Allamakee co. IAGenWeb

Chapter 11
Past & Present of Allamakee County, 1913


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

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

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

Clerk of Commissioners' Court - Daniel G. Beck, 1849; Grove A. Warner, '49 to '51.

Clerk of District Court - Stephen Holcomb, 1849-50; Thos. B. Twiford, 1850-51; Leonard B. Hodges, 1851-53; Lewis W. Hersey, 1853-56; C. J. White, 1856-64; J. G. Orr, 1864-66; Giles P. Eells, 1866-68; John W. Pratt, 1868-74; H. O. Dayton, 1874-80; L. M. Bearce, 1880-90;Wm. S. Hart, 1890-resigned Jan'y, 1894, and H. G. Fisher appointed to vacancy, through 1894; W. O. Bock, 1894-98; Ellison Orr, 1896-1902; Nic. Colsch, Jr., 1902-1906; James Collins, 1906-10; A. G. Meiners, 1910-, present incumbent.

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

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

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

County Judge - Elias Topliff, 1851-57; Geo. M. Dean, 1857-59; John A. Townsend, 1859-61; O. S. Conkey, 1861-67; M. B. Hendrick, 1867-68, when the office of County Judge was discontinued and Judge Hendrick became ex-officio Auditor until the close of his terms, December 31, 1869.

Drainage Commissioner - A. J. Hersey, 1853-; G. W. Gray, 1857-58; J. W. Merrill, 1858-59; Geo. L. Miller, 1859-69.

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

Coroner - C. P. Williams, 1849-; M. F. Luark, 1857-58; F. W. Nottingham, 1858-59; J. W. Granger, 1859-61; John Ryan, 1861-63; John Farrell, 1863-65; David Harper, 1865-66; Fred Bartheld, 1866-67; J. Farrell, 1867-69; A. G. Collins, 1869-71; L B. Adams, 1871-73; W. D. Morgan, 1873-75; John Farrell, 1875-77; D. H. Bowen, 1877-81; W. D. Morgan, 1881-83; S. C. Hulse, 1883-85; D. F. O'Brien, 1885-87; J. W. Pennington, 1887-89; Wm. Nopper, 1889-93; G. E. Thompson, 1893-94; Wm. Nopper, 1894-95; S. C. Meyers, 1895-1902; D. Strock, 1902-08; O. J. Blessin, 1908-10; D Strock again, 1910-13; resigned July 1913, and Dr. J. C. Lewis appointed.

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

County Engineer - W. H. Miner appointed by Board of Supervisors in 1913.

Prosecuting Attorney - John W. Remine appointed in November, 1851, to "serve until his successor be duly qualified after the April election of 1852;" Sewell Goodridge, 1852-54; John T. Clark, 1854, resigned June 30, 1857; Geo. W. Camp, appointed July 2, 1857, and elected that fall. This office was superceded by that of District Attorney in 1858.

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

Superintendent of Schools - This office was established in 1858, and J. W. Flint was elected that year. In 1859, R. C. Armstrong was elected, and served until he departed in 1861; J. Laughran appointed 1861; A. H. Houghton in 1861-62; John O. Havens, 1863; T. C. Ransom, 1863-65; Thos, Nachtwey, 1865-69; Lenthel Eells, 1869-71; Thos. F. Healy, 1871-73, died May 31st, and the Board of Supervisors appointed John W. Hinchon, who was elected in October following and served until September, 23, 1876 when he resigned and Lenthel Eells was appointed, and later elected to fill vacancy; J. Loughran, 1877-79; Amos Row, 1879-81; Lenthel Eells again, 1881-85; Wm. J. Mitchell, 1885-89; J. P. Raymond, 1889-91; Wm. J. Mitchell, 1891-93; J. F. Smith, 1893-99; E. L. Coffeen, 1899-1901; J. E. Mills, 1901-06; Wilber L. Peck, 1906-13, present incumbent.

Treasurer - Michael Healy, 1865-67; H. H. Stilwell, 1867-69; James Duffy 1869-73; John Ryan, 1873-77; George H. Bryan, 1877-85; J. F. Dougherty, 1885-93; Geo. J. Helming, 1893-99; Anton C. Larson, 1899-1903; John M. Leppert, 1903-08; L. T. Hermanson, 1908-12; Frank T. Bulman, 1912-, present incumbent.

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

Auditor - The office of County Auditor was created in 1868, the duties beginning January 1st, 1869, and were performed the first year by the ex-County Judge, M. B. Hendrick, 1869-71; Wm. C. Thompson, 1871-79; S. R. Thompson, 1879-83; John M. Collins, 1883-94; H. L. Johnson, 1894-96; Otto Hagen, 1896-1900; J. B. Jones, 1900-04; James Ruth, 1904-1908; S. K. Kolsrud, 1908-12; Joe Keiser, 1912-, present incumbent.

County Supervisors - The first meeting of the Board of Supervisors convened at Waukon January 7, 1861. Under the new system of county government the following named represented their respective townships, until 1870 when the system was changed, viz;
Center - W. Bacon, 1861; F.B. Hale, 1862-64; Adam Cavers, 1864-67; P. Soderstrom, 1867-70.

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

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

French Creek - Hugh Riley, 1861-66; Porter Bellow, 1867-68; Hugh Riley, 1869-70.

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

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

Jefferson - George N. Burger, 1861-65; Robert Bathan, 1866-67; H. S. Cooper, 1868; James Bryon, 1869-70.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

During the existence of this system the following named members were each president of the body, in this order:
Moses Hancock, Makee, 1861. Michael Healy, Taylor, 1862 and '63. P. G. Wright Ludlow, 1864 and '65. C. J. White, Lansing, 1866. D. W. Adams, Makee, 1867, '68 and '69. G. P. Eells, Union Prairie, 1870.

By the change of system in 1870 to that of three supervisors, now in vogue, the new Board was to organize in January, 1871, since when it has been composed of the following:
1871 - Thomas H. Barnes, Chairman, Gustav Kerndt, Selden Candee.
1872 - T. H. Barnes, Chairman, G. Kerndt, T. C. Smith. In June Mr. Kerndt tendered his resignation on account of poor health, and Abner Wood was appointed to fill the vacancy.
1873 - T. H. Barnes, chairman; T. C. Smith, Martin Moore.
1874 - T. C. Smith, chairman; H. S. Cooper, Martin Moore.
1875 - Martin Moore, chairman; H. S. Cooper, Henry Bensch.
1876 - H. S. Cooper, chairman; Henry Bensch, Robt. Crawford.
1877 - Henry Bensch, chairman; Robert Crawford, Joseph Schwartzhoff.
1878 - Robert Crawford, chairman; Joseph Schwartzhoff, Gilbert Satrang.
1879 - Joseph Schwartzhoff, chairman; Gilbert Satrang; N. J. Beedy.
1880 - Gilbert Satrang, chairman; N. J. Beedy, E. A. Blum.
1881 - N. J. Beedy, Chairman; E. A. Blum, Gilbert Satrang.
1882 - E. A. Blum, chairman; Gilbert Satrang, N. J. Beedy.
1883 - G. Satrang, chairman; e. Bartheld, N. J. Beedy, resigned.
1884 - W. C. Thompson, chairman; E. Bartheld, Hans Simenson.
1885 - E. Bartheld, chairman; W. C. Thompson, Hans Simenson.
1886 - W. C. Thompson, chairman; Hans Simenson, Jeremiah Leas.
1887 - Hans Simenson, chairman; Jeremiah Leas, Andre Sandry.
1888 - Jeremiah Leas, Chairman; Andrew Sandry, Lewis Coopersmith.
1889 - Andrew Sandry, chairman; Lewis Coopersmith, Jeremiah Leas.
1890 - Lewis Coopersmith, chairman; Jeremiah Leas, John M. Meier.
1891 - Jeremiah Leas, chairman; John H. Meier, Henry Froelich.
1892 - J. H. Meier, chairman; Henry Froelich, W. M. Kelly.
1893 - Henry Froelich, Chairman; W. M. Kelly, Lewis Coopersmith.
1894 - L. Coopersmith, chairman; W. M. Kelly, M. W. Eaton.
1895 - L. Coopersmith, chairman; M. W. Eaton, J. A. Drogset.
1896 - M. W. Eaton, chairman; J. A. Drogset, J. W. Hartley.
1897 - M. W. Eaton, chairman; J. W. Hartley, J. A, Drogset.
1898 - J. W. Hartley, Chairman; J. A. Drogset, M. W. Eaton.
1899 - M. W. Eaton, Chairman; J. A. Drogset, L. W. Hartley.
1900 - J. A. Drogset, chairman; J. W. Hartley, M. W. Eaton.
1901 - J. W. Hartley, chairman; M. W. Eaton, James Cavers.
1902 - M. W. Eaton, chairman; James Cavers, John Waters.
1903 - James Cavers, chairman; John Waters, M. W. Eaton. (Iver Iverson was selected in November, 1902, but died on election day, November 4, and under the statutes supervisor Eaton held over until the next election, November, 1903, when N. J. Quandahl was elected to fill the vacancy.)
1904 - John Waters, chairman; James Cavers, N. J. Quandahl. (Mr. Cavers died this spring, and J. A. Drogset was appointed to vacancy before the April Session.)
1905 - N. J. Quandahl, chairman; J. A. Drogset, John Waters.
1906 - J. A. Drogset, chairman; John Waters, N. J. Quandahl.
1907 - John Waters, chairman; Ole L. Rema, Martin McLaughlin.
1908 - Martin McLaughlin, chairman; Ole L. Rema, W. H. Weihe.
1909 - Ole L. Rema, chairman, Wm. H. Weihe, D. D. Ronan.
1910 - Wm. H. Weihe, chairman; D. D. Ronan, S. H. Opfer.
1911 - D. D. Ronan, chairman; S. H. Opfer, Julius Gruber.
1912 - S. H. Opfer, chairman; Julius Gruber, D. D. Ronan.
1913 - Julius Gruber, chairman;' D. D. Ronan, Wm. H. Weihe.

County Attorney - John F. Dayton appointed by the Board of Supervisors January 1886, for that year. At the election in the fall of that year S. S. Powers was elected, serving until December 1887, when his death occurred, and Henry Dayton was appointed to the vacancy, and by reelection held the office through 1894. In this year Earl M. Woodward was elected, and again in 1896. Mr. Woodward died early in January, '98, when H. H. Stilwell was appointed to the vacancy, serving by reelections through 1904, when H. E. Taylor was chosen. Mr. Taylor was succeeded January 1, 1911, by Frank L. May, the present incumbent.


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

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

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

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

Seventh, 1858-9, unchanged. This was the first assembly held at Des Moines.

Eighth and Ninth, 1860-63, Allamakee and Winneshiek composed the Thirty-fifth district, represented by Geo. W. Gray of Lansing the first state senator from this county.

Tenth, January to March 1864, Allamakee was the fortieth district, Senator Geo. W. Gray.

Eleventh, 1866, this was the forty-first district, Senator Chas. Baulk.

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

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

Eighteenth and Nineteenth, 1880 and 1882, Henry Nielander.

Twentieth, 1884, Allamakee and Fayette counties were untied forming the fortieth district, Senator William Larrabee of Fayette county.

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

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

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

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

Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth, 1909-1911, Henry L. Adams, of Fayette county.

Thirty-fifth, 1913, A. M. Fellows of Lansing.


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

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

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

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

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

1860-61, two sessions of Eighth General Assembly. Allamakee the Fifty-sixth district, our member Chas. Paulk.

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

1864, Allamakee the fiftieth district, Chas. Paulk.

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

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

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

1872, Henry Dayton and Andrew Sandry.

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

1876, Sixteenth assembly, Luther Brown.

1878, Seventeenth Assembly, Benjamin Ratcliffe.

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

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

1884 and 1886, Twentieth and Twenty-first Assemblies, Allamakee the Sixty-fifth district, Theo. Nachtwey.

1888 and 1890, Twenty-second and Twenty-Third Assemblies, the Eighty-ninth district, and 1892, Twenty-Fourth Assembly, Eighty-Seventh District, John F. Dayton.

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

1896 to 1900, Twenty-sixth to Twenty-eighth Assemblies, D. H. Bowen; speaker of the House in the Twenty-eighth.

1902, Twenty-ninth Assembly, Robt. Hufschmidt.

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

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

1909 and 1911, Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth Assemblies, F. H. Fourt.

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


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

Tenth Judicial District, created in 1855, comprised Allamakee, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Floyd, Howard, Mitchell, Winneshiek and Worth. Judge Samuel Murdock of Clayton county, 1855 to 1858. With the exception of Cerro Gordo and Worth, and the addition of Bremer and Butler, this territory became the tenth judicial district under the present constitution in 1858. In 1858 Elias H. Williams, of Clayton county, was elected judge, and served until Milo McGlathery, of Fayette county, was elected in 1866. The counties of Bremer, Butler, Floyd, and Mitchell were detached in 1864, but remained connected with this district (except for election purposed) until January 1865. Judge McGlathery served from 1867 to 1874 inclusive. Judge Reuben Noble 1875 to November, 1870, when he resigned and the governor appointed in his stead Ezekiel E. Cooley, who was elected at the general election in 1880 and served through 1882. In that year L. O. Hatch was elected, continuing as judge of the Tenth district from 1883 to 1886, when it became the Thirteenth district, of which he continued judge until his death in 1894. In 1886 the Circuit Court was abolished and Judge Chas. T. Granger became one of the two district judges, until 1888, when he was called to the Supreme court. L. E. Fellows of Lansing was appointed in January 1889, to fill this vacancy, and elected in November 1890 to serve through 1891. W. A. Hoyt was elected that year and served through 1894, when Mr. Fellows was again elected and served until 1912, in which year he died. W. J. Springer of New Hampton was appointed to the vacancy, and elected at the following election. Upon the death of Judge Hatch in 1894 E. E. Cooley was appointed to the vacancy in August, and elected in November to fill out the year. A. N. Hobson was elected for the full term, at the same election, and has been reelected continuously and is still on the bench.

District Attorneys - 1858 to 1882 - At the October election, 1858, Milo McGlathery was elected prosecuting attorney for the Tenth judicial district, and reelected in 1862. In 1866 L. O. Hatch was elected to this position, but resigned in 1868, and Charles T. Granger was appointed his successor. A the general election in 1869, Mr. Granger was chosen to continue in the position, to fill out the unexpired portion of the term until the close of 1870, and at the election of that year he was reelected. In 1872 he was elected circuit judge, thus creating a vacancy in the office of district attorney, which was filled by the appointment of Orlando J. Clark, and the appointment was ratified at the next general election, in 1873. In 1874 Mr. Clark was reelected for the full term and at the close of the year 1878 was succeeded by Cyrus Wellington, who served until the office was dispensed with in January 1886.


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

~transcribed by Lisa Henry

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