were elected county
commissioners; Dayton C. Roberts, county treasurer, and John Riddle,
N.M. Scott, H. M. Snyder, Richard Childers, Levi
Smith, and William Stout were elected constables.
Sheriffs and justices of the peace were appointed
by the Governor. William D. Brown was the first sheriff; and Samuel
Nelson, George Moffett and Abraham C. Dover were among the first justices
of the peace.
The first District Court in the county was held
in a rickety log cabin, on the west side of the public square, in Mt.
Pleasant, April 14th, 1837, the Hon. David Irvin, of Wisconsin, presiding,
the Hon. W.W. Chapman, acting as United States District Attorney, and Dr.
Jesse D. Payne acting as clerk. A Grand Jury was duly impaneled, composed
of the following persons: Claybourne Jones, sen., Samuel Heaton, Marshall
Saunders, C. W. Hughes, D.C. Roberts, Wm. M. Morrow, James McCoy, K. T.
Maulding, Benjamin F. Hutton, Jacob Burge, Moses Shirley, W. J. Sowell,
Thomas Clarke, Wm. King, David Minter, James Williford, sen., G. W. Lewis,
Henry Snyder, sen., Berry Jones, Little Hughes, John H. Randolph, Presley
Saunders and Warren L. Jenkins - John H. Randolph, acting as foreman.
The government census of 1850 gives this county
8,707 inhabitants, 12 of whom were colored.
In 1860 the same authority fixes its population
The Burlington and Missouri River Railroad,
passes through the centre of the county, east and west.
The Keokuk, Mt. Pleasant, and Missouri River
Railroad is to pass through its centre north and south. This road will be
one of vast importance when completed. A large amount of work, grading,
etc., has been done on the road between Mt. Pleasant and Keokuk; but
during the rebellion, but little was done upon it.
The first white settler on the territory, now
embraced in Henry county, squatted on a claim 1 1/2 miles west of Mt.
Pleasant, in the spring of 1834. The claim afterwards became the Caulk
farm, and is now owned by Hugh B. Swan, Esq. Camp Harlan, the rendezvous
of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, was located on this farm.
During the year 1835, a Mr. Pullam, was found
dead on the branch, near the present site of Mt. Pleasant. His rifle lay
by his side. He had taken his own life either by accident or otherwise.
His was the first death and the first burial in the now city cemetery.
Mary Saunders, now Mrs. Mary McCoy, daughter of
Presley Saunders, was born in the year 1835, and was the first white child
born in the county.
The following may be named as among the oldest
settlers: James Dawson, Presley Saunders, A.C. Dover, John Williford,
Aaron Street, Peter Boyer, Jesse Hancock, Rev. Wm. M. Morrow, and Rev.
Samuel Hutton. These ministers were of the Baptist denomination.
The first post office was established at Mt.
Pleasant, and A. Saunders, (now Gov. of Nebraska Territory,) was appointed
post master. The following are the post offices of the county at this
time, to-wit: Mount Pleasant, Salem, New London, Trenton, Marshall,
Lowell, Rome, Winfield, Wayne, Vego, Cotton Grove, East Grove, and Oakland
MOUNT PLEASANT - The city of Mount
Pleasant, the county seat of Henry County, was incorporated by the
Legislature several years since. Its government is vested in a Mayor,
Board of Aldermen, Recorder and Marshal. Its charter is liberal,
conferring all the powers necessary to suppress drinking and gambling
establishments and to abate nuisances in general.
Its location is a little south of the
geographical centre of the county, on a high prairie, hence its name. Big
Creek, a clear, beautiful stream, surrounds the city in the shape of a
horse shoe, one and a half miles distant north, west and south. Both
timber and stone of an excellent quality, are found everywhere on this
stream, hence no city in the State could be more conveniently and
advantageously situated as to these indispensable articles, to growth and
general prosperity. The B. & M. R.R. runs through this city, the depot
being from a quarter to a half mile of the public square.