Decatur County History 1865

Iowa State Gazetteer. -- Decatur Co.

Is in the southern tier of counties, the sixth west of the Mississippi River, and is bounded on the north by Clark, on the east by Wayne, and on the west by Ringgold. It was first settled by some seven or eight families from Missouri who located on the disputed territory. The next settlement was made in 1846, by the Mormons, at Garden Grove, near the northeast corner of the county.

The principal streams are Grand River, which enters the county, near the northwest corner, and flowing in an irregular course, passes out near the centre of the southern boundary; Weldon Creek flowing in a southerly direction through the eastern portion of the county, and Little Creek through the central portion. These streams and their tributaries furnish an abundance of clear, soft water, and good water power. The southern part of the county is heavily timbered, but the northern part is principally prairie. Although the surface is more broken that that of the counties adjoining, it is all susceptible of cultivation, and the soil is good.

There are extensive beds of lime and sand stone, suitable for building purposes, along the different streams.

LEON, the county seat, is pleasantly situated on rolling prairie, near timber and two miles east of the centre of the county. It was located in 1853. It contains six general store, one drug store, two stove and tinware stores, one grocery, one flour mill and several churches. Population about 500.

DECATUR. Decatur is situated in the central part of the county, five miles west of Leon. It has a Methodist Church, a lodge each of I.O.O.F., A.F. and A.M., and I.O.G.T. Also three general stores, and one grocery store. Population, 300.

NEW BUDA is in the township of the same name, on Grand River, in the southern part of the county. It has two churches, Methodist and United Brethren, two general stores, and one distillery. Grand River affords good water power. Population, 75.

GARDEN GROVE is in the northeast portion of the county, and contains three general stores, blacksmith, wagon shops, etc.

FRANKLIN is about seven miles northeast of Leon, and contains two flour mills, a general store, wagon shop, etc.

SPRING VALLEY contains one general store, one flour mill, one cabinet shop, blacksmith, wagon shops, etc.

The remaining post offices and villages are Funk’s Mills, High Point, Nine Eagle, Prairieville, and Westerville.

 ~ source: Iowa State Gazetteer - Complied and Edited By James T. Hair - Chicago: Published by Bailey & Hair, At the Office of the City Directory, 164 Clark Street; Chicago Illinois - 1865
~ transcribed anonymously; contributed 17 Jan 2020.
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