H. G. Smart, who passed away January 17, 1893, at 
the age of ninety. He had lived here twenty years, and was a teacher in the 
pioneer days in Clayton county. 


It has been stated in an early chapter of this volume that the Iowa tribe of 
Indians left their name on three streams as laid down on the early maps. One of 
these was the Upper Iowa, now usually referred to as the Oneota. In Salter's 
history of the state it is said that the earliest appearance of any form of the name 
Iowa is in a letter of Father Louis Andre, written from the Bay of Puants 
(Green Bay), April 20, 1676. He says: "This year we have among the Puants 
seven or eight families from a nation that is * * * called Aiaoua, or Mas- 
coutins Nadoessi. Their village, which lies 200 leagues from here toward the 
west, is very large, but poor ; for their greatest wealth consists of ox-hides and 
red calumets. They speak the language of the Puants. I preached Jesus Christ 
to them. They live at a distance of twelve days' journey beyond the great river 
called Misisipi." 

Perrot speaks of the stream now called the Upper Iowa as "about twelve 
leagues from the Ouisconching, and named for the Ayoes savages," and savs 
that he maintained friendly relations with them when he established himself 
on the Mississippi ( 1685). 

The substitution of the pleasing Indian name Oneota for the Upper Iowa 
was first made in print about 1889, so far as we can ascertain, by Government 


geologists ; and was further authorized and urged soon after by Professor Calvin, 
Iowa State Geologist, who applied the name also to a prominent rock formation 
along the bluffs of this stream. It has the recommendation of avoiding confusion 
in the use of the name Iowa for two rivers in the state, and preserving the 
original local Indian name of this picturesque river. 


According to the best authority available this township was constituted April 
i, 1852, being taken from Taylor township, which at first included both this and 
Paint Creek. Its boundaries, identical with those of Congressional township 97-5, 
were confirmed in December, 1853, at the same time as those of other townships 
to the south and east. The population in 1854 was 371 ; in 1880, 1,135; and 826 
in 1910. 

The first settlers here were in 1849, in the following order. Patrick Keenan 
and Richard Cassiday in the spring of that year (removing from an earlier claim 
made in Makee), on sections 15 and 22; William Niblock on sections 4 and 5, in 
June; and later, the same season, Carlisle D. Beeman on north half of section 21, 
and Harmon S. Cooper on the south half of the same section. Mr. Keenan's 
early experience is told in another chapter. He died in 1878, and Mr. Cassiday in 
1879. Mr. Niblock later owned the northwest quarter of section 27. He served 
his country through the Civil war, in Company A, 27th Iowa Infantry, after which 
he resumed farm life in this township until his death, in the later nineties. Mr. 
Beeman became prominent in county affairs, dying in 1893. ^ r - Cooper is still 
with us, on the farm he entered from the Government over sixty-three years ago. 

Other of the earliest comers into Jefferson were : Daniel Flynn, Patrick 
Lane, and M. B. Lyons, in section 28; Daniel McAlpine, section 18; John Dundey, 
section 4; Joel Baker, section 20; Nathaniel Mitchell, Chas. B. Churchill and 
Samuel Pettit, section 26; E. Barlow, John Pettit, Win. V. and Elias Hatfield, 
section 24; John Stull, section 35; David Skinner, Wm, T. Stull, section 25; 
Andrew Peck, Lorenzo Bushnell, section 9; Moses A. Ross, section 17; Reuben 
W. and Samuel M. Bullock, section 18; Asahel W. Hoag, section 22; Tared 
Palmer, section 23 ; John B. Koontz and Josiah R. Dart, section 34; James S. and 
Jackson Mitchell, section 36; Eston McClintock, section 33; Henry Elliott and 
Henry M. Stephens, section 27; Harmon Hastings, section 6; E. B. Lyons, sec- 
tion 5; and Oliver Wheeler, sections 13 and 24. 


In the year 1849 the commissioners appointed by the General Assembly of 
Iowa to locate the county seat of Allamakee county, which was organized at 
the January session of said body, looked over the ground and fixed upon a point 
in the south central part of the county, in the south half of section 23, in now 
Jefferson township, which has since been known as "The Old Stake." Just why 
this point was selected may never again be known, although doubtless they had 
reasons, some of which we may surmise. There were no settlers near there at 
that time, unless it may be that it was after Mr. Keenan has removed to his new 
location a mile or two northwest of that point, from Makee township, which he 


did in the spring of that year. Mr. Shattuck did not reach Waukon until July. 
There was no Rossville, nor settlement begun there. It would seem that in the 
commissioners' desire to get into the central part of the county they had gone as 
far to the north and west as the conditons at the time would warrant, the settle- 
ments then being wholly in the south and east borders of the county. The Gov- 
ernment survey of these lands was this year in progress. It may be that the 
owners of lands in the vicinity of Postville, Hardin, the Old Mission, and Harp- 
er's Ferry (later so named), as well as possibly Columbus and Lansing, were 
watching them with jealous eye, and remonstrating against locating the seat of 
county government away off in the interior out of their reach. At any rate, 
where the stake was driven the lands were entered as soon as the surveys would 
allow by parties who did not become permanent settlers. 

One good reason for this selection was the fact it was located on an old trail, 
evidently traveled by whites for many years, running from the Mississippi river, 
near the mouth of Yellow river, and following the ridge or divide between the 
latter stream and Paint creek, avoiding the tributaries as much as possible, and 
extending on to Winneshiek county and the northwest. This old bridle path 
was in all probability one of the "through routes" from Fort Crawford to Fort 
Snelling, followed by the early mail carriers mentioned in an earlier chapter of 
this volume. l>y this pathway the selection was readily accessible from the Old 
Mission, which continued to be virtually the headquarters of our county officials 
until the county seat was relocated at Columbus by the election of 185 1. 


Win. F. Ross is said to have been the first settler on this townsite, in 1850, 
but others followed very closely. Mr. Ross was later one of the school fund com- 
missioners, and at divers times himself took up school lands until he owned many 
hundreds of acres in different parts of the county. It may be that in settling 
here he had in view the possibility of making this the county seat, as was at- 
tempted a few years later; but this place did not figure in the first county seat 
election, in 185 1 . Rossville is on the old road above mentioned, about a mile and 
a half southeast of where the old stake was planted. The plat was surveyed 
by Joel Dayton, county surveyor, for the proprietors of the laud, comprising 
Wm. F. and Sarah I. Ross. David and Catherine E. Skinner, and Elias and Mary 
A. Hatfield, who acknowledged same before Jackson Mitchell, J. P., May 31, 
1855. The following year the town aspired to county seat honors in a triangular 
contest with Waukon and Whaley & Topliff's Mill ; Waukon, the then county 
seat, retaining the prize, the election taking place in April, 1856. Rossville at 
that time possessed a steam sawmill and several other lines of trade, and had she 
obtained the county seat might have had a healthy growth. ( David Dial was 
running this steam sawmill to its full capacity in 1869.) Rossville postoffice had 
been established in February, 1852, presumably Mr. Ross was postmaster. The 
postmaster at present is E. W. Stanley. 

The business houses at Rossville now. spring of 1913, are as follows: F. E. 
Graham, feed mill and blacksmith shop; W. Ross Koontz, general merchandise; 
Albertus Leas, pumps and implements; Airs. J. D. W^oodmansee, millinery. 

} if 

1 i 





l]i i | irr 

- ■- 


R • — — »~. — 

St. Joseph's church and parsonage 
Methodist Episcopal church 
Main street, looking north 

Bird's-eye view 

German-Lutheran church 

Public school building 



Maud — This is the name of a postoffice established some years ago on the 
line of the railroad, just within the east line of this township. The postmaster 
is H. H. Larson, who keeps a general merchandise store patronized by the sur- 
rounding country. This has been a way station on the Waukon branch for many 
years, at which passengers and freight are received and discharged for Ross- 
ville, about two and a half miles to the south. An attempt is now being made 
to induce the railroad company to put in a side-track and station building here, 
which will doubtless be successful. 


The Baptist church at Rossville was organized August 27, 1853, at the home 
of Elias Hatfield, with fifteen constituent members. The record fails to show 
who was the organizing elder present, but Rev. James Schofield was there in 
1854. On September 10, 1853, J. T. Thorp and Elias Hatfield were elected the 
first delegates and took the first church letter to the Davenport Association. The 
first member received by letter was Nathaniel Mitchell, December 10. 1853. The 
first candidate for baptism was received and baptized March 12, 1854. In May 
of that year a committee was appointed to select a building lot, and in June 
trustees were elected to hold the property, consisting of a church lot and burying 
ground. In January, '55- steps were taken to raise $1,000 for the purpose of 
building a house of worship, 32x46x19^ feet high. Not until 1862 was the 
house up and enclosed, and was used the following winter for a schoolhouse; 
and in 1865 it was finished off inside. In 1873 the church bought a house and 
lot of Rev. Hanna for a parsonage, but sold it again in '76. In '85 the church 
building was thoroughly repaired, replastered and painted and new windows put 
in. Further improvements were later made and the seating remodeled. In 1894, 
the church purchased a lot and erected a parsonage at a cost of about $1,000, 
and finished paying for same in 1901. It is now out of debt and has a house of 
worship and parsonage valued, with the lots, at $3,500. 

The early career of this old church was vigorous and successful. In 1855 
the Davenport Association was divided and the northern part become the Dubuque 
Association, when this church had a membership of thirty-four. Reverend Scho- 
field was their pastor, and remained until i860, when the Turkey River Associa- 
tion was formed. Rev. John A. Pool came in 1861, and at the associational meet- 
ing in '62 there were reported in the entire association of fifteen churches seventy- 
three baptisms during the past year, of which twenty-seven were at Rossville 
under Reverend Pool's ministry. We have no record of consecutive pastors, but 
it is recorded that in 1865, Rev. C. D. Farnsworth was pastor at Rossville and 
Waukon. Rev. E. P. Dye was at Rossville in 1874, and the record shows an 
accession of sixty-five members by baptism that year; but two years later the 
associational minutes show there had been somewhat of a reaction. 

In 1879, Rev. J. M. Wedgwood became pastor, remaining for three years, 
and was a supply from time to time during later years. Rev. W. L. Wolfe was 
here in 1894-5, followed by E. Bodenham for two or three years; C. B. Carey 
'99; J. A. Lovelace, 1901-2; S. D. Holden, 1904-5; C. H. Stull and H. P. Lang- 
ridge supplied from Waukon; C. W. C. Ericson. 1908-9; W. R. Bailey, 1910-11. 
The church has since been without a pastor. The church clerks since 1881 have 


been X. Mitchell. T. B. Wiley. L. C. Brace, C. Denning, and for the past seven- 
teen years, A. F. Wheeler. . 

1, is fitting here to make further mention of the first pastor of this church. 
Rev James Schofield, and his distinguished son. Gen. John M. Schoheld. The 
latter was born in New York in 1831, and graduated from West Point, the U. S. 
Military academy, in 1853, where he was made a professor in 1855. When the 
Civil war broke 'out he was made major of the First Missouri Volunteers, and 
was on General Lyons' staff when the latter was killed at W ilson s creek. He 
was in command in Missouri until assigned to the command of the Army of the 
Ohio. He shared in Sherman's campaign until the taking of Atlanta, when he 
returned to Tennessee, defeating Hood at Franklin, and was with General 
Thomas at the battle of Nashville. Early in [865 he took Wilmington, X. C., and 
united his force with Sherman. He was later sent on a special mission to 
France. In 1868-9 he was secretary of war. and then major general and depart- 
ment commander. In 1876-81 he was superintendent at West Point; and upon 
the death of General Sheridan in 1S88. he succeeded to the command of the 
United States Army. Previous to his retirement in [895 he was, by act of 
Congress, made lieutenant general. His death occurred March 4, 1906. 

Elder' Schofield built a fine brick residence at Rossville. where his distin- 
guished son visited him at times, and both invested considerable in land in the 
vicinity. Reverend Schofield was pastor of the Waukon church in 1861, after 
which the writer has no record of him. except that he sold his Rossville property 

in 1866. 

The Presbyterian church of Rossville was organized September 9, 1866, with 
a membership of eleven, namely, Andrew Henderson, Jane Henderson, Robert 
Crawford. Sarah Crawford. Caroline Emerson, S. I.. Sergent. E. M. Sergent, 
Robert Henderson, Rebecca Jane Henderson, Martha Anne Henderson and 
William Henderson. Of these constituent members only the three last named 
are still living. The church building at that time was an old schoolhouse. Rev. 
I. Woodruff was the first minister, his ministry continuing from 1866 to 1870, 
when he was succeeded by Rev. John C. Hanna, who remained with the church 
until 1872. 

For a brief interval the church was then without a pastor; but in 1873, Rev. 
James Frothingham came and stayed till 1874. From this time the church was 
supplied by Rev. B. Hall, the Waukon minister, who preached here every two 
weeks, and this arrangement continued until 1887. Then ensued a period of 
some four years without preaching, when, in 1891. arrangements were made 
with Rev. R. L. Van Nice of Waukon. to preach every two weeks, as his pred- 
ecessor had done. In that year Mr. Van Nice held revival meetings, and eighteen 
persons were received into the church. This was the beginning of better days 
in the history of this church. In 1892 Rev. W. H. Ensign supplied the pulpit, 
from Volga City, and remained till 1893. During his ministry the church was 
incorporated. In the spring of 1894, Captain O'Brien held successful meetings; 
and immediately following these services Rev. Z. F. Blakely became pastor, and 
an accession of twenty-seven persons was made to the membership. 

At a meeting on May 21. 181)4. it was decided to build a new church, which 
was completed in [895, and the dedication took place 011 April 21st of that year. 
The cost of this building was $2,411.13. Rev. James C. Wilson became pastor 


at that time, and continued until 1897. when the work was carried on in connec- 
tion with Frankville, Reverend Phillips preaching every two weeks, until the 
spring of 1898, then Rev. T. Reeves preached during a summer vacation of three 
months. Reverend Baird preached for six months in the years 1898-99, coming 
from Frankville alternate Sundays. Reverend Reeves again served during the 
summer vacation of 1899. Reverend Gregg then came from Frankville once in 
two weeks, continuing this work until September, 1902. Reverend Simpson then 
became pastor of the church and stayed until June, 1904. 

The church was again without preaching until April, 1907, when Rev. J. C. B. 
Peck became pastor until September, 1908, when Reverend Nickless began his 
ministry terminating in September, 1909. This date marks the beginning of Rev. 
L. Duckett's ministry in America, who was pastor until September, 191 1. For 
three months during the summer of 1912, the church was supplied by Reverend 
Remtsma, student pastor, of McCormick seminary. 

There is an old established lodge of the I. O. O. F. at Rossville ; also Camp 
No. 4828 of the M. W. A., organized in 1897, or '98; but further information 
as to these fraternal societies at Rossville is not at hand. 

The earliest Masonic lodge in Allamakee county was chartered at Rossville, 
June 4, 1856, as Parvin Lodge No. 85, to L. B. Adams, T. H. Barnes, W. F. Ross, 
and nine others, but the charter was surrendered a few years later. The last 
report made to the Grand Lodge was for 1858, showing the following officers and 
members : L. B. Adams, W. M. ; Dr. T. H. Barnes, S. W. ; W. F. Ross, J. W. ; 
Thos. Crawford, Treas. ; J W Nottingham, Sec; R. K. Hall, S. D. ; James C. 
Smith, J. D. ; J. J. Pettit, Tyler. Members: Geo. W. Gray, G. W. Hays, Noah 
Maltbie, Geo. C. Shattuck, Dr. J. W. Singer, John T. Clark, John Brisco, David 
Skinner, J. Small, S. B. Clark, H. V. Colman, William Ward. These names 
show members living at Waukon and Lansing, and other parts of the county. 

Jefferson township officers for 191 3 are: Clerk, Henry Grangaard ; trustees, 
Simon Hansmeier, C. P. Mitchell, G. B. Ralston; assessor, L. J. Larson; justice 
of the peace, H. H. Larson ; constable, Wm. McGuire. 


At the March, 1852, term of the County court a commission was issued to 
L. W. Low to call an organizing election for this township, to be held at the 
house of Thos. B. Twiford on the first Monday in April following, but no record 
is found of the election. At this session also the boundaries were established, 
to include all of township 98, ranges 2, 3 and 4. Fractional section 34"99"3 was 
later set off to Lafayette from Lansing township. Center township was taken 
from this territory upon its organization in 1856. 


Is the name covering a combination of three town plats on section 18, the 
first of which called Milton, was laid out in 1854 by Jesse M. Rose, who had here 
built the first flouring mill in the county, the year before. In the spring of 1857, 
Mr. Rose platted another tract, lying to the east of Milton, and called it Village 
Creek, which was the name of the postoffice established here at that time. An 


effort was made to have it called Milton, but there was already a postoffice of that 
name in the state. Hon. L. E. Fellows, later in the legislature and for many 
years judge of the District court until his death within the past year, was the 
first postmaster. In the fall of 1857 the third plat, called Howard Center, was 
laid out adjoining Milton on the north, Eldridge Howard, a Methodist minister, 
being the proprietor. 

Village Creek was at one time quite a manufacturing center, several flouring 
mills having been operated there or in the vicinity, a woolen mill, and later, cream- 
eries. The Village Creek Woolen Mill was established by H. O. Dayton in 
1865, the building being of stone, three and a half stories. It did a large business 
until destroyed by fire, October 28, 1868, involving a loss of $35,000, nothing 
but the bare walls being left. It was rebuilt and equipped with new machinery, 
but again it became the victim of the fire fiend, May 21, 1875. Within a year it 
was once more in operation, with new capital interested, under the proprietor- 
ship of Howard, Carrolls & Ratcliffe. But the stream. Village creek, being sub- 
ject to furious floods, from time to time took out their dam and otherwise caused 
much damage, and great loss of time and expense for repairs. In 1882 they were 
employing fifteen operatives. But the continued damages by flood, with a com- 
bination of other discouragements, finally caused the enterprise to be abandoned. 

The Village Creek Flouring Mill has the generally admitted distinction of 
being the first mill in Allamakee county for the making of flour, and was estab- 
lished in 1853, in charge, it is believed, of a Mr. Valentine, an experienced miller. 
Peter A. Valentine soon after built another mill a short distance below, on the 
southeast quarter of southeast quarter section 7, in which Mr. Rose also became 
interested and later Mr. Edward Brownell. Job Valentine, his son, ran the mill. 
Peter A. Valentine was a Congregational preacher and removed to Wisconsin, 
where he built another mill, and preached for twenty years, at Mount Sterling. 
He was grandfather of Hon. E. H. Fourt of Waukori. This mill in after years 
became known as the Centennial Mill. Both of these mills changed hands sev- 
eral times, and both eventually became the property of A. C. Doehler, the well- 
known miller at Village Creek for many years. These mills are not now in 

Air. Doehler keeps a general store here now, and there is but little else in a 
business way, aside from blacksmith and tinsmith. Mail is supplied from 

Among some extracts from old diaries of H. O. Dayton, submitted to us by 
his daughter, we find the following. On March 19, 1857, he says: "I finished 
up my survey of Village Creek." In April, that he has commenced work for Mr. 
Howard on a survey of his town lots in Milton, known as Howard's Addition. 
In May he writes as follows: "The town of Milton is coming up. A brick yard, 
stores, blacksmith shops, and three flour mills in complete operation, begin to 
let their works be shown." In October, 1857: "The town of Milton is growing 
very fast, no less than twenty houses have been constructed in the last nine 

December 6, [858, Mr. Dayton commenced teaching school in this flourishing 
little town. And again he taught here in the two next following winters. In 
November, r86o, Mr. Dayton and John Lamb were elected justices of the peace. 


On April 30, 1862, one of many disastrous floods visited the Village creek 
valley, destroying all bridges and flooding the low lands. 

In the fall of 1864 Mr. Dayton organized a stock company for the purpose of 
erecting and putting into operation a woolen factory at Village Creek. On 
December 13, 1864, the first meeting of the shareholders was. held and officers 
elected as follows: President, H. O. Dayton; secretary, A. Cavers; treasurer, 
F. W. Wagner ; and three directors, whose names are not given. 

The following year Mr. Dayton visited the best woolen mills in operation in 
the East, and returning to Village Creek had constructed a large three and a half 
story stone building, the Village Creek Woolen Mills, which, fully equipped, 
cost not less than $20,000. Not until February 6, 1866, were the mills in opera- 
tion. On this date Mr. Dayton made this entry in his diary : "We did our first 
weaving to-day." The mills were visited daily by hosts of people, to whom such 
an enterprise in that comparatively new country seemed a marvelous thing. 
On April 2d of that year Village Creek had the misfortune to be again visited by 
a destructive flood, causing the factory dam to go out, washing away all bridges, 
and doing untold damage along the lowlands. By April 26th the damages to the 
mill had been repaired, and Mr. Dayton's entry for this date states, "We finished 
our first yard of cloth in the wool factory to-day, ready for sale." 

In July, 1866, Mr. Dayton went East, and when he returned in September he 
brought home a help-meet, having married Miss Maria Aldrich, in New York 
state. They resided in Village Creek for a period of seven years, where Mr. 
Dayton continued to operate the woolen mills and in which he was by far the 
largest stockholder. In 1868 the mills were destroyed by fire, but through the 
untiring energy of Mr. Dayton they were rebuilt, but were again destroyed by 
fire in 1875. 

Chantry — This is one of the embryo townsites of the fifties which has not 
been on the map for many years. It was platted August 24, 1857, the owner 
being Augustus French, on the northeast fractional quarter of section 12, five or 
six miles below Lansing, and doubtless high hopes were at one time entertained 
that it was destined to become an important river point. 

Lafayette — Was a settlement on the Mississippi about a mile above Chantry. 
The first settler was Thomas Gordon, in 1850. It was a good boat landing, and 
at one time possessed one or two stores and a large steam sawmill, but so far as 
known, no attempt was made to plat and sell city lots here. In 1857 the saw- 
mill was changed to a gristmill by Kinyon & Amsden, which was in 1859 and 
later known as Foot's mill. 

Heytman's — Is a more modern map name, being a railroad siding and way 
station in the extreme southeast corner of fractional section 17. 


This was the name given to the pioneer Catholic church of Northeastern 
Iowa, by its founder. Rev. Thomas Hore, who came here direct from his former 
home of the same name, it is said, in Ireland, to establish a parish among his 
countrymen, who were at the time rapidly settling up this vicinity. He came 



here in the spring of 1851 and purchased thousands of acres of Government lands 
in what is now Lafayette and Taylor townships, at various points, at the Govern- 
ment price of $1.25 per acre, from the sale of which in the following years, a 
large revenue was derived. A small church edifice was at once erected, but 
whether this was.upon the site of the present church is not fully established. An 
early map, published in 1859, shows a Catholic church and monk's house located 
on section 2j, two miles west of the present church. But if ever actually built 
there the location was very temporary. The Trappist monks contemplated locat- 
ing in this vicinity, but later decided upon a home at Dubuque. This little church 
wherever located was undoubtedly the first church built in Allamakee county; 
and Father More was the first Catholic priest to locate in the county. Upon the 
map above referred to the name Wexford is applied to a small settlement or 
landing-place on the bank of Harper's channel, in the southeast corner of section 
6, range 2, Taylor township. 

As to the later whereabouts of Father Hore there are no data at, hand to 
determine. Not long after this parish was erected, Monona seems to have had a 
Catholic settlement, as the settlements of "Monona and New Wexford" were 
added to the list of charges of Rt. Rev. Mathias Loras, the first bishop of 
Dubuque, as stated in an article by Rev. B. C. Lenehan, published in the Annals of 
Iowa ( January 1899). Father Hore was a very popular and influential man, and 
drew to this point a large immigration of his countrymen who bought the lands 
he had obtained from the Government. The Wexford church is located on the 
southeast quarter of southeast quarter section 25, township 98, range 3. in the 
valley of the creek known as Priest Cooley. The writer is not informed as to the 
date the present edifice was erected, nor of the succession of the priests having 
this parish in charge. In 1855 Father Welch resided*here, and served the Lans- 
ing and other churches until 1863. Rev. Matthias Hannon was stationed at Wex- 
ford from 1863 to '66. Rev. James McGowan was pastor in 1869; Reverend 
Nelson about 1883 ; and Rev. Thomas Laffan, the present pastor, has been here 
for several years. 

This, Immaculate Conception church of Wexford, became formally incor- 
porated February 6, 1912. with Archbishop James J. Keane ex-officio president, 
Pastor Thomas Laffan. vice president; John J. Keane, vicar general, constituting 
the board of directors, with lay members John J. Hawes and Thomas W. 

Zion's Church of the Evangelical Association of North America, of Columbus 
Ridge, was incorporated March 5. 1873, and in Jul)' following, dedicated a fine 
new church building; the trustees being at that time: Julius Kehrberg, Frederick 
Martin. Ferdinand Martin. Gottlieb Goettel, Sr.. and Jr.. William Gaunitz, and 
Herman Kehrberg. The present pastor is, we believe, Reverend Pfalsgraff, suc- 
ceeding Reverend Raecker. See sketch of the Lansing church for further 

The following names include some of the earliest settlers in Lafavette town- 
ship, but as the date and location cannot in many cases be given with certainty 
they are generally omitted: Ilelge Olson, section 32; Simon Decrevel, section 
2; Thos. Gordon, section 3; H. H. Pope, section 7; John Franklin, Thomas 
Bentley. John Cockran, Timothy Madden, Wm. Scanlan, Edward and John 
Kelly, Edward O'Neill, Thomas Mullins, Wm. Heatly. section 25 ; Michael 


Elvnn, Austin Joyce and Wm. Fitzgerald, section 34; J. M. Rose, Peter Valentine, 
Wm. C. Thompson, S. M. Thompson, Patrick O'Toole. Edward Mularkey, sec- 
tion 11 ; Edward Dungan, section 2j ; E. A. Tisdale, section 31 ; the foregoing in 
range 3, while others in range 2. were: James and Wm. Bohan, sections 17 and 
18; Patrick Lawrence and Michael Keenan, section 18; Joseph Flood, section 31. 
Other actual settlers doubtless came in as early as some of the above mentioned, 
and bought land of original purchasers who did not settle here. 

The population of the township in 1854 was 371, and in 1910 the census 
gives it as 747. 

The present township officers are : clerk. Thomas Crowe ; trustees, John 
Bohrer, John J. Haws, Richard Cassidy; assessor. Mat Guider. 


Organization dates from February, 1852, and its boundaries include all of 
ranges 4 and fractional 3, in township 99 north, except fractional section 34 
set off to Lafayette. The population in 1854 was 440. The history of the town- 
ship is largely the history of the city, which is given a chapter by itself. Aside 
from the pioneer settlers therein mentioned, however, there were numerous set- 
tlers in the valleys and on the ridges and prairies outside, the following occurring 
among the names of those who took Government land in 1851 or earlier. Among 
the earliest of these was Andrew Sandry, who came in 1849 or '50, and resided 
here until his death in the spring of 1913, for sixty-three years or more. Others 
were: Fred Lenz, Samuel Baumann and Peter Riser, Ernest Mueller and John 
Bakewell (1850), Melchior Schindler (1850), Peter Stauffacher, Elisha Wood- 
ruff and John Cole, 1851. 

The following named \\*ere some of the earliest settlers taking land direct 
from the Government or of the school fund in Lansing township, aside from 
those elsewhere named, viz: S. H. Haines, Adam Hirth, Peter Hirth, John Soil, 
Henry G. Weaver, John May. John Englehorn, John Baker. Michael Englehorn, 
John Carlisle, Jacob Englehorn, John A. Hirth. John Bakewell, John Riser, 
Elisha Hale. 

The first enumeration of Lansing township, in 1854. showed a population of 
440. By the census of 1910, it was 666, exclusive of the city. 

Lansing township officials are at present: Clerk, H. H. Gilbertson ; trustees, 
Julius Feuerhelm, Henry Gramlich, Frank Thomson; assessor, Henry Becker; 
justices, Edw. Bensch and P. S. Pierce ; constables, H. F. Gaunitz and Stewart 

Columbus — This famous name was given to the most important point in the 
county at the time, a landing place on the Mississippi just below, or southeast 
of, the mouth of Village creek. It was often called Capoli, from the name of the 
bluff at the base of which it lay, which appears in the narratives of the early 
explorers as "Cap-a-1'ail," in Schoolcraft, or "Cape a'l'ale Sauvage," as in Bel- 
trami. It became the first actual county seat of Allamakee county in the spring 
of 1 85 1, the nominal location at "the old stake" in Jefferson township not having 
been utilized, and so remained until Waukon was made the county seat by the 
commission for relocation two years later. The first recorded term of District 
court was held here in July, 1852, and for two years it was a rival of Lansing 


as a business point. The proprietors of the townsite were Leonard B. Hodges, 
Thomas B. Twiford, and Aaron Chesebro, who platted the land in 1852, reserving 
a plot of two acres in the center for prospective county buildings, which never 
materialized. At the June, 1852, term of the County court it was ordered that 
the Columbus town lots be advertised for sale, on the terms one-third down, 
balance in one year, and the proceeds be applied to the erection of suitable county 
buildings at that place. Elias Topliff also had a proprietary interest in the 
place about this time. L. B. Hodges, a prominent figure in the early history of 
the county, later became Commissioner of Forestry of the State of Minnesota, 
and had charge of tree-planting along the line of the Northern Parific railroad, 
lie published some valuable works on forest culture, and died at St. Paul in 1883. 

While there was some sale for Columbus lots for a time, the town collapsed 
after the removal of the county seat, and eventually all the lots were disposed 
of at tax sales and are now part of a farm owned by G. M. Kerndt. 

A postofnce was established at Columbus in the latter part of 185 1. And 
there was here at a later date two stores, a good sized hotel, and a steam sawmill. 

North Capoli — Lies half a mile to the north and west of Columbus, and 
adjoins the south line of South Lansing, both now within the corporate limits 
of the city of Lansing. The latter was platted by John Haney and H. H. Hough- 
ton, February 22, 1858. And North Capoli was platted April r6, i860, by Elias 
Topliff and J. M. Rose, as trustees of the Columbus Land Company No. 1. 

Church — This place has never been platted as a town, but is a thriving little 
village which has grown up in recent years, on the northwest quarter of north 
east quarter of section 32, near the southwest corner of the township, seven 
miles from Lansing. Isaac Bechtel was the owner of the forty, and has sold 
off building lots for stores and dwellings from time to time as the growing settle- 
ment required. Geo. C. Coppersmith started a store here in 1898, and was 
appointed postmaster. He sold out in 1903 to Benjamin Decker, who continues 
to do a thriving business, and is now postmaster. Mrs. Wm. Buege keeps con- 
fectionery and notions; and Wm. Lenz is the blacksmith. The Calhoun Creamery 
Company is located here, and has proven a permanent ami prosperous institution. 
This was incorporated March 7. 1896, with a capital of $3,000 with right to 
increase to $4,000. Its first officers were: President. Frank Stirn; vice president, 
A. J. Williams; secretary, A. J. McCafferty; treasurer, Peter N. Smedsrud ; 
directors, Chas. I". Xierling, George Rice and J. M. Thomson. 


The ( ierman Evangelical Congregational Society of Lansing Ridge was in- 
corporated October 19, 1868, with the following named trustees: Frederick Lenz, 
John Engelhorn. and Isaac Bechtel; and other incorporators were Rudolph Bau- 
mann, Conrad Engel and Jacob Blumer. In 1909 a reincorporation was effected, 
the trustees being Isaac Bechtel, Henry Marti, and Frederick Schweinfurth. 

Emanuel Methodist Episcopal church in Lansing township was incorporated 
January 4, [882, by Henry Lenz, Alexander Fischer, and G. Michael Wirth, as 




trustees, appointed by the quarterly conference in Lansing township, of the 
North Western German Conference. 

The Methodist church on May's Prairie, section 20, erected a stone house of 
worship many years ago. This church became incorporated in June, 1874, by a 
meeting held at the stone church, Christopher Schultz, chairman, and John 
Spicker, secretary and the following named were appointed as incorporators: 
Ernst Gramlich, George Murray, Peter Hirth. Gottlieb Staak, Andrew Leppert, 
Frederick Reiser, and Christian Manderscheidt. Rev. A. C. Panzlan serves this 
church and the M. E. church at Dorchester, we believe. 

The Salem's church of the German Evangelical Association, also May's 
Prairie, was organized July 15, 1903, by J. M. Krafft, representing the Evangeli- 
cal Association of North America in Allamakee county, and duly incorporated 
with the following named trustees, viz : Julius Feuerhelm, Wilhelm Worm, and 
Chas. Dee. We believe the same pastor serves this and the churches of the same 
faith at Lansing and Thompson's Corners, Rev. A. Raecker, until quite recently 
at least. 


This originally included all of Post, Franklin and Fairview at the time of 
organization in 1851, as before stated. Its present area conforms to that of 
congressional township 96-4, except that portion in the southeast corner set off 
to Fairview as shown in the chapter on that township. The name of Bunker Hill 
was first considered for this township, but Linton was finally adopted in honor 
of the Lintons, Dr. John Linton, manager of the Old Mission, and Thos. C. 
Linton, the organizing sheriff of Allamakee county. There was another brother, 
Wm. C. Linton, who came from Kentucky and located with his brothers in this 
township, but removed to Clayton county in '44, later to Mitchell county, and in 
his old age made his home at Pasadena, California, where he died January 21, 
1899, aged ninety-four years. He was a soldier in the Mexican war. 

Ion — The first Village in Linton, was first called Bunker Hill, but when it 
was platted into town lots, January 1, 1855, an opposition developed to this 
name, and the original proprietors agreed to select the name by lot, each writing 
his choice on a slip of paper and drawing from a hat. Our long-time county 
surveyor, H. B. Minor, is authority for the statement, that Sewell Goodridge, 
one of the proprietors, having recently read a novel in which he had admired 
a character by name of Ion. and nothing more suitable occurring to him at the 
time, wrote that name on his slip, which was the one drawn, thus establishing 
the name of the village. The survey and plat were made by D. W. Adams, for 
the owners, Sewell Goodridge, Chas. W. Cutter, and Abram J. Kennison, and 
Ion postoffice was established about this time, with Sewell Goodridge postmaster, 
it is believed. Down to i860, Ion was in Linton township, but by the setting off 
of section 24 in that year it was placed within the jurisdiction of Fairview, of 
which township it has ever since formed a part. The postoffice has continued 
here without interruption, we believe, until superseded by the rural delivery. 
Andrew Kean, postmaster in 1892, died in the summer of 1913. This vicinity is 
now served from Waterville. A postoffice called Egan was in existence in sec- 
tion 2, Linton township, for several years prior to the rural service, with James 
Egan postmaster. 


Ion was another of the good milling points on Yellow river in the early times. 
Indeed, it was at one time the most important in the valley. Girts and Colgrove 
in 1874, built a new flouring mill, which they put into operation January I, 1875. 
There is now a general store at Ion kept by Olive G. Grady; and Geo. M. Hulse 
is the shoemaker. Mr. A. E. Colegrove, miller and farmer, came here in i860, 
but Mixed in the Civil war. which service cost him his eyesight, and when his 
sight entirely tailed he removed to W'aukon. where he resided for many years, 
until his death in 1902. 

Buckland— Was the site of Buckland Mills, also on Yellow river, near the 
center of the township. It was laid out April 28. 1858, by Austin and Harriet 
L. Smith, John and Lucy Davis, and Asa and Cordelia Candee, and plat acknowl- 
edged before James H. Stafford, justice of the peace. The town plat was 
vacated May 10. 1 SS 1 . There was a postoffice here in 1892, E. L. Cahoon, 

Staudinger's Mill on Suttle creek was running to its full capacity in 1868, in 
the west part of Linton township. In the spring and summer of 1872, Wm. 
Staudinger built a 40 x 50. two and a half story flouring mill on the west branch 
of Suttle creek, a tributary of the Yellow river, about a mile further up than the 
old mill. This was on the route of the proposed narrow gauge railroad from 
Monona to W'aukon. which was then being surveyed. An old map published 
early in '59 shows a mill located on Suttle creek, in section 30, known as Knabb's 
Mill. Also Newcomb's Mill, situated on a creek in section (), two miles north of 
Yellow river. The Staudinger Mill is now used as a barn. 

The following named early settlers were among those who came in 1854 or 
sooner and took land from the Government, or the state, viz: Jacob Welliver, 
Samuel Denning, Robert Elliot, Lawrence Byrne, Marshall S. J. Newcomb, 
Thomas Limn. James Adams. Thomas Crawford, Mathew Glynn. John Kelly. 
Lawrence Maloney, John Denning, Seth X. Stafford, John B. Sutter, Selden 
Candee, Charles Miner. Chas. Reidel, Henry Wiethorn, John Plank, Lewis 
Renzihausen, John G. Rupp, Anthony Gass. Samuel W. M. "Moody. Allen Scott, 
Jacob Sawvel. < >f these, but a very few are still living in the township. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church of the Yellow river and Clayton Mission in 
Linton township, was incorporated. August 11. 1859, John Plank. Jr., Geo. Koch, 
Henry Peitzman, and Bartheld Liebenstein, being the incorporators. 

About the year [860 and following there was an active Baptist church organ- 
ization at Ion, served a part of the time by Elder Poole, of Rossville. They 
bought a small building at Ion for a house of worship, which they sold to George 
Hulse when the organization was broken up. 

The First Methodist Episcopal Church of ton was incorporated December 
28, [868, the trustees being at that time, S. C. Hulse, 11. 1!. Miner and Charles 
Miner. J. II. Gile was also one of the incorporators. 

Ion, \ olney, Monona, and Mel iregor at one time composed the "Ion Circuit. - ' 
served by such later well known preachers as J. F. Hestwood and Nathaniel Lye. 
The latter resided at Ion for a number of years. 

I he population of Linton township in 1X54 was 225. and in 1910 it was 581. 
At the first enumeration it had a mucfl larger area than now. 

Linton township officers in [913: Clerk, E. Pufahl; trustees, John Huffman, 
I has. Topel. Mike Peters; assessor. Jas. Egan, |r. 



The commissioner to organize this township was Ezra Reed, a pioneer of 
1850, on section 1, and the organizing election was held on Monday. April I, 
1852. The population in 1854 was 208; in 1910 it was jyj. No villages have 
ever been laid out in this township, but it has the reputation of being the 
wealthiest agricultural township in the county, having the largest area of tillable 
land, being mostly prairie. A postoffice called Ludlow was kept at the house of 
H. G. Grattan, postmaster, on the Waukon and Postville road, in section 10, for 
about twelve years, being discontinued prior to 1882. The township is fully cov- 
ered by free delivery now. It is noted for its churches and schools, creameries, 
and a local store has generally been kept in one part of the township or another. 
At present the only one is located on the southeast corner of section 8, owned and 
managed by John E. Meier. There is but one creamery now operating, the Lud- 
low Cooperative Creamery Company, incorporated April ir, 1894, with a capi- 
tal stock of $5,000, the first officers being A. I. Steffen, president; J. E. Baxter, 
vice president ; A. G. Winter, secretary and treasurer. It is situated on the south 
line of section 9, a quarter of a mile east of the store. On early maps of Iowa 
published in 1857 a little village called Grantville is laid down in the south- 
eastern part of Ludlow, but we have been unable to ascertain that there ever was 
a settlement or postoffice of that name in the vicinity. 

The official roster of Ludlow township in 1913 is: Clerk, Paul Hager ; trustees, 
A. I. Steffen, F. H. Depping, Chas. E. Regan; assessor, Ed Ludeking; justice of 
the peace, J. H. Simmons. 

Of the early settlers in Ludlow township the following came in 1851 or 
before: Ezra Reed, Luther Howes. Reading Woodward and Benj. Woodward, 
Wm. Trotter, Wm. Dunn, Charles Ragan, James Shaff, Wm. Rankin, David J. 
Miller (1850). Daniel Jaquis ; also Schenck, Beard and Cutler, who made their 
homes on the Winneshiek side of the line, and C. J. F. Newell, who sold his 
claim and took another in Makee township. Others who followed in rapid 
succession were : L. W. Goodrich. John Letchford, James Vile, Absalom Thorn- 
burg, S. L. Cochran, Jacob Overholt, D. A. Sackett, John A. Taggart (these two 
latter identified with Waukon), J. W. Granger, N. E. Hubbell, David and James 
Rankin, Nicholas Wettlofer, Frederick Hager. P. G. Wright, Moses Shaff, 
Stephen Meriau, Francis Bryant, and others. Warner Howard, who died in 
Ludlow in 1880, is said to have located here the year the Indians were removed, 
which was in 1848, but whether in this township we have no definite information. 

The German Presbyterian church of Ludlow, situated on the north side of 
Section 9, is an outgrowth of the church of the same name organized in Waukon, 
in the year 1856. During the pastorate of Rev. John Renskers in 1864, the church 
divided, and those living in this vicinity in 1865 erected a church building here, 
under the administration of Rev. S. Elliker, who soon resigned, and was succeeded 
by C. H. Schoepfle, and he by Wm. Shover, in the summer of 1868, who served 
until January 29, 1 87 1. Rev. Henry Knell was then called, who preached his 
first sermon here, February 12, 1871. Under his pastorate a new church edifice 
was erected, and the old building was thenceforth used as a schoolhouse. His 
resignation took place November 5, 1877, and he died a few years later. He 
was succeeded by Helmer Smidt, who remained only eleven months. After him 


Rev. E. Schuette was called, first preaching January 26, 1879. The church was 
organized with very few members— among the most active being Simon, Conrad 
and August Helming— but increased very rapidly, its active members numbering 
233 in 1882. Tn 1895. March 13th. the church was reincorporated as the Zalmona 
German Presbvterian Reformed church. The then pastor was Rev. J. H. Stark, 
and at the present time Rev. Ferdinand Zissler serves this church. 

The Reformed Salem church of Ludlow was organized February 11, 1895, and 
incorporated June 1st. with the following named constituting the board of 
trustees: Henry Kiesau, Henry Ludeking, Simon Stuckmann, and Herman 
Schnittger. ( )thers prominent in effecting the organization were : Simon Kiesau, 
Fred Krumme. and George, Simon, Fred and Herman Becker, and others. Dr. H. 
\. Muehlmeyer, president of the Reformed Seminary at Sheboygan, Wisconsin, 
effected the organization, by request of members of the Presbyterian Zalmona 
church who lived two, three, and as far as five miles west and southwest of that 
church. The Reformed church is a sister church to the Presbyterian church, 
the former originating in Switzerland and Germany, the latter in Scotland, both 
from the efforts of the reformer Calvin and others in the sixteenth century. 
The charter members, nearly all from the reformed province Lippe. in Germany, 
in organizing, preferred to connect themselves with the Reformed church in 
the United States of German origin. The congregation in harmony and peace 
soon bought grounds for a church and parsonage site of Henry Ludeking. on 
which the buildings were erected in the northwest corner of section 17, and for 
a school and a cemetery of George Becker in the southeast quarter of section 7. 
A picture of the church accompanies this article. The first pastor called from 
the seminary at Sheboygan, was Rev. L. C. Kunst, serving the congregation from 
July, 1895, to May. 1903. The second pastor was Rev. Julius Gaenge, serving 
from July, 1Q03, to June, 1908. The third was called in Sept. 1908. and served 
them till this date. March. 1913. The congregation flourished from the time of 
its beginning, and has a bright future. It now numbers 190 communicant mem- 
bers, and contributes freely toward all missionary and benevolent purposes. 
Already their present church edifice is becoming too small for them, and there 
is talk of erecting a more appropriate building for their needs in the future. 
( We are indebted to the retiring pastor. Rev. Edward Yornholt, now about leav- 
ing for a new field, for the data regarding this church. 1 

The Bethlehem church of Ludlow township (Presbyterian), filed its articles 
of incorporation on November 4. [898, the trustees then being August Klein, 
Simon Nagel, and Edward Bechtel, and a church was built on the north line of 
section 2- . Rev. II. F. Sinning is the pastor of this church. 


The formal organization of this township was accomplished on the first day 
of April. [852, but we are as much in the dark as to the officers elected here as 
in the other townships. We quote from Judge Dean: 

'■ \t the March term. [852, of the County Court, held at Columbus, the legal 
voters in Town. hi]> 98, Range 5. petitioned for organization as a civil township 
under the name of Makee. The Court granted the prayer of the petitioners and 
appointed Israel Divine as commissioner to call an election for purposes of or- 


ganization, which he did. The election was held in April following, in the log 
house on the C. J. White farm, and resulted in the election of a full set of town 
officers; but in consequence of scanty records and the faulty memory of the 
participants we are left to guess who they were. We only know that John A. 
Wakefield was chosen constable, and in consequence of his refusing to serve 
Sanford C. Marsh was appointed to fill the office. 

"Makee Ridge, as it was afterwards called, had among her early settlers a 
large per cent from Maine, and being shrewd, prudent and enterprising Yankees 
they soon grubbed out, fenced in, broke up, and cultivated farms, built them- 
selves frame houses which they painted white, made a turnpike road through the 
village one mile in length and were so far ahead of the surrounding country in 
style and improvements that they soon were dubbed by the settlers who came in 
from Hoosierdom, with the sobriquet of Nobscotters, and the ridge with the 
name of Penobscot, and this name like the lingering fragrance of the faded rose 
hangs round them still." 

It has been established that Thos. A. Minard and C. J. White were the first 
justices of the peace in the township. 

The first log cabin in Makee township was built by Patrick Keenan in 1848, 
where the county farm now is (southeast quarter of section 8), as related in the 
chapter on the pioneers. The second a mile and a half east of Waukon by 
Prosser Whaley in '49 ; and the third, or about the same time, the Shattuck cabin 
on the site of the future Waukon. 

The first school was taught by L. W. Hersey in the fall of 1853, in the log 
cabin built by Azel Pratt for a dwelling in the fall of 1850, he meanwhile having 
built a frame dwelling in '53. Mr. Hersey was followed by F. M. Clark, in 
the same house, with such pupils as Hersey and John Pratt, Lib Bearce and 
others. Mr. Clark was the eldest son of John T. Clark, the pioneer lawyer, and 
he was engaged in business in Waukon later, and in other towns, finally estab- 
lishing himself in a banking business at Lime Springs, where he died but a 
few years ago. About the time of this school Mr. D. D. Doe taught for a while 
in a log hut east of Waukon. He was later a prominent business man in 
Waukon, where he built the fine residence in the east part of town that was in 
later years the home of G. W. Hays for a long time. Mr. Doe then went to 
Lansing where he resided until his death. His daughter married Mr. Dick 
Haney, of Lansing, who went to South Dakota and was until quite recently a 
member of the Supreme Bench of that state. 

In the summer of 1854 the Makee schoolhouse was built, the first one in the 
township ; but before it was fully enclosed came the great hail storm and tornado 
which moved it a few feet from its foundation ; and we may add, entirely de- 
stroyed the crops which had been put in, in that vicinity. This was a good sized 
frame building, with a steeple. It served its purpose for half a century, until 
replaced by the present brick schoolhouse erected in 1905. The first school in 
this old house was taught by Eugene K. Bartlett, in the winter of 1854-5. 

The Makee postoffice established in 1852 on the opposite side of the road, to 
the west of this schoolhouse, was discontinued sometime in the sixties ; and about 
that time a postoffice was established in the northeast corner of the township 
called Lvcurgus. This was discontinued in January, 1868, but was reopened two 
years later at the house of C. O. Howard, on section 8. Later it was removed 

Vol. 1—14 



to its former location, about 1872. in charge of Chas. Nees, in connection with 
his store and hotel. Since his death Mrs. Nees has continued the business at 
the old homestead, and kept the postoffice until the introduction of the rural 
delivery system a few years ago. 

C. < 1. Howard and his brother Alvin G.. with their aged father Azel, came 
to the ridge in the early fifties. The father died many years ago. C. O. built 
the first elevator in Waukon upon the advent of the railroad in 1877, and con- 
tinued a prominent business man here until his death in 1904. A. G. went to 
Nebraska, in 1883, and after 1905 made his home with his son. Willis, at Clarks- 
ton, Washington, where his wife died, but he remains well-preserved in his 
eighty-ninth year. 

The St. Mary's Catholic church at Lycurgus was established at an early 
time, and was presided over for many years by Father M. K. Norton, now in 
charge of the Waukon parish. They have a very fine property, but the edifice, 
which was of stone, had became insufficient for the needs of the community, and 
has this spring of 1913 been razed to make place for a fine new structure which 
which has been contracted at a cost of some $20,000. The plans call for a 
building of mission design, with a superstructure of hollow tile and pebble dash, 
a tile roof and trimmings of copper. This church organization became duly in- 
corporated December 11, 191 1, with Rev. T. R. Campbell pastor, and Peter Plein 
and Patrick Whalen lay directors, associated with Archbishop Keane and Vicar 
General Roger Ryan composing the board. Rev. Father McNamara is the pres- 
ent pastor. 

< >!' the earliest settlers in this township the following took government land 
in 1850 and 1851, possibly some of them in 1849, viz: John A. Wakefield, north 
part of section 2, whose biography appears on another page. Hugh Norton 
later owned this farm. The stone schoolhouse on this farm was built in 1868. 
Win. M. Dibble took the northeast northwest section 19, in 1850, but soon sold 
to W. R. Pottle and he to Alvin G. Howard, who lived there many years. It is 
now the Kasser home. Abram L. Bush, southwest quarter section 20, 1S50; 
Gunder Hanson, northeast quarter section 22, 1850; Charles Krieger and An- 
drew Kosbau, sections 32 and 33; C. J. White, section 20; Knudt Knudtson, 
section 15; Landolin Haas, Section 3; A. J. Hersey, section 7, 1851 ; Geo. W. 
Randall, section 9 ; Moses D. Lush, northeast southwest and Richard B. Charles 
northwest southwest section 19; Uriah Whaley, section 2y ; Thos. A. Minard, 
sections 29 and ^2; Samuel M. Stevens, northeast quarter section 29; David 
Whaley. sections i<> and 30, north of fair grounds, a little log house he built was 
standing until a few years ago: Wm. Niblock, section ^^. 

The following took school lands, in or previous to 1854, and the date of set- 
tlement is difficult In ascertain. Some" of them were here in 1851. Tacob Marti. 
sections 1 and 2: Allen and Job Blanchard, C. J. White, Halvor Peterson, Jehial 
Johnson, I [alvor < Heson, Chas. I'aulk. Jas. 1'.. Conway. Enoch Jones, Wm. Escher, 
Henry Ruegemeier; also Chas. Drawis, L. J. Nichols, Wm. and Joseph Burton, 
bought lands. 

The very earliest settlers, including Prosser and Archa Whaley. the Pratts 
and Herseys and other-., are mentioned more particularly in another chapter. 
Jackson Gould settled what h;\> recently been the Fourt farm, northwest north- 
west section 10. 


The iron lands on section 17 were entered from the government by Frost 
Gerry, in June, 1852, and were sold to A. H. Hersey in the January following. 
The main portion of them composed the "Stoddard farm," from '56 to '62 
owned by N. Taylor and G. W. Stoddard. Dinah Randall owned this a short 
time, then Geo. W. Hays for three years, who sold to Geo. Griswold, and he to 
John M. Barthell in 1875, who owned it during the prospecting and development 
of the mines. 

The population of Makee township was 470 at the first, enumeration in 1854. 
It was 81 1 exclusive of the city of Waukon, by the 1910 census. 

The township officers in 1913 are: Clerk, F. E. Kelley ; trustees, Chas. John- 
son, Robert Connor, and W. H. Ebendorf ; assessor, Fred Hansmeier; justices, 
T. T. Ericson and P. J. Quillan ; constables, D. R. Walker and Scott Jones. 


The township was organized under an order of the County court in April, 
1852, Mr. James Bryson, Sr., being appointed commissioner; but not until the 
December 1853 term were its boundaries officially designated, it being taken 
from Taylor township. Two elections had been held prior to this, however. 
It was rapidly settled up in the meantime, so that by the enumeration in 1854 
its population is given at 414. The census of 1910 shows 881. By action of the 
court its name was on May 7, 1855, changed to Waterville, but two years later, 
March 2, 1857, the first name was restored. The following account of its set- 
tlement is copied from an article prepared by John S. Bryson in 1880, with addi- 
tional matter from a family history he later wrote, which was printed in a 
booklet for private distribution in 1901. 

On the morning of the 8th of May, 1850, James Bryson and family arrived 
at what was then called McGregor's landing, now the city of McGregor, with 
teams and baggage, and at once started for Garnavillo, the county seat of Clay- 
ton county, seeking a home. After resting here two days, they, in company with 
part of Robert Moore's family, who had made a claim on Paint creek, started 
for Allamakee county, following the trail via what is now Monona, then called 
Sodom (in consequence of its whiskey trade with the Indians), then down 
Hickory creek to Clark's ford on the Yellow river, then north to the "old stake" 
in Jefferson township, now the farm owned by Elias Pettit, and a short distance 
east of his house, and down on to Paint creek, where they camped May 11, 1850. 

Mr. Bryson located on section 17 and 18, where Thomas and Robert Moore 
and John Graham had made claims about nine months previous, while the Indians 
were yet camped there for their winter's hunt, this being a favorite hunting and 
camping place for them. They were gone when the Bryson family came in, but 
the skeletons of their wigwams remained, and the brands and ashes of their 
campfires showed that the new settlers occupied as they departed. 

Five of the wigwams, or teepees stood close by the finest spring on Paint 
creek, this spring was covered with a blanket of moss from two to six inches 
thick, showing that it had been a camping spot for a long time, and the wild 
deer dare not come to eat the moss, but they did the winter following. We 
cleared the most of this off the head of the springs, and the water boiled up 



from ten to twelve- inches, flowing over the beautiful green moss as clear as 
crystal, and as cold as if it came through a mountain of ice. 

We found here many flint arrow heads, two tomahawks or hatchets, one dead 
tndian pony, and many buffalo and elk horns. 

The Indians had for years dug up the wild sod in the valley in patches, and 
raised a crop of what might be called "squaw corn," but we broke the first sod 
on what is now Paint creek on the 15th of May, 1850. 

We broke patches. on each claim to secure them. Settlers came in fast on our 
trail all summer. We put up a log house 14 by 18, a store-house 8 by 12, and a 
pit in the hillside for potatoes, but it was too late for other crops. There was 
plenty of game, some fish, and wild deer were very plentiful. There were wolves, 
bears, and even panthers. 

The Government put the land into market at $1.25 per acre about the first of 
October following, and found us with more claimed than we had money to pay 
for. but Mr. Wm. H. Morrison, who lived near the mouth of the creek, having 
been appointed agent to select a portion of the 500,000 acres granted by the 
general government to Iowa for school purposes, came around and we entered 
our claim as school land; this helped us as well as many more poor settlers by- 
giving us time to get the money and make our payments without submitting to 
the extortion of the land sharks, as the settlers called those who speculated in 
land and reaped a rich harvest, at the expense of the hard-working pioneer. 

In the summer of 1850, a large number of Norwegians came in from Wiscon- 
sin and settled on the prairie north of the creek, among whom were Swen Ender- 
son Ilesla, Ole O. Storla, Ole Grimsgaard, Thomas Anderson, Lars Knudtson. 
Xels Tollefson, Ole Severson, Bennett Hermanson, who lived in their canvas 
covered wagons until they could build something to get into, and the most of 
these families are well-to-do farmers in Paint Creek today. 

Theodore and William Moose and William McCoy came in about the same 
lime. James R. Conway, Reuben Sencebaugh. and others came in very soon 
after and settled on the south side of the creek. In the summer "of 1850, a family 
named Ellis from Linn county, Iowa, came in and selected mill sites on the creek 
at what is now Beumer's mill, and one of them, Riley Ellis, located a mill site 
just around the bend, below Waterville, known as Peter Iverson's mill, where he 
put a pair of two foot French buhr millstone on a few logs built over the creek, 
which were kept running all winter, cracking corn for all who came. The buhrs 
stood mil of doors all winter, and the next spring — 1852 — they were inclosed, 
and a small boll made of book muslin, was attached for making buckwheat Hour. 
Then we lived sumptuously, substituting buckwheat cakes and wild honey for 
our former diet of pork and corn dodger, and people came from all quarters 
with their little prists, and in all sorts of conveyances, some from what is now 
Waukon, some from the Iowa river. It was here I first met Scott Shattuck, 
late from California, and when 1 first saw him he held in one hand a piece of 
raw pickled pork and corn dodger, and in the other hand a large knife with 
which he was cutting alternate slices of each for his luncheon. This was the 
first gristmill ever built in the county, if it had capacity enough to be called a 
mill. I ran this mill the most of the time the first eight months. Not long after 
this Nathaniel Beebe commenced setting out timber for what is now- known as 
the Waterville mill, and later Colonel Spooner and Mr. Carpenter came in and 




joined him, and the mill was built and started in the winter of 1854 and 1855. 
They also opened a store in the spring of 1855 near the mill. In the spring of 
185 1, Thomas B. Twiford, of county seat notoriety, and Wm. McCoy built the 
Thomas Ellis sawmill above where Beumer's mill now stands, and it did a good 
business until i860. 

By this time many settlers had come in, the Norwegians generally settling on 
the north side of the creek, the Irish on the south side, with a few Americans and 
other nationalities sprinkled in and among them, but the large per cent, of settlers 
were of foreign birth. . 

The first winter we boys learned to split rails, William, James, and I * * 
and for three winters between 1853 and '56 we fenced in forty acres each winter. 
It took two thousand two hui dred and fifty rails and six hundred and fifty stakes. 
We raised hogs and chickens and got good prices the first three years. In the 
fall, winter and spring of '52-3 I worked out six months for ten dollars per 
month, and then four months at twelve dollars. My object was to get one hun- 
dred dollars to go to Dubuque and enter eighty acres of land, but before I got 
my money the land was taken. Just then a man came along with forty sheep 
and a lamb, trying to peddle them, but no one had money. He asked from four 
to five dollars each for them. I offered him my hundred dollars for them and in 
a few days he took my offer. The next spring I had a flock of eighty sheep and 
lambs and had sold eight at six dollars each. The Norwegian women came to 
buy wool, offering thirty to forty cents for it. They took large quantities to 
spin into stocking yarn on shares. I sold the yarn at one dollar per pound. The 
next year I had sixty-five lambs. I now sold enough wool and sheep to raise 
three hundred dollars which I paid to Sturm on my land, and had plenty of 
sheep left * * * He made me a deed for the land, and we all felt relieved 
and rejoiced for we had accomplished our purpose of each getting a farm. Our 
market to the new comers was about gone, and we had to seek a market for 

The county records fail to show when the township was organized by the 
election of township officers, but there is an entry in them dated December term, 
1853, as follows: "Paint Creek township was organized so as to conform to 
the congressional township of town 97, range 4." The trustees gave the town- 
ship its present name, and the township records show the first election to be 
held in Riley Ellis' mill, where the corn cracker was, August, 1852, James 
Bryson, George Watkins and Reuben Sencebaugh being judges of election, and 
William McCoy and Thomas G. Ellis were the clerks. The trustees appointed 
William McCoy township clerk. These are the earliest dates our records show. 

The next election was held on the first Tuesday in November, 1852, and 
was the presidential election. The third election was on the fourth of April. 
1853, and is the first record I find of the election of township officers, being 
for trustees : James Bryson, Andrew Mitchell and Reuben Sencebaugh ; for 
township clerk, William McCoy; for assessor, James Bryson; for constables, 
John Bryson and John Stull ; for justices of the peace, James Bryson and Reu- 
ben Sencebaugh. At this election there were cast for county seat fifty-eight votes, 
of which Columbus had forty-nine and Waukon nine. The trustees held two 
meetings in the winter of 1852-3, one to appraise and divide section 16, and the 

o vJ 


other to divide the township into road districts, doing this work so well that 
the districts remain the same to this date. 

In 1856 Mr. lames Beebe built a large frame hotel in Waterville, capable of 
accommodating all the guests that a town of one thousand inhabitants would 
furnish, but it failed for want of patronage, and its builder is now in New 
Mexico (1880). In 1857 was organized in this hotel the Prairie du Chien & 
Mankato Railroad Company, with the Hon. John T. Clark, now of Postville, for 
president. The object of this company was to build a railroad from the Missis- 
sippi at lohnsonsport, connecting there with the railroad from Prairie du Chien, 
and running up the creek to Waukon, thence west to Calmar, and on to Austin 
and Mankato, Minnesota. Engineer Win. W. llungerford was the active man 
in the enterprise and devoted considerable time to it, making surveys and locat- 
ing 1 he line from the starting point on the river to the state line in Howard 
county. Most of the resident right-of-way on the entire line was secured, and 
about fortv thousand dollars in subscriptions and donations to the capital stock, 
the design being to donate this to the railroad company running into Prairie du 
Chien if they would extend their line across the river and over the route. The 
enterprise failed, the extension being made via Bloody Run and Monona, in 
Clayton county. 

In the spring of 1 S57, Spooner and Beebe started at Waterville the first 
tanner\' ever built in the county. They purchased a recipe for tanning with 
japonica, using it with hot liquor, thus tanning the hides in a few days so that 
they could put them on the market and get returns very much quicker than by 
the old way of tanbark and cold water. They ran their business about two years, 
but not proving profitable they abandoned it. 
To return to the family experiences: 

By i860 we had actually made and put up six miles of fence, fourteen rails 
to the rod and four stakes. During these years William, James and myself did 
most all of this work. Father generally took us to our work early in the morn- 
ing and took a load of rails home. We had our dinner with us, warming our 
coffee at a big fire. We walked home in the evening, about four miles ; mother 
always had a good supper waiting for us and we had good appetites for it. As 
on as supper was over mother cleared the table of dishes and put on the 
Bible, newspapers and magazines, and we took turns reading aloud. While one 
was reading the others were patching boots, fixing ax handles, churning, or 
doing other little job-, but all listening. Rossville had a postoffice and mail 
was received two or three times a week. By reading so much we were posted 
on the questions that then stirred the country, the slavery question, mormonism, 
and temperance. Father and I voted for John C. Fremont in 1856, and for 
Abraham Lincoln in [860 \t this time the people were greatly excited 

over attempts to open all new territory to slavery, the Mason and Dixon's line, 
squatter sovereignty, the Nebraska bill, the Kansas border ruffian war. the 
Douglas and Lincoln canvass and the election of Lincoln in i860. 

In [86) the firing on Fori Sumter aroused the Nation, and Tames and Alex- 
ander both decided to enlist. James, in company with Dr. Barnes raised a com- 
pany of 130 men. Not being accepted the company was disbanded in Tune. 
James reported to ( Governor Kirkwood and was commissioned in the State ser- 
vice and remained in that service until mustered into the United States service 


with Company I, 27th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, in August 1862. Alexander had 
a bad accident to his leg, from which he never fully recovered, but he followed 
his regiment to Vicksburg, was sent back to Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, and 
discharged. I was then unfit for service not having got over my long sickness, 
but during these years I did what I could to encourage the boys and care for 
a few of their families. James served to the end of the war, and the history of 
the 27th Regiment is his war record * * * My father James Bryson died 
November 30, 1889, at the age of eighty-seven years and three months. (The 
biography of John S. Bryson, the writer of this sketch, will be found in volume 
of biographies. — Editor.) 

Other settlers who took government or school land in the early fifties were: 
James Fort, in sections 12 and 26; Lewis Sturm; Chas. Beumer, sections 17, 
18 and 33; Lawrence Byrne section 17; Patrick and Edward McGuire, 19; 
Edward, Patrick and Mathew McCaffrey, 19; Reuben Sencebaugh in 1850, in 
sections 30, 31 and 32; George Watkins in 1850, in section 30; John and Chas. 
Connery ; Charles McKaighney in section 20 ; Francis McGeough section 28 ; 
Thos. Ryan section 28 ; Peter Cosgrove section 25 ; N. A., Jeptha and James Beebe, 
in northeast quarter section 22, present site of Waterville; Wm. R. Ellis, in 
22 and 23 ; James Kavanaugh in 29 ; Willard Green in 33 ; also Barney McGeough, 
David Martin, Ole Smeby and three sons, G. C. Lyse (settled at Columbus in 
'52 and here in '54), John and Robert Elliott. Also William Dunn in section 
32. A daughter of S. E. Hesla, who settled on section 10 in 1850, was the first 
girl born in Paint Creek township ; she married S. O. Leikvold, and died in 
January 1902. 


This is the sixth town in the county, in size, as well as in order of incorpora- 
tion. It has grown by force of circumstances, never having been laid out on 
paper prior to settlement, for speculative purposes. Therefore it does not show 
the regularity of a premeditated plat, and is not subdivided into blocks. The lots 
were sold off by the owners one at a time, to prospective builders as needed, and 
were platted as land lots instead of town lots, and of varying size and irregu- 
lar shape, according to the requirements of the purchasers and the contour of 
the land. 

The beginnings of Waterville were in the building of the Riley Ellis grist 
mill, or corn cracker, a half mile below the present post office, in 1850. In 1853 
Mr. Jeptha Beebe bought out this rude mill and improved it, and put in a saw- 
mill the same year. The next year, 1854, Nathaniel Beebe built a grist mill for 
flour, since known as the Waterville Mill, in the present village, in which Jeptha 
Beebe took an interest, but sold his interest the same year to Col. Jeduthan 
Spooner, continuing himself to run the saw mill. The three forties covering the 
site of Waterville were bought of the school fund by Nathaniel A., James and 
Jeptha Beebe, being the northeast of the northeast, the northwest of the northeast, 
and the southwest of the northeast, respectively, of section 22, and they sold an 
interest to Colonel Spooner and D. P. Carpenter, who made arrangements for open- 
ing a store. Colonel Spooner returned to the east in the fall, but in May, '55, came 
on again with a stock of goods, which he opened up in partnership with Carpen- 



In 1856 James Beebe erected a large frame hotel, the prospect at that time 
being very promising for the future growth of the town, possessing three good 
water powers, and there being a strong probability of the early construction of 
a railroad along the Paint Creek valley, which was not realized however until 
twenty years later. A post office was established here in 1856. The store and 
mill of .Messrs. Spooner, Beebe and Carpenter made this village for a time one 
of the most active places in the county, until the collapse of the railroad project 
and the growth of Waukon, where a steam mill was built, as well as the building 
of a steam mill at Rossville. combined to detract from its importance. In 1857 
Spooner and Beebe started a tannery here. also. Soon after this Mr. Spooner's 
son, who assisted him in his varied business, died, and Colonel Spooner removed 
to Lansing, and later to Waukon, where he resided until his death, which 
occurred March 10, 1867. He was an able and influential man. highly respected 
by all who knew him. 

Mr. Jeptha Beebe sold his interests here to his brother. N. A. Beebe, in 1857, 
and purchased a farm two miles and a half west of Rossville. Soon after he 
engaged as contractor of a stage line from Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, to 
Giatfield, Minnesota. The route being discontinued in 1858 by order of James 
Buchanan, through the postmaster general, left him with a large amount of 
stage property on his hands, which he then took to Kansas, and securing another 
stage line soon after traded his interest for a steam saw mill some fifteen miles 
south from Topeka, which took fire and was burned in i860 with quite an 
amount of lumber and logs, all being a total loss. He rebuilt the mill and sold 
to other parties, and came back to Allamakee county and rented the saw mill 
at Waterville one year, then rented a farm near Rossville for one year, and then 
bought a saw mill on Yellow river, which he ran till 1867, then sold out and 
turned his attention to farming. In the spring of 1869 he purchased a farm near 
Waukon, where he continued to reside until about 1905. when he went to Cali- 
fornia, where he died January 13, 1907. Mr. Beebe was a leader of the Green- 
back party in the county during the activity of that party. 

Daniel P. Carpenter, the associate of Colonel Spooner in the business at Water- 
ville. continued to live in Allamakee county a number of years, but eventually 
removed to Missouri, where his death occurred in 1882. at the age of eighty- 
two. His son. W. W. Carpenter, was an assistant of his father and Colonel 
Si ner in the fifties. He enlisted in 1861 in Dr. Barnes' Co. K, First Iowa Cav- 
alry, and served through the war. being promoted first lieutenant. He is now, at 
eighty, still an active citizen of Ashland, Oregon. His son and namesake, W. 
\\\. is a long time and well known resident of Waukon. 

The Waterville Mill changed hands many times, and had its periods of alter- 
nating prosperity and discouragement. Mr. John Thomas operated it in 1872, 
and later A. J. Diesen. who leased it to F.d Xeudeck in 1877. It passed into 
the possession of Y. II. Stevens later, and was finally run as a saw mill only. 


With the construction of the Waukon & Mississippi Railroad in 1877 Water- 
ville took on new life. Mr. Vic II. Stevens, in company with Mr. J. H. Hale 
of Waukon, erected a large store and dwelling which became the railroad sta- 


tion, express and telegraph office combined, and has so continued until this time. 
For many years Mr. Stevens was the agent, as well as postmaster, and handled 
a variety of other business enterprises successfully. In course of time he bought 
out Mr. Hale's interest, and acquired considerable of the land in and about 
the village. He became interested in telephones, inaugurated a local system, and 
was the prime mover in organizing the Standard Telephone Co., now operating 
throughout this corner of the state and in Southeastern Minnesota. Eventually 
he branched out further and became president of the Interstate Telephone Co., 
and took up his residence in Dubuque. He retained his business interests in 
Waterville, however, with Mr. G. Pederson as a partner, who has for many years 
conducted the affairs of the store, railroad and postoffice with great popularity 
and success. (Mr. J. O. Jeglum was postmaster for a time about 1892.) Mr. 
Stevens a few years ago started a new town called Gregory, in South Dakota, 
and continued to prosper until his sudden death within the past year. 

With the advent of the railroad a grain warehouse was built and operated 
by Mr. McMichael of Lansing, and immediately commanded a large business. 
Other business establishments soon followed, and the village thrived generally. 
Of recent years M. J. Hart has taken a leading part in the local affairs, engaged 
in handling grain and other produce, and live stock. Others now in business here 
comprise the following: 

Waterville Bottling Works. 

Waterville Savings Bank. 

Farmers Cooperative Creamery Co. 

John Anderson, blacksmith. 

Asleson & Anderson, implements. 

J. T. Bjerke, feed mill. 

A. J. Cole, restaurant. 

A. J. Ellefson, hardware. 

A. M. Fellows (of Lansing), lumber 

S. K. Kolsrud, general merchandise. 

Gabriel Pederson & Co., clothing, etc. 

Henry Sieg. furniture and undertaking. 

Herman Sorenson, furniture. 

Spinner Brothers, general merchandise. 

Postmaster, Gabriel Pederson. (Rural routes to Elon and Ion.) 


Early in 1912 the leading citizens of Waterville desiring to obtain for their 
community the advantages of an incorporated town, presented to the District court 
a petition April 2, 1912, asking for the incorporation of a tract described as 
follows: commencing at a point 20 chains east of the common corner of sections, 
15, 16, 21 and 22, township 97, range 4; thence east 20 chains to quarter corner, 
north 10 chains on quarter line, east 20 chains to eighth line, south 24 chains on 
eighth line, east 20 chains to section line, south on section line 36 chains, west 20 
chains to eighth line, north on eighth line 20 chains, west 40 chains to eighth line, 
north on eighth line 30 chains to place of beginning; containing 212 acres, and a 



population of 130. The court appointed the following commissioners to hold an 
election, viz: A. C. Grimsgard, A. J. Ellefson, G. Pederson, J. A. Anderson and 
M. J. Hart. The election was held in Harmony Hall May 4. 1 9 12 - resulting in 
31 votes for incorporation and 5 votes against the proposition. An election 
was then held, June 8, 1912, for town officers, the following being elected: 
Mayor, M. J. Hart; Clerk. Joe Bjerke; Treasurer, Peter Arneson; Assessor, A. 
Asleson; Councilmen, J. A. Anderson, P.. J. Dillon. A. J. Ellefson, Ole Hanson 
and O. G. Kolsrud. 

The court, Tuclge A. N. Hobson, thereupon decreed the town duly incorporated 
and election of officers confirmed. 

The first assessment of the corporation, in 191 3, showed a valuation for pur- 
poses of taxation of $78,559, of which $33,584 was real estate. The town mar- 
shal of Waterville is A. C. Grimsgard. 

The Paint Creek township officers this year are: Clerk, H. A. Hendrickson; 
Assessor. E. C. Dahl; Trustees. K. T. Gronna. M. T. Jacobson, P. G. Hagen; 
lustices of the Peace, H. A. Hendrickson and C. A. Robey; Constable, A. C. 
( i-rimsgard. 


This institution was incorporated June 16. 1902, for a term of fifty years, 
with a capital of $1,000, and the following first officials, viz: O. J. Hager, Presi- 
dent; M. J. Hart, Vice President; \Y. F. Nierling, Cashier; these three and A. 
T. Nierling and H. F. Opfer, Directors. The present officers are the same, with 
the exception of cashier, that position now being occupied by Peter Arneson, 
and the directors are now O. J. Hager, M. 1. Hart, A. T. Nierling, H. A. Hen- 
drickson and K. T. Gronna. On February 4. 191 3, the capital was increased 
to $10,000. The report of this bank to the auditor of state April 17. 1913, 
shows: capital paid up, $20,000; profits on hand, $1,905.78; total deposits, $140,- 
734.57; total assets. 8162,640. 35. 


The Paint Creek Farmers Telephone Company was incorporated March 22, 
[904, with a capital of Si 5,000, and officers as follows: President. Wm. Rood; 
Vice President, I. A. Drogset; Secretary and Treasurer, H. A. Hendrickson; 
Directors. T. ( ',. Fagrie, P. G. Hagen, E. E. Bakkum, H. G Hagen and Julius 
I Iruber. The principal officers are now: President, Oliver Dahl; Vice President, 
Frank Kelleher; Secretary, 11. G. Hagen; Treasurer, Peter Arneson. 


The Farmers Cooperative Creamery Company of Waterville is a corpora- 
tion dating From February 14. 1891, the original officers being: President, John A. 
Drogset; Nice President, 11. Larson; Secretary, J. F. Tracy; Treasurer. A. T. 
Anderson. The company renewed its articles of incorporation February 11, 
1911, with capital the same as at first, $10,000. At present the officers are: 


President, H. C. Megorden ; Vice President, Iver Thorsen ; Treasurer, O. S. 
Hesla; Secretary, J. T. Bjerke; Directors, Arne Grangaard, Theo. Pladsen and 
Geo. A. Lease. 


Lutheran — What is now known as the "Old East Paint Creek Norwegian 
Lutheran Congregation of the United Norwegian Lutheran Church in America" 
is the parent organization from which have sprung the several other congrega- 
tions of the Lutheran denomination in this locality as well as in Lansing and 
Waterville. This congregation was organized in the year 1850 with the follow- 
ing voting members: J. L. M oiler, O. Larson, Arne Knudson, Lars Knudson, 
Halvor Ellefson. Aslag Solverson, Ole Syverson, Osten Pederson, Ole Olson, 
Ole O. Kaasin. A. O. Bothum, Ole Helgeson. Syver O. Void, Thomas Anderson, 
Ole Storlag, Erik Kittelson, Ole Arneson, Nils Botolfson, A. Knudtson, Hans 
Nilson, Bjorn Hermunson, Kitel Olson, K. K. Hunstad, Syver Hermundson, 
Nels T. Roe, Ole Knudson, Ole Ellefson, Lars Arneson, Aslag Gulbrandson, 
Vik Sven Endreson, Sven Olson, Embret Knudson, Nils Nilson, Ole K. Hunstad, 
Iver Aslagson, Helge Halvorsen. 

The first birth on the records of the congregation is that of Knud A. Knudson, 
July 13, 1850. The first marriage was isolemnized July 18, 1852, Helge Olson and 
Miss Ragnhild Halvorsen. Our early settlers must have been unusually health- 
ful, as the first death recorded occurred over six years after the organization of 
the congregation, March 7, 1857, the deceased being a child of less than two 
years old, by name Mathea Halvorsen. 

At the very beginning of its existence this congregation went to work and 
secured eighty acres of land on which to erect a church and parsonage, being 
the same land on which they now stand. The first church erected, in the early 
fifties, was a log building, in which public worship was conducted until 1869, 
when the present stone edifice took its place. 

The following ministers have served this congregation: Revs. Magelson and 
Brandt until 1853; Dr. N. F. Koren, 1853-63; O. J. Hiort, 1863-79; C. Stoltz, 
1879-80; H. A. Hartmann. 1880-95; C. J. M. Gronlid, the present incumbent, has 
served since 1895. 

L. S. Guttebo is the pastor of the East and West Paint Creek Lutheran Synod 

The Lutheran Church Association of Waterville was incorporated April 
18, 1906, by members of the "Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Old 
East Paint Creek" and the "Old Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church of 
West Paint Creek," with the following officers: President, Peter Arenson ; Sec- 
retary, Ole Hanson; Treasurer, O. G. Kolsrud; Trustees, Olaf Oleson, J. M. 
Siem and Gustav Ellefson. 

Catholic — The date of organization of the old Cherry Mound church, on the 
Linton township line, was in the fifties, about the time of that at Lansing. We 
have not been able to ascertain the names of those who have served as pastor 
there. It became incorporated under the Iowa statutes December 4, 191 1, as St. 
Pius Church of Waterville, with Rev. John Hehir as pastor, then as now, and vice 
president of the corporation, Archbishop James J. Keane being ex officio presi- 


dent. Joseph Geller and James Slattery were the lay members of the board of 


Baptist— There is no Baptist church in the township at this time, but m 
[860 such a church was organized, with eleven members. This church made 
no further report after that year. However, in 1862 another new church was 
reported organized at "Paint Creek," with a membership of fourteen, of whom 
nine were baptized during that year. In 1865 this church was reported extinct 
also, the members who had not removed probably changing their membership 
to the Rossville church. 


The present schoolhouse at Waterville was built about the year 1886, but we 
are without data as to the first school at this place. With the increasing enroll- 
ment it was deemed necessary to have a larger and more modern building here, 
and an election was held March 10, 1913, on the question of issuing bonds for 
that purpose, at which the women turned out to vote also, as is their privilege, 
the result being in favor of the new building by 62 to 33. the women's vote being 
25 for and 13 against the proposition. It is contemplated to erect a two-room 
building, constructed of rock-faced cement blocks manufactured at Lansing. 

The officers of the Waterville district are: President, Jacob Anderson; Secre- 
tary Adolph Asleson; Treasurer, Peter Arneson. 


Waterville Camp No. 3470. M. W. A., was organized January 8, 1896, with 
sixteen charter members, viz.: A. Asleson, B. M. Bottolfson, Ed Gaynor, H. A. 
Hendrickson, llalvor Larson, Harold Hanson, H. H. Larson, Dr. S. C. Myers, 
Alfred I'ederson, G. Pederson, J. J. Kaveny, Jonas Siem, Ole Storla, Carl 
Spinner, Martin Stromme, Vic H. Stevens, of whom seven are still members of 
this camp. The first officers were: Venerable Consul, Alartin Stromme; Worthy 
Advisor, V. II. Stevens; Banker, C. A. Spinner; Clerk, B. M. Bottolfson; Escort. 
( i. I'ederson: Watchman, J. Siem: Sentry, A. Asleson. 

The present membership of the camp is 63, 56 beneficial and 7 social; and the 
total insurance now carried is $74,500.00. During the seventeen years the camp 
has been in existence four members have died, three of them by accidents. The 
official roster now is: Venerable Consul, M. I. Kelly; Worthy Advisor. G. 
Pederson; Hanker, A. C. Grimsgard; Clerk, I. A. Anderson; Escort, A. J. Ellef- 
son; Physician, B. J. Dillon, M. D. 


As originally organized in 1851 this township included the present townships 
of Paint Creek and Jefferson, which were set off in April 1852, and the course 
of Paint creek designated as the southern line of Taylor. But in 1858 sections 
3 and 4-96-3 were transferred to Fairview, by the County court. These were 
returned to Taylor by the Board of Supervisors in Januarv, 1873, along with 
section 5; and in 1874 sections 1 and 2 were likewise set off to Tavlor, since which 


time no change has been made. It is a large and in the early days a compara- 
tively populous township, the enumeration in 1854 showing 323 souls. In 19 10 
there were 881. 

Harper's Ferry is the principal place in the township, and one of the oldest 
settlements in the county. No record is at hand as to who the first comer here 
was, but it is not likely there was any ahead of Wm. Klett. who it is said located 
on Paint Rock Prairie before the region was opened for settlement. His death oc- 
curred in 1905. The village of Winfield was platted in May, 1852, by Wm. H. Hall 
and Dresden W. H. Howard as owners of the site, but in i860 the name was 
changed to Harper's Ferry by act of the legislature. This was one of the places 
voted on for county seat in 1851 under the name of Vailsville, Horace Vail having 
located here prior to that time. In the early steamboat days it promised to 
become an important place, possessing one of the finest townsites along the river, 
being a level plateau above high water mark, extending back nearly a mile to the 
bluffs and some three miles along the river bank, or rather Harper's slough, a 
secondary channel of the Mississippi which permitted steamers to make landing 
here except in very low water. David Harper was the leading spirit in the 
development of the village, having purchased a large interest in the place prior 
to i860, in which year his name was given to the town. He built a stone ware- 
house and carried on an extensive produce business, but lived only long enough 
to see it begin to wane. The old warehouse, then owned by his estate, was 
destroyed by fire in February, 1877. 

A petition in district court »was filed August 31, 190 1, asking the incorporation 
of the town of Harper's Ferry, to comprise the following described territory : 
Commencing at the one-sixteenth post center of the northeast quarter of section 
23-97-3 ; thence east on one-eighth line through section 24, to intersect slough, 
~2 chains ; then commencing at same one-sixteenth post center of northeast quar- 
ter section 27,, thence south 19 chains on one-eighth line to Road No. 163; thence 
west along said road to intersect Road No. 224; thence southwesterly along said 
road to south quarter post of section 23 ; thence south on center line of section 
26, 32 chains and 10 links to the bank of Harper's channel ; thence northeast along 
1 larper's channel to the north line of section 24-97-3. Said petition setting out 
that the number of inhabitants within said territory was 253. 

September 28, 1901, the court appointed the following commissioners to hold 
an election and submit the question of incorporation to the voters within said 
territory, viz : T. F. McCaffrey, T. W. Melaven, Robert Mullally, S. E. Angell, 
and John Collins. Such election was held October 28, 1901, resulting in a vote 
of 33 for and 23 against incorporation. Whereupon on November 22 follow- 
ing the court approved and confirmed the incorporation, and ordered an election 
for officers thereof. The election was held December 19, 1901, and the officers 
elected were: Mayor, T. W. Melaven; Clerk, T. F. McCaffrey; Treasurer, T. A. 
Houlihan ; Councilmen, W. H. Collins, P. J. Donahue, M. J. Gleason, L. Demerse 
and Robert Mullally. 

The present town officers are: Mayor, P. J. Donahue; Clerk, M. D. Kelly; 
Assessor, P. G. Cota ; Treasurer, T. A. Houlihan ; Councilmen, T. A. Oestern, 
P. J. Houlihan, J. J. Finnegan, T. F. Calvey, and John Markwardt ; Marshal, 
F. F. Wachter. 

The present population is over 300, and T. A. Oestern is postmaster. 


The Paint Rock Catholic church, located two or three miles from Harper's 
Ferry, is a very early organization, having been established over fifty years. 
Father P. A. McManus was pastor in the early seventies. A 3.000-lb. bell was 
placed in this church in August, 1889. Rev. F. Kernan was here in 1892. It 
became incorporated under the statutes of Iowa, November 16, 191 1, under the 
name of St. Joseph's Church of Harper's Ferry, with Rev. Michael Sheehan, 
pastor, and Nicholas P.razell and Bernard J. Finnegan lay members of the board 
of directors. 

St. Ann's Church of Harper's Ferry is of comparatively recent date. This 
became incorporated at the same time as St. Joseph's, with Thos. Cavanaugh 
and James J. Finnegan laymen directors. Both of these churches are under the 
pastorate of Rev. Michael Sheehan, and of course Archbishop James J. Keane 
is e.x-officio president of the corporate bodies. 

I larper's Ferry Court. No. 507, Catholic Order of Foresters, was organized 
May 30. 1895, by D. J. Murphy, with a charter membership of twenty-two. The 
first officers were: Chief Ranger, J. J. Finnegan; Vice Chief. M. J. Oleason ; 
Past Chief, Thos. Kelly; Treasurer, T. W. Melaven; Financial Secretary, D. L. 
Fitzgerald; Recording Secretary, Robt. Mullally; Trustees, Frank Byrnes, Exelia 
Valley, and J. 11. O'Neill; Sentinels. John Kelly and Joseph Flood. The mem- 
bership has increased to ninety-nine, and but few changes have been made in the 
official roster, which is now: Chief Ranger, James J. Finnegan; Vice Chief 
Ranger, 1. P. Doonan ; Deputy High Chief Ranger, J. F. Kelly; Recording Sec- 
retary, Robt. Mullally; Financial Secretary. J. II. O'Neill; Treasurer. Thomas 
Cavanaugh; Trustees, J. J. Collins, Nicholas Barbaras, and M. F. Ryan; Spiritual 
Director, Rev. M. Sheehan. 

Immaculate Court No. 439, Women's C. O. F., was chartered in 1900. 

Harper's Ferry Camp No. 8274, M. W. A., was chartered June 16, 1900, and 
as near as can be ascertained < I. W. Clark was the first venerable consul, and 
T. A. Oestern first clerk. The present membership is twenty-six, and the 
officers are: Consul, J. J. Rellihan ; Advisor, A. S. Inger; Clerk, P. G. Cota ; 
Banker, J. If ' Weill; Escort, C. L. Traversy; Watchman, F. Wachter; Sentry, 
Pat Burke. 

The principal business establishments of Harper's berry comprise the fol- 
lowing: Bank of Harper's Ferry, private bank, President, W. F. Daubenberger ; 
Cashier, Thos. Cavanaugh. Frank Byrnes, hotel. W. H. Collins, hardware. 
V E. Daman and David Murray, blacksmiths. Gilbertson & Schafer and Spinner 
Brothers, implements. T. A. Houlihan and T. W. Melaven. general merchan- 
dise. M. D. Kelly, groceries. Meuser Lumber Company, lumber and coal. Rob- 
ert Mullally, harness. John Quillin, confectionery. J. J. Roche, meats. W. E. 
Wiedner, wholesale fish. The Harper's Ferry farmers Cooperative Creamery 
Company was incorporated December 9, 1912, with a capital stock of $8,000. 
and the following officers: President, \\ J. Brazell; Vice President, M. F. 
Collins; Secretary, J. I'.. Ducharme; Treasurer, Thomas Cavanaugh. 

Postmaster, T. V ( (estern. 

Members of the school board .11c: President, I'. J. Donahue; Secretary. 1 'at 
Burke; Treasurer. Robert Mullally; Directors. John' Do, man. John Markwardt. 
Thos. Cavanaugh, and I;. < ;. Bassler. 


There was the beginning of a village at Paint Rock at an early day, one Wm. 
H. Morrison having opened a store near the bluff of that name in 1850, it is 
said, with the inevitable barrel of whiskey. He was later the school fund com- 
missioner to select lands in this county to make up its share of the 50x3,000 acres 
granted the state for school purposes, additional to the sixteenth section grant. 
A postoffice was opened here and Mr. Morrison appointed postmaster. This 
point afforded a landing for steamers passing through Harper's slough, and at 
one time was ambitious of becoming a town, but its hopes faded away, as did 
the buildings before many years. Mr. Morrison went to California, and died 
there insane. 

The village of Waukon Junction had its origin in comparatively modern times, 
the spot being a tangled wilderness prior to the construction of the Waukon 
railroad. When the success of this local branch became assured, the C, D. & M. 
Railroad put in a station at the junction and it was given the name of Adams, 
from the president of the Waukon road, D. W. Adams. When the road was 
put into operation, in 1877, a few houses were put up, and not long after a post- 
office was established, and the name was changed to Waukon Junction. The 
postoffice was for many years in charge of the railroad agent at the station, but 
in October, 1893, Postmaster J. A. Lundin, then station agent, was succeeded by 
Margaret Hulse. Various changes were later made, and the present postmaster 
is Wm. Cahalan. The business places comprise the following: John H. Atall, 
blacksmith; R. E. Blackwell, general merchandise and hotel; Wm. Cahalan, hotel 
and grocery ; Fanny Gyrion, restaurant ; W. A. Stowell, general merchandise. 

Among the early settlers of Taylor township not elsewhere mentioned in this 
chapter, the following came in as early as 1851 or before, viz.: Michael Shields, 
Aaron Ward, John Garin, John Ryan, Timothy Collins, Horace Vail, John and 
Dennis Garvey, John Hennessy, Timothy Howe, and J. P. Jackson. 

The township officers of Taylor are now : Clerk, Patrick Burke ; Trustees, 
J. H. Hogan, Thomas Kelly, Thos. Kernan ; Assessor, J. W. Ryan; Justices, 
Patrick Burke, B. J. Finnegan ; Constable, Edward Calvey. 


In A. D. 1850 a number of Norwegian families set out from Rock county, 
Wisconsin, where they had resided from one to several years since crossing 
the Atlantic, their destination being Iowa. Arriving at Prairie du Chien they 
crossed the Mississippi on McGregor & Nelson's tread-power ferry, landing at 
North McGregor, and from there proceeded through the densely wooded country 
northward, forded Yellow river and Paint creek, bridging gullies along their 
route, and finally arrived upon what was then known as "Paint Creek Prairie," 
in this county. Ole Larson (Rotnem) and Ole Knutson (Stakke) stopped in 
Taylor township, the former locating on the east half of the northwest quarter and 
west half of the northeast quarter of section 17, and the latter on the east half 
of the northeast quarter of section 17, 97-3, while the rest of the company pro- 
ceeded westward into Paint Creek township, where Ole Storla located on the 
northeast quarter of section 1 1 ( which he had visited the year before) ; Syver Void 
011 the east half of the northwest quarter and east half of the southwest quarter 
of section 13, Thomas Anderson (Gronna) on the northwest quarter of section 


i j. and ( He Christianson section 1. 1)7-4 ; Arne Knutson 1 Stakke) on the northeast 
c|iiarter of the southwest quarter and northwest quarter of the southeast quarter 
of section 31, 98-3, in Lafayette. Prior to 1850 \Y. C. Thompson had located 
on the southwest quarter of section 29, 98-3 ; and Van Sickle. Wilson, and 
Williver (Captain X. Williver's father) had located on the bottom land on Big 
Paint creek in sections 30 and 31. LaTronche, Martell, Klett, and others had also 
settled mi the prairie near the present city of Harper's Ferry prior to 1850. Nels 
Bottolson and Aslag Melen also came in 1850; the latter was here when liottolson 
came in the fall of 1850 in company with Ole Storla, who had gone back to Wis- 
consin for a helpmeet. Mr. Melen had located on the northeast quarter of section 
7. 07-3. and disposed of the east half of same to Bottolson. It was assumed by 
the knowing ones that Mr. Melen considered a helpmeet in the person of Mr. 
Bottolson's sister as a more valuable possession than the eighty; however, after 
the land deal was consummated the expected consideration failed to materialize. 
This is simply an illustration of the informal methods of buying and selling real ' 
and personal property in pioneer times. In the years succeeding a large number 
of Norwegian and Irish nationalities settled in Taylor, Paint Creek and Lafayette, 
among whom were : Koykendall, Hewitt, — . Sigurson, Jacob Oestern, Gullick 
Oestern, Ole Hunstad, Tov Olson Tveton. Kittel Olson Tveton, and Ole Olson 
Tveton, Helge Olson (Boen), Anton Larson (Sjellebek), Endre Endreson (Ash- 
braaten), Ole Halvorson ( Sauherring), Nels — . (Nummedal), Jacob Norvold, 
James Banks. Thomas Roche, Thomas Sullivan, Owen Sullivan, Jas. Melaven, 
las. Corrigan, Michael Clark, — . Evans ( Chas. Evans' father), John Brazell, 
John Olson (SagaL Olaus (W. O. ) Erikson, Jas. Barry, Timothy Collins, Pat 
and Mike Ryan (brothers, the former serving as assessor for eighteen years), 
Pat and Mike Bulger, Jas. Fagan, Daniel Johnson. 

The first postoffice in this region was Paint Rock, so named evidently from 
the large red painted inscription appearing high up on the perpendicular wall of 
a precipice. The first postmaster was W. H. Morrison, and the second Otto 
Longerfield. This was a steamboat landing, and the postmaster conducted a 
small frontier store ; but to obtain a larger and more varied supply, although 
the variety was limited in those days to the actual necessities, one must go to 
Prairie du Chien, in the summer time by rowing skiffs and in the winter by driv- 
ing oxen on the ice. When the ice was unsafe they would go on foot, and draw 
a hand-sled with two or more bushels of hickory nuts to barter for the most 
urgent need-. 

For early habitations, the most rude, quaint, and primitive shelters were hastily 
constructed upon arriving and selecting a location, as the wagon which had served 
the purpose of parlor, kitchen, and dormitory combined, on the way, must hence- 
forth become a mere farm wagon, except when needed for church going. A 
quaint vehicle known by the Scandinavians as a "kubberulle," the wheels being 
sawed from large logs, was also used for conveyance by those in more indigent 
circumstances, for church going as well as farm use. The usual shelter was com- 
posed of crutches set in the ground, with poles laid in the bifurcated top ends, 
and on these poles long sections of elm bark were laid, with weights to hold them 
Hat to shed the rain. Bushes were set around the sides, and door and windows 
were considered a superfluity. In a shanty of this type the Ole Larson and Ole 


Knutson families dwelt for a while, and under the large boxes set on poles laid 
on the ground a large rattlesnake had ensconced itself for many days. Children 
as well as adults passed in the aisle between the boxes day and night, but under 
the surveillance of a kind providence not one of us was harmed. A wound from 
the serpent would have been fatal, as there was no doctor near, and no whiskey, 
that "adjunct of civilization" being absolutely prohibited in the Ole Larson family, 
as well as the filthy weed. 

One man, a bachelor, Asle Knutson (Stakke), felled a large hollow basswood 
tree, cut off a section about sixteen feet in length, and in one end stuffed an 
armful of hay, then pushed his belongings in at the other end and himself next, 
drawing an armful of hay into the aperture after him. A knot hole in the side 
of the log served for ventilation, and being on the east side also served as a time- 
piece by admitting the daylight. Others dug caves into banks and roofed with 
poles, and turf over all. These made warm and cozy quarters for families con- 
sisting of several members, as it was prior to the crinoline and head-basket epoch. 
Log houses were later built for more permanency, roofed with birch bark and 
then turfed. For floor, split logs with the flat side up were used, and boards for 
doors were sawed from logs rolled onto high benches and sawed with a pit saw, 
one man standing on the log and the other underneath it. Fences were made of 
rails, six to eight rails high, with stake and rider, called a worm or "Virginia" 
fence. For splitting rails men were paid forty to fifty cents per day, sometimes 
without board, and rails sold for $10 per M. 

Blue joint grass was cut for forage with scythes, and the women raked, the 
swaths into mows and helped stack it. Corn was planted in the upturned sod by 
cutting a slit in it with an axe ; and small grain was sown by hand and harvested 
with a grain cradle by the men, and as a rule the women followed with a rake 
and bound it into sheaves, and not infrequently did they also have a cradle, in the 
shade of a shock, with a roseate cherub in it slumbering sweetly in its swaddling 

The first grain threshing was done with a flail, which the sinewy mountaineers 
handled with a dexterity equaling that of the native Australian in hurling the 
boomerang. Horses and oxen were also used to trample the grain out, when the 
sheaves were laid in a circle on the frozen ground. The first reaper, a J. H. 
Manny, was bought by Ole Larson in the early fifties and cut grain for many 
neighbors as well as his own. The first machine threshing, by dilapidated outfits, 
was done about 1852-3 by the Void brothers, Ole and John, and 1853-4 by Henry 
McCoy. About 1854-5 Ole Larson bought the first new machine, a J. I. Case, 
Racine, Wisconsin, which was known as an apron machine, a Pitts model, four- 
horsepower with jack and belt. The cylinder bars are of wood (it is in evidence 
here yet) with barbed teeth driven in, and the concaves are of the same material. 
No stacker, but a short picker. In coming the outfit was frozen in on the boat 
at Turkey river, and had to be hauled here on sleighs after Christmas, when 
threshing operations commenced, as people must have grain of which to make the 
staff of life. The writer was the driver on the horsepower, and though a boy, 
is presumed to remember the time. 

The Riley Ellis corn cracker at Waterville was the first mill to convert the 

maize into meal for making mush and corn bread, or to use the terms of the 
Vol. 1— 1 5 



southern darkies, "Johnnie Constant," as there was no wheat from which to make 
Hour bread, or "Billy Seldom." I believe that the mill of Rev. Valentine (Hon. 
E. II. Fourt's grandfather) was the earliest in this section to convert wheat into 
bolted flour on Village creek. In the earliest '50s a sawmill was put into opera- 
tion on the site of the later Beumer & Haas flour and sawmill, and a half mile 
east of this was a shingle mill, owned by one Wilson, that shaved the shingles 
off steamed blocks of hard wood by a large revolving blade, with water power. 
The sawmill a short distance below the Lawrence Kelly place, on Big Paint, 1 
think was called the Dye & Williver mill. Coming up from the Bulger valley 
recently I was reminded how my brother and I carried maple sap home from this 
valley in the spring of 1851, to use instead of milk with corn meal mush, as cows 
were few and the late cut prairie grass, blue joint, contained but little nourish- 
ment for them. If the mill was overcrowded, or for other reason the grist was 
late in coming, the coffee mill was pressed into service to grind the indispensable 
corn meal for mush or bread ; but the modern complaints of dyspepsia, constipa- 
tion and appendicitis were unknown in those days. 

Virginia deer were very numerous in the '50s and '60s and even into the '70s, 
though in the winter of 1856-7, the noted "crust winter," these noble denizens of 
the forest were ruthlessly slaughtered, it being merely a mania for killing, as the 
animals were extremely lean from starvation. Deremo in Fairview, and Dye and 
Williver (our Captain Williver) with John Ingmundson (later Captain Ingmund- 
son > were noted sportsmen by the "still hunt" in Taylor. Rail splitting, how- 
ever, monopolized the time of the average pioneer, hence he feasted but little on 
venison. Wolves, foxes, wildcats and skunks were not lacking in numbers, and 
strychnine was the only mode of exterminating them. There was no bounty, 
nor price on furs then, as now in 191 3. The prairie hen, quail and pheasant, 
the former two gregarious and easily trapped, and all easily shot, formed a valu- 
able by-dependence in the meat line in those days. Every stream was abundantly 
stocked with speckled trout and other varieties of the finny tribe, affording 
splendid diversion for Young America with hook and line, besides replenishing 
the oft depleted larder. The biggest •"ordnance" in the locality for a time was a 
flint-lock rifle owned by Ole Larson that was said to have executed vast havoc 
among the bruins of the Scandinavian jungles. It was transformed into a per- 
cussion cap lock, and is still in possession of the family. Aslag Espeset was one 
of the great hunters in the Waterville section, shooting five deer in one day with 
an old muzzle loader, standing behind a large rock loading. Capt. John Ingmund- 
son. the hunter above referred to. went to Wisconsin, and entering the army, fell 
in the battle of Stone River, December 30, 1862. This is mentioned in "The 
Northmen in America." 

(.Mr. L. O. Larson must have practiced faithfully with that old "flint-lock" 
during his boyhood, as he has later acquired the title of "the mighty hunter of 
Taylor.") — EDITOR. 

Mr. Hicks, from near Hardin, was our first surveyor, and .Mr. Sutter, of 
same locality, the first assessor in this locality, and possibly his beat included 
the entire county then. 

I must not omit to mention the prairie fires that came as regularly as did the 
frozen grass in late autumn, and only for the fire breaks, a burned strip around the 


hay stacks and field fences, not a stack or a fence would have been left in its 

The first schoolhouse was built in 1854-5 in the district now called the Climax, 
but then included the Excelsior and St. Joseph also. Miss Harriet Phipps, now 
Mrs. E. Tisdale, taught the first school, commencing in May, 1855. She was then 
but fourteen years of age, and her salary was $15 per month, minus board, but 
she says it was then equivalent to $100 now. Ole Larson was the school director 
that employed her. 

Before there was spiritual food to be obtained, there being no ordained clergy- 
men during the first few years here, Ole Larson, who had served in the capacity, 
or, perhaps better, function, of "klokker" precentor (leader of psalmody) during 
divine services in the parish whence he came in Norway, as well as parochial 
school teacher, gathered the youthful element together here on Sundays, read the 
"text," and all joined in singing a few hymns, thus maintaining the religious spirit 
of the land of their birth. He also for a number of years here acted as "klokker" 
at religious services held in private dwellings and in the summer time in barns, 
mainly in Thomas Anderson's house and Arne Barskrind's barn, the latter in 
section 3, Paint Creek. Martin Ulvestad's "Northmen in America" says the 
Paint Creek congregation, the first Norwegian Lutheran congregation in the 
county, was organized by V. Koren, pastor, in 1854, and its first church was built 
in '56 near Dalby. It is now the Old East Paint Creek church, the dissenters 
Jaking the name, while the congregation retained the church property. 

Probably the first suit at law in Taylor was that of Ole Larson vs. Asle 
Knutson (Stakke), about 1852, the latter making an attempt to "jump" a part of 
the former's land. Court was held at Columbus, by Judge Wilson, I think, and the 
case was decided in favor of Mr. Larson. The first case of homicide, and I believe 
the only case in this section, was that of the aged father of Thomas and Miles 
Roche, who was killed by two strangers on the farm now owned by Mrs. Barney 
McCormick, on the east line of Paint creek. The Evans family lived there at the 
time, but Charles chanced to be away from home. 

When J. W. Remine, the first lawyer here, came as an emissary of Asle 
Knutson to talk with father about the above mentioned land case, none could 
understand English, but that he said "you wrong" and that was guessed at. So 
father sent me along with Surveyor Hicks to Hardin (Collins' tavern then), where 
I attended school in a log schoolhouse on the government road from McGregor 
west, and stayed with Mrs. Hicks and her sister, Miss Baker. While Mr. H. was 
away the women sent me home to pick hickory nuts for them, and 1 became lost, 
sleeping out one night in the tall blue joint grass on Yellow river, in November, 
in a section where bears were said to prowl in those days. I wandered until the 
Sencebaugh men working on a road sent me to their home with one of the girls 
who had brought their dinner, and the next morning Mrs. Reuben Sencebaugh 
took me on a horse, behind the saddle, to Waterville, and from there I was 
acquainted with the way. In 1849, the year before locating here, Ole Larson, 
Ole Storla, Erik Espeseth and Ole Grimsgaard had visted this region and fol- 
lowed an Indian trail up the Paint Creek valley to the "Big Spring" at what is 
now Waukon, where they ate their lunch and retraced their steps, as they thought 
that locality too far from navigation — or future market place. 



This bold and rocky bluff, with its high precipice facing the Mississippi river 
like an immense natural bulletin-board, which it practically was in the old days, 
is situated near the lower corner of Taylor township, and was an ancient land- 
mark when it was first mentioned by any writer. When and by whom among 
the white explorers of this region it was first so-called is shrouded in mystery. 
It gave its name to the creek which rises at W'aukon and empties into the river a 
mile below long before there is any known record, and which appears on the 
ver) earliest and rudest maps of the region as Paint creek or Paint Rock 
creek. Near here was the slaughter of an entire French half-breed family by 
the Indians in 1827, as narrated in an early chapter of this volume. At the 
time the county was first settled there was on this cliff the painted figures of ani- 
mals, with the word "Tiger," and some symbols of undoubted Indian origin. 
The appearance of the word quoted indicates that the white man had a hand in 
decorating this rock, and it is natural to suppose that at the time of the estab- 
lishment of the Neutral Ground in 1830, as narrated in a previous chapter, this 
may have been done to mark the southern boundary thereof so plainly that it 
would be a warning to the roaming natives. But it was evidently an accident 
that the painted rock should coincide with the southern line of the Neutral Ground 
at its river terminus, being approximately twenty miles in a direct line from the 
mouth of the Upper Iowa, at Brookings Bluff. Judge Murdock said the painting 
was there in 1843 and looked ancient at that time. 

There has been no end of speculation as to the origin and purpose of these 
inscriptions, and much has been written about them. But that it was originally 
the work of Indians, and probably the Sioux, is fairly well established. It may 
have been first decorated many generations ago, and the inscriptions renewed 
from time to time as they began to fade. Captain Carver does not mention it 
in 1 7' >3. nor Lieutenant Pike in 1805. The very first allusion to it we have been 
able t" find was by .Major Long in 1817. There were other similar paintings 
spoken of by various writers among the explorers, among the more prominent being 
ihai on the east side of the Mississippi in Illinois, which Father Marquette 
describes in his journal of 1673. S. W. Kearney in 1820 speaks of a painted rock 
on the east side of the Mississippi about nine miles below Fort Snelling. And on 
an ancient map of Minnesota there is shown a "Paint Rock Creek" on the west 
side of the river, in that state. Schoolcraft also mentions a Paint Rock on the 
upper Mississippi, hut does not locate it definitely. And there were also some 
rocks with like designation on the Des Moines river, in the central part of Iowa. 
(Salter, p. 250.) In 1823 Beltrami, in speaking of our Paint Rock, says the 
"savage- pay their adorations to this rock, which they annually paint." 

In his personal narrative of the "Early Times and Events in Wisconsin," 
Hon. James H. Lockwood, an early settler at Prairie du Chien, writing in 1855, 
says, in speaking of the Sioux Indian medicine men and their sacrifices to the 
Great Spirit: "On the prairies are often found isolated granite rocks, which, 
from their isolated and scattered appearance, are considered holy, and every 
Indian who passes them either paints them with vermilion or leaves a piece of 
tobacco as a tribute. Hence the great number of places in this country where 
the Sioux were accustomed to pass that bear the name of Painted Rock." 


In the case of this Paint Rock under discussion, it was not so readily acces- 
sible as to admit of every passing Indian making a contribution; but a camping 
party with leisure, of either natives or whites, could with little difficulty gain a 
position on a narrow ledge where these figures appeared. Mr. Ellison Orr, of 
Waukon, who is an authority on Indian mounds and relics, visited the spot about 
191 1 for the purpose of a close inspection of these once prominent figures, and 
we are permitted to copy his notes, as follows : 

"About one-half mile above Waukon Junction at the mouth of Paint creek, 
on the northwest of northeast of section 3-97-3, a wide and deep dry ravine, after 
running almost parallel to the canyon of the Mississippi river for over a mile, 
opens into it. 

"On the river side of the point of the bluff separating the two valleys is the 
'Paint Rock.' 

"Most of the river face of the bluffs along here is almost sheer vertical walls 
of rock, sometimes over two hundred feet in height. At the foot of the precipices 
is another hundred feet of talus of earth and rock debric sloping down to the 
river bank. 

"At the point of bluff where the small lateral valley meets the larger one, at 
a height of 30 to 40 feet above the foot of the precipice, a narrow shelf runs 
along the face of it for a distance of several rods. Just above this shelf the cal- 
careous sandrock is smeared and stained with patches of mineral red, all that is 
left of pictographs of animals or other objects that gave the place its name. 
The rock has weathered away so much that the figures with two exceptions can 
not now be made out. 

"The two which remain represent the heads of an animal with horns, prob- 
ably a buffalo, or perhaps they may represent some Indian deity. 

"At the bottom of the' cliff, under these figures, some twenty feet in height 
of the rock base just at the point is Jordan sandstone, and for ten feet up from 
the point where the slope of loose rock and earth begins are hundreds of verti- 
cal, or nearly vertical, slashes or marks such as might be made by rubbing the 
edge of a celt or stone ax up and down on the sandrock till a V-shaped groove 
or crease was made, 6, 8, or 10 inches long and from a half to an inch deep, many 
of which are all but obliterated. 

"Among these are remnants of figures also cut in the rock. The grooves 
forming these figures differ from those of the vertical slashes in being half 

"As usual there are also a few initials and names certainly made by the 

Accompanying this is a photograph of the Paint Rock Bluff point looking 
northwest from the water's edge of Harper's Channel, which is reproduced here 
by kindness of Mr. Orr. 


At the March term, 1852, of the county court, a commission was issued to 
Ensign Chilson to organize the township of Union City by an election to be 
called for April 1st. The township as organized comprised all of the present 
townships of Iowa, Waterloo, Hanover, and French Creek, besides Union City; 


but no record has been found of the election of officers. The name was that given 
to the settlement in embryo on the north side of the Iowa above the mouth of 
French creek, hut no plat of the village so called was ever put upon record. 

In [856 Air. E. T. Albert and family came from Wellsville, Ohio, and in 
\pril. [858, Benj. Ratcliffe. a brother-in-law. from Wheeling, Virginia ; and they 
settled on adjoining farms on the [owa river, in this township, where the town 
of Union City was to be located, at the river crossing called Chilson's Ford, on 
the line between sections 34 and 35. This was so called from Mr. Chilson, a 
blacksmith who made his claim here, but sold it to one Davidson, and he to 
E. T. Albert. The latter built a large stone house known as "Alberta House," 
to be used as a wayside hotel, this being the main thoroughfare from Lansing 
to points many miles north in Minnesota, and was called the "Main Minnesota 
Road." Mr. Albert sold out to a brother-in-law, John Gilchrist, in 1864, and 
he to his son J. J. in r886, who sold to the present owner, Joseph Hartley, in 

The first bridge across the Upper Iowa was built at this ford in 1859, paid 
for mostly by private subscriptions of the enterprising business men of Lansing, 
which was the point chiefly interested in the trade to come from this part of the 
county, and beyond. In [86] and '62 the proceedings of the Board of Supervisors 
show appropriations from time to time for repairs on this bridge. And in 1863 
a petition of S. Y. Shaw and others shows that "in 1859 the sum of $1,175 was 
expended in erecting a bridge across the Iowa River near Bellows' at what is 
called Chilson's Ford on the county road; that it was built by private subscrip- 
tion, hut there was $330 pledges uncollectible." The petitioners asked the board 
to make up this deficiency, which they did. This bridge was later taken out by 
floods or ice gorges, and a ferry was then established by Porter Bellows of 
French Creek until a bridge was built in (866 or '07, which was replaced by the 
iron bridge known since as the Ratcliffe bridge, put in some eight or ten years 

The high bluff which stands out boldly one half mile north of the river cross- 
ing, between Alberta Mouse and their own home. Mrs. Ratcliffe named "Mt. 
Hope," and their farm "Mt. I lope Farm," and known as such to this day. One 
Dr. Rogers was located on this land in 1855, succeeded by A. II. Pickering. 
who sold the land to B. Ratcliffe in 1857. The first schoolhouse was built on 
the north line of this farm, and later one in front of Mount Hope. The church, 
manse, and cemetery are also on the same farm. Mrs. E. T. Albert taught the 
first school in this (Clear Creek) district, and in the township, in the winter of 
1858-59, in one room of their house, to accommodate their own large family, the 
Sheckletons, Merrits, and some from outside territory. A sabbath school was 
held in this house until the schoolhouse was built — Robert Wampler was one of 
the pupils. The schoolhouse was built in the summer of 1859. in which John 
D I ole, a resident of the district, taught the next winter. He removed to Lan- 
sing in 1810. was a gallant soldier during the war. returning to and residing in 
Lansing „ nll i near t | K . c i ose f n ; s ] on „. an( j use f u ] ]jf e 

Marshall Merritl was the first postmaster at Clear Creek, from its establish- 
ment m 1851. until he sold out to Ed. Waters and removed to Minnesota in 
[860, when Benj, Ratcliffe was commissioned, holding the office for twenty-five 
years, when he resigned and the office was discontinued, mail going to French 


Creek and Dorchester. Mr. Ratcliffe was elected to the House of Representa- 
tives, in the 17th General Assembly of Iowa, sitting in 1878. He continued to 
reside upon this farm until his death, January 1, 1900, aged 86 years. A grand- 
son, Benj. Hartley, now owns the farm. 

Two miles north of this point, in Clear Creek valley, were the families of 
LuskSj Dennisons, and Wamplers, coming from Pennsylvania in 1854 or '55, 
who after a number of years sold out to Germans and went west. Near them 
was Patrick Fitzgerald, with five sons, who opened up and settled on small farms, 
but who in the sixties sold out and went a few counties south and west, where 
they have all prospered. Just south of the river were early settlers, Brooks, 
Kibbys, and Donovans. 

Three or four miles west up the river a number of English families settled 
on a piece of bench or table land, still known as the "English Bench." These 
were the Bulmans, Saddlers, and Hartleys; also Reburns, P. McGuire, and Dr. 
S. D. Allen who practiced medicine. Some of the first two named are still there, 
but the rest have given place to others. The Elephant is a lone bluff fronting 
a bend in the Oneota and sloping back to the English Bench. Not so high as 
some others, it suggests the animal in a reclining posture. 

The Mt. Hope Presbyterian Church was organized in August 1858, at the 
house of E. T. Albert, by Rev. Joseph Adams of Frankville and Rev. Chas. Fitch, 
Presbyterian ministers. Rev. A. H. Houghton, Congregational, of Lansing, being 
present. Ten members were enrolled, and E. T. Albert and Benj. Ratcliffe 
elected elders. Rev. James Frothingham of Caledonia Presbyterian Church, and 
ministers from Frankville, came at stated times ; but Dr. A. H. Houghton also 
served this congregation, holding services also in other schoolhouses in Union 
City, French Creek and Iowa townships for some years, and was a faithful and 
self-sacrificing man. The Mt. Hope church was built in the summer of 1870, 
and cemetery laid out adjoining. A manse was built a few years later, all on 
land given by Benj. Ratcliffe, and a resident pastor has been supported for many 

Mrs. Bellows, to whom we are indebted for the greater part of the foregoing 
reminiscences of Union City and French Creek "townships, also contributes the 
following item of history: On September 1, 1862, the dwellers in the valley in 
Union City were astonished to see many teams coming down the Minnesota road 
from the north, each loaded with household goods and the family. Inquiries 
brought out the fact that they were fleeing from a reported Indian uprising far- 
ther north, and they continued on their way to Lansing, objects of wonder all 
along the route until they told their story. Neighbors thought the Alberta House 
as good as a fort, though the many windows would have been of good service 
to the invaders as well as to the defenders. Others whose fathers and brothers 
were doing scout duty spent the night at Mt. Hope farm. The next day a pro- 
cession of teams went north again, assured from reports received at Lansing that 
the New Ulm massacre did not reach far south of that point. Sept. 1st is still 
referred to as the date of the "Indian Scare." 

The first 4th of July celebration was called a Sabbath School celebration and 
held on Mt. Hope farm in 1858, attended by all from far and near. The program 
included a poem entitled "Liberty" by a twelve year old girl, identity known only 
to the reader and writer, and an address by Rev. Dr. A. H. Houghton. Martial 


music was a feature of the occasion, as we had a fifer from New York and a 
duummer from Pennsylvania, the latter resplendent in a costume worn when he 
played on training day "back home," consisting of a green coat, white trousers, 
and a tall «black hat surmounted by a red feather. For twenty years perhaps 
these S. S. celebrations were regularly held, in different localities, and such men 
as S. II. Kinne, L. E. Fellows, and Chas. Paulk, and others of ability, thought it 
a pleasure to address the assembled people. 

In the northern part of the township, G. W. Carver was among the earliest 
arrivals, moving onto what is called Portland Prairie in May, 1852, and securing 
a large claim. Shortly after a land commissioner made a selection of three quar- 
ter sections adjoining his claim, for Iowa school lands, and Mr. Carver contracted 
for this also, under the state laws, and continued to hold the same until it 
reverted to the government, as the commissioner had selected too much land, 
and that among the last selected was the first to be withdrawn. Mr. Carver had 
some difficulty in attempting to hold this land against other claimants, and the 
matter went into the courts, those pioneer lawyers, John T. Clark and G. W. Camp 
being the opposing counsel. The case reached the United States courts, where 
it remained for ten or fifteen years, until finally with the assistance of Henry 
Dayton, our member of the Iowa House in 1872, a special act of the legislature 
was secured reimbursing Mr. Carver for the loss of the land. During the first 
winter, Mr. Carver said he went to Riley Ellis' mill on Paint Creek to get some 
corn ground, but found it laid up for repairs. He then went on to Yellow river, 
where he bought more corn, getting a few bushels each from settlers who could 
spare it, which he got ground there and started for home. The journey occupied 
two weeks, and his family near starving. Deer were very plentiful at this time ; 
and straying Winnebagoes numerous. In his later years Mr. Carver resided in 
Lansing, where he had started the first lumberyard before locating on his 
farm, and where he died February 20, 1897. 

Samuel Evans, settled near Carver's, and a large family from Maine, consist- 
ing of Josiah Everett, five sons and two sons-in-law, Chas. Harvey and W. Pease, 
and other relatives, giving the settlement the name of Portland Prairie. In the 
early seventies all of these removed to Nebraska, where several of them became 
prominent in state and county affairs, builders of railroads, bankers, and pros- 
pered generally. In addition to the early settlers mentioned above, the records 
show the following names among those who took government land in Union City 
township prior to 1855. Jackson G. Coil, Bernard H. Deters, Jeremiah Shum- 
way, Patrick Hays, and John G. Gerling. 

The following additional items are culled from "Old Times on Portland 
Prairie," by 1 1. \ . Arnold, in 101 1. 

About the year 1855 William Hartley, a native of England, came from 
Indiana to the Iowa river, where he kept a tavern on the Lansing road. 

I he winter of 1865-6 was marked in its latter half by a great depth of snow. 
The 31st of March was a moderate day, with a south wind, and that night a 
terrific thunder storm ensued, with a heavy down-pour of rain. All of the ravines 
became rushing torrents and many bridges were swept away, including the Iowa 
river bridge on the road to Lansing. (This fixes the date of the taking out of 
the Chilson's Ford bridge, rebuilt during the ensuing year.) 


The people of Portland Prairie were accustomed to have a big picnic celebra- 
tion annually on the Fourth of July, and that year they held it at this crossing of 
the Oneota. In those times scarcely anyone in the whole neighborhood possessed 
such a thing as a buggy or other light rig. Family parties or other-groups had 
to travel to such gatherings in common farm wagons, if too far to go on foot. 
Many teams of the prairie people journeyed down to the river, the day being 
favorable. The bridge there, swept away the previous spring, had not yet been 
rebuilt, but teams easily crossed at a gravelly ford just above where it had stood. 
A flat-boat had been used for a ferry when the water was higher than in its 
summer stage. The picnic was held in a grove close to the river and a little 
above the bridge piers. Quite a large assemblage of people were present, some 
of them presumably from that neighborhood. 

In regard to the bridge at thiri point Capt. Bascom of Lansing writes: "In 
1856 or '57 I built a ferry boat for Porter Bellows which was used until a bridge 
was built at Chilson's Ford as it was then called. The first bridge here was built 
by a man named Curts, I think, in 1859. This was taken out by the ice. I built 
a bridge here for the county in 1866 or 1867, 160 feet long." 

The St. John's Lutheran church of Union City was incorporated September 
30, 1884, as the "Evangelical St. John's Community," with the following named 
trustees : Henry Bisping, Gustav Pottratz, Henry Welper, John Schulze, and 
Henry Kruse. At present, this church is served we believe by Rev. F. C. Klein 
as pastor. 

The population of Union City township was 138 in 1856, and 613 in 1910. 

Township officers in 1913 are: Clerk, Henry Bisping; Trustees, John A. 
Schultz, E. J. Sadler, G. W. Weimerslage ; Assessor, Henry H. Rober; Justices, 
Ben Hartley and John E. Martin ; Constable, Wm. Sadler. 


Union Prairie was early organized, the election for that purpose being held 
April 1, 1852, under a commission issued to Geo. Merrill, who had taken a claim 
on the north side of section 23. Many of the earlier settlers in this township were 
truly pioneers, such as the Eells brothers, Gilletts, James Reid, Bush, Merrill, 
Harris, Horton, Conner, Raymond, Isted, and others, and special mention of them 
is made in the recollections of G. M. Dean and D. B. Raymond, in a previous 
chapter. Mr. Dean fails however, to mention his own coming to this township 
in 1853, when he bought a farm on section 23. But he later became identified 
with the town of Waukon. John Wallace came in 1853 but later settled in Lud- 
low. Christopher McNutt took land in sections 10 and 15 in 1850: and Wm. M. 
Dibble in section 13. The following took government land in 1851 : Thomas 
Downs in section 12; John Magner and Wm. Rea in 18; John, Thos. and Denis 
Haley in 24, 28, and 33; Benj. Woodward in 35, and John Miller in 36. Others 
shortly after were: Pat, John and Dan Curtin in section 7; James Griffin, section 
7; Wm. Jones, section 12; Michael Donovan and John O'Brien, section 18; Pat- 
rick Connolly, section 3 ; Cornelius Toohey and James McNamara, section 5 ; 
Thomas Stack, section 8 ; Conrad Helming, section 33 ; and a little later Jacob 
Plank, J. F. Pitt, Richard Ryan, Simon Ludeking, Nathaniel Pierce, Henry R. 
Pierce, John Goodykoontz. It is a curious coincidence that the two last named 


and D. Jaquis in Ludlow, all prominent citizens and members of the Waukon 
M. P. church, died within the one year, 1X75. Mr. Pitt before going onto his 
farm first built a house on a lot east of where the Episcopal church later stood, 
in Waukon. not far from Father Shattuck's cabin; and since retiring from the 
farm lie has bought and still lives in the Duffy house, one block south of his 
original home of nearly sixty years ago. 

In his reminiscences of the early days Air. D. B. Raymond wrote the follow- 
ing, in 1882, shortly after the death of James Reid, and it seems to be appropriate 
here. Mr. Reid was born in Pennsylvania, and in 1851 came to Union Prairie 
and settled on the place where he died February 10, 1882. 

"Uncle Jimmy, as he was called when the writer knew him nearlv thirty vears 
ago, was truly a remarkable man in his way, plain and honest to a fault. At first 
acquaintance his manners seemed uncouth, but a warm heart was his. unless some 
gross injustice aroused him and when insulted or attacked he was a tiger, and 
woe to the man who risked the force of his great brawny arms and fist, which 
was like a maul. He was a great hunter and his persistent pursuit of game was 
nearly always crowned with success. He was a remarkable marksman and 
always had great pride in his rifle. During the winter of 1852 and 1853 he 
killed nearly seventy deer (I speak from memory 1. The writer on many occa 
sions accompanied him in hunting expeditions; being then young I was no match 
for the old hunter, and generally was outwinded by him. The last exploit I 
remember in this line was a raid on the Yellow river; one Peter Gilson had 
improvised a grist mill near where a little village was afterward started and 
named Cleveland. On this hunting trip uncle Jimmy displayed more than usual 
vigor; the second day I was shelved from fatigue and the old man proposed 
seeking shelter at Gilson's for the night, some five or six miles up the river from 
where we were at sunset. The day was very cold and the sunset denoted a 
biting cold night. While deliberating, two deer appeared on the bluff opposite, 
the old hunter raised his rifle and fired and a fine doe made the snow her wind- 
ing sheet. It being across the river I suggested we leave it until morning and 
we started for the mill. At nearly dark when half way over there, I gave out 
and the old man relieved me of my gun and other traps; his step was strong and 
sure; I staggered after him and we finally reached the mill. A supper of bis- 
cuit and coffee refreshed us. but our bed was cold sacks of grain and the rush 
of water through the flume beneath was the music that kept us company while 
attempting to sleep. In the morning the old man told of the great distance he 
killed tin- .leer, to other parties, who doubted the story; uncle Jimmy's wounded 
honor caused a careful calculation, and the distance proved fully seventy rods, 
being ten more than he claimed." 

I he Union Prairie postoffice was established in 1852, in the northwest 
corner -1 section 20. with Edward Pells as postmaster. At his death in 1859 
it was removed a half mile further west, to the stone house of Loren Eells. 
where it remained until discontinued, about [868. 

1:1 t8 93 :i postoffice called Connor was established in the southeast corner 
01 section 7. near the West Ridge church, at the house of Jeremiah Ryan, 
postmaster. Here it remained until put out of commission by the free rural 


St. John the Baptist Catholic church, of West Ridge, is an old organization, 
but we have no data of its history. With the other Catholic churches of the 
county it was formally incorporated in November, 191 1, under the charge of 
the present pastor, Rev. F. McCullough, the laymen directors at that time being 
Francis Drew and David O'Brien. 

A mile or more southeast of this church, in the west part of section 17, a 
sawmill was in operation in 1859, on Coon creek. 

And on the southwest part of section 9, a little country store had been estab- 
lished by O. E. Hale, which he conducted for a number of years and it was 
widely known as "'Hale's Store," becoming a sort of landmark for travelers in 
this region of bluffs and crooked roads. 

The south and east part of the township settled up early, so that the popu- 
lation of Union Prairie in 1854 was 308. In 19 10 it was 775. Township 
officers are: Clerk, J. T. Baxter; Trustees, Andrew Onsager, J. E. McGeough, 
Thos. Farley ; Assessor, Owen Piggott. 


The northwest township in the county contains a smaller area than any other 
except Fairview, comprising but thirty full sections and a narrow strip only 
of the north six sections, south of the Minnesota state line. It was organized 
from Union City township by an order of the county court, March 3, 1856. 
and by an enumeration in that year contained a population of but 157. Like 
most of the others there is no record of the early township officers elected. 

The earliest settlement seems to have been made in the northeast corner, 
in 185 1, by Airs. las. Robinson and her four sons, on Portland Prairie. John 
Coil also located near them. Edmund and Harvey Bell took government land 
where Dorchester now stands, in June. 1853. And not long after a village 
sprang up here called 

Dorchester — In 1855 or '56 a log gristmill was built here by the Bells, 
which became quite a convenience to the dwellers on Portland Prairie who had 
heretofore been obliged to go to Bellows' mills or to Lansing. Some time later 
this mill was replaced with a large frame building with facilities for making 
flour. The miller here at one time was one McMillan, an excellent miller, who 
later operated a mill on Winnebago creek over in Minnesota for some time, 
and then ran the Bellows mill in French creek, which became popularly known 
as McMillan's mill. A store, blacksmith shop, and wagon shop were soon in 
order, and a sawmill was built on Waterloo creek above the village, and owners 
of timber lots began' to haul in logs to supply themselves and others with 

The Dorchester postoffice was established in 1856, and a mail route opened 
up from Brownsville, Minnesota. Dr. T. C. Smith, who came in that year, was 
the first postmaster, and retained the position for many years. J. M. Tartt went 
into business with Smith in 1858, and the firm name of Smith & Tartt was a 
household word throughout this section for a long time. Mr. Smith eventually 
removed to Yillard, Minnesota, where he died December 30, 1905. 

In 1870 the business of Dorchester comprised the Langenbach flouring mill 
(the "Waterloo Mills" run by C. J. Langenbach for many years), four black- 


smith shops, two wagon shops, Smith & Tartt's store, a boot and shoe shop, and 
S. H. Haines, produce. Dr. R. C. Ambler was their physician. In 1873 the 
village plat was laid out by the proprietors, S. H. and Elsie T. Haines, and 
placed on record. We have no data at hand in regard to the early schoolhouse 
here, but a substantial brick schoolhouse was built in 1878. In 1877 besides 
the flouring mill there were two stores, two blacksmith shops, hotel, shoe shop, 
tailor shop. There were then two churches, as now, German Methodist and 
Catholic. Also a flourishing temperance society with thirty members, and a 
lyceum meeting every Saturday evening. 

In 1913 the town supports two stores, two blacksmith shops, wagon shop, 
hotel and restaurant, millinery shop, garage, farm implement house, meat market, 
and last but not least, a bank. The present postmaster is L. Coppersmith, who 
was holding that position as far back as 1892 or longer, and rural routes supply 
Ouandahl, and Bee, Minnesota. A creamery was in operation for many years 
until recently. The flouring mill is now owned we believe by C. J. & Herman 

The Dorchester Savings Bank was incorporated February 7, 1912, and began 
business in July following, having erected a substantial two story frame build- 
ing, equipped with modern safety devices for protection of depositors. The 
capital stock is; and the April, 1913 statement, shows deposits of $37,- 
950.68; and total assets of $48,136.41. Its officers are: President, Wm. Kumpf ; 
Vice President, Wm. SchwarzhofF; Cashier, J. H. Larkin; Directors, the fore- 
going officers with L. H. Gaarder, Jas. T. Bulman, A. T. Nierling, and O. J. 

Dorchester Camp, No. 4585, M. W. A., was chartered March 19, 1897, the 
first officers being, Consul, E. J. Goble ; Clerk, T. A. Danaher. The camp now 
numbers seventy-two members, and the present Consul is Levi Sires, and Clerk, 
Jacob Kumpf. 

St. Mary's Catholic church of Dorchester was one of the early churches in 
that part of the county. Rev. F. McCullough was pastor in 1892. In 191 1 it 
became incorporated, Archbishop James J. Keane being ex-officio president as 
in all such corporations; the pastor, Rev. T. G. Brady, ex-officio vice president, 
and Win. Schwarzhoff and Wm. Duffy laymen directors. Father John Sheehy 
is the pastor now in charge. This congregation is now preparing for the erec- 
tion of a fine new house of worship. 

St. John's M. E. church in Dorchester was incorporated August 30, 1882, 
with the following named board of trustees, viz. : C. J. Langenbach. Fred Luehr, 
Henri Wenig, Henry Steinbach, and George Wenig. Its present pastor is Rev 
A. C. Panzlan, who officiates also at the church on May's Prairie. 

The Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Waterloo Ridge. 
became an incorporated body March _>(», [869, the trustees being Hans Johnson 
Gaare, John Svenson, and Peter Martinson; and other incorporators were Anders 
Larson and Ole Clauson. Their present pastor is Rev. O. Wangenstein. This 
church is located on the north side of section 18, a beautiful and commanding 
site on the ridge overlooking the valleys of Hear creek on the south, Waterloo 
creek on the east, and Winnebago creek to the north. Their grounds are said 
to be the most neatly kept of an) country churchyard throughout this region. 
A stone church building was erected here at an early day, which has just been 




replaced with a handsome and substantial edifice costing some $15,000, which 
was dedicated in the spring of 1913. 

The first enumeration of Waterloo township, in 1856, showed a population 
of 157. By the census of 1910, it was 751. 

Township officers are: Clerk, P. C. Evenmoe ; Trustees, Hans Tilleraas, H. 
W. Teff , and O. N. Thompson ; Assessor, S. J. Svendson. 

Among those who early purchased lands of the government in Waterloo 
were also : Patrick Griffin, John W. Albee, Michael Larson, Angeline E. Haines, 
Henry Schultz, Bernard Emholt, Bernard Koenig, Jacob Kumpf, Theo and 
Christian Schwartzhoff, Chas. McGlenn, G. Ammundson (at Ouandahl), Henry 
and Edward Malone, Patrick McLaughlin, Knudt Tobiason, Michael Cavanaugh, 
Alfred Green, Henry Clauson. At a later time, about the year 1870, N. J. and 
P. J. Quandahl bought lands in section 30, and quite a settlement sprang up 
here which became known as the village or postoffice of 

Quandahl — Where N. J. Ouandahl established himself in a store and was 
postmaster for many years. He died but a few years ago. About the time of 
his death the postoffice was discontinued, and the village is now supplied by 
delivery from Dorchester. In the nineties there was a flourishing creamery 
here, owned by a Mr. Johnson for nearly twenty years, when in January, 1906, 
it was purchased by patrons and reorganized as a Farmers Cooperative Com- 
pany. The store is now conducted by J. S. Ouandahl, and there is also a shoe 
shop and a blacksmith shop. 

Waterloo township participated in the Indian scare also, as related by Mr. 
Arnold in his "Old Times on Portland Prairie :" 

"The Sioux Indian massacre of August, 1862, though mainly confined to 
Western Minnesota, spread a feeling of insecurity and alarm east to the Missis- 
sippi, largely owing to the absence of so many men serving in the Union armies 
and the weakness of the garrisons at the few military posts on the frontier. 
There were but few lines of telegraph then, hence false or exaggerated reports, 
due to excitement, were all the more apt to be far carried and remain longer 
uncontradicted. There were no Indian hostilities nearer than perhaps 150 miles; 
yet many families turned their stock loose in the fields and taking to their teams 
started for the river towns. Most of them turned back after the temporary 
panic had subsided. Some would-be refugees from the country west of Port- 
land Prairie reported that the Indians were at Spring Grove, and several fami- 
lies gathered and started for Lansing, but having been halted at' the Albee place 
it was thought best to ascertain whether or no they were about to fly from an 
imaginary danger. So C. F. Albee and Asa Sherman rode to Spring Grove, 
and learning that there was no cause for alarm they came back, and the refu- 
gees returned to their homes." 

He also says in the war period and later, "The prairie poeple got their mill- 
ing done at Dorchester. The mill there, with two run of stone, did the custom 
work of the surrounding country, and generally there were so many orders 
ahead that farmers had to leave their grists and go a second time for the same, 
several days later." 



It is a curious fact that the spot on which stood the original log cabin built 
by the pioneer of Waukon, in 1849, is now, after the lapse of sixty-five years, 
still an open field of some three acres in extent, and not even subdivided into 
town lots, though situated but a few blocks from the very center of the city. The 
cabin disappeared many years ago, but it is well remembered by several of our 
older residents. The story has oft been told of father Shattuck's locating upon 
this spot, but never better told, with its immediate sequence of events, than by 
Judge Dean in a brief narrative written in 1902 for a souvenir edition of the 
Waukon Democrat, gotten out by the ladies of the M. E. Church ; which is very 
appropriate to be copied here : 

"In July, 1849, one George C. Shattuck a home seeker, came to Allamakee 
county seeking a location for himself and family, and after roaming over this 
wild, unsettled country found himself on the prairie where Waukon now is. 
He was impressed with the beauty of the scene and its natural advantages, with 
its many springs of pure and sparkling cold water gushing out of the prairie sod, 
making the head waters of a creek that emptied into the Mississippi river. With 
the wild, native grass so abundant, with plenty of forest timber within easy 
reach, he concluded it was good enough for him. So he 'staked out his claim,' 
made what hay he would want the coming winter, and went back to the settle- 
ment after his wife and family. He returned in September and built a hay 
shanty to shelter them until he could erect a log house on his claim. This log 
house was on the north side of what is now Pleasant street and between Bartlett 
and Armstrong streets. 

"From this time on a stream of emigration set in which settled in the central 
and western portion of the county, breaking up and improving the wild lands, 
making themselves homes and farms, opening public roads, building bridges and 
log schoolhouses, the latter often used by the itinerant preacher for church pur- 
poses. Legal matters also had their share of attention, and the feeling prevailed 
that the county seat which was then on the east line of the county, should be 
more centrally located. The 1853 legislature appointed three commissioners to 
relocate the same. In March following they came from their respective counties 
of Dubuque, Delaware and Clayton, investigated all the competing localities, and 
this was the opportunity of our old pioneer Shattuck. 



"He invited the commissioners to his locality on the prairie, showed them 
the numerous springs that made Paint Creek, the abundant grass, the adjacent 
forests, the rich, black soil, filled them to repletion with the tenderest, juiciest 
venison and its accompaniments that could be procured; made a formal tender 
of forty acres of his land free of cost to the county, on condition that they locate 
the county seat thereon, convinced them that no other point possessed all these 
advantages or was so centrally located, and they drove the county seat stake 
somewhere near where the public park is now. The exact location has not been 
marked or remembered. There were present on this occasion representative men 
from the different portions of the county, and the question of 'What name shall 
we give it ?' was asked. 

"It was John Haney, Jr., suggested the name of John Waukon, a prominent 
chief of the Winnebago tribe, which was adopted. The people at the ensuing 
April election approved the action of the commissioners by a very handsome 
majority and Waukon is the seat of justice for the county today. But there lin- 
gers many a thought of strategy, of hope and fear, as we look back over the 
many county seat contests that have been fought between then and now. with 
varying results. 

"Now, Waukon must provide a suitable place in which to hold the approach- 
ing term of the district court. Father Shattuck had the only house on the new 
town site, so a subscription paper was circulated through the settlement, some 
donating money, .others the labor of themselves and ox teams. A building that 
had been erected on a claim 'out in the country' was bought. By agreement the 
settlers in the region round about met at the county seat stake and hauled the 
new courthouse in. depositing it near where the Aleyer hotel is now ( the 
present Allamakee), and when Judge Wilson of Dubuque, came to hold his June 
term of court he found a courthouse, ten by fourteen feet in size, built of poplar 
logs from six to eight inches in diameter, with chinking between the logs daubed 
with mud ; a board floor, a grand jury room attached, made of boards in the shape 
of a small lean-to, a seat at the table of Father Shattuck and a shake-down on the 
floor for bed. The court attendants, consisting of jurors, lawyers, clients witnesses 
and spectators, found places as best they could in the cabins of near by settlers. 

"After this term of court the little log courthouse was occupied by the 
county judge and his court. He ordered the county surveyor to survey and lay 
out the donated forty acres as the town site of Waukon, the plat of which he 
admitted to record at the following December term of his court. Commissioners 
were appointed to appraise the value of each lot, after which they were put on 
the market and sold at private sale for a time. The remainder were closed out 
at public sale except a lot in block nine, on the east side of Allamakee street, which 
was reserved for county purposes, and on which he proceeded to erect a small 
one-storj frame courthouse, about 18x30 feet in size as near as the writer 
remembers it. buying oak lumber and basswood siding from a saw mill just 
built on Yellow river. The front room was occupied by the county treasurer 
and recorder, the rear one by the county judge and clerk. The center one was 
used for emergencies and still there was no room for the district court. So in 
the spring of 1857 tll( -' judge erected another building of one story immediately 
on the south side of this one and joined to it, expressly for the district court. 
Here judges have presided with dignity! Learned attorneys have delivered elo- 


quent dissertations of legal lore ! Criminals have been convicted and sentenced ! 
Marriages have been solemnized and political conventions held. Should anyone 
wish to now visit this courthouse they will find on its yellow front a sign let- 
tered as follows 'Waukon Cigar Factory, Thos. Hartley, Prop.' [1902.] 

"By this time the public lands of the county had been sold, farms well opened 
up, country and town had kept pace in the general development, and Waukon 
could feed and shelter all who came to visit her. Public business of course kept 
pace with the general development and soon outgrew the capacity of these twin 
one story courthouses, and something better must be provided. The people 
of Lansing came forward asking that the county seat be relocated within her 
borders, offering as an inducement a suitable location and the erection of a court- 
house costing $8,000. This was contested by Waukon, which offered to donate 
$5,000 for the same purpose on condition that the county seat remain with them. 
The people of the county at the April election in 1859, decided in favor of Waukon 
by a majority of 420 in a total vote of 2,076. 

"Immediately following this the county judge prepared plans and specifica- 
tions of the present brick courthouse, advertising for sealed proposals for its 
completion, which resulted in awarding the contract to Charles W. Jenkins, of 
the firm of Hale & Jenkins, and John W. Pratt, deceased, for $13,655, they tak- 
ing the Waukon donations at par in payment, the -county paying the remainder. 
The building was completed in 1861. The settlement and development of the 
county has now outgrown the capacity of this building and more room will soon 
have to be provided for its accumulating records and business. 

"The writer considers that a line can safely be drawn at this point, as Waukon 
has been carried to a vigorous growth and can take care of itself, so he will close 
with a reference to the itinerant preaching of log schoolhouse days, and will say 
that these meetings were very generally attended by the early settlers. Some 
coming on foot, more on horseback, many families in the farm lumber wagon 
drawn by oxen, and an air of honesty, equality and sincerity prevailed that was 
very refreshing, and if the preacher failed to meet his appointment, his place 
would be filled by some fellow laborer in the corn field and potato patch, with 
little culture but with a remarkable flow of language, who would welcome us by 
the hymnal : 

'Come hither all ye weary souls, 
Ye heavy laden sinners come.' 

"In the doctrinal sermon that followed the English language was sometimes 
fearfully tomahawked. But a better and higher culture has followed, with all 
the modern church improvements that the increasing wealth and membership 
desire, and the honest, illiterate, old, conscientious, self-constituted pioneer 
preacher is a character of the past." 

To go back to Mr. Shattuck : he was born September 9, 1787, and was a 
pioneer by nature. It is said that he pitched his tent on the site of Chicago 
when none but Indians inhabited that region. In October, 1870, he departed 
from Waukon overland to make his home in Kansas. Upon leaving Mr. Shat- 
tuck published the following card: 


"Waukon, October 10, 1870. 

"Editor Standard: — 

"As 1 am about to leave Waukon, it may be permanently, I wish to say 'good- 
bye' to my friends here. Being among the first to settle here. I have seen this 
county pass through wonderful changes during the last twenty years; the wilder- 
ness of the prairie changed to rich and fruitful farms, and Waukon grown from 
nothing to be one of the finest villages of the state. One by one I have seen set- 
tlers make their homes here. Many of them, all with whom I have become 
acquainted, I have learned to love as friends. I do not know that I leave a 
single enemy. And so, as I leave you, I wish to bid you good-bye. hoping that 
God will bless you. and that prosperity and happiness may be the portion of all. 

"Truly yours, 

"G. C. Shattuck." 
L'pon which the Standard comments: "We are sorry to have friend Shat- 
tuck go. He is one of the patriarchs. We know of no other that can better lay 
claim to the name. Twenty-one years ago he drove the first wagon onto this 
prairie, and he can better appreciate the changes made than we later comers. 
Such pioneers deserve to be crowned with honor, and be held in grateful remem- 
brance. Mr. Shattuck goes to Missouri, and thence to Kansas. As he came, so 
he now departs overland, driving his own horse team. Xot wonderful, you say? 
Bui he is now eighty-six years old! May God bless the old man, and may he 
enjoy health and strength for many years to come." 

In 1875 he visited Waukon once more, and the following spring, April 0, 
[876, he died at the home of a daughter at Plattville. Wisconsin. 

While the land selected by old man Shattuck was formally claimed and occu- 
pied by him and his sons, it was not actually purchased and paid for until 1854, 
it having been selected by the school fund commissioner as school land, and was 
patented to the purchasers, by the state of Iowa, in the fall of that year. Hence 
it was that in the spring of 1853 George Shattuck and his son Scott executed a 
bond for deed to Allamakee county. None of the land was entered in the old 
man's name, Scott Shattuck taking the southwest quarter of section 30, the 
northwest quarter of section 31 and the northwest of northeast quarter 
of section 31, while I'itt Shattuck took the southeast quarter of section 30. 
Another brother. Nelson Shattuck, bought the southwest of northeast quarter 
of section 31. of the United States government, June 21. 1852. And D. W. 
Vdams, who came in 1853, bought of the state the east half of the northeast 
quarter of section 31, which was also school land, at the same time of the 
Shattuck purchase: and this made up the full square mile of our original city 
corporation. The original forty-acre plat of Waukon was situated partly on the 
land of Scott and partly on that of I'itt Shattuck, and was deeded by them 
jointly, and executed on behalf of I'itt by his brother Scott as his attorney in 
fact, in 1N54, I'itt then being in California. 

It is related that early in 1N50 Scotl Shattuck went to Dubuque after supplies, 
and not returning as expected. I'itt Shattuck went after him and the supplies and 
found that Scott had succumbed to the California gold fever; and he. too. became 
affected by the epidemic and followed Scut to the "Golden State" before bring- 
ing home the supplies. After a couple of years Scott returned with certain very 


necessary supplies, and erected a large hotel, for those days, which was occupied 
in 1853, the first frame house in town, and which is still standing, next west of 
the present Boomer "Grand Hotel." 

Pitt Shattuck was here later, for a time, and his addition, on the west side 
of the original plat, was laid out in 1857. About this time he disposed of all 
his remaining possessions here, mainly in the north and eastern parts of the town, 
and not long after returned to California, and later met his death at the hands 
of assassins in some part of the great wild West. 

Scott Shattuck was the original proprietor of the greater part of Waukon, 
having made no less than four additions to the original plat, besides selling to 
Delafield the tract on which his large addition was platted. Scott Shattuck 
enlisted in Company I, Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry, August 16, 1862, but that 
fall he raised a company of cavalry in Allamakee county, which became Company 
F, Sixth Regiment, and of which he was commissioned captain, and they took 
the field against the Indians in the Northwest. He resigned April 5, 1865, and 
was succeeded by First Lieutenant James Ruth of Lansing. Captain Shattuck 
continued to reside in Waukon, in the house now owned by Henry Carter in the 
Second ward, which he had built before the war, until he went to Kansas, about 
1869, where he was elected to the Kansas legislature in 1870. He was born in 
Illinois, November 20, 1828, and died at his home in Kansas in October, 1909. 
His last visit to Waukon was in September, 1907, when he enjoyed a reunion 
here with several other local pioneers and some members of his old cavalry 
company. A picture of the group is shown on another page. 

Among the pioneers at this reunion was Mr. L. T. Woodcock, who built the 
two-story frame store building directly opposite the Shattuck hotel, in the same 
year, 1853. This was Mr. Woodcock's last visit here also (1907), as he died 
shortly after, at his home in Cresco, where he had resided for many years. 

The forty acres granted by the Shattucks to the county was actually surveyed 
in May, 1853 ; and the original plat of Waukon was admitted to record December 
1 st of that year. 

From 1854 few towns in the West had a more steady, healthy and prosperous 
growth, and in 1856 it increased rapidly in population and business, fifty or sixty 
houses being erected during that year, the excellent farming country around 
filling up and furnishing her tradesmen with a wholesome retail business. The 
town flourished finely through the panic and hard times of '58 and '59, while the 
great majority of western villages were at a standstill or decreasing. Her 
growth was necessarily slow during and following the war, when this community 
made its full share of the tremendous sacrifice called for to preserve our Union, 
but her course was ever upward and onward; and when it became necessary to 
take steps to preserve her prestige among the towns of the county, the entire 
community put aside all petty personal jealousies, and putting their united efforts 
in the endeavor, succeeded in establishing for themselves railroad communica- 
tion with the outside world, in 1877, thereby placing the town and surrounding 
country in the way of a more prosperous career than they had ever enjoyed. 
In the village, builders and mechanics had far more than they could do ; and in 
two years the population was increased nearly 50 per cent, being 1,310 in Sep- 
tember, 1879. 



It has been said that the name Waukon (or Wawkon, as it was invariably 
spelled in the fifties) was that of a Winnebago chief, commonly known as "John 
Wawkon." and was given to this village by John Haney, Jr., at the time the 
county seat was located here. Some have supposed, however, that it was in 
honor of another chief. Wachon-Decorah, after whom Decorah was named, and 
which we find translated in some places as "The White Crow." the prefix 
"Wachon," or "Wakon," apparently being a distinguishing title of greatness or 
power. He had lost an eye. and was usually known as "One-eyed Decori," his 
name being variously spelled in those days, other forms being "Decorrie," 
"De-Kauray," "De-Corie," "Decoria," "Decari" and "Decorra." Wawkon — or 
some form of that word— seems to have been of somewhat common occurrence 
among the Winnebagoes, with whom it would appear to have signified "thunder." 
as we find the signatures to a treaty of February 2~. 1855. to be as follows: 
"Wawkon chaw-hoo-no-kaw, or Little Thunder," and "Wawkon-chaw-koo-kaw, 
The Coming Thunder." Among the Sioux it was also in use, and signified 
"spirit," as. "Minne- Waukon, Spirit Lake," etc. As the Sioux and Winne- 
bagoes are both branches of the great Dakota family, it is natural this term 
should have similar significance with each. Captain Jonathan Carver, in 1766, 
gave his name to a cave of amazing depth near St. Anthony, which he writes was 
called by the Indians. "Wakon-tubi," or "Wakan-tipi." From all of which it 
would seem that among Indians the term from which Waukon is derived origi- 
nally signified something great and powerful, or supernatural. 

X. II. Winchell. in "Aborigines of Minnesota" (p. 508), sums up his 
researches on the significance of this word as follows : 

"The Dakota * * was impressed with the existence of something 

mysterious. Whatever he could not explain he called 'Wakan,' a word 

which did not mean 'sacred' or 'spiritual.' * Anything which indicated 

power whose source he could not discover was 'wakan.' * Whenever he 

was surprised by something new, or saw something wonderful, whatever its 
nature, whether animate or inanimate, his feeling of mystery was embodied in 
the word 'wakan.' " 

In the Lansing Intelligencer, July, 1853. a visit from the venerable chief 
"Wawkon" is recorded, he having encamped near town with over one hundred 
of his braves, lie was then described as being over one hundred years old, and 
as having "a white head and scarred face." And in the Waukon Standard of 
March 12, 1868, we find that "John Waukon, a son of the distinguished Indian 
in honor of whom this village was named, was in town the other day. He is 
physically a line specimen of the red man, standing five feet eleven inches in his 
moccasins, slim and straight as an arrow, with broad shoulders and deep chest." 
Among other documents in his possession was a parchment given to his father, 
bearing the signature of John Quincy Adams, certifying that his father, "a dis- 
tinguished warrior and speaker." had visited the seat of government, held friendly 
council with the President, and assured him of the desire of the Winnebagoes to 
preserve perpetual friendship with the whites. 

Mr. Huffman took a photograph of this "John Waukon," of which the por- 
trait appearing in this volume is probably a copy. What became of the old 





original John has not been established, as his death has been reported at different 
places and dates. Our former townsman G. W. Hays, now deceased, who was 
in business in Lansing in the fifties, said that in 1881 he was accosted by an 
Indian who recognized him and introduced himself as "John Waukon." He 
was a river hand and said he had two brothers, and all of them were "Johns." 
Asked what had become of his father he answered that "he died at Prairie du 
Chien twenty years ago." 

waukon in 1858-1861 

A carefully preserved copy of the Allamakee Herald, issued at "Wawkon," 
Allamakee county, Iowa, July 1, 1858, Frank Pease, editor and proprietor, has 
been brought to light and gives the following interesting exhibit : 


George M. Dean, County Judge, Wawkon; C. J. White, Clerk District Court, 
Wawkon ; Elias Topliff, Recorder and Treasurer, Wawkon ; George W. Camp, 
Prosecuting Attorney, Lansing ; John A. Townsend, Sheriff, Wawkon ; William 
F. Ross, School Fund Commissioner, Rossville ; John B. Suttor, Assessor, 
Monona; William W. Hungerford, County Surveyor, Wawkon; Dr. J. W. Flint, 
County Superintendent of Common Schools, Wawkon ; J. W. Merrill, Drainage 
Commissioner, Lansing (?). 

Among the advertisements the following are represented : 

Prairie du Chien & Wawkon R. R. Co., John T. Clark, President ; Colonel 
J. Spooner, Vice President ; Francis Belfoy, Secretary ; William W. Hungerford, 
Treasurer ; George E. Woodward, Chief Engineer. Offices in Wawkon. 

Attorneys — Camp & Webster (George W. Camp, Lansing, and M. M. Web- 
ster, Wawkon) ; Clark & Clark (John T. and Frederick M.) ; and L. O. Hatch, 

Physicians — J. W. Flint, I. H. Hedge and T. H. Barnes, Waukon ; J. S. 
Green, Hardin. 

J. C. Beedy, Notary Public, Hardin. 

W. W. Hungerford and Walter Delafield, Land and Insurance Agents and 
Notary Public, Wawkon. 

Waukon House, James C. Smith, proprietor; M. O. Walker's stages leave 
this house daily. 

J. Israel, Daguerrean Saloon. 

Piatt Beard, Mason and Plasterer. 

L. H. Clark, Wagon and Carriage Manufacturer. [Mr. Clark gave up this 
trade for that of daguerreotying, at which he prospered. His place was where 
the Catholic church now stands, but he soon after sold out and returned to Peter- 
boro, New Hampshire. He was followed in the picture business by Israel F. 
Alger, who learned of Clark, and also returned to his former home at Winchen- 
don, Massachusetts, became so proficient in the art that he acquired something 
of a competence, which he later lost in unfortunate investments and died in 
poverty. — Ed.] 



P. |. Almquist, Fashionable Tailor. 

S. N. Bailey and L. F. Clark. House, Sign and Carriage Painters. 

James McFadden, Loot and Shoe Maker. 

\Y. R. Pottle. General Merchandise. 

M. Hancock, Hardware. 

lames Blacker, Lime. 

W. S. Cook, General Merchandise. [Succeeding L. T. Woodcock, the pio- 
neer merchant. — Ed. | 

R. C. Armstrong, New Drug Store. [This stood on the north side of Main 
street, directly opposite the Presbyterian church. After the frame was raised 
and partially enclosed it was blown down in a "blizzard."] 

(Sold to Goodykoontz or Raymond. P. O. there.) 

American Hotel, by Sylvester Nichols, at Rossville. 

An item says: A company has been formed in Rossville for the purpose of 
running a line of stages through from Prairie du Chien to Elliota, Minnesota. 

Wheat was 50 cents a bushel, oats 25, potatoes 15, corn 20; eggs, 5 cents a 
dozen; beef, 6 cents a pound; hams, 9; butter, 10 cents. 

The Herald was democratic, to judge by this excerpt from editorial remarks: 
"The army of republican wire-pullers, gamblers and treasury plunderers, which 
met at Iowa City last week, have published what they call their platform,"' 

% yt :*; pff 

It was loyally "boosting" for the town, however, as for example: 
"We hear the ringing of the anvil, the sound of the hammer and saw, the 
puffing of the steam engine, the din of the tin-shop, and the rattle of the carts 
and wagons over the streets. All is bustle and confusion, mechanics of every 
kind busily employed and all kinds of business going ahead vigorously. New 
buildings are springing up in every part of town, lawyers running around with 
clients in their wake. * * Main street is being graded up, and judging 

from present appearances and the spirit of improvement manifested by our enter- 
prising townsmen, we will soon have the finest streets and the prettiest town 
anywhere in the West. As soon as the sidewalks are built along Main and Alla- 
makee >t iLcts * * * Won't it be nice?" 

Two years later the I lerald had disappeared and Babbitt & Merrill were pub- 
lishing the North Iowa Journal at Waukon — the new spelling coming into vogue 
instead of Wawkon. The issue for August \t>, i860, considers the election of 
Lincoln and Hamlin a foregone conclusion. The postmaster at Prairie du Chien 
was requested to send Waukon mail by way of Decorah, as it would then get 
here from one to five days earlier than by the direct route. Contract for building 
Allamakee College was about to be let. Wheat was up to 90 cents in McGregor. 
Additional advertisers were: Hersey Brothers and J. W. Earl, dry goods; 
A. G. Howard, Abbott and G. II. Stevens, carpenters; X. Uailey, mason; E. C. 
Abbot, surveyor; \\ . II. Morrison, jewelry; Lailey & Thompson and T. L. Pay, 
painters; G. H. McClaskey, C. J. Fisher, harness, etc.; M. & W. H. Hancock, 
meat market ; W. Delafield, banker and real estate; Low & Bean, hardware; J. F. 
Lane, ambrotypes; < i. M. Joslyn, real estate; R. C. Armstrong, county superin- 
tendent and postmaster; Belden & Haslip and S. Burlingame, wagon-making; 
Prothero & Shew, cabinel making: A. A. Griffith, elocutionist; S. Nichols, 
hotel: Prof. J. Loughran, Allamakee high school. 



A later copy of the North Iowa Journal, under the same management, the 
issue for April 9, 1861, comments upon the loss of the county seat in the recent 
election : 

"The seat of justice of Allamakee county has been moved to 'the Point 
between the sloughs' on the Mississippi river. 'The Point,' our new seat of 
justice, has no name. We respectfully suggest calling it 'Joslyn's Point.' 

* * * But, why wiltist thou? that's the question; what has become of your 
knees and your backbone and your upper lip? We refer to those few Wau- 
konians who refuse to be comforted because the people of the county have been 
foolish enough to plant their county seat among the bluffs and sloughs of the 
Mississippi. What ! because you are beaten once out of a half-dozen times ?" 

* * * etc. 

The town had three new lawyers : L. G. Calkins, W. E. Rose and J. W. 

The physicians were the same. 

New stores were: McFarland & Shew, R. F. Moody and E. K. Bartlett. 

Drugs and Medicines — Goodykoontz Brothers, Flint & Raymond. 

Other changes and additions were : A. L. Grippen, artesian wells ; John 
Griffin, insurance and real estate; L. Anderson, livery stable; Randall, Calkins & 
Co., Waukon Exchange Bank ; Burlingame & Haslip, blacksmithing, wagons ; 
H. Robinson, cabinetmaker and undertaker; C. J. F. Newell, blacksmith; D. W. 
Adams, sewing machines; M. S. J. Newcomb, lumber, southeast of Rossville; 
J. Valentine, lumber, Capoli. 

E. L. Babbitt had recently been appointed postmaster at Waukon. 


Two unsuccessful attempts to incorporate the town were made before that 
object was accomplished. The first election for this purpose was held February 
29, 1876, resulting in 114 votes against the proposition and 98 in favor. The 
proposed measure was again defeated October 25, 1878, by a vote of 134 against, 
to 108 for. 

At the February, 1883, term of circuit court a petition was presented asking 
for an order to submit the question once more to the voters, which was granted, 
and the court appointed as commissioners to call an election C. S. Stilwell, J. B. 
M inert, G. D. Greenleaf, A. C. Hagemeier and J. L. Okre. The territory sought 
to be incorporated was one mile square, comprising the south half of section 30 
and the north half of section 31, Makee township, and the affidavit accompany- 
ing the petition showed that by an enumeration taken at that time there were 
1,435 actual residents in said territory. The commissioners called an election 
for Monday, April 2, 1883, at the office of C. S. Stilwell, at which election the 
vote was 187 for incorporation and 126 against. Whereupon the clerk of courts 
officially declared the result, by publication, and designated "The Incorporated 
Town of Waukon" as belonging to the third class of incorporations. 

On April 30, 1883, was held the first election for town officers, at which the 
following were selected, to serve until the first regular annual election in 
March, 1884: Mayor, J. F. Dayton; Recorder, E. M. Hancock; Trustees, D. H. 
Bowen, C. D. Beeman, H. Low, G. D. Greenleaf, E. K. Spencer and M. Stone. 


The first meeting of the town council was held May 2, 1883, in the office of 
Dayton & Dayton, at which preliminary committees were appointed; and on 
May 15th the council elected: Treasurer, L. W. Hersey ; Marshal and Street 
Commissioner, J. A. Townsend. 

On this date the council contracted with F. H. Robbins for the use of a room 
in his building on the corner of Main and Allamakee streets, being the third 
room from the entrance on the second floor thereof, for a council room, at $30 
a vear, including fuel, lights and furniture, reserving occupancy by himself when 
not in use by the council. On the 16th several important ordinances came up 
for action, and Ordinance No. 3 was adopted, fixing the license of saloons at 
$500 per year, and within the next few months no less than five such places 
were licensed, and continued until closed by the enforcement of the prohibitory 
law in 1886. This first council of course had many important measures before 
it. perhaps the most important being the establishment of street grades and the 
constructing of a flood sewer across Spring avenue. July 14th specifications 
were adopted for a five-foot sewer to follow the survey made by J. H. Hale, 
"from the southeast corner of Stilwell & Low's building, across Main street and 
Spring avenue diagonally to the west side of Spring avenue near the end of the' 
present sewer wdiere the same discharges into the creek." August 7th a con- 
tract was let for same to the lowest bidder, S. Peck & Son, for $1,250. or 384 
feet at $3.25 per running foot ; and later this was extended north in the alley 
from the point of beginning. The work was fully completed and sewer accepted 
December 4th following the total cost being $1,456.25. At this meeting the 
council elected E. M. Hancock assessor, but he declining at the next meeting, 
O. M. Nelson was elected. 

At the annual election March 3, 1S84, an entire new board of trustees was 
elected, consisting of Henry Carter, M. C. Ferris, J. S. Johnson, H. Simonsen, 
J. A. Taggart and F. H. Robbins. Mr. Robbins was elected against his wishes 
and resigned March 18th, and the council elected C. M. Beeman to fill the 
vacancy. A. \Y. Lee was appointed marshal and street commissioner. From 
this time until the town became a city of the second class, in 1901, the following 
officers served : 

Mayor— J. F. Dayton, 1883-5; A. G. Stewart, 1885-7; J- F. Dayton, 1887-8; 
Mayor Dayton resigned January 7, 1888 (being a member of the State Legislature 
then in session 1, and to fill the vacancy the council elected C. S. Stilwell, 1888-9; 
D. II. I'.owen, 1889-90; L. M. Bearce, 1890-2; M. W. Eaton, 1892-7; R. M. 
Slitor, [897-1900; Douglass Deremore, 1900-1. Recorder— E. M. Hancock, 
[883-95; C. L - Bearce, 1895-1901. Treasurer— L. W. Hersey, 1883-9; G. J. 
Helming, [889-90; I.. W. Hersey, 1890-6; W. E. Beddow, 1896-7; A. T. Nie'r- 
ling. [897-1901. Marshal and Street Commissioner— 1. A. Townsend, 1883-4; 
\. VV. Lee, [884-5; D. R. Walker. 1885-8; J. B. Minert, 1888, resigned June 5, 
18N8, and R. A. Nichols, [888-9, resigned October 16, 1889, and L. B. Oleson, 
1889-91; J. C. Robey, [891-3 1 died in March, 1893); E. W. Cummens, 1893- 
[QOO; Dan Regan, [900-1 1 from time to time a night marshal was appointed by 
the town and paid by the business houses; Dan Williams served in this capacity 
for man) years). Assessor— O. M. Nelson, Jackson Smith, S. R. Thompson 
and Robert Wampler, the latter serving from 1893 to 1901. 


Trustees (after 1884) — 1885-6, M. C. Ferris, J. H. Heiser, Levi Hubbell, 
J. S. Johnson, J. B. Minert, J. A. Taggart. Mr. Ferris resigned April 21, 1885, 
and C. M. Beeman elected to vacancy. 

1886-7, C. M. Beeman, J. H. Heiser, Levi Hubbell, J. S. Johnson, J. B. 
Minert, J. W. Hinchon, the latter resigned May 18, 1886, and H. F. Opfer elected 

to vacancy. 

1887-8, C. M. Beeman, James Duffy, J. H. Heiser, Levi Hubbell, J. B. Minert, 

H. F. Opfer. 

1888-9, c - M - Beeman, James Duffy, M. W. Eaton, J. H. Heiser, Levi Hub- 
bell, H. F. Opfer. 

1889-90, James Duffy, M. W. Eaton, J. H. Heiser, J. B. Minert, H. F. Opfer, 
Halvor Simonsen. Minert resigned November 19, 1889, and Levi Armstrong 
elected to vacancy. 

1890-1, Levi Armstrong, James Duffy, M. W. Eaton, J. H. Heiser, H. F. 
Opfer, H. Simonsen. 

1891-2, Levi Armstrong, James Duffy, M. W. Eaton, J. H. Heiser, H. F. 
Opfer, H. Simonsen. 

1892-3, James Duffy, W. T. Gilchrist, J. H. Heiser, J. B. Minert, H. F. 
Opfer, H. Simonsen. Heiser resigned May 16, 1892, and S. R. Thompson 
elected to vacancy. 

1893-4, C. A. Beeman, Henry Carter, W. T. Gilchrist, H. G. Johnson, J. B. 
Minert, H. Simonsen. 

1894-5, same as preceding year. 

1895-6, C. A. Beeman, Henry Carter, H. G. Fisher, H. G. Johnson, Henry 
Krieger, J. B. Minert. Minert resigned November 18, 1895, and H. J. Bentley 
elected to vacancy. 

1896-7, C. A. Beeman, H. J. Bentley, H. Carter, H. G. Fisher, H. G. Johnson, 
H. Krieger. 

1897-8, C. A. Beeman, H. J. Bentley, H. Carter, H. G. Fisher, H. Krieger, 
I. B. Minert. Beeman resigned March 15, 1897, and J. M. Murray elected to 

1898-9, H. J. Bentley, H. Carter, E. Dillenberg, H. Krieger, J. B. Minert, 
J. M. Murray. 

1 899- 1900, same as preceding year. 

1900-1, E. Dillenberg, H. Krieger, J. M. Murray, P. S. Narum, H. F. Opfer, 
S. M. Taylor. 

Among the important works undertaken in the eighties and early nineties 
were the building of substantial stone arch bridges where the creek crosses the 
principal streets, the grading of Main and Allamakee streets and the Rossville 
road, and the macadamizing of streets in the business section, including Ross- 
ville road to the railroad station, for which a rock-crusher was purchased in the 
summer of 1893. 

At the expiration of the lease of Mr. Robbins in the fall of 1884 the council 
leased of E. M. Hancock the front room in the second story of his building on 
the east side of Spring avenue, known as the Standard Block, for one year. 
After this the meetings were held in the offices of the successive mayors, Stewart, 
Bowen, Dayton, but chiefly in that of C. S. Stilwell, which latter office was 
Anally occupied regularly until the spring of 1891, when a lot was leased of 


].}',. M inert near his elevator on the east side of West street, and a small iron- 
clad frame building erected thereon for a council room and housing of the fire 
apparatus. The first council meeting here was held June 16, 1891, and the city 
continued to occupy this little building until the erection of the present hand- 
some brick building on Courthouse square in 1902. 

Jn the summer of 1894 tne so-called mulct law went into effect, whereupon 
the city council adopted an ordinance. No. 102, fixing the license for the sale of 
intoxicating liquors at $500, and several saloons were soon running again. At 
a later date, in May, 1895, the license was increased to $600, at which rate they 
continued to operate until in 191 1 the board of supervisors decided that the 
new consent petitions were insufficient, and the city has since been "dry." 

In October, 1898, the boundaries of the town were enlarged somewhat by the 
annexation of a three-acre piece lying on the Union Prairie side of the west line, 
lot 1 in the east half of southeast quarter of section 25-98-6, being the residence 
lot of Dan Williams, city marshal, thus making him a resident of the corporation. 


The Federal census of 1900 having shown that the population of Waukon 
was over 2000 (2153), the necessary proceedings were taken to perfect the organ- 
ization as a city of the second class, and the city was divided into three wards; 
the first comprising all that portion lying east of Allamakee street, Spring avenue, 
and the Rossville road ; the second all that part to the west of that line and south 
of Main street ; and the third ward all the remaining area to the north and west. 

At a regular meeting of the city council in May, 1901, resolutions were 
adopted directing city solicitor A. G. Stewart to revise and codify the existing 
ordinances of the city, with a view to publishing in book form. His work was 
well done, the revision was adopted by the council on June 30, 1902, and pub- 
lished in a convenient form, making a book of 262 pages besides a full index. 

The next important work taken up by the city council was the providing of 
an appropriate city building for the convenience of the council and city officers, 
as well as the public, and the proper care of the fire department and its equip- 
ment, and the preservation of the city records. This was accomplished during 
the year 1902 in the construction of the beautiful and substantial city hall on 
courthouse square, at a cost of about $8,000. 

The first floor of this contains a large council room, also used for city and 
general elect ion-, a city clerk's office, with fire-proof vault for the records, and 
mayor's office. The latter is at present occupied by the public library, and the 
large room for a reading room in connection therewith, the council meetings 
being usually held in the clerk's office. The basement is devoted to the fire 
department's equipment, the floor being on the grade of Court street; and the 
second story has recently been handsomely finished oft" at the expense of the 
Pioneer Fire Company, for their meetings and club room. 

Since becoming a city of the second class, in 1901, the official roster has been 
as follows : 

Mayor— C. A. Beeman, 1901-05; D. H. Bowen, 1905-06 (resigned in March 
[906, and M. VV. Eaton elected to vacancy 1 ; M. W. Eaton. 1906-09; T. B. Stock, 
[909-1 1 ; I. E. Beeman, [911-13. 


Clerk — C. L. Bearce, 1901-02; C. M. Stone, 1902-n; J. D. Cowan, 1911-13. 

Treasurer — H. Carter, 1901-09; M. A. Wittlinger, 1909-13. 

Assessor — Robert Wampler, 1901-05; S. R. Thompson, 1905-n; Robert 
Wampier, 1911-13. 

City solicitor — A. G. Stewart, 190J-05; H. H. Stilwell, 1905-07; H. L. Day- 
ton, 1907-13. 

Marshal — Dan Williams, 1901-09; James Foley, 1909-12. Offices of marshal 
and street commissioner were then combined, and deputy marshal dispensed 

Deputy marshal and street commissioner — E. VV. Cummens, 1901-03; John 
Painter, 1903-04; Lawrence King, 1904-12. 

Marshal and street commissioner — Lawrence King, 1912-13. 

Councilmen — 1901-02: First ward, N. Colsch Jr. and T. F. O'Brien; second 
ward, Joseph Haines and Halvor Simonsen ; third ward, E. W. Goodykoontz and 
R. I. Steele. 

1902-03: First ward, N. Colsch Jr. and T. F. O'Brien; second ward, Joseph 
Haines and H. Simonsen ; third ward, E. W. Goodykoontz and R. I. Steele. 

1903-04: First ward, C. L. Bearce and T. F. O'Brien; second ward, J. A. 
Markley and H. Simonsen ; third ward, E. W. Goodykoontz and R. I. Steele. 

1904-05 : First ward, C. L. Bearce and T. B. Stock ; second ward, Joseph 
Haines and J. A. Markley ; third ward, E. W. Goodykoontz and L. B. Oleson. 

1905-06 : First ward, C. L. Bearce and T. B. Stock ; second ward, Joseph 
Haines and Ellison Orr ; third ward, F. G. Barnard and L. B. Oleson. 

1906-07 : First ward, C. L. Bearce and T. B. Stock ; second ward, J. C. 
Ludeking and Ellison Orr; third ward, F. G. Barnard and L. B. Oleson. 

1907-08: First ward, C. L. Bearce and T. B. Stock; second ward, J. C. 
Ludeking and Ellison Orr ( the latter resigned in December '07 and D. E. Hoag 
was elected to fill vacancy) ; third ward, F. G. Barnard and L. B. Oleson (the 
latter removed from the city in '07 and R. I. Steele was elected to vacancy). 

1908-09: First ward, C. L. Bearce and T. B. Stock; second ward, J. C. 
Ludeking and D. E. Hoag (councilman Hoag died in July '08 and Jas. A. Markley 
appointed to fill vacancy) ; third ward, F. G. Barnard and R. I. Steele. 

1909-11: First ward. C. L. Bearce; second ward, Jas. A. Markley; third 
ward, John M. Lee ; at large, R. I. Steele and T. F. O'Brien. 

1911-13: First ward, T. F. O'Brien; second ward, Jas. A. Markley; third 
ward. J. M. Lee; at large, W. H. Niehaus and Fred Straate. 

1913: First ward, C. J. Hale; second ward, F. A. Ludeking; third ward, 
J. M. Lee; at large, W. H. Niehaus and Fred Straate. 

Dr. D. H. Strock has been health officer almost continuously since the town 
was incorporated, except for intervals in which Dr. J. C. Crawford and Dr. 
D. H. Bowen served. 

At the city election in the spring of 1913 it was voted to annex the grounds 
of the Allamakee County Agricultural Society, thus adding about twenty acres 
to the area of the corporation. This was deemed advisable for the reason that 
the city water-works plant is situated thereon ; and the fair grounds being also 
used for race meetings and base ball it was best to bring it all under the control 
of the city authorities. On the part of the Agricultural Society it was desirable, 
because they had become involved for necessary improvements and expenses, 


and had in 1905 transferred the entire property to the city upon its assuming 
and paving off their debts to the amount of something over $4,000. The city 
leases the grounds to the society for all purposes of county fairs and race meet- 
ings, so the arrangement is mutually advantageous. 

About the year 1901 the council caused to be made a complete survey of the 
city for the purpose of establishing by permanent markers the center lines and 
intersections of all the streets, and corners of blocks. This important work was 
entrusted to Civil Engineer Ellison Orr, with the result that he produced an 
elaborate map of the city on a scale of 100 feet to the inch, with minute details, 
which is of great value. 

At the present writing steps are being taken for the paving of the business 
streets with concrete and brick. 

waukon's financial condition 
Spring of 1913 

Assessed valuation for lands, lots and personal property except 

moneys and credits $328,000.00 

Moneys and credits 326,000.00 


Sewer outlet bonds outstanding, 5 per cent $ 2,500.00 

Refunding bonds outstanding, 4 per cent 8,000.00 

Robertson judgment 3,458.26 

Total indebtedness of all kinds owing by city $13,958.26 

To offset this indebtedness as it becomes due the city 

has the following cash assets : — 

Cash on hand in the several funds $ 7,377.34 

I )ue from county treasurer " 3,500.00 

1 lalance of city indebtedness 3,080.92 

Total $13,958.26 

Properly owned by city. 

Waterworks system $ 46,000.00 

( ity hall 10,000.00 

lair grounds 4,500.00 

Sewer outlet and septic tank 7,500.00 


I In- tax levy fur city purposes for the past four years were as follows: 

In the year [909 24 mills 

In the year mm 23 1-2 mills 

In the year 191 1 27 mills 

In the year 1912 21 mills 



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In addition to the 21-mill tax in the year 1912, the city levied a 10-mill tax 
to pay the Robertson judgment in full, said judgment being the result of litigation 
begun in 1902. This together with a i-mill raise by the state, and a 4-mill school 
tax raise, over which the city has no jurisdiction, accounts for the extra high taxes 
this year. 

The past two years the city revenue was reduced $2,700 per year, this being 
the amount of mulct tax formerly derived from saloons. 

This concise statement was compiled from the city records for the information 
of the public, by J. D. Cowan, city accountant, attested by the mayor and council. 


At a meeting to organize a hook and ladder company, held March 16, 1869, 
Robert Isted in the chair, a committee previously appointed reported the names 
of sixty signers. Those present proceeded to elect a captain and five assistants, 
as follows: Chas. M. Bailey, captain; H. H. Stilwell, 1st assistant; D. W. 
Adams, 2d assistant; N. Herron, 3d assistant; C. J. F. Newell, 4th assistant; 
Augustus K. Pratt, 5th assistant; A. J. Rodgers, secretary; H. Low, treasurer. 
Committee on constitution and by-laws, W. C. Earle, C. J. F. Newell, D. W. 

That there had been a prior organization of this character is evidenced by a 
notice appearing in the Waukon Standard at this time calling upon all persons 
having any articles belonging to the hook and ladder company to bring them at 
once to the corner of Main and Allamakee streets. 

In 1870, September 15th, occurred the first important fire in the business 
section, destroying the Belden blacksmith shop, where Martin's furniture store 
now stands and the buildings on Allamakee street north to the stone block. 
But we find nothing further in the newspaper files about a fire company until 
after the fire of April 14, 1878, which burned the Farley saloon and the Rankin 
building, an old landmark which stood where the D. J. Murphy block now is. 
It was built by Uriah Whaley in 1856, and the upper part at one time served 
as a lock-up. 

A preliminary meeting looking toward the organization of a fire company 
was then held at the courthouse, April 25th, at which D. W. Adams was chair- 
man and A. M. May secretary, and it was voted to organize a hook and ladder 
company. A committee was appointed to raise funds for the employment of a 
night watchman; and adjournment had to April 29. The adjourned meeting 
proceeded to organize a company to be called the Pioneer Fire Company, D. W. 
Adams was elected foreman, D. W. Reed first assistant, and a committee named 
to solicit membership. May 2d the organization was completed by electing 
F. H. Robbins, 2d assistant ; C. W. Jenkins, 3d assistant ; John Murray. 4th 
assistant ; John Oprecht, 5th assistant ; G. M. Dean, 6th assistant ; E. B. Gibbs, 
7th assistant; E. K. Spencer, 8th assistant; A. J. Rodgers was elected secretary; 
John Farnsworth, treasurer. May 10th, John Oprecht was elected night-watch- 
man. At later meetings by-laws, rules and regulations were adopted, and a 
committee appointed to solicit funds for purchase of equipment. The foreman 
and assistants were directed to take charge of all hooks and ladders that were 


previously made and had become scattered. And August 8th there was talk of 
buying a hand-brake fire engine. 

Then the "big fire" occurred on the night of August 16, 1878, destroying ten 
frame buildings in block 10, north of Main street, and only with the greatest 
difficulty was it then stayed. It originated in the two-story frame store and 
dwelling of John P. Farnsworth. where the First National Bank is now, and 
burned two frame buildings to the east, being stopped in this direction at the 
west wall of the Hale brick block, in the middle of their present store. To the 
west it devoured the buildings of W. A. Pottle, Nesmith & Gilchrist, Luther 
(lark and L. O. Bearce, to the space burned out in the previous April. In the 
rear of these the Rankin barn, Hersey & Stone warehouse, and the large hotel 
barn of Tovey & Goodykoontz were consumed. The rear of the two frames on 
Allamakee street occupied by R. G. Pratt and Miss Candee. now replaced by 
the Hale grocery and the Stilwell office building were badly damaged. It may be 
recorded here, that this fire was incendiary, and was planned and executed from 
a small frame saloon located further to the west in the same row, which was 
"saved" by the intervening space before mentioned. The facts were nearly 
two years in coming to light, and the principals were finally punished with a 
brief term in the pen. The public exercised considerable leniency towards the 
culprits, partly because the old frame buildings were promptly replaced with 
substantial brick structures. But this by no means lessened the enormity of the 
offense in setting fire to buildings in which people were sleeping, although they 
fortunately escaped with their lives. The town was utterly unprepared to 
combat a lire of any magnitude, the local press recording the fact that a few 
unsuitable ladders and one large hook were the only equipment available. The 
old-fashioned bucket lines to cisterns, wells and springs, was the only water 
supply. A meeting of the fire company was called immediately after, but 
no record of the proceedings is found. 

After the incorporation of the town in 1883 the question of fire protection 
was agitated from lime to time, but no action was aroused for several years, 
and nunc but small fires occurred, until the night of April 10. 1890, when the 
Kennedy store building was burned. This by the way was an old land-mark, 
a one-story frame, built by Washington lieale in about the year 1855. He 
became postmaster in 1856, and the postoffice remained in this building for three 
years. This lire also destroyed two one-story frames to the south, where the 
Dillenberg block now is, but spared the little old courthouse. 

Sometime in [890 the council obtained of A. P. Petrehn of New Albin a small 
hand lire engine on approval, and a few hundred feet of hose, which played an 
important part in the next fire, the burning of the Boomer Opera House on 
the nighl of February 12, 1891. with the two frame buildings to the west. In 
our mind'- eye we can -till see E. 1'.. Gibbs on his back in the gutter to escape 
the heal, while directing the nozzle of this little machine to play upon the fronts 
of the brick buildings opposite the lire, which helped to save them. The town 
council concluded thai the machine had paid for itself, and purchased it of 
Mr. Petrehn soon after. It is still preserved by the tire company as a relic, 
but it is still capable of good service for a small place. P.efore the month of 
February was ended the burning of the National House barn and Winter's livery 
called for something to be done. 


Pursuant to previous announcement a meeting was held at the city council 
room March 4, 1891, for the purpose of organizing a fire company, as proposed 
at a citizens' meeting, held on the evening of February 25th. C. M. Beeman was 
made chairman and T. C. Medary secretary. It appearing that a sufficient 
amount had not yet been subscribed to purchase the necessary outfit, the meeting 
adjourned until March 6th, for permanent organization, providing the $400 
required for equipment be then in sight. At the adjourned meeting March 6, 
1891, the financial requirements having been met, the proposed rules and regula- 
tions for the government of the company were read, and adopted article by 
article by the volunteers present, who then completed the organization of 
"Pioneer Fire Company No. 1," by electing officers for the ensuing year as 
follows : Foreman, Hans G. Johnson ; assistant foreman, James E. Duffy ; sec- 
retary, C. M. Beeman ; treasurer, R. J. Alexander. 

The volunteer members of the company who signed the original roll, which 
is carefully preserved were : Max Wittlinger, R. B. May, R. J. Alexander, Max 
J. Walker, A. B. Boomer, C. L. Reid, Henry Greeling, John Holahan, J. H. 
Heiser, Wm. Blanchard, Geo. Stone, J. B. Hays, J. S. Johnson, E. B. Gibbs, 
H. G. Fisher, H. G. Johnson, W. H. Hale, M. Heiser, Jr., H. Krieger, Frank 
Zimmerman, C. M. Beeman, C. L. Bearce, Jas. A. Markley, W. C. Brownell, 
Herman Thies, T. J. Kelleher, J. E. Duffy," H. V. Duffy, J. E. Mills, Leslie 
Bearce, Jerry Casey, J. C. Larson, L. A. Howe and A. B. Clarke. 

New members were admitted by ballot from time to time until the limit of 
fifty members was attained. The company prqceeded to purchase equipments, 
and interested its members with regular stated drills with the city fire apparatus. 

In April, 1891, the town purchased a Howe Chemical Hand Engine for 
$575, which saw service in several instances and doubtless was a good invest- 
ment at that time. After the installation of the waterworks this machine was 
sold, in 1899, in exchange for $200 worth of hose. In 1893 the community was 
deeply stirred by a series of barn fires, undoubtedly of incendiary origin, and 
in at least two instances dwellings and lives were endangered. No prosecutions 
were had, but the need of increased protection was demonstrated, and steps 
were taken for the securing of a water supply. April 17, 1895, the northeast 
corner of Main and Allamakee streets was the second time burned off, which 
probably had an effect upon the election which had been called for April 22nd, 
resulting in the carrying of the city waterworks proposition by a decided vote. 
This fire originated in the Duffy store, second from the corner, and the O'Brien 
building next north was saved. The Martin store to the east was destroyed, 
but rebuilt with brick the same year. The corner was soon rebuilt with the 
present three-story bricks, and this was the last serious fire the town has expe- 
rienced to this date, an immunity largely due to the effective organization of our 
fire company. We have at hand no statistics of the calls to which they have 
responded, but they have been numerous, and have demonstrated the efficiency 
of the fire department and the system. 

The city water system comprises two drilled wells 577 feet deep, one Downie 
double acting pump driven by electric motor, capacity 100 gallons per minute, 
directly over well; pumps to 1 16,000-gallon stand-pipe, 14 feet in diameter and 
100 feet high. For emergency, one Smith Vaile fire pump located over well, 


capacity 100,000 gallons per day. Also one steam engine to drive' Downie pump. 
Six and a half miles of 4, 6 and 8-inch mains, with 54 double hydrants. 

The fire department consists of forty-nine members, with three hose carts 
and 1,200 feet of 2j^-inch hose, one hook and ladder truck with full equipment. 
Alarm bell on steel tower at city hall, operated from telephone exchange. 

The Pioneer Fire Company, having the use of the upper floor of the city 
hall, have finished off the principal room and furnished it very pleasantly for 
their place of meeting, reading and recreation, and have invested something like 
S750 for this purpose. They have always been liberally patronized by the 
public in their entertainments, as they have themselves promptly responded to 
public call. A membership in such a company is an honor worth while. 

Since the organization of the company in 1891, its officers have been as 
follows : 

Foreman— H. G. Johnson to July, 1895; Win. Blanchard to March, 1896; 
A. B. Clarke to 1906. (The office has been designated as "Chief" since 1902) ; 
R. B. May, 1906-08; B. O. Swebakken, 1908 to 1913. 

Assistant — M. A. Wittlinger to ; J. M. Frederick, 1906-08; Lawrence 

King, 1908-12; F. A. Ludeking, 1912 to present time. 

Secretary — C. L. Bearce since November, 1891. 

Treasurer — R. J. Alexander since organization, March, 1891. 

The present subordinate officers are: Hook and Ladder Company, Herman 
Thies. captain; Hose Company No. 1. E. W. Kiesau, captain; Hose Company 
No. 2. John DeWild, captain. 

In .May, 1891, C. \Y. Jenkins was appointed chief of the fire department; 
but for the past many years D. R. Walker has filled this position efficiently, now 
designated as Fire Marshal. 


On the 30th of July, 1894, the city council adopted an ordinance granting an 
exclusive franchise to M. B. Hendrick to erect and maintain an electric light 
and power plant for a period of seven years, which was approved at a special 
election held August 13th following.; but the terms and conditions under which 
the franchise was granted not being complied with it was allowed to lapse. 
March 28, 1896, a like franchise was granted Chas. F. Speed, which was 
approved at a special election held April 21st, and a plant was installed the same 

In (896 also the town acquired telephone facilities, upon the extending of 
suitable privileges to the Standard Telephone Company for the use of the streets 
for necessary poles and wires. The Iowa Union Telephone Company had pre- 
viously obtained permission and strung its wires to the courthouse, in 1887. 

By a vote of the electors in the year 1895, tlle city council was authorized to 
take the necessary steps toward the establishment of a waterworks system, and 
to issue bonds to pay for same. Contracts were duly entered into, and a well 
drilled on the county fair grounds north of the city limits, by Palmer & Sandbo, 
which was accepted in June, 1896, at a cost of Si, 443. 75; the well having a 
depth of - ? 77 l A feet, and supplying an abundance of excellent water. A pumping 
station and stand-pipe were thereupon erected, and in the course of the summer 


the mains were laid, by contractors Crellin & Lovell, and the system put into 
operation under management of the city authorities. Some two years later it 
was found advisable to have a second well drilled, but it was not completed and 
accepted until September, 1899. From time to time the system has been extended, 
until it now comprises over six miles of 4 to 8-inch mains, besides a considerable 
extent of 2-inch pipe. 

A complete modern sewerage system was installed in the years 1910-11. 
Bids for the work were opened June 1, 1910, ten in number and ranging from 
$20,492.75 to $27,069.62, and contract let to the lowest bidders, Thill-Manning- 
Whalen Company, who completed about two-thirds of the work that year and 
the balance the following spring and summer. The outlet and septic tank was 
contracted and completed by John A. Dahlsad. This with extra compensation 
for various expenses not contemplated in the specifications bringing the total 
cost of the plant to approximately $25,000. 


On the 9th of May, 1857, several of the prominent citizens of Lansing 
adopted articles of incorporation of the "Lansing, Northern Iowa and Southern 
Minnesota Railroad Company," to build a railroad to the state line, towards the 
south bend of the St. Peters river in Minnesota, with a capital of $4,000,000. 
Not to be outdone, Waukon proceeded to organize the "Prairie du Chien & 
Mankato R. R. Company," with a capital of $5,000,000, the articles of incor- 
poration of which were signed at Waterville, October 15, 1857, by Scott Shat- 
tuck, F. Belfoy, Wm. F. Ross, W. H. Morrison, J. Beebe, N. A. Beebe, Col. 
1. Spooner, W. W. Hungerford, Geo. E. Woodward and L. T. Woodcock. The 
board of directors for the first year consisted of John T. Clark, William H. 
Morrison, J. Spooner, Francis Belfoy, Geo. E. Woodward, N. A. Beebe, William 
F. Ross, William W. Hungerford, A. B. Webber, J. T. Atkins, H. L. Douse- 
man, Albert L. Collins, and T. R. Perry; and the officers were: John T. Clark, 
president; Francis Belfoy, secretary; W. W. Hungerford, treasurer, and Geo. 
E. Woodward, chief engineer. The last mentioned has since become an architect 
of mere than national reputation. Books were opened for the subscription of 
stock, and the line surveyed that fall through Winneshiek and Mitchell counties 
to the state line, commencing at the mouth of Paint creek. 

We find a record of October 20, 1858, when the second annual meeting of 
the board of directors was held in the office of the company here. That meet- 
ing was largely attended and very enthusiastic. Every county along the line 
was represented. Over $14,000 stock was subscribed on that day. Letters were 
read from distinguished railroad men in Wisconsin and Minnesota, all speaking 
unqualifiedly of the Paint creek route as the very best west from the Mississippi 
in northern Iowa, and predicting its completion at an early day. For the second 
year T- T. Atkins was president; N. A. Beebe, vice-president; Hungerford, secre- 
tary, and J. T. Clark, treasurer and attorney. 

April 27, '59, a delegation from Waukon attended an enthusiastic railroad 
meeting at Prairie du Chien, and were met at Johnsonsport by the ferry boat 
and brass band from that town. But it was all of no use. All hope was not 
abandoned, however, and April 15, 1862, the "Prairie du Chien and Austin R. R. 

Vol. 1—17 



Company" was incorporated. This also came to naught, and February 4, '63, 
was organized the "Prairie du Chien and Cedar Valley Railroad Company," 
which resulted as had the others. 

In 1871 the B., C. R. & M. road was extending up towards Postyille, with 
the intention, as stated in railroad meetings at Independence and elsewhere, 
of extending on northeast by way of Waukon to the river. This gave new hope, 
Only to be followed by disappointment again. Then Judge Williams' narrow 
gauge enterprise was planned and partially executed. Propositions were made 
Co Waukon in 1872 for a branch to this place. We accepted, and did our full 
part, by way of voting aid, subscriptions, surveying, etc., till the eastern financial 
end of it collapsed, causing an abandonment of the project, but not until several 
lines were surveyed to Waukon from the Iowa Eastern, by way of Monona 
and Postville. 

Waukon had become used to disappointments by this time, and the subject 
was pretty much at rest till the fall of 1874. Then Lansing began to agitate 
the county scat question again. This was the one thing needed to rouse our 
citizens to action, and they took hold of the matter in earnest. After consider- 
able talk and canvassing of the matter, articles of incorporation of the Waukon 
and Mississippi R. R. Company were adopted, with the following incorporators: 
W. C. Earle, A. F. Robbins, C. Paulk, Jacob Plank, H..S. Cooper, John Goody- 
koontz, P. G. Wright, C. Barnard, H. G. Grattan, Jeptha Beebe, C. O. Howard, 
1, P. Eells, IF H. Stilwell, C. W. Jenkins, G. M. Dean, F. M. Clark, C. S. 
Stilwell, I. W. Pratt, F. Howes, J. A. Townsend and James Duffy. Until the 
first election by the stockholders, the officers consisted of C. D. Beeman, presi- 
dent; H. S. Cooper, vice-president; C. S. Stilwell, secretary, and John Goody- 
koontz, treasurer. At the annual meeting of the stockholders, April 6th, officers 
for the ensuing year were elected as follows : D. W. Adams, president ; C. D. 
Beeman, vice-president; Martin Stone, secretary; F. W. Hersey, treasurer; and 
(i. W. Stoddard, W. C. Earle, Jas. Holahan, H. G. Grattan, II. II. Stilwell. and 
Fred ! lager, directors. 

The directors authorized a survey as soon as possible, which was begun April 
10. [875, and completed May 21, under the direction of D. W. Adams, J. H. 
I [ale, and J. W. Earle. Meanwhile a committee had been at work since January 
securing the right of way. May 22, payment of accrued claims was provided 
for. Contracts for grading were let May 28th, and about the first of June dirt 
began to fly, high hope being entertained of the completion of the road that 
fall. The grading was completed late that summer, many of the bridges put in, 
and ties gol out ready for the rail. It was at first the intention to lay a hard- 
wood rail, lint at a meeting August 25th, iron was decided upon. In December, 
an attempt was made to negotiate a loan, which failed, as did a similar attempt 
in January following. The difficulty was not so much in securing the money 
wherewith to purchase the iron, as in obtaining it on such terms as would save 
the road to the stockholders and not make it necessary that it should pass from 
their control. Efforts to this end were continually being made. At the general 
meeting in \pnl. [876, the old officers and directors were reelected. Up to 
April 1st the sum of S33.533.57 had actually been collected on stock subscrip- 
tions. March 15th. a law was passed by the general assembly permitting town- 
ships and incorporations to aid in the construction of railroads, and in accordance 


therewith an election was held in Makee township April 26th, at which a five 
per cent tax was voted by 342 to 101. Union Prairie township voted a three 
per cent tax May 17th, by 113 to 51; but aid was refused by Ludlow May 
19th, where a three per cent tax was asked, by Jefferson, May 22d (the same), 
and by Hanover, May 25th, where only a two per cent tax was called for. 

June 10, 1876, the W. & M. R. R. Security Company was organized for the 
purpose of devising means for completing the road, but was dissolved September 
19th, the securities furnished by the members being returned to them. And on 
the same date the W. & M. R. R. Guarantee Company was organized, for the 
purpose of completing, equipping, maintaining and operating said railroad. The 
incorporators were : Dudley W. Adams, L. W. Hersey, Holahan & Buggy, J. W. 
Pratt, A. Hersey, Henry Dayton, E. K. Spencer, W. C. Earle, A. J. Hersey, 
A. E. Robbins, A. Plubiska, C. W. Jenkins, C. D. Beeman, H. G. Grattan, H. H. 
Stilwell, Low & Stillman, John A. Taggart, J. H. Hale, Lewis Reid, Azel Pratt. 
And the officers : D. W. Adams, president ; C. D. Beeman, vice-president ; J. W. 
Pratt, secretary; L. W. Hersey, treasurer; H. G. Grattan, auditor. The assets 
of the W. & M. R. R. Company were leased to the Guarantee Company for a 
number of years for the purpose indicated. In December the iron was contracted 
for in Milwaukee, upon favorable terms ; and an order was made to enforce 
the collection of delinquent stock. 

At the annual meeting of the original railroad company in April, 'jj, the 
following officers were elected : D. W. Adams, president ; C. D. Beeman, 
vice-president ; H. G. Grattan, secretary ; L. W. Hersey, treasurer ; James Hola- 
han, Conrad Helming, W. C. Earle, H. H. Stilwell and C. W. Jenkins, directors. 
June 30th J. H. Hale was elected chief engineer. July 27th H. G. Grattan 
resigned as auditor and Jas. Holahan was elected. September 3rd, at the annual 
election of the Guarantee Company, D. W. Adams was reelected president, A. E. 
Robbins, vice-president ; J. W. Pratt, secretary ; L. W. Hersey, treasurer, and 
Jas. Holahan, auditor. 

H. H. Stilwell was attorney for the company, and D. W. Adams general 
superintendent of the road. 

In July, 1877, first mortgage bonds were issued to the amount of about $30 - 
000, and taken by Messrs. Fairbank, Bradley and Parks, of Massachusetts, 
interest eight per cent payable semi-annually. And a short loan of $15,000 was 
secured from J. H. Fairbank of Winchendon, Massachusetts, ample real estate 
security being given. The rolling stock was purchased the latter part of that 
month, and the delivery of iron began early in August. Track-laying began Sep- 
tember 4th; the locomotive was received September nth; reached Waterville, 
nine miles, September 25th ; and on October 27th, fifty-three days from the time 
the first rail was laid, the track was completed, twenty-three miles, to Waukon. 

Thus, after twenty years of disappointments, hoping, waiting, and working. 
Waukon became a railroad town, with a road of her own building. Just twenty 
years to a month from the time of the first railroad survey up Paint creek valley, 
a road was completed over that route ; and this village and vicinity entered upon 
a new era of prosperity. It was entirely independent of any other road or cor- 
poration, the people of Waukon having struggled through with the enterprise 
single handed. 


At the time of its completion the rolling stock of the road comprised one 
twelve-ton locomotive, sixteen box cars, five flats, and one passenger. The 
cost of the road and its equipments amounted to about $121,000, or nearly $5,300 
per mile, and its total debt was about $50,000, bonded for five years. No great 
splurge or celebration was indulged in, but on the day of its completion an im- 
promptu affair was gotten up for the entertainment of the people who happened 
to be in town, and the railroad employes in particular, from an account of which 
in the Standard we quote as follows : 

"On Saturday, October 27, 1877, at 3 o'clock P. M., the engine 'Union Prairie" 
rolled up to the platform of the Waukon depot, Thos. Clyde, engineer: O. H. 
Bunnell, fireman, and Henry Lear, conductor. For the preceding few days as 
the end of the track approached town the number of visitors had constantly in- 
creased, until on this day a large crowd of people, consisting largely of ladies, 
were assembled at the depot and below to witness the last of the track-laying, 
and get a sight at the first appearance of our locomotive. When the train 
reached the depot platform the flat cars were soon crowded to their fullest stand- 
ing room, chiefly by the ladies and children, and the Waukon band played a joy- 
ous strain in welcome. At this point in the proceedings everybody stood still 
until the camera had secured a photograph of the lively scene for all to look 
at and laugh over in future years (which is reproduced herewith) ; after which 
the first 'passenger train,' consisting of five flats, densely packed, ran down the 
road a couple of miles, with the band playing on the front car, and soon re- 
turned with whistle sounding, amid considerable enthusiasm and amusement. 

* At 5 o'clock, headed by the band, the hands repaired to Barnard Hall, 
which had been decorated with flags, as had also most of the business houses. 
Here, to the number of about sixty, they were treated to a bountiful hot supper, 
including all the delicacies of the table which the ladies of Waukon so excel in 
providing, served by the ladies themselves. After the hands had satiated their 
appetites the public generally fell to and did full justice to the repast; and so 
amply had the ladies provided for sixty or eighty railroad hands that it is esti- 
mated some live hundred people were served with supper at the hall, free. 

* After supper the floor was cleared and those so disposed participated 
in a social dance. * * * There were in town during the day an unusual 
number of people, although no public announcement of any demonstration had 
been made." 

The railroad began carrying the mails February 11, 1878. 
\ month or two before the completion of the road to Waukon, Mr. F. 1'.. 
( .ililis, then station agent on the river road at Harper's Ferry, was engaged to take 
charge of the new station at Waukon, and he proved a valuable asset to the new 
corporation, with its inexperienced officials, in getting this office into proper 
working order. In December following, the American Express Company began 
doing business over this line: and November 6, 1879, a telegraph line was com- 
pleted; and both these branches of railroading were added to Mr. Gibbs' duties. 
The work incident to the opening of a new office, providing it with the proper 
books and blanks, and practically operating this independent line with its insuf- 
ficient shipping facilities, was immense, but Mr. Gibbs was equal to the occasion. 
When he finally took time to determine whether or not to make this his home, 
he decided the question by buying a lot and building a comfortable dwelling, 


and has for over thirty-five years proven a valuable asset to the business and 
social interests of the town, as he had at first been to its railroad interests. For 
a third of a century he retained the position of agent at this station, under the 
various railroad managements, resigning to take up the local management of the 
Upper Iowa Power Company and electric lighting system, in Waukon. 

At the annual election of April 2, 1878, the company elected D. W. Adams, 
president, H. G. Grattan, vice president, L. W. Hersey, secretary, C. D. Bee- 
man, treasurer, and Jas. Holahan, Henry Dayton, W. C. Earle, C. Helming and 
C. W. Jenkins, directors. 

In September, 1878, James F. Joy, of railroad fame, came here and pur- 
chased a controlling interest of the stockholders, the officers of the Guarantee 
Company being succeeded by : J. F. Joy, president ; F. O. Wyatt, vice president 
and general manager; C. M. Carter, treasurer; H. H. Stilwell, secretary; and 
the road passed into the same management as the river road, with a prospect 
of being pushed through into Minnesota. The officers of the old original com- 
pany resigned, and were succeeded by : F. O. Wyatt, president ; W. J. Kivght, 
vice president; C. M. Carter, treasurer; H. H. Stilwell, secretary; and Frank 
Adams, S. A. Wolcott, J. F. Joy, L. W. Hersey and A. E. Robbins, directors. 
That fall and winter a party of surveyors ran a line for a proposed extension 
northwest into Minnesota, and also preliminary surveys toward Decorah, which 
city in August, "79, voted a four per cent tax in aid of an extension to that place 
via Frankville. That route having been abandoned, grading was begun on the 
line down Coon Creek, and in October Decorah again voted a tax to aid in its 
extension, and the work was prosecuted vigorously, until stopped by the ap- 
proach of winter. 

In the spring of 1880 grading for the extension was resumed, the piers 
erected for four iron bridges across the Oneota river, and several miles of track 
laid from Waukon, when, in May, the lines of the C, C, D. & M. railroad, of 
which this was a feeder, passed into the hands of the C, M. & St. P. Railroad 
Company. It was said that the Chicago & Northwestern was negotating for 
these lines, and had nearly accomplished their purpose when by a little unneces- 
sary delay in making their final inspection of the properties the game was lost 
to the Milwaukee managers, who had been closely watching it and by the sudden 
turn of a card secured the stake. As it turned out, work on the Decorah exten- 
sion ceased early in July, when the track had been laid almost to the river; 
the rails and ties were later taken up, and the right of way abandoned. 

In 1885 the road was widened to standard gauge. 


Early School History 
Miss Jessie Lewis 

The first school of Waukon was out east of town at what is known as the 
Four Corners — a little log schoolhouse. Mr. D. D. Doe taught there in 1853. 
Then in the winter of 1854-5 L. O. Hatch taught in town in what is now Nelson 
Maxwell's house. It stood then about where E. Dillenberg's residence now 
stands. It was a private house, Mr. Israel owning it and living upstairs, the 
family's egress and ingress being through the schoolroom. 


In [855 a schoolhouse was built and Charles Jenkins was one of the carpen- 
ters. It stood about where the Sisters' school now is. It was made on the usual 
plan, with a front door opening into a long hall and a door at each side, one 
for girls and one for boys, and wdiat an ignominious punishment it was for a 
girl to lie sent out into that cold hall to meditate on her sins. P.oys were not sent 
out ; they got a thrashing then and there, provided the teacher could do it. The 
seats inside were in four rows, the first row large, the next smaller and so on 
down. Althea Pottle, Ella Hancock and Emma Townsend used to go early, 
get the back seat and let the older, larger girls take smaller seats in front. But 
they had a good time on that back seat! 

Mr. Augur taught in the winter of 1855-6. There was plenty of snow in 
those days and no sidewalks to speak of, so Mr. Augur wore heavy boots to 
school and took them off there and wore slippers. He used to put his boots 
down at the end of the long bench used as a recitation seat. The day before 
Christmas the pupils took turns sitting on the end of the seat near the boots so 
as to surreptitiously drop his or her contribution into the boots. They were full 
by night, mostly vegetables, and as he had to "board "round," they were not of 
much use to him. 

Miss Susan Shattuck taught the next summer, and in the winter of 1856-7 
Mr. Henry Bigelow was the teacher. [Mr. ISigelow later lived in Decorah and 
taught in a commercial college there until he was assassinated by an insane col- 
league a few years ago. — Editor.] He was followed by Mr. Wilbur, Dr. Earle 
and Mr. Eastman. Mr. Eastman and wife also taught a private school in the 
house now occupied by Superintendent Mills. These gentlemen taught in the 
winter, and in the summers Misses Addie Walker, Hannah. Geesey, Nellie Shat- 
tuck, Mate Stillman and Ella Hancock held gentle sway. 

In the fall of 1859 Mr. Loughran came and taught in the Presbyterian 
church, a private school, until 1862, when a brick schoolhouse was built by him, 
where the present schoolhouse stands. It was called the Allamakee College. 
The money was raised to build it by selling scholarships at $125. In 1862 school 
was held by him in 1 lersey's hall, adjacent to the present Meyer hotel [now the 
Allamakee]. Meantime the public school was going on all the time. In 1862 
Henrietta lluestis was principal and Emma Townsend assistant. Professor 
Loughran sold the property to A. A. Griffith of elocutionary fame, who sold it 
to Martin Stone, and he in turn sold it to the district. 

After the college became public property the principals down to the present 
are given in the following poem by a member of the present senior class of 1903 
( Miss I [arriet A. I [ancock >. as taken from her paper at school : 

When first our school was graded and in 1864 

Was moved to this location, from where it was before. 

The competent instructor, Mr. Martin Stone by name, 

Had charge and jurisdiction, and overlooked the same. 

This honorable position he held for two full years. 

When a certain Thomas Cutler undertook to show his peers 

That he was made for teaching and instructing gentle youth. 

lie was followed, be it noticed ( for he stayed not long, in truth), 

By a Mr. Charles F. Stevens, then by Miss Marie E. Post. 


Mr. A. M. May succeeded, then Miss Keeler helped them learn. 

Then Charles Cressy, J. H. Carroll and J. Loughran in his turn. 

The last named held the scepter for half a dozen years. 

Then upon the scene another old-time preceptor appears, 

A Mr. David Judson, and so clever was his rule 

That many years passed by him before he left the school. 

Next there followed S. A. Harper with sway both strong and kind, 

Then Mr. Jones had charge one year, and after him we find 

The name of C. P. Colgrove, who brought the school good fame. 

Then H. F. Kling, E. L. Coffeen (also a goodly name), 

Mr. Smith and Mr. Macomber, whose dominion being past, 

There followed Mr. Dwelle. May he long remain the last. 

To go back to early history. The old school building was bought by O. S. 
Hathaway and used for a wagon shop. It was moved down where Heiser's 
shop now stands. They moved it across the road, west, and used it as a storing 
shop. It is now back of John Hager's wareroom and is used for the same pur- 
pose. [It has since been entirely demolished, in 1907. — Editor.] What stories 
of good old times are stored away in that worn old frame. I am reminded of 
one romance there. One fair, bright maid was suspected (and rightly, too) by 
the teacher, a spruce and courtly gentleman, for having some reading matter in 
her desk not only not belonging to school work, but not good reading for anyone. 
He demanded the book. She refused. What could he do? If it were only a 
boy now, but a girl — a grown-up young lady, one of his brightest pupils. He 
gave her her choice, to give up the book or leave school. She left only to be 
promptly sent back by her sensible parents. Either her spirited resistance or 
her sweet apology captured the teacher, for a few years later he married her. 

The first few years the school took in all the farming country around, reach- 
ing west as far as the Jim Smith farm, where Ezra Reed then lived, and with 
all that territory there were only about twenty-five pupils. One of the classes 
in those early days consisted, as near as the writer could obtain the names, of the 
following: Clara and Belle Britain, Emma Townsend, Althea Pottle, Sarah 
Hersey, Lucinda, George and Rebecca Smith, Frank and Henry Robbins, Susie 
Paulk, Ichabod Isted, Watson Hanscom, Granville Rose, John Sterling Mather, 
Sarah Reed, Ann Williams, Sarah Pierce and James Williams. 

It is to be regretted that records were not kept, but there are none obtainable 
any farther back than Prof. D. Judson's time. Then, in 1876, we find a partial 
record, and in January, 1877, we find the attendance in the several rooms as 
follows: Prof, and Mrs. D. Judson, 66; Helen Lisher, 46; Jessie Lewis, 39; 
Ida Thompson, yy ; Mary Duffy, 47. Total, 275. 

The records take us down to the present with about 400 pupils, and though 
we have the unlucky number of thirteen teachers our school has few equals. 

When Professor Loughran built the college he made it his dwelling as well. 
His family lived on the first floor and boarded a good many of the students, who 
had rooms on the third floor. Professor Loughran was assisted by his son, Cor- 
nelius, and also by W. W. Likens, a Mr. Brock, Miss Higby, Miss Post and 
Mrs. Calkins, who taught French, and Miss Ishe, music. Later by J. P. Ray- 


The fust literary society of Waukon had its beginning in the college in 1862. 
There were two. one for the boys and one for the girls. They met once a week. 
A good many of the members then are members of the Woman's Literary 
Society now. 

The foregoing history by Miss Lewis was written in 1902. The public 
school superintendents who have followed Mr. Dwelle are: J. H. Bowers. C. S. 
Cory (who, with C. P. Colgrove, is now a member of the faculty of the Iowa 
State Teachers' College), W. H. Ray and C. F. Pye, present incumbent. 

The women who have taught are as worthy to be immortalized in this history 
as the men already named; only their number and the difficulty of obtaining their 
names for the earlier years makes it impossible to present a full list. There are 
three names, however, that ought to be mentioned with honor, for length of 
service. Miss Lizzie Spaulding began teaching in 1881, and has taught here 
continuously ever since. Misses Ida Thompson and Jessie Lewis began several 
years earlier, but their service has not been continuous. Miss Thompson retired 
several years ago ; the other two are teaching yet, to the delight of many mothers 
of young children. 

This school teaches the normal course for rural teachers, including agricul- 
ture and domestic science. The number of teachers at present, aside from the 
superintendent, is fourteen, as follows: Principal. Miss Kleespie; mathematics, 
Miss McDougall; English and history. Miss Stillman ; domestic science, Miss 
Clark; physics. Mr. Salmonson ; music and drawing. Miss Harris; eighth grade, 
Miss Carter; seventh, Miss Bock; sixth, Miss Westrum ; fifth, Miss Dial; 
fourth, Miss Tench; third. Miss Lewis; second. Miss Spaulding; and first, Miss 
Smith. Miss Smith is also a veteran, having taught here twenty years; and 
Miss Dial not far short of that. 

We might add to the early teachers mentioned by Miss Lewis the names of 
James Bentley, George Butler and C. W. Walker, this writer receiving instruc- 
tion under each of them in the old schoolhouse, his home being then in the same 
block, the present residence of A. M. May. Mr. Bentley taught in 1860-1 ; Mr. 
Walker in the winter of 1862-3. We have a distinct recollection of a correction 
the latter made in our reading "The Village Blacksmith": "And the muscles of 
his brawny arms were strong as iron bands," when we insisted in placing the 
emphasis on the word "bands." 

Mr. Walker has resided in McGregor since 1864, where he was for many 
years tickel agent for the river packets and the Milwaukee railroad, and later 
mayor of the city several terms. I le has retained his popularity among Waukon 
people, and is still actively engaged in business at eighty-two years young— so 
active' ami vigorous that the uninformed would not suspect his true years. 

Mr. Bentley introduced a moot court, in which he was the presiding judge, 
for the trial of petty infringements of school rules. This proved rather an 
interesting diversion fur the bright boys, and they soon began to provide so 
many cases thai the time of the court was insufficient to try them all. and this' 
plan of enforcing discipline was abandoned. The date of Mr. Bentley's teaching 
is established by a cherished memento which we still possess, in the' shape of a 


pasteboard-and-ribbon rosette, bearing an inscription indicating good scholar- 
ship and good behavior— but the latter statement always caused the stirring of a 
guilty conscience. The "trophy" was accompanied with a silver quarter, which 
we do not still possess. 

At one time (think it was during Mr. Eastman's administration), a flagrant 
case of insubordination by a grown up young man was referred to the directors, 
who barred him from the school. As he persisted in coming, however, it was 
decided to remove him forcibly if need be. So three directors appeared one day, 
and upon his refusing to go peaceably they surrounded him in his seat and after 
a struggle succeeded in ejecting him from the building and locked the door. 
He lingered around in that vicinity, like Mary's little lamb, and when the direc- 
tors had disappeared from view he coolly picked up a stick of cordwood and with 
a gentle tap broke the lock and went in to his accustomed seat. This narrator 
witnessed the performance from the outside of the building, having escaped 
during the melee, and cannot say what then occurred inside, but school was 
dismissed very soon after. The final outcome is not now recalled. 

Private schools were kept from time to time, and summer schools for the 
little tots, in various places. We remember attending school in the frame build- 
ing on the north side of Main street, at the corner of Armstrong, now owned 
and occupied as a dwelling by D. W. Douglass. Also in the (later known as) 
Rankin store building on the north side of Main street, which was destroyed by 
fire in 1878, later occupied by other frame buildings which were torn down to 
make room for the present D. J. Murphy brick block. Miss Pennoyer is remem- 
bered as a popular teacher in some of these early schools. 

The first school in Waukon was taught by L. O. Hatch, as stated by Miss 
Lewis in her sketch, and we give the circumstances as we obtained them from 
him, thirty years ago : 

"In the summer of 1854, Mr. John Israel and myself united in buying from 
the county, at $15 each, four lots on the hill just east of the premises now owned 
by Dr. Barnes. On these lots, in the fall of that year, with a little help from 
Charley Jenkins, we built with our own hands a small, frame dwelling house — 
the fourth frame building erected in Waukon. As winter approached, we found 
ourselves with a school district duly organized, embracing several families in 
and about Waukon, but no schoolhouse and no teacher. Our house aforesaid 
being nearly finished it was rented as a schoolhouse for the winter of 1854-5, and 
I was employed as the teacher. I was paid $15 or $18 per month, and 'boarded 
around' in the families of such men as Samuel Huestis, Robert Isted, John A. 
Townsend, James Maxwell and others. I had considerable experience as a 
teacher, but I was never in a school made up of brighter or better pupils than 
those that gathered around me on long, rude benches that winter, among whom 
I may mention the names of those who later became Mrs. Hale, Mrs. Adams, 
Mrs. judge Granger, Mrs. John Griffin ; and also Fred Clark and Ichabod Isted." 
In 1855 the school district purchased the west two-thirds of block 5, in Scott 
Shattuck's addition, and erected thereon a substantial frame schoolhouse about 
28x40 feet in size. Win. Ramsdall and C. W. Jenkins being the builders. It 
was all in one room except a hallway of about ten feet off the north end, with 
outside doors in the middle and separate doors for the boys and girls from the 
ball to the schoolroom, which was heated by an ordinary box stove. At a later 


day the hallway was taken out and the entire room divided into two, with 
entrance to each at the center on the west side. After this division, we find in 
our boyhood diary, which noted only occasional events of great importance, on 
April 4, 1864, school began, with .Miss Althea Lottie teaching the higher depart- 
ment and Miss Clarissa Lyons the other. 

Before this division the old school building served as a place for public gath- 
erings of all kinds for several years, until Hersey's hall was finished. It was 
occupied by traveling panoramas, magic lantern exhibitions, etc., and once or 
more did the county agricultural society have its fair on the premises. Especially 
will the Iyceums be remembered by the old residents, with the concerts by the 
old glee club, and other interesting entertainments by home talent — to say nothing 
of the singing schools. The earliest meetings of the religious denominations 
were also held here, before they were able to erect houses of worship. 

At one of the magic lantern shows we remember the screen was placed by 
the traveling exhibitor well out toward the middle of the room, and while the 
crowd was gathering he explained that they could sit on either side, that "one 
side of the screen is just as good as the other;" whereupon one of the big boys 
took the liberty to stroll around and investigate, and remarked, "it aint either, 
one side has a hole in it and t'other haint," which tickled us little fellows im- 

In the fall of 1864 an arrangement was made whereby Martin Stone was to 
teach the more advanced pupils of the school, in the College building, which had 
passed into his hands, and a similar arrangement was made the following year. 
In [866 he sold the property to Thos. A. Cutler, who taught the school there 
the following winter. In 1867 the district purchased the College property of 
Cutler for $4,000, and afterwards sold the property in Shattuck's addition to 
various parties. In 1881 the school building was improved by putting in furnace, 
heating and ventilating apparatus. 

In the spring of 1885 it was voted to erect a new school building, and F. M. 
Ellis of Marshalltown was selected as the architect. Lender his plans and specifi- 
cations the following bids were submitted, the bidder to have the old building: 
( ieo. 1 1. King, of Brooklyn, Iowa, $13,345 ; X. 1 1, l'ratt, $14,400 ; S. Peck & Sons, 
Sih,(x)o; E. B. Bascom, $16,800. The contract was let to Mr. King, and the 
building was occupied late the next fall. The board during this work comprised: 
I). W. Reed, president; and directors, D. II. Bowen, H. O. Dayton. J. C. Hubbell, 
F. II. Bobbins and W. C. Thompson. 

The great increase of school population by 1895 made it necessary to provide 
much more room and in the spring of 1896 an election was held on the question 
of issuing S4.000 bonds to build an addition, which was carried by a vote of 261 
to j 1,?. the women voting on this proposition to the number of 127. The alterna- 
tive was to provide one or more schoolhouses in other parts of town. The plans 
of architects C. G. Mavbury & Son, of La Crosse, were adopted, the contract 
awarded to Geo. 1'. Leefeldt. of McGregor, for $6,750, and the present north 
wing was completed during that year. The board at this time consisted of: 
A. T. Stillman, president; and directors, K. |. Alexander, If. O. Dayton, |. E. 
Duffy, C. II. Earle and J. < ;. Ratcliffe. 

Mr. Stillman has continued as president of the board ever since, or for seven- 


teen years. The other directors at present are, R. J. Alexander, H. L. Dayton, 
H. A. Howe and Frank Klees. 

We find no record of school officers previous to 1859, in which year Moses 
Hancock was president. C. J. White, vice president; A. G. Howard, secretary; 
and W. K. McFarland. treasurer. 

November 8, 1862, the independent district of Waukon was erected, comprising 
all of sub-district Xo. 8 in Makee township: the south half of section 25, south- 
east quarter section 26, northeart quarter section 35. and all of section 36 in Union 
Prairie; and section 6 and west half section 5. in Jefferson township. The first 
election of school officers in this independent district was held November 29, 
1862, resulting as follows : W. K. McFarland, president ; E. B. Lyons, vice pres- 
ident ; I. R. Brown, secretary, and Jacob Shew, treasurer. Directors: J. B. 
Plank, "one year; A. A. Griffith, two years (Mr. Griffith later a noted elocutionist 
of Chicago,' died at Palmyra, Wisconsin, June 19, 1889), and J. W. Pennington, 
three years. The independent district was formed with a view to effect a transfer 
of the Allamakee college building to the district, in which to establish a graded 
school, and in December a committee was appointed to wait upon Professor Lough- 
ran with that purpose. In February, 1863, a proposition of Professor Loughran 
was rejected, and an attempt was made to secure the new courthouse, then stand- 
ing vacant. At the regular meeting, March 9th, D. W. Adams was elected pres- 
ident ■ Moses Hancock, vice president; C. W. Walker, secretary, and I. H. Hedge, 
treasurer. Since that year the president and secretary of the board have been 

as follows : 

President— A. I. Hersev. 1864-66; L. O. Hatch, 1866-7; Martin Stone, 1867-9; 
C T. Granger, 1869-73; Tohn Goodykoontz, 1873-6; A. L. Grippen, 1876; H. H. 
Stilwell 1876-9; M. Stone. 1879-80; T. W. Pratt, 1880-1 ; John Hall, 1881-3; 
D. W. Reed. 1883-4; Martin Stone. 1884-5 ; D. W. Reed, 1885-9; H. H. Stilwell, 
1889-90; D. H. Bowen, 1890-95; resigned November, '95, and H. O. Dayton to 
vacancv 1895-6; and A. T. Stillman. 1896-1913, present incumbent. 

Secretary— Robert Isted. 1864-5; T. C. Ransom, 1865-7; C. T. Granger, 
1867-8; J. W. Pratt, 1868-74; A. J. Rodgers. 1874-82; E. M. Hancock. 1882-96; 
E D Purdy, 1896-1913, present incumbent. 

Treasurer— ( Since 1882)— L. W. Hersey, 1882-3; J. H. Boomer, 1883-4; 
L. W. Hersey, 1884-5; 1. H. Boomer, 1885-8; L. W. Hersey, 1888-94; L. A. 
Howe, 1894-1902; A. T. Nierling. 1802-06: W. H. Niehaus, 1906-10; S. W. 
Ludeking. 1910-13, present incumbent. 

In 1908 it became necessary to make improvements in the heating plant, and 
it was decided to remove the old furnaces entirely and heat by steam. Plans 
were adopted for a modern steam heating plant, with fan system of ventilation, 
and automatic regulation. Bids were advertised for. March 2d, and examined May 
20th. as follows: Lewis & Kitchen. $7,500: Thill & Laptz. $8,717; I. E. Beeman. 
$9,278; Peter Johnson & Son, $11,266.65. The contract was awarded to Lewis 
& Kitchen, lowest bidders, and plant installed during the summer vacation. 

The present value of the school building and contents is considered to be 

In 1863 the number of school age in the district was 307 
In 1882 the number of school age in the district was 472 


In 1895 the number of school age in the district was 678 
In 1898 the number of school age in the district was 725 
In 1912 the number of school age in the district was 622 
(Males 317; females. 305.) 

Present enrollment is about 400. 

The first class to graduate from the high school was in 1879, and consisted 
of Misses Minnie C. Earle, Jessie M. Lewis. Lizzie W. Spaulding and Lizzie G. 
Ward. The total number of graduates is now 330. including the eleven of 1913., 

About the year 1894, or '95 the remnant of the old Waukon Library, which 
was started in the early sixties by the Waukon Dramatic Club, as the result of a 
series of delightful entertainments by home talent — and talent it was, of the 
first order — was turned over to the care of the school, as a nucleus for a school 
library, which now possesses some 1,800 volumes. 

When the old library was established the books were kept for years at the 
home of D. W. Adams, and comprised a most excellent and varied selection. 
I^ter the library was housed in other homes, and was for some time kept up 
by the Young Men's Temperance Association, by whom it was finally transferred 
to the school. 


While of brief existence, this institution is worthy of mention as contributing 
to the ancient history of this town and county. Its conception was in 1859, when 
on the 6th of March, J. C. Armstrong, J. B. Plank, C. J. White, Walter Delafield, 
M. G. Belden, R. C. Armstrong, James Maxwell, Jacob Shew, Benj. H. Bailey, 
Joseph Savoie. T. J. Goodykoontz, William S. Cook, John Chapman and Lewis 
H. Clark, associated themselves together in a corporation to be known as the 
"Allamakee Association," to be under the supervision of the Colesburg Pres- 
bytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, for the purpose of erecting suit- 
able buildings for the advancement of scientific and religious learning, to be known 
as the Waukon Seminary. Out of this grew the Allamakee College, a catalogue 
of which was printed in [862, from which we gather its history, in substance, 
as follows : 

A number of citizens of Waukon and vicinity, deeply feeling the want in 
their rapidly growing community of an institution of learning of an academic 
or collegiate order, entered into an agreement with Rev. J. Loughran, A. M., 
formerly president of Waynesburg College. Pennsylvania, for the erection in 
Waukon of a suitable college edifice, and the maintenance therein of a school as 
above named, on the following plan: They stipulated to draw in favor of said 
J. Loughran their promissory notes, each for $125, to be paid within one year 
from date, fur which they should receive from him certificates of scholarship, 
each scholarship guaranteeing the tuition of one student for five years in the 
institution, to eminence when the building would be finished. At the end of 
the five years the title of the property was to pass to Mr. Loughran in full own- 
ership, being paid for by said scholarships. 

To carry out this plan the following gentlemen were chosen by the stock- 
holders with the style and title of "Trustees of Allamakee College :" R C Arm- 

' '.■■:■ f^\-' '' : ~\ '■'' W?'^'"' 




strong, Robert Isted, Walter Delafield, A. M. Haslip, L. G. Calkins, A. H. Hersey, 
W. R. Pottle, Jacob Shew and Jacob Plank. Walter Delafield donated the whole 
of block 19 in his addition to Waukon, comprising two acres, as a site for the 
building. The notes given by the stockholders were transferred by Mr. Loughran 
to the trustees, and with the money accruing they erected a three-story brick 
edifice, in size 47 by 64 feet, the height of the stories being 11, 13 and 8^2 feet, 
respectively. Its accommodations were, four large recitation rooms on the first 
floor, a hall in the second story 44 by 52 feet, and eight rooms in the third story, 
each 13 by 19 feet, designed for students desiring to board themselves. This 
was built in 1861, following the completion of the courthouse, but was not fin- 
ished for occupancy until the following spring. In the fall of 1862 there were 
ninety students in attendance, double the number entitled to tuition on scholar- 
ships, that being but forty-eight. 

The announcement in the catalogue goes on to say : "The trustees have mani- 
fested a most praiseworthy liberality and perseverence. They have raised and 
almost completed the building in the face of the greatest money pressure ever 
experienced in the West. The institution is now in successful operation. One 
hundred and twenty-five students have been in attendance during the past year, 
and over, three hundred since the commencement of the school in 1859. But this 
summer is the first we have occupied the college building. The scholarships 
became available when we entered the building." 

Rev. J. Loughran, president, resided in the building with his family. He 
was ably assisted during the first three years by the following faculty : 

J. C. Loughran, higher academic. 

G. H. Brock, higher academic. (Enlisted in Co. B, 12th Iowa Infantry, 
October 7, 1861.) 

W. W. Likens, collegiate scientific. 

Mrs. Jennie Calkins, French, German and mathematics. 

Mrs. Jennie Loughran, lower academic. 

Miss Pennoyer, lower academic and professor of phonography and phonetic 

Professor Loughran had opened what was called the Waukon High School, 
October 3, 1859, in the Presbyterian church, and conducted the same success- 
fully for three years or until the college building was completed, with the above 
named assistants, and Prof. A. A. Griffith in elocution. Mr. Loughran was 
pretty thorough, both in instruction and in discipline, believing in the virtues of 
the old-fashioned switch. The timid ones among the pupils however dreaded 
the expression of his displeasure, as worse than a licking. In his catalogue he 
says : "We do not use the topic system as it often tends to strengthen the memory 
at the expense of the reasoning faculties. We require our students to analyze 
each lesson, and where it can be done, to explain fully the rationale of the process 
on the black-board. Where the black-board cannot be used, they must give the 
analysis verbally or in writing. During the recitation they are not allowed the use 
of books. * * * The object is to draw them out, to interest them in the sub- 
ject of the lesson, and to excite them to depend as much as possible upon their 
own reason." All of which is doctrine too often neglected at this day. 

The institution was deserving of success, but unfortunately it was not such 
as hoped for; probably the absence of so many young men during that time in 


the war was one of the causes ; and in May, 1863, a corporation styled the "Alla- 
makee Collegiate Institute" was formed for the purpose of cancelling the indebt- 
edness against the Allamakee College and perpetuating the institution. In the 
same year the property was purchased by Martin Stone, and a few years later 
passed into the possession of the Independent School District of Waukon, as 
described elsewhere. 

It would be interesting to print here the names of all enrolled as shown by 
this old catalogue, but the list is too long. But the list of those still living here 
( all or part of the time ) is very brief : 

Year 1859-60 — Ellen Hedge, Althea Pottle, John P. Raymond, collegiate, 
Mary Stillman, Martha Shaw, DeEtte Clark, Emery Pratt, George Schrody, 
Samuel Thompson, Herbert Townsend, Nelson Maxwell, Perky Raymond, 

Year t86o-6i — (Omitting repetitions) Phoebe Maxwell, Henry Bentley, col- 
legiate; Emma Townsend, Mary Johnson, Bert Taggart, George Johnson, Ellery 
Hancock, academic. 

Year 1861-62 — (Omitting repetitions) Eva MeClaskey, academic. 

In July, 1876, after closing his contract with the Waukon public school, Pro- 
fessor Loughran bought the old German Presbyterian church building and re- 
moved it to his premises on Worcester street, where in September following he 
opened an institution of learning called the Waukon Seminary, well supplied 
with maps, charts, chemical and philosophical apparatus, and more especially 
for the purpose of preparing students for teaching, or for a college course. 
Professor Loughran had devoted a long and active life to the interests of edu- 
cation, and was exceedingly well qualified for instructing in the higher branches. 
His seminary continued to flourish for several years, until in 1883 it was discon- 
tinued, and Mr. Loughran removed to White Lake, South Dakota, to the regret 
of hosts of his old Waukon friends, where be died in or about the year 1900 
at a ripe old age. 


'I he Wawkon Journal, the first newspaper published here, was established by 
Frank Belfoy in the spring of 1857, and was free-soil in politics. It was first 
printed in the Taggart building, situated on the northeast corner of .Main and 
Armstrong streets, which is still standing, the residence of D. W. Douglass. 
This lot. being lot 4 in block 2, Armstrong's addition, was purchased of Arm- 
strong in 1856, for $25, by Mr. John A. Taggart, who built the house thereon. 
After some nine months Belfoy sold the paper to Frank Pease, who made a 
democratic sheet of it and changed the name to Allamakee Herald, the first 
number of which was issued February 26, 1858. It was a six-column folio, is- 
sued Fridays; and one M. M. Webster, a lawyer, was associated with Pease for 
a while, as was also R. K. Smith, who afterwards went south and his fate is un- 
known, lie was a brother of James C. Smith, a pioneer of Yolnev. later a hotel 
man in Waukon and Decorah, and at the time of his death, in 1875, owner of the 
part of Waukon where is now Ratclift'e's addition. The Herald was discontinued 
111 May. iS^, and Pease drifted southward, continuing in newspaper work; but 
in 1S7S, when lasl heard of, he was city clerk of Hot Springs, Arkansa-. 


In August, 1859, the paper was revived under the name of Wawkon Trans- 
cript, also democratic, by T. H. McElroy, with whom was associated one Dr. 
Parker, from McGregor. About one year later they removed the establishment 
to Lansing and began the publication of the first democratic paper there under the 
name of Northwestern Democrat. 

The North Iowa Journal, republican, was established at Waukon in May, 
i860, by E. L. Babbitt and W. H. Merrill, the first number bearing date May 
29th. Mr. Babbitt was postmaster in 1861, the postoffice being situated in a two- 
story frame building erected in 1859 by Shattuck and Woodcock, on the corner 
where the postoffice is now again located. The printing office occupied the rear 
part of the second story ; and it was at this time the writer first became interested 
in the printing business, being employed as carrier boy for the town list, at 
twenty cents per week, the first earnings of which he has any recollections. 

In 1 861 they sold the paper to Leonard G. Calkins and Albert B. Goodwin, 
and returned to Wyoming county, New York, where Babbitt died a couple of 
years later. Twenty-five years later Mr. Merrill became editor of the New York 
World. Goodwin disposed of his interest to Calkins; and in April, 1862. the 
Journal suffered a temporary suspension, but was revived about August 1st, 
with Calkins and Cole editors, Chas. B. Cole publisher. In September the name 
of L. G. Calkins appears as publisher, Cole still being associated with him as 
local editor. About November, Cole assumed the entire control, made its poli- 
tics democratic, and in March, 1863, removed the Journal to Lansing. 

For nearly five years thereafter Waukon was without a local paper. In the 
winter of 1867-8 negotiations were entered into with Chas. W. McDonald, then 
publishing the Gazette at Blairstown, this state, who came here and on the 9th of 
January, 1868, issued the first number of the Waukon Standard. After publish- 
ing it three months he sold to R. L. Hayward & Co. (the "company" being A. M. 
May) and went to Illinois, and later to New York where he was for some time 
engaged in the Swedenborgian Publishing House. He next published a paper at 
Sioux Falls ; and later became superintendent of schools of Aurora county, 
South Dakota. Under its new management the Standard was edited by A. M. 
May, who continued its chief editor for thirty-three years, and made it a strong, 
pure, and reliable local family newspaper. It has always been republican in 
politics. His first partner, Mr. Hayward, did not come to Waukon until the 
following August; and in March, 1869, he disposed of his interest and went to 
Arkansas, and eventually to San Antonio, Texas, where he was engaged in 
newspaper business and where he died in August, 1882. Mr. May then (1869) 
associated with him one Jas. H. Brayton, who although a good printer had some 
habits that threatened to swamp the establishment, and after about four months 
Mr. May found it necessary to assume the entire control. 

In December, 1869, E. M. Hancock became associated with May in the 
business, but withdrew in July following. August 1, 1872, Chas R. Hamstreet 
bought an interest in the office, which he held until June 1, 1873, when he dis- 
posed of it and engaged in farming near Clear Lake, Iowa. At that time E. M. 
Hancock purchased a half interest in the concern, and May & Hancock conducted 
the business for nine and a half years, until January 1, 1882, when Hancock dis- 
posed of his interest to Mrs. May, the firm becoming A. M. May & Co. The 
firm title continued thus, or as A. M. May & Son (Frank FT. and later R. B.), 


until January i, iqoi, when R. Bruce May become sole proprietor. In June, 
1909. he disposed of the plant to John H. DeWild. his foreman, an excellent 
printer, who continues the business and who put in the first linotype machine 
in the county. Bruce May is now in a fine printing establishment at Iowa Falls. 

Upon the completion of the railroad in 1877. the Waukon Democrat was 
started by Daniel O'Brien, who sold it July 5, 1879, to John W. Hinchon, ex- 
county superintendent of schools, who sold it in July, 1882, to T. C. Medary 
& Son (George C. I, and went to Algona, Iowa, where he became one of the pro- 
prietors of the Algona Courier. The veteran printer, T. C. Medary, died in 
1893, and George, who had been railroad mail agent for some time, succeeded 
to the active control, but lived only a few weeks, dying August 13th following. 
Another son, Edgar F., who had been publishing the Postville Graphic, then 
took charge of the Democrat and continued its publication for five years, selling 
lune 15, 1898. to E. L. Coffeen and A. P. Bock, who changed its politics and 
name to Waukon Republican. Air. Bock purchased his partner's interest in 
September, 1902, and continues sole proprietor today. Mr Coffeen resumed his 
profession of teaching, as superintendent of schools at Decorah, Mason City and 
Marshalltown, and is now a prominent educator in Massachusetts. 

In July, 1899, Ed F. Medary revived the Waukon Democrat; and about the 
same time W. J. Wallis & Son started a new paper, the Allamakee Democrat, 
but less than a year later sold out to Mr. Medary who consolidated it with his 
own plant which he continues to publish, together with a supplemental sheet 
devoted to Waterville affairs and called the Budget. 

In October, 1882, the Waukon branch of the Allamakee Journal was estab- 
lished, under the personal management of Thos. F. Dunlevy, who has thus con- 
ducted it for over thirty years. So today Waukon has four newspapers, two 
republican and two democratic. 


\ postoffice was first established at Waukon in the early fall of 1853, with 
Scott Shattuck as postmaster. He was succeeded by L. T. Woodcock, and he 
by W. Beale. in the summer of 1856, the office then being removed from the 
Woodcock store building on west Main street to Beale's new store on the now 
vacant corner opposite the Allamakee House on Allamakee street. In 1859 
R. C. Armstrong was appointed and the office went back to west Main street, 
opposite the Presbyterian church. He served but a year or two, having met with 
the misfortune of finding one morning that the valuables of his office had disap- 
peared during the night. The brunt of this misfortune fell upon his bondsmen, 
as Armstrong departed from the county. He was succeeded by H. Stroud, a 
shoemaker, in the latter part of i860 or "6i. who served but a short time and 
was followed by E. L. Babbitt, and the office was located in the new Wood- 
cock building on the corner of Main and Spring avenue, where it is now again. 
Babbitt was succeeded by L. G. Calkins in 1862, who held the office during 1863. 
During most of his term, however, L. M. Bearce was his deputy and virtually 
postmaster, as Calkins had but little to do with the office. From 1864 to 1871 
Win. R. Pottle was the incumbent, the office going directly across the street to 
the north side of Main street. During his term it was made a money order office. 


Mr. Pottle died in March, 1872. In January, 1871, Mrs. E. E. Stevens became 
postmistress (in her frame building, corner of Main and West streets — burned 
down in 1891), and so continued until succeeded by D. W. Reed, July 1, 1879. 
Major Reed moved the office to the east side of Allamakee street, where 
the O'Brien building now is, and continued as postmaster until the middle of the 
Cleveland administration, in 1887, when T. C. Medary was appointed, and the 
postoffice went down onto Spring avenue. F. H. Robbins was appointed by 
President Harrison, taking the office October 1, 1889, and serving four years, 
when T. J. Kelleher received the appointment by President Cleveland, in 1893. 
He was succeeded by F. H. Robbins again, during the McKinley regime, who 
served from February, 1898, to December 31, 1903. P. S. Narum then received 
the appointment from Roosevelt, entering upon his duties January 1, 1904, and 
is now well along in his third term. He removed the office to its present location, 
the Roomer Opera House. 


In the spring of 191 1 some of the public-spirited ladies of Waukon, mostly 
members of its numerous clubs, discussed the question of forming an organiza- 
tion for civic improvement, and the various ideas advanced became materialized 
on the 13th of March in the organization of the Women's Civic Improvement 
League, of which the officers elected were as follows : President, Miss Leah 
Jones ; vice president, Mrs. W. C. Earle ; secretary, Mrs. S. W. Ludeking ; corre- 
sponding secretary, Mrs. Keo Minert ; treasurer, Miss Cora Miner. 

The first and immediately visible results were chiefly in the "cleaning up" 
day for the streets and alleys, and an interest in the better care of the residence 
lots. But the ladies had plans for other kinds of improvement, among them 
the establishing of a public library, and for a location they secured from the city 
council the use of the small room in the south part of the city hall building, and 
the larger room on the east side for a reading room. Here the beginning was 
made on January 13, 1912, when a collection of 149 books and some magazines 
was opened to the public, with Mr. W. C. Wilkinson in charge as librarian. At 
this writing, in March, 1913, the number of volumes has increased to almost 
1,000, and the record shows that 8,160 volumes were loaned during the year 
ending March 1st. The sources of income have been from voluntary contribu- 
tions, occasional dinners and socials, and delinquent fines. The reading room 
is entirely free, as well as the library, and is well supplied with current magazines 
and papers, and is well patronized. Thus a good beginning has been made, and 
doubtless the ladies of the league will be encouraged to continue their efforts in 
this direction. At its March meeting the league elected the following officers 
for the ensuing year : President, Mrs. J. B. Jones ; vice president, Mrs. Keo. 
Minert; secretary, Mrs. P. N. Heiser ; corresponding secretary, Mrs. J. E. 
O'Brien ; treasurer, Miss Ella Void ; board of managers, Mesdames W. C. 
Earle, H. E. Taylor and J. F. Dougherty. 


Early in the year 1859 Walter Delafield bought of Wm. S. Cooke a small lot 
20 by 40 feet in size, west of the Woodcock store building on the south side of 


Main street, on which lie put up a one-story frame building and opened a "bank- 
ing and exchange" business. It was a little too soon, and a year or so later Mr. 
Delafield closed it and returned to the East. In 1858 his father, Edward Dela- 
field, had purchased and laid out "Delafield's addition." and they had expected 
great things of the village. Walter Delafield was attending to the affairs as his 
father's attorney in fact, and he was very popular while here. He later became 
a prominent Episcopal clergyman, and further mention of him will be found 
in the sketch of the Waukon Episcopal church. 


Twelve years later, in May, 1871. Lewis W. Hersey opened the first per- 
manent bank in Waukon, with J. B. Turck, of Milwaukee, in connection with 
their mercantile business in the stone block on the east side of Allamakee street. 
In March. 1873, Mr. Turck retired, and Mr. Hersey continued the business until 
May 13, 1874, when he disposed of his mercantile interests to Augustine Hersey 
& Son, and from that time on devoted his attention solely to the banking business. 
In January, 1879, Geo. W. Stoddard and C. T. Granger united with Mr. Hersey 
in establishing "The Waukon Bank," occupying a new building erected by H. H. 
Stilwell on the opposite side of Allamakee street, especially fitted up for the 
banking business. The officers were : C. T. Granger, president ; L. W. Hersey, 
cashier; Geo. W. Stoddard, assistant cashier: with a capital of $10,000, which 
was increased to $15,000 January 1, 1884. 

On April 29, 1892, the business was incorporated under the name of "Waukon 
State Bank," with a paid up capital of $40,000; and on April 26, 1912, when the' 
charter expired, it was renewed for another twenty years. The bank continued 
its business in the same location for thirty-three years, or until February 1, 1912, 
when it moved into its own elegant new building on Main street, in the very 
center of the business section, where they have roomy, well lighted, attractive 
quarters, equipped with every modern convenience and protection, including 
safety deposit boxes for the use of its patrons. The officers of the bank have 
been: President, C. T. Granger, 1879-91 ; G. W. Stoddard, 1892-93; L. W. Her- 
sey, 1894-1902; L, A. Howe, 1903 to the present time. Vice president, M. W. 
Eaton, since 1897. Cashier, L. W. Hersey, 1871-93; L. A. Howe, 1984-1902; 
S. W. Ludeking, since 1903. Assistant cashier, L. A. Howe, 1892-93; S. W. 
Ludeking, [897-1902; C. M. Stone, since 1909. Directors, L. W. Hersey, 1892- 
1902; G. W. Stoddard, 1892-93; C. T. Granger, 1892-93 and 1895-1913; J. W. 
Thomas, [892-97; Henry Dayton. 1892-94: M. W. Eaton, since 1894; J. C. Craw- 
ford, since [894 : Moritz Kerndt, [898-1905; I.. A. Howe, since 1903; S. W. Lude- 
king, since [906; R. J. Alexander, since 1913. 

Thus it will be seen that 1.. W. Mersey, founder of the bank, was cashier or 
president nearly thirty-two years, until his death in 1903. L. A. Howe, now pres- 
ident, entered the bank as clerk and bookkeeper January 1, 1883, and has been 
continuously connected with it for thirty years. M. W. Eaton has been vice 
president for sixteen years; and S. \V. Ludeking, assistant and cashier for the 
same period. This is a record of stability that is indicative of the character of 
this institution, and for all these years the Waukon State Bank has enjoyed a 
liberal share of the public patronage. The management has always been con- 


servative, and mindful of their responsibility to depositors, to safeguard their 
interests first of all. 

During the past three years this bank has paid to its depositors as interest on 
their deposits the large sum of $29,812.31. Its April statement, 1913, shows a 
capital and surplus of $50,000. Undivided profits, $19,990.23. Deposits, $377r 
467.80. And total resources, $447,458.03. 


In the spring of 1878, following the arrival of the locomotive in AVaukon, 
numerous enterprises were launched, among them being a second bank, by B. F. 
and J. H. Boomer, who came in and built for that purpose the brick building on 
the east side of Spring avenue now occupied by the Model Restaurant. Being 
energetic and pushing they soon built up quite a patronage, took an active in- 
terest in the business affairs of the town, and ere long acquired considerable prop- 
erty. They bought the Grange building formerly occupied by the Hedge & Earle 
drug store, moved it across the street, and on its site erected the Boomer Opera 
House. This was destroyed by fire in February, 1891, but immediately rebuilt, 
and is now occupied by Woodmen's Hall and the postoffice. In 1892 J. H. Boomer 
retired and went to Hot Springs, South Dakota, and thence to Idaho, where in 
1907 he was city clerk and police magistrate of the city of Wallace. In 1893 the 
affairs of the bank were wound up, and the properties acquired by B. F. Boomer 
eventually passed into other hands. In recent years he has conducted the Grand 


The Citizens State Bank of Waukon was incorporated April 29, 1892, and 
commenced business July 25th following, with a capital of $25,000. Its first , 
officers were: President, A. Deremore (who held this position till his death, 
October 18, 1897) ; vice president, W. L. Duffin ; cashier, W. E. Beddow ; assist- 
ant cashier, J. E. Duffy ; directors, A. Deremore, Joseph Zimmerman, J. F. Day- 
ton, W. L. Dufifin and W. E. Beddow. 

The incorporators consisted of the above named, with M. A. Creglow, Geo. 
Creglow, J. R. Beddow, M. B. Flendrick, James Duffy, H. G. Fisher, William 
Daulton, Henry Helming, and Mary M. Quigley. 

The management leased of F. H. Robbins' perhaps the best location in town 
for a banking institution, on the corner of Main and Allamakee streets, which they 
have occupied continuously for these twenty-one years. The rooms were finely 
finished and an equipment put in that was up-to-date and more handsome and 
convenient than any in town at that time ; and the enterprise proved successful 
from the start. In February, 1910, the capital stock was increased to $50,000, 
and in May, 1912, the organization was reincorporated for a second period of 
twenty-five years from July 25, 191 2. 

Since the first officers above mentioned the list has been as follows: Presi- 
dent, W. C. Earle, 1899 to present date; vice president, W. L. Duffin, 1892-99; 
D. J. Murphy, 1899 to this date; cashier, W. E. Beddow, 1892 until his death, 
in 1910; W. H. Niehaus, 1910 to present date; assistant cashiers, J. E. Duffy, 
1892 until his death in 1899; C. H. Earle, 1899 to date. Directors, at present are: 
W. C. Earle, Ella M. Beddow, C. H. Earle, K. H. Niehaus and D. I. Murphy. 

The official statement of the bank, in April, 1913, shows total assets of $310,- 
746.77, and deposits of $260,394.48. 



|„ lanuarv. 1893, the comptroller of the currency at Washington issued author- 
ity for the organization of a national hank at Waukon, a large part of the stock 
of $50,000 having been then subscribed by farmers of the county, by the efforts 
of B F Boomer and others. The charter was duly issued, April 22, 1893, and 
the bank opened for business June 5th. the capital of $50,000 being fully paid 
up and the following officers were chosen: President. 1".. F. Boomer ; vice presi- 
dent I M Barthell ; cashier. Allen B. Boomer ; assistant cashier, Wm. J. Mitchell : 
directors T M. Barthell, K. T. Anderson, B. F. Boomer, Joseph Haas : H. S. 
1 uhman Chas. Bayless, Henry Deters. H. S. Cooper, Willard Bacon, H. F. Opfer, 
Henrj Kiesau, Ben Troendle, W. J. Mitchell. W. T. Gilchrist, Patrick Waters. 
Frank Liethold, M. M. Fitzgerald, Chas. Allison. 

On the 2d of September following the president and cashier, B. F. and Allen 
Boomer, tendered their resignations, which were accepted ; and to succeed them 
W. J. Mitchell was elected president, Otto J. Hager, cashier, and A. T. Nierling, 

assistant cashier. 

This bank continued to operate in its first location in the Boomer bank build- 
ing on Spring avenue, for another year, when in September, 1894, it removed 
to the new Dillenberg block on the east side of Allamakee street, which had been 
erected and fitted out in first-class shape for this purpose. Here their constantly 
increasing business was conducted for ten years, until they moved into a build- 
ing of their own. in their present quarters on the north side of Main street. This - 
building was purchased for the permanent home of the bank, and was entirely 
remodeled, with a handsome new stone front. The most approved safeguards 
for the protection of its valuables and those of its patrons have been installed, 
as well as ample safety deposit boxes, and all the modern conveniences. 

In 1X94 J. M. Barthell was elected president, and H. F. Opfer, vice president; 
both now deceased; and June 30, 1909, E. Dillenberg was chosen to succeed Mr. 
Opfer, in the vice presidency. 

lanuarv 20, 1902, O. J. Hager became president, and A. T. Xierling suc- 
( reded to the cashiership. and they have continued in these positions since that 
time. Both have been connected with the bank in one capacity or another for 
twenty years. J. C. Ludeking entered the bank's employ as bookkeeper about 
that time i 1902) and was promoted assistant cashier, September 21, 1904. E. A. 
Allanson has been with the bank since April 21, 1907. as stenographer and book- 
keeper ; and Miss tiara I lanson was employed as stenographer in December, 1912. 
I he First National has for many years enjoyed the good will and patronage 
of the community ; and its business has so grown that in January. 191 3, it became 
advisable to increase it> capital stock to $ioo,ooo. thus doubling its former capi- 
tal, and making il one of the strongest financial institutions in northeastern Iowa. 
The present assets of the bank are $X(>o,ooo. or more than double what they were 
ten years ago. I 'resent deposits are $665,000; and there has been paid in divi- 
dends to the shareholders $156,000. 


The organization of another national bank to accommodate the growing wealth 
of the fanning region round about Waukon had been contemplated for some 


ill JI IIliiil- 



months, and plans were finally perfected under which a charter was authorized, 
and the Peoples National Bank of Waukon commenced business August 12, 1912, 
with a capital stock of $50,000. Fine large rooms were leased in the new Cain 
block, and equipped for the banking business with a completeness unsurpassed 
by any in the county. 

Of course the institution was assured of a good patronage before its opening; 
and a comparison of its later statements shows a good healthy increase of business. 
Under the comptroller's call of February 4, 1913, its total resources were $220,- 
866.54, and deposits $157,092.27. Under the call of April 4th there were, 
resources $293,876.26, and deposits $230,613.59. 

The officials of this institution are all well-known residents of the county, as 
follows: President, T. B. Stock; vice president, L. T. Hermanson; cashier, P. E. 
O'Donnell; directors, T. B. Stock, L. T. Hermanson, C. J. Hansmeier, C. G. 
Helming, P. S. Narum, Ed Teeling and D. J. Murphy. 



By A. M. May 

The first Methodist Episcopal minister on the Waukon circuit was Rev. L. S. 
Ashbaugh. during the last half of the conference year 1852-3. He had as a 
colleague, Rev. H. S. Brunson. That fall the conference met in Dubuque and 
Rev. H. S. Brunson was appointed presiding elder. Rev. John Webb was 
appointed to the Waukon Mission, with Joel Davis, a young man of much 
promise, as colleague. Mr. Davis' health failed about the middle of the year, 
and Mr. Webb continued the work alone, with the following appointments: 

"First Sabbath, at 10:30 A. M., at Lansing; 3 P. M., at Wakefield's school- 
house; 5:30 P. M., at Lansing Ridge, ten miles west of Lansing. Second Sab- 
bath, 10:30 A. M., at Hale's schoolhouse; 3 P. M., in the courthouse in Waukon; 
7 :30 P. M., at Burgess' near Rossville. Third Sabbath, 10:30 A. M., at Decorah ; 
3 P. M., at Freeport; 7:30 P. M., at Frankville. Fourth Sabbath, 10:30 A. M., at 
S. Leache's; 3 P. M., at Burr Oak; 7:30 P. M., at Carter's mill on the Upper 
Iowa river. The Saturday evening previous at Canoe. The Monday following 
at 7 :30 P. M., at New Oregon Grove, where Cresco is now situated ; thence for 
home at West Union to pay my family a visit, and then off for Lansing to begin 
the circuit again. 

"The trustees of the Waukon church were W. R. Pottle, E. B. Lyons, Thomas 
Feeley, John Israel, Father (George C.) Shattuck, Edwin J. Raymond. The 
stewards were, W. R. Pottle and E. B. Lyons. Class leader, and also local 
preacher, Thomas Feeley. (In 1890 Mr. Feeley was living near Winterset.) 
Father Shattuck and myself took an ox team and drew from the timber sills for 
a Methodist church near the courthouse. I think my successor failed to follow 
it up and they forfeited the lot. Reverend Ashbaugh was the first regular min- 
ister appointed to the Waukon church, and myself the second. The next annual 
conference was held at Keokuk, and I drove from Decorah to Keokuk, something 
like three hundred miles, to attend that conference. The next year I was appointed 


to the Garnavillo circuit, including McGregor." It is said that a Methodist 
minister, Win. Sweet, held services in Makee and Union Prairie in 1853-54, and 
doubtless was also at the young town of Waukon, but it is not certain. The 
church was organized while Rev. Webb was pastor in 1854. with the following 
members: Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Pottle. Mr. and Mrs. H. R. Pierce, Mr. and 
Mrs. E. B. Lyons, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas heeley, Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Raymond, 
Mr. and Mrs. John Israel. Mr. and Mrs. Peter Mills, Mr. and Mrs. A. Pinney, 
Mr. and Mrs. S. Hamler. Reverend Webb was pastor for the years 1854-55. At 
Keokuk the conference was divided, the northern portion becoming the Upper 
Iowa Conference and Rev. C. M. Sessions was pastor of the church for the year 
1856. His circuit included Waukon, Lansing, Waterville and Rossville, appoint- 
ments on Sundays, with a week-day appointment at the home of James Shepherd, 
on Lansing Ridge ; and another week-day appointment on Columbus Ridge, this 
society consisting of John Reed and family. John Stillman and family. Rev. S. 
H. Greenup and family, and Rev. M. Howard and family. The late Colonel 
Spooner of Waterville gave material aid, though not a member of the church. 
The Columbus Ridge interests were transferred later to the Waukon church. All 
these pioneer members have gone to their hnal reward. April 30, 1855, the 
church purchased the corner lot on Allamakee and Worcester streets, now the 
property of J. 11. Hale. In [859, they purchased lots t and 2, block 14, Dela- 
fields addition, where E. D. Purdy's residence is now, and a small frame church 
was erected at a cost of $800. During the building of the church the services 
were held a part of the time in the Cumberland Presbyterian church. A Sunday 
school was organized with Clark Bean as superintendent, and a "Band of Hope" 
was formed for the children. During this year the trustees were, W. R. Pottle, 
L. J. Raymond, E. 1'.. Lyons, Thos. Feeley, H. R. Pierce, Moses Wood, C. Bean; 
the stewards were D. Jaquis, A. Pinney, John Reed, S. Hamler, D. Miller and 
J. W. Flint. A Mason & Hamlin organ was purchased and the late John Eddy- 
was the first organist. Among the early choristers were L. M. Bearce, Herbert 
Bailey, Elbridge Morrison. The members were Mrs. Crouch, Mrs. Skinner, Mrs. 
Lowe, Mr. Pottle, "Grandpa" Taylor. Later, Miss Anna Pottle (the late Mrs. 
A. T. Stillman) became organist, an efficient and faithful one for many years. 
And there were Miss Emily Huestis. now Mrs. John Eddy; Miss Lfattie Morri- 
son, now Mrs. S. R. Thompson; Miss Abbie Bailey (the late Mrs. Drummond of 
Dubuque), were also among the faithful members. Mr. Bailey was one of the 
old-time singing school teachers, able, thorough and successful in his work. Mis 
rich, power) ul ha^s voice was known through northeastern Iowa. He removed 
to and died at Mc( iregor some thirty years ago. The ladies of the church organ- 
ized a sewing circle with Mrs. W. R. Pottle as president, meeting bi-weekly at the 
different homes, with refreshments served In- the hostess, consisting of bread, 
butter, one kind of meat, cheese or pickles, one kind of cake and tea; the one ex- 
ceeding this "menu" to be lined fifty cents. 

Desiring a better location, as the town grew, April 20, 1867 (Rev. B. D. Alden, 
pastor), the society purchased a site on the corner of Pitt and Worcester streets, 
moved the church building thereto, and erected a parsonage on the lots thus 
vacated. Reverend Alden said of this transaction in the "Inland Christian 
Advocate," Des Monies, February 22. 18(14: "It was our first attempt as a pastor 
at improving church property. The neat frame church stood in the outskirts of 


the village, so that we had not a fair chance with the other churches of the place. 
Efforts had been made before for a change of location, but invariably the efforts 
had been headed off by those who were not favorably disposed toward us. 

"The matter was canvassed quietly till we found sufficient encouragement to 
proceed, when a meeting of the official board was called and a committee was 
appointed to purchase the admirable corner lot, one square from the courthouse, 
upon which the present church now stands. 

"The lot, costing $400, was purchased and a portion paid down before the 
transaction was known to the public. Then there was excitement. One man 
who owned property next to it, and had been trying to get it but thought the price 
too high, immediately brought the $40x3 in cash and offered it to the man from 
whom we had purchased the property, but the committee had bound the bargain. 
The lot secured, the church was removed to it and nicely refitted and papered. 
It was opened for divine service by Rev. Samuel Pancoast of McGregor, and 
the whole expense, amounting to about $700 was fully provided for. Rev. John 
Webb preached in the evening, while outside the rain was pouring down in tor- 
rents, but the church was filled with rejoicing people. How well we remember 
the official brethren who stood by us — Clark Bean, Hosea Lowe, H. R. Pierce, 
W. R. Pottle, S. Hamler, Elihu Morrison, Eli Jones, John Goodykoontz, Daniel 

The congregation increased and needed a larger auditorium. Plans were 
made, and work begun on the present brick church building in May, 1869, but 
it was not finished until late in 187 1, being first occupied on Christmas evening, 
December 25. It was formally dedicated, Sunday, February 18, 1872, the sermon 
being preached by Rev. A. B. Kendig of Cedar Rapids, assisted by the presiding 
elder, Wm. Smith, of Decorah, and the pastor, Rev. J. R. Cameron. The cost 
was $7,015.55. 

The choir of the M. E. church at the time of the ''dedication," February 18, 
1872, was: L. M. Bearce, leader; Miss Anna Pottle, organist; Mrs. John Still- 
man, Mrs. H. Low, Misses Ruth Bearce (Gardner), Rosanna Rankin (Hancock), 
Tena Rankin (Manson), Jennie Reed (Bentley), and Messrs. A. T. Stillman, 
Gene Manson and Charles Osborn. 

In May, 1872, the old frame church was sold to C. S. Stilwell, who moved it 
to the corner of Armstrong and Court streets and remodeled it into his present 

The church has been heated by a furnace since 1878. The cupola was com- 
pleted by Sheffer in 1881 and a bell costing about $700 placed therein. 

Rev. T. E. Fleming was the pastor in 1882 ; the membership was about one 
hundred and sixty. The Sunday school numbered about one hundred ; A. T. 
Stillman, superintendent. The trustees were: G. H. Bryant, H. J. Bentley, E. D. 
Purdy, D. W. Reed, Henry Dayton, J. S. Nitterauer; stewards, John Brawford, 

D, W. Reed, John Stillman. P. C. Huffman, H. O. Dayton, M. W. Nesmith, J. S. 
Nitterauer, A. T. Stillman, L. Eells. 

In 1887 the presiding elder was W. F. Paxton ; pastor, G. R. Manning. Trus- 
tees, G. H. Bryant, H. J. Bentley, Henry Dayton, John Reed, Jackson Smith, 

E. D. Purdy, C. A. Beeman. Stewards, P. C. Huffman, H. O. Dayton, D. W. 
Reed, G. W. Haines, John Stillman, A. T. Stillman, Mrs. Jennie Bentley, Mrs. 
Jackson Smith, W. T. Gilchrist, M. Dowling, E. J. Spaulding, J. J. Jennings. 


District steward, P. C. Huffman. Recording steward, D. W. Reed. Sexton, R. 

Ladies" Mite Society — Mrs. Jennie Burton, president; Mrs. Maria Dayton, 
vice president; Miss Ruth Bearce, secretary; Mrs. Ellen Reed, treasurer. 

The Women's Foreign Missionary Society — Mrs. Carrie E. Manning, presi- 
dent; Mrs. Helen Clark, vice president; Mrs. Henrietta Hale, corresponding sec- 
retary; Mrs. Ellen Reed, recording secretary; Mrs. Laura Row, treasurer. 

Home College Class — Rev. G. R. Manning, president; Miss Emily Hale, vice 
president; Miss Jessie Lewis, secretary; Mrs. Mattie Spaulding, treasurer. 

Sunday School — A. T. Stillman, superintendent ; W. T. Gilchrist, assistant 
superintendent; Miss Allie Row, secretary; Miss Ruth Bearce, treasurer; Miss 
Anna May, librarian. 

Choir — A. M. May. leader; Mrs. A. M. May. Miss Anna May, Miss Jessie 
May. Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Alexander, Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Gilchrist, Air. and Mrs. 
John I. lennings, Miss Ruth Bearce, Miss Louisa Wimmer, Miss Jessie Robbins, 
Miss Gertie Goodykoontz. Miss Lura Fellows, organist. 

July 4. 1891, the new pastor. Rev. W. C. Macurdy. C. A. Beeman and A. T. 
Stillman were appointed a building committee for planning and erecting an addi- 
tion to the church building, which was done on the east side of the church, with 
folding glass doors between, capable of seating about 100, and is used for prayer 
meetings, Sunday school classes, and other purposes and including the "kitchen'' 
and entrance recess furnishes room for mite society dinners, etc.. and is easily 
made a part of the auditorium. The cost was about $2,000 ($1,917). The stew- 
ards at this time were: 1L J. Bentley, W. T. Gilchrist, A. T. Stillman, G. W. 
Haines. A. M. May. L. J. Nichols, J. Jenkins. David Miller, Levi Armstrong, 
John Stillman. Trustees, E. D. Purdy, G. H. Bryant, Jackson Smith, C. A. 
I .eeman, 1 1. O. Dayton. 

The stewards for 1901-02 were: E. D. Purdy, C. A. Beeman, Jackson Smith, 
II. 1'.. .Miner, G. H. Bryant, Mrs. Hattie Bowen, Mrs. Addie Sanaker, Mrs. Carrie 
Alexander. Mrs. Mary Dayton. The trustees were: A. T. Stillman, \Y. T. Gil- 
christ. 11. J. Bentley, < '•. \\ . Haines. A. T. Xierling. 

The pastor, Rev. W. G. Crowder, had been planning for a pipe organ for 
the church, and January 16, 1902, a contract was made with the Barckhoff Church 
Organ Company, of Pomeroy, Ohio, for an oak finish organ harmonizing with 
fine artistic effect with the surrounding location, and of smooth, pure musical 
tones at a cost of $1,200. Experienced organists of good judgment have said that 
it was an unusually tine and valuable instrument for that price. An inaugural 
concert, dedicating the new pipe organ was given at the church May 15, 1902, 
the organist being Rev. Hugh D. Atchison, pastor of St. Luke's M. E. church in 
Dubuque, an organist among the best in the West; contralto. Miss Genevieve 
Wheat, and basso-cantata, Mr. Marion I-".. Green, both of Dubuque, assisted by 
the choir. 

The stewards of the church for the year 1912-13 are: E. D. Purdy, Jackson 
Smith. A. T. Xierling. Mrs. II. F. Bowen. Mrs. P. X. Heiser, Mrs. R. J. Alex- 
ander. Miss Cora Miner. (',. H. Bryant, T. J. W'erhan. Chas. F. Pye, J. C. Lewis. 
Trustees. A. T. Stillman, W. T. Gilchrist, C. A. Beeman, August Hausman, G. 
W. Gaines. Deaconess. Mrs. F. FI. Robbins. Sunday school superintendent, 


A. T. Stillman. President Epworth League, Otto Ney. The pastor's salary, in- 
cluding parsonage, $1,200. Value of church, $12,000; parsonage, $3,000. 

The members of the choir are: A. M. May, leader; Miss Ethel Gilchrist, 
organist ; R. J. Alexander, W. T. Gilchrist, Richard Eddy, Ralph Jeglum, Leonard 
feglum, W. H. Niehaus, Misses Lizzie Nye, Gertrude Nye, Dora Eaton, Lucile 
Eaton, Mabel Dunlevy, Ruth Alexander, Eunice Hartley, Artis Hartley, Lisle 
Clark, Edith Clark, Elizabeth Lewis, Agnes Kettleson, Hazel Coon, Jennie Coon, 
Mrs. W. T. Gilchrist. 

The ministers who have served the YYaukon congregation and church are: 
Rev. L. S. Ashbaugh, and assistant, Rev. H. S. Brunson, 1852-53; Rev. John 
Webb and assistant. Rev. Joel Davis, 1854-55; Rev. C. M. Sessions, 1856; Rev. 
M. Whitmore, 1857; Rev - J onn Fawcett, 1858; Rev. W. E. McCormac, 1859-60; 
Rev. F. C. Mather, 1861-62; Rev. J. F. Hestwood, 1863-64; Rev. A. Faulkner, 
1865; Rev. B. D. Alden, 1866-67; Rev. R. Ricker, 1868-69; Rev - J- R - Cameron, 
1870-72; Rev. Win. Cobb, 1873-74; Rev. B. C. Hammond, 1875-77; Rev. 
J. A. Ward, 1878-80; Rev. D. Sheffer, 1881 ; Rev. T. E. Fleming, 1882-83; 
Rev. J. C. Magee, 1884-85; Rev. G. R. Manning, 1886-87; Rev. L. U. McKee, 
1888-90; Rev. W. C. Macurdy, 1891-93; Rev. W. H. Slingerland, 1894- 
97; Rev. S. R. Ferguson, 1897-99; Rev. J. W. McCord, 1899-1900; Rev. W. G. 
Crowder, 1900-03 ; Rev. K. W. Robbins, 1903-05 ; Rev. J. R. Caffyn, 1905-08 ; 
Rev. T. H. Temple. 1908-10; Rev. W. W. Robinson, 191 1 ; Rev. J. Arthur Young, 

ST. i>\trick's church and school 

St. Patrick's church at Waukon was built by Rev. Denis Brennan, in 1868; 
Andrew Johnson being president of the United States and John Hennessy, arch- 
bishop of Dubuque. During Rev. Father Brennan's pastorate the membership 
was small, but what it lacked in quantity it possessed in quality. Father Bren- 
nan was succeeded by Father Lowrey ; and next came Father McGowan, who in 
turn was succeeded by Father Hawe, who is now pastor of the Catholic church 
at Decorah. Father Hawe was followed by Father Byrnes, who died shortly 
after; and in 1885 Rev. Father Walsh was sent here. In 1906 he was made an 
irremovable rector by Most Reverend John J. Keane, archbishop of Dubuque. 

In 1910 Rev. Father O'Donnell was appointed assistant to Father Walsh, 
whose failing health caused him to resign in 191 1, and the present rector, Rev. 
M. K. Norton, received the appointment, with Rev. Father Reynolds as assistant. 
Rev. Father Norton is an eloquent speaker, and is regarded as one of the leading 
theologians of our country. He is one of the diocesan consultors and a member 
of the official family of Archbishop James J. Keane of Dubuque. 

The beautiful new church which is being built this year under Father Nor- 
ton's direction is to be of the Spanish renaissance or mission style of architecture. 
It will be 160 feet long and sixty feet wide, of white pressed brick with stone 
trimmings, marble altars, rails, and vestibules, mosaic floors, and Munich glass 

St. Patrick's congregation is composed of about 200 families, and numbers 
some 1,200 souls. The members are engaged in most of the callings of this busy 
life : the sturdy farmer, the strong workman, the brainy mechanic, the real live 


merchant and the thoroughly competent professional man. Like our own glorious 
America they have grown from small beginnings to their present grand propor- 
tions. They are God-fearing, patriotic, honest, and generous in their donations 
to religion and every other good cause. They believe that all they possess came 
from the hand of God, and in a spirit of gratitude they offer to the Great Giver 
of all good a liberal share of their earnings. They remember the stories of hard- 
ships told by their pioneer fathers and mothers; they rejoice that they are citi- 
zens of the best and greatest country on God's green footstool, and that they 
enjoy blessings, religious, political, and social, greater than were ever accorded 
to members of the human family since the dawn of human history. 

st. Patrick's school 

St. Patrick's congregation at Waukon takes a special pride in its parochial 
school, which is a large, imposing structure, ninety feet long and four stories 
"high. The building was started by Rev. Father Hawe about thirty years ago, 
who invited the Presentation Nuns of Dubuque to act as instructors. This order 
is a teaching body of cloistered sisters who came from Ireland to Dubuque in 
1879, and opened a convent on West Hill. The first superioress in Waukon was 
Rev. Mother Presentation, who with two assistants conducted the school for 
about five years. 

The school is now twice its original size, and has an enrollment of 220 pupils 
with seven sisters in charge. The course of study covers twelve years, and in- 
cludes the curriculum of the public schools. Music, stenography, and a normal 
teachers course, form special features of the institution. The kindergarten is in 
charge of Sister Martina ; primary grades, Sisters Inviolata and Rita ; intermedi- 
ate, Sister Sacred Heart ; grammar school, Rev. Mother Clementina ; and the high 
school and normal. Sister M. Charles. The music school is ably managed by 
Sister M. Anicetus, a niece of Rev. P. A. Walsh, a former much loved pastor. 
The graduates of the school number over 150 young men and women who have 
gone out into the various walks of life, making good in every case, and each in 
his own way reflecting credit on himself and his alma mater. 

In addition to the foregoing contribution by Airs. Cain, an old history pub- 
lished in [882 supplies the following facts, further supplemented by the county 
records and newspaper files: 

"In 1855 Rev. Father Kinsella bought forty acres of land northwest of town, 
and built thereon a log church, in which his people worshiped for many years. 
In [864 they purchased the property of Lewis H. Clark in Waukon, being a part' 
of block 4 in Shattuck's addition, corner of School and High streets, and con- 
verted his dwelling into a place of worship. This soon became too small for the 
growing congregation, and in 1868 the present large brick church was erected on 
the site of the old building, which was moved a short distance to one side, to the 
rear of the parsonage. March 9, 1869. the old building was destroyed by a fire, 
in which the records were lost, and this sketch is necessarily incomplete. Since 
Father Kinsella its priests have been Farrell, Xagle, Lowrey, Brennan, Mc- 
Gowan, and Hawe, who still presides over this charge. The church membership 
is about 100. The church a few years since purchased a part of block 5. opposite 
their place of worship ami parsonage, the site of the old public schoolhouse— 


whereon they have this season ( 1882) erected a fine brick edifice, three stories 
above the basement, with mansard roof, at a cost of $5,000, for the purpose of 
a sisters' school." 

The school was opened in 1883, and in a' later year this fine school building 
was added to, doubling its size. The deed of the present church site in 1864 was 
first to Mrs. Mary McDevitt, who soon after re-conveyed it to the Rt. Rev. 
Clement Smyth, of Dubuque. James and Mary McDevitt came to Waukon in 
1855, and built a frame dwelling with a basement for Mr. McDevitt's shoe shop, 
on the corner of Main and Pitt streets, where it was a landmark for many years. 
The corner is now occupied by Dr. Cain's handsome brick block. James Mc- 
Devitt died December 11, 1870, and Mrs. McDevitt later married John Ouigley. 
She was again widowed, and was finally provided with a home in St. Francis 
hospital in LaCrosse, where she passed her last days. Father Brennan did not 
remain long after the erection of the old church, and in 1869 went to Europe 
because of failing health. Father McGowan was here during 1874. 

St. Patrick's church became incorporated under the Iowa statutes November 
28, 191 1. Archbishop James J. Keane, ex-officio president; Pastor, Rev. P. A. 
Walsh, ex-officio, vice president ; who, with Rt. Rev. Roger Ryan, vicar general, 
and lay members, Hugh O'Donnell and Thomas McGeough, constituted the 
board of directors. 


The First Baptist church of Waukon celebrated its semi-centennial in the 
year 1904, by the erection of a fine new edifice, which was completed and formally 
dedicated to the service of the Lord on Sunday, September 17, 1905. Its organ- 
ization dates from June 17, 1854, on which day Azel Pratt and wife Mary, John 
G. Pratt, Lathrop Abbot and wife Emily, Miles Nichols and wife Hannah, 
Phoebe Hersey, and C. J. White, assembled at the dwelling of the first named, 
in the New England settlement called Makee, on what is now known as Makee 
Ridge, two miles north of Waukon, and organized under the name of the Alla- 
makee Baptist church. Of these nine 'constituent members none is now living, 
but their memory is fittingly honored by the beautiful window in the south front 
of the new building. The first named of them, Deacon Azel Pratt and wife, the 
strong pillars of the church in the first quarter century of its existence, entered 
into rest but a few days apart, in 1881. 

The Baptist Mission pioneer, Rev. James Schofield, extended the right hand 
of fellowship to the members of the little church, and by the end of the year six 
more were added to their number by letter and experience. In July, 1855, the 
rite of baptism was first administered to seven persons, by Elder Schofield, and 
the church grew rapidly, seventeen being received by baptism and seven by letter 
in 1855, and ten by baptism and seven by letter in 1856. John G. Pratt was the 
first church clerk, and in January, 1855, Azel Pratt and Isaac D. Lambert were 
chosen as the first deacons. Public worship was held in the Makee schoolhouse ; 
but the growth of the village of Waukon and the removal thither of many of the 
members made it necessary to have service here also, and in March, 1855, Samuel 
Hill, Jr., was engaged, at a small remuneration, to preach one-half of the time ; 
in the morning at Makee and in the evening at Waukon, the schoolhouse here 



being built in that year. Elder Schofield continued to labor with the church a 
part of the time until July i, 1856. Meanwhile the young preacher Samuel Hill 
had been, on May 18th, ordained for the ministry, and became the church's 
first pastor. In 1857 he returned to his former home in Massachusetts. 

The second pastor of the church, according to the records, was Rev. L. M. 
Newell, who was on May 23, 1857, called by the church at a salary of $500, one- 
half of which was paid by the Home Mission board, and be remained on the field 
until June, 1859. In this time the church bad assembled in Waukon; and in i860 
we find services were held in the Methodist church every fourth Sunday. Here 
follows a period of scant records; Rev. C. D. Farnsworth preaching a part of 
the time and Rev. James Schofield was pastor in 1861. 

In 1866 Rev. D. S. Starr was called and it was during his pastorate on July 
4, 1868, that the old church society was reorganized and incorporated as the First 
Baptist church of Waukon. with the following officers: Azel Pratt, A. T. Maltby 
and A. II. Ilersey, trustees; John G. Pratt, clerk; and C. O. Maltby. treasurer. 
They immediately proceeded to build a house of worship, a frame building, on 
the north side of Pleasant street, in which the first services were held January 
17. [869. In the spring of 1871 this frame building was sold to A. H. and A. 
Hersey, and remodeled as a place of residence, for which purpose it is still used, 
by several tenants, and is known as the "bee-hive." The church then purchased 
the brick building erected by the Congregational society on the present site in 
1883, in which they worshipped for thirty-three years, until is was razed, in 
July of [904, to be replaced by the present modern structure, at a total cost of 
about $18,000. including a S2.000 pipe organ built by the 1 look-Hastings Co. 
of Boston. 

The pastors of the church since 1869 have been as follows: Rev. L. L. Frisk, 
1870-71 ; Geo. M. Adams, 1872-73; John M. Wedgwood, 1873-78. Father Wedg- 
wood was greatly beloved of his flock, but health failing, he took an interval of 
rest. Later he served the Rossville church two or three years, but increasing 
ill health caused him to retire to a farm in Fayette county, where he occasionally 
preached as he was able. In 1887 he returned and built him a home in Waukon, 
where he continued to reside until his death, in 1891, in his seventy-second year. 
F. N. Eldridge, 1878-81; M. II. Perry, 1881-82; Robert Smith, 1882-84; F. W. 
C. Wiggin, [884-85; Geo. II. Starring, 1886-87; D. N. Mason, 1887-93; E. E. 
Tyson, [894-96; Robert Bruce, 1896-98; W. C. Stewart, 1S99-1902. 

(Pas. Henry Stull, 1902-05. Under his tireless activity and encouragement 
the new building enterprise was undertaken and successfully carried out. Hav- 
ing seen the completion of this great work, shortly after the dedication of the 
new edifice. Mr. Stull tendered his resignation, which was reluctantly accepted, 
and he has since occupied important fields at Denison and Iowa Falls, this state; 
St. Paul. Minnesota; Huron, South Dakota; and now in Ohio. 

Howard Percy Langridge was then called to this church, in December, 1905, 
and took up the work with an energy, devotion and tactfulness that brought 
immediate result-; and with so great a sympathy and helpfulness for all in 
misfortune that lie soon endeared himself to the entire community, within the 
church and without. The circumstances of his tragic death by drowning in the 
lake of the power company on the Oneota river. May 22. 1909. are too fresh in 
the hearts of his -till sorrowing friends to call for repetition here. A young man 

Presbyterian church 

German Reformed church 
Catholic church 

Baptist church 

Methodist Episcopal church 

Old Allamakee college 

Public school 



of but thirty-five, in athletic vitality, devoted to this family of wife and three 
young sons, and to the cause which he had espoused ; and with so bright a future 
in prospect, the deplorable event seemed impossible. The funeral services were 
conducted by Rev. A. W. Caul of Vinton ( under whose pastorate he was ordained 
five years previously), assisted by the local pastors of sister denominations, and 
the remains were taken to Manchester, Delaware county, his former home, for 

W. H. Belfry next became pastor, from October i, 1909, until June 1, 1912. 
In September following he was succeeded by the present pastor, W. J. Bell. 

The church clerk's have been: John G. Pratt to 1869; L. W. Hersey 1869-81 ; 
John W. Pratt, 1881-94; Mrs. Charlotte Hancock, 1894-1901 ; E. B. Gibbs, 
1901-03; Miss Frances Lathrop, 1903-05; P. A. Anderson, 1905-12; Dr. J. H. 
Johnson, 1912-13. 

Any historical sketch of this church would be obviously incomplete without 
special reference to Brother John W. Pratt, who was for so -many years not 
only its never-absent clerk and deacon, but also, for over a quarter of a century, 
the faithful chorister, and who departed this life in 1897. It would also be unjust 
to omit mention of the faithful organist for many years, Miss Estelle Pratt, still 
a faithful assistant ; and her successor, Miss Lizzie Spaulding. The same might 
well be said of Mrs. Flora Crawford, Mrs. Ella Howard and Mrs. Evy Howe, 
the leading members of the choir. 

On November 3, 1902, in her eighty-first year, Mrs. Nancy B. Whiting entered 
into the reward of a long and patiently suffering Christian life ; and a few weeks 
later, January 6, 1903, her brother, Lewis W. Hersey also died, in his seventy- 
eighth year. His wife, B. A. Hersey, lovingly known by the entire congregation 
as "Aunt Ann," survived him but a few years. She had made the erection of 
the new church a possibility by her original contribution of $5,000, when the 
project was undertaken, which she had later increased, and bequeathed $3,000 as 
an endowment, the interest to be used only for current expenses of the church. 
Sister Whiting deeded her comfortable home to the church for a parsonage : 
and Krother Hersey had been a financial stand-by of the church for many years. 
All three were very helpful to the church while living, and their works do fol- 
low them. 

In December, 1903, it was decided that a new church edifice be erected, at a 
cost of not to exceed $9,000. In January, 1904, the plans of architect Dohman 
of Milwaukee were adopted, and a building committee appointed, consisting of 
E. W. Goodykoontz, P. A. Anderson, E. H. Fourt, Dewight Sherman and Mrs. 
B. A. Hersey with C. O. Howard and M. S. Howard advisory members thereof. 
In June following three additional members were appointed. Pastor Stull, E. B. 
Gibbs and J. H. Johnson. C. O. Howard did not live to see the work completed, 
having passed away on the 7th of September. With various alterations made 
in the plans it was found that the original limit would not be sufficient, and the 
contract as let to Wm. F. Fuelling of Clayton county called for an outlay of 
about S13.000, and the old material; which amount was eventually considerably 

In July, 1904, the old structure was razed, and work begun on the foundation. 
The cornerstone was laid October g by the deacons of the church ; and the new- 
building was opened for services June 23, 1905, though incomplete, upon the occa- 


sion of the meeting here of the annual session of the Turkey River Baptist Asso- 
ciation. Meanwhile, since the preceding June the regular meetings of the church 
had been held in the City Hall. The formal dedication of the new edifice took 
place September 17, 1905, the dedicatory services being conducted by Rev. H. O. 
Rowlands, D. D.. of Davenport. On this occasion the trustees reported the total 
cost and expenses to date to be S16.101.19. The trustees at that time consisted 
of: E. W. Goodykoontz, E. H. Fourt, P. A. Anderson, E. B. Gibbs, and M. S. 
Howard. Deacons: E. P.. Gibbs, Dewight Sherman and E. M. Hancock. Dea- 
conesses: Mrs. Margaret David, Mrs. S. D. Torrey and Miss Lida Sherman. 

June 20, 1908, a terrific hail storm badly damaged the art windows on the 
north side of the church. The interior decoration of the church had never been 
completed, and early in 1910 this work was taken up, and the interior remodeled, 
a capacious gallery constructed, and the choir loft greatly improved. These 
repairs and improvements caused an additional expense of some $2,000, and made 
a very beautiful -auditorium. The church was reopened April 17, 1910. 

The present membership of the church is about ninety, with the following 
officials: Trustees. I-'.. II. Fourt, P. A. Anderson. A. E. Entwisle, Mrs. Flora Craw- 
ford, E. B. Gibbs. Deacons: E. B. Gibbs, Dewight Sherman, E. M. Hancock. 
Deaconesses: Mrs. Millie Markley, Mrs. Maude Kellev, Mrs. Ida Entwisle: and 
Mrs. Margaret David, honorary deaconess for life. Clerk, J. H. Johnson. Gen- 
eral auditor, E. 1',. Gibbs. Chairman of finance committee. E. M. Hancock. 
Choir: Mrs. Flora Crawford, Mrs. Ella Howard. Mrs. Evy Howe, Mrs. Mabel 
Colsch, Mrs. Beth Allanson, Messrs. Anderson, Fourt, Goodykoontz and T. T. 
Ericson. Organist, Miss Lizzie Spaulding. 

Sunday School: Superintendent, Mrs. Ida Entwisle, assistant, Miss Lida Sher- 
man: secretary. W'm. X. Brown; librarian. Miss Estelle Pratt. 

In 1875 the old church was supplied with a bell, through the labors of the 
young ladies society called "The Merry Workers," and it was hung in February. 
Two months later it was decided to be unsatisfactory in tone and power, and 
with renewed effort it was soon after replaced with a much finer and heavier one, 
the bell that is still in use. 


I he following sketch of the Waukon Presbyterian church is based on an 
outline contributed by Pastor Van Nice at our request, which we have enlarged 
upon from oilier sources, preserving the sequence of events and dates furnished 
by him. The first records of this church are incomplete, but it was organized as 
a Cumberland Presbyterian church by Rev. J. C. Armstrong, who was sent out 
by the Board of Missions of that church in 1856. "On an Indian path, at some 
springs in the prairie, had grown up a little village called Waukon. Thither 
Armstrong directed his steps." A number of persons belonging to the Cumber- 
land Presbyterian churc'h had immigrated to this place in the preceding three 
years, Iron, Indiana chiefly, and services had been held from time to time by 
Ministers T. Stewart. Wm. Lynn and James McFarland. But soon after 
Rex. Armstrong came, on August 21, [856, an organization was effected with 
twenty-four members, as follows: James Maxwell, lacob B. Plank, Elizabeth 
Plank, R. C. Armstrong, Mary Armstrong, Josiah Bro.wn, Elizabeth Brown, 


Enoch Jones, Susan Jones, Win. G. Mullen, Jane Mullen. Jacob Shew, Susan 
Shew, John Brawford, F. M. Brawford, Enoch Miller, E. Miller, Simon Gregg, 
Catherine Gregg, Lorenzo Bushnell, M. B. Bushnell, Elias Aurand, Elam Jones 
and Isabel Jane Lyons. 

James Maxwell, J. B. Plank, Jacob Shew and Simon Gregg were the first 
elders; and Enoch Jones, Wm. S. Mullen and Elias Aurand, the first deacons. 
Worship was conducted in the public schoolhouse until the fall of 1858, when the 
first church edifice of Waukon was completed and dedicated. It was a very 
commodious building for that time, the main room being 34 by 44 feet, with a 
vestibule extending across the front 34 by 10 feet. From time to time as occasion 
demanded the building was improved, a furnace heating plant put in in 1878, 
and in 1885 it was raised, remodeled, and veneered with brick, and a dining room 
and kitchen installed, converting it into a much more handsome and convenient 
building. But the fond recollections of the old residents of the village linger 
around the familiar old building as it appeared in the early sixties, when it was 
occupied for school as well as church purposes, and for public lectures. Here 
was held the funeral of the lamented John J. Stillman, in February, 1862, whose 
remains were brought home from Fort Donelson, the first Alamakee battle- 
sacrifice in the rebellion. 

To continue the history of the old building it should be added here that in 
1902 it was removed to give place to the new one. But it was not destroyed. 
They built of oak in the fifties, and built to endure. The house was sawed in 
two for convenience of transportation, and traveled out into the country about 
one mile southwest, where it was transformed into an incubator factory. After 
a few years it came back to town, and may be seen today as a feed stable north 
of the Grand Hotel. It is still good for another journey ; and it still serves the 
purpose assigned to it in whatever capacity, however humble, without detracting 
from the good accomplished in its better days. 

The new and beautiful modern house of worship which replaces the old build- 
ing was completed and dedicated in 1903. It was the pioneer of the numerous 
modern church houses the town is now in the happy possession of, and cost 
near $20,000. A fine organ of the Burlington (la.) Pipe Organ Co. make 
was installed upon the completion of the building, July, 1903, at a cost of $1,800. 

Upon the organization of the church in 1856, Rev. J. C. Armstrong became 
its first pastor, resigning in the fall of 1859 to become a missionary in Turkey. 
He afterwards returned to America, and died in 1889. Following him Rev. J. 
Loughran served until 1862. Then Rev. J. R. Brown, afterwards editor of the 
Cumberland Presbyterian, and of the St. Louis Observer, was pastor until 
1864, when Rev. B. Hall was called to the pastorate and served the congregation 
for eleven years. After his resignation in 1875, Mr. Hall continued to serve the 
cause in the capacity of missionary, though retaining his home at Waukon, where 
he passed away March 18, 1887. Since Rev. Hall the pastors have been: Rev. 
J. Wood Miller. 1875-8; O. E. Hart, 1878-81 ; H. D. Onyett, 1881-2; A. Allison, 
1882-3; A. G. Bergen, 1883-4; J. D. Gold, 1884-9; and the present pastor, R. L. 
Van Nice since 1889. 

Nearly a thousand members are known to have been received into this church, 
but death and removals have done their work so that the number is only about 
170 at the present time, 1913. 


The present elders are James Thompson, W. B. Cowan, A. G. Fiet, and 
F. H. Xagel. The trustees are L. A. Howe, A. G. Fiet, and I. E. Beeman. 

In 1906 the Cumberland Presbyterian and the Presbyterian Church U. S. A. 
were united, and the church at Waukon became a church in the new organization 
known as the Presbyterian church. 


This congregation was organized on the 13th of February, 1885, by Rev. 
I'.. R. Huecker, who was at the time pastor of the Reformed church four miles 
southeast from town, and was served by him till June. 1886. A substantial brick 
house of worship was erected in Waukon during the year 1885. Rev. Huecker 
was followed by Rev. J. Christ, who had just graduated from the seminary. He 
eutered upon his work here on August 8, 1886, and closed his pastorate Sep- 
tember 30, 1890. Rev. 1'. Ebinger was then called to be pastor of this charge, 
and served from August 24. 1891 till July <;, 1895. During these years the 
pastor lived in the country, and Zion's congregation was connected with that in 
the country and was served from there. The church in town was growing and 
at the close of Rev. Ebinger*s pastorate decided it was best to have the pastor 
live in its midst. During the summer of 1895 a parsonage was built in town, 
close by the church. Rev. G. D. Elliker entered upon his work on July 9, 1895, 
and served for nearly fifteen years. During his pastorate some of the members 
of the country church wished to unite with the church in town. Others followed 
and consequently the Ebenezer congregation in the country ceased to exist, the 
members all joining Zion's church in town. 

Soon the old church building was too small to hold the congregations. In 
1903 the congregation decided to erect a new church and in the same year prepa- 
rations were made. In 1904 the new church was built, and was dedicated on 
January 15, 1905. From the report of the building committee we learn that the 
cost of the present building is $16,659.36. The congregation is free from debt 
and enjoying a steady growth. The German language is used in all the morning 
services and in most of the classes in Sunday school ; there are, however, a few 
English classes and since Xew Year's 1910, English evening services have been 
introduced. The congregation still adheres to the custom of catechetical instruc- 
tions for the children. Thus the children are taught the catechism and the 
Bible from two to four years before they are received into full membership, of 
the church. 

The present pastor is Rev. E. H. Vornholt, who came to the charge in April 
of 1910. There arc now 313 members in the congregation. One of the difficult 
tasks before the congregation i»s to pass through the transition period safely. 
from German into English. This will, however, take quite a number of vears 


This dues not exist here today, hut the old organization was so much a part 
of our early history that this sketch must not be omitted. Rev. fames Iientley 
came to Waukon in 1X58. sent by the Episcopal bishop to this place and to Lan- 


sing. He held services sometimes in the public school building, and in 1859 in 
the Presbyterian church Sunday afternoons. April 25, 1859, Walter Delafield, 
Orin Manson, John Griffin, John Phillips, L. B. Cowles, C. Paulk, and A. Parson, 
organized St. Paul's parish of the Protestant Episcopal church, of the diocese of 
Iowa. The same year they built a small frame church on block 5, Delafield's 
addition, corner of Liberty and High streets. In the summer of i860 the build- 
ing was greatly enlarged and the tower erected. While these improvements 
were being made, the Sunday school, which was very popular under Delafield's 
superintendency, was held in Hersey's hall. A 613-lb. Meneely bell, costing 
$250 was also purchased and placed in position, the first church bell in town. It 
is said that this bell was a gift from Jay Cooke, later the financial agent of the 
United States government in the Civil war. This writer has a distinct recol- 
lection of the assembling of the Sunday school in Hersey's hall one bright summer 
day, from whence with a profusion of oak leaf wreaths and flowers, they 
marched with banners flying, out to the east of town to meet the coming bell, 
which had been brought from Lansing by the Columbus road, and escorted it 
into town to the little church now ready to receive it. In 1895 the bell was taken 
to the Decorah church. The little brown church and the large parsonage to the 
north are still standing, the church remodeled into a residence. 

Mr. Bentley served as rector for several years, but was later in the employ 
of the American Sunday School Union, in this state and Kansas. He made his 
home for years on the farm on Makee Ridge until recently owned and accupied 
by Hon. E. H. Fourt. Mr. Bentley died September 2, 1893. Rev. James Allen 
was elected rector, and after him Rev. Estabrook held services occasionally. In 
the fall of 1867 Rev. A. M. May came to Waukon as rector and served the church 
in that capacity five or six years ; but the congregation had been small since early 
in the sixties, and regular services were finally abandoned. 

Walter Delafield was in 1868 rector of Grace Chapel, New York city, and 
graduated from the General Theological Seminary in New York in 1869. In 
1886 he came from Terre Haute to Chicago, where he organized the Church of 
the Transfiguration, Forty-third street, near Cottage Grove avenue, which he 
continued to serve as rector until his death, April 11, 1900. 


St. John's Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran church of Waukon, was incorpo- 
rated September 22, 1890, the board of trustees comprising Niles A. Rippy, 
president; Hans J. Bjerke, secretary; Halvor Pedersen, treasurer, and H. H. 
Larson. In 1907 the church was reincorporated, as the St. John Lutheran church 
of Waukon, with the following named officials: Trustees, Hans E. Void, Ole 
P. Kvernum, and John L. Ehrie ; Secretary, S. K. Kolsrud ; Treasurer, L. T. 
Hermanson ; Deacons, Olaf Hanson, Tollef Johnson and J. S. Johnson. 

About the year 1890 this church built a handsome little frame house of 
worship, which has been from time to time improved. Rev. M. F. Lunde served 
the church as pastor from 1890 to '95, when he took charge of the church on 
Waterloo Ridge. Rev. J. A. Hellesvedt succeeded him here, being transferred 
to La Crosse about 1905, and he was followed on this field by Rev. Jacob Fjelde, 
who is the present pastor. 



The Seventh Day Advehtist Association had an organization and a church 
building on the Ludlow-Jefferson township line three miles south of Waukon, 
in the sixties, the membership of which was composed of well known early set- 
tlers including Wm. Andrews, Geo. I. Butler, E. M. Stephens, James Vile, John 
P. Farnsworth, the Bullocks, Washburn, and others. Sometime in the early 
eighties the little church was removed into town and located upon lot 10, block 
21, which they bought of G. L. Teeple, in the block of the Robert Douglass resi- 
dence. The society continues to hold social meetings every Sabbath, and quarterly 
meetings. A Sabbath school is also kept up. 


( )n the 30th day of May, 1883, after Memorial Day exercises, a meeting of 
veterans from all over the county was held in Waukon, preliminary to the organi- 
zation of a Grand Army Post. G. M. Dean was chairman of the meeting, and 
T. C. Medary secretary. On motion of D. W. Reed, F. H. Robbins was appointed 
a committee to arrange for a mustering officer, and the time of assembling. 

On the 23d of June following, the veterans of Allamakee county to the num- 
ber of eightv-nine, assembled at Barnard Hall in Waukon, and Comrade Herman 
Karberg of Hyde Clark Post, Dubuque, proceeded to muster in the following 
named charter members, under special order No. 199, from department head- 
quarters for Iowa : Geo. W. Sherman, John Toole, E. B. Raymond, D. W. 
Reed, John W. Pratt, Wm. T. Stub, T. W. David, Geo. D. Greenleaf, Thos. B. 
Wiley, Isaac Mickey, David Hawthorne, John Dowling, Thomas Dowling, John 
Sines, Robert Boyce, T. J. Hawthorne, Frank Klees, Julius Nelson, Geo. O. 
Potter, John Griffin, Wm. Niblock, Wm. J. Miller, James B. Rudd, D. W. 
Douglass, John H. Hale, Geo. Robertson, Leroy Butts, E. W. Pratt, Peter Griffin, 
John F. Pitt. Martin Hoffman, O. A. Ross, S. L. Rush, Daniel Ryan, T. J*. Han- 
cock, Wm. Raymond, John D. Nesmeier, Henry Allpress, L. Ferris, Jas. A. 
I.angford, John Hartley, A. R. Prescott, John T. Robinson, E. A. Swan, C. T. 
Granger, Ileber Robinson, F. H. Robbins, T. C. Medary, Geo. M. Dean, Jas. 
M. llarr, A. B. Conner, Cornelius Ward, Henry P. Lane, Isaac Woodmansee, 
I". I'.. Bascom, M. G. Wood, Oscar Collins, John A. Decker, John Crawford, 
Wm. H. Crouch, M. F. Sanner, Frank Van Amberg, Robert Smith, Henry 
< iraham, C. B. Jordon, James McClintock, James Ruth. L. W. Irwin, Hans 
Simenson, Geo. Schroda, A. M. May. John A. Rupp, J. J. Jennewine, Nick 
Betzinger, Wm. H. Gra'ham, Archibald McClintock, B. G. Stanley, James Briar, 
Geo. W. Miller, Alonzo Thornton, Levi N. Green, P. I. Pierce, C. A. Robey, Geo. 
P. Bellows, John W. Barlow, A. F. Loomis, John Pixler, Hugh McCabe, Robert 

Immediately after muster the following officers were elected and installed: 
Post Commander, D. W. Reed; Senior Vice Commander, J. W. Pratt; Junior Vice 
Commander, James Ruth; Officer of the Day, T. C. Medary; Surgeon, A. R. 
Prescott; Adjutant, F. W. Pratt; Quartermaster, F. H. Robbins; Chaplain, Rev. 
Robert Smith; Officer of the Guard, A. B. Conner; Sergeant Major, J. B. Reid ; 
Quartermaster Sergeant, Henry P. Lane. 


The name chosen for the Post was Nathaniel P. Baker, the adjutant general 
of Iowa in the dark days of the rebellion ; but upon ascertaining that the name 
was already adopted by the Post at Clinton, on the 21st day of July this Post 
unanimously adopted the name of John J. Stillman, the first man from Allamakee 
county killed in action at Fort Donelson, and it has since been known as John 
J. Stillman Post, No. 194. 

From the time of organization the principal officers, commander and adjutant, 
have been as follows : 

Commander: D. W. Reed, 1883-88; F. H. Robbins, 1889-97; R- Wampler, 
1898-1903; G. M. Dean, 1904-05; F. H. Robbins, 1906; R. Wampler, 1907-10; 
G. P. Bellows, 1911-13. 

Adjutant: E. W. Pratt, 1883; N. H. Pratt, 1884; T. C. Medary, 1885-86; 
A. M. May, 1887-1913. 

The present officers are : Post Commander, G. P. Bellows ; Senior Vice Com- 
mander, James Briar; Junior Vice Commander, John F. Pitt; Adjutant, A. M. 
May ; Quartermaster, Geo. W. Sherman ; Surgeon, George Cummins ; Chaplain, R. 
Wampler; Officer of the Day, D. W. Douglass; Patriotic Instructor, A. M. May; 
Officer of the Guard, George Schroda ; Sergeant Major, Hugh McCabe ; Quarter- 
master Sergeant, Jacob Minchk ; Delegate to State Encampment — A. M. May. 

Waukon Relief Corps, John J. Stillman, No. 123, organized August 7, 1887, 
with the following officers : Mrs. E. E. Stevens, president ; Anna Granger, 
senior vice president ; Jane Dean, junior vice president ; Henrietta Hale, secretary ; 
Ellen Reed, treasurer ; Margaret David, chaplain ; Adelia Conner, conductor ; 
Cynthia Robinson, guard. The present officers are : 

Mrs. Althae Robbins, president; Alice Daulton. senior vice president; Dina 
Reynolds, junior vice president ; Phoebe Walker, secretary ; M. A. R. Bellows, 
treasurer ; Eliza Colgrove, chaplain ; Mary Passmore, conductor ; Sarah Briar, 


Albert M. Stewart Camp, No. 6, Department of Iowa, United Spanish War 
Veterans, was organized and mustered in May 30, 1908, under charter dated 
May — , 1908. with the following charter members: R. A. Nichols, Wm. S. 
Hart, J. H. Hager, Otto Gulrud, M. S. Jones, John Colsch, C. H. Stilwell, Calvin 
S. Stilwell, C. M. Powell, C. H. Dean, J. E. O'Brien, B. W. Ratcliffe, R. J. Pratt, 
Chas. Colsch, Nicholas Colsch, Jr., Robt. E. Hughes. 

Officers elected at first meeting as follows: Camp Commander, R. A. Nichols; 
Senior Vice Commander, J. H. Hager; Junior Vice Commander, Otto Gulrud; 
Adjutant, Calvin S. Stilwell; Quartermaster, Claude H. Dean; Officer of the 
Day, M. Scott Jones ; Officer of the Guard, John Colsch. 

Present officers of the Camp: Camp Commander, John E. O'Brien; Senior 
Vice Commander, Calvin S. Stilwell ; Junior Vice Commander, A. W. Douglas ; 
Adjutant, M. Scott Jones ; Quartermaster, Nicholas Colsch, Jr. ; Officer of the Day, 
R. A. Nichols ; Officer of the Guard, R. J. Pratt. 

Camp was named in honor of Sergt. A. M. Stewart, the first typhoid victim 
of Company I, Forty-ninth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, who died at Jacksonville, 
Florida, August 25, 1898. 


Members of the camp include veterans of the Spanish-American war and 
Philippine insurrection, who saw service in Cuba and the Philippines, on land 
and water. 

All honorably discharged soldiers and sailors of the Spanish-American war, 
Philippine insurrection, Boxer trouble, serving from 1898 to 1900 in the service 
of the United States are eligible to membership. 

women's clubs 

"The Woman's Literary Club" of Waukon was organized in February, 1884, 
through the efforts of Mrs. W. C. Earle. It is said to be the second oldest of 
the women's clubs in the State of Iowa. At first the object of the society was 
largely for social intercourse, although the first hour was spent in reading Shake- 
speare, and the second in some work selected either by the club or reader ; but 
as time rolled on it seemed to its members that more systematic work should be 
done. The subject was discussed pro and con, for some time, and in the summer 
of 1897 it was decided to plan a course of study for the coming year ; accord- 
ingly Mrs. A. M. May, who was then president, appointed a committee to lay 
out the work. The course decided upon was a study of the United States, by 
states, giving a short history of each, its prominent cities, statesmen, authors, 
etc. Since that time each year has had its apportioned work. Friday has been 
the meeting day of this club; the first Friday in February is set apart as an 
anniversary, and the last Friday in June, closing the year's work, as guest day. 
The present officers of the club are: President, Mrs. Jackson Smith: Vice Presi- 
dent, Mrs. W. T. Gilchrist: Secretary, Mrs. Charlotte Hancock; Treasurer, Mrs. 
Phoebe Walker. 

The next oldest club in Waukon is the "Nineteenth Century Club," and 
numerous others followed in later years, as the "New Century," the "Thursday 
Club," the "Browning," the "Keane Circle," and others; all we believe uniting in 
various enterprises for the public welfare, instruction and amusement. Among 
such enterprises may be mentioned the lecture courses in winter and the Chau- 
tauqua in summer, as well as the public library elsewhere noticed. 


The Waukon military company has a long and honorable record. It was 
mustered in as Company F, Fourth Regiment Iowa National Guards, by Capt. 
I-.. II. Bascom, of Lansing. May in, 1878, with a full complement of sixty-four 
enlisted men. besides the commissioned officers, who were elected as follows: 
1 aptain, D. W. Keed; First Lieutenant, J. W. Pratt; Second Lieutenant, T. G. 
Orr, In July, the company was transferred to the Ninth regiment, becoming 
Company E. August 17, Captain Reed was elected major of the regiment. About 
September 20th the company received their arms and accoutrements. In October, 
Earle's hall was leased for an armory. November 7th, Second Sergeant A. J. 
Rodgers was elected captain, and Fifth Sergeant A. T. Stillman, first lieutenant 
to nil vacancy caused by resignation of J. W". Pratt. May 2, 1879, Orderly Ser- 
geant Dell J. Clark was elected second lieutenant to fill vacancy caused by Lieu- 
tenant (Irr's resignation, and A. H. Peck was elected orderly. In July the com- 
pany was retransferred to the Fourth Regiment, becoming Company I. In August, 

Tliis view copyrighted, 1 900. by E. A. Hirlh. 

City park 

Allamakee street 

Spring avenue 

Main street 

Another view on Main street 

Iron mines 



uniforms were purchased, and September 16th to 19th the company partici- 
pated in regimental encampment at Independence. May 7, 1880, Third Sergt. 
J. B. Reid was elected second lieutenant in place of D. J. Clark, resigned. October 
nth to 15th the company was in regimental camp at Postville. In August. 1881, 
Captain Rodgers was elected major of the regiment, and the term of service 
having expired, it was a question whether or not the company should reorganize. 
On the 8th the company decided by vote to do so, and on the 17th Sergt. A. G. 
Stewart was elected captain. The company attended the state encampment at 
Des Moines, second week in October. Lieutenant Stillman's commission having 
expired, and he desiring to retire, Second Lieut. J. B. Reid was elected his suc- 
cessor November 25th, and Sergt. E. B. Gibbs elected to the second lieutenancy. 
In lune, 1882, with these officers, and E. W. Pratt as first sergeant, the company 
attended brigade encampment at Waterloo, where they received the first prize 
($ioo) for the best drilled company in the Second Brigade, comprising three 
regiments. In September, Barnard Hall was rented for an armory, and that 
month the company, by special invitation, attended the grand military encamp- 
ment at Dubuque, where they acquitted themselves creditably. The company 
held the championship for target practice for several years after this. 

In May, 1883, the company attended a National Guard encampment at Nash- 
ville Tennessee, where they met a vast concourse of people as well as most of the 
celebrated companies of state troops in the United States. "Company I" did not 
enter the prize drill at this place. It went at the special request of the com- 
mander of that great camp — "Camp Duncan," Brig. Gen. C. S. Bentley of Iowa 
commanding — as "Headquarters Guard, and escort to the commanding general." 
The company received the highest praise alike from United States and state 
officers for general efficiency and soldierly bearing as well as discipline and good 

The roster of the company attending this camp was as follows: Capt. 
A. G. Stewart; First Lieut., J. B. Reid; Second Lieut., E. B. Gibbs; First Sergt., 
E. W. Pratt; Second Sergt., R. A. Nichols; Third Sergt., E. M. Hancock; 
Fourth Sergt., J. E. Duffy; Fifth Sergt., J. C. Lewis. 

Corporals, A. O. Sagen, L. A. Howe, F. A. Wigton, J. B. Hays. 

Privates, J. A. Brawford, James Berry, F. Berrier, J. Cummins, J. B. Dowling, 
Herman Groeling, G. L. Hubbell, Daniel Hanley, B. H. Hall, E. P. Jordan, 
S. W. Kellogg, F. E. Nichols, T. F. O'Brien, J. L. Pratt, Allison Peck, A. H. Ross, 
Mark Snyder, R. I. Steele, E. R. Spencer; and Quartermaster Sergt. G. C. 
Hemenway, A. C. Hagemeier, assistant. 

The company kept up its continuous record as one of the best companies 
of the state in all respects for nearly fifteen years after this time (1883). In 
1886 Captain Stewart, who had commanded the company since 1881, was elected 
colonel of the Fourth Regiment. He occupied this position for a term (five 
years), and was reelected and recommissioned for another five years, but on the 
reorganization of the guard in 1892 resigned and retired from the active service, 
being given, by special orders from the military department, the full rank of 

Meantime Company I had gone along in its steady and reliable way, always 
doing its duty faithfully and well and attending the annual encampments with a 
full complement of men. On the promotion of Captain Stewart to the colonelcy 


in 1886, Lieut. E. B. Gibbs became captain and served through one encampment. 
He then resigned to take the adjutancy of the regiment, which he held for several 
years. On his leaving the captaincy Lieut. R. A. Nichols became captain and 
held the company up to its old standard of efficiency until he resigned in June, 
1893. Previous to this, in October, 1892, the company had the honor of par- 
ticipating in the military part of the program of the dedication of the World's 
Columbian Exposition, at Chicago, for several days, where they encamped in 
the great Agricultural Building. They were assigned a position in the military 
review at Washington Park, October 21st, assisted at the dedication of the 
Iowa Building on Saturday, October 22d, and returned home on the following 

Captain Nichols was succeeded by First Lieut. Henry V. Duffy, who was 
commissioned captain July 1, 1893, and commanded the company until his tragic- 
death in 1895, when Lieut. Wm. S. Hart became captain. 

In the early summer of 1897 came an order from headquarters disbanding 
the company, on account of some lack of interest, and strife on the part of 
some larger towns more centrally located to supplant the village company from 
the extreme northeast corner of the state. Efforts were immediately made for 
its reinstatement which proved successful, and in one month from the date of 
the order of disbandment the company was fully reorganized and mustered in. 
Colonel Stewart and Captain Nichols, who had both been on the retired list for 
years, were elected unanimously as captain and first lieutenant, consenting to 
serve for a short time only, until the company was well on its feet again. 

Before the following encampment at Waterloo was well over there were 
strong prospects of a war with Spain over the situation in Cuba. It did not 
come until the following spring, however. Finally when war was declared and 
the call for troops made by President McKinley, Captain Stewart was away at 
the bedside of a dying brother in the southern part of the state. Lieutenant 
Nichols, however, promptly took command and in twenty-four hours after the 
order to rendezvous at Des Moines was received the company had started. To 
then Lieutenant Nichols is due great credit for his promptness and efficiency in 
equipping, so far as might be. and getting out the company, not only with its 
full complement of forty enlisted men. but a number more to take the place of 
any who might '"flunk." 

Under the call of President McKinley of April 25, 1898, the company 
started on the 20th for Camp McKinley, Des Moines, where they were mustered 
into the United States service on June 2d as Company I, Forty-ninth Regiment 
towa Volunteers. The regiment took the designation as the Forty-ninth because 
it was the forty-ninth consecutive regiment of infantry furnished by the state 
fur national service. 

Company I at this time was uniquely officered. Captain Stewart had enlisted 
as a private in 1878, and risen to the rank of colonel. First Lieutenant Nichols 
had also enlisted as a private in 1878, served through all the grades, and as cap- 
tain for about eight years. Second Lieutenant Hart had joined the company as 
private in [889, had become captain in 1895. and reenlisted as private upon the 
inization of the company in 1807, but was soon after elected lieutenant. 
All had assumed their lower rank through devotion to the company and the cause 
in which it was embarked. 


The officers and men of Company I, Forty-ninth Regiment, who were 
enrolled from Allamakee county, were as follows : 

Capt, Albert G. Stewart; First Lieut., Ross A Nichols; Second Lieut, Wil- 
liam S. Hart; First Sergt., Nicholas Colsch, Jr.; Quartermaster Sergt., Fred G. 
Stilwell. Discharged September 6, 1898, on account of disability. 

Duty Sergts: Albert M. Stewart, died August 26, 1898, at Jacksonville, 
Florida ; John H. Hager, discharged before muster out of company ; James E. 
Cummens ; Benjamin L. Martindale, promoted first sergeant. 

Corporals: Fred C. Robey, promoted sergeant, September 1, 1898; Daniel 
Regan, promoted sergeant ; Alexander W. Douglass ; Edmund Roche ; John L. 
Casey, died at general hospital, McPherson, Georgia; William J. Thill; Otto L. 
Gullrud; Cornelius H. Stilwell, discharged before muster out of company; Allen 
B. Boomer, promoted quartermaster sergeant, September 6, 1898 ; John Colsch, 
discharged before muster out of company; Frank M. Rupp, died September 15, 
1898, at Waukon ; Stephen E. Barron. 

Musicians: Benjamin A. Steffen, James E. Briar; Artificer, Royal E. Pratt; 
Wagoner, Emery E. Bandle. 

Privates: Barron, Mark S. ; Coffrain, Selwyn P.; Carpenter, Albert J. 
Colsch, Chas. (discharged before muster out of company); Dean, Claude H. 
Fiete, Albert F. ; Geesey, Chas A. (discharged by favor); Green, Fred H. 
Hagen, Albert G. ; Hanson, Floyd ; Irvin, Chas. J. ; Jackson, Carlton A. ; Johnson, 
Carl A. (Corporal Company "A," Thirty-eighth U. S. V., September, 1899, to 
June 30, 1901 ) ; Kean, John H.; Klein, Joseph J. (promoted corporal) 
McGourty, John (promoted corporal) ; Mullally, James B. ; Nierling, William F. 
Phipps, Harry V.; Regan, Chas. (promoted corporal); Stilwell, Calvin S. 
Stone, George E. ; Trumbull, Frank C. (died September 23, 1898, at Waukon) 
White, William H.; Wigton, Howard F. ; Wigton, Chester J.; Williams, William 
E. (promoted cook corporal, September 1, 1898). 

On June 14, 1898, the company went into the great camp "Cuba Libre" at 
Jacksonville, Florida. The transition was very great. It had been a very cold 
spring and while at Camp McKinley there was scarcely a day, and never a night, 
but that an overcoat was necessary to comfort while out, except, of course, when 
drilling or exercising actively. When they landed at Jacksonville it was simpiy 
hot and continued so almost every hour of the day and night while they remained 

On the 4th of July the glorious news of the destruction of Cervera's fleet 
off Santiago caused great rejoicing in camp over the success of the navy ; but 
it was somewhat tempered by the feeling it brought to our belligerent boys that 
they might lose the chance to have a "scrap" with the Spaniards after all. On 
that day the rains commenced. In spite of the rainy weather and poor food 
badly cooked, our men remained up to about the middle of August, comparatively 
well. No serious cases of typhoid had developed in Company I until August 
16th, when Sergt. Bert Stewart came in from drill stricken. He grew rapidly 
worse and on the removal of the company to a new camp was taken to the second 
division hospital, where on the 25th he died. It was the first case in the company 
and the second death in the regiment, and produced a profound impression. His 
remains were returned to Waukon, accompanied by his father Captain Stewart, 
and buried in Oakland cemetery. 



On the 5th of September Tommy Wilson died. Frank Rupp, no doubt already 
permeated with the disease, left camp on furlough to escort home the remains 
of Wilson, and on the 15th died at his home near Waukon, and so it went. 
When Captain Stewart returned to the camp. September 14th, nearly if not quite, 
half of the company were sick in hospitals or on sick furlough. There were days 
when after the necessary guards were detailed, there were but six men left able 
to bear arms for even drill or show purposes out of the 106 mustered on 
August 1st. 

John Casey had safely passed through all dangers and escaped ail sickness 
until the regiment was moved to Savannah, Georgia, when he was taken with the 
dread disease and left there for the hospital when the company went to Cuba. 
He was soon thereafter taken to Atlanta, where, lingering until after the regiment 
was mustered out. he finally yielded to the disease and its complications. His 
body was brought to his old home and consigned to its last resting place in 
Mount Olivet cemetery by his comrades. 

On the 27th of October the command was moved to Savannah, Georgia. 
All went well : the men continued to recuperate, and when about December 
19th or 20th orders were received, about eighty-five men went aboard the trans- 
port and were off for Cuba. On arriving at Havana they went into camp at 
Camp Columbia, situated on high ground along the coast. The Forty-ninth 
regiment being camped near the little city of Marianao about twelve miles from 
the center of Havana. Here the company in the main, enjoyed life and were 
very healthy. 

Company I took part in the great parade on January 1, 1899. when the Span- 
ish flag went down forever in the "Gem of the Antilles" and the Stars and 
Stripes rose in its place amidst the cheering of the thousands of American soldiers 
and Cuban patriots. 

Later the company and regiment, indeed the entire brigade, took a "'hike" 
towards the south part of the island from which they returned in about ten days, 
having seen much that was new to them and having enjoyed the trip immensely. 

In April the company with half the regiment shipped again from Havana for 
Savannah, where, on May 13, 1899. eighty-one as good soldiers as Uncle Sam 
ever had were mustered out and honorably discharged from service. On the 
16th of May, nearly all the members of the company reached Waukon, after a 
little over a year's absence. 

The company received, during its service, two splendid flags. A fine, small, 
silk one from Miss Anna Larrabee, daughter of ex-Governor Larrabee, and the 
other a fine, large one presented by Hon. Charles T. Granger, of Waukon, who 
at the time was chief justice of the Supreme court of Iowa. These flags are now 
held by Cam]) Albert M. Stewart of the Spanish-American War Veterans, located 
at Waukon. 

Since the Spanish war the history of Company I has of course been less 
eventful. It was reorganized, and has been kept up in excellent condition by 
its present efficient commander, ("apt. Nicholas Colsch, Jr., who succeeded to the 
command and whose first commission dated from February 8, 1900, thus serving 
now for over thirteen years. 

The other commissioned officers have been : Pirst Lieutenant, Alex. W. 
Douglass, 1900 to 1904; A. S. Bowen, 1904 t<> up;, resigned to accept commis- 


sion as surgeon in the United States regular army; Jas. L. Carlson, 1907 to 1910; 
succeeded by John P. King, May 7, 1910, present incumbent. Second Lieutenant, 
John Colsch, 1900 to 1905 ; Herman P. Johnson, 1905 to present date. By reor- 
ganization in 1903 the 49th regiment became the 53d. 

Company I in these "piping times of peace" has become distinguished for the 
record of its marksmen, who hold some valuable trophies of their skill at the 
national contests at Camp Perry, Ohio, and Sea Girt, N. J. Sergt. Chas. M. King 
holds the medal for highest individual score at one of these contests, but the details 
of these victories cannot be given here. Waukon is proud of Company I, and 
confident the boys will ever be found ready for any emergency. 


It is fitting to here recount the subsequent military services of one of the 
original members of Company "I" who was the longest time in its membership, 
and for many years its commander. One of the first to enroll upon its organiza- 
tion in May, 1878, R. A. Nichols served as private, sergeant, first lieutenant and 
captain ; and, as before narrated, as first lieutenant through the Spanish war, 
receiving an honorable discharge in May, 1899. 

In March, 1899, Congress passed a bill authorizing the president to raise 
a force of United States Volunteers for the suppression of the Philippine insur- 
rection. Under this act President McKinley commissioned Lieutenant Nichols 
as captain and assigned him to the Thirty-eighth Regiment, then being organized 
at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri. He reported there to Col. Geo. S. 
Anderson, commanding the regiment, September 11, 1899, and was assigned to 
the command of Company "B." After about six weeks spent in drilling and 
organization, the regiment was started for the Philippines, by way of San 
Francisco, arriving at Manila November 27, 1899. 

January 1, 1900, they were sent with Gen. Lloyd Wheaton on an expedition 
against southern Luzon. They took pajt in fighting at Talisay, Lipa, Tiesan, 
and Batangas. Here the Thirty-eighth was divided into several detachments 
to garrison small towns. The First battalion, to which Captain Nichols' company 
belonged, was stationed at Batangas, a town 'on the bay of the same name and about 
one hundred miles south of Manila. Their duty was to pursue, destroy, and 
capture the numerous bands of insurgents that infested that region. Here his 
command had numerous fights with the insurgents, and a large number of pris- 
oners and arms were captured. One of the severest of these fights was at San 
Maguil, a small place in the mountains, about six miles south of Batangas. 
While there with about fifty of his company he was attacked by a force of 
natives numbering between four and five hundred. After a fight lasting a couple 
of hours they were driven off with a loss of forty killed and wounded and sixteen 
prisoners. He had one man severely wounded. For his conduct in this action 
Colonel Anderson recommended Captain Nichols for a brevet. 

September 28, 1900, Company "B" accompanied Colonel Anderson and Com- 
pany "D" to the island of Maranduqua for the purpose of rescuing Captain 
Shields, Twenty-ninth Regiment, and fifty-two of his men who had been cap- 
tured by the insurgents. After a month's hard work the insurgent commander 
was forced to give up the prisoners. 


November 25th the regiment was sent to Iloilo, on the island of Panay. 
Captain Nichols was here sent, in command, with his company and another com- 
pany to Calinog, about fifty miles northeast of Iloilo. to clean out insurgents and 
ladrones. Not much fighting was had here. The first night the command arrived 
at Calinog the insurgents fired a few volleys at the town, killing one man in 
Company 15. This was the only man killed in the company during its service. 
A large number of arms were surrendered here, and several noted ladrones cap- 
tured. One of these was afterwards hung. 

The term of service of the regiment having nearly expired, it was shipped 
back to the United States, Captain Nichols' company being sent as a guard on a 
freight transport. They arrived at Portland, Oregon, June 29, 1901, and were 
immediately sent to San Francisco, where they were mustered out July 5, 1901. 
His company lost only four men by death during their term, one man killed, 
one drowned, and two from sickness. Captain Nichols was in command of the 
First battalion for four months, during Major Muir's absence in China, in the 
Boxer rebellion. 



Waukon Lodge— No. 154, A. F. & A. M., was the third in order to be instituted 
in Allamakee county, its dispensation dating January 5. i860, and its charter 
June 6th following. It was preceded by Parvin lodge at Rossville, and Ever- 
green lodge at Lansing. The Rossville lodge surrendered its charter in 1859, 
after an ineffectual endeavor to transfer the lodge to Waukon, in a previous year, 
which if it had been accomplished would have preserved it as the now oldest 
lodge in this region. 

The charter members of this lodge were: T. H. Barnes, R. K. Hall, L. W. 
Hersey, C. M. Dean, J. C. Smith, A. A. Sturdevant, W. W. Hungerford, Jno. 
T. Clark; I. H. Hedge, L. T. Woodcock, Scott Shattuck, T. C. Bartlett, Alfred 
Pardee. G C. Shattuck. C. O. Thompson, Samuel Hamler." 

Tin- first officers were as follows: W. M., T. H. Barnes; S. W.. G. M. Dean; 
J. W., I.. W. Hersey; Treas., Scott Shattuck; Sec'v.. L. T. Woodcock; S. D., 
I. II. Hedge; J. D„ C. O. Thompson; S. S., S. N. Bailey; J. S., Samuel Hamler; 
Tyler, A. A. Sturdevant. 

Waukon lodge has never owned a home of its own, but has occupied onlv 
three locations since its organization, viz. : the first was in the second story of 
a frame building on the site now occupied by the First National Bank; second, 
dating from January 15, 1870, second story of the Adams & Hale brick building 
erected in [869, being the east part of the Hale & Sons Alain street front; and 
third, since the fall of [894 in its present location, second story of the Dillenberg 
block 011 the east side of Allamakee street, south part. 

For many years it was customary for this lodge to have an annual banquet 
<ir festival in the latter part of winter, about the time of Washington's birth- 
day, sometimes quite elaborate affairs, and always of the most sociable character. 
Often most of the day would be spent in social intercourse, and in the confer- 
ring of side degrees. After a regular Eastern Star lodge was instituted these 



banquets were less frequent, but a notable occasion of this character was the 
celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the lodge, June 7, I9">- For thls e y vent 
an invitation was extended to brethren of the order at Postville, Monona, Lan- 
sing Frankville, Decorah, Elkader, Guttenberg, and McGregor, and Bros. E. b. 
Gibbs Burt Hendrick, B. O. Swebakken, M. W. Eaton and J. C. Crawford were 
appointed a committee of arrangements. The weather proved fine and the 
result was the largest gathering of the Masonic fraternity in Waukon for many 
years, and a very enjoyable and instructive occasion. 

Masonic honors have been conferred upon members of the Waukon lodge 

as follows: , „, 

Bio L W Hersev was appointed J. G. steward at the grand lodge of 1865 
and also served as a member of the committee on chartered lodges at the grand 

lodge of 1866. , _ , 

Bro D W. Reed was appointed J. G. steward at the grand lodge of 1876. 

Bro. H. H. Stilwell was appointed a member of the committee on grand 
master's address at the grand lodge of 1885. 

Bro T E Fleming was appointed grand chaplain at the grand lodge of 1893. 

Bro J C. Crawford served as grand marshal at the grand lodge of 1894. 
He was chairman of the committee on lodges under dispensation at the grand 
lodge of 1899. He also served as deputy grand master of the grand lodge of 

^Bro Charles T Granger has served the grand lodge in so many different 
ways and for such a long time, that a complete record can not well be given here, 
and the following brief extract from a history of the Iowa grand lodge must 

L1 "Among the many distinguished men who have been closely identified with 
the Masonic institution in Iowa none has been more devoted or has contributed 
more time and wealth of intellect than Charles Trumbull Granger 

"Jud-e Granger with his large experience in the practice of law, and upon 
the benc°h, and with a naturally constructive mind, has given much thought 
towards the perfecting of the Code of Laws of the Grand Lodge of Iowa winch 
today stands as a monument to his ability as a jurist and scholar, so complete in 
all its provisions that rarely any question arises that is not readily disposed of 
by reference to it. In addition to this, his long service as a member of the board 
of Custodians of the Work has accomplished much towards securing a uniformity 
of the ritualistic work of this grand jurisdiction. * 

"Brother Granger was made a Mason in Antioch lodge, at Antioch, Illinois, 
in February i860, and affiliated with Waukon Lodge No. 154. in 1866, of which 
he is still a member. He has been worshipful master of that lodge a number of 
years at one time and another. He was made a Royal Arch Mason in Markwell 
Chapter No. 30, of Lansing, now located at Waukon, April, 1869, and still holds 
his membership in that chapter. He was created a Knight Templar in Beauseant 
Commandery No. 12. Decorah, in 1883, of which body he is still a member. 

"He was elected Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Iowa in 1882, 
and was elected Grand Master of Masons in Iowa in 1884, and reelected in 1885. 
He succeeded Past Grand Master E. A. Guilbert upon the Board of Custodians 
in 1887, and has served continuously upon that board for a period of twenty- 


five years. He is now chairman of the Committee on Masonic Jurisprudence, 
which position he has held for many years. 

"While Brother Granger is deeply interested in all of the branches of 
Masonry, his great work has been done in Symbolic Masonry, * * * bring- 
ing to this work a mind ripe with experience and education which the entire 
fraternity were quick to recognize and appreciate. Beloved by all he today enjoys 
the warm friendship and esteem of the entire Masonic fraternity of Iowa to a 
greater degree than any other Mason in the state, yet he ever remains the same 
modest, unassuming gentleman, regardless of the high honors that have been 
bestowed upon him." 

Markwell Chapter — No. 30, Royal Arch Masons, was instituted at Lansing, 
in October, 1865, and charter granted June 4. 1866. The first officers were, 
H. H. Hemenway. high priest; S. H. Kinne. king; J. \Y. Thomas, scribe. It 
was removed to Waukon in 1882. E. D. Purdy has been secretary since Febru- 
ary. 1877. 

Golden Rod Chapter — No. 170, Order of Eastern Star, was chartered Octo- 
ber 23, 1895, with the following officers: Mrs. J. C. Crawford, worthy matron; 
Mrs. Jennie Hubbell, associate matron; H. H. Stilwell, worthy patron. At 
present ( igiz) they consist of: Mrs. Anna Cooley, worthy matron; Mrs. Mar- 
garet Hendrick, associate matron; E. B. Gibbs, worthy patron. Miss Blanche 
Dial, secretary; Miss Jessie Lewis, treasurer. 

The oldest member of Waukon Masonic lodge is Bro. Geo. W. Taylor, who 
joined by demit June 18, 1861. The principal officers at present are: Burt 
Hendrick. W. M. ; Guy W. Eaton, S. W. ; Calvin Stilwell, J. W. : L. A. Howe, 
treasurer: X. X. Crawford, secretary. 

Jewell (.'amp — Xo. 327, Modern Woodmen of America, was instituted April 
5. 1SS7. at Waukon, taking its name from B. Wood Jewell, deputy head consul, 
who was here to effect the organization. The camp was composed of the fol- 
lowing twenty-eight charter members: Armstrong, L. ; Bearce, L. M. ; Boomer, 
J. 11.; Connor, A. 1',.; Cabanis, J. 1..; Carroll, T. L. ; Dayton, J. F. ; Dayton. 
Henry; Goodrich, J. W. : Gilchrist, W. T. ; Goodykoontz, A. E. ; Haines, G. W. ; 
Hancock, L. M.; Johnson, J. K. ; Jones. J. 15.; Lewis. J. C. : Manning. G. R. ; 
Medary, T. C; Medary, G. C; Minert, J. B.; Nichols, F. L. ; Olson, ( >. 11.: 
Pleimling, Nic. ; Ratcliffe, 1. G. ; Raymond, I- 1'-: Reed, D. W. ; Siekemeier, S. 
A.; Stilwell, II. II. 

( >fficers were elected as follows : Venerable Consul, H. H. Stilwell ; Adviser. 
T. L. Carroll; Clerk. J. L. Cabanis. (Soon after removed from Waukon and 
F. E. Nichols was clerk until January. [891.) Banker, J. H. Boomer; Escort. 
J. 1!. Jones; Watchman. G. W. Haines; Sentry, F. E. Nichols; Managers. D. W 
Reed, A. 1'.. Connor, and J. F. Dayton. 

The first death in the camp was that of Neighbor A. E. ( ioodykoontz, No- 
vember [8, [888. 

For a number of year-, the order languished, after its first vigorous start, 
because of a division in the Head Lamp. In 1891 Jewell Camp had dwindled to 
twenty-one members. \ faithful few, including Consul C. S. Stilwell, Adviser 
W I >. Bean, Clerk I'.. M. Hancock, and Bankers Halvor Simonsen and G. W. 
Haines, with Neighbors Goodrich and Jones, held occasional meetings in Neigh- 
bor Stilwell's office. Buf soon after the order took on new life, and by '05 or '96 

#|Pr J#* 

i Vf 



Shows Presbyterian church with spire. 1858; and just this side the two-story building 
built in 1853, the second frame building in town: and opposite, to the extreme right, the first 
frame house built by Shattuck in 1853 (with two chimneys). To the left, one of the big 
open springs, surrounded by cattle. (From a rare old print.) 


Shows the front end of the old two-story frame still standing, between the garage and 

the new church. 


a steady increase had set in which continued until in 1912 Jewell Camp had 
attained a membership of 220. 

The following have served as Venerable Consul: H. H. Stilwell, C. S. 
Stilwell, 1888-92; W. D. Bean, 1893; J. B. Jones, 1894; J. W. Goodrich, 1895- 
97; J. B. Jones, 1898-1900; Otto Hagen, 1901 ; W. S. Hart, 1902; J. B. Jones, 
1903: Dan Williams, 1904; G. W. Haines, 1905-07; James Collins. 1908-09; 
G. W. Haines, 1910-13. 

Clerk: F. E. Nichols, 1887-1890; E. M. Hancock, 1891-98; E. W. Goody- 
koontz. 1899-1904; L. F. Seelig, 1905-12; F. E. Kelley, 1913. 

Present officers are : Venerable Consul, G. W. Haines ; Worthy Adviser, 
F. H. Nagel ; Excellent Banker, W. H. Ebendorf ; Clerk, F. E. Kelley; Escort, 
Edgar Morstad ; Watchman, Elmer Heitman ; Sentry, B. Langheim ; Managers, 
Thos. Hartley. Daniel Williams, Bert Klinkel. 

Little Gem Camp — No. 13 14. Royal Neighbors, auxiliary to the M. W. of A., 
was organized January 18, 1899, with 22 charter members and the following 
officers : Oracle, Olive Henthorne ; Vice Oracle, Ada Barton Jones ; Recorder, 
Addie Thill; Receiver, Nancy Eaton; Marshall, Harriet Dowling; Chancellor, 
Catherine Steele; Inner Sentinel, Angelia Letourneau ; Outer Sentinel, Elsie Ash- 
bacher ; Managers, John Rice. Lizzie Fisher, and Celia Leefeldt ; Physicians, 
P. H. Letourneau. W. T. Gilchrist. 

The present officers are: Oracle, Ada Barton Jones; Vice Oracle, pjelle 
Eldridge ; Recorder, Maude Kelley ; Receiver, Louise Carter ; Marshall, Ellen 
Ronayne ; Chancellor, Ida Entwisle; Inside Sentinel, Elsie Arnold; Outside Sen- 
tinel, Nancy Eaton ; Managers, Mary Winter, Anna Ebendorf, and Dema Car- 
penter ; Physician, W. T. Gilchrist. ' 

Bayard Lodge — No. 121, Knights of Pythias, was organized in January, 1884, 
and elected provisional officers as follows : Past Chancellor, Levi Hubbell ; Chan- 
cellor, A. G. Stewart ; Vice Chancellor, J. F. Dayton ; Prelate, D. H. Bowen ; M. 
of F., Geo. Canfield ; M. of Ex., Geo. J. Mauch ; K. of R. & S., C. A. Pratt ; M. at 
A., R. A. Nichols; I. G., Geo. C. Medary; O. G., J. W. Goodrich; Trustees, J. P. 
Raymond, Jos. Heiser and J. B. Reid. 

The charter of the lodge bears date October 2, 1884, with the names of the 
eighteen charter members as follows: Levi Hubbell, A. G. Stewart, J. F. Day- 
ton, D. H. Bowen, G. C. Medary, J. B. Reid, Andrew O. Sagen, J. Callender, 
J. H. Heiser, G. E. Canfield, Ross Nichols, F. E. Nichols, George Mauch, Peter 
Stevens. J. \Y. Goodrich, J. P. Raymond, H.-O. Dayton, A. C. Hagemeier, and 
Deputy Rightmire as instituting officer. 

The present officers are: P. C, D. H. Bowen; C. C, W. H. Ebendorf; V. C, 
A. T. Nierling; P., E. A. Allanson ; K. of R. and S., C. L. Bearce; M. of F., 
J. Ludeking; M. of Ex., O. J. Hager ; M. of W., T. Hartley; M. at A., E. 
Schuckei; I. G., L. King; O. G., D. Feldstein. 

The Pythian Sisters, Auxiliary, was instituted August 12, 1896, with the 
following charter members, viz. : Ellen A. Earle, Ella Stevens, Anna B. Beeman, 
Jennie E. Hubbell, Emily H. Medary, Estelle Bigelow, Henrietta Hale, Mrs. C. 
M. Beeman, Hettie E. Bowen. 

St. Patrick's Court — No. 406, Catholic Order of Foresters, was organized 
March 15, 1894, by High Chief Ranger Jno. C. Schubert, of Chicago, and first 
officers were elected as follows: Chief Ranger, D. J. Murphy; Vice C. R., 


J. E. Duffy; R. S., J. H. Kelley ; F. S., J. F. Dougherty; Med. Exam., Dr J. W. 
Cain; Treas, H. O'Donnell; Trustees, J. F. Ronayne, J. F. Tracy, T. ]. Collins. 
The officers in 1913 are: Chief Ranger, Dan Williams; Vice C. R., P. H. 
Ouillin; R. S., M. E. Ronan; F. S., J. H. Kelley; Med. Exam., Dr. J. W. Cain. 
Treas., H. O'Donnell; Trustees, Joe Keiser, Roger Ryan, and Jno. McCabe. 

St. Anne's Court — No. 65, Women's Catholic Order of Foresters, organized 
with thirty members on the 19th of March, 1896, and the following named offi- 
cers elected: Chief Ranger, Mary R. Cain; Vice Chief Ranger, Mary A. Mur- 
ray; Recording Sec, Mary A. Ouinn ; Financial Sec, Catherine Dougherty; 
Treas., Margaret Duffy. 

The order has flourished, and the membership increased to 167. The officers 
now are : Chief Ranger, Mary R. Cain ; Vice Chief Ranger, Ellen Ronayne ; 
Rec Sec, Mary Kelleher ; Fin. Sec, Catherine Hall; Treas., Mary Ryan; Trus- 
tees, Mary E. O'Brien, Mary Keiser, and Mary Quam. 

Knights of Columbus — St. Matthew Council No. 1570, was organized May 
28, 191 1, with seventy-four charter members. Its first officers were: Grand 
Knight, William S. Hart; Deputy G. K., E. H. Howes; Chancellor, J. M. Lee; 
Warden. Max Wittlinger; Advocate, James Collins; Treasurer, M. J. Buckley; 
Lecturer. John H. DeWild ; Fin. Secretary, P. J. Regan; Rec. Sec, J. V. Ryan; 
I. G., John W'ittlinger; O. G., Leonard O'Brien; Trustees, M. E. Ronan, T. J. 
McDermott, C. P. Nierling. The present officers are the same, except as fol- 
lows: Fin. Sec, D. E Dugan ; Rec. Sec, P. E. O'Donnell; and I. G., Thos. E. 

That this society has flourished remarkably is indicated by its present mem- 
bership of 285. It occupies very pleasant and commodious quarters on the 
second floor of the Cain block, including an assembly hall seating too. lodge 
room, and club room with billiard room and reception parlors. 

Modern Brotherhood— Waukon Lodge, No. 67, Modern Brotherhood of 
America, was instituted in 1898, its charter bearing date of June 30, and its 
principal officers: J. II. Smith, Pres. ; E. J. Hall, Sec. The lodge has grown 
to goodly proportions, now numbering 160 members, and has contributed to the 
alleviation of suffering and the promotion of pleasant social intercourse. The 
principal officers of the lodge are at present : President, Clara Raymond ; Vice- 
Pres., Mary S. Beedy ; Sec. and Treas.. M. E. Ronan; Social Sec- 
Chaplain, E. C. Ronan; Sentry, Sarah Mason; Trustees, G. W. Haines, Louis 
Hermanson, and L. A. Jones; Watchman, G. W. Bircher. 

Iowa Legion of Honor— Diamond Lodge No. 39,' I. L. H., was organized 
September 5, 1879, with the following officers: Geo. H. Bryant, Pres. ; A. G. 
Stewart, Vice 1'.; A. J. Rodgers, Rec. Sec; E. M. Hancock, Fin. Sec! T-W. 
Pratt. Treas.; A. M. May, Chaplain; C. C. Banfill, Usher; Don. A. Hoag, Door- 
keeper; A. K. Pratt. Sentinel; L. Burton, L. M. Bearce, and M. H. Pratt, trus- 
tees. Though -mall in numbers this lodge has kept up the work for thirty- four 
years, and has losl nine of its early membership by death, and their beneficiaries 
were duly paid, viz: A. E. Robbins, January 12, 1892; L. M. Getchell, October 
30. 1896; John W. Pratt, August 21, 1897; H. O. Dayton, January 24, 1901 ; 
M. II. Pratt. January 12, 1902; L. M. Bearce, July 12, 1903; C. O. Howard,' 
September 7. [904; Conrad Helming, January 16, 1906; F. H. Robbins, Decem- 
ber 7, 1908. 


The principal officers now are: J. B. Jones, President; A. M. May, Secre- 
tary ; and Geo. H. Bryant, Treasurer. 

Brotherhood of American Yeomen — Alia Tent, No. 51, B. A. Y., came into 
existence February 26, 1895, with an original membership of about twenty, 
and started on its useful career with the following officers, viz : Sir Knight P. 
Com., S. J. Beddow ; Com., S. M. Taylor; Lt. Com., F. F. Simonsen ; Fin. 
Keeper, W. E. Beddow ; Rec. K., E. F. Medary ; Chaplain, L. Bigelow ; Sergt., 
H. Simonsen; Physician, D. H. Bowen; M. at Arms, H. Sivesend ; 1st M. of 
Guard, J. P. Dahl ; 2d M. of Guard, Chris Oleson ; Sentinel, Roy Pratt ; Picket, 
Fred Paulson. 

The present Commander is J. M. Frederick ; and Record Keeper H. J. 

Odd Fellows — Waukon Lodge, No. 182, I. O. O. F., was organized January 
3, 1870, with the following officers : Robert Isted, N. G. ; J. B. Mattoon, V. G. ; 
H. H. Stilwell, R. Sec; L. M. Bearce, treas. Number of charter members, 
thirty-five. Charter granted October 20, 1870. The membership in good stand- 
ing in 1882 was 42, and the officers were: A. G. Stewart, N. G. ; E. B. Ray- 
mond, V. G. ; O. M. Nelson, R. and P. Sec. ; Joseph Burton, Treas. 

The present officers are, John C. Beedy N. G., and Wilbur F. Raymond, 
Secretary. Affiliated with this lodge is a flourishing lodge of the Daughters 
of Rebekah. 

Hope Encampment, No. JJ, was organized at Lansing, April 4, 1875 ; charter 
granted April 24. It was removed to Waukon March 8, 1881, and the officers 
in 1882 were: Joseph Haines, C. P.; R. L. Bircher, H. P.; C. S. Stilwell, S. W. : 
R. A. Nichols, N. W. ; O. M. Nelson, scribe ; A. A. Barnard, Treas. 

The present officers of Hope Encampment are: J. T. Steele, C. P.; J. E. 
Raymond, H. P. ; Halvor Peterson, S. W. ; Robert Douglass, J. W. ; C. S. 
Stilwell, Scribe ; John Mills, Chaplain. 

Maccabees — There is also a Waukon lodge of this order, of which J. F. 
Kelly is Secretary. 

The base ball fever struck Waukon in April, 1868, when the "Prairie Boys 
Base Ball Club" was organized: F. M. Clark, Pres. ; D. W. Adams, Vice-Pres. ; 
H. H. Stilwell, Treas.: T. C. Ransom, Umpire; T. G. Orr, Sec; W. C. Earle, 
First Captain ; F. H. Robbins, Second Captain ; P. C. Huffman, Scorer. The 
first match game with our neighbors took place on the home grounds, July 9, 
when both nines of the Lansing "Occidentals" were defeated, score not printed. 
July 17th, the first nine beat the "Independents" at Freeport, 41 to 32. Septem- 
ber 22d a return game was played here, when the Independents were again 
defeated, giving up at the end of the sixth inning with the score ^y to 20. The 
Prairie Boys "line up" then was: Fred Clark, 2d base; Frank Robbins, catcher; 
Dave Walker, short stop ; Frank Stevens, center field ; Bird Reed, left field ; 
Dud Adams. 1st base; H. II. Stilwell, pitcher; Doc. Earle, 3d base; Rod Manson, 
right field. 

Evidently the big leaguers of to-day would stand no show against such an 
aggregation of score-makers. 



M. Hancock and family arrived in Waukon April 9. 1856, coming up to 
Lansing the day before on the War Eagle, from Dunlieth. The following few 
items from his dairy, though unimportant, are of interest: 

Tune 11, 1856, went fishing to Silver creek and caught fifty trout. 

( Alon°- here or a little later Frank Hancock and Dudley Adams used to 
start out on foot in the morning and fish down Patterson creek to the Iowa, 
returning late at night with great strings of trout. As late as 1866 the diary 
notes Mr. Adams catching 75 on one trip. I A few years later they had almost 
(.nt i rely disappeared. 

lulv 4, [856, big celebration, said to be 1500 people present. 

August 4. '56. election day for state and county officers. Republican vote 
(in township) 86; Democrat 39. 

October 1, '56, steam mill burned. County Fair, or cattle show, in progress. 

November 4. '56, presidential election. Township vote, republican 121, demo- 
cratic 71. 

One more item from the diary: Sunday, August 31, 1862, a messenger came 
from Ossian early this morning and says the Indians have burned Mankato and 
Xew Oregon, and are coming this way. Mr. Hatch. Mr. Wilbur, and Mr. 
Gardner went to Decorah, and Mr. Wilbur returned this evening and said the 
report was not true. This was the famous "Indian scare." 


A genuine Yankee pioneer of Makee township is Noah Hersey Pratt, now 
in his eightieth year, who enjoys the distinction of being the earliest settler 
in this community still living here, although his younger brother Emory came 
but a few weeks later, with the rest of the family. Mr. Pratt recently narrated 
to the writer his first experiences here, substantially as follows : 

Azel Pratt and his brother Lemuel left their homes in Maine, September 20, 
1850, for the Great West, a party of fourteen, consisting of the two fathers, 
three big boys, and nine women and children. From Chicago they went by 
rail to St. Charles, Illinois, then the terminus of the railroad which was building 
towards the Mississippi river to Dunlieth. From St. Charles a four-horse stage 
conveyed the entire party to a place near Belvidere, in Boone county, Illinois, 
where they visited, and looked over the country for a location, but found no land 
they liked. It being a wet season, the prairies looked very uninviting; so Azel 
Pratt went from here to spy nut the land, going to Lansing by boat, and afoot 
from there out to the ridge where he made choice of a location. 

L'pon his return to Illinois the party started out with two covered wagons, 
one drawn by an ox team and the other by horses, traveling by way of Rockford 
and Free-port, and arrived at Prairie du Chien the very last of November. Here 
they rented a house for a temporary home for the women and children, while the 
two men and the three boys, Greenwood, Hersey and Marcellus Pratt, about 
eighteen, seventeen and fifteen respectively, came on to construct a house for the 
winter. Though the ground was bare it had been cold enough to form a thin 
bridge of ice, and on this they crossed the Mississippi, a French guide directing 
their pathway, and leading one ox at a time. Their route was then by Monona, 
across the Yellow river at Smithfield, or near Carter Clark's place, up the North 


Fork to Ezra Reid's in Ludlow, thence by Father Shattuck's log cabin on the 
prairie and two miles north from there onto the ridge where their claim was 
made, in the southeast part of section 18, reaching the place December 6, 1850. 
The first night here they built a brush shanty for shelter, of oak brush to 
which the dry leaves clung, and made themselves very comfortably at home. 
The next day they began the erection of a log house, about 16 by 24 feet in 
size, with two rooms on the ground floor, and all in one room in the loft. 
Meanwhile they boarded with Darwin and Seth Patterson, who came in the 
previous spring and had built on their claim at the head of the creek which took 
their name, about two miles west of the Pratts, taking their noon lunch to 
their work or cooking one there. In the construction of the house they used 
windows brought from Prairie du Chien, and drove to the busy little village of 
Moneek (which later disappeared entirely), at the head of Yellow river, in 
Winneshiek county, for basswood boards for flooring and roof. They did not 
shingle until the following spring. 

Having gotten the cabin enclosed the two elder men drove to Prairie du 
Chien for their families, with whom they returned in January, 1851, and Hersey 
says that although he had been well and hearty he was never more pleased to see 
his mother than when she then came "home." At the Prairie they had purchased 
six barrels of flour and a barrel of pork, of which the men had brought along a 
portion on their first trip, as well as a small cook stove; so as soon as they 
had the house enclosed the boys "bached" it till the women came. A stone fire- 
place had been built, and from the top of the stonework a stick chimney plastered 
with clay. At first a hollow log was found and set up on the stonework for 
a chimney, but one night it got afire and they went out and pushed it off away 
from the house. While the men were after their families the boys put in their 
time chinking up the cracks between the logs to make the rooms snug for the 
winter. Bedsteads were made by using the corner of the chamber for the head 
and one side, setting a post for the fourth corner, with rails to the walls, and 
stretching bedcords from the rails to pegs inserted in the logs. Their nearest 
neighbors at first were : James Reid on section 24, and the Pattersons on section 
23. Union Prairie; the Shattucks on section 30; David Whaley, section 20, and 
James Conwav, section 28. Also Prosser and Archa Whaley on sections 32 
and 33. 

Lemuel Pratt had brought in a small stock of goods which he opened up 
in this log cabin, to supply the necessities of the few neighbors and the passing 
travelers. The latter were also accommodated here with meals and lodging. 
In the following spring he built a house on his claim on the north side of the road, 
afterwards the McCroden place, where he kept a hotel, this being a main traveled 
road for the settlers landing at Lansing, who soon began coming thick and 
fast, bound for the counties further to the west. A little later grain was hauled 
to the Lansing market from a hundred miles to the west, so that hundreds 
of teams passed daily, in the marketing season. 

In the spring of 1852 the township was organized and given the name of 
Makee, although the ridge residents being mostly from Maine wanted it called 
Dover. A postoffke was established that year, at the house of Lemuel Pratt, 
and he continued as postmaster until he sold out in 1856 and removed to Minne- 
sota, where he died, at Monticello. in July. 1S93, aged seventy-five. Hersey 


and his brothers were the mail carriers to and from Lansing, once a week at 

The Pratts raised sod corn and buckwheat in 1851 ; and Lemuel sowed five 
or six acres to wheat on a piece of ground broken up by James Reid the previous 
vear on the Richard Charles claim. This was sown on the 6th of March, the 
soil then being in prime condition, and yielded some 35 to 40 bushels per acre. 
The first threshing was done in the old-fashioned way with flails ; but it was 
not long until some enterprising individual brought a tread-power threshing 
machine into the settlement. The carpenters had all they could do in those 
days. The lumber used in the construction of the frame houses on the ridge 
was mostly sawed out in the Black river region in Wisconsin, and rafted to 

Hersey Pratt and three brothers served our country faithfully in the Civil 
war. Hersey went to Illinois in i860, and enlisted there in 1862, in Co. I, 95th 
Volunteer Infantry. In a later year he was commissioned second lieutenant of a 
company in the 48th Regiment of U. S. colored troops, which position he retained 
until mustered out at the close of the war. Since that time he has followed the 
occupation of contractor and builder in Waukon, or in the furniture trade. 


A pioneer of the pioneers was C. J. F. Newell, who came to the vicinity ot 
Waukon first in 1851. He was born March 3, 1817, in Wayne county, New 
York, where his father was a pioneer, a hunter and trapper, while clearing up 
his farm, and who died in 1825. A grandfather was a Colonial captain in 
the Revolutionary war. 

Mr. NewelFs early recollections were of pioneer days in York State, which 
fitted him for similar experiences upon coming to Iowa at the age of thirty- 
four. To be sure, the big fireplace with its andirons and huge back-log which 
sometimes lasted a week were not duplicated here, though smaller ones were 
sometimes built, but are interesting to recall to mind. Potatoes were baked in 
the ashes, also bread at first. Meat was cooked in kettles hung on an iron crane 
which could be swung around over the fire, or sometimes it was held over the 
hot coals on a stick or hung before the fire and broiled to a nicety. Chestnuts 
were roasted and corn popped in the hot ashes on the hearth. Then succeeded 
the "Dutch oven," a kettle set among the coals and with a tight cover with a 
turned up edge on which coals were also placed ; and then the out-of-doors brick 
oven, and the open tin oven set before the fireplace ; and later came that then 
wonderful invention the stove with the firebox below and the oven above it ; 
and later the "railroad stove" having a large circular top with several griddle 
holes in it, and all around on the under side of the rim were cogs in which ran a 
small cog wheel that when turned by a crank would bring any desired hole im- 
mediately over the fire. Nor must the method of keeping or starting a fire in 
those days before matches were used be forgotten. To keep the fire over night 
or longer coals or a hemlock knot would be buried in the ashes. If the fire 
went out coals would be brought from a neighbor's if near enough, or a fire 
would be started by using a flint and steel causing sparks to fall on prepared 
tinder made from cotton or linen cloth, or on punk obtained from decaying 
wood. Those were the days too of tallow dip candles, or a saucer of lard with 


a rag fastened around a button and the end sticking up from it for a wick, 
the days of homespun cloth and homemade clothing. 

He remained at home working on the farm in summer and attending the 
winter schools of those days, supplemented by such study as he could do by 
firelight at night until about seventeen years of age, when he went to learn the 
blacksmith's trade, and followed that a large portion of his life. 

In 1851 he came to Iowa with the idea of locating at Garden Grove, near the 
Missouri line, where he had relatives; but upon landing at Sabula he first came 
north to Dubuque, where parties prevailed upon him to investigate Allamakee 
county as a healthy section whose streams of sparkling spring waters were 
filled with trout, and about the last, of July of that year he stepped from a 
boat at Lansing, then a town of three log cabins, and followed the main traveled 
road west to John Bush's claim, the southeast quarter of section 22, on Coon 
creek, in what was afterward Union Prairie township, Bush having located there 
that spring. There was no Waukon then nor was it dreamed of. He remained 
in the county about two weeks looking around for land, and finally bought an 
eighty, a part of the northwest quarter of section 5 (Ludlow township), later 
owned by Peter Allison, but traded it off for a quarter section three miles 
east of Waukon, which he afterward sold to Orin Manson, now owned by Fred 
Hansmeier. He visited Frankville where Frank Teabout offered him ten acres 
of land if he would build a blacksmith shop. 

After a few weeks he started to return east, and in August, while waiting 
in Lansing for a boat, he helped raise the first three frame buildings erected 
there, one each for F. D. Cowles, I. B. Place, and one of the Pattersons. The 
foundation was laid for the hotel afterwards known as the Lansing House, but 
the frame was not up. Dr. Houghton was running a hotel in a little log house 
on Front street. 

He returned east and remained there till 1853, when he came west with his 
wife and two children. At a hotel in Dubuque he met Scott Shattuck, who 
was there buying doors and windows for his house in Waukon, where the county 
seat had been located that spring, and he prevailed on Mr. Newell to come to 
the new town, offering him the use of the original G. C. Shattuck log cabin, 
which stood about thirty or forty rods northeast of the present public school 
building, where they had cultivated a patch of land for several years. The offer 
was accepted, they came and occupied the cabin, the first family to settle on 
the site of what is now the city of Waukon after the first pioneer G. C. 

In June 1853, the first District court was held in Waukon, and a small make- 
shift courthouse was hurriedly constructed of logs for its use. The history of this 
little hut is told in another chapter, but the first disposition of it after it had 
served its purpose and a slightly larger one had been erected, was its purchase 
by Mr. Newell, who that fall moved it to the west side of Spring avenue and 
set up the pioneer blacksmith shop. In 1854 he sold out to Herbert Bailey. In 
i860 Mr. Newell bought of M. G. Belden the location on the southwest corner 
of Main and West streets, where he continued in the blacksmith business until 
1873, when he moved onto a farm in Franklin township, remaining there ten 
years. In 1883 he bought a farm in the Village Creek valley northeast of town, 


where he lived another ten years, and then sold out and returned to Waukon, 
making this his home until his death. 

Mr. Newell married Miss Mary Boynton, March 7, 1848, in Wayne county, 
New York. On March 7, 1898. they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary 
in Waukon, at which time a family circle of twenty-five, right royally enjoyed 
themselves (their nine children, with the families of those who were married), 
and a host of old friends were welcomed as guests. Other family reunions, more 
or less complete, were enjoyed on recurring anniversaries until Mr. Newell 
peacefully passed away on the 13th day of April. 1909, at the ripe old age of 
ninety-two years. Mrs. Man Newell remains among us in good health for one 
of her age. being permitted to celebrate he.r eighty-third birthday on the 1st day 
of January last ( 1913), with a family reunion. She has a very clear recollection of 
those early days, and enjoys talking of them with old friends. Recently asked 
to relate some of her experiences for this history, she says : 

"1 arrived in Waukon in the fall of 1853 with my husband and two children. 
J was obliged to wait in Lansing for two weeks while Mr. Newell was fixing 
up the only available house in Waukon, a log cabin in the valley just east of 
where Mr. McDonald now lives, which had just been vacated by the Shattucks, 
they moving into their partly finished building, now known as the Mauch house, 
where they kept hotel. At that time there was no finished frame building in 
town, Mr. Shattuck's family living in the basement of their new house, and on 
the day we arrived L. T. Woodcock was raising the frame of his two-story store 
building opposite to it. on the south side of Main street. These two buildings 
still stand, the Shattuck hotel building now owned by Mrs. Amelia Mauch 
Boomer, and the Woodcock building by the Misses A'Hearn. Our goods not 
having arrived we borrowed a straw bed-tick and a quilt from Mrs. Shattuck, 
also a few dishes and a rocking chair ( we had bought a bedstead and a barrel 
of pork at Lansing), while Mr. Woodcock let us take a stove and its tinware. 
At our first meal we had for a table a board laid from the foot of the bed to 
the ladder that led to the loft, and sat on our trunks. We lived in this way 
for two weeks, till our goods came. Mr. John A. Townsend, who occupied 
a house east of town, made us a small pine table, and for a dish cupboard we had 
a few corner shelves put up on pegs. Mr. and Mrs. Heustis and Mr. and Mrs. 
Townsend were our first visitors, spending the evening. 

"During the first winter we had to go out to Robert Isted's, now the Grimm 
farm, a mile and a half west, for butter, milk and eggs. Lansing or McGregor, 
or Monona, were at first the nearest places to get groceries or fresh meat, until 
Mr. Woodcock finished his store, when he brought on a general stock of goods. 
Mrs. Woodcock- came with him when he returned, and we speedilv became 
friends, both being from the east. 

"The town grew rapidly and we boarded a number of the carpenters, includ- 
ing Azel Pratt, afterwards popularly known as Deacon Pratt, Tohn Pratt, Mer- 
sey Pratt and Alvin Howard, all of them sleeping in the loft of our little cabin. 
That fall I 1853 1 we accommodated eight regular boarders, among them D. W. 
Adams and L. T. Woodcock. At the lime of the District Court all the houses 
in the vicinity were filled, and one dark and rainy night near midnight a party 
of new arrivals knocked at our door seeking shelter, and were admitted, none 
being turned away in those days, no matter how little room was left. Some 



The view is from the vicinity of the Court House looking south. To the right is the old 
Mason House. Where the Earle block now stands the Belden blacksmith shop appears. 


one had brought along a bed-tick, and rilling it as best they could in the dark 
and rain at a near-by straw stack laid it upon the floor and as many as could, 
crowded upon it for repose." 

They were attorneys come to attend court, and aside from General Vandever 
of Dubuque, Mrs. Newell is not quite sure who composed the party, but thinks 
Reuben Noble and Samuel Murdock, both later district judges, were among 
them ; and Judge Townsend afterwards said he thought Messrs. Burt and 
Samuels of Dubuque, were also of the party. Mr. Samuels four years later 
became the democratic nominee for governor of Iowa, and was defeated by 
Gov. Ralph P. Lowe. 


Mr. John A. Townsend was truly a pioneer, settling on a farm just east oi 
Waukon in 1852, and was a prominent figure in this county for many years. 
Born in New York, in 1819, he was brought up in Nova Scotia, where he married 
Miss Ruth Huesti