IOWA HISTORY PROJECT
HAIR, JAMES T., Ed. Iowa State Gazetteer, Shippers' Guide and Business Directory. Chicago: Bailey & Hair, 1865
Was organized on the 1st day of October, 1846. It is bounded on the south by the State of Missouri, on the east by Davis County, on the north by Monroe County, and on the west by Wayne County.
It has about twice as much prairie as timber. The prairies present a gently rolling undulating surface, without being rough or inconvenient for cultivation. They have a rich, and yet a tolerably heavy limestone soil, well adapted to the production of all the cereals and grasses. Timothy grass and red clover grow luxuriantly.
The Timber is of an average quality for Iowa. It is composed of black walnut, white burr and red oak, linn, hickory, ash, maple, hackberry, cottonwood and elm. This county has the advantage of having the timber beautifully distributed over it.
Chariton River enters the county in two branches, near the northwest corner, which uniting about six miles from the northwest corner of the county, run in a southeast direction, and cross into Missouri about four miles from the southeast corner of the county. It has a heavy body of timber along its whole length, and furnishes an abundance for the improvement of the prairies on either side for five or six miles. On the west side of the Chariton are the Little and Big Walnut, Cooper and Shoal Creeks, all flowing into the Chariton. These creeks, besides various other small branches, furnish a great abundance of timber for that part of the county lying west of the Chariton River. That part of the county lying on the east of the Chariton River not supplied with timber from the Chariton, is supplied by Soap Creek and Fox River. The Soap Creek timber supplies all the northeast part of the county. The middle portion of the east half of the county is supplied with timber from timber growing on the head waters of Fox River.
The Chariton River and creeks above-mentioned, not only supply an abundance of timber, but they also supply stock water in great abundance all the year.
This county also abounds in coal of an excellent quality. It seems to underlie the whole surface of the county. It crops out along the banks of the streams and other places, and is very easy of access. A very thick stratum of excellent coal (supposed to be cannel coal) is found immediately below the bed of the Chariton River.
This county also abounds with stone of different kinds. Two kinds of excellent building stone ---sandstone and blue limestone --- are found in the vicinity of Centreville, the county seat. They are found in strata of about twelve inches in thickness, and are susceptible of a fine finish for building purposes.
The county affords superior advantage for the raising of stock. Although it is comparatively new, yet it is one of the leading stock-raising counties of the State, only one or two counties producing more hogs and cattle than it does. Our farmers have not, till recently given much attention to wool-growing. It now has a fair prospect for becoming one of the first wool-growing counties in the State.
The North Missouri Railroad is located on the grand divide that runs up between the waters of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, and strikes the State Line a few miles west of the southeast corner of the county. It will, undoubtedly, be completed to the State Line, and extended to some points on the DesMoines River in this State.
The Nebraska City and Iowa State Line Railroad, which is now consolidated with the Toledo, Peoria & Warsaw Railroad, when completed, will make one of the best railroads in the United States. This road will pass nearly through the centre of the county.
Flouring and saw-mills are numerous. A large woolen factory is in process of construction near Centreville, which will be of incalculable advantage.
The county has one of the finest Court Houses in the State, and is generally in a prosperous condition.
CENTREVILLE, the county seat, is located on Sec. 36, in township 69, N. of Range 18 W. It is an incorporated town of about 1200 inhabitants. It has no railroads or river facilities for transportation at this time, though it is expected that the Nebraska City & Iowa State Line Railroad will soon be completed to this point. It is about thirty-five miles from Ottumwa, the nearest present shipping point. A large woolen factory is being built about one mile from the town by Messrs. Talbott & Gardiner.
Of churches, the Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, United Presbyterians, Cumberland Presbyterians and Christians, each have an organization. The Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists each have a respectable church edifice.
The town is organized into an independent school district, and is preparing to build a large graded school building, at an estimated cost of about eighteen thousand dollars.
There is here a Lodge of I. O. O. F., No. 77, which meets every Saturday evening, a Masonic Lodge, which meets the Friday evening next preceding the full moon, and a Lodge of Good Templars, which meets Monday evening.
There is one weekly newspaper published by D. L. Stricker, called the Loyal Citizen, and one National Bank, having a capital stock of $50,000.
There are ten dry good stores and six family groceries, and one stove and tin store. It may be considered one of the best business towns in Southern Iowa, with bright prospects in the future.
MORAVIA is situated in Taylor township, in the northern portion of the county. It has one church and a Lodge of Good Templars. Also three general stores, one drug store, one carding machine, and one plow and corn planter manufactory. Population, 200.
UNIONVILLE is in the northwestern portion of the county, twelve miles from Centreville. It contains two churches, Baptist and Methodists, and Unionville Lodge, No. 119, A. F. & A. M., and Ben. Butler Lodge, No. 58, I. O. G. T. Also two general stores, one drug store and one flour and saw-mill. Population , 200.
CALDWELL is in a township of the same name, eight miles from Centreville, on the Chariton river. It contains three churches, Baptist, Christian and Methodist; also one flour mill, three saw mills, and one general store. Population, 985.
LIVINGSTON is in the centre of Franklin township, in the western part of the county fourteen miles southwest from Centreville. It has a Baptist church, one drug store, one grocery, one flouring mill and one saw-mill. Population of village, 75; of the township, 500.
back to Gazetteer Table of Contents
back to Iowa History Project