History of High Point

High Point Township
Decatur County, Iowa
During the early settlement of Decatur County, Iowa, there was a star mail route that ran to what would become the community of High Point. Here, the route connected with a through mail route. In 1851, five families settled in the community. Originally the community was known as Paris, in honor of James PARIS. James PARIS was an early settler who farmed and operated the community's general store.

Elijah MENDENHALL, who came to the area in 1851, owned the first 80 acres in the township ( Section 22.)

The settlement flourished and was situated along the stage coach line which ran from Des Moines to Mount Ayr in Ringgold County. A number of cabins were located across the road from where the High Point United Methodist Church now stands. These cabins were referred to as a "hotel."

When the residents wished to erect a church building, the "hotel" buildings were torn down so the land could be used as the new church site. The new church was dedicated in October of 1881.

Construction on Highway 2 posed a threat to the church in 1960. The church was moved on the west side of the Garden Grove Highway where remains today.

A log schoolhouse was built north of the cemetery, which was heated by a fireplace. A new school was built in 1861. Enrollment was around 70 pupils. Church services were held in the schoolhouse until the church building was completed in 1881.

At one time there were several stores in the community. Today only the church and a few homes remain.

BIRKBY, Evelyn. "A Visit to an Interesting Country Church." The Des Moines Register. Des Moines IA. 24 Apr 198_.
Howell, Prof. J.M. & Smith, Heman C. History of Decatur County Iowa and Its People. Vol. II. p. 231. S.J. Clarke Pub. Co. Chicago. 1915
"History of High Point School." The Leon Reporter. Leon IA. 11 Jun 1925
"Souvenir Supplement." Garden Grove Express. Garden Grove IA. 1900
Compiled and submitted by Sharon R. Becker, August of 2013.
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