As has been stated, Iowa was embraced in what was known as the Louisiana Purchase, was a part of the District of Louisiana in 1804; in 1807, was included in the Territory of Illinois, and, in 1812, in the Territory of Missouri until the admission of the State in 1821 ; was unattached to any organized Territory until 1834, when it became a part of Michigan Territory, and, in 1836, became a part of Wisconsin Territory; in 1838, was established as the Territory of Iowa.

    On the 11th of January, 1840, the Territorial Legislature, by enactment, organized the county of Clinton, the law to take effect March 1, 1840, and making Camanche, which, it was stated, had polled more votes than all the balance of the county, the seat of justice.

    The act of organization declares that three County Commissioners and other officers shall be elected on the first Monday in April, 1840. No record, however, exists of any proceedings of the Commissioners until January 5, 1841. We have verbal statements of old settlers which place it almost beyond doubt that there were meetings held during the year 1840, and that Elijah Buel, George Griswold and Robert C. Bourne were the first Commissioners, and it appears that the next election was held in August, 1840. The act organizing Clinton County also provided that the Commissioners of Scott County should select the names of persons resident in Clinton County to serve as grand jurors. The following names were returned in accordance therewith: Peter H. Groat, James Claborne, Richard Crawshaw, Robert Thomas, Samuel Doolittle, John C. Holbrook, Frederick Hess, John Emory, Shubel Coy, Benjamin Baker, Oliver A. Crary, Alfred Brown, Otis Bennett, Daniel Smith, Richard H. Dawson, Eldad Beard, David H. Brown, Henry Strickler, Robert C. Bourne, Philip D. Bradley, Eli Goddard, Alanson Dickerman and Arthur Smith.

    Of these, there appeared at the opening of the Court, October 12, 1840, James Claborne, Benjamin Baker, Otis Bennett, Richard H. Dawson, Eldad Beard, Henry Strickler, Robert C. Bourne, Alanson Dickerman and Arthur Smith.  The Court selected Samuel N. Bedford, George W. Harlan, John Welsh and Absalom Dennis as talesmen to complete the required number, and the first grand jury of Clinton County was sworn in, with Richard H. Dawson as foreman.  James D. Bourne had been appointed Sheriff by Governor Dodge, and Martin Dunning held appointment as Clerk of the Court. Thomas S. Wilson was the Judge, and William J. A. Bradford, District Prosecuting Attorney.

    At the election for county officers, Robert C. Bourne, Eli Goddard and Elijah Buel were elected County Commissioners. Mr. Bourne, having the highest number of votes, was declared elected for three years. There was a tie between Messrs. Goddard and Buel, and the Clerk cut the Gordian knot by declaring Mr. Goddard to be the two years’ man, and Mr. Bud elected for one year.

    James D. Bourne was elected Sheriff; Richard H. Dawson, County Assessor; Shubel Coy, Treasurer; — Gardner, Recorder.

SOURCE:  Allen, L. P., History of Clinton County, Iowa, Containing A History of the County, it's Cities, Towns, Etc. and Biographical Sketches of Citizens, War Record of it's Volunteers in the late Rebellion, General and Local Statistics, Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men, History of the Northwest, History of Iowa, Map of Clinton County, Constitution of the United States, Miscellaneous Matters, &c, &c., Illustrated.  Chicago IL; Western Historical Company, 1879

 

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