" The east half of the southeast quarter of Section 15,
Township 93 north of Range 9 west, was entered by Frederick
Boyes April 12, 1855. J. N. B. Elliot became the owner in 1868,
and June 6, 1872, he deeded the right of way to the B., C., R. &
M. Railroad Company, and sold the remainder to the Randall
Brothers in the Fall of 1873. In June, 1874, the line of
Randalia was laid out on this tract by Pitney F. Randall, Josie
D. Randall, Alonzo Randall and Andrew J. F. Randall,
proprietors; survey made by P. F. Randall. The plat was filed
for record Dec. 9, 1874, at 11 o'clock P. M.
A. J. F. Randall commenced the erection of a two-story
building on Lot 22, Block 10, First Street, in July, 1874. It
was designed for a store on the first floor, and for a dwelling
house on the second. It was completed and the upper floor
occupied in September following, and the next year the store was
filled and occupied by C. Hurlbut, of Fayette. This was the
first building erected on the town plat. It is now occupied as a
store and post office by Randall & Underwood.
The second building was the Randalia Hotel on First street,
Lot 36, Block 11, by Napoleon B. Underwood, who commenced it
about the 15th of October; completed and opened it as a hotel
Nov. 15, 1874. It is now owned and occupied by John M. Proctor.
The first warehouse was erected in November, 1874, by
Gilchrest & Co., of McGregor; G. N. Levally built the second
one in the Winter of 1874-75; the third was built by Bassett,
Huntin & Co., of McGregor, in the Fall of 1875, and the
fourth by Cameron Bros., in 1876.
The railroad was completed to this point from the north, in
August, 1873; first Station Agent, A. J. F. Randall; present
Station Agent, C. E. Brainard.
The Post Office was established in October, 1874, A. J. F.
Randall, Postmaster. The first blacksmith was A. C. Shiery.
Randalia, in July, 1878, has two general stores, one grocery
and boot and shoe store, one drug store, two hotels, one harness
shop, one milliner, one dealer in lumber and agricultural
implements, one meat market, one blacksmith shop, two saloons
and four warehouses.
The amount of shipments by railroad from this point for the
year ending February 28, 1878, is as follows: 100,00 bushels of
wheat; 198,462 pounds of dressed pork; 32 cars of live hogs;
7,950 dozen of eggs; 8 cars of oats; 11,740 pounds of green
hides; 8,700 pounds of butter; 1,350 pounds of tallow; 60,380
pounds of flax seed; 93,810 pounds of timothy seed; 8,960 pounds
Rogers' Addition on the south consists of Blocks 1, 2 and 3,
and is owned by J. C. Darnell, who resides near the village.
Randalia is in Independent School District No. 3, Center
Township. The school house was built on the northwest corner of
Elm and Second streets in 1876, and the first school in it,
which was the first held in the town, was opened in the Fall of
that year; Miss Sophia Smith, teacher.
The first service in the new town was by Rev. Mr. Moulton,
who held religious services in the school house soon after it
was finished in 1876.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Randalia was re-organized in
the Fall of 1877, with seventeen members, among whom were Moses
L. Phelps, Mrs. Emeline Phelps, S. Snyder, Mrs. S. Snyder, Miss
Emma Hill, Mrs. Caffyn, Mr. and Mrs. Knapp, Mrs. Coates, Emma
Hubbard, Rev. E. Hartsough and Mrs. Hartsough. Mr. Hartsough is
Class Leader. Elder Lyman Hull preaches to this society once in
two weeks in the school house.
The first Baptist Church was incorporated Feb. 1, 1878;
corporators, J. P. Hultz, William Pallings, P. Odekirk, D.
Helmer, Mrs. D. Helm, Mrs. J. P. Hultz, Delia Odekirk and Mrs.
Barbara Riffenburg. In June, 1878, the society laid the
foundation for a house of worship on Fourth street, Block 3, Lot
3. Rev. Mr. Perry, of West Union, is the present Pastor, and
holds religious services once in two weeks in the school house.
The first settlement of Township 93, Range 9, dates from
1850. Thomas Woodle selected a location near Gamble's Grove in
1849, soon after the Indians were removed. He was accompanied by
Thomas Douglas and Thomas B. Sturges, who located near him.
Woodle entered his land on Section 13, January 13, 1850, and
settled on it the following Spring. Phillip Herzog entered land
in this township in 1850. Thomas D. Robertson entered in 1851;
J. C. Higginson, Robert Alexander and Harrison Augur, in 1852;
John Miller, John T. Webb, David S. Wilson, Addison F.
Stillwell, George S. Murray, William S. Murray, Reuben C. Hale,
Jacob Snider, Lyman Morgan, Allen Sparks, Hezeheal B. Bussey,
George Clouse, Laurena E. Barber, Jacob D. Follmer, Owen Sykes
and others, in 1853; Abraham Bare, Thomas J. Lewellen, Caleb
Potwin, James H. Proctor, Stephen D. Helms, Otis Baker, Alarsen
Hamlin, Robert S. Adams, William L. Coleman, Elijah Hartsough
and others, in 1854. John Bare, Christopher Bare, Cornelius
Frye, Clark Roberts, B. Sykes and others came in 1855.
In 1852, Thomas Woodle sold his place to Frederick Dunham.
The first white child born in the township was D. Marion
Hartsough, October 28, 1854. The first wedding, says Mr. Dooley,
was probably that of Eli Mulnix and Desdemona Dunham in 1853.
The first death was Mary, daughter of Martin Dunham, in 1852.
The first school house was built about 1859, in District No. 1,
and is known as the "Dunham School House." The first
and only church was built by the Methodists in the south part of
the town in 1877, and is called the Fairview Church. The first
sermon was delivered by Rev. H. S. Brunson, date not remembered.
There is no record of the order of the County Court creating
the Township of Center, as stated in the General History.
Township 93, Range 9, was created a civil township in 1856, by
Judge Newcomb, who named it "Fremont," although he had
made another township with the same name not a month before.
Since that portion of this work was written, the Township Clerk,
J. D. Dooley, Esq., after several days' search, succeeded in
finding the first records of the township which commence with a
copy of a precept from the County Court as follows:
To Any Constable of Fayette County:
You are hereby notified, that the County Court of Fayette County
has framed a new township called Center Township, being Township
No. 98 north of Range 9 west. An organizing election to be held
on the first Monday in April, 1858, at the house of H. S.
Brunson, at which election there will be elected three Township
Trustees; a Township Clerk; two Justices of the Peace and two
Constables and Supervisors. A vote will also be taken for School
Fund Commissioner. You are required to serve and return this
warrant as required by law, etc.
Given under my hand this 13th day of February, 1858. Signed, J.
W. Rogers, County Judge.
Seventeen voters assembled at the time and place appointed.
Elijah Hartsough, David Bare and John M. Proctor were elected
Judges of Election, and James Orr and John Dunham, Clerks, who
were sworn by C. A. Heywood, Deputy Sheriff. The township was
then organized by the election E. Hartsough, David Bare and
Thomas J. Lewellen, Trustees; James Orr, Clerk; H. S. Brunson,
Justice of the Peace; J. F. Lyman and S. Snider, Constables.
Another election was held in October, when Eli Mulnix was
elected Clerk; Eli Mulnix and Harrison August, Justices of the
Peace; E. Hartsough, J. M. Proctor and David E. Snider,