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Delaware County, Iowa


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History of Delaware County, 1878

History of Delaware County, Iowa,, Page 340-342

Published by Western Historical Co., Chicago, Illinois. 1878




Jackson moved to the Nicholson place in 1840, and in the Winter of 1840-41, built a house of hewed logs, for Carter, who removed thither the following Spring. This was the first house built on the site where Hopkinton was afterward founded. While raising this house, it is said that Hugh Livingston, who was a very athletic man. Roland Aubrey imitated his example, but it is said did not handle his log with quite the same ease.

     Jackson and Carter each entered a quarter section, in 1840.

     William Bennett and his family returned to Eads Grove in the Fall of 1840, but his restless disposition would not permit him to long in any one place, and in the Summer of 1841, he removed to Buchanan County and built a log cabin on the bank of the Wapsipinicon, becoming the first white settler of that county. April 16m 1842, he laid out a town there, employing Joel Bailey to do the surveying, and called it "Democracy," afterward changed to Quasqueton. He also built a mill there during the same year, but in 1843, sold out and went to Dubuque, where he had a tin shop for awhile.

      Among those who settled on Buck Creek at a very early day (but dates of settlement are now lost), were Nelson Main, Silas Main, Charles Roff, --- Green, William Robinson and Aaron Blanchard.

      By an "act to organize, discipline and govern the militia of the Territory," approved January 4, 1839, the Territory was divided into three divisions. The counties of Clinton, Jones, Jackson, Dubuque, Clayton, Delaware, Fayette, Buchanan and Benton were constituted the Third Division. It was provided that "whenever a county or district of country is distant, or so detached that in the opinion of the Governor it would be inconvenient for the persons residing there to belong to a organized regiment, they shall be organized as a separate battalion under the command of a Major." According to the best information now accessible, there appears to have been a meeting held at "Schwartz's," on Plum Creek  in 1840, for the election of officers for a military company, at which John W. Penn was elected Captain, and John Hinkle, Lieutenant.

     May 27, 1840, Daniel Brown was appointed Constable for Eads Precinct, by the County Commissioners of Dubuque, and July 20th, Wm. H. Whiteside was appointed one of the Judges of Election in Paul's Precinct, Dubuque County.

     The early records of Dubuque County are imperfect and do not show the appointment of Judges of Election in Schwartz Precint or the creation of Eads Precinct, but September 14, 1840, the Commissioners of Dubuque ordered the payment of the following Judges and Clerks of Election and Messengers in Delaware County, at the election in August: Schwartz Precinct, B. F. Moffatt, D. R. Dance and Hawley Lowe, Judges; John Corbin and G. D. Dillon, Clerks; H. Lowe, Messenger. Eads Precinct, Daniel Brown, A. Dike and Thomas J. (G.) Eads, Judges; Leverett Rexford and Valorus B. Rexford, Clerks;  Thomas J. (G.) Eads, Messenger. Michael H. Hingst, Wm. R. Evans and W. H. Morning served as Grand Jurors at Dubuque, at the Fall term of court, 1840. Oliver A. Olmstead and a William Bennett also served as Jurors in September, 1840.

     In 1840, in the Summer, says Mr. Jacob B. Moreland, who was then a young man of 19, a log school house was built about three-fourths of a mile north of his father's home.

    In this school house, before it was "chinked," says Mr. Moreland. Preacher Clark held religious services. "One pleasant Sunday morning, Clark with his


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rifle on his shoulder, rode up to the fence near my father's (David Moreland's) house, and called father and me from the cabin and informed us that he had just shot and badly wounded a deer, in the grove near by, and if we would go out we could get it. We went out of course, and brought it in. That day, Mr. Clark preached in the new school house."  Shooting deer on the Sabbath was evidently considered by the pioneer preacher of Delaware as falling within his legitimate calling, and he probably wanted a nice venison steak for dinner.

    "As soon as the new school house was completed," states Mr. Moreland, "the first school in the county was opened in it, during the same Fall, by Mrs. McClelland, wife of Hon. James A. McClelland, who had been for some years a Member of Congress from Fayette Co., Penn., and who came to Iowa shortly before in reduced circumstances." Congressmen did not get rich in those days.

    In the Autumn of 1840, William and Cornelia Dillon, twin children of Mr. and Mrs. G. D. Dillon, were born, being the first births recorded after the birth and death of Mr. Bennett's child, in 1837-38; and on the 7th of January, 1841, John W. Corbin was born.

    The first law suit, so far as is known, occurred about this time. Charles W. Hobbs bought a yoke of cattle of Mr. Kibbee, and, shortly after, one of the oxen died. Hobbs thought he ought not to pay full price, and Kibbee thought differently. Suit was brought before Gilbert D. Gillon, Justice of the Peace, and the case was considered one of such magnitude that a jury was called. Among the jurymen remembered were Joel Bailey, Leroy Jackson and Roland Aubrey. The jury thought that if they adhered strictly to law they could not do equal and exact justice to both parties, and failed to agree, but intimated that referees might agree. At the request of both parties, the jurymen consented to act as referees. Sitting in equity thereon, they readily agreed upon a decision they considered just and right, but says one of them, "we mad both parties mad."




   The first marriage license issued to Delaware people by the Clerk of Dubuque County, now on record, was issued to John Delong and Matilda A. Kibbee, June 19, 1840. Miss Kibbee was the daughter of Lucius Kibbee, then living where Rockville now stands, and the inference is, in the absence of absolute knowledge, that the wedding, which took place June 21, 1840, was at his house. If so, this must, in the light of present knowledge, be considered the first wedding in Delaware County. Mr. Delong lived at Cascade, Dubuque County.

    July 20, 1840, it is said that Thomas Cole and Miss Barbara Nicholson, step-daughter of William Eads, were married at Eads' Grove, by Rev. Simeon Clark; and it has been stated that this was the first wedding in the county.

     The license registered of Dubuque County does not show that license was issued, and the marriage certificate is not now on file there. There is on file, in the Office of the Clerk of the Court at Dubuque, a document which was, doubtless, filed to show Mr. Clark's authority to solemnize marriages as a substitute for a minister of the Gospel. This is a certificate, signed by Bishop Thomas A. Morris, certifying that "Simeon Clark is set apart for a Deacon in the Methodist Episcopal Church," and "recommending him, in the absence of a Elder,


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as a suitable person to administer the ordinance of Baptism, marriage and burial of the dead." This document was dated at Plattville, W. T., August 29, 1841. Doubtless Mr. Clark neglected to make the proper return of the marriage to be recorded at Dubuque.   


~ The History of Delaware County, Iowa, Pages 340-342. Published by Chicago: Western Historical Co., 1878.

~ Contributed by Debbie Clough Gerischer

~ transcribed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb