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Under the Editorial Supervision of 

NELSON C. ROBERTS, Fort Madison 

DR. S. W. MOORHEAD, Keokuk 




















































RIES 267 








NEYS 293 










YARDS 345 








Lee County occupies the extreme southeastern corner of the state. 
On the north it is bounded by the counties of Henry and Des Moines, 
being separated from the latter by the Skunk River; on the east by 
the Mississippi River, which separates it from the State of Illinois; 
on the southwest by the State of Missouri, from which it is separated 
by the Des Moines River, and on the west by the County of Van 
Buren. The form of the county is that of an irregular trapezoid 
and its area is a little over five hundred square miles. 

Along the boundary streams the surface is somewhat broken, the 
bluffs sometimes reaching a height of 200 feet or more. In the 
interior the county is an elevated plateau, the surface of which is 
gently undulating or rolling. Across this plateau there are two wide, 
shallow troughs trending toward the southeast, marked by the valleys 
of East and West Sugar creeks. The narrow watershed between 
these two troughs terminates at the Mississippi River in what is 
known as "Keokuk Point." 

East Sugar Creek rises in the southwestern part of Henry County 
and flows a southeasterly course through the townships of Marion, 
Franklin, West Point and Jefferson. Not far from the little station 
called Beck Siding, on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, 
it receives the waters of Panther Creek, and about half a mile below 
the mouth of Panther Creek it unites with the Little Devil Creek 

Vol. I— 1 • 


to form Devil Creek, which empties into the Mississippi about half- 
way between Fort Madison and Montrose. Its total length is a little 
over thirty miles. 

Panther Creek, the principal tributary of East Sugar from the 
west, rises in the southern part of Franklin Township, about a mile 
east of the Town of Donnellson, and flows a southeasterlv direction 
for some ten or twelve miles, when it unites its waters with those of 
East Sugar Creek as already stated. 

Little Devil Creek has its source in the northeastern part of West 
Point Township and flows in a general southerly direction through- 
out its entire course. It is about ten miles in length. 

West Sugar Creek rises in Cedar Township, near the northwest 
corner of the county, and flows southeastwardly through the town- 
ships of Cedar, Harrison, Franklin, Charleston, Des Moines, Mont- 
rose and Jackson, a distance of some thirty-five miles, or until it 
empties into the Des Moines River about six miles west of Keokuk. 

The principal tributary of West Sugar Creek is called Main 
Creek. Its source is about a mile north of Argyle Station, on the 
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, and its source is southeast- 
erly until it empties into West Sugar Creek, near the northwest 
corner of Jackson Township. 

The Des Moines River is Iowa's principal stream. It rises in 
the northwestern part of the state and flows diagonally across the 
entire state to the extreme southeast corner, where it mingles its 
waters with those of the Mississippi. It first strikes Lee County 
near the southwest corner of section 18, township 67 north, range 7 
west, from which point it forms the boundary between Iowa and 
Missouri for a distance of about thirty miles, or throughout the re- 
mainder of its course. In early days, during the spring floods, 
steamboats from the Mississippi would ascend the river as far as 
Raccoon Fork, and smaller steamboats would go up as far as Fort 
Dodge. Clearing away the timber and cultivating the soil have 
changed conditions so that the river has been robbed of a good portion 
of its original water supply and it is much smaller than formerly. 
On some of the old maps made by early French explorers the river 
is shown as being fully as large as either the Mississippi or Missouri. 

There has been considerable speculation as to the origin of the 
name "Des Moines." The first reference to the stream was made by 
Joliet, who, on his map of 1674, gives the stream the name of 
"Ouacuiatanas." In 1688 Franquelin made a map, or "Carte de la 
Louisiane," upon which the river appears as the "Moingona." De 
Lisle's map of 1707 shows it as the "Riviere les Moingona," and the 


French called the Indians living along its course "Les Moins." In 
time the river came to be generally known as "La Riviere des 
Moines," which is unquestionably French, and has been interpreted 
as meaning "The River of the Monks." 

When Lieut. Zebulon Pike explored the Upper Mississippi Val- 
ley in 1805-06, he called particular attention to this stream, which he 
called the "River de Moyen" and expressed the opinion that the name 
thus spelled is a -corruption of La Riviere des Moines, or River of the 
Monks. Charles Rollin Keyes, who served as assistant state geologist 
along in the '90s, and who made a somewhat exhaustive study of 
Iowa's physical characteristics and resources, says the name as given 
by Pike means "the middle." He accounts for it on the hypothesis 
that when the French voyageurs visited St. Louis and were asked 
from what part of the country they came they replied "De Moyen," 
meaning the country between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, 
or the middle of the interior. Mr. Keyes is inclined to think that 
this is the true origin of the name, and that the transition from "De 
Moyen" to "Des Moines" was a comparatively easy matter. 

Concerning the Skunk River, which forms the dividing line be- 
tween Lee and Des Moines counties, Frank Labiseur, who was the 
United States interpreter for the Sac and Fox Indians in early days, 
says: "The Indian name was Chicaque, which, in their language, 
is anything of a strong or obnoxious odor — such as onion, skunk, 
etc. From the fact that the headwaters of the stream abound in wild 
onions, the interpretation should have been 'Onion.' " 

South of the Skunk River and almost parallel to it is Lost Creek, 
which rises in the southern part of Pleasant Ridge Township and 
flows southeast through Pleasant Ridge, Denmark, Washington and 
Green Bay townships. Near the little hamlet of Wever, in the last 
named township, it formerly sank into the earth and found its way 
to the Mississippi through a subterranean channel, but now runs by 
an open channel into Green Bay. 

Jack Creek rises near the Village of Charleston and flows in a 
southeasterly direction through Jefferson and Montrose townships, 
emptying into the Mississippi near the Town of Montrose. Other 
tributaries of the Mississippi are Lamelee Creek, in the southern 
part of Montrose Township ; Price Creek, in the central part of Jack- 
son; and Soap Creek, at Keokuk. 

Lick Creek flows southward through the western part of Harri- 
son and Van Buren townships and empties into the Des Moines 
River near the Village of Croton. About five miles farther down 
Mumm Creek, a small stream, some four miles in length, joins the 


Des Moines, and Monk Creek empties into the same river at Belfast. 
Prairie Creek flows in a northwesterly direction through the western 
part of Pleasant Ridge Township; Sutton Creek, in the same town- 
ship, flows to the Skunk River; Cedar Creek crosses the northwest 
corner of Cedar Township, and there are a number of smaller streams 
in different parts of the county, giving Lee an excellent system of 
natural drainage. The waters of all these streams ultimately reach 
the Mississippi. 


West Point, in the northwestern part of the township of the same 
name, is the highest point in the county; the next highest is at Big 
Mound, in Cedar Township, and the lowest known level is at the low 
watermark of the Mississippi River at Keokuk. The following table 
shows the altitude of various places in the county above both the 
low water level of the Mississippi at Keokuk and the sea level: 



Big Mound 




Fort Madison (Santa Fe depot) 


Keokuk (Fourteenth and Grand Ave.) 

Montrose (R. R. station) 

Pilot Grove 

Saint Paul 



West Point 




































The figures given in this table are taken from surveys made by 
civil engineers in the construction of railroads, the surveys of the 
Mississippi River Commission, and other sources. They are believed 
to be as near authentic as they can be made. By taking a map of the 
county and studying it in comparison with the table, a good general 


idea of the topography of this portion of Southeastern Iowa may be 


Alluvial plains border all the streams of the county, especially 
along the lower portion of their courses. On the Mississippi River, 
however, the alluvial deposits are important at two points only — 
one a triangular district between the Skunk River and Fort Madi- 
son and embracing the greater part of Green Bay Township, and 
the other alluvial area including a large part of Jefferson and a 
portion of Montrose townships. In these two sections the plains 
near the river are low and wet, subject to overflow in times of high 
water, but farther back the surface rises in a series of sand terraces 
to a height of about fifty feet. In his report for 1895, tne state 
geologist says: "These terraces represent the flood-water stages 
of the river in times somewhat remote, yet subsequent to the deposi- 
tion of the drift which once covered the area and which was removed 
by the river in the process of widening its valley." 

At Sand Prairie, or Vincennes, on the Des Moines River, is an 
alluvial plain similar in all respects to the terraced areas on the Mis- 
sissippi. In all these districts the soil is above the average in fertil- 
ity, while along the smaller streams the alluvial deposits, consisting 
chiefly of a sandy loam, yield large crops. 

On the uplands of Lee County, the soil is chiefly a black loam- 
like humus, less sandy than the bottom lands, ranging from two to 
five feet in depth. In a few places there are small areas of that 
tenacious soil known as "gumbo," which can be cultivated only with 
great difficulty, but by far the greater portion of the county is com- 
posed of a rich, tractable soil, well adapted to agriculture. 


During the years 1847 to 1850, Dr. D. D. Owen, acting under the 
authority of the United States Land Office, undertook the study of 
the mineral lands of the Northwest, and it was through his work that 
the first accurate accounts of the geology of the region now compris- 
ing the State of Iowa were given to the scientific world. A brief 
reconnoisance of Lee County was made in 1858 by A. H. Worthen, 
afterward state geologist of Illinois, but owing to the limited time 
allowed for his work he was unable to go into details. About 1870 
Dr. C. A. White published a geological account of the state, in which 
some references are made to Lee and the adjoining counties. 


It was not until 1893, however, that any comprehensive survey 
was made of the geological formation and resources of Lee County, 
the result of which was published in Volume III of the Iowa Geo- 
logical Survey. According to this report, "The stratified, or in- 
durated, rocks are almost entirely Lower Carboniferous limestones. 
These form the great basement upon which the coal measures of the 
region were laid down. * * * The total thickness of the rocks 
exposed above low-water level in Lee County is not far from four 
hundred feet, though the actual vertical measurement of an outcrop 
at any one place is probably nowhere more than one-half of this 

Several typical or standard sections are given. Probably the 
most important of these are the ones at the old McGavic mill, two 
miles below the union depot at Keokuk; the record of the Hubinger 
well in Keokuk; the bluff section at Fort Madison; a section at Den- 
mark, on the Skunk River; one at Croton, on the Des Moines River, 
and one on East Sugar Creek, about two miles northwest of Franklin. 
From the investigations made at these and other points in the county, 
the geologist prepared a "General Geological Section," which shows 
the geological construction of the county to be about as follows: 

Beginning at the surface, there is a deposit of alluvium, loess and 
till, of the Pleistocene age, averaging about sixty feet in thickness. 
Immediately below this are the lower coal measures, varying from 
five to forty feet. Next comes the St. Louis limestone, about thirty 
feet in thickness, after which comes the Augusta limestones, and 
below the Augusta group lie the Kinderhook shales. Arranging the 
different strata in the form of a table, the section would show the 
relative proportions of the different formations to be as follows — 
starting at the surface: 


Alluvium 20 

Loess 15 

Till 25 


Lower Coal Measures 40 

St. Louis Limestone 30 

Sonora Shales 8 

Warsaw Shales 20 

Geode Bed 33 

Keokuk Limestone 53 

Montrose Chert 30 


Upper Burlington Limestone 50 

Lower Burlington Limestone 80 

Kinderhook Shales 12 

Total 416 

All the strata lying between the Kinderhook shales and the St. 
Louis limestone belong to the Augusta stage. The Kinderhook shales 
are best exposed on the Des Moines County side of the Skunk River, 
near Patterson station; the Burlington limestones are also seen to 
best advantage along the Skunk River from its mouth up as far as 
Augusta; the Keokuk limestone has a fine exposure at the mouth of 
Soap Creek and near the old McGavic mill site; the geode bed, the 
Sonora and Warsaw shales, the St. Louis limestones and the coal meas- 
ures are also seen in the outcrops in that locality. The geological 
report already referred to says: "These several outcrops serve as 
standards to which all sections in the county may be readily referred. 
* All the bedded rocks have been subjected to profound 
erosion, which has carved out deep channels and numberless minor 
depressions. Over this uneven surface the glacial materials have 
been spread, obscuring in great part the harder rocks. Subsequent 
action of running waters has cut through the drift mantle and laid 
bare the underlying strata at many places." 


Far back in the geologic past, about the close of the Paleozoic 
period, came the Pleistocene or "Ice Age," during which all of 
what is now the State of Iowa was covered with a vast sheet of ice, 
called a glacier, extending from the region of the Great Lakes to 
the Rocky Mountains. This glacier was formed in the northern 
part of the continent by successive falls of snow. The weight added 
by each snowfall aided in compressing the mass below into a solid 
body of ice. In time the entire glacier began to move slowly south- 
ward, carrying with it great bowlders, clay, soils, etc., to be deposited 
in regions far distant from those from which they were taken. As 
the huge mass moved slowly along, the bowlders and other hard sub- 
stances at the bottom of the glacier left scratches or striae upon the 
bed rocks, and from these scorings the geologist has been able to 
determine the course of the glacier. At various places along the west 
bank of the Mississippi River, from the mouth of the Iowa to the 
southern border of the state, the striae have been noted upon the 
rocks of the bluffs, indicating the general direction of the great 
glacier to have been toward the southeast. 


As the ice melted, the materials carried by the glacier were de- 
posited upon the bed rocks in the form of drift, which constitutes 
the alluvium, loess and till as noted in the preceding table. At the 
close of the glacial period the surface was void of either animal or 
plant life. Gradually the action of the rain and winds leveled the 
surface, the heat of the sun warmed the earth, and life in primitive 
forms made its appearance. 

It is a noticeable fact that within the limits of Lee County there 
are no deposits representing the period of time intervening between 
the laying down of the lower coal measures and the beginning of 
the Pleistocene or Ice Age. If later coal measures or Tertiary strata 
were deposited they were removed by erosive agencies before the 
beginning of the glacial epoch. The effect of this erosion has been 
noted by geologists in the discovery of preglacial valleys of the Mis- 
sissippi and Des Moines rivers. 

As early as 1858 geologists noted the great development of glacial 
material along the west bank of the Mississippi in the vicinity of 
Fort Madison. Twenty years later Maj. G. K. Warren first made 
known the existence of an old river valley in that locality. In 1890, 
without knowing of Warren's work, C. H. Gordon prepared a map 
showing the course of the river in ancient times, his conclusions cor- 
responding in every particular with those of Major Warren. Gor- 
don's map shows that from the mouth of the Skunk River to Montrose 
the old channel was not materially different from the present one. 
From Montrose the old valley swept with a broad westward bend to 
the Des Moines River, a short distance below the present Village of 
Sand Prairie. Concerning the evidences of this, Gordon says: "The 
comparatively narrow rocky gorge within which the river now flows 
from Montrose to Keokuk is itself suggestive of its more recent 
origin than the broad valley above and below bordered for the most 
part by drift covered slopes." 

The width of the preglacial channel of the Mississippi is about 
six miles, which is about the width of the valley at the present time 
above Fort Madison. It is quite probable that the preglacial river 
was no larger than the present stream. After cutting its early chan- 
nel it then continued the work of erosion until the valley was widened 
to the limits indicated upon Gordon's map. 

The existence of a buried channel through the western part of 
the county — probably the preglacial course of the Des Moines River 
-was first observed by geologists in 1893. This old valley is ap- 
proximately marked by the present course of West Sugar Creek. 
Geologists find abundant evidence that the present channel of the 


Des Moines River above Sand Prairie is of comparatively recent 
date and are inclined to the opinion that the river once flowed farther 
eastward than now, joining the Mississippi near Sand Prairie. Then 
came the Ice Age, during which the underflow of waters started 
a change in the course of the streams, and after the ice melted the 
rivers were forced to cut new channels through the drift. 


At the bottom of the glacial deposits is the "lower till," which in 
Lee County averages about twenty-five feet in thickness. It is com- 
posed of a blue clay, filled with bowlders of various kinds and sizes, 
with deposits of sand at intervals. These sand beds often constitute 
the source of water supply in wells on the upper levels. Above 
the blue clay is a yellow clay, which also contains bowlders. At 
what are known as the "Yellow Banks," on the Des Moines River, 
the lower till is seen to consist of "twenty-five feet of sand resting 
upon blue clay and over this fifteen feet of silty clay, dark above 
and overlain by eight feet of yellow clay, which in turn is capped by 
a thin veneer of loess." 

The sand varies in places to a fine gravel and along the east 
bank of West Sugar Creek, near the mouth of the stream, it gradu- 
ally merges into a coarse, incoherent sandstone. The yellow clay 
deposits also contain much sand, as may be seen in the cuts along the 
line of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad where it cuts 
through the main divide between the Mississippi and Des Moines 

Loess consists chiefly of a fine, ash-colored silt and is distributed 
over all of Southeastern Iowa in deposits varying in thickness from 
two feet to fifteen feet or more. A little south of New Boston, on 
the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, it has a development of 
fifteen feet, somewhat marly at the bottom, and at Keokuk the bowl- 
der accumulation is covered by stratified white and iron bearing 
sand grading upward into pure loess. Here the thickness of the 
silt and stratified sand is about thirty feet. The loess is also seen in 
the exposures along Soap Creek and in the terraces above Montrose. 

Above the loess lies the aluvium or soil, which is composed of 
the lighter materials carried by the glacier and decayed vegetable 
matter that has been deposited since the close of the glacial epoch. 
As this portion of the drift constitutes the surface and is seen in all 
parts of the county, it is not deemed necessary to give any extended 
account of its character or the manner in which it was deposited. 



While a general discussion of the structure and formation of 
Lee County may be of interest to the student of geology, there is no 
doubt that the average reader will find much more interest in the 
subject of economic geology — that branch of the science which 
treats of the commercial and industrial importance of the various 
mineral deposits within the limits of the county. Probably the most 
important of the minerals is 


Lee County is well supplied with stone suitable for nearly all 
classes of construction, every stratum of the Lower Carboniferous 
limestone affording a good grade, though varying greatly in texture 
and quality. In at least thirteen of the sixteen townships quarries 
have been opened and profitably worked. The Burlington lime- 
stones are durable, easily quarried and readily dressed. The thick 
ledges of this formation are well adapted to dimension work of all 
kinds. In the Keokuk limestone is found a hard, compact rock, 
which breaks evenly and is quarried without difficulty. The upper 
part of this formation, often called the Warsaw, is principally a 
magnesian limestone, some sand and small pebbles. The largest 
quarries of this stone are on the east side of the Mississippi, at Sonora, 
where it is quarried under the name of Sonora sandstone. Build- 
ings in Keokuk erected of this material more than half a century ago 
are still standing and the action of the atmosphere has not eradi- 
cated all the tool marks upon the stone, which attests its durability. 
The St. Louis white limestone is fine-grained, compact, usually bluish 
or gray in color. Some layers have been used for lithographic 

Jackson Township leads all the others in the amount of stone 
quarried. Along the Mississippi at the base of the bluff, imme- 
diately north of Keokuk, and in the western part of the city, along 
Soap Creek, there are several large quarries in operation, most of 
the stone being of the blue Keokuk limestone, though some Warsaw 
stone is also taken out. The stone is shipped over the railroads cen- 
tering at Keokuk to all parts of the Central United States. In the 
northern part of the city several small quarries have been opened 
in the St. Louis limestone for sidewalk, street crossings, etc. 

In Des Moines Township there are quarries near the station of 
Sand Prairie, from which stone is taken for local use, and the Atchi- 


son, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company has a quarry near Hins- 
dale. In the same vicinity the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Rail- 
road Company has a quarry, from which stone is taken for bridge 
abutments, etc. 

Near Ballinger station, in the southeastern part of Montrose 
Township, a quarry was opened about twenty years ago by McManus 
& Tucker in the Warsaw magnesian limestone. It was from this 
quarry that the stone for some of the additions to the state peniten- 
tiary at Fort Madison was taken. Other additions were built of the 
dolomite limestone from the Schafer quarries across the river in 
Illinois. The Fort Madison High School and the building of the 
Fort Madison Canning Company are also constructed of this stone. 
There is another quarry in this township directly south of the Town 
of Montrose, but the stone produced there is chiefly for local use. 

In Jefferson Township the Wemmer quarry, on the west side of 
Sugar Creek, near the northwest corner of the township, was opened 
about 1880 and has been operated on a small scale more or less con- 
tinuously since that time. The stone from this quarry hardens greatly 
upon being exposed to the weather. None has ever been shipped, 
the output being used in the surrounding country for foundations, 
bridge abutments, and similar purposes. 

There are but few exposures of the bed rock in Charleston Town- 
ship, owing to the fact that there are no large streams. About a 
mile southwest of Donnellson, on a small tributary of Sugar Creek, 
is the Donnell quarry, the output of which is used locally for foun- 
dations and retaining walls. At a few other points along the creek 
there are exposures of a white oolitic limestone, which is believed 
to belong to the St. Louis formation, and on Panther Creek, in sec- 
tion 13, near the eastern boundary of the township there are some out- 
crops of the St. Louis stone that have been quarried to some extent. 

Near Crotton, Van Buren Township, a quarry was opened some 
time in the '60s, during the days of slack water navigation, in a de- 
posit of massive yellow sandstone belonging to the lower coal meas- 
ures. Stone from this quarry was used in the construction of the 
locks and dams in the Des Moines River. It is not much used at the 
present time. There are outcrops on Lick and Mumm creeks and 
near the mouth of Monk Creek from which stone is taken for local 
use, but no regular quarry is operated. 

Near the Town of Franklin, in the township of that name, there 
are several small quarries in the white, granular ledge of the St. 
Louis limestone. At the Graner quarry, about a mile east of the 
town, a good quality of flagging is quarried. A mile north of this 


is the Pardall quarry, from which stone has been sent to Fort Madi- 
son after being dressed at the quarry. The church at St. Paul is 
built of this stone. White limestone is also taken from quarries 
along Sugar Creek and some of its tributaries, and sandstone is ex- 
posed at various points in the coal measures. 

In West Point Township the building stone is nearly all of the 
St. Louis limestone. Most of the quarries are in the western part of 
the township. Some of the beds dress well and are used in making 
tombstones and bases for monuments. Considerable lime is manu- 
factured in this section of the county. In section 30, on Little Sugar 
Creek there is a deposit of fine white sandstone which hardens upon 
exposure and is quarried to some extent. There are several other 
deposits in the township where quarries might be profitably worked 
if suitable transportation facilities were provided. 

On Lost Creek, in the eastern part of Washington Township, 
considerable stone for constructional purposes has been taken. The 
output here is entirely local and is used chiefly for foundations. 

Very little building stone has been produced in Green Bay Town- 
ship, the principal quarry being near the railroad bridge over the 
Skunk River about a mile north of Wever. The stone here is the 
Lower Burlington limestone. 

Along the Skunk River, in Denmark Township, there is an abun- 
dance of good building stone of the Burlington, Keokuk and St. 
Louis limestones in sight and some quarrying has been done. At 
South Augusta considerable stone is taken from the bed of the river, 
which here passes over rapids, and at several other points in that 
neighborhood small openings have been made. There is no doubt 
that some day this stone will be quarried more extensively, as it is 
easily accessible and of good quality. 

The oolitic bed of the St. Louis limestone is the principal stone 
quarried in Pleasant Ridge Township. There are a number of small 
openings from which the stone is taken as needed for local use. 

The old Jarret quarry is the principal one in Marion Township. 
It is located in section 36, near the southeast corner of the township. 
Farther up Sugar Creek is the Pilot Grove quarry, from which 
flagging, foundation stone and material for bridge abutments are 


Probably the first mention of coal in Iowa was made by the 
English tourist, Featherstonhaugh, who went down the Mississippi 
in a canoe in 1835 and noticed indications of coal in some of the 


outcrops along the river. Later in the same year Albert Lea, an 
agent of the United States Government, appointed to ascertain the 
resources of the Black Hawk purchase, reported "large coal deposits 
between the mouth of the Des Moines River and Raccoon Forks." 

As Lee County lies on the extreme eastern margin of the great 
coal field west of the Mississippi, it can never be expected to occupy 
a place among the important coal producing counties of the state. 
The coal deposits, however, are large enough to be of some commer- 
cial value, local demand being supplied to some extent in certain 
sections of the county. The largest deposits noticed so far are in the 
coal measure rocks in the northern part of the county, particularly 
in Franklin, Marion and Pleasant Ridge townships. Although the 
coal measures exist in fully one-half of Van Buren Township no 
attempt has ever been made to open mines. There is also a small 
district of the coal measures near Keokuk, in Jackson Township. 

Mining has been carried on for many years, but in a rather 
desultory manner. The largest mines operated are on Sutton Creek, 
in Pleasant Ridge Township, about five miles northwest of the Town 
of Denmark. The coal beds here form a portion of the coal-bearing 
area which extends northward into Henry County. At the old Norris 
mine a considerable quantity of coal was mined years ago, the output 
going to West Point and the adjacent country. In recent years none 
of the mines has been worked systematically, the coal now being 
obtained chiefly by "stripping" along the creek, where the vein 
ranges from two to three feet or more in thickness. No doubt, as 
the better mines of the western coal field are worked out, these de- 
posits will be developed and mined with profit. 

In Marion Township the Stevenson mine, a short distance east 
of the Town of St. Paul, has been used for a number of years as a 
source of local coal supply; but it is worked mainly during the 
winter months when the demand for coal is great enough to make 
mining profitable. Three miles southwest of the Stevenson mine 
is a small shaft from which coal has been taken annually for several 
years and supplied to the people living in the vicinity. 

Nearly four-fifths of Franklin Township lie in the coal field 
and coal has been mined at several places. About two miles from 
West Point, in the eastern part of the township, is a mine from 
which small quantities of coal have been taken at intervals for a 
number of years. In the early '90s washouts in the road leading 
west from West Point exposed a vein of coal varying from one to 
two feet in thickness and this has been mined in a limited way. 
Several mines have been opened on Sugar Creek, in the northwestern 


part of the township, the best known being the old Hardwick mine, 
from which sufficient quantities of coal were taken at one time to 
supply the local demand. This mine was once worked by means 
of a shaft, but that method has been abandoned and the coal is now 
obtained by drifts in the ravine. The vein here is the thickest dis- 
covered so far in the county, measuring in some places over three 
feet. Small drifts have been made about a mile down the creek from 
the Hardwick mine and some coal has been taken from the beds at 
that point. 

In Jackson Township coal of good quality has been developed 
below the City of Keokuk, on the upper side of the Nassau Slough, 
where the vein is about eighteen inches thick. North of the city, in 
the bluffs near Rand Park, coal was once mined by means of drifts, 
but some years ago the entrance was blocked by debris from the 
falling roof and the mines have not been reopened. 


At numerous places in the superficial or drift deposits of the 
county are beds of good clay, and some of the geological formations 
also furnish a good grade of this material. Probably the best known 
clays are those which overlie the coal deposits, but the Warsaw beds 
have been used successfully in the manufacture of brick, and it has 
been demonstrated that the Kinderhook shales are well adapted to 
the manufacture of high-grade paving blocks. The Hubinger Brick 
Works at Keokuk were utilizing the Warsaw shale at that point 
more than twenty years ago. Thin bands and nodules of lime rock 
make the shale difficult to use, as it has to be specially treated to 
get rid of these ingredients, after which brick of high grade can be 
made from it. 

The shales of the coal measures are found in various parts of 
the county and in many places they are accompanied by coal suffi- 
cient to burn the clay products. Some of the light-colored shales, 
where free from grit, are excellent for pottery, and the drab and 
yellow shales can be made into brick. 

The blue clay of the lower till is seldom well exposed at the 
surface and is, therefore, little used in making clay goods, although 
tenacious, fine-grained and well adapted to the purpose. The yellow 
clay of the till contains too many foreign substances to make it 
profitable to attempt to utilize it in manufacture. 

For ordinary brick the alluvium has been used in some places. 
The best clays in this formation are found chiefly along the Des 
Moines and Skunk rivers, and along some of the larger creeks. 


At Keokuk pressed and ornamental brick are made from the 
Warsaw and Kinderhook shales, though the former is much more 
extensively used, owing to the ease with which it can be obtained. 
Fire brick, furnace linings, etc., are manufactured from the clays 
that lie immediately below the coal seams. Among the early clay 
industries at Keokuk were the Hubinger Brick Works, the brick 
yards of R. P. Creel and James Mitchell, and the Spaan and Worley 

There are several brick yards in the vicinity of Fort Madison, 
most of them utilizing the clay deposits in the southern part of 
Washington Township. One of the oldest is that known as the 
Reichelt yard, which has been in successful operation for a number 
of years. The Stellern and Hansmann yards, in the same locality, 
also manufacture large quantities of brick, and the Wiggenjost and 
Bartell yards do a good business. 

At Donnellson a brick yard was opened in 1 89 1 at the west side 
of the town, where bricks for the public school building were made 
by hand from prairie soil. Three miles north of the town was found 
a bed of clay in the coal measures which was used in the manufacture 
of pottery, a factory for that purpose having been erected near the 
junction of the two railroads. After a fairly successful career of two 
or three years the works were moved to Farmington, Van Buren 


Sand suitable for making mortar for building purposes is found 
in the beds of nearly all the streams, the Mississippi, Des Moines and 
Skunk rivers supplying at almost any point an abundance of clean, 
sharp river sand of a high grade. At various places in the county 
there are lenticular beds of sand in the drift, which might be utilized 
for mortar making, and the soft sandstone of the coal measures, when 
disintegrated by the action of the air, makes a clean, sharp material 
equal to the best river sand. In a few places a pure, white sand has 
been found which, it is believed, could be used to advantage in the 
manufacture of ordinary glassware, and at various points in the drift 
beds are deposits of sand suitable for molding purposes. So far 
none of these deposits has been developed to any great extent. 

Although the geological survey reports the presence of gravel 
beds scattered widely over the county, the rivers and creeks especially 
affording an abundance of this material, and at places in the drift 
the beds being of comparatively easy access, the deposits have been 
scarcely touched in an economic way. In the southern part of the 


county there are a few miles of gravel road, but stone being plentiful 
in all parts of the county, it is the principal road-building material. 
It is possible that at some future time the gravel deposits may be 
developed and their contents used in the construction of highways. 
All in all, Lee County is as well supplied with road-building mate- 
rials as any county in the state, and every year the macadam road 
is becoming more popular. 

Some hydraulic rock has been reported from time to time, but 
it appears the deposits are small and none has been utilized in the 
manufacture of cement. Lime is burned at several places in the 
county, the greatest quantities being produced at Keokuk and Mont- 
rose, where the Burlington and Keokuk limestones are used. Lime 
kilns have also been in operation at Denmark for many years. 

In addition to the minerals already mentioned, there are some 
not now attracting attention which may become of commercial im- 
portance in the future. Sulphide of nickel has been found in the 
upper part of the Keokuk limestone at Keokuk and Fort Madison; 
copper, gold and silver have all been noted in the county, but it is 
not to be expected that they will ever become money makers. In 
some of the limestones below Keokuk silver to the amount of four 
or five ounces to the ton has been shown by assays. Zinc blende, iron 
pyrites and sulphide of iron have all been found in the county, while 
in the geode beds quartz, calcopyrite, rutile, aragonite and dolomite 
are known to exist in greater or less quantities. At the bottom of 
the geode beds a fine white powder, believed to be the hydrous silicate 
of aluminum, has been noticed at several points. 


In every township of the county, particularly in the hills border- 
ing the streams, there are springs of good water, many of which 
are never failing, while others almost dry up in seasons of slight 
rainfall. All over the county wells of moderate depth yield an 
abundant supply of good, wholesome water. In the southeastern half, 
and probably in the entire county, the conditions are favorable for 
securing a supply of artesian water. The great Keokuk syncline or 
trough underlies a large part of the county and throughout this area 
the pressure is sufficient to insure flowing wells at almost any point. 
The best known wells of this character are at Fort Madison and 
Keokuk. At Fort Madison six artesian wells have been sunk. They 
are the old up-town Atlee well, the well at the Atlee Mills, the one 
in Ivanhoe Park, the well at the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Rail- 


road Hospital, the well of the Brown Paper Company, and the city 
well in the Old Settlers' Park, completed in August, 1914. At 
Keokuk the best artesian wells are the Hubinger well and the one at 
the Young Men's Christian Association. The water from these wells 
is wholesome, though one has "to learn to like it," on account of a 
peculiar taste, which after a time, becomes unnoticeable. There are 
also several mineral springs in the coal fields, but generally they are 
too small to supply more than the local demand for water. They 
contain various sulphates and some of them, no doubt, possess certain 
medicinal properties. 

Vol. I —2 



Who were the first human beings to inhabit the region now 
included in the State of Iowa? The question is more easily asked 
than answered. The first white settlements along the Atlantic coast 
were made early in the seventeenth century. More than a century 
elapsed after these settlements were established before evidences 
were discovered to show that the interior had once been peopled by 
a peculiar race. These evidences were found in the numerous 
mounds and earthworks. Says one of the reports of the United 
States Bureau of Ethnology: 

"During a period beginning some time after the close of the Ice 
Age and ending with the coming of the white man — or only a few 
generations before — the central part of North America was inhabited 
by a people who had emerged to some extent from the darkness of 
savagery, had acquired certain domestic arts, and practiced some 
well-defined lines of industry. The location and boundaries in- 
habited by them are fairly well marked by the mounds and earthworks 
they erected." 

The center of this ancient civilization — if such it may be called — 
appears to have been in the present State of Ohio. Iowa may be 
regarded as its western frontier. From the relics left the people 
have been given the name of "Mound Builders" by archaeologists. 
Most of the mounds discovered are conical in shape and when ex- 
plored generally are found to contain skeletons. They have been 
designated as burial mounds. Others are in the form of truncated 
pyramids — that is, square or rectangular at the base and flat on the 
top. The mounds of this class are usually higher than the burial 



mounds and are supposed to have been lookouts or signal stations. 
Here and there are to be seen well-defined lines of earthworks, indi- 
cating that they had been used as a means of defense against invading 
enemies. In a few instances, the discovery of a large mound, sur- 
rounded by an embankment, outside of which are a number of smaller 
mounds, has given rise to the theory that such places were centers 
of religious worship or sacrifice. 

Cyrus Thomas, of the United States Bureau of Ethnology, has 
divided the region inhabited by the Mound Builders into eight dis- 
tricts, in each of which there are certain characteristics not common 
to the others. These districts are as follows: 

i. The Dakotah District, which includes North and South Da- 
kota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the northeastern corner of Iowa. 
The distinguishing features of this district are the effigy mounds, 
which are constructed in the form of some bird or animal. They 
are believed to have represented the totem of a tribe, or some living 
creature that was an object of veneration. The burial mounds in this 
district are comparatively small. In some places are mounds with 
an outline of stone, which is filled in with earth. 

2. The Huron-Iroquois District, which embraces the country 
once inhabited by the Huron and Iroquois Indians. It includes the 
lower peninsula of Michigan, a strip across Northern Ohio, the 
greater part of New York, and extends northward into Canada. 
Burial mounds are numerous throughout this district, a few forti- 
fications have been noted, and hut rings, or foundations of ancient 
dwellings, are plentiful. 

3. The Illinois District, embracing the middle and eastern por- 
tions of Iowa, Northeastern Missouri, the northern part of Illinois 
and the western half of Indiana. Along the western side of the Mis- 
sissippi the burial mounds in this district gradually grow smaller 
as one travels toward the south. When representatives of the Bureau 
of Ethnology explored this district they discovered that: "Upon the 
bluffs near the junction of the Des Moines River with the Missis- 
sippi were many circular mounds, most of which have been opened 
and numerous articles, mostly of intrusive burials, obtained there- 
from. Several were opened by the bureau agent, but nothing was 
found in them save decayed human bones, fragments of pottery and 
stone chips." The mounds thus referred to are in Lee County. 

4. The Ohio District, which takes in the eastern half of Indiana, 
all of Ohio, except the strip above referred to as belonging to the 
Huron-Iroquois District, and the southwestern part of West Vir- 
ginia. In this district both the burial mounds and the fortifications 


are numerous, and the former are larger than the burial grounds 
found elsewhere, frequently having a diameter of one hundred feet or 
more and rising to a height of eighty feet. More than ten thousand 
mounds have been explored in the State of Ohio alone. The Great 
Serpent, a fortification in the form of a snake, situated on a bluff in 
Adams County, Ohio, is one of the most perfect specimens of this 
class of mounds so far discovered, and the Grave Creek Mound, in 
West Virginia, is one of the greatest lookout or signal station mounds. 
There are also a number of sacrificial mounds, surrounded by em- 

5. The Appalachian District, which includes the mountainous 
regions of Eastern Tennessee, Western North Carolina, Southwestern 
Virginia and the northern portion of Georgia. Throughout this 
district have been found abundant evidences that the tribe inhabiting 
it was different in many respects from the people of the other districts. 
The mounds are of a different construction, stone graves are numer- 
ous, and among the relics discovered are a number of more or less 
ornamental tobacco pipes and utensils of copper. 

6. The Tennessee District, embracing Middle and Western Ten- 
nessee, Southern Illinois, nearly all of Kentucky, a strip through the 
central part of Georgia and a small section of Northern Alabama. 
Here pottery is plentiful, especially the long-necked water jar. The 
fortifications of this district are distinguished by covered ways leading 
to the streams, indicating that they were constructed with a view to 
withstanding a siege. Several stone images, believed to have been 
used as idols, have also been found in the mounds of this district. 

7. The Arkansas District, including the entire State of Arkansas, 
part of Northern Louisiana and the southeastern corner of Missouri. 
Pottery has been found in abundance in this district, hut rings and vil- 
lage sites have been discovered, though the burial mounds are small 
and few in number. 

8. The Gulf District, which, as its name indicates, includes the 
region along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. In this district are 
a number of fine truncated pyramids, some of them with terraces; 
skeletons buried in bark coffins have been found; other skeletons have 
been found in caves, and the entire district is rich in pottery, polished 
stones, weapons of obsidian, etc. 

Who were the Mound Builders? Various authors have written 
upon the subject and nearly every one has a theory as to their origin. 
Some maintain that they first established their civilization in the Ohio 
Valley, whence they worked their way gradually southward into 
Mexico and Central America, where the white man found their 


descendants in the Aztec Indians. Others, with arguments equally 
as plausible and logical, contend that the Mound Builders originated 
in the South and migrated northward to the region of the Great 
Lakes, where their progress was checked by hostile tribes. Prac- 
tically all the early writers were agreed upon one thing, and that was 
that the Mound Builders were a very ancient race. The principal 
reasons for this view were that the Indians had no traditions concern- 
ing many of the relics, and upon the mounds and earthworks dis- 
covered were trees of several feet diameter, indicating that the works 
were of great antiquity. 

Among the earliest writers on the subject were Squier and Davis, 
who about the middle of the nineteenth century published a work 
entitled "Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley." Between 
the years 1845 and 1848 these two investigators opened over two 
hundred mounds, the description of which was published by the 
Smithsonian Institution. Following the lead of Squier and Davis, 
other investigators claimed the Mound Builders, who once inhabited 
the Ohio and Mississippi valleys at a period more or less remote, 
were of a different race from the Indians found here by the white 
man. In more recent years archaeologists, who have made extensive 
research among the mounds, and those who have given the ancient 
relics the closest study in connection with the Bureau of Ethnology, 
are practically a unit in the conclusion that the Mound Builder was 
nothing more than the ancestor of the Indian. 

Early French and Spanish explorers in the southern part of the 
United States found that among the Natchez Indians the house of the 
chief was always built upon an artificial mound. Says Margry: 
"When the chief dies they demolish his cabin and then raise a new 
mound, on which they build the cabin of the chief who is to replace 
the one deceased in this dignity, for the chief never lodges in the 
house of his predecessor." 

How long this custom had prevailed no one knows, but it might 
be the reason for a large number of artificial mounds in the country 
once inhabited by the Natchez and their ancestors. The Yamasees 
of Georgia built mounds over those killed in battle, and Charlevoix 
found among the Canadian tribes earthworks resembling those of the 
Huron-Iroquois District of Thomas' Division. 

In the early exploration of the mounds, some surprise was mani- 
fested at the presence of charcoal and burnt or baked clay. Subse- 
quent investigations have disclosed the fact that among certain tribes, 
particularly in the lower Mississippi country, the family hut was 
built upon an artificial mound, usually of small dimensions. The 


house was constructed of poles and plastered with mud. Upon the 
death of the head of the family, the body was buried under the center 
of the house, which was then burned. This custom, practiced perhaps 
for many generations, would account for the great number of small 
mounds, each containing a single skeleton. Again, among some of 
the southwestern tribes, white men have found pottery very similar 
in texture and design to that found in some of the ancient mounds. 
In the light of these discoveries it is not surprising that the Indian 
ancestry theory has made great headway within the last few years, 
and that a majority of the leading archaeologists of the country 
advocate that theory. Says Thomas: "The hope of ultimately solv- 
ing the great problems is perhaps as lively today as in former years. 
But with the vast increase of knowledge in recent years, a modification 
of the hope entertained has taken place." 

While much of this general history and description of the Mound 
Builders is not directly applicable to Lee County, it is hoped that the 
reader will find it of interest, inasmuch as it throws some light upon 
the people who formerly inhabited this section of the country and 
enables one to understand better the character of the mounds found 
in the county. 

Several interesting mounds have been opened and explored in 
Iowa. In one in Marion County was found a number of pieces of 
pottery, some of them of graceful outline, and a copper spear head 
about five inches in length. A large mound in Boone County — 
oval in form and 90 by no feet at the base — was investigated in 1908. 
About four thousand pieces of pottery, some of them indicating that 
the vessels were three feet in diameter, were found in the center of 
the mound, with a collection of shells, four or five human skulls, a 
few bones and a large pile of ashes and charcoal. Upon the summit 
of this mound were two oak trees two feet in diameter. Some years 
ago Justus M. T. Myers wrote the following concerning the mounds 
of Lee County: 

"As far as I know, there are some fifteen or twenty mounds on my 
father's farm, in Green Bay Township, and several others on adjoin- 
ing farms, all of which are of oval formation, from two to seven feet 
in height and from twelve to thirty feet in diameter. I have drifted 
into some of these mounds and found pieces of flint, pottery, and bones, 
both human and animal. Some of the bones were burnt or charred, 
as if the occupants of the country at that period of time cremated 
their dead, or sacrificed them as burnt offerings. In one of the 
mounds I found thirty-two human skeletons, that had evidently been 
left there at the time of sepulture in a sitting position, but had fallen 


over with the lapse of time, until their heads were drooping down 
between their legs when I uncovered them. The skeletons were 
incased in limestone vaults that had been made by setting broad stones 
on their edges, and covered over with broad, flat stones. Some of 
these stones would weigh as much as two hundred and fifty or two 
hundred and seventy-five pounds." 

As the nearest known limestone beds are fully a mile and a half 
from the location of this mound, it would be interesting to know the 
mode of conveyance used by the Mound Builders in transporting 
these heavy stones. 

Several small mounds have been discovered near Wever, and 
those farther down the Mississippi have already been mentioned in 
connection with Thomas' District No. 3. There are also some small 
mounds in other parts of the county, but none of historic importance. 


When the first white men came from Europe they found the 
continent of North America inhabited by a race of copper colored 
people, to whom they gave the name of Indians. This race was 
divided into several groups of families, each of which was dis- 
tinguished by certain physical and linguistic characteristics. In the 
extreme north were the Eskimo, a tribe that has never played any 
conspicuous part in history. The great Algonquian family inhabited 
a large triangle, roughly bounded by a line drawn from the most 
eastern point of Labrador in a southwesterly direction to the western 
end of Lake Superior; another line from that point to the Atlantic 
coast near Cape Hatteras, and the coast line from there to the place 
of beginning. In the heart of the Algonquian country, along the 
shores of Lake Ontario, were the Iroquoian tribes — the Senecas, 
Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas and Cayugas — known as the "Five 
Nations." South of the Algonquian family, in the southeastern part 
of the United States, lay the country occupied by the Muskhogean 
group, the principal tribes of which were the Cherokee, Choctaw, 
Creek and Chickasaw. To the northwest, about the source of the 
Mississippi River, were the brave and warlike Siouan tribes, while 
the country farther west was inhabited by the fierce Comanche, 
Apache and other tribes, closely allied to the Sioux in appearance, 
habits and dialect. 

Among the Algonquian tribes the Illinois — or Illini, as they were 
at first known — were probably the first tribe to inhabit the region 
now included in Lee County. In the latter part of the seventeenth 


century, according to their traditions, they were once a powerful 
nation, consisting of five subordinate tribes, viz.: The Kaskaskia, 
Peoria, Tamaroa, Michigani and Cahokia. Besides their country east 
of the Mississippi, they occupied a large district between that river 
and the Des Moines, in what is now the southeastern part of Iowa. 
Here a band of them were met by Marquette and Joliet on their 
voyage down the Mississippi in 1673. The tribal traditions also 
relate that they once lived farther eastward, but were driven back 
by the warlike Iroquois. The Ottawa chief, Pontiac, who led the 
uprising against the white settlements and posts in 1763, was assas- 
sinated by some of the Illini in 1769, whereupon the Sacs and Foxes, 
allies of Pontiac, declared war against the Illini and in time almost 
exterminated the tribe. 

The Iowa Indians (Sleepy Ones), the tribe from which the state 
takes its name, were one of the southern Siouan tribes, included by 
Dorsey with the Otoes and Missouris in his Chiwere group. Accord- 
ing to their traditions, they once formed part of the Winnebago 
nation, with which they lived north of the Great Lakes. On the 
shores of Lake Michigan they separated from the Winnebago and 
received the name of "Gray Snow." They were first noticed by 
white men in 1690, when they were living in the vicinity of Lake 
Michigan under a chief named Man-haw-gaw. The first stopping 
place of the tribe, after separating from the Winnebago, was on the 
Rock River, in Illinois, a short distance above its mouth. School- 
craft says this tribe migrated no less than fifteen times. In 1700 
Le Sueur found some of them near the present town of Red Earth, 
Minnesota, where they were engaged in tilling the soil, and three- 
quarters of a century later a small band of them was living near 
Peoria, Illinois. In 1848 one of the tribe prepared a map showing 
the movements of the Iowas from the time they settled on the Rock 
River. The tradition accompanying the map says: "The tribe 
separated from the Sacs and Foxes and wandered off westward in 
search of a new home. Crossing the Mississippi River, they turned 
southward and reached a high bluff near the mouth of the Iowa 
River. Looking off over the beautiful valley spread out before them, 
they halted, exclaiming, 'Ioway!' signifying in their language 'This 
is the place!' " 

The territory thus appropriated by the Iowas included the present 
County of Lee, though the tribe afterward established its head- 
quarters in what is now Mahaska County, which bears the name of a 
noted Iowa chief. Lewis and Clark met some of this tribe in their 
expedition up the Missouri in 1804 and refer to them in the journal 


as the "Ayouways," though the name is generally written "Iowa" or 
"Ioway" by historians. The tribe has long since disappeared, but 
the name remains to designate one of the great states of the Missis- 
sippi Valley. 

The Sacs and Foxes, the principal Indians in Iowa history, are 
always spoken of as one people, though originally they were two 
separate and distinct tribes of the great Algonquian family. Evi- 
dence, traditionary and otherwise, shows that the Foxes, in the early 
part of the seventeenth century, lived on the Atlantic Coast, in the 
vicinity of Rhode Island. Their Indian name was Mesh-kwa-ke-hug 
(nearly always written Musquakies), signifying "red earth people. 1 ' 
The name Fox originated with the French, who called these Indians 
Reynors. In 1634 Jean Nicollet found some of them near Green 
Bay, in what is now the State of Wisconsin. Three years later 
Claude Allouez, a Jesuit missionary, visited a Musquakie village 
on Wolf River, in Wisconsin, which had a population of about five 

The Sacs — also called Sauks or Saukies — were called the "people 
of the outlet" and were first encountered by white men in Eastern 
Michigan, about Saginaw Bay, where they were allied with the 
Ottawa and Pottawatomi tribes. Subsequently they removed to the 
neighborhood of Green Bay, Wisconsin. According to Dorsey, the 
tribe was divided into fourteen gentes, viz. : Trout, Sturgeon, Bass, 
Great Lynx, Sea, Fox, Wolf, Bear, Potato, Elk, Swan, Grouse, Eagle 
and Thunder. 

In 1712 the Foxes joined in the attack on the French post at 
Detroit and were defeated with heavy loss. They then located on the 
Fox River, not far from Green Bay, where Nicollet had found some 
of the tribe three-quarters of a century before. A few years later 
the Dutch and English traders operating in Wisconsin and Northern 
Michigan formed an alliance with the Musquakies for the purpose 
of driving out the French. As a measure of defense, the French 
traders enlisted the cooperation of the Ottawa, Pottawatomi, Huron 
and some minor tribes. In the war which ensued the Musquakies 
were defeated and found a refuge among the Sacs. De Villiers, a 
French officer, with a force of French soldiers and Indian allies, 
marched to the Sac village and demanded the surrender of the 
refugees. The demand was refused and a battle occurred which 
lasted for several hours, the Indians finally meeting defeat, but the 
refugees were not surrendered to the victors. 

The Sacs and Foxes then formed an alliance and moved west- 
ward, but were soon afterward driven from their new territory by the 


Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, allies of the French. About 1780 
they crossed the Mississippi near Prairie du Chien and established 
themselves in Iowa, about where the City of Dubuque now stands. 
Before that time some of the Sacs had dwelt on the Rock River, in 
Illinois, where they had a village called Sau-ke-nuk. According to 
the chief, Black Hawk, this village was established about 173 1 . In 
the early part of the nineteenth century there were about eight thou- 
sand Sacs and Foxes still living in that locality. In 1788 those who 
had crossed over into Iowa sold part of their lands to Julien Dubuque, 
who was the first white man to establish himself permanently in 
Iowa. When Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike went up the Mississippi in 
1805, ne visited the Sac and Fox villages at the mouth of the Rock 
River and in Northern Iowa. 

Although the Sacs and Foxes are commonly regarded as one 
people, their alliance was more in the nature of a confederacy, each 
tribe maintaining its identity, though one chief ruled over both. Two 
of the greatest chiefs in the history of the North American Indians 
belonged to these allied tribes. They were Black Hawk and Keokuk, 
both born of Sac parents yet acknowledged chiefs by the Foxes. The 
former was a warrior and the latter a diplomat. 

Black Hawk, whose Indian name was Ma-ka-ta-wi-mesha-ka-ka, 
was born at the Sac Village on the Rock River in 1767, a son of 
Py-e-sa, who was a direct descendant of Nan-a-ma-kee (Thunder) , to 
whom the great medicine bag of the Sac nation was intrusted by the 
Great Spirit. Black Hawk was trained in the arts of war by his 
father and established his prowess in battle before he was nineteen 
years of age. About that time his father was mortally wounded in an 
encounter with the Cherokees and upon his death the medicine bag 
passed to the custody of Black Hawk. This medicine bag represented 
the soul of the Sac nation and had never been disgraced. To pre- 
pare himself for preserving it unsullied, Black Hawk took no part 
in war for five years after the death of his father, praying to the Great 
Spirit for strength and wisdom to discharge his onerous duty. Dur- 
ing that period he would frequently go to the promontory near his 
home on the Rock River, where he would spend hours in smoking 
and thinking. This headland has been named "Black Hawk's Watch 

Black Hawk was dissatisfied with the terms of the treaty of 1804, 
an account of which is given in another chapter, and when the rela- 
tions between the United States and Great Britain became strained 
in 1812, the British Government took advantage of his dissatisfaction 
and secured his cooperation. Colonel Dixon, the English officer in 


command at Green Bay, sent two large pirogues loaded with goods 
to the Sac Village on the Rock River, and then went in person to 
superintend the distribution of the goods among the inhabitants. No 
better man could have been selected by the British authorities. Dixon 
was naturally crafty and thoroughly understood the Indian char- 
acter. When he took the hand of Black Hawk he said: "You will 
now hold us fast by the hand. Your English father has found that 
the Americans want to take your country from you and has sent me 
and my braves to drive them back to their own country." 

This speech won Black Hawk, who joined the British and was 
with the Shawnee chief, Tecumseh, when the latter fell in the Battle 
of the Thames. The British were defeated in the War of 1812 and 
the United States proceeded to enforce the provisions of the Treaty of 
1804, by ordering the Sacs and Foxes to remove to new territory west 
of the Mississippi River. While part of the Indians acquiesced, 
Black Hawk and his followers remained obstinate. Their discon- 
tent finally culminated in the "Black Hawk war," an account of 
which will be found in Chapter IV, in connection with the history 
of the treaty that led up to it. 

At the close of the Black Hawk war the Federal Government rec- 
ognized Keokuk as the principal chief of the Sacs and Foxes. It is 
said that when the announcement of this recognition was made in 
open council, Black Hawk became so angry that he jerked off his 
loin cloth and slapped Keokuk in the face with it. A writer in one 
of the reports of the United States Bureau of Ethnology says: "The 
act of creating Keokuk chief of the Sacs has always been regarded 
with ridicule by both the Sacs and the Foxes, for the reason that he 
was not of the ruling clan." 

After being deposed as chief, Black Hawk retired to the banks of 
the Des Moines River, near Iowaville, where he passed his declining 
years in peace. His last public utterance was on July 4, 1838, when 
he was a guest at a celebration at Fort Madison. In response to the 
toast: "Our illustrious guest — Black Hawk," he said : 

"It has pleased the Great Spirit that I am here today. I have 
eaten w 7 ith my white friends. It is good. A few summers ago I was 
fighting you. I may have done wrong. But that is past. Let it be 
forgotten. Rock River Valley was my beautiful country. I loved 
my villages, my cornfields and the home of my people. I fought for 
them. They are now yours. I was once a great warrior. Now I am 
old and poor. Keokuk has been the cause of my downfall. I have 
looked upon the Mississippi since I was a child. I love the great 
river. I have dwelt upon its banks from the time I was an infant. 


Photographed from an original daguerreotype. This daguerreotype was procured by a Mr. 
Rentgen, a commission merchant, who induced Keokuk to sit for the picture in the latter '30s. 


I look upon it now and I am sad. I shake hands with you. As it is 
my wish, I hope we are now friends. I may not see you again. Fare- 

The last words of this speech appear to have been prophetic, as 
the old chief died on October 3, 1838, at the age of seventy-one years. 
About a year later it was learned that his bones had been taken from 
the grave, but they were subsequently recovered through the efforts 
of Governor Lucas and sent to St. Louis, where they were cleaned and 
wired together. The skeleton was then returned to the governor's 
office and Black Hawk's sons were content to let it remain there. It 
was afterward given to the Burlington Geological and Historical 
Society and was among the collections that were destroyed by fire 
in 1855. 

Black Hawk has been described as five feet ten inches in height, 
with broad shoulders and of commanding appearance. As a warrior 
and chief he had a wide reputation among his own and the neighbor- 
ing tribes. A writer who knew him says: "He was inflexible in 
matters relating to right and wrong, and never consulted expediency. 
He never made war through malice or to gratify a personal grievance, 
but to protect his people from the encroachments of the white man. 
He loved his country and was a patriot." 

Keokuk (the Watchful Fox) was born near Rock Island, Illinois, 
in 1788. It is said that his mother was a French half-breed. He was 
therefore not a chief by heredity, but arose to that position through 
his diplomacy. When a young man he was admitted to the Sac 
Council as a member and subsequently was made the tribal guest 
keeper. One of his biographers says : "He was ambitious and while 
always involved in intrigue never exposed himself to his enemies, but 
cunningly played one faction against the other for his personal 

At the time of the Black Hawk war he was the leader of the peace 
party and managed to convert a majority of the men of the tribe 
to his view, leaving Black Hawk with a force entirely too small to 
hope for success. While the war was in progress some of Keokuk's 
warriors became dissatisfied with the peace policy and began making 
preparations to take the field. A war dance was held, in which 
Keokuk took part, apparently moved with the spirit of discontent that 
pervaded the tribe. At the conclusion of the dance a council was 
held to make preparations for war. Keokuk addressed that council 
as follows : 

"Warriors: I am your chief. It is my duty to lead you to war 
if you are determined to go. But, remember, the United States is 


a great nation. Unless we conquer them we must perish. I will lead 
you to war against the white men on one condition. That is we shall 
first put all our old men, our women and children to death, to save 
them from a lingering death by starvation, and then resolve that when 
we cross the Mississippi we will never retreat, but perish among the 
graves of our fathers, rather than yield to the white men." 

This speech checked the warlike sentiment among the Indians 
and the expedition some of them had been planning was abandoned. 
It was characteristic of Keokuk's methods in dealing with weighty 
problems. In the negotiations growing out of the Black Hawk war 
he played so deftly into the hands of the Government officials that 
he was declared by the United States to be the head chief of the Sac 
and Fox allied tribes. 

Keokuk was fond of debate, in which he was always cool, delib- 
erate and logical, sometimes growing intense and energetic in his 
earnestness. In the negotiations at Washington, D. C, he won the 
regard of the Sacs, Foxes and white men alike, when in a debate he 
vanquished the Sioux and other northern tribes and established the 
claim of the Sacs and Foxes to the territory now comprising the State 
of Iowa. He was a man of far more than ordinary ability, and though 
he disliked the Foxes he managed to retain his power as chief until 
after the removal of the Indians to Kansas in 1845. His death 
occurred in Kansas in the spring of 1848, and there is a rumor that 
he was poisoned by a member of the tribe, because he was charged 
with dishonestly appropriating money received from the Government 
for the Indians. In 1883 his remains were brought to Keokuk, Iowa, 
and interred in Rand Park. A monument was erected over his grave 
by the Keokuk Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, and 
the inscriptions on this monument practically tell the story of his 
life. The monument is a handsome bronze statue of the old chief, 
mounted upon a pedestal of limestone and facing the river. On the 
east side of the pedestal is a marble slab that was taken from his grave 
in Kansas, bearing the inscription: 


to the memory of 

Keo Kuck 

a distinguished Sac Chief 

Born at Rock Island in 


Died in April 



On the west side of the pedestal is another marble slab which bears 
the following inscription: "This monument is erected by popular 
subscription in memory of the SAC CHIEF, KEOKUK, for whom 
the city is named. In 1883 ms remains, together with the marble slab 
on the reverse side of this die, were brought from Franklin County, 
Kansas, where he died and was buried. His grave was located about 
three and one-half miles southeast of the Village of Pomona, Frank- 
lin County, Kansas, on the S. E. y 4 of the N. W. y A of section 16, 
township 17, range 18, east of the 6th principal meridian and was 
covered by the slab above mentioned. His remains with other matter 
of historical value are deposited in the base of this structure." 

The tablets on the north and south sides are of bronze. On the 
north side the inscription reads as follows: 

"To the Memory of 

the Pioneers 

who entered Iowa by Keokuk 

the Gate City 

and either settling in our State 

or passing farther west 

travelled over the well-worn road 

known as the Mormon Trail. 

With this tablet the Daughters 
of the American Revolution 

of Iowa 

officially open the marking of 

that early and important 

Pioneer Highway. 

They crossed the prairies as of old 
The Pilgrims crossed the sea; 
To make the West as they the East 
The homestead of the free. 

Erected October, twenty-second 
Nineteen Hundred and Thirteen." 

The inscription on the south tablet is of a historic nature and 
refers to an incident in the life of Keokuk. It is as follows: 


"Keokuk's Speech in 1812 
which made him a war chief: 

'I have heard with sorrow that you have determined to leave our 
village and cross the Mississippi, merely because you have been told 
that the Americans were coming in this direction. Would you leave 
•our village, desert our homes and fly before an enemy approaches? 
Would you leave all, even the graves of our fathers, to the mercy 
of an enemy, without trying to defend them? Give me charge of your 
warriors and I will defend the village while you sleep.' 

"This bronze statue of Keokuk was erected by popular subscrip- 
tion, through the efforts of the Keokuk Chapter, Daughters of the 
American Revolution. Unveiled October 22, 19 1 3. 


Susie Smythe Collier, Chm. 
Jane Ewing Blood Anne B. Davis 

Lorene Curtis Diver Lida Hiller Lapsley 

Winona Evans Reeves Minnie Beardsley Newcomb 

Marcia Jenkins Sawyer." 

There was one chief of the Sacs and Foxes, who although he never 
lived in Lee County, is deserving of notice. That was Matanequa, 
the last war chief of the allied tribes. He was born at Dubuque in 
1810 and was a typical Indian, both in intellect and physique. Like 
Keokuk, he was not a chief by heredity, but won that distinction by 
his bravery and executive ability. He was one of the five sent out in 
1857 to find a place in Iowa for his band. In July of that year he and 
his four associates purchased eighty acres of land from a Tama 
County pioneer, to which they removed their men, women and chil- 
dren. From time to time other purchases were made until the band 
owned about three thousand acres. Matanequa was the last survivor 
•of the five who selected the location. His death occurred on October 
4, 1897, and he was held in such high esteem by the white people 
of Tama County that many men closed their places of business to 
attend the funeral. He was known as the "Warwick of the Mus- 
quakies," from the fact that while he made chiefs he was never king 



In this chapter the object has been to give the history in brief 
of the principal tribes that once inhabited Southeastern Iowa, as well 
as character sketches of their principal chiefs. In another chapter 
will be found an account of the treaties by which the white man 
gained possession of the territory. 

Vol. 1—3 



The old saying, "Rome was not built in a day," applies with equal 
appropriateness to every political division or subdivision of the 
civilized countries of the world. Long before Lee County was even 
dreamed of, the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, 
started a chain of events that led to the establishment of the Republic 
of the United States and the division of the central portion of North 
America into states and counties. It is therefore deemed advisable 
to give a brief account of these events, in order that the reader may 
form some idea of the evolution of the State of Iowa and Lee County. 

In 1493, the year following the first voyage of Columbus to the 
New World, the pope granted to the King and Queen of Spain "all 
countries inhabited by infidels." At that time the extent of the con- 
tinent just discovered by Columbus was not known, but, in a vague 
way, this papal grant included the present State of Iowa. 

Henry VII of England, in 1496, granted to John Cabot and his 
sons a patent of discovery, possession and trade "to all lands they may 
discover and lay claim to in the name of the English crown." During 
the next three years the Cabots explored the Atlantic Coast and made 
discoveries upon which England, at the close of the Fifteenth Cen- 
tury, claimed all the central part of North America. 

Farther northward the French, through the discoveries of Jacques 
Cartier, claimed the Valley of the St. Lawrence and the region about 



the Great Lakes, from which they pushed their explorations west- 
ward toward the headwaters of the Mississippi and southward into 
the Valley of the Ohio. 

Following the usage of nations, by which title to land was claimed 
by right of discovery, it is not surprising that in course of time a 
controversy arose among these three great European nations as to 
which was really the rightful possessor of the soil. The grant of 
the pope was strengthened in 1541-42 by the expedition of De Soto 
into the interior and the discovery of the Mississippi River, by which 
Spain claimed all the land bordering on the great river and the Gulf 
of Mexico. The charter granted by the English Government to the 
Plymouth Company in 1620 included "all the lands between the 
fortieth and forty-eighth parallels of north latitude from sea to sea." 
In 1628 the Massachusetts Bay Company received a charter from the 
English authorities that included a strip about one hundred miles 
wide through the central part of Iowa. The northern boundary line 
of. this grant crossed the Mississippi not far from the present city of 
Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. Thus Iowa, or at least a portion of it, 
was claimed by both England and Spain "by right of discovery." 
No efforts were made by either nation, however, to extend their 
explorations into the interior, the English being content with the 
colonies established in Virginia and New England, while the 
Spaniards were so intent on discovering rich gold or silver mines 
that they made no attempt to found permanent settlements. 

As early as 161 1 Jesuit missionaries from the French settlements 
in Canada were among the Indians along the shores of Lakes Michi- 
gan and Superior. In 1634 J ean Nicollet passed still farther to the 
westward and reached the country about the Fox River in Wisconsin. 
In the fall of 1665 Claude Allouez, one of the most zealous of the 
Jesuit fathers, held a council with representatives of several of the 
leading western Indian tribes at the Chippewa Village on the 
southern shore of Lake Superior. At this council were chiefs of the 
Chippewa, Sioux, Sacs, Foxes, Pottawatomi and Illini. Allouez 
promised the Indians the protection of the great French father and 
thus opened the way for a profitable trade with the natives. At the 
council some of the Sioux and Illini chiefs told the missionary of a 
great river farther to the westward, "called by them the Me-sa-sip-pi, 
which they said no white man had yet seen, and along which fur- 
bearing animals abounded." 

In 1668 Allouez and another missionary, named Claude Dablon, 
founded the mission of St. Mary's, the oldest white settlement within 
the present State of Michigan. The accounts of the region carried 


back by Nicollet and the missionaries led the French authorities in 
Canada to send Nicholas Perrot as the accredited agent of the Gov- 
ernment to arrange for a grand council with the Indians. The council 
was held at St. Mary's in May, 1671, and before the close of that year 
Jacques Marquette, another Jesuit missionary, founded the mission 
among the Huron Indians at Point St. Ignace, which mission was for 
many years regarded as the key to the great unexplored West. 

Marquette had heard the reports concerning the great river and 
was filled with a desire to discover it, but was deterred from doing 
so until after Perrot's council, which resulted in the establishment of 
friendly relations between the French and Indians. In the spring of 
1673, having received authority from the Canadian officials, he began 
his preparations at Michilimackinac for the voyage. It is said the 
friendly Indians there tried to dissuade him from his undertaking by 
telling him that the Indians along the great river were cruel and vin- 
dictive, and that the river itself was the abode of terrible monsters 
that could swallow both canoes and men. 

Such stories had no effect upon the intrepid priest, unless it was 
to make him more determined, and on May 13, 1673, accompanied 
by Louis Joliet, an explorer and trader, and five voyageurs, or boat- 
men, in two large canoes, the little expedition left Michilimackinac. 
Passing up Green Bay to the mouth of the Fox River, he ascended 
that stream, crossed the portage to the Wisconsin River, floated down 
that river and on June 17, 1673, first saw the Mississippi, opposite 
the present town of McGregor, Iowa. Turning their canoes south- 
ward, they descended the Mississippi, carefully noting the landmarks 
as they passed along. On the 25th they landed on the west bank, 
"sixty leagues below the mouth of the Wisconsin River," where they 
noticed footprints in the soft earth. Sixty leagues from the mouth 
of the Wisconsin would throw this landing somewhere near the 
present town of Montrose, in Lee County. This is the earliest 
account of any white men having been within the present State of 

Leaving the five boatmen to guard the canoes and supplies, Mar- 
quette and Joliet followed the trail westward until they came to an 
Indian village, and noted two other villages in the vicinity. They 
were received with hospitality and a dinner of four courses was 
served. The first course consisted of a stew of coarse corn meal, 
cooked in oil, which the Indians called "tagamity"; the second course 
was of fish, which the visitors enjoyed; the third was of roast dog, 
but this the Frenchmen declined and it was taken out, and the fourth 
was roast buffalo, cooked in a way that rendered it quite palatable. 


After dinner the calumet, or pipe of peace, was tendered to the 

Marquette and Joliet remained for several days among the 
Indians, who were a part of the great Illini tribe or nation. They 
informed Marquette and Joliet that the name of their village was 
Moingona and that the river upon which it was built bore the same 
name. Some authorities state that the explorers went back from the 
Mississippi a distance of six miles to the Indian village, but it was 
probably farther, as nowhere does the Des Moines (Moingona) 
River run within six miles of Montrose. At the conclusion of their 
visit, they were accompanied back to their canoes by the chiefs and a 
large party of warriors, who watched them reembark for the continu- 
ance of their voyage down the river. One of the chiefs, on behalf 
of the band, presented Marquette with a finely decorated calumet as 
a token of the good wishes of the tribe. The explorers then descended 
the river to the mouth of the Arkansas. There they came to some 
Indians whose language they could not understand and returned to 

In 1678 Louis XIV, then King of France, granted to Robert 
Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, a patent to explore the western part of 
New France. After several unsuccessful attempts to reach and de- 
scend the great river to its mouth, La Salle finally carried out his 
purpose, and on April 9, 1682, at the mouth of the Mississippi, 
claimed all the territory drained by that river and its tributaries, to 
which region he gave the name of Louisiana, in honor of the French 
king. This claim was afterward acknowledged by other European 
nations and Iowa became recognized as part of the French posses- 
sions in the New World. 

On April 8, 1689, Nicholas Perrot took formal possession of the 
upper Mississippi Valley in the name of France and built a fort and 
trading post on a river, to which he gave the name of St. Nicholas. 
Eleven years later Le Sueur went up the river seeking lead mines, 
which Indian traditions said existed somewhere along the river, but 
it was not until many years afterward that the mines were discovered 
by white men. Thus matters stood at the close of the Seventeenth 

During the next century the frontier of civilization was pushed 
gradually westward. The Hudson's Bay Company had been organ- 
ized by the English in 1667 and its trappers and traders went into all 
parts of the interior in spite of the French claim to the territory. In 
171 2 the French Government granted to Antoine Crozat a charter fix- 
ing his control of the trade of Louisiana. Crozat, who was a wealthy 


merchant of Paris, sent agents to America, but found the Spanish 
ports on the Gulf of Mexico closed to his vessels, because Spain, 
while recognizing the claim of France to the Territory of Louisiana, 
was jealous of French ambitions. At the end of five years Crozat 
surrendered his charter and was succeeded by John Law, who organ- 
ized the Mississippi Company as a branch of the Bank of France. 
Law sent some eight hundred colonists to Louisiana in 1718 and the 
next year Philipe Renault went up the Mississippi to the Illinois 
country with about two hundred more, the intention being to estab- 
lish posts and open up a trade with the Indians. In 1720 Law's 
whole scheme collapsed. It has become known in history as the 
"Mississippi Bubble." On April 10, 1732, he surrendered his charter 
and Louisiana again became subject to the jurisdiction of the French 

In the meantime the English traders had been extending their 
operations into French territory and in 171 2 incited the Fox Indians 
to hostilities against the French. The first open conflict between the 
English and French did not come, however, until in 1753, when the 
latter nation began building a line of forts from the Great Lakes to 
the Ohio River to prevent the English from extending their settle- 
ments west of the Allegheny Mountains. The territory upon which 
these forts were built was claimed by Virginia and Governor Din- 
widdie of that colony sent George Washington, then just turned 
twenty-one, to demand of the French commandant an explanation for 
this invasion of English domain while the nations were at peace. The 
reply was insolent and the following year Washington; with the rank 
of lieutenant-colonel, was again sent into the disputed territory. This 
time he was furnished with a detachment of troops and instructed 
"to complete the fort already commenced by the Ohio Company at 
the forks of the Ohio, and to capture, kill or drive out all who 
attempted to interfere with the English posts. This incident aroused 
the indignation of France and in May, 1756, that nation formally 
declared war against Great Britain. The conflict that followed, 
known as the "French and Indian War," kept the American colonies 
of both nations and Indian tribes in a state of turmoil for several 

On November 3, 1762, the French and Indian war was concluded 
by the preliminary treaty of Fontainebleau, by which France ceded 
all that part of Louisiana lying east of the Mississippi River, except 
the city and island of New Orleans, to Great Britain. The treaty 
was ratified by the Treaty of Paris on February 10, 1763, and on the 
same day it was announced that, by an agreement previously made 


in secret, all that portion of Louisiana lying west of the Mississippi, 
"including the whole country to the head waters of the great river 
and west to the Rocky Mountains," was ceded to Spain. By this 
treaty the jurisdiction of France in America was brought to an end 
and Iowa became a part of the Spanish possessions. The French 
inhabitants became Spanish subjects, though many of them remained 
in the province and took an active part in business affairs. About 
the time the transfer was made to Spain, a fur company was organized 
in New Orleans to trade between the Upper Mississippi and the 
Rocky Mountains. Pierre Laclede, one of the projectors of this com- 
pany, laid out the City of St. Louis, Missouri — its representatives 
were operating in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota. 

Independent English trappers and traders also visited the upper 
valley about 1766, and some writers think they traded with the Iowa 
Indians. They operated without the sanction and support of the 
English colonial authorities and were not always strictly within the 
limits of the law in their transactions. This was the beginning of 
the Northwest Fur Company, which a few years later contested with 
the French traders for the patronage of the Indians of the North- 

Then came the American Revolution, which again changed the 
map of Central North America. At the close of the French and 
Indian war, many of the people living east of the Mississippi refused 
to acknowledge allegiance to Great Britain and removed to the west 
side of the river. Shortly after the beginning of the Revolutionary 
war a number of them recrossed the river and allied themselves with 
the colonists in the struggle for independence. The British had estab- 
lished several military posts in the territory acquired from France, 
the most important of which were the ones at Vincennes, Indiana, 
and Kaskaskia and Cahokia, Illinois. In 1778 the Virginia Legisla- 
ture authorized an expedition under Gen. George Rogers Clark for 
the reduction of these posts, and by Clark's conquest of the North- 
west the western boundary of the United States was fixed at the 
Mississippi River by the Treaty of 1783, which ended the Revolu- 
tionary war and established the independence of the American Re- 

It was not long until the new nation became involved in a con- 
troversy with the Spanish authorities in Louisiana over the free navi- 
gation of the Mississippi. The final settlement of this question had a 
direct and important influence on the region now comprising the State 
of Iowa. The great river constituted the natural outlet for the com- 
merce of a large part of the United States, but the Spanish officials 


established posts along the river and every boat descending the stream 
was forced to land at these posts and submit to arbitrary revenue 
duties. This was not only humiliating to the American merchants, 
but it also materially decreased the profits of their trade. After 
much diplomatic discussion and correspondence, the vexed question 
was finally settled by the Treaty of Madrid, concluded on October 
20, 1795, which stipulated that "the Mississippi River, from its 
source to the gulf, for its entire width, shall be free to American 
trade and commerce, and the people of the United States shall be per- 
mitted, for three years, to use the port of New Orleans as a port of 
deposit, without payment of duty." 

At the expiration of the three years the free navigation of the 
Mississippi again became a subject of vital interest to the people of 
the United States. While it was under discussion a secret treaty was 
negotiated between France and Spain, at San Ildefonso in the fall of 
1800, by which Spain agreed to cede Louisiana back to France, under 
certain conditions. The terms of this treaty were made public by 
the Treaty of Madrid (March 21, 1801) and soon after that Rufus 
King, the United States minister to England, sent a copy of the 
treaty to President Jefferson. The transfer of the province back to 
France changed the whole situation and offered a favorable oppor- 
tunity to secure the free navigation of the river. 

Slow progress was made, however, and on January 7, 1803, the 
lower house of the United States Congress adopted a resolution 
declaring that "It is the unalterable determination of the United 
States to maintain the boundaries and the rights of navigation and 
commerce through the Mississippi River, as established by existing 
treaties." Before the close of that month President Jefferson sent 
Robert R. Livingston and James Monroe as special envoys to Paris, 
to negotiate a treaty that would secure the free navigation of the great 
river, "not as a favor, but as a right." Livingston and Monroe were 
instructed to secure, if possible, the cession of New Orleans and its 
island to the United States. When this subject was presented to 
M. Talleyrand, the French prime minister, he suggested that it might 
be possible for the United States to acquire the entire Province of 
Louisiana. A few days later Livingston had an interview with 
Napoleon, who offered to sell all Louisiana to the United States for 
$25,000,000. Further negotiations followed and the purchase price 
was modified to $15,000,000, which was accepted by the American 
envoys and a treaty on this basis was concluded on the last day of 
April, 1803, making Iowa a part of the territory of the United 


The treaty was ratified by the Federal Government and on Decem- 
ber 20, 1803, Governor Claiborne, of Mississippi, and General 
Wilkinson, as the commissioners of the United States, took formal 
possession of the territory and raised the Stars and Stripes at New 
Orleans. Had Livingston and Monroe adhered to their original 
instructions and acquired only the island and city of New Orleans, 
leaving all west of the Mississippi in the hands of France, what the 
history of Iowa might have been can only be conjectured. But to 
Napoleon's desire to dispose of the entire province and the fact that 
the envoys went beyond their instructions — which was afterward 
ratified by the Federal Government — Iowa owes her position as one 
of the states of the American Union. By that treaty the territory 
of this country was extended westward to the Pacific Ocean, and 
northward from the Gulf of Mexico to the British possessions. 

On March 26, 1804, President Jefferson approved an act of 
Congress authorizing the division of the newly acquired territory, 
and on October 1, 1804, all that portion south of the thirty-third 
parallel of north latitude was designated as the Territory of Orleans, 
that part north of the thirty-third parallel becoming the District of 
Louisiana, in which was included the present State of Iowa. 

During the next thirty-five years the status of Iowa was some- 
what unsettled. The Northwest Territory, comprising the present 
states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and that part 
of Minnesota east of the Mississippi River, was organized in 1787. 
In May, 1800, it was divided and the Territory of Indiana was 
established, with Gen. William H. Harrison as governor. When 
the Province of Louisiana was divided by the act of 1804, the upper 
portion, or District of Louisiana, was placed under the territorial 
authorities of Indiana, where it remained until July 4, 1805, when it 
was organized as a separate territory with a government of its own. 
In 1812 the Territory of Orleans was admitted into the Union as the 
State of Louisiana and the name of the District of Louisiana was 
then changed to the Territory of Missouri. Upon the admission of 
Missouri into the Union in March, 1821, the northern part of the 
Louisiana Purchase, including Iowa, was left without any form of 
civil government. The Black Hawk Purchase was made in 1832 
and the next year preliminary steps were taken by the Government 
for the settlement of the territory west of the Mississippi. It then 
became apparent that some provision must be made for the govern- 
ment of that section of the country. On June 28, 1834, President 
Jackson approved the act erecting the Territory of Michigan, which 
included all the territory from Lake Huron westward to the Missouri. 


In September of that year the territory legislature of Michigan 
created two counties west of the Mississippi — Dubuque and Des 
Moines — separated by a line running due westward from the foot of 
Rock Island. 

These counties were partially organized and on October 5, 1835, 
Gen. George W. Jones was elected a delegate to Congress from this 
part of the Territory of Michigan. Through his efforts and influ- 
ence, Congress passed an act, approved by President Van Buren on 
April 20, 1836, dividing the Territory of Michigan and creating 
the Territory of Wisconsin, which included the region west of the 
Mississippi. This act went into effect on July 4, 1836, with Gen. 
Henry Dodge as governor of the new territory. One of the first 
official acts of Governor Dodge was to order a census, when the two 
counties west of the Mississippi were found to have a population of 
10,531. He then issued his proclamation for an election to be held 
on the first Monday in October, 1836, for members of the territorial 

In Des Moines County Jeremiah Smith, Jr., Joseph B. Teas and 
Arthur B. Ingram were elected members of the council ; Isaac Leffler, 
Thomas Blair, John Box, George W. Teas, Eli Reynolds, David R. 
Chance and Warren L. Jenkins, members of the house. The legis- 
lature met on October 26, 1836, at Belmont. During the session 
Des Moines County was divided into the counties of Lee, Van Buren, 
Henry, Muscatine and Cook, the boundaries of which were defined 
and provisions made for their organization. 

In the early autumn of 1837 the question of dividing the Territory 
of Wisconsin and establishing a separate territory west of the Missis- 
sippi began to be earnestly discussed by the people living west of the 
river. Late in September the following notice was circulated 
throughout Lee County: 

"A county meeting will be held at the house of C. L. Cope, in the 
Town of Fort Madison, on Saturday, the 14th of October, next, 
at 1 o'clock P. M., for the purpose of choosing three delegates to 
meet in convention at Burlington on the first Monday in November, 
next, to take into consideration the expediency of petitioning Congress 
for a division of the Territory of Wisconsin and the organization of 
a separate territorial government west of the Mississippi. Also the 
attempt being made by the State of Missouri to extend her northern 
boundary line, and to call the attention of Congress to the necessity 
of granting preemption laws to actual settlers, and for other purposes. 

"Dated September 23, 1837." 


At the Fort Madison meeting at Mr. Cope's house, Henry Eno, 
Philip Viele and Hawkins Taylor were chosen as Lee County's 
delegates to the Burlington convention. On the appointed date dele- 
gates from the various settlements west of the Mississippi assembled 
at Burlington. A petition asking for the organization of a new 
territory west of the river was adopted without a dissenting vote. 
The territorial legislature, then in session, indorsed the action of the 
convention. In response to this expression of popular sentiment, 
Congress passed "An act to divide the Territory of Wisconsin, and 
to establish the territorial government of Iowa." President Van 
Buren approved the act on June 12, 1838, "to take effect and be in 
force from and after July 3, 1838," and appointed Robert Lucas, of 
Ohio, as the first territorial governor. William B. Conway, of 
Pennsylvania, was appointed secretary; Charles Mason, of Burling- 
ton, chief justice; Thomas S. Wilson, of Dubuque, and Joseph Wil- 
liams, of Pennsylvania, associate judges. 

The Territory of Iowa, as first created, included "all that part 
of the Territory of Wisconsin which lies west of the Mississippi 
River and west of a line drawn due north from the head water or 
sources of the Mississippi to the northern boundary of the Territory 
of the United States." 

On February 12, 1844, the Iowa Legislature passed an act pro- 
viding for the election of delegates to a constitutional convention as 
a preparatory step for admission into the Union as a state. The 
convention assembled at Iowa City on October 7, 1844, and com- 
pleted the constitution on the first day of November. When the 
constitution was submitted to the United States Congress, that body 
refused to accept the boundaries proposed by the people of Iowa, 
"in constitutional convention assembled," but by an act approved 
March 3, 1845, provisions were made for the admission of Iowa, 
if the act was accepted by the people of that territory. The Consti- 
tution of 1 844 was submitted to the voters of the territory at an election 
held on August 4, 1845, and was rejected by a vote of 7,656 to 7,235. 

On May 4, 1846, another constitutional convention met at Iowa 
City and completed its work on the 18th of the same month. This 
second constitution was ratified by the people at an election held on 
August 3, 1846, by a vote of 9,492 to 9,036, and on December 28, 
1846, President Polk approved an act admitting Iowa into the Union 
as a state. Under the operations of this act Lee County became a 
political subdivision of one of the sovereign commonwealths of the ' 
American Union. • 



By the Treaty of Paris, concluded on April 30, 1803, France sold 
the entire Province of Louisiana, which included the present State 
of Iowa, to the United States. But France had no power to 
extinguish the Indian title to the lands, leaving that problem to be 
solved by the purchaser. Before the United States could come into 
complete and formal possession of the territory, it was therefore 
necessary that some agreement be made with the natives. In this 
connection it may not be amiss to notice briefly the policies of the 
several European nations claiming territory in America in dealing 
with the Indians. 

As early as 1529, when Cortez was commissioned captain-general 
of New Spain, he received instructions from the Spanish authorities 
"to give special attention to the conversion of the Indians, and see 
that none are made slaves or servants." Theoretically, this was the 
policy of Spain, but when Bishop Ramirez, as acting governor, 
endeavored to carry out the instructions given to Cortez, he quickly 
discovered that he was not to be sustained. Spain took the lands of 
the Indians without compensation, leaving them what the Spanish 
officials considered enough for a dwelling place, and in numerous 
instances the Indians were enslaved and compelled to work in the 
mines or on the plantations. 

It seems that France had no settled policy in dealing with the 
natives. The early French trader cared little for the land. When 
the French Government, in 171 2, granted Antoine Crozat a charter 
giving him a monopoly of the Louisiana trade, it was expressly 
provided that the Indians and negroes living in the province were 



to receive religious instruction, but no provision was made for ex- 
tinguishing the claim of the Indians to the soil. In the establishment 
of the trading posts not much land was needed and the trader and his 
retinue lived with the Indians as "tenants in common." Sometimes 
a small tract was cleared near the trading post for the purpose of 
raising a few vegetables, but the forests were rarely disturbed, leaving 
the Indian in possession and his hunting grounds unmolested. 

With England it was different. The English colonists wanted 
to establish permanent homes and cultivate the soil. Consequently 
title to the land was the first consideration. In the early land grants 
made by the English crown, Parkman says the Indian was "scorned 
and neglected." In Lord Baltimore's charter to Maryland was the 
provision giving the grantee authority "to collect troops and wage 
war on barbarians and other enemies who may make incursions into 
the settlements, and to pursue, even beyond the limits of their 
province, and, if God shall grant it, to vanquish and captivate them; 
and the captives to put to death, or, according to their discretion to 

William Penn's charter to Pennsylvania contained a similar pro- 
vision. After the settlement of the colonies reached a point where 
the local authorities were called upon to deal with the question, each 
colony adopted a policy of its own, but that of Pennsylvania was 
perhaps the only one based upon the principles of justice. 

The people who founded the Government of the United States 
were either from England, or descendants for the most part of Eng- 
lish immigrants, and naturally copied the English policy. Article 
9 of the Articles of Confederation — the first organic law of the 
Federal Government — provided: "That Congress shall have the sole 
and exclusive right and power to regulate the trade with, and manage 
the affairs of the Indians." 

Under this authority Congress, on September 22, 1783, issued a 
proclamation forbidding all persons to settle upon the Indian lands. 
Then came the Constitution, which superseded the Articles of Con- 
federation, and the new organic law also vested the power in Congress 
to deal with all matters arising out of the Government's relations with 
the Indians. By the act of March 1, 1793, Congress declared : "That 
no purchase or grant of lands, or any title or claim thereto, from any 
Indians, or nation or tribe of Indians, within the bounds of the United 
States, shall be of any validity, in law or equity, unless the same be 
made by a treaty or convention entered into pursuant to the 


The object of the founders of the Government in adopting this 
policy was twofold: First, to prevent adventurers from trespassing 
upon Indian lands, thereby causing conflicts with the natives; and, 
second, to establish a system by which titles to lands should be assured 
for all time to come. Soon after the Federal Constitution went into 
effect, the Government began making treaties with the Indians. At 
firsr these treaties were merely expressions of peace and friendship, 
but as the white population increased the Government negotiated 
treaties of cession for the acquisition of more land, and the Indian 
was gradually pushed farther and farther toward the setting sun. 

When the Louisiana Purchase was made the white man was look- 
ing with longing eyes at the broad prairies of Illinois, and immedi- 
ately after the ratification of the Treaty of Paris a clamor arose for 
the removal of certain Indian tribes, among whom were the Sacs and 
Foxes, to the new domain. Accordingly, on November 3, 1804, 
Gen. William H. Harrison, then governor of Indiana Territory, 
negotiated a treaty at St. Louis with the chiefs of the Sacs and Foxes, 
by which the confederated tribes ceded their lands east of the Missis- 
sippi River to the United States, retaining the privilege of dwelling 
there until the lands were sold to actual white settlers, after which 
they were to remove to the west side of the river. 

This treaty was subsequently the cause of a great deal of trouble 
with the Sacs and Foxes. It was then the custom of these tribes to 
instruct their chiefs or delegates to a treaty council in advance as to 
what course to pursue, or afterward confirm their action by a vote. 
It was claimed by some of the Indians that the delegates to the St. 
Louis Council had no definite instructions to cede the lands east of 
the Mississippi, and a portion of the allied tribes, led by Chief Black 
Hawk, refused to confirm their action. 

Probably the first council ever held on Iowa soil between a 
representative of the United States and the Indians was in the latter 
part of August, 1805. On August 9, 1805, Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike, 
with a sergeant, two corporals and seventeen privates, left St. Louis 
to explore the Mississippi to its head waters. At the head of the 
Des Moines Rapids of the Mississippi, where the Town of Montrose 
is now situated, he held a council with the Indians and addressed them 
as follows: "Your great father, the President of the United States, in 
his desire to become better acquainted with the conditions and wants 
of the different nations of red people in our newly acquired Territory 
of Louisiana, has ordered the general to send a number of warriors 
in various directions to take our red brothers by the hand and make 
such inquiries as will give your great father the information re- 


No attempt was made to conclude a treaty, but at the close of the 
council Pike distributed among the Indians knives, tobacco and 
trinkets. Among the Indians who attended this council were some 
who signed the treaty at St. Louis the preceding November. Pike 
seems to have been the first American with whom Black Hawk ever 
came in close contact. Some years afterward the old chief gave the 
following account of the lieutenant's visit to Rock Island: 

"A boat came up the river with a young chief and a small party 
of soldiers. We heard of them soon after they passed Salt River. 
Some of our young braves watched them every day, to see what sort 
of people were on board. The boat at last arrived at Rock River 
and the young chief came on shore with his interpreter, made a speech 
and gave us some presents. We in turn gave them meat and such 
other provisions as we could spare. We were well pleased with the 
young chief. He gave us good advice and said our American father 
would treat us well." 

At the beginning of the War of 1812 part of the Sacs and Foxes 
allied themselves with the British. Those who remained loyal to the 
United States were induced to remove to the Missouri River and 
became known as the "Sacs and Foxes of the Missouri." Those who 
remained in Illinois and Eastern Iowa were called the "Sacs and 
Foxes of the Mississippi," and Black Hawk's band was called the 
"British Band of Rock River." Shortly after the conclusion of the 
war a number of treaties were made with the tribes or bands that had 
fought on the side of England. 

On July 19, 1815, at a place called Portage des Sioux, William 
Clark and Ninian Edwards, commissioners on the part of the United 
States, concluded a treaty of peace and friendship with the Sioux 
of Minnesota and Upper Iowa. 

At the same place, on September 13, 1815, the same commissioners 
negotiated a treaty with the Sacs and Foxes of the Missouri, in which 
the Indians reaffirmed the Treaty of St. Louis of November 3, 1804, 
and agreed to keep entirely separate from the Sacs of Rock Rivei. 
The next day the Foxes met the commissioners at Portage des Sioux 
and entered into a treaty reaffirming the Treaty of St. Louis. They 
also agreed to deliver the white prisoners in their hands to the 
commandant at Fort Clark, where Peoria, Illinois, now stands. 

On September 16, 181 5, the chiefs and head men of the Iowa 
Indians held a council with the commissioners at Portage des Sioux 
and signed a treaty of "mutual peace and good will." All the above 
treaties were ratified by the national administration on December 16, 
1 81 5, and the commissioners then undertook the work of negotiating 


a treaty with Black Hawk and his band. But it was not until the 
following spring that the chiefs and head men of the band could be 
persuaded to visit St. Louis for the purpose of holding a council. 
On May 13, 1816, twenty-two of the leaders of the Rock River Sacs 
entered into a treaty confirming that of November 3, 1804. One of 
those who signed, or "touched the goose quill," as the Indians ex- 
pressed it, was Black Hawk himself, though subsequently he repudi- 
ated his action on that occasion. 

The next treaty that has any direct bearing upon the history of Lee 
County was that of August 4, 1824, which was concluded at Washing- 
ton, D. C, where some of the Sac and Fox chiefs had been taken at 
the expense of the Government. By this treaty the Sacs and Foxes 
relinquished all claim to their lands in the State of Missouri. One 
provision of this treaty was as follows: "It is understood, however, 
that the small tract of land lying between the rivers Des Moines and 
Mississippi and the section of the above line (the northern boundary 
of Missouri) between the Mississippi and Des Moines, is intended for 
the use of the half-breeds belonging to the Sac and Fox nations, they 
holding it, however, by the same title and in the same manner that 
other Indian titles are held." 

The treaty was ratified on January 18, 1825, and it established 
the so-called "Half-Breed Tract," a history of which is given later 
in this chapter. 

About this time some of the tribes in Minnesota, Iowa and Wis- 
consin got into a violent dispute as to the limits of their respective 
hunting grounds and the United States undertook the work of a 
mediator. William Clark and Lewis Cass were appointed com- 
missioners to hold a council and, if possible, establish a line that would 
settle the controversy. Accordingly, a general council was held at 
Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, on August 19, 1825, in which the Sacs 
and Foxes, Chippewas, Sioux, Winnebagoes, Ottawas, Pottawatomies 
and some other tribes participated. The treaty agreed upon fixed a 
line as follows : 

"Beginning 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 said 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; thence in a direct line to the lower fork of the 
Calumet River, and down that stream to its junction with the Mis- 
souri River." 

South of this line was to be the country of the Sacs and Foxes 
and north of it the other tribes were to have undisputed possession. 

Vol. T— 4 



It was also provided that the Iowa tribe should be permitted to 
occupy the territory south of the line until some provision could be 
made for them, which the Government was slow to do, and the Iowas 
became dissatisfied and went to Southwestern Iowa, some of them 
crossing the Missouri River. 

It soon became manifest that the imaginary line established by the 
treaty of August 19, 1825, was insufficient to keep the tribes from 
trespassing on each other's domain. Representatives of the tribes 
that had taken part in the formation of the treaty were therefore 
summoned to another council on July 15, 1830, at which the Sacs and 
Foxes and Iowas ceded to the United States a strip twenty miles in 
width south of the line and extending from the Mississippi to the 
Des Moines, and the northern tribes ceded a strip twenty miles wide 
between the same rivers. The tract forty miles wide thus formed was 
established as a sort of buffer between the tribes and was known as 
the "Neutral Ground." It remained so until 1841, when it was given 
to the Winnebagoes for a reservation. 

At the same time and place the Sacs and Foxes, Iowas, Missouris, 
one band of the Sioux, and the Omahas relinquished to the United 
States all claim to the land south of the Clark and Cass line of 1825 
and west of a line "drawn from the forks of the Des Moines River, 
extending along the ridge separating the Valley of the Des Moines 
from the Valley of the Missouri, to the Missouri state line." This 
was the first cession of land in Iowa to the United States. The tract 
ceded was not to be settled by white men, however, but was "to be 
assigned or allotted, under the direction of the President of the 
United States, to the tribes then living thereon, or to such other tribes 
as the President might locate thereon for hunting and other purposes." 

In the meantime the State of Illinois had been rapidly settling 
up and the lands of the Sacs and Foxes in that state were demanded 
for actual settlers, according to the provisions of the treaty of 1804. 
In 1828 President Adams issued a proclamation declaring the lands 
opened to settlers and demanding that the Indians remove to the west 
side of the Mississippi as stipulated in the treaty. As a matter of 
fact, Keokuk and his followers had removed to the west side of the 
river, about two years before the proclamation was issued, and estab- 
lished a village on the Iowa River, the exact location being somewhat 
uncertain. Black Hawk refused to vacate until the Government sold 
the section of land upon which his village was situated. He and his 
band crossed the river in 1830 and located on the Iowa River, about 
two and a half miles from its mouth. The removal was made "under 
protest" and the old chief was far from being reconciled to the situa- 


tion. In the spring of 1831, with a number of his braves and their 
families, he recrossed the river and took possession of their old cabins 
and cornfields. The white settlers appealed to Governor Reynolds, 
of Illinois, who sent General Gaines to Rock Island with a military 
force large enough to compel the return of the Indians to Iowa. 


During the winter the Indians were compelled to undergo severe 
hardships in their new homes. Their houses were poorly built and 
provisions were scarce, so that they suffered both from cold and 
hunger. In this emergency Black Hawk fell under the influence of 
Wa-bo-kie-shiek, "a bad medicine man," who advised him to recross 
the river, ostensibly to visit the Winnebagoes, and secure the coopera- 
tion of that tribe and the Pottawatomies in an uprising against the 
whites. The suggestion was accepted and on April 6, 1832, he again 
crossed over to the east side of the river within plain view of the 
garrison at Fort Armstrong, giving out the information that he was 
• g om g t0 visit the Winnebagoes and join with them in raising a crop 
of corn. His act was construed as a hostile invasion, however, by 
the military authorities, who feared that he would attempt to recover 
his village on the Rock River. There is no evidence that he made 
or intended to make any such attempt and some of the settlers, know- 
ing that the Indians never took the war path accompanied by their 
squaws, old men and children, expressed that Black Hawk was on a 
peaceful mission. 

Notwithstanding the fact that the settlers felt no special alarm, 
Governor Reynolds called out the militia to aid the garrison at Fort 
Armstrong in driving out the invader and sent 2,000 men under 
General Whiteside to that post. Major Stillman was sent out with 
275 mounted men to turn Black Hawk back. This force came upon 
the chief and about forty of his warriors some distance from where 
the main body of the Indians were encamped. Black Hawk sent 
forward five messengers with a flag of truce, to ask for a parley, but 
Stillman's men opened fire and two of the messengers were killed. 
The few warriors then took up the fight Indian fashion, by concealing 
themselves behind rocks and trees and picking off the white troops. 
As Stillman's men were mounted they fought at a disadvantage and 
in a little while were utterly routed, abandoning their provisions, 
etc., in their hasty flight. 

Up to this time no depredations nor hostile acts had been com- 
mitted by the Indians. The killing of the two warriors bearing the 


flag of truce was the beginning of active hostilities. This occurred 
on May 12, 1832, and during the next month some raids were made 
by the Indians upon the unprotected settlers. But not all the atroci- 
ties were committed by the members of Black Hawk's band. A 
number of Winnebagoes and Pottawatomies took advantage of the 
situation to kill and plunder, though they declined to join Black 
Hawk and "fight like men." 

Immediately after Stillman's defeat volunteers were called for 
and on June 15th there were three brigades in camp at Dixon's Ferry, 
commanded by Gens. Alexander Posey, Milton R. Alexander and 
James D. Henry. In addition to these brigades, there were the 
regular troops of Fort Armstrong, commanded by General Atkinson, 
and the militia under General Whiteside. And all this military array 
was deemed necessary to overcome a little, half-starved band of Sacs 
and Foxes, who had committed no more serious offense than crossing 
the Mississippi River to visit their old friends, the Winnebagoes, in 
order to raise corn for food, for it is questionable whether or not 
Black Hawk's intentions were really hostile. Capt. W. B. Green,, 
who served in the mounted rangers, afterward maintained that Black 
Hawk told the truth, when he said that he was on a friendly visit 
to the Indians farther up the Rock River, and that the war was 
instigated by trader to whom the band was in debt, in the hope of 
forcing the negotiation of another treaty so that he could get his pay. 

After the Stillman affair, General Atkinson being between Black 
Hawk and the Mississippi, the chief started for the Wisconsin River, 
intending to descend that stream and recross the Mississippi. Early 
in June Maj. Henry Dodge, with the Galena Battalion, joined the 
forces at Dixon's Ferry. When it was learned that Black Hawk was 
making for the Wisconsin River, General Henry and Major Dodge 
started in pursuit. On July 21, 1832, the troops came up with the 
Indians at the Wisconsin, about fifty miles above its mouth, and 
Black Hawk was forced to make a stand until the women, children 
and old men could retreat across the river. With his few warriors 
he held the soldiers at bay until the squaws constructed light rafts 
for the goods and little children. These rafts they pushed across the 
stream, at the same time leading the ponies. When the noncom- 
batants were out of danger on the other side, Black Hawk sent half 
his fighting force over. From the opposite shore these braves opened 
fire to cover the retreat of the chief and the remainder of his little 
army, who then swam across to safety. This feat was accomplished 
with fewer than one hundred warriors in the face of two brigades, 


with a loss of only six men. Jefferson Davis, then with Major 
Dodge's Battalion, afterward said : 

"This was the most brilliant exhibition of military tactics that I 
ever witnessed; a feat of most consummate management and bravery 
in the face of an enemy of greatly superior numbers. I never read of 
anything that could be compared with it. Had it been performed 
by white men it would have been immortalized as one of the most 
wonderful achievements in military history." 

The last battle of the war was fought at the mouth of the Bad 
Axe on August 2, 1832. Here all the white troops were concen- 
trated against Black Hawk. A steamboat had been sent up the river 
from Fort Crawford to prevent the Indians from crossing the 
Mississippi. The force on this boat opened fire on the red men in 
front, while from all sides the band was assailed by the land forces. 
Notwithstanding the inequality in the strength of the two armies, 
Black Hawk held out against the great odds for about two hours, 
hoping vainly for some fortunate turn in the battle that would permit 
at least part of his people to make their escape. Some even attempted 
to swim the Mississippi, but the steamboat ran in among them, 
capturing a few and drowning many more. 

A soldier named Townsend, who took part in the engagement, 
afterward described the action as follows: "For eight miles we 
skirmished with their rear-guard and numbers of women and children 
were killed. One squaw had fallen with a child strapped to her back, 
as Indian women always carry their children. The ball that found 
the mother's life had hit and broken the child's arm, and when the 
mother fell the child was fastened between her dead body and the 
ground. When the soldiers went to secure the child it was making 
no moan, but was gnawing ravenously at a horse bone from which the 
flesh had nearly all been eaten away; nor did the child make any 
moan while the surgeon was amputating its shattered limb. It sat and 
ate a hard cracker, with as much indifference as if the arm had been 
made of wood or stone." 

After the Battle of Bad Axe, Black Hawk escaped to the Winne- 
bago Village at Prairie la Crosse. Through the treachery of two 
Winnebagoes, he was delivered as a prisoner to General Street, the 
Indian agent at Prairie du Chien. His two sons were also captured 
and held as prisoners of war. They were held in confinement at 
Fortress Monroe, Virginia, until June 4, 1833, when President Jack- 
son ordered their release and placed them in charge of Major Gar- 
land, to be taken on a tour of the country, in order that they might 
see the greatness of the United States and the futility of further war- 


fare against the white men. When taken before the President, Black 
Hawk said: 

"I am a man ; you are only another. We did not expect to conquer 
the whites. They had too many men. I took up the hatchet to avenge 
injuries my people could no longer endure. Had I borne them 
longer without striking my people would have said Black Hawk is a 
squaw; he is too old to be chief; he is no Sac. These reflections 
caused me to raise the war whoop. The result is known to you. I 
say no more." 

President Jackson presented Black Hawk with a sword, "a gift 
from one warrior to another." A short time before his death Black 
Hawk gave the sword to James A. Jordan and it was afterward used 
by the tilers of Masonic lodges at Iowaville and Keosauqua until the 
Masonic Hall at the latter place was destroyed by fire in 1871 or 1872. 

The monetary cost of the Black Hawk war to the Federal Govern- 
ment and the State of Illinois was about two million dollars. The 
aggregate loss of life of both whites and Indians was not far from 
twelve hundred. The history of the war is of interest to the people 
of Lee County because as its immediate result the treaty of Septem- 
ber 21, 1832, was negotiated. By this treaty the Sacs and Foxes ceded 
to the United States "all lands to which the said tribe have title or 
claim included within the following boundaries, to wit: 

"Beginning on the Mississippi River at the point where the Sac 
and Fox northern boundary line, as established by article 2 of the 
treaty of July 15, 1830, strikes said river; thence up said boundary 
line to a point fifty miles from the Mississippi, measured on said 
line; thence in a right line to the nearest point on the Red Cedar of 
Ioway, forty miles from the Mississippi River; thence in a right 
line to a point in the northern boundary line of the State of Missouri 
fifty miles, measured on said line, from the Mississippi River; thence 
by the last mentioned boundary to the Mississippi River, and by 
the western shore of said river to the place of beginning." 

The territory included within these boundaries includes the pres- 
ent counties of Dubuque, Delaware, Jackson, Jones, Clinton, Cedar, 
Scott, Muscatine, Louisa, Henry, Des Moines and Lee, and portions 
of Clayton, Fayette, Buchanan, Linn, Johnson, Washington, Jeffer- 
son and Van Buren. It embraces about six million acres of Eastern 
Iowa and was known as the "Black Hawk Purchase." It was taken 
by the United States as an indemnity for the expenses of the Black 
Hawk war. 

This treaty was concluded on the west bank of the Mississippi, 
opposite Fort Armstrong, where the City of Davenport, Iowa, now 


stands. Gen. Winfield Scott and Governor Reynolds, of Illinois, 
were the commissioners on the part of the United States and the 
Sacs and Foxes were represented by the chiefs of the Keokuk faction, 
Black Hawk and his two sons being at the time prisoners of war. 
The treaty was ratified on February 13, 1833, and on the first day 
of June following the title was fully vested in the United States and 
the lands opened to settlement. 

One article of the treaty provided for a reservation of 400 square 
miles, "to be laid off under the direction of the President of the 
United States, from the boundary line crossing the Iowa River, in 
such manner that nearly an equal portion of the reservation may be 
on both sides of said river, and extending downwards so as to include 
Keo Kuck's principal village on its right bank, which village is about 
twelve miles from the Mississippi River." 

The cession and reservation were surveyed by Charles de Ward 
in October, 1835, and by the treaty of September 21, 1836, the reserva- 
tion was ceded to the United States for $30,000 and an annuity of 
$10,000 for ten successive years. 

By the treaty of October 21, 1837, the Sacs and Foxes ceded to 
the United States 1,250,000 acres directly west of the Black Hawk 
Purchase. This treaty was ratified on February 21, 1838. The last 
treaty with the Sacs and Foxes of Iowa was negotiated on October 
11, 1842, at the Sac and Fox agency, by John Chambers, commis- 
sioner on behalf of the United States. By the terms of this treaty 
the allied tribes surrendered title to all their lands in the State of 
Iowa and agreed to be removed from the country at the expiration 
of three years. Part of them removed to Kansas in the fall of 1845 
and the remainder followed in the spring of 1846. 


Mention has already been made of this tract, which was set apart 
by the treaty of August 4, 1824, for the half-breeds belonging to the 
Sacs and Foxes. It contained 1 19,000 acres, "lying between the Des 
Moines and Mississippi rivers, and south of a line drawn from a 
point one mile below Farmington east to the Mississippi River, near 
the site of old Fort Madison, and including all the lands lying 
between said line and the junction of the said rivers." 

Before any white settlements were made within the limits of the 
present State of Iowa, white trappers, traders and adventurers visited 
the Indian country along the Upper Mississippi and its tributaries, 
many of whom married Indian women and dwelt with the tribes to 


which their wives belonged. The American Fur Company established 
posts along the great river and a majority of its agents had Indian 
wives. Julien Dubuque, the founder of the city of that name, had an 
Indian wife. Chevalier Marais, who is credited with being the 
second white settler in Iowa, married the daughter of an Iowa chief. 
Antoine Le Claire, one of the founders of the City of Davenport; 
the trader Lemoliese, who settled near Sandusky, Andre Santamont, 
another French trader, and many others became "squaw men." Some- 
times a soldier or officer of one of the frontier garrisons would marry 
an Indian girl. A notable instance of this kind was the marriage of 
Dr. Samuel C. Muir, an army surgeon at Fort Edwards, to a Fox 
maiden. A few of the children of these marriages were given the 
advantages of the white man's education and civilization, but the 
great majority of them were reared among the Indians and adopted 
Indian customs. It was for the benefit of such that the Half-Breed 
Tract was established. 

The territory once comprising the tract is all in Lee County and 
includes the present townships of Jackson, Montrose, Des Moines 
and Jefferson, practically all of the townships of Charleston and Van 
Buren and that portion of Madison Township lying south of Divi- 
sion Street and its extension, Santa Fe Avenue, in the City of Fort 
Madison. It may therefore be interesting to the Lee County reader 
to know something of the traditions of this tract of land, as well as 
its history, particularly the accounts of how it came to be estab- 
lished. It is claimed by some writers that a half-breed named 
Morgan made such an eloquent appeal before the Government com- 
missioners in the treaty council of August 4, 1824, for the rights of 
the half-breeds, that the provision above mentioned was incorporated 
in the treaty. Another story gives the credit to Maurice Blondeau, 
a French trader, who for years prior to the treaty had been a sort of 
mediator for the Sacs and Foxes. Frank Labiseur, a stepson of 
Andre Santamont, acted as interpreter at the council, and afterward 
stated that his stepfather was largely instrumental in securing the 
establishment of the Half-Breed Tract. Still others are inclined to 
the opinion that the provision was incorporated in the treaty upon the 
recommendation of Dr. Samuel C. Muir. Probably there is some 
truth in all these stories, and the men named cooperated to secure the 
southern portion of the present county of Lee for the half-breeds. 

Under the original grant, the half-breeds had the right to occupy 
the land as Indians occupied the lands of other reservations. They 
had no right to sell or convey it, the United States holding a rever- 
sionary right. In the fall of 1833 a meeting of half-breeds was held 


at Farnum's Trading Post, within the present limits of the City of 
Keokuk, and a petition to Congress, asking for the passage of an act 
giving the occupants the right to sell the land, was prepared and 
signed by a large number of those present. Other signatures were 
subsequently obtained and in response to the petition Congress passed 
an act, approved by President Jackson on January 30, 1834, relin- 
quishing the Government's reversionary interest and giving the lands 
to the half-breeds in fee simple. 

The passage of this act was the signal for the land shark and real 
estate speculator to "get busy." Lee County quickly became one of 
the most active real estate markets in the country and the founda- 
tion was laid for a vast amount of litigation. Says a writer of that 
period: "A horde of speculators rushed in to buy land of the half- 
breed owners, and, in many instances, a gun, a blanket, a pony or a few 
quarts of whisky was sufficient for the purchase of large estates. 
There was a deal of sharp practice on both sides. Indians would 
often claim ownership of land by virtue of being half-breeds and had 
no difficulty in proving their mixed blood by the Indians, and would 
then cheat the speculators by selling land to which they had no right- 
ful title. On the other hand, speculators often claimed land to which 
they had no right. It was diamond cut diamond, until at last things 
became badly mixed. There were no authorized surveys, no 
boundary lines to claims, and, as a natural result, numerous quarrels 

One question the courts were called upon to decide was who the 
half-breeds were who were entitled to the land. The popular opinion 
as to what constituted a Sac and Fox half-breed was that he was "a 
person half Indian, but who did not wear a blanket." The act of 
January 30, 1834, was not very specific as to the manner in which 
the land should be divided and sold and the liberal interpretation 
placed upon its provisions led to the organization of several com- 
panies to deal in the half-breed lands. The most important of these 
were the New York Land Company and the St. Louis Land Company, 
which were merged after a short separate existence. Henry S. Austin, 
an attorney of the New York Company, located at Montrose, with 
Dr. Isaac Galland as the company's agent. 

To rectify the omission of Congress, the Wisconsin Legislature,, 
by an act approved on January 16, 1838, required all persons claim- 
ing land by purchase under the act of 1834, to file claims with the 
clerk of the District Court of Lee County within one year, showing 
how title was obtained. Edward Johnstone, David T. Brigham and 
Thomas S. Wilson were named in the act as commissioners to take 


testimony regarding said titles. Any tract of land, the title to which 
was not passed on favorably by the commissioners, was to be sold and 
the proceeds divided among the half-breeds entitled to receive the 
same. Two of the commissioners — Johnstone and Wilson — qualified 
soon after their appointment and spent the greater part of the next 
two years in the work of unraveling the tangled skein. 

In the meantime the Territory of Iowa was erected by an act of 
Congress, and at the first session of the territorial legislature the act 
of January 16, 1838, under which the commissioners were operating, 
was repealed. This complicated matters somewhat, as many whose 
titles had received the indorsement of the commission, found that the 
work of the commissioners was invalidated by the repealing act. The 
new law also prohibited the commissioners from drawing any 
remuneration from the public funds for what they had done, but pro- 
vided that they might institute suits against the land for their services. 
Suits were accordingly filed in the territorial courts and the entire 
tract of 1 19,000 acres was sold to Hugh T. Reid, an attorney of Keo- 
kuk, for $5,773.32. Reid received a deed executed by the sheriff of 
Lee County and thereby became the largest land owner in Iowa. He 
sold several small tracts to individuals, but in time his title was ques- 
tioned and he became involved in litigation. 

The subject again came before the territorial legislature at the 
second session, when an act was passed providing that settlers, before 
being dispossessed under the sheriff's deed to Mr. Reid, should be 
paid in full for any improvements they might have made. Another 
act provided for the partition of the tract and on April [4, 1841, the 
suit of Joseph Spaulding et al. vs. Euphrosine Antaya et al. was filed 
in the United States District Court for the Territory of Iowa, asking 
for the partition of the entire tract. Spaulding and his associates 
were represented by Edward Johnstone and Hugh T. Reid, then law 
partners, and it is said that the petition filed by the plaintiffs was 
drawn by Francis Scott Key, author of "The Star Spangled Banner," 
who was the attorney for the New York Land Company. The court 
was then presided over by Judge Charles Mason, of Burlington, who 
on May 8, 1841, issued a decree for the partition and appointed S. B. 
Ayres, Harmon Booth and James Webster commissioners to divide 
the 119,000 acres into 101 tracts or shares, as nearly equal in value 
as possible. Their report was received and confirmed by the court on 
October 7, 1841, and it constitutes the basis of title to all the lands in 
the Half-Breed Tract. 

The judgment of partition was sustained in a number of appeals 
to the Iowa Supreme Court, but the sheriff's sale to Hugh T. Reid 


still formed a cloud on the title. This question was settled by the 
case of "Joseph Webster, plaintiff in error, vs. Hugh T. Reid, defend- 
ant in error," which was filed in January, 1846, in the District Court 
of Iowa. The case was heard by Judges Charles Mason, Joseph 
Williams and Thomas S. Wilson, who decided that Hugh T. Reid 
was the owner in fee simple of the land. An appeal was taken to 
the United States Supreme Court and at the December term in 1850 
that tribunal handed down an opinion reversing the decisions of the 
territorial and state courts. This set aside the sheriff's sale to Reid 
and the judgment of partition was sustained by the highest legal 
authority in the country. Attorneys for the various land companies 
and purchasers under the sheriff's deed then quit-claimed for small 
considerations and the question was settled for all time to come. 

With the treaties of 1832, 1837 and 1842, the removal of the 
Indians to Kansas in 1845-46, and the adjustment of the title question 
in the Half-Breed Tract, the lands of Lee County became the prop- 
erty of the white man. What were once the hunting grounds of the 
Sacs and Foxes are now cultivated fields. The whistle of the steam- 
boat on the great Father of Waters has supplanted the war-whoop 
of the savage. Indian villages have disappeared and in their stead 
have come cities with paved streets, electric lights, street railways, 
libraries and all the evidences of modern progress. Where was once 
the old Indian trail is now the railroad. The tepee has given way to 
the schoolhouse, and the halls of legislation have taken the place of 
the tribal council. The primeval forest has disappeared and the giant 
trees have been manufactured into lumber to build dwellings for 
civilized man, or turned into furniture for his comfort. And all this 
has been accomplished within the memory of persons yet living. To 
tell the story of this progress is the province of the subsequent chapters 
of this history. 



As stated in a previous chapter, the first white men to visit what is 
now Lee County were Marquette and Joliet, who landed near the 
present Town of Montrose in 1673, while on the voyage down the 
Mississippi. The first attempt to form a permanent settlement with- 
in the limits of the county was made by Louis Honore Tesson, who 
in 1796 obtained a grant of land from the Spanish authorities of 
Louisiana. This grant was located "on the west bank of the River 
Mississippi, at the head of the Des Moines Rapids." A history of 
Tesson's establishment is given elsewhere in connection with Mont- 
rose Township. 

After Tesson settled upon his grant, nearly a quarter of a century 
passed before any further efforts were made by white men to found 
settlements in this part of Iowa. In the meantime there had been 
a heavy tide of emigration from the older states toward' the setting 
sun. Indiana was admitted as a state in 1816 and Illinois was 
admitted two years later. The margin of civilization had reached 
the Mississippi River and it was not long until adventurous white 
men crossed the great river and occupied the fertile lands beyond. 
In 1820 a French trader named Lemoliese established a trading post 
at what is now Sandusky, about four miles below Tesson's place. The 
same year another Frenchman, Maurice Blondeau, opened a trading 
house about a mile above that of Lemoliese. Blondeau became a 
great favorite with the Indians, who frequently called upon him to 
settle disputes. As a mediator he heard the evidence of both the 
disputants and then handed down his opinion "with the wisdom of a 
modern Solomon." In the negotiation of some of the early treaties 
between the Indians and the United States, Blondeau was a trusted 
adviser of the Sacs and Foxes. 



Another settler of 1820 was Dr. Samuel C. Muir, who built his 
cabin near the foot of the rapids, within the limits of the present 
City of Keokuk. The next year Isaac R. Campbell first visited the 
county. From that time until his death at St. Francisville, Missouri, 
he was a resident of Lee County or one of the adjoining counties in 
Illinois or Missouri. He first located near the upper landing at 
Nauvoo, Illinois, but in the fall of 1830 sold his farm there and moved 
across the river, settling where the little Village of Galland now 
stands. Dr. Isaac Galland had settled here the preceding year, 
coming from Edgar County, Illinois. His daughter, Eleanor, born 
in 1830, was the first white child born in the county. 

Moses Stillwell and the Van Ausdals settled at the foot of the 
rapids in 1828. In 1830 a man named Dedman brought his family 
to the west side of the Mississippi and settled near Galland, where he 
lived until the breaking out of the Black Hawk war, when he became 
alarmed and sought the protection of Fort Edwards, on the east side 
of the river. 

The year 1831 witnessed a number of new arrivals in what is now 
Lee County. Samuel Brierly, whose son, James, was a member of 
the first Territorial Legislature of Iowa, brought his family and 
occupied the old cabin erected by the trader, Lemoliese, where he 
engaged in selling whisky until Colonel Kearney, commanding the 
post at Fort Des Moines, issued an order for the destruction of all 
intoxicating liquors found in the possession of the citizens of Nash- 
ville (now Galland), which order was duly executed by a detail of 
soldiers from the garrison. In the same year John Gaines, William 
Price, Alexander Hood, Thomas W. Taylor, William McBride, and 
probably a few others, joined the little settlement at the foot of the 

Peter Williams settled on the site of Fort Madison in 1832. The 
same year, after the Indians vacated their village where Montrose 
is now situated, Capt. James White inclosed about seven or eight 
acres of ground there and built a double log house on the slope near 
the mouth of Jack Creek. Two years later he sold his claim and 
Fort Des Moines was built there in the early part of 1834. 

Among those who came in 1833 were John Whitaker, who settled 
on the north side of the Skunk River, in what is now Des Moines 
County; James Bartlett, who landed at what is now Keokuk on the 
4th of July, accompanied by his wife, three sons and a stepson. John 
Box came over from Illinois and located near Fort Madison. He 
was elected one of the seven representatives from Des Moines County, 


which then included the present County of Lee, to the Territorial 
Legislature of Wisconsin in 1836. 

On June 1, 1833, the title to the lands in the Black Hawk Pur- 
chase became fully vested in the United States. During the remain- 
der of that year and the year 1834 a large number of emigrants from 
the states east of the Mississippi crossed over into the new purchase 
and several families were added to the population of the district now 
comprising Lee County. Among them were Alexander Cruickshank, 
William Skinner, Devore Palmer, George Wilson, Henry Judy, 
John and James Hellman, A. W. Harlan, Joseph White, Samuel 
Ross, Benjamin Box and Hiram C. Smith. Although the new pur- 
chase was open to settlement, the public surveys had not yet been 
made and each new arrival selected a tract of land to suit his taste 
and marked the boundaries by "blazing 1 ' the trees around the border 
of his claim. When the government survey was made it sometimes 
happened that one claim would overlap another and the houses of 
two settlers would be thrown upon the same quarter section. 

To settle questions of dispute over titles, each settlement had a 
"Claim Association," to which all cases of this character were re- 
ferred. Each association had certain rules and regulations for the 
mutual protection of the citizens. After the United States surveys 
were made, but before regular courts were established, these associa- 
tions were frequently called on to adjust conflicting interests with 
regard to title or possession of certain parcels of land. A claim com- 
mittee would be selected and the claimants and witnesses would 
appear and give their testimony, but without the formality of an 
oath or affirmation. After hearing all the evidence, the committee 
would decide the case and from that decision there was no appeal. 
And yet there was little complaint over the rinding of the committee 
in such cases. The pioneers had all joined in the organization of the 
claim associations and their sense of honor was such that they always 
kept faith and abided by the decisions. 

The first government sale of the lands in the Black Hawk Pur- 
chase was held at the land office in Burlington in November, 1838. 
The claim associations in the various localities had kept a record 
of every claim, and the settlers of each Congressional township se- 
lected a bidder to attend the sale and bid in each particular claim for 
the occupant. A copy of the record was furnished the bidder, who 
set out for Burlington to protect the rights of his neighbors against 
the rapacity of speculators and land sharks from afar. Many out- 
siders looked upon the settlers who had come into the territory in 
advance of the survey and sale as "squatters," without any rights 


worthy of the respect of the land speculators or the Government 
officials. Fortunately for the pioneers General Dodge and General 
Van Antwerp were on their side and the township bidders had every 
opportunity to secure the lands. Hawkins Taylor was one of the 
bidders from Lee County. In the "Annals of Iowa" for July, 1870, 
he published an article descriptive of the sale. One incident men- 
tioned by him shows in what spirit the speculator was received and 
it is regarded as worthy of reproduction here. Says he: 

"There were thousands of settlers at the sale at Burlington in the 
fall of 1838. The officers could sell but one or two townships each 
day, and when the land in any one township was offered, the settlers 
of that township constituted the army on duty for that day. They 
surrounded the office for their own protection, with all the other 
settlers as a reserve force, if needed. The hotels were full of specu- 
lators of all kinds, from the money-lender, who would accommodate 
the settler at 50 per cent; that is, he would enter the settler's land in 
his own name, and file a bond for a deed at the end of two years, 
by the settler's paying him double the amount the land cost. At 
these rates Doctor Barrett, of Springfield, Illinois, and Louis Bene- 
dict, of Albany, New York, loaned out $100,000 each, and Lyne 
Sterling and others, at least an equal amount, at the same, or higher 
rates of interest. 

"The men who come to Iowa now cannot realize what the early 
settlers had to encounter. The hotels were full of this and a worse 
class of money sharks. There was a numerous class who wanted to 
rob the settlers of their lands and improvements entirely, holding 
that the settler was a squatter and a trespasser and should be driven 
from the lands. You would hear much of this sort of talk about the 
hotels, but none about the settlers' camps. Amongst the loudest 
talkers of this kind was an F. F. V., a class that has now about 'give 
out.' This valiant gentleman was going to invest his money as he 
pleased, without reference to settlers' claims. When the Township 
of West Point was sold, it was a rainy, disagreeable day. I was 
bidder and the officers let me go inside the office. Squire John Judy, 
who lived on section 32 or 33, whispered to me that he had been 
disappointed in getting his money, at the last moment, and asked me 
to pass over his tract and not bid it off. I did so, but the Virginian 
bid it off. I was inside and could not communicate with anyone 
until the sale of the township was through. As I did not bid on the 
tract, the outsiders supposed it was not claimed by a settler and the 
minute the bid was made, the bidder left for his hotel. 



As soon as I could get out, which was in a short time, and make 
known that Judy's land had been bid off by a speculator, within five 
minutes' time not less than fifteen hundred of as desperate and de- 
termined men as ever wanted homes started for the bidder. Prom- 
inent in the lead was John G. Kennedy, of Fort Madison, who 
enjoyed such sport. Colonel Patterson, now of Keokuk, a Virginian 
by birth, but a noble, true-hearted friend of the settler, who had been 
intimate with the bidder, made a run across lots and reached the 
hotel before Kennedy and his army. Patterson informed the bidder 
of the condition of affairs and advised him at once to abandon his 
bid, which he did, or, rather, he authorized the colonel to do it for 
him. The colonel went out and announced to the crowd that the 
bid was withdrawn and that the bidder had also withdrawn himself. 
Both offers were accepted, but the latter was bitterly objected to and 
only acquiesced in when it was found that the party had escaped by 
the back way and could not be found. There was no other remedy. 
This was the last outside bid given during the sale and one heard no 
more talk about outside bidding around the hotel. The squatters' 
rights were respected at that sale." 

From all over the "Forty-mile Strip" the settlers congregated at 
Burlington during the sale. They brought tents, blankets, cooking 
utensils, everything, in fact, for a campaign that would result in 
\ every actual settler's claim being made secure. Bound together in a 
\ common cause, they went with the determination to stand by each 
vpther to the finish. Land grabbers and speculators were not long in 
learning that it would be a dangerous venture to oppose the hardy, 
Honest yeomanry who had come to Iowa to establish homes and 
develop the resources of the state. It may seem to some that such 
a course was rather high-handed, but had the land sharks been per- 
mitted to purchase the most desirable lands, without regard to the 
rights of the occupants, it might have been many years before Iowa 
would have been peopled with the industrious, intelligent and honest 
population that has placed her among the leading western states. 


Mention has been made of Fort Des Moines, which was estab- 
lished before the Government surveys were completed and while 
the Indians still dwelt in the district ceded to the United States by 
the treaty of September, 1832. In 1833 Congress passed an act "for 
the better defense of the frontier by raising a regiment of dragoons 
to scout the country west of the Mississippi River." Pursuant to 

Vol. I— 5 


this act and by order of the War Department, dated May 19, 1834, 
Lieut.-Col. Stephen W. Kearney was instructed to take three com- 
panies of the dragoons — Sumner's, Boone's and Browne's — and "take 
up winter quarters on the right bank of the Mississippi, within the 
Indian country near the mouth of the Des Moines." 

Kearney sent a quartermaster's force, under Lieut. George H. 
Crosman of the Sixth United States Infantry, to select a site and begin 
the construction of the necessary buildings for the accommodation of 
the garrison. Crosman selected the site where the Town of Montrose 
now stands and began work, but the barracks were not ready for oc- 
cupancy until late in the fall. Colonel Kearney's quarters consisted 
of a house built of willow logs taken from the island opposite the 
fort. Each company occupied one long building, with a stone chim- 
ney in the center, the rooms on either side being used as mess rooms 
and sleeping quarters. The captains of the three companies were 
Edwin V. Sumner, who afterward became a prominent general in 
the Union army during the Civil war; Nathaniel Boone, a son of 
Daniel Boone, the Kentucky pioneer; and Jesse B. Browne, who 
remained in Lee County after leaving the army and was one of tne 
early attorneys. 

Before the arrival of the dragoons and the establishment of the 
fort, the honest, industrious settlers were frequently victimized by 
some of the horde of unprincipled adventurers that hangs upon the 
margin of civilization to prey upon unprotected communities. The 
Black Hawk Purchase offered these gentry a favorable field for the 
operations, owing to the fact that civil law was not established until 
after the territory was placed under the jurisdiction of the Michigan 
authorities. When Colonel Kearney arrived at Fort Des Moines, 
which name had been selected for the new post, one of his first acts 
was to proclaim martial law throughout the district. By this course 
he won the esteem of the well-disposed pioneers. Isaac R. Campbell, 
who lived near the fort, says: "The names of Browne, Boone and 
Sumner, captains of these companies, will ever be remembered by 
the surviving pioneers of the half-breed tract, for it was through their 
vigilance that civilization here received its first impetus. Their 
bayonets taught us to respect the rights of others, and from martial 
law we learned the necessity of a civil code." 

Kearney was succeeded by Lieutenant-Colonel Mason as com- 
mandant at Fort Des Moines. Under date of September 18, 1836, 
Mason wrote: "A town has been laid off at this place, and lots have 
been sold, which takes in a part of our garrison. This town has been 
laid off on a tract of land which I am told was granted on a grant 


confirmed by Congress to the heirs of one Reddick. * * * You 
will at once perceive, under the circumstances, how certain it is that 
we must come in collision with the citizens of this town, who have 
already commenced to build." 

There had been some talk of establishing a military reservation 
two miles square for the use of the post. In his letter, Mason refers 
to this and informs the secretary of war that persons are building 
within the two-mile limit, "for the purpose of selling whisky to the 
Indians and soldiers." Fort Des Moines was never intended to be 
a permanent post, and upon receipt of Mason's letter, the secretary 
issued orders for its abandonment. The last official communication 
from Fort Des Moines was dated June i, 1837, in which Mason said : 
"The post is this day abandoned and the squadron takes up its march 
for Fort Leavenworth. It has been delayed until this date in order 
that the grass might be sufficiently high to afford grazing for the 
horses, as corn cannot be had on some parts of the route." 

This was the end of Fort Des Moines as a military establishment. 
In its day it served a good purpose in protecting the rights of both 
the Indians and the white settlers. For many years after its aban- 
donment, the furniture used by the officers was in possession of the 
Knight family of Keokuk. Among the subordinate officers were a 
number who afterward made a place in history. Besides Captains 
Sumner, Boone and Browne, above mentioned, Robert E. Lee, then 
a young lieutenant and afterward commander-in-chief of the Con- 
federate armies; Benjamin S. Roberts, who won distinction as an 
officer in both the Mexican and Civil wars; Jefferson Davis, presi- 
dent of the Confederate States of America during their short and 
unhappy existence; Winfield Scott, who was commander of the 
United States forces that captured the City of Mexico in the war 
with that country, and Gen. William Harney were all at some time 
or another temporarily stationed at Fort Des Moines. 


Looking back over a period of four score and two years, to the 
time when the United States commissioners met the chiefs of the 
Sacs and Foxes at Fort Armstrong and negotiated the treaty that re- 
sulted in the opening of the "Forty-mile Strip" to settlement, it 
occurs to the writer that the young people of the present generation 
might be interested in knowing how the first settlers in the Black 
Hawk Purchase lived. Imagine a vast, unbroken tract of country 
stretching away westward from the Mississippi River. Here and 


there were forests from which there was "not a stick of timber amiss," 
and between these woodlands broad prairies, never touched bv the 
plow nor trodden by the foot of civilized man. It was into this 
region that the Lee County pioneers came 

"Not with the roll of stirring drums 
And the trumpet that sings of fame," 

but with stout hearts, axes and rifles, they came to conquer and subdue 
the wilderness, build roads, schoolhouses and churches, found cities 
and build up a state that ranks second to none in the American Union. 
-One of the first things necessary to a pioneer in a new country is 
shelter for himself and family. Sometimes two or more families 
came at the same time. In such cases a log cabin would be built, in 
which all would live together until each settler could stake out his 
claim and erect a dwelling of his own. No saw-mills were con- 
venient for the manufacture of lumber; there were no brick yards; 
hence, frame or brick houses were out of the question, and the log 
cabin was the universal type of dwelling. The first cabins were 
built of round logs, but a little later some of the more aristocratic 
of the settlers erected hewed log houses. And what an event was the 
"house-raising" in a new settlement! 

After the settler had cut his logs and dragged them — probably 
with a team of oxen — to the site of the proposed cabin, he invited 
his neighbors, some of whom lived several miles distant, to a "rais- 
ing." When all were assembled at the place four men were chosen 
to "carry up the corners." These men took their stations at the four 
corners of the cabin and as the logs were lifted up to them they cut 
a "saddle" upon the top of one log and a notch in the under side of 
the next to fit upon the saddle. The man having the "butt end" of 
the log must cut his notch a little deeper than the man having the 
top, in order that the walls might be carried up about on a level, the 
butt and top ends generally being alternated on each side and end of 
the structure. No openings were left for the doors and windows, but 
these were sawed out afterward. At one end was an opening for 
the fireplace, just outside of which was constructed a chimney of 
stone, or, if stone was not convenient, of logs and clay. The roof 
was invariably of clapboards, the floor, if there was one, of punch- 
eons — that is slabs of timber split as nearly as possible of the same 
thickness — and smoothed off on the upper surface with an adz after 
the floor was laid. The door was also made of thin puncheons and 
was hung on wooden hinges and provided with a wooden latch. 
Nails were a luxury and not infrequently the entire cabin would be 
finished without a single article of iron being used in its construe- 


tion. The clapboards of the roof would be held in place by a pole 
running the full length of the cabin and fastened to the end logs with 
wooden pins. 

The furniture was usually "home-made" and of the simplest char- 
acter. Holes bored in the logs of the walls were fitted with pins, 
upon which were laid boards to form the "china closet." The table 
was made of boards, battened together and supported upon two 
trestles. When not in use, the top of the table could be leaned against 
the wall, or set outside of the cabin, and the trestles could be set on 
top of the other to make more room. 

Stoves were unknown and the cooking was done at the great fire- 
place, an iron teakettle, a long handled skillet and a large iron pot 
being the principal utensils. Often "johnny cake" was made by 
spreading a stiff dough of corn meal upon one side of a smooth board 
and propping it up in front of the fire; when one side of the cake 
was sufficiently baked, the dough would be turned over, so that the 
other side might have its inning. A liberal supply of "johnny cake" 
and a mug of sweet milk often constituted the only supper of the 

Somewhere in the cabin, two hooks, formed from the forks of 
small trees, would be pinned against the wall to form a "gun rack." 
Here rested the long, heavy rifle of the settler, and suspended from its 
muzzle, or from one of the hooks, hung the bullet-pouch and powder- 

After the "house-raising" came the "house-warming." A new 
cabin was hardly considered fit to live in until it had been properly 
dedicated. In nearly every frontier settlement there was at least 
one man who could play the violin. The "fiddler" was called into 
requisition and the new dwelling would become "the sound of revelry 
by night." No tango, maxixe or hesitation waltz was seen on these 
occasions, but the Virginia reel, the stately minuet or the old- 
fashioned cotillion, in which some one called the figures in a sten- 
torian voice, were very much in evidence, and it is quite probable 
that the guests at a presidential inaugural ball never derived more 
genuine pleasure from the event than did these people of the frontier 
at a house-warming. If the settler who owned the cabin had scruples 
against dancing, the house was "warmed" by a frolic of a different 
character, but it had to be "warmed" in some way before the family 
took possession. 

At the present time, with plenty of money in circulation, when 
any one needs assistance he hires some one to come and help him. 
When the first white men came to Lee County, money was exceed- 


ingly scarce and the pioneers overcame the difficulty by helping each 
other. After the cabin was built, the next step was to clear and fence 
a piece of ground upon which to raise a crop. The trees were felled 
by the settler and cut into such lengths that they could be handled, 
when the other settlers in the vicinity were invited to a "log-rolling." 
By this means the logs were piled in great heaps, so that they could 
be burned. Enough valuable timber was destroyed in this way to 
pay for the land upon which it once grew, if it could be replaced at 
the present time. 

While the men were rolling the logs, the women folks would get 
together and prepare dinner, each bringing from her own store some 
little delicacy that she thought the other might not be able to supply. 
Bear meat and venison were common on such occasions, and, as each 
man had a good appetite by the time the meal was ready, when they 
arose from the table it "looked like a cyclone had struck it." But 
each man had his turn and by the time the work of the neighborhood 
was all done, no one had any advantage in the amount of provisions 

The same system was followed in harvest time. Frequently ten 
or a dozen men would gather in a neighbor's wheat field, and while 
some would swing the cradle the others would bind the sheaves and 
shock them, after which the whole crowd would move on to the next 
ripest field until the wheat crop of the entire community was cared 
for, or at least made ready for threshing. No threshing machines 
had as yet made their appearance and the grain was separated from 
the straw by the flail or tramped out by horses or cattle upon a smooth 
oiece of ground, or upon a barn floor, if the settler was fortunate to 
have a barn with such a floor. 

Just now it is an easy matter to telephone to the grocer to send 
up a sack or barrel of flour, but in the early days going to mill was 
no light affair. Mills were few and far apart and the settler would 
frequently have to go to such a distance that the greater part of a 
week would be required to make the trip. To obviate this difficulty 
various methods were introduced for making corn meal — which was 
the principal bread stuff of the first settlers at home. One of these 
was to build a fire upon the top of a large stump of some hard wood 
and keep it burning until a "mortar" had been formed. Then the 
charred wood was carefully cleaned off, the corn would be poured 
in small quantities into the mortar and beaten with a hard wood 
"pestle" until it was reduced to a coarse meal. In the fall of the 
year, before the corn was fully hardened, the "grater" was brought 
into requisition. This was an implement made by punching holes 


through a sheet of tin and then fastening the edges of the sheet to a 
board, with the rough surface outward, so that the tin would be 
slightly convex on the outer surface. Then the corn would be rubbed 
over the rough surface, the meal would pass through the holes and 
slide down the board into a vessel placed to receive it. A slow and 
tedious process was this, but a bowl of mush made from grated corn 
and accompanied by a generous supply of good milk, formed a repast 
that was not to be criticized in those days, and one which no pioneer 
blushed to place before a visitor. 

Matches were exceedingly rare and a little fire was always kept 
somewhere about the cabin "for seed." In the fall, winter and early 
spring, the fire was kept in the fireplace, but when the weather grew 
so warm that it would render the cabin uncomfortable, a fire was 
kept burning out of doors. If, by some mishap, the fire was allowed 
to become extinguished one of the family must go to the nearest neigh- 
bors for a fresh supply. 

How easy it is at the present time to enter a room, turn a switch 
and flood the whole place with electric light! It was not so eighty 
years ago in the Black Hawk Purchase. The housewife devised a 
lamp by using a shallow dish, in which was placed a quantity of lard 
or bear's grease. A loosely twisted rag was immersed in this grease, 
the end of the rag was allowed to project slightly over one side of 
the dish and this projecting end was lighted. The smoke and odor 
emitted by such a lamp could hardly be tolerated by fastidious per- 
sons now, but it answered the purpose then. Next came the tallow 
candle, made in moulds of tin. Sometimes only one set of candle 
moulds could be found in a new settlement and they passed freely 
from house to house until all had a supply of candles laid away in a 
cool dry place, sufficient to last for many weeks. Often, during the 
winter seasons, the family would spend the evening with no light but 
that which came from the roaring fire in the great fireplace. 

No one wore "store clothes" then. The housewife would card 
her wool by hand with a pair of broad-backed wire brushes, the 
teeth of which were slightly bent all in one direction, then spin the 
rolls into yarn upon an old-fashioned spinning wheel, weave it into 
cloth upon the old hand loom and make it into garments for the 
members of the family. A girl sixteen years of age who could not 
manage a spinning wheel or make her own dresses was a rarity in a 
new settlement. How many girls of that age now can make their 
own gowns? 

Too busy to visit during the day, one family would often go over 
to a neighbor's to "sit until bed time." On such occasions the women 


would either knit or sew while they gossiped and the men would 
discuss crops or politics, while the children cracked nuts or popped 
corn. And bed time did not mean a late hour on such occasions, for 
all must rise early the next morning for a fresh day's work. 

But if the pioneers had their hardships, they also had their amuse- 
ments and entertainments. Old settlers can recall the shooting 
matches, when the men met to try their skill with the rifle, the prize 
being a turkey or a haunch of venison. Or the husking bee, where 
pleasure and profit were combined. On such occasions the corn to 
be husked would be divided into two piles, as nearly equal in size 
as possible; two of the guests would "choose up" and divide the 
crowd into two sides, the contest being to see which side would first 
finish its pile of corn. Men and women alike took part and the 
young man who found a red ear was permitted to kiss the lassie next 
to him. "Many a merry laugh went round" when some one found 
a red ear and the lassie objected to being kissed. After the orchards 
were old enough to bear, the "apple cuttings" became a popular form 
of amusement, when a number would assemble some evening to pare 
and slice enough apples to dry for the winter's supply. The husking 
bee and the apple cutting nearly always wound up with a dance, the 
orchestra consisting of the one lone fiddler in the neighborhood. He 
might not have been a classic musician, but he could make his old 
fiddle respond to such tunes as "The Bowery Gals," "Money Musk," 
"Turkey in the Straw" and "Devil's Dream," and he never grew 
tired in furnishing the melody while others tripped the light fan- 
tastic toe. 

On grinding days at the old grist mill a number of men would 
meet and pass the time in athletic contests, such as foot races, wres- 
tling matches or pitching horse shoes. After the public school system 
was introduced the spelling school became a frequent place of meet- 
ing. At the close of the exercises the young men could "see the girls 
home," and if these acquaintances ripened into an intimacy that 
ended in a wedding, it was usually followed by a charivari, or, as 
it was pronounced on the frontier, a shivaree, which was a serenade 
in which noise took the place of harmony. The proceedings were 
generally kept up until the bride and groom came out where they 
could be seen, and the affair ended all the more pleasantly if the 
members of the shivareeing party were treated to a slice of wedding 
cake and a glass of cider. 

One feature of pioneer life should not be overlooked, and that 
is the marks by which the settler could distinguish his domestic 
animals. In early days all kinds of live stock were allowed to run at 


large. To protect himself, the frontier farmer cropped the ears of 
his cattle, hogs and sheep in a peculiar manner and these marks were 
recorded with the same care as titles to real estate. Among the marks 
were the plain crop, the under and upper bits, the swallow fork, the 
round hole,' the upper and under slopes, the slit, and a few others, 
by a combination of which each settler could mark his stock so that 
it could be easily identified. The "upper bit" was a small notch cut 
in the upper side of the ear; the "under bit" was just the reverse, 
being cut in the lower side; the "crop" was made by cutting off a 
small portion of the ear squarely across the end; the "swallow fork" 
was a fork cut in the end of the ear, similar in shape to that of a 
swallow's tail, from which it derived its name, and so on. If some 
one found a stray animal marked with "a crop off the left ear and 
a swallow fork in the right," he had only to inquire at the recorder's 
office to learn the name of the owner. These marks were seldom 
violated and protected the settler against loss as surely as the manu- 
facturer is protected against infringement by his registered trade- 


Immediately after Iowa was attached to the Territory of Michi- 
gan, by the act of Congress, approved June 28, 1834, the territorial 
authorities began the preliminary work of establishing civil gov- 
ernment in the region west of the Mississippi. On September 6, 
1834, the Territorial Legislature passed an act creating two new coun- 
ties in the newly attached country. All north of a line drawn due 
westward from the lower end of Rock Island was to be known as 
Dubuque County, and all south of that line as the County of Des 
Moines. John King was appointed chief justice of the former and 
Isaac Leffler of the latter. Later in the fall the first election ever 
held in Southeastern Iowa was for officers of Des Moines County. 
There were two voting places — Fort Madison and Burlington. 
William Morgan was elected presiding judge of the County Court; 
Young L. Hughes and Henry Walker, associate judges; John 
Whitaker, probate judge; W. W. Chapman, prosecuting attorney; 
Solomon Perkins, sheriff; W. R. Ross, clerk, recorder and assessor. 
John Barker and Richard Land were appointed and commissioned 
justices of the peace by the governor of Michigan Territory. 

When the Territory of Wisconsin was established under act of 
Congress, approved on April 20, 1836, Iowa was made a part of the 
new territory. On December 7, 1836, Henry Dodge, governor of 


Wisconsin, approved an act of the Territorial Legislature dividing 
Des Moines County into the counties of Lee, Van Buren, Henry, 
Louisa, Muscatine and Cook. The name of Cook County was aft- 
erward changed to Scott. 

There is some difference of opinion as to how Lee County re- 
ceived its name. At the time the county was erected by the Wiscon- 
sin Legislature, Robert E. Lee, then a lieutenant in the regular army, 
was engaged in making a survey of the Des Moines Rapids, with a 
view to the improvement of navigation on the Mississippi River. It 
seems that he was one of the most popular subordinate officers of the 
garrison at old Fort Des Moines and some authorities state that the 
county was named in his honor. Others claim that the county was 
named for Charles Lee, a land speculator from New York, who 
was then operating in the half-breed tract. Albert M. Lea surveyed 
and mapped the shores of the Mississippi River and explored the 
Des Moines in 1835. He was an officer in Colonel Kearney's com- 
mand at Fort Des Moines and some writers are inclined to the opinion 
that the intention was to name the county for him, but that a mis- 
take was made in spelling the name. It is quite probable that the 
county was named for Lieut. Robert E. Lee. 

In the session of the Wisconsin Legislature that established the 
county, Joseph B. Teas, Arthur B. Ingram and Jeremiah Smith, Jr., 
were members of the council from Des Moines County, and Thomas 
Blair, John Box, George W. Teas, Eli Reynolds, Isaac Leffler and 
Warren L. Jenkins were representatives. 

The first session of the District Court in Lee County began on 
March 27, 1837. It was presided over by Judge Irvin, who ap- 
pointed John H. Lines clerk of the court. 

By the act of December 7, 1836, it was provided: "That each 
county within this territory now organized, or that may hereafter 
be organized, be, and the same is hereby declared one township for 
all the purposes of carrying into effect the above recited acts, and 
that there shall be elected at the annual town meeting in each county 
three supervisors, who shall perform, in addition to the duties here- 
tofore assigned them as a county board, the duties heretofore per- 
formed by the township board." 

The first election for county officers in Lee County was held on 
Monday, April 3, 1837, "for three supervisors, three commissioners 
of highwavs, three assessors, one county treasurer, one coroner, one 
collector, one register, one township clerk and thirteen constables." 

At the election William Skinner, William Anderson and James 
D. Shaw were chosen supervisors; E. D. Ayres, Samuel Hearn and 


Stephen Perkins, commissioners of highways; Calvin J. Price, 
Stephen H. Graves and William Newcomb, assessors; George W. 
Howe, treasurer; Lewis Ritman, coroner; C. M. Jennings, collector; 
John H. Lines, register and township clerk; Robert Harris, John 
Barnett, W. N. Shaw, Franklin Kinneda (or Kenneda), Joseph 
Mamson and C. M. Jennings, constables. The call for the election 
specified thirteen constables and the records do not show why only 
six were elected. 

The first meeting of the board of supervisors was held on April 
17, 1837, at the Madison House, the hotel kept by Joseph S. Douglass 
in the Town of Fort Madison. Mr. Douglass seems to have had 
"a pull" with the board, as he was granted a license to keep a public 
house and sell liquors by small measure "for a period of one year," 
upon payment of $5, and immediately afterward the board 
voted to fix the license fee for public houses at $25 per year. This 
was the only business transacted at the session, the report of the as- 
sessors not being ready for the action of the board. 

At the second session, which was held on the first Monday in 
May, 1837, three public houses, or "groceries," were licensed in the 
Town of Fort Madison. The first license was granted to Samuel B. 
and William H. H. Kyle; the second to John S. Neely and Jesse 
Dickey, and the third to Lorenzo Bullard and Robert F. Harris. 
Each paid $25 for the privilege of selling by retail "spir- 
ituous liquors and wines for a period of one year." Calvin J. 
Price and James D. Shaw were each granted license "to keep store 
and retail goods, wares and merchandise in the Town of West Point 
for one year from the 1st day of May, 1837," and each paid into the 
public treasury of the county the sum of $8 as license fees. 

A special meeting of the board was held at the house of C. L. 
Cope in the Town of Fort Madison on July 10, 1837, to consider 
the report of the assessors. It was ordered : "That notices be set up 
in different places, as the law directs, that if any person or persons 
shall be aggrieved by the incorrectness of their list of taxes, they shall 
be given an opportunity of correcting the same." 

William Newcomb was allowed $2° anc * Stephen H. 
Graves $20 for their services as assessors for the year 1837. 
The minutes of the session also contain the following entry: "It 
appearing to this board of supervisors that the assessment list as 
returned to this board is not fit for the collector to use in collecting 
the taxes, it is hereby ordered: That the township clerk make out a 
fair copy, in alphabetical order, of all persons in the original list, 


with the amount of property opposite their names respectively, who 
are assessed and liable to pay a tax, and the same to be handed over 
to the assessor." 

At the special session Hawkins Taylor and John L. Cotton each 
received license to "keep store at West Point for one year from the 
ioth of July, 1837," an d L. G. Bell was granted a license to keep a 
store in the Town of Salem, the license fee in each case being $8. 

On December 20, 1837, the governor of Wisconsin Territory 
approved an act doing away with the board of supervisors and estab- 
lishing in its place a board of county commissioners "in each county 
in the territory." In the election of these commissioners, the one 
receiving the highest number of votes was to serve for three years; 
the next highest for two years, and the next one year, and each 
commissioner was to receive $3 per day for each day actually 
employed in the transaction of county business. Under the provisions 
of this act an election was held in Lee County on Monday, March 5, 
1838, when William Anderson, Stephen H. Graves and S. H. Burtis 
were elected commissioners; Peter Miller, treasurer; Henry D. 
Davis, coroner; Joshua Owen, assessor; Joseph Morrison, John P. 
Barnett, A. C. Brown, C. M. Jennings, Samuel Burtis, L. B. Parker, 
William Pints, M. C. Marfin, Thomas Small, P. N. Miller, Abraham 
Hinkle, H. E. Vrooman and John Patterson, constables. 

The first meeting of the new board of county commissioners was 
held in Fort Madison, beginning on Monday, March 26, 1838. John 
H. Lines was appointed clerk of the board and was given an appro- 
priation of $35.12^ for the purchase of the necessary blank books 
for keeping the records. Peter Miller filed his bond of $3,000 as 
county treasurer, with Isaac Johnson and L. B. Parker as his sureties, 
which was accepted by the board. 

At this term the county was divided into six election precincts and 
judges appointed in each to serve at all general elections. The voting 
places and judges in the six precincts were as follows: No. 1, Samuel 
Hearn's house; Samuel Hearn, John Billips and Johnson Meek, 
judges. No. 2, in the Town of Keokuk; John Gaines, Valencourt 
Vanosdol and John Wright, judges. No. 3, at Montrose, house of 
William Haines; T. H. Gregg, Robert Roberts and William Cole- 
man, judges. No. 4, residence of C. L. Cope, Fort Madison; John 
A. Drake, William Wilson and Isaac Johnson, judges. No. 5, Wil- 
liam Patterson's house, West Point; Calvin J. Price, Horatio Mc- 
Cardell and William Patterson, judges. No. 6, Joseph Howard's 
house, in the Howard Settlement; William Howard, Joseph Howard 
and Harrison Foster, judges. 


On July 5, 1838, a license was granted by the board of commis- 
sioners to Joshua Owen to operate a ferry across the Mississippi River 
at Fort Madison, and fixed the following rates: "Each footman, \2 l / 2 
cents; man and horse, 37^ cents; wagon and two horses, $1.00; each 
additional horse, 25 cents; loose cattle, 12^2 cents each; hogs and 
sheep, 6j4 cents each; wagon and one yoke of oxen, $1.00; each 
additional yoke, 25 cents." 

The Territory of Iowa was created by act of Congress, approved 
by President Van Buren on June 12, 1838, to take effect on July 3, 
1838, and the session at which Owen's ferry license was granted was 
the first under the new regime. At the same term the following 
venire was ordered, from which a grand jury was to be selected: 
i\.rthur Johnson, Jairus Fordyce, Jason Wilson, James Elwell, Isaac 
Briggs, Calvin Newton, William Patterson, Isaac Beeler, James 
McMurray, Harrison Foster, Mathew Kilgore, William Howard, 
William Holmes, Michael H. Walker, Solomon Fein, Hugh With- 
rough, Robert Roberts, Thomas W. Taylor, Thomas J. McGuire, 
Pleasant M. Armstrong, Joseph Webster, Nathan Smith and Isaac 

The grand jurors to be selected from the above list were for the 
August term of the District Court, and the following were designated 
as petit jurors for the same term of court: John Bonebright, Jere- 
miah Brown, Archibald Gilliland, William Allen, Valencourt Van- 
osdol, James Wright, Patrick Brien, Stewart M. Coleman, Johnson 
Chapman, Joshua Wright, George W. Claypole, Thomas Fitzpat- 
rick, Edward Kilbourne, David W. Kilbourne, Forest W. Herd, 
George W. Perkins, James Fyke, Eli Millard, E. D. Ayers, William 
G. Haywood, William D. Knapp, William Saucer, Thomas J. Ful- 
ton and John G. Toncray. 

Pursuant to the act of Congress establishing the Territory of Iowa, 
the first election for members of the Territorial Legislature and 
county officers was to be held on such a day as the governor of the 
territory might designate. Governor Lucas accordingly ordered an 
election for Monday, September 10, 1838, when Jesse B. Brown was 
elected councilman; William Patterson, Calvin J. Price, James 
Brierly and Hawkins Taylor, representatives; William Pitman, 
John Gaines and Peter Miller, commissioners; James C. Parrott, 
treasurer; John H. Lines, register of deeds; John P. Barnett. as- 
sessor; Robert Stephenson, coroner; John G. Kennedy, Preston N. 
Miller, William Pints, Samuel W. Weaver, John Patterson, Henry 
E. Vrooman, Willis C. Stone, Charles Kellogg, William Burton, 


Thomas Small, Ransom B. Scott, Leonard B. Parker and Franklin 
Kenneda, constables. 

With the election of these officials and their induction into office, 
the county machinery of Lee County was permanently established. 
Since then the progress of the county has been steadily onward and 
upward, and as the routine business transacted by the county com- 
missioners has always been of much the same character, it is con- 
sidered unnecessary to go into further details, or to make additional 
quotations from the early records. 


On January 18, 1838, the governor of Wisconsin Territory ap- 
proved an act providing that "the seat of justice of Lee County be, 
and the same is hereby, established at the Town of Fort Madison." 
Here the early sessions of the courts were held and the principal 
business of the county was transacted. But it was not long until the 
settlements farther back from the Mississippi River began to com- 
plain that the county seat, as thus established, was too far from the 
center of the county. Influence was brought to bear upon the session 
of the Legislature which met late in the year 1839, an d on January 
14, 1840, the governor approved an act appointing Samuel C. Reed, 
of Van Buren County; James L. Scott, of Jefferson County, and 
another commissioner whose name has been lost, to visit Lee County, 
investigate the conditions there, and recommend a location for a 
permanent seat of justice. 

Messrs. Reed and Scott met at Fort Madison on the first Monday 
in March, 1840, the date designated in the act, and, after examining 
several proposed sites, recommended the "south half of the south- 
east quarter of section 23, and the north half of the northeast quarter 
of section 26, in township 68 north, range 6 west." 

As the locating commissioners were operating under a law of the 
Territorial Legislature, the county authorities had no recourse but to 
accept their decision. The location was therefore accepted by the 
board of county commissioners, and the name of "Franklin" was 
selected for the new seat of justice. John Brown, John C. Chapman 
and Thomas Douglass, the owners of the land, agreed to donate the 
site to the county, with the understanding that, when the town was 
laid off, the board of commissioners should make the first choice of a 
lot, the owners of the land to have second choice, and so on until the 
lots were equally divided between the original owners and the county. 
This proposition was accepted by the board and the county surveyor 


was instructed to survey and make a plat of the town. Mathew Kil- 
gore and Samuel Brierly, two of the commissioners, were appointed 
to make the division of lots with the donors of the site. 

On May 19, 1840, the board held a special meeting and ordered 
that a sale of lots in Franklin be advertised for three successive weeks 
in the Iowa Territorial Gazette, published at Burlington, the sale to 
take place on Monday, July 13, 1840. No record of that sale has 
been found and it is not certain that any lots were sold on that date, 
as the dissatisfaction over the location was so great that buyers were 
not encouraged to invest their money under the existing conditions. 
This dissatisfaction increased as time went on, and at the next session 
of the Legislature the question was again brought up, with the result 
that an act was passed on January 15, 1841, submitting the whole 
matter to a vote of the people of Lee County at an election to be 
held on the second Monday in March, 1841. 

The act also provided that if no location received a majority of 
all the votes cast, the two receiving the highest number should be 
voted for at a second special election, to be held on the third Monday 
in April. 

Immediately after the passage of the act, the people of Fort Madi- 
son became active in their efforts to secure the seat of justice. The 
town authorities, on February 23, 1841, passed the following ordi- 
nance: "Be it ordained by the president and trustees of the Town 
of Fort Madison, that the sum of $8,000 be appropriated out of the 
funds of the corporation for the purpose of erecting a courthouse in 
the Town of Fort Madison — provided that the county seat of Lee 
County be located in said town." 

John G. Toncray, then county treasurer, certified to the Legisla- 
ture that the $8,000 thus pledged by the town authorities had been 
paid into the county treasury, and as a further guaranty that the town 
would carry out its agreement, Hawkins Taylor, Jacob Cutler, Joel 
C. Walker, John A. Drake, William Wilson, Henry Eno, George 
Bell, Stewart Brown, Thomas Hardesty, Jacob Huner, Alfred Rich, 
Edward Johnstone, Adam B. Sims, Henry E. Vrooman, James 
Hardin, William D. Knapp, S. A. Walker, Richard Pritchett, 
Thomas Fitzpatrick, E. A. Dickey, William Leslie, John G. Toncray, 
Samuel B. Ayres, E. D. Ayres, Hugh T. Reid, John G. Walker, 
Amos Ladd, Peter Miller and the firm of James Wilson & Company 
executed and filed a bond for $16,000, twice the amount of the pro- 
posed donation, that the Town of Fort Madison would carry out its 
part of the agreement. 


In addition to this, Daniel McConn, an ex-treasurer of Fort Madi- 
son, certified that $5,000 was received from the sale of town lots 
belonging to the Government for the use of the town, which sum it 
was proposed to add to the public building fund. Hawkins Taylor, 
Amos Ladd and a few other public spirited citizens purchased the 
lots upon which the courthouse was erected for $560 and converted 
them to the county for a consideration of one dollar, bringing the total 
of the public building fund up to $13,559 before the election was 
held. This "pernicious activity," as some of the opponents of Fort 
Madison expressed it, had its effect on election day, Fort Madison 
receiving 465 votes; Franklin, 435, and West Point, 320. Although 
Fort Madison failed to receive a majority of the votes, it was in the 
lead and at the second election, held on April 19, 1841, according to 
the terms of the act, the vote stood 730 for Fort Madison and 477 for 

Many people now thought the question was settled, but not so. 
While the Town of Fort Madison was carrying out its contract to 
erect a courthouse, the advocates of Franklin and West Point got 
together and presented a petition to the next Legislature to reopen the 
whole subject by again presenting the question to the people. A 
remonstrance was presented on behalf of Fort Madison, but it was 
ignored and on January 13, 1843, the governor approved an act "to 
relocate the seat of justice of Lee County." Thomas O. Wamsley, 
of Henry County; I. N. Selby, of Van Buren, and Stephen Gear- 
hart, of Des Moines County, were named in the act as commissioners 
"to visit Lee County, make an examination of the situation and sur- 
roundings, and locate the county seat at such place as to them may 
seem best, taking into consideration the future as well as the present 

The commissioners met at the Town of Franklin on March 20, 
1843, after having made their investigations, and submitted the fol- 
lowing report: 

"The undersigned commissioners, appointed by an act of the 
Legislative Assembly of Iowa Territory, entitled 'An act to relocate 
the county seat of Lee County,' approved 13th January, A. D. 1843, 
make the following report: We met, as directed in said act, at the 
Town of Franklin on the second Monday of March, instant, and, after 
having been sworn, as provided for in said act, by John Brown, Esq., 
a notary public in and for said county, we proceeded to examine the 
several points in said county proposed as eligible sites for the county 
seat of said county, and also to examine the face of the country gen- 
erally, as to its population and the capability of the several portions 



of the county to sustain a dense population, etc., and we have con- 
cluded to and do hereby select the east half of the southeast quarter 
of section 5, town 68 north, of range 5 west, being the tract on which 
West Point is located, as the county seat of said county; and we 
further place in the office of the clerk of the board of commissioners 
of said county the annexed papers, marked 'A,' as a writing executed 
by the obligors therein named for the use of the county seat at the 
said point above named. 

"Witness our hands and seals this 20th day of March, A. D. 1843. 

"Thomas O. Walmsley. [Seal.] 
"I. N. Selby. [Seal.] 

"Stephen Gearhart. [Seal.]" 

The "Exhibit A" referred to by the commissioners was a docu- 
ment signed by A. H. Walker, William Steele, Freeman Knowles, 
Calvin J. Price, Aaron Conkey, P. H. Babcock, R. P. Creel, John 
M. Fulton, William Stotts, William Patterson and some others, in 
which they agreed to build at West Point a courthouse forty-five by 
fifty feet, with stone foundation and brick superstructure two stories 
high, and to have the same completed by September 1, 1844, "in con- 
sideration of the commissioners locating the county seat of Lee at 
West Point." 

On March 28, 1843, the report of the locating commissioners and 
its accompanying papers were filed with the board of county com- 
missioners, who issued an order on the same day "that the district 
courts for Lee County, from and after the first day of April next shall 
be held at the Town of West Point." It was mutually agreed by the 
people of West Point and the people of Fort Madison that the county 
seat should remain at the latter place for one year after a location 
should be selected by the commissioner appointed by the Legislature, 
and that the courthouse erected by the people of Fort Madison — or 
who had borne at least two-thirds the cost of its erection — should be 
sold at public auction and two-thirds of the proceeds refunded to the 
town. John A. Drake was appointed to take care of the building until 
the auction sale, which never "happened." 

The people of West Point carried out their agreement to build a 
courthouse, though in after years some of the donors to the under- 
taking probably regretted that they permitted their enthusiasm to 
get the better of their judgment, for West Point's honors as a county 
seat soon faded and the men who built the courthouse were the finan- 
cial losers. 

In the summer of 1843 a movement was started to have the county 
divided. A petition was presented to the next session of the Legis- 

Vol. I— 


lature and on February 15, 1844, the governor approved "An act for 
the formation of the County of Madison." By the provisions of the 
act, the question was to be submitted to the voters of Lee County at 
the April election in 1844, when those in favor of the new county 
should write upon their ballots "For Division," and those opposed, 
"No Division." The proposition was defeated by a vote of 952 to 
713 and the county seat fight was renewed. 

Those who favored Fort Madison as a seat of justice started the 
circulation of a petition to the Legislature, asking that body to sub- 
mit the question once more to the voters of the county. In response 
to this petition "An act to relocate the seat of justice of Lee County" 
was approved on June 10, 1845, by which the question was to be voted 
on at a special election, to be held for that purpose, on the first Mon- 
day in August. It was further provided by the act that if no point 
received a majority of all the votes cast at that election, the three 
places that received the highest number of votes should be voted for 
at another election on the first Monday in September. Six places 
entered the lists at the August election and the result was as follows: 
Fort Madison, 664 votes; West Point, 308; Franklin, 326; Keokuk, 
208; Montrose, 287; Charleston, 41. 

As no place received a majority, and Fort Madison, Franklin and 
West Point were the three that received the greatest number of votes, 
the second election was ordered for the first Monday in September. 
For one month Lee County was the center of great political activity. 
When two neighbors met, the county seat question was the topic of 
discussion. Many bitter arguments and a "few fist fights" occurred 
during the short but all-absorbing campaign. At the election in Sep- 
tember the vote was 969 for Fort Madison, 535 for West Point, and 
378 for Franklin. Fort Madison having received a majority of 56, 
out of a total vote of 1,882, was declared the county seat, and in 
October the county officers were all back in their old quarters in the 
courthouse in Fort Madison. 

By this time the people were generally ready to acquiesce in the 
decision of the election, though a few still insisted that the seat of 
justice should be located nearer to the geographical center of the 
county. On March 3, 1856, a petition signed by 2,238 qualified voters 
of Lee County was presented to Judge Samuel Boyles, of the county 
court, asking for an election to vote upon the question of removing 
the county seat from Fort Madison to Charleston. Judge Boyles 
granted the petition and ordered an election for the first Thursday in 
April, 1856. No returns of that election can be found in the records, 


but it is known that Fort Madison was victorious and the county 
seat was not removed. 

The growth of Keokuk and the increase in the population of the 
southern part of the county, led to the passage of a special act by the 
Legislature of 1847 establishing a court of concurrent jurisdiction 
at Keokuk. All the lands in the old half-breed tract, except that 
portion in Madison and the eastern half of Jefferson Township, are 
recorded at Keokuk, and branches of all the county offices are main- 
tained in that city. The old medical college building was bought by 
the county for a courthouse at Keokuk, so that the city is to all intents 
and purposes a seat of justice. 


The first courthouse at Fort Madison— the one erected by the 
town to secure the county seat — was begun in 1841 and completed in 
the summer of 1842. The original intention and first order of the 
board of county commissioners was to locate the building in the 
"upper public square, 1 ' now known as Old Settlers' Park, but the two 
lots on the northwest corner of Third and Pine streets, having been 
bought by some of the citizens and donated for a site, the commis- 
sioners in July, 1 84 1 , issued the following order: 

"That the courthouse and jail for Lee County, commonly called 
public which are now to be erected by Thomas Morrison and Isaac 
R. Atlee, undertakers or contractors, shall be erected on Lots No. 
534 and 535, situated in the Town of Fort Madison, as will appear 
by reference to the plat of said town; and it is further ordered by the 
board that the order made by this board at their special session on 
the first day of June last past, selecting the upper public square for 
the location of the courthouse and jail be, and the same is hereby, 

The first building was 50 by 48 feet, two stories high, with a 
basement which was used for a jail. The foundation is of stone and 
the walls of the first and second stories of brick, and the cost of the 
original courthouse was about twelve thousand dollars. In 1876 it 
was thoroughly overhauled and an addition 24 by 50 feet was made 
to the north end. A new jail having been built, the basement was 
converted into a place for storing old records, etc. Although not as 
imposing in appearance as some courthouses, the building is still in 
service. It is the oldest courthouse in the state, in point of continuous 
use as such, and when the interior of the building was destroyed by 
fire on March 29, 191 1, the sentiment of the older residents of Fort 


Madison was in favor of repairing the old house instead of building 
a new one, as some of the younger generation advocated. The old 
settlers won and the structure was repaired, the money received from 
insurance companies covering practically the entire cost of rebuilding, 
so that Lee County can still boast of having the oldest courthouse in 

The first mention of a jail in the county records was on October 
3, 1837, when the board of supervisors ordered that "H. D. Davis be 
allowed $4.00 per month for a certain house used as a county jaii, 
until the first day of April, 1838." The "certain house" referred 
to in the order was a small log building on Elm Street, not far from 
the upper square. It was used by Davis as a shoe shop while at the 
same time he rented it to the county for a prison. 

At the March term of the county commissioners in 1838 it was 
ordered: "That there shall be built in the Town of Fort Madison, on 
the north side of the upper public square, a county jail of the follow- 
ing dimensions, to wit: Twenty feet square, with a double wall of 
hewn oak timber one foot square, sound and clear of rot or decay; 
fifteen feet high and two stories in height, the lower story to be built 
with a double wall, seven feet between the upper and lower floors, 
which are to be laid of hewed oak timber, one foot thick, with square 
joints. To be let out on the third day of the next term to the lowest 
bidder, etc." 

No further mention of the jail can be found in the records until 
October 13, 1838, when it was ordered : "That the jail be received of 
the undertaker, or contractor, Isaac Miller, and that the clerk grant 
him an order on the treasurer for $486.58, in full for the same." 

This jail was destroyed by fire about eighteen months after it 
was completed and the county was without a prison until the cells in 
the courthouse basement were completed. In 1865 the commis- 
sioners made an appropriation of $2,000 for the erection of a new 
jail, immediately west of the courthouse. The stone walls were 
erected, when it was found that to complete the jail according to the 
original design would require considerably more money than the' 
board had anticipated. At the October election in 1866 the question 
of appropriating $7,000 for the completion of the jail was submitted 
to the people and was carried by a vote of 3,555 to 941. The jail was 
then finished and with some slight alterations and improvements 
still forms the bastile of Lee County. 

A history of the county asylum, or home for the poor, as well as 
more detailed accounts of the early settlements, will be found in other 
chapters of this work. 



On January 10, 1840, Governor Lucas approved an act of the Ter- 
ritorial Legislature providing for the division of the several organized 
counties of Iowa into civil townships. Pursuant to the provisions of 
this act, the county commissioners of Lee County, at their regular 
session in January, 1 841 , divided the county into ten townships, to wit : 
Ambrosia, Denmark, Franklin, Green Bay, Harrison, Jackson, Jef- 
ferson, Van Buren, Washington and West Point. Ambrosia Town- 
ship has disappeared, the territory once comprising it being now 
included in the townships of Montrose and Des Moines. Changes 
have been made in the original boundaries of some of the first town- 
ships and new ones have been erected until at the present time there 
are sixteen civil townships, viz. : Cedar, Charleston, Denmark, Des 
Moines, Franklin, Green Bay, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Madi- 
son, Marion, Montrose, Pleasant Ridge, Van Buren, Washington 
and West Point. 


This township occupies the northwest corner of the county. It 
was originally a part of Harrison Township, but in the spring of 
1844 a petition was circulated throughout the northern half of that 
township asking the county commissioners to erect a new one. In 
response to that petition the board, on July 3, 1844, issued an order 
that "All that portion of Harrison Township included in Congres- 
sional Township 69 north, of range 7 west, be set off as a separate 
township, to be hereafter known and designated by the name of Cedar 
Township." It was also ordered that the first election in the town- 



ship be held at the house of Charles Brewington on the first Monday 
in April, 1845. The judges at that election were Andrew Dye, 
Isaac McDaniel and William Mottley; the clerks, John C. Atlee 
and Ephraim Allen, but the returns of the election and the names of 
the first township officers then chosen can not be found. 

The first white settlements in the township were made in the year 
1836. It is not certain just who was the first settler, but the honor is 
claimed for Isaac McDaniel, a North Carolinian, who came from 
his native state and located in that part of Lee County, where he 
continued to live for more than forty years. He was soon joined by 
Nathaniel Anderson, William and Benjamin Warren and Paul Brat- 
ton, all from Illinois. Perry McDaniel, a son of Isaac, was the first 
white child born in the township and the second was a daughter of 
Nathaniel Anderson. The first marriage to be solemnized was that 
of Ephraim Allen and Aylsie Rowland. George Holt and Jane 
Warren were united in marriage a little later. Nathaniel Anderson 
died in 1834 — the first death to occur in what is now Cedar Township. 

In 1837 a log schoolhouse was erected by the settlers in section 6, 
near the northwest corner of the county, and the first school was 
taught there in the fall of that year by a man named Hall. In that 
year the government survey was completed through that part of the 
county and the settlers secured the title to their lands in the fall of 
the succeeding year at the land sale in Burlington. 

The first church building was erected by the settlers, without 
regard to denominational affiliations, in 1843. It was a log house and 
stood near the schoolhouse erected in 1837. The Baptists were the 
first to use the building, though religious services had been held in 
the homes of some of the pioneers some time before the house of 
worship was built. 

Cedar Township is six miles square, embracing Congressional 
Township 69 north, range 7 west. It is bounded on the north by 
Henry County; on the east by Marion Township; on the south by 
Harrison, from which it was taken, and on the west by the County of 
Van Buren. Its area is thirty-six square miles, or 22,040 acres, 
nearly all of which is capable of being cultivated. 

In the auditor's report of the financial condition of Lee County 
for the year 19 13 the value of taxable property in Cedar Township is 
given as $625,639, the highest of any township in the county, except 
Madison and Jackson, which include the cities of Fort Madison and 
Keokuk, and higher than these if the two cities mentioned be excluded. 
The township has a little over ten miles of railroad, and nearly 
seventy miles of telephone lines. It is divided into ten school dis- 


tricts, in which fourteen teachers are employed. The ten school- 
houses are valued at about one thousand each, exclusive of the ground 
upon which they stand, and the enrollment for the year ending June 
30, 1 91 4, was 171. 

The officers of Cedar Township, elected in 1912, were as follows: 
Peter Mertens, A. E. Dick and R. S. Pease, trustees; A. B. DeRosear, 
clerk; R. E. Bell, assessor; A. H. Heaton, justice of the peace; Allan 
H. Heaton and Fred Smith, constables. According to the United 
States census for 1910 the population of the township was then 863, 
and Cedar enjoys the distinction of being the only township in the 
county to show a gain over the census of 1900. 


On January 2, 1844, the board of county commissioners issued 
and entered upon the records the following order: "That portion of 
Jefferson and Van Buren townships lying in Township 67 north, 
range 6 west, be stricken off and form a new township, which shall 
be known by the name of Charleston Township." It was also 
ordered that the first election should be held at the house of R. B. 
Robinson on the first Monday in the succeeding April, but the returns 
of that election seem to have disappeared. 

As established by the above order, Charleston Township includes 
all of the Congressional Township 67 of range 6, and has an area of 
thirty-six square miles. It is bounded on the north by Franklin 
Township; on the east by Jefferson; on the south by Des Moines, 
and on the west by Van Buren. Sugar Creek flows through the 
western part and Jack Creek through the eastern part, the latter 
rising near the Town of Charleston. Along the streams the land 
was originally well timbered, the central portion being chiefly prairie. 
Through this prairie now runs the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant Divi- 
sion of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, upon which 
New Boston and Charleston are stations. 

The first white settlements within the limits of Charleston Town- 
ship were made in 1834, when Thomas McGuire, William Kilgore, 
David Coon, George Moore, John Robinson, Robert Grewell, and 
perhaps one or two other families located in the Sugar Creek Valley. 
William Simmons was the first white child born in the township. 
At the time the first settlers came the half-breed tract, which includes 
the greater portion of Charleston Township, had just been placed on 
the market, under an act of Congress approved on January 30, 1834. 
It was not long, however, until litigation over titles to the land arose, 


and this retarded the settlement of all the southern portion of Lee 
County. This is the main reason doubtless why the Township oi 
Charleston was not erected and organized until some years after the 
establishment of the first civil townships in the county. 

According to the county auditor's report for the year 1913, 
Charleston Township had at that time five school districts, with an 
enrollment of 156 pupils, five teachers employed and five school- 
houses, the estimated value of which was $4,700. There were eight 
miles of railroad and about seventy-five miles of telephone line, and 
the taxable property of the township was assessed at $397,920. The 
population in 1910, as reported by the United States census, was 786. 

Jacob Hopp, Fred Heiser and Charles Klingler were the trustees 
in 1914; J. H. Vermazen, clerk; J. G. Renz, assessor; H. G. Kirchner 
and D. A. Hancock, justices of the peace, and W. C. Pickard, 


Denmark was one of the original ten townships established by the 
county commissioners in January, 1 841 , and the first election was 
ordered to be held at the house of L. L. Thurston. At that election, 
which was held on the first Monday in April, 1841, Daniel Newton 
and James N. Hamilton were chosen justices of the peace, and John 
G. Field and Thomas M. Clark, constables. These were the only 
officers elected. 

This township is situated in the northeastern part of the county and 
embraces that portion of Congressional Township 69, range 4, lying 
south of the Skunk River. It is bounded on the north by the Skunk 
River, which separates it from Des Moines County; on the east by 
the Township of Green Bay; on the south by Washington, and on 
the west by Pleasant Ridge. Its area is about twenty-four square 

Some of the earliest settlements in Lee County were made within 
the present limits of Denmark Township. As early as the spring of 
1833 John M. Forrest located on section 25, near the present Village 
of South Augusta. He was a native of Tennessee, a surveyor by 
profession, and came to Iowa with the expectation of assisting in the 
survey of the lands of the Black Hawk Purchase. In 1837 he sold 
his claim and removed to Arkansas. 

John O. Smith, who is credited with being the second settler, 
came in March, 1835. His experience in getting located and pro- 
viding shelter for his family shows the hardships to which the 


pioneers of Lee County were sometimes subjected. Mr. Smith was 
a native of North Carolina, but was living in Hancock County, 
Illinois, when the Black Hawk Purchase was opened to settlement. 
Hearing flattering reports of the country he started upon a tour of 
investigation, selected a claim about a mile east of the present Town 
of Denmark, cut logs for a cabin and then returned to Illinois for 
his family and team to haul the logs to the place he had selected for 
his dwelling. With his wife and child he set out with an ox team 
and wagon, taking what he supposed would be sufficient corn to 
feed the team while the cabin logs were being hauled, but he encoun- 
tered so many delays that the corn was all gone before they reached 
their new home on April i, 1835. As there was no feed to be had 
west of the Mississippi, Mr. Smith sent his oxen back, split rails and 
built a pen, which he covered with clapboards, and this was his first 
dwelling place in Iowa. The cracks in the pen were covered with 
quilts, blankets, etc., and in this rude shelter the family lived for 
nearly two months before a better house could be provided. Mr. 
Smith afterward became one of the prosperous and influential citi- 
zens of that part of the county and was for a time the postmaster at 

The next settlers, of which there is any authentic account, were 
Joshua Owen and Isaac Briggs, relatives of John O. Smith, who came 
some time in the summer of 1835 and settled on Lost Creek. Briggs 
soon afterward removed to Washington Township and Owen was 
the first sheriff of Lee County. 

In 1836 Timothy Fox, Curtis Shedd and Lewis Epps came with 
their families and settled where the Town of Denmark now stands. 
A little later they were joined by William Brown, of Massachusetts, 
and the four men laid off the Town of Denmark a year or two later, 
Other early settlers were Samuel Briggs, David Tibbetts, Carroll 
Payne, John Wren, Silas Gregg and Barzilla Mothershead. The 
first death was that of a man named Pedigo, who settled near the 
Skunk River, his death occurring in the fall of 1835. A son of John 
O. Smith died in August, 1837, and a funeral sermon was preached by 
Rev. Micajah Rowland, the first sermon of that nature in Denmark 


The first school was taught in 1837 by a man named Williams. 
The schoolhouse was a log cabin on the farm of David Tibbetts. At 
the close of the school year of 1913-14, the county superintendent of 
public schools reported five schoolhouses in Denmark Township, 
valued at $4,300, exclusive of the ground. There were nine teachers: 


employed at salaries ranging from forty to eighty-five dollars per 
month, and 180 pupils were enrolled in the five districts. 

Denmark is the only township in Lee County without a railroad. 
Sawyer is the most convenient railroad station for the people living in 
the western part, and Wever for those living in the eastern part. The 
township has about twenty-five miles of telephone lines and the value 
of taxables for the year 1913 was $235,717. In 1910 the population 
was 674. The officers for 19 14 were: J. P. Klopfenstein, C. E. Lewis 
and Harry Houston, trustees; Joseph A. Maxwell, clerk; T. H. Bur- 
ton, assessor; F. P. Whitmarsh, justice of the peace. 


As stated in the opening paragraph of this chapter, Des Moines 
Township was originally a part of the Township of Ambrosia, which 
was one of the original ten ordered by the board of county commis- 
sioners in January, 1841. At the first election in Ambrosia Township, 
on the first Monday in April, 1 841 , Cyrus Peck and Moses Martin 
were elected justices of the peace, and William W. Willis and 
Samuel Smith, constables. These men were still in office when, on 
August 4, 1842, the commissioners ordered that "the Township of 
Ambrosia shall hereafter be known as Des Moines." 

This township is situated in the southern part of the county and 
includes that part of Congressional Township 66, range 6, lying in 
the State of Iowa. It is bounded on the north by Charleston Town- 
ship ; on the east by Montrose ; on the south by Jackson ; on the south- 
west by the Des Moines River, which separates it from the State 
of Missouri, and on the west by the Township of Van Buren. Its 
area is about thirty-three square miles, or 21,120 acres. 

The first settlers in Des Moines Township came in 1836. Among 
them were Charles Stearns, James and William Allen, William and 
Robert Mix, John Billips, Johnson Meek and Samuel Hearn. Mary 
Billips, who was born on March 23, 1837, was the first white child 
born in the township. The first marriage was that of Robert Meek 
and Mary Ann Allen, in 1838. Samuel Hearn settled near the state 
line and established a ferry across the Des Moines River. "Hearn's 
Ferry" was a favorite place for holding meetings in early days. At 
the first election for officers of Lee County, in 1837, Mr. Hearn was 
elected one of the commissioners of highways and his residence was 
one of the voting places. John Billips and Johnson Meek were 
judges at that election. 

Des Moines Township is well supplied with transportation facili- 


ties. Along the southern border runs the Chicago, Rock Island & 
Pacific, through the villages of Vincennes and Hinsdale, while the 
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe runs from northeast to southwest 
across the northern portion, via Argyle, and crosses the Des Moines 
River not far from Hinsdale. Altogether, the township has a little 
over nine miles of railway. Telephone service extends to all parts of 
the township, there being about fifty-five miles of telephone lines. 

According to the county superintendent's report for the year end- 
ing on June 30, 19 14, there were then six school districts in Des 
Moines Township, the six schoolhouses being valued at $4,600 — a 
very low estimate. Seven teachers were employed during the pre- 
ceding school year, at salaries varying from forty to sixty dollars per 
month, and 139 pupils were enrolled in the schools. 

The value of the taxable property in 1 913 was $574,700 and the 
population in 1910 was 799. The officers of the township for 1914 
were as follows: F. J. Brodsky, L. Meister and J. W. Sunden, trus- 
tees; John Cruze, clerk; Vandale Marsh, assessor; Gust Peterson, 
justice of the peace; Frank Roush, constable. 


Franklin was one of the first ten townships, authorized by the 
board of commissioners in January, 1841, and the first election was 
ordered to be held in the Town of Franklin on the first Monday in 
the following April. At that election John Gandy and Jesse H. 
Catting were chosen justices of the peace ; James McVey and Andrew 
Sample, constables, no other officer being elected. 

The township is situated in the central part of the county, embrac- 
ing Congressional Township 68, range 6, and has an area of thirty- 
six square miles. It is bounded on the north by Marion Township; 
on the east by West Point; on the south by Charleston, and on the 
west by Harrison. The Government survey was made in 1 836-37 and 
the settlers obtained patents for their lands in 1838. Charles B. and 
Edley McVey, Alexander Cruickshank, George Perkins and Miles 
Driscoll were among the first settlers. Edley McVey and Miles 
Driscoll settled near the present Village of Dover, but subsequently 
removed to Jefferson County. In 1836 Henry and Jacob Abel, 
Germans, located claims near Franklin. 

The first schoolhouse was built on the Cruickshank farm in 1839 
and a term of school was taught in that year by a man named Turner. 
At the close of the school year in 19 14 there were five schoolhouses in 


the township, five teachers were employed and the number of pupils 
enrolled was 107. 

In 1842 the Methodists built a church at Franklin — or Franklin 
Centre, as it was then called — the first house of worship to be erected 
in the township. 

Franklin is well supplied with transportation facilities. The 
Burlington & Carrollton division of the Chicago, Burlington & 
Quincy Railroad runs east and west across the southern portion, 
through South Franklin and Donnellson. At Donnellson it is crossed 
by the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant division of the same system, which 
runs north and south. The township also has over fifty miles of 
telephone lines. 

In 1 913 the taxable property of the township was assessed at 
$535,270. The officers then were as follows: Peter Lang, Jacob 
Frueh and A. T. Cruikshank, trustees; August Fey, clerk; J. P. 
Galli, assessor; J. G. Krehbiel, justice of the peace; John Gibson, 
constable. The population in icjiowas 1,290. 


This township is the most eastern in the county. It was erected 
as one of the first ten civil townships in 1841, but the boundaries 
between Green Bay and Denmark were readjusted in January, 1843. 
On the north it is bounded by the Skunk River, which separates it 
from Des Moines County; on the east and south by the Mississippi 
River, which separates it from the State of Illinois; and on the west 
by the townships of Denmark and Washington. Its area is about 
thirty square miles, embracing all that part of Congressional town- 
ships 68 and 69, of range 3, lying in Lee County. The soil is a deep, 
black loam, very fertile, though some parts of the township are so 
low that the land has to be protected by levees. It is one of the lead- 
ing agricultural townships of the county. In the southern part is the 
body of water called Green Bay, about four miles long and one-fourth 
of a mile in width. Lost Creek flows in a southeasterly direction 
across the township and empties into this bay. 

The first white settlements in Green Bay Township were made in 
1835 by William Saucer and the Smalls. Thomas Small was elected 
one of the thirteen constables of Lee County in March, 1838. Wil- 
liam Franklin came to the township in the spring of 1837, and the 
population was soon afterward increased by the arrival of Joel 
Smith, J. C. Poole, John Haynes, William Lucas and the McCowen 
family. William Saucer was a member of the first petit jury im- 


paneled after Iowa Territory was organized in 1838. It is said that 
the name "Green Bay" was suggested by William Lucas when the 
township was created in January, 1841. 

The Burlington & St. Louis division of the Chicago, Burlington 
& Quincy Railroad runs through this township, and the stations of 
Wever and Wescott are located within its limits. There are about 
five and one-half miles of railroad track and forty miles of telephone 
lines in the township, which is divided into five school districts, in 
which 163 pupils were enrolled during the school year of 1913-14. 
According to the county auditor's report for the year ending on 
December 31, 1913, the value of the taxable property of Green Bay 
was $338,995, and the United States census for 1910 reported a popu- 
lation of 744. 

When the township was first erected in 1841, it was ordered by 
the board of county commissioners that the first election should be 
held at the house of Wesley Hughes on the first Monday in April. 
At that time James D. Gedney and John Pomeroy were elected jus- 
tices of the peace, and Enoch Morgan and Ephraim B. Hughes, con- 
stables. The officers of the township in 19 14 were: Horace E. Hyter, 
H. E. Lange and Fred Schulte, trustees; Fred O. Tucker, clerk; E. 
H. Liddle, assessor; William Sweeney, constable. 


Harrison Township, one of the original ten created in January, 
1 841, is situated in the western part of the county, and as at first 
established it included the present township of Cedar. It was named 
for Gen. William H. Harrison, who was elected President of the 
United States in 1840. It now embraces Congressional Township 68, 
range 7, and therefore has an area of thirty-six square miles. It is 
bounded on the north by Cedar Township; on the east by Franklin; 
on the south by Van Buren, and on the west by Van Buren County. 
Sugar Creek rises near Big Mound, in the northwestern part, and 
flows diagonally across the township toward the southeast. There are 
also some smaller streams. Along the watercourses the land was orig- 
inally covered with a growth of timber, but the greater portion of 
the township is composed of prairie. 

James and William Howard are credited with having been the 
first white settlers in what is now Harrison Township. They came 
there before the Government survey was made and staked out their 
claims in the Sugar Creek Valley. A little later Isaac Renfrew and 
his brother located near the Howards. Isaac Beller, Stephen Perkins 


and his son, George, and the Lorey and Schweer families were also 
early settlers. Exum S. and D. T. McCullough, the former from 
Tennessee and the latter from South Carolina, came in 1836. E. S. 
McCullough became one of the active and influential citizens of Lee 
County. He served in both branches of the State Legislature, and was 
otherwise identified with public affairs. His death occurred in 1876. 
Melinda Schweer was the first white child to be born in the town- 
ship, Joseph Lorey and Cyrus Howard being born a little later. The 
first death was that of a Mr. Stewart. 

In 1837 tne Government survey was completed in the township 
and the pioneers purchased and received patents for their lands 
between that time and 1840. The first school was taught in the 
"Howard Settlement," about 1838, but the name of the teacher 
appears to have been forgotten. In 1914 there were six school dis- 
tricts in the township, in which seven teachers were employed and 
172 pupils were enrolled. 

Across the southern portion runs the Burlington & Carrollton 
division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway System, about 
six miles of track lying within the township. Warren is the prin- 
cipal ralroad station. Harrison also has about fifty-five miles of 
telephone lines. The value of the taxable property in 1913 was 
$488,858, and in 1910 the United States census reported a population 
of 614. 

The first election in Harrison Township was held at the house 
of Jesse Johnson on the first Monday in April, 1841. Stephen H. 
Graves and Henry Dye were elected justices of the peace, and Wil- 
liam L. Graves and R. P. King, constables. Stephen H. Graves was 
elected one of the first assessors of property in Lee County, in April, 
1837, an d in March, 1838, was chosen one of the first board of county 
commissioners. The officers of the township for 1914 were as fol- 
lows: L. H. Schweer, John Bargar and Joseph Kelly, trustees; Wil- 
liam C. Smith, clerk; E. J. Warson, assessor; Joseph Carver and 
S. R. Hampton, justices of the peace, and Fred C. Winters, con- 


This township occupies the extreme southern part of the county, 
in the triangle lying between the Mississippi and Des Moines rivers. 
It is one of the ten townships erected by the board of county com- 
missioners in January, 1 841 , and includes Congressional Township 
65, range 5, except such portions as are cut off by the river boundaries, 


and a little of the eastern part of township 65, range 6. Its area is 
about thirty-eight square miles. On the north it is bounded by the 
townships of Montrose and Des Moines; on the east and southeast 
by the Mississippi River, which separates it from the State of Illi- 
nois; on the south by the Des Moines River, which separates it from 
Missouri, and on the west by the township of Des Moines. 

The first habitation built by a white man in Jackson Township 
was the log cabin erected by Dr. Samuel Muir in 1820, within the 
limits of the present City of Keokuk. Much of the early history of 
the township will be found in the chapter on the City of Keokuk, 
where the first settlers located. In the extreme northeast corner of 
the township is the little Village of Sandusky, where Lemoliese, the 
French trader, established his trading post in 1820. Owing to the 
fact that Jackson lies within the limits of the old half-breed tract, 
where titles to the lands were a subject of litigation for so many years, 
settlers were somewhat slow in coming in and forming permanent 
settlements. The first township election was held in the Town of 
Keokuk on the first Monday in April, 1841, when Alexander Kerr 
and L. B. Fleak were elected justices of the peace, and Leroy P. Gray 
and Emery Jones, constables. In 1914 the officers of the township 
(outside of the City of Keokuk) were: Henry Thieme, A. H. Lin- 
nenberger and Henry Peters, trustees; Will D. Turner, clerk; Luman 
Van Ausdall, assessor. In the city, John Leindecker and James S. 
Burrows were township justices in 1914, and Austin Hollowell and 
Henry Reichmann held the office of constable. 

The township was named for Andrew Jackson, the seventh Presi- 
dent of the United States. It is well supplied with railroads. The 
Burlington & St. Louis division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
system runs along the Mississippi River; the Keokuk & Mount 
Pleasant division of the same system runs northward from Keokuk 
through the central portion; the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific 
runs along the southern border, and Keokuk is the terminal city for 
divisions of the Wabash and the Toledo, Peoria & Western railroads. 
Altogether there are nearly seventeen miles of track in the township, 
which has over sixty miles of telephone lines, so that facilities for 
transportation and communication are unsurpassed by any township 
in the county. 

Outside of the City of Keokuk, the value of the taxable property 
in 1913 was $499,927. The nine school districts in that part of the 
township employed ten teachers and enrolled 273 pupils during the 
school year of 1913-14, and the estimated value of the schoolhouses 
was $11,000. The population in 1910, exclusive of the city, was 




Jefferson Township is one of the original ten townships erected by 
order of the county commissioners in January, 1841. As originally 
established it included the present Township of Charleston. It is 
bounded on the north by the Township of West Point; on the east by 
Madison and the Mississippi River, which separates it from Illinois; 
on the south by Montrose Township, and on the west by Charleston. 
Its area is about thirty-three square miles. 

The pioneer settler in Jefferson Township was William Skinner, 
who came to Lee County in the spring of 1834 and soon afterward 
selected a tract of land on Sugar Creek, in section 5, for which he 
afterward obtained a patent from the Government. Mr. Skinner 
was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, in 1795. In 1816 he 
married there and soon afterward removed to Cincinnati, Ohio, where 
his wife died, leaving three children. In 1830 he married Elenora 
Ferre and in the spring of 1834 came to Fort Edwards (now War- 
saw), Illinois, making the trip by steamboat down the Ohio and up 
the Mississippi. After a residence of about two weeks at Fort 
Edwards, he decided to "try his luck" in the Black Hawk Purchase. 
Securing two canoes, he lashed them together and with this homely 
craft brought his family and effects across the river at the foot of the 
rapids. His first residence in Iowa was the frame shanty that had 
been erected by Moses Stillwell on the side of the hill at Keokuk, but 
which was then unoccupied. 

About that time Lieutenant Crosman came up from St. Louis and 
began work on the buildings of Fort Des Moines, where the Town of 
Montrose is now situated. Mr. Skinner was employed to make 

Vol. 1—7 



20,000 clapboards for roofing the barracks and other buildings, for 
which he was paid $20 per thousand. After this contract was com- 
pleted he was employed to superintend the erection of the log houses 
for the military quarters, because not one of Lieutenant Crosman's 
men knew enough about "mechanics" to erect a plain log cabin. For 
this work Mr. Skinner received a salary of $60 per month in "real 
money," as he afterward expressed it. He also assisted in cutting 
grass and laying in a supply of hay for the horses of the dragoons, 
and later built a residence for Colonel Kearney, the first commandant 
of the fort. With the money received from the Government for this 
work he paid for his land. 

In December, 1834, he removed his family to his claim on Sugar 
Creek. As he had been engaged by the Government practically all 
summer and fall, he had not erected a cabin on the land selected some 
months before. The family therefore took possession of a small hut 
that had been built by Chief Black Hawk during the sugar making 
season. This hut, the walls of which were of small poles and the 
roof of bark, stood on the east bank of the creek, not far from the 
present railroad bridge. Subsequently Mr. Skinner erected a cabin 
of his own on the west side of the creek — the first habitation of 
civilized man within the present borders of Jefferson Township. 

Hugh Wilson was the second white man to establish a claim in 
the township, coming a little while after Mr. Skinner and locating in 
the Sugar Creek Valley. A man named Baker came a little later 
and in 1838 Mr. Skinner sold his first claim to Henry Applegate and 
bought Baker's place, the latter going on farther west. 

Concerning early conditions in Jefferson Township, William 
Skinner some years afterward said: "People hadn't much time for 
amusement or social intercourse. They were too busy making rails, 
building fences, cutting and hauling logs to build cabins, etc., to fool 
away their time hunting after anything that did not promise to add 
to their hopes of an easier day in the years to come. The settlers 
were always friendly and frequently visited each other, and while 
the men indulged in the discussion of such themes as interested them, 
the women knitted, talked and smoked, for in those days it was not 
considered unladylike for women to smoke. In fact, smoking was 
more commonly indulged in by the women than by the men. People 
lived plain and didn't put on any style then. They made no attempt 
at display, and when some of the young people concluded to leave 
the old folks and set up for themselves, they did not receive much of 
a 'setting out.' Brides didn't receive presents then as they do now. 
Some who had nothing but a single suit of clothes each when they 


were married settled right down to hard work and economy, and in a 
few years were well to do. Young people married for love then and 
worked to earn homes." 

Among the early couples to get married were Thomas McGuire 
and a Miss McCullough. Mr. Skinner told how he happened to 
pass McGuire's cabin soon after the young couple went to house- 
keeping and stopped for a brief visit, "just to see how they were get- 
ting along." He found McGuire and his wife seated on the puncheon 
floor before the fireplace, eating mush and milk out of an iron pot 
that stood between them. Each had an iron spoon and a tin cup, 
but were without either chairs or table. Such cases were not uncom- 
mon back in the '30s, yet the men who lived after this fashion were 
the ones who laid the foundations of Lee County's subsequent 

The first election in Jefferson Township was held at the house of 
Cyrus Peck on the first Monday in April, 1841. Arthur Hafferty 
and Gershom Dawks were elected justices of the peace, and Daniel 
Dodson and William Grimes, constables. The township officers in 
1914 were: Thomas Wilson, George Haeffner and George Smith, 
trustees; J. M. Kudebeh, clerk; Z. T. Lyon, assessor; August Burg- 
dorf, justice of the peace. 

The first school was taught in the Skinner neighborhood in 1837.- 
In 1914 the county superintendent reported seven school districts,, 
in which 1 18 pupils were enrolled during the preceding school term.. 
The seven schoolhouses were estimated by him to be worth $4,600,. 
exclusive of the grounds, and the teachers received salaries varying, 
from thirty-five to fifty-five dollars per month. 

Jefferson Township has more miles of railroad and more miles: 
of telephone lines than any other township in the county— nearly 
eighteen of the former and over seventy-five of the latter. The St. 
Louis & Burlington Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
Railway System runs north from Keokuk to Viele, where it turns east. 
At Viele it forms a junction with the Burlington & Carrollton Divi- 
sion of the same system, and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe also 
crosses the township. In 19 13 the value of the taxable property was 
$605,003, and the population in 1910 was 607. 


What is now Madison Township was originally a part of the 
Township of Washington. The records of the County Commis- 
sioners' Court for April, 1841, contain the following entry: "Ordered. 



by the board that fractional township sixty-seven (67), range four 
(4), be, and the same is hereby, set off into a separate township, for 
the purpose of carrying into effect an act entitled 'An act to provide 
for the organization of townships, 1 approved January 10, 1840; and 
it is further ordered that said township shall be known by the name 
of Madison Township. The first meeting of the electors of said 
township shall be at the Washington House, in the Town of Fort 
Madison, on the first day of May next." 

The name was adopted from Fort Madison, and indirectly for 
James Madison, who was President of the United States from 1809 to 
18 17. For some reason the election was changed from the first day 
of May to the first Monday in that month, which fell on the third. 
John A. Drake and William F. Nelson were elected justices of the 
peace, and Isaac R. Rose and John D. Williams, constables. In 
1 9 14 the justices were Joseph S. Buckler and Joseph A. Nunn, and 
the constables were C. H. Perry and William F. Kumleh. 

Madison Township is situated on the eastern border of the county. 
It is bounded on the north by Washington, from which it was taken; 
on the east and south by the Mississippi River, and on the west by the 
Township of Jefferson. Its area is about seven square miles, prac- 
tically all of which is included within the corporate limits of the City 
of Fort Madison. Much of the early history of the township is 
therefore included in the chapter relating to Fort Madison, where a 
majority of the first settlers located. Among those who settled in the 
township outside of the town were Dr. Campbell Gilmer, near the 
northwest corner; James Billiard, two miles west of the site of the old 
military post; John G. Schwartz, Michael Seyb and Harmon Ding- 
man, Germans, who came from the Fatherland in the latter '30s and 
settled at Fort Madison or in the immediate vicinity. John G. 
Kennedy and Peter Miller were also pioneers of this township, the 
former coming from Tennessee and the latter from Maryland. Peter 
Miller was the second mayor of Fort Madison after the town was 
incorporated. He likewise served as county commissioner, treasurer 
and sheriff at different times. 

In the reports of the county auditor, county superintendent and 
the United States Census Bureau, Madison Township and the City 
of Fort Madison are treated as the same jurisdiction. From the first 
of these reports it is learned that the taxable property was valued at 
$1,034,248 in 1913; that there were then about eleven miles of rail- 
road in the township, and forty-six miles of telephone lines. The 
report of the county superintendent shows forty-one teachers em- 


ployed in the public schools, 1,198 pupils enrolled, and five school 
buildings valued at $65,000. 


At the April session of the county commissioners in 1841, it was 
ordered that congressional township 69, range 6, be cut off from 
Franklin Township and erected into a separate township, to be known 
as Marion. As thus established, and as it has since remained, the 
township includes the congressional township described in the order 
and contains an area of thirty-six square miles. It is situated north- 
west of the center of the county; is bounded on the north by the 
County of Henry; on the east by Pleasant Ridge Township; on the 
south by Franklin, and on the west by Cedar. Sugar Creek and some 
of its tributaries flow in a southeasterly direction across the township, 
affording good natural drainage and water for live stock, etc. Along 
these streams the surface was originally covered with a growth of 
timber, some of which is still standing, but the most valuable trees 
have long since been cut down and manufactured into lumber. 

It is believed that the first white settler in what is now Marion 
Township was Alexander Cruickshank, who selected a tract of land in 
what afterward became the Clay Grove Settlement. He had formerly 
located in Pleasant Ridge Township, where he cleared a piece of 
ground and raised a crop of corn in 1834, and in the fall of that year 
changed his residence to Marion. His son, James Cruickshank, was 
the first white child born in the township. His birth occurred on 
May 7, 1835. 

Several settlers came into the township in 1835. Among them 
was Samuel Paschal, a native of Tennessee, but who removed to 
Illinois in 1825, and who remained a resident of the township for 
nearly half a century before his death. A man named May started 
with his family from Illinois, but died before reaching the Black 
Hawk Purchase. His widow and children came on and located in 
Marion, where one son, William M. May, became a successful 
farmer. James and Elias Overton, Solomon Jackson, Luke Alphin 
and Joseph Carmack all settled in the Clay Grove neighborhood 
before the close of the year 1836. 

In that year the government survey was made in the township by 
Captain Parks, of Michigan, who was employed as a government 
surveyor for twenty years or more, and the settlers soon afterward 
obtained their titles to the lands they had selected. Another pioneer 
was Lindsey Ware, who selected and cleared a farm in the Clay Grove 


Settlement. His daughter,- Anna, was married to Zedekiah Cleve- 
land in the winter of 1836 — the first wedding ever solemnized within 
the limits of what is now Marion Township. 

The first store was opened at Clay Grove by a man named Harlan ; 
the first school was taught by a man named Turner, in a log cabin on 
the farm of George Taylor, in the summer of 1839; the first death was 
that of Lindsey Ware's wife, in August, 1838. Her body was buried 
upon her husband's farm, but some thirty years later was removed 
to a cemetery. 

The first regular schoolhouse was built of round logs on Mr. 
Cruickshank's farm in the fall of 1839. In 1914 there were nine 
school districts in the township, but during the preceding school year 
only six teachers were employed and the enrollment was only sixty- 
three pupils, many of the children attending the parochial schools. 

At the time the township was created, in April, 1841, the com- 
missioners ordered that the first election should be held at the house 
of John Taylor on the third Wednesday of the following May. No 
returns of that election can be found. The officers for 1914 were as 
follows: John W. Raid, Isidor Link and George Hinrichs, trustees; 
George Hellman, clerk; August Peitzmeier, assessor; John Mitten- 
dorf, justice of the peace, and Joseph Fritzjunker, constable. 

Marion has about seven and a half miles of railroad; fifty-five 
miles of telephone lines, and taxable property in 1913 valued at 
$587,199. The one line of railroad is the Fort Madison & Ottumwa 
Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway System, 
which enters the township from the east near the southeast corner 
and runs northwest up the Sugar Creek Valley. The population 
in 19 10 was 746. 


This is one of the townships bordering on the Mississippi River. 
It is situated in the southern part of the county; is bounded on the 
north by the Township of Jefferson; on the east by the Mississippi 
River, which separates it from the State of Illinois; on the south by 
Jackson Township, and on the west by Des Moines Township. It 
was created by the county commissioners on July 8, 1841, by the 
division of Ambrosia Township, and includes the fractional con- 
gressional township 66, of range 4, having an area of about thirty-two 
square miles. 

Montrose enjoys the distinction of being the site of the first settle- 
ment made by a white man within the present limits of Lee County. 


In 1795 Louis Honore Tesson (sometimes written Louis Tesson 
Honore) received a grant of land one league square (nine square 
miles), at such point as he might select, on or near the Mississippi 
River and within the Province of Louisiana. The grant was issued 
by Zenon Trudeau, the lieutenant-governor of Upper Louisiana, and 
was sanctioned by Baron de Carondelet, the Spanish governor-general 
at New Orleans. By the terms of the grant Tesson was required to 
plant trees, cultivate the soil, instruct the Indians in agriculture, and 
endeavor to convert them to the Catholic faith. 

Tesson selected his claim at the head of the Des Moines Rapids 
of the Mississippi River, where the Town of Montrose now stands, 
built a house and surrounded it with a picket, planted a garden and 
set out about one hundred fruit trees — chiefly apples. He also estab- 
lished a trading post and brought his family to the new grant, where 
he lived for several years. Through his commercial operations he 
became indebted to some St. Louis parties, and on March 27, 1803, 
his property at the head of the rapids was sold at public auction to 
Joseph Robidoux, one of his creditors, for $150. Robidoux died a 
few years later and left instructions for his executor, Pierre Choteau, 
to sell all his real and personal property and divide the proceeds 
equally among his legal heirs. Pursuant to the will of Robidoux 
and his last instructions to his executor, the Tesson grant was again 
sold at auction in 1809 and was bought by Thomas F. Riddick 
for $64. 

In the meantime the Province of Louisiana had passed from 
Spain to France and had been' purchased from the latter nation by 
the United States. Under the various treaties by which these trans- 
fers were made, the Federal Government agreed to recognize the 
validity of certain land grants made by the Spanish authorities, one 
of which was the Tesson grant on the Mississippi. The question' 
came before Congress and a commission of three members was 
appointed to inquire into and report upon the character of the 
claim and the legality of the title. This commission made a report 
in favor of confirming the grant, but Frederick Bates, then recorder 
in the United States land office at Little Rock, Arkansas, declined to 
issue a settlement right to more than one square mile of the original 
one league square, his reason being that the Indian title to the lands 
had not yet been relinquished to the United States. His action was 
subsequently confirmed by the federal authorities, and on February 
7, 1839, President Van Buren issued a patent for 640 acres to the 
heirs of Thomas F. Riddick. This patent was recorded in Lee 
County on March 30, 1839. 


Concerning the old orchard planted by Tesson, it has been stated 
that the trees were carried from St. Charles, Missouri, on the back of 
a mule. When the first white settlers came to Nauvoo, Illinois, just 
across the Mississippi, they would sometimes cross the river to gather 
apples. In 1834 Lieutenant Crosman established Fort Des Moines 
upon or near the site of the Tesson Settlement. James C. Parrott, 
who was a member of Crosman's command and afterward postmaster 
at Keokuk, in speaking of the conditions at the time the fort was 
built, said: "We saw many traces of a former settlement around the 
camp, the most prominent of which was the old orchard of apple 
trees a short distance below. The orchard at that time contained 
some ten or fifteen trees in bearing condition. The fruit was very 
ordinary, being a common seedling. The Indians were in the habit 
of visiting the orchard and gathering the fruit in its green state, so 
that none of it, to my knowledge, ever came to perfection. There 
were also some sage bushes growing in the prairie to the rear of the 
camp; and there were also remains of dirt or adobe chimneys visible 
in the same locality; which goes to prove that a settlement had existed 
there at some former period." 

In 1874, through the influence of Daniel F. Miller, one of Lee 
County's leading attorneys, the Tesson "Old Orchard Block" was 
conveyed by George B. Dennison and wife to the mayor and board 
of aldermen of the Town of Montrose, to be held in trust for the Old 
Settlers' Association of Lee County as one of the historic points of the 
county, thus preserving for all time the recollections of the first white 
man's establishment in Southeastern Iowa. 

After Tesson, the next white man to locate in what is now Mont- 
rose Township was Maurice Blondeau, who established a trading 
post about half way between the present villages of Galland and 
Sandusky. He has been described as "a jolly, good Frenchman, 
weighing considerably over two hundred pounds, and a great favorite 
with the Indians." 

In 1829 Dr. Isaac Galland located about three miles below Mont- 
rose, where the Village of Galland is now situated. Here he was 
joined the following year by Samuel Brierly, William P. Smith and 
Isaac R. Campbell. In 1832 Capt. James W. White took possesssion 
of at least a part of the old Tesson grant, built a log house and planted 
a small field of corn. When Fort Des Moines was established two 
years later, the Government purchased his claim and the house was 
used as the first hospital for the post. Late in 1834 Stephen H. 
Burtis built a log house about a mile and a half below the fort. He 
was elected a member of the first board of countv commissioners in 


March, 1838. From that time the settlement of Montrose Township 
went steadily forward. The title to the lands of the Black Hawk 
Purchase had become fully vested in the United States on June 1, 
1833, and the proximity of Fort Des Moines offered protection to the 
settlers until it was abandoned in 1837. 

The first school in the township — which was also the first in Iowa 
— was taught at Galland in 1830 by Berryman Jennings, who after- 
ward went to Oregon and became a millionaire. The report of the 
county superintendent for the year ending on June 30, 1914, gives 
seven school districts, which employ eight teachers, exclusive of the 
five employed in the Town of Montrose, with an enrollment of 185 
pupils in the township and 219 in the town. 

Montrose is well supplied with facilities for transportation. 
Along the eastern border runs the Mississippi River and following 
its course is the St. Louis & Burlington Division of the Chicago, 
Burlington & Quincy Railway System, which passes through the 
Village of Galland and the Town of Montrose. Farther west is 
the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant Division of the same system, which 
passes through the Village of Mount Clara. These lines provide 
ample shipping opportunities for all parts of the township. Alto- 
gether the township has about fifteen miles of railroad and seventy 
miles of telephone lines give communication with all the surrounding 

In the order establishing Montrose Township, in July, 1841, it 
was also ordered that the first election should be held at the Town 
of Montrose, but no returns of that election are available. The 
officers of the township in 1914 were: E. B. Crane, John Orth and 
C. F. Fruehling, trustees; R. P. Allen, clerk; Allan Philip, assessor; 
A. LeFevre, justice of the peace, and William Braton and William 
Spain, constables. The value of the taxable property in 1913 was 
$447,548, not including the property in the Town of Montrose, which 
was assessed at $57,939. In 1910 the population, including the town, 
was 1,780. 


The Township of Pleasant Ridge was originally included in the 
Township of Denmark. Late in the fall of 1842 the citizens living 
in the western part of Denmark began the circulation of a petition 
for the establishment of a new civil township, and on January 4, 
1843, ^e board of county commissioners ordered: "That so much 
of Denmark Township as is included in the congressional township 


69 north, range 4 west, south of the Skunk River, shall be set off and 
established as a separate township, to be known by the name of 
Pleasant Ridge Township." 

As thus erected, the township contains all of congressional town- 
ship 69, range 4, except a small portion of sections 1 and 2 in the 
northeast corner, which is cut off by the Skunk River, leaving an area 
of about thirty-five square miles. It is bounded on the north by 
Henry County; on the east by Denmark Township; on the south by 
West Point, and on the west by Marion. The land was surveyed in 
1837 and the settlers obtained patents in the years 1838-39. Some 
coal has been mined in this township. 

One of the first settlers in this part of the county was Alexander 
Cruickshank, who "staked out" a claim about two miles from the 
Skunk River early in 1834 and raised a crop there that season. Dur- 
ing the summer he was employed for awhile in assisting to build the 
barracks at old Fort Des Moines. There he burned about six hundred 
bushels of lime — the first ever burned in Lee County — which he sold 
to the government at \2 l / 2 cents per bushel. In the fall of 1834 
Mr. Cruickshank sold his claim in Pleasant Ridge Township and 
removed to the Township of Marion. 

Other pioneers who came about the same time as Mr. Cruickshank 
were William and Thomas Clark, Edward, John and David Enslow, 
George Berry, John Burns, James Foggy, Margaret Damon and a 
family by the name of Kirkpatrick. Henry Hellman, a native of 
Germany, came with his family in 1834 and settled in Pleasant Ridge 
Township. One of his sons, Joseph Hellman, soon afterward became 
a resident of the Town of Fort Madison, where he resided for many 

George Berry was a surveyor and laid off several of the early 
towns in Lee County, among which are Charleston, Saint Paul and 
Pilot Grove. In 1837 he taught the first school in Pleasant Ridge 
Township, in Mr. Kirkpatrick's house. The first schoolhouse, a 
round log structure of the regulation frontier type, was built in 1839 
on section 16. In 1914 there were eight school districts, employing 
twelve teachers and enrolling 117 pupils. 

The first sermon was preached by Reverend Mr. Pittner, a Meth- 
odist Episcopal circuit rider, but the time and place where the meet- 
ing was held cannot be learned. The first church was erected on 
section 16, near the schoolhouse, by Methodist Episcopal denomina- 

When the township was established in 1843, it was ordered that 
the first election should be held at the house of Thomas M. Clark. 


No official returns of that election can be found, but from outside 
sources it is learned that Edward Enslow was elected one of the 
first justices of the peace. Following is a list of the township officials 
in 1914 : Joseph Goody, William Hunold and A. P. Fletcher, trus- 
tees; J. C. Foggy, clerk; W. J. Niemeyer, assessor; E. A. Snook, 
justice of the peace. 

Pleasant Ridge has but about two miles of railroad, the Fort 
Madison & Ottumwa division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
System crossing the southwest corner, but there is no station in the 
township. There were about fifty miles of telephone lines in 1913, 
when the property of the township was assessed for taxation at 
$458,414. The population in 1910 was 588. 


Van Buren is the most southwestern township of the county and 
is one of the original ten established in January, 1841. It was named 
in honor of Martin Van Buren, who was at that time President of the 
United States. As at first created it included the western half of 
the present Township of Charleston. Since that township was cut 
off in 1844, the boundaries of Van Buren have been as follows: On 
the north by Harrison Township; on the east by Charleston and 
Des Moines; on the south and southwest by the Des Moines River, 
which separates it from the State of Missouri, and on the west by 
the County of Van Buren. Its area is about thirty-three square miles. 

Some authorities give John Tollman the credit of being the first 
settler. Early in the '30s, after a short residence on the Mississippi, 
a few miles below Montrose, he built a cabin on the Des Moines 
River, but, from some descriptions, this location is probably in Des 
Moines Township. Among the early settlers, about whom there can 
be no dispute, were Lewis D. Kent, Abraham Hinkle and Lewis 
Crow, all of whom were living within the limits of the present town- 
ship in 1836. 

Authorities also differ as to who was the first white child born in 
the township, some claiming that distinction for Eliza Jane Hinkle, 
a granddaughter of Abraham Hinkle, and others state that the first 
birth was that of Lucinda Kent. Both children were born in the 
year 1836. 

Israel Cameron joined the little colony in 1837 an ^ in 1840 he 
taught the first school, using his door-yard for a schoolroom. He 
had fifteen pupils in attendance most of the time, but on rainy days 
the children received a holiday. In 1913-14 the seven school districts 


employed nine teachers, and the number of pupils enrolled was 125. 
David Galland came at the same time as Mr. Cameron and was one 
of the early justices of the peace. 

Being situated in the half-breed tract, the settlement of the town- 
ship was slow, owing to the litigation over land titles, and when it 
was created in 1841 there were probably not more than a score of 
families living within its borders. After the title question was ad- 
justed by the courts, the settlement of the southern part of the county 
was more rapid, and in 1910 the population of Van Buren compared 
favorably with the other townships of the county, being then 613. 

The only railroad in the township is the Chicago, Rock Island & 
Pacific, which follows the course of the Des Moines River — about 
nine miles of track lying within the township. The people living in 
the northern part are within easy access of the Burlington & Carroll- 
ton division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy System, which 
runs through the southern part of Franklin Township. There were 
in 19 1 3 over fifty miles of telephone lines in Van Buren, and the 
taxable property in that year was valued at $284,206 — less than 
one-third of its actual value. 

When the township was established it was ordered by the board 
of commissioners that the first election should be held at the house 
of Abraham Hinkle on the first Monday in April, 1841. At that 
election John Milliken and John Arrison were chosen justices of the 
peace; John Richards and John Cuppin, constables. In 1914 the 
officers of the township were : G. W. Warson, S. W. Wells and W. H. 
Butlin, trustees; T. C. Pollard, clerk; William Shepherd and Robert 
Anthony, justices of the peace; Winfield Scott and A. F. Thews, 
constables; G. W. Ware, assessor. 


It would require considerable research to ascertain just how many 
civil townships, or other political subdivisions, there are in the coun- 
try that bear the name of George Washington, the first President 
of the United States and the "Father of his Country." Washington 
Township in Lee County is one of the ten established in January, 
1841, and as originally created it included the present Township of 
Madison. Since April, 1841, the boundaries of Washington Town- 
ship have been as follows: On the north by Denmark Township; on 
the east by Green Bay; on the south by the Mississippi River and the 
Township of Madison, and on the west by West Point Township. It 
includes the congressional township 68, range 4, except a small tract 


in sections 35 and 36, which is cut off by the Mississippi, and has an 
area of nearly thirty-six square miles. 

John Box, who came to the Black Hawk Purchase in 1833 anc ^ 
located in what is now Washington Township, is credited with being 
the first white settler in that part of the county. In 1834 ne was 
joined by Ebenezer Ayres, Joseph White, Samuel Ross, Benjamin 
Box, James Smith, John Gregg, John Small, the Herring family, and 
a Mrs. Palmer, with her two sons — Devore and Lycurgus. 

In April, 1835, Peter P. Jones, a native of New York, and 
William M. Davis, of Ohio, located lands in the township. D. F. 
Box, who was born in March, 1835, was the first white child born in 
the township, where he resided for many years. In October, 1836, 
John Sawyer came from Massachusetts and settled near the present 
railroad station of that name. 

By order of the county commissioners in January, 1841, the first 
election for township officers in Washington was held at the school- 
house on section 16, on the first Monday in April, 1841. At that time 
Samuel Ross and David Wilson were elected justices of the peace, 
and Charles Field and William C. Paine, constables. In 1914 Her- 
man Vogt, S. F. Hughes and Gus J. Miller were the trustees; Alex- 
ander Foggy, clerk; William Mansheim, assessor; S. F. Hayes, justice 
of the peace, and S. F. Ritter, constable. 

The schoolhouse on section 16, mentioned above, was the first 
schoolhouse built in the township, but the name of the first teacher 
seems to have been forgotten. In 1914 the county superintendent 
reported nine school districts, with an enrollment of 120 pupils. 

Washington has a little over seven miles of railroad, the Fort 
Madison & Ottumwa division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
System crossing the southern boundary near the center and running 
in a northwesterly direction until it enters West Point Township. 
Benbow and Summit Sidings and Sawyer are the stations in Wash- 
ington. The township had about seventy-five miles of telephone 
lines in 1913, and the taxable property was then valued at $488,856. 
In 1910 the population was 910. 


This is one of the best agricultural townships in the county. It 
was established in January, 1841, and was made to include congres- 
sional township 68, range 5, giving it an area of thirty-six square miles. 
It is bounded on the north by the Township of Pleasant Ridge; on 


the east by Washington; on the south by Jefferson, and on the west 
by Franklin. Sugar Creek flows through the southwestern part. 

So far as can be learned from authentic sources, a young man 
named Whitaker was the first white man to locate a claim in what 
is now West Point Township. In 1834 he selected a tract of land in 
section 5, though the survey had not then been made, and later sold 
out to John L. Cotton and John Howell. This tract is now the site 
of the Town of West Point, an account of which will be found in 
Chapter X. 

In 1835 there were several new arrivals. Among them were two 
brothers, William and Isham Burton, who came from Indiana and 
settled in the northwestern part. They made the bricks with which 
the old Presbyterian Church at West Point was built. In April, 
1835, Lewis Pitman came from Kentucky and settled on the creek 
which still bears his name, where he lived until his death in 1862. 
About the same time Zedekiah Cleveland, a New Yorker, located 
near the western boundary of the township and the following year 
married Anna Ware, whose father lived in what is now Marion 
Township. Some time in this year William Hunter opened a black- 
smith shop at West Point — the first disciple of Tubal Cain in that 
part of the county. 

During the year 1836 the population was increased by the arrival 
of William Patterson, Green and John A. Casey, R. P. Creel, Haw- 
kins Taylor and a few others. Patterson was a Virginian; the Caseys 
came from Illinois, and Creel was a Kentuckian. Both Patterson 
and Creel afterward removed to Keokuk. Casey, after locating a 
claim, returned to Illinois and remained there over winter. In 1837 
he again came to West Point and made preparations for bringing his 
family the following season, but soon after returning to Illinois a 
second time he died. In May, 1838, his widow came to the claim her 
husband had located, bringing with her two sons — John A. and Joseph 
M. The latter was at that time about eleven years of age. He after- 
ward became one of the prominent attorneys of Southeastern Iowa 
and served with distinction as judge of the District Court. 

Pursuant to the order of the board of commissioners at the time 
the township was created, the first election was held in the Village 
of West Point on the first Monday in April, 1841. William Alex- 
ander and Peleg H. Babcock were elected justices of the peace, and 
John H. Rickey and John McDonald, constables. The officials of 
the township in 1914 were as follows: John Rueter, J. G. Honadel 
and Theodore Vonderhaar, trustees; Herman Lohman, clerk; Henry 


Harnagel, assessor; John Kempker and Herman Brinck, justices of 
the peace; Joseph H. Fedler, constable. 

Peleg H. Babcock, who was one of the first justices of the peace, 
came to Lee County in the winter of 1837-38, having been married 
but a short time before. After a short sojourn in Fort Madison, he 
removed to a claim north of West Point, but two years later became 
a resident of that village. He served as clerk of the territorial council 
of Iowa and as a member of the Legislature. In 1844 he removed 
to Fort Madison and four years later was elected clerk of the Dis- 
trict Court. In 1859 ne was appointed inspector of the penitentiary 
at Fort Madison, a position he held for several years. He was a 
prominent Odd Fellow and when he died members of that order 
came from all parts of the state to attend his funeral. 

The people of West Point Township have always believed in 
education. Subscription schools were taught there as soon as enough 
settlers had located to make it profitable to a teacher, and in 1839 an 
academy was incorporated. Its history will be found in the chapter 
on Educational Development. In 1914 there were six school districts, 
in which seven teachers were employed, and the number of pupils 
enumerated was 291. 

West Point has about five miles of railroad, of the Chicago, 
Burlington & Quincy System, and there are over thirty-five miles of 
telephone lines in the township. In 1913 the value of taxable prop- 
erty was $371,819, and in 1910 the population was 1,342, which 
includes the incorporated Town of West Point. 









. ■-;'S'fe :? i ; ;; 














The City of Fort Madison, one of the seats of justice of Lee 
County, is pleasantly situated on the west bank of the Mississippi 
River, about twenty-five miles above the mouth of the Des Moines, 
on the site of the old fort erected early in the nineteenth century by 
the United States, from which the city takes its name. 

For many years the early history of the old military post was 
veiled in uncertainty and various statements have been made as to 
the time when and by whom it was established. No less an authority 
than Gardner's Dictionary of the United States Army states that 
"Fort Madison was erected by Lieutenant Pike in 1805, a few miles 
above St. Louis." The same authority also states that the fort was 
"evacuated and rebuilt in 1813.'' Rufus Blanchard, in his Discovery 
and Conquest of the Northwest, published in 1880, says: "The 
United States built Fort Madison in 1804, on tne west bank of the 
Mississippi, opposite the Des Moines Rapids." Appleton's Ameri- 
can Cyclopedia, under the title Fort Madison, says the town "derives 
its name from a fort erected in 1808, and named in honor of James 
Madison." The article on Fort Madison in Johnson's Cyclopedia 
is signed by the editor of the Fort Madison Plain Dealer and says 
the town occupies "the site of a fort built in 1808 and captured by 
the Indians in 1818." Old gazetteers describe Fort Madison as "A 
United States Military Post, on the west bank of the Mississippi 
River, about twelve miles above the Des Moines Rapids; the site 
of the present Town of Fort Madison, in Lee County, Iowa. Lati- 
tude, 40 36'; longitude, 14 15", W. Washington." 

Vol. I— s 



From these statements the reader can see that early writers on 
the subject were widely at variance, both as to the exact location of 
the fort and the time when it was erected, as well as the name of the 
officer under whose direction it was built. It appears that one or 
another of these errors has been perpetuated in later historical pub- 
lications, owing to the authority consulted, and some have maintained 
that the old fort was built by Zachary Taylor, while he was a lieu- 
tenant in the regular army. In July, 1897, an article prepared at the 
War Department in Washington was published in the Annals of 
Iowa, and purports to give the official history of the old fort. 

In order to understand how some of the errors above mentioned 
crept into the history of Fort Madison, it will be necessary to notice 
briefly some of the events that preceded and led up to its establish- 
ment. On March 9, 1804, the territory of Upper Louisiana was sur- 
rendered to the United States by France, under the treaty of April 
30, 1803. The territory thus surrendered embraced the present 
states of Missouri and Iowa, and all the unexplored region north and 
west of those states included in the Louisiana Purchase. By an act 
of Congress, approved March 26, 1804, its name was changed to the 
"District of Louisiana," which was attached to the Territory of 
Indiana for all political purposes. In November of that year Gen. 
William H. Harrison concluded a treaty with the five leading chiefs 
of the Sac and Fox Indians, in which the United States agreed to 
protect these Indians in the possession of their lands west of the 
Mississippi. The date of this treaty no doubt led Blanchard to make 
the statement that the fort was erected in that vear. 

The next year (1805) Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike was sent up the 
Mississippi on an* exploring expedition, with instructions to select 
a site for a military post "somewhere between St. Louis and Prairie 
des Chiens, and to obtain the consent of the Indians for its erection." 
In his journal, Pike says: "I have chosen three places for military 
establishments; the first on a hill about forty miles above the river, 
de Moyen Rapids on the west side of the river in about 41° 2' north 
latitude. The channel of the river runs on that shore; the hill is 
about sixty feet perpendicular, nearly level on the top." 

The war department article above referred to says: "There is 
ample evidence to show conclusively that this was the site on which 
Fort Madison was erected." The "ample evidence" is not given in 
the article, and some who have investigated the matter are inclined 
to the opinion that the site referred to in Pike's journal is where the 
City of Burlington now stands. There are good grounds for this 
belief, as the distance from the mouth of the Des Moines River men- 


tioned by Pike corresponds more nearly to the location of Burlington 
than that of Fort Madison. The hill and the current as described by 
Pike also apply to Burlington, and the longitude, which was merely 
estimated by the explorer, likewise fits Burlington better, the forty- 
first parallel running about ten miles north of that city. However 
that may be, the selection of the site by Pike is doubtless responsible 
for Gardner's error in stating that the fort was built by him in 1805. 
The following report of Lieut. Alpha Kingsley to Gen. Henry 
Dearborn, then secretary of war, gives the correct history of the 
location and establishment of Fort Madison: 

"Garrison at Belle Vue, Near River Le Moyne, 

"22 November, 1808. 

"Sir: — Having received orders at Belle Fontaine, to move up the 
Mississippi River as far as the River Le Moine, with Captain Pinck- 
ney's Company under my command, and fix on a suitable situation 
for a fort, as nigh that place as possible — not finding any place nearer 
to that designation than this — I have accordingly fixed on it, which 
is about twenty-five miles above Le Moine. The season being so 
far advanced when I arrived here (26th September) that it was 
impossible to put up such buildings as were necessary to answer the 
object in view, I therefore thought it expedient to erect temporary 
houses for the winter. Having set a good picket around my camp, 
with bastions at right angles, I then commenced upon the factory, 
and other store houses, barracks, etc., all of which are small and 
done in a rough way, but will answer the purpose, they being nearly 
completed. I shall, by the first of next month, commence on build- 
ing a small fort with three block houses, of hewed timber, so dis- 
posed as to have full command of each angle of the fort — a plan 
which I humbly submit. Having plenty of timber convenient, and 
that of the best quality, I am fully of the opinion that by June next 
I will have the fort ready for the reception of the troops. The 
expense of this work to the United States will be but a trifle, when 
put in completion (comparison) with the good effect that will result 
to the Government. 

"This situation is high, commands an extensive view of the river 
and adjacent country — also an excellent spring of water — and I 
believe there is no place on the river which will prove more healthy, 
and none more advantageous to the Indian trade. I shall prosecute 
the work of the fort with all possible expedition, and hope by spring 
to have it so far advanced that it will bid defiance to the evil-minded 
savage, and at the same time insure the respect and friendship of the 


better disposed. With these sentiments at heart, having the public 
good in view, at the same time wishing to comply with my orders, 
which, though not pointed, leave me latitude, for which I have above 
premised, and fully expecting your approbation, I shall proceed to 
complete the work. 

"I am with high consideration, sir, your very obedient servant, 

"Alpha Kingsley, Lt., 

"istU. S. Regt. Inft." 

Subsequent reports and correspondence of Lieutenant Kingsley 
show that during the winter the little garrison was occupied in the 
preparation of white oak logs, from twelve to eighteen inches in 
diameter, cut to a uniform length of fourteen feet, hewed on both 
sides and freed from bark. Early in the spring of 1809, as soon as 
the weather would permit, these logs were conveyed to the site of 
the fort and the work of erecting the block-houses was commenced. 
About this time Lieutenant Kingsley learned that the Indians were 
preparing to raid the frontier settlements and that the first blow 
would probably be struck at the garrison. Under date of April 19, 
1809, he wrote to the war department as follows: 

"Upon receiving this information I made every possible exertion 
to erecfblock-houses and plant my pickets; this we did in two weeks 
(lying on our arms during the night), and took quarters in the new 
fort on the 14th inst. Being tolerably secure against an attack, we 
have been able to get a little rest, and are now making preparations 
for the safety and defense of this establishment." 

This letter was dated from "Fort Madison, near River Le Moin," 
and is the first official evidence of the application of that name to 
the new post. James Madison had just been inaugurated President 
of the United States on March 4, 1809, and the name was unquestion- 
ably adopted in his honor. The correspondence of the founder of the 
fort therefore shows that the site was selected by him in the fall of 
1808; that temporary quarters were established there for the winter, 
and that the fort bearing the name of "Madison" was first occupied 
on April 14, 1809. 

The plan of the fort submitted by Kingsley on November 22, 
1808, showed the factory building, or trading house, inside the stock- 
ade, but in his letter of April 19, 1809, he says: "The recent con- 
duct of the Indians has evinced to my mind that the thing is improper 
(except the warehouses), and, unless I receive contrary orders, shall 
build the retail store outside, say 100 yards distant." 


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This plan was followed and in May, 1809, he wrote: "As the 
commanding officer of this post, it would be pleasant to know how 
far I am to comply with the requisitions of the factory, inasmuch as, 
if the soldiery are drawn for the use of the factory in such numbers 
as to answer the expectations of the factor, it will be impossible 
to complete the fort this season." 

In response to this letter of inquiry he was informed that the 
soldiers were to build the factory, "receiving extra pay therefor at 
the rate of ten cents per day and one gill of whiskey for each man, 
to be paid by the factory department." 

About this time Capt. Horatio Stark, of the First Infantry, then 
on duty at regimental headquarters, near Fort Adams, Mississippi, 
was ordered to proceed "with one corporal and seven privates, via 
St. Louis, to join and assume command of Captain Pinckney's com- 
pany." He arrived at Fort Madison on August 24, 1809, and relieved 
Lieutenant Kingsley in the command of the fort. From statistical 
reports relating to the troops in the District of Louisiana on Septem- 
ber 1, 1809, ^ ' s learned that the garrison at Fort Madison then 
consisted of First Lieut. Alpha Kingsley, Second Lieut. Nathaniel 
Pryor, one surgeon's mate, three sergeants, three corporals, two musi- 
cians and sixty privates of Captain Pinckney's company; Capt. Hora- 
tio Stark, one sergeant and eight privates of his company, making a 
total of eighty-one, exclusive of the seven persons connected with the 
factory department, who were subject to garrison duty in case of 

The Indians regarded the building of Fort Madison in their coun- 
try as a violation of the treaty of 1804, and soon after it was completed 
an attempt was made to destroy it, but it was unsuccessful. No 
official report of this event is on file in the archives of the war depart- 
ment and the real facts cannot be learned. During the winter of 
1811-12 and the summer following great anxiety prevailed regarding 
the designs of the Indians, whose attitude became constantly more 
threatening, making constant watchfulness on the part of the garrison 
a necessity. Small parties of whites were attacked and killed near 
the fort, but no attack upon the fort itself was made. Lieut.-Col. 
Daniel Bissell, commanding the troops in the District of Louisiana, 
wrote to the war department that Captain Stark had been directed to 
put Fort Madison in the best possible state of defense, and expressed 
his belief that, "if vigilance is used, there can be no danger of his not 
being able to defend the place against any number of Indians that 
may be brought against him." 


Notwithstanding this expression of confidence in Captain Stark's 
ability to hold the fort. Colonel Bissell, soon after writing the letter, 
sent Lieut. Barony Vasquez with twelve m,en to Fort Madison, "to 
assist the commanding officer of that post to put his work in the best 
possible state of defense." Shortly after the arrival of this reinforce- 
ment, Captain Stark took a small detachment and descended the river 
on special service, leaving the post under the command of Lieut. 
Thomas Hamilton. 

General Harrison's victory in the Battle of Tippecanoe, Novem- 
ber 7, 1 8 1 1 , broke the backbone of the Tecumseh conspiracy and 
drove the Winnebagoes from the Wabash Valley. This incident had 
the effect of inciting that tribe to adopt measures of retaliation and 
war parties were started in every direction, one of which was directed 
against Fort Madison. The wily Sac chief, Black Hawk, who had 
never been satisfied with the treaty of 1804 and the erection of Fort 
Madison in the Indian country, joined this Winnebago war party 
with several of his band and was active in the assault upon the fort 
on September 5, 1812. No official report of this attack has been 
found, but Niles' Register of October 31, 1812, gives the following 
account of the event, which was furnished for publication by one 
who was in the fort at the time: 

"On the 5th inst. at half past 5 P. M. this garrison was attacked 
by a party of the Winnebagoes, the number not precisely known, but 
supposed to be upwards of two hundred. Fortunately there was only 
one soldier out of the garrison (John Cox) who fell a victim to the 
scalping knife. A constant firing on both sides was kept up until 
dark; early next morning they commenced again, and about 7 o'clock 
they set fire to a Mr. Graham's boat and loading, this man having 
arrived on the 4th; they also burnt two boats belonging to the public; 
soon after they began to throw fire on the block-houses that stood 
near the bank of the river, but not sufficiently near to command the 
space between them and the river ; syringes being made of gun barrels, 
the roofs were wet so as to prevent fire taking. During this time part 
of them killed the live stock, plundered and burnt Mr. Julian's 
houses, destroying the corn; and on the 7th they continued throwing 
fire on the block-houses and shot arrows in the roofs with matches 
tied to them. 

"The morning being calm, all their attempts to fire the block- 
houses proved useless. In the evening they burnt Mr. McNabb's 
house and attempted the smith shop, and it was generally believed 
they were only waiting for a favorable wind to burn the factory, so 
that it might catch the garrison, which would have been the certain 


means of destroying us all; to prevent that, as the evening was very 
calm, the commanding officer, Thomas Hamilton, despatched a 
soldier with fire to the factory, and in less than three hours that 
building was consumed without any danger to the garrison. During 
the day several Indians crept into an old stable and commenced shoot- 
ing out of it, but a shot from the cannon by Lieut. Barony Vasquez 
soon made their yellow jackets fly. 

"On the 8th we heard but little from them; several canoes were 
seen crossing the river, and on the 9th not an Indian was to be seen, 
nor was a gun fired. I am happy to say no lives were lost in the 
fort, one man was slightly wounded in the nose. The Indians must 
have had many killed, as several of them were seen to fall." 

This report has been quoted at length to show the conditions about 
Fort Madison at the time of the attack. From it the reader may see 
that there were a few houses about the fort — McNabb's and Julian's 
being burned — besides the factory building and smith shop. The 
loss of the factory department was considerable, as shown by a letter 
from the factor, John W. Johnson, to General Mason, superintendent 
of the Indian trade, under date of September 15, 1812, in which he 
tabulates the losses as follows: 

Sixty packs of peltries at $30 $1,800 

One hundred and twenty bear skins 120 

Other articles lost in the fire 250 

Value of buildings destroyed 3>3°o 

Total $5,500 

On the recommendation of Gen. Benjamin Howard, governor of 
the Missouri Territory, the war department wrote to Colonel Bissell 
on October 1, 1812, to withdraw the troops from Fort Madison and 
other points, with all army stores, provided Governor Howard should 
still advise such action. In his reply Colonel Bissell recommended 
that the posts be maintained until the following spring. Thus mat- 
ters stood until April 4, 1813, when Governor Howard wrote to 
Bissell, regarding the evacuation of the fort, as follows: "Had my 
opinion been taken before we were in hostility with the Indians, it 
certainly would have been in favor of its evacuation, but from a 
variety of considerations arising from existing circumstances, I deem 
the abandonment of it inadvisable. Were it to take place at this 
time the measure could be employed with great dexterity among the 
Indians by the British agents, as evidence of our inability to maintain 


it, and would embolden those who are now hostile, and probably 
decide the wavering to take part against us. * * 

"The number of men now there and destined for the place, stated 
in your letter, is, in my opinion, entirely equal to its defense against 
any assault by Indians alone, if well supplied; but if a British force 
with artillery should cooperate, I fear it would be insufficient, unless 
the garrison is strengthened in a way not usual, nor necessary to repel 
attacks made by Indians." 

At that time the garrison consisted of about one hundred men of 
the First and Twenty-fourth Infantry, with Lieut. Thomas Hamilton 
in command. Acting upon the recommendations of Governor How- 
ard, it was decided to maintain the fort until a more favorable 
opportunity for its abandonment presented itself. Twice during the 
month of July, 1813, the post was attacked by Indians, but in such 
small parties that they were easily repulsed. On July 18, 1813, two 
days after the second attack, Lieutenant Hamilton wrote to Colonel 
Bissell, giving an account of the assault and begging for certain 
supplies, if he should be expected to hold the fort. He closed his 
letter by saying: "I must repeat that I do expect to hear from you 
within one month, and when I do, I wish most cordially that it may 
be for the evacuation or removal of this garrison. If I do not hear 
from you by the 20th of August and the Indians continue to harass 
me in the manner they appear determined to do, I do not know but I 
shall take the responsibility on myself, that is, if they will permit me 
to go away. It is impossible for us to do duty long in the manner 
that I have adopted." 

This was the last official communication ever written from Fort 
Madison. The Indians, urged on by British agents, foremost among 
whom was the notorious Dixon, became daily more threatening and 
late in August began a regular siege. Reduced to the greatest 
extremity for want of ammunition and provisions, and seeing no dis- 
position on the part of the authorities to relieve the situation, Lieu- 
tenant Hamilton decided to abandon the post and accept the conse- 
quences. By working under cover of night, a trench was dug from 
the southeast block-house to the river, where the boats belonging to 
the garrison lay. On the night of September 3, 1813, the garrison, 
moving noiselessly along this trench on their hands and knees and 
carrying the little remaining stock of provisions, their arms and a few 
valuables, gained the boats. They were fortunate enough to capture 
a large dugout belonging to the Indians. When all was in readiness, 
the torch was applied, the boats shot out upon the broad bosom of the 
Mississippi, and, although the Indians were encamped within easy 


gunshot of the fort, the movements of Hamilton and his men had been 
conducted with such secrecy that they were gone and the fort was 
inflames before the savages discovered what had taken place. Thus 
ended the history of Fort Madison as a military post — the first ever 
erected by order of the Government in what is now the State of 

For many years after the destruction of the fort, one of the stone 
chimneys remained standing and the place became known to traders, 
trappers and travelers on the Mississippi as the "Lone Chimney." 
The Indians gave the site of the fort the name "Po-to-wo-nok," 
signifying the place of fire. One of the streets in the present City 
of Fort Madison is called Potowonok. The old fort stood near the 
southwest corner of the square bounded by Front, Second, Oak and 
Broadway streets. At the foot of Broadway, Jean Espy Chapter, 
Daughters of the American Revolution, erected a monument in the 
form of a chimney, called the "Lone Chimney Monument," to mark 
the site. It was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies on October 28, 
1908, approximately a century after the fort was established by Lieu- 
tenant Kingsley. Where the fireplace would be in a real chimney 
is a tablet bearing the inscription: 

"Erected 1908 


Jean Espy Chapter 

Daughters of the American Revolution 

on site of 

Old Fort Madison 

Built 1808 

Evacuated and Burned 

by Garrison 1813." 

For nineteen years after the abandonment of Fort Madison, the 
beautiful valley where it stood remained unoccupied by civilized 
man. In 1832 Peter Williams, whom Isaac R. Campbell describes 
as "a botanical mullein leaf doctor," built a log cabin on the bank 
of the Mississippi, four or five hundred yards below the ground once 
occupied by the fort. The region had not yet been opened to settle- 
ment and a detail of soldiers was sent down from Fort Armstrong 
(now Rock Island, Illinois) to remove the trespasser. Williams r 
cabin was torn down, the logs were thrown into the river, and he was 
taken to Nauvoo as a prisoner. There some of his friends interceded 


for him and he was released, probably with the injunction: "Go 
and sin no more." 

The same year that Peter Williams was dispossessed, Gen. John 
H. Knapp, while on his way up the Mississippi River to Fort Snell- 
ing, learned from the steamboat captain that the site of Fort Madison 
was claimed by Augustus Horton, who lived on an island a few miles 
down the river. Knapp bought Horton's claim, took possession, and 
built a log cabin near the foot of Broadway, where he established an 
Indian supply store. After a short time he sold his stock of goods 
to Judge Cutler and spent the winter at a hotel kept by his cousin, 
Nathaniel Knapp, at Quincy, Illinois. 

General Knapp is credited by some authorities with being the 
first white man to effect a permanent establishment at Fort Madison. 
He was born at Goshen, New York, May 30, 179 1, and in his boyhood 
was apprenticed to a saddler. In the fall of 1814 he was a lieutenant 
for about three months in Captain TuthilTs company of New York 
militia and subsequently was commissioned brigadier-general of state 
militia. For some time he was engaged in coal and iron mining in 
the Tioga Field. In 1830 he made a trip via Buffalo and the Missis- 
sippi River to New Orleans, and it was while returning east that he 
decided to locate at Fort Madison. In the spring of 1833, accom- 
panied by his cousin Nathaniel, he returned to his claim. 

When the United States, in June, 1833, acquired full title to the 
lands of the Black Hawk Purchase, Peter Williams returned and 
reoccupied his claim, erecting his cabin on the bank of the river, 
between the present Chestnut and W^alnut streets. After a brief 
residence there he removed to the Des Moines River, where he died 
in 1835. 

Some time in 1833 Richard Chaney, who had previously located 
on the creek bearing his name opposite Keokuk, attracted by the 
settlement at Fort Madison, came up the river and made a claim on 
the upper part of the town site. He built his cabin near the mouth 
of the creek that empties into the Mississippi not far from the peni- 
tentiary. His claim included the old field that had been cultivated 
by the soldiers of the garrison twenty years before. Other early 
settlers were Aaron White and Zachariah Hawkins. 

In 1835 John H. Knapp built a hewed log house on the exact site 
of the old fort, one of the old chimneys of which he utilized for his 
residence, cleaned out the old well that had been used by the garrison, 
erected a new store building and sent for his family. On October 
9, 1835, his wife, Harriet, twosons, John H., Jr., and Jonas S., and a 



daughter, Elizabeth, arrived. They were accompanied by a married 
daughter, Mrs. Joseph S. Douglass, her husband and two children. 

In June, 1835, John H. and Nathaniel Knapp employed Adolphus 
Allen to survey and lay out a town, the eastern limit of which is the 
present Oriental Street, and the western boundary was a short distance 
above Pine street. The boundaries, as given by Mr. Allen in his 
report, were as follows: "Commencing at low-water mark on the 
Mississippi River, due south of a red or Spanish oak tree standing 
on the bank of the river and running due north one-half mile; thence 
due east 1 12 rods, or thereabout; thence due south to low-water mark 
on said river; thence westerly, following the meandering of said river, 
by the said low-water mark, to the place of beginning." 

Between Front Street and the river were several fractional lots, 
on. one of which stood the store first built by General Knapp and 
sold to Judge Jacob Cutler. Not long after the Knapps had their 
town surveyed by Mr. Allen, Dr. John Cutler, a son of the judge, 
James D. Shaw and a Doctor Ferris bought the claim of Peter 
Williams and laid it out in lots, their plat adjoining that of the 
Knapps on the west. 

During the year 1836 there was a material increase in the popula- 
tion of the new town and a number of new buildings were erected. 
In this year General Knapp built a large frame house on the site of 
the old fort and opened it as a hotel under the name of the "Madison 
House." It had accommodations for about fifty guests and also had 
a large assembly room for conventions, etc. Nathaniel Knapp also 
built a frame hotel known as the "Washington House." Both these 
hotels did a prosperous business, as at that time there was a heavy 
tide of emigration westward and sometimes as many as one hundred 
wagons would be lined up On the Illinois side of the river, waiting 
to be ferried over. 

Among the patrons of General Knapp's store was Chief Black 
Hawk, whose son, Nes-se-as-suk, was about the age of John and 
Jonas Knapp. The three boys became playmates and the old chief 
would frequently gather them about him in front of the store and 
tell them stories of his hunting expeditions and his experiences in 
war. The Indians were generally good customers and rarely failed 
to pay their debts, though Black Hawk left an unpaid bill of some 
ten or twelve dollars at Judge Cutler's store. 

About the time the Madison House was built the First United 
States Dragoons constituted the garrison at Fort Des Moines, where 
Montrose now stands. Among the officers were James C. Parrott, 
afterward colonel of the Seventh Iowa Infantry in the Civil war, and 


Robert E. Lee, who became commander of the Confederate armies 
in that great internecine struggle. The officers of the dragoons made 
frequent visits to Fort Madison and were entertained by General 
Knapp at the Madison House. On the evening of January 2, 1837, 
General Knapp attended a reception and ball at the hotel. During 
the evening he contracted a slight cold, which developed into quinsy 
and he died two days later. His body was the first to be buried in 
the Fort Madison Cemetery. After his death the hotel was conducted 
for some time by his son-in-law, Joseph S. Douglass, when he died of 
typhoid fever. Mrs. Knapp then leased the building to Lorenzo 
Bullard, who remained in charge until 1845, when he removed to 

The death of Nathaniel Knapp was more tragic. On July 13, 
1837, accompanied by a friend named Doyle, he went to Bentonsporl, 
in Van Buren County on some business connected with the court. 
Upon their arrival they registered at a hotel and engaged lodging, 
after which they went out in town. Later in the evening, another 
guest— Isaac Hendershott, of Burlington — arrived at the hotel and 
the landlord, assuming that Knapp and Doyle were out to "make a 
night of it," and the rooms all being taken, assigned Hendershott to 
the room engaged by the two Fort Madison men. Toward midnight 
Knapp and Doyle came in, took up a lighted candle and proceeded 
to their room to find the bed occupied. Knapp somewhat indignantly 
demanded to know what the occupant was doing in that bed, and, 
according to Hendershott's statement afterward, made a gesture as 
if to draw a weapon of some kind. Hendershott sprung from the bed, 
unsheathed a sword from the cane he carried and stabbed Knapp 
near the heart. The wounded man exclaimed, "Doyle, I'm a dead 
man," and sank to the floor, still holding the candle in his hand. He 
lived but a few minutes and in the excitement which followed Hen- 
dershott made his escape. The following spring a steamboat stopped 
at Fort Madison and some one recognized Hendershott as one of 
the passengers. The news spread rapidly and in a short time an 
infuriated crowd headed by Thomas Fulton, a relative of Knapp, 
boarded the boat and gave the assassin a terrible beating. At the next 
term of the District Court in Van Buren County, Hendershott ap- 
peared at Farmington, relying upon his theory of self defense to 
secure an acquittal, but upon learning that an indictment for murder 
had been returned by the grand jury, he hastily decamped and was 
never seen in Iowa afterward. 

With the death of John and Nathaniel Knapp, Fort Madison lost 
two of its most enterprising citizens, but tne constant influx of settlers 



kept the growth of the town up to the expectations of its early 
inhabitants and in time the two founders were almost forgotten. 

Some questions arose as to the validity of the title to lots acquired 
under the Horton and Williams claims and on July 2, 1836, Congress 
passed an act providing for the platting of certain tracts of land in 
the Black Hawk Purchase into town sites. One of these tracts was 
the site of Fort Madison. A supplementary act, approved by Presi- 
dent Jackson on March 3, 1837, named William W. Coriell, George 
Cubbage and M. M. McCarver as commissioners to resurvey the 
town. The original plat was accepted by the commissioners, with 
the exception of the fractional lots between Front Street and the river, 
which were made public property. The first sale of lots in the 
Government survey was made at the land office in Burlington, in the 
fall of 1838, but those who had purchased lots from the original 
founders of the town were protected by provisions of the law, the 
holders of the property receiving patents direct from the United 

Fort Madison was incorporated by an act of the Territorial Legis- 
lature of Wisconsin, approved on January 19, 1838. Section 1 of 
this act provided "That all that portion of territory which is included 
in a survey made by and under authority of the United States, and 
which is known and designated as the Town of Fort Madison, con- 
taining about six hundred and forty acres of land in the County of 
Lee, in said territory, be, and the same is hereby, constituted a town 
corporate and shall hereafter be known by the name or title of Fort 

Section 2 directed that an election for town officers be held on 
the first Monday in May, 1838, at which time Philip Viele was 
elected president; Robert Wyman, recorder; Herbert Morris, Joseph 
S. Kennie, Charles McDill, John D. Drake and Isaac Atlee, trustees. 
As no regular meeting place was provided for the board, the sessions 
of that body were held at such places as could be secured, chiefly at 
the Madison House and the offices of Daniel F. Miller and Volney 
Spaulding. At the town election in May, 1839, Peter Miller was 
chosen president and continued in that office by reelections until the 
Iowa Legislature, by the act of February 12, 1842, granted the town 
a new charter, which provided for the division of the town into three 
wards and the election of a mayor and six aldermen — two from 
each ward. 

The first election under the new charter was held on April 4, 
1842, the three wards having been established by the old board of 
trustees on March 5, preceding. Isaac Atlee was elected mayor; 


William B. Matthews and Henry E. Vrooman, aldermen from the 
first ward; Alexander Anderson and William Evans, aldermen from 
the second ward, and Josiah Cowles and Levi Leech, aldermen from 
the third ward. E. G. Wilson was the first recorder, or clerk, under 
the new charter, and Joel C. Walker was the first treasurer. Some 
years later the city was divided into four wards. 

Following is a list of the mayors of Fort Madison, with the 
year in which each entered upon the duties of the office : Isaac Atlee, 
1842; Philip Viele, 1843 ; Thomas Hale, 1845 ; A. N. Deming, 1847; 
Wicklifr" Ketchel, 1848; Edward Johnstone, 1849; Philip Viele, 
1850; Joel C. Parrott, 185 1 ; Joseph M. Beck, 1852; Joel C. Walker, 
1853; J. H. Bacon, 1854; Philip Viele, 1855; Robert McFarland, 
1856; R. W. Albright, 1857; Daniel F. Miller, 1858; Thomas S. 
Espy, 1859; Patrick Gilligan, i860 (served continuously by reelec- 
tions until October, 1864, when he resigned and John A. Nunn was 
elected for the remainder of the term) ; Patrick Gilligan was elected 
again in 1865 an d J 866; T. L. Lawrence, 1867; Patrick Gilligan, 
1868; Peter Miller, 1869; J. M. Casey, 1870; Henry Cattermole 
1872; A. C. Roberts, 1873; A.J. Alley, 1876; Henry Schlemer, 1884 
Otway Cutler, 1886; J. D. M. Hamilton, 1887; Samuel Atlee, 1893 
J. A. Jordan, 1897; Samuel Atlee, 1899; Charles H. Finch, 1901 
J. A. Jordan, 1903; Augustus P. Brown, 1905; Charles H. Finch, 
1907; William L. Gerber, 1909 (died February 20, 1910, and August 
E. Johns elected to the vacancy) ; August E. Johns, 191 1 ; Augustus 
P. Brown, 1913. 

A few years ago a slight change was made in the city government. 
Instead of four wards, the city was divided into five, and the legisla- 
tive department of the municipal government was made to consist 
of two councilmen-at-large and one from each of the five wards. On 
September 1, 19 14, the city government was constituted as follows: 
Augustus P. Brown, mayor; A. S. Gaylord, city clerk; J. R. Frailey, 
solicitor; A. M. Lowrey, treasurer; Matt Thrasher, chief of police; 
William M. Decker, chief of the fire department; Ben J. Schulte, 
street commissioner; F. R. Smith, assessor; N. J. Bever and Harvey 
A. Skyles, councilmen-at-large; J. C. B. Myers, first ward; F. A. 
Woodmansee, second ward ; W. D. Masters, third ward ; H. D. Kern, 
fourth ward; John Oppenheimer, fifth ward. 


The first step toward protection against fire was taken in October, 
1841, when the board of trustees passed an ordinance providing: 


"That each and every person owning a building within the town 
limits, is required to provide said building with a good leather fire- 
bucket by the ist of November; each building having one stove or 
fireplace to have one bucket, and those having more than one flue or 
fireplace to have one additional bucket for every two flues or fire- 

The ordinance also provided that the buckets were to be kept 
in some convenient place, where they would be easy of access in case 
of fire, and a penalty of $1.00 per day was imposed upon all who 
had failed to comply with the provisions of the ordinance at the con- 
clusion of the time specified. 

From that time until the spring of 1874, the records do not show 
what, if any, arrangements were made for the protection of property 
from fire. In the spring of 1874 the city purchased a Silsby engine, 
two hose carts and 1,500 feet of hose. A volunteer fire company was 
soon afterward organized and the apparatus was placed in the hands 
of the company. For a few months the engine and hose carts w r ere 
kept in a livery stable, until permanent quarters could be found. 
When the Government laid off the Town of Fort Madison, the lot 
at the northwest corner of Fourth and Market streets was reserved as 
a site for a public market. A brick market-house had been erected 
on the lot, and this was now turned over to the "Gem City Fire 
Company." It is still used as the central fire station and in the rear 
part of the building are the city offices. 

During the summer of 1874, three cisterns were built on Fourth 
Street — at the intersections of Pine, Vine and Maple streets — to pro- 
vide storage for a water supply. In 1876 a hook and ladder truck, 
with all the necessary appurtenances, was added to the equipment. 
The old Silsby engine, the "Gem City," has been rebuilt and is still 
in service. On October 25, 1913, a combined automobile chemical 
engine and hose cart, carrying 200 feet of chemical and 1,200 feet 
of water hose, was placed in commission at the central station. 

The paid department consists of six men at the central station. 
In addition to this company there are six volunteer companies, to 
wit: Phoenix, No. 1, ten men; George B. Inman, No. 2, ten men; 
Boss Hose Company, No. 3, ten men; J. D. M. Hamilton, No. 4, ten 
men; German-American, No. 5, ten men; Fort Madison, No. 6, 
twenty men. The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company 
also maintains a fire company for the protection of the shops and 
round houses in the western part of the city. 



The Fort Madison Water Company erected its plant in 1885. At 
first, a reservoir with a capacity of 1,500,000 gallons was built upon 
a high bluff at the eastern end of the city and into this reservoir the 
water was pumped from the Mississippi River. Since then the 
original reservoir has been much enlarged and an additional one 
constructed, the two having a capacity of 14,500,000 gallons. These 
reservoirs are situated about one hundred and sixty feet above the 
level of the town, so that the gravity pressure is sufficient for all 
ordinary uses, direct pressure from the pumps being called into 
requisition only in case of fire. The pump-house has also been com- 
pletely overhauled and the pumping capacity greatly increased, the 
daily capacity of the pumps being about seven million gallons. The 
company has about twenty miles of mains, distributed to all parts of 
the city. J. G. Sutton, a man of experience in his line of work, is the 

Much of the water used for domestic purposes comes from the 
six artesian wells in the city. These wells are about eight hundred 
feet in depth and furnish a bountiful supply of pure, wholesome 


The Fort Madison Gas Company began business in 1885 D Y tne 
construction of gas works in the eastern part of the city, a short dis- 
tance east of the penitentiary. Ten years later the company had 
nearly eight miles of mains and was supplying about thirty thousand 
cubic feet of gas daily. Since then the mileage of the mains has been 
more than doubled, the capacity of the plant correspondingly in- 
creased, the price of gas reduced about 15 per cent, and the com- 
pany has nearly two thousand patrons. J. G. Moffett is the manager. 

Elecric lights were first introduced in 1887 by the Fort Madison 
Electric Light & Power Company, of which Samuel and J. C. Atlee 
were the principal owners. A power and lighting plant was erected 
at the corner of Maple and Johnson streets and the company began 
business. Under the ordinance of October 12, 1903, which provided 
for the lighting of the city by electricity — 100 arc lights of 1,200 
candle power each being specified in the ordinance — the company 
was given greater privileges and the plant was practically rebuilt. 
In April, 1913, the old company was succeeded by the Fort Madison 
Electric Company, which has made extensive alterations. The old 

During high water period of 1881. 

Taken from the old "Q" depot in 1881. Anthexo Hotel and Academy in the foreground. 


steam plant at Maple and Johnson streets has been made a sub-station, 
the new company taking current from the Mississippi River Power 
Company, which owns and operates the great water power plant at 
Keokuk. Under the old system the streets were lighted on a ''moon- 
light" schedule, but the new company keeps the street lights on all 
night. About one hundred thousand dollars have already been ex- 
pended in improvements and the increased patronage seems to justify 
the investment. Alfred S. Nichols is the local manager. 


The Fort Madison Street Railway Company was incorporated on 
June 2, 1887, under a charter to run for fifty years, with the following 
officers: J. B. Morrison, president; W. E. Harrison, vice president; 
Howell Jones, secretary; James T. Ritchie, treasurer; Charles H. 
Peters, assistant treasurer. These officers constituted the first board 
of directors. 

Work was commenced on a line running from a point near the 
penitentiary, in the eastern part of the city, to Ivanhoe Park, in the 
west end, and the first car passed over the road early in July. Until 
the summer of 1895 tne motive power was furnished by mules. Then 
the road was changed to an electric line, the Electric Light & Power 
Company supplying the power. The route followed by the railway 
from its eastern terminus at the east end of Fourth Street is as follows : 
Weston Fourth to Broadway; south on Broadway to Second; west 
on Second to Cedar; south on Cedar to Front; west on Front, past 
the boat landing and the railroad stations, to Union Avenue, where 
it turns south to Santa Fe Avenue, and thence west to Ivanhoe Park. 
There is also a spur from the main line to the shops of the Atchison, 
Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, making a total length of a little over 
four miles. 


Late in the '30s a mail route was established from Flint Hills 
(now Burlington) to St. Francisville, Missouri, with "Doc" Hearn 
as the mail carrier. James Douglass was the first postmaster at Fort 
Madison and kept the office in his residence at the southwest corner 
of Second and Market streets, using a pine shoe box as a receptacle 
for the mail. From that time until 1914 the office was located in 
various buildings, the postmasters for many years keeping it in their 
respective places of business. After the business of the office in- 

voi. r— 9 


creased to such a point that it was too large to be considered as a 
"side line" for some merchant, the Government rented quarters and 
appointed postmasters who were expected to give their entire time 
to the handling of the mails. 

The present handsome and well appointed postoffice building, one 
of the most modern in the State of Iowa, was opened to the public 
for the reception and transmission of mail matter on June i, 1914, 
with Nelson C. Roberts as postmaster. An appropriation of $75,000 
was made by Congress for the purchase of the site and the erection 
of the building. The walls of the new postoffice are of Indiana 
oolitic limestone — commonly called Bedford stone — with terrazzo 
floor in the corridor, hardwood interior finish, plate glass windows, 
and departments for all divisions of the mail service. Besides the 
postmaster and his assistant, the office employs four clerks, six car- 
riers, three substitute clerks and carriers, two janitors and three rural 
carriers who make daily trips into the surrounding country. From 
Mr. Douglass' little shoe box, the Fort Madison Postoffice now occu- 
pies the new building at the northwest corner of Second and Chestnut 
streets, and the annual receipts of the office are, in round numbers, 



The Commercial Club of Fort Madison was incorporated on 
February 3, 1904, with J. C. Ehart, president; T. T. Hitch, vice 
president; M. T. Walker, secretary, and C. E. Stoeckle, treasurer. 
As stated in the articles of incorporation, the objects of the club are: 
"For the social intercourse of its members, and for the promotion 
of the commercial and general welfare and prosperity of the city; 
to take by gift, purchase, devise or bequest real and personal prop- 
erty for purposes appropriate to its creation; to contract for and 
erect buildings for the purposes of the corporation, and to transact 
any and all other business ordinarily within the scope of such cor- 

This club is the successor to the Business Men's Association, 
which was organized some twenty years before, but which after a 
time became inactive. The club has handsome quarters in the Burster 
Block, at the corner of Second and Pine streets and the club rooms 
are open from 9 o'clock A. M. until midnight every week day. On 
September 1, 1914, the club numbered about one hundred active 
members. The officers at that time were: Ernest Corsepius, presi- 
dent; Jesse Schlarbaum, secretary, and George M. Hanchett, 




Another organization, somewhat similar in character to the Com- 
mercial Club, is the Fort Madison First Association, which was 
organized in 191 1, with a capital stock of $30,000 as the basis of a 
fund to secure the location of new manufacturing industries. The 
motto of the association is, "Fort Madison first." It has been active 
in advertising the resources and advantages of the city as a manu- 
facturing center and through its efforts new factories have been and 
are being brought to Fort Madison. The officers of the association 
for 19 14 were: Preston E. Roberts, president; Jesse Schlarbaum, 
secretary; J. A. S. Pollard, treasurer. 


Opposite Fort Madison, on the Illinois side of the Mississippi, is 
what remains of the old Town of Niota, now known on the railroad 
time tables as East Fort Madison. In the early history of the city 
a ferry boat propelled by hand was the only means of crossing the 
river. This was succeeded in time by a steam ferry, the eastern 
terminus of which was at Appanoose, about a mile and a half above 
Fort Madison. Then Charles Doerr built a dike from Doerr's Island 
to the main land at Niota, constructed a good landing there, and the 
terminus at Appanoose was abandoned. In 1887 the Atchison, 
Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company, under a charter granted to a 
company some years before, built a railway and wagon bridge across 
the river. The bridge is 1,925 feet in length, with 1,000 feet of trestle 
work at the Illinois end. There is a roadway for vehicles on either 
side of the railroad track and between the track and the roadways 
are screens, so that horses will not become frightened at the sight of 
passing trains. Near the Iowa shore one span of the bridge is a draw, 
operated by a steam engine above the railway tracks, for the passage 
of boats. The first train passed over this bridge on December 7, 1887. 

No city on the eastern border of Iowa is better provided with 
transportation and shipping facilities than Fort Madison. It is a 
division point on the main line of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe 
Railroad, which gives it direct connection with Chicago and all points 
north and east of that city. The Burlington & St. Louis and Burling- 
ton & Carrollton divisions of the great Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
System pass through the city, which is also the eastern terminus of the 
Fort Madison & Ottumwa Division of the same system. By means 
of these various railway lines the city is within easy communication 
with all parts of the country. Then there is the Mississippi River 
flowing in front of the city, and upon its bosom the boats of the 


Streckfus Line ply regularly between St. Louis and St. Paul, while 
the White Collar Line runs daily boats between Burlington and 
Quincy. Although river transportation has decreased to some extent 
since the introduction of the railroad, it is still an important factor 
in carrying freight and passengers, and Fort Madison is so situated 
that she can take advantage of the low rates offered by the various 
steamboat lines. 

Fort Madison has a fine high school building and four modern 
school buildings. In addition to these public schools each of the 
Catholic parishes maintains a parochial school, so that the educational 
facilities of the city are unsurpassed. Eight Protestant and three 
Catholic churches afford the church-going portion of the population 
ample opportunities to attend the denomination of their choice. The 
city has over three miles of brick paved streets and more than three 
times that amount of fine macadamized streets, good cement side- 
walks, five public parks- — Central, Old Settlers, Ivanhoe, Riverview 
and Black Hawk Heights, two hospitals, good hotels, two daily 
newspapers, excellent telegraph and telephone service, a good public 
library, and a large number of cozy homes. 

The business interests of the city include several large manufac- 
turing establishments, three banks, a number of well stocked mercan- 
tile houses and the usual number of small shops, restaurants, etc., 
usually to be found in cities of its class. The following table shows 
the population of the city, as shown by the United States census 
reports since 1850: 

1 850 . 1 ,509 

i860 2,886 

1870 4,01 1 

1 880 4,679 

1890 7,9 01 

1900 9,278 

1910 8,900 

When the Government's figures for 19 10 were made known in 
Fort Madison, the Commercial Club claimed that an error had been 
made by the enumerators, and was granted permission to take a new 
census. Work was commenced and in two of the five wards enough 
additional names were found to overcome the decrease shown by the 
Government report below that of 1900. Then the census bureau 
announced that it would be impossible to make any corrections in 
the original enumeration and the work of the Commercial Club 


was stopped. In 191 2 the canvassers for the city directory took the 
names — or at least the number- — of members in each family, and this 
census showed a population of over eleven thousand. 

With the excellent transportation facilities offered by Fort Madi- 
son, there is no reason why its manufacturing interests should not be 
greatly increased during the next few years. Its bountiful supply of 
pure drinking water, its wholesome air, its schools and churches, its 
intelligent and courteous people, its geographical location, all com- 
bine to make Fort Madison an ideal residence town and justify its 
sobriquet of "The Gem City." 




Keokuk, the metropolis of Lee County, is beautifully situated 
upon the romantic and picturesque bluffs overlooking the Mississippi 
River at the foot of the Des Moines Rapids, in the southern part 
of Jackson Township and the extreme southeastern corner of the 
State of Iowa. This place was called by the Indians Puck-e-she- 
tuck, which some writers have interpreted as meaning "the foot of 
the rapids," but Francis Labiseur, who acted as interpreter in the 
negotiation of some of the early treaties, and who understood the 
language of the Sacs and Foxes, says its liberal meaning is "where 
the water runs still." 

The first habitation built by a white man within the present limits 
of the city was the log cabin erected by Dr. Samuel C. Muir in 1820. 
In an address before the Old Settlers' Association in 1875, Capt. 
James W. Campbell says this cabin "stood on the right hand corner 
of Main and Levee, as you ascend the street." Doctor Muir had 
been a surgeon in the United States army and was stationed at Fort 
Edwards. He married an Indian girl and when the government 
officials issued an order that all soldiers having Indian wives should 
abandon them, he resigned his position as surgeon. Circumstances 
then compelled him to practice medicine elsewhere, so he leased his 
claim at Puck-e-she-tuck to Otis Reynolds and John Culver, of St. 
Louis, who employed Moses Stillwell as their agent to open a trading 
house there. 

Stillwell, accompanied by his two brothers-in-law, Amos and 
Valencourt Van Ausdal, took possession in the spring of 1828. Dur- 



ing the preceding winter he had visited the claim and erected two 
cabins, one of which, near the foot of Main Street, he occupied with 
his family — the first white family to take up a residence at the foot of 
the rapids on the Iowa side of the river. A little further up the hill 
he cleared a small patch of ground, where he raised some corn and 
potatoes in 1828. A short distance below the cabin he built a stone 
building about 15 by 40 feet, using the stone bluff for the back 
wall. This building was erected for a warehouse for Culver & 
Reynolds and was used until it was carried away by the great ice 
gorge in 1832. Margaret, a daughter of Moses Stillwell, born in 
183 1, was the first white child to be born in what is now the City of 

Shortly after Mr. Stillwell established himself at the foot of the 
rapids, the American Fur Company erected a row of five houses at 
the junction of Blondeau and Levee streets and installed Russell 
Farnham as resident manager; Joshua Palean, Mark Aldrich and 
Edward Bushnell, clerks. Paul Bessette, John Shook and Baptiste 
Neddo came as trappers and hunters. The buildings of the American 
Fur Company were of hewed logs and for many years were known as 
"Rat Row." John Connolly, John Forsyth, James Thorn and John 
Tolman were employed by the company as itinerant peddlers and in 
the collection of furs. Andre Santamont also came with the com- 
pany's employees and built his cabin not far from where the round- 
house of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad was afterward 
erected. He was the stepfather of Francis Labiseur, the interpreter 
above mentioned. 

The lease of Reynolds & Culver expired in 1830, when Doctor 
Muir again took possession of his claim and formed a partnership 
with Isaac R. Campbell, the firm succeeding to the business estab- 
lished by Moses Stillwell. Doctor Muir died of cholera in 1832 and 
at the breaking out of the Black Hawk war in that year the American 
Fur Company sold "Rat Row" to Isaac R. Campbell and abandoned 
the field, leaving Mr. Campbell and thirty-four employees as the 
entire male population. Fears of an Indian attack were entertained, 
and at the suggestion of Maj. Jenifer T. Spriggs, who had come to 
survey the half-breed tract, a stockade was built around Mr. Camp- 
bell's establishment and a small blockhouse was constructed. The 
men were organized into a military company, with Major Spriggs in 
command. Mr. Campbell was elected lieutenant and commissary 
and wrote to the commandant at St. Louis for a supply of arms and 
ammunition. The company was furnished with a small swivel gun, 


thirty-four muskets and 500 rounds of ammunition, but no attack 
was made. 

Among the white men in Keokuk at this period were William 
McBride, Thomas W. Taylor, John Gaines, William Price and 
Alexander Hood, all of whom came in the year 1831. In an article 
on "Recollections of the Early Settlement," written by Isaac R. 
Campbell and published in the Annals of Iowa for July, 1867, the 
writer says: "Horse racing was a great source of amusement to us; 
in this sport our red friends were ever ready to participate, and at 
times lost on the result every article they possessed on earth. Keokuk 
and Pash-e-pe-ho, chiefs of the Sac tribe, were more passionately fond 
of this amusement than any of their contemporaries. And when 
amusements of this kind ceased to be entertaining, we called upon 
our pugilists, Hood McBride and Price, to enliven the scene by a 
friendly exhibition of their prowess, by knocking down and dragging 
out a few of the disinterested spectators. We had no prize belt to 
award the victor, as the science and courtesies of the ring had not then 
arrived at the perfection they have since. Before this era, civil law, 
of course, was unknown, and our salutary mode of punishment for 
crime was by prohibiting the criminal from the use of intoxicating 
liquors, this being the greatest punishment we could inflict." 

For a number of years after the first settlement was made at the 
foot of the rapids the place was known by various names, such as 
Puck-e-she-tuck, the Point, Foot of the Rapids, etc. There seems 
to be some difference of opinion as to when the name "Keokuk" was 
first adopted. Dr. Isaac Galland says: "July 4, 1829, was celebrated 
on a steamboat lying at the foot of what is now Main Street. It 
was at this meeting, presided over by Col. George Davenport, that 
the name Keokuk was given to the place." 

This statement was made in a letter written by Doctor Galland a 
few years before his death. Isaac R. Campbell says that "up to the 
year 1835, the settlement at the foot of the rapids had been without 
a distinctive name. * It was finally proposed by a number 

of steamboat men, while detained here lighting over the rapids, that 
it should commemorate the name of the peace chief of the Sac tribe. 
From this time the name Keokuk was adopted, and, in 1837, I sold 
my potato patch inclosure to Dr. Isaac Galland, agent of the New 
York Land Company, and, under his supervision, a city in embryo 
was formally inaugurated and recorded as 'Keokuk.' " 

Whether the name was adopted in 1829 or not until some years 
later, the authorities above quoted agree that the honor of its selec- 
tion belongs to steamboat men. 


In the spring of 1837 Dr. Isaac Galland, agent of the New York 
Land Company, assisted by David W. Kilbourne, laid out the 
original town plat, which was filed for record in October, 1840. In 
his inaugural address as mayor of Keokuk, delivered on April 10, 
1855, Mr. Kilbourne said: 

"When the square mile upon which Keokuk is located was laid 
off into streets, lots and blocks, in 1837, the main portion of it was a 
dense forest; and where Main Street now is, so thick was the timber 
and underbrush, that it was difficult to make the survey. Then a 
few log cabins on the river bank, which had been erected and used 
for Indian trading houses, composed all the improvements. Then 
the homes of Keokuk and Black Hawk were near, and the graves 
of many of the tribes were prominent objects upon the bluffs within 
our town site, over which now stand the houses of she-mo-ko (the 
white man)." 

In June, 1837, occurred the first public sale of lots in the new 
Town of Keokuk. It had been advertised far and wide and was 
largely attended. A steamboat was chartered at St. Louis and 
brought up a large number of prospective buyers. At that time 
the only buildings were a few scattering cabins — probably three or 
four — and the old trading house called "Rat Row." Hotel accom- 
modations were not to be had for love or money, and the passengers 
occupied their state rooms on the boat as bed rooms during the sale. 
Although the number of lots sold at this sale was not as great as had 
been anticipated, the projectors of the town found consolation in the 
fact that one corner lot sold for $1,500, an indication that Keokuk's 
future was to be one great prosperity. 

Shortly after this sale the old Muir property was purchased by 
L. B. Fleak, who opened a boat store on the levee, bought two barges 
and engaged in the lightering business over the rapids. In 1839 
Moses Gray built the old "Keokuk House," a frame structure, three 
stories in height, built of split lumber and roofed with clapboards. 
It was 26 by 44 feet and had partitions made of green cottonwood 
boards. Verily, in this building the "walls had ears," but such was 
Keokuk's first hotel. Mr. Fleak rented the house and opened it as 
a hotel, but soon after that certain creditors of Dr. Isaac Galland, 
who had bought the building of Gray, secured a judgment against 
him and the house was sold. It was bid in for the St. Louis creditors 
by Mr. Fleak for the amount of the judgment ($800), and not long 
afterward he bought the hotel for $640. A large addition to the 
hotel was built two years later. Prince de Joinville and his retinue 
were guests at this hotel soon after the addition was completed. 




The death of Doctor Muir, in 1832, was the first to occur in Keo- 
kuk. Moses Stillwell died in 1834, in the cabin he had built some 
years before near the foot of High Street, and John Gaines, the first 
justice or notary, died on April 21, 1839. 

During the days of trading houses, the Indians brought in large 
quantities of elk, deer, wolf, beaver, otter, raccoon, mink and muskrat 
skins to trade for blankets, knives, trinkets and whisky. Valencourt 
Van Ausdal used to tell of some of the sprees the red men would have 
when they brought their peltries into the trading post. Said he: 
"They were excessively fond of whisky, but not much in the habit 
of drinking to excess unless by prearrangement to get on a 'big 
drunk,' when a certain number were appointed to stay sober and 
protect the drunken ones from doing harm to themselves or others. 
Their favorite places for having their 'big drunks' were at what is 
now known as the mouth of Bloody Run and on the bank of the 
Mississippi, where Anschutz's brewery now stands. During these 
sprees the days and nights were made hideous with the howls and 
war-whoops of the Indian bacchanalians." 

The first school in Keokuk was taught in 1833 by Jesse Creigh- 
ton, in a little log cabin that had been erected by John Forsyth, a 
short distance below and a little farther back from the river than 
the buildings of the American Fur Company. Mr. Creighton was 
also a shoemaker and when not hearing classes would repair such 
shoes as the settlers brought to him. 

The first church edifice was erected in 1838; the first murder oc- 
curred in 1839, when Edward Riley killed Barney F. Barron. He 
received a two years' sentence in the penitentiary. In 1846 George 
C. Anderson established a private bank — the first institution of that 
character in Lee County. 


For several years after the first settlers came the growth of Keo- 
kuk was slow, owing chiefly to the uncertainty of land titles in the 
half-breed tract. In July, 1841, the population was estimated at 
one hundred and fifty. Five years later it was 500, and in 1847 
it was estimated at one thousand one hundred and twenty. On 
February 23, 1847, the governor of Wisconsin Territory approved 
an act of the Legislature providing for the incorporation of 
Keokuk. The town was incorporated under this act on December 


13, 1847, when three wards were established. The First Ward in- 
cluded "all that part of the city lying between the Mississippi River 
and Second Street, bounded on the southwest by a line drawn from 
the river to the center of Second Street, between and parallel with, 
and at equal distances from, Main and Johnson Streets." 

The Second Ward embraced "that part of the city lying between 
the river and the center of Second Street, bounded on the northeast 
by the line aforesaid," and the Third Ward included all the remainder 
of the city. The voting places were established at the Rapids Hotel, 
the American House and the office of I. G. Wickersham, in the three 
wards respectively, and the first municipal election was ordered for 
the first Monday in January, 1848. 

The officers elected at that time were as follows: William A. 
Clark, mayor; James Mackley and William C. Reed, aldermen 
from the First Ward; William Holliday and Herman Bassett, from 
the Second Ward; and John W. Ogden and John M. Houston, from 
the Third Ward. Mayor Clark, who ran as a whig, received 175 
votes, and his opponent, E. C. Stone, received 87 votes. The new 
government was inaugurated on January 10, 1848, just one week 
after the election, when the council elected A. V. Putnam, clerk; 
L. E. H. Houghton, assessor, and D. Murray, marshal, collector and 

At the second meeting, on January 17, 1848, the council passed 
the first ordinance, entitled "An ordinance relative to the clerk of 
the council of the City of Keokuk." Other acts of the council at 
this session were the granting of a privilege to S. Haight & Company 
to maintain a wharf boat at the foot of Main Street; fixing the tax 
levy for city purposes at 37^ cents on each $100 worth of property; 
and renting a room from L. E. H. Houghton at $4.00 per month for a 
mayor's office. 

Following is a list of the mayors of Keokuk, with the year in 
which each entered upon the duties of the office, each one serving 
until his successor was elected and qualified: William A. Clark, 
from January 10 to April 17, 1848; Justin Millard, April, 1848; 
Uriah Raplee, April, 1849 (resigned in September following his 
election and John A. Graham was elected to fill the vacancy) ; John 
A. Graham, 1850; B. S. Merriam, 1852; David W. Kilbourne, 1855; 
Samuel R. Curtis, 1856; Hawkins Taylor, 1857; H. W. Sample, 
1858; William Leighton, 1859; William Patterson, i860; J. J. Brice, 
1861; R. P. Creel, 1862; George B. Smyth, 1863; J. M. Hiatt, 1864: 
William Patterson, 1865; William Timberman, 1867; John A. Mc- 
Dowell, 1868; A. J. Wilkinson, 1869; William Timberman, 1870; 


Henry W. Rothert, 1871; Daniel F. Miller, Sr., 1873; Edmund 
Jaeger, 1874; J orm N. Irwin, 1876; James B. Paul, 1879; James N. 
Welsh, 1880; Lewis Hosmer, 1881; David J. Ayers, 1882; George 
D. Rand, 1883; Edmund Jaeger, 1884; James C. Davis, 1885; John 
N. Irwin, 1887; John E. Craig, 1889; S. W. Moorhead, 1893; Felix 
T. Hughes, 1895; J. L. Root, 1897; James F. Daugherty, 1899; 
Theodore A. Craig, 1901 ; Andrew J. Dimond, 1903; James Cam- 
eron, 1905; W. E. Strimback, 1907; Charles Off, 1909. 

In 1 9 10 the city adopted the commission form of government. 
Joshua F. Elder was elected mayor, and F. T. F. Schmidt and 
Thomas P. Gray, councilmen. In 191 2 Mayor Elder and Council- 
man Gray were reelected and T. J. Hickey was chosen as the suc- 
cessor of Councilman Schmidt. The officers elected in 1914 were: 
S. W. Moorhead, mayor; Joseph A. M. Collins and F. T. F. Schmidt, 


Probably no better account of the manner in which the Keokuk 
waterworks was inaugurated could be given than that published in 
the Keokuk Gate City of July 19, 1878, the day following the first 
test of the new plant, which is here quoted: 

"The great inconvenience to which the citizens of Keokuk have 
been periodically subjected through lack of water, and inconvenience 
amounting almost to distress at times, induced W. C. Stripe to study 
the subject of an artificial supply of that indispensable element. Some 
three years since, a few citizens, at his invitation, met at the United 
States engineer's office to inspect his plans and consult respecting the 
feasibility of erecting waterworks. The plans, so far as they were 
matured, met their approbation, and he was requested to complete 
them and make estimates of the probable cost and profits. 

"Before this was completed, a Mr. Weir, who had just completed 
the waterworks at Muscatine, visited Keokuk and submitted to the 
city council a plan to furnish a supply of water for domestic and 
public purposes, which combined the two grades of gravity and di- 
rect pressure — gravity for domestic and direct pressure for public 
purposes, including the extinguishing of fires. Mr. Weir's plan was 
a very good one and met the approbation of the city council, and he 
was requested to meet the council at its next session and explain his 
plans and estimates more in detail. He appeared before the council, 
as requested, and explained his plans, which comprised a reservoir 
on the avenue, capable of holding 130,000,000 gallons, with pumping 


machinery to furnish 1,500,000 gallons each twenty-four hours, five 
and one-half miles of mains and fifty hydrants, at a cost of $150,000. 

"Mr. Stripe also appeared before the council, and upon permis- 
sion being given him, addressed them in opposition to Mr. Weir's 
proposition, mainly on the score of its extravagant cost, criticised it 
in detail and proved to the satisfaction of all who heard him that 
the entire apparatus proposed by Mr. Weir could be furnished for a 
sum but little exceeding one-half his figures. Considerable excite- 
ment ensued on the subject, Mr. Weir having stated publicly that 
his plans would assuredly be adopted. But the inexorable logic of 
figures prevailed and the Weir project was abandoned. Now was 
Mr. Stripe's opportunity. He invited a number of gentlemen who 
had manifestly an interest in the matter to meet him at his residence. 
To them he exhibited his plans and estimates, which they examined 
minutely, and having approved them determined to submit them to 
the city council and ask their cooperation to establish the work. 

"Mr. Stripe met the council, exhibited the plans and estimates, 
which comprised pumping apparatus to furnish 1,000,000 gallons 
per day, a stand-pipe sixty feet high, to be erected at the intersection 
of Second and High streets, a location 154 feet above the city datum 
line, and about eight miles of mains, at a cost of seventy thousand to 
seventy-five thousand dollars. This would have furnished ample 
supply for domestic use all over the city and for fire purposes, with- 
out the intervention of fire-engines at any point no higher than Main 

"The city fathers gave this plan a qualified approval, but decided 
that to have their entire approval and cooperation, the whole city 
must be protected by the hydrants independent of fire-engines. With 
indomitable pluck and tenacity, Mr. Stripe again went to work and 
devised the plan which was adopted, and the consummation of which 
has been established." 

The Waterworks Company was organized on April 21, 1877, 
with a capital stock of $100,000, divided into shares of $100 each. 
William Leighton, Guy Wells, W. C. Stripe, Patrick Gibbons, S. P. 
Pond and James H. Anderson constituted the first board of directors. 
William Leighton was elected president; Guy Wells, vice presi- 
dent; W. C. Stripe, engineer and secretary; and Edward Johnstone, 

Then beean a canvass for stock subscriptions. For a time it looked 
doubtful whether the amount desired could be obtained, but when 
the enterprise was hanging in the balance the Keokuk press took up 
the matter and day by day urged the people to take stock in order to 

Taken from drawing said to have been made by Lieut. Robert E. Lee, who was then sta- 
tioned here and who afterwards became the great Confederate general of the Civil war. 
This drawing was discovered in the war department of the Government by General W. W. 
Belnap after the latter had become Secretary of War. 


secure the construction of the works, which would be a benefit to the 
entire city. This campaign was kept up until the full amount of 
stock was subscribed. 

Work on the plant was commenced on February 8, 1878. The 
machinery was installed by the Holly Manufacturing Company, of 
Lockport, New York, and the pipes were furnished by Dennis Long 
& Company, of Louisville, Kentucky. The specifications called for 
the completion of the works by June 18, 1878, but the city was en- 
gaged in grading some of the streets upon which mains were to be 
placed, which delayed the work and the final tests of the works were 
made on July 18, 1878, just thirty days behind time. Concerning 
these tests the Gate City of July 19, 1878, says: 

"Display number one consisted of a stream thrown from three hy- 
drants through a i^-inch nozzle at the Presbyterian Church, cor- 
ner of Seventh and Blondeau streets. This location was chosen 
in order to compare the altitude of the stream with the height of 
the church steeple. Soon after the water was turned on, a section of 
hose near the nozzle burst and had to be replaced. Just as the stream 
was beginning to climb well the second time, a break occurred in the 
main at the corner of Sixth and Main streets, tearing up the street 
and crossing, and forcing a large volume of water to a height of 
several feet. This interfered with the pressure so that the stream on 
Seventh only reached an altitude of 164.23 feet. Except for the 
break, it would no doubt have ascended to a height of two hundred 
and twenty or two hundred and thirty feet. The contract calls for an 
altitude of 100 feet at that point, so that as it was the stream went 
sixty-four feet higher than was required." 

Tests were also made from hydrants at five different places on 
Main Street at the same time, the water at every point rising some 
thirty feet higher than called for by the contract with the company. 
The final test was made at the corner of Main Street and the Levee, 
where four large streams, each of which was thrown through three 
lines of hose centering in one nozzle, rose to a height of over two 
hundred feet. 

In the construction of the works, the engine house — a brick struc- 
ture 35 by 60 feet, with slate roof — was located at the foot of Concert 
Street, and a filter 15 by 50 feet was installed. Through this filter all 
water for private consumption passed. The pumping machinery at 
first consisted of a four-cylinder engine, with four pumps, of the latest 
Holly designs, with a capacity of 2,200,000 gallons daily, and about 
ten miles of mains, varying in size from six to fourteen inches were 
laid in the streets. Numerous additions and alterations have been 


made, new mains extended to outlying districts, and the water has 
always been kept up to a high standard of purity. A city ordinance 
compels the city physician or physician to the board of health to make 
examinations of the water twice a week, or oftener if he considers 
necessary. Tests must be made for alum and bacteria in both the 
filtered and unfiltered water, a cubic centimeter being unit of meas- 
urement. If 1,200 bacteria are found in this quantity of unfiltered 
water, or 125 in the filtered water, the ordinance gives a 98 
per cent test. Dr. C. A. Dimond, the city physician, in a report in 
August, 1 9 14, says the water in Keokuk is as good as that to be found 
in most cities along the Mississippi River and better than that found 
in many of them. 

The Keokuk Waterworks Company is now a subsidiary corpora- 
tion of the American Waterworks and Guarantee Company, which 
controls and operates waterworks in more than forty United States 
cities. This company uses chlorine for the purpose of purifying the 
water, with the result that a high grade of water is furnished to the 
people of the city, except on occasions when too much chlorine is 
left in the water, which leaves an unpleasant taste. 

At one time, while the great dam at Keokuk was under construc- 
tion, it looked as though the Mississippi River Power Company and 
the Waterworks Company would become involved in serious litiga- 
tion, growing out of the question as to the right of the former to raise 
the tracks of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad in front of 
the waterworks property. The question was taken to the courts and 
after a hearing of several days, the vice president of the Waterworks 
Company entered the court room one morning, called aside Hugh 
L. Cooper, chief engineer of the Mississippi River Power Company, 
and informed him that the American Waterworks and Guarantee 
Company was willing to submit the entire question to an arbitrator. 
He also stated that he was authorized to leave the entire matter with 
Mr. Cooper for adjustment. As a result, John W. Alvord, a prom- 
inent Chicago engineer, was agreed upon as arbitrator and upon his 
decision the question was settled to the satisfaction of all the parties 


In the spring of 1 8 q6 Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 was or- 
ganized with Benjamin F. Dodson as president; D. B. Smith, secre- 
tary; and John B. Knight, treasurer. The first truck foreman was 
L. L. O'Connor. This was the first organized fire company of which 
there is anv authentic record. 


The Young America Fire Company was organized on October 
9, 1856, at a meeting held in Burrows Hall, presided over by John 
A. McDowell, who afterward served as mayor of the city. In this 
company were several men who afterward became men of national 
reputation. Among them may be mentioned Samuel R. Curtis, who 
served as mayor of the city, a member of Congress, and as a general 
in the Union army in the Civil war; William W. Belknap, who was 
secretary of war in the cabinet of President Grant; Hugh W. Sample, 
who was elected mayor of Keokuk in 1858, and the Confederate Gen- 
eral Winder, then a young lawyer of Keokuk, who went south, joined 
the secession movement and became notorious as the superintendent 
of Libby Prison, at Richmond, Virginia. 

The first president of the company was R. H. Magruder, who, 
with Curtis, Belknap, Sample and McDowell, took active steps to 
supply the company with hand engines and other fire-fighting ap- 
paratus. Two engines were purchased — the "Gallery," built by 
Rogers & Son, of Baltimore, Maryland, and the "Honneyman," 
which was built in Boston, Massachusetts. The Gallery, after be- 
ing used a few years, was dismantled and sold as old metal, but the 
Honneyman continued in use for about a quarter of a century. The 
Columbia hose reel, purchased at the same time as the two engines, 
was afterward remodeled and change to a one-horse truck. 

In i860 the Rolla Fire Company was organized. The early meet- 
ings of this company were held in the blacksmith shop of Chris 
Smith, who was one of the members and made a large triangle, 
which served the company in place of a bell. 

Union Fire Company No. 3 was organized in 1861, with George 
T. Higgins, afterward sheriff, W. B. Miller, William Landers, 
Jacob Speck and Donald Robinson among the active members. 

The first steam engine was purchased by the city in the spring 
of 1866. It was manufactured by the Amoskeag Works, of Amos- 
keag, New Hampshire, and was called the "Young America," for 
the company to which it was assigned.* Prior to that time the old 
hand engine Honneyman had been in the hands of this company, 
but when the steamer arrived and was placed in commission, the 
Honneyman was turned over to the Rollas. 

After the great fire of July 4, 1870, it was decided to buy a second 
steamer and a Silsby engine, manufactured at Seneca Falls, New 
York, was purchased. It was christened the "Rolla" and went to the 
Rolla Fire Company, the old Honneyman being sold to the Town of 
West Point. 

Vol I— 1 


In October, 1878, the paid fire department was organized and 
engines, hose reels, hook and ladder truck, etc., were placed under 
the control of the city. In 1914 the department consisted of four 
stations, and the apparatus of two steam engines, one chemical engine, 
one hook and ladder truck and four hose reels, manned by an efficient 
force of men. 


On Friday evening, January 4, 1856, the streets of Keokuk were 
lighted by gas for the first time. The original founders of the Keo- 
kuk Gas Company were William Herrick and Edward Kilbourne, 
who built a plant and laid mains in the fall of 1855. These two gen- 
tlemen and Charles B. Foote filed articles of incorporation for the 
Keokuk Gas Light and Coke Company on December 20, 1855, with 
Edward Kilbourne as the first president and Josiah Davis as the first 
secretary. The capital stock provided for in the articles of incor- 
poration was $100,000, enough of which was paid up to put the works 
in good condition. 

In 1865 Daniel Mooar acquired a controlling interest in the gas 
works and a few years later a reorganization took place, Mr. Mooar 
being elected president; R. H. Wyman, vice president, and H. R. 
Miller, secretary and superintendent. Under this management sub- 
stantial improvements were made and the mains extended. In 1900 
the works were transferred to the Keokuk Gas and Electric Com- 

Electric lights were introduced into Keokuk by the Badger Elec- 
tric Company, which was incorporated on March 2, 1885, by S. S. 
Badger, of Chicago, A. J. McCrary and Charles J. Smith, of Keo- 
kuk. A plant was established on Third Street, between Johnson and 
Exchange, with a capacity of sixty arc lights of 2,000 candle power 
each, most of which were installed for street lighting, though a few 
were placed in stores, etc. After about seven years the holdings of 
the company were transferred to the Fort Wayne Electric Company, 
of Fort Wayne, Indiana. 

In the meantime a small incandescent plant had been established 
by J. C. Hubinger for his personal benefit. Being unable to secure 
gas from the gas company for lighting his residence, he drilled an 
artesian well and utilized the water to operate a small electric gen- 
erator, sufficient to furnish incandescent lights for his house. Some 
of his neighbors were afterward placed on the circuit and the plant 
was enlarged. After the Fort Wayne company took over the Bad- 


ger interests, the old Thompson-Houston equipment was replaced by 
Wood machines and other improvements were made, after which the 
entire plant was sold to Mr. Hubinger. Both the gas works and the 
electric light plant are now controlled by the Stone & Webster Syndi- 
cate, which also operates the power plant at the big Keokuk dam. 


The Keokuk Street Railway Company was organized early in 
the year 1882, with James H. Anderson as president, practically all 
the stock being held by local capitalists. Work was immediately 
commenced on two lines. The first began at the corner of Main and 
Fourteenth streets, thence east on Main to Fifth Street, and down 
Fifth to B Street in Reid's addition. The other line started at the 
railroad station, thence via Main to Sixth Street, on Sixth Street to 
Morgan, on Morgan to Eleventh, on Eleventh to Seymour, and on 
Seymour to Rand Park. Subsequently a line was built on Fourteenth 
Street from Rand Park to Main Street, so as to form a loop. 

Mules and horses furnished the motive power until 1892, when 
the local company sold out to the Hubbell Syndicate, of Des Moines, 
which converted the plant into an electric railway system. The Main 
Street line was extended west to Nineteenth Street, on which car 
barns were built, and a little later the line on Nineteenth Street was 
extended to Oakland Cemetery. The Des Moines company sold out 
to J. C. Hubinger and others, and for a time it was operated in con- 
nection with the electric light plant. After one or two other changes 
in ownership the railway passed into the hands of the Stone & Web- 
ster Syndicate, which has put on new cars and otherwise greatly im- 
proved the service. 


The first person to act as postmaster at Keokuk was John Gaines, 
though he was never regularly appointed. The first mails were car- 
ried by Robert McBride from St. Francisville, Missouri, on horse- 
back, or from Warsaw, Illinois, in a skiff, and Mr. Gaines under- 
took the work of distributing letters and other mail matter to the 
proper persons. 

On June 24, 1841, L. B. Fleak was appointed postmaster and held 
the position for about three years. In speaking some years afterward 
of his experiences as postmaster, Mr. Fleak said: 


"The postoffice was first kept in the Keokuk House. When I 
rented out the hotel in 1843, I moved the office to the corner of First 
and Johnson streets, and afterward to a building midway between 
First Street and the levee on Johnson Street. During the time 1 
kept it at the latter place, my store was robbed, but the mail matter 
was not molested. There was $22,000 belonging to the United States 
lying in an old pine desk in the store room when the robbery took 
place. It had been handed to me by Major Stewart, army paymaster, 
for safekeeping and I had gone home and forgotten it. When we 
caught the burglar, I asked him why he did not open the desk and 
take the money. He said he did lift the cover, but thought no one 
would be fool enough to leave money in such a place." 

When Mr. Fleak resigned, in the summer of 1844, W. S. Mc- 
Gavic and J. C. Ainsworth were applicants for the place, but through 
the influence of Henry J. Campbell and others the appointment went 
to Adam Hine, a river man, who was hardly ever at Keokuk. He 
appointed John B. Russell his deputy and some years later Mr. Hine 
said that all he knew about being postmaster was that he was called 
upon to make good a shortage of several hundred dollars, when his 
successor took possession of the office and checked up the business. 
This shortage was attributed solely to careless methods of keeping 

On March 16, 1887, ground was broken for the present postoffice 
building at the corner of Seventh and Blondeau streets and about two 
years later the new building was opened to the public. It is a sub- 
stantial structure of stone and brick, two stories high, the main floor 
being devoted to the handling and distribution of mails and the second 
story to the United States Court. In the tower is a clock which marks 
the time and strikes the hours. In 19 14 the Keokuk postoffice em- 
ployed, besides the postmaster and assistant postmaster, fourteen city 
carriers, three substitute carriers, two rural carriers, twelve clerks 
and three janitors. The annual receipts of the office, in round num- 
bers, amount to $83,000. 


On January 22, 1906, the Keokuk Commercial Club was organ- 
ized "for the purpose of fostering the splendid industries now flour- 
ishing and to encourage additional manufacturing enterprises that 
may wish to locate in the city." 

In January, 191 1, the club was succeeded by the Keokuk Indus- 
trial Association, with C. R. Joy as president and A. D. Ayres as 

St. Joseph 'a Hospital. 

Federal Court House and 

Post Office. 

Keokuk Public Library. 


High School and United 
Presbyterian Church. 
Y. M. C. A. Building. 


secretary. Soon after the association was organized, it inaugurated 
a "clean up" campaign, under the auspices of the committee on parks, 
playgrounds and general improvements. Later in the year, through 
the advertising agency of N. W. Ayer & Son, of Philadelphia, Penn- 
sylvania, the association expended about eleven thousand dollars in 
advertising the advantages of the city in some of the leading maga- 
zines of the country. In the spring of 191 2, John Nolen, an experi- 
enced landscape architect of Cambridge, Massachusetts, was em- 
ployed by the association to present plans for the beautification of 
the city. His work was completed in the fall of 1913 and his plans 
have been adopted by the mayor and city commissioners. 

Another publicity campaign was conducted in the summer of 
1913, when an especially trained man was engaged to supervise the 
work of advertising. Articles on Keokuk appeared in newspapers 
throughout the civilized world, and thousands of window display 
cards, bearing photographic views of Keokuk and the great power 
house, were distributed among merchants of the United States, 
Canada, England, Germany, France, Austria, China and Japan. 
During the year over one hundred specially prepared articles relating 
to the power plant were printed in magazines. 

Sixty-six acres of land on the extension of Main Street were pur- 
chased by the association in the summer of 1913 as a location for new 
factories, the sum of $17,000 being appropriated from the treasury 
for that purpose. This ground has been platted as an industrial dis- 
trict. The association has also given considerable attention to the 
entertainment of conventions; the improvement of the river front; 
the construction of the boulevard from Keokuk to Montrose; the ad- 
justment of freight rates between Keokuk and all points east and west, 
and in the movement to build a new bridge across the Mississippi it 
has played a conspicuous part. 

The officers of the association in 1914 were as follows: C. R. 
Joy, president; J. A. Kiedaisch, first vice president; C. F. McFar- 
land, second vice president; J. F. Elder, secretary; Ira W. Wills, 
treasurer. The board of directors was then composed of the above 
officers and A. D. Ayres, T. A. Craig, L. A. Hamill, A. Hollings- 
worth, Stephen Irwin, J. T. McCarthy, C. A. McNamara, L. F. 
Rollins, Jacob Schouten and G. S. Tucker. 


The Keokuk & Hamilton Mississippi Bridge Company was in- 
corporated in January, 1866, for the purpose of constructing a rail- 


way and wagon bridge across the Mississippi to connect the two 
cities. A ferry had been established here in 1850, but the progress 
of the times made a number of public spirited citizens feel that some 
more adequate means of communication were necessary. A pre- 
liminary survey for the bridge was made in the spring of 1867, from 
which plans were made and submitted to the city authorities of 
Keokuk, and on May 25, 1868, the mayor approved an ordinance 
granting the bridge company a right of way across the levee. Final 
plans and estimates were then prepared by T. C. Curtis, and on De- 
cember 6, 1868, the contract for the construction of the bridge was 
let to the Keystone Bridge Company, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 
for $850,000. 

This bridge is 2,192 feet in length and twenty feet wide in the 
clear. On either side of the railroad track is a passage way for ve- 
hicles, and on the outside of the superstructure are the sidewalks for 
foot passengers. At the time the bridge was completed it had the 
longest draw span on the Mississippi River. On April 19, 1871, the 
first locomotive crossed over the bridge, drawing two coaches filled 
with. the officers of the bridge company and invited guests. The 
building of this bridge secured to Keokuk a large trade from Illinois. 

Plans for a new bridge have recently been prepared by Ralph 
Modjeska and his assistants, to be built upon the abutments of the old 
bridge. In the new structure there are to be two decks — the upper 
one for vehicles and pedestrians and the lower for railroad trains. 
The approach on the Keokuk side will be in the form of a viaduct, 
which will run out on First Street, between Main and Blondeau, 
making the new bridge much more easy of access than the old one. 
This viaduct will be about seven hundred feet in length. 


On January 24, 1848, the governor approved an act of the Iowa 
Legislature providing that two terms of the District Court of Lee 
County should be held annually at Keokuk. By the act of January 
8, 1857, a branch of the recorder's office was established at Keokuk, 
and this was soon followed by branches of the other county offices. 
In 1859 tne county bought the old Medical College building for a 
courthouse, and since that time all the county business pertaining to 
the six southern townships has been transacted at Keokuk. 

Besides the public utilities mentioned in this chapter, the city has 
an excellent system of sewers, one large storm sewer beginning at 
Rand Park and running to the Mississippi, and into this great trunk 








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i— i 






I— I 





sewer lateral sewers discharge their contents. A city ordinance for- 
bids the throwing of coarse offal of any kind in the sewers, so that the 
drains are always kept in good working order. 

Keokuk has a fine high school building and a number of modern 
graded school buildings. Several of the schoolhouses were being 
reconstructed in 19 14, which will give the city a complete quota of 
buildings unsurpassed by any city of its size in the Mississippi Valley. 
There are also several parochial schools. Churches of all the lead- 
ing religious denominations have comfortable houses of worship; 
the Young Men's and Young Women's Christian associations have 
homes that would be an ornament to any city; the Elks' Club House 
and the Masonic Temple are pointed to as evidence that the fraternal 
orders of the city are both prosperous and popular; the well paved 
streets and cement sidewalks, and the three public parks — Rand Park, 
Kilbourne Park and the Triangle — all combine to make Keokuk a 
desirable residence city, as well as a business center. 

The business interests of the city are represented by four banks, 
several large manufacturing plants, a number of well stocked mer- 
cantile establishments, two daily newspapers, a telephone exchange, 
good hotels and a number of minor business enterprises. 

Keokuk also has a good public library, a history of which will be 
found elsewhere in these pages, one of the best kept cemeteries in 
Soui.rtustern Iowa, and a large number of handsome residences. The 
social life of the city is shown by the large number of literary, social 
and charitable societies and clubs. 

In the early days Keokuk was a great shipping and outfitting point 
for the tide of emigration from the older states to the great West. 
Among the early warehouse and mercantile firms may be mentioned 
Chittenden & McGavic, Connable, Smyth & Company, B. B. Hin- 
man & Company, Foote & Company, Stafford & McCune and J. B. 
Carson. The establishments of these firms were chiefly along the 
levee, as the river traffic was then in the zenith of its glory. When 
boats could ascend the Des Moines River the merchants would use 
that method for shipping goods to the interior of the state, and when 
the river was too low to admit of the passage of boats wagons were 
used. The great amount of trade and emigration that then passed 
west via this point gave Keokuk the name of the "Gate City," which 
it has ever since retained. The population in 1910, according to the 
United States census, was 14,008. 



Scattered « over Lee County are a number of towns and villages, 
some of which are business centers of considerable importance, while 
others are merely small railroad stations, neighborhood trading points 
or postoffices for a given district. In the early days of Lee County's 
history there seems to have been a sort of mania for laying off towns,, 
the principal object having been the sale of lots to new comers. 
Hawkins Taylor, one of Lee County's pioneers, in an article published 
in the Annals of Iowa for October, 1870, says: "Speculation was 
running high in the spring of 1836, and everybody we met had a 
town plat. There were then more towns in what is now Lee County 
than there are now, if a paper plat constituted a town; and every 
man tfn lL :B nad a town had a map of the county marked out to suit 
his town as a county seat." 

Not all the towns referred to by Mr. Taylor could secure the 
county seat. In spite of that fact, however, some of them have sur- 
vived, others have disappeared entirely from the map, and it is quite 
probable that none of them has come up to the hopes and expecta- 
tions of the founders. From a careful examination of old plat-books, 
atlases and newspaper files, the following list of towns that are or 
have been in Lee County has been compiled: Ambrosia, Argyle, 
Ballinger, Beck, Belfast, Benbow Siding, Big Mound, Bricker, Buena 
Vista, Bullard, Camargo, Charleston, Connable, Cottonwood, Court- 
right, Croton, Denmark, Donnellson, Dover, Franklin, Galland, 
Hinsdale, Houghton, Jeffersonville, Jollyville, Ketchum Switch, La 
Crew, Leesburgh, Macuta, Melrose, Mertensville, Montrose, Mooar, 
Mount Clara, Mount Hamill, Nashville, New Boston, Nixon Station,. 
Overton, Pilot Grove, Primrose, Russellville, Saint Paul, Sandusky, 
Sand Prairie, Sawyer, Shopton, South Augusta, South Franklin, 
Summit Siding, Summitville, Tuscarora, Viele, Vincennes, Walanva,, 
Warren, Wescott and Wever. 



In this list there are a few instances of two names applying to the 
same place. For illustration: "Courtright ,, and "Mount Hamill" 
refer to same village, the former being used by the founders of the 
town and the latter by the postoffice department. "Vincennes" and 
"Sand Prairie" likewise refer to the same place. Galland was 
formerly known as Nashville, both of which names appear in the 
list. Many of these towns have no special history, but such facts 
as the writer could gather concerning them are given below. The 
figures showing the population are taken from Polk's Iowa Gazetteer 
for 19 14. 


The old Town of Ambrosia was situated about three miles west 
of Montrose. In its early days a general store and blacksmith shop 
were located there, and when Ambrosia Township was erected by the 
county commissioners in 1841 it was ordered that the first election 
should be held "at the Town of Ambrosia." After the railroad was 
constructed up the bank of the Mississippi River, missing the town, 
the business interests removed elsewhere, the postoffice was discon- 
tinued, and about all that is left to perpetuate the name is the public 
school known as the "Ambrosia District." 


The Village of Argyle is situated in Des Moines Township, on 
the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, fifteen miles southwest of 
Fort Madison. It has grown up since the railroad was built through 
that part of the county, has three general stores, a flour and feed mill, 
express, telegraph and telephone service, a money order postoffice and 
a population of fifty. 


Ballinger is a small station on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
Railroad in the southeast corner of Montrose Township. It was 
established after the railroad was built and takes its name from one 
of the pioneer families in that locality. It has no business interests 
of importance. 


Two miles south of Viele, on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
Railroad, is the little station of Beck, or Beck's Siding, but the place 


has no history except that a siding was put in here by the railroad com- 
pany for the convenience of local shippers and was named for the 
owner of the land upon which it is situated. 


This town is located in the northwestern part of Des Moines 
Township, on the Des Moines River and the Chicago, Rock Island 
& Pacific Railroad, and had a population of 90 in 1914. It has 
a money order postoffice, a general store and is a shipping point for 
a considerable territory. 


On the Fort Madison & Ottumwa Division of the Chicago, Bur- 
lington & Quincy Railroad, a short distance northwest of Sawyer, 
is a shipping station called Benbow Siding. It has never been 
officially platted as a town and the name does not even appear on the 
time tables of the railroad company. 


1 he old Village of Big Mound is situated in the western part 
of Cedar Township, about one mile from the Van Buren County line. 
It takes its name from a knoll in the vicinity and in its early days was 
a trading point of some importance. After the Keokuk & Mount 
Pleasant Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad 
was built, the business was diverted to Mount Hamill, or Court- 
right, and Big Mound is little more than a memory. 


Bricker is a little station on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe 
Railroad nine miles southwest of Fort Madison, in Jefferson Town- 
ship. It has no history nor no business interests of importance. 


Three miles west of Keokuk, in the southern part of Jackson 
Township, is the little hamlet of Buena Vista, a flag station on the 
Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, though the railroad com- 


pany does not keep an agent there. Mail is delivered to the few 
inhabitants through the Keokuk postoffice. 


Bullard, or Bullard's Station, is situated in the northeastern part 
of Jefferson Township, on the Burlington & St. Louis Division of the 
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, five miles from Fort Madi- 
son. Mail is received by rural delivery from Montrose. 


Among the early settlers of Des Moines Township was Samuel 
Hearn, who established a ferry across the Des Moines River, not far 
from the present hamlet of Hinsdale. A settlement grew up about 
the ferry and in time a postoffice was established there under the 
name of Camargo. Both ferry and postoffice were ultimately dis- 
continued and the site of the village is now farming land. 


The Town of Charleston was laid off by George Berry on Sep- 
tember 23, 1848, for Jacob Hufford, and the plat was filed in the 
office of the county recorder on June 1, 1849. The original plat 
shows forty-eight small and three large lots, with Hackberry, Main 
and Elm streets running north and south, and First, Second, Third 
and Fourth streets running east and west. It is located nearly in the 
center of the township of the same name, on the Keokuk & Mount 
Pleasant Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, 
eighteen miles from Keokuk. In early days Charleston was a popu- 
lar place for holding conventions, on account of its central location, 
and at the special election held in August, 1845, the town received 
forty-one votes for county seat. At that time Charleston was in the 
zenith of its glory. Failing to secure the county seat, the town 
has kept on in the "even tenor of its way," and is now a trading point 
for a large agricultural district. Its estimated population in 1914 
was sixty-five. It has three churches, a public school, a money order 
postoffice with one rural route, express and telegraph offices, telephone 
connections, a hotel, a general store, and does considerable shipping. 



Twelve miles northwest of Keokuk, on the Chicago, Rock Island 
& Pacific Railroad, is the little flag station of Connable, so called 
from the owner of the land at the time the station was established. 
It is merely a shipping point and has no commercial interests of 


This is a station on the Fort Madison & Ottumwa Division of the 
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, twenty-three miles from 
Fort Madison. It is located near the line dividing sections 10 and 
ii in Cedar Township, not far from the site of the old Village of 
Russellville, has a general store, a money order postoffice, telephone 
connections, a Methodist Episcopal Church, and in 1914 the popu- 
lation was estimated at twenty-five. 



The original plat of Croton was filed in the county recorder's 
office on jWy 3, 1849, by Lewis Coon. It shows twelve blocks ot 
eight lots each. Subsequently six similar blocks were added, making 
a total of 144 lots. Croton is situated in the southwestern part of 
Van Buren Township, on the Des Moines River and the Chicago, 
Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, twenty-six miles northwest of 
Keokuk. It has Adventist, Baptist and Methodist Episcopal 
churches, a money order postoffice, telephone connection, express 
office, a public school and an estimated population of one hundred. 


The Town of Denmark is situated near the center of Denmark 
Township, seven miles north of Fort Madison. Sawyer is the near- 
est railroad station. Denmark was laid out by Timothy Fox, Curtis 
Shedd, Lewis Epps and W. Brown and the plat was filed for record 
on January 17, 1840. It has two general stores, a private banking 
house, harness and wagon repair shops, a hotel, an independent tele- 
phone exchange, an academy, in connection with which is conducted 
a library, Baptist and Congregational churches, and in 1914 the 
population was estimated at two hundred. 



Early in the spring of 1 88 1 the Town of Donnellson was surveyed 
by H. A. Summers, county surveyor, for Esten A. Donnell and others 
and the plat was filed in the office of the county recorder on May 
21, 1 88 1. Since that time Borland's, Abel's, Frank's and Trump's 
additions have been made to the original plat, the last named in June, 
1905. Donnellson is situated in the southwest corner of Franklin 
Township, at the junction of the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant and the 
Burlington & Carrollton divisions of the Chicago, Burlington & 
Quincy Railroad. It has two banks, an electric plant, a flour mill, 
several stores, a good public school building, a weekly newspaper, 
German Evangelical, Methodist Episcopal, Mennonite and Presby- 
terian churches, a money order postoffice with four rural routes, and 
a number of pleasant residences. According to the United States 
census for 1910 the population at that time was 337. It is one of the 
Incorporated towns of Lee County. 


No official plat of the old Town of Dover is available, so that its 
early history cannot be given with certainty. It is locr^al in the 
southeast quarter of section 8, in the northwestern part of Franklin 
Township and in 1914 consisted of a general store and a few dwell- 
ings. A postoffice was once maintained here, but it has been dis- 
continued and the few inhabitants now receive mail by rural delivery 
from the postoffice at Donnellson. 


The Town of Franklin (also called Franklin Centre in early days) 
owes its origin to the commissioners, James L. Scott and S. C. Reed, 
who selected the site as the place for the county seat of Lee County, 
an account of which is given in the chapter on "Settlement and 
Organization." The town was laid off by order of the county com- 
missioners on March 21, 1840, and was for a time the seat of justice 
of the county. Franklin is situated in the eastern part of Franklin 
Township, on the Burlington & Carrollton Division of the Chicago, 
Burlington & Quincy Railroad, twelve miles west of Fort Madison. 
It is incorporated and in 1910 reported a population of 138. It has 
two general stores, a furniture and undertaking establishment, a 


money order postoffice, telephone connections, a hotel, and is a ship- 
ping point for the surrounding country. 


When this village was first laid out it was called Nashville. The 
first settler here was Dr. Isaac Galland, in 1829, after whom the 
postoffice was named when it was established some years later. The 
first schoolhouse in the State of Iowa was built at Galland — or Nash- 
ville, as it was then called — in 1830. Galland is situated in the 
southeastern part of the Township of Montrose, on the Mississippi 
River and the Burlington & St. Louis Division of the Chicago, Bur- 
lington & Quincy Railroad, three miles down the river from Mont- 
rose. It was at one time a trading point of some importance, but its 
glory has departed, the postoffice has been discontinued, and the few 
inhabitants now receive mail by rural delivery from Montrose. 


This is a small station on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Rail- 
road m the southwestern part of Des Moines Township, seventeen 
miles northwest of Keokuk. It has no special history. 


Houghton is situated in the eastern part of Cedar Township, on 
the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant Division of the Chicago, Burlington 
& Quincy Railroad, thirty-three miles from Keokuk and twenty-two 
from Fort Madison. It has two general stores, a money order post- 
office, telegraph and express offices and about fifty inhabitants. 


On January 27, 1870, William Crosley filed in the county re- 
corder's office the plat of town called Jeffersonville, which had been 
laid out for him by William H. Morrison, deputy surveyor, in June, 
1867. The plat showed sixteen lots in the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 16, near the junction of the Burlington & St. Louis and Burling- 
ton & Carrollton divisions of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
Railway System. Subsequently the plat of Viele, just north of the 
junction, was surveyed and Jeffersonville passed into history. 



In May, 1856, F. M. Jolly employed Samuel W. Sears, then 
county surveyor, to lay off a town on his farm in the southeast quarter 
of section 7, township 68, range 3, about three-fourths of a mile from 
the present railroad station of Wever. The original plat showed 
six large and twenty-four small lots, which were all sold, and Jolly- 
. ville was a thriving little place until Wever sprang up on the railroad, 
when the business interests all removed to the new town. 


It is hardly appropriate to classify this place as a town, as it is 
merely a siding on the Burlington & Carrollton division of the Chi- 
cago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, about two miles west of the 
Town of Warren and was placed there by the railroad company for 
the convenience of a few shippers in that locality. 


La Crew is a station on the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant Division 
of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, in the northwest 
corner of Franklin Township, near the Marion Township line. It 
was laid off by James A. Davis, county surveyor, November 1, 1881, 
for J. and W. Bonnell and J. W. Powell, and the plat was filed for 
record on May 22, 1882. It is twenty-eight miles from Keokuk and 
eighteen from Fort Madison, has two general stores, a hotel, express 
and telegraph service, telephone connections, etc. A postoffice was 
formerly maintained here, but it has been discontinued and a rural 
route from West Point now supplies mail daily. 


Hawkins Taylor, in the article referred to in the opening of this 
chapter, says Leesburgh was laid off by William Skinner some time 
prior to the spring of 1836, and that it was located a few miles south 
of Franklin. No official plat of the town can be found and nothing 
can be learned of its history further than the above meager statement 
of Mr. Taylor. It was evidently one of the "paper towns" which 
were so common in early days when speculation was rife. 



This is the first station southwest of Fort Madison on the Atchi- 
son, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. It is six miles from Fort Madison, 
in Jefferson Township. 


The original plat of Melrose, which was filed on November 20, 
1857, shows thirty-six blocks of twelve lots each, located in section 1, 
township 65, range 6, in the northwestern part of Jackson Town- 
ship. No railroad ever came to the town, which failed to fulfill the 
expectations of its founders, and the plat was subsequently vacated 
with the exception of a few lots upon which dwellings had been 


On August 29, 1855, L. E. H. Houghton, B. Smith and F. W. 
Billigman filed with the county recorder a plat of the Town of Mes- 
singerville, located in the northwest quarter of section 24, township 
65, range 5. Messingerville is now practically a part of the City of 


On the Fort Madison & Ottumwa division of the Chicago, Bur- 
lington & Quincy Railroad, twenty-one miles from Fort Madison, is 
the little station of Mertensville. It is in the extreme northwest 
corner of Marion Township, not far from the Henry County line, and 
has no commercial importance aside from its shipping interests. 


The incorporated Town of Montrose is situated in the township 
of the same name, on the Mississippi River about midway between 
Fort Madison and Keokuk, on the Burlington & St. Louis division 
of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. It is a town of more 
than ordinary historic interest, as it marks the site of the first white 
man's settlement in what is now Lee County. An account of this 
settlement will be found in the history of Montrose Township. 

Vol. I— 11 


The first attempt to lay off a town here was in 1836, which fact 
was communicated to the war department by Lieutenant-Colonel 
Mason, then in command of the garrison at Fort Des Moines. Later 
in the year the fort was abandoned and the plat of the town was 
completed by David W. Kilbourne, of Keokuk, who gave it the name 
of Montrose. No official plat was filed, however, until April 5, 1854. 
Oren Baldwin, then deputy county surveyor, who made the plat, 
states in his report that the survey was made at the request of Edward 
and Virginia C. Brooks, Francis E. Billon, Dabney C. and Walter 
J. Riddick; that it included the tract of 640 acres — part of the old 
Spanish grant to Louis Honore Tesson — as well as the Town of 
Montrose, and that it was completed on May 8, 1853. 

Montrose was incorporated in 1857. Dr. J. M. Anderson was 
chosen the first mayor at a town election held on June 1, 1857; 
Washington Galland was elected recorder, and E. J. Hamlet, Gowen 
Hamilton, B. F. Anderson and George Purcell, councilmen. At that 
time, and for a number of years afterward, Montrose was an impor- 
tant river town, on account of its being located just above the head 
of the rapids, where cargoes were unloaded and carried over the 
rapids in lighters, except in times of high water, when the large 
steamers could pass over the rapids without difficulty. The com- 
pletion of the Government Canal in 1877 put an end to the lighter- 
ing business. 

David W. and Edward Kilbourne opened the first store in 1839, 
but were succeeded by Chittenden & McGavic. A large saw-mill 
was one of the early industries. About the time the canal was opened 
to traffic, this mill was operated by the firm of Wells, Felt & Spauld- 
ing and cut over fifty thousand feet of lumber daily. It also had 
machinery for making shingles, lath and fence pickets and a planing 
mill for dressing lumber. 

In 1910, according to the United States census, the population 
of Montrose was 708. The town has Catholic, Methodist Episcopal, 
Presbyterian and Latter Day Saints churches, a fine public school 
building, a weekly newspaper, an opera house, and is connected with 
Nauvoo, Illinois, by a steam ferry. The principal business interests 
are three general stores, a hardware store, a drug store, the Standard 
Garden Tool Company, a button blank factory, large nurseries, coal 
and lumber yards, three groceries and a bank. The town also has an 
international money order postoffice and lodges of the principal 
fraternal orders. Several fine orchards, truck farms and vineyards 
are in the immediate vicinity, the products of which are taken by a 
canning factory in the town. 



Shortly after the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant division of the Chi- 
cago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad was completed, the little station 
of Mooar was established six miles north of Keokuk and was named 
for the owner of the land on which it is situated. It has never grown 
to any considerable proportions. 


This is also a station on the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant division 
of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy system of railroads. It is 
situated twelve miles from Keokuk, near the northwest corner of 
Montrose Township, and is a shipping point for a rich agricultural 


It is not often that a small town is honored by having three names, 
but such is the case with this one. The original plat was made by 
James A. Davis, county surveyor, for A. L. Courtright and R. A. 
Jarrett and it was filed under the name of "Courtright 1 ' on July 5, 
1 88 1. When the postoffice was established there it was given the 
name of "Mount Hamill, 11 and as a station on the Keokuk & Mount 
Pleasant division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad 
the name appears on the time tables as "Hamill. 1 ' In the survey 
made by Doctor Davis, the plat of the town shows fifteen blocks of 
eighteen lots each, but only four of the blocks were at that time sub- 
divided. Mount Hamill is situated in the southeastern part of Cedar 
Township, thirty miles from Keokuk, by rail, and about twenty-three 
miles from Fort Madison. According to Polk's Gazetteer, the popu- 
lation was 200 in 1914. It has a bank, an automobile garage, Chris- 
tian, Congregational and Methodist Episcopal churches, general 
stores, an agricultural implement house, telephone and telegraph 
service, a fine public school building v etc., and is the trading and 
shipping point for a populous farming community. 


The first plat of New Boston was made by Oren Baldwin and it 
was filed in the office of the county recorder on July 28, 1855. The 
town is located in the southeast corner of Charleston Township and 


is a station on the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant division of the Chicago, 
Burlington & Quincy Railroad sixteen miles northwest of Keokuk. 
It has a money order postoffice, a general store, and is a shipping 
point of some importance. The population in 1914 was 75. It is 
connected with the surrounding towns by telephone. 


In the southeast corner of Charleston Township, only a short 
distance from New Boston, is Nixon Station, at the junction of the 
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and the Koekuk & Mount Pleasant 
railroads. Aside from its importance as the crossing of two lines of 
railway, it has no commercial interests worthy of mention. 


Among the early settlers of Marion Township were Elias and 
James Overton, who settled in section 22, in the southern part of the 
township. When the Fort Madison & Northwestern Railroad — the 
narrow-gauge — was commenced in the early '70s, Mr. Overton laid 
off a town on his farm, about a mile and a half southwest of the 
present Village of St. Paul, and gave it the name of Overton. Trains 
stopped there regularly for a time, but after the road was made a 
standard-gauge and became the Fort Madison & Ottumwa division 
of the Burlington system the station was discontinued and the Town 
of Overton passed out of existence. 


On March 20, 1858, George Berry, then deputy county surveyor, 
laid off the Town of Pilot Grove near the center of section 10, town- 
ship 69, range 6, for Stephen Townsend, Wesley Harrison and others, 
and the plat was filed for record on April 16, 1858. It shows 166 
lots and a large public square. Pilot Grove is a station on the Fort 
Madison & Ottumwa division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
Railroad, seventeen miles northwest of Fort Madison. It has a 
postoffice, a bank, a general store, telegraph and express offices, tele- 
phone connections, and ships considerable quantities of live stock, 
etc. According to the Iowa Gazetteer for 1914, the population was 
then eighty-five. 



On February 28, 1848, George W. Perkins and James H. Wash- 
burn laid out the Town of Primrose on the west side of section 23, in 
Harrison Township. The plat was filed in the office of the county 
recorder on April 21, 1850. In November, 1878, Levi and Lucretia 
Davis laid out an addition of fifty-four lots. Primrose is eighteen 
miles west of Fort Madison and about two and a half miles north of 
Warren, which is the nearest railroad station. It has a general store, 
a public school building, Lutheran, Methodist Episcopal and Pres- 
byterian churches, a money order postoffice, and a population of 150. 


This town was surveyed and platted by James Hanks on March 
11, 1858, for David Doan. The original plat shows twenty lots. 
Russellville has also been called Doantown, after the proprietor. 
It is situated in the northern part of Cedar Township. 


Concerning this town Polk's Iowa Gazetteer for 1914 says: "St. 
Paul. A discontinued postoffice one and one-half miles from St. 
Paul station on the C. B. & Q. R. R., in Marion Township, Lee 
County, sixteen miles west of Fort Madison, the judicial seat, and 
six from West Point the nearest banking point, whence it has rural 
delivery." Saint Paul was laid off by George Berry on the last day 
of April, 1866, and the plat was filed for record on the 25th of the 
following September. It shows sixteen large lots — 177 by 390 feet — 
and a public square 400 by 420 feet. A Catholic church was built 
here at an early day and at one time Saint Paul was a trading point 
of some importance. There is still considerable business done there. 


Five miles north of Keokuk on the Burlington & St. Louis divi- 
sion of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, is the little 
Village of Sandusky. It occupies the site of the old trading post 
established by the Frenchman, Lemoliese, in 1820. A postoffice was 
established here at an early date, but after the inauguration of the 
rural delivery system it was discontinued and mail is now supplied 


through the office at Montrose. A general store and a canning fac- 
tory are the principal business interests of Sandusky. 


Sawyer is a small station on the Fort Madison & Ottumwa divi- 
sion of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, six miles north 
of Fort Madison. It is the outgrowth of the railroad and has no 
important business enterprises. 


Strictly speaking, Shopton is a part of the City of Fort Madison. 
It is so named on account of its being the location of the Atchison, 
Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad shops, two miles from the passenger 
station of the city. 


Directly across the Skunk River from the Town of Augusta, in 
Des Moines County, is the Town of South Augusta. It is situated 
in the northeastern part of Denmark Township and was laid off by 
George Berry on April 19, 1843. The history of the town does not 
differ materially from that of other country villages. 


When the Burlington & Carrollton division of the Chicago, 
Burlington & Quincy Railway System was built through Franklin 
Township it missed the Town of Franklin, passing about two miles 
south. On August 22, 1872, P. H. Smyth laid off a town on the 
railroad, directly south of old Franklin, and gave it the name of 
South Franklin. The plat of Mr. Smyth's town shows 108 lots. 
Several business concerns moved from Franklin to the new town on 
account of the advantages offered by the railroad. 


On the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, seven miles 
west of Keokuk, in Jackson Township, is the little station of Sugar 
Creek, which takes its name from the stream near which it is located. 


No official plat of the town can be found and, aside from its railroad 
connections, it has no history nor business importance. 


In the northwestern part of Washington Township, on the Fort 
Madison & Ottumwa division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
Railroad, is Summit Siding, a small station established there by the 
railroad company for the convenience of shippers in the immediate 
vicinity. No town has grown up about the siding. 


The old Town of Summitville is situated in the southwestern part 
of Montrose Township. It is a station on the Keokuk & Mount 
Pleasant division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, 
eight miles north of Keokuk and twenty miles from Fort Madison. 
It has a general store, a money order postoffice, Christian and United 
Presbyterian churches, a public school building, and in 1914 had an 
estimated population of one hundred. 


This town was laid off by Stephen and John B. Perkins and 
James Douglas about 1838, on Perkins' Prairie, in the southern part 
of what is now Marion Township and on the road running from 
Fort Madison to Salem. It was one of the towns projected for 
speculative purposes and in the public library at Fort Madison is 
one of the advertisements, in the form of a poster issued by the pro- 
prietors, announcing the sale of lots, in what was to be the metropolis 
of Lee County. Tuscarora failed to meet the anticipations of the 
founders, however, and in time disappeared from the map entirely. 


Viele is situated in the northern part of Jefferson Township, six 
miles southwest of Fort Madison, at the junction of the Burlington 
& St. Louis and the Burlington & Carrollton divisions of the Chicago, 
Burlington & Quincy Railway System. It has a general store, ex- 
press and telegraph offices, telephone connections and some minor 
business interests. The postoffice formerly maintained here has been 


discontinued and rural delivery from Montrose now supplies daily 
mail to the inhabitants. 


The railroad name of this village is Sand Prairie. It is situated 
on the Des Moines River and the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific 
Railroad, in the southern part of Des Moines Township, fifteen 
miles northwest of Keokuk. It has a general store, a feed mill, tele- 
graph and express offices, telephone connections, a money order 
postoffice, a public school, and in 1914 had an estimated population 
of one hundred and fifty. Vincennes is one of the best shipping 
points between Keokuk and Farmington. 


One of the early towns of Lee County was Walanva, which was 
laid off by Samuel Sears in section 18, township 69, range 7, in the 
western part of Cedar Township and not far from the Van Buren 
County line. The original plat shows a town of some pretensions, 
but Walanva never came up to the hopes of the founders and after 
some years the plat was vacated. 


Warren is a station on the Burlington & Carrollton division of 
the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, located in the southern 
part of Harrison Township, seventeen miles by rail from Fort Madi- 
son. The plat was filed for record on May 1, 1876. It has grown 
up since the railroad was built and is the principal shipping point 
for a rich agricultural district in Harrison and Van Buren town- 
ships. A postoffice was once maintained here, but it has been 
discontinued and rural delivery from Donnellson supplies the 
inhabitants with mail daily. 


Five miles north of Fort Madison, on the Burlington & St. Louis 
division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway System, is the 
little station of Wescott. No official plat of the place was ever 
recorded and it has no business enterprises of consequence. 



In the year 1834 a man named Whitaker laid claim to the site 
of the present Town of West Point. The next year he sold his inter- 
ests to John L. Howell and John L. Cotton, who in turn sold to 
Abraham Hunsicker. Mr. Hunsicker laid off a public square with 
one tier of lots surrounding it, and Mr. Cotton built a log house 
near the northwest corner of the square and opened a store. This 
was the first business enterprise and the place was known as "Cotton 
Town." During the year 1835 anc ^ ear ly m 1836 a few log cabins 
were erected. In May, 1836, William Patterson, A. H. Walker, 
Green Carey and Hawkins Taylor purchased Mr. Hunsicker's claim, 
procured a patent for the land and on June 11, 1840, laid off the 
Town of West Point. In an article written by Mr. Taylor for the 
"Annals of Iowa," he gives many interesting facts concerning the 
early history of West Point, a few of which are here reproduced: 

"John L. Cotton had the only store. The house was about twelve 
by sixteen feet, of peeled hickory logs, split side in, rough boards 
nailed over the cracks and no ceiling. His stock in trade was one 
barrel of 'red eye,' said to be of approved quality; about a dozen 
pieces of calico and as many more pieces of domestics; a few fancy 
articles, tea, coffee and tobacco, all amounting in value to perhaps 
two hundred dollars. 

"Within a few days after our purchase, my associates returned 
to Illinois, leaving me to put up a frame house for each of us, 18 by 32 
feet, one story high. I had not a foot of plank to use in any of them; 
the studding were rails straightened; the siding split boards, and 
the floor puncheons. The front doors and window-sash were 
brought round from Pittsburgh and bought at Fort Madison. 

"On the 10th of September, 1836, the proprietors of West Point 
made a sale of lots, after pretty full advertisement. The proprietors 
were all temperance men, and one or two of them were elders in the 
old blue-stocking Presbyterian Church. They had set apart a liberal 
plat of ground to their late minister, who was coming to settle there, 
and they had arranged to build a meeting-house and organize a 
church. To be a 'hard-shell' Baptist was then respectable with the 
settlers; to be a Campbellite was passable; and to be a Methodist 
could be tolerated; but they felt that it was asking rather too much 
for anyone to come among them and propagate temperance and 
blue-stocking Presbyterianism. It was strongly whispered that this 
was a bad lot to settle in a new country — in fact, it was whispered 
pretty loudly. The proprietors were very anxious to have their sale 


a success. They were all Kentuckians, and, at that time, had seen 
but few Yankees; still, they had picked up some Yankee ideas, and, 
as nearly all the settlers were from the South, they concluded to 
make, on the day of sale, a regular old-fashioned barbecue. No 
sooner was this known than the hard-shells themselves softened and 
offers from all quarters were made to take charge of the roasting 
department of the barbecue, and the worst of enemies became friends. 
Both the sale and the barbecue were a grand success; plenty to eat 
for all and well cooked, no one intoxicated, everything cheerful and 
pleasant. The sale amounted to about twenty-three hundred 
dollars. 1 ' 

Not long after this sale, the people of West Point began a fight 
to secure the county The contest was kept up until 1 843, when 
a commission composed of Thomas O. Wamsley, I. N. Selby and 
Stephen Gearhart, appointed by the Legislature, selected West Point 
as the most suitable location for the judicial seat of Lee County. 
For a brief period there was rejoicing among the West Pointers, 
and then another act was passed, authorizing an election at which 
the people could decide the location for themselves. In that election 
Fort Madison won and some of the citizens of West Point suffered 
pecuniary losses in consequence. But the town held on and in time 
regained much of its former prosperity. 

The West Point of 19 14 is one of the thriving towns of Lee 
County. It is incorporated, has a bank, a canning factory, a cigar 
factory, a weekly newspaper, several well-stocked mercantile estab- 
lishments, a good public school building, an international money 
order postoffice with five rural routes, Methodist Episcopal, Pres- 
byterian and Catholic churches and a number of handsome resi- 
dences. Being located on the Fort Madison & Ottumwa division 
of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway System, in the center 
of a rich farming country in West Point Township, and only eleven 
miles from Fort Madison, it is an important trading and shipping 
point. The West Point District Agricultural Society has held 
annual fairs at West Point for nearly half a century. According 
to the United States census for 1910 the population of the town 
was then 570. 


In July, 1 891, Elisha Cook surveyed and platted the Town of 
Wever for William and Louisa Blakslee, George W. and Clara 
Tucker, and others, and the plat, showing eight blocks of four lots 


each, was filed with the county recorder on December 18, 1891. The 
town is the outgrowth of the building of the railroad which is now 
the Burlington & St. Louis division of the Chicago, Burlington & 
Quincy System. It is located in the central part of Green Bay Town- 
ship, eight miles by rail from Fort Madison, and is the commercial 
center of Green Bay and a large part of Washington and Denmark 
townships. Wever has a savings bank, three general stores, a money 
order postoffice with two rural routes, a public school, a grain ele- 
vator and some minor business concerns, and in 1914 had an estimated 
population of one hundred. 


The following list of Lee County postoffices is taken from the 
United States Postal Guide issued in July, 1914, the figures in paren- 
theses showing the number of rural delivery routes emanating from 
the office immediately preceding: Argyle, Belfast, Charleston (1), 
Cottonwood, Croton, Denmark, Donnellson (4), Fort Madison (3), 
Franklin, Houghton, Keokuk (2), Montrose (4), Mount Hamill 
(2), New Boston, Pilot Grove, Primrose, Summitville, Vincennes 
( 1 ), West Point (5), Wever (2). Domestic money orders are issued 
by all these offices and international money orders by the postoffices 
at Fort Madison, Keokuk, Montrose and West Point. 



For many years after the conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards 
the territory now comprising the State of Texas was left unpeopled, 
the object being to make it act as a barrier between the United States 
and the Spanish settlements in Mexico. When Mexico achieved her 
independence in 182 1, the new government adopted the policy of 
developing the district so long neglected. To inaugurate this policy 
a large tract of land was given to Moses Austin, of Connecticut, on 
condition that he would establish a colony of 300 American families 
thereon. The grant was later confirmed to his son, Stephen Austin, 
who was given the privilege of increasing the colony to 500 families. 
Under this arrangement a nucleus of American settlement was placed 
in Texas by 1823, and a few years later the colonists from the United 
States were strong enough to dominate the affairs of the province. 

Under the leadership of Samuel Houston, of Tennessee, these 
Americans instituted an armed revolt in 1835 against the Mexican 
authorities. General Santa Anna, president of Mexico, marched 
against the Texans and on March 6, 1836, occurred the historic 
massacre of the Alamo. The following month this dastardly deed 
was avenged by the Texans under General Houston in the Battle 
of San Jacinto, in which the Mexicans were defeated and General 
Santa Anna made prisoner. This forced a peace and the Republic 
of Texas was established with Houston as president. The inde- 
pendence of the new state was acknowledged by the United States, 
Great Britain and France. 

It was not long until Houston, and other Americans, sought the an- 
nexation of Texas to the United States, as more than a hundred thou- 



sand emigrants from the States had already settled in Texas. In the po- 
litical campaign of 1844, the democratic party, with James K. Polk as 
the candidate for President, declared in favor of annexation, while the 
whigs, led by Henry Clay as their candidate, opposed it. Polk was 
elected and on March 1, 1845, Congress passed the annexation bill, 
which was signed by President Tyler, three days before Polk was 

At that time the military forces of the United States in the South- 
west were commanded by Gen. Zachary Taylor, who was ordered to 
take possession of the country and hold it until the boundary dispute 
could be adjusted. Early in 1846 General Arista began gathering 
a large force of Mexicans directly south of the Rio Grande, to which 
stream Taylor was ordered to advance. Establishing a depot of 
supplies at Point Isabel, on the Gulf coast, he built Fort Brown op- 
posite the Mexican Town of Matamoras, which was General Arista's 
headquarters. The Mexican commander was defeated in the battles 
of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma and the news of these engage- 
ments aroused the war spirit all over the United States. Whigs forgot 
the old political differences of opinion regarding annexation and 
offered their services to put a stop to Mexican aggression. On May 
11, 1846, two days after the Battle of Resaca de la Palma, Congress 
declared that "war already exists by act of the Mexican government," 
placed $10,000,000 at the disposal of the administration, and au- 
thorized the President to accept the services of 50,000 volunteers. 

President Polk approved the act on May 13, 1846, and called 
upon the various states and territories for eighty-six and one-half 
regiments (the half regiment to be raised in the District of Colum- 
bia). On June 1, 1846, Governor James Clarke, of Iowa, issued his 
proclamation calling for one regiment "to consist of ten companies, 
each company to have one captain, one first and one second lieu- 
tenant, four sergeants, four corporals, two musicians and sixty-four 
privates. . . . The enlistment is to be for twelve months after 
they shall have arrived at the place of rendezvous, or to the end of 
the war, unless sooner discharged." 

Iowa was at that time a territory, the bill admitting it into the 
Union as a state being passed on December 28, 1846, while the troops 
were still in the service. In closing his proclamation Governor 
Clarke said: "The President, in thus offering us an opportunity of 
participating in the danger and glory of inflicting merited chastise- 
ment upon the invaders of our soil, has, I am confident, but antici- 
pated the wishes of the great body of our people. It remains for 
us to prove by our acts that he has not formed too high an estimate 


of our devotion to country, and that the flame of patriotism burns 
not less brightly in Iowa than elsewhere." 

The Thirty-second General Assembly of Iowa passed an act, 
which was approved on April 10, 1907, providing for the compila- 
tion of a roster of Iowa soldiers in all the wars in which the state 
has borne a part. Volume VI of that work (p. 789) says: "On June 
26, 1846, the ten companies, which were to compose the regiment 
from Iowa, had been organized and were ready for service. In fact, 
two more than the requisite number had been organized, in the fol- 
lowing order: Des Moines County, two companies; Lee County, two 
companies; Van Buren County, two companies; Muscatine County, 
one company; Louisa County, one company; Washington County, 
one company; Dubuque County, one company; Johnson and Linn 
counties, one company, and Jefferson County, one company." 

Although the companies were ready for service in June, no order 
for their muster in and organization into a regiment came from 
Washington. The summer passed and still the men waited for an 
opportunity to enter into active service. Late in the fall Governor 
Clarke wrote to the War Department and received the following 

"War Department, Washington, November 25, 1846. 
"His Excellency James Clarke, 

Governor of Iowa, 
Burlington, Iowa. 

"Sir: — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Ex- 
cellency's letter of the 19th instant, stating that the regiment of Iowa 
volunteers are anxious to be called into active service, and to inform 
you that their patriotic wishes cannot now be gratified consistently 
with the claims of other states. 

"Very respectfully your Obt. Servt., 

"W. L. Marcy, 

"Secretary of War." 

It would be interesting to give a roster of the Lee County com- 
panies that were formed for service in the war with Mexico, but as 
the regiment was never called into service the muster rolls, it appears, 
were not preserved. E. L. Sabin, writing in the "Annals of Iowa" 
(Vol. IV, page 314) says: "The names of the organizations of 
troops that took part in the operations on Mexican soil, and published 
in one of the histories of the war, in the library of the State Historical 
Department, have no representation from Iowa, save the Mormon 
battalion and Company K, Fifteenth United States Infantry." 


The Fifteenth Regiment was recruited in the central part of the 
Mississippi Valley, Company K being raised in Iowa and a large 
part of that company in Lee County. Edwin Guthrie, of Fort Madi- 
son, was commissioned captain by President Polk on March 8, 1847, 
and a month later was assigned to the command of the company. He 
was one of the early wardens of the penitentiary at Fort Madison. 
In the skirmish at Lahoya Pass, on the road from V era Cruz to 
Perote, June 20, 1847, Captain Guthrie was severely wounded and 
died on the 20th of July. In 1850 the Iowa Legislature named 
Guthrie County in his honor. 

Henry E. Vrooman, of Fort Madison, was first sergeant of the 
company. He enlisted on April 6, 1847, an d died of disease on the 
5th of the following September, in the hospital at Puebla, Mexico. 

Isaac W. Griffiths, first corporal, was also from Fort Madison. 
In the Battle of Churubusco, August 20, 1847, he lost his right arm 
and was discharged on account of the disability. From this fact he 
was called "Old Churubusco 1 ' by his comrades. Before entering the 
United States service he had held the rank of captain in the terri- 
torial militia. After the war he served as a member of the Iowa 
Legislature; as bailiff of the State Supreme Court; as doorkeeper 
of the United States Senate, and as sheriff of Polk County. 

John Moyes, the third corporal, enlisted at Fort Madison on 
April 6, 1847, served throughout the entire term of enlistment and 
was mustered out with the company at Covington, Kentucky, August 

Isaiah B. Taylor, generally called by the members of the com- 
pany "Zack" Taylor, was from Fort Madison and was the fourth 
corporal of the company. He was mustered out with the company 
at Covington. 

Among the privates of the company, the following were from 
Lee County: Jesse B. Barber, William Benton, Warren W. Bixby, 
Thomas Courtney, Edmund Derrick, Samuel Foulton, Thomas L. 
Gannon, George A. Gray, George Grigsby, William B. Hampton, 
Philip J. Hanes, Henry McC. Jewett, John Levitt, Thomas J. Mc- 
Kean, Gushorn C. Norris, Grosvenor Norton, John W. Roberts, 
Andrew R. Sausman, John Schuyler, John R. Snyder, Theodore B. 
Sparks, Samuel D. Thompson, West Walker and William H. 

Private Thomas J. McKean graduated at the United States Mili- 
tary Academy at West Point in July, 1831, and received the rank 
of brevet second lieutenant in the Fourth United States Infantry. 
After the Florida war, in which he took part, he settled in Iowa and 


was a delegate to the first constitutional convention. On May 10, 
1847, he was made sergeant major of the regiment and was mustered 
out with that rank at Covington, Kentucky, August 4, 1848. He 
was wounded at Churubusco. After the war he settled in Linn 

The company reported at Vera Cruz on July 10, 1847, and was 
at once attached to the regiment. From that time until the close of 
the conflict it was on active duty, taking part in numerous battles 
and skirmishes and losing about forty per cent of its aggregate num- 
ber. Nearly every one of its officers received honorable mention for 
gallant and meritorious conduct on the field of battle and several were 
promoted for similar service. 

Notwithstanding the failure of the War Department to accept 
the regiment called for from Iowa, three independent companies 
were mustered into the service of the United States. The first of 
these was Capt. James M. Morgan's infantry company, which 
was mustered in at Fort Atkinson on July 15, 1846, for one year, 
and was mustered out at the same place promptly at the expiration 
of that period. It was employed in garrison duty and was not or- 
dered to Mexico. 

Capt. John Parker's company of Iowa Dragoons was mustered 
in at Fort Atkinson on September 9, 1846, and was employed in 
watching the Winnebago Indians, keeping them upon their reserva- 
tion, and in performing scout duty. It was mustered out by order 
of the War Department at Fort Atkinson, November 5, 1846. 

After Captain Morgan's infantry company was mustered out he 
organized a company of mounted men, which was mustered in at 
Fort Atkinson immediately after the infantry company was disbanded, 
many of the members of that company becoming members of the 
new organization. It was engaged in watching the Indians of the 
Northwest until mustered out at Fort Atkinson, September 13, 1848. 

In these three companies there were few Lee County men, but 
the muster rolls give imperfect records of the members and it is im- 
possible to distinguish which should be credited to the county. There 
were also a few Lee County men in other military organizations. 
J. J. Brown, of Fort Madison, enlisted as a private in Company F, 
First United States Infantry, in 1846, and served with the regiment 
in Mexico until the end of the war. Benjamin S. Roberts, of Fort 
Madison, was commissioned a first lieutenant in the United States 
army by President Polk on May 27, 1846, and was assigned to duty 
with the regiment of Mounted Riflemen. He distinguished himself 

Vol. 1—12 


by his bravery and skill and was promoted to captain. At the close 
of the war he was given the brevet rank of lieutenant-colonel. 

Benjamin Stone Roberts was born at Manchester, Vermont, No- 
vember 1 8, 1810, and died at Washington, D. C, January 29, 1870. 
He was a grandson of Christopher Roberts, who was with Ethan 
Allen and his "Green Mountain Boys" when that intrepid officer 
demanded the surrender of Ticonderoga "in the name of the Great 
Jehovah and the Continental Congress. 11 In 1835 he was graduated 
at the United States Military Academy and served as second lieu- 
tenant in the First Dragoons until 1839, when he resigned. After 
a few months spent in civil engineering, he was appointed assistant 
state geologist of the State of New York. He next studied law with 
General Skinner, of Plattsburg, and in 1842 went to Russia to aid in 
the construction of railroads. Not liking the conditions in that 
country, he soon returned to his native land, and in February, 1843, 
located at Fort Madison, Iowa. 

He was the ranking first lieutenant of the Mounted Riflemen in 
the Mexican war, which regiment served in the army commanded 
by General Scott. In February, 1847, he was promoted to the rank 
of captain. He commanded the advance guard at the battle of Con- 
treras; was actively engaged at Churubusco; led a picked storming 
party at Chapultepec; marched with his regiment at the head of the 
army when it entered the City of Mexico, and with his own hands 
raised the first United States flag over the ancient palace of the 

For his distinguished services during the war he was given the 
rank of brevet lieutenant-colonel by President Polk and continued 
in the regular army. While in the war with Mexico he captured 
a sword from General Torrejon, the notorious Mexican guerrilla. 
This sword he afterward presented to the State of Iowa and it is now 
among the stated historical collections. In 1849 the Iowa Legisla- 
ture gave him a vote of thanks for the luster shed upon the state 
through his military services. 

At the beginning of the Civil war in 1861, he was with his regi- 
ment in New Mexico, where he played a conspicuous part in re- 
pelling the invasion of the Confederate general, Sibley. He was 
then ordered to Washington and was appointed a brigadier-general 
of volunteers. Subsequently he was made chief of cavalry of the 
Army of the Potomac, under Gen. John Pope, and distinguished 
himself in a number of engagements in Virginia. He was one of 
Iowa's most valiant soldiers in two wars. 


When it became known that the ten companies called for by 
Governor Clarke, in his proclamation of June i, 1846, were not to be 
accepted for active service, a few men from Lee County enlisted in 
other organizations. Soon after the conclusion of the conflict a num- 
ber of Mexican war veterans settled within the limits of the county. 
Among those known to have served in the war with Mexico were 
Eli P. Ramsey, Frank Seitz, James Graham, J. M. Love and Nicholas 
McKenzie, of Keokuk; and William Winters, August Ehinger, 
James J. Brown and William C. Brandes, of Fort Madison. Wash- 
ington Galland, who served through the war with Mexico, entered 
the Union army in the Civil war as captain of a company and in the 
summer of 19 14 was still living in Lee County — one of the very few 
survivors of the Mexican war. 



Almost from the very beginning of the American Republic, the 
slavery question became a dominant issue in political affairs. In 
1808, the earliest date at which such action could be constitutionally 
taken, Congress enacted a law abolishing the foreign slave trade. By 
1819 seven of the original thirteen states had abolished slavery within 
their borders. Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi and 
Alabama had been admitted as slave states, and Vermont, Ohio, 
Indiana and Illinois as free states, making eleven of each. This 
was the situation when Missouri sought admission in 1820. After 
a long and somewhat acrimonious debate, that state was admitted 
under the provisions of the act known as the "Missouri Compro- 
mise," which provided that Missouri should be admitted without 
any restrictions as to slavery, but in all the remaining portion of the 
Louisiana Purchase north of the line marking the latitude of 36 30' 
slavery should be forever prohibited. 

The Mexican war gave to the United States a large expanse of 
territory to which the advocates of slavery laid claim. The "Omni- 
bus Bill," or Compromise of 1850, was a violation of the Missouri 
Compromise, according to the views of the opponents of slavery, 
because it sought to extend slavery north of the line 36 30", and the 
Kansas-Nebraska Bill of 1854 added fresh fuel to the already raging 
flames. The passage of this bill was one of the potent influences that 
led to the organization of the republican party, which was opposed 
to the further extension of slavery beyond the territory in which it 
already existed. 



In the political campaign of i860 some of the southern states 
declared their intention of withdrawing from the Union in the event 
of Abraham Lincoln's election to the Presidency, but the people of 
the North regarded such announcements as idle threats, made solely 
for political effect. Through the split in the democratic party, 
Lincoln was elected and on December 20, i860, South Carolina, by 
a convention of delegates chosen to decide what course to pursue, 
passed an ordinance of secession, declaring that all allegiance to the 
United States was at an end. Mississippi followed with a similar 
ordinance on January 9, 1861 ; Florida, January 10th; Georgia, Jan- 
uary 19th; Louisiana, January 26th, and Texas, February 1, 1861. 

On February 4, 1861, delegates from all of these seven states, 
except Texas, met at Montgomery, Alabama, adopted a tentative 
constitution, and elected Jefferson -Davis provisional president and 
Alexander H. Stephens, vice president of the Confederate States of 
America. These officials were inaugurated on February 22, 1861, 
the anniversary of the birth of George Washington. Consequently, 
when Mr. Lincoln was inaugurated on March 4, 1861, he found 
seven states, with an organized government, in opposition to his 
administration. However, the President, his advisers and the people 
of the North generally entertained the hope that the situation could 
be met without open rupture between the North and South, and that 
the people of the seceded states could be persuaded to return to their 

About the beginning of the year 1861, Maj. Robert Anderson, 
who was in command of all the defenses of the harbor at Charleston, 
South Carolina, secretly removed his garrison and supplies from 
Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, because the latter place was better 
•calculated for defense, after which he spiked the guns at Fort Moul- 
trie. The secessionists claimed that this was a violation of an agree- 
ment made with President Buchanan, and the press of the North 
was almost unanimous in demanding that reinforcements and sup- 
plies be sent to Major Anderson. The steamer Star of the West, 
with 250 men, a stock of provisions, ammunition, etc., was dispatched 
to Fort Sumter, but on January 9, 1861, the vessel was fired upon 
by a masked battery on Morris Island and forced to turn back. 
This incident is regarded in the official records as the beginning of 
the Civil war, though the popular awakening did not come until 
about three months later. 

General Beauregard, in command of the Confederate forces at 
Charleston, then opened negotiations with Major Anderson looking 
to the evacuation of Fort Sumter. Anderson's provisions were run- 


ning low and on April n, 1 86 1 , he informed General Beauregard 
that he would vacate the fort on the 15th, "unless ordered by the 
Government to remain and the needed supplies are received." This 
was not satisfactory to the Confederate commander, who feared that 
Anderson might be reinforced. He therefore sent word to Anderson 
at 3.20 A. M. on Friday, April 12, 1861, that within an hour he 
would open fire on the fort. At 4.30 Capt. George Janes fired the 
signal gun from Fort Johnson and the shell burst almost directly 
over the fort. A few moments later a solid shot from a battery on 
Cummings Point went crashing against the walls of Fort Sumter. 
The war had begun. 

The garrison responded promptly and the bombardment con- 
tinued throughout the day. Fire broke out in the fort and the Con- 
federates increased their fire, hoping to force a surrender. Ander- 
son held out against desperate odds until Sunday, when he was 
permitted to evacuate the fort with the honors of war, saluting his 
flag with fifty guns before hauling it down. 

When the telegraph flashed the news of Sumter's fall through 
the North, all hope of conciliation was abandoned. Political differ- 
ences of the past were forgotten in the insult to the flag. On Monday, 
April 15, 1861, President Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 
75,000 militia and appealing to "all loyal citizens for state aid in 
this effort to maintain the laws, integrity, national union, perpetuity 
of popular government, and redress wrongs long enough endured." 

On the next day Governor Kirkwood, of Iowa, received a tele- 
gram from the secretary of war, to-wit: "Calls made on you by 
tonight's mail for one regiment of militia for immediate service." 
It is said that when this message was received by the governor he 
expressed some doubt as to Iowa's ability to furnish an entire regi- 
ment. Nevertheless, he immediately issued the following procla- 
mation : 

"Whereas, the President of the United States has made a requisi- 
tion upon the executive of the State of Iowa for one regiment of 
militia, to aid the Federal Government in enforcing its laws and 
suppressing rebellion. 

"Now, therefore, I, Samuel J. Kirkwood, governor of the State 
of Iowa, do issue this proclamation, and hereby call upon the militia 
of the state immediately to form, in the different counties, volunteer 
companies with a view of entering the active military service of the 
United States for the purpose aforesaid. The regiment at present 
required will consist of ten companies of at least seventy-eight men 


each, including one captain and two lieutenants to be elected by each 
company. Under the present requisition only one regiment can be 
accepted, and the companies accepted must hold themselves in readi- 
ness for duty by the 20th of May next at the farthest. If a sufficient 
number of companies are tendered their services may be required. 
If more companies are formed and reported than can be received 
under the present call, their services will be required in the event of 
another requisition upon the state. The nation is in peril. A fearful 
attempt is being made to overthrow the Constitution and dissever the 
Union. The aid of every loyal citizen is invoked to sustain the 
general Government. For the honor of our state, let the require- 
ment of the President be cheerfully and promptly met. 

"Samuel J. Kirkwood. 
"Iowa City, April 17, 1861." 

The statement in the proclamation that the companies must hold 
themselves in readiness for duty by the 20th of May was in accord- 
ance with a telegram from the War Department to the governor 
late on the afternoon of April 16, 1861, which read: "It will suffice 
if your quota of volunteers be at its rendezvous by the 20th of May." 

On the evening of the day this proclamation was issued, a great 
mass meeting was held in Verandah Hall, at Keokuk, with J. M. 
Hiatt presiding and T. J. McKenna acting as secretary. Samuel 
F. Miller, afterward one of the justices of the United States Supreme 
Court, was the principal speaker. Hugh T. Reid, S. T. Marshall, 
William Leighton and others also made short speeches and the 
sentiment in favor of sustaining the national administration was 
unanimous. Near the close of the meeting J. Monroe Reid invited 
all who wanted to enlist to meet him and Captain McHenry at 
Military Hall the following evening. 

On Thursday evening, April 18, 1861, a rousing meeting was 
held at Fort Madison. Fred Hesser was chosen to preside and M. 
Ashby and George H. Albright acted as secretaries. In the resolu- 
tions adopted was the following declaration: "Forgetting the past, 
and resolving neither to criminate nor accuse those whose political 
opinions and views of public policy differ from ours, we will cooper- 
ate with all patriotic citizens of all parties who love their country 
and are prepared to stand by her in this hour of necessity." 

Speeches were made by Judge Philip Viele, J. M. Beck, Dr. 
W. H. Davis, J. H. Knapp and others, and a committee, consisting 
of John H. Knapp, W. H. Davis, R. Lange, W. W. Stevens and M. 
Ashby, was appointed to accept enlistments. 


War meetings were also held at West Point, Montrose, and, in 
fact, in nearly every schoolhouse in the county. In Cedar Township, 
Saturday, April 27, 1861, two companies were started — one of infan- 
try and one of cavalry. Within an'hour fifty-four names were upon 
the roll of the cavalry company and fifty men had enlisted in the 
infantry organization. The sentiment expressed at these meetings 
quickly removed any doubt Governor Kirkwood might have enter- 
tained as to the willingness and ability of Iowa to raise a whole regi- 
ment of volunteers. Companies were rapidly formed and during 
the first ten days of May they rendezvoused at Keokuk, where the 
First Regiment was mustered in on May 14, 1861, for three months, 
with John F. Bates, of Dubuque, as colonel. 


Although the work of recruiting was pushed forward with all 
possible vigor, some of the Lee County boys went to Burlington and 
enlisted in Captain Mathes' company, which was mustered in as 
Company D, First Iowa Infantry. George Schaefer and Henry 
Rose were made sergeants, and the following privates were from 
Lee County: Ernest Becker, William Bush, Ferdinand Fahr, 
Philip Grunschlagg, Anton Henrichs, John Klay, Charles Knapp, 
John Kohler, Jack Koppenhoefer, Henry C. Kummer, Philip Lang, 
Frederick Leonhard, Conrad Limburg, Charles F. Limle, Adolph 
Lotz, Robert Merz, Andrew Nagel, Adolph Rinker, Fridolin Rom- 
mel, Ernest Rotteck, John Ruokert, Henry Schaelling. George 
Schlapp, Robert Scholtz, Charles Schulz, David Seguin, Frederick 
C. Soechtig, William Starkman and Frank H. Westerman. 

In Company F, Conrad Balbach, Henry C. Bowen, John 
Brothers, Goodcil Buckingham and Thomas J. Zollars were credited 
to Lee County. Hugh Brady was mustered in as second lieutenant 
of Company I ; Frye W. Thompson was a private in Company H, 
and John R. Teller served as first lieutenant of Company C and later 
as captain of Company K, after the regiment was reorganized for 
the three years' service. 

On June 13th the regiment was ordered to Hannibal, Missouri. 
On the 21st it joined Gen. Nathaniel Lyon at Boonville and started 
on the campaign that culminated in the Battle of Wilson's Creek on 
August 10, 1861, where General Lyon was killed. It was engaged 
at Dug Springs and McCulloch's Store, and at the Battle of Wilson's 
Creek lost 13 killed, 141 wounded and 4 missing. The regiment 
was mustered out at St. Louis, Missouri, August 21, 1861. 



It was soon discovered by the national administration that 75,000 
troops would not be sufficient to put an end to the war, and on May 4, 
1861, the President issued a second call for volunteers. Under this 
call the Second Regiment was organized. In the meantime the old 
"Keokuk Guards" had been reorganized at a meeting held in their 
armory on the evening of April 18, 1861, when the name "Union 
Guards" was adopted. Thirty members enrolled at that meeting, 
a recruiting office was then opened in the Belknap Building and in 
a few days the quota of the company was filled, but not in time to 
be accepted as one of the companies of the First Regiment. Richard 
H. Huston was elected captain; Thomas J. McKenny, first lieuten- 
ant; and Sampson M. Archer, second lieutenant. With these com- 
missioned officers the company was assigned to the Second Infantry 
as Company A. 

The non-commissioned officers at the time of muster in were as 
follows: Joseph L. Davis, first sergeant; Daniel Tisdale, Jr., sec- 
ond; Webster Ballinger, third; John Mackley, fourth; Jesse C. 
Wickersham, fifth; Samuel P. Curtis, first corporal; Ralph R. Tel- 
ler, second; John Taugher, third; Eli Ramsey, fourth; Thomas A. 
Stevenson, fifth; William A. Musser, sixth. 

Privates — Samuel Anderson, Andrew Applegate, Edgar L. 
Beach, John W. Bird, John B. Bosworth, John Campbell, George 
H. Cantrill, George B. Catlin, William W. Clark, John Clough, 
Joseph A. M. Collins, Joseph Conley, William Cripps, John Curtis, 
John Day, Charles C. Derr, Harmon Dickenson, John R. Dimond, 
William Douglas (promoted corporal), Samuel W. Evans, Seth 
Farr, Thomas Feehan, John Finerty, George W. Friend, William 
A. Geer, John J. Gilcrist, Samuel Gillaspie, Jerry J. Goodwin, 
Isaac N. Griffith, Samuel W. Grover, Lander J. P. Haggard, Robert 
Hall, William K. Harper, Richard Higham, Franklin Hoffman, 
William Holt, John A. Hough, James Hutchinson, Elmore Jen- 
nings, Albert Johnson, Webber Jones, Henry Keevern, John Keppel, 
James Kerr, William Koates, John C. Leighton, John W. Long, 
George H. Loomas, Nicholas McKenzie, William McKenzie, Wil- 
liam H. Maybery, Wallace E. Marsh (promoted corporal), Erastus 
Moore, James F. Nash, Hamilton Nation, William H. Nation, Wil- 
liam Neel, Thomas J. Parrott (promoted corporal) James M. Patten, 
Granville C. Phillips (promoted corporal), Franklin Prouty, James 
W. Quicksell, Joseph Reedy, John Reese, James M. Reed, George 
Reisonier, John W. Renz, Charles Richards, Joseph K. Rickey, Wil- 


liam H. Robinson, Henry Ryan, John C. Ryan, George D. Sayler, 
Samuel C. Seaton (promoted corporal), Henry A. Seirberlich 
(promoted corporal), Franklin R. Seitz, Lewis P. Sicer, Henry 
Solner, Joseph S. Stark, Ira Stevens, Henry Strauss, George Thomp- 
son, James H. Turton, William H. Underwood, Joseph W. Vance, 
George Vansyoc, Richard T. Vandeventer, Victor Voretories, 
Ephraim B. Wilsey, James L. Wilson, William H. Wilson (pro- 
moted corporal), James F. Woodruff and Andrew J. Wright. 

In Company B the following privates were from Lee County: 
Julius Benneke, Jacob Bertschi, Oliver Inden, T. G. Kelley, August 
Lang, James Nilson, John S. Patten, A. D. Root, Nathan Smallen- 
burg, Adolph Steinmitz, George W. Thornton. 

Lee County was represented in Company C by Edward Corcoran, 
corporal, and Privates Charles F. Anderson, James A. Cease, John 
Fitzgerald, William W. Gordon, Joseph Hunter, Daniel Ryan and 
John W. Swaney. 

William Bander, Lewis Eck, Thomas H. Hart and Louis Stiles 
served as privates in Company E; William W. Walker was a cor- 
poral and James McNulty a private in Company F; Azariah P. Box 
served as corporal in Company G, and in Company I William W. 
Stevens enlisted as a private and was promoted to second lieutenant; 
George W. Walker served as sergeant; A. S. Cooley, as corporal, 
and the following Lee County men as privates: W. W. Boughton, 
George W. Johnson, Henry Laird, William W. Morrison, Isaac 
Newton, F. M. Smith, Emile Schutte and Samuel Van Schock. 

The Second Infantry was mustered in at Keokuk on May 28, 
1 861, with Samuel R. Curtis, of Keokuk, as colonel. Wells R. 
Marsh, of Keokuk, was regimental surgeon; Elliott Pyle, of West 
Point, and William H. Turner, of Keokuk, assistant surgeons. Soon 
after being mustered in, the regiment was ordered to Northern 
Missouri, where, with the First Iowa and part of the Six- 
teenth Illinois, it was assigned to the duty of guarding the 
railroads. It rendered important services at St. Joseph, Mis- 
souri, and in guarding the United States Arsenal at St. Louis, after 
which it was on detached duty at Bird's Point, Jackson and other 
Missouri points until ordered to join General Grant for the cam- 
paign against Forts Henry and Donnelson. At Shiloh the regiment 
distinguished itself on the second day of the battle by a brilliant 
bayonet charge. After that engagement it was in the siege of Corinth. 
It was then assigned to the Army of the Mississippi and remained 
on duty in Mississippi and Alabama until the beginning of the At- 
lanta campaign in the spring of 1864, when it joined the army com- 


manded by General Sherman. It was with Sherman in the historic 
"March to the Sea" and the campaign through the Carolinas, after 
which it marched with the army to Washington. It was mustered 
out at Louisville, Kentucky, July 12, 1865. 

Samuel R. Curtis, who went out as colonel of the Second Iowa 
Infantry, was a soldier of two wars. He was born in Ohio on Febru- 
ary 3, 1807, graduated at West Point on July 1, 1 83 1 , and for the 
next year was on duty in Arkansas as brevet second lieutenant in the 
Seventh United States Infantry. He then resigned and engaged in 
civil engineering in his native state. On May 20, 1846, he was ap- 
pointed adjutant-general of Ohio, for mustering troops for service 
in the war with Mexico, and on June 25, 1846, he was commissioned 
colonel of the Third Ohio Infantry. While in the service he acted 
as military governor of Matamoras, Camargo, Monterey and Saltillo, 
and was for a time an officer of the staff of General Wool. He was 
mustered out in 1847 and soon afterward accepted a commission to 
make a survey and report a plan for the improvement of the Des 
Moines River. 

That brought him to Iowa and he became a resident of Keokuk, 
where he formed a partnership with Judge Rankin for the practice 
of law. Later he was associated in the same capacity with Judge 
Mason. From 1850 to 1853 he was in charge of the harbor improve- 
ments at St. Louis, after which he engaged in railroad work in Iowa, 
Illinois and Indiana. In 1856 he was elected mayor of Keokuk and 
the next year was an active figure in the organization of the repub- 
lican party in Iowa. In 1856 he was elected to Congress from the 
First Iowa District, which then embraced nearly all the southern 
half of the state. He was reelected in 1858 and again in i860. 

When the news of Fort Sumter's fall was received at Keokuk 
he hastened to Washington, where he received authority to aid in 
raising and organizing the Iowa volunteers. Returning to Keokuk, 
he found the First Regiment already organized and was elected col- 
onel of the Second. He remained in the field with his regiment until 
June 30, 1 861, when he left the command to Lieut.-Col. J. M. Tuttle 
and left for Washington to attend the special session of Congress 
called to meet on the 4th of July. When the Battle of Bull Run re- 
sulted so disastrously to the Union arms, he hurried to the field and 
tried to rally the troops, but they were too badly panic-stricken. 
During the special session he was appointed a brigadier-general of 
volunteers, his commission dating from May 17, 1861. He then 
resigned his seat in Congress, reported to General Fremont at St. 
Louis, and was placed in charge of the camp of instruction at Benton 



Barracks. Fremont soon afterward went to Jefferson City, Missouri, 
leaving General Curtis in command at St. Louis. When Confederate 
General Price invaded Missouri, Curtis was placed in command 
of the Union forces in pursuit. General Curtis bore an active part 
in the Battle of Pea Ridge, after which he was placed in command 
of the Army of the Southwest. On March 21, 1862, he was pro- 
moted to the rank of major-general. He died at Council Bluffs, 
Iowa, December 26, 1866. 


This was the next regiment in which Lee County was represented. 
It was mustered in at Burlington on July 17, 1861, with John A. 
McDowell, of Keokuk, as colonel; Albert T. Shaw, of Fort Madi- 
son, regimental surgeon; Jacob R. Paynter, hospital surgeon, and 
the following Lee County men as members of the regimental band: 
Sigismond I. Gates, Adelbert Hawkins, James Rogers, William 
Madden, Richard Maddern, Morris Peck, Edward Pipe, Augustus 
Santo, George W. Titus, Samuel M. Titus and Julius C. Wright. 

Byron K. Cowles, who enlisted in Company A, was made com- 
missary sergeant and later first lieutenant of Company K; Lynas 
Brockway was a private in Company B; C. A. Gummere, in Com- 
pany C; Joseph Delapp and John Martin, in Company D; Isaac 
McCloskey was a corporal and John Moloney and John Tobin pri- 
vates in Company F; Jacob A. Bowman, John H. McKiernan and 
A. B. Stewart, in Company F. 

Company H was practically all from Lee County. At the time 
of muster in the commissioned officers of this company were: Wash- 
ington Galland, captain; Rufus Goodnough, first lieutenant;' George 
R. Nunn, second lieutenant. The sergeants were John McCleary, 
Robert Sleater, Abraham B. Stevens, Samuel M. Titus (transferred 
to regimental band), and Leonard W. Wood. The corporals were 
Sterling W. Camp, Dennis Miles, Michael Bowen, John Fox, Wil- 
liam T. Hafford, Jesse Carter and William H. Watson. 

Privates — Edwin F. Alden (promoted first lieutenant), Charles 
L. Allen, Joseph S. Anderson, Henry C. Barnes, James C. Batley, 
Levi A. Best, Aaron Bixby (promoted corporal), Benjamin Bixby, 
Timothy Burk, Hugh Cameron, John Carroll, Jacob Chapman, 
William Church, William Coleman (promoted corporal), Matthew 
L. Cooney, Clarkson W. Cooper, Clayton Curry, James W. Davis, 
Samuel H. Davis, William Emmitt, Daniel P. Fithian, Henry K. 
Greer, Stephen H. Hand, Theodore S. Hand, Charles Hass, Albert 


Hill, John W. Hufford, George W. Huston, Joseph M. Johnson, 
William Jones, George Knuck, Antone Lamott, John Lawler (pro- 
moted corporal), Elias Line, Fuqua V. Lyon, John McClearnan, 
James McCord, Thomas F. McEveny, George W. McNeely, Pat- 
rick Mahan, John A. Martin, William Miller, William H. Moore, 
Edward O'Donnell, Michael Randall, William Rider, Hiram M. 
Roberts, John Rogers, David Shreck, Thomas Smout, William Spain, 
John W. Stewart, Ray H. Stewart, James Swan (promoted captain), 
Salathiel A. Swiggart, William Tadlock, Hiram L. Walker, George 
W. Wilson. 

Captain Galland, of Company H, was a veteran of the Mexican 
war. He resigned on June 20, 1863, when he was succeeded by 
Lieut. George R. Munn. He is still living (1914) in Lee County 
at an advanced age. 

In Company K were five Lee County men, viz. : Byron K. Cowles, 
who became captain of the company in April, 1862, Timothy Jayne, 
Joseph Poots, Melville Sisson and Lorenzo H. Stewart. 

Soon after being mustered in, the regiment was ordered to St. 
Louis and went into quarters at Benton Barracks. From September 
19, 1861, to March 7, 1862, it was on duty in Missouri. It was then 
ordered to Tennessee and on the 1 6th reached Pittsburg Landing, 
where it was assigned to General Sherman's division. In the Battle 
of Shiloh Colonel McDowell commanded a brigade. The regiment 
lost in that engagement 211 men in killed, wounded and missing. 
In March, 1863, Colonel McDowell resigned and John M. Corse 
succeeded to the colonelcy. The regiment was then in the Vicks- 
burg campaign, the Battle of Jackson, Mississippi, a number of 
minor actions in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, and in the 
spring of 1864 joined the army under General Sherman for the cam- 
paign against Atlanta. When that city capitulated, the Sixth marched 
with Sherman to the sea and up through the Carolinas, after which 
it proceeded to Washington and took part in the Grand Review in 
May, 1865. It was mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky, July 21, 


Lee County was represented in nine of the ten companies com- 
posing this regiment. John Strickland enlisted in Company A, but 
was transferred to Company B, in which Silas E. Mills also served 
as a private; Thomas Gibson and Milton McNeill were privates in 
Company C; Companies D and E were organized in Lee County; 


in Company F were Patrick Devereaux, Edward R. Doolittle, 
Thomas Dunn, Warren Kinney and Alexander Norris; Allen D. 
Cameron was mustered in as captain of Company H and afterward 
became adjutant of the regiment; Livingston North served in Com- 
pany I, and Charles D. White and Moses York in Company K. 

The commissioned officers of Company D at the time of muster 
in were as follows: James P. Harper, captain; James B. Sample, 
first lieutenant; Daniel F. Bowler, second lieutenant. Captain 
Harper was afterward appointed lieutenant-colonel of the First Ten- 
nessee Heavy Artillery, and Lieutenant Bowler was made adjutant 
of the regiment on August 31, 1861, in which capacity he served until 
captured at the Battle of Belmont the following November. 

Of the non-commissioned officers, Benjamin B. Gale, Charles 
Webster, Joseph B. Morrison, William G. Ray and Benjamin 
Thomas were mustered in as sergeants, and Jones B. Bonney, George 
M. Martin, George T. Claypoole, Joseph Durfee, John Wolgamuth 
and James D. Hamilton as corporals. Sergeants Gale and Morrison 
and Corporal Hamilton each rose to the rank of captain at some 
period of the company's service. 

Privates — Samuel J. Atlee, William R. Berry, William F. 
Blanchard, Sylvanus Bonnell, Charles Brown, Calvin B. Cowles 
(promoted corporal), Elijah F. Cowles, John Cunningham, Thomas 
Cunningham, Joseph Denny, Conrad Eitzer, Isaac C. Fortney, John 
W. Fye, George Gebel, William P. Griffith, Nicholas Gross (pro- 
moted corporal), Jacob Gutteman, John Heiser, Philip Heiser, 
John D. Huff, E. D. Ingersoll, Hiram Ingersoll, Oliver Johnston, 
Christian Jotter, John Knight, I. J. Knight, Alexander Krieger, 
Charles Lewis, Amos Logan, John Logan, John Lutz, Alvin Mc- 
Neill, Luther P. McNeill, Valentine C. McVey, Weit T. McVey, 
Frank Malcom, Joseph Miller, James Montgomery, Dennis A. Mor- 
rison, William B. Phillips, Henry J. Pickard, William E. Pickard, 
William H. Powell, William H. Quarterman, James M. Racey, 
Francis M. Redding, Jacob Risser, Henry Rogers, George Rollett, 
John Schiller, John J. Schmelzle, Jefferson Scott, William Seguin, 
Hoog Sheldon, George H. Smith, Andrew Somerville, Henry C. 
Steele, Christian Strine, Mahlon Votaw, Des Moines L. Wilson, 
Henry Wolbert, Charles L. Wood, Jacob Young. 

In Company E, James C. Parrott was mustered in as captain; 
Curtis F. Conn, as first lieutenant, and Andrew J. Mefford, as sec- 
ond lieutenant. The sergeants were James L. Bess, John McCor- 
mick, Nathaniel Reed, Charles O. Bleness and Clayton Hart. The 
corporals were George E. Humphrey, Thomas J. Pollard (promoted 


sergeant), George W. Diggs, Thomas W. Taylor, William H. Van- 
sant and Morrison Zuber. Sergeant Bess was promoted second lieu- 
tenant on November 22, 1861, and on January 22, 1864, Sergeant 
Reed was transferred to the First Tennessee Heavy Artillery. Ser- 
geant McCormick became captain of the company on August 4, 

Privates — Abner Allison, Henry W. Babcock, John C. Baldwin, 
Harmon Birdsall, Isaac Bunch, Parker D. Burnap, Jonathan Chan- 
dler, Joseph Chenoweth, Robert Criswell, Franklin Danford, Wil- 
liam H. Dedman, William C. Dove, David W. Duncan, Montreville 
Fannin, John Finney, Joseph Godeard, Alexander Halickson, Bird- 
sell Harmon, William Harmon, Alonzo P. Hart, Francis N. Hay- 
den, George B. Hayden, Peter A. Heiney, John W. Hicks, John E. 
Johnston, John W. Jones, John Lesly, John W. McCormick, Henry 
W. McDonegal, Charles McCoy, James Magee, Peter M. Miles, 
John Morgan, Thaddeus S. Perrigo, William H. Perrigo (promoted 
corporal), Henry Pipkin, Stephen Polcer, Nathan W. Pollock, 
Thomas D. Purcell, Henry C. Rickey, John Rollins, Homer Rose, 
Israel Rose, Hiram W. Russell, William W. Sapp (promoted ser- 
geant and adjutant of the regiment), Hiram H. Savage, Joseph 
Selvey, Theodore Shepherd, William Shepherd, Charles S. Sher- 
man, Albert Scholte, James Spratt, George T. Stewart, Earl Stock- 
well, Frank T. Taylor, Henry H. Taylor (promoted corporal), 
Walter D. Taylor, Alonzo B. Van Ausdal, David Wareheim, Ran- 
dolph H. Waters, Edward White, William G. White, Thomas Willi- 
ford, Henry H. Wilson (promoted sergeant), John W. Weyrick, 
Charles B. Wolfenbarger, James T. Woodruff. 

The Seventh Infantry was mustered in at Burlington on August 
2, 1861, with Jacob G. Lauman as colonel, and soon afterward was 
ordered to Benton Barracks, St. Louis. It was then engaged at Pilot 
Knob, Ironton and other points in Missouri, and as part of Prentiss' 
Brigade occupied Jackson and Cape Girardeau. It participated in 
the Battle of Belmont, the campaign against Forts Henry and Donel- 
son and the Battle of Shiloh. Colonel Lauman having been pro- 
moted to brigadier-general, Captain Parrott, of Company E, was 
made lieutenant-colonel and commanded the regiment at Shiloh. It 
next operated in Mississippi until ordered to join General Sherman 
for the Atlanta campaign, after which it took part in the march to 
the sea, the Carolina campaign and the Grand Review at Washing- 
ton. It was mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky, July 14, 1865. 



In Company D of the Fourteenth Infantry were twenty-five men 
from Lee County. John S. Agey was mustered as first sergeant and 
on January i, 1863, was promoted to captain. Thomas H. Childs 
enlisted as a sergeant and on August 18, 1862, was transferred for 
promotion to the colored regiment. The following served as pri- 
vates: Felix Atkinson, John Campbell, William O. Childs, Augus- 
tus Christian, William Creel, James Deniver, Cyrus Deo, John 
Deo, Theophilus Downs, Nelson P. Duffy, Peter Ebe, Henry C. 
Graham, Nathan Heald, James Hixon, David L. Houser, John A. 
Keeler, Andrew J. Loomis, John McCullough, Augustus Morte, 
Thomas Spurrier, Peter B. Taylor, John H. Thomas and George 
H. Winters. 

The regiment was mustered in by companies in the latter part 
of October and the first week in November, 1861. Some of the com- 
panies first mustered were on duty at Fort Randall, North Dakota, 
until the regimental organization was completed under Col. William 
T. Shaw, a veteran of the Mexican war. It then took part in the 
reduction of Forts Henry and Donelson, was actively engaged at 
Shiloh, and after a varied service in Alabama and Mississippi joined 
General Banks for the Red River expedition in the spring of 1864. 
Later in the year it was assigned to Gen. A. J. Smith's command 
and returned to Tennessee. The regiment was mustered out on 
November 16, 1864, at Davenport, Iowa, when the veterans and re- 
cruits were organized into a battalion. In the reorganized Four- 
teenth Thomas B. Beach was first lieutenant of Company B; Evan 
J. Dobbins served as corporal in the same company, and Theophilus 
Downs, Jackson Miller and Peter B. Taylor were enrolled as pri- 
vates. The battalion was mustered out at Davenport, August 8, 1865. 


This regiment was raised under the call of July, 1861, for 500,- 
000 volunteers, and was mustered in at Keokuk on February 22, 1862, 
with Hugh T. Reid, solonel; William W. Belknap, major; William 
H. Burnham, surgeon ; John C. Johnson, assistant surgeon, and Henry 
T. Felgar, hospital steward. All these regimental officers were from 
Lee County. A large part of Companies A, E and I was raised in the 
county, which was also represented in Companies B, C, D, F, H 
and K. 

Vol. 1-13 


In Company A none of the commissioned officers was from Lee 
County at the time of muster in, but on December 22, 1864, Roger 
B. Kellogg, who enlisted as a private, was commissioned captain of 
the company; William C. Hershberger, who enlisted as a private, 
was promoted to second lieutenant on January 4, 1865, and Sergt. 
George W. Walker was made a second lieutenant in the regular army 
in February, 1862. Following is a list of privates of Company A: 

David W. Burke, John Diller, William Draper, William E. 
Elsroad (promoted corporal), William B. Finley, Patrick Foley, 
Charles Gift, James Hart, David Helmick, Andrew J. Hughes, 
John D. Moon, Nathan Morgan, Amos Newberry, Patrick Norton, 
Henry A. Palmer, Henry Payne, Daniel Reid, Dirk Rhynsburger, 
John B. Sims, James Smith, John Smith, Charles E. Stant, William 
H. Thompson. 

John C. Brush enlisted as a corporal in Company B and on Feb- 
ruary 2, 1863, was promoted to second lieutenant. In this company 
John Fett, John Klay, John S. Oakley and John P. Polser served as 

In Company C Edgar T. Miller was commissioned captain on 
July 4, 1862, having been transferred from Company I, and George 
Keasling and John F. Woolkitt served as privates. 

Six Lee County men were enrolled in Company D, to-wit: John 
Angell, Burnett Devolt, Jacob Goodman, William McDowell, 
George Trump and John Weaver. 

Company E was mustered in with Richard W. Hutchcraft as 
captain; Don Carlos Hicks, who enlisted as a corporal, was promoted 
to second lieutenant in October, 1864; Perry A. Enslow was enrolled 
as sergeant, and the corporals were William Clark, John J. Wilson, 
Melvin Sweet, Jarrod W. Fouts and Solomon Holcomb. 

Privates — Willis G. Addington, William M. Arnold, Charles L. 
Barnum, John Bowen, William G. Buck, William Burk, William 
D. Carver, Elkanah D. Chandler, Sylvester Chapman, Robert Clark, 
David Coovert, Benjamin Crawford, Charles Dufur, Howard El- 
more, James Gillham, Silas Grove, John H. Helmick, James J. 
Henderson, Robert Herdman, Hiram H. Hicks, John Inskeep, Wil- 
liam M. McCray, William Miller, George McTore, John L. Mothers- 
head, Christopher Orm, Jonathan F. Orm, Oliver 'Orm, Robert 
Orm, William Peterson, John W. Pierce, William H. Sellers, Au- 
gust Smith, William P. Smith, William Stewart, Benjamin Talbert, 
Daniel S. Taylor, George B. Thompson, Andrew Wareheim, Robert 
Wilson, Jesse M. Wright. 


James Arnold, Samuel Campbell, Charles Dillon, James Kelly, 
Joseph Roynes and Edward Whalin served as privates in Company 
F, and Loren Tyler was a musician in Company H. 

At the time Company I was mustered in Lloyd D. Simpson was 
captain and James M. Reid, first lieutenant. Henry Scheevers, who 
enlisted as a sergeant, became second lieutenant on April 22, 1863, 
Captain Simpson having resigned and Lieutenant Reid was placed 
in command of the company as captain. The sergeants from Lee 
County were Henry Scheevers, James R. Williams and William L. 
Watson, and the corporals were Isaac N. Hewitt, Hassell Rambo, 
Benjamin F. Keck and Daniel W. Johnson. 

Privates — Patrick Bain, Henry Batterman, Thomas W. Berry, 
Daniel Buckley, William Buss, Elkanah Chandler, William 
Copeaker, Solsbery Davis, James Doyle, Archibald D. Eads, Daniel 
T. Feagins, Patrick Flynn, David Goldsmith, Thor Halverson, 
George Hutchinson, Henry Kennedy, George H. Lee, John Luder, 
John Morgan, James Murphy, Edward Odinburg, Solomon 
O'Haver, Asa B. Parker, Richard T. Persinger, Joseph N. Rees, 
Joseph Richard, Adam A. Rodgers, Robert Scheevers, Herman V. 
Vanderwall, William Ward, John White, William H. White. 

In Company K were Corporal James G. Shipley and Privates 
Archibald Christian, William A. Gibson, Enoch Hastings, Daniel 
Urmstead and Alvin Westcott. 

The regiment left Keokuk on March 19, 1862, moved by way of 
St. Louis to Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, and received its baptism 
of fire in the Battle of Shiloh, where as part of Prentiss' division 
it was in the thickest of the fight, losing 186 men in killed, wounded 
and missing, and its flag was riddled with bullets. It was next in 
the Siege of Corinth and was engaged at Bolivar, Mississippi. In 
1863 it t00 ^ P art m tne Siege of Vicksburg and the next year was in 
many of the engagements of the Atlanta campaign. Those whose 
time had expired were mustered out at Chattanooga, Tennessee, Oc- 
tober 19, 1864, and the veterans marched with Sherman to the sea. 
Then followed the campaign of the Carolinas and the Grand Review 
at Washington, after which the regiment was ordered to Louisville, 
Kentucky, and there mustered out on July 24, 1865. Colonel Reid 
was promoted brigadier-general on March 13, 1863, and on March 
13, 1 861;, Major Belknap was brevetted major-general, both promo- 
tions being made "for gallant and meritorious services." 



The organization of this regiment began late in the year 1861 
and the last companies were mustered in on March 12, 1862, at 
Davenport. Henry D. Huy was enrolled in Company B, James N. 
Marsh and Amos Sniff in Company F, Theodore Fridricia and 
Patrick M. McLaughlin in Company G, and there were twenty-eight 
Lee County men in Company K. 

In the last named company Michael Zettler was mustered in 
as captain and died of wounds received at Shiloh; George Frenun 
and Wilhelm Bucholz were enrolled as sergeants; William Stack- 
man, Christian Ulrich and Christian Strein, as corporals. On June 
2, 1865, Corporal Stackman was commissioned captain. The fol- 
lowing served as privates in Company K: Henry Brimelsick, Peter 
Distel, John Eitzer, John Gost, Karl Haager, David Hanschild, 
Herman Hayn, George Herold, Jacob Hindscher, Frederick Kude- 
beh, Mathias Lentner, Peter Maushund, Nichlaus Pierris, Herman 
Schmidt, Anton Schmiltker, Philip Schoene, David Seguin, Her- 
man Smith, John Stopperer, John Stopperer, Jr., Fritz Ulrich, John 
A. Wiederholt. 

The regiment left Davenport on March 20, 1862, and proceeded 
via St. Louis to Pittsburg Landing, where it arrived soon after the 
Battle of Shiloh had commenced. It was soon actively engaged and, 
although the men were raw recruits, they conducted themselves in 
a way to draw forth honorable mention from the commanders. From 
that time the services of the regiment were similar to those of the 
Fifteenth above mentioned. It was mustered out at Louisville, Ken- 
tucky, July 19, 1865. 


This regiment was mustered in at Keokuk on April 16, 1862, 
with John W. Rankin of that city as colonel; David B. Hillis, of 
Keokuk, lieutenant-colonel; Southwick Guthrie, of Fort Madison, 
adjutant; and Edwin J. Aldrich, of Montrose, as quartermaster. 
Guthrie resigned as adjutant in March, 1862, and was succeeded by 
Fletcher Woolsey, who was also from Lee County. 

John L. Young was mustered in as captain of Company A; Rich- 
ard James was a sergeant in the same company, in which Charles 
W. Boyles, William Davidson, Nathaniel Tuttle and Thomas Wilson 
served as privates. 


The greater part of Company B was recruited in Lee County. 
Edwin J. Aldrich was mustered in as first lieutenant and promoted 
to regimental quartermaster two days later; Henry D. Nuse, second 
lieutenant, was promoted to first lieutenant on the same date; Alex- 
ander M. Charters and David Lakin also served as first lieutenant; 
Daniel W. Tower, John Watts and Littleton W. Huston, as second 
lieutenants, the last named being promoted captain on December n, 
1862. The names of Adolphus Johnson, Francis H. Busby, George 
D. Sprague and Alonzo Diggs appear on the muster roll as ser- 
geants, and Charles G. Wild, Lewis C. Hampton, Samuel S. Patten, 
George W. Dundy, Joseph W. Aitkins, John D. Williams and John 
M. Burns were corporals. 

Privates — Alanson D. Aldrich, Charles F. Blair, Frederick J. 
Bond, Elihu G. Burns, Nicholas C. Campbell, Alonzo F. M. Church, 
Leonard W. Cook, Ezra Davis, Jedediah D. Doty, William H. 
Gardiner, William M. Gibson, David J. M. Haughton, Mark Hev- 
ener, James A. Horton, Israel Huffman, Francis M. Jones, John A. 
Little, Jefferson M. Link, David Louderback, Elijah Moore, Ed- 
ward Murphy, Josiah Ray, Samuel T. Reese, Esquire C. Showers, 
Thomas J. Simpson, George L. Talbott, Reuben Tucker, Samuel 
Wolcott, Uriah Wooding, William W. Wooding. 

Company C, the greater part of which was from Le'e County, 
was mustered in with Sampson M. Archer as captain; Henry New- 
ton, first lieutenant; Samuel Pickard, second lieutenant; Luther F. 
McNeal, Philip Inden, Lewis R. Parker and Martin Stapleton, ser- 
geants; John Shellman, William H. McCumber, Albert Weaver, 
Jesse Nokes, John H. Berryhill and Thomas D. Hardin, corporals. 
Captain Archer was promoted to the colonelcy of the regiment a 
few weeks before the final muster out. Lieutenant Newton, Ser- 
geant McNeal and Private Thomas Mitchell each served as captain 
at some period of the company's service, and Sergeant Stapleton was 
promoted to second lieutenant. 

Privates — Alexander Bailey, Wansley Baker, Julius Bates (pro- 
moted corporal), Lewis R. Bissell, Hardin Bundy, David W. Burke, 
Hodney Coates, William L. Distin, John Douglas, Stephen J. Ges- 
ford, David N. Gorgas, James G. Green, Samuel F. Hayes, John 
Heites, Noah Hockman, James A. Horton, Schuyler M. Horton 
(promoted corporal), George Huffman, Joseph D. Hummer, John 
F. Jackson, Andre Leffler, George Leffler, Frederick Leonhard 
(promoted corporal), Thomas Lorimer, Thomas McMahan, Wil- 
liam H. McPherson (promoted corporal), Christopher G. Mitchell, 
Thomas Mitchell (promoted captain), Charles Phillips, Hezekiah 


Ramsey, Silas Ramsey, Joseph N. Ruse, David G. Scroggs, John 
Sears, George W. Slacks, Frederick Spencer, Daniel Spencer, Wil- 
liam H. T. Sumner, William M. Sweezy, Ethan Thorns, William 
Vandyke, Richard Wadden, Cyrenus H. Watson, James White, 
Philip Woodmansee, Squire Worrell (promoted corporal), Franz 

In Company D, Addison A. Stuart was mustered in as first lieu- 
tenant and was afterward promoted to captain; Moses S. Pettengill 
enlisted as first sergeant; James Hammond and Lewis D. Haigh as 
corporals; Alfred C. Craney and Jacob Botaw as musicians, and 
the following privates were credited to Lee County: James J. 
Atherton, Philip H. Bollinger, Edward P. Bradley, Henry A. 
Brown, Edward T. Ing, Gilbert D. Phelps, Sylvester Trout and 
William R. Van Hyning. 

John H. Tammen was mustered in as second lieutenant of Com- 
pany H and was promoted to first lieutenant in April, 1863. William 
Vansteenwyck enlisted as a sergeant and John J. Phillips as a musi- 
cian in the same company. 

Forty-three Lee County men were enrolled in Company I. Wil- 
liam Edwards was mustered in as first lieutenant; Phineas Inskeep, 
second lieutenant; John Inskeep, James Code, Silas N. Sawyer, 
Houston Smith and Patrick Martin, sergeants; James Gallagher, 
Thomas F. Enslow, William C. Porter, John Kern and Playford 
Gregg, corporals, and Charles H. Cannon, musician. 

Privates — Andrew J. Applegate, Conrad Balbach, Charles K. 
Baldwin, Sylvanus Baldwin, Peter Brown, Nicholas Bugh, Henry 
Crickburn, James Forsythe, James Gilham, Samuel Glasford, John 
Grindle, Matthias Harvey, James F. Lein, John Leslie, John Little, 
George W. Lyon, John M. Lyon, Courtland W. Miller, Nimrod 
Milleson, Nathan J. Morgan, Barnadus B. Ramsey, William W. 
Roberts, Benjamin Stephenson, Lewis Stephenson (promoted second 
lieutenant), John P. Stephenson, John H. Thompson, James B. 
Vail, David Waggoner, Joseph C. Whitaker (promoted captain). 

Sylvanus E. Hicks was commissioned captain of Company K 
the day the regiment was mustered in; Charles M. Griffith was then 
made first lieutenant; Thomas Beechler, Frank Orm and William T. 
Carpenter were mustered as sergeants; George Simmons, David 
Orr, David Brown, John C. Robinson and Jeptha Ackley, as cor- 
porals; and the following were enrolled as privates: Charles K. 
Baldwin, William G. Buck, John T. Cannon, Charles L. Carpenter, 
George Dougherty, John Fleming, James C. Halterman, Robert 


Johnson, George Leffler, Bernard McQuillon, Bartholomew Noel, 
John O'Neill, Hiram Sherwood, Charles E. Staub. 

Three days after the regiment was mustered in, it left Keokuk 
for St. Louis and soon afterward joined the army in front of Corinth, 
Mississippi. After the Battle of Iuka it was ordered to Vicksburg 
and was actively engaged in the Battle of Champion's Hill. Vicks- 
burg surrendered on July 4, 1863, when the regiment was ordered 
to Helena, Arkansas, and was on duty there until early in the fall, 
when it was assigned to Fifteenth Army Corps, commanded by 
Gen. W. T. Sherman. It joined the corps at Memphis, Tennessee, 
marched to Chattanooga, was engaged in the military operations 
about that city, particularly the Battle of Missionary Ridge, and 
was then engaged for a time in guarding the Atlantic & Western 
Railroad. From the spring of 1864 to the close of the war it was 
with General Sherman and its history during that period is mate- 
rially that of the Fifteenth Iowa Infantry already described. It 
was mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky, July 25, 1865. 


Lewis M. Sloanaker, of Lee County, was mustered in as assist- 
ant surgeon of this regiment on August 23, 1862, and was afterward 
promoted surgeon. Companies A and E were raised in Lee County. 
The commissioned officers of Company A at the time of muster in 
were as follows: John Bruce, captain; Thomas L. Spratt, first lieu- 
tenant; Norvill Powell, second lieutenant. Captain Bruce was pro- 
moted major in December, 1862, when Lieutenant Spratt became 
captain, and a short time before the regiment was mustered out Bruce 
became colonel. Lieutenant Powell was transferred to Company 

E, of which he became captain in August, 1864. 

The sergeants of the company when it entered the service were: 
William Ballinger (promoted second lieutenant) ; Eugene L. 
Knight, John L. Schraeder and Benjamin F. Mclntyre (promoted 
first lieutenant). Hiram W. Snyder, Bruce W. Cotten, Timothy 

F. Phillips, Edmond A. Dickey, Charles H. Judd, and Oscar G. 
Burch were the corporals. 

Privates — Howell G. Adell, John T. Adell, David G. Anderson 
(promoted corporal), Robert C.Anderson, Byron E. Andrews, James 
M. Avis, Julien Ballard, Albert Bane, John Best, Lewis N. Beucler, 
John M. Boyer, Lewis M. Boyer, John T. Chambers (promoted 
corporal), Isaac N. Clark, Samuel Cole, James M. Coleman, Joseph 
Cooper, Jacob Frederick, Benjamin F. Gaines, John M. Gaines, 


Isaac M. Glassford, William Glassford, Jacob Haisch, William 
Harrison, Elmore Heaton, George Hoffman, John Howard, Harri- 
son Jones, Isaac Jones, Philip Jones, James H. Huffman, David A. 
Lakin, Peter Lambert, Thomas Laughery, Daniel C. Lemming, 
George W. Link, William S. McCulley, Patrick McManis, William 
H. McVeigh, Thomas J. Marshall, Henry A. Montgomery, Fred- 
erick Parks, Thomas F. Parhan, Frederick A. N. Pearce, Alexander 
Quary, John W. Reeves, Thomas Rellihan, Bendie Reumer, Daniel 
Rider, Henry Rider, Andrew J. Riley, David A. Robertson, Jacob 
Root, Charles W. Sackman, Christian Schmidt, Conrad Shaefer, 
Andrew Sheets, Eli Sheets, John Simmons, Harmon Sortwell, Wil- 
liam Spain, James Sproat, Samuel M. Stephenson, John P. Stephen- 
son, William Stuart, Alexander M. Taylor, Charles W. Towner, 
Jasper Trimble, James Utley, William T. Utley, Jesse W. Webb, 
Joseph White, David A. Wilkins, David Wise, Charles Wright. 

Company E was mustered in with William Adams as captain; 
William H. Gill, first lieutenant; Samuel B. Guernsey, second lieu- 
tenant; William Walker (promoted first lieutenant), Charles E. 
Gibbs, George E. Hardwick, John S. Kirk and Thomas Wilde, ser- 
geants; James E. Henderson, James M. Layton, Cullen H. Angel, 
Charles A. Vice, Elisha Ricketts and James W. McClure, cor- 
porals; Marshall Whinnery and Sylvanus L. Scott, musicians; Wil- 
liam Green, wagoner. 

Privates — William H. Arnold, John C. Bonnell (promoted first 
lieutenant), John Bressler, Samuel Bressler, Stephen M. Bricker, 
Nathaniel Brockway, Samuel W. Campbell, Thomas C. Chambers, 
Oliver G. B. Cline, John Cochrane (promoted corporal), James R. 
Crossley, James Deighton, Asaph C. Dewey, George H. Dewey, 
Slyvester Dye, Adam Eckhart, Edwin Everett, Francis E. Farley, 
Henry J. Ferguson, Joseph A. Ferrell, Jacob Fitter,William T. Gray, 
Thomas F. Green, Martin C. Hall, Alem H. Hampton, Eli W. 
Hampton, Caleb C. Haskins, Joseph M. Hewitt, Elisha B. Hitch- 
cock (promoted sergeant), James E. Houghland, William D. 
Houghland (promoted corporal), Elias James, William Johnson, 
William C. Kent, Benjamin Kinion, William R. Kinion, Jesse B. 
Knight, Charles E. Liddle, George A. Liddle, Ebenezer Linn, Wil- 
liam H. H. McCabe, John McCannon, Jefferson R. McKaig, 
Thomas McOlgan, Edward Mallett, John H. Mallett, Nelson Mal- 
lett, John J. Marsell, George Martin, Thomas J. Matlock, Gideon 
Miller, James Montgomery, Edward Mooney, Abraham Morgan, 
Henry Morgan, Samuel Munsey, James S. Murray, Charles Nave, 
Mather Newby, Charles C. Paulk, John A. Peasley, Howard Pen- 


nington, Decatur Pittman, John J. Potter, Henry Rhodes (pro- 
moted corporal), Matthew L. Roberson, Samuel H. Rogers, Henry 
Sarr, Francis H. Semple, William H. Semple, Frank Sherwood, 
Abner S. Smally, Charles M. Smally, William J. Smally, Edwin 
D. Smith, Franklin D. Snell, Jasper N. Southard, John Starke, Ed- 
ward Stern, Joseph A. Street, Fielder Taylor, Albert Thompson, 
Milton Thompson, William A. Thompson, William Thrush, Daniel 
R. Tracy, Patrick Walch, William H. Walker, John Wallace, Wil- 
liam Wilkins, John Yager. 

Oscar J. Burch, who enlisted as corporal in Company A, was 
transferred to Company G, of which he became first lieutenant, and 
was mustered out as sergeant major. In that company the following 
privates were credited to Lee County: William T. Alley, William 
Allen, George Gilmore and Edward Pennington. John Kelley 
served in Company I, and Benjamin E. Lee in Company K. 

The Nineteenth was mustered in at Keokuk on August 23, 1862, 
and ten days later was ordered to St. Louis. After being engaged 
at Rolla and Cassville, it was attached to Herron's Division, Army 
of the Border, and was in the Battles of Prairie Grove and Van 
Buren, Arkansas. It was then ordered to join General Grant's army 
and took part in the siege and capture of Vicksburg. For a time 
it was then on duty in Texas; was then sent to Florida, and, after 
being stationed at Pensacola for a few weeks, aided in the reduction 
of Mobile. It was mustered out at Mobile on July 10, 1865, an( ^ 
was disbanded at Davenport on the 1st of August. 


This regiment was organized under the call of July 2, 1862, and 
was mustered in at Mount Pleasant on September 27, 1862, with 
George A. Stone as colonel. Part of Company C was raised in Lee 
County. Josephus W. Brush was second lieutenant; Francis M. 
Dougherty and Louis Wickersham, sergeants; Fred W. Millard, 
George Benn, Nelson Heading and Edward V. Cox, corporals; John 
B. Welpton, musician; and Andrew H. Dyer, wagoner. 

Privates — Franklin Allen, George W. Anthony, Robert Anthony, 
Dennis Baragery, John Bowman, Samuel T. Bundy, Abner Clark, 
Jr., George W. Cooper, Le Roy Dorman, George F. Hayward, John 
W. Heading, Isaac W. Henkle, John L. Hinson, Isaac Little, Wil- 
liam H. Longcor, William Mattox, William Myer, Harrison S. 
Poulson, John L. Ritchie, William H. Short, Hiram Sweet, George 


W. Taylor, Elihu Weeks, James W. West, Robert R. Westfall, 
Daniel Wood, Nathan Wood. 

In Company D were Benjamin Babb, John Cranmer, Luther 
Cranmer and Napoleon B. Eggleston. 

Early in November, 1862, the regiment was ordered to Helena, 
Arkansas, where it joined the White River expedition. Then, as part 
of the Second Brigade, Hovey's Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, 
it took part in the engagements at Chickasaw Bayou and Arkansas 
Post. It then formed part of General Steele's forces in the expedi- 
tion to Greenville, Mississippi, after which it was on duty in Louis- 
iana until the beginning of the Vicksburg campaign. After the fall 
of Vicksburg, it took part in the Battle of Jackson, then moved to 
Tennessee and was engaged in the Battle of Lookout Mountain. In 
the spring of 1864 it joined General Sherman's army and was 
engaged in numerous actions incident to the Atlanta campaign. 
Then came the march to the sea, the Carolina campaign, the Grand 
Review at Washington, and was there mustered out on June 6, 1865. 


On September 23, 1862, the Thirtieth Infantry was mustered in 
at Keokuk, with William M. G. Torrence, of Lee County, as lieu- 
tenant-colonel. Col. Charles H. Abbott was killed at Vicksburg on 
May 22, 1863, and Lieutenant-Colonel Torrence was promoted to the 
colonelcy. John W. Bond was regimental surgeon and James H. 
Clendening served as adjutant and sergeant major. Companies A 
and I were recruited in Lee County, and there were a few men from 
the county in other companies of the regiment. 

Company A was mustered in with Rufus Goodnough, captain; 
William M. Stimpson, first lieutenant; Henry Montgomery, second 
lieutenant; Henderson C. Hall, Ezra G. Clark, Lewis I. Adams and 
Thomas Powell, sergeants; Thomas Berry, Charles F. Riffley, Albert 
Gillespie, Charles W. Armor, Samuel L. Boyd, John G. Wood and 
Wilson Horn, corporals; Samuel H. Moore and Joseph Bowdwyn, 
musicians; Alexander Nichols, wagoner. 

Privates — Thomas Adams, James Aden, William C. Andrews, 
Edwin Astle, Albert G. Baker, Isaac H. Ball, Jasper N. Ballou, 
Asa Bishop, Solomon Bishop, William S. Brown, Hiram M. Carter, 
John Church, James Collins, Hiram Collins, Thomas Conn, Ephraim 
Cooper, Thomas Cooper, Wilson Cooper, Charles Crague, James 
P. Dodson, James R. Donahue, Samuel Ezell, Harvey Ferrell, Icha- 
bod B. GifTord, John Gilbridge, James Griffin, William W. Grimes, 


George D. Harmon, Lewis A. Hawk, Andrew Henagle, Lewis 
Hewitt, Archibald Hook, Benjamin Horton, Abraham Hoss, James 
Junkins, James Kelldew, Israel C. Kirkpatrick, Philip Knauf, Harry 
Lang (promoted corporal), Charles Lipper, Jimerson Long, Peter 
Luxen, Patrick McDonnell (promoted corporal), Sylvester May- 
hew, Harrison Miller, Wilkerson Mulligan, Malachi Murphy, Wil- 
liam Murphy, John B. Myers, John Nelson, Reason Penrod, John 
Ray, Oliver H. P. Reed, Rufus C. Reid, Jacob Rempe, William 
M. Robinson, Thomas Ryan, Timothy M. Scranton, William Shel- 
don, Wendell Shelley, Nephi Shumate, John Slinglund, Charles 
Smith, James Snedaker, Daniel L. Sodergreen, John J. Spain, Um- 
bleton Spain, Edgar D. Stoddard, John A. Taylor, David Trotter, 
Richard Vanosdol, John O. Weese, William West, Henry Wild, 
Thomas Winn, Jacob Wisler, George Wolcott, Thomas Wright. 

Charles J. Maginnis was mustered in as captain of Company D, 
but resigned on February 3, 1863, and was succeeded by William 
Dixon, who enlisted as a sergeant. Daniel J. Hossleton served as 
sergeant in this company; Cyrus W. Hamilton, as corporal; Edward 
Denmire, wagoner, and the following privates were from Lee County : 
Charles Barry, George Bower, James Cane, John Carnahan, William 
H. Chandler, Clark Colvin, James H. Dimond, Nelson Knutzen, 
Andrew McMarlin, John D. Nash, Simeon Stockwell, Edward 
Shields, Alfred Shepard. 

James P. Newell was mustered in as first lieutenant and Robert 
E. Drake as a private in Company F, being the only two men in the 
company credited to Lee County. 

The commissioned officers of Company I were: Uley Burk, 
captain; William L. Alexander, first lieutenant; Edwin M. Dean, 
second lieutenant — all from West Point. Captain Burk resigned in 
September, 1863; Lieutenant Alexander became captain; Edwin M. 
Dean was promoted to first lieutenant. The sergeants were Prescott 
E. Ballard, John McKibben, Jonas A. Eaton, Charles Wolf and 
Levi Steele. James Harvey, Jesse McCarmon, Jacob Ash, James 
Stevens, John W. Jolly, George C. Shedd and Samuel Barnes were 
enrolled as corporals; Reuben Sperry, Francis M. Crawford and 
Watson Trowbridge, as musicians, and Fenton Becraft, as wagoner. 

Privates — James H. Allison, Edwin M. Andrews, George Ault, 
Joseph Bonser, Andrew J. Bramer, William Buchanan, George By- 
ram, George Cooper, William A. Cross, Michael Cunningham, Henry 
Diedrich (promoted corporal), Timothy Dewire, James M. Ed- 
wards, Joseph Farley, Thomas Foreman, Jacob Fye, Andrew M. Gay, 
Samuel Gay, Benjamin Green, William C. Gregg, Lemuel Harress, 


Philip Helmick, Henry Herbert, David Hoffman, James Hoffman, 
Levi Hosier, Henry A. Hoss, John Johnson, Daniel Jones (promoted 
corporal), Sylvester Jones, Lewis B. Keeler (promoted first lieu- 
tenant), John Klinefelter, Joseph Lawrence, George McCaffey, 
William McCannon, William S. McCord, Lewis J. McCoy, Alvin 
McNeil, Samuel M. Marsh, Thomas Morgan, John Morrison, 
James Mullen, Samuel Murphy, William D. Murray, William 
Peckham, George W. Pomeroy, Charles T. Porterfield, Lozier Pru- 
den, Joseph Rickshear, Deighton Roberts, James Ruark, Andrew 
J. Sellers, George Sellers, Abram Sharp, Frank Sharp, Jacob Shears, 
Heinrich Sholtz, George W. Snook, Frank Snyder, Samuel W. 
Southard, Hamlin Starkey, Frank Starr, Daniel Storms, George 
Storms, David M. Thompson, Martin V. Warson, Ira E. Whitcomb, 
Alfred Wilder, Thomas J. Wright. 

The regiment left Keokuk on October 25, 1862, for St. Louis. 
After its arrival in that city it was ordered to Helena, Arkansas, 
and its history throughout the entire period of its service is almost 
identical with that of the Twenty-fifth Regiment, previously given. 
It was mustered out at Washington, D. C, June 5, 1865. 


The Thirty-seventh was called the "Graybeard Regiment," hav- 
ing been composed of men over the age limit for military duty, many 
of whom had grandsons in the army. It was mustered in at Musca- 
tine on December 15, 1862, with George W. Kincaid as colonel. 
Company C was organized in Lee County and was mustered in with 
Joel A. Hall, first lieutenant and Reid L. Barnum, second lieutenant. 
On January 3, 1863, Lieutenant Hall was promoted to the cap- 
taincy and commanded the company during the remainder of its 
service. Hiram M. Roberts, George Krampeter, John Alexander 
and Benjamin Walden were the sergeants; David Seamands, Lewis 
G. Kennedy, Daniel B. Johnson, David Garrett, Thomas C. Ware, 
Edward Sleigh and Jonathan Oliver, corporals; John Sivel and 
Matthew Stein, musicians, and Daniel D. Bishop, wagoner. 

Privates — James T. Blair, John Briley, Gorrin H. Carr, Jackson 
Chapman, Lemuel Cooper, Warrick M. Cosgrove, Michael Cos- 
tello, Michael Curtayne, Williamson Dawson, Samuel Farrell, Jared 
N. Goddard, William T. Gully, John Hargin, John Harmon, Wil- 
liam Harris, George Householder, William Howard, Silas Hub- 
bard, Andrew J. Hughes, David Jennings, Reuben Knowles, Charles 
Koons, William Lewis, John W. Lyon, William L. McCready, 


Alexander McGreer, Horace V. Mann, John H. Mackie, William 
Newsome, John Nottage, Noah Paulk, John Peterson, John O. 
Petrie, William Porter, Jacob Richards, William Sanders, John W. 
ScherfT, Thomas H. Scott, Thomas J. Scott, William Shepherd, John 
Sherman, John Sherrick (promoted corporal), Davis Smith, John 
Starke, John Stephenson, William H. Sutherland, Joseph W. Tay- 
lor, John Watts, Nelson White, Absalom Wingett, Daniel B. Wood- 
mansee, David Wright. 

Kinsman D. Cranmer was enrolled as sergeant and John Deeds 
as a private in Company G; Henry Fahey, Samuel Farrell and John 
Hargin as privates in Company H; Thomas Moore was corporal 
in Company I, in which the following were enrolled as privates: 
John Appel, James H. Alexander, Adam Byram and David 

Owing to the age of the members, the regiment was employed 
chiefly in guard duty at the St.' Louis Arsenal and by detachments 
elsewhere. During its entire term of service it lost but three men 
killed in action and four wounded. It was mustered out at Daven- 
port, Iowa, May 24, 1865. 


When the campaigns opened in the spring of 1864, a call was 
issued for several regiments in different states to serve for 100 days. 
One of these was the Forty-fifth Iowa Infantry, which was mustered 
in at Keokuk on May 25, 1864, and was composed chiefly of young 
men, many of them being under twenty-one years of age. Lee County 
was represented in five companies of the regiment. 

Company C was mustered in with Campbell K. Peck, captain; 
David B. Hamill, first lieutenant; John L. Day, second lieutenant; 
Edmund H. Jones, William H. Barrell, John N. Irwin, James Vin- 
cent and Willis C. Cooke, sergeants; George M. Hoffla^ George P. 
Durkee, Andrew LeFevre, Ephraim M. Ingersoll, Antoine Lefaivre, 
William Collier, Calvitte C. Thompson and John C. Jeffries, cor- 
porals; John C. Fry and George W. Peters, musicians, and Samuel 
B. Gafford, wagoner. 

Privates — James R. Anderson, Constantine S. Bassett, Napoleon 
B. Bong, David Bozarth, John Brady, William Brady, Rezin 
Bridges, Eugene E. Bronson, Arthur G. Buck, Asaph Buck, Joseph 
Buryan, Edward S. Carter, Frederick Caisser, James T. Cooney, 
George H. Corwine, Simeon C. Crane, Edward G. Creel, John S. 
Devon, Edward A. Diggs, James B. Diver, George H. Fairchild, 


Patrick H. Finerty, William Fletcher, Charles F. Foster, James I. 
Fry, John P. Gleason, James Griffin, John W. Griffith, John H. 
Hamel, George N. Hart, Lewis Headley, Lewis Hedden, Charles 
S. Higham, William Hoeter, Samuel L. Howell, Jerry Jacob, 
George C. Johnston, Alphonzo Jones, Jacob Jones, Michael Kelcher, 
August Kellmer, George Knaggs, Charles H. Lane, Samuel N. 
Lane, Peter Lemaster, Charles H. Lee, George B. Leonard, Swan 
Lind, Elijah Luke, Isaac F. Lyman, Oscar Messick, William Millis. 
Lycurgus Rickey, Frederick Rudd, Charles Sellers, David I. Smith, 
James Smith, Norman L. Smith, Myron H. Stockwell, Daniel T. 
Summers, Henry A. Taylor, John Tomlinson, Simon Vogel, Paul 
Wallet, Lewis Weyand, Samuel White, Leopold W. Zindel. 

In Company E. Albert C. Smith was mustered in as first lieu- 
tenant; Asa Culver, second lieutenant; James Kennedy, Jacob G. 
Heaton, John F. Liddle and Edmund A. Dickey, sergeants; Louis 
G. Kiel, William Thornburg, Jeptha S. Miller, Jonathan Coffindaf- 
fer, Peter M. Miller, William N. Devol and Martin S. Dickey, 
corporals; Edwin Bonnell and Rinehart Lober, musicians. 

Privates — William D. Alexander, Ira W. Anderson, Isaac R. 
Atlee, Charles Barnum, John T. Barr, Welcome Beach, Thomas 
A. Bell, Addison Caldwell, Albert B. Case, Jackson Chapman, James 
F. Clark, George W. Coleman, Samuel P. Cowles, George Dawson, 
Francis Denny, Hiram A. Dufur, George S. Dyer, William En- 
dersby, William Fagan, Jacob F. Garver, Luther Gill, Amos D. 
Gray, Azariah Gregg, Leonidas C. Grubb, Alexander B. Hampton, 
James Horton, John Holmes, Townsend B. Huff, Rolandus Hyde, 
William H. Jones, David H. Mason, Thomas H. Mason, John W. 
Miner, James Moody, Samuel D. Morrison, Clarkson Newby, 
Charles Overman, Jonathan Phelps, Francis O. Shamb, Hiram 
Sherwood, William Tomson, George W. Tremaine, Watson B. 
Turner, Elwood Votaw, Henry Weise, James S. Welpton, Jacob 
Whitinger, Eli S. Wilcoxon. 

Fourteen Lee County men were enrolled in Company F. George 
T. Collins was a sergeant; Hibbard H. Shedd, Pierson H. Bristow, 
Orson V. Montgomery, corporals; George F. Case, Horatio Case, 
William G. Field, Robert C. Henry, Amos FI. Hill, Amos W. How- 
ard, William H. Howard, Samuel G. Kelley, Theodore J. Loomis 
and Jacob Wissler, privates. 

Henry A. Field and Thornton S. King were enrolled as privates 
in Company G; William W. Dollings was a sergeant in Company 
H, in which Moses Hammond, George Miller and Leroy Miller 
served as privates. 


The regiment was first ordered to St. Louis and from there to 
Memphis, Tennessee. It was employed chiefly in guarding the line 
of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad, being engaged in a few 
slight skirmishes with the enemy and losing two men killed and 
one wounded. It was mustered out at Keokuk on September 16, 


Twenty-four Lee County men were enrolled in Company D, 
Forty-eighth Infantry, which was also a 100 days' regiment. Aaron 
Colliver was first lieutenant of the company; Henry H. Freed, 
Charles Phillips and James R. Fitch, sergeants; John C. Chapin, 
John W. Fletcher and Henry Black, corporals; Nathan D. Daniels, 
musician, and the following served as privates: Francis M. Arnold, 
Ezra Bailey, Andrew J. Brown, David A. Brown, Thomas A. 
Brown, Jotham P. Clark, Henry Coleman, Eli Denney, William W. 
Dudley, Thomas J. Guyon, Isaac D. Hale, Thomas E. Jefferson, 
John E. Johnson, William Kimble, Isaac Lambert and Aaron F. 

The regiment's service was similar to that performed by the 
Forty-fifth. It was mustered out at Rock Island, Illinois, October 
21, 1864. 


The First Cavalry was organized under the call of May 3, 1861, 
and was mustered in at Burlington and Davenport during the months 
of July and August, with Fitz Henry Warren as colonel and Charles 
E. Moss, of Keokuk, lieutenant-colonel. 

Company A was recruited in Lee County and at the time of 
muster in was officered as follows: William M. G. Torrence, cap- 
tain; Alexander G. McQueen, first lieutenant; Robert M. Reynolds, 
second lieutenant. Captain Torrence was promoted to major on 
October 26, 1861, Lieutenant McQueen became captain and after- 
ward rose to be lieutenant-colonel, and Lieutenant Reynolds was 
promoted to first lieutenant. David A. Kerr, who enlisted as first 
sergeant of Company A, was made adjutant of the regiment in Octo- 
ber, 1862, and John M. Coggeshall, of Montrose, was commissioned 
chaplain in June, 1863. 

The sergeants of Company A were: John A. Bishop, David A. 
Kerr, Andrew S. Hamilton, Alexander P. Boyse, Hugh Martin, 


John C. Van Hook and Walter S. Gray. John A. Bishop, who 
was mustered in as quartermaster sergeant, and Andrew S. Hamilton 
were both promoted to second lieutenant, and Sergeant Boyse to 
first lieutenant. 

James P. Turner (promoted second lieutenant), Brainard 
Bridges, Joseph C. McCandless, James Robertson, Joseph S. Van- 
sant, William Goodin, Clayborn F. Driskill and John Wright served 
as corporals; Henry Wisner, bugler; William K. Reeves, farrier; 
George Rearler, saddler; and Isaac Ferrell, wagoner. 

Privates — Harvey Adair, William C. Andrews, Benjamin Blair, 
William Blair, Bartlett Brown, William O. Burns, William Carter, 
John P. Cochrane, George W. Collins, David Conley, Oliver L. 
Conn, Milton Copp, John W. Cross, Francis M. Davis, Thomas C. 
Fletcher, Lewis H. Foster, Hiram Gabriel, Ambrose Gallagher, 
Owen P. Gore, George W. Green, John Henkle, Frank Herwick, 
John Herwick, James Hill, Henry Hoagland, Edward Hollings- 
worth, William Horton, Herman J. Huiskamp, Thomas S. James, 
James E. Johnston, Alexander Kennedy, William Linn, James Mc- 
Cutcheon, George McKee, Charles McKibben, James F. McKinley, 
George R. Miller, Charles E. Moss, Andrew Neel, Peter Nelson, 
Andrew O'Bleness, Laban O'Bleness, Thomas J. O'Bleness (pro- 
moted captain), Eli R. Oiler, Thomas N. Pond, Samuel Pone, 
William Pone, Josiah Ray, Elmore Reed, Daniel Reibold, Prosper 
A. Rose, John L. Russell (promoted first lieutenant), Anglos F. 
Sala, Orlando P. Sala, William Scheyli, James Scott, Jacob M. 
Shook, Lewis E. Short, Moses Short, John Skinner, James Smith, 
John Smith, Zachariah E. Thomas, William F. Thorndike, Pleasant 

A. Timberlake, Davis C. Turner, Addison Walker, George Welchy- 
ner, Andrew J. Wilson, Harrison F. Wilson, Walker Wilson, Lewis 

B. Wisbey, Andrew J. Wisbey, Andrew J. Wright, John Wright, 
William Wyatt. 

Lee County was represented in Company C by Albert F. Dean, 
second lieutenant; Elijah W. Majors and Otis S. Whiting, ser- 
geants; Clinton M. Turner, Paul Hendricks, Michael Seyb, cor- 
porals; George Hook, bugler, and the following: 

Privates — Malcolm S. Andrews, Alexander C. Brice, Joseph 
Brees, Hiram Brown, Jerome Carpenter, Charles Chickering 
Doddridge W. Cook, Jesse Cooper, Curtis M. Copp, Thaddeus J 
Dean, George Delfeller, William Harper, George C. Hawkins 
William H. Hendricks, John L. Hill, Henry Jefferson, Alfred J 
Lyther, Michael McCreary, Charles U. Martin, Horace Payne 
Joseph C. Ritchey, William S. Steele, Granville L. Stockman, Allen 


Stoddard, Abraham H. Stutesman, Rufus Underwood, Alfred 
Walker, George E. Wilmarsh, Thomas Zingre. 

Thomas McClean served as private in Company D; Joseph H. 
Arnold, Benjamin F. Best, John J. Buffington, William L. Gantz, 
Andrew L. Jay, Lindley F. Joy, Berryman Roberts and Thomas S. 
Shampnoi, in Company E. Thomas H. Hart and Stephen M. Sex- 
ton were corporals in Company F, in which the following Lee 
County men served as privates: George Hart, Ray S. Hart, John 
C. Hunter, Marx Klein, Bernard C. Reiley and Thomas J. Reed. 
In Company H were Ezra Harrington, Adam R. Hartzell, Henry 
E. Johnson, Zachariah P. Murry, Frederick H. Purrington and 
Andrew J. Smith. 

Russell G. Curtiss was enrolled as a private in Company I; 
Edward Barron and Joseph Benedict, in Company K; Charles L. 
Barnum, George Hoskinson, Daniel H. Hughes, David Jack, James 
E. McCalligan, Joseph Moody, Joshua Seward, Joseph Stenger, 
David B. Sterrett and John D. Tedro, in Company L. 

On the last day of September, 1861, six companies of the regi- 
ment were ordered to St. Louis and later in the fall were engaged 
at Milford and Silver Creek. All through the summer of 1862 the 
regiment was in Missouri, though hardly ever together, the com- 
panies being on detached duty. It was then ordered to Arkansas, 
where it took part in the battles of Cane Hill and Prairie Grove. 
In the spring of 1863 ^ was P art °f tne f° rce opposed to the Con- 
federate under General Marmaduke. About the close of the year 
it was veteranized and the men received their furlough. Returning 
to Arkansas, the regiment was reorganized and continued in active 
service in that state until February, 1865, wne n it was ordered to 
Memphis, Tennessee. It was next with General Custer in Louis- 
iana and Texas until mustered out at Austin, Texas, February 15, 


The greater portion of the first battalion of this regiment was 
raised in Lee County. When the regiment was mustered in on Sep- 
tember 14, 1 86 1, at Keokuk, Carleton H. Perry was major of the 
battalion; Dudley E. Jones, battalion quartermaster; David L. Mc- 
Gugin, regimental surgeon; Christopher C. Biser, assistant surgeon; 
and Pearl P. Ingalls, chaplain. John W. Noble, who entered the 
service as first lieutenant of Company C, was promoted to the colo- 
nelcy of the regiment on May 23, 1864. Other Lee County men 

Vol. 1—14 


who served as line and staff officers of the regiment were: John R. 
Woods, commissary sergeant; Euclid E. Fuller, hospital steward; 
Alfred R. Hitchkiss, commissary sergeant; George A. Jackson, 
quartermaster sergeant; Israel M. Wickersham, chief bugler; 
Howard Perry and Thomas H. Brown, battalion commissary ser- 

Company A contained four men from Lee County, viz. : Samuel 
Barr, who was promoted to first lieutenant; William Carney, An- 
drew Goucher and Emery S. Goucher, privates. 

The muster roll of Company B shows John Q. A. DeHuff, first 
lieutenant; Aaron H. Gage, Samuel Barr, Andrew J. McRacken, 
John P. Talbott and George N. Anderson, sergeants; John A. Jef- 
ferson, Clinton C. McChord, James S. Alexander, Jesse W. Bayles, 
John H. Perry, William F. Jones, James Pain and Edwin M. Burr, 
corporals; Abram Edwards, farrier; August Remerman, saddler; 
Gardiner A. A. Deane, bugler; and Artemus Clumis, wagoner. 
Sergeant Gage was promoted to the captaincy of the company in 
July. 1865, and Clinton C. McChord was promoted to second lieu- 
tenant at the same time. Samuel Barr was transferred to Company 
A and promoted to first lieutenant. 

Privates — Amos Addington, Milton Anders, William H. Ander- 
son, James Barr, Horatio L. Birdsall, Samuel N. Bishop, William 
H. H. Black, William Breitenstein, Alexander Brownlee, Alfred 
Burge, David Carroll, William H. Chidester, Gottlieb Christian, 
Alexander Coleman, Asa E. Coleman, William Cowles, James Cox, 
Hiram C. Diggs, David Finley, Samuel S. Finley, Samuel Frow, 
George Galloup, James K. Galloup, Jerry Galloup, William W. 
Gordon, Benjamin F. Grant, Salathiel Hannan, Edward V. Hol- 
land, Austin Hollowell, Jasper Hollowell, John H. Horn, James 
House, Henry Keime, William Kerns, Peter Kerr, Isaac H. Kinley, 
Lemon Mc. Logan, Thomas B. Logan, George W. Longley, John 
W. Love, John W. Lyon, Asbury B. McChord, James D. McCully, 
Robert T. McDonald, Orlow H. McPherson, William McQueen, 
James S. Matthews, John C. Matthews, Marshall P. Matthews, 
John W. Mendenhall, John Merritt, Jasper O'Neil, Allen Overman, 
Thomas Parker, George Parsons, Jonathan Parsons, Samuel Par- 
sons, Gaston Pease, John W. Pullman, Ralph Rigby, George Rich- 
ardson, Bernard Ringland, Thomas N. Rye, Albert G. Saxe, Ben- 
nett S. Shaug, Benjamin A. Smith, Thomas Stillwell, Kinsey T. 
Talbott, Elwood Townsend, Henry D. Townsend, James Vancyoc, 
Henry L. Weeks, William West, Hiram C. Wilcoxson, Robert Wil- 
son, Calvin S. Woodworth. 


Company C was mustered in with Israel Anderson, captain; 
Erie J. Leech, first lieutenant; William Wilson, second lieutenant; 
Henry A. Winther, quartermaster sergeant; Thomas Cowley, Jr., 
commissary sergeant; David A. Day, Ralph H. Millard, Ambrose 
L. Jenks, Josiah A. Jackson and Thomas W. Brice, sergeants; James 
Linch, Glenn Lowe, Obadiah M. Crane, Hubbard Stone, Robert 
Lemaster, John Leddon, William Gilcrist and James W. Cox, cor- 
porals; Louis Anslyn, bugler; Fleming C. Wilson, farrier; John 
M. Read, saddler; Henry Deppen, wagoner. Corporal Lowe was 
promoted to captain and Corporal Linch to first lieutenant. 

Privates — Thomas Ackley, Thomas P. Ackley, Charles Ander- 
son, Perry Armitage, John S. Beebe, Louis Berryhill, Andrew A. 
Brown, Israel Brown, Isaac Bunch, George W. Burgman, Robert 
Cassidy, Ephraim Cobb, Lewis Conn, Charles Conway, Lisbon A. 
Cox, William Curtis, Henry Delaplaine, Lawrence Dugan, William 
E. Durfee, William H. Duvall, Jehu Elliott, Ephraim Fauquier, 
John Field, Robert Forbes, Charles H. Forman, William H. For- 
man, Dixon Gibson, John F. Gibson, William D. Gibson, Thomas 
H. Goodwin, William Guthrie, Andrew J. Hardin, John W. Hard- 
wick, Oscar D. Harvey, John A. Hendrickson, Milton Herron, 
Alexander Hinote, Henry P. Hockman, Franklin Horn, Joseph 
Hyde, James G. Jeffries, James Johnson, Perry Johnson, Charles 
Jones, James Jones, William Keteon, William King, William G. 
Kramer, Israel E. Leake, William Lowry, Elias Luke, Morgan 
Lynch, Samuel McEveny, Edward Y. McLarning, William Mc- 
Laughlin, William O. Mackie, John Malia, William Martin, Wil- 
liam Matheney, John H. Miller, William Miller, William J. 
Moneymaker, Clark Murch, Henry Ostrander, Samuel F. Ostrander, 
Calvin Peterson, Albert Phillips, Lindsey P. Price, John R. Quick- 
sell, Herman Rankin, Johnson Rankin, Joseph Rhodes, Daniel 
Riggs, Alfred Roberts (promoted first lieutenant), Silas M. Rock- 
well, Thomas B. Russell, Joseph Samuel, John S. Critchfield, Leroy 
Seaton, William Seeberlich, Williamson Sells, Perry Shay, Samuel 
Shultz, Thomas Simpson, George C. Smith, Henry H. Smith, James 
Smith, John Smith, William Smith, Isaac Snyder, Henry Sprague, 
Josiah Spaulding, Isaac Stamper, Oliver C. Stevens, Peter I. Stevens, 
John Stone, Francisco Stump, Charles Tackaberry, Washington 
Talbott, Charles W. Taylor (promoted second lieutenant), Morris 
Tisdale, Barzillai Townsend, Jacob Tryon, Thomas L. Vann, James 
A. Virts, Francis H. Waste, Charles Watson, Edward Welchman, 
Samuel Wheeler, Harwood Whitney, Albert Williams, Matthew 


D. Williams, William M. Williams, John R. Woods, Wesley J. 
Worley, Jefferson Worster, Daniel B. Wyatt, Anderson Zugg. 

John Campbell was a corporal and Adam Dunn and Justin B. 
Harlan were privates in Company D; Harvey N. Upton and Nelson 
Vansteensburg were enrolled in Company E ; Matthew Roderson was 
a private in Company F; and Abraham Berger, William H. Cole- 
man and William H. Matkin privates in Company G. 

Twenty-three Lee County men enlisted in Company H. Thomas 
R. Herndon held the rank of sergeant; Martin V. B. Sigler, Michael 
W. Mitchell, John W. Smith and Thomas N. Gosnell were cor- 
porals, and the following served as privates : Andrew Balbach, John 
Balbach, John H. Beucler, Peter F. Beucler, Emerson Butterfield, 
William Clark, Cyrus G. Hawkins, James S. Hewitt, James A. 
Light, Joseph Myers, Howard Perry, Jackson Sigler, Jeremiah Sig- 
ler, George Smith, William H. Spitler, Nathan Tuttle, John W. 
Vandevanter and Selby Vandevanter. 

In Company I were Joseph C. Fletcher, Jacob Graft and John 
Smith. Dudley E. Jones served as first lieutenant of Company L, 
in which Clinton D. Cooper, Alonzo Britton and Edward White 
were enrolled as privates, and in Company M Benjamin M. Belville, 
William H. Bryant, Robert Hendricks, James H. Johnson and 
Shadrach Rinkle were credited to Lee County. 

The first service of the Third Cavalry was in protecting the 
southern border of Iowa against invasion. On November 4, 1861, 
it was ordered to St. Louis, where it was divided into detachments 
and for the next few weeks the men "lived in the saddle." Parts of 
the regiment were engaged at Moore's Mill, Florida, Kirksville and 
other skirmishes, after which the Third was assigned to the duty of 
guarding the frontier from the Iron Mountains of Missouri to the 
Boston Mountains in Arkansas. It took part in the Battle of Pea 
Ridge, fought at West Plains, and in December, 1862, was assigned 
to the cavalry division of the Army of the Tennessee, commanded 
by Gen. C. C. Washburne. For a time it was on duty at Helena, 
Arkansas, but early in June, 1863, it was ordered to join General 
Grant in the siege of Vicksburg. It formed part of Sherman's 
advance in the march to Jackson and after the battle at that place was 
engaged in destroying the Mississippi Central Railroad. It was 
then ordered back to Arkansas, where many of the men reenlisted and 
received their veteran furlough. After a visit to home and friends 
in Iowa, the regiment was ordered to join the expedition to Gun- 
town, Mississippi, and was then in pursuit of General Price through 
Missouri. When Price was driven out of the state, the Third joined 


Gen. J. H. Wilson's cavalry in Tennessee and was on active duty in 
that state and Georgia until mustered out at Atlanta on August 9, 


The Fourth Cavalry was mustered into the United States service 
at Mount Pleasant, Iowa, January 1, 1862, with Asbury B. Porter 
as colonel. John B. Leclerc served as a private in Company C; 
Samuel Peterson and Jabez Sibley in Company F, and more than 
half of Company G came from Lee County. 

Company G was mustered in with Thomas C. Tullis as captain 
and James J. Brown as first lieutenant, though the first non-commis- 
sioned officers were from other counties. The following privates 
were credited to Lee County: Thompson Armor, Francis H. Ayres, 
Lycurgus E. Ayres, George M. Barnes, William C. Barnes, James 
F. Berry, Louis Burke, Arestes M. Cale, William Cale, George W. 
Clark, Henry Cowles, James E. Cowles, George B. Crossley, Law- 
rence Crossley, Alonzo Cunningham, Francis M. Davis (promoted 
captain), Delarma Douglas, Philip Ehart, Wykoff W. Endersby, 
William H. Entler, Solomon Ezell, Charles H. Fagers, Thomas C. 
Fletcher (promoted bugler), James Frazier, John Frazier, Charles 

A. Gillham, Robert P. Gilmer (promoted second lieutenant), Frank- 
lin Groesbeck, William Hardy (promoted corporal), Aaron Hoss, 
John Ingersoll (promoted sergeant), W. Wilson Ingersoll, William 
J. Ives, Cornelius W. Jackson, Theodore S. Jackson, Theodore H. 
Jennings, William P. Jennings, Daniel Johnson, Lewis Johnson, 
Thompson Jones (promoted corporal), David Laird, Almon M. 
Levee, George L. Levee (promoted quartermaster sergeant), Charles 

B. McCarthy, Horace McDannell, James S. Mason, Samuel J. 
Mason, William C. Mason (promoted corporal), William Murray, 
Zephaniah Murray, William Osborn, William Pitman, Alexander 
Riddle, Alexander Rodgers (promoted captain), George 1 Scovil, 
Amiel Shotta, Edwin Sigmon, Robert Skiles, Nicholas Snider, 
Edward Stubbs, James Thornton, Polk E. Tibbetts (promoted 
sergeant), Hugh Valiant (promoted sergeant), Sensel Watts, George 
W. Welch, Henry S. Wheatley. 

On March 10, 1862, the regiment was ordered to Rolla, Missouri, 
thence to Springfield and from there to Helena, Arkansas. During 
the early service of the regiment the companies were chiefly on 
detached duty, scouting and occasionally skirmishing with the enemy. 
Company F captured a steamboat loaded with sugar and molasses and 


a train of about one hundred wagons loaded with provisions. On 
November 25, 1862, the Fourth joined Gen. A. P. Hovey's expedi- 
tion toward Grenada, Mississippi and destroyed several miles of 
railroad. On the last day of April, 1863, it joined General Grant's 
forces at Milliken's Bend and started on the campaign against Vicks- 
burg. It was in the engagements at Haynes' Bluff and Mechanics- 
burg, and after the fall of Vicksburg took part in the battle of Jack- 
son. Toward the close of 1863 many of the men reenlisted and re- 
ceived a veteran furlough. After that it was with General Grierson 
on the raid through Mississippi and was engaged in numerous battles 
and skirmishes in that state and Alabama. The regiment was mus- 
tered out at Atlanta, Georgia, August 10, 1865. 


Although this regiment was designated as the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, 
it contained one company from Omaha, Nebraska, two companies 
from Minnesota and one from Illinois. It was mustered in at St. 
Louis from September, 1861, to February 11, 1862, and when fully 
organized was placed under the command of William W. Lowe as 
colonel. Joseph Bendler, Henry O. Dudley, Charles H. Kummer 
and C. August Ulrich, of Lee County, were members of the regi- 
mental band; George Friedenrich served as battalion commissary 
sergeant; Frederick Dietrich was regimental saddler. 

Company F, composed chiefly of Germans, was raised in Lee and 
the adjoining counties. It was mustered in with John A. Smith as 
second lieutenant; Charles Haenel, quartermaster sergeant; Gustave 
Krusch, George H. Meier and Charles F. Limle, sergeants; Caspar 
Buschmeier and Charles Rothe, corporals, and John Seidel, bugler. 

Privates — George Anthes, Roman Boechle, Fritz Brechf, Jacob 
Deutsch, John B. Dingman, Ferdinand Fahr, Henry Fosterling, 
Fritz Geldmacher, Bernard H. Hinken, August Johns, Stephen 
Kliewe, Philip Lang, Henry Luecke, Leo Marder, John Martin, 
Henry Moellers, Henry Nolte, Frank Rohde, Bernard Rottman, 
Joseph Saar, Robert Santo, August Scherfe, C. F. August Schelland, 
Philip Schneider, Henry Schowalter, John Schomacher, F. August 
Schubert, John L. Shier, Robert Scholtz, Louis Silverheisen, Bernard 
Slange, August Soechtig, Christian Stauffer, John Tieken, Sebastian 
Viox, Frank Wagner, William H. Wagner, Benjamin Ward, Charles 
Werner, Franz Werth, William Westphal, Henry Wichard, Frank 


The regiment first saw service in Missouri, after which it was in 
Kentucky and Tennessee as part of the cavalry of Gen. L. H. Rous- 
seau. In the summer of 1864 it joined General Stoneman for the 
raid to Macon, Georgia, and destroyed many miles of the Atlanta 
& Macon Railroad. It covered the retreat of the army from Love- 
joy's Station and when General Hood started northward the Fifth 
returned to Nashville with Gen. George H. Thomas. As part of 
the cavalry division of General Thomas' army, it took part in the 
battle of Nashville, December 15, 1864, and in the pursuit of Hood's 
shattered command. It was mustered out at Nashville on August 
11, 1865. The original Fifth Cavalry was consolidated with the 
Fifth Iowa Infantry on August 8, 1864, after which the regiment 
was known as the Fifth Veteran Cavalry. 


Fourteen Lee County men were enrolled in this regiment, which 
was mustered in at Davenport, Iowa, September 30, 1863, under 
Colonel Joseph B. Dorr. Eleazer B. Doane entered the service as 
first lieutenant of Company E and was promoted captain on April 
5, 1864. In the same company Andrew J. Baker was mustered in as. 
sergeant; Charles W. Smith, Lewis Richards, Charles L. Dorson 
and Jonathan F. Doane, as corporals, and the following were enrolled 
as privates: James D. Childs, Isaiah J. Clark, John Clark, John H. 
Davis, Samuel C. Laughery and Charles Rye. The other two Lee 
County men were Henry Edmondson and Herman Heiser, who were 
privates in Company M. 

On October 7, 1863, the regiment was ordered to Louisville, 
Kentucky, and from there proceeded to Nashville, where it was 
assigned to the duty of guarding the line of the Nashville & North- 
western Railroad. Next, as part of McCook's Cavalry Division, it 
was engaged in scouting and skirmishing in the vicinity of Chat- 
tanooga. In the spring of 1864 it joined the army commanded by 
General Sherman for the campaign against Atlanta, and after that city 
capitulated it remained on duty in Georgia until mustered out at 
Macon on August 13, 1865. 


This was the last of the volunteer regiments raised by the State 
of Iowa for service in the Civil war. It was mustered in at Daven- 
port, Iowa, November 30, 1863, and was commanded by Col. Mat- 


thew M. Trumbull. William A. Sullivan, of Lee County, was ser- 
geant major of the regiment, and the county was represented in Com- 
panies G, H, I and M. 

In Company G Samuel C. Koons was mustered in as corporal; 
Hiram Maine, bugler-; Richard Sharp, farrier; Ransom Ripple, 
wagoner, and the following were enrolled as privates: Samuel Bow- 
man, John W. Goss, Herschel Hand, Charles Kerr, Andrew Kim- 
brough, Daniel Maguire, George W. Morrison and David Pat- 

Marshall Anders was a sergeant and George H. Moore wagoner 
in Company H, in which the following privates were credited to 
Lee County: Isaac W. Abbott, Joseph C. Davis, Weslev A. Harbe- 
son, James Luther, Joseph Marsell, Samuel J. Sample and Reuben 

Robert H. Moloy was the only Lee County man in Company I, 
but a large part of Company M was raised in the county. John F. 
Parker, who was mustered in as first sergeant, became captain of 
the company on October 15, 1865; Charles P. Buckner, who started 
in as sergeant was promoted to first lieutenant in September, 1864; 
James B. Moore was enrolled as sergeant; William F. Crocker, 
Daniel S. Ochiltree and John Yeager, corporals; Alden Baker, 
farrier, and the following served as privates: 

Isaac B. Binford, Levi P. Brown, Noah Childers, Andrew J. 
Cronin, Andrew J. Davis, David Dust, David H. Ettein, Samuel 
Falkenburg, Samuel K. Hand, Robert Harper, Robert Kocks, Martin 
Legrand, Benedict Lucas, George McCausland, Wesley H. Marsh, 
Rhaey H. Parnell, James A. Pollard, Israel Rude, George T. 
Sawyers, Albert Schotte, Andrew J. Seavers, John H. Seavers, Henry 
C. Smith, Walter A. Soule, James R. Stephens, John Van Fossen, 
Adolph Wirsig, John R. Wooster. 

The horses used by the Ninth Cavalry were selected by the officers 
of the regiment, and each squadron was mounted on horses of the 
same color. The first service of the regiment was in fighting the 
guerrillas in Missouri, especially the notorious Quantrill band. It 
was next ordered to DevalTs Bluff, Arkansas, to guard the post there, 
and it operated in Arkansas until in January, 1865, when it formed 
part of Geiger's expedition into West Tennessee. It was mustered 
out at Little Rock, Arkansas, March 23, 1866. being one of the last 
regiments to leave the service. 



In the fall of 1862 the "Southern Border Brigade" was organized 
to protect the state from invasion from Missouri. A large part of 
Company A of this brigade was raised in Lee County and was com- 
manded by Capt. William Soule, with Wells Brown as first lieu- 
tenant. About the close of the year the brigade was disbanded and 
many of the men subsequently enlisted in other organizations. 

Nearly two hundred Lee County men served in the Seventh, 
Eighth, Tenth, Fifteenth and Twenty-first Missouri Infantry, and 
the Seventh Missouri Cavalry. Probably one-fourth of that number 
enlisted in Illinois, Kansas and Wisconsin regiments, and nearly one 
hundred were in the regular army. 

In the summer and fall of 1863 was raised a regiment of colored 
troops, to which Iowa contributed 106 men. This regiment was 
known as the "First Infantry of African Descent." It was officered 
by white men. Milton F. Collins, of Lee County, was. commissioned 
lieutenant-colonel on October 11, 1863; J onn L. Murphy, major; 
Theodore W. Pratt, adjutant; William McQueen, quartermaster, 
and Freeman Knowles, surgeon. 


While the Boys in Blue were at the front, fighting the battles; 
of their country, those who remained at home were not unmindful 
of the interests of the soldiers and their families. Scarcely had the 
first echoes of the war tocsin died away when the work of relief was 
inaugurated in a meeting held at the old Athenaeum in Keokuk on 
Monday evening, April 22, 1861. Henry Strong presided and 
George W. McCrary acted as secretary. A committee of twenty was 
appointed to solicit subscriptions to a fund to provide aid for the 
families of those who might enlist, and through the efforts of this 
committee a considerable sum of money was assured. This encour- 
aged many to enlist, knowing that the needs of their wives and chil- 
dren would be provided for while the head of the family was in the 

On Saturday evening, April 27, 1861, a similar meeting was held 
in Fort Madison. A committee of five was appointed to solicit con- 
tributions to a relief fund, and another committee, consisting of one 
from each ward, was selected to wait upon the mayor and city coun- 
cil and urge an appropriation for the support of families of soldiers 
actually mustered into service. Through the work of the former 


committee a relief fund of generous proportions was raised, and 
that the latter was successful is seen by the following action taken by 
the mayor and board of aldermen on May 15, 1861, in the unanimous 
adoption of these resolutions: 

"1. That the sum of $2,000 be and the same is hereby appro- 
priated for the purpose of furnishing, taking care of and supplying 
the wants of volunteers who have lately enlisted from this place, 
and tendered their services to the Executive of this State for the 
purpose of defending our Government, and that said sum or any part 
thereof be used and disbursed by F. Hesser, C. Brewster, H. Catter- 
mole, H. M. Salmon and B. Hugel, on the part of the town, and the 
mayor, Aldermen Kiel and McHenry, on the part of the board of 
aldermen, of this city; and it is understood that the favoring applica- 
tion is to apply to all and every necessary expense, whether credited 
or .to be credited, that has been, or may be, for the welfare of the 
aforesaid volunteers or their families until otherwise provided. 

"2. That the mayor is hereby authorized and instructed to issue 
in such amounts as said committee shall find most convenient, the 
above $2,000 in corporation cash notes, bearing 10 per cent interest, 
due in one year from date, but redeemable at any time sooner, at the 
will of the board, and receivable for all cash corporation taxes. 

"3. That the above notes shall be known as 'Fort Madison War 
Notes.' " 

While the organized relief work centered at Keokuk and Fort 
Madison, the people of the county as a whole were not backward in 
giving aid to the families of volunteers. On August 14, 1862, at a 
war meeting in Fort Madison, Samuel Boyles was appointed to 
present the following resolutions to the board of county supervisors 
of Lee County: 

"1. That the County of Lee will pay to each married man who 
volunteers under the two recent calls of the Government $y$, and to 
each single man $50, after he shall have been sworn in and accepted 
by the United States mustering officer; and that for the purpose of 
paying the above bounty, there be a tax of five and one-half mills on 
the dollar levied upon all taxable property of the county, to be called 
the 'County War Tax.' 

"2. That the president of the board be instructed to issue war 
notes to the amount of $38,000, said notes to be in amounts of from 
one to one hundred dollars, to bear interest at the rate of 8 per cent 
per annum, and to become due in nine months from date, and to be 
receivable in payment of the above tax. 


"3. That, for the purpose of raising the money in the most 
expeditious manner possible, we appoint one or more persons in each 
township, who shall call upon every man therein and sell said notes 
for cash, dollar for dollar; and that every man in each township will 
be expected to buy at least the amount required to pay his tax; and 
that the said persons so appointed shall on next Saturday (August 
23) pay over to the county treasurer the amounts received from the 
sale of said notes; and on Monday, the 1st day of September next, 
they shall again pay over to the treasurer all money so received; and 
the collector or collectors of each township shall make a statement 
of the total amount received in his or their township on the sale of 
said notes, and shall also publish the names of all persons who shall 
refuse to pay at least one dollar. 

"4. That the president of the board shall issue to each person 
who has or shall volunteer under the two recent calls, when the person 
presents to the president of the board the certificate of the captain of 
his company, showing that he has been sworn in and accepted by the 
mustering officer, an order on the treasurer for the amount to which 
he shall be entitled. 

"5. That all persons who have paid any money to soldiers who 
have volunteered under the two recent calls of the Government, shall 
have the same refunded to them in said notes." 

The resolutions were adopted by the board of supervisors on 
August 18, 1862, and through this novel method of raising money 
Lee County was enabled to raise her quota of volunteers without 
placing upon the shoulders of her people a bonded debt, as was 
done in some localities. The "war notes" were liberally taken by 
the people of the county and the same were redeemed in the payment 
of the "war tax," so that at no time was the debt burdensome. This 
plan was pursued throughout the war, all bounties paid by the county 
being provided by issues of notes and the levying of a tax for their 

No approximate estimate can be made of the amounts given in 
individual offerings by charitable inclined persons. Whenever some 
soldier's family stood in need of assistance it was forthcoming. The 
sum thus contributed ran into thousands of dollars, of which no 
account was kept. Many a basket of provisions found its way to 
the home of some soldier; shoes, clothing and school books were 
given to soldiers' children; the son or daughter of a volunteer were 
given preference in the matter of employment by many of the citizens, 
and in many other ways relief was afforded those who had sent loved 
ones to the front to preserve the Union. 



For four centuries after the discovery of America, the Island of 
Cuba was a dependency of Spain. When Spain was losing her other 
American possessions one by one, the people of Cuba remained loyal 
in their allegiance, and when the Spanish dynasty was overthrown 
by Napoleon in 1808 the Cubans declared war against Napoleon. 
Their loyalty received a poor recompense, however, for in 1825 a 
royal decree placed the lives and fortunes of the Cubans at the 
absolute disposal of the captains-general, or governors of the island. 
The "conquistadores" were slow in coming, but they had at last 

In 1829 a conspiracy was formed for the purpose of throwing off 
the Spanish yoke, but it was discovered and crushed before the 
conspirators were ready to begin active operations. Then followed 
the uprising of the blacks in 1844, the futile expeditions of Lopez 
in 1849-50, and the "Ten Years War" — from 1868 to 1878— during 
which Spain threatened to make a desert of the island. Two hundred 
and fifty-seven thousand soldiers were sent to Cuba and so great 
was the sacrifice of life that less than fifty thousand of them returned 
to Spain. Three hundred million dollars' worth of property was 
destroyed during the war and an enormous debt contracted, which 
was saddled upon the Cubans as a penalty for their rebellion. 

One effect of the war was to make the Spanish governors more 
tyrannical in their administration of affairs. Added to this was 
the heavy burden of the war debt, hence it was not long until the 
people of Cuba began planning another insurrection. Experience 
had taught them to move with caution and for more than fifteen 
years they carried on their preparations with the greatest secrecy. 



In 1895 tne insurrection broke out at several places simultaneously. 
The revolutionists were led by Gomez and Maceo. Captain-General 
Campos conducted his military movements along lines established by 
civilized warfare, which was not satisfactory to the Spanish authori- 
ties, who removed him and placed General Weyler in command. 
Weyler adopted the policy of removing the people from the rural 
districts to the cities, where they were kept under guard, in order 
to prevent them from furnishing supplies to the insurgents. The 
inhumanity that accompanied this policy soon aroused the indigna- 
tion of the civilized world. The supply of food was inadequate 
to the demand of the "reconcentrados, 1 ' as the people confined in the 
cities were called, and many actually starved to death. 

In the United States political conventions, commercial organi- 
zations in a number of cities, and some of the State Legislatures 
adopted resolutions calling on the Federal Government to intervene 
in behalf of the suffering Cubans. The proposition to raise a fund 
in the United States to feed the starving reconcentrados started riots 
in Havana, some holding that intervention on the part of the people 
of this country meant in the end the annexation of Cuba. The 
Atlantic Squadron of the United States Navy was ordered to the 
Dry Tortugas, within six hours sail of Havana, and on January 25, 
1898, the Battleship Maine dropped anchor in the Harbor of 
Havana. The presence of this war vessel was not pleasing to the 
Spanish officials, who sought a measure of retaliation in sending the 
armored Cruiser Vizcaya to New York. Thus matters stood until 
February 9, 1898, when the Spanish minister to the United States 
resigned his position, and on the evening of the 15th the Maine was 
blown up, causing a loss of more than two hundred of her officers 
and men. A court of inquiry later found that the vessel was blown 
up "by a submarine mine, which caused the partial explosion of 
two or more of her forward magazines." 

The destruction of the Maine, with its consequent loss of life, 
increased the excitement in the United States and the demands for 
intervention became more insistent. Still the Government declined 
to take any positive action, for the reason that General Blanco, who 
had succeeded General Weyler, issued a proclamation declaring a 
suspension of hostilities and announced that the reconcentrados would 
be permitted to return to their homes. American consuls soon 
reported that this promise was not being kept and that the suffering 
among the imprisoned people had not diminished in the least. 

On March 8, 1898, Congress appropriated $50,000,000 for the 
national defense, but no further action was taken for more than a 


month, or until it was learned that General Blanco's promise to 
release the reconcentrados had not been fulfilled. On April 19, 
1898, Congress adopted a resolution recognizing the independence 
of Cuba and demanding that Spain relinquish authority over and 
withdraw from the island. The resolution closed with these words: 
"The United States hereby disclaims any disposition or intention to 
exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction or control over said island, except 
for the pacification thereof, and asserts its determination when that 
is accomplished to leave the government and control of the island to 
its people." 

Under the resolution the President was authorized to employ the 
forces of the United States Army and Navy to aid Cuba, and an act 
was passed authorizing the increase of the army to 61,000 men. Rear 
Admiral Sampson was directed to blockade the Cuban ports. This 
was quickly followed by a formal declaration of war and a call for 
125,000 volunteers, to be supplied from the militia of the several 
states as far as practicable. 

The Iowa Legislature, which adjourned a short time before the 
declaration of war, in anticipation of such an event, had appropriated 
$500,000 "to aid the general government in case of war," and prep- 
arations were immediately commenced to fill any call for troops 
that might be made. On April 21, 1898, Adjutant-General Byers 
issued a general order to the company commanders in Iowa to have 
all officers and men undergo a physical examination. Two days later 
President McKinley issued his proclamation calling for 125,000 men, 
and on the 25th the Governor of Iowa was advised by telegram from 
the secretary of war of the state's quota of troops under the call. The 
state fair grounds, near Des Moines, were secured as a point for 
mobilization of the Iowa National Guard, and the commanding 
officers of the four infantry regiments were ordered to report with 
their regiments, with the least possible delay. It was decided by the 
governor to continue the numbering of the volunteer regiments as 
shown by those which had been engaged in the Civil war. The First 
Regiment of the National Guard, therefore, became the Forty-ninth 
Iowa Volunteer Infantry; the Second, Third and Fourth becoming 
respectively the Fiftieth, Fifty-first and Fifty-second regiments of 
Iowa Volunteer Infantry. 


In this regiment — formerly the Second Regiment, Iowa National 
Guard — Lee County was well represented in Companies A, F and 


L, with a few men in other companies. Herman J. Huiskamp, of 
Fort Madison, was regimental quartermaster; Thornton B. Boyer, of 
Keokuk, chief musician in the regimental band, and Harry M. Rey- 
nolds, also of Keokuk, was a member of the band. 

Company A belonged in Keokuk and at the time it was mustered 
into the service of the United States, May 17, 1898, the commissioned 
officers were as follows: Sumner T. Bisbee, captain; Thomas H. R. 
Rollins, first lieutenant; Emile F. Renaud, second lieutenant. 

Of the non-commissioned officers, Victor H. Kelly was quarter- 
master sergeant, and the five line sergeants, in numerical order, were: 
Thomas C. McCalla, John M. Collins, Emil W. Ulrich, Albert D. 
Dunlap and George H. Armitage. William Eisenhuth was first 
corporal; Samuel V. Cox, second; Frank J. Davey, third; John H. 
Kerr, fourth; William D. Barr, fifth, and Joseph S. Collins, sixth. 
William L. Kirchner served as wagoner, and George W. Hardin, as 

Privates — Ernest H. Anschutz, Harry W. Ballou, Warren T. 
Bisbee (promoted corporal), William G. Blood, Hugh Brennan, 
Hillhouse Buel, Harry C. Burt, Pearl C. Campbell, William H. Car- 
penter, James L. Collins, Joseph W. Collins, William H. Collins, 
-Charles F. Collisson, Michael F. Connelly, James Conners, Stuart 
W. Crafts, Edwin Crawford, Ralph Daugherty, Charles H. Fergu- 
son (promoted corporal), Joseph Filker, James M. Ford, Joseph K. 
Foulkes, Joseph P. Garrity, Mark C. Garver, William Gavin, Wil- 
liam F. E. Glewe, Patrick Griffin, Malachi Griffin, George M. 
Hamilton, Charles C. Harr, Frank L. Head, Jacob W. Heintz, Wil- 
liam H. Henneman, Herman H. Hesse, Andrew J. Hickey, Joseph 
F. Holden, Samuel W. Hovey, Sebus N. Jacobs, Christ Jacobson, 
Benjamin S. Jones, George W. Jones, Alva A. Kendrick, Charles W. 
Kerns, Henry M. Kesselring, John B. Kiel, Charles W. Laehn, 
Joseph S. Leindecker, John N. I. Limburg, David C. Lingo, Lloyd 
S. Lowrie, George H. McCormick, William H. McDowell, Frank 
J. Martin, Joseph N. Martin, William D. Miller, Joseph H. Morn- 
ingway, Harmon W. Moss, George W. Nair, Edward G. O'Brian, 
Walter E. Phillips, Richard H. Pyles, Preen Rees, John K. Rickey, 
Robert S. Robertson, Robert G. Roche, Charles J. Simmonds, Clyde 

E. Smales, Simon P. Smith, John Snider, Joseph A. Sterne, Edward 

F. Tigue, Bertram B. Townsend, William M. VanSteenwyk, Pierce 
R. Williams, Nick Worth, Jr., Leo C. Zindel. 

The commissioned officers of Company F were all from Fort 
Madison, viz. : Frederick C. Chambers, captain ; Herbert W. Davis, 
first lieutenant; Joseph R. Frailey, second lieutenant. 


Edward Prichett was quartermaster sergeant; Clarence S. Pratt, 
first sergeant; John L. Prichett, second; John J. Garner, third; 
Charles B. Chambers, fourth; Roy Byers, fifth. The six corporals, 
in numerical order, were: James S. Palin, Frank V. Alden, Charles 
W. Jones, Harry E. Winters, Edward K. Morrison and George W. 
Eddy. Martin J. Buckwar served as wagoner and Samuel F. HofT- 
meister, as artificer. 

Privates — Clinton Arnold, Edgar W. Caldwell, Robert F. Carter, 
Leroy H. Childs, Fred G. Colton, Hugh C. Craig, Roscoe A. Ellis, 
Arthur D. Fletcher, Bert H. Forney, Frederick H. Frailey (pro- 
moted corporal), George L. Garner, John Gebelein, Charles Hahn, 
George Halfman, Hiram E. Hamilton, Charles T. Hollowell, 
Thomas P. Hollowell, Louis J. Hugel (promoted corporal), Charles 
W. Hunt (promoted corporal), Raymond R. Jackson, John O. Jones, 
George J. Koellner, August E. Krabbe, Charles E. Lightfoot, 
Charles C. Martin, John P. Mason, William O. Mitchell, George 
M. Moore, George H. Nagel, Benjamin F. Newlon, Oliver J. Ran- 
dell, William T. Reeder, Wayne D. Reynolds, Frank Sieman, Ira L. 
Smith, Walter G. Smith, Percy A. Stewart, John S. Troja, William 
J. Troja, Edward L. Vogel, Max E. Wagner, Ivey W. Watkins, 
Harry Woodmansee, Mark Woodmansee. 

On April 26, 1898, John A. Dunlap was commissioned captain of 
Company L, and the following privates in that company were 
credited to Lee County: Arthur D. Allison, Guy E. Blakeslee, 
Philarmon Cook, William J. Dwyer, Peter Egley, James J. Fallon, 
Bennett J. Hill, Oscar Hopson, Frank R. Johnson, Ambrose Ken- 
nedy, Thomas J. Palmer, Frank J. PefTers, George L. Perrigo, 
George T. Ribyn, Bennett P. Rulon, William H. Smith, Carl W. 
Trott, Ray Wheatley. 

The following Lee County men served as privates in the com- 
panies indicated: Joseph M. Finerty, Company E; Martin G. Holt, 
Company G; Charles R. Hough, Company H; James S. Burrows, 
Company I, and George V. Jenkins, Company M. 

The Fiftieth was mustered into the United States service at Camp 
McKinley, Des Moines, May 17, 1898, with Douglas V. Jackson 
as colonel. Orders were received four days later to proceed by rail 
to Tampa, Florida, but its destination was changed to Jacksonville, 
where it went into camp on the 24th. The location of the camp was 
such that a considerable amount of sickness prevailed and a number 
died. On the 1st of August the command was moved to higher 
ground. Here the Iowa troops were visited on August 9, 1898, by 
Governor Shaw and Adjutant-General Byers, who made an inspec- 

Vol. 1—15 


tion of the camp with a view to bettering the sanitary conditions. On 
August 20, 1898, Colonel Jackson resigned and Lieut. Col. Elliott 
T. Lambert was promoted to the command of the regiment. Orders 
were received from the war department on September 12, 1898, 
directing the return of the Fiftieth to Iowa. It arrived at Des Moines 
on the 17th, when the men were given a furlough for thirty days. 
The furloughs were subsequently extended ten days, when it became 
evident that the war was over and on November 30, 1898, the men 
were assembled and mustered out. At the close of his official report, 
Colonel Lambert says: 

"I desire to take this opportunity again to express my gratitude 
to the officers and men of my command for their many courtesies 
and the willingness with which they cooperated with me in all the 
work for the betterment of the entire regiment. I can assure you 
that no regiment ever entered the service that was more loyal, ener- 
getic, enthusiastic, or more anxious to demonstrate to the world that 
they would fight to the death for the honor of the flag and their 


So far as shown by the muster rolls of the Iowa troops in the 
Spanish-American war, only one Lee County man was enabled to see 
service outside of the United States. That was William J. Miller, 
who enlisted at Keokuk, May 5, 1898, as a member of the regimental 
band. He was mustered in with the regiment at Des Moines, May 
30, 1898, and about a month later was transferred to Company E, 
where he remained as a private until February 18, 1899, when he 
was transferred back to the band and served as musician until mus- 
tered out with the regiment at San Francisco, California, November 
2, 1899. 

On June 2, 1898, the regiment, commanded by Col. John C. 
Loper, received orders to proceed to San Francisco, where it re- 
mained in camp until November 3, 1898, when it embarked for 
Manila, Philippine Islands. While in service in the Philippines it 
was engaged at a number of places, including Culi Culi Church, 
Calumpit, San Fernando, Quingua, Pulilan and a number of minor 
actions. On September 4, 1899, it was ordered home and arrived at 
San Francisco on the 22d of October. There it was assigned to its old 
camp at the Presidio, where it remained until November 2, 1899, 
when the men were mustered out and returned to Iowa. 



Section i, article 6, of the state constitution of 1857, provides that 
"The militia of this state shall be composed of all able-bodied male 
citizens, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, except 
such as are or may hereafter be exempt by the laws of the United 
States, or of this state; and shall be armed, equipped and trained 
as the general assembly may provide by law." 

Other sections of the same article stipulate that no person having 
conscientious scruples against bearing arms shall be compelled to 
perform any military duty in time of peace, and that all commis- 
sioned officers of the militia, except staff officers, shall be commis- 
sioned by the governor of the state. 

Under these constitutional provisions, the Legislature has, from 
time to time, enacted laws for the organization and regulation of the 
state troops. Under the act of 1902 the Iowa National Guard was. 
made to consist of "four regiments of infantry, one signal company,, 
and at the discretion of the commander-in-chief, two batteries of 
artillery." The same act provides that all enlistments in the guard 
shall be for three years. 

In order to encourage the several military companies of the state, 
the Legislature of 1907 made provision for the following payments:. 
To the commander of each company, for postage, keeping the records,, 
etc., $100; to the chief musician of each band, $50; to the inspector 
of small arms practice, $50, and to each company showing a full: 
attendance at weekly drills of two hours each, $500; the amounts; 
above named to be paid in two semi-annual payments. 

The four regiments constituting the Iowa National Guard are 
numbered to succeed the last regiment serving in the Spanish-Ameri- 
can war, and are designated the Fifty-second, Fifty-third, Fifty- 
fourth and Fifty-fifth. Two companies of the Fifty-fourth belong 
in Lee County. This regiment was first organized as a twelve- 
company regiment under General Order No. 8, April 18, 1892. 
On May 17, 1898, it was mustered into the United States service as 
the Fiftieth Iowa Infantry. It was reorganized on March 20, 1899, 
and by General Order No. 19, it was changed to the Fifty-fourth on 
November 26, 1902. Company A was made up at Fort Madison 
and Company L at Keokuk. Thomas P. Hollowell, of Fort Madi- 
son, was commissioned major of the second battalion on May 10, 
1909, and First Lieut. George L. Hewett, of Company A, was made 
battalion adjutant of the same battalion on February 16, 1912. 


Camps of instruction are held annually. At the time of the 
encampment in August, 19 14, the commissioned officers of Company 
A were: Roy R. Kountz, captain; Edward E. Courtright, first lieu- 
tenant; L. H. Danley, second lieutenant. This company has a well 
equipped armory and drill room on the east side of Market Street, 
between Second and Third streets, where regular-meetings are held 
on Monday evening of each week. 

Company L, of Keokuk, has a commodious armory and club 
rooms at the corner of Third and Main streets. It is fitted up with 
shower baths, drill room, etc. The officers of this company in 
August, 1914, were as follows: Robert T. Richardson, captain; 
Louis A. Rovane, first lieutenant; Clarence E. Powell, second lieu- 
tenant. Both the Lee County companies of the Fifty-fourth Regi- 
ment have a full quota of non-commissioned officers and enlisted men, 
and are recognized by the military authorities of the state as well 
drilled, well disciplined organizations. 

According to the last published report of the adjutant-general, 
in 1912 Lee County had 5,052 men subject to military duty under the 
provisions of the constitution. The two regularly organized com- 
panies include but a small portion of the entire number, but if the 
nation should become involved in war and a call should be made for 
volunteers, there is no question that old Lee's response would be as 
prompt and complete as it was at the beginning of the great Civil 
war of 1861-65. 



In this year 1914 of the Christian Era, when the citizen of Lee 
County has occasion to make a short journey from home, he can hitch 
his horse to a buggy or step into his automobile and glide along over 
an improved highway to his destination. If he desires to take a longer 
journey, he can take his seat in a reclining chair car, or a Pullman 
coach, on one of the great railway systems of the country and be trans- 
ported across the country at the rate of fifty or sixty miles an hour. 
But does he pause to think how all these conveniences were brought 
about for him to enjoy? Let him for a moment draw upon his 
imagination for the conditions that existed in what is now Lee County 
in 1833, when the United States acquired full title to the lands of the 
Black Hawk Purchase and threw them open to settlement. 

Then all the Forty Mile Strip was "fresh from the hands of 
Nature," inhabited only by wild beasts, untutored savages, a few 
hunters, trappers or agents of the great fur companies, with here 
and there an actual settler, who had "come to stay." Through the 
forests or over the prairies wound an occasional Indian trail, and these 
trails were the only thoroughfares. No roads had yet been opened 
by the white man for his convenience and accommodation, the 
streams were unbridged, and frequently some emigrant would have 
to wait on the bank of a creek for the waters to subside before he 
could continue his journey. 


In that early day the rivers of the country were the arteries of 
commerce. It was therefore natural that the first settlement should 



be made near the Mississippi River, so that the pioneers could keep 
in touch with the outside world by means of the steamboats plying 
upon the great Father of Waters. Although the Mississippi is not 
an "internal improvement," in the strict interpretation of that term, 
it is deemed appropriate to incorporate in this chapter a brief account 
of the early steamboat traffic, as it was by this medium that the early 
merchants received their consignments of goods, and the first settlers 
were dependent upon this traffic for the supplies. 

Among the early steamers on the Mississippi was the Shamrock, 
commanded by Capt. James May, which made regular trips as early 
as 1 82 1. Contemporary with the Shamrock were the Red Rover and 
the Black Rover, the last named captained by George Throckmorton, 
a veteran river man. In 1828 the Mexico, while attempting to 
descend the Des Moines Rapids, struck upon a rock and sprang a 
leak. Isaac R. Campbell, a passenger on the boat, dived into the 
water and thrust a blanket into the hole, partially stopping the rush 
of water into the hold. Pumps were set to work and the Mexico 
managed to reach Nashville (now Galland), where she sank. The 
wreck was raised some years later by workmen upon the Government 

In 1832 the Winnebago, Thomas O'Flatherty, master, made its 
appearance on the Upper Mississippi, and about the same time the 
William Wallace entered the Keokuk trade. The second Keokuk 
packet was the Rosalie, which made regular trips between that city 
and Quincy, Illinois, under command of Captain Cameron. In 1836 
the Adventurer, Captain Van Houton, came up the river from St. 
Louis to Keokuk. 

The Mechanic, another early steamboat, made regular trips up 
and down the river until she was sunk by striking upon the big rock 
near the Iowa shore at the head of the Des Moines Rapids in 1830. 
This bowlder was afterward known as Mechanic's Rock. The 
Illinois, Capt. Robert McAllister, was wrecked upon the same rock 
some years later. 

Other early packets were the General Brooks, Osprey, Senator, 
Gipsey, Lucella and Prairie Bird. The Osprey was once owned by 
Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, who sold her to George C. 
Anderson, Keokuk's first banker. The Gipsey was the first Missis- 
sippi River boat to be equipped with a calliope, and as she 
approached a landing it was the custom of the musician to "turn 
loose" with such patriotic airs as "Hail Columbia," "The Star 
Spangled Banner" and "Yankee Doodle," while the entire population 
of the little village would cease work to listen to the music. The 


Prairie Bird was wrecked a short distance above Keithsburg, Illinois, 
and remained submerged until removed by the Government in 1889. 
She was commanded by Larry McDonald, who became noted at the 
time of the Civil war for his attempt at reprisal on Lake Erie in the 
interests of the Southern Confederacy. 

In 1857 tne °ld Northern Line established a regular schedule 
for boats between St. Louis and St. Paul. The boats of this line were 
the W. L. Ewing, Henry Clay, Metropolitan, Fred Lorenz, Belle, 
Canada, Minnesota and Pembina — all sidewheelers except the 
Lorenz. These boats were the finest ever seen upon the river up to 
that time and did much to stimulate both commerce and travel. 

A little later the White Collar Line was started by Commodore 
Davidson. The boats of this line were the Northwestern, War Eagle, 
Grey Eagle, Belle of La Crosse, Northern Light, Golden Eagle, 
S. S. Merrill, Phil Sheridan and Hawkeye, and perhaps one or two 
others. They were distinguished by broad white bands painted upon 
the smokestacks, from which the line took its name. 

It was not long until the competition became so great between 
these rival lines that both transportation companies were operating 
their boats at a loss — or, if not at actual loss, without profit. The 
Northern Line was then sold to the Davidson interests and for sev- 
eral years the steamers earned good dividends upon the investment. 
With the building of railroads, the river business declined. As old 
boats went out of commission they were not replaced. In course of 
time the White Collar Line became known as the Diamond Jo Line 
of steamers, and later as the Streckfus Line, the principal boats of 
which in 1914 were the Saint Paul, Quincy and Dubuque. 


With the increase of population along the Upper Mississippi 
came a demand for better transportation facilities. The greatest 
obstacle to the navigation of the river was the Des Moines Rapids, 
the head of which was near the present Town of Montrose and the 
foot at Keokuk. In this eleven miles the fall was twenty-two feet 
and the average depth of the water over the rapids was not more 
than three feet at any time, except in periods of high water. Upon 
the bed-rock were diagonal ridges, called "chains" by the river men, 
which made the channel tortuous and uncertain, and in low water 
navigation was an impossibility. To overcome this condition of 
affairs keelboats were introduced for lightening purposes. These 
boats, propelled by poles or towed by horses or oxen, would carry 


the cargoes over the rapids, the steamer following, and at the head of 
the rapids the boat would be reloaded. Isaac R. Campbell is said 
to have been the first man to conduct a keelboat lighter over the 
rapids. Later the larger flatboat was introduced, and it in turn was 
superseded by steam towboats. 

As early as 1830 the river men began to agitate the subject of 
improving the river so that boats could pass the rapids. In 1837 
Lieut. Robert E. Lee made a survey and map of the rapids, and 
suggested certain lines of improvement. Subsequently another survey 
was made by Lieut. G. K. Warren, but more than a quarter of a 
century passed before any definite action was taken by the Govern- 
ment. During that time the cost of lighterage averaged more than 
a quarter of a million dollars annually. In 1866 Gen. J. H. Wilson 
was placed in charge of the Des Moines and Rock Island rapids of 
the Mississippi. Under his supervision an independent ship canal 
was constructed from Nashville to Keokuk — nearly eight miles. 

Work was commenced on this canal in 1868. The plans called 
for a canal 250 feet in width and to have a depth of not less than five 
feet in extreme low water. Three locks were provided for — a guard 
lock at the upper end of the canal and lift locks at Sandusky and 
the foot of the rapids. The original estimate of the cost was $2,710,- 
000, but before the canal was finished it cost $4,500,000. It was 
formally opened to traffic, on August 22, 1877. The opening was 
attended by large delegations of business men from St. Louis and 
other cities along the Mississippi, who saw in the canal a great 
advantage to river commerce. This canal continued in use until it 
was replaced by the great power dam at Keokuk. 


As the settlements gradually extended back from the Mississippi, 
efforts were made to ascend the Des Moines River with steamboats 
of light draft, in order to open up trade with the interior. Charles 
Negus, in an article published in the Annals of Iowa, says: 

"In 1836 the Sacs and Foxes, having disposed of their reservation 
on the Iowa River, where they had villages, moved west and settled 
in the valley of the River Des Moines, in which is now Wapello 
County, and, as a natural consequence, trading posts were established 
in this vicinity, which had to be supplied with goods. In the fall of 
1837, the few settlers along the banks of this river were for the first 
time gladdened with the sound of the shrill whistle of a steamboat, 
making its way up the river with supplies for these trading posts. 


This boat was the S. B. Science, commanded by Captain Clark, 
which, by forcing its way against the swift current, passing safely 
over the concealed sandbars and hidden rocks, demonstrated that 
the waters of this river, at high stages, were navigable, much to the 
joy and satisfaction of those who lived in the vicinity, and afforded a 
theme for pleasant conversation for days and months." 

In the same year (1837), when there was a good stage of water 
in the river, the Pavillion, Capt. William Phelps, reached Fort 
Dodge and created the impression that the Des Moines was nav- 
igable, at least for the greater part of the distance between that point 
and the mouth. The Otter and the Dove were also early steamboats 
to ascend the river, but only for a comparatively short distance. 

When Fort Des Moines was established by the Government in 
May, 1843, where the City of Des Moines now stands, the little 
Steamer lone carried the detachment of troops and their stores up 
to that point. The successful voyage of this boat added greatly to 
the belief that the Des Moines was, or could be made, navigable, and 
on August 8, 1846, President Polk approved an act of Congress 
granting to the Territory of Iowa alternate sections of land, in such 
of the public domain as was unsold, in a strip five miles wide on 
each side of the river, "for the purpose of aiding said territory to 
improve the navigation of the Des Moines River from its mouth to 
the Raccoon Fork," etc. 

Iowa was admitted as a state on December 28, 1846, and the 
land grant was accepted by the Legislature on January 9, 1847. Two 
years later Samuel R. Curtis was employed to make a survey of the 
river and report plans for improving the navigation. He proposed 
a svstem of locks and dams, three of which and a canal were put 
under contract, but none was ever completed according to the original 
plans. Concerning the land grant and the manner in which the 
improvement was handled, Mr. Negus says: 

"This was a most magnificent grant, embracing some of the best 
lands in the state; and if the proceeds had been judiciously and 
properly expended, would have made a great thoroughfare for 
steamboats, besides affording an immense water-power for driving 
machinery. But, through the incompetency of managing the means 
and the intrigues of designing men, the whole of the lands below the 
Raccoon Fork, and a large quantity above, were disposed of and very 
little practical good accomplished toward the navigation of the 


Meantime boats continued to ascend the river to Farmington, 
Keosauqua and Ottumwa, and occasionally one went up as far as 


Des Moines. Among these early Des Moines River steamers were 
the Agatha, Captain May, which made two or three trips in 1843; 
the Kentucky in 1849 and the Jenny Lind in 1850, both commanded 
by Capt. J. C. Ainsworth; the Maid of Iowa, Capt. William Phelps, 
in 1 85 1. During the next five years the Colonel Morgan, Michigan, 
Revenue Cutter, Defiance and George H. Wilson all ascended the 
river, a few going as far as Des Moines. In 1856 Captain Wilson 
took the Charles Rogers up as far as Fort Dodge, and the same year 
the Jennie Dean, a large Keokuk packet, went up as far as Croton. 
In the latter '50s the Belfast, Captain Milburn, the Des Moines, the 
Belle and the Flora Temple were engaged in the Des Moines River 
trade. Then came the railroads and efforts to navigate Iowa's longest 
river came to an end. The last navigation of the Des Moines, of 
which there is any record, was in 1894, when "General" Kelly's 
"Army of the Commonweal" floated down from the City of Des 
Moines to Keokuk in such craft as could be picked up or hastily 


When the first white men came to Iowa, the only roads were the 
Indian trails, which wound by sinuous courses along the lines of 
least resistance. Where these trails were convenient they were used 
by the early settlers until better roads could be opened. The first 
highways constructed by civilized man were crude affairs — usually 
a route marked out at will, the trees blazed through the woodlands, 
with here and there a few trees removed to permit the passage of 
vehicles. Low places were filled with small logs, thrown crosswise 
of the driveway, thus forming the famous old "corduroy" road, 
which was neither easy on the team nor comfortable for the driver, 
but it kept the wagon from "miring down." 

In May, 1837, the Legislature of Wisconsin, of which territory 
Lee County was then a part, passed an act authorizing the opening 
of a territorial road west of the Mississippi. The field notes of the 
survey, filed with the supervisor in the following September, show 
that this road in Lee County followed a course beginning at the 
county line in the northeastern part "via the south branch of Lost 
Creek, the main branch of Devil Creek, crossing both East and West 
Sugar Creeks, thence to the Des Moines River, a distance of twenty- 
four miles." 

The first board of road commissioners in Lee County, elected on 
April 3, 1837, was composed of Samuel Hearn, E. D. Ayres and 


Samuel Perkins. They met for the first time on September 2, 1837, 
and declared the following roads to be public highways: 1. From 
Fort Madison to the northern boundary of the county, towards 
Augusta, Des Moines County. 2. From Fort Madison, through 
West Point, to the western boundary of the county. 3. From Hearn's 
Ferry, on the Des Moines River, to Fort Madison, "beginning on 
the bank of the Des Moines River at Hearn's Ferry, thence north 
and east (by certain described courses) to Fort Madison." 

To provide for the opening and improvement of these highways, 
the county was divided into nine road districts and an overseer or 
supervisor appointed for each. District No. 1 included that part of 
the road from Fort Madison north to the county line, from the cross 
street running past the house of the late Nathaniel Knapp to E. D. 
Ayres' house, George M. Ball, overseer. District No. 2 included the 
remainder of that road, from the house of E. D. Ayres to the county 
line, Isaac Briggs, overseer. 

The road from Fort Madison west to the county line, through 
West Point, was made to include Districts 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. District 
No. 3 began at the grading on the Mississippi River and followed 
the West Point survey to the top of the bluff, Joseph Morrison, over- 
seer. District No. 4 began at the top of the bluff and extended "out 
to the first large branch, on the west of George Herring's house." 
No overseer named. District No. 5 commenced at the branch above 
named and terminated at the public square in the Town of West 
Point, Lewis Pitman, overseer. District No. 6 extended from the 
public square in West Point to the crossing of Sugar Creek, on the 
road leading to Tuscarora, Solomon Fein, overseer. District No. 7 
joined Fein's at the ford across Sugar Creek and extended in the direc- 
tion of Bentonsport to the county line, John B. Perkins, overseer. 

Districts 8 and 9 embraced the road from Hearn's Ferry to Fort 
Madison. Theophilus Bullard was appointed overseer for District 
No. 8, which included that part of the road from the town plat of 
Fort Madison to the crossing of Devil Creek, and District No. 9 
included the remainder of the road, for which Johnson Meek was 
appointed overseer. 

Boundaries for each district were established and the overseers 
were authorized to "call out all hands in the district to work or open 
the road." In this way the first roads in Lee County were established. 
No pretense of following section lines were made in opening the 
roads, the most direct route being followed as a rule. Portions of 
these first highways are still used, but the greater part of them has 
been altered to conform to the lines of the survey. 


The territorial legislature of 1838-39, the first after the Terri- 
tory of Iowa was organized, passed acts providing for the establish- 
ment of the following roads in Lee County: 1. From Keokuk to 
Iowa City, via Farmington, New Lexington and Bentonsport. James 
Sutton, James Robb and James McMurry were named in the act as 
commissioners to locate and supervise the opening of the road. 
2. From Fort Madison to Trenton, Henry County, via Baltimore 
and Mount Pleasant. The commissioners to oversee the construc- 
tion of this road were William Skinner, Samuel Brazleton and 
Myriam Kilbourne. 3. From Samuel Hearn's on the Des Moines 
River, to West Point, to be located and opened by Thomas Douglass, 
Samuel Hearn and William Howard. 4. From Keokuk to Mount 
Pleasant, via Montrose. Larkin Johnson, William Morrow and 
Thomas W. Taylor were named as the supervising commissioners. 
5. From Fort Madison to West Point, following approximately the 
route selected by the board of county highway supervisors the year 
before. John Box, John Reynolds and Lewis Pitman were appointed 
commissioners to supervise the opening of this road. 

During the first few years of the county's history, scarcely a 
meeting of the county commissioners occurred at which petitions 
for the opening of highways were not presented. The records from 
1837 to 1846 are full of instances of this character, and there was 
hardly a citizen in the county during that period who was not at 
some time or another called upon to act as road-viewer, to investigate 
and report upon the merits of some petition. It would therefore be 
impracticable, if not actually impossible, to give an account of each 
of the early roads, but the above examples are representative cases of 
how the first roads were established. 

In 1 85 1 the Des Moines Valley Plank Road Company was 
organized for the purpose of building a plank road from Keokuk to 
Birmingham. In May of that year the contract for its construction 
was let to Brownell, Connable & Cunningham at $2,390 per mile for 
that portion between Keokuk and Clinton. In this contract it was 
provided that the road should be completed to the "end of Muddy 
Lane by November 1, 1851, and to Clinton the next season." 
Branches to Salem and Fairfield were projected, but were never 


The first railroad project to interest the people of Lee County 
was in 1 8 ^ t , when the subject of building a railroad from Keokuk to 


Dubuque, with a branch to Council Bluffs, became one of general 
discussion. The proposition received the support of many of the 
leading politicians and quite a number of newspapers advocated the 
building of the road. But every editor that favored it also insisted 
that the road should run through his town. Col. J. Monroe Reid, 
in his "Old Settlers and Reminiscences," says: "Every town of any 
pretensions on and off the river expected to get this railroad. Surveys 
were made, not for the purpose of establishing any route, but to 
attract public attention and to keep up the excitement; and they 
answered their purpose. It had its day until the election of United 
States senator was over, and then it died. Like the track of a snake 
in the dusty road, it ran everywhere, or appeared to run everywhere, 
but ran nowhere. It was ridiculed as the 'Ram's Horn Railroad,' 
because it was as crooked as a ram's horn. ... It was a political 
scheme, planned for political purposes, and died the death." 


In 1853 a company was organized to build a railroad up the 
Des Moines Valley from Keokuk to Fort Des Moines and from that 
point north into Minnesota. It was known as the Keokuk, Des 
Moines & Minnesota Railroad Company. About the same time the 
Fort Madison, West Point, Keosauqua & Bloomfield Railroad Com- 
pany was organized, and petitions were circulated asking the County 
Court to call a special election to give the voters of the county an 
opportunity to express themselves upon the question of granting aid 
by subscribing for the stock of the two companies. 

Accordingly, Judge Edward Johnstone, then county judge, 
ordered an election for November 26, 1853, at which the proposition 
of subscribing for $200,000 of the capital stock of each company was 
to be submitted to the voters, the money thus paid to be expended 
within the limits of the county. The call for the election also stated 
that a tax of not to exceed one per cent should be levied upon all the 
taxable property of the county annually, to provide a fund with 
which to pay the interest upon the bonds and redeem them when they 
fell due. The proposition carried by a vote of 1,964 to 805, and on 
April 4, 1855, the county judge made the subscription to the stock. 

In the meantime public sentiment with regard to voting subsidies 
to railroads had undergone a change, and a petition signed by over 
one-fourth of the legal voters of the county was filed with the county 
judge, asking for another election to vote on the question of rescinding 


the order for the stock subscription. An election was ordered for 
the first Monday in April, 1855, but was postponed for a time at the 
request of the petitioners. The vote on the question of rescinding 
the issue of stock was 1,553 t0 ^S 21 * tn e proposition to rescind being 
carried by a bare majority of thirty-two votes. 

While this question was pending, the Keokuk, Mount Pleasant & 
Muscatine Railroad Company had been organized in 1854 to build a 
road from Keokuk to Muscatine. The citizens of Keokuk voted 
a bond issue of $100,000 to aid in the construction of this road, and 
the merchants and shippers of St. Louis raised $52,500 by private 
subscription, as the road would be of great benefit to their interests by 
reducing the cost of lighterage around the Des Moines Rapids of the 

The people realized the building of railroads would aid mate- 
rially in the development of the country, and there was an evident 
desire on the part of many to encourage their construction. On 
August 3, 1856, a petition, signed by a large number of Lee County's 
most prominent citizens, came before Samuel Boyles, then judge of 
the County Court, asking for a special election to vote on the question 
of voting aid to the roads. Judge Boyles therefore ordered an elec- 
tion for Wednesday, September 10, 1856, at which the following 
questions were to be submitted to the electors: 

"1. Shall the county subscribe $150,000 to the capital stock of 
the Keokuk, Fort Des Moines & Minnesota Railroad Company? 

"2. Shall the county subscribe $150,000 to the capital stock of 
the Keokuk, Mount Pleasant & Muscatine Railroad Company? 

"3. Shall the county subscribe $150,000 to the capital stock of 
the Fort Madison, West Point, Keosauqua & Bloomfield Railroad 

It was also ordered by the court that each proposition should be 
voted on separately; that no stock was to be subscribed unless each 
and all propositions received a majority in favor of such subscrip- 
tions; that the roads should give bonds that the proceeds resulting 
from the sale of county bonds should be expended within the limits 
of the county, and that all stock subscribed for under the previous 
election should be surrendered. The three propositions were carried 
by majorities of 1,600, 1,652 and 1,602, respectively, and on Jan- 
uary 1, 1857, the county issued its negotiable bonds in the sum of 
$450,000, with interest at 8 per cent, payable semi-annually, for the 
benefit of the railroad companies. 



The survey of this road was made in 1854, under the direction of 
Col. J. K. Hornish. In the spring of 1855 the company was reorgan- 
ized as the Des Moines Valley Railroad Company, with Hugh T. 
Reid, president; C. F. Conn, secretary, and W. C. Graham, treasurer. 
The City of Des Moines and Polk County gave $100,000 to assist in 
bringing the road to the capital. A contract for the construction of 
the road was let to Smith, Leighton & Company in 1855 and grading 
was commenced. Track laying began in the summer of 1856, and 
on October 7, 1856, the first train was run from Keokuk to Buena 
Vista, a distance of about three miles. On June 10, 1857, the first 
train was run from Keokuk to Farmington. The road was completed 
to Eddyville in that year, when work ceased until after the Civil war. 

On July 10, 1866, J. M. Dixon, editor of the Des Moines Daily 
Register, announced the fact that the road had finally crossed the 
Polk County line in the following expressive if not elegant rhyme: 

"Sammum Hillum! Something's broke! 
The cars have got inside of Polk!' 1 

On August 22, 1866, a proclamation was issued that the first train 
on the Des Moines Valley Railroad would arrive at Des Moines on 
the 29th. Thus, after eleven years of trial and tribulation, the capital 
of the state was placed in communication by rail with the Mississippi 
River at Keokuk. On the first through train there were about one 
hundred and fifty people from Keokuk, who went to Des Moines to 
attend the celebration. James Tibbetts, of Keokuk, was on the loco- 
motive as engineman, and R. Patch, also of Keokuk, was the con- 
ductor. This road is now a part of the great Chicago, Rock Island & 
Pacific Railway System. 


This was one of the three roads that were aided by stock sub- 
scriptions on the part of Lee County. In 1855 the stockholders voted 
to place the construction of the road under the control of Col. J. K. 
Hornish, an experienced engineer. During the spring and summer 
of 1856 work was pushed with vigor and the road was finished from 
Keokuk to Montrose before the winter could interfere with its 


While this part of the road was under construction, the people of 
Fort Madison, through the cooperation of the Fort Madison, West 


Point, Keosauqua & Bloomfield Railroad Company, began the build- 
ing of a road from that city to a point a little south of what is now 
the station of Viele, and in 1857 tne Keokuk, Mount Pleasant & 
Muscatine was extended northward from Montrose to Viele, thus 
establishing railroad communication between Keokuk and Fort 
Madison. The road then took the name of the Keokuk & St. Paul. 
The northern terminus of the road was at Fort Madison until 1869, 
when the line was extended to Burlington. 


About 1868 or 1869 a company was organized at Burlington to 
build a road westward from Viele to Farmington, Van Buren County. 
Work was commenced at Viele in the summer of 1870 and the road 
was completed to Farmington in the spring of 1871. From Viele its 
trains ran to Burlington over the tracks of the Keokuk & St. Paul 
Railroad. This road was at first known as the Burlington & South- 
western and later as the Chicago, Burlington & Kansas City. Subse- 
quently it was extended to Carrollton, Missouri, and is now the 
Burlington, Laclede & Carrollton division of the Chicago, Burling- 
ton & Quincy System. 


On July 17, 1 871, a company was organized at Fort Madison for 
the purpose of building a narrow-gauge railroad from Fort Madison 
via West Point, Birmingham, Fairfield and Oskaloosa to Council 
Bluffs. This road was known as the Fort Madison & Northwestern 
Narrow-Gauge Railway. Cars began running between Fort Madi- 
son and West Point early in 1879. The road was then sold to a 
construction company, which completed it to Collett, forty-five miles 
from Fort Madison. About 1888 the road again changed hands, the 
new company taking the name of the Chicago, Fort Madison & Des 
Moines Railroad Company. The new owners changed the road to 
a standard gauge and completed it to Ottumwa. It is now the Fort 
Madison & Ottumwa branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
System, which also operates a line from Keokuk to Mount Pleasant, 
passing through the central part of Lee County. 


Shortly after the close of the Civil war a line of railroad was 
built from Topeka westward through Kansas, closely following the 


line of the old Santa Fe Trail. A little later the road was extended 
eastward to Atchison, Kansas, which city was then a great outfitting 
point for westward emigration, and a branch was built from Topeka 
to Kansas City. The road then became known as the Atchison, 
Topeka & Santa Fe. It was not many years until the company 
announced its intention to extend its line from Kansas City to Chi- 
cago. When this fact became generally known, several cities on the 
Mississippi River offered inducements to secure the road. In this 
contest Fort Madison possessed some decided advantages. In the 
first place, it was nearly on the "air line" between the two terminal 
cities, and in addition to this a company of men at Fort Madison 
held a charter to build a bridge across the Mississippi at that point, 
which charter they offered to turn over to the railroad. 

Work was commenced on the eastern extension in 1886 and on 
December 7, 1887, the first train crossed the Mississippi River on the 
new bridge at Fort Madison. Fort Madison was made a division 
point on the road and the company maintains large shops and yards 
at that point. 


In 1853 a company called the Logansport, Peoria & Warsaw 
Railroad Company was organized to build a line of railroad from 
Hamilton to Carthage, Illinois, which was completed in 1856. Three 
years later the line was extended southward to Clayton, Illinois. 
When the railroad and wagon bridge was built across the Mississippi 
at Keokuk in 1868, that city was made the western terminus of the 
road, thus giving Keokuk an eastern outlet. Since that time Keokuk 
has been made the terminal city of a division of the Wabash System, 
which connects with the main line at Bluffs, Illinois. 

Of the $450,000 voted by the people of Lee County in aid of 
railroads in 1856, one-third was expended by the Keokuk, Mount 
Pleasant & Muscatine Company in building the road from Keokuk 
to Montrose; one-third by the Fort Madison, West Point, Keosauqua 
& Bloomfield Company in building the road from Fort Madison to 
Viele; and the remaining one-third was used by the Des Moines 
Valley Railroad Company in the construction of its line from 
Keokuk to Bentonsport. 

According to the county auditor's report for the year 1913, Lee 
County then had 159.64 miles of railroad, the estimated actual value 
of which was $6,420,420, but which was assessed for taxation at 

Vol. 1—16 



One of the greatest engineering feats of modern times was the con- 
struction of a great dam across the Mississippi River at the foot of 
the Des Moines Rapids, in front of the City of Keokuk. Soon after 
the first white men settled in Southeastern Iowa, the subject of utiliz- 
ing the rapids for the development of water power began to be dis- 
cussed. While Lieut. Robert E. Lee was stationed at old Fort Des 
Moines he made a report to the war department, in which he sug- 
gested the possibility of turning the immense energy of the rapids 
to some account for the advancement of civilization, and at the same 
time improving the navigation of the Mississippi. No action was 
taken by the Government at the time, but in the light of subsequent 
developments it reads almost like a prophecy. 

People who understood nothing of the practical side of engineer- 
ing could not recognize that such a thing was possible as the harness- 
ing of the rapids and the development of water power for the use of 
man. The few who did understand realized that the undertaking 
was hardly practicable then, because the population of the Mississippi 
Valley was too sparse to justify the vast expenditure of labor and 
capital to carry it out. Nevertheless, these few were not willing to 
abandon the idea altogether and in 1836, while Iowa was still a part 
of Wisconsin Territory, a company of local men and New York 
financiers was organized to consider the feasibility of developing a 
water power from the rapids. 

The first actual effort to utilize the force of the rapids for indus- 
trial purposes was made in 1842, when a man named Gates con- 



structed a wing dam and erected a grist mill on Waggoner's Point, 
on the Illinois side of the river, a short distance above the eastern 
terminus of the present dam. A great ice jam carried away Mr. 
Gates' wing dam, but with a persistence worthy of emulation he con- 
structed another and continued to operate his mill with power fur- 
nished by the Mississippi. Both his dams were very small and 
utilized but a very small portion of the power that could have been, 
and has been since generated. 

In 1843 Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet of Nauvoo, Illinois, 
had the council of that municipality pass an ordinance giving him a 
franchise to build a dam from the Nauvoo shore to an island in the 
river to generate power. But before his project could be carried out 
Smith met his death while a prisoner in Carthage jail and the Mor- 
mons left for Utah. 

Five years after Smith's franchise was granted the people of 
Keokuk became interested in the subject and some of the leading 
citizens of that city organized a company to develop the power. 
Although the efforts of that company resulted in nothing toward 
the actual building of a dam, the public became inoculated with the 
germ and from that time there have always been a few optimistic 
individuals ready to predict that some time, in some way, the power 
of the rapids would be brought under control and rendered available 
for industrial purposes. Another company was organized in 1865 
and kept up the hammering process, trying to interest capitalists, 
never for a moment doubting that some day their dream would 
become a reality. 

In 1868 the United States Government began the construction of 
a canal along the Iowa shore through the rapids, for the purpose of 
improving the navigation of the river. It was completed and opened 
for boats in 1877. In this canal there were three locks — the upper 
one at Galland, the middle lock, near Sandusky, and the lower lock, 
at the foot of the rapids. The cost of the canal was $4,500,000 and 
about three millions more were expended on the dry dock and appur- 

Although the Government work was not intended to develop the 
water power of the rapids, it served as a stimulus to interested parties 
to take some definite action toward that end. Consequently, in 1871, 
while the Government canal was under construction, two Keokuk 
men employed an engineer to make a survey for a dam at their own 
personal expense. Their idea was to construct a large wing dam, 
but the proposition did not meet with the approval of the engineer, 
who advised them that such an undertaking would be likely to prove 





















i ' 


I— I 

1 > 









unprofitable. The press took up the subject at that time, however, 
and awakened general interest in the subject. 

In 1893 came tne fi rst suggestion that electricity might be used 
to transmit the power generated by water wheels, but the electric 
motor was then in an embryonic state, and until the motor was brought 
to a higher state of perfection its use was not to be considered. Thus 
matters stood until July, 1899, when C. P. Birge called a meeting of 
some twenty-five citizens of Keokuk and Hamilton, Illinois — just 
across the river from Keokuk — to make one more effort to brins? 
about the construction of a dam. This meeting was really the begin- 
ning of the Mississippi River Power Company. In April, 1900, the 
Keokuk & Hamilton Power Company was incorporated under the 
laws of Illinois with A. E. Johnstone, president; William Logan and 
C. P. Dadant, vice'president; R. R. Wallace, secretary and treasurer; 
Wells M. Irwin and D. J. Ayers, of Keokuk, and S. R. Parker, 
of Hamilton, directors. 

This company obtained a charter from the Federal Government 
in February, 1901, for the construction of a wing dam on the Illinois 
side, and Lyman E. Cooley, a hydraulic engineer of Chicago, was 
employed to make the survey and specifications. Mr. Cooley pro- 
nounced a wing dam impracticable and the company was forced to 
abandon its original intention. 

In April, 1904, Congressman B. F. Marsh introduced a bill to 
grant the Keokuk & Hamilton Water Power Company the right to 
build a dam across the Mississippi River at the foot of the rapids. 
The bill passed both houses of Congress at the next session and was 
approved by the President on February 9, 1905. In April, 1905, 
the stock and franchise of the company was assigned to and vested in 
a committee consisting of John H. Irwin, A. E. Johnstone, William 
Logan and C. P. Dadant, with full power to make contracts and 
transact all other business pertaining to the dam project. Concerning 
this company and its committee, one of the Keokuk papers said: 

"It must not be forgotten for a moment that this corporation was 
a quasi-public, quasi-governmental corporation, outside of, and yet 
a part of the political organization of the State of Iowa, as is the 
public school system for instance. Its stationery should have borne 
the subtitle, 'The Public, Incorporated.' While it had a trifle of 
$2,500 of paid up capital, it handled many times that amount of 
money as a public trust, a considerable amount coming to its treasurer 
from the municipal treasuries of Keokuk and Hamilton. There was 
never in the history of the world anything like that water power 


promoting corporation. It was frankly organized for promotion pur- 
poses, as the representative of the citizenship hereabouts. 

"It operated practically by unanimous consent. Its officers were 
men of the two cities possessing the full confidence of the masses 
of the people. It did things to the municipalities that have never 
been paralleled and that are among the highest triumphs of a domi- 
nant democracy. It said it needed money at one time to pay for sur- 
veys and other legitimate promotion work — and the city councils of 
Keokuk and Hamilton promptly voted it an appropriation of public 
money. Of course this was widely extra-legal ; far from any conceal- 
ment, the greatest publicity was given to the intended action before 
it was taken; every citizen suspected of opposition was asked person- 
ally, and by newspaper notice everybody else was practically invited 
to stop the action, if they chose, by a very simple injunctive process. 
Not a man could be found in the two towns who had any objection. 
Every citizen considered it his own movement, this water power 
development movement. It was a movement of the entire mass acting 
as a unit." 

The Keokuk & Hamilton Water Power Company, through its 
committee, prepared a circular pamphlet or prospectus giving some 
data concerning the Mississippi River at the rapids and a statement 
of their aims and needs, chief of which was the capital to build a 
dam and a competent engineer to take charge of the undertaking. 
One of these pamphlets fell into the hands of Hugh L. Cooper, an 
engineer who had already made a world-wide reputation by his 
achievements in Jamaica, Brazil, at Niagara Falls and McCall's 
Ferry, Pennsylvania. Mr. Cooper came to Keokuk, looked over the 
field, and started out in quest of the necessary capital. He exhausted 
his private means, and when it looked as though failure was inevitable 
Stone & Webster, of Boston, came to the rescue with a proposition to 
finance the undertaking. Of the capital stock, 35 per cent of it was 
raised or subscribed in the United States and the remaining 65 per 
cent came from foreign countries, England, France, Germany, Bel- 
gium and Canada being the principal contributors toward the con- 
summation of a project that had been hoped for for more than half a 

On September 15, 1905, the committee in charge of the affairs of 
the Keokuk & Hamilton Water Power Company entered into a con- 
tract with Mr. Cooper, by which the stock and franchise of the com- 
pany were turned over to his syndicate, on the condition that the dam 
and power plant were to be completed by February 10, 191 5. 


A survey of the site of the proposed dam and its environments 
disclosed the fact that many acres of the low lying lands above the 
dam would be overflowed by its construction. As rapidly as possible 
the representatives of the company visited the owners of these lands 
for the purpose of purchasing overflow rights, and in some instances 
the lands were bought outright. Altogether, about thirteen hundred 
land owners were dealt with in this way, and it is worthy of comment 
that every one surrendered his land or the right to overflow it without 
law suits or other vexatious delays, something unusual where a great 
corporation desires private property for some gigantic enterprise. 
Fourteen miles of the tracks of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
Railroad, that formerly ran close to the old river bank, were raised 
above the new water level, and this also was accomplished without 
litigation. At Montrose it was necessary to remove a cemetery and 
the company had to buy a portion of that town, as well as considerable 
property at Sandusky and Galland. At Fort Madison it was dis- 
covered that the back-water from the dam would affect the sewer 
system and considerable work was done to overcome this difficulty. 
Yet all these obstacles were overcome without serious delays, because 
everybody believed in the dam and everybody wanted to see it built. 

In addition to the acquisition of lands or overflow rights and 
the changes in the towns above mentioned, the war department 
imposed several conditions to which the plans must conform. Every 
detail of the construction work had to be submitted to the secretary 
of war and receive his indorsement, really through the chief of 
engineers of the army. The building of the dam made the old 
Government canal an obsolete institution. The company was there- 
fore required to build a lock and dry dock and provide means for 
their perpetual operation. Upon the completion of the lock and dry 
dock, they were to become the property of the United States without 
cost to the Government. Major Keller, who was in charge for the 
Government, afterward stated that the company not only complied 
with all the conditions imposed by the war department, but also did a 
number of things not included in the conditions, the cost of which 
he estimated at $200,000. 

As soon as all these preliminary arrangements could be com- 
pleted, work was commenced on the dam itself. To describe all the 
details of that work, such as the building of the huge cofferdam to 
keep out the water, the excavating into the bed rock for an anchorage 
for the concrete work, the conflicts with storms and floods to protect 
the dam during the process of construction, would require a volume. 


And while it might prove interesting to the reader, it is not con- 
sidered necessary to give such an account here. 

The length of the dam, including the abutments at each end, is 
4,649 feet, or nearly nine-tenths of a mile. At the base it is forty- 
two feet in thickness and at the top, twenty-nine feet. It is composed 
of 1 19 arched spans, so molded together that it is virtually one solid 
piece of concrete, which extends downward about five feet into the 
bedrock, to which it is securely anchored. Each of the 119 arches 
is provided with a gate of steel truss framework faced with a sheet of 
the same metal. These gates can be raised or lowered and thus keep 
the water above the dam at a fixed and uniform level. In times of 
very high water they are all left open; in stages of unusually low 
water all can be kept closed. By this system a constant stage of 
water is maintained above the dam and the pressure against the whole 
structure regulated. 

The power house is 1,718 feet long, 132 feet 10 inches wide, and 
177 feet 6 inches high, measuring from the lowest point in the tail 
race to the roof. The foundation begins in the bedrock, about 
twenty-five feet below the natural bottom of the river, for the pur- 
pose of gaining more fall. The substructure is one solid mass of con- 
crete, cast in forms so as to form the necessary passages and chambers 
through which passes the water that moves the great turbines. Rein- 
forced concrete was used in building the walls of the superstructure, 
or power house proper, in which are the generators, etc. 

Between the power house and the Iowa shore is the lock, which 
is 1 10 feet wide, 400 feet long, with a lift of 40 feet. The walls of 
this lock are 52 feet high and vary in thickness from 8 to 33 feet. 
Directly north of the lock and next to the Iowa shore is the dry 
dock, 150 by 463 feet. 

On the last day of May, 1913, the last concrete in the dam was 
placed in position. As soon as it set the water above was gradually 
raised and flowed through the spillways for the first time on June 3, 
1913. Nine days later the lock was put into commission by the pas- 
sage at one time of two of the largest steamboats on the Upper 
Mississippi. On July 1, 1913, electric current was delivered to St. 
Louis. The great power plant was in operation and the dream of 
years had become a reality. A formal celebration of the great 
achievement was held at Keokuk on August 25, 26, 27 and 28, 19 1 3, 
the second day of the proceedings being the day when the great dam 
was dedicated to the use of mankind. Governor Clarke, of Iowa, and 
Governor Dunne, of Illinois, were prominent participants in the 
exercises, and thousands of visitors came to visit and inspect the work. 

Fhoto by Anschutz 

The Government lock at Keokuk, built at the cost of the Mississippi Eiver Power Com- 
pany, to become the property of the United States upon completion. This lock is in the Panama 
class, having the same width hut a much higher lift than any lock on the Isthmus. 


Soon after work was commenced the plant was placed under the 
management of the Stone & Webster Management Association, which 
manages more than fifty public utilities in all parts of the United 
States, and some of their best trained and most experienced men were 
sent to Keokuk to look after the service. Transmission lines have 
been built to Fort Madison and Burlington, Iowa; Dallas City, 
Nauvoo, Warsaw, Quincy and Alton, Illinois; Hannibal and St. 
Louis, Missouri, and light and power are also furnished to the cities 
of Keokuk and Hamilton. 

The large body of water held in check by the dam, extending 
up the Mississippi to the City of Burlington, has been named Lake 
Cooper, in honor of the engineer who designed and constructed the 
dam. From the low islands in the river and the partly submerged 
woodlands along the shores the timber has been removed by the power 
company, so that the trees, after being killed by the water constantlv 
standing around their roots, may not be washed into the stream and 
become a menace to navigation. By the raising of the water level 
several miles of wagon roads along the river banks were overflowed. 
To overcome this condition of affairs, the company offered to donate 
a right-of-way through its property, use its engineers and equipment 
and give $75,000 toward the cost of constructing boulevards to 
Montrose, Iowa, and Nauvoo, Illinois. These improvements were 
finally completed at a cost of $375,000. 

Changing the water level also submerged several historic points 
in Lee County. Foremost among these is probably the huge bowlder 
known as "Mechanic's Rock," from the fact that the steamboat 
Mechanic was wrecked by striking it in 1830. This rock is situated 
at the head of the rapids, about a mile below the Town of Montrose 
and near the Iowa shore. In times of low water it stood above the 
surface and was one of the landmarks used by pilots on the Missis- 
sippi. When it was covered with water boats could take the open 
channel without danger. The steamer Illinois was also wrecked 
upon this rock on April 20, 1842. 

Lemoliese, the French trader who located where Sandusky now 
stands in 1820, was buried near the bank of the river and his grave 
has been covered by water since the construction of the dam. Part 
of the old Tesson land grant has also been submerged. 



In the matter of public credit, Lee County has always sustained 
an unquestionable reputation, as may be seen in the ease with which 
her bonds have been refunded at a lower rate of interest. The be- 
ginning of the bonded debt dates back to January 1, 1857, when the 
county issued bonds to the amount of $450,000, bearing 8 per 
cent interest per annum, to aid in the construction of certain railroads. 
The people of that day may have made a mistake in voting this in- 
debtedness upon the county, but it must be remembered that there 
was a crying need for some outlet for the county's products, and the 
construction of railroads seemed to be the logical solution of the prob- 
lem. Perhaps no better history of this bonded debt could be written 
than that contained in the county auditor's report for the year 19 1 3, 
in which he says: 

"The County of Lee originally became indebted, and issued its 
negotiable bonds in the sum of $450,000 under date of January 1, 
1857, bearing 8 per cent interest payable semi-annually, in aid of 
certain railroads. The indebtedness above mentioned, together with 
the costs and unpaid interest accrued, amounted to $1,078,415.63, of 
which amount $252,415.63 was settled for in cash, and the payment 
of the balance was made by an issue of compromise bonds to the 
amount of $826,400 bearing date of March 1, 1870, with interest at 
the rate of 6 per cent per annum. The balance of the Lee County 
25-vear 6 per cent compromise bonds, amounting to $660,000, ma- 
tured on March 1, 1895. 

"Under date of March 1, 1895, said $660,000 of 6 per cent bonds 
were refunded by a new issue of $660,000 4^2 per cent bonds, matur- 



ing on March i, 191 5, redeemable at the option of the county after 
March 1, 1900. 

"On March 1, 1900, there were $550,000 of the issue of March 
1, 1895, still outstanding, $110,000 of this issue having been paid off 
and cancelled. At this time it was deemed advisable and to the best 
interests of the county, that the remaining $550,000 \Y 2 per cent 
bonds be refunded by a new issue of serial bonds bearing 3^4 per cent 
interest per annum, thus effecting a saving in interest. 

"Accordingly, on November 16, 1900, the board of supervisors 
entered into a contract with N. W. Harris & Company, of Chicago, 
Illinois, for the refunding of the said $550,000 outstanding \V 2 per 
cent Compromise bonds. * The accrued interest on the 

above issue has been paid up to December 1, 1 9 1 3. Bonds to the 
amount of $315,000 of the above issue have been paid off, leaving a 
balance of $235,000 outstanding on January 1, 1914." 

On August 1, 1910, the board of supervisors issued $50,000 in 
bonds to refund certain outstanding obligations incurred in the con- 
struction and repair of bridges. The bonds, known as "bridge 
funding bonds," were made payable at certain stated times, and on 
January 1, 1914, there were still $35,000 of this indebtedness out- 
standing, making the total bonded debt of the county $270,000. 

And what security has the bondholder for the ultimate payment 
of his claim against the county? The answer is that these bonds 
constitute a lien upon all the taxable property of the citizens of Lee 
County. That property is assessed for taxation at about one-fourth 
of its actual value. Even at that low figure the assessed value of the 
property in 1913 was $11,075,302, distributed among the several 
municipalities and townships as follows: 

City of Fort Madison $ 1,034,248 

City of Keokuk 2,878,076 

Cedar Township 625,659 

Charleston Township 397,920 

Denmark Township 2 35i7 ! 7 

Des Moines Township 574,704 

Franklin Township 605,137 

Green Bay Township 338,995 

Harrison Township 488,858 

Jackson Township 499,927 

Jefferson Township 605,003 

Marion Township 603,254 

Montrose Township 505^487 


Pleasant Ridge Township 458,414 

Van Buren Township . 284,206 

Washington Township 488,656 

West Point Township 451,041 

Total $ 1 1 ,075,302 

In the above table the assessments of the incorporated towns are 
included in the townships in which they are located and the assess- 
ment of Madison Township is included in that of Fort Madison 

Notwithstanding the custom of assessing the property for taxa- 
tion at about twenty-five per cent of its real value, the tax duplicate 
for 1913 shows that the county has nearly five dollars of collateral 
for each dollar of bonded indebtedness. If the actual value of the 
property be taken into consideration, the collateral amounts to nearly 
twenty dollars for each dollar of outstanding bonds. 


The first bank in Lee County was opened at Keokuk in 1846 by 
George C. Anderson, in connection with his wholesale grocery and 
supply house on the corner of Second and Johnson streets. It was 
a private bank and was at first conducted as a sort of broker's office, 
but after a short time Mr. Anderson devoted his entire attention to 
the business of the bank, continuing in that line of activity until his 
death in 1867. Alexander Barclay & Company then succeeded Mr. 
Anderson. Mr. Barclay died in 1871 and the affairs of the bank 
were soon afterward liquidated. 

In 1852 Charles Parsons opened a bank in Keokuk. His first 
place of business was on Main Street, two doors east of Second. 
Later he removed to the southeast corner of Second and Main streets, 
where he continued until his bank was forced to suspend in the panic 
of 1857. 

Late in the year 1852 or early in 1853, Granville B. Smith & 
Company opened a bank in Keokuk. Fitz Henry Warren, A. D. 
Green and E. H. Thomas, of Burlington, were members of this firm, 
which carried on a successful banking business in Keokuk until in 
January, 1856, when the original founders of the institution were 
succeeded by the firm of A. L. Deming & Company. 

Other early financial institutions of Keokuk were the banking 
houses of Ford, Graham & Ford, which began business in June, 1856; 


Chapin & Lee, who came from New York; Hatch & Thompson, 
from Kentucky; Ficklin & Lucas, all of whom began business prior 
to the financial crash of 1857, when most of them wound up their 
affairs and went out of business. 

On February 4, 1858, the banking house of Rix, Hale & Com- 
pany opened its doors for the transaction of business and continued 
until March 3, 1862, when Mr. Hale was elected cashier of the 
Keokuk branch of the Iowa State Bank and the exchange and deposit 
department of the concern was discontinued. 


In the year 1 9 14 there were four banks in the city of Keokuk, 
to-wit: The State Central Savings Bank, the Keokuk Savings Bank, 
the Keokuk National Bank, and the Security State Bank. 

The State Central Savings Bank is the successor of the old Keo- 
kuk branch of the State Bank of Iowa, which first opened its doors 
on September 25, 1858, with Samuel F. Miller as president and J. W. 
McMillen as cashier. In 1865 it was reorganized under the national 
banking laws as the State National Bank, with a capital stock of 
$150,000. James F. Cox was the first president of the reorganized 
bank and O. C. Hale continued as cashier. The bank was again 
reorganized in 1885, when it became the State Bank of Keokuk. 
In 1893 it was consolidated with the Central Savings Bank, which 
had been organized in 1890, when it adopted its present name. The 
officers of the bank in 1 9 14 were: William Logan, president; George 
E. Rix and Wells W. Irwin, vice presidents; C. J. Bode, cashier; H. 
T. Graham and H. B. Blood, assistant cashiers. The capital stock of 
the bank at that time was $200,000, the surplus an equal amount, 
and the deposits amounted to $2,500,000. 

On December 19, 1867, the Keokuk Savings Bank was incor- 
porated under the laws of Iowa, and it opened for business on 
February 10, 1868, with an authorized capital of $100,000, one-half 
of which was paid up. Edward Johnstone was the first president 
and William Thompson the first cashier. A statement of the bank's 
condition, issued on September 1, 19 1 4, shows a capital stock of 
$100,000, surplus and undivided profits of $185,000, and deposits 
of $1,065,000. The officers at that time were as follows: A. E. 
Johnstone, president; Howard L. Connable, vice president; F. W. 
Davis, cashier; Howard W. Wood, assistant cashier. 

The Keokuk National Bank was organized on June 15, 1872, 
with William Patterson, president; Edward F. Brownell, cashier, 


and a paid up capital stock of $100,000. It is one of the substantial 
institutions of the City of Keokuk, as shown by its statement of Sep- 
tember 12, 1914, when the capital stock was $100,000, the surplus 
and profits, $62,748, and the deposits, $752,000. The officers then 
were: E. S. Baker, president; A. E. Matless and Ira W. Wills, 
vice presidents; John A. Dunlap, cashier, and E. R. Cochrane, 
assistant cashier. 

The Security State Bank is the youngest in the city. It was 
organized on February 15, 1913, with a capital stock of $100,000 
and on September 1, 1914, reported undivided profits of $28,410. 
Its deposits at that time amounted to about $220,000, and the officers 
were: W. B. Seeley, president; J. B. Weil and Alois Weber, vice 
presidents; E. A. French, cashier, and E. G. Weismann, assistant 
cashier. The bank occupies a neat building at the corner of Eighth 
and Main streets. 


In 1914 there were three banks in the City of Fort Madison, viz. : 
The Fort Madison Savings Bank, the German-American Bank, and 
the Lee County Savings Bank, all operating under the state laws. 

The first bank in the city was established in the year 1854, as a 
branch of the banking house of E. H. Thomas & Company, of 
Burlington, with a Mr. Merrick in charge. Two years later the 
business was purchased by John H. Knapp and George P. Eaton, 
under the firm name of Knapp & Eaton, and they continued the 
business until the institution was made a branch of the State Bank 
of Iowa in 1858. The affairs of this bank were wound up in 1865, 
when it was succeeded by the Fort Madison National Bank, which 
began business with John H. Winterbotham as president and Clark 
R. Wever as cashier. On January 30, 1872, the national bank charter 
was surrendered and the concern was reorganized as the Bank of 
Fort Madison under the state laws. The stockholders of the reorgan- 
ized bank were A. C. and Henry Cattermole, John H. and J. R. 
Winterbotham and Clark R. Wever. 

The First National Bank succeeded to the business of the Bank 
of Fort Madison in 1888. In August, 1890, the same stockholders 
organized the Fort Madison Savings Bank and the two banks were 
operated in connection until 1895, when the First National was dis- 
continued, the Fort Madison Savings Bank taking over the business. 

From a statement issued by the bank on September 1, 1914, it 
is learned that the paid up capital is $30,000, the net surplus and 


profits amount to $35,344, and the deposits were over $865,000. The 
officers at that time were: D. A. Morrison, president; James C. 
Brewster, vice president; J. A. S. Pollard, cashier; W. H. Rose and 
A. M. Lowrey, assistant cashiers. 

The German-American State Bank was first organized as the 
German-American Bank in April, 1876, by Henry and Arthur 
Cattermole, George Schlapp, Joseph Deiman and H. D. McConn, 
with a capital stock of $50,000. Henry Cattermole was the first 
president and H. D. McConn the first cashier. In April, 191 3, it 
was reorganized as the German-American State Bank, with a capi- 
tal stock of $100,000. The officers of the bank in 19 14 were as 
follows: Dr. Maurice Wahrer, president; E. F. McKee, vice presi- 
dent; H. J. Kennedy, cashier; E. T. Einspanjer, assistant cashier. 
Since its reorganization the bank has accumulated undivided profits 
of $4,125, and in September, 1914, reported deposits of about five 
hundred and sixty thousand dollars. 

In 1888 the Lee County Savings Bank was organized with Samuel 
Atlee as president; William G. Kent, vice president, and George 
M. Hanchett, cashier. In 1914 William H. Atlee was president; 
W. N. Blackinton, vice president; George M. Hanchett, cashier; 
Carl E. Stoeckle and Albert R. Benbow, assistant cashiers. The 
original capital stock of $25,000 has been increased to $50,000 and 
in September, 1914, the bank reported a surplus of $10,000 and 
•deposits of $700,000. 


The oldest bank in the county, outside of Keokuk and Fort Madi- 
son, is the private bank of W. N. Blackinton, at Denmark, which 
was established in 1894. As tms is a private institution and publishes 
no statements showing the condition of its business, it is impossible 
to give the amount of capital or deposits. 

In 1898 the Citizens Mutual Bank of Donnellson was founded 
with a capital stock of $15,000. The officers in 1914 were: W. B. 
Seeley, president; W. E. Dickey, vice president; G. W. Mattern, 
cashier/ At that time the bank reported a surplus of $15,000 and 
deposits of $310,000. 

The next rural bank to be organized in Lee County was the 
Montrose Savings Bank, which began business in 1903, with a capi- 
tal stock of $20,000. H. R. Younkin was president of the bank in 
1914; C. H. Curtis, vice president, and J. E. Lamb, cashier. At 



that time the surplus and profits amounted to $2,000 and the deposits 
to $150,000. 

The Farmers and Citizens Bank of West Point was established 
in 1908, with a capital stock of $15,000. The bank has a good 
patronage among the neighboring farmers and in 1914 was officered 
by F. N. Smith, president, and John Shepherd, cashier. 

The Farmers Savings Bank of Wever was also organized in 
1908, with a capital stock of $12,000. On July 1, 1914, the officers 
of this bank were as follows : H. E. Hyter, president; S. J. Hilleary, 
vice president; A. J. Huebner, cashier; Emma D. Huebner, assistant 
cashier. At that time the surplus and undivided profits amounted 
to $3,000 and the deposits to $190,000. 

In 1909 the Mount Hamill State Savings Bank was organized by 
some of the citizens of that town and the immediate vicinity and 
began business with a capital stock of $12,500. R. S. Pease was 
president of this bank in 1914 and F. M. Geese was cashier. The 
surplus then amounted to $1,400 and the deposits to $60,000. 

The Pilot Grove Savings Bank was organized under the state 
laws in 191 1. The capital stock of this bank is $10,000, the surplus 
and profits, $1,770, and the deposits, $102,000. The officers in 1914 
were: B. Dingman, president; Theodore Schinstock, vice presi- 
dent; John Hellman, cashier. 

The Donnellson State Bank, the youngest financial institution in 
the county, was organized in 191 3, with Henry Meinhardt, presi- 
dent; H. C. Knapp, vice president; J. E. Krieger, cashier. These 
officers were still in charge of the bank in 1914, when the deposits 
amounted to about thirty thousand dollars. The capital stock of the 
bank is $25,000. 

From the above statements it will be seen that the people of Lee 
County have approximately eight millions of dollars on deposit in 
the local banks, all of which are conservatively managed by experi- 
enced financiers and command the confidence of their patrons and 
of other bankers throughout the country. 


Tilling the soil and raising live stock have always been the prin- 
cipal occupations of the people of Lee County. From the small 
clearing in the timber or the sod cornfield of the prairie in the latter 
'30s, the county has gradually developed along agricultural lines 
until in 1913, according to the Iowa Year Book, there were 2,009 
farms, with an average size of 136 acres. Figures are not always 

Vol. 1—17 


interesting reading, but the story of a community's progress can often 
be better told by statistics than in any other way. Adopting that 
method for the purpose of showing the county's agricultural status, 
the following table has been compiled from the reports of the prin- 
cipal crops as published in the year book above mentioned: 

Acres Bushels 

Corn 53> 6 40 i,4°4>3 68 

Oats 23,649 694,321 

Winter Wheat 6,458 128,864 

Rye 4> 2 9 8 83,160 

Barley 55 1 ir >775 

Potatoes 1,115 50,887 

Timothy Seed 3,364 i3>°35 

Clover Seed 3,635 4,351 

Tame Hay 34,303 3 6 >347 tons 

Wild Hay 93 17 2 tons 

Of the 277,242 acres in the 2,009 farms, 131,106 acres were given 
over to the crops above enumerated. In addition to these products 
there were approximately three thousand acres planted to orchards 
and about twice that area devoted to the production of vegetables 
and small fruits. 

The number of domestic animals on hand on July 1, 1913, in- 
cluded 12,401 horses, 714 mules, 47,580 hogs, 15,061 dairy cattle, 
1,983 other cattle and 17,487 sheep. Over nine thousand sheep were 
sold during the year and the wool clip amounted to 44,946 pounds. 
Lee County ranks high as a poultry raising community, reporting 
238,946 fowl of all varieties, and during the year 191 3 the production 
of eggs for the market reached 789,163 dozen. 

The State of Iowa, by the enactment of liberal laws, has done 
much to encourage the agricultural and stock raising interests of 
the state. One of these laws is that of 1907 regarding farmers' in- 
stitutes. By this act it is provided that: "When forty or more 
farmers of a county organize a farmers' institute, with a president, 
secretary, treasurer and an executive committee of not less than three 
outside of such officers and hold an institute, remaining in session 
not less than two days in each year, which institute may be adjourned 
from time to time and from place to place in said county, the secre- 
tarv of the State Board of Agriculture, upon the filing with him a 
report of such institute and an itemized statement under oath show- 
ing that the same has been organized and held and for what pur- 



poses the money expended has been used, shall certify the same to 
the auditor of state, which state auditor shall remit to the county 
treasurer of such county his warrant for the amount so expended 
not to exceed seventy-five dollars," etc. 

The act further provides that no officer of the county institute 
shall receive any compensation for his services and that all reports 
must be made to the secretary of the State Board of Agriculture by 
June i st of each year, or no money will be paid by the state to such 
institute as fails to report. 

Under the provisions of this act a farmers' institute has been 
organized in Lee County, of which Joseph Carver was president in 
1913, and E. C. Lynn, county superintendent of schools, was secre- 
tary. The meetings of the institute have been well attended, as a 
rule, and by the interchange of ideas the farmers of the county are 
becoming more and more up-to-date in their methods. Through the 
medium of these institutes the influence of the agricultural college 
is being felt by hundreds of farmers who are unable to attend the 
college in a regular course of study, and the business of farming is 
gradually being placed upon a more scientific basis. Other indus- 
tries may be established and flourish, but it is quite certain that for 
many years to come corn will still be king in Lee County. 


Probably the oldest manufacturing concern in Lee County, in 
point of continuous operation, is the Fort Madison Plow Company. 
As early as 1847 S. D. Morrison came from New York to Fort 
Madison and began the making of plows by hand. In the spring of 
1854 J. H. West became a partner and the firm of West & Morrison 
began operating on a larger scale. This partnership lasted but about 
a year, when Mr. Morrison withdrew and started in the business for 
himself. In 1865 his two sons, J. B. and D. A. Morrison were taken 
into the firm and ten years later the elder Morrison retired. In 
1883 the Morrison Manufacturing Company was formed, and a few 
years ago the business was incorporated under the name of the Fort 
Madison Plow Company. .The factory buildings cover practically 
the entire square east of Broadway, facing the Mississippi River, on 
the site of old Fort Madison. From fifteen to twenty thousand plows 
of different varieties, cultivators and corn planters are turned out 
annually. Most of these implements are sold in the states west of 
the Mississippi River, though large shipments have been made to 
South American countries. The company employs from one hun- 


dred and fifty to two hundred men and the value of the annual out- 
put approximates four hundred thousand dollars. 

In 1854 Winterbotham & Jones began the manufacture of farm- 
ing tools in Fort Madison. They were succeeded by Soule, Davis 
& Company, who enlarged the plant and extended their trade over 
a larger territory. This firm was in turn succeeded by Soule, Kret- 
singer & Company and in 1874 the Iowa Farming Tool Company 
was incorporated. Special attention was then given to the produc- 
tion of three hand farming tools, viz. : Forks, hoes and rakes. Since 
the year 1900 the business has practically doubled in volume and the 
goods made by this company are shipped to every state in the Union, 
Australia, Japan, South Africa, South America and several Euro- 
pean countries. The concern is now a branch of the American Fork 
and Hoe Company, employs about three hundred men and turns out 
about two million forks, hoes and rakes annually. 

Another early industry of Fort Madison was the manufacture of 
brick and tile, an abundance of fine clay being found in the imme- 
diate vicinity of the city. Among the pioneer brick makers were 
Reichelt Brothers, Frederick Brothers & Adriance, Herminghausen 
Brothers, the Wiggenjost Brick Works and Bartel & Stellern. The 
most important of those in 1 914 were the Stellern yards, on the 
Denmark road just outside the city limits, owned by Henry Stellern, 
and the Reichelt Pressed Brick and Tile Works, a mile from the 
city on the Burlington road. Julius Reichelt, proprietor. This is 
the oldest yard in the vicinity of the city, established in 1867. in 
the last named yards the Reichelt rotary pressed brick machines are 
used. These machines are manufactured by Reichelt & Willmes- 
meier and shipped to brick makers all over the country. The capac- 
ity of the Stellern plant, when running full time, is 25,000 brick 
and tile daily. That of the Reichelt plant is 10,000 brick and 15,000 
feet of tile. 

About 1870 Soule, Davis & Company began the manufacture of 
chairs in connection with their farming tool works. In 1876 this 
branch of the business was reorganized as the Fort Madison Chair 
Company. The original half-dozen patterns were increased to 
about one hundred and fifty different styles and employment was 
given to 150 people in the factory, besides home employment was 
given to quite a number of boys and girls in "caning" the seats and 
backs at their homes. The market for the products covers the whole 
Southwest and the annual product amounts to about one hundred and 
seventy-five thousand dollars. 


Looking toward river from Second Street. Taken in the latter '70s. 


Shortly after the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad was 
completed through Lee County the Fort Madison Iron Works were 
established in the western part of the city for the manufacture of car 
wheels and carried on a successful business for a number of years, 
when the concern was absorbed by the wheel trust. The Fort Madi- 
son factory was then closed and the buildings stood idle for some 
time. In 1914, through the influence of the Fort Madison First 
Association, the Acme Manufacturing Company, makers of chande- 
liers and novelties in brass work, took possession of the old plant and 
remodeled it to adapt it to the new line of business. 

The Brown Paper Company was formed as the Fort Madison 
Paper Company in 1882 and buildings for the manufacture of straw 
wrapping and building paper were erected in the western part of 
the city. Several additions have been made to the original mill and 
after the completion of the Keokuk dam, electric power was intro- 
duced, the current being supplied by the Mississippi River Power 
Company. About thirty or forty tons of straw are used daily, pro- 
ducing from twenty to twenty-five tons of the finished product. 

Some years ago the Fort Madison Packing Company erected a 
fine packing house, but, owing to the tendency of the great packers 
to concentrate their business in the larger cities, the plant continued 
in operation but a short time. Subsequently the Charles Wissmath 
& Son Packing Company, of St. Louis, obtained control of and 
thoroughly remodeled the plant, making one of the best establish- 
ments of the kind on the Mississippi. It opened under the new man- 
agement in September, 1906. 

There is one manufacturing concern in Fort Madison that can- 
not be passed over, and that is the sawmill and lumber business of 
Samuel and J. C. Atlee. This business was started by the late J. C. 
Atlee in 1852. Two years later he built the first steam sawmill in 
Fort Madison and this was enlarged until the annual cut of lumber 
was 20,000,000 feet. The saw and planing mills and lumber yards 
cover thirty acres of ground in the southwestern part of the city and 
the firm owns three steamboats that are used in towing logs down the 
river from the northern pineries or in carrying lumber to other mar- 
kets. The Atlee sawmill is the last on the Mississippi River below 
St. Paul to continue in operation, but with the building of the great 
power dam at Keokuk the river has been backed up until the water 
interferes with the mill and no lumber was sawed during the year 


One of the latest manufactories to be established in Fort Madi- 
son is the Fort Madison Shoe Manufacturing Company, which was 


brought to the city through the efforts of the Fort Madison First 
Association in the summer of 1914. At a meeting held at the Com- 
mercial Club rooms on August 9, 1914, the Popel-Giller Building 
at the corner of Union and Santa Fe avenues was secured for the 
factory, and a week or two later the company was organized by the 
election of A. P. Brown, president; H. F. Stempel, Jr., vice presi- 
dent; Henry Heying, secretary, and J. E. Hoffman, of Chicago, 

In the spring of 1912 W. A. Sheaffer, of Fort Madison, began 
the manufacture of fountain pens. For a time his factory was located 
on the third floor of the building at the northeast corner of Second 
and Pine streets, but in 1914 a new building was erected at the cor- 
ner of Front and Broadway, expressly for a pen factory. The prod- 
ucts of this concern are sold all over the country and the business is 
constantly increasing. 

Other Fort Madison factories are the Fort Madison Button Com- 
pany, which uses from one thousand to one thousand five hundred 
tons of mussel shells every year in cutting button blanks, which are 
sent to Burlington to be finished; the Boekenkamp foundry, at the 
corner of Vine and Water streets; several cigar factories; a horse 
collar factory; a canning factory, and a number of minor concerns 
producing various articles. 


The first stove made in Iowa and the first locomotive built in the 
state were manufactured in the City of Keokuk. In the spring of 
1855 Atwood & Estes established a stove factory, which employed 
about thirty men, and the first stove was finished on July 4, 1855. 
The factory had a capacity of about four thousand stoves annually. 

The locomotive was built at the shops of the Des Moines Valley 
Railroad and was completed in October, 187.5. Every particle of it 
was made under the supervision of the master mechanic and it was 
distinctly a Keokuk product. This locomotive weighed twenty-four 
tons and the cost was $17,000. 

Other Keokuk factories established along in the '50s were the 
furniture factory of Kilbourne & Davis, which employed at one time 
seventy men; Knowles' wagon shops, which employed thirty men 
and boasted "a wagon a day;" Thomas Wickersham & Sons' foundry 
and machine works, which made a specialty of sawmill machinery 
and employed about sixty persons; the boiler factory of Edward 


In the fall of 1849, $• S. Vail & Company began operating a 
foundry and machine shop on the corner of Sixth and Blondeau 
streets. About a year later Aaron Vail became a member of the firm 
and in 1856 the works were removed to new buildings on the corner 
of Ninth and Johnson streets, at which time the name was changed 
to "Buckeye Foundry." Several changes in ownership, or in the 
personnel of the firm, occurred during the next decade. From 1865 
to 1870 the plant was conducted under the management of Vail, 
Armitage & Company, which firm was succeeded by Sample, Mc- 
Elroy & Company. Still later the concern became known as the 
McElroy Iron Works. The plant is now operated by the Keokuk 
Hydraulic Tire Setter Company, which manufactures the Little 
Giant tire setter, steam generators, metal tanks, fire escapes and 
structural steel. 

The Irwin-Phillips Company, located at the corner of Second 
and Main streets, employs a large number of women and girls in 
the manufacture of shirts, overalls and corduroy clothing. The 
capital stock of this company is $350,000 and the products of the 
factory are shipped to all parts of the West and South. 

Several years ago the Decker Manufacturing Company located 
in Keokuk and began the manufacture of curry combs, hog rings, 
ringers and hardware novelties. With the expansion of their trade 
the old quarters became too cramped and in 191 1 a new, three-story 
brick building, with 21,000 square feet of floor space, was erected at 
the corner of Third and Blondeau streets. It is one of the substan- 
tial and model factories of Keokuk. 

When the American Rice & Cereal Company commenced 
business in Keokuk, making rolled oats, grits, cracked rice, etc., it 
employed sixty people and consumed two carloads of corn and one 
of oats daily. It has been superseded by the Purity Oats Company, 
which employs more than twice the number of people as its prede- 
cessor and ships cereal food products to all parts of the country. The 
works are located on the levee near the foot of Johnson Street. 

One of the largest manufacturing concerns of Lee County is the 
Huiskamp Brothers Shoe Company, of Keokuk. This business was 
established in 1854, by B. F. Moody, in a comparatively small build- 
ing on Main Street. Mr. Moody was succeeded by the firm of Huis- 
kamp & Hambleton, which in turn was succeeded by Huiskamp 
Brothers. In 1887 the business was incorporated under the name of 
the Huiskamp Brothers Shoe Company. The Keokuk factory occu- 
pies the large building at the corner of Second and Johnson streets, 
and the company also has another factory at Warsaw, Illinois. The 


two factories employ about nine hundred people. Forty traveling 
salesmen cover practically all the United States, except New Eng- 
land, and the annual product of the two establishments amounts to 

The Mills-Ellsworth Company, makers of buggy shafts and bent 
wood products, was formerly located on ground that became over- 
flowed when the power dam was built across the Mississippi. Ar- 
rangements were under way to remove the works to some other city 
when the Keokuk Industrial Association came to the rescue, secured 
a new location for the company on Commercial Alley, and contrib- 
uted to the erection of a new factory building, thus preserving the 
industry to the city. 

Through the influence of the Industrial Association, the Ameri- 
can Cement Machine Company was brought to Keokuk from Madi- 
son, Wisconsin, and permanently established at 1020 Johnson Street. 
This company makes machines for mixing concrete and contractors' 
equipment, and although in Keokuk but a short time arrangements 
were being made in September, 1914, for the erection of a large addi- 
tion to the factory. 

Another recent addition to the factories of the city is the John 
DeWitt Washing Machine Company. Mr. DeWitt was formerly 
the manager of the Keokuk Industrial Association. While working 
with that organization to secure new factories he became interested 
in the manufacture of washing machines, and to show his faith in 
the representations the Industrial Association had made to other 
manufacturers, he located in Keokuk. 

In addition to the establishments above mentioned, there are a 
number of smaller factories in the city. Among these are the Thomas 
Brothers Company, which makes gasoline engines and does a general 
machine shop business; the Hawkeye Pearl Button Company, which 
employs about two hundred people during the busy seasons in the 
manufacture of button blanks; the Keokuk Canning Company occu- 
pies a large plant on Johnson Street and employs quite a number of 
people in the production of pickles and canned goods; the Ayer Man- 
ufacturing Company, which makes certain classes of agricultural 
implements; August C. Wustrow's wagon shops; and the Keokuk 
Brick & Tile Company, which turns out large quantities of the 
finest building brick and thousands of feet of tiling every year. 

Keokuk also manufactures kitchen cabinets, cream separators, 
brooms, proprietary medicines, paper boxes and mailing tubes, 
cigars, cooperage and numerous other articles. Many of these prod- 


ucts are shipped to other states, while a few are made only in small 
quantities for local consumption. 

Keokuk and Fort Madison are the manufacturing centers of the 
county. The Keokuk Industrial Association and the Fort Madison 
First Association, are composed of active, energetic citizens, who are 
always on the alert for an opportunity to secure the location of a new 
factory. Their labors have already begun to bear fruit and the 
probabilities are that the next decade will see the manufacturing 
interests of both cities make substantial gains. 



The young people who enjoy the excellent opportunities offered 
by the public schools of Lee County in the year 1914 can hardly re- 
alize the difficulties that attended the acquisition of an education dur- 
ing the territorial era and the early days of statehood. There were 
then no public funds with which to build schoolhouses and pay teach- 
ers. When a sufficient number of settlers had located in a neighbor- 
hood they would cooperate in the erection of a schoolhouse at some 
central point, where it would be most convenient for the children. 
These early schoolhouses were invariably of logs, with clapboard roof 
and puncheon floor (sometimes they had no floor except "mother 
earth") and a huge fireplace at one end. If money enough could be 
raised in the settlement to purchase sash and glass, a real window 
would be placed in each side of the building. If not, a section of one 
of the logs would be left out and the aperture covered with oiled 
paper, mounted on a framework of slender strips of wood, to admit 
the light. 

The furniture was of the most primitive character. Seats were 
made by splitting a tree of some eight or ten inches in diameter in 
halves, smoothing the split sides with a draw-knife, and driving pins 
into holes bored in the half-round sides for legs. These pins stood at 
an angle that would insure stability to the "bench." Under the win- 
dow was the writing desk, which was made by boring holes in the logs 
of the wall at a slight angle and into these holes were driven stout 
pins to support a wide board, the top of which would be dressed 
smooth to serve as a table where the pupils could take their turns at 



The text books were usually Webster's spelling book, the English 
or McGuffey's readers, Pike's, Daboll's, Talbott's or Ray's arithme- 
tics, and in some instances Olney's geography and Kirkham's or But- 
ler's grammar. The teacher of that day was rarely a graduate of a 
higher institution of learning and knew nothing of normal school 
training. If he could spell and read well, write well enough to "set 
copies" for the children to follow, and "do all the sums" in the arith- 
metic, up to and including the "Rule of Three," he was qualified to 
teach. There was, however, one other qualification that could not be 
overlooked. The teacher must be a man of sufficient physical strength 
to hold the unruly and boisterous boys in subjection and preserve 
order. At the opening of the term he generally brought into the 
schoolroom a supply of tough switches, which were displayed to the 
best advantage as a sort of prophylactic, and the pioneer pedagogue 
then proceeded on the theory that "to spare the rod was to spoil the 
child." Not many children were spoiled. 

On the theory that no one could become a good reader without 
being a good speller, more attention was given to orthography during 
the child's early school years than to any other subject. Spelling 
schools of evenings were of frequent occurrence, and in these matches 
the parents always took part. Two "captains" would be selected to 
"choose up," and one that won the first choice would choose the one 
he regarded as the best speller present, and so on until the audience 
was divided into two equal sides. Then the teacher "gave out" the 
words alternately from side to side. When one "missed" a word he 
took his seat. The one who stood longest won the victory, and to 
"spell down" a whole school district was considered quite an achieve- 

After the child could spell fairly well he was given the reader. 
Then came the writing exercises. The copy-books of that period 
were of the "home-made" variety, consisting of a few sheets of fools- 
cap paper covered with a sheet of heavy wrapping paper. At the top 
of the page the teacher would write the '"copy," which was usually 
a motto or proverb intended to convey a moral lesson as well as to 
afford an example of penmanship; such as "Time and tide wait for 
no man," "Learn to unlearn that which you have learned amiss," etc. 
As the term of school was rarely over three months, and the same 
teacher hardly ever taught two terms in the same place, the style of 
penmanship would change with every change of teachers, and it is a 
wonder that the young people of that day learned to write as well as 
many of them did. 


Next came the arithmetic. In the pronunciation of this word the 
sound of the first letter was frequently dropped, and the fact that 
Readin', 'Ritin' and 'Rithmetic were considered the essentials of a 
practical education gave rise to the expression "the three R's." If one 
understood "the three R's" he was equipped for the great battle of life, 
so far as ordinary business transactions were concerned. 

But conditions in educational matters have kept pace with the civic 
and industrial progress of the county. The old log schoolhouse has 
passed away and in its place has come the commodious structure of 
brick or stone. No longer do the pupils have to be subjected to the 
"one-sided" heat of the old fireplace, where some of them would 
almost roast while others froze. The bundle of "gads" is no longer 
displayed as a terror to evil-doers and corporal punishment is no 
longer considered a necessary part of the course of study. Yet, under 
the old system, chief justices, United States senators, professional men 
who afterward achieved world-wide reputations, and even presidents 
of the United States acquired their rudimentary education in the old 
log schoolhouse. 

The first school in Lee County, which was also the first in the pres- 
ent State of Iowa, was taught by Berryman Jennings at Nashville in 
1830. Concerning this school, Capt. James W. Campbell, who was 
one of Mr. Jennings' pupils, said in an address before the Old Settlers' 
Association in 1875: "There was a small log house, 10 by 12 feet 
in size, used for a schoolroom. I remember well some of my school- 
mates here, whose names are Tolliver Dedman, James Dedman, 
Thomas Brierly and Washington Galland. Over this literary insti- 
tution, which I suppose was the first school taught in Iowa, Berryman 
Jennings presided as teacher. I remember him well, for when kind 
and oft-repeated words failed to impress upon the memory of Wash- 
ington Galland and myself the difference between A and B, he had 
neither delicacy nor hesitancy about applying the rod, which usually 
brightened our intellects." 

In the same address, Captain Campbell referred to the second 
teacher to whom he went to school, and who probably taught the sec- 
ond school in the county, which was at Keokuk. Says he: "Farther 
back on the side of the hill, stood John Forsyth's little log cabin, 
which was occupied in 1833 by a venerable gentleman of the name 
of Jesse Creighton, a shoemaker. Finding it rather difficult to sup- 
port himself at his trade, owing to our custom of going barefooted 
in summer and wearing moccasins in the winter, he was induced to 
open a private school, and his pupils were Valencourt Van Ausdal, 
Forsyth Morgan, Henry D. and Mary Bartlett, John Riggs, George 


Crawford, Eliza Anderson and myself. The attendance was small, 
but our number embraced about all the little folks in Keokuk at that 
time. But few as we were in numbers, we convinced Uncle Jesse 
that we were legions at recess, for we frequently upset his shoe-bench 
and shoe-tub, which caused the old gentleman to reach for us with 
his crooked cane. 

"At this first school taught in Keokuk, I made rapid progress, 
for I learned to read Chieftain, Warrior, Winnebago, Enterprise, 
William Wallace and Ouisconsin, the names of the steamboats that 
landed immediately in front of our schoolhouse. My rapid progress 
was owing to the privilege of looking out of the window at these 
boats and drawing their pictures upon a slate." 

Such is the testimony of one who attended the earliest schools 
in Lee County. Captain Campbell has been quoted at length, that 
the readers of the younger generation may learn what kind of educa- 
tional facilties were provided for the children of four score years 


On January 23, 1839, the governor of Iowa approved an act of 
the General Assembly incorporating the West Point Academy. The 
incorporators named in the act were: John Box, William Patterson, 
A. H. Walker, Cyrus Poage, Joseph Howard, J. Price, Isaac Beeler, 
Abraham Hunsicker, A. Ewing, Hawkins Taylor, Campbell Gilmer, 
David Walker, William Steele and Solomon Jackson. A building 
was erected, but the school was not opened until the first Monday in 
June, 1842, with Rev. John M. Fulton, a Presbyterian minister, as 

The Presbyterian Church continued in control of the school, 
which was conducted as an academy until June 12, 1847, when 
Abraham and Mary Hunsicker executed a quit-claim deed to the 
Des Moines College, the consideration being $1. On July 26, 
1864, Solomon Cowles, president, and B. F. Woodman, secretary, 
and the trustees of the college executed a warranty deed to the 
West Point corporation school district for a consideration of $400 
and the old academy became a part of the public school system of 
Lee County. 


When Timothy Fox, Curtis Shedd and Lewis Epps laid off the 
Town of Denmark they agreed to donate one-half the proceeds aris- 


ing from the sale of lots to the support of a school which would 
afford the children of the community better advantages than were 
supplied by the common schools of that early period. By a special 
act of the Iowa Legislature, approved on February 3, 1843, the Den- 
mark Academy was incorporated, with Isaac Field, Oliver Brooks, 
Hartwell J. Taylor, Asa Turner, Jr., and Reuben Brackett as the 
first board of trustees. They continued in office for a number of 
years, being reelected at each annual meeting. 

The fund arising from the sale of lots was designated as a part 
of the capital stock and was to constitute a permanent fund, only the 
interest to be used. Other stock was issued in shares of $25 each, 
and the annual income of the institution was limited to $3,000. The 
first term of the academy was opened in September, 1845, in the 
Congregational Church at Denmark, with Albert A. Sturgis, of 
Washington, Iowa, as principal. He continued at the head of the 
school until 1848, when he went East to study for the ministry. 

In that year a building was erected especially for the use of 
school, at a cost of $2,500, and George W. Drake was placed in 
charge of the academy. Mr. Drake was succeeded by H. K. Edson 
in 1852. Shortly after the close of the Civil war, the school grew 
to such proportions that the new building was erected, the old one 
forming an addition. The cost of the new structure was about seven- 
teen thousand dollars. After its completion the old charter and stock 
were placed in the hands of a board of fourteen trustees, under the 
provisions of new articles of incorporation as provided for by the 
general laws of Iowa. Under the new articles, the board of trustees 
assumed the sole management of the school, with power to fill 
vacancies, thus making the board a self-perpetuating body. The 
school is still in existence and a library is maintained in connection 
with the academy. 


Article IX of the constitution of the State of Iowa is devoted to 
the subject of education and school lands. Section 1 provides that 
"The educational interest of the state, including common schools and 
other educational institutions, shall be under the management of a 
board of education, which shall consist of the lieutenant-governor, 
who shall be the presiding officer of the board, and have the cast- 
ing vote in case of a tie, and one member to be selected from each 
judicial district in the state." 

Section 12 of the same article sets forth that "The board of edu- 
cation shall provide for the education of all the youths of the state, 


through a system of common schools, and such schools shall be organ- 
ized and kept in each school district at least three months in each 
year. Any district failing, for two consecutive years, to organize and 
keep up a school, as aforesaid, may be deprived of their portion of 
the school fund." 

In that part of the constitution relating to the school lands, it is 
provided that "The proceeds of all lands that have been, or hereafter 
may be, granted by the United States to this state, for the support of 
schools, which may have been or shall hereafter be sold, or disposed 
of, and the 500,000 acres of land granted to the new states under an 
act of Congress, distributing the proceeds of the public lands among 
the several states of the Union, approved in the year of our Lord, 
1841, and all estates of deceased persons who may have died without 
leaving a will or heir, and also such per cent as has been or may 
hereafter be granted by Congress, on the sale of lands in this state, 
shall be, and remain a perpetual fund, the interest of which, together 
with all rents of the unsold lands, and such other means as the Gen- 
eral Assembly may provide, shall be inviolably appropriated to the 
support of the common schools throughout the state." 

These and other wise provisions laid down by the founders of the 
state government, supplemented by laws passed by the General As- 
sembly, have given to the state a common school system equal to that 
of any other state in the American Union. Pursuant to the laws, the 
income from the perpetual fund, money received from fines, and "all 
other moneys subject to the support and maintenance of common 
schools," are distributed to the school districts of the state in pro- 
portion to the number of persons between the ages of five and twenty- 
one years. 

According to the county superintendent's report for the year 
1 9 1 3, the amount of the state apportionment to Lee County was $3,- 
062.02. In addition to this the county received for school purposes 
$239.60 from school fund interest, $828.15 from fines, and $9,318.03 
from the one-mill school tax levied by the county authorities, making 
a total of $13,447.80 available for educational purposes during the 
year. The total number of children enumerated was 10,258. 

In the chapters on Township History will be found some account 
of the early schools, as far as reliable information concerning them 
could be obtained, as well as statistics showing the condition of the 
public schools in each township. From the report of the county 
superintendent of schools for the year ending on June 30, 1914, it is 
learned that the number of teachers employed in the public schools of 
the county during the preceding school year was 249 ; that the number 


of pupils enrolled was 6,196; that the average length of term in the 
townships, towns and cities was 8 l / 2 months, and that the value of 
school buildings was $445,350. This estimate of value does not in- 
clude the grounds upon which the schoolhouses are situated nor the 
cost of the apparatus purchased with public funds for use in the 
schoolrooms. Including the value of grounds and apparatus shows 
that in 1914 Lee County had approximately half a million dollars 
permanently invested in her educational institutions. 


The first school in Keokuk, taught by Jesse Creighton, has already 
been described. John McKean, another early teacher, taught in a 
round log schoolhouse, 16 by r8 feet, which stood near the corner of 
Third and Johnson streets. Prior to 1853 none of the schoolhouses 
was more than one story high, and none had more than one room, 
which was just large enough to accommodate the teacher and prob- 
ably twenty-five scholars. In 1853 the Central school building was 
erected. It took its name from the location, which was supposed to 
be the most convenient for the school children of the city, and was 
afterward taken for a high school building. 

In 1865 the Wells school building was erected at a cost of about 
eighteen thousand dollars. It was really the first modern school 
building in the Gate City. Between that time and 1875 the Carey 
and Torrence school buildings were erected, and they have been fol- 
lowed by the Garfield, Lincoln, George Washington, McKinley, Hil- 
ton and Price Creek schools. The last named two are small schools, 
employing but one teacher each. In 1914 an addition was made to the 
Lincoln school building and the two new houses, known as the Jeffer- 
son and Garfield schools, were erected at a cost of over eighty thou- 
sand dollars. The new Garfield building is to replace the old school 
of that name, but the Jefferson school, located at the junction of 
Twenty-second and Bank streets, is a new structure. The new build- 
ings contain all modern conveniences in the way of cloakrooms, toi- 
lets, sanitary drinking fountains, etc., and are second to none in the 
State of Iowa. 

According to the county superintendent's report for the year end- 
ing on June 30, 1914, the number of teachers employed in the Keokuk 
schools during the preceding school term was seventy-three. The 
number of pupils enrolled was 2,501 and the value of school build- 
ings was estimated at $285,000, but those figures do not include the 

Vol. 1—18 


two new buildings above mentioned. The superintendent of the city 
schools at that time was William Aid rich. 


A Miss Jannings taught the first school in the Town of Fort Mad- 
ison, but the exact date when she taught is somewhat uncertain. She 
soon afterward went with her parents to Salem, Henry County. The 
second school was taught by a man named Rathburn, said to have 
been "half white, quarter Indian and quarter negro." Alfred Rich, 
of whom further mention is made in the chapter on the Bench and 
Bar, opened a school in 1837. All these early schools were of the 
subscription type, where the teacher charged so much for each pupil 
and took his pay in whatever commodity he could get, owing to the 
scarcity of actual money during the early days. 

As late as 1886 Fort Madison had but one four- room school- 
house, which was located at the corner of Fifth and Pine streets. 
The high school was taught in the basement of the Baptist Church 
and several rooms were rented, wherever they could be obtained, 
for the accommodation of other grades. In the spring of 1886 the 
people, by popular vote, authorized the issue of bonds to the amount 
of $15,000 for the erection of a modern school building on Fifth 
Street near Market. The same year the board of education bought 
the Atlee building in the Fourth Ward for $2,500. 

Then came the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, and with 
the completion of the shops there was a demand for school accommo- 
dations in the west end. To meet this demand, the Richardson 
school building, at the corner of Santa Fe and Vermont avenues, 
and the Jefferson school, at the corner of Second Street and Union 
Avenue, were erected in 1889. 

The building erected in 1886 was used as a high school until 
189c;, when the people again authorized a bond issue, this time for 
$35,000, for a modern high school structure, to be located on Third 
Street, just east of Maple. Since then the old high school building 
has been known as the Lincoln school, and in the eastern part of the 
city is the Jackson school, located at the corner of Third and Oak 

In these five buildings forty-one teachers were employed during 
the school year of 1914, under the superintendency of F. A. Welch. 
The number of pupils enrolled in all departments was 1,198, and 
the value of school buildings was estimated by the county superin- 
tendent in his report as sixty-five thousand dollars. In 1914 the Jef- 

Erected in early '50s. 


ferson school building was condemned and a new one was erected 
at a cost of about twenty-two thousand dollars. Manual training 
and domestic science are taught in both the Keokuk and Fort Mad- 
ison schools. 


In Lee County there are a number of schools maintained by the 
Catholic Church. The school in St. Joseph's parish, at Fort Mad- 
ison, was established in 1840, Father Alleman, the pastor, being the 
first teacher. The school in 1914 occupied two buildings — the old 
church building remodeled and one across the street for primary 
pupils — and was under the charge of the Sisters of Humility. St. 
Mary's school, at the corner of Fourth and Vine streets, was estab- 
lished in 1865. The present building, erected in 1895, is provided 
with a lecture room, with stage, etc. In 1893 the Sacred Heart 
school was opened in the west end, in connection with the parish 
of that name. 

Keokuk has two parish schools — St. Peter's and St. Mary's. Both 
are housed in substantial brick structures and are in a prosperous 
condition. Graduates from the former school are privileged to 
enter the State University without further examination. As early 
as 1853 the Convent of the Visitation of St. Mary was founded in 
Keokuk by Sisters of the Visitation. It was located on the heights 
overlooking the Mississippi River and soon became a female school 
of high order. Before the public school system of the city attained 
to its present efficiency, many Keokuk girls attended this institution. 

Parochial schools are also maintained in connection with the 
Catholic churches at West Point, St. Paul and Houghton. 


Through the dissemination of general news and information, or 
the publication of special articles on scientific, economic or industrial 
subjects, the newspaper is an important factor in the intellectual and 
educational development of the nation. It is therefore considered 
proper to include in this chapter some account of the Lee County 
newspapers — past and present. 

In 1834 the first printing press was brought to Iowa by John 
King, who came from Ohio in that year and settled in Dubuque. 
On May 11, 1836, the Dubuque Visitor, the first newspaper ever 
printed in Iowa, was printed on this press and bore the name of 


William C. Jones as editor. Not long after that Dr. Isaac Galland 
commenced the publication of a paper called the Western Adven- 
turer, the publication office being located at Montrose. This was 
the first newspaper of Lee County. Its publication was suspended 
in less than two years. 

James G. Edwards then purchased the outfit from Doctor Gal- 
land, removed it to Fort Madison, and on March 24, 1838, issued 
the first number of the Fort Madison Patriot, which has been 
described as "a strong partisan sheet and the first whig paper in 
Iowa." This paper has been credited with having first proposed 
the name of "Hawkeye State" for Iowa. After the Territory of 
Iowa was established and the seat of government was located at 
Burlington, Mr. Edwards removed the publication office of the 
Patroit to that city. 

Fort Madison was then without a newspaper until July 24, 1841, 
when R. W. Albright issued the first number of the Fort Madison 
Courier. The population of the town was at that time estimated at 
seven hundred. One of the articles in this first number of the Courier 
was Philip Viele's address of welcome to Governor Chambers on the 
occasion of his visit to Fort Madison four days before the paper was 
issued. In December, 1841, William E. Mason purchased an inter- 
est in the paper and the name was changed to the Lee County Demo- 
crat. Others connected with the publication of this paper during 
the next five years were O. S. X. Peck, W. C. Stripe and T. S. Espy. 
In 1847 the office was sold to George H. Williams, who changed 
the name to the Iowa Statesman. After a few months Williams sold 
out to J. D. Spaulding. In February, 1852, Lewis V. Taft and others 
bought the paper and changed the name to the Plain Dealer. On 
July 1, 1851, the paper was purchased by W. P. Staub, who employed 
as editors during the next ten years James D. Eads, Dr. A. C. Roberts 
and J. M. Casey. 

On May 2, 1861, Mr. Staub began the publication of a daily called 
the Gem City Telegraph, but after running it for about three months 
at a loss it was discontinued. In July, 1863, Staub sold the Plain 
Dealer to William CarTrey, who changed the paper to a republican 
organ, greatly to the disgust of the former owner, who induced 
Hussey & Hickman, then pubishing the Montrose Banner, to remove 
to Fort Madison and issue a democratic paper. The Banner did not 
live long, however, after the removal. 

Following Mr. CarTrey, the Plain Dealer was successively pub- 
lished by Col. J. G. Willson, H. W. Dodd and Dawley & Tremaine, 
which brings the history of the paper down to the year 1878. Among 


the many who were interested in the paper after that date was George 
Fitch, who has since made a wide reputation with his Vest Pocket 
Essays and Homeburg Stories. Toward the latter part of its career 
the name of the paper was changed to the Republican. 

The Fort Madison Democrat was established in 1869 by Charles 
L. Morehouse, who had the financial support of Dr. A. C. Roberts, 
the first issue coming from the press on the 4th of July. About a 
year later Morehouse was succeeded by W. P. Staub, the former 
owner of the Plain Dealer. In January, 1874, the ownership of the 
Democrat passed to Doctor Roberts and Henry L. Schroeder, a 
practical printer, and the paper was conducted by the firm of Roberts 
& Schroeder until the latter was succeeded by Nelson C. Roberts, a 
son of the doctor. This association lasted until the business was 
incorporated as the Democrat Publishing Company. Since the year 
1887, the Democrat has been issued as an afternoon daily, except 
Sunday, with a weekly edition issued every Wednesday. 

The Daily Gem City, of Fort Madison, was started in 1887 by 
O. E. Newton. After several changes in ownership the paper passed 
into the hands of Valentine Buechel, ex-state senator, who improved 
its character and gave it a more pronounced political policy, with 
leanings toward the democracy. Subsequently Nauer & Lorshetter 
became the proprietors. Upon the death of Mr. Lorshetter, J. M. 
Nauer continued the publication of the paper until April 24, 191 1, 
when he sold a half interest to Thomas P. Hollowell, who made the 
Gem City a straight out republican paper. In May, 191 1, the Gem 
City Publishing Company was incorporated and the paper is still 
published every afternoon, except Sunday. A weekly edition is 
published every Friday. 

The first newspaper published in the City of Keokuk was the 
Iowa Argus and Lee County Advertiser, which began its career in 
January, 1846, under the editorial guidance of William Pattee, after- 
ward auditor of state. It was democratic in politics, but it lived only 
a few months. A facetious resident of Keokuk said the long name 
was too much of a load to carry, which was the cause of the paper's 

In the spring of 1847 the Keokuk Register was started by J. W. 
and R. B. Ogden, who had come from Springfield, Ohio, the fall 
before. The first number made its appearance on May 26, 1847, 
and the subscription list at that time consisted of three persons — 
L. B. Fleak, Ross B. Hughes and Samuel Van Fossen. J. W. Grimes, 
H. W. Starr and other leaders of the whig party had agreed to guar- 
antee a paid-up subscription of 1,000 and the two young men went 


to work in earnest. When the office was sold to the firm of Howell 
& Cowles, in 1849, there were 1,800 subscribers. 

Howell & Cowles had begun the publication of the Des Moines 
Valley Whig at Keosauqua in July, 1846. When they purchased the 
Keokuk Register of the Ogden Brothers in March, 1849, the two 
offices were consolidated at Keokuk and their paper took the name 
of the Des Moines Valley Whig and Keokuk Register. On March 
3, 1854, they issued the first number of a daily called the Keokuk 
Daily Whig, but the next year the name was changed to the Gate 
City, under which it is still published every afternoon, except Satur- 
day and Sunday, by the Gate City Publishing Company. A Sunday 
morning edition is also published. 

On May 20, 1848, the first number of the Keokuk Dispatch was 
issued by John B. Russell and Reuben L. Doyle. It was a pronounced 
democratic sheet, intended to counteract the influence of the Register. 
In April, 1849, Doyle purchased his partner's interest and became 
sole proprietor. S. W. Halsey purchased an interest in July, 1850, 
but about a year later sold to George Green. Several other changes 
occurred and in October, 1855, the name was changed to the Saturday 
Post. Mark Twain worked as a compositor on this paper before it 
was removed to Doniphan, Kansas, by William Rees & Sons in i860. 

A small sheet called the Nip and Tuck Keokuk Daily made its 
appearance on January 1, 1855, with the name of D. Reddington, a 
former owner of the Dispatch, at the head of the editorial columns. 
In September of the same year Reddington sold out to Walling & 
Hussey, who had commenced the publication of the Daily Evening 
Times the preceding July. They also published a weekly edition 
and when the office was sold to Charles D. Kirk in November, 1857, 
the weekly was continued under the name of The Journal. Kirk sold 
the Daily and Weekly Journal to Newton, Hussey & Gwin and from 
May, 1859, to December, 1861, it was under the management of 
Charles Smith. The paper was then bought at a foreclosure sale 
by Judge Thomas W. Clagett, who changed the name to the Keokuk 
Constitution. Under the management of Judge Clagett the paper 
became one of the most influential democratic papers of Iowa and 
after his death in April, 1876, the Constitution was conducted for 
some time by his daughter, Sue Harry Clagett. It was then sold to 
John Gibbons, Thomas Rees, George Smith and H. W. Clendenin. 
Mr. Gibbons served as editor until the following spring ( 1877) , when 
he was succeeded by Mr. Clendenin and retired from the firm. Some 
years later the paper absorbed the Democrat, which had been started 





a few years before, and is still published as an afternoon daily (Sun- 
days excepted) under the name of the Constitution-Democrat. 

The Keokuk Post, a newspaper printed in the German language, 
was established in 1855 by William Kopp under the name of 
Beobachter des Westens (The Western Observer) . During its career 
the name was changed several times under different owners. 

Other journalistic ventures in Keokuk were the Sunbeam, which 
was established as a temperance paper in January, i860, and con- 
tinued for about two years ; the Daily Evening News, which was pub- 
lished as a Greeley organ for a short time in the campaign of 1872; 
the Sharp Stick, published by T. B. Cumming while proprietor of 
the Dispatch as a humorous paper; The People's Dollar, published 
as an organ of the greenback party by Thornber & Hanson for a 
short time in the latter '70s, and the Central School Journal, devoted 
to educational interests. 

Outside of the cities of Fort Madison and Keokuk, the first paper 
established in the county was the Montrose Banner, which made its 
appearance in the early '6os. It was afterward removed to Fort 
Madison, where it ran for a short time, when it was discontinued. 
The West Point Appeal was started in June, 1878, by Allison Lead- 
ley, but it is no longer in existence. 

The rural papers of the county in 1914 were the Donnellson 
Review, the Montrose Journal and the West Point Bee. The Don- 
nellson Review was started in 1897 as a republican weekly and is 
now published every Thursday by F. C. Tabor. The Montrose 
Journal began its career in 1865, about two years after the Banner 
was removed to Fort Madison. For a time it was suspended, but was 
revived and is now published weekly by George H. Duty and is 
republican in its political views. The West Point Bee, of which 
J. M. Pohlmeyer is editor, is a democratic weekly, published every 
Thursday. It was founded in 1893. 


In Lee County there are two public libraries, located at Keokuk 
and Fort Madison. The Keokuk Library Association was incor- 
porated on December 10, 1863, with A. J. Wilkinson as president; 
George W. McCrary, vice president; George C. Thompson, secre- 
tary, and Howard Tucker, treasurer. The first board of directors 
was composed of A. Hagny, William Fulton, Robert F. Bower, P. 
Gibbons, George Thatcher and J. L. Rice. Life membership in the 


association was fixed at $50; membership shares, $10; annual dues, 
$2, and subscribers, $3. 

The first quarters of the library were over George C. Anderson's 
bank. When J. L. Rice died in 1879 he left $10,000 as the basis of 
a library building fund. The women of Keokuk gave an art loan 
exhibit which netted about one thousand one hundred dollars; a 
large number of shares of stock, giving free use of the library 
for a period of ten years, were sold; H. C. Huiskamp and 
Spencer Grennell gave donations of $500 each; A. L. Con- 
nable gave money and land amounting to $1,000, and there 
were a number of other donations, which brought the fund up to 
about twenty thousand dollars. The lot at the southeast corner of 
Third and Main streets was then selected as a site and a building 
was erected thereon at a cost of $25,000. It was opened to the public 
on February 24, 1883. At that time the association was in debt about 
five thousand dollars, which amount was loaned to the board of direc- 
tors by H. C. Huiskamp for ten years without interest. In May, 
1892, the last payment of this loan was made and the association 
became free from debt. 

The Legislature of 1894 passed an act "to stimulate the estab- 
lishment of new public libraries and to promote the usefulness of 
those in existence." One provision of this act was that in all cities 
and incorporated towns the mayor should appoint a board of library 
trustees of nine members, which board should have authority to 
employ a librarian and assistants and levy a tax of not more than 
one mill on the dollar for the support of the library. 

On April 2, 1894, an election was held in Keokuk, at which the 
people were called upon to vote on the question: "Shall the City 
of Keokuk accept the benefit of the statute for the creation and 
maintenance of a public library?" The proposition was carried and 
the directors of the Library Association then submitted to the city 
council a proposition to lease the library and all its appurtenances 
to the city for a term of eight years from May 1, 1894, provided the 
city would appropriate annually not less than one thousand five hun- 
dred dollars for its support. This proposition was accepted by the 
city authorities and on July 16, 1894, tne institution became the 
Keokuk Public Library. The annual appropriation since that time 
has never been less than two thousand dollars. On January 1, 1914, 
there were 22,500 volumes in the library and the circulation for 
the year 1913 was 80,350 volumes. 

The trustees for the year 1914 were: John E. Craig, Ben B. 
Jewell, Charles J. Smith, W. J. Fulton, W. C. Blood, John I. 


Amiable, William Reimbold, Abraham Hollingsworth and Dr. G. 
Walter Barr. The first three named were president, vice president 
and secretary, respectively, and Miss Nannie P. Fulton was the 

The Fort Madison Public Library had its origin in the organiza- 
tion of a sort of society, volunteers donating books, the greatest single 
donation being that of Daniel F. Miller, who gave several hundred 
volumes, many of which were public documents, such as Congres- 
sional Records, etc. No librarian, with authority to enforce regula- 
tions, was appointed and the duties of that position were sadly neg- 
lected. Finally, the finances of the institution ran low and the library 
was closed, the rent on the room occupied at that time being almost 
one thousand dollars in arrears. Dr. A. C. Roberts, who had always 
taken a keen interest in the success of the library, settled the claims 
and preserved the few books remaining, which were removed to 
other quarters. 

In January, 1878, J. C. Bontecou commenced a series of tem- 
perance meetings in Fort Madison and in a week's time more than 
eight hundred signed the pledge. These persons organized the Red 
Ribbon Reform Club, which rented a building on Front Street r 
between Pine and Cedar, for a hall and reading room. This move- 
ment resulted in what became known as the City Circulating Library. 
It was kept up by a number of women who felt the need of a library, 
most of the money received for its support being raised by giving 
public entertainments. 

Henry and Elizabeth Cattermole, natives of England, were 
among the oldest and most respected citizens of Fort Madison. For 
many years Mr. Cattermole was identified with the pork packing 
business of the city and was one of the founders of the German- 
American Bank. He and his estimable wife realized the need of 
a library for the city in which they had so long dwelt, and when he 
died in 1891 he left instructions to his widow to erect a library build- 
ing to his memory. Mrs. Cattermole carried out her husband's 
instructions, and, with the assistance of the executor of the estate, 
H. D. McConn, erected the Cattermole Memorial Library on Pine 
Street, between Second and Third, on the site occupied for many years 
by the Cattermole homestead. 

The library building is of St. Louis buff brick, with terra cotta 
trimmings and a slate roof. The interior is finished in oak and a 
cozy feature is the brick fireplaces in the various rooms, giving an 
air of cheerfulness. It was dedicated in 1893, a short time after the 
death of Mrs. Cattermole, who did not live to see the completion 


of the generous work of her husband and herself. The cost of the 
building was $25,000. 

The library was made the Fort Madison Public Library in much 
the same manner as the one at Keokuk, though it still bears the name 
of the Cattermole Memorial Library, in honor of the donors. At 
the beginning of the year 19 14 there were approximately ten thou- 
sand volumes in the library and the circulation has increased every 
year since its establishment. The trustees for 19 14 were: Dr. J. M. 
Casey, president; J. P. Cruikshank, vice president; Miss Rebecca 
Hesser, secretary and librarian, and Mrs. G. B. Stewart, Mrs. J. B. 
Watkins, Mrs. C. F. Wahrer, Mrs. Ella Crouse, W. A. Scherfe, 
N. C. Roberts and A. L. Gates. 



The first work of the people of Iowa was to establish homes. 
Little thought was given to culture or refinement during the early 
years of the state's history, but it was not long until a desire for bet- 
ter things developed and literature became a subject of interest. 
Quite a number of Iowa authors, either native or adopted sons, have 
made their mark in the literary circles of the nation. Doubtless the 
best known of these men is Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better 
known as 


Mr. Clemens was born in Florida, Missouri, November 30, 1835. 
He was educated in the Hannibal public schools and began learning 
the printer's trade when twelve years old. Later he became a Mis- 
sissippi River pilot. While working at the printer's trade he set type 
on the first Keokuk city directory, published in 1856, in which he 
gave his occupation as antiquarian. This directory was published 
by his brother, Orion Clemens, and a copy of it is now in the Keo- 
kuk Public Library. He also worked awhile on the Keokuk Satur- 
day Post, which paper employed him to write some articles upon 
his travels after leaving Keokuk. The first of these articles was 
published on December 6, 1856, signed "Snodgrass," and is said to 
be the first article ever published by the man who afterward became 
so celebrated a humorist. In 1862 Mr. Clemens became the city 
editor of the Virginia City (Nevada) Enterprise. Here he made 
quite a reputation as a humorist and his writings became known all 



over the country. A few years later he went upon the excursion to 
Europe and the Holy Land, an account of which was published in 
his "Innocents Abroad," his first pretentious work. Between that 
time and his death he published more than a score of volumes, but 
it was in Lee County that he made his humble start. 


Mrs. Ivins was a niece of Dr. Isaac Galland, one of the pioneers 
of Lee County, and came with her uncle to Keokuk in the latter 
'30s. In 1840 she went with Doctor Galland and his wife to Ohio and 
spent the winter in school at Akron. In the fall of 1842 she came 
back to Keokuk on a canal boat, which was towed down from 
Akron to the Ohio River, drifted down that stream to the Mississippi, 
and was then towed up by a steamboat to Keokuk — a trip of 1,450 
miles. In her "Pen Pictures of Early Western Days" she says in the 
preface: "In presenting these pen pictures no literary merit is 
claimed, but that it is an authentic account of scenes and occurrences 
in most of which the author took part, or to which she was an eye 

In this work she gives accounts of a number of interesting inci- 
dents, one of which is the story of "Nigger John," who bought his 
freedom and saved $600 to buy his wife. About that time there 
was an organization known as the "Vigilants" that charged John 
with being a thief. His trunk was searched, the $600 found, and he 
was ordered to leave town. He refused to go, and one evening when 
Doctor Galland walked to the levee he discovered Doctor Hogan 
horsewhipping the negro. Doctor Galland made a speech and Mrs. 
Ivins says: "He talked long and earnestly to the men, telling them 
what a bad reputation Keokuk was gaining abroad from such out- 
rages, and appealing to them to redeem themselves and help build 
up a town in which it would be a pleasure and a pride to live. He 
closed his speech by saying: 'If there is to be a constant fight I 
propose to take a hand in it.' " This ended the outrages of the 
"Vigilants" and had a good effect upon the Town of Keokuk. 

In 1849 Miss Wilcox became the wife of William S. Ivins and 
about four years later went overland to California. She returned 
to Keokuk in 1856 and in the latter years of her life resided on 
North Second Street, where she wrote the book above mentioned. 


Mr. Smith came to Keokuk in 1847 as a CIV1 ^ engineer in the 
employ of the Keokuk & Des Moines Valley Railroad. He became 


permanently identified with municipal and county affairs, served 
as a member of the Keokuk City council, and as deputy sheriff and 
deputy treasurer of Lee County. Mr. Smith became an author under 
rather unfortunate circumstances. He was convicted for embezzle- 
ment in the county treasurer's office and sentenced to the peniten- 
tiary. His experiences as an inmate of that institution led to his 
writing a book upon prison conditions that has been widely read and 
is regarded as an authority upon the subject. 


Colonel Reid was a son of Hugh T. Reid, who was one of the 
leading Lee County attorneys in his day and won distinction as a 
soldier in the Civil war. J. Monroe Reid studied law and for many 
years had an office at 24 North Fifth Street, Keokuk. In 1877 he 
wrote his "Sketches and Anecdotes of Old Settlers, Newcomers, the 
Mormon Bandits and the Danite Band.' 1 Among the old settlers 
mentioned in his work were Dr. Samuel Muir, Capt. J. B. Browne, 
C. F. Davis, Isaac R. Campbell, Chief Keokuk, Edwin Guthrie and 
George C. Anderson, Keokuk's first banker. 

Colonel Reid's literary style is probably more forcible than ele- 
gant, but in his book are preserved many incidents connected with 
the early life of Lee County. He came to Keokuk from Indiana, 
enlisted as a private in Company A, Second Iowa Infantry, and four 
years later was mustered out as captain and brevet lieutenant- 
colonel of the Fifteenth Iowa Infantry. 


Miss Clagett was a native of the State of Maryland. In 1854, 
with her father, Thomas W. Clagett, who afterwards served as judge 
of the District Court, she came to Keokuk. She attended the private 
school of Rev. Charles Williams, was a writer on the old Keokuk 
Constitution, while her father was the owner of that paper, and her 
most pretentious work, a novel entitled "Her Lovers," was written 
while living at 223 Morgan Street, Keokuk. In 1879 she went to 
Louisville, Kentucky, where the next year she was married to S. B. 
Pettingill, and later removed to Tacoma, Washington. She died 
there in 1890. 


This author was born in Van Buren County, Iowa, September 
29, 1850, a daughter of David and Lydia A. (Lindsey) Collier. She 


was educated in the Keokuk public schools and the college at Mon- 
mouth, Illinois, where she was graduated in 1869. On October 21, 
1873, she became the wife of Donald M. Graham and some years later 
removed to Pasadena, California, where she passed the remainder 
of her life. Mrs. Graham wrote "Stories of the Foot-Hills, 1, a num- 
ber of character sketches of western people; "The Wizard's Daugh- 
ter and Other Stories, 1 ' a work of similar character; and a book of 
essays which takes its title from the first essay, "Do They Really 
Respect Us?" Most of these essays deal with woman's rights and 
the higher education of women. In the one entitled "What Is An 
Immoral Novel?" she sets forth this bit of philosophy: 

"I am aware that women are hard towards certain forms of evil 
among women, and I am rather glad that this is so. It is no doubt 
what has made us so very, very good. If we are to believe men, who 
are constantly telling us how virtuously superior we are to them, our 
plan with women has certainly worked better than theirs with men. 
Possibly the sauce that has made of women such a highly moral 
and delicious goose might make of man an equally moral and 
delectable gander. The experiment is certainly worth trying." 


From 1863 to 1897 Rev. John Burgess resided in Keokuk, with 
the exception of four years, from 1865 to 1869. He served as chap- 
lain of the Thirtieth Iowa Infantry in the Civil war until ill health 
compelled his discharge from service. For some time he was pas- 
tor of the Exchange Street Methodist Episcopal Church and later 
was in charge of the Free-for-all Church at Keokuk. He also 
studied medicine in the old College of Physicians and Surgeons, 
where he received the degree of M. D. in 1865. His best known 
works are "Pleasant Recollections of the Character and Works of 
Notable Men," which deals largely with his work in the ministry, 
containing many reminiscences of persons met in different states. 
Some of these stories are pathetic, some amusing, but all are well 
told. His "Sermons on Practical Duties" contain many moral pre- 
cepts and much wholesome advice that can be applied to the ordi- 
nary daily walks of life. 


Mrs. Bartlett's maiden name was Miss May McCune. Her 
father, John McCune, was a contractor in Mississippi River work 


under General Curtis, and she came with him to Keokuk in her 
early childhood. She was educated in St. Vincent's Academy and 
continued to live in Keokuk until her marriage to Mr. Bartlett in 
1870, after which she resided in Chicago. 


Probably no Lee County author is more widely known than Mrs. 
Pollard. She was born in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, a daugh- 
ter of Nathaniel Ruggles Smith, a prominent educator, and came 
to Fort Madison at a comparatively early date. Under the pseu- 
donym of Kate Harrington she wrote a number of poems. The 
following extract is taken from her poem entitled Maymie: 

"O! be ye guarded what ye do or say 
Before a mother when her child is dead; 
Move with hushed tread beside the pulseless clay, 
And in low whispers let your words be said. 
Remember of her life it was a part; 
Remember it was nourished at her breast; 
That she would guard it still from sudden start, 
The ringing footfall, or untimely jest." 

The Iowa Centennial poem, read at Philadelphia in 1876, was 
written by Mrs. Pollard and attracted favorable comment from the 
press of the country. In this poem she says of Iowa: 

"The mansions on our prairies wide, 

Oft with a rude cot by their side, 

Show how, by years of patient toil, 

The lordly tillers of our soil 

Have reared such houses as freemen may 

With all their shackles torn away. 

On history's page will shine most bright 

Such names as Belknap, Kirkwood, Wright, 

Howell, McCrary, Mason, Hall, 

Dodge, faithful to his country's call. 

Warriors who, through war's wild shock, 

Anchored our ship on Union rock. 


"Ask ye if Woman shrinking stood, 
When rang War's cry o'er field and flood? 
Did mothers, racked by dire alarms, 
Prison their sons with clinging arms? 
No! worthy of the patriot sires 
That lit the Revolution fires, 
They forced the tears — that needs must start- 
Backward, to trickle through the heart, 
And said in accents firm and low, 
'Our prayers will follow — go, boys, go!' 

17 5? 

Mrs. Pollard is the author of a series of phonetic readers used 
in many of the schools of the country. From 1875 to 1877 she con- 
ducted a private school in Keokuk, and while residing there her Cen- 
tennial poem and "Maymie" were printed at the office of the Gate 
City. She is also the author of a novel, "Emma Bartlett," an inci- 
dent of the Civil war. She is now ( 19 1 4) aged eighty-three years, 
living with her son, J. A. S. Pollard, cashier of the Fort Madison 
Savings Bank, at Fort Madison. At the age of eighty-one she wrote 
a missionary poem entitled Althea, which is her last literary work. 


One of the best known of the Lee County authors is Rupert 
Hughes, who now lives in New York City. He was born at Lan- 
caster, Missouri, January 31, 1872; came to Keokuk when about 
seven years of age; received his elementary education in the Keokuk 
public schools; then attended different colleges, and in 1892 received 
the A. M. degree from Yale University. That year marked the close 
of his residence in Keokuk. In 1901 he began editorial work, and 
from 1902 to 1905 was connected with the Encyclopedia Brittanica 
Company. He is the author of a number of stories and the scene of 
the "Lakerim Cruise" is laid in Keokuk. It was published in 1898. 
He has also written some poetry and several plays. 


George P. Wilkinson is a native of Keokuk, where he was born 
in i860, a son of A. J. and Martha Willia Wilkinson. After attend- 
ing the Keokuk public schools he attended college, studied medicine, 
and became professor of diseases of the eye and ear in the College of 
Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, which chair he held from 1884 


to 1886. Many of his writings are devoted to subjects connected 
with the medical profession. During his later life he lived in Omaha, 


In 1885 Frank Graham Moorhead, then nine years of age, came 
with his parents, Dr. Samuel W. and Melissa M. (Graham) Moor- 
head, to Keokuk. While living with his parents there, at 1228 High 
Street, he attended the public schools, and it was in Keokuk that he 
wrote his "Unknown Facts about Well Known People," which was 
published in 1895, when he was barely twenty years of age. This 
work is a compilation of short biographical sketches of prominent 
people — chiefly literary characters — and many of the sketches con- 
tain information about the subject not found elsewhere, thus justify- 
ing the title of his book. There are also sketches of a number of 
people in Mr. Moorhead's work that are not found in any of the 
standard biographical dictionaries. In 1898 he became managing 
editor of the Keokuk Daily Press and later went to Des Moines, 
where he was employed on various papers for some time. Still later 
he was Sunday editor of the Spokane Spokesman-Review. He is 
now connected with the Pierce publications at Des Moines and is 
one of the best known magazine writers in the West. 


Mr. Barr is a native of the Buckeye State, having been born in 
Clark County, Ohio, October 25, i860. He attended Asbury (now 
DePauw) University at Greencastle, Indiana, from 1877 to 1880, 
and in 1884 graduated at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia. 
While attending college in Indiana he began newspaper work. In 
1898 he came to Keokuk as professor of materia medica in the Col- 
lege of Physicians and Surgeons and has since been a resident of that 
city. He is the author of several works and monographs on medical 
subjects. Of his miscellaneous works, the best known are the "Ver- 
dict in the Rutherford Case," "The Woman Who Hesitated," "In 
the Last Ditch," "Victory of the Valiant," and his political novel, 
"Shacklett, or the Evolution of a Statesman." The Heights in this 
novel is Cedarcroft, the Nagel home at Warsaw, Illinois. Doctor 
Barr is now in charge of the publicity department of the Mississippi 
River Power Company. 

Vol. T— 19 



At the beginning of the Civil war Mrs. Annie Wittenmyer began 
as a nurse in the Keokuk hospitals, after which she went to the front 
as a field nurse with the army of General Grant. After the war she 
wrote "Under the Guns, a Woman's Reminiscences of the Civil War." 
The book contains a number of interesting incidents and the intro- 
duction was written by Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant. Mrs. Wittenmyer is 
also the author of "Woman's Work for Jesus," "A Jeweled Minis- 
try," "The Women of the Reformation," etc. 

James H. Anderson, for many years a resident of Keokuk, who 
wrote "Riddles of Prehistoric Times," published in 191 1, says in 
his preface: "For forty years the author had been a plodding law- 
yer, but, having become incapacitated by an apoplectic fit, he, pon- 
dering on the riddle of existence, compiled this book, which is but 
a resume of facts gleaned while he was seeking to know whence 
came the world and its people." The book contains much evidence 
of research into ancient ethnology, etc., is well written, and will 
well repay the reader for the time spent in its perusal. 

One of the most interesting works by a Lee County author is the 
"Notes of a Trip Around the World," by Charles Parsons, who was 
one of the early bankers of Keokuk. An interesting feature of this 
work is the illustrations made from original photographs taken in 
Japan, India, Egypt, Spain and other countries, and the story is told 
in a highly entertaining way. 

Blanche Sellers Ortman was born in Keokuk, a daughter of 
Morris and Rose (McCune) Sellers. She was educated in the 
Sacred Heart convent at Chicago, and soon after completing her 
education became the wife of Rudolph Ortman of that city. Her 
principal works are "Bar-Gee," the story of a horse, and "The Old 
House, and Other Stories." There is a pathos in her story of the 
Old House which makes the reader think of his childhood home, 
if he ever had one. 

Among the more substantial publications written or compiled by 
Lee County authors is George W. McCrary's "American Law of 
Elections." As its name indicates, it is devoted to certain legal 
phases of American elections and is not well calculated for "sum- 
mer reading." It was written before the Australian ballot system 
was introduced into so many of the states of the Union, but contains 
much that is still good authority. The book is dedicated to Hon. 
Samuel F. Miller, a Lee County lawyer, who became chief justice 
of the United States Supreme Court. 


There have been a few other sons and daughters of Lee County 
who have made their mark in the literary world, but the above are 
the ones best known. The works of these writers show that Iowa 
has kept pace with the literary progress of the nation, and that Lee 
County is by no means the most insignificant part of the Hawkeye 



Much of the history of every civilized country or community 
centers about its laws and the manner in which they are enforced. 
"To establish justice" was written into the Federal Constitution by 
the founders of the American Republic as one of the primary and 
paramount purposes of government. The founders of that republic 
also showed their wisdom in dividing the functions of government 
into three departments — legislative, executive and judicial — the first 
to enact, the second to execute and the third to interpret the nation's 
laws. States have copied this system, so that in every state there are 
a Legislature to pass laws, a supreme and subordinate courts to inter- 
pret them and a governor as the chief executive officer to see that 
they are fairly and impartially enforced. 

The law is a jealous profession. It demands of the attorney and 
the man on the bench alike a careful, conscientious effort to secure 
the administration of justice — "speedy and substantial, efficient, 
equitable and economical." Within recent years there have been 
some caustic criticisms of the courts for their delays, and a great deal 
has been said in the press about "judicial reform." Perhaps some 
of the criticisms are founded upon reason, but should the entire 
judiciary system be condemned because here and there some judge 
has failed to measure up to the proper standard, or some lawyer has 
adopted the tactics of the pettifogger? It should be borne in mind 
that some of the greatest men in our national history were lawyers. 
John Marshall, one of the early chief justices of the United States 
Supreme Court, was a man whose legal opinions are still quoted with 
reverence and respect by the profession, and his memory is revered 
by the American people at large. Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. 
Livingston and James Monroe, who negotiated the Louisiana Pur- 



chase and gave to the United States an empire in extent, were all 
lawyers. Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, Salmon P. Chase, Stephen 
A. Douglas, Thomas M. Cooley, and a host of others who might be 
mentioned, were men whose patriotism and love of justice were 
unquestioned. And last, but not least, was Abraham Lincoln, self- 
educated and self-reliant, whose consummate tact and statesmanship 
saved the Union from disruption. 

Concerning the tendency to criticize the courts, one of the jus- 
tices of the Ohio Supreme Court recently said: "A reasonable 
amount of criticism is good for a public officer — even a judge. It 
keeps reminding him that, after all, he is only a public servant; that 
he must give account of his stewardship, as to his efficiency, the same 
as any other servant; that the same tests applied to private servants 
in private business should be equally applied to public servants in 
public business, whether executives, legislators or judges — at least, 
this is the public view. Would it not be more wholesome if more 
public officers, especially judges, took the same view?" 

Fortunately for the people of Lee County, her judges have been 
men of character, free from charges of venality or corruption, and 
justice has generally been administered in such a way that criticism 
of the court was unnecessary. In the fall of 1834, while Iowa was 
still under the jurisdiction of Michigan Territory, an election was 
ordered for the election of judicial officers in Des Moines County, 
which then included the present County of Lee. There were but 
two voting places — Burlington and Fort Madison. William Mor- 
gan was elected presiding judge; Young L. Hughes and Henry 
Walker, associate judges; W. W. Chapman, prosecuting attorney; 
W. R. Ross, clerk; Solomon Perkins, sheriff. At the same time 
John W. Whitaker was elected judge of probate, and a little later 
John Barker and Richard Land were appointed justices of the peace 
by the governor of Michigan Territory. These were the first judicial 
officers in Southeastern Iowa. 

The first session of the District Court was held in the spring of 
1835, at the residence of the clerk, in the Town of Burlington, with 
Judge Morgan presiding and the two associates both present. Among 
those tried for misdemeanor were some of the soldiers stationed at 
Fort Des Moines (now Montrose). They were defended by their 
captain, Jesse B. Browne, who afterward became a resident of Lee 
County and a member of the local bar. 

In July, 1836, Iowa became a part of the Territory of Wisconsin, 
and in that year Isaac Lefrler succeeded William Morgan as the pre- 
siding judge of the local District Court. Lee County was erected 


as a separate county and partly organized. The first session of the 
District Court in the new county was held at Fort Madison, begin- 
ning on March 27, 1837, and was presided over by David Irvin of 
the Territorial Supreme Court of Wisconsin, who had been assigned 
to the Second Judicial District. Judge Irvin's first official order 
was for the appointment of John H. Lines clerk of the court and 
W. W. Chapman, prosecuting attorney. Francis Gehon was United 
States marshal and Joshua Owen, sheriff of Lee County. The mar- 
shal was directed by the court to summon a grand jury and the 
names of Isaac Johnson, John Gregg, Isaac Briggs, E. D. Ayres, 
William Anderson, Samuel Morrison, Peter P. Jones, William 
Ritchie, Henry Hawkins, George Herring, James McAlleny, Rich- 
ard Dunn, John R. Shaver, Edwin Guthrie, Jesse Dickey, Garrett I. 
Wood, C. E. Stone, David Wright, Joseph Skinner, Benjamin Brat- 
tan, George W. Ball and John Stephens were presented, from which 
a grand jury was to be drawn and impaneled, but the judge found 
'that none of them was qualified to serve and they were discharged, 
each man being allowed one day's pay. The court then approved 
the bond of Aaron White and granted him permission to operate a 
ferry at Fort Madison. This court was held in a room in the Madi- 
son House. 

At the second term, which convened on August 28, 1837, with 
the same judge presiding and the same officers in attendance except 
prosecuting attorney, the following were summoned as grand jurors: 
John L. Cotton, Samuel Ross, Thomas Small, Jr., Jesse Wilson, 
Joseph S. Douglass, Peter P. Jones, Joseph Skinner, Aaron White, 
John Gregg, John Stephenson, Campbell Gilmer, Jesse O'Neil, John 
Box, Johnson J. Phares, William Tyrell, Henry Hawkins, E. D. 
Ayres, Lorenzo Bullard, Benjamin Brattan, Leonard P. Parker, 
William Anderson, George Herring, Abraham Hunsicker and John 
G. Kennedy. E. D. Ayres was elected foreman of the grand jury 
and Philip Viele was appointed prosecuting attorney, Mr. Chapman 
having been elected delegate to Congress. 

Sixty-two indictments were returned by the grand jury, to-wit: 
One for injuring cattle, two for assault with intent to kill, three for 
* assault and battery, and fifty-six for gambling. The two indict- 
ments for assault with intent to kill were against Wade H. Rattan, 
but when the cases were called for trial in April, 1839, it was found 
that Rattan had left the country and default was entered on the 
records. He was never heard from again in Lee County. The 
other indictments, with two or three exceptions, were all dismissed 
as defective. 


Judge David Irvin, who presided at these early terms of court, 
was a Virginian by birth. When the Territory of Michigan was 
established he was appointed a judge by President Jackson and was 
assigned to that part of the territory afterward cut off and erected 
into the Territory of Wisconsin. He was a man of upright char- 
acter, prompt with his decisions, and was well versed in the law. 
When Iowa was made a territory, Judge Irvin went back to Wis- 
consin, where he remained upon the bench until removed by Presi- 
dent Harrison in 1841. He then went to Texas and during the Civil 
war was an ardent supporter of the Confederate cause. He lived 
and died a bachelor. 

William W. Chapman, the first prosecuting attorney, after the 
expiration of his term as delegate to Congress in 1839, went to Oregon 
and became one of that state's prominent attorneys; Clerk John H. 
Lines also went to Oregon; Marshal Gehon died, and Sheriff Owen 
removed to California. 

When the Territory of Iow T a was established in 1838, Charles 
Mason of Burlington was appointed chief justice; Thomas S. Wil- 
son of Dubuque and Joseph Williams of Pennsylvania, associate 
judges of the Supreme and District courts of the territory, and these 
gentlemen continued to hold courts until Iowa was admitted as a 
state. Under the constitution of 1846 the state was divided into 
judicial districts, and George H. Williams of Lee County was made 
first district judge of the First District. 

Mr. Williams was born in the State of New York, March 26, 
1823. He was educated in the academy at Pompey Hill, New York, 
and came to Iowa, where he was admitted to the bar in 1844. He 
was elected judge of the First District in 1847 an d served in that 
capacity for about five years. In 1852 he was a presidential elector 
on the Pierce ticket, and in 1853 he was appointed chief justice of the 
Territory of Oregon. He was a member of the Oregon Constitu- 
tional Convention and served as United States senator from that state 
from 1865 to 1871. Judge Williams was a member of the commis- 
sion to settle the Alabama claims, and in 1871 he was appointed 
attorney-general of the United States by President Grant and served 
until 1875, when he was nominated by Grant for chief justice of the 
Supreme Court, but his name was withdrawn. From 1902 to 1905 
Mr. Williams served as mayor of Portland, Oregon, his home city. 

In 1852 Judge Williams was succeeded by Ralph P. Lowe, who 
was born in Warren County, Ohio, November 21, 1805. In 1829 
he graduated at Miami University, after which he went to Alabama, 
where he was employed as teacher. He studied law there with John 


Campbell, afterward justice of the United States Supreme Court. 
He was admitted to the bar in Alabama, practiced four years in 
that state, then removed to Dayton, Ohio, and in 1849 removed to 
Iowa. In 1857 ne resigned his position as judge of the First District 
Court, and in the fall of that year was nominated by the republican 
party for governor. He was elected, being the first governor under 
the new constitution. Two years later he became one of the justices 
of the Iowa Supreme Court, the first time the justices of that court 
were elected by popular vote. He served on the bench until 1868, 
when he resigned and resumed the practice of law. In 1872 he 
was elected chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court, but two years 
later removed to Washington, D. C, where he died on December 22, 

Judge Lowe was succeeded on the district bench by John W. 
Rankin, who was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, June 
21, 1823. In 1842 he graduated with honors at Washington Col- 
lege. He then taught school and studied law in Ohio, was admitted 
to the bar, came to Keokuk in 1848, and soon became recognized as 
one of the leading members of the Lee County bar. In 1857 he 
was elected district judge, but served only a short time. During 
his twenty-one years' residence in Keokuk he served as a member 
of the State Senate and was colonel of the Seventeenth Iowa Infantry 
in the Civil war. For some time he was associated in the practice 
of law as a partner of General Curtis, and later with Judge Charles 
Mason and Samuel F. Miller. His death occurred on July 10, 

Thomas H. Clagett became district judge upon the retirement 
of Judge Rankin in 1857, an( i served about one year. Judge Clagett 
was born in Prince George County, Maryland, August 30, 1815, 
received an academic education, studied law in the office of Gov- 
ernor Pratt of Maryland, and was admitted to practice in that state. 
He was twice elected to the Maryland Legislature and was active in 
his efforts to establish a public school system in that state. In 1850 
he came to Keokuk, where he soon became identified with the legal 
profession, and at the time of his death, April 14, 1876, he was editor 
and proprietor of the Keokuk Constitution. 

Under the old constitution a County Court was established in 
1 85 1 and Edward Johnstone was elected the first judge. Judge 
Johnstone was one of the prominent attorneys of the early Lee 
County bar. He was born in Pennsylvania, July 4, 18 15, and was 
admitted to the bar in his native state at the age of twenty-two years. 
About 1837 ne located at Burlington, where he served as clerk of the 


Territorial Legislature. During that session he was appointed one 
of the commissioners to adjust the land titles in the half-breed tract, 
and located at Montrose. In 1839 he was elected to the Legislature 
and was made speaker of the House, and when James K. Polk 
became President he was appointed United States attorney for Iowa. 
He was also associated with Dr. J. H. Bacon in the banking business 
and was one of the public spirited citizens of Lee County. 

Judge Johnstone was succeeded as county judge in 1855 by, 
Samuel Boyles, who was reelected in 1859. Robert A. Russell suc- 
ceeded Judge Boyles in 1862, and he in turn was succeeded by 
Edmund Jaeger, who served until 1870, when the office was abol- 

Article V, section 5, of the constitution of 1857, provides that 
"The District Court shall consist of a single judge, who shall be 
elected by the qualified electors of the district in which he resides. 
The judge of the District Court shall hold his office for the term of 
four years, and until his successor shall have been elected and quali- 
fied; and shall be ineligible to any other office, except that of judge of 
the Supreme Court, during the term for which he was elected." 

Another section of the same article provides for the establish- 
ment of judicial districts as follows: "The state shall be divided 
into eleven judicial districts; and after the year i860, the General 
Assemblv may reorganize the judicial districts, and increase or 
diminish the number of districts, or the number of judges of the said 
court, and may increase the number of judges of the Supreme Court; 
but such increase or diminution shall not be more than one district, or 
one judge of either court, at any one session; and no reorganization of 
the districts, or diminution of the judges, shall have the effect of 
removing a judge from office. Such reorganization of the districts, 
or any change in the boundaries thereof, or any increase or diminution 
of the number of judges, shall take place every four years thereafter, 
if necessary, and at no other time." 

Under these provisions Lee County was attached to District 
No. 1. of which Francis Springer of Louisa County was judge from 
18^8 to 1869. The First District was then made to consist of the 
counties of Lee and Des Moines until about 1896. Among the Des 
Moines County men who served as judge of this district were Joshua 
Tracy, Thomas W. Newman, A. H. Stutsman, O. H. Phelps and 
James D. Smyth. Joseph M. Casey was elected judge of the dis- 
trict in 1887 and served until his death in 1895. Judge Casey came 
to Lee County when he was but eleven years old. He received a 
good academic education, studied law with John F. Kinney, and in 


1847 was admitted to the bar. He located in Sigourney, Keokuk 
County, where he served for five years as prosecuting attorney. In 
April, 1861, he located at Fort Madison, and in 1887 was elected 
district judge, holding that office until his death in 1895. 

Alvin J. McCrary was elected to the vacancy caused by the death 
of Judge Casey, but served only a short time, when Henry Bank was 
elected for a full term. It was about this time that Lee County was 
made a judicial district by itself. In 191 1, when the docket became 
so crowded, William S. Hamilton was appointed as an additional 
district judge to relieved the congested condition and in 191 2 was 
elected for full term. The present judges of the District Court are 
Henry Bank and William S. Hamilton. 


Lee County has produced a number of attorneys whose names 
and reputations occupy high places in the legal annals of the Union. 
Foremost among these was Samuel F. Miller, a native of Richmond, 
Kentucky, where he was born on April 5, 1816. He was educated in 
the local schools and the town academy, and at eighteen years of 
age began the study of medicine. He began the practice of medicine 
at Barboursville, Kentucky, in 1838. Disliking medicine, he turned 
his attention to the law, read with Judge Ballinger, and in 1845 was 
admitted to the bar. Five years later he located in Keokuk, where 
he became the partner of John W. Rankin, and the firm of Rankin & 
Miller became one of the best known in Southeastern Iowa. In 
1861 the lawyers of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota and Wisconsin all 
joined in recommending him for one of the justices of the United 
States Supreme Court and he was appointed by President Lincoln 
in July, 1862. His nomination was immediately confirmed by the 
Senate and he served on the supreme bench until his death on Octo- 
ber 13, 1890. After his death a lawyer who knew him well said: 
"Some other judges had greater learning, but none possessed greater 
legal wisdom. After delivering judgments whose influence will 
outlive the granite walls of the court room and after deciding cases 
that involved millions of money, he died poor in gold, but rich in 

Joseph M. Beck, who was born in Clermont County, Ohio, April 
21, 1823, was of English and Welsh ancestry. After graduating at 
Hanover College in Indiana, he read law with Miles C. Eggleston 
of Madison, Indiana, taught school for some time, and in 1847 located 
at Montrose, Lee County. In 1849 he removed to Fort Madison 


and ten years later was elected mayor of that city. He then served 
several years as prosecuting attorney, and in 1867 was elected one 
of the judges of the Iowa Supreme Court, in which capacity he 
served for twenty-four years. Judge Beck was one of the trustees of 
the state library and was influential in building it up to its present 
proportions. He had a fine judicial mind and his opinions are still 
quoted as authority, not only in Iowa, but also in other states. He 
died at Fort Madison, May 30, 1893. 

Philip Viele, an early attorney and prominent citizen of Fort 
Madison, was born in Rensselaer County, New York, September 10, 
1799. He was a descendant of the Frenchman, Arnaud Cornelius 
Viele, who came to America in the latter part of the seventeenth 
century and located near Schenectady. Philip was educated in the 
local academy and Union College, and in the fall of 1821 began the 
study of law at Waterford, New York. In the presidential cam- 
paign of 1824 he took the stump for Jackson and in 1827 was 
appointed surrogate of Rensselaer County, where he served until 
1835. In June, 1837, he located at Fort Madison, when the town 
consisted of about a score of log cabins. In 1840 he took an active 
part as a whig in the political campaign and in 1846 was the leader 
of the "Union, Retrenchment and Reform Party of Lee County." 
He was the candidate of that party for judge of probate and was 
elected. In 1852 he was the whig candidate for Congress, but was 
defeated, and in 1859 became a member of the State Board of Educa- 
tion. He served four terms as mayor of Fort Madison. Mr. Viele 
was a great lover of children and every Christmas gave a dinner to 
. a large number of Fort Madison's little people. 

An amusing story in Judge Viele's practice as an attorney is told 
of a case tried before Judge Mason at Fort Madison, in which a wood 
dealer on the river sold a piece of land in the half-breed tract to the 
clerk of the court at Fort Madison, taking a note for payment. The 
title proved valueless and the clerk refused to pay the note. Suit 
was brought, in which Judge Viele represented the wood dealer. In 
closing his argument to the jury he described how the wife and chil- 
dren of his client were probably standing at the doorway of their 
humble cottage home "with eyes strained up the road toward Fort 
Madison, anxiously looking for the return of the husband and father; 
and the first words that will greet my client on his return home will 
be, 'Pa, have the court and jury at Fort Madison done you justice?' 
When the case was given to the jury eleven voted for the wood 
dealer and one for the clerk. When that one juror was asked the 
reasons for his position he replied: "Well, I know that man has 


no wife and children. He keeps 'bach 1 in a log cabin. I believe 
the whole claim is a fraud." Upon receiving this information the 
other eleven reversed their views and the case was decided against 
Viele. A second trial was ordered, but before it came on the wood 
dealer got into trouble and fled the country. He was never heard 
of again. 

Alfred Rich was a native of Kentucky. He studied law in Cov- 
ington with W. W. Southworth, and while studying in his office fell 
in love with his preceptor's daughter. Southworth, who had been 
a member of Congress, said to Rich : "Go to Congress and you may 
have my daughter." The girl would have married him anyhow, 
but Rich declared he would win her by becoming a congressman. 
He first went to Texas, but later located at Fort Madison. Without 
money, he accepted such work as he could find. Some friends took 
an interest in him and got him a school. While teaching, a man was 
arrested at Montrose charged with assault and battery with intent to 
kill, and Rich offered to defend him. His intelligent and successful 
conduct of this case established him in a good practice. In 1839 ne 
was elected to the Legislature and the next year, remembering his 
ambition and desires, he was the whig candidate for Congress, but 
was defeated by Gen. A. C. Dodge. From this defeat he lost 
courage, became somewhat dissipated in his habits, and died of tuber- 
culosis in the spring of 1842. 

Daniel F. Miller, Sr., whose name is still a household word in 
Lee County, was born near Cumberland, Maryland, October 14, 
1 8 14. He received all his schooling by the time he was twelve years 
of age and then worked about three years at the printer's trade. After 
teaching a term of school he walked to Pittsburgh, in order to save 
what little money he had, and was successful in getting a job in a 
store. Here he studied law, and in the justices' courts or before 
referees he was able to earn a small fee now and then. In 1839 he 
was admitted to the bar, and in April of that year located at Fort 
Madison, where he opened his office. In 1840 he was elected to the 
Legislature and on the third day of the session introduced his bill to 
abolish imprisonment for debt, which passed the House, but was 
defeated in the Council. In 1848 he was elected to Congress on the 
whig ticket from the southeastern district of Iowa, but did not get 
the certificate of election on account of fraud in one of the western 
counties. He went before Congress and stated his cause with such 
force that his opponent was unseated and a new election ordered. 
In 1850 he was elected by about eight hundred majority, and in 1856 
was an elector-at-large on the republican ticket. He served as mayor 


of Keokuk, and was one of the best known and most able attorneys 
in Southeastern Iowa. He died at Omaha, Nebraska, December 9, 


George W. McCrary was born near Evansville, Indiana, August 
2 9> 1 835. A few months later his parents removed to Illinois, and 
at the age of eighteen years he began teaching school. In 1855 he 
entered the office of Rankin & Miller at Keokuk as a student, and 
upon completing his legal studies was admitted to the bar. He soon 
built up a good practice, became active in politics, was elected to 
the lower house of the Legislature in 1857 anc ^ m T ^ or t0 tne State 
Senate. He was a strong Union man, and in the Senate was chair- 
man of the committee on military affairs. When Samuel F. Miller 
was appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Mr. McCrary 
became Judge Rankin's partner. In 1868 he was elected to Congress 
and was twice reelected. He was appointed secretary of war in the 
cabinet of President Hayes, and after serving about three years in 
that position was appointed United States judge of the Eighth Cir- 
cuit, composed of the states of Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, 
Kansas and Arkansas. In 1884 he resigned his position on the bench 
to become general counsel for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe 
Railroad. He then located at Kansas City, Missouri, where he died 
on June 23, 1890, but his remains were taken to Keokuk for burial. 
Judge McCrary was the author of the "American Law of Elections," 
a work which is still regarded as a standard authority. 

William W. Belknap, for many years a prominent figure in 
Keokuk, was born at Newburg, New York, in 1829, graduated at 
Princeton University in 1848, studied law and in 1851 was admitted 
to the bar. Two years later he located in Keokuk, where he formed 
a partnership with Ralph P. Lowe. In 1857 Mr Belknap was 
elected to the Legislature as a democrat. Upon the breaking out 
of the Civil war he assisted in recruiting troops and was commis- 
sioned major of the Fifteenth Iowa Infantry. He was in command 
of the regiment at the siege of Corinth and afterwards served on the 
staff of General McPherson. In 1864 he was made brigadier-gen- 
eral, and at the close of the war was offered a commission in the 
regular army, which he declined. In the meantime he had become 
a republican, and in 1866 was appointed collector of internal revenue 
for the First Iowa District. He served for seven years as secretary 
of war under President Grant, and died at Washington, D. C, Octo- 
ber 13, 1890. 

Hugh T. Reid, another early Lee County lawyer, was of Scotch- 
Irish extraction and a native of South Carolina. His grandfather, 


Hugh Reid, served as an American soldier in the Revolution, and 
entered a tract of land in the Northwest Territory, which he after- 
ward gave to James Reid, the father of Hugh T. In 1833 Hugh T. 
Reid entered Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, where he spent three 
years, and then graduated at the Indiana University, Bloomington. 
He studied law with James Perry of Liberty, Indiana, and was 
admitted to the bar in the spring of 1839. In June of that year he 
located at Fort Madison, and in the spring of 1840 formed a partner- 
ship with Edward Johnstone which lasted about ten years, much of 
which time was spent in defending his title to the half-breed tract, 
an account of which is given in another chapter. From 1840 to 1842 
he served as prosecuting attorney for the district composed of Lee, 
Des Moines, Henry, Jefferson and Van Buren counties, and while in 
this position won a place in the front rank of attorneys. Mr. Reid 
was one of the lawyers who defended Joseph Smith, the Mormon 
prophet, when he was on trial at Carthage, Illinois, in 1844. While 
in command of the Fifteenth Iowa Infantry at Shiloh he received 
several wounds, one through the chest almost proving fatal. On 
April 13, 1863, he was made brigadier-general by President Lincoln, 
but resigned in April, 1864, to look after his private business. He 
took a prominent part in building the Des Moines Valley Railroad 
from Keokuk to Fort Dodge. 

It would be impossible to give individual mention to all the 
lawyers who have won distinction as members of the Lee County 
bar, but among those who occupied prominent places may be men- 
tioned H. H. Trimble, W. D. Patterson, James M. Love, J. Monroe 
Reid, William C. Howell, W. R. Gilbreath, Daniel Mooar, W. C. 
Hobbs, Daniel F. Miller, Jr., John Van Valkenburg, William Ful- 
ton, M. D. Browning, O. H. Browning, J. C. Hall, Jesse B. Browne, 
W. H. Morrison, John H. Craig and J. D. M. Hamilton, all of whom 
are remembered as able and successful attorneys. 



Voltaire once defined a physician as "A man who crams drugs 
of which he knows little into a body of which he knows less." That 
may have been true of a certain class of French empirics at the time 
it was written, but since Voltaire's day the medical profession has 
made almost marvelous strides forward, and the physician of the 
Twentieth Century is generally a man entitled to the honor and 
respect of the community, both for his professional ability and his 
standing as a citizen. 

In the early settlement of every section of the Mississippi Valley 
each family kept a stock of roots, barks and herbs, and common ail- 
ments were treated by the administration of "home-made 1 ' remedies. 
Old residents can remember the bone-set tea, the burdock bitters, the 
decoctions of wild cherry bark, the poultices and plasters that 
"grandma" would prepare with scrupulous care and apply — inter- 
nally or externally, as the case might demand — with more solemnity 
than the surgeon of the present day cuts open a man and robs him of 
his appendix. 

Such was the condition in every frontier settlement when the 
pioneer doctor arrived, and probably no addition to the population 
was received with warmer welcome. Yet the life of the frontier 
physician was no sinecure, and about the only inducement for a doctor 
to cast his lot in a new country was that he might succeed in estab- 
lishing himself in practice before his competitor arrived in the field. 
Money was a rare article and his fees, if he collected any at all, were 
paid in such produce as the pioneer farmers could spare and the 
doctor could use. 

Vol. 1—20 



The old-time doctor was not always a graduate of a medical col- 
lege. In a majority of cases his medical education had been obtained 
by "reading" for a few months with some older physician and assist- 
ing his preceptor in his practice. When the young student thought 
he knew enough to branch out for himself, he began looking about 
for a location, and frequently some new settlement appeared to him 
as the best opening. Of course, there were many exceptions to this 
rule and some of the best physicians, already established in practice, 
would "pull up stakes" and seek a new location in some young and 
growing community. 

If the professional or technical knowledge of the early doctoi 
was limited, his stock of drugs and medicines was equally limited 
A generous supply of calomel, some jalap, aloes, Dover's powder, 
castor oil and Peruvian bark (sulphate of quinine was too expensive 
for general use) constituted the principal remedies in his Phar- 
macopoeia. In cases of fever it was considered the proper thing to 
relieve the patient of a quantity of blood, hence every physician car- 
ried one or more lancets. If a drastic cathartic, followed by letting 
blood, and perhaps a "fly blister," did not improve the condition of 
the patient, the doctor would "look wise and trust to a rugged con- 
stitution to pull the sick man through." But, greatly to the credit 
of these pioneer physicians, it can be said they were just as conscien- 
tious in their work and had as much faith in the remedies they admin- 
istered as the most celebrated specialist has today. It can further 
be said that a majority of them, as the population of the new settle- 
ment increased, refused to remain in the mediocre class and attended 
some medical school, even after they had been engaged in practice 
for years. 

The doctor, over and above his professional calling and position, 
was a man of prominence and influence in other matters. His advice 
was frequently asked in affairs entirely foreign to his business; his 
travels about the settlement brought him in touch with all the latest 
news and gossip, which made him a welcome visitor in other house- 
holds; he was the one man in the community who subscribed for and 
read a newspaper, and this led his neighbors to follow his leadership 
in matters political. Look back over the history of almost any county 
in the Mississippi Valley and the names of physicians will appear 
as members of the legislature, incumbents of important county 
offices, and in a number of instances some doctor has been called to 
represent a district in Congress. Many a boy has been named for 
the family physician. 


When the -first doctors began practice in Lee County they did 
not visit their patients in automobiles. Even if the automobile had 
been in existence, the condition of the roads — where there were any 
roads at all — was such that the vehicle would have been practically 
useless. Consequently the doctor relied upon his trusty horse to carry 
him on his round of visits. His practice extended over a large 
expanse of country and frequently, when making calls in the night 
with no road to follow but the "blazed trail, 11 he carried a lantern 
with him, so that he could find the road in case he lost his way. On 
his return home he would drop the reins upon the horse's neck and 
trust to the animal's instinct to find the way. 

As there were then no drug stores to fill prescriptions, the doctor 
carried his medicines with him in a pair of "pill-bags" — two leathern 
boxes divided into compartments for vials of different sizes and con- 
nected by a broad strap that could be thrown across the saddle. 
Besides the lancet, his principal surgical instrument was the "turn- 
key" for extracting teeth. A story is told of a man once complaining 
to a negro barber that the razor pulled, to which the colored man 
replied : "Yes sah ; but if the razor handle doesn't break de beard am 
bound to come off." So it was with the pioneer doctor as a dentist. 
Once he got that turnkey fastened on a tooth, if the instrument did 
not break the tooth was bound to come out. 

And yet these old-time doctors, crude as were many of their 
methods, were the forerunners of and paved the way for the special- 
ists in this beginning of the Twentieth Century. They were not selfish 
and if one of them discovered a new remedy or a new way of admin- 
istering an old one he was always ready to impart his information 
to his professional brethren. If one of these old physicians could 
come back to earth and step into the office of one of the leading 
physicians, he would doubtless stand aghast at the many surgical 
instruments and appliances, such as microscopes, stethoscopes and 
X-ray machines, and might not realize that he had played his humble 
part in bringing about this march of progress. 

Doubtless the first physician to locate in Lee County was Dr. 
Samuel Muir, who, in 1820, built a log cabin within the present 
limits of the City of Keokuk. He was a Scotchman by birth and 
had been educated in his native land. After coming to America he 
became an army surgeon and while stationed at Fort Edwards (now 
Warsaw), Illinois, married an Indian maiden of the Fox tribe. 
When the United States Government issued an order to the effect 
that all officers in the army having Indian wives must abandon them, 
Doctor Muir resigned his office, saying: "May God forbid that a 


son of Caledonia should ever desert his child or disown his clan." 
It was at this time that he built the cabin at Keokuk. He died at 
Keokuk of cholera in 1832, leaving a widow and five children. 
Owing to the unsettled condition of land titles in the half-breed tract, 
his estate was wasted in litigation and the widow returned to her 

Dr. Isaac Galland was one of the early physicians of Lee County, 
but there is no positive evidence that he practiced his profession to 
any considerable extent after coming into Iowa. He was born near 
Marietta, Ohio, in 1790. Opportunities to acquire an education at 
that time were rather limited, but it appears that Doctor Galland 
managed to educate himself, as it is said that, "when he died at Fort 
Madison in 1858, he was a tolerably good physician, a tolerably good 
lawyer, was deeply learned in ancient as well as modern history, 
and had few superiors in the West either as a speaker or writer." As 
a young man, he was fond of adventure and with a few kindred 
spirits went to New Mexico, where he and his associates were arrested 
by the Spanish officials, on suspicion of their having evil designs 
against the government, and kept for about a year in prison. That 
was enough of New Mexico for him, so he returned to the States 
and practiced medicine for a time in Edgar County, Illinois. In 
1829 he removed to what is now Lee County and was one of the 
earliest settlers at Nashville (now Galland), about three miles below 
Montrose. After the act of Congress permitting the half-breeds to 
sell their lands in the half-breed tract, Doctor Galland became the 
agent for the New York Land Company. In 1839 he became a con- 
vert to the Mormon faith and for over a year was the private secre- 
tary of Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet. While acting in this 
capacity it was his duty to write down the "revelations" that came to 
Smith in his trances and he came to the conclusion that the prophet's 
claim to supernatural powers was a fraud. He therefore gave up the 
Mormons nad resumed his residence in Iowa. 

A few years before his death he went to California, but soon after 
he left Lee County Daniel F. Miller succeeded in compromising the 
claim of Doctor Galland against the New York Land Company, re- 
ceiving $11,000. When notified of the successful termination of his 
suit, Doctor Galland returned to Fort Madison, where he died 
in 1858. His daughter Eleanor was the first white child to be born 
in what is now Lee County, and his son, Washington, veteran of two 
wars, is still living in the county. 

Another pioneer physician was Dr. Campbell Gilmer, who is 
credited by some writers with being the first man to practice medi- 


cine in the vicinity of Fort Madison. He came to Lee County in 1835 
and settled upon a tract of land about three miles northwest of the 
infant town, which had been surveyed and platted but a few months 
before. At that time physicians were few and Doctor Gilmer's prac- 
tice extended for miles in all directions. Open-hearted and generous 
to a fault, he answered all calls, day or night, no matter what the 
state of the weather, and never made inquiry as to whether the patient 
was able to pay a fee. He died on his farm, near Fort Madison, 
July 9, 1865, and his widow survived until June 15, 1877. 

Dr. Joel C. Walker was born in Springfield, Ohio, February 7, 
1813. After attending the schools of his native state, in which he 
received a good academic education, he entered Jefferson Medical 
College of Philadelphia, where he was graduated in 1836. In De- 
cember of that year he came to Iowa and located at Fort Madison, 
where he practiced his profession for many years. In October, 1838, 
he married Miss Martha N., daughter of Dr. Abraham Stewart, a 
surgeon in the United States Army. During the territorial era, Doc- 
tor Walker was clerk of the United States District Court for five 
years. In 1853 he was elected mayor of Fort Madison and served 
one term, and from 1862 to 1867 he was collector of internal revenue 
for the First District of Iowa. He was otherwise actively identified 
with county and city affairs; was a public spirited citizen, and a 
successful physician. His last years were spent in retirement. 

About the time Doctor Walker located at Fort Madison, Dr. J. P. 
Stephenson, with his wife and four sons — Samuel T., George E., 
John D. and Joseph E. — came from Ohio and settled near the present 
Village of Denmark. He was one of the first physicians in that part 
of the county, was a man of generous impulses, a successful practi- 
tioner and answered calls over a large expanse of territory in Lee 
and Des Moines counties. His wife died in 1840 and in 1853 his 
right side became paralyzed, which forced him to give up his prac- 
tice. His death occurred in 1858. Three of his sons were success- 
ful farmers in the county and Joseph E. engaged in the clothing busi- 
ness in Fort Madison. 

It is a matter of regret that a number of old-time physicians passed 
away, leaving no records from which an account of their careers can 
be obtained. Among those may be mentioned Dr. John Cutler and 
Doctor Ferris, who platted part of the City of Fort Madison; Drs. 
L. D. McGugin, Samuel G. Armor, Nicholas Hurd, George W. 
Richards, A. S. Hudson and S. Mathews, members of the first faculty 
of the College of Physicians after it was established at Keokuk. 


Dr. John M. Anderson, who was one of the early practicing 
physicians of Montrose, was born in Montgomery County, Kentucky, 
July ii, 1 8 1 8. Whe he was ten years of age his parents removed to 
Quincy, Illinois, where he acquired the greater part of his general 
education. About 1833 his father sent him with a young man and a 
stock of goods to open a store at Farmington, Iowa. At Alexandria, 
Missouri, his companion was taken ill and young Anderson returned 
to Quincy to await his recovery. Upon going back to Alexandria 
about two weeks later, he learned that the young man had sold the 
goods and decamped with the proceeds. Not caring to return home 
under the circumstances, he went on to Farmington, where he taught 
school and worked at anything he could find to do between terms. 
There he studied medicine under Doctor Miles, who went to New 
Orleans and died there of yellow fever in 1840, when Doctor Ander- 
son succeeded to the practice. In 1844 he located at Montrose, where 
he found some Mormon "steam doctors" and some prejudice against 
a regular physician. He stuck to it, however, and succeeded in build- 
ing up a satisfactory practice. Doctor Anderson represented Lee 
County in the lower branch of the State Legislature from 18 151 to 
1856 and was for years engaged in the mercantile business at Mont- 
rose in connection with his practice. He was a typical country 

Some time in the late '30s or early '40s Dr. Freeman Knowles 
located at West Point. He has been described as "a gentleman of 
high standing and character, with a remarkable memory." He was 
a witness in the celebrated case that resulted in the conviction of 
William and Stephen Hodges for the murder of John Miller. After 
practicing for some time at West Point, Doctor Knowles removed 
to Keokuk. 

In 1845 Dr. D. Lowrey, a native of Berlin, Pennsylvania, settled 
at West Point. He was at that time about thirty-nine years of age. 
At the age of eighteen he began Tiis medical studies under Doctor 
Cooper, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, with whom he read for two 
years and then took a three-years' course in a medical college at Phila- 
delphia. From that time until he came to West Point, he practiced 
in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Doctor Lowrey was a very successful 
physician. It is told of him that, during one sickly season, he did 
not sleep in a bed for six weeks, catching "forty winks' 1 now and 
then while in the saddle or his buggy. After practicing for several 
years he turned his attention to growing grapes and had one of the 
finest vineyards in southeastern Iowa. He and his family were all 
members of the Catholic Church. One son, Clement G. Lowrey, 


entered the priesthood and was for some time stationed at Cedar 
Rapids, Iowa. Later he was in charge of St. Francis de Sales parish 
at Keokuk. 

Dr. Herman F. Stempel, who located at Fort Madison in 1847, 
was born in Germany in July, 1824. He was educated and studied 
medicine in the Fatherland, and in 1847 decided to try his fortunes 
in America. Upon landing in this country he came direct to Fort 
Madison, where he began the practice of his profession. In 1852 
he was appointed deputy county treasurer and from that time until 
January, 1864, he w T as employed in that office and the office of the 
county recorder. He then resumed the practice of his profession. In 
1869 he was appointed United States revenue gauger, though he con- 
tinued to practice medicine until advancing age compelled him to 


The year 1850 witnessed quite a change in the status of the med- 
ical profession in Lee County, as in that year a medical school was 
opened in Keokuk, which brought a number of eminent physicians 
to that city. This institution owes its establishment to Dr. John F. 
Sanford, more than to any other one man. Doctor Sanford was born 
in Chillicothe, Ohio, April 23, 1823. After attending the schools of 
his native town he began the study of medicine under Dr. J. S. Pretty- 
man. In 1839 he entered the Cincinnati Medical College, where he 
completed two courses of lectures, and in 1841 began practice at 
Farmington, Iowa. In 1846, when only twenty-three years of age, 
he was elected to the state Senate, and while a member of that body 
he secured the passage of a bill granting a charter to a medical 

Prior to 1840 the only three medical colleges west of the Alle- 
gheny Mountains were located at Cincinnati, Louisville and New 
Orleans. Medical students throughout the growing West were with- 
out adequate opportunities to complete their professional training. 
To remedy this condition of affairs, Dr. Joseph Nash McDowell and 
some other physicians founded the Missouri Medical College at St. 
Louis in 1840. Four or five years later another western medical 
school was opened at Charleston, Illinois. This school was soon aft- 
erward removed to Laporte, Indiana, thence to Rock Island, Illinois, 
and in 1849 to Davenport, Iowa, where the first class was graduated 
in the spring of 1850. The school was then removed to Keokuk, 
under the charter secured by the passage of Doctor Sanford's bill, and 


there opened in the fall of 1850 under the name of the "College of 
Physicians and Surgeons." Doctor Sanford was made dean of the 
faculty and professor of surgery — a well-deserved recognition. The 
other members of the first faculty were: Dr. L. D. McGugin, presi- 
dent and professor of obstetrics and diseases of women and children; 
Dr. Samuel G. Armor, professor of physiology and pathology; Dr. 
Nicholas Hurd, professor of anatomy; Dr. George W. Richards, 
professor of theory and practice of medicine; Dr. A. S. Hudson, pro- 
fessor of materia medica and therapeutics; Dr. S. Mathews, profes- 
sor of chemistry; Dr. Joseph C. Hughes, demonstrator of anatomy. 

Doctor Sanford was a man of strong personality, great executive 
ability, an excellent teacher and a skillfull surgeon. Shortly after 
locating in Farmington, in 1841, he performed the first amputation at 
the shoulder joint ever performed in Iowa, and this he did before he 
was twenty years of age. He was devoted to his profession and was 
one of the founders of the Western Medico-Chirurgical Journal. 

The college was made the medical department of the state uni- 
versity, by which diplomas were issued until 1870, when the institu- 
tion adopted its original name — College of Physicians and Surgeons. 
Dr. J. C. Hughes, Sr., died in the summer of 1882, and there were 
several changes in the faculty — Doctors Carpenter and Cleaver with- 
drawing. The following year other changes were made, and in 1884 
the faculty rented the building where the Masonic Temple now 
stands from the Hughes estate for a period of five years, and con- 
tinued the school as the College of Physicians and Surgeons. At the 
expiration of their lease all except one or two organized the Keokuk 
Medical College and bought the building on Sixth Street now occu- 
pied by the Daily Gate City. Dr. J. C. Hughes, Jr., organized a 
new faculty and continued the College of Physicians and Surgeons, 
but it was a different school from the old corporation. In 1899 the 
two schools were consolidated, diplomas after that date being issued 
by the Keokuk Medical College, College of Physicians and Surgeons. 
In the spring of 1908 the school was merged with Drake University 
of Des Moines, Iowa. 

In 1853 Dr. Joseph C. Hughes succeeded Doctor Sanford as pro- 
fessor of surgery. He was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, 
April 1, 1821; received his classical education at Jefferson College, 
Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania; studied medicine under Dr. J. F. Per- 
kins, of Baltimore, Maryland, and graduated in medicine at the 
University of Maryland in 1845. Soon after receiving his degree 
he began practice at Mount Vernon, Iowa, devoting much of his 
time to the practice of surgery, and when the medical college was 


established at Keokuk he accepted the position of demonstrator of 
anatomy. At the beginning of the Civil war, in 1 86 1 , Governor Kirk- 
wood appointed him surgeon-general of the state, in which capacity 
he organized and had charge of the army hospitals at Keokuk, where 
at one time over two thousand sick and disabled soldiers were under 
treatment. In 1866 Doctor Hughes was elected one of the vice presi- 
dents of the American Medical Association and one of the delegates 
to the British Association for the Promotion of Science. He was also 
a member of several other medical societies and in 1876 was a dele- 
gate to the Medical Congress at Philadelphia. In connection with 
the college at Keokuk he operated a medical and surgical infirmary 
and eye and ear institute. He died in 1882. His son, Dr. Joseph C, 
Jr., was elected professor of anatomy in the Keokuk College of Phy- 
sicians and Surgeons in 1876. 

Dr. George F. Jenkins, who practiced medicine for many years in 
the City of Keokuk, was born in Clark County, Missouri, in 1842; 
graduated at the Missouri Medical College in 1867, after having at- 
tended the Leland Medical College of San Francisco, California; 
located at Keokuk a short time after receiving his degree, and at the 
time of his death, in the summer of 1914, was one of the best known 
and most universally respected physicians in Southeastern Iowa. In 
an article written by Doctor Jenkins and published in the Iowa Med- 
ical Journal for May 15, 1909, he says of the Keokuk Medical Col- 
lege: "It is my opinion that the great success of this school for its 
entire career, is due very largely to the fact that Keokuk has always 
had an able, painstaking, student-loving faculty. The Keokuk Med- 
ical College has always had a splendid reputation and of its 3,500 or 
more graduates, many of them have attained high positions in the 
profession; practitioners from this school have always creditably 
maintained themselves in competition with graduates of the best col- 
leges in the country. The Keokuk Medical College has always been 
proud of her alumni, and in our merging with Drake University, we 
have passed over to that school a heritage of which any institution in 
the land might well be proud." 

Another physician who came to Lee County in 1850, but who was 
not connected with the medical college, was Dr. J. G. Mallett. He 
was born at Stratford, Connecticut, in 1875, the son of a Revolutionary 
soldier who was with Gen. Anthony Wayne at the capture of Stony 
Point. He studied medicine in the East and in 1837 came to Iowa, 
first locating at Brighton, Washington County. In 1850 he removed 
to Van Buren Township, Lee County, and settled on a farm near 
Hinsdale, where he continued to practice for a number of years. He 


lived to be nearly one hundred years old, with mental faculties unim- 
paired to the last. 

Dr. James H. Bacon, a native of Washington County, Tennessee, 
was born on July 19, 1816. He was educated and studied medicine 
in his native state and began practice in Nashville. In 1840 he 
located at Macomb, Illinois, where he remained until 1851, when he 
removed to Fort Madison, Iowa. After practicing there for seven 
or eight years he engaged in the banking business, with Judge John- 
stone, of Keokuk, as a partner. About 1871 failing health forced 
him to retire from active business and he then bought a farm in 
Green Bay Township. His landed interests here, known as "Bay- 
view," contain 1,200 acres and the improvements cost him about 
twenty-five thousand dollars, making one of the most attractive places 
in Southeastern Iowa. Here he passed the closing years of his life. 

Dr. Augustus W. HofTmeister was born on June 14, 1827, at Alt- 
man, in the Hartz Mountains of Hanover, Germany; at the age of 
nineteen he graduated from the college at Clausthal as the honor 
man of that class. He then came to America, locating first in St. 
Louis, afterward going to California, and in 1854 ^ e located at Fort 
Madison, having graduated in medicine at St. Louis in the early part 
of that year. During the Civil war he served as surgeon of the Eighth 
Iowa Infantry, and in 1866 was appointed surgeon at the Fort 
Madison penitentiary. Doctor HofTmeister was an able and success- 
ful physician. He died about 1900. 

Dr. A. M. Carpenter, who has been mentioned above in connec- 
tion with the medical college, was born in Lincoln County, Kentucky, 
December 12, 1835 ; he was educated at Centre College and graduated 
in medicine at the University of Louisville in 1854. The next year 
he located in Keokuk, where he soon became recognized as one of 
the leading physicians. In 1865 he was elected to the chair of Theory 
and Practice of Medicine in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, 
a position he held for nearly twenty years. In 1876 he was one of a 
committee of physicians to organize the state board of health and was 
elected the first president of that board. He was a frequent contrib- 
utor to the medical literature of the country, and a man who is remem- 
bered by older people of Keokuk as an energetic, public-spirited 

Another Keokuk physician of early days was Dr. Milton F. Col- 
lins, who came from Indiana at an early day. At the time of the 
Civil war he was made lieutenant-colonel of the Sixtieth United States 
Colored Infantry, the greater part of which regiment he recruited 
himself. He had two sons in the army — W. B. Collins, major of the 


Seventh Missouri, and Joseph A. M., a sergeant in the Second Iowa. 
The latter was in the signal service at the siege of Fort McAllister, 
near Savannah, Georgia, and in 19 14 was one of the councilmen of 
the City of Keokuk. Dr. Milton F. Collins was the first president of 
the Keokuk Medical Society, and is remembered as a popular and 
successful physician. 

Dr. Abel C. Roberts, who was journalist as well as physician, was 
born in Warren County, New York, January 15, 1830. In his boy- 
hood days he attended the common schools and after his parents re- 
moved to Lenawee County, Michigan, he attended the high school at 
Adrian for one term. In 1850-51 he studied medicine in the Univer- 
sity of Michigan at Ann Arbor. His financial condition was such 
that he was unable to complete the course, and in 1852 he went to 
California, where he spent over a year. Returning to Ann Arbor, 
he re-entered the university and graduated in 1854. In 1859 he came 
to Fort Madison and engaged in practice. In 1862 he was appointed 
surgeon in the government hospital at Keokuk, and in March, 1863, 
he was commissioned surgeon of the Twenty-first Missouri Infantry, 
with which regiment he served until mustered out in April, 1866. He 
then resumed practice at Fort Madison; was elected county treas- 
urer in 1869, mayor of Fort Madison in 1873, and was appointed a 
member of the board of pension examiners. In 1874 he became asso- 
ciated with the ownership and publication of the Fort Madison Dem- 
ocrat, with which he remained connected practically all the remain- 
der of his life. As a surgeon, Doctor Roberts was ofen called to con- 
siderable distances to perform operations. He was a prominent 
Mason and a member of a number of medical societies and asso- 

Dr. J. J. M. Angear, a native of England, came to this country in 
1843, when fourteen years of age. His parents settled in Racine 
County, Wisconsin, where he was educated, and in i860 he graduated 
at Rush Medical College, Chicago. At the close of the war he lo- 
cated in Fort Madison and in 1871 became professor of physiology 
and pathology in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk. 
Doctor Angear was a member of various medical associations and was 
a delegate from the American Medical Association to the conven- 
tion which met at Bath, England, in 1878. After that convention he 
spent some time in the hospitals of London and Paris. He contrib- 
uted a number of articles to medical journals and was frequently 
called upon to testify in courts as a scientific expert. 

Dr. Hiram T. Cleaver, at one time a member of the faculty of 
the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, was born in Wash- 


ington County, Pennsylvania, February 17, 1822. He began the study 
of medicine with a Doctor Greene at New Lisbon, Ohio, and in the 
summer of 1848 removed to Wapello, Iowa. From 1854 to 1858 he 
represented his district in the State Senate, and in 1862 graduated at 
the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Keokuk. He was then con- 
nected with the faculty of that institution for about twenty years. 
Doctor Cleaver was a member of various medical associations and 
took an active part in municipal affairs. He served as city treasurer 
of Keokuk, and was otherwise identified with movements for the 
general uplift of that city. 

Among the pioneer doctors of Lee County, whose names are about 
all that can be remembered, were Haines, Randall and T. H. Sulli- 
van. They were typical country doctors, respected citizens, and it 
is a matter of regret that more cannot be told of their careers. The 
Wymans, Drs. R. H. and F. W., who were for many years connected 
with the practice of medicine and drug business in Keokuk, were 
among the leading physicians of that city in their day. 



Long before any attempt was made by white men to found a 
permanent settlement in the Mississippi Valley, Jesuit missionaries 
visited the region with a view to converting the Indians to their faith. 
Lee County claims the first foot-fall of the missionary in Iowa, when 
Father Marquette landed at the mouth of Sandusky Creek on June 
25, 1673, and followed a trail that led him to the Indian villages on 
the Des Moines River, where he erected a wooden cross and con- 
ducted the first Christian services. When Marquette was ready to 
resume his journey one of the Indian chiefs addressed him as follows: 
"I thank the black-gown chief for taking so much pains to come and 
see us. Never before has the earth been so beautiful nor the sun so 
bright. Never has the river been so calm and free from rocks, which 
your canoe has removed. Never has the tobacco had so fine a flavor, 
nor our corn appeared so beautiful as we behold it today. Ask the 
Great Spirit to give us life and health, and be you pleased to remain 
and dwell with us." 

Seven years after Marquette's visit, Father Hennepin passed up 
and down the great river and some authorities say he visited Lee 
County. Louis Honore Tesson, a Catholic, made the first settlement 
in 1796 and during the first quarter of the Nineteenth century several 
adventurous traders passed through the county, and at least two of 
them, Lemoliese and Blondeau, both Catholics, located within the 
borders of the present county. Father P. Lefevre came to this region 
as a missionary in 1834 and remained in the district for three years, 
when he was succeeded by Father Brickwedde, of Quincy, Illinois. 
In May, 1838, he celebrated high mass in Fort Madison and a few 



days later conducted services in the new log barn of J. H. Kempker 
in the Sugar Creek settlement, where the first Catholic Church in Lee 
County — a small log structure — was built that summer. 

The first resident priest in Lee County was Rev. John G. Alle- 
man, who came to Fort Madison in 1840 from the Dominican 
monastery at Somerset, Ohio. He said his first mass in the house 
of John K. Schwartz, who, in the fall of 1840, under the direction of 
Father Alleman, built the first church in Fort Madison. It was a 
small brick building, 16 by 18 feet, and stood just back of the present 
St. Joseph's Church on Third Street. It served the threefold purpose 
of church, schoolhouse and pastor's residence until 1847, when Father 
Alleman erected a larger church. Father Alleman introduced the 
first cultivated grape vines into Lee County, and from the little 
nursery he conducted in connection with his pastoral duties came 
many of the trees that were planted in the first orchards of the 

Rev. Alexander Hattenberger followed Father Alleman and in 
1854 made a large addition to the church. He also erected a school- 
house, though a school had been conducted in the parish from the 
very beginning. The present St. Joseph's Church edifice was built 
in 1886 and the pastor's residence in 1890, under the management of 
Father De Cailly. St. Joseph's parish possesses an interesting relic 
in an old bell, which first served as a signal bell on the steamer Osprey, 
belonging to Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet. Capt. Pliny 
Alvord afterward became the owner of the Osprev and when he 
wrecked the boat gave the bell to Father Alleman. This old bell 
then served as church, school and fire bell until it was replaced by 
the two large bells purchased by Father Hattenberger. It was then 
taken to Fremont County and did duty in St. Mary's Church at 
Hamburg until 1914, when it was returned to Fort Madison and 
placed in the tower with the other two bells to ring in the diamond 
jubilee of the parish in 191 5. 

The Sugar Creek church, built in 1838, is now known as St. 
Paul's. The church building in this parish was twice destroyed by 
fire or storm, but each time was rebuilt in a more substantial manner. 
The present church edifice is located in the village of St. Paul. 

In August, 1844, Bishop Loras, of Dubuque, sent Rev. Lucien 
Galtier to Keokuk, though the few Catholic families there had been 
visited by Father Alleman during the preceding four years. Soon 
after his arrival, Father Galtier engaged H. V. Gildea to build a 
small church of stone and logs on the corner of Second and Blondeau 
streets, the priest himself being one of the laborers. This building 


was 20 by 30 feet and was dedicated in honor of St. John the Evan- 
gelist. At that time there were but few Catholic families in Keokuk 
and Father Galtier was sent to Prairie du Chien. Father Alleman 
visited the new St. John's Church at intervals until 1848, when 
Father J. B. Villars was appointed pastor. During the next eight 
years the building was enlarged to meet the needs of the growing 
parish. In 1856 Father Villars was succeeded by Rev. William 
Emonds, who secured property on Exchange Street, between Ninth 
and Tenth streets, where he erected a brick church 34 by 70 feet 
and dedicated in 1857 in honor of St. Peter. TJie old St. John's 
Church was then abandoned. Some years later Father O'Reilly 
erected the present church edifice, a handsome Gothic structure, at 
the corner of Ninth and Bank streets. He also erected the fine 
parochial school building. In 1914 the pastor of St. Peter's was 
Father James W. Gillespie, with Father Stephen Davis, assistant. 

In 1865 the Catholic families of Fort Madison numbered over 
four hundred and the situation demanded the formation of another 
parish. Accordingly in the fall of that year Rev. John B. Weikman, 
pastor of St. Joseph's, secured the large lot at the corner of Fourth 
and Vine streets, upon which a schoolhouse was erected. This was 
the beginning of St. Mary's parish. The following year the founda- 
tion of a church was laid and on January 1, 1871, the building was 
dedicated by Rev. Jacob Orth, who had succeeded Father Weikman. 
The building is 64 by 130 feet in dimensions and is one of the finest 
church edifices in the county. Soon after it was dedicated Bishop 
Hennessey appointed Rev. Aloysius Meis as the first pastor. The 
great cyclone of July 3, 1876, lifted the roof from this church and 
wrought other damages, amounting to about twenty thousand dollars, 
but the building was quickly repaired. In 1881 a fine altar and a 
steam heating plant were installed. The pastor in 1914 was Rev. 
Peter Kern, an earnest and zealous worker. 

St. Mary's Church, at Keokuk, located at the corner of Fourteenth 
and Johnson streets, was built in 1867, by the German Catholics, 
with Father Clement Johannes as the first resident priest. A good 
parochial school is maintained in connection with the church and 
St. Joseph's Hospital was also founded by this parish. The pastor 
in 1914 was Rev. George Giglinger. 

The third Keokuk parish, that of St. Francis de Sales, was 
organized in 1870 by Father James Hartin. Before the close of that 
year the old church building of the New School Presbyterians, at 
the corner of Fourth and High streets, was purchased and continued 
to be used as the parish church until 1898. In that year Rev. James 


Renihan, then pastor, erected the present handsome church upon the 
site occupied by the old one. In 1914 the parish was under the 
charge of Rev. James M. Dunnion. 

Sacred Heart Church, located on the corner of Union Avenue 
and Des Moines Street, in the City of Fort Madison, was founded 
on July 7, 1893, by ^ ev - Peter Hoffman, who still remained in charge 
of the parish in the year 1914. Work was commenced on the church 
building on July 18, 1893, the corner-stone was laid on August 13th, 
and it was dedicated on December 8th following. Subsequently a 
priest's residence and schoolhouse were erected and in connection 
with this parish a hospital is maintained. 

Next to St. Paul's parish and St. Joseph's parish of Fort Madi- 
son, the oldest Catholic organization in the county is the church at 
West Point. Services were held here by Father Alleman soon after 
he came to Fort Madison and in the summer of 1842 the West Point 
parish was organized. A frame church, 21 by 40 feet, was com- 
pleted and dedicated in the fall of 1843. It served the parish until 
1858, when a neat brick building was erected at a cost of $6,000, 
under the pastorate of Father Reffe. About 1876 Rev. William 
Jacoby became the pastor and was still serving in that capacity in 

St. John's Church at Houghton is the youngest Catholic society 
in the county. The parish was established a few years ago and in 
1914 was under the pastoral charge of Father John Adam. A paro- 
chial school is connected with the church. 

The few Catholics living at Montrose built a neat brick church 
in i860, and there is a Catholic church at String Prairie, but both 
these places are without resident priests and are attended from 


Although the Catholic missionaries were the first religious 
workers in what is now Lee County, there is little doubt that the 
Lost Creek Christian Church was the first society organized and 
that the building erected by the little congregation was the first 
house of worship in the county, if not in the State of Iowa. Early 
in the year 1836 Rev. David Chance, a Christian minister, preached 
a sermon at the cabin of Joshua Owen, in what was known as the 
"Denmark Settlement." At that meeting the seeds were sown that 
resulted in the organization of the church on April 6, 1836, at the 
home of Squire Owen. The original members of the Lost Creek 


Christian Church were: Joshua Owen, Samuel Ross, Isaac Briggs, 
P. P. Jones, John Box, Jonas Rice, John Stephenson, Frederick 
Lowrey, Samuel Briggs, Barzilla Mothershead, John O. Smith, Silas 
Gregg, John Wren and Carroll Payne, and some of their families. 
Soon after the society was organized it took possession of a house that 
Isaac Briggs had erected for a dwellng, which was remodeled to 
answer the purposes of a church. It served the congregation until 
1849, when a new building was erected. 

The first society of this denomination in Fort Madison was 
organized in 1838 by Elder John Drake, John Box, William Leslie 
and H. C. McMurphy. A small house of worship was erected soon 
afterward and served the little congregation until 1853, when a new 
church was erected, at a cost of over three thousand dollars. Along 
in the latter '70s the church began to decline and a few years later 
the organization was disbanded. 

In 1892 the present Christian Church was organized and for some 
time held services in the district court room. Then a lot at the south- 
east corner of Third and Walnut streets was purchased and a 
"tabernacle" erected thereon. This temporary structure stood on 
the south end of the lot and soon after it was built steps were taken 
for the erection of a permanent house of worship just north of it. 
The new building, a handsome brick and stone edifice of modern 
design, was completed in 1907, at a cost of about fifteen thousand 

As a matter of fact the Christian Church has never been par- 
ticularly strong in Lee County. In addition to the societies above 
mentioned, there is a Christian congregation in the City of Keokuk, 
with a comfortable house of worship, and a small country church in 
the southwestern part of Cedar Township. 


The oldest society of this faith in the county is the Congregational 
Church of Denmark, which was organized in the spring of 1838 
as the result of meeting held by Rev. William Apthorp the preceding 
year. Among the founders of the church were Lewis Epps, Curtis 
Shedd, Timothy Fox, Edward A. Hills and Samuel Houston, and 
their families. Rev. J. A. Reed and Rev. Asa Turner, of Illinois, 
were invited to assist in the organization of the church. In July, 
1838, the latter, whose pronounced anti-slavery ideas had aroused 
opposition at Quincy, Illinois, was engaged to give half his time 
to the church at Denmark, and on November 5, 1840, he was installed 

Vol. 1—21 


as the first regular pastor. The first house of worship was 20 by 24 
feet, covered with clapboards, with loose floor and unplastered walls. 
A better church was commenced in 1845 and was dedicated in July, 
1846. It was destroyed by fire some ten or twelve years later and 
a new one, larger and more substantial than either of its predecessors, 
was erected. This is the oldest Congregational church in South- 
eastern Iowa, if not in the entire state. 

In 1843 Rev. Daniel Jones came to Keokuk, the first Protestant 
minister to locate in that city, and soon after his arrival organized 
a Congregational church, with Peter Wykoff as ruling elder. About 
two years later, at a meeting of the congregation, it was "Resolved, 
That we consider it expedient to lay aside our present organization 
and adopt the Presbyterian form of government." This action was 
due to the rapid increase in the Presbyterian membership that time. 
Such was the fate of the first Congregational church organized in 

The second effort to establish a society of this faith in the Gate 
City met with better results. On February 14, 1854, a few persons 
who favored this form of worship met in what was then the First 
Presbyterian Church, at the corner of Second and Blondeau streets, 
with Reverend Dr. Salter, of Burlington, presiding and J. B. Howell, 
secretary. A motion to "proceed at once to the organization of an 
orthodox Congregational Church in the City of Keokuk," was carried 
and nine persons enrolled their names as members. For about a 
year meetings were held in the residences of the members. In 
October, 1855, James R. Kimball, a young man from Maine, not yet 
ordained as minister, was employed as pastor and regular services 
were held in IsbelTs music store on Main Street, near Second. Soon 
after the church was organized, John McKean deeded to the trustees 
forty acres of land lying west of Tenth Street, "for the use, benefit 
and support of the church." Mr. McKean's death occurred shortly 
afterward and his heirs contested the validity of this deed. While 
the suit was pending in the courts, the church sold its claim for 
$9,000. The deed was finally declared valid by the court. With the 
$9,000 received for this land the congregation built a neat church at 
the corner of Sixth and High streets, which was dedicated in May, 
1857. The present house of worship, a beautiful structure of dressed 
stone, was erected in 1907. 


As early as June 24, 1837, a Presbyterian society was formed 
at West Point, under the authority of the Schuyler Presbytery, and 


it is believed to be the oldest Presbyterian organization in Iowa. 
The first services were conducted by Revs. L. G. Bell and Samuel 
Wilson. William Patterson, Cyrus Poage and A. H. Walker were 
the first ruling elders. Rev. Alexander Ewing was the first regular 
pastor and the first church building was erected about 1839. It was 
a brick structure, unpretentious in its proportions, and served the 
congregation for about thirty-five years, when the present church 
took its place. 

On March 26, 1838, a Presbyterian congregation was organized 
at Fort Madison, under the authority of the presbytery of Schuyler 
County, Illinois, with sixteen members. Rev. J. A. Clark, who was 
sent by the Home Missionary Society, began his labors as pastor on 
June 1, 1838, when Isaac Vandyke and James G. Edwards were 
installed as elders. Not long after this Mr. Clark and part of the 
members withdrew and formed the New School Presbyterian 
Church. In 1858 the first steps were taken for the consolidation of 
the two societies, which was made complete in i860, and since that 
time the organization has been known as the Union Presbyterian 
Church. When the two churches were united the old building, 
formerly occupied by the Old School branch, on Third Streetj 
between Pine and Market, became the house of worship. This build- 
ing was erected in 1844, at a cost of $6,000, and stood until 1884,. 
when it was torn down to make way for the present building. The 
present church was dedicated in September, 1885. It'was erected at 
a cost of $16,000, every cent of which was paid before the society 
took possession. The women of the church soon afterward installed 
a fine organ, which cost $2,000. The manse is a comfortable frame 
residence at 712 Fourth Street. 

The First Presbyterian Church of Keokuk (New School) was^ 
organized in 1843, though there was some kind of a Presbyterian' 
organization in existence prior to that date, as the records of the: 
society show that its "connection with the First Presbyterian Church 
of Keokuk is hereby dissolved." No further information of the 
parent organization can be found. A small frame house of wor- 
ship, on the corner of Second and Blondeau streets, was occupied by 
the congregation until its consolidation with the First Westminster 
Presbyterian Church in 1870, when it was sold to St. Francis de 
Sales Catholic parish. 

The First Westminster Presbyterian Church was organized on 
June 1, 1 85 1, by Revs. James Sharon and J. G. Wilson, with fifteen 
members. The first pastor was Rev. John Cummings, who died in 
1852 and was succeeded by Rev. J. T. Umsted. In that year a 


house of worship was erected, which was afterward sold to the 
United Presbyterian Church, and three vacant lots on the corner of 
Seventh and Blondeau streets taken in exchange. A small stone 
church was erected on the rear end of these lots, fronting Seventh 
Street, and was dedicated on November 9, 1856. It served the con- 
gregation until the union of the Presbyterian churches was effected 
in 1870. The present handsome and commodious stone edifice was 
completed in 1872 and cost $43,000. It is 50 by 100 feet, with a 
spire 155 feet in height. 

The United Presbyterian Church of Keokuk was organized in 
1853, under the name of the "Associate Church," with fourteen mem- 
bers. Meetings were first held in the old frame building used as 
a court room on Second Street, near Main. In 1856 a union was 
effected with the Associate Reformed Church, which had been organ- 
ized in 1853, and a new house of worship was erected on the site 
formerly occupied by the Westminster Church. This building was 
occupied until 1867, when the present church was erected on the 
corner of Ninth and Blondeau, at a cost of $20,000. 

In 1846 a Presbyterian church was organized at Montrose by 
Rev. G. C. Beaman, with eleven members. Mr. Beaman served as 
pastor until 1854, ^ e meetings during that period being held in the 
homes of the members or in the schoolhouse. In 1854 a church was 
built. Although small in numbers, the membership is active and 
loyal, and regular services are maintained. A Sunday school is con- 
ducted in connection with the church. 

Sharon Presbyterian Church, located in the northern part of 
Harrison Township, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary on May 12, 
1900. It is one of the old societies of this faith in Lee County. In 
1898 the church was enlarged and improved, George Seeley, who 
died the year before, having left a considerable sum of money for 
this purpose and for beautifying the cemetery. The history of this 
cemetery will be found in Chapter XXIII of this work. There is 
also a Presbyterian church at Primrose and a German Presbyterian 
organization at Franklin, established in 1862. 


The first efforts to establish Methodism in Iowa were made in 
1835, the first churches being established at Burlington and Dubuque. 
Iowa was then a mission and continued so until 1839, when it was 
made a part of the Illinois Conference. The next year it was 


attached to the Rock River Conference, and in 1844 the Iowa Con- 
ference was formed. 

As early as the spring of 1839 the "circuit rider" found his way 
to Fort Madison, and two years later the town formed part of a large 
circuit. The first Methodist church in the city was built in 1842 on 
Market Street, between Third and Fourth streets. Rev. William 
Simpson was one of the early ministers of this faith in Lee County, 
and the famous Peter Cartwright, the "backwoods preacher," con- 
ducted services at regular appointments. After Fort Madison was 
made a station in 1843, Rev. I. B. Nichols was the first preacher. 
In 1874 a parsonage was purchased for $1,200, more than half of 
which was realized from a legacy left the church by Mrs. Clay- 
poole. In 1887 the property on Market Street was disposed of and 
a new church was erected at the corner of Fourth and Pine streets, at 
a cost of $10,000. 

In 1839 Reverend Mr. Jennison conducted services in the old log 
schoolhouse in West Point, and his meetings resulted in the forma- 
tion of the West Point Methodist Episcopal Church before the close 
of the year, with about twenty members. Meetings were held in 
the schoolhouse and at Brand's Hotel until 1842, when a small 
church was built on Hayne Street. In 1855 the old house of worship 
was sold to the German Methodist Church and a new one was 
erected at the corner of Race and Jefferson streets. About the close 
of the Civil war some dissensions arose in the congregation which 
caused the church to lose some of its prestige, but these have been 
overcome and in 1914 the church was in fairly prosperous condition. 

The First Methodist Church of Keokuk was established in 1840 
by Rev. Samuel Clark, though the organization was not perfected 
until in the following year. Services were held irregularly for a 
time in the old schoolhouse at the corner of Third and Johnson 
streets, but on August 27, 1847, a brick house of worship, 42 by 60 
feet, was dedicated, with Rev. B. H. Russell as pastor. This build- 
ing was sold in 1871 and the present church on Ninth and Timea 
streets was erected, at a cost of $9,000. The old building, at the 
corner of Fourth and Exchange streets, was afterward converted into 
a residence. 

Probably the next Methodist society in the county is the one at 
Montrose, which was organized in 1847 by Rev. J. T. Coleman, 
though the church was not fully established until some time in 
1850, when Rev. D. Crawford began conducting regular services. 
The first church building was erected in 1855 and is still standing, 


though it has been enlarged and improved to meet the needs of the 

Chatham Square Methodist Episcopal Church of Keokuk was 
organized in 1854. Meetings were at first conducted in Mechanics 
Hall on Main Street, between Eighth and Ninth streets. The first 
house of worship erected by this congregation was dedicated on July 
19, 1857. At that time it was the largest church edifice in the state 
and cost $22,000. The lumber used in erecting this building was 
brought by steamboat from New Albany, Indiana. In 1876 a hand- 
some parsonage was erected, at a cost of $4,000, and the church has 
been greatly improved in recent years. 

The German Methodist Church of West Point, above referred 
to, was established in 1852, with ten members. About three years 
later the society bought the building erected by the West Point 
Methodist Church, and a Sunday school was organized. At one 
time this congregation numbered over sixty members. Then it began 
to decline and the church was finally disbanded. 

The German Methodist Episcopal Church of Keokuk was organ- 
ized in 1873, and a house of worship was erected on the corner of 
Fourteenth and Johnson streets in the fall of that year. The first 
regular pastor was Rev. Henry R. Riemer. 

Santa Fe Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church at Fort Madison 
was organized in 1890, with Rev. George Schlenker as the first pas- 
tor. Within a year a comfortable brick house of worship was 
erected, at a cost of $4,500, at 2815 Santa Fe Avenue. It was 
replaced by a fine new edifice in 1914. This church is prosperous, 
and the membership is steadily increasing in numbers. A fine organ 
was installed in the new building soon after it was completed. 

A Methodist church was organized at Franklin in 1842 and 
bought the partially completed building that had been commenced 
by the Baptists. The structure was completed, but the Methodists 
were unable to maintain their organization and the building was sold 
to William Tillman, who converted it into a store. There are 
Swedish Methodist churches at Keokuk and Melrose, and African 
Methodist churches at Keokuk and Fort Madison. 


The first record of any effort to establish a Baptist church in 
Lee County relates to the society at Franklin. Just when or by 
whom the church was organized is not certain, but in 1842 the con- 
gregation began the erection of a house of worship on the north 


side of the public square. Before the building was finished it was 
sold to the Methodists, as already stated, and no further history of 
the Franklin Baptist Church is available. 

Rev. L. C. Bush preached to a few Baptists in Keokuk on Feb- 
ruary 7, 1847, and eleven of those present expressed their willing- 
ness to aid in the organization of the "First Baptist Church." The 
first baptism was that of Mrs. Julia J. Tinsley, February 14, 1847, 
just a week after the church was established. Late in that year a 
small house of worship, located on the west side of Third Street, 
between Main and Johnson, was occupied by the congregation. This 
building was sold in the summer of 1850 and a new church was 
erected on Third Street, between Concert and High streets, at a 
cost of $2,700. The present handsome church, on the southwest 
corner of Eighth and Blondeau streets, was erected in 1908. 

The Baptist Church of Denmark was organized on November 
15, 1848, with eight members. For some time the little society was 
unable to obtain a site for a church, owing to the fact that all the 
suitable lots were owned by persons having no sympathy with the 
Baptist faith and they refused to sell. Finally a lot was donated by 
one of the members, and a small house of worship was erected. 
Notwithstanding the opposition, which sometimes amounted to per- 
secution, the congregation continued to grow in numbers until the 
church building became too small. Then a new church was erected, 
which is a neat, comfortable house of worship, as attractive as any 
church in Southeastern Iowa outside of the larger cities. 

The First Baptist Church of Fort Madison was organized on 
December 23, 1858, at the home of Charles Brewster, with twenty 
members. Rev. G. J. Johnson was the first pastor. Work was com- 
menced on a church building, located at the corner of Third and 
Market streets, in 1859, and the house was dedicated in 1861. Its 
cost was $14,000. This is one of the oldest church edifices in the 
city, but it is still in good condition, having been recently remodeled, 
has a large seating capacity, and meets all the needs of the congre- 

The Second Baptist Church of Fort Madison was organized by 
colored people in October, 1873. For many years the congregation 
has worshipped in the little church at 514 Market Street, which 
was erected about two years after the organization of the society. 
There is also a colored Baptist church in Keokuk. 



On April 20, 1850, a meeting was held in the law offices of Dixon 
& Wickersham, at Keokuk, for the purpose of organizing a church 
of the Protestant Episcopal denomination. Bishop Kemper pre- 
sided and I. G. Wickersham acted as secretary. Committees were 
appointed to draft articles of association and solicit subscriptions. 
At another meeting, just a week later, General Van Antwerp and 
Edward Kilbourne were elected wardens, and Christian Garber, 
Hugh Doran, A. H. Heaslip, Guy Wells and Frank Bridgman, 
vestrymen. The name of St. John's was adopted, and in June 
Rev Otis Hackett was installed as the first pastor. The first house 
of worship was completed in November, 1851, at a cost of $1,400. 
The present magnificent edifice, on the corner of Fourth and Con- 
cert streets, was completed about 1905. 

Hope Episcopal Church in Fort Madison was organized on 
March 25, 1854, with Rev. William Adderly as the first rector; 
Edward Johnstone and William Thurston, wardens; W. W. Coriell, 
Henry Cattermole, James Cattermole, J. W. Albright, W\ G. 
Albright, Anthony Smith and James M. Layton, vestrymen. Thir- 
teen families were represented in the original membership. 

A parish had been organized in Fort Madison as early as 1845, 
but it was never incorporated and after a few years it went down. 
It was known as St. Peter's. A few Episcopal families continued 
to hold meetings occasionally until the establishment of Hope 
Church. The first house of worship was built in 1856-57, at the 
northwest corner of Fourth and Cedar streets. It was practically 
rebuilt about 1886, when a fine pipe organ was added, and a little 
later a fine brick rectory was built upon the lot adjoining the church. 
In 1905, by vote of the congregation, the name of the parish was 
changed from Hope to St. Luke's, by which it is now known. 

An Episcopal church was organized at Montrose in 1861 by 
Rev. R. Jope of Keokuk, who served as rector for about six months. 
In 1869 a neat frame house of worship was erected, at a cost of about 
two thousand dollars. The membership then numbered forty, but 
deaths and removals so weakened the congregation that in time the 
organization was disbanded. 


The oldest society of this denomination in the county is St. 
John's German Evangelical Church of Fort Madison, which was 


organized on June 2, 1848, with a minister named Ankele as pastor. 
In 1850 a lot on Walnut Street was purchased and a small house of 
worship was erected. In 1864 the present church, just north of the 
old one, was completed, at a cost of $7,000. The parsonage was 
erected in 1893. 

The first church building in the Town of Franklin was erected 
by an Evangelical congregation in 1856. The stone chapel built by 
this church was afterward sold to the German Presbyterians. 

St. Paul's Evangelical Church of Keokuk was organized in 1858, 
though meetings had been held prior to that time in the court room 
and other convenient places by the few German families who sub- 
scribed to the Evangelical creed. Soon after the organization was 
perfected, a small frame church was built on the corner of Exchange 
and Eighteenth streets. This church was subsequently sold for $600 
and the society moved farther downtown, to the corner of Eleventh 
and Exchange streets, where a larger house of worship was erected. 
It served until 1874, when the present structure was erected, at a 
cost of $9,000. The parsonage was built in 1875. There are also 
German Evangelical churches at Charleston and Donnellson. 


St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Fort Madison, an 
English Lutheran society, was organized on January 1, 1871. The 
first meetings were held in a small house on Second Street and later 
in the Presbyterian Church until a church was finished in 1873. 
This house stood on Third Street, opposite Central Park, and was 
occupied for more than twenty years. During this period the serv- 
ices were conducted in the German language, but in 1892 the few 
members left decided to change to English. Since that time the 
church has had a steady growth. The present house of worship, 
a neat brick structure, at the corner of Des Moines and Hanover 
streets, was dedicated in 1897. There is a German Lutheran 
church at Primrose. 

The only Unitarian church in the county is located at Keokuk. 
It was organized on October 4, 1853, at a meeting held in the school- 
house on Third Street, with S. B. Ayres presiding and Dr. John E. 
Sanborn, secretary. A Unitarian minister named Fuller was pres- 
ent, and upon his recommendation Rev. Leonard Whitney of Illinois 
was engaged as the first pastor. The "First Unitarian Society of 
Keokuk" was incorporated on November 22, 1853. Meetings were 
held in Concert Hall and other places until November 27, 1856, 


when a comfortable brick church at the corner of Fourth and High 
streets was "dedicated for the worship of the One only, God and 
Father of all." In 1874 a new church was completed, at a cost of 

After the death of Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, a divi- 
sion arose in the church and one branch withdrew under the name 
of the "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," 
usually referred to as Latter Day Saints. On February 21, 1863, 
a church of this order was organized in the City of Keokuk, and 
some time later churches were organized at Montrose and Fort 
Madison. These are the only organizations of the Latter Day Saints 
ever founded in Lee County. This reorganized Mormon Church 
repudiates the doctrine of polygamy, one section of their Articles 
of Faith declaring: "We believe the doctrines of a plurality and 
a community of wives are heresies and opposed to the law of God." 

As early as 1839 a few Mennonite families had located in the 
vicinity of West Point. In the spring of 1845 they were joined by 
John Miller, a Mennonite preacher, and steps were taken to organize 
a church. A meeting for that purpose was held at West Point on 
Saturday, May 10, 1845, which was well attended, and the people 
went home believing that a church would be established in the near 
future. That night Mr. Miller and his son-in-law, Henry Leisy, 
were murdered by robbers and the organization of the church was 
deferred until 1849. In 1850 a log house of worship was built on 
Sugar Creek, about three miles south of West Point. Five years 
later the congregation decided to remove to West Point, and a frame 
church was erected there in 1863. The old church site was used for 
many years as a cemetery. 

In 1868 the Mennonites built an edifice at Franklin, which was 
used for a number of years as church, schoolhouse and pastor's resi- 
dence. The only church of this denomination reported in the Iowa 
Gazetteer for 1 9 14 is the one located at Donnellson. 

About the middle of December, 1878, H. C. Landes, N. W. 
Johnson and A. J. Hardin of Keokuk, while discussing the failure of 
the people to attend church, decided to organize a church that would 
hold services in the afternoon instead of Sunday mornings and even- 
ings, thus giving everybody an opportunity to attend the services. 
The organization that resulted was called the "Free for All Church." 
Rev. John Burgess began his labors as pastor on December 29, 1878. 
For a time the movement was a success and many people went to 
church on Sunday afternoons that had not been in the habit of going 
to the regular churches. Then the novelty of the innovation wore 


off, attendance decreased and in time the organization was aban- 

There is one Jewish religious organization in the county — the 
Congregation of B'nai Israel at Keokuk. It had its beginning on 
April 29, 1855, when a few Israelites of that city formed a benevolent 
society for the purpose of burying their dead according to the Jewish 
rites and customs. Michael Vogel was chosen president of this 
society, which was incorporated on September 3, 1855. ^ n ^63 ^ le 
present name was adopted, the corner-stone of the synagogue was 
laid in 1874, and the building was completed the next year, at a 
cost of $12,000. 

There are a few other religious organizations in the county, but 
in the absence of records it is practically impossible to obtain their 
history. A Young Men's Christian Association was organized in 
Fort Madison in 1901. In Keokuk both the Young Men's and 
Young Women's Christian associations have fine buildings, and the 
Church of Christ, Scientist, has societies in both Fort Madison and 




Probably the first voluntary association of any kind in Lee County 
was an agricultural society. On July 17, 1841, a meeting was held 
at West Point for the purpose of organizing such a society. William 
Patterson presided and James H. Cowles acted as secretary. About 
one hundred and fifty people were present, among whom were Hugh 
T. Reid and D. F. Miller of Fort Madison, who addressed the meet- 
ing. A number of fine Durham cattle were exhibited at West 
Point on that occasion. A committee of five was appointed to draft 
a constitution and by-laws and report at a meeting to be held in Fort 
Madison on the first Monday of the following October. No record 
of the Fort Madison meeting can be found, but it is likely some sort 
of a society was organized, as in September, 1842, a three days' fair 
was held near Keokuk, under the auspices of the "Lee County Asso- 
ciation," which was evidently short-lived. On November 1, 1851, 
the Lee County Agricultural Society was organized at Keokuk. 
T. B. Cumming, G. W. Edmondson and T. J. Chenowith were 
appointed to draft a constitution and by-laws, which were presented 
and adopted at the same meeting. William Lamb was elected the 
first president of the society and G. W. Edmondson the first secre- 
tarv. Ralph P. Lowe, afterward governor of Iowa, was the first 

The first fair given by this society was held on October 13-14, 
1852, on the grounds of the medical college at Keokuk. The pre- 
mium list advertised amounted to $588, but the total amount awarded 
in prizes was $219. At the close of the fair the directors met in the 



lecture room of the medical college and elected Thomas W. Clagett, 
president; Absalom Anderson, vice president; William Leighton, 
secretary, and Arthur Bridgman, treasurer. The second and third 
fairs of this society were held at 'Keokuk, after which the place of 
exhibition was changed to West Point, where it remained until 1870. 

On December 28, 1853, the State Agricultural Society was organ- 
ized at Fairfield. Only five counties were represented, viz. : Henry, 
Jefferson, Lee, Van Buren and Wapello. Josiah Hinkle of Lee 
was one of the committee to draft by-laws, and the board of directors, 
consisting of three from each of the thirteen counties, was elected. 
The Lee County representatives on that board were Arthur Bridg- 
man, Josiah Hinkle and Reuben Brackett. The board met at Fair- 
field on June 6, 1854, elected Thomas W. Clagett of Lee County 
president, and proceeded to select a date and arrange a premium list 
for the first state fair. There was some criticism because no prize 
was offered for lady horseback riders, and Judge Clagett offered a 
gold watch, which was won by Miss Belle Turner of Lee County. 

In the fall of 1870 the citizens of Fort Madison prepared fair 
grounds and offered inducements which decided the directors to 
remove the fair from West Point to that place, where it was held for 
three or four years. The old society then became involved and 
terminated its existence in 1877. It was then reorganized and twenty 
acres of ground were leased at Donnellson and fitted up for fair 
grounds, and a successful fair was held there in the fall of that year. 
The officers of the society for 1914 were : Joseph Krebill, president; 
Joseph Carver, vice president; G. W. Mattern, treasurer; Chris 
Haffner, secretary; D. McCulloch, superintendent of grounds; H. C. 
Knapp, marshal. 

Some of the citizens in the vicinity of West Point, after the fair 
was removed to Fort Madison, organized an association known as 
the West Point District Agricultural Society, which secured the 
grounds formerly occupied by the Lee County Agricultural Society, 
and has held fairs annually since 1872. The officers for 1914 were: 
George E. Rogers, president; Theodore Brinck, vice president; John 
Walljasper, secretary; T. J. Lampe, treasurer; Theodore Vonder- 
haar, superintendent of privileges, stalls and chief of police ; and John 
Lachman, marshal. 

women's societies 

One of the oldest organizations of women in the State of Iowa is 
the P. E. O. Just what these initials stand for is unknown to the 


uninitiated. As early as 1869, seven young girls, students in the 
Iowa Wesleyan University at Mount Pleasant, conceived the idea of 
a society. One of these girls, speaking of it afterwards, says: "We 
had no very definite idea as to what we wanted to do, and when one 
said, 'What shall we call the society?' another suggested the name 
which that day bound together seven girls, and in 1914 held together 
in one great sisterhood 20,000 women." Miss Alice Bird, later Mrs. 
W. I. Babb, wrote the constitution. For many years P. E. O. was a 
college sorority, having chapters somewhat after the nature of the 
Greek letter fraternities. Its principal philanthropy is the main- 
tenance of a fund which is loaned to young women to assist them in 
acquiring a higher education. Hundreds of girls have been educated 
by these means, and it is said that not one dollar has ever been lost 
by failure to repay a loan. There are two chapters of the P. E. O. 
in Lee County, located at Fort Madison and Keokuk. 


The Keokuk Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, 
was organized on October 26, 1896, with twelve charter members 
and the number 431. It is one of the oldest chapters of this order in 
Iowa, and its organization is due largely to the efforts of Miss Cora 
H. K. Pittmann, who was its first regent. Since its organization 
more than forty women have been elected to membership. The 
chapter has every year conducted a course of study on some topic of 
history, and has done patriotic educational work in the schools 
through the offering of prizes for the best standing in history grades 
and essays on historical subjects. The greatest work of the chapter 
was the erection of the statue of Chief Keokuk in Rand Park. This 
monument was unveiled on October 22, 191 3, by Miss Agnes Evans 
Reeves and Miss Graffen Blood, two little girls, daughters of mem- 
bers of the chapter. Following is the list of the regents of this 
chapter since its organization: Cora H. K. Pittmann, Lucy Single- 
ton Howell, Mary Higbee Brownell, Eliza Janette Carter, Mary O. 
Hoyt, Marcia Jenkins Sawyer, Lida Hiller Lapsley, Elizabeth W. 
Dunlap, Ora Belle Cole, Grace Bisbee Hornoday, Winona Evans 
Reeves, Minnie A. B. Newcomb. 

Jean Espy Chapter of Fort Madison was organized on Novem- 
ber 14, 1 901, with twenty charter members, and in 19 14 the member- 
ship had been increased to forty-six, one of whom was a life member. 
This chapter was organized through the efforts of Miss Florence 
Espy and was named for her ancestor, who had thirteen descendants 


in the Continental army during the Revolution. The line of work 
laid down by the national organization is followed, such as marking 
historic sites, the observation of patriotic days, and the encourage- 
ment of the study of history in the schools by offering prizes, etc. 
The greatest work of this chapter was the erection of the monument 
at the foot of Broadway, in the form of a chimney, which marks the 
site of old Fort Madison. A full account of this monument, its 
inscription, etc., will be found in Chapter VIII. Following is a 
list of the regents of the chapter, in the order in which they served: 
Adele Kretsinger Stewart, Elizabeth Hesser Mason, Maggie L. 
Hanchett, Dell Phillips Glazier, Belle Hamilton, James Preston 
Roberts, Susanne Hesser Brown, and Sarah Johnson Casey. Mrs. 
Brown is a granddaughter of Frederick Hesser, who served in the 
Revolution, and Mrs. M. Katherine Robison, a member of the chap- 
ter, is a great-granddaughter of Betsy Ross, who made the first 
American flag. 

The Keokuk Woman's Club was organized in January, 1898, 
with Mrs. William Ballinger as the first president; Mrs. Joseph 
Root, vice president; Mrs. Anette M. Sawyer, secretary; and Mrs. 
William A. Brownell, treasurer. The same year the club joined the 
Iowa Federation, and continued in the study of literature, art, domes- 
tic science, etc., until 191 2, when it was merged into the Civic League. 
During its career it planted two rows of trees on Belknap Boulevard, 
erected four public drinking fountains on Main Street, and placed 
rubbish cans on the principal streets. 

In May, 19 12, the Keokuk Civic League was organized with a 
membership of 194 women. The constitution sets forth that "The 
object of the league shall be to bring together women interested in 
improving the city; to extend a knowledge of public affairs; to aid 
in improving civic conditions and to arouse an increased sense of 
responsibility for the safeguarding of the home and for the main- 
tenance and ennobling of that larger home of all — the city." The 
first officers of the league were as follows: Mrs. Winona Evans 
Reeves, president; Miss Lida Gordon Howell, first vice president; 
Mrs. James Huiskamp, second vice president; Mrs. H. T. Herrick, 
recording secretary; Miss Rachel Roberts, corresponding secretary; 
and Miss S. Elizabeth Matheney, treasurer. 

Among the things accomplished by the league was its aid in the 
annual "clean up" day, conducting a garden contest among school 
children in which 300 took part and ten prizes were given, and the 
establishment of a systematic, sanitary collection of garbage. The 
membership is distributed all over the city. 


The Keokuk branch of the Ladies of Charity was formed on 
January 13, 1914, and is affiliated with the international society, the 
headquarters of which are in Paris, France. The aim of the society 
is to work with other organizations in promoting the general welfare 
of the community. A number of families have been aided, and at 
Christmas time in 19 1 3 a large number of toys, Christmas dinners, 
etc., were distributed among the poor of the city. The officers in 
1914 were: Mrs. Alois Weber, president; Mrs. C. A. McNamara, 
vice president; Mrs. I. S. Sawyer, recording secretary; Mrs. Mary 
Seibert, corresponding secretary; Mrs. Joseph O'Brien, treasurer. 

The first suggestion for a Visiting Nurse Association in Keokuk 
was made by Mrs. C. D. Streeter, president of the Young Women's 
Christian Association. Mrs. Hugh L. Cooper made the first large 
contribution and the association was organized on January 1, 1913, 
with the following officers: Mrs. Corydon M. Rich, president; 
Miss Nettie Younker, first vice president; Mrs. Eugene S. Baker, 
second vice president; Miss Laura Alton, recording secretary; Miss 
Agnes Trimble, financial and corresponding secretary; and Miss 
Elsie Buck, treasurer. Miss Emma Habenicht was elected visiting 
nurse and began her work on February 1, 1913. 

The oldest woman's club in Fort Madison is the Monday After- 
noon Club, which was organized by Mrs. Caroline Cattermole in 
September, 1899. The constitution states : "The object of this asso- 
ciation shall be the intellectual and social culture of its members." 
As its name indicates, meetings are held on Monday afternoons at 
the homes of the members. Half of the time at each meeting is 
devoted to study, and the other half to the discussion of current 
topics. It is a member of the Iowa Federation and contributes to all 
the great forward movements in which the federation is interested. 
During its career the club has had three presidents, Mrs. Foss, Mrs. 
Cattermole and Mrs. C. F. Wahrer. 

In 1901 Mrs. Natalie Schafer conceived the idea of organizing 
a club of German women for the practice of the German language 
and the study of German literature. The works of Heinrich Heine 
were the first to be taken up for study and from this fact the organiza- 
tion adopted the name of the "Heine Club." This has been followed 
by a study of the classics, the modern poets, novelists and dramatists, 
varied by special programs to commemorate some literary anni- 
versary — such as the one hundredth anniversary of Schiller's birth. 
After the program at each meeting, a social hour of genuine German 
"Gemuthlichkeit" follows. 

Vol.f ^22 


Another active and energetic woman's club of Fort Madison is 
the King's Daughters, the first circle of which, called the Ida Mans- 
field, was organized on January 25, 191 1, at the home of Mrs. W. S. 
Hamilton. Since that time four other circles have been formed in 
the city, and the total membership in September, 1914, was about one 
nundred and fifty. One circle has charge of the rest rooms on Pine 
Street, and the others are interested mainly along charitable and civic 
lines. The officers of the union in 19 14 were: Mrs. J. H. Samuels, 
president; Mrs. H. E. Hershey, first vice president; Miss Hazel 
Amborn, second vice president; Mrs. Lora Schneider, recording sec- 
retary; Miss Laura Lofgreen, corresponding secretary; and Miss 
Florence Johnson, treasurer. 


One of the most prominent social organizations in Lee County 
is the Keokuk Country Club, which, in the summer of 1 9 1 3, dedi- 
cated a handsome new clubhouse a few miles north of the city on the 
bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. The building stands on 
the highest level of the thirty-six acres which comprise the grounds 
of the club. Facing the river is a wide veranda, which opens into a 
large reception room. On the first floor there are also a dining 
room, kitchen and custodian's room, while upstairs are the men's 
quarters, baths, etc. A nine-hole golf course has been laid out on 
the grounds by Thomas Bendelow, the Chicago golf expert, and is 
one of the finest links along the Mississippi. The new clubhouse 
has been the scene of many parties and entertainments, and is one of 
the popular social centers of Keokuk. 


Of all the secret orders Masonry stands first in point of seniority. 
A tradition says the order was introduced in England by Prince 
Edwin about 926 A. D., and there are documents dated back to 1390. 
Mother Kilwinning Lodge of Scotland was organized in 1599 and 
has been in continuous existence from that time, being the oldest 
known lodge in the world. In June, 1717, the Grand Lodge of 
England was organized and is the mother of all Masonic bodies in 
the English-speaking world. 

In 1730 Daniel Coxe of New Jersey was appointed by the English 
Grand Lodge "Provincial Grand Master of the Provinces of New 
York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in America." About the same 


time a provincial grand master was appointed for the New England 
colonies. Before the close of the year a lodge was established at 
Philadelphia and one in New Hampshire, each of which claims to 
be the first lodge in America. 

Masonry was introduced into the Territory of Iowa under the 
authority of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, the first lodge being estab- 
lished under dispensation at Burlington November 20, 1840. Rising 
Sun Lodge, at Montrose, and Eagle Lodge, at Keokuk, held charters 
from the Grand Lodge of Illinois, but were known as Mormon 
lodges. They continued in existence until some time after the assas- 
sination of Joseph and Hyrum Smith in June, 1844, though their 
charters had been revoked by the Illinois Grand Lodge and they 
could not participate in the organization of the Iowa Grand Lodge 
in January, 1844. 

The oldest organized lodge in Lee County is Eagle Lodge, No. 
12, located at Keokuk. It was organized under dispensation from 
the Iowa Grand Lodge, May 2, 1846, with Peter Kinleyside, wor- 
shipful master; Lyman E. Johnson, senior warden; Joseph C. Ains- 
worth, junior warden; and Joseph Welch, secretary. 

Claypoole Lodge, No. 13, at Fort Madison, although bearing a 
larger number than the Keokuk lodge, received its dispensation 
about two weeks before that lodge, the date being April 17, 1846. 
The charter members of this lodge were: J. F. Kinney, John Clay- 
poole, Chapin Allen, Darius Wellington, Jacob Huner, Thomas 
Hale, Samuel B. Ayres and Josiah Kent. 

On December 25, 1851, a dispensation was issued to Hardin 
Lodge, No. 29, of Keokuk, with Dr. J. F. Sanford as the first wor- 
shipful master, and eight charter members. 

Joppa Lodge, No. 136, located at Montrose, was organized on 
April 5, 1858, by Dr. J. F. Sanford, when he was grand master of the 
state. The first master of Joppa Lodge was H. B. Munson, and J. M. 
Anderson was the first secretary. 

The youngest Masonic lodge in Lee County is Stella Lodge, No. 
440, at Fort Madison. 

These are the only five Masonic lodges in the county. The 
higher degrees of Masonry are represented by Gate City Chapter, 
No. 7, Royal Arch Masons, at Keokuk, which was organized on 
Christmas day, 1854; Potowonok Chapter, No. 28, organized at Fort 
Madison, April 20, 1863; Damascus Commandery, No. 5, Knights 
Templar, organized at Keokuk, December 15, 1863 ; and Delta Com- 
mandery, No. 51, at Fort Madison. 


In connection with Masonry there is a "side degree" to which 
the wives and daughters of master Masons are eligible. This degree 
is known as the Order of the Eastern Star and the local bodies as 
chapters. The oldest organization in the county is Martha Chapter, 
No. 5, at Montrose. Diamond Chapter, No. 37, is located at Fort 
Madison, and Elmira Chapter, No. 40, of Keokuk, has over two 
hundred members. 

All the Masonic bodies of Fort Madison meet in the hall at the 
northwest corner of Market and Second streets, but the Keokuk 
Masons have erected a fine Masonic Temple at the corner of Seventh 
and Blondeau streets, opposite the postoffice. Work was begun on 
this building in August, 19 1 3, and it was dedicated, with appropriate 
ceremonies, in July, 1914. It is three stories high, with a frontage 
of 112 feet on Blondeau Street and 66 feet on Seventh Street. It is 
provided with elevators, electric lights, steam heat, modern ventila- 
tion, and was erected at a cost of $75,000, giving Keokuk Masons one 
of the best homes in the state. The first floor is divided into offices 
and store rooms. There are some offices on the second floor, but the 
third floor contains lodge rooms, ladies' parlor and a Masonic library. 
In the basement, which is fourteen feet high, are the ball room and 
banquet hall. 


The society upon which modern Odd Fellowship is based was 
started in England in the latter part of the eighteenth century under 
the name of the "Antient and Most Noble Order of Bucks." About 
1773 this order declined and some four or five years later the words 
Odd Fellow first occur in the ritual. In 1813 several lodges organ- 
ized the Manchester Unity, and Shakspere Lodge, No. 1, was soon 
afterward organized in New York. The first permanent lodge in 
the United States, however, was organized in 18 19 by Thomas H. 
Wildey of Baltimore. 

The first lodge of this order to be organized in Lee County is 
Keokuk Lodge, No. 13, instituted on July 31, 1848, with seven mem- 
bers. Empire Lodge, No. 31, was instituted on March 18, 1851, at 
Fort Madison, with five charter members. The order is now repre- 
sented in Keokuk by the original Keokuk Lodge, No. 13, which meets 
every Monday evening; Puckechetuck Lodge, No. 43, which meets 
on Friday evenings; Hermann Lodge, No. 116, which meets on 
Wednesdays; Puckechetuck Encampment, No. 7, which holds meet- 
ings on the first and third Thursdays of each month; and Canton 


Leech, No. 4, Patriarchs Militant, which meets on the second Thurs- 

On September 9, 1861, Concordia Lodge was instituted at Fort 
Madison with ten charter members, and on January 7, 1868, Fort 
Madison Lodge, No. 157, was instituted. These two lodges have 
been merged into Empire Lodge, No. 31, which is now the only 
lodge in the city. It owns the building at the northeast corner of 
Front and Market streets, where regular meetings are held weekly. 
The Odd Fellows also have lodges at Charleston, Montrose, Mount 
Hamill, Vincennes and Wever. 

In connection with the Odd Fellows there is a ladies' degree, 
called the Daughters of Rebekah — generally spoken of as the Rebe- 
kahs. Lodges of this degree are maintained with practically all the 
Odd Fellows lodges throughout the country. 


This order was organized in Washington, D. C, February 15, 
1864, by Justus H. Rathbone, Robert A. Champion, William H. and 
David L. Burnett, and Dr. Sullivan Kimball, members of the Arion 
Glee Club. The ritual, written by Mr. Rathbone, is founded on the 
story of Damon and Pythias. On February 19, 1864, Washington 
Lodge, No. 1, was organized, but, the Civil war being then in prog- 
ress, the order grew slowly until about 1869, when it spread rapidly 
to all parts of the Union. The first lodge in Lee County was Morn- 
ing Star, No. 5, of Keokuk. At one time there were several lodges; 
in the county, but the only ones in existence in 1914 were Morning; 
Star and the lodge at Donnellson. 


In 1868 a number of "good fellows" in the City of New York 
were in the habit of meeting together of evenings to spend a few 
hours in social communion, singing songs, "swapping yarns," etc. A 
permanent club was finally organized under the name of the "Jolly 
Corks." Some months later, when it was proposed to found a secret 
order, the name was objected to as not sufficiently dignified. A com- 
mittee was therefore appointed to select a new name. This com- 
mittee chanced to visit Barnum's Museum, where they saw an elk 
and learned something of the habits of that animal. They then sug- 
gested the name of "Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks," w T hich 
was adopted. The initials B. P. O. E. are sometimes interpreted 


as meaning u Best People On Earth." In 1914 there were about 
twelve hundred lodges in the United States. The motto of the Elks 
is: "The faults of our brothers we write upon the sands; their vir- 
tues upon the tablets of love and memory." Under an established 
rule, lodges cannot be organized in cities of less than 5,000 popula- 
tion, hence the only two lodges in Lee County are Keokuk, No. 106, 
and Fort Madison, No. 374. The Keokuk Lodge erected a fine club- 
house on Blondeau Street in 191 1, modern in all its appointments, 
and the Fort Madison Lodge owns the commodious clubhouse on 
Front Street, between Market and Pine, overlooking the Mississippi 
River. Both lodges have strong memberships and are in prosperous 


There are a number of fraternal societies which have organiza- 
tions in Fort Madison and Keokuk, among which are the Ancient 
Order of United Workmen, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the 
Knights of the Maccabees, the Modern Woodmen, the Loyal Order 
of Moose, the Woodmen of the World, the Royal Arcanum, the 
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the Brotherhood of Loco- 
motive Firemen, with their ladies' auxiliaries, the Yeomen, and a few 

The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic society, was first organized 
at New Haven, Connecticut, in February, 1882, by Rev. M. J. Mc- 
Givney. The order issues insurance policies in sums of $1,000, 
$2,000, and $3,000, and does a general charitable work among its 
members. In 1904 it gave $50,000 to endow a chair of American 
history in the Catholic University of Washington. In 19 14 the assets 
of the society amounted to $2,500,000. Local organizations are 
called councils. The councils at Fort Madison and Keokuk are both 
large in membership and active in carrying out the work outlined 
by the national organization. 

Shortly after the close of the Civil war the survivors of the Union 
army organized the Grand Army of the Republic, membership in 
which was limited to those who had served in the army and navy 
during the war. Local organizations are called posts. James B. 
Sample Post, No. 170, Department of Iowa, is located at Fort Madi- 
son ; Torrence, No. 2, and W. W. Belknap, No. 515, are located at 
Keokuk. The aims and objects of the Grand Army have been to col- 
lect historic relics and documents of the war, and to mark the location 
of troops on the historic battlefields of the nation. Usually with the 



post is an auxiliary known as the Woman's Relief Corps, which has 
aided in the charitable work of the order, such as caring for disabled 
veterans and the widows and orphans of Union soldiers. Each year 
this order grows smaller, many of its members answering annually to 
the last roll call. 




During the period of settlement in Lee County the majority of 
the pioneers were blessed with good health, and a number of years 
passed before the question of caring for the unfortunate poor became 
one for the consideration of the county authorities. Those who 
needed assistance were usually aided by the neighbors, and it was 
not until 1857 that any official action was taken toward providing a 
home for the poor. In that year County Judge Samuel Boyles 
directed the building of a poorhouse, or county home. The original 
building was 100 feet long and 36 feet wide, with a wing 36 by 50 
feet at each end. The original cost was $35,000. The institution 
as thus established served the county for thirty-five years. 

At the election in November, 1891, the Board of Supervisors 
submitted to the people the proposition to build an addition to cost 
not more than $7,500, which was carried by a vote of 3,151 to 1,124, 
and the repairs were made the following year. A new foundation 
was placed under the old building and a wing 68 feet long, in 
the same style of architecture, was added. An eight-inch sewer 
was run to the creek 640 feet distant, a cement floor was laid in the 
basement, in which the kitchen and main dining room were estab- 
lished, and the sanitary conditions of the home were generally 
improved. Water is furnished from five wells and four cisterns, 
and a steam heating plant was installed at the time the addition was 
built. The improvements were paid for out of savings from the 
county insane fund, and not a cent of tax was levied and collected 
for the purpose. No county in the state provides better accommo- 
dations for the unfortunate poor and insane than Lee. The county 
has three farms — the one of 108 acres where the home is located, the 
Leighton farm of eighty acres in Jackson Township, and the Taylor 
farm of sixty acres in Montrose Township. 




There is not a public hospital in Lee County, in the sense that 
the institution belongs to the public and receives its support from 
the public revenues. But there are two hospitals at Fort Madison 
and one at Keokuk that receive patients under certain conditions. 

The Santa Fe Railway Employees' Hospital was built in 1889, 
at a cost of $75,000. It is located in the West End, on Santa Fe 
Avenue, just east of Ivanhoe Park, has three large wards, each floored 
with hardwood and furnished with iron cots, and is complete in all its 
appointments. Fifty patients or more can be accommodated at one 
time. In the basement there is a modern laundry, a fine dining 
room on the first floor, and the broad portico affords a resting place 
for convalescents. It is maintained by the employees of the railway 
company, each of whom pays a small assessment every month for its 
support, in return for which they receive medical attention for them- 
selves and families. Emergency cases are sometimes admitted when 
occasion requires. This is an institution in which the people of 
Fort Madison feel a just pride. 

Some years ago the Sisters of St. Francis established a hospital 
at the southwest corner of Third and Broadway. It was known as 
St. Elizabeth's Hospital and was supported by donations and fees 
from patients who were able to pay for hospital services. The build- 
ing used by the hospital was formerly a residence. During its 
existence it provided accommodations for fifteen patients at a time. 

On October 12, 191 2, the Sacred Heart Hospital, a Catholic 
institution located near the church of that name, was dedicated. This 
hospital took the place of St. Elizabeth's and is conducted by the 
Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, whose mother house is 
located at Peoria, Illinois. During the first two years of its existence 
nearly five hundred patients were treated at the institution. The 
building is a substantial brick structure, three stories high, with 
basement, provided with fire escapes and all modern conveniences 
found in the modern hospital. 

In Keokuk the Catholics of St. Mary's parish, some years ago, 
established St. Joseph's Hospital, one of the largest institutions of 
its kind in this section of the country. Since the first building was 
erected large additions have been made to accommodate the con- 
stantly increasing number of patients who come here every month 
for treatment. This hospital is modern in its equipment, and in the 
corps of physicians and surgeons are some of the best professional 
men of Keokuk. 







In the late '90s the Keokuk Benevolent Union was organized at 
the home of the late Charles K. Birge, on the corner of Seventh and 
Bank streets, and the first home established consisted of a few rooms 
in a downtown building. It soon became apparent that more room 
was needed, and Mr. and Mrs. Birge donated their home to the 
union on June 1, 1900. Since then an addition of thirteen rooms has 
been made to the building, making a total of twenty-five rooms. This 
is a home for old people, supported by donations from the business 
men of the city and nearly two hundred women, who annually make 
contributions for its support. The institution is known as the "Birge 
Benevolent Union Home." The officers of the union in 1914 were 
as follows: Mrs. D. A. Collier, president; Mrs. H. H. Hawkes, 
secretary; and Mrs. H. W. Radcliffe, treasurer. Membership can 
be purchased in the union by elderly women who wish to make the 
home their own. A few have done this, but by far the larger num- 
ber of inmates are women without means, who are cared for by the 

In December, 1913, the United Charities of Keokuk was organ- 
ized as an outgrowth of the Keokuk Humane Society and the Asso- 
ciated Charities. Under the present organization the secretary of 
the society is also the humane officer and an officer of the local 
Board of Health. The work of the organization consists chiefly df 
affording material relief to needy families in -their homes. It does 
not maintain a large relief fund for this purpose, but invites and 
secures the hearty cooperation of churches, fraternal orders and 
charitably inclined citizens. The society also gives considerable 
attention to improvement of home conditions, the establishment of 
better sanitary surroundings in shops and factories, and in caring for 
children that they may have the rights of childhood and the oppor- 
tunity to grow up into useful men and women. The officers of the 
United Charities in 1914 were: Rev. John C. Sage, president; 
Albert Kiefer, Mrs. W. J. Roberts, Miss Lucretia Huiskamp and 
Leonard Matless, vice presidents; Miss Dorothy Younker, secre- 
tary; Fern Erdman, treasurer; David Glascoff, general secretary. 
Mr. Glascoff is a graduate of the New York School of Philanthropy, 
and took up his duties as executive officer of the Keokuk United 
Charities on February 16, 1914. In addition to these officers there 
are the executive, finance, child welfare, case conference and indigent 
children committees, each composed of a certain number of the mem- 


bers of the organization, to look after the duties suggested by the 
title of the commtitee. 


Although not a charitable institution, nor an institution belonging 
to Lee County, it is considered appropriate to mention in this chapter 
the penitentiary located at Fort Madison. By an act of the Iowa 
Legislature, approved January 25, 1839, the governor was authorized 
to draw $20,000 appropriated by Congress July 7, 1838, for the 
erection of a penitentiary "within one mile of the public square at 
Fort Madison." 

The citizens of the town donated and conveyed ten acres of 
ground, and on June 5, 1839, Amos Ladd was appointed superin- 
tendent of the building. The penitentiary as originally constructed 
provided for the reception of 138 convicts. The main building and 
the warden's house were built within about two years, but the first 
convict, Isaac Grimes, was not received until in 1849. William 
Anderson was the first warden. 

Several additions have been made to the original building. The 
walls measured 400 feet on each side of the square as at first estab- 
lished, but the inclosed area was extended west to Olive Street in 
1896, the preceding Legislature having appropriated $5,100 for the 
work. With further extensions the dimensions of the present grounds 
inclosed within the walls are 712 feet on Fourth Street, 363 feet on 
Olive, and thence east and south there are 1,275 ^ eet °f wall to con- 
nect with the wall on Fourth Street. Among the improvements 
made since the first prison was erected are a large power house for 
furnishing power, electric light and steam heat, a school, a green- 
house, a modern hospital, a library containing nearly ten thousand 
volumes, and a chapel in which religious services are held. A mod- 
ern cellhouse was completed in 1914. 

Inmates of the institution are divided into three classes, each 
dressed in a different garb, showing the "social" standing of each 
convict in the institution. Convicts, upon entering, are placed in 
the middle class. If their conduct proves good they are promoted 
to the first grade, but if they fail to comply with the regulations 
they are sent back into the third class and don the stripes as unruly 
or ill-tempered prisoners. The warden in 1914 was J. C. Sanders. 



One institution of a charitable nature, yet one which the pioneers 
in a new country are always somewhat reluctant to see make its 
appearance, is a place of burial for the dead. One can hardly 
imagine a more desolate scene than the first grave in the frontier set- 
tlement. After a number of deaths, when the cemetery has reached 
proportions that naturally require greater care, much of the desola- 
tion disappears and people accept the institution as a necessary 
adjunct of modern civilization. 

When the Town of Fort Madison was laid out the block bounded 
by Front, Maple, Des Moines and Arch streets was set apart as the 
City Cemetery. This cemetery is still in use, though it is almost 
filled with graves, and before many years burials must be discon- 
tinued. Elmwood Cemetery, half a mile southwest of the City 
Cemetery, was surveyed a few years ago by R. H. Heath for John C. 
Atlee. The northern boundary of this cemetery is Santa Fe Avenue. 
The original plat shows 192 burial lots. Half a mile north of Fort 
Madison, on the Augusta Road, is Cherry Hill Cemetery, one of the 
old burial places of the community. Oakland Cemetery, just west 
of and across Santa Fe Avenue from Ivanhoe Park, was opened about 
1907. St. Joseph's, a Catholic cemetery, is a mile north of the city 
on the Denmark road. It was surveyed by R. H. Heath on July 24, 
1876, and in the western part of the city is Sacred Heart Cemetery, 
the consecrated burial place for the Catholic parish of that name. 
There is also a small burial place in connection with the penitentiary 
for convicts who die while inmates of that institution. 

Oakland Cemetery at Keokuk is the principal burial place in 
the southern part of the county. It contains forty acres in the north- 
western part of the city, and was established in 1855. The main 
entrance, at Carroll and Eighteenth streets, passes through a beau- 
tiful little park before reaching the cemetery proper. Within the 
40-acre inclosure ten acres are set apart for a Catholic cemetery, 
and about two acres as a burial place for the Jews. This cemetery 
is controlled by a commission, which in 1914 was composed of F. T. 
F. Schmidt, C. R. Joy and H. R. Jacobs. 

There is at Keokuk a national cemetery, established by the United 
States Government on September 23, 1861. During the early years 
of the war there were five military hospitals at Keokuk for the recep- 
tion of sick and wounded soldiers, and before the close of the war 
770 had been buried in the national cemetery, eight of whom were 
Confederate prisoners. The grounds contain three acres. The 


superintendent's lodge is a neat brick building, one and one-half 
stories high, and in the cemetery is a platform for conducting Memo- 
rial Day ceremonies. 


Fourscore years have elapsed since the first white settlements 
were established in Lee County. The first graveyards were estab- 
lished without formality of deed or incorporation and their early 
history cannot be learned. Upon the map of Lee County in the 
Iowa Atlas, published in 1904, are marked a number of country 
graveyards. In Cedar Township there is a burial place in the south- 
east corner of section 6, about a mile northwest of the old Village 
of Russellville, and another in the west side of section 28, about a 
mile east of Big Mound. 

In Charleston Township there is a cemetery, known as the Ever- 
hart Cemetery, in the east side of section 1, near the Jefferson Town- 
ship line; another in the west side of section 4, a short distance south 
of Donnellson, and a third in the southwest corner of section 26, just 
south of the Town of Charleston. 

Cemeteries are shown in Denmark Township near the towns of 
Denmark and South Augusta, but no burial place is indicated within 
the limit of Des Moines Township. 

In Franklin Township, three miles north of the Town of Frank- 
lin, in the northeastern part of section 11, there is an old burial place 
that is rarely used in the present day, and in the northeastern part of 
section 29, about a mile and a half north of Donnellson, is a ceme- 
tery of more modern character. The only cemeteries shown in 
Green Bay Township are two, near each other, about a mile north of 
Wever and west of the railroad. 

In Harrison Township there is a country graveyard in the north- 
west corner of section 10, near the center of the township; one in 
the northeastern part of section 27, about half a mile south of Prim- 
rose, and one in the northeast corner of section 36, two miles from 

One of the most historic country graveyards in the State of Iowa 
is Sharon Cemetery, located in the northeast corner of section 4, 
Harrison Township, three miles west of the railroad station of 
La Crew. This cemetery originated as a neighborhood burial place, 
among the earliest burials being members of the Seeley family, one 
of the wealthiest families in Lee County. Eli Seeley, one of the 
older generation, died in 1896, and his son, George L. Seeley, inner- 


ited a part of the estate. George L. Seeley died in Texas, May 24, 
1897, but before his death made a verbal request for the enlarge- 
ment and adornment of Sharon Presbyterian Church and Cemetery, 
founded many years before, and left a fund for that purpose. Over 
thirty thousand dollars were expended in carrying out Mr. Seeley's 
request. The cemetery was enlarged from three to eight acres, sur- 
rounded by a stone wall, surmounted by a non-rusting fence, and 
$2,000 were expended upon an ornamental entrance. In addition 
to all this the proceeds of a farm of 160 acres were given by Mr. Seeley 
for the support of the cemetery. 

There is a historic interest attached to Sharon Cemetery from the 
fact that here lie buried at least one soldier of each of the wars in 
which the United States has taken part — the Revolution, the War 
of 181 2, the Black Hawk war, the Mexican war, the great Civil war 
and the Spanish-American war. On May 28, 1907, a monument 
was unveiled over the grave of George Perkins, a Revolutionary sol- 
dier, which monument was erected by the State of Iowa. 

In Jackson Township the only burial place of importance is the 
one at Keokuk already mentioned. In Jefferson Township there is 
a cemetery in the northeast corner of section 2, about two miles north- 
east of Viele and three miles west of Fort Madison, the only one 
shown in the atlas above mentioned. 

In Marion Township, a short distance west of the village of 
St. Paul, in section 15, there is an old cemetery; another in the north- 
west corner of section 26, a mile south of St. Paul, and a third in 
the southeast corner of section 29, near an old church. The one 
near St. Paul is the property of the Catholic church of that village. 

Montrose Cemetery, the only one of importance in Montrose 
Township, was surveyed on August 1, 1867, at the request of 
Mrs. Frances E. Billon, one of the heirs of Thomas Riddick, who 
became the owner of the Tesson land grant. It is located in outlot 
No. 20 of that grant and the plat was filed in the recorder's office on 
September 5, 1867. 

In section 16, near the center of Pleasant Ridge Township, not 
far from an old church and public schoolhouse, is one of the first 
burial places established in that part of the county. Another old 
graveyard in this township is located in the east side of section 24, 
not far from the Denmark Township line. 

There are three cemeteries shown in Van Buren Township, one 
in the west side of section 24, about three miles north of Belfast; 
one about a mile west of that village, and one a short distance east 
of Croton. 


In Washington Township there is a cemetery in the north side 
of section n, not far from Lost Creek, and one in the south side of 
section 28, about three miles north of Fort Madison. The latter is 
known as Fairview Cemetery and contains the graves of several 
prominent pioneers. 

Four cemeteries are shown in West Point Township, one near the 
middle of section 2, two and one-half miles east of the Town of West 
Point; the Catholic cemetery immediately south of West Point, in 
section 5, and two, near each other, in section 30, in the southwest 
corner of the township. 



As stated in a previous chapter, the Indian title to the lands of 
the Black Hawk purchase expired on June I, 1833. A few white 
men had settled in what is now Lee County prior to that date. In 
the fourscore years since the white man acquired full title to the land 
that scanty population has grown to more than thirty thousand intel- 
ligent, industrious and cultured people. Few men are now living 
who witnessed the beginning of development in Lee County. The 
establishment of schools, the organization of churches, the building 
of highways, the advent of the railroad, the founding and growth 
of cities, are all within the memory of the few remaining pioneers. 

Some fifty years after the first white man established his residence 
in Lee County, a few old timers, in discussing the events that had 
occurred during the preceding half century, decided upon organiz- 
ing an 


Accordingly an informal meeting was held at the courthouse in 
Fort Madison on the evening of January 5, 1871, with Philip Viele 
presiding, and R. W. Pitman, secretary. The following resolutions 
were adopted: 

"Resolved, That this meeting be adjourned to meet at this place 
on the 13th day of April next, for the purpose of perfecting said 

"Resolved, That all old settlers present who were inhab : tants of 
the county on the 1st day of July, 1840, be invited to sign their 
names, and the time of their coming into the county, to a roll." 

Thirty-three men signed the roll at that meeting, viz. : James 
W. Campbell, Alexander and James Cruikshank, R. W. and Lewis 

Vol. 1—23 



G. Pitman, J. C. Parrott, Samuel Paschall, John G. Kennedy, E. S. 
McCulloch, Silas D. Hustead, John H. Douglass, J. A. Casey, Elias 
Overton, Peter Miller, Jacob Abel, Jacob Vandyke, Cromwell Wil- 
son, Enoch G. Wilson, Hazen Wilson, James Caldwell, Philip Viele, 
George L. Coleman, Philotus Cowles, Daniel F. Miller, Robert A. 
Russell, J. E. Marsell, Isaiah Hale, Robert McFarland, James T. 
Blair, Ferdinand Kiel, George B. Leidy, Elkanah Perdew and R. 

These men may be recorded as the "Charter Members" of the 
Lee County Pioneers and Old Settlers 1 Association. At the meeting 
on April 13, 1871, a vice president was elected from each of the six- 
teen townships, as follows: Cedar, D. S. Bell; Charleston, John 
Cassady; Denmark, Curtis Shedd; Des Moines, Nicholas Sargent; 
Franklin, Alexander Cruikshank; Green Bay, John Morgan; Har- 
rison, A. Anderson; Jackson, Guy Wells; Jefferson, William Skin- 
ner; Madison, Peter Miller; Marion, B. Holtkamp; Montrose, 
G. Hamilton; Pleasant Ridge, J. A. Casey; Van Buren, John Her- 
ron; Washington, D. McCready; West Point, R. W. Pitman. 

A constitution and by-laws was prepared by a committee, consist- 
ing of D. F. Miller, Robert McFarland and E. S. McCulloch, and 
July 4, 1 871, was selected as the date for the first annual reunion of 
Lee County old settlers. That meeting was held on the fair grounds 
at Fort Madison, on the date above named. Concerning the gather- 
ing, the Keokuk Gate City, which gave a full report of the meeting, 

"From all parts of Lee County came up the pioneers, their wives 
and children. It was a gala day for them. This retrospective view 
of the halcyon days, and the sorrowful, weary, toilsome ones, would 
alike bring pleasant recollections to them as they recounted their 
hopes, their trials and their victories, for had they not performed 
their duty as God had best given them the knowledge, and according 
to their several abilities? Venerable men were there, whose white 
hairs and trembling limbs gave token of a lengthy pilgrimage. More 
than a generation had passed since, in early manhood, they crossed 
the Mississippi to carry the blessings of civilization into the wilds 
of Iowa. With strong arms and true hearts, they had battled with 
the perils of border life and conquered. The wilderness and soli- 
tary place today, as the result of their labors, buds and blossoms as 
the rose. * All honor to the pioneers, the heroes and hero- 

ines of the past. Future generations will arise and call them blessed. 
It was appropriate that the Fourth of July, our national holiday, 
should be chosen for such a gathering." 

Daniel McCoun 

J. W. Cam. 

Peter Miller. 


Judge Philip Vide, who had been selected as the orator of the 
day, was unable to appear, and the principal address was given by 
Daniel F. Miller of Keokuk. It was not a long address, but was in 
every way in keeping with the occasion. Following his address 
came a basket-dinner, then the reading of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, and an address by Gen. A. C. Dodge of Burlington. 
Col. William Patterson was then elected president of the association 
for the ensuing year. 

For several years the Old Settlers' Association held its meetings 
at different places in the county. In 1872 the reunion was held at 
Pitman Grove, near West Point. At that meeting Daniel F. Miller 
was elected president of the association. The exercises on that occa- 
sion were similar to those of the preceding year, the principal address 
being delivered by Judge Joseph M. Casey. In 1873 the reunion 
was held at Sargent's Grove, on the Des. Moines Valley Railroad, 
thirteen miles west of Keokuk. On this occasion the program was 
varied somewhat by the introduction of personal reminiscences and 
anecdotes of old times. Isaac R. Campbell mentioned the fact that 
some years before he had killed a bear almost on the identical spot 
where the meeting was then in session. And John Hiner, a pioneer 
butcher of Keokuk, amused the gathering by telling of two cub 
bears he bought for $25, and about a year later took them to St. Louis 
to offer them for sale, having previously received an offer of $100 for 
them. Upon reaching St. Louis he found his prospective customer 
out of the city, and while waiting for his return paused near a milli- 
nery shop. A mischievous boy got hold of a hoop-pole, and, as 
Mr. Hiner expressed it, stirred up the animals. The bears became 
excited and tore down the awning in front of the millinery shop, but 
the boy was having fun, and Mr. Hiner was so busy in trying to con- 
trol the bears that he could not compel the urchin to desist. Just 
in this emergency a man came along and offered $5 for the two 
bears, which Mr. Hiner promptly accepted. As he was paying the 
money and turning to get away, he noticed Col. William Patterson 
of Lee County leaning against a lamp-post and laughing. Hiner 
says he lost his temper then, but was glad to get away without being 
arrested for the destruction of the awning. 

Other places where meetings were held during the early years 
of the association were at the old Keokuk fair grounds and at Warren 
Station, in Harrison Township. In more recent years some meetings 
were held at Donnellson. After this migratory existence, which 
continued for several years, the upper public square in the City of 
Fort Madison was selected as the place for holding the annual 


reunions, and this square has become known as "Old Settlers' Park." 
The reunion of 1914 was held on September 17th, having been post- 
poned one week on account of bad weather. The feature of this 
meeting was the flight of an aeroplane, in which several citizens were 
carried up at different times by the aviator. Hon. J. D. M. Hamil- 
ton of Topeka, Kansas, a native of Lee County, had been selected 
as the orator of the day, but was unable to attend on account of 
illness. Mr. Hamilton died a few days after the meeting, and his 
remains were brought to Fort Madison for burial. Through the 
work of the Old Settlers' Association many interesting facts in early 
history and many relics of pioneer days have been preserved from 
oblivion and destruction. In connection with this association, it is 
deemed appropriate to mention a few of those who assisted in its 

James C. Parrott was born in Talbot County, Maryland, May 21, 
181 1. When twenty years of age he went to Wheeling, West Vir- 
ginia, where he joined the First United States Dragoons, and in 
1834 was ordered west to subdue hostile Indians. In September 
of that year he went into winter quarters at Fort Des Moines, where 
Montrose now stands, and, liking the country, became a resident 
upon the expiration of his military services. In 1861 he raised a 
company in Keokuk and entered the army as captain of Company E, 
Seventh Iowa Infantry. He was promoted to colonel of the regi- 
ment, and at the close of the war was made brevet brigadier-general. 
In 1867 ne was appointed postmaster at Keokuk and was reap- 
pointed four years later. Colonel Parrott was one of the public- 
spirited, influential citizens of Lee County, and he is still well 
remembered by old residents. His death occurred on May 17, 1898. 

Alexander Cruikshank was born on February 2, 1805, in Norway, 
though his father was a native of Scotland, a millwright by trade, 
who went to Norway about 1787. At the age of twelve years, Alex- 
ander went to sea, and during the next seven years sailed under the 
flags of England, Prussia, the United States, Russia and Mexico. In 
1832, in company with a shipmate, John Thompson, he landed in 
New York, and after visiting various parts of the country, located 
the following year in Hancock County, Illinois. In 1834 he mar- 
ried Keziah Perkins, and shortly after his marriage came to Lee 
County. He was the first white settler in Pleasant Ridge Township. 
but in the fall of 1834 sold his claim there and removed to what is 
now Marion Township. Still later he removed to Franklin Town- 
ship, where he continued to live for many years. Some of his 
descendants are still living in the county. 


James W. Campbell was a son of Isaac R. Campbell, who set- 
tled at Nashville (now Galland) in 1830. James W. Campbell 
attended the first school ever taught in Lee County, where he 
resided practically all his life. In his address to the old settlers' 
meeting in 1875 he recounted many interesting incidents of early 
days, and his address was afterwards printed and preserved. 

William Patterson, although not one of the original thirty-three 
who signed the roll, but was the second president of the association, 
was born in Virginia, May 9, 1802. Four years later his father 
removed to Kentucky, and later to Missouri and Illinois. In 1837 
Mr. Patterson came to Lee County, first locating at West Point. In 
1846 he removed to Keokuk and engaged in the mercantile and 
pork-packing business. He was a member of the first Territorial 
Legislature of Iowa and was influential in securing a settlement of 
the boundary line dispute between Iowa and Missouri. He was 
commissioned colonel of militia by Governor Lucas and authorized 
to raise a regiment to resist any invasion from Missouri. He after- 
wards served several terms in the Legislature, was a member of the 
Constitutional Convention of 1857, was three times mayor of Keokuk, 
postmaster of that city for several years, and was otherwise identified 
with the political affairs of the county. 

Elias Overton, who settled in Marion Township in 1836, was a 
native of Hartford County, North Carolina, where he was born on 
January 12, 1807. Upon coming to Lee County he lived in a rail 
pen until a cabin could be erected. He afterwards became one of the 
large land owners of Marion Township. 

Exum S. McCulloch was born in Davidson County, Tennessee, 
July 3, 1812, and removed with his parents to Illinois in 1826. He 
served in the Black Hawk war, and in the fall of 1835 came to Lee 
County and selected a claim. He returned to Illinois, but the next 
spring, in company with two brothers and his parents, came back and 
took possession of the land, being one of the earliest settlers of 
Harrison Township. He served several terms in both houses of the 
Legislature, and assisted in the revision of the Iowa Code. His 
death occurred on April 5, 1877. 

R. W. Pitman, who was secretary of the meeting at which the 
Old Settlers' Association was organized, was one of the pioneers of 
West Point Township. He was born in Kentucky, April 27, 1827, 
and came to Lee County with his parents when about nine years of 
age, making the trip from Kentucky with an ox team. They crossed 
the Mississippi River, nearly opposite the site of the penitentiary at 
Fort Madison, on April 20, 1835. Although his opportunities to 


acquire an education were limited, Mr. Pitman, by self-study, 
became a well informed man. He was noted for his generosity and 
public spirit, and was active in promoting the interests of the Lee 
County Agricultural Society. 

Peter Miller, another "charter member 11 of the Old Settlers 1 
Association, was born in Maryland, March 9, 1808. After a resi- 
dence of several years in Ohio, Mr. Miller came to Iowa in the fall 
of 1836 and soon afterward started the first blacksmith shop in Fort 
Madison. He was elected the first county treasurer of Lee County 
in 1838; was appointed postmaster the next year, and served three 
years as mayor of Fort Madison shortly after the town was incor- 
porated. The latter years of his life he was engaged in the lumber 
and mercantile business. 

Nicholas Sargent, a native of Essex County, Massachusetts, came 
to Lee County in 1837, when he was about forty-two years of age. 
Fie settled near the present Village of Vincennes, where he cleared 
and developed a fine farm. He had thirteen children, eight of 
whom grew to maturity, and some of the family are still living in the 

Two of the thirty-three men who signed the original old settlers 1 
roll were natives of Lee County. John H. Douglass, a grandson 
of General Knapp, the founder of Fort Madison, was born in that 
town on June 20, 1836, and James Cruikshank, a son of Alexander, 
was born in Marion Township on May 7, 1835. 


It is not within the province of this history to discuss the early 
career of the Mormon Church. On May 9, 1839, Dr. Isaac Gal- 
land presented Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, a tract of land 
where the Town of Nauvoo, Illinois, is now situated. Smith laid 
out the Town of Nauvoo under a charter that conferred extravagant 
and dangerous powers upon the city officials. At that time the Mor- 
mons were a political power in Illinois, and both the leading parties 
were afraid to antagonize them. Under the circumstances Nauvoo 
became a breeding place for outlaws, and probably the true story of 
all the outrages committed by these outlaws will never be told. Fugi- 
tives from justice sought refuge there, and if anyone should be 
arrested witnesses could always be found to prove an "alibi." 

Nauvoo being just across the river from Lee County, there was 
a large number of that faith, or sympathizers called "Jack Mor- 
mons,' 1 who lived on the west side of the river. Among these was 


Bill Hickman, whose home was near the present village of Galland. 
He was a member of the famous Danite band, which it has been 
said "was composed of the most desperate members of the church- 
men whose very souls were steeped in blood, and who would scruple 
at nothing commanded by their more desperate leader, the prophet." 

Hickman was at one time captain of this band. He owned a 
fast horse, and scarcely a public meeting was held at which he was 
not present, carefully listening to everything he could overhear. 
He and his followers appropriated the property of anti-Mormons, 
or Gentiles, without compunction, and where such property could 
not be taken by stealth they took it by force. Hickman was indicted 
for stealing meat from an old man named John Wright and sent to 
the Lee County jail, but was never tried. 

The Mormon outrages in Lee County culminated on May 10, 
1845, in the murder of John Miller, a Mennonite preacher, and his 
son-in-law, Henry Leisy, who lived about three miles southwest of 
West Point. A cap found on the premises was recognized as belong- 
ing to one William Hodges, and upon this clue William and Stephen 
Hodges, two brothers living near Keokuk, were arrested. On May 
15, 1845, five days after the murder, the Hodges brothers and Thomas 
Brown were indicted by the grand jury at West Point for the murder 
of John Miller, by stabbing him, on the Saturday previous. The 
case was finally tried in Burlington, a change of venue having been 
granted, the jury returning a verdict of guilty in the case of William 
and Stephen Hodges, and they were hanged by the sheriff" of Des 
Moines County on July 15, 1845. 

The excitement following the murder of these two inoffensive 
citizens was increased by the murder of Colonel Davenport on July 
4, 1845, at Rock Island, Illinois, and resulted in the organization of 
the people into a band of vigilantes, which commenced a war of 
extermination. It is not certain that any citizens of Lee County 
belonged to these vigilantes, but it is certain that many of the people 
on this side of the river sympathized with that organization. Pub- 
lic indignation in Lee County found expression in a meeting on 
October 16, 1845, at which stringent resolutions denouncing the cruel- 
ties of the Mormons were adopted, and an Anti-Mormon ticket was 
nominated. Judge Edward Johnstone was the principal speaker 
at the meeting, and one of the resolutions was that the Mormons 
should be expelled from the country — "peaceably if possible, forcibly 
if necessary." 

The Anti-Mormon candidates for the Legislature were Col. 
William Patterson and Capt. Jesse B. Browne. An address to the 


voters and taxpayers of Lee County was issued immediately after 
the meeting, calling attention to the merits of these candidates, their 
pledge to use every effort to expel the Mormons, and asking the sup- 
port of the people. 

The Anti-Mormon ticket was elected by a substantial majority, 
and the Mormons, seeing the handwriting on the wall, began making 
their preparations to leave the country. After the real Mormons 
were gone their sympathizers, still remaining in the community, 
continued horse stealing, petty larceny and counterfeiting, but the 
assassination of reputable citizens was ended. One incident that 
made the expulsion of the Mormons easier was the fact that Prophet 
Joseph Smith had been assassinated on June 27, 1844, while confined 
in the jail at Carthage, Illinois, and the loss of the leader had left 
the members of the Mormon Church in a somewhat disorganized 


Among the noted characters of early days in Lee County was 
Matthew Spurlock, generally referred to as "Old Spurlock, the 
counterfeiter." He was a native of Virginia, but spent his early 
manhood in Eastern Kentucky, where he first became known as a 
counterfeiter. From Kentucky he went to Alabama, but got into 
trouble in that state, and some time in the '30s located at Augusta, 
on the Skunk River. There is no positive evidence that Spurlock 
was ever engaged in the actual production of counterfeit money, 
but the reputation he had won he turned to good account. He 
nearly always carried some bright, new silver coins, which he 
exhibited as samples of his own make, and when he found some one 
desirous of making some "easy money" offered to sell him counter- 
feit coins at greatly reduced prices. After the deal was made, some 
friend of Spurlock would impersonate an officer of the law and 
frighten the purchaser out of the community. It is said that in one 
case Spurlock secured $1,500 from a Burlington man by this method. 
The money received through this channel rarely did him much good, 
as he was an inveterate gambler and nearly always lost. After a 
residence of some years at Augusta, he removed to Schuyler County, 
Illinois, where he lived until about 1843, when he went to Jefferson 
County, Iowa, and died there in 1858. Some of his children con- 
tinued to live in that county and became good citizens. 



In the first constitutional convention, which met at Iowa City 
on October 7, 1844, and continued in session until the 1st of the 
following month, Lee County was represented by Charles Staley, 
Alexander Kerr, David Galland, Calvin J. Price, James Marsh, 
John Thompson, Henry N. Salmon and O. S. X. Peck. The con- 
stitution framed by this convention was rejected by the people at an 
election held on August 4, 1845. 

The second convention met at Iowa City on May 4, 1846. The 
Lee County delegates in that convention were David Galland, Josiah 
Kent, George Berry, Enos Lowe, Shephard Leffler and George 
Bowie. This convention adjourned on May 19, 1846, and the con- 
stitution was ratified by the people on August 3, 1846, by a majority 
of 456. 

Under this constitution Iowa was admitted as a state. It remained 
the organic law of the state until 1857, when the present constitution 
was adopted by a convention which assembled at Iowa City on 
January 13th, and remained in session until March 5th. Lee County 
was represented in that convention by Edward Johnstone and Wil- 
liam Patterson, and the district composed of Lee and Van Buren 
counties was represented by Squire Ayres. 


Fortunately for the people of Lee County, the greater portion 
of the surface lies high enough that no flood of the Mississippi River 
has ever wrought great damage to property, yet it may be of interest 
to know at least the dates when some of the great floods have 

The old French archives at Kaskaskia, Illinois, contain mention 
of a great flood of 1724, but all accounts of the event are based on 
Indian tradition and are not altogether reliable. The same archives 
contain an account of a great flood in 1772, and mention the fact that 
the crops around Kaskaskia were completely destroyed by the flood 
of 1785. 

The years of 181 1, 1824 and 1826 are noted in history as times 
when the great Father of Waters wrought considerable damage 
along its course, but the first great flood of which there is any authen- 
tic account regarding Lee County occurred late in the winter of 
1832-33. That winter was one of unusual severity, ice forming in 
the Mississippi more than thirty inches in thickness. It was broken 


by a sudden rise in the river, and at the foot of the Des Moines 
rapids, in front of Keokuk, a great ice gorge was formed. An elm 
tree three feet in diameter standing on the levee was cut more than 
half off by the floating ice, about four hundred cords of wood were 
carried away, and a large quantity of pig lead piled up at the boat 
landing was buried under the mud and not recovered until the fol- 
lowing June. Several steamboats were seriously damaged by float- 
ing ice and some smaller craft were completely wrecked. 

The great flood of 1844 is still remembered by a few of the oldest 
residents. Nearly all the streams in the county overflowed their 
banks, and again there was an ice gorge at the foot of the rapids, 
where the ice was piled up to a height of more than thirty feet. Con- 
siderable damage was done to river shipping, and several weeks 
passed before all the ice melted away. 

The flood in the spring of 191 2 attracted more attention than any 
preceding one, for the reason that the great dam at Keokuk was then 
in process of construction and many expected to see it carried away. 
The winter of 191 1-12 was severe, and the ice in the river was much 
thicker than usual. About 2 P. M. on Sunday, March 24, the ice 
broke and came over the rapids in huge volume. It piled up against 
the coffer-dam to a height of thirty feet or more above the top of 
that structure, and the banks of the river were crowded with people, 
expecting every minute to see the destruction of the work, in which 
they were happily disappointed. The coffer-dam resisted the 
pressure, but a small army of men were on guard day and night 
during the next two weeks to protect the work against the high 
waters. On April 7th a storm came down the river, which threat- 
ened to complete the destruction the ice had failed to accomplish. 
Several cars loaded with sand, ready for just such an emergency, 
were rushed to the scene, and more than five thousand sacks of sand 
were piled on the coffer-dam, thus enabling it to resist the action of 
the wind and water. 

One of the greatest storms in the history of Lee County was the 
cyclone of July 4, 1876, which did considerable damage. Probably 
the greatest one instance of destruction wrought by this storm was 
the unroofing of St. Mary's Church at Fort Madison, and otherwise 
damaging the building. 


In the chapters devoted to literature, the bench and bar, and the 
medical profession, extended mention is made of a number of men 


and women of Lee County who have won distinction in those pro- 
fessions. The county has likewise been well represented in politics 
and diplomatic affairs. 

In national politics Samuel F. Miller served for many years as 
one of the judges of the Supreme Court. John N. Irwin, who was 
elected mayor of Keokuk in 1876, was appointed territorial gov- 
ernor of Idaho in 1883, by President Arthur; governor of Arizona 
in 1 890, by President Harrison ; and on April 1 8, 1 899, was appointed 
minister to Portugal by President McKinley. William W. Belknap 
served as secretary of war under President Grant, and George W. 
McCrary in the same office under President Hayes. John B. Howell, 
the veteran journalist, who was born in New Jersey, July 4, 1816, 
came to Lee County in the spring of 1849. He was editor of the 
Keokuk Gate City until 1870, when he was elected United States 
senator to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Hon. James 
W. Grimes of Burlington. In the lower house of Congress the 
First Iowa District was represented by Daniel F. Miller, from 1849 
to 1 85 1 ; by Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, from 1857 t0 ^63; by George 
W. McCrary, from 1869 to 1877, an d by Samuel M. Clarke, from 
1895 to 1899. Mr. Clarke was a son of Rev. Samuel Clarke, the 
Methodist minister who held the first quarterly meeting in Keokuk, 
and was associated with Mr. Howell for some time on the editorial 
staff and later as part owner of the Gate City. In 1906 Charles A. 
Kennedy of Montrose was elected congressman from the First Dis- 
trict, and was reelected at each succeeding election, still holding the 
office in 19 14. 

In the political affairs of the state, Ralph P. Lowe served as 
governor and judge of the Supreme Court; Joseph M. Beck and 
John F. Kinney also served upon the Supreme bench of the state. 
Jesse B. Browne, one of the pioneer lawyers, who came to Lee County 
in command of a company of Dragoons stationed at old Fort Des 
Moines, was the speaker of the house in the First State Legislature in 
1846. William A. Hornish was state printer from January to May, 
1853, when he resigned. Daniel S. Lee became adjutant-general on 
April 3, 1851, and served for four years. This office was also occu- 
pied by Noble Warwick, a Lee County man, from June 27, 1878, to 
the following August, when he resigned. James D. Eads was super- 
intendent of public instruction from 1854 t0 I %57- And Drs. J. A. 
Scroggs and Walton Bancroft, of Keokuk, each served for some time 
on the state board of health. 


In all walks of life, whether as farmer, artisan, merchant, pro- 
fessional man or public official, the sons of Lee County have, as a 
rule, given to their calling their best endeavors and have left behind 
them reputations for character and ability that reflect credit upon 
themselves and the county in which they lived. 



More than a century has passed since Louis Honore Tesson, in 
1796, established the first white man's domicile within the confines 
of what is now Lee County, and more than three-quarters of a century 
since the county was organized by the Territorial Legislature of Wis- 
consin in 1836. The growth in population, as shown by the United 
States since 1840, the first official census after the county was 
organized, is shown in the following table: 

1840 6,093 

1850 18,861 

i860 29,232 

1870 37,2io 

1880 34,859 

1890 37,7*5 

1900 39,7 I 9 

1910 36,702 

From this table it will be seen that the greatest proportionate 
growth during any decade was from 1840 to 1850, when the increase 
in population was over two hundred per cent. Twice in the history of 
the county there has been a decline between the years of the census — 
once from 1870 to 1880 and again from 1900 to 1910. The decrease 
in population during these periods is due chiefly to the opening of 
new lands in other parts of the country, which offered inducements 
to men of moderate means to acquire homes. This change has effected 
all parts of the county about alike, A as may be seen by a comparison 
of the last three official census reports relating to the population, 
given by townships, to wit: 



Township 1890 1900 19 10 

Cedar 835 827 863 

Charleston 990 935 786 

Denmark 817 717 674 

Des Moines 1,061 1,004 799 

Franklin 1 AS7 J >397 I > 2 90 

Green Bay 727 898 744 

Harrison 835 735 614 

Jackson 15,511 16,243 J 5>44 6 

Jefferson 894 796 607 

Madison 7>9 QI 9> 2 7^ 8,900 

Marion 980 861 746 

Montrose 1,788 1,813 1,780 

Pleasant Ridge 752 795 588 

Van Buren 878 876 613 

Washington 863 994 910 

West Point 1,426 I ,SS° J >34 2 

In the above table the cities of Keokuk and Fort Madison, and the 
incorporated towns, are included in the townships in which they are 
situated. Notwithstanding the decrease in population, the wealth of 
the county has not fallen off, but statistics concerning the various 
industries indicate a steady and substantial increase in the amount 
of capital invested and the value of the output of farms and factories, 
and more money was expended for schools and road buildings in 
1913 than in any preceding year of the county's history. 


In the foregoing chapters a conscientious effort has been made to 
show the progress of Lee County along industrial, educational, pro- 
fessional and religious lines, as well as her part in the military and 
political affairs of the state and nation. As a fitting conclusion to this 
work, the following list of the principal events leading up to the 
settlement and organization of the county, or having some bearing 
upon its more recent history, has been compiled for ready reference. 
At first glance, some of these events may seem remotely connected 
with the county's story, but each one wielded an influence in shaping 
its destiny. 

June 21, 1673. Marquette and Joliet landed near Montrose, 
on their voyage down the Mississippi, and were the first white men 
to set foot upon Iowa soil. 


, 1796. Louis Honore Tesson settled where the Town 

of Montrose now stands, on a grant of land given him by the Spanish 
Government of Louisiana. 

April 30, 1803. Treaty of Paris, by which Napoleon transferred 
the French Province of Louisiana to the United States. The present 
State of Iowa was included in the territory thus acquired. 

October 31, 1803. Congress passed an act authorizing the Presi- 
dent to take possession of the region purchased from France and 
establish a temporary government therein. 

October 1, 1804. Louisiana divided into the Territory of Orleans 
and District of Louisiana. That part of the new purchase now com- 
prising the State of Iowa was by this act made subject to the Terri- 
tory of Indiana. 

January 11, 1805. Territory of Michigan established by act of 
Congress. Later in the year Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike passed up the 
Mississippi River, on an exploring expedition to its headwaters, 
and on August 21st held a council with the Indians about where 
Montrose is npw situated. 

, 1807. Iowa made a part of the Territory of 


September, 1808. Fort Madison established by Lieutenant 

, 1812. Territory of Missouri established and Iowa 

included in the new territory. 

September 3, 1813. Fort Madison evacuated and burned. 

September 13, 1815. Treaty of peace with the Sac and Fox 
Indians of Iowa concluded at Portage des Sioux. 

, 1820. Dr. Samuel C. Muir built the first house in 

Keokuk. In this year Lemoliese and Blondeau, French traders, 
established posts on the Mississippi River in Lee County. 

August 4, 1824. The Half-Breed Tract, embracing the southern 
half of the present County of Lee, established by treaty with the 
Sacs and Foxes. 

July 1$, 1830. Treaty establishing the "Neutral Ground' 1 be- 
tween the Sacs and Foxes on the south and the Sioux Indians on the 

, 1832. Capt. James White made a claim and built a 

house on the site of the present Town of Montrose. 

August 2, 1832. Last battle of the Black Hawk war, in which 
the Indians were defeated. 

September 21, 1832. A treaty concluded at Davenport, Iowa, 
by which the Sacs and Foxes ceded to the United States the strip 


forty miles wide across Eastern Iowa known as the "Black Hawk 

June I, 1833. Title to the lands of the Black Hawk Purchase 
becomes fully vested in the United States. In this year the first post- 
office in Iowa was established at Dubuque. 

June 28, 1834. President Jackson approved the act attaching 
Iowa to the Territory of Michigan. 

September, 1834. The Legislature of Michigan created two 
counties — Dubuque and Des Moines — in what is now the State of 
Iowa. Lee County was a part of Des Moines. 

, 1834. In this year Fort Des Moines was established 

by Lieutenant Crosman, where the Town of Montrose is now situated. 

April 20, 1836. President Jackson approved the act of Congress 
creating the Territory of Wisconsin, which included all the present 
State of Iowa, the act to take effect on July 4, 1836. 

May 11, 1836. The Dubuque Visitor, the first newspaper ever 
published in Iowa, made its appearance, with John King as editor. 

December 7, 1836. Lee County established by an act of the Wis- 
consin Legislature. 

March 27, 1837. First term of the District Court in Lee County 
began, with Judge David Irvin presiding. 

April 3, 1837. First election for county officers in Lee County. 

April 17, 1837. First meeting of the board of county supervisors 
held in Fort Madison. 

January 19, 1838. Special act passed by the Wisconsin Legis- 
lature for the incorporation of the Town of Fort Madison. 

May 7, 1838. First election for president and board of trustees 
of Fort Madison — Philip Viele elected president. 

October 3, 1838. Chief Black Hawk died. 

November, 1838. First sale of Government lands in the Black 
Hawk Purchase conducted at Burlington. A large number of Lee 
County settlers attended the sale. 

January 25, 1839. Governor Lucas approved the act of the Iowa 
Legislature locating the penitentiary at Fort Madison. 

March 9, 1840. The commissioners appointed by the Legislature 
to locate the permanent seat of justice of Lee County reported in 
favor of Franklin. 

February 12, 1842. The Legislature of Iowa passed an act grant- 
ing the Town of Fort Madison a new charter. 

April 4, 1842. Isaac R. Atlee elected the first mayor of Fort 


September 8-10, 1842. First agricultural fair in Lee County held 
near Keokuk. 

March 20, 1843. The county seat of Lee County located at West 
Point by a board of three commissioners appointed by the Legis- 

June 27, 1844. Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, killed while 
a prisoner in the jail at Carthage, Illinois. The event created great 
excitement in Lee County. 

August 4, 1845. An election held to decide the county seat ques- 
tion. Fort Madison made the permanent seat of Government by a 
decisive majority. 

, 1846. First bank in Lee County opened at Keokuk 

by George C. Anderson. 

December 28, 1846. Iowa admitted into the Union as a state. 

December 13, 1847. Keokuk incorporated and the incorporation 
was approved on February 23, 1848. 

January 3, 1848. First election for city officers in Keokuk. Wil- 
liam A. Clark elected mayor. 

April 1, 1855. Two hundred Mormons from England and 
Wales reached Keokuk on their way to Salt Lake. Two hundred 
more arrived ten days later. They remained in camp for several 
days at Keokuk before starting on their journey across the plains. 

, 1857. The cities of Keokuk and Fort Madison con- 
nected by a line of railway. 

April 17, 1861. The first "war meeting" in Lee County held in 

April 18, 1 861. A large and enthusiastic "war meeting" at Fort 

May 14, 1 861. The First Iowa Regiment mustered into the 
United States service at Keokuk for three months. Lee County was 
represented in four companies of this regiment. 

August 5, 1 861. Battle of Athens, Missouri, near the Iowa 
border. Some Iowa men were engaged. 

February 20, 1868. The first artesian water in Lee County struck 
at Keokuk in a well drilled by Joseph Kurtz at his brewery on 
the plank road. 

July 4, 1870. A fire in Keokuk destroyed several buildings at 
the corner of Fourth and Blondeau streets. 

January, 1871. First railroad completed across the state to Coun- 
cil Bluffs. 

Vol. r — 24 


January 14, 1871. One of the greatest snow storms that ever 
occurred in Iowa. The snow drifted to the depth of six or eight 
feet in places and travel was impeded for several days. 

April 13, 1871. Lee County Old Settlers' Association organized. 
Annual reunions have been held since that date. 

April 19, 1871. The first railroad train crossed the Mississippi 
River on the bridge at Keokuk. 

July 4, 1881. Corner-stone of the Keokuk Public Library laid 
bv the Grand Master of Iowa Masons. 

December 7, 1887. The first train of cars crossed the Mississippi 
on the bridge at Fort Madison. 

February 27, 1888. Commencement of the big strike on the 
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad lines. 

August 28, 1890. First electric street car appeared in Keokuk. 

, 1893. The Cattermole Memorial Library in Fort 

Madison opened to the public. 

, 1895. Electric street cars introduced in Fort 

Madison. The street railway in Fort Madison was completed in 
July, 1887, and cars were drawn by mules until 1895. 

May 17, 1898. The Fiftieth Iowa Infantry mustered into the 
United States service at Des Moines for the Spanish-American war. 
Lee County was represented in Companies A, F and L. 

October 1, 1907. President Roosevelt visited Keokuk. 

November 5, 1912. Presidential election. Woodrow Wilson, the 
democratic candidate, carried Lee County by 1,662 plurality. 

August 25-28, 1913. The big dam across the Mississippi River 
at Keokuk formally opened with a big celebration. Thousands of 
people came to witness the ceremonies. 

June 1, 1914. The new postoffice building at Fort Madison 
opened to the public. 


In bidding the reader good-by, the editors and publishers of this 
work desire to say that every effort has been made to give to the 
people of Lee County an authentic and comprehensive history — 
authentic, because so far as possible the officials' records have been 
used as sources of information, and comprehensive, because, it is 
believed, no important event in the county's history has been neg- 

The work has been one involving great care and labor and much 
of the credit is due to old residents for their ready and willing 


cooperation in the collection of data regarding events of by-gone 

The editors and members of the Advisory Board take this oppor- 
tunity to express their obligations to the county officials and their 
assistants, and especially to thank the librarians of the Cattermole 
Memorial Library at Fort Madison and the Keokuk Public Library, 
for their uniform courtesies while the work was in course of prep- 


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