Allamakee co. IAGenWeb


Past & Present of Allamakee County, 1913


Some Waukon Pioneers, One of the Maine Families
A Typical Pioneer - Other Pioneers of Waukon & Vicinity
Some of the F.F. Allamakees


A genuine Yankee pioneer of Makee township is Noah Hersey Pratt, now in his eightieth year, who enjoys the distinction of being the earliest settler in this community still living here, although his younger brother Emory came but a few weeks later, with the rest of the family. Mr. Pratt recently narrated to the writer his first experiences here, substantially as follows:

Azel Pratt and his brother Lemuel left their homes in Maine, September 20, 1850, for the Great West, a part of fourteen, consisting of the two fathers, three big boys, and nine women and children. From Chicago they went by rail to St. Charles, Illinois, then the terminus of the railroad which was building towards the Mississippi river to Dunlieth. From St. Charles a four-horse stage conveyed the entire party to a place near Belvidere, in Boone county, Illinois, where they visited, and looked over the country for a location, but found no land they liked. It being a wet season, the prairies looked very uninviting; so Azel Pratt went from here to spy out the land, going to Lansing by boat, and afoot from there out to the ridge where he made choice of a location

Upon his return to Illinois the party started out with two covered wagons, one drawn by an ox team and the other by horses, traveling by way of Rockford and Freeport, and arrived at Prairie du Chien the very last of November. Here they rented a house for a temporary home for the women and children, while the two men and the three boys, Greenwood, Hersey and Marcellus Pratt, about eighteen, seventeen and fifteen respectively, came on to construct a house for the winter. Though the ground was bare it had been cold enough to form a thin bridge of ice, and on this they crossed the Mississippi, a French guide directing their pathway, and leading one ox at a time. Their route was then by Monona, across the Yellow river at Smithfield, or near Carter Clark’s place, up the North Fork to Ezra Reid’s in Ludlow, thence by Father Shattuck’s log cabin on the prairie and two miles north from there onto the ridge where their claim was made, in the southeast part of section 18, reaching the place December 6, 1850.

The first night here they build a brush shanty for shelter, of oak brush to which the dry leaves clung, and made themselves very comfortably at home. The next day they began the erection of a log house, about 16 by 24 feet in size, with two rooms on the ground floor, and all in one room in the loft. Meanwhile they boarded with Darwin and Seth Patterson, who came in toe previous spring and had built on their claim at the head of the creek which took their name, about two miles west of the Pratts, taking their noon lunch to their, work or cooking one there. In the construction of the house they used windows brought from Prairie du Chien, and drove to the busy little village of Moneek (which later disappeared entirely), at the head of Yellow river, in Winneshiek county, for basswoods boards for flooring and roof. They did not shingle until the following spring.

Having gotten the cabin enclosed the two elder men drove to Prairie du Chien for their families, with whom they returned in January, 1851, and Hersey says that although he had been well and hearty he was never more pleased to see his mother than when she then came “home.” At the Prairie they had purchased six barrels of flour and a barrel of pork, of which the men had brought along a portion of their first trip, as well as a small cook stove; so as soon as they had the house enclosed the boys ‘bached’ it till the woman came. A stone fireplace had been built, and from the top of the stonework a stick chimney plastered with clay. At first a hollow log was found and set up on the stonework for a chimney, but one night it got afire and they went out and pushed it off away from the house. While the men were after their families the boys put in their time chinking up the cracks between the logs to make the rooms snug for the winter. Bedsteads were made by using the corner of the chamber for the head and one side, setting a post for the fourth corner, with rails to the walls, and stretching bedcords from the rails to pegs inserted in the logs. Their nearest neighbors at first were: James Reid on section 24, and the Pattersons on section 24, Union Prairie; the Shattuck on section 30, David Whaley, section 20 and James Conway, section 28. Also Prosser and Archa Whaley on section 32 and 33.

Lemuel Pratt had brought a small stock of goods which he opened up in this log cabin, to supply the necessities of the few neighbors and the passing travelers. The latter were also accommodated here with meals and lodging. In the following spring he built a house on his claim on the north side of the road, afterwards the McCroden place, where he kept a hotel, this being a main traveled road for the settlers landing at Lansing, who soon began coming thick and fast, bound for the counties further to the west. A little later grain was hauled to the Lansing market from a hundred miles to the west, so that hundreds of teams passed daily, in the marketing season.

In the spring of 1852 the township was organized and given the name of Makee, although the ridge residents being mostly from Maine wanted it called Dover. A postoffice was established that year, at the house of Lemuel Pratt and he continued as postmaster until he sold out in 1856 and removed to Minnesota, where he died, at Monticello, in July, 1893, aged seventy-five. Hersey and his brother were the mail carriers to and from Lansing once a week at first.

The Pratts raised sod corn and buckwheat in 1851; and Lemuel sowed five or six acres to wheat on a piece of ground broken up by James Reid the previous year on the Richard Charles claim. This was sown on the 6th of March, the soil then being in prime condition, and yielded some 35 to 40 bushels per acre. The first threshing was done in the old-fashioned way with flails; but it was not long until some enterprising individual brought a tread-power threshing machine into the settlement. The carpenters had all they could do in those days. The lumber used in the construction of the frame houses on the ridge was mostly sawed out in the Black river region in Wisconsin, and rafter to Lansing.

Hersey Pratt and three brothers served our country faithfully in the Civil war. Hersey went to Illinois in 1860, and enlisted there in 1862, in Co. I, 95th Volunteer Infantry. In a later year he was commissioned second lieutenant of a company in the 48th Regiment of U. S. Colored troops, which position he retained until mustered out at the close of the war. Since that time he has followed the occupation of contractor and builder in Waukon, or in the furniture trade.

A TYPICAL PIONEER (pg 396-401)
A pioneer of the pioneers was C. J. F. Newell, who came to the vicinity of Waukon first in 1851. He was born March 3, 1817, in Wayne county, New York, where his father was a pioneer, a hunter and trapper, while clearing up his farm, and who died in 1825. A grandfather was a Colonial captain in the Revolutionary war.

Mr. Newell’s early recollections were of pioneer days in Your State, which fitted him for similar experiences upon coming to Iowa at the age of thirty-four. To be sure, the big fireplace with its andirons and huge back-log which sometimes lasted a week were not duplicated here, though smaller ones were sometimes built, but are interesting to recall to mind. Potatoes were baked in the ashes, also bread at first. Meat was cooked in kettles hung on an iron crane which could be swung around over the fire, or sometimes it was held over the hot coals on a stick or hung before the fire and broiled to a nicety. Chestnuts were roasted and corn popped in the hot ashes on the hearth. Then succeeded the “Dutch over,” a kettle set among the coals and with a tight cover with a turned up edge on which coals were also placed; and then the out-of-doors brick oven, and the open tin oven set before the fireplace; and later came that then wonderful invention the stove with the firebox below and the oven above it; and later the “railroad stove” having a large circular top with several griddle holes in it, and all around on the under side of the rim were cogs in which ran a small cog wheel that when turned by a crank would bring any desired hole immediately over the fire. Nor must the method of keeping or starting afire in those days before matches were used be forgotten. To keep the fire over night or longer coals or a hemlock knot would be buried in the ashes. If the fire went out coals would be brought from a neighbor’s if near enough, or a fire would be started by using a flint and steel causing sparks to fall on prepared tinder made from cotton or linen cloth, or on punk obtained from decaying wood. Those were the days to of tallow dip candles, or a saucer of lard with a rag fastened around a button and the end sticking up from it for a wick, the days of homespun cloth and homemade clothing.

He remained at home working on the farm in summer and attending the winter schools of those days, supplemented by such study as he could do by firelight at night until about seventeen years of age, when he went to learn the blacksmith’s trade, and followed that a large portion of his life.

In 1851 he came to Iowa with the idea of locating at Garden Grove, near the Missouri line, where he had relatives; but upon landing at Sabula he first came north to Dubuque, where parties prevailed upon him to investigate Allamakee county as a healthy section whose streams of sparkling spring waters were filled with trout, and about the last of July of the year he stepped from a boat at Lansing then a town of three log cabins, and followed d the main traveled road west to
t John Bush’s claim, the southeast quarter of section 22, on Coon creek, in what was afterward Union Prairie township, Bush having located there that spring. There was no Waukon then nor was it dreamed of. He remained in the county about two weeks looking around for land, and finally bought an eighty, a part of the northwest quarter of section 5 (Ludlow township), later owned by Peter Allison, but traded it off for a quarter section three miles east of Waukon, which he afterward sold to Orin Manson, now owned by Fred Hansmeier. He visited Frankville where Frank Teabout offered him ten acres of land if he would build a blacksmith shop.

After a few weeks he started to return east, and in August, while waiting in Lansing for a boat, he helped raise the first three frame buildings erected there, one each of F.D. Cowles, I. B. Place, and one of the Pattersons. The foundation was laid for the hotel afterwards known as the Lansing House, but the frame was not up. Dr. Houghton was running a hotel in a little log house on Front street.

He returned east and remained there till 1853, when he came west with his wife and two children. At a hotel in Dubuque he met Scott Shattuck, who was there buying doors and windows for his house in Waukon, where the county seat had been located that spring , and he prevailed on Mr. Newell to come to the new town, offering him the use of the original G. C. Shattuck log cabin. Which stood about thirty or forty rods northeast of the present public school building, where they had cultivated a patch of land for several years. The offer was accepted, they came and occupied the cabin, the first family to settle on the site of what is now the city of Waukon after the first pioneer G. C. Shattuck.

In June 1853, the first District court was held in Waukon, and a small makeshift courthouse was hurriedly constructed of logs for its use. The history of this little hut is told in another chapter, but the first disposition of it after it had served its purpose and a slightly larger one had been erected, was its purchase by Mr. Newell, who that fall moved it to the west side of Spring avenue and set up the pioneer blacksmith shop. In 1854 he sold out to Herbert Bailey. In 1860 Mr. Newell bought of M. G. Belden the location on the southwest corner of Main and West streets, where he continued in the blacksmith business until 1873, when he moved onto a farm in Franklin township, remaining there ten years, In 1883 he bought a farm in the Village Creek valley northeast of town, where he lived another ten years, and then sold out and returned to Waukon, making this him home until his death.

Mr. Newell married Miss Mary Boynton, March 7, 1848, in Wayne county, New York. On March 7, 1898, they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in Waukon, at which time a family circle of twenty-five, right royally enjoyed themselves (their nine children, with the families of those who were married), and a host of old friends were welcomed as guests. Other family reunions, more or less complete, were enjoyed on recurring anniversaries until Mr. Newell peacefully passed away on the 13th day of April, 1909, at the ripe old age of ninety-two. Mrs. Mary Newell remains among us in good health for one her age, being permitted to celebrate her eighty-third birthday on the 1st day of January last (1913), with a family reunion. She has a very clear recollection of those early days, and enjoys talking of them with old friends. Recently asked to relate some of her experiences for this history, she says:

“I arrived in Waukon in the fall of 1853 with my husband and two children. I was obliged to wait in Lansing for two weeks while Mr. Newell was fixing up the only available house in Waukon, a log cabin in the valley just east of where Mr. McDonald now lives, which had just been vacated by the Shattucks, they moving into their partly finished building, now know as the Mauch house, where they kept hotel. At the time there was no finished frame building in town, Mr. Shattuck’s family living in the basement of their new house, and on the day we arrived L. T. Woodcock was raising the frame of his two-story store building opposite to it, on the south side of Main street. These two buildings still stand, the Shattuck hotel building now owned by Mrs. Amelia Mauch Boomer, and the Woodcock building by the Misses A’Hearn. Our goods not having arrived we borrowed a straw bed-tick and a quilt from Mrs. Shattuck, also a few dishes and a rocking chair (we had bought a bedstead and a barrel of pork at Lansing). While Mr. Woodcock let us take a stove and its tinware. At our first meal we had for a table a board laid from the foot of the bed to the ladder that led to the loft, and sat on our trunks. We lived in this way for two weeks, till our goods came. Mr. John A. Townsend, who occupied a house east of town, made us a small pine table, and for a dish cupboard he had a few corner shelves put up on pegs. Mr. And Mrs. Huestis and Mr. And Mrs. Townsend were our first visitors, spending the evening.

“During the first winter we had to go out to Robert Isled’s, now the Grimm farm, a mile an a half west, for butter, milk and eggs. Lansing or McGregor, or Monona, were at first the nearest places to get groceries or fresh meat, until Mr. Woodcock finished his store, when he brought on a general stock of goods. Mrs. Woodcock came with him when he returned, and we speedily became friends both being from the east.

“The town grew rapidly and we boarded a number of the carpenters, including Azel Pratt, afterwards popularly known as Deacon Pratt, John Pratt, Hersey Pratt and Alvin Howard, all of them sleeping in the loft of our little cabin. That fall (1853) we accommodated eight regular boarders, among them D. W. Adams and L. T. Woodcock. At the time of the district Court all the houses in the vicinity were filled and one dark and rainy night near midnight a party of new arrivals knocked at our door seeking shelter, and were admitted, none bring turned away in those days, no matter how little room was left. Someone had brought along a bed-tick, and filling it as best they could in the dark and rain at a near-by straw stack laid it upon the floor and as many as could, crowded upon it for repose”

They were attorneys come to attend court, and aside form General Vandever of Dubuque, Mrs. Newell is not quite sure who composed the party, but thinks Reuben Noble and Samuel Murdock, both later district judges, were among them; and Judge Townsend afterwards said he thought Messrs. Burt and Samuels of Dubuque, were also of the party. Mr. Samuels four years later became the democratic nominee for governor of Iowa, and was defeated by Gov. Ralph P. Lowe.

Mr. John A. Townsend was truly a pioneer, settling on a farm just east of Waukon in 1852, and was a prominent figure in this county form many years. Born in New York, in 1819, he was brought up in Nova Scotia, where he married Miss Ruth Huestis in 1841. After settling at Waukon, he was in 1855 elected sheriff of Allamakee county, and served two terms. He then served one term as county judge, and in 1865 was again elected sheriff and served one term. From 1874 to 1875 he was a member of the Waukon mercantile firm of Hale, Townsend & Jenkins, and then retired from active business but later served the city a while as marshal and street commissioner. Mr. Townsend died March 23, 1890, leaving a numerous family, of whom eight children now survive, and the venerable widow. Mrs. Townsend is a remarkable well-preserved lady for her ninety years, and always of a sociable disposition, now takes pleasure in recurring to the events of the pioneer days.

When they came from Nova Scotia, the family consisted of five children, the eldest eight years and the youngest but two months of age. Their route took them by rail to Rockford, Illinois, thence by stage to Galena, and by boat to Lansing. The river being very low it required three days to reach Lansing., where they arrived October 2, 1852, on a dark and muddy night, and went to the only hotel. The next day they drove out to this vicinity in a buggy, or light wagon, the family of seven an a boy for a driver, over a road recently opened by mere cutting out the trees and brush, the stumps remaining to be dodged the best they could. Mr. Thomas A. Minard, then deputy sheriff, a half-brother to Mr. Townsend, had preceded them to this locality the year before, and they went to his log cabin. This cabin was of fairly good size, with two rooms below, and a loft. It stood on or near the south line of his farm, which soon became the Maxwell farm, adjoining the east line of Waukon, and of late years known as the Pettit farm. It was built near a fine large spring, and a part of this house remained standing until a few years ago, at one time being used as a slaughter house.

In this little cabin the Minard family of five, the Townsend family of seven, and another family, lived during the following winter; the Townsends continuing there until the spring of ‘54. Meanwhile, in the spring of ‘53 Mrs. Townsend’s father, Samuel Huestis and family, came on from Nova Scotia, accompanied by C. W. Jenkins, who with Mr. Townsend built the frame house at the north end of the farm, for James Maxwell, who also came about that time; and they and Minard built the substantial old Huestis house opposite, on the north side of the extension of east Main street, or the Columbus Road, as it was called, and into which later house the Townsends removed with father Huestis in April, 1854, until they later had a place of their own on the farm next to the east. Mr. Minard later sold out and went to Kansas, where he became speaker of her first free-state legislature; Mr. Maxwell died in 1879; Mr. Jenkins built many of the buildings in town, including the present courthouse in 1860-61, later engaging in business with Mr. Hale for many years, in which occupation he is kindly remembered by most everybody in this part of the county, living until 10-/ Mr. Huestis built for himself a comfortable mansion on “Harmony Hill” in which the genial old gentleman peaceably passed away in 18-.

An amusing reminiscence of Mrs. Townsend, which she did not relate for publication, but which she will perhaps not object to, is like this: As is well known, one of her sisters married D. W. Adams, and another J. H. Hale, and she says that she and Mr. Townsend were the only democrats in the lot, when in 1865 her husband was candidate for sheriff, and Mr. Adams and Mr. Hale were running for Representative and surveyor respectively, on the opposite ticket, and Father Huestis for justice of the peace. On election day Mother Huestis had asked them all to supper, but Mrs. Townsend (admitting she was quire a partisan), felt that she could not go. But when the returns began to come in showing that Mr. Townsend was the victor she concluded that she could go. And enjoyed the occasion very much indeed. It is human nature now, as then.

Dudley W. Adams was born in Winchendo, Massachusetts, November 30, 1831, and lost his father at the age of four years. In September, 1853, he came to Waukon with I. T. Woodcock, with whom he was associated in the first store building, which they occupied late that fall, and which in later years became the National Hotel, and which is still standing as heretofore noted. The lumber in this building was all oak, and was sawed out by Austin Smith at his mill on Yellow river. Having varied attainments, Mr. Adams proved a valuable acquisition to the community, which grew rapidly from now on. His services as surveyor were sought far and wide; for ten years he was assessor, and in 1854 he was elected president of the County Agricultural Society. In 1865 he became a member of the County Board of Supervisors, and later chairman of the board for several years .

In 1856, Mr. Adams entered upon the work of horticulture, in which he always found great pleasure, and in after years the “Iron Clad Nursery” of Waukon became famous for its success where others failed. There were ten or fifteen other nurseries started in Allamakee county at about this time, not one of which proved profitable, and all were abandoned amid the almost universal opinion that fruit could not be grown in northern Iowa. During the twenty years he continued in this business, however, Mr. Adams established the fact beyond a doubt that it can be very successful, with judicious selection and proper management, and pointed with just pride to his achievements in this direction under the adverse circumstances of climate and public opinion. For instance, in 1871, at an exhibition of the State Horticultural Society (of which, by the way, he was for five years the secretary), he took the sweepstakes prize, with one hundred varieties, for the best and largest display of apples, Again, at the State Fair in 1879, he took the sweepstakes with 172 varieties of apples. In 1882 he had forty acres of apple orchard in bearing, and harvested 1,500 bushels, but his interests becoming paramount in Florida he gradually gave up the business here. Thirty years later, in January, 1913, a writer in the Iowa Homestead describes this famous old orchard as it appeared to him at a visit the previous fall, and says:

Forty years ago one of the great Iowa orchards was that belonging to Dudley W. Adams, Waukon, Allamakee county. Mr. Adams was a very prominent man of his day, being secretary of the Iowa State Horticultural Society, and master of the State and National Grange. He was a man of ability, and of property. He removed to Florida some thirty years ago and died there, about the beginning of this century. The evidences of his life and his influence are still thick at Waukon. But of his orchard, planted in hope and tended with faithful care, there is but a remnant left. There are about one hundred trees, now some fifty years old, scattered over a great pasture lot. The land is now in timothy and evidently has been kept in this state for some years. The trees are gnarly, many of them show dead branches and other evidences of decay, but as a whole it is remarkable how much vitality remains. There was but little fruit at the time of my visit last September, and the specimens to be found were inferior. But they seemed to be of the varieties recommended for the North fifty years ago.-Perry Russett, Rawl’s Janett, Plumb’s Cider and Talman Sweet, Sops of Wind an Willow Twig.

The remarkable fact is that any of the trees have survived the long years of neglect since the orchard has passed into careless hands. Those who are familiar with the rewards of good care for trees-proper surgery and feeding-will concede at once the probability of paying crops from that orchard if it had been rightly treated.

Mr. Adams became early interested in the Patrons of Husbandry, and assisted in organizing the Waukon Grange in the winter of 1869-70, the third grange in the State. In 1872 he was elected Master of the State Grange, and a year later of the National body. At that time there were but about 1,200 subordinate granges in the United States, but at the expiration of his term of three years there were nearly 23,000 granges spread over nearly all the States and Territories. His industry and tack are still further exemplified in his persistent advocacy of the establishment of rail communication with the outside world for Waukon, by the Paint Creek route; his active participation, in the organization of the company; and, upon his election as its president in 1875, his energetic propulsion of the work to a successful realization of the hopes of the community during the twenty years preceding. In January 1876, he re-engaged in his favorite occupation of horticulture in his winter home in Florida, by settling out a small grove of orange trees. Later he was the fortunate possessor of over a thousand acres in that state, largely in orange grove. Mr. Adams was married January 31, 1856, to Miss Hannah Huestis, who was an able co-laborer in his horticultural avocations, and an associate in his honors, having occupied the position of Ceres in the National and State Granges, as well as various offices in the gift of her home subordinate grange.

Mr. Adams died February 13, 1897, in Florida. Mrs. Adams continued to make her home at Waukon, though traveling a great deal all around the world. Her death occurred August 6, 1904.

Another of the Waukon pioneers was Balser Fultz, who came in 1850 or ‘51, and made this his home most of the time until his death, which occurred March 17, 1910, in his eighty-second year. For many years he owned and operated the farm just north of Hon. J. F. Dayton’s fruit farm, opposite the fair grounds, and claimed to have broken up more of the prairie sod on the site of Waukon.

David Alonzo Sackett, popularly called “Lon” Sackett, was a picturesque character never to be forgotten by those who had any acquaintance with him. He settled about two miles southwest of town in 1852, but soon became identified with the village, and as a justice of the peace exhibited qualities of mind that might have made him a high name, had he been ambitious for education in youth. Rough and uncouth in appearance and speech he possessed a keen intellect and a love of argument that indicated natural power. His habits were such that he did not prosper, and dying in 1875 he left a widow with little means, who survived until February 3, 18975.

Of the Herseys and Pratts who settled near town in 1850-51, mention is made in another chapter. They all came to Waukon soon after and made a deep impress of good character and enterprise on the village. A. J. Hersey was a close second to Woodcock in opening up a stock of merchandise in town, in a two-story farm building begun in 1853 on the site of the present Allamakee Hotel, and which was moved to the rear and now forms the west end of that hostelry, encased in brick. .A. H., Augustine and L. W. Hersey, all engaged in mercantile pursuits in Waukon for many years. The mother of these four, Mrs. Phoebe (Howard) Hersey, widow of Noah Hersey who died in 1833, came to this county with one of her sons in ‘52 and died April 15, 1881, aged ninety, Lewis Washburn Hersey was born at Foxcroft, Maine, March 14, 1826, lost his father at seven and at fifteen began providing for himself. At twenty-five he came to Allamakee county and located on the east half northwest and east half southwest, section 17, Makee township (including a large part of the present iron mine), but soon after became interested in Waukon property and affairs. In 1856 he built his residence on the northwest corner of Allamakee and Pleasant streets which he occupied until replaced by the modern building, when C. O. Howard bought the substantial old house and moved it to his addition in the north part of the city, where it now forms a part of the Ellison Orr home. In ‘53 Mr. Hersey was appointed clerk of the District court, and then was elected for a term of two years. In ‘58 he went into the boot and shoe business with A. G. Howard. In the fall of ‘59 with his brothers Augustine and A. J., and D. D. Doe, he started in general merchandise in the new frame building for years known as Hersey’s Hall, now being razed in this summer of 1913. The later biography of Lewis Hersey is written in the history of his bank, the Baptist church, Masonic lodge, the railroad, and all public enterprises of a character beneficial to the community. He died January 6, 1903 and his wife, B. Ann Brayton) Hersey, survived him five years. They were married July, 1856, but had no children.

Hersey’s Hall occupied the second story over the two south stores in the frame building alluded to. The building occupied lot 8, block 10, sixty-six feet north and south. A. J. Hersey bought this lot of the county in ‘55. In the fall of ‘58 he sold the north third of the lot to Hosea Low, and the middle third to Augustine Hersey, for $67 and $69 respectively. The building was erected in ‘59 and in October, 1860, he sold the south third to D. D. Doe for $1,200, and Augustine Hersey sold his middle third to Howard Hersey for a like sum. The sign, “D. D. Doe & Co.”, in big letters on the south gable, which endured as long as the building, was painted by James Holahan, it is said, who came in 1863. Mr. Doe sold his lot to J. N. Eddy in ‘65 for $1,500.

Deacon Azel Pratt built many Waukon homes and business houses, his industrious four o’clock A. M. hammer, disturbing the slumbers of an entire generation. He raised a large family, and all his sons were industrious and patriotic, several of them serving their country through the Civil war. Two remain with us now, Hersey and Emory Pratt. The youngest, Jas. L. , has conducted a newspaper at Elkton, South Dakota, for many years, and like wise has a fine large family.

John W. Pratt, nephew of Azel, served through the war in the 27th Iowa Infantry, as a lieutenant. He was afterward clerk of the District court for six years, and his remaining years were occupied in trade, until his death in 1897. All the foregoing named (and their wives) departed this life from homes in Waukon, except A. H. Hersey and wife, who had lived a while with their daughter in Illinois.

Mention has been elsewhere made of the pioneer physician, Dr. J. W. Flint, who settled on Makee Ridge soon after the Pratts, and later followed the flock into town. He was elected superintendent of county schools in 1858. He practiced in Waukon during the Civil war.

The first physician in the village was one Dr. Burnham. He made any assault on Judge Williams, and shortly after left the country.

Dr. Isaiah H. Hedge located in Waukon in 1855, coming from Maine, where he was born in 1812, He was in active practice her for twenty years, until his health failed in 1875, after which he traveled a good deal, and spent his winters in Florida, his wife having died in 1879. He died August 2, 1888.

Dr. Thomas H. Barnes was a native of Ohio, born in 1832, and graduated in medicine at the Iowa State University in 1855, when he settled in Allamakee county for practice. In July, 1861, he raised a company of cavalry for the war, we believe the first company to go from this county, Company K, 1st Iowa Cavalry Volunteers, with which he served until December 16, 1864, when he resigned on account of physical disability and was mustered out with the rank of captain. He then returned to Waukon and resumed the practice of his profession. In 1870 he was elected to the Board of County Supervisors, under the new law providing for three only, and was by them chosen chairman, serving thus for three years. In 1880, a particularly hot campaign. He was elected State Representative from Allamakee on the republican ticket. He later removed to Nebraska, where he died June 2, 1889.

Francis H. Robbins and Alvin Egbert Robbins were natives of Wyoming county, New York, coming to this county in ‘55 and settling first at Columbus, later on a farm near Waukon. Frank H. Served through the war in Co. I, 27th Iowa Infantry, becoming second lieutenant of that company. After the war the brothers engaged in the drug business at Waukon, and became prominent in business affairs and all public enterprises, as well as a power in political circles on the republican side. Egbert died January 12, 1892, and Frank, December 7, 1908.

Mrs. Damon Whaley observed her ninety-third birthday in January, 1913, assisted by some of the ladies of the Waukon Methodist congregation, of which she is a member. She came to the vicinity early in the fifties, Mr. Whaley first going onto the Abe Bush place north of town, then to the Andy Ross place a few miles east. About 1861 the bought a small farm a couple of miles south of Waukon, where he died April 28, 1881, and Mrs. Whaley continued to live there until some twelve years ago when she move into town.

George M. Dean, well and familiarly known as Judge Dean, died at his home in Waukon, Monday, January 4, 1909, in his eighty-fourth year. Judge Dean was a prominent figure in the early history of Allamakee county, of which he was a resident for fifty-six years. About the year 1880, foreseeing the importance of gathering some records of the pioneer days for preservation ere the earliest settlers should have all passed to the beyond, he was influential in organizing an early settlers’ association. He then set about collating the facts which, wielding a facile pen, he was well prepared to put into shape, and produced a series of very entertaining and reliable papers for the society, which were published in the local press and formed the nucleus of the county history prepared by E. M. Hancock and published by W. E. Alexander in 1882, and from which liberal quotations are made in the present work.

Mr. Dean was born in South Glastonbury, Connecticut, February 22, 1825, of sturdy New England stock, several brothers attaining prominence in public affairs, one serving with distinction as congressman from Connecticut. He was brought up to the business of manufacturing cotton goods, and at the age of twenty-five came went to Quincy, Illinois, where he built and operated the first cotton factory with power in that state. In the fall of 1853 he came to Iowa, and bought a farm in section 23, Union Prairie township, this county, now the property of J. E. McGeough. In 1857 he was elected county judge, and served as such until January 1, 1860. During his term the present courthouse was contracted for, and built under his supervision, by C. W. Jenkins and J. W. Pratt, being completed in 1861. In 1863 he recruited a company of one hundred men and was mustered into service with them as captain, Company E, Ninth Iowa Cavalry Volunteers, serving as such until mustered out at Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1866.

At the close of the war Captain Dean located in business at Waukon, where for over thirty years he was engaged in the sale of wagons and farm implements, meanwhile taking influential part as a public-spirited citizen in the shaping of public affairs, both of the town and county. His was a capable and resourceful character. Positive in his convictions, firm and unyielding for what he believed the right, he was withal of a gracious and companionable nature, and left an unstained record both in public and private life. He was a charter member of both the Lansing and Waukon Masonic lodges. October 26, 1851, Mr. Dean was married to Miss Jane E. Hollister of his home town in Connecticut, to whom were born two sons and two daughters, one of each surviving him; George, in South Dakota, and Mrs. May Getchell, of Scappoose, Oregon, with whom the venerable widow maker her home.

The writer of these lines cherishes his memory as a king employer, having earned some early dollars in the employ of Mr. Dean and his brother, John, at lettering of signs and painting wagons, in the little shop over the old bowling alley, on the west side of West street (where Johnson’s machine shop now stands), in 1865 and ‘66.

William C. Thompson was born at Buffalo, New York, November 4, 1816, which continue his home until he was about nineteen, when he came west and lived for a time in or about Quincy, Illinois. He afterwards when to Rock Count, Wisconsin, and to Monroe, Green county, where in May, 1849, he married Miss Sophrona (Reynolds) Thomas. In the same year he came to Allamakee county and located a house at what became later known as Thompson’s Corners, in Lafayette township, returning to Wisconsin that fall. In the spring of the following year, 1850, he again came to this county, with his family, and soon began to take an active part in public affairs. At the August election in 1851 he was elected sheriff, serving during the term of 1852-3; and again he was elected to this office for the term of 1860-1. In 1871 he was elected to the office of county auditor, and reelected thereafter three times in succession, when in 1880 he was succeeded by his son, Samuel R. Mr. Thompson was at one time in the mercantile business at Columbus, the first county seat. In June, 1853, he was one of the organizers of the “Allamakee County Agricultural and Mechanical Society” at a meeting held at Waukon. In September, 1853, he was granted a license by the County court to establish and operate a ferry across the Mississippi river from “Red House Landing” in Fairview township. He was a lifelong democrat, politically, and was one of the prime movers in the organization of that party in this county, at a meeting held for that purpose at Waukon, December 24, 1853. Mr. Thompson resided at Waukon from about 1858 until his death, which occurred February 2, 1899.

Col. John A. Wakefield, referred to in the reminiscences of Mr. Raymond, was a man of considerable ability and diversified talents, as will be seen by the following condensed sketch of his life. Born in South Carolina in 1797, his family removed in 1808 to Illinois and settled near the present Lebanon, St. Clair county. Though but a lad Wakefield served as a scout in the war of 1812-15. Afterwards he studied medicine both in Cincinnati and St. Louis, but abandoned that profession for the law, was admitted to the bar in 1818, and the same year settled at Vandalia. where one of his acquaintances was young Abraham Lincoln. He enlisted in the army raised for the Back Hawk war, and was later appointed surgeon because of his medical knowledge. He served throughout the war and was slightly wounded at the battle of Bad Axe. Returning home he wrote a “History of the Black Hawk War” from his daily journal and his fresh recollections, which was published at Jacksonville in 1834, and is considered good authority. The work was republished in 1907 under the auspices of the Caxton Club, of Chicago. Three years later (1837) he removed to Jo Daviess county, and in 1846 to Iowa county, Wisconsin. In 1849 he settled at St. Paul, where he was chosen judge, but finding the winters too severe in 1854 he removed to Allamakee county, Iowa, building a home on the north part of section 2, Makee township, which he had entered from the government the year before, and which later became the Hugh Norton place. He also took land in section 9, later the Benedict Troendle place. He remained here three years, and in 1854 removed to Kansas, settling at Lawrence, where as a strong anti-slavery man he took active part in struggle over that territory. He died in Kansas, June 18, 1873, after serving his adopted state in many capacities.

Robert Crawford was born in Crawford township, Coshocton county, Ohio (the township was named after his father), February 17, 1828, and at the age of nine years was left an orphan. When he grew up he learned the trade of wagon maker, having been apprenticed for a term of three years. At the age of twenty-two he married Sarah Shannon, born also in Coshocton county, February 1, 1830, near Keen. After their marriage he worked at his trade for a short time at Bloomfield, Ohio, and in 1853, with one child, they came to Iowa as pioneers, and settled in Franklin township, Allamakee county, on government land which he had selected a year or two previously. Here they engaged in farming, building a home and raising a family.
Robert and Sarah Crawford believed in the great importance of the home, the school, and the church. They were members of the Presbyterian church, and liberal in their contributions towards in maintenance. They stood for law and order, and took an active interest in the building up of the public schools not only in their own vicinity but the county at large, and of their children several engaged in teaching at various times. Mr. Crawford held local offices, and was for three years a member of the county board of supervisors, always using his influence conscientiously for the promotion of education interests and good government generally. These good people of Scotch-Irish ancestry left the stamp of their character upon the formative period of our county’s history in more ways than one for its welfare. They believed that one of the best legacies they could leave the world would be an intelligent, industrious, honest family; and their success in building up such a legacy is attested by, and is the reason for, this sketch.

Their children numbered fourteen. Two died in infancy before they came to Iowa, the others grew to young manhood and womanhood-three girls and nine boys. James S. Crawford, the oldest son, was born at Bloomfield, Ohio, December 20, 1851, but grew up on the farm in Franklin township. He attended the common schools at Volney, and in Bear Hollow, and later taught. For a short time he attended the Upper Iowa University, and later the State University, and after two years again engaged in teaching, in Minnesota and Iowa. He became superintendent of schools of Cass county, Iowa, and a member of the state educational board of examiners. He represented Cass county in the General Assembly of Iowa, in 1892, serving with Hon. J. F. Dayton of this county. He engaged in the newspaper business of Atlantic, Iowa, and later at Cherokee. He was an untiring and able writer, as he was a student and a thinker. In 1900 he was one of the custodians of the United States exhibit at the Paris exposition, his specialty being “The Education of Europe to Corn as a Food.” He visited European countries before returning and studied at first hand their industrial conditions, the better to prepare for the working out of economical questions at home. He was employed during the Louisiana Purchase Exposition with the committee on exploitation, in 1904, where this writer last met him and briefly renewed an old acquaintance. He was called suddenly, March 2, 1913, while in Chicago, and buried at his home, Cherokee, Iowa. He leaves one son, an only child.

John Cliff Crawford, born in Franklin township in 1854, started out for himself at the age of sixteen his father consenting, and worked at farm work for a few years, and at various kinds of labor, but kept up his reading and went to school as opportunity permitted. When he became prepared he began teaching, and has taught school for sixty-two months of his life. During this time he was acquiring a practical education himself, traveling about and becoming acquainted with men and affairs, and doubtless figuring out the whys and wherefores of conditions as he found them, with that love for investigation and reasoning which marks the man. Finally he entered the medical department of the Northwestern University of Illinois, from which institution he graduated in 1882. Locating at Waukon he began practice with Dr. T. H. Barnes, a pioneer physician, and for thirty years now he has held steadfastly to the practice of his chosen profession in this town and surrounding country. The doctor is an advocate of the home as being the largest factor in the solution of many public questions. He has positive convictions, and the faculty of expressing them with clearness and force. He married Miss Flora Newell, a daughter of another large pioneer family, and their family consists of one son and two daughters.

Coe I. Crawford has been an untiring worker, and is a graduate of the Iowa State University Law School. In his young manhood he located in South Dakota, and has ever since been more or less prominent in Dakota politics: first, as county attorney for Hughes county; second, as member of the senate in the last territorial council; and next a member of the constitutional convention for South Dakota. When the territory was divided and entered statehood he was elected to the first state senate of South Dakota. Then he was elected to the office of Attorney General for the state, for two terms. Following this, by a combination of circumstances he was defeated for Congress; but after a short rest from politics he was elected Governor of South Dakota, and from that position he was chosen United States Senator, his term expiring in 1915.

Nate S. Crawford, the sixth child, in his twenty-second year arranged to enter the State University at Iowa City, but the same year, October, 1881, he was cut off by an attack of typhoid fever, at Webster City, and his book of life unduly closed. He was the athlete of the family, of splendid physique, and his mother said he was never known to cry when a child-a characteristic of his make=up. He was a fine singer, an excellent student, and contemplated a course in medicine.

Joe H. Crawford is a successful agriculturist in Pipestone county, Minnesota, where he started by entering a claim about the year 1880. He has been tenacious and hung onto his land while the country developed, until now he has a fine farm home, is a member of the county board of supervisors, and identified with several business enterprises. Both he and Coe have families, and both are strong school men.

Lieut. R. T. Crawford was a graduate of the Iowa State College, also of Iowa Teachers College-then a State Normal. He enlisted as a private soldier in the Spanish-American war, was advanced, and at the close of the Cuban war was mustered out. Soon after this he was commissioned a second lieutenant of the Provisional Volunteer Army, and assigned to the 32d Regiment, with which he went to the Philippines. He served his term, and when he was expecting his discharge he received instead a commission as captain in the regular army. He accepted the position, and shortly afterward lost life, on the island of Samar, while attempting to save his men from drowning. He succeeded in saving most of the, but the exertion was too great for even his remarkable physical strength, and he went down.

O. S. Crawford has made the cattle ranch business quite successful in South Dakota, and has the banner family, twelve children. He too, as many be inferred, is an active school man.

Effie and Allie were inordinately ambitious in school life, overworked, and passed away in early life. Jennie is a successful farmer’s wife. Rollo, a very excellent your man, was claimed by heart trouble at the age of twenty-one; so another promising career was shortened.

Eddie was the baby, and the reader and student of the family; but his mentality was too much for his physical strength, and he died from nervous exhaustion.

Robert Crawford removed with his family to Castleville, Buchanan county, Iowa, in 1881, where Mrs. Crawford died April 7, 1890, and he followed her in death July 20, 1896. But our county claims and honors those of their children who have made distinguished mark in life as “Allamakee boys.”

Another Allamakee boy who may well be mentioned in this connection is Hon. Frank M. Bryne, present Governor of South Dakota. He is a sturdy Irishman, born not far from the rugged Mississippi bluffs in 1858. Fifteen years later attended school with J. C. Crawford, also Coe I. Crawford, as his teachers, with whom he formed a lasting friendship. At twenty-one he homesteaded in South Dakota, where he has since been prominently identified with the republican party, serving as the first State Senator from Faulk county; then as County Treasurer, and again State Senator. He has “made good” in every way, and as a reward now occupies the highest position in the gift of his state.

William Stinson Dunn, son of Thomas and Temperance Dunn, the fifth in a family of fifteen children, was born in Mongolia county, then in Virginia, August 17, 1817. He was a descendant on his mother’s side of David Morgan, a relative of General Daniel Morgan, one of the pioneers of now West Virginia, and settled on the land where Morgantown is now situated, in 1764. The chronicles of border warfare say, “ Mr. Morgan was conspicuous for personal prowess and for daring, yet deliberate courage displayed by him during the subsequent troubles with the Indians.”

In April, 1851, Mr. Dunn having purchased from his father, who was a veteran of the War of 1812, and eighty-acre land warrant received form the Government for military service, emigrated to Iowa and rented what was then called the Barker place near Monona, Clayton county. He took a claim of 160 acres of heavily timbered land in Allamakee county, eight acres in Paint Creek township and an adjoining eighty in Linton township; and after raising a crop on his rented farm upon which to live while making a clearing, he moved onto his farm in the spring of 1852.

Mr. Dunn was one of the very first to own and operated a threshing outfit in the new country. Owing to the scarcity of machines the area covered was large, and the season in the earlier years generally lasted from August until the last of November of first of December. He usually went to what was called the Monona Prairie the first of the season, and his territory extended from Lana to Pleasant Ridge. It was sometimes almost winter before he would get around to thresh for his home neighbors. He served his township as trustee for twenty-five or thirty years. When the County Agricultural Society was organized he became a life member and labored earnestly for its success, always contributing of his best products to help make a good display. Was also a member of the Waukon Grange Patrons of Husbandry. When the C., D. & M. R. R. Proposed to build a line up the Mississippi river from Dubuque, Mr. Dunn was appointed one of six to appraise the damage to the property through which it passed in this county.

Mr. Dunn was married to Miss Virlinda Warman in 1840, by whom he had two children. In 1846 he married Miss Mary McShane, by whom he had six children. Of the eight, three children died young. Of the five daughters who grew to womanhood, Temperance married H. C. Stanley and had four children; Isabel, Dorcas, and Jane taught in the county schools for several years; Isabel married C. A. Robey and had eleven children: Dorcas married F. W. Holford, one child; Jane married J. C. Robey, two children; Virginia married Albirtus Leas, nine children.

Mrs. Dunn died in December, 1879. Mr. Dunn continued to live on the farm on which they settled until the fall of 1893, when he went to Waukon and lived with his daughter, Jane Robey, until his death at the age of eighty-four years, November 1, 1901. He came of a sturdy, long-lived race, his father dying at the age of eighty-eight years, his mother at ninety-one. Of his seven brothers and seven sisters, only one, a brother, died in childhood; all the rest lived beyond middle age and all were married except one sister. Two of his brothers lived to be over ninety.

Joseph P. Jackson, a veteran of the Mexican war, died at the home of his son-in-law, H. F. Gaunitz, in Lansing, January 7, 1913, in his eighty-eighth year. From the Lansing Mirror are gleaned the following facts of his remarkable career.

“Joseph P. Jackson was born in Rushville, Fairfield county, Ohio, June 22, 1825. He enlisted at Somerset, Perry county, May 22, 1846, and at Cincinnati his company was organized into the Third Ohio Infantry, later going to New Orleans, thence to the mouth of the Rio Grande, then to Matamoros, Mexico, in 1847 in the month of February he was at Buena Vista where he remained until his time expired, reaching New Orleans again after a stormy voyage on June 22, 1847, returning to his Ohio home.

“He came to Iowa in May, 851. October 14, 1861, he again enlisted at Dubuque, serving in Company B. 12th Iowa Infantry. He was wounded in the thigh and came home on a thirty days’ furlough, returning later to his regiment at Shiloh.

“On December 25, 1862, he was discharged and in the month of March, 1864, reenlisted at Davenport, seeing some hard service up to the time he was mustered out in January, 1866, He was commissioned first lieutenant, Company B. 12th Iowa Infantry on May 20, 1865.

“The funeral of this old and esteemed citizen was held yesterday morning, interment being at Paint Rock, beside his wife, who preceded him to the grave five years ago

“Mr. Jackson was in his eighty-eighth year, and almost up to the time of his death was able to read his newspaper. Since the cold weather began he has not been able to get about, but all of last summer was down town almost daily, appearing to enjoy his visits among his friends.”

One of the well-known men of ability whose activities extended throughout the county in its earlier years we H. O. Dayton, from whose dairy the following items of general interest have been kindly submitted to us by his daughter, Mrs. Anna Davenport. Other items appear in the sketch of Village Creek. In 1856 he came to Iowa, arriving at Hardin July 1st. Here he engaged in surveying and states that his first platting was done July 18, 1856, when he assisted his brother Joel on the town plat of Hardin for Mr. Frazier. During that year and the following he surveyed in and about Hardin, Rossville, Yellow River, Village creek, New Galena, and Lansing. In October, he was appointed commissioner of Road No. 137, in Center township, which he surveyed, assisted by Messrs. Deremore, Wachter, Christian and Barthell. He describes it as some two miles long and a very good route, yet there was not much room left for anything else between the bluffs. On March 19, 1857, he states, “ I finished up my survey of Village Creek.” In 1858 he taught the summer school at Hardin, boarding with Dr. Green, who later lived at Postville, The Allamakee county superintendent at this time was J. W. Flint, assisted by Mr. Newell and Mr. Fawcett. In the winters of 1858-61 he taught in Milton, or Village Creek; and 1861-2 and ‘62-3 he taught the Lansing school.

On March 2, 1860, the diary states that Rossville men had some four weeks previously circulated a petition to have a vote at the April election for the removal of the county seat from Waukon to Rossville. He volunteered to circulate a remonstrance, and going into Taylor township, which was strong for Rossville, he secured enough signers to defeat the petition, which lacked nine names of a sufficient number to authorize the county judge to order an election.

In the fall of 1860 Mr. Dayton speaks of attending a county fair at Waukon. Also the first teachers’ institute of Allamakee county, commencing September 10, 1860, and continuing one week, and held in the Presbyterian church at Waukon. The county superintendent was R. C. Armstrong; and the instructors. Rev. J. Loughran and A. A. Griffith, the latter attending mostly to elocution.

In his entry of October 26, 1860, he writes: “There is quite a stir with Rose and Twiford about removing the county seat from Waukon to Lansing; they are circulating a petition for this change.” An on November 5th: “No school today, but went over to Lansing to lay off Court House Block for J. M. Rose. They give only about one acre of land.” He was living at Village Creek then. January 26, 1861, he says: “ Went over to Lansing with Mr. Rose. He requested me to see several men about the building of a house for court rooms.” On September 21, 1862, after having visited Rossville, he writes: “Rossville seems not to have grown at all during the past six years.”

Warren Estev came to Postville in 1849 when there was only one log house there. The next winter, ‘49-50, three families lived in a small log cabin three miles northwest of Postville, where together they offered up their prayers and talked of the possibilities of the future. The echoes of the Red Mn’s war whoop had scarcely died away among the hills; and on this very farm were to be found their fresh made graves, this being a burial place, over one hundred of the tribe having been buried here. It was a most fitting place, marked by high projecting rocks on the river bank. Near by was a bark shanty where they had left some four hundred sap troughs, ready for making sugar the next spring. Mr. Estey moved to Fayette in 1868, where he died in January, 1882, aged eighty-two years.

Charles Wesley Bender came to Post township in the early fifties with his people, who camped at the spring near the Bethel church, and then passed on into the edge of Winneshiek county. He cast his first vote there, in 1853, and later took up land in Fillmore county, Minnesota. He with other settlers ran up the first stars and stripes on Washington Prairie, Winneshiek county, July 4, 1852, the men getting out a flag pole with two pine trees spliced, and the women making the flag. The enthusiastic settlers named the place “Washington Corners,” but it came to be called Washington Prairie later. It was always with pride that he recalled the doings of those days, when the vigor of young manhood made it possible to grapple with the hardships of the pioneers. To them no task seemed too great; and the home was open to all. Mr. Bender was born in Stark county, Ohio, April 18, 1832, and died March 26, 1913, at Forest Mills, Franklin township, at the home of a son with whom he had lived since the death of his wife in 1903. He was twice married and eleven children were born to him, seven of whom survive him. He was a cousin of Cornelius Aultman, Jr., founder of the famous machine works of Aultman & Miller.


~transcribed by Diana Diedrich

(page 399 has photos, and pages 400 & 414 are blank)

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