Chickasaw and Howard Counties
BY W. E. ALEXANDER
WESTERN PUBLISHING COMPANY.
HISTORY OF HOWARD COUNTY,
INTRODUCTORY; GEOGRAPHY; GEOLOGY; RECOURCES; EARLY SETTLEMENT; NAMES OF SETTLERS, AND DATE OF LOCATION; EARLY MILLS, CHURCHES, STORES, SCHOOLS, POSTOFFICES, ETC.; FIRST BIRTHS, MARRIAGES, COURT, AND NEWSPAPERS.
From the early days, when the adventurer, seeking his future in this new world, landed, on the sunny shores of Virginia, when the rigid puritan, in search of the religious liberty so dear to him, moored his bark on New England's bleak and inhospitable coast, the searcher after wealth or liberty has been pushing westward, ever westward, overflowing the eastern and middle states, deluging Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, until the great tide of emigration, whiff is still pressing on, toward the setting sun, reached our own fair state. In 1854 quite a number came into the land, now known as Howard county, then an unbroken wilderness, emerald prairie* majestic groves, and smiling water courses-all in primeval loveliness-blest their sight; but few white men's feet had pressed its sod, and the habitations of man was represented by the skin wigwam of the Indian, or the rude shanty of the few hunters or trappers that infested the streams. Among those whose name are mentioned as among the earliest settlers of the county, how many still are with us ? Alas, there number is small and diminishing every day. Many removed from the county ere many years had flown, others followed from year to year in hopes to better their condition in other localities; others have passed to the "shining shore" of the beautiful river, while others still linger in the homes, among us, that they have reared by their industry and perseverance on these beautiful prairies of Howard county.
What changes the intervening years have brought! These wild glades and grassy meads have been converted into magnificent farms, gardens of beauty, comparatively speaking. The rude habitations of the barbarian and semi-civilized has given place to the substantial farmhouse and palatial dwelling. The camping ground of the Winnebago, Sac, Fox, and kindred tribes of red men, are now occupied by cities. towns, and villages; zig-zag trails are superceded by broad roads, and fine bridges span the streams where once the bark canoe was the only means of transport from shore to shore.
Howard county is in the extreme northern tier of counties, and the third west from the Mississippi river, and is bounded on the east by Winnesheik county, on the south by the county of Chickasaw, west by Mitchell and on the north by the state of Minnesota.
In speaking of the surface, soil, timber, and geological formation, Andreas' Atlas, says: "This is chiefly a prairie county. The surface is undulating, and the elevation such that it is healthful and agreeable, while the landscape is beautiful and pleasing in any direction the observer may choose to look. All the rough land lies in the northeastern part, Albion township. No county in Iowa presents, in proporticat -to its size, less waste land than Howard.
The soil is very uniform; it is a black loam, with clay sub-soil. In some places the loam reaches to the underlying limestone formation. In point of productive worth it can not be excelled, and all grains, grasses, and cereals common to highly valuable agricultural districts, succeed well.
The timber region embraces a small proportion of Howard county, probably one-twelfth. A large proportion of this is young timber of different varieties, but chiefly oak and poplar, but small bodies of burr oak may be found about the county at various points, skirting the rich prairies. There is also considerable timber along the western Wapsipinicon, and in places along the other streams.
The rock basis of Howard county, in the northeast corner, belongs to the Lower Silurian age. On the southwest nearly one-half its area lies within the Devonian region. The intervening space is that of the Niagara limestone of the Upper Silurian age. There are frequent exposures of rock along nearly all the streams, furnishing good quarries of excellent building stone and lime."
The Wapsipinicon flows through the county, while the Little Wapsipinicon rises within the limits of the county. The derivation of the name is Indian, and there seems to be some question as to the exact meaning, but on the authority of Antoine Le Claire, of Davenport, one of the best Indian linguists of his day, it is a corruption of Wau-bis-e-pin-e-ka, and translated, would be Waubis, white; pineka, potato; so that, if rendered into English, it would be the White Potato river.
The Upper Iowa river, the largest stream in the county, pursues a winding course, running through the northern tiers of townships in a general easterly direction. The headwaters of the Turkey river is near the center of the county in the township of Howard, Center, and Paris. Crane creek waters a large part of the county, flowing in a southeasterly course, rising in Jamestown township, and traversing the entire county. The Upper Iowa affords a very excellent water power, which is improved to a considerable extent. These streams, with their numerous affluents, well supply the county with never-failing water-the dryest season failing to produce a lack of that necessity.
The natural resources of the county are great, but the loss of the wheat crop of 1878 has paralyzed the energies of many farmers, and business seems to stagnate, but under the judicious management of the present the outlook is good, and we may soon see Howard take the place among the counties which it should hold-that of a leader. The farming community have seen the folly of sticking to the raising of wheat alone, and the fine herds of cattle and droves of swine testify to the increasing prosperity of the people.
The first white man that we have any record of, that inhabited this county is said, by reliable tradition, to have been one Hiram Johnson, of whom it is told that he erected a cabin and settled near Oregon Grove, but as he never broke up or cultivated any land, but subsisted by hunting and fishing; the old settlers disclaim all right of his to be considered in the light of one of them-selves. The date of his location was December, 1851. But the actual pre-emptors, as they were called, did not attempt anything until spring of 1853, when the tide of emigration first cast its ripples this way; we give below the list of all the early settlers, whose names we could learn with the year of their incoming. Many more were there, but time has wrapped their names in his oblivious mantle, and it is impossible to find any record of them. Those who first located in 1853, were Henry Brown, in May, in Oakdale; Daniel Crowell and Andrew Nelson, in the spring, in Albion; Wm. Cottrell, Thos. Lewis, H. Shuttleworth, and Wm. Brown, at New Oregon; Owen Sprague, Wm. Harlow, Thos. Fitzgerald, Thos: Granathan, and -- Noonan, at Vernon Springs.
S. M. Cole, George Schofield, J. F. Mitchell, Jas. G. Upton, E. Gillett, M. G. Goss, M. L. Goss, M. L. Shook, H. Blodgett, J. M. Fields, Thos. Lewis, and C. M. Munson, in Vernon Springs town-ship; R. S. Buckminster, A. D. C. and Jos. Knowlton, Jno. Adam, R. E. Bassett, Benj. and Geo. Gardner, Oscar Cheseboro, and the three Mertimers in Forest City township; Jared Sigler and Chas. Salmon, in Saratoga; C. S. Thurber, and L. Aspinall, in Albion; A. Pooler, Jos. Hall, Lemuel Potter, Martin Boardman, Edward Butters and W. P. Hough, in Afton; W. S. Pettibone, in Howard; Robt. Jerod, Josiah Laws, O. M. Thayer, M. Gates, in Oakdale; A. W. Kingsley, Norman Freeman, C. M. Sawyer, in Chester.
Thos. Griffin and Patrick Richards, in Paris; Joseph Daniels, S. L. Cary and G. M. Van Leuvan, in Forest City, Augustus Beadle, in Vernon Springs.; Oliver Arnold, Thos. Osborne, H. D. Lapham, and W. D. Darrow, in Albion; Royal O. Thayer, Alfred Eldridge, W. E. Thayer, Ira Eldridge, Michael Creamer, Patrick Mullen, and Aseph Webster, in Howard Center township. C. D. Cutting, Geo. Edward, Stephen and Albert Tuples, Ed-ward Irish, Samuel Hallett, Willis Spencer, David Patterson, Thos. DeMoss, L. Fassett, Wm. and Dennis Rice, James E. Bennett, James A. Cutting, D. P. Bradford, John Moffitt, Lyman Southard, Milo S. Torsey, Hazen Ricker, John Fiefield, Asel Wilmot, and Luther Titeum, in the present township of Jamestown.
J. S. Sturgis, in Paris; Wm. Conery, Jno. F. Thayer, W. A. and Calvin F. Webster, Henry A. Cook, Laban Hassett, and Lawrence Long, in Howard Center; and Darius and Smith Seeley in the same.
One of the first locations, chosen by the pioneers and a favorite one for many years, was at "Oregon Grove," as it was called, now known as New Oregon and Vernon Springs; here in the fine timber on the Turkey river, the early settler pitched his tent, rearing his humble log cabin and breaking the sod put in his little crop; here he first essayed to wring from the reluctant earth the living for himself and family, which was his only ambition; not knowing that he was planting the germs of the civilization that has borne such grand fruit in these later days. Although but thirty years have elapsed since the plough first broke the grassy covering of mother earth in the county, since the first cabin was erected within its boundaries; it has grown with a mighty growth in spite of many adverse circumstances, until it has be-came a garden spot; teeming with rich and fertile farms.
Of its natural resources and present status it may be said, that there is no swamp or waste lands in the county, and over 90 per cent. of the lands are improved, that is to say, the land is broken up and some cheap buildings built for present use until money enough is made out of the land to build better ones; occasionally the old temporary buildings are torn down and good farm houses and barns built in their stead; but as a rule the first buildings erected on a farm have not been improved upon. Groves have been planted and native timber generally taken care of, so that there is plenty of timber for all time to come, provided it is not wantonly destroyed and wasted. There is an abundance of good pure water to be had wherever wanted by digging for it. It is found at an average of about twenty feet from the surface.
The surface of the county is undulating, not bluffy, affording excellent drainage. The pure running water in the numerous streams, with an absence of swamps and stagnant sloughs, renders the atmosphere salubrious at all seasons. Malarious diseases, and that scourge of some of the Eastern and Southern States, the fever and ague, are seldom if ever known.
of the county are in a very healthy condition indeed, the total indebtedness being only $5,600, which is bonded and drawing interest at 6 per cent. There is no floating debt and no probabilities that the future expenditures necessary to run the county will ever exceed the present low levy. Taxes are not burdensome and are growing lighter every year.
Howard county is not situated away out on the frontier. It is the third county west from the Mississippi river in the northern tier of counties, and has a population of 10,837. as shown by the census taken last June. Cresco, the county seat has a population of 1,875. The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway passes through the northeastern and northern portions of the county, and two more lines are being surveyed and grade stakes set through the western part of the county now, both of which will probably be built during the coming season.
The reason for the present depression in the price of land, is not because the land is poor in quality, but because so many of the farmers have, to quote Beecher, "tried to carry all their eggs in one basket, "to-wit: raised nothing but wheat.
Still good improved land is worth from twenty to thirty. dollars per acre.
is a dark, deep sandy loam, no alkali, with a lime stone and clay subsoil, and is very productive of all kinds of crops, especially the different varieties of grasses. Kentucky blue grass can be grown plentifully with ease. Kentucky herself cannot compete with our prairies in the production of the famous forage plant. In fact blue grass and white clover are taking the place of the native grasses. wherever the land is pastured to any extent. Timothy and clover are a sure and immense crop; in short, there is no end to the capabilities of this soil for all this class of products. Corn, oats, barley, and flax, are always sure crops and yield largely. All kinds of root crops did well and yield enormously. Nearly all kinds of fruits are grown successfully. Wheat has always been a sure and profit-able crop until within a few years. In 1876 our people experienced their first' set back in wheat raising; the wheat was struck with the rust and we had less than half a crop. In 1877 we had a good wheat crop, the yield was enormous. In 1878 the wheat crop promised a greater yield than the crop of 1877, but it was destroyed just before maturity by heavy rains and exceedingly hot weather; it was literally cooked by the hot sun and vapor, from the wet ground. In 1879 and 1880 the wheat crop failed entirely. As a rule the people in this section of Iowa with the people of southeastern Minnesota have made wheat raising a specialty, perhaps seven out of every ten of the farmers have raised nothing else but wheat, in many cases they did not raise enough corn, oats, and hay to feed their horses through the winter and would have to buy feed for them. They never raised any vegetables or garden stuff and did not keep any cattle, hogs or sheep.
is healthful and invigorating. The summers are very warm; the winters are very cold. Yet neither of these seasons is ordinarily oppressive. for the hot days of summer are usually followed by cool, clear nights, and the winters are particularly distinguished for a dry, pure and invigorating atmosphere. Cyclones, hurricanes, whirlwinds and water spouts have never been known in this section. The formation of the face of the country is such, that storms of this class are either broxen up or turned aside long before they reach us. The terrible "blizzards" that used to sweep over the country every winter when the country was new have lost their dangerous element. The fences and numerous groves planted on the different farms break their force, so that now it is not any more uncomfortable or dangerous to travel through the country here during the winter than in any of the Eastern States.
THE PUBLIC OR FREE SCHOOL SYSTEM
of Iowa is noted for being the best of any in the United States, and the schools in Howard county are of the best, and the high school of Cresco is not surpassed in the State.
SOCIETY AND CHURCH PRIVILEGES
will compare favorably with any and surpass many sections of the East where there is the same population in town and country.
Nearly all denominations are represented in the towns, and churches are built at convenient distances through the county.
The people as a rule arc intelligent, well informed, industrious temperate and law abiding citizens.
Contrast the first feeble attempts at settlement, with the above, and then if you can, say that the future of Howard county does not seem grand. If in the brief years that have elapsed since the foot of the first white man trod this virgin land, so much improvement has been made, may we not look for much more in the yeah to come.
But everything has its beginning, and the settlement of the county was, of course, no exception to the rule. We are told that in 1853, the first saw mill was erected, near what is now the town of Vernon Springs, on the Turkey river; it was in the grove, and built and owned by Oren Sprague. This was a great convenience to those who shortly came into the country. And for many years lumber was hauled from it to all parts of the country. In the summer and fall of 1854, however, another saw mill was erected by W. Harlow, about one and a half miles from the present site of New Oregon; and in February, 1856, another was erected on the Cedar river, in Jamestown, by a company, of whom James D. Cutting, D. P. Bradford, John Moffett and Lyman Southard were members. The first grist mill was erected in Foreston about 1854, and in the summer of 1855, the second was built at Vernon Springs, on the Turkey river.
The first store ever opened for business, within the limits of the county, was at Vernon Springs. Here, in the year 1854, Henry Milder, put up a building, and opened a store, where was kept the usual miscellaneous stock of the early merchants. This store was known for many years, far and wide, as the "blue store," from the color with which its owner saw fit to decorate its front. Here, to the "store" came all the pioneers, to buy their groceries, etc., and sit around the store in winter and exchange opinions on politics, crop prospects, local gossip, etc, as the manner of such is yet to this day.
Miss Harriett Cole, has the honor of being the first to teach a school in Howard county. In 1854 it was first opened in a little log cabin, and she was installed as the first teacher, and her fitness for the position is testified to, by many of her pupils, and by the fact that she has continued to wield the ferule for so many years.
The pioneer church was one organized at the town of New Oregon, in 1856, under the pastorate of Rev. John W. Windsor, to whose energy and perservence it owes its inception and origin. It was of the Congregational denomination, and still existed when the town of Cresco came into being, when finding that many of its members were moving to that city, the church was transferred there also, and preserves, its existance with an unbroken chain from the earliest church unto the present time. In later years many other church organizations have sprung into being, which are mentioned elsewhere.
In 1854 a postoffice was established at "Oregon Grove", which was the first in the county. Hiram Johnson was the first post-master, acting as such for a short time; as before his commission could reach him in those days of slow mail facilities, he re-moved from the county and state; going to Carmonia, Fillmore county, Minnesota, where he resided a few short years and then emigrated to California, where he died. S. M. Cole was then commissioned as postmaster, being the first that was legally and truly such. The office was at his house in New Oregon township about three miles from where Cresco now stands. This office he held until 1867, when J. S. Lawyer succeeded him and moved the post-office to village of New Oregon.
In regard to who was the first child born in the county, there seems to be some dispute, but out of all the contradictory reports we have gathered, the fact seems to be that Lucy Thurber should enjoy that pre-eminence. This may be an error, but the weight of evidence seems to point that way.
The first male child born in the county was Jacob Harlow, whose advent occurred in October, 1854. A son of Jacob Kramer's was born April 1855, and C. S. Thurber, jr., came into being August 27, 1855. We have been very particular to give these dates, as the question seems to have been discussed and disputed, and we have taken pains to give the facts as they really occurred.
The first record of any marriage in the county, relates, that on February 21, 1856, Edmund Gillett led to the hymenal altar, Miss Helen Barber.
Among the early arrivals in the new settlement, at New Oregon, then the most important village in the county) we find the names of several of the legal fraternity; among them M. V. Burdick, who later sat upon the judicial bench, D. E. Mills, and W. R. Mead, the latter now and for many years the editor of the "Plain-dealer," later came, a gentleman by the name of Gilchrist, of whom old settlers tell a good story, which will bear repitition.
It was at a meeting of the district court, Judge Samuel Murdock, presiding. Some cause or other had given rise to a feeling of ill will between Gilchrist and Murdock, and it was continually cropping out, through all the case, which was being tried. Every point raised by Gilchrist in the interest of his client, was overruled by the bench; every question decided against him until his patience was worn out. Throwing himself into an imposing attitude, with head thrown back and arms folded majestically across his chest, when the last point was gone, he exclaimed: "My God, what shall we do now ?" The answer came from Judge Murdock in the cutting, sarcastic tone he knows so well how to use: "Why, my advice would be to hire an attorney." The situation can easier be imagined than described. The roar that greeted the judge's answer, together with the sarcasm of the reply, crushed Mr. Gilchrist, and for many years he endeavored to get even with the learned jurist, but never could recover the ground lost, and finally left the place.
The first term of the district court was held at Vernon Springs,.. in June, 1857, Samuel Murdock being the judge, and was held in a hall rented for the purpose. At this term of the court the first naturalization papers were issued in the county to one Joseph Schafer, an alien, who desired to become a citizen of the United States.
The pioneer hotel was one kept by S. M. Cole, familiarly known, throughout the county as "Matt Cole," and was the stopping: place for all those who moved through New Oregon, and for M. O. Walker's stage line, of which latter Mr. Cole was the agent.
The first newspaper started was the Howard county Sentinel, established in the town of New Oregon, February 18, 1858, J. Howard Field being the editor. A fuller history of this paper will be found further on.
ORGANIZATIONS RECORDS; PROCEEDINGS OF THE COUNTY BOARDS; BURNING OF THE COURT HOUSE; THE FLYING KYTE; TAR LEVYS; TREASURERS REPORTS; RESOLUTIONS, ETC.
The first mention we find of the county of Howard, viewed from a judicial point of view, is the following from the records of Chickasaw county, to which it appears to have been attached: March term, Chickasaw county court, 1855:
"Ordered, that Howard county be divided into two election districts, dividing the same into an eastern and a western district, from a line drawn north and south through the center of the county. And that an election be held on the first Monday of April, to elect two justices of the peace and two constables in each precinct. Election to be held at the house of W. S. Pettibone, in the western district, and at the house of Geo. Schofield, in the eastern district."
The election was held in accordance with the above, and we have been so fortunate as to procure a copy of the original poll book, as returned for the western district, which we copy verbatim, .as it is quite a curiosity in its way:
POLL BOOK OF HOWARD COUNTY, IOWA:
1. John Geer.
2. A. Pooler.
3. Wm. S. Pettibone.
4. A. S. Butters.
5. Wm. P. Hough.
6. James Hall.
For Justices of Peace‑
Wm. S. Pettibone 6 votes.
John Harlow 6 votes.
A. S. Butters 6 votes.
John Brown 6 votes.
At an election at the house of W.S. Pettibone, in Howard town-ship, Howard county, state of Iowa, on the 2d day of April, A. D. 1855, there were six ballots cast, as follows:
Justices of the Peace‑
Wm. S. Pettibone 6 votes.
John Harlow 6 votes.
A. S. Butters 6 votes.
John Brown 6 votes.
A true return,
W. S. PETTIBONE, Judges of the Election.
A. S. BUTTERS.
Attest: WM. P. HOUGH, Clerks of Election.
The following is also an exact copy of the original petition, presented to Judge Lyon, of Chickasaw, at the July term of the county court, of Chickasaw county, 1855, which explains itself: "To the honorable county judge of Chickasaw county:
The undersigned legal voters of Howard county respectfully ask your Honor to take the necessary steps to effect the organization of said Howard county at the coming August election:
And your petitioners will ever pray:
John Odeen, James Mahood, James W. Snider, George Duffy, Nye Cushing.
We are given to understand that there was considerable opposition to the organization of the county at this time, but the thing was skillfully handled, the petition presented and the order of the court issued, granting the same before any one, from whom the opposition might be expected, was aware. On the record book of the county judge we find the following, in regard to the matter:
"A petition was presented to me on the 17th day of July, 1855, for organizing Howard county.
"Ordered, that the same be granted and an election be held at the houses of W. S. Pettibone and G. W. Schofield, in said county, to elect a county judge; sheriff; recorder and treasurer; prosecuting attorney; coroner; surveyor; school fund commissioner, and a district clerk, and that Edmund Gillett be organizating sheriff to call the election on the first Monday of August, 1855. JAS. LYON, county judge."
The election was held in accordance with the. order, as above, and the officers chosen were:
County judge-James G. Upton.
Recorder and treasurer-Wm. Woodward.
Prosecuting attorney-M. V. Burdick.
The first entry we find upon the record of the new county judge, bears the date of September 15, 1855, and is an order of the court to pay D. B. Cook & Co., of Chicago, $126.00 for books and stationery for the use of the county.
As the clerk could not write very well while holding his book of paper on his knee, the court also ordered that a desk be purchased for his use at an expense of thirty dollars.
The first regularly laid out road evidently dates from the year 1857, as we find it recorded that John C. Miles be paid for surveying road number one. A state road was also built through the southern part of the county during the same year. Before this the roads were more properly trails than surveyed and built roads, winding through the prairies and groves in zig-zags that lengthened the distance considerably. Sometimes marked and oftener not.
At the June term of the county court, 1857, it was ordered that hereafter the jury should be seated, and that twelve chairs be ordered for their accommodation.
The following proclamation was placed upon the records of the court during the July term, 1857:
STATE OF IOWA,
County of Howard.
In pursuance of the code of Iowa, and at the request of a portion of the people of said county, an election is hereby ordered to be held in the several townships in said county of Howard, of the third day of August, A. D. 1857, at the places where the last April elections were held, to vote upon the question, whether the said county of Howard should take $150,000 of the stock of the Northwestern railroad company, and issue bonds in payment therefore, bearing interest at the rate of ten per cent. per annum, the principal sum to be paid in twenty years. And that a tax be levied upon the taxable property of said county for the payment of principal and interest. The said railroad company to pay the interest on said bonds, until said road is in operation to the east line of said county of Howard. Said bonds to be issued when said road shall be in operation to Decorah, Winnesheik county, and permanently located to the west line of Howard county.
The form of the vote shall be: "For the Railroad Stock." "Against the Railroad Stock."
Every affirmative vote shall be considered for the proposition entire.
In testimony, whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said county, this first day of July, A. D. 1857.
[SEAL.] JAMES G. UPTON,
The court evidently desired the greatest light on the subject, as we find that a bill was presented and allowed at the August term, 1857, for $2.90 to pay for candles. And at the same term the judge ordered the purchase of a safe for the county records, to be purchased of Chislet, Buckley & Co., of Dubuque, to cost 320 dollars.
Again during the October term of court, 1857, we are called on to lament the enervating effects of law, as the sheriff is ordered to purchase a stove and pipe.
There were in 1859 five townships regularly organized in the county, viz: Vernon Springs, Jamestown, Osborne, Howard Center, and Iowa. In 1858 New Oregon, Forest City, and Howard were added to the list. This is according to the only record that survives the fire that destroyed the Court House in December, 1876.
The judge at the October term of court, 1858, fixed the following as the rate of tax:
County tax, five mills on the dollar; state tax, one and a half mill; road tax, one and a half mill; school tax, one and a half mill.
The bounties on wolf and wild cat scalps are quite numerous during this year. at every term of court many being paid.
The county seat was moved, by order of the county judge, from Howard Center to a point midway between the towns of New Oregon and Vernon Springs, where the court house was built in February, 1859, as will be more fully detailed elsewhere.
At the February term of court, 1860, a petition was received, signed by J. W. Baird and others, asking that the name of Osborne township be changed to Albion. By an order of the court, dated March 5, 1860, the prayer was granted and the name accordingly changed to the one it has borne ever since.
Under date of August 4, 1860, we find recorded that a license was issued to Cook's circus, that it might exhibit at New Oregon; this is the first that ever made its appearance within the limits of the county, and hence is a matter of record.
September 1, 1860, the first sale of delinquent taxes, those for 1857-8 and 9, occurred, and is entered in the judge's record, as slimly attended.
The tax levy, ordered by the county court for 1860, places it at: County tax, five mills on the dollar; state tax, one and a half mill, and school tax, one and a half mill.
In 1861, the mode of government for the county was changed and instead of the county judge, being, ex-officio, the ruler of the matters of government, the power was lodged in a board of super-visors, composed of one member from each organized township. January 7th, 1861, the first board met and was composed of the following gentlemen:
J. W. Barrel, of Albion; G. W. Ostrander, of Howard; T. R. Perry, of Howard Centre; T. Griffin, of Paris; S. W. Seeley, of Jamestown; J. H. Boggess, of Afton; S. Radford, of Chester; M. Niles, of Iowa river; C. M. Munson, of New Oregon; W. Strother, of Vernon Springs; C. A. Salmon, of Saratoga; S. L. Cary, of Forest City. At the first meeting of the board, the following resolution was adopted:
"Resolved, By the board of supervisors of Howard county, that having examined the contract entered into, by and between Darius Seeley, county judge, and the Northern Iowa Railroad company, for the conditional conveyance of the swamp lands of said county, to aid in the construction of such road, that the said contract hereby meets and has our entire approval.
"Also, Resolved, That a suitable person be sent to the meeting of the bondholders, meeting in Milwaukee, of the Milwaukee and Mississippi railroad, and also a meeting of the directors of the Northern Iowa railroad, January 18, 1861, to look after the interests of the county."
At the February meeting of the board, the committee, appointed to examine the books of the county judge, reported, that, they found the books in such inextricable confusion, that it was impossible to audit them, or make anything out of them. And they, also, found that the records of the county, as kept by the county recorder, during the year 1856, were upon loose, unbound paper, and many of them liable to be easily lost to the great detriment of the interests of the people.
June session of the board of supervisors J. H. St. John was appointed to fill the vacancy, caused by the removal from the county, of S. W. Seeley, late member of the board from Jamestown town-ship.
The mighty march of civilization, moves onward hand in hand with crime; the clerk is instructed to purchase two pair shackles and three pair of hand cuffs for the use. of the sheriffs office. This at the June session, 1861.
At the same time, the board made the rate, for the tax levy of 1861 as follows:
For county tax, four mills on the dollar; state tax, one and one-half mills; school tax, one mill and for bridge fund three-fourths of a mill.
In January, 1862, we find, that, owing to the prospective wealth of the county looming up so large, the county treasurer was unable to write with a common steel pen, and the honorable board of supervisors pass a resolution to purchase a gold one, to be the property of the county, and to be placed in the custody of the treasurer, but without his giving any additional bonds.
At the session of the board of supervisors, held in June, 1862, a petition of the citizens of Iowa river township was granted changing the name of said township to Oakdale.
The following will show the status of the finances of the county in 1862, being the report of the treasurer, delivered June 1st, of that year:
To cash in treasury at last report $ 17.89
Amount collected since 2173.71
Amount warrants issued 632.22
By county warrants redeemed 2611.00
By cash in treasury 212.82
STATE TAX FUND.
To amount in the treasury, last report 124.59
To amount collected since 737.86
To amount due A. M. McGowan 12.13
By disbursements 874.58
COUNTY SCHOOL FUND.
To amount in the treasury last report 444.23.
To amount collected since 544.74
By disbursements 831.60
Cash in treasury 157.37
POLL TAX FUND.
To amount collected to date 90.40
By amount transfered to general county fund.: 90.40,
To cash in treasury, last report 24.54
To cash collected since 227.86
By amount transferred general county fund 252.40
FEDERAL TAX 1861.
To amount collected to date 227.41
By amount in treasury 227.41
During the Indian outbreak and massacres in the state of Minnesota, during the summer of 1862, may people in Howard county became seriously alarmed, and the board of supervisors passed the following resolution:
"To his excellency, Samuel J. Kirkwood, governor of the state of Iowa, or the agents acting therefore;
Believing it to be the duty of good citizens to prepare for war, especially on the era of danger from. the savage foe, now ravaging our northern frontier, and desolating the homes of our fellow-citizens in the adjoining state of Minnesota, do hereby humbly request you send five hundred stand of arms, with their accouterments, to the county of Howard, and the said county pledges itself for the return of the same, excepting such as may be lost in the casualities of war."
However, before this could be acted upon, the danger had passed away and once more the community retired in peace at night, with no fear of the dreaded savage, to disturb their slumbers.
A resolution was adopted, by the board, at the September session, 1862, which recites that "owing to the unusual expense of the county in giving bounties to soldiers and their families, [The record of this may be found in the chapter devoted to war record.-ED,] and the consequent depreciation of the county war-rants; therefore,
Resolved, That the clerk be, and is hereby directed, to give proper notice, and submit to the people at the next general election, the question of levying a special tax of six mills on the dollar. As to whether this election was carried out, the records are entirely silent.
At the January session, 1863, of the board, a resolution was adopted, donating all the swamp lands, belonging to the county, to aid in the construction and equipment of the McGregor Western railroad, on condition, that the aforesaid railroad should build a road from North McGregor, westward, to intersect the said county, from east to west. The resolution was to be submitted to a vote of the people, for ratification, at the next general election, and the clerk ordered to make the necessary proclamation.
At the general election held October 19th, 1863, the people ratitified the above, by a heavy majority.
At the January session, C. E. Berry resign el the position of county judge and the board appointed D. Seeley to, fill the vacancy.
The treasurers report for January, 1863, shows as follows:
To cash on hand, last report $17.89
To amount collected during year 34351.72
By warrants redeemed 22934.78
By cash refunded 24.62
By delinquent county tax 9225.67
By rebateable county tax 454.39
By delinquent bridge tax 975.12
By rebateable bridge tax 19.38
By delinquent poll tax 443.00
By rebateable poll tax 292.75
At the June session, 1865, of the board of supervisors, C. E. Brown, resigned, his position on the board, and James G. Upton was admitted in his place.
June 6th, 1865, S. W. Seeley, resigning his position, as county judge, the board of supervisors appointed D. O. Preston, his successor, P. T. Searles also resigning the office of sheriff, C. S. Thurber was appointed, to fill the vacancy.
The following resolution, adopted by the honorable board, at the September meeting, 1865, explains itself:
"Whereas, the building, now occupied by the county officers, of Howard county, has become so dilapitated by age, as to render it unfit for office purposes and an unsafe repository for the records of said county." And as the county is offered the first and second buildings, in his stone block, in the village of Vernon Springs, by L. L. Halstead, for the use of the county as a court house with lease and receipt for one years rent, therefore the board ordered the records to be removed thither with the county officers and ordered also that such building be considered the court house.
October, 1865, a resolution was adopted by the board, submitting to the people the question of extending the time in the contract with the McGregor Western railroad in which to construct the railroad through the county; also in giving the said railroad the benefit of all the swamp lands in the said Howard county.
It seems, from the record, that this session of the board of supervisors, was held at Vernon Springs although the seat of county government was not removed thither. Every effort was made to have the county seat relocated. Vernon Springs renewing their offer to give the use of the Halstead block for a courthouse with sundry inducements, while New Oregon village in turn made the offer to erect in their place a brick building, and give the use of the same free of charge.
At the June session of the board, the New Oregon Plaindealer was made the official organ of the county At the same meeting the following resolution was adopted:
"Resolved, that a committee of 3 consisting of the chair and 2 other members, to be appointed by the chair, to solicit terms for the purchasing of a suitable farm for the support of the poor of Howard county, Iowa. That said committee report prices, location, terms, advantages, etc., of lands by them thought suit-able for said purpose, at the next meeting of this hoard; said land not to be less in amount than one hundred and sixty acres.
The committee was also given the power, to advertise for sealed bids, for the same purpose. At the September meeting the above appointed committee submitted the following report, which was adopted, and the committee discharged: "That they have received several proposals, of farms for sale, but not any in their judgement answering the purposes of the county. Your committee further report, that in their judgement, they cannot purchase a farm, with the necessary improvements, and therefore, would recommend, if the board see fit, to purchase a piece of unimproved land and make the necessary improvements.
C. W. FIELD, Committee.
C. S. THURBER,
The honorable board of supervisors, at the September meeting, 1866, fixed the tax levy for the year, as follows:
State, two and a half mills on the dollar; county, four mills; poll tax, fifty cents; school, one mill: bridge, three mills; insane, one mill; bounty, seven mills; relief, one mill.
The first mention of the town of Cresco, the present county seat, occurs in the record of the January session of the board of supervisors; a resolution making the Cresco Times the second official paper of Howard county. At the same meeting a petition was read, signed by Augustus Beadle and others, praying that the county papers, records, files, etc., be removed to Cresco, and making sundry proposals to build for the accommodation of the county officers and their books and papers a suitable court house.
Furthermore, an invitation was extended to the honorable board to view the proposed site for said court house. The members of the board of supervisors, by resolution, decided to accept the invitation, and it was so recorded. The clerk, being facetiously inclined, makes a marginal note to the record of the above, in one word, "Convivial."
At the same session, after having apparently "seen" the site of the proposed court house, the following resolution was adopted:
"Resolved, By the board of supervisors of Howard county, Iowa, that the proposition of the aforesaid Beadle and others, to build a court house and furnish it free to the county, and also a hall for the use of the board of supervisors and for court purposes, be and is hereby accepted, and the sheriff is ordered to remove the records, etc., at the time contemplated, on or before June, 1. 1867."
At the meeting held in June, 1867, Thos. Sullivan was admitted as a member of the board of supervisors. At the same time the officers of the county were directed to remove their offices, etc., to the building then being constructed by the Howard county court house association, in the village of Cresco, whenever the committee shall decide to accept it as a safe and suitable place for the same. The board also laid the tax levy for the year 1867, as follows:
County fund, four mills on the dollar; state fund, two and a half mills; county school fund, one mill; bridge fund, three mills; insane fund, three mills; relief fund, one and a half mill.
By a report of a committee of the board of supervisors to that body, delivered at the November session, 1867, we find the indebtedness of the county stood thus:
Indebtedness of the county to date $25,580.07
Deducting the amount of tax due and uncollected 10,125.00
Leaving a debt of $15,455.07
The former action of the board in regard to the poor farm having been suffered to collapse, they again move in the matter at the January session, 1868, when the following resolution was spread upon the records:
"Whereas, it is deemed advisable by this board that some pro-vision be made for the poor of the county, whereby they may be subsisted at a less cost to the county than by the present method. Therefore,
"Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to look for a feasible site fora, poor house farm, improved or unimproved; ascertain the cost of the same, estimate the cost of the necessary buildings and improvements, and report to this board at the June session with a view to submit the proposition to a vote of the electors of this county, at the next general election, according to the provisions of the code of the state of Iowa."
Messrs, Thurber, Griffin, and Patterson were appointed as the committee, in accordance with the above, to carry out the wishes of the board.
A petition from the board of supervisors, bearing the date of February 3, 1868, was forwarded to the legislature of the state of Iowa, requesting them not to pass the bill then before them, to legalize the action of a previous board, in conveying to the McGregor, Western railroad all the swamp lands of the county, on the plea that the said railroad had entirely failed to carry out the provisions and conditions of the original contract, entered into by them, with the people of Howard county.
The county has suffered, in times past, many misfortunes in the loss of money in the treasurer's office. The first of the series being upon the night of the 15th of March, 1868, when some party or parties unknown burglariously entered the treasurer's office, and breaking open the safe therein, abstracted moneys and securities to the amount of thirteen thousand dollars. The board immediately offered a reward of two thousand dollars for the recovery of the money and conviction of the thief or thieves, or one thousand dollars for either. Suspicion was rife, and able detectives, with Allan Pinkerton at their head, hunted for a clue, but the bloodhounds of law were at fault, and in spite of their manifold and strenuous efforts the abstractors were never apprehended, whatsoever evidence was collected being of to slight a nature to warrant any such a course, and in the end the matter was dropped and the county had to suffer the loss.
The treasurer was ordered to procure a new safe, suitable for his office, made more securely burglar proof than the late one, and with this the matter rested, except the suspicion that remains in the minds of many to this day, that they could point out the thief; but beyond the suspicion nothing can be said, and it may be that many an entirely innocent man is regarded by his neighbor as knowing more about it than he should.
The lack of timber being a want long felt throughout the county, a resolution was adopted by the board of supervisors of the county, at their April session, to effect that the real and personal property of each and every person in the county should he exempt from all taxation, except that for state purposes, who should plant and cultivate for two years one or more acres of forest trees for timber, the said exemption being to the amount of one hundred dollars per acre, provided that the trees should not be over three feet apart. This was amended at the June session so as to include an exemption from taxes at the rate of one hundred dollars per acre, all who planted and cultivated a half mile of tree hedge.
The committee appointed at a previous session of the board in the matter of the poor farm reported at this, the June session, 1868, that they had viewed the place of Albert Miller, at Saratoga, of which the price was three thousand dollars, and contained one hundred and sixty acres, twenty-five of which was timber, forty-five or 'fifty under cultivation, the improvements on the same consisting of a good house and a poor stable, they found the place well watered and the means of access good, being on the main road from Cresco to Osage. Also, that they had viewed the place of Kenling and Robinson, two miles south of Saratoga, found the land good and easy of access, well watered and the price reason-able, there being three hundred and twenty acres with some improvements, and the whole could be purchased for fifteen hundred and thirty dollars. The committee considering this very reasonable, indeed, recommended that the question be submitted to the electors of the county at the next general election, as to whether the county should purchase it. They also estimated the full cost of the farm, and the necessary equipment of the same would not exceed the sum of five thousand dollars, and add the recommendation that the vote had better be taken on that amount.
In July, 1869, at a special meeting, the board of supervisors decided to withdraw all litigation now going on between the county and the McGregor Western railroad, leaving the swamp lands, the source of the trouble, in the hands of the said railroad company, on condition that the said railroad put a station at the town of Chester.
We find that the indebtedness of the county steadily increased through all these years until in September, 1869, it had amounted to $26,459.16, that is, including all outstanding warrants and other claims against the treasury of the county.
The rate of taxation, ordered by the board for the levy of 1869, was as follows:
State, two mills on the dollar; county, four mills; bridge, three mills; insane, two mills; county school, one mill.
The contract was let by the board for the erection of the bridge at Florence, during the year .1869, and the committee reported at the October session, the same year, that the said bridge was finished and payment ordered; the cost being $2,500, according to the contract.
In 1870, at the January session, the committee of the board of supervisors, on agriculture, reported that "they have examined the claims of persons, who have asked exemption from taxation, under the resolution of the board and under an act of the 12th general assembly of the state of Iowa, entitled:
"An act to encourage the planting and growing of timber, fruit, and shade trees and hedges."
And the committee recommend that the claims of the following be allowed :
C. F. Webster,
S. A. Stone,
C. F. Gardner,
W. H. Treat,
H. C. Gardner,
D. M. Rand,
J. E. Webster,
W. D. Darrow,
I. C. Chamberlain,
We give the above with the names of the parties in detail, as they are the pioneers in the movement of arboriculture in the .county.
According to a report made by a committee to the board, Jan. 1870, the indebtedness of the county at that time amounted to the sum of $26,459.11, divided between the general county and bridge funds, and at the same time they find no cash in the treasury to meet the said liabilities.
The expenses of the county were also found to exceed the revenue, thereof, about three thousand dollars per annum, and as a measure toward liquidation of the debt and provisions for the deficit, the said committee recommended that there be submitted to the people of Howard county a proposition, at the next general election, to levy an additional tax of six mills on the dollar, and further recommended that one-half of the insane fund, (for which there was but little use), be transferred to the general county fund. The report of the above committee was received' and the committee was discharged, but the matter was not submitted to the people as a law of the state showed them a better way, in their opinion, to arrange the matter, viz: By bonding the indebtedness and creating a sinking fund for its redemption. The board at its next session, June, 1870, passed a resolution to accordingly bond the debt of the county to the amount of twenty thousand dollars, the same to bear date of October 1, 1870, payable on or before October 1, 1880; interest to be not more than ten per cent., pay-able semi-annually. The treasurer was, furthermore, instructed to negotiate the said bonds at the lowest rate of interest obtainable. The bonds were to be issued in sums of $100, and the treasurer was to take up the outstanding warrants of the county, and give in exchange the bonds.
All this was in accordance with the act of the thirteenth general assembly of the state of Iowa, approved March 80, 1870.
The legislature having made a change in the number of super-visors in each county, reducing them to three, but allowing the counties the privilege of increasing that to five, the board passed a resolution, at the same session, to submit to the people of the county, at the next general election, the question: "Shall the board of supervisors be increased to five."
The bridge at Lime Springs, then in the course of construction, seems from some imperfection in the building, to have fallen; the board ordered the attorney of the county to bring suit against the contractor and his sureties, if thought advisable.
At a meeting held during the regular session of the board, in September, 1870, the following resolution was unanimously adopted;
"Resolved, that the resolution of June, 1870, providing for the funding of the county debt, be so amended as to include the whole debt of the county, on May 1, 1870."
The tax levy, for the year 1870, was laid as follows:
State, two mills on the dollar; county, four mills; bridge, three mills; insane, two mills; school, one mill; bond fund, four mills.
At the October session of the board the county auditor was instructed to sell all the remaining unsold lands, known as "school lands," under the provisions of the law.
January 1, 1871, the new board of county supervisors met, and drawing lots for the length of term to be held by each, D. E. Potter drew for the three years term, C. W. Wood, two years, and Aaron Kimball the one year term.
The same board laid the usual tax levy for the year 1871, as follows :
State tax, two mills on he dollar; bridge tax, three mills; general county tax, four mills; insane fund tax, one mill; school tax, one mill; bond tax, three mills.
The tax rate for the levy of 1873 was:
For county fund, four mills on the dollar; state fund, two mills; insane fund, two mills; county school fund, one mill.
We find very little of any moment in the records about this time, the business of the board being chiefly in regard to building and repairing bridges, and auditing the usual bills against the county,-which, were we to make a faithful transcript of, would prove but dry reading.
At the election held in October, 1873, "Jerry" Barker received 656 votes, to W. W. White's 651, for county auditor; this the latter contested on the ground of fraudulent voting, and having possession of the office would not give up the same to Mr. Barker. The matter was carried into the courts, and was, seemingly, decided against Barker, but the board of supervisors, having a full knowledge of the "true inwardness" of the matter, stepped in and appointed said Barker to the office at their January session, 1874; this action was also disputed by Mr. White on the plea that he was auditor until his successor was elected and qualified, and that the board had no power, vested in them by law, to remove him. He was met by the counter argument, that as the said beard had appointed him to the position of county auditor, which he now filled, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of C. S. Thurber, who was appointed postmaster, the same power could remove him. The dispute lasted some time, the board even going so for as to caution the county treasurer, by resolution, not to do business with White as auditor. In February, however, White capitulated and surrendered the office, which was immediately placed in the hands of Jeremiah Barker.
An act was passed at the regular session of the board, in April, 1875, to build a wrought iron bridge at Florenceville, at a cost of $3,500, and the contract was let and bridge erected in accordance therewith.
Again at the session of the board, in September, 1876, the matter of the county seat comes to the front, and the said board taking the subject under advisement, issued a notice that at the next general election the question would be submitted to the people of the county as to whether the said seat of the county government should or not be located at Cresco, the same being now situated half way between the villages of New Oregon and Vernon Springs, but for convenience sake, the building at' the town of Cresco was occupied as the county seat. These matters are treated more in detail in the chapter devoted to the county seat controversy.
December 1, 1876, the court house, at Cresco, was destroyed by fire. We quote from the Howard County Times the account of the conflagration.
"On Friday morning last, December 1st, the county court house and county records were destroyed by fire. The flames were discovered at a little after twelve o'clock, Thanksgiving night. The festivals in Lyric hall, and Dr. Price's hall, with the supper in Caward's building (all in the vicinity of the court house), kept a large number of our citizens up later than usual. A number of young men and young ladies, returning from the supper room about midnight, discovered the fire and gave the alarm. One of the number (John G. Stradley), having the key to the treasurer's office, opened the door and entered the room with others. There was then no fire in the treasurer's office. Mr. Stradley opened the little slide door between the offices of the treasurer and auditor, and looking carefully into the latter, discovered that there was no fire therein. A further examination revealed a fire in the floor of the court room above, immediately over the blind door in the partition, between the hallway and the auditor's office, on the hall side, in line with but not over the marshal's lantern, which was lighted and hanging in its usual place.
"The door on the south side of the court room (in the second story), was then broken in, but the room was then so full of smoke that M. L. Luther, who first entered it, was prostrated to the floor, and had to crawl out on his hands and knees. The smoke and heat were so intense that it was impossible to obtain ingress to remove and save the books, records, and contents of the court room, which the hungry flames soon devoured. Only a few days before the clerk of the courts had his books, records, and offica fixtures moved to the room above, for greater convenience during the session of the courts, and with the intention of making it his permanent office, leaving his old room in the southwest corner for the use of the sheriff, juries, etc. Thus it happened that nearly all the court records were destroyed by the fire.
"The recorder and auditor being absent, their offices were broken into, and all their valuable records saved, as well as those of the treasurer, and all the contents of the safes of the treasurer, auditor, and recorder have been found well preserved, except in some instances slightly discolored and the bindings injured.
The loss cannot be estimated in dollars and cents. The money, real estate records, and all other valuable books and papers, except the court records, as before stated, were saved. The loss of these latter will cause great inconvenience and perhaps litigation, but it is probable that the means may be found to effect a restoration of most of them.
"The property was insured for $3,500, as follows: $1,000 in the Etna, on the building, for the benefit of the court house association; $1,000 in the same company on the records, and $1,500 in the Home, of New York, on the furniture, fixtures, etc.
"The cause of the fire is unknown, some attributing it to accident, and others to incendiarism. Some seem to have almost positive convictions, that it was the work of an incendiary, and give reasons for their opinion, which it would not be advisable to publish. It seems to be the general opinion, however, that the careless habit of throwing cigar stumps on the floor, is responsible for the fire. A lighted cigar would light a fire that would smoulder for hours in the thick matting, with, which a part of the court room was spread. A strip of this matting was immediately over the place where the fire was first discovered."
In the light of later developments many people, who are cognizant of the affairs of the county, connect the fire with the defalcation and absconding of the county treasurer, and claim that there is an evident connection between the two, that to cover up his tracks he fired the building. This has never been proven, and may be a misconstruction, human nature ever being prone to condemn a man for all the wrongs he might do if he only commits one-kick a man when he is down, so to speak.
For the facts in regard to the above mentioned embezzlement of the funds by the county treasurer, Frank Kyte, and his movements, at the time, we are indebted to the kindness of L. E. Smith, of the Cresco Tunes, who with rare courtesy, extended to us all help in compiling the records of Howard county, and who placed at our disposal all the papers in regard to the matter in point.
On Monday, July 12, 1877, the community of Cresco was startled by the receipt of a telegram from McGregor, stating that Frank Kyte, the county treasurer, had been drowned in the Mississippi river, on Sunday afternoon, while bathing at a point near the pictured rocks, some two miles below town. Telegrams were sent to the different members of his family, notifying them of his death, and John G. Stradley, S. A. and Frank Sutton started for McGregor on the first train, meaning to assist in recovering his body. On their arrival they were informed that he went in swimming in company with Frank Tryan, the son of the proprietor of the Mendell house, at Prairie du Chien, where he was stopping. Kyte persisted in the assertion (according to his story), that he could swim to the island, nearly a third of a mile, and return, which feat he accordingly tried. Tryan, whilst dressing, heard Kyte's scream and saw him go down. Being under the impulse of fear, he immediately started for Prairie du Chien to give the alarm, and on arriving there told his pitiful tale. John Lawler, with his usual promptitude and generosity, at once ordered out the ferry boat to search for the body. Quite a number of row-boats, also, went to the place pointed out, and assisted in the search.
On Monday, the body not being yet recovered, the cannon be-longing to the artillery battery at McGregor, was taken on board the ferry boat, and served by volunteers, commenced firing, to raise the body to the surface, the merchants of McGregor, having contributed liberally to the fund to buy powder, etc. All day the bluffs re-echoed to the booming of the. artillery, and the whole city was on tip-toe of excitement, and every means was taken for the recovery of the corpse. All efforts were in vain. H. W. Babcock, of Cresco, who was on business in McGregor at the time, offered fifty dollars for the recovery of the body, and Mr. Stradley, on his arrival, at once offered one hundred dollars. All day the search continued, under the able direction of Amos Pearsall, of McGregor, and Peter Velie, of Prairie du Chien. Toward evening, however, a rumor, started on the streets, that Kyte had purchased a new suit of clothes on Saturday, in Mc-Gregor. This rumor and others, that were floating around, were diligently followed up, by the gentlemen from Cresco. On Tuesday morning they learned, that, a man, answering the description of the supposed dead man, had been seen, walking on the track near Clayton, and later at the town of Guttenburg. Immediately Messrs. Pearsall, Stradley, and Sutton proceeded to the latter place, and tracked the man to a point about opposite to the town of Cassville, Wisconsin. They found evidence strong enough to force conviction on their minds, that the man they were following was indeed the absconding treasurer, Kyte, and that he, in the words of the immortal Webster, still lived. He had shaved off his moustache and at Clayton and Guttenberg, was noticed, from the liberality with which he threw around his money, treating to drinks, etc. It was also found that he had crossed the river, at Turkey river station. The party did not pursue any further, but returned to McGregor, and took legal advice, as what was best to be done under the circumstances. They learned, much to their surprise, no doubt, that there existed no authority, in them, to arrest him as there was no charge,against him, or evidence that he had committed any crime. Meanwhile P. N. Glathart, one of the Cresco delegation, was watching the movements of young Tryan, to prevent his escape or flight, and upon the return of the pursuing party, and the narration of the facts learned by them, Tryan was interviewed. He was told, in pretty strong language, that it was now ascertained, beyond all question, that Frank Kyte was not drowned-that he (Tryan) had lied about it, and must own.up, and more to the same effect. The threats and menaces of his interrogators produced the effect, and he admitted the fact, Kyte had skipped out, and that the report of his drowning, was a fabrication. The true story now came out, partly extorted from the young man,. and partly from other sources.
It seems that Kyte had been in ill-health for some time past, and had been at the sanitarium, at Prairie du Chien, taking baths, or as he jocularly termed it "taking a scald." While there, he got on very friendly terms with this young Tryan, getting on the "right side of him," as the slang expression is by liberally treating, and making a companion of him. He told Tryan a pitiful tale, to raise his compassion, telling him, that he had a scrape in Cresco, in which a woman was concerned, and that it would soon become public and that he had better be dead, at least to his friends-for it would be hell on earth to him, to have it come out, and live among it, The two inseperables, after purchasing the suit of clothes, went to the pictured rocks, and they, according to previous agreement, went in swimming.After sporting in the water some time Tryan climbed out and while dressing saw Kyte sink and turned his back, so that , he might not see him emerge. Kyte now having been drowned put out for more con-genial climes, and Tryan hastened to Prairie du Chien, to carry out his pact of the comedy. Kyte bungled his part of the job sadly, but so it seems "The best laid plans of men and mice oft gang agley." Kyte left a wife and child, a son only two months old, to "suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune," and bear the brand of the felon shame of his erring father. No man had a larger circle of acquaintance and friends than he, and he was trusted and beloved by all.
The following resolution, of the board of supervisors in special session assembled, July, 1877 explains itself:
"Whereas, Frank Kyte, late treasurer of Howard county, has absconded, and has not been seen at the treasurer's office in the said county for the past twelve days, and is nowhere to be found, and his present whereabouts is to us unknown, and that it is believed that he has ceased to be a resident of said county, there-fore;
Resolved,. By the board of supervisors of Howard county, that the facts recited above have caused a vacancy in the office of county treasurer, and the office of county treasurer is now vacant, and we hereby so declare.
"Resolved, Further that James F. Borthwick be and is hereby appointed county treasurer, of Howard county to fill the vacancy now existing in said office.
"Resolved, That the incoming treasurer be required to give bonds in the sum of forty thousand dollars, and this appointment shall take effect upon the approval of the same, by this board."
Upon the receipt of the intelligence the board ordered the safe to be opened, but the a rival of J. W. Norris , the vice-president of the safe company with Cyrus Wellington, the matter for awhile came to a halt. It would seem as if the safe belonged to the Diebold safe company. It was locked with a Sargent time lock, but the latter had been tampered with, and would not open. After Mr. Norris arrived, he served a notice upon the board of supervisors of the couny, that they must not open the safe, until they had purchased the same, and the price was affixed as being $1500. The board however would not be "bull dozed," and after much discussion a contract was entered into by and between the said board and Norris, the latter to open the safe, for the sum of two hundred dollars, if it could be done without breaking it, and four hundred dollars if it had to be forced, if the latter, he was to repair and put in as good shape as before. He tried for a long time to open it, using all his skill, but in vain, he then returned, to Chicago, and brought with him after the absence of several days, a skilled workman with tools, who proceeded to force the safe. On July 20th the door yielding to the effort stood wide open and the eyes of the board on investigation, beheld an empty, or nearly so, money drawer. A rigid examination of the books of the treasurer revealed the extent of the defalcation to be $18500.66. The board immediately took measures to attach the property of Kyte, both real and personal. This amounted to the sum of about $6000. leaving the bondsmen to pay the difference of $12000, and the attorney of the county was directed to bring suit against them to recover that amount. On a search being instituted for the bond it was found to be missing and the parties, whose names were supposed to have been affixed thereon, set up a claim, that they had signed no such bond. So the matter rested for a short time, but the search for the missing document was diligently prosecuted and at last was crowned with success. The paper was found and was immediately placed in the hands of the legal lights, who represented the county, for them to commence suit. Dire was the dismay of the disgusted bondsigners for it meant financial ruin to many of them. The board, at an 'adjourned meeting June 24th, 1878 (the matter having run along until then,) were presented with a petition, signed by 1445 voters of the county, re-questing the honorable board of supervisors of Howard county, "to compromise the matter between the county and the bondsmen of Kyte and to withdraw the suits now pending between the county and them, and settle the matter between the parties on such terms as may be just to the county without involving the financial ruin of said bondsmen." As two-thirds of the said petitioners seemed to think that $5000 was the proper sum at which to adjust and settle the same, the board resolved, that they would accept the sum of $500 in cash to defray expenses the county had been put to, and $5000 in equal installments, payable in one, two and three years after date, the, bondsmen to give their notes for the same, for the benefit of the defalcation fund of the county. This seemed to the board, as more nearly to approximate to the wishes of the most of the petitioners, and "Whereas the following named bondsmen of Frank Kyte, J. F. Douahugh, Sardis Sutton, W. E. Roche, C. Genshaw, T. J. De Lange, P. Meighan, John Miltz, P. Peterson, Patrick Brady, Thomas Sullivan and William Burke, have signified their assent to settle on the basis above;
Resolved, That the board of supervisors of Howard county, accept and settle as above, taking security for the faithful performance thereof;" and ordering that all suits against the gentlemen be withdrawn, except as against A. D. Wright, against whom judgment had already been obtained. The matter was settled upon this basis and here the affair closed, and although the county was the loser-still it. was better to compromise than by a strict construction of the law to plunge into despair so many innocent families. Further whereabouts of the absconding treasurer is totally unknown, and let us draw around his act the same charitable mantle of oblivion; we know not the temptation that beset him -that led to the fatal action that blasted a life full of promise-that broke up a happy home. Let us not apologize for the crime, but pity and regard with charity, the criminal.
The court house association having rebuilt the building, used for county purposes, in what is known as court-house square, in the year 1880. Again tendered, to the board of supervisors, the use of the same for the use of Howard county officials and as a court room, free of any charge for as long a term as the said county would continue to use it for such purpose. This new building was erected in 1879, but was not finished until the early part of 1880. The board accepting the offer moved the records, books, etc. of the county, together with the furniture and fixtures of the various officers of the county from the house of A. D. Wright, which they had occupied as a temporary expedient, to the new court house, where they now remain.
By resolution of the board, bids were asked for attendence on the sick poor of the county, and on receipt of the same. 1880, the contract was awarded to Dr. O. N. Hoyt for the yearly stipend of $125.
By a report of the county treasurer, made January 1st, 1881, we find the funds of the county in the following condition.
General county fund on hand $ 351 39
State “ “ “ 1137.47
War-defense bond “ “ 51.85
County school 1050.17
Permanent school 1402.93
At the June session of the board of supervisors, in and for Howard county, instructed the auditor to advertise for bids for the erection and equipment of a county jail, and also for a place of residence, for the sheriff of the county, to be attached thereto and appropriated some $4500 for the same. The auditor obeyed the order, but on opening the bids, the board decided, that none of them were satisfactory. They therefore undertook to build the said jail and residence themselves. A. G. Hubbard being appointed commissioner to superintend the work thereon and carry out the instructions of the board in relation to them. For a description of these building refer to chapter six devoted county buildings.
RETURNS OF EVERY ELECTION HELD IN THE COUNTY FROM ITS ORGANIZATION TO THE PRESENT TIME; VOTE CAST FOR EACH CANDIDATE; NAMES, ETC.
The election returns for some of the earlier years are entirely wanting, and for many others are very imperfect but we give below all that seemed to be authentic. The first election, after the organization of the county, was in 1855, and was held on the first Monday of August, James G. Upton, being elected county judge; Edmund Gillett, clerk; William Wood-ward, recorder and treasurer; John Harlow, Sheriff; M. V. Burdick prosecuting attorney.
James G. Upton, was elected county judge; E. Gillett, clerk of courts, F. N. Jewett, treasurer and recorder; John Harlow, Sheriff; John F. Mitchell, coroner; John G. Miles, county surveyor.
Edward Gillett, seems to have been acting as county judge, during the spring of this year, and James G. Upton the balance, with Gillett as clerk; John Harlow, as sheriff, and William Woodward, recorder; no records exist of any election, but these are taken from some legal papers of this date, which bear the signatures as above.
E. Brown, seems to have been county superintendent of schools previous to this year, but no record exist, to show that such is a fact, except some records of payment to him, as salary in that capacity. At the election held this year. James G. Upton, was elected county judge; H. A. Cook, treasurer and recorder; H. Greer, surveyor; C. E. Brown, county superintendent of schools; James H. B. Harris, clerk of the courts, (this seems to be an error, but is so recorded).
James G. Upton, county judge; Edmund Gillett, clerk of the courts; H. A. Cook, treasurer and recorder; James Carpenter, sheriff.
Darius Seeley, elected county judge; James H. B. Harris, clerk of the courts; A. M. Cowan, treasurer and recorder; C. E. Brown, superintendent of schools; P. T Searles, sheriff; Laban Hassett, county surveyor.
Board of supervisors to serve for year 1861, J. W. Barrel, G. W. Ostrander, T. R. Perry, T. Griffin, S. W. Seeley, J. H. Boggess, S. Radford, M. Niles, C. M. Munson, W. Strother, C. A. Salmon and S. L. Cary.
At the election, held in the early spring, this year, the first record is made, of the amount of votes polled, which is 410.
W. Owen, was elected county judge; E. W. Allen, clerk of the courts; on the question of donating the swamp lands to the northern Iowa railroad 384 votes were cast in favor of it, and 24 against. Thos. Griffin, E. V. White, H. D. Noble, J. H. Boggess, W. D. Darrow, J. T. Mitchell, J, E. Bennett, were elected members of the board of supervisors; Adam Fussell, county superintendent and P. T. Searles, sheriff.
This year the time of holding the election was changed, and an election ordered in accordance with the new order of things; this was held October 8, 1861.
Total number of votes cast, 567,Samuel J. Kirkwood receiving 285, and William H. Merritt 251, and scattering 31 for governor; Ralph P. Lowe 253, Ralph Lowe 67 and James M. Elwood 256, for judge of supreme court; J. R. Needham 312 and Lawson Dewey 255, for lieutenant governor; D. G. Frisbee 283, S. L. Cary 247 and T. W. Sanders 9, for representative to the legislature.
C. E. Berry 296, Edmund Gillett 260, and 2 scattering, for county judge.
Austin M. Cowan 312, and A. M. Van Leuvan 241, for treasurer and recorder.
P. T. Searles, receiving all the votes, 566, for sheriff.
Laban Hassett, 327, and Joseph Knowlton, 233, for county survey or.
Adam Fussell 233, J. W. Reed 214, and C. E. Brown 114, for county superintendent.
J. W. Baird 302 and T. W. Sanders 265, for coroner.
C. F. Webster 323, Michael O'Donnell 195 for clerk of courts.
H. D. Noble, J. F. Webster, Gardner Howe, G. W. Ostrander,
C. W. Fields and A. G. Hubbard, were also elected members of the board of supervisors.
October 13, 1863.
The total vote of the county this year was 647,of which William M. Stone received 403 and James M. Tuttle 244 for Governor; Enoch W. Eastman 408 and James F. Duncomb 241 for Lieut. Governor.
James F. Dillon, 408 to Chas. Mason 242, for Judge of the Supreme Court.
Thos. R. Perry 397 and T. M. Atherton 245 for Representative from 52d district.
J. G. Patterson 408 and N. M. Wilder 241 for state senator. C. E. Berry 397 and H. A. Goodrich 250 for county judge.
A. W. Cowan 416 and Chas Brownell 220 for treasurer and recorder.
P. T. Searles 416 and P. G. Nichols 227, for sheriff; Laban Hassett 409 and Joseph Knowlton, 236, for county surveyor. J. J. Clemmer 406 and S. Herrick 240 for coroner.
Darius Seeley 407 and W. S. Pettibone 239, for drainage commissioner.
For donating the swamp lands to McGregor Western railroad 604, against, 18.
The members of the board of supervisors elected were W. D. Darrow, A. M. Van Leuvan, Darius Seeley, H. A. Goodrich, Thos. Griffin and L. A. Russell.
October 8, 1864.
The whole vote cast numbered 639. The Iowa republican presidential electors receiving 419 and the democratic 220 votes.
J. C. Cole 421, his opponent 221, for the office of judge of the supreme court.
James Wright 421, and John H. Wallace 220, for secretary of state.
John A. Elliott 421, and E. O. Hendershott 220, for state auditor. Wm. H. Holmes 421, and I. B. Lash 220, for state treasurer. E. A. Allen 421, and Chas. W. Dunbar, 220 for attorney general. Josiah A. Harvey received 421, B. D. Holbrook 220, for register of state land office.
For congressman, William B. Allison polled 421, to B. B. Richards' 221.
Aaron Kimball had 458, and J. White 261, for clerk of the courts. S. W. Seeley 456, and G. W. Fall 265, for county recorder. Smith W. Seeley 454, and G. W. Fall 262, for county judge. W. D. Darrow, A. M. VanLeuvan, Darius Seeley, H. A. Goodrich, Thomas Griffin and L. A. Russell were also elected members of the board of county supervisors.
October 10, 1865.
At the election held this date there were 635• votes polled for governor, of which William M. Stone received 353, and Thomas H. Benton 282.
For lieutenant governor, B. F. Gue 362, and W. W. Hamilton received 276.
For judge of the supreme court, Geo. G. Wright 363, and H. H. Trimble 276.
For superintendent of public instruction, O. Faville had 365 to J. W. Sennett 270.
For representative, 54th district, D. W. Poindexter had 343 and C. E. Berry 245.
For county judge, D. O. Preston had 330 votes, A. D. Combs 294, scattering 3.
For treasurer, J. F. Webster 328, B. D. Everingham 305.
The other officers elected being, J. F. Powell, sheriff; J. J. Clemmer, coroner; P. N. Glathart, surveyor, and T. W. Lee, county superintendent of schools. For members Of the board of super-visors, C. E. Ashley, C. T. Thurber, J. H. St. John, H. A. Good-rich, E. I. Isabell and L. A. Russell.
Special election, October, 1865.
On the question of extending the time in the contract with the McGregor Western railroad, total vote cast 232; "for extension," 212; "against extension," 20.
On, the question of giving said railroad the entire benefit of the swamp lands of Howard county; "for," 149; "against," 70; blank, 13. Albion and Howard townships held no election.
October 9, 1866.
At this election there were 656 votes polled, of which S. G. Van Anda received 221, and E. D. Wright, 435 for secretary of state; John A. Elliott, 435, and Robert W. Cross, 231 for state auditor; S. E. Rankin, 435, and George A. Stone, 221 for state treasurer; F. E. Bissell, 435, and W. Ballingall, 221 for state attorney; C. C. Carpenter, 435, and L. P. McKinney, 222 for register of state land office; C. Linderman, 435, and Fred. Gottschalk, 222 for clerk of the supreme court.
For representative to congress William B. Allison received 439 votes, and Reuben Noble, 229; for district judge, Milo McGlathery received 654, there being no opposition, and for district attorney the vote stood L. O. Hatch, 341, John T. Clark, 305, W. R. Mead, 1, D. O. Preston, 1; for clerk of courts, Aaron Kimball received 507, T. W. Lee, 141, and William H. Patterson, 2; for county recorder, William H. Patterson had 507, C. W. Sawyer, 133, and Aaron Kimball, 2.
Members of the board of supervisors elected at the same time were: A. N. Harris, Truman Robinson, S. A. Stone, P. T. Searles, I. C. Chamberlain, Thos. Griffin, and Wm. Burleigh.
October 8, 1867.
Total number of votes polled, 953. Samuel Merrill receiving 618, and Chas. Mason, 339 for governor; John Scott, 616, and D. M. Harris, 279 for lieutenant governor; J. M. Beck, 516, and John H. Craig, 337 for judge of the supreme court; Henry O'Conner, 616, and \V. F. Barker, 337 for attorney general; D: F. Wells, 616, and Maturin L. Fisher, 337 for superintendent of public instruction, for the full term, and for the same to fill vacancy, D. F. Wells received 255 votes, and M. L. Fisher, 92.
For state senator, 46th district, J. G. Patterson received 576 votes, his opponent, A. G. Case, tallying but 332. For representative, 56th district, J. H. Brown received 581, and G. W. Barker, 329 votes; for county treasurer M. M. Moon had 536, J. F. Webster, 422, and "scattering," 1.
For county judge, D. O. Preston received 552, C. F. Breckenridge, 382 votes, with a scattering of 2; J. F. Powell, 621, and G. W. Ostrander, 330 for sheriff; T. W. Lee, 598, and H. W. Partch, 346 for superintendent of county schools; P. N. Glathart being elected surveyor with a vote of 557, while his opponent, Laban Hassett, received but 399; J. J. Clemmer was re-elected coroner by a vote of 480 to H. C. Price's 472.
The Iowa presidential electors for U. S. Grant received 674 votes, and those for Horatio Seymour, 380, the total vote being 1054. For secretary of state, Ed. Wright had 673, and David Hammer, 381; John A. Elliott received 673, and Harvey Dunlevy, 381 for the office of state auditor; Samuel E. Rankin, 673, and Lawrence McCarty, 381 for state treasurer; C. C. Carpenter, 673, and A. Davidson, 381. for register of the state land office..
For representative in congress, from the 3d district, W.. B. Allison received 667 votes, William Mills, 381, and L. A. Thomas, 1.
For judge of the circuit court, M. V. Burdick had 673, and E. M. Farnsworth, 380 votes; Wm. H. Patterson received 774, and Gustave Dorr 359 votes for county recorder; S. A. Stone, 623, A. M. Gregory, 411, and W. H. Patterson, 1, for clerk of the courts.
On the stock act, 555 "for," and 180 "against."
On the question.in regard to levying a tax to purchase a "poor farm," the vote stood: 92 "for the tax," and 709 "against the tax."
On the amendments to the state constitution, 618 were in favor, and 412 against the proposed measure.
October 12, 1869.
The total number of votes polled. at this election was 840.
Samuel Merrill received 534, and George Gillaspy, 304 for Governor; Madison M. Walden, 530, and t.. P. Richardson, 3.10 for lieutenant Governor.
John F. Dillon, 530, and W. F. Brennon, 307,. for judge of the supreme court.
A. S. Kissell received the full vote of 532 for the office of superintendent of public instruction, there being no opposition.
C. T. Granger received 454 votes, and W. R. Mead, 295, for district attorney.
A. S. Faville received 409 votes and T. M. Atherton, 120, for member of legislature.
C. S. Thurber defeated his opponent, D. B. Everingham, for the office of county auditor, by a vote of 529 to 310
M. M. Moon received 568 votes, and James Hall, 259 votes, for county treasurer.
For sheriff the vote stood:J. F. Hall, 479, and J. DeNoyelles, 354.
Patrick Griffin having 301, C. F. Breckenridge, 527, and T. W. Lee, 1 vote for superintendent of county schools.
J. J. Clemmer, 521, W. F. Daniels, 307, and "scattering," 1, for coroner.
The members of the board of supervisors elected were: John Shaw, Thomas Sullivan, James Oakley, N. Lydon, H. W. Partch, P. T. Searles, and Joseph Burgess.
There were 749 votes polled, in all, in this election, C. C. Cole received 498, J. C. Knapp, 235, for judge of supreme court; W. E. Miller, 511, P. H. Smythe, 234, for judge of supreme court to fill the vacancy caused by the declension of John F. Dillon; J. G. Day, 509, Reuben Noble, 240, for judge of supreme court, to fill.. the vacancy caused by the resignation of George G. Wright.
For auditor of state, John Russell received 511, and W. M. Garner, 234 votes.
For secretary of state, Ed. Wright had 514, and Charles Doerr, 231 votes.
For state treasurer, S. E. Rankin palled 511 votes, and William C. James, 234.
Henry O'Conner received 510, and H. M. Martin, 234 votes for attorney general.
On member of congress the vote stood W. G. Donnan, 509, John T. Stoneman, 238.
For judge of the district court, Milo McGlathery polled all the votes, 513.
C. T. Granger had the same luck and polled 513 votes for district attorney.
For clerk of the courts, S. A. Stone received 535 votes, while David Geer only palled 219.
W. H. Patterson received 557 votes, and P. G. Nichols, 184 for county recordei.
For county supervisors, Aaron Kimball with 515, Chas. H. Wood, 447, and D. E. Potter, 558, were declared elected, defeating D. B. Everingham, who had 302, R. S. S. Andros, 227, and August Fallgater, 190.
On the proposition, "Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution of the state, and amend the same," "yes," 100; "No," 427.
On the proposition, "Shall the number of the supervisors be in-creased to five," "Yes," 235; "No," 379.
On the stock act of the 12th general assembly there were 127 votes cast, of which 114 were "against," and 13 "for."
Total vote polled, 1,030; C. C. Carpenter receiving 659, and J. C. Knapp, 371, for governor.
H. C. Bulis, 658, and M. M. Ham, 372, for the office of lieut. governor.
For judge of supreme court, James G. Day, 659, and John F. Duncomh, 369 votes.
For superintendent of public instruction, Alonzo Abernathy received 659, and Edward Mumm, 370 votes.
For state senator, John E. Burke received 636, and L. H. Weller 377 votes.
For representative in the legislature, W. W. Blackman, 654, and Cyrus Foreman 374 votes.
M. M. Moon was elected by a nearly unanimous vote to the office of county recorder.
C. S. Timber received 656, and Joseph Knowlton 366 votes for county auditor,
J. T. Powell was elected sheriff, he having 588 votes to his opponent's J. DeNoyelles, 445, with a scattering of 4.
C. F. Breckenridge received 582, James Greenleaf, 370, P. N. Glatliert, 1, and C. Breckenridge 18 votes for the office of county superintendent.
J. J. Clemmer was re-elected over all competitors, having 677 votes out of 708, for coroner.
P. N. Glathart was elected by 650 votes to the office of county surveyor, there being no opposition.
For member of board of supervisors, A. B. Smedley received 692, Joseph Lee, 181, John Wolf, 18, and "scattering" 2 votes.
Out of a total vote of 1,046 the Iowa republican presidential electors received 772 votes, and the vote for the democratic electors averages 130.
For secretary of state the vote stood: Josiah. F. Young, 708, E. A. Gilbert, 161, and Charles Barter, 42.
John Russell received 688 to J. P. Cassedy's 248 votes, for state auditor.
For state treasurer William. Christy received 768, W. J. Russ, 148, and D. B. Bens, 42 votes.
For congress, H. O. Pratt polled 689, and A. T. Lusch 225 votes. For judge of circuit court C. T. Granger received 721 votes, there being no opposition.
For clerk of the courts S. A. Stone polled $13 votes, there being no opposition.
For member of the board of supervisors, P. T. Searles had 773, and H. C. Marsh, 237 votes.
For county recorder the vote was: Wm. H. Patterson, 834, and H, Price, 37.
The number of votes polled at this election was 1,265.
For governor, C. C. Carpenter received 1,232, J. G. Vail, 30, and scattering, 3 votes.
For lieut. governor Joseph Dysart received 1,236, C. E. Whitney, 27, and Fred. O'Donnell, 2 votes.
For judge of supreme court J. M. Beck received 1,232, and B. J. Hall, 28 votes.
For superintendent of public instructions, A. Abernathy, 1,237, and D. W. Prindle, 28.
For state senator, Hiram Bailey, received 038 votes, and A. J. Felt, 335.
H. A. Goodrich received 766, J. F. Boxtlwick, 548, and "Gosh," 1, for legislature.
O. J. Clark received 1225 for prosecuting attorney.
The vote on county auditor was very close, "Jerry" Barker receiving 656, W. W. White, 651, with one vote for Frank Kyte.
For county treasurer M. M. Moon had 620, Frank Kyte, 674 with a scattering of two votes.
C. B. Ashley polled 589, and D. Ackerson 694 votes for the office of sheriff.
For superintendent of county schools, O. N. Hoyt received 641, and A. Craig, 622 votes.
Emmett Barber received 641, and Laban Hassett, 673 votes for county surveyor.
H. C. Price received 696, and J. W. Reed, 602 votes for coroner.
The vote on supervisor to fill vacancy stood: S. Radford, 558, and S. S. Lambert, 759, and for the long term, W. W. Woodward, 612, and Thomas Griffin, 701.
October, 13, 1874.
An election was held this day, at which 1,129 votes were polled. Josiah F. Young receiving 778, David Morgan 350, and H. C. Hargis, 1, for secretary of state.
Buren R. Sherman received 1,045, and J. M. King, 81, for state auditor.
William Christy, 778, J. W. Barnes, 282, and H. C. Hargis, 67 for state treasurer.
David Secor, 730, R. H. Rondame, 272, and J. D. Hayes, 1, for register of the state land office.
M. E. Cutts, 730, and J. H. Keatley, 351, for attorney general. For congress, H. O. Pratt. received 369 votes, John Bowman, 749, and P. Nolan, 1.
Milo McGlathery with 337, and Reuben Noble with 749 were the contestants for the office of judge of the district court.
O. J. Clark polled 400, and G. L. Faust, 720 votes, for district attorney.
C. F. Webster was elected clerk of the courts, having 516 votes, while his opponents, W. S. Gardner, and J. F. Powell, had, respectively, 475 and 130.
The vote for recorder stood: W. K. Patterson, 706, P. Velie, Jr., 402, and Miss Lillie Bucknum, 17.
For member of the board of supervisors, James Oakley defeated his competitor, having 602 votes, and H. C. Cunningham, 402.
October, 12, 1875.
On the question, "Shall stock be restrained from running at large," the vote stood, 361 "for," and 585 "against," in a total vote of 946.
On the question, "Shall stock be restrained from running at large from sunset to sunrise," 832 votes are registered as "for" the restraint, and 114 "against."
For governor, Samuel J. Kirkwood received 882, and S. Leffler, 477 votes.
For lieut. governor, Joshua G. Newbold received 880, and E. B. Woodward, 480 votes. Austin Adams received 878, and W. J. Knight, 481 votes,
For judge of supreme court. Alonzo Abernethy received 879, and Isaiah Doane, 23, for superintendent of public instruction.
For representative, 64th district, Henry T. Reed polled 884, and and Henry A. Goodrich, 472 votes.
Jerry Barker was re-elected county auditor, having 920 votes, his competitor, G. W. Merry, having only 434, with a single scattering vote.
Frank Kyte was almost unanimously olected to fill the treasurer's office, the vote standing, Kyte, 1,330, D. E. Potter, 3, P. T. Searles, 5, and Peter Nolan, 1.
For sheriff, Samuel L. Thomson polled 675, David H. Ackerson, 558, and Hugh Price, 127 votes.
Osm and N. Hoyt had 738, T. W. Lee, 606, and A. H. Tuttle, 1 vote for superintendent of schools.
Laban Hassett's friends rallied to the tune of 785, while Michael Montague's only numbered 565, with a scattering of 6 votes, electing Mr. Bassett once more to the office of county surveyor.
For coroner, James McCollum had 835, and H. C. Price, 528 votes.
Alonzo G. Hubbard was elected member of the board of super-visors with 727 votes in his favor, his opponent, S. S. Lambert having only 632.
November 7, 1876.
The total vote was 1,815, of which the Hayes and Wheeler electors received 1,194 votes, the Tilden and Hendricks electors 600, while the Cooper (greenback), electors only had 21.
For judge of the supreme court, for full term, W. H. Seevers received 1,201, W. M. Graham, 599, and W. I. Hayes, 20 votes; for the same to fill the vacancy created by chapter 7, acts of the 16th general assembly, James H. Rothrock had 1,168, Walter I. Hayes, 599, and Wm. Graham, 9; and for the same office to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of C. C. Cole, Wm. H. Seevers polled 1,171, and Walker I. Hayes 629 votes.
Josiah T. Young had 1201, James H. Stenbenraugh 614, and A. McCready 15 votes, for secretary of state.
Buren R. Sherman 1201, William Gronewig 622, and Leonard Brown 15 votes, for state auditor.
Geo. W. Bemis 1201, Wesley Jones 615, and George C. Fry 15, for state treasurer.
David Secor 1201, N. C. Ridenver 624, and George M. Walker 13, for register of the state land office.
John T. McJunkin 1201, and J. C. Cook 629, for attorney general.
Carl W. Von Coelln 1201, and J. A. Nash 629, for superintendent of public instruction to fill vacancy.
For congressman, N. C. Deering polled 1188 and Cyrus Foreman 649.
C. T. Granger received 1199 votes for circuit judge there being no opposition.
Calvin F. Webster capturing the office of clerk of the courts, having 1251 while Edward Hughes had 535 with a scattering vote of 14.
William H. Patterson polled 1,261, and W. H. Mereness, 525 votes, for county recorder.
For member of the board of supervisor we find that D. T. Emmons received the suffrages of 1,191 electors, while L. Averill, received 599, with a scattering of 11.
On the question of relocating the county seat at Cresco, the vote stood "for Cresco" 800, "against Cresco and in favor of old location between the villages of Vernon Springs and New Oregon," 969.
October 9, 1877.
The total vote was 1918, this election of which John H. Gear received 551, D. P. Stubbs, 201, Elias Jessup, 519, and John P. Irish, 647, for governor.
Frank T. Campbell, 1030, A. McCready, 249, and W. C. James, 647 for the office of Lieut-governor.
James G. Day, 1,029, John Porter, 253, and H. E. J. Boardman, 647, for judge of supreme court.
Carl Van Ceelln, 1,029, S. T. Ballard, 254, and G. W. Cullison, 646, for superintendent of public instruction.
For state senator, Aaron Kimball received 1,045, and L. H. Weller, 839 votes.
C. E. Brown polled 933, Thomas Griffin, 479, and August Fallgatter, 481, for representative 66th district.
John E. Peck with 977 votes, defeated Jerry Barker, who had 927, for the office of county auditor.
To fill the vacancy in the treasurer's office, Patrick Griffin received 918, J. F. Borthwick, received 806, and W. H. Merenes, 13 votes.
For county treasurer for full term Patrick Griffin received 1,026, J. F. Borthwick, 771, and W. H. Mereness, 123 votes.
Samuel L. Thomson polled 966, Hugh Price, 636, H. A. Axtell, 324, and "scattering" one vote for sheriff, P. N. Glathart being elected county surveyor by a vote of 1.028, his opponent Laban Hassett having only 891.
For county superintendent of schools, 897 votes given for W. H. Brocksome elected him, his competitors receiving respectively Joseph C. Kellow, 755, and Florence Barnard, 229 votes.
James McCollum capturing the office of coroner with 1010 votes, J. W. Reed receiving only 689, and C. E. Bowers received 199 votes.
For member board of supervisors, James Oakley received 1,053, I. C. Chamberlain, 832, and B. Chapin, 56, with one "scattered."
On the question "shall stock be restrained from running at large," the vote stood "for 837," "against restraint" 409. October 8, 1878.
At the general election this year there were 1,968 votes cast, John A. T. Hull receiving 937, E. M. Farnsworth 1,030, blank one for secretary of state.
Buren R. Sherman, 934, and Joseph Eibeck, 1,034 for state auditor.
George W. Bemis, 849, and M. L. Devine, 1,036, for state treasurer.
James K. Bowers, 934, and M. Farrington, 1,033 for register state land office.
James Rothrock, 933, and Joseph C. Knapp, 1,033, for judge supreme court.
John M. McJunkin, 932, and Alexander Runyon, 1,034, for attorney-general.
For congressman N. C. Deering, 939, L. H. Weller, 1,012, scattering, 4.
For judge of the District court, O. J. Clark, 551, and Reuben Noble 1,406.
Robert Quigley, 875, Cyrus Wellington, 1,086, and O. J. Clark 2 for district attorney.
C. F. Webster being elected clerk of the courts with 1,159, his competitor C. M. Brooks, receiving but 709 votes.
William H. Patterson, having 1637 and R. J. Hazledine, 305 votes the former was declared elected county recorder.
For member of the board of supervisors the vote stood A. G. Hubbard, 1,075, and H. P. Marsh, 874.
October 14, 1879.
Total vote polled was 2,243, John H. Gear, 1,059, Daniel Camp-bell, 1,144, W. H. Trimble, 28, and D. R. Dungan, 12 votes for governor.
Frank T. Campbell, 1,071, M. H. Moore, 1,128, and J. A. O. Yeoman, 27, for Lieut. governor.
Joseph M. Beck, 1,069. M. H. Jones, 1,115, and Reuben Noble, 41, for judge of the supreme court.
Carl Von Ccelln, 1,060, J. A. Nash, 1,140, and Erwin Baker, 27, for superintendent of public instruction.
For representative to legislature the vote standing Charles D. Cutting, 961, S. S. Lambert, 1,227, and J. J. Lowry one.
For sheriff S. L. Thomson had 1,106, Jacob J. Lowry, 1,122, S. B. Johnson, 1, and James Thomson, 1.
C. S. Raymond received 897, John E. Peck, 1,329, and P. T. Searles one vote for the office of county auditor.
Fred C. Clark was elected superintendent of schools by a vote of 1,180 to W. H. Brocksome's, 1,029, with a scattering of four votes.
For coroner, J. McCollum polled 1,057, and H. C. Price, 1,167 votes, with 3 scattered.
The vote for member of board of supervisors stood L. F. Emmons, 1,076, and Thomas McCook, 1,143.
November 2, 1880.
The full votes for president was 2,024, of which the Garfield and Arthur electors received 1,066, the Hancock and English. 285. and the Weaver and Chambers, 673.
For secretary of state J. A. T. Hull received 1,066, A. B. Keith, 281, and George M. Walker, 676 votes.
For state auditor W. V. Lucas received 1,065, Charles I. Barker, 281, and G. V. Swearingen, 676.
For treasurer, E. H. Conger, 1,066, Martin, Blinn, 281, and Mathias Farrington, 676.
J. H. Powers received 1,065, Daniel Daugherty, 279, and Thomas Hooker, 676 for register state land office.
S. M. McPherson, 1,066, C. C. Clark, 279, W. A. Spurrier, 676, for attorney-general.
C. T. Granger polling 1,061 votes with no opposition for the office of judge of the eircuit court.
For representive to congress from the fourth district, the vote was divided as follows: N. C. Deering, 1,102, J. S. Root, 223, M. B. Doolittle 654, and 11 scattering.
For judge of the district court E. E. Cooley received 871, O. J. Clark, 1,131, with 6 scattering.
C. F. Webster was elected clerk of the courts having 1,230 votes, and W. F. Daniels, 782, with 2 scattering.
W. H. Patterson taking the office of recorder, having 1,101, his rival, Jerry Barnes scoring only 782.
On the question of having a constitutional convention, 548 were in favor and 288 against the measure.
October 11, 1881.
At the election held on this date the total vote of the county polled was 1,469, Buren R. Sherman receiving 749, D. M. Clark, 678 and L. G. Kinne 42, for governor.
Orlando H. Manning, 749, J. M. Holland, 620, J. H. Holland, 58, and J. M. Walker, 42, lieut. governor.
Austin Adams, 749, W. W. Williamson 678 and H. B. Hendershott, 42, for judge of the supreme court.
John W. Akers, 745, Adeline M. Swain, 676, and Walter H. Butler, 45, for superintendent of public instruction.
For state senator, C. A. Marshall received 747, M. F. Gillett, 714, and "scattering" one vote.
For representative 66th district, W. R. Jones had 695 votes, while S. S. Lambert received 657.
John E. Peck was barely elected county auditor having 735 votes, while P. T. Searles had 724, and 5 votes scattered.
The vote on treasurer was also very close, Charles I. White receiving 728, and his competitor, P. Griffiin, 722, and 5 votes scattered.
J. J. Lowry was elected sheriff, having 758 votes, and S. L. Thomson, 706 votes.
W. W. Williams received 738, and S. B. Johnson, 709, for county surveyor.
Fred C. Clark, 803, and W. W. Williams, 657, for superintendent of schools.
The vote on coroner was another of the closely contested ones standing, O. N. Hoyt, 735, and H. C., Price, 729.
For member of the board of supervisors, A. G. Hubbard received 757 votes, Patrick Peterson, 703, and "Hubbard" received three.
June 27, 1882.
This was a special election on the question, shall the constitution be amended by adding the following amendment:
"No person shall manufacture for sale, or sell, or keep for sale, as a beverage, any intoxicating liquors, including ale, wine or beer. The general assembly shall by law prescribe regulations for the enforcement of the prohibition herein contained, and shall provide suitable penalties for the violation of the provisions thereof."
The total number of votes cast in Howard county was 1,565, of which 730 were in favor of its adoption, and 835 were against the measure.
November, 7, 1882.
The total vote polled was 1,802, of which John A. T. Hull, received 747, W. J. Gaston, 988, and T. O. Walker, 67, for secretary of state.
John L. Brown, 747. G. A. Wyant, 988, and William Thompson 67, for state auditor.
Edwin H. Conger, 742. George Derr, 913, and John Foley, 147, for state treasurer.
William H. Seever, 747, M. H. Jones, 988, and C. E. Bronson, 67, for judge of the supreme court.
Smith McPherson, 747, James A. Rice, 988, and J. H. Brenner-man, 67, for attorney general.
For congressman, Thomas Updegraff was in receipt of 756, and L. H. Weller, 1,026 votes, with five scattering.
For judge of the district court of the 10th judicial district, E. E. Cooley polled 930, and L. O. Hatch, 863 votes.
For district attorney, H. P. Hancock received 763, Cyrus Wellington, 1,041, while L. O. Hatch had one vote.
William Theophilus with 1,027 in his favor "got away with" his competitor, Frank Sayre, for the office of clerk of the courts, the latter having only 775 votes.
Carl K. Berg was equally fortunate having 1,181 votes and William H. Patterson, 605, for the office of county recorder.
For member of board of supervisors, the vote stood, James Hendricks, 796, Charles Keefe, 998, and scattering 5.
COUNTY SEAT CONTROVERSY; REMOVALS; OFFICIAL ACTION; FINAL SETTLEMENT; PRESENT OFFICERS.
During the summer of 1855, the organization of a county government agitated the minds of some of the new settlers, who had located themselves on the prairies and in the sylvan groves of Howard county, but met with but little favor from the many. While the people were but few, and the settlements but feeble, it seemed folly for them to burden themselves with the cumbersome machinery and expensive luxury of a county government. At this time there were probably not more than one hundred and fifty inhabitants, or about sixty or seventy voters residents, in what was to be Howard county. And to saddle upon this weak community the support of the necessary officers, was not to the mind of, possibly, a majority of those who looked ahead. However, a petition was signed by some five or six persons, and sent, sub rosa, to James Lyon, then judge in Chickasaw county, praying that an order be issued from his court to organize the county of Howard (for copy of this petition see page 338). Judge Lyon not being cognizant with the whole facts, decided to make the order, which was accordingly done, and bears the date-of July 17, 1855.
The mandate of the judge further recited, that there was to be held an election on the first Monday of August, of the same year, and appointed Edmund Gillett, one of the most prominent citizens, as the sheriff for the purpose of effecting the organization.
The people, calmly acquiesing in the matter, now that it was settled that they were to "enjoy" a county government, went to the polls on the day appointed and elected James G. Upton, county judge; Edmund Gillett, clerk; William Woodward, recorder and treasurer; John Harlow, sheriff, and M. V. Burdick, prosecuting attorney. These were the first county officers.
The next thing was a place of business, or in other words, a county seat and a court house. As most of the officers resided at or near Vernon Springs, this seemed to be the proper place, but the newly born government seems to have been "without a habitation and a home," until in the following year Judge Upton decided that for the time being Vernon Springs was to be considered the center of the county rule.
But other villages were springing into being, and as each of these, according to their proprietors and residents, was "the" place above all others, for a grand city, all laid claim to the position of being the county seat. Land was cheap, and "a good deal of it to the acre," and the proprietors were generous in providing for the width of the streets, avenues, and alleys of the new towns, and each expected metropolitan honors, at least, and each sought to be regarded as the seat of government.
Of these ambitious cities in embryo, how many of them ever emerged from the state of chrysalis. In a few short years their glory has faded, and all that is remembered of them is the memory of their names.
The stillness of their location, instead of being disturbed by the clatter of machinery, resounds but to the voice and footfalls of the plowman; the streets and avenges that their projectors fondly hoped to see lined with palatial stores, busy factories and stately mansions are now filled with the nodding corn or bending wheat, and over the site of these would-be commercial and mercantile centers, wanders the lowing herds.
All, or nearly all, have seen their cherished hopes die, and they all lie buried 'neath the debris of accumulated years. In 1857 the question that seems infallibly to arise in all communities came to the front, and the removal of the county seat occupied all minds, each town, village, or assemblage of houses, by whatsoever name known, had aspirations for the honor of being the recognized seat of government.
Many were the manoeuvres of the early politician to achieve notoriety for himself and his town, by bringing to bear upon the county judge, who was ex-officio the controller of the county, such influence as would induce him to favor the particular cause he advocated, and locate the county seat with them.
However, from some cause or other, in September of that year, a command was issued from the office of Judge Upton, and countersigned by Edmund Gillett, as clerk, ordering "that the records of Howard county be removed from Vernon Springs, in said county, to Howard Center, and that the courts of said county be hereafter holden at said Howard Center, until otherwise ordered."
This order was obeyed during that fall, and all the records, and other paraphernalia of the county officers, generally, was removed to that place. Here, however, it rested but for a short while, and then set out once more on its travels, reminding one of the peripatetic government of the so-called confederacy of later years.
When the early frosts of winter had tinged the groves, at New Oregon, with their many-hued garments, and the farmer rested from his harvest labors, the dissatisfaction at the removal of the government again cropped out, and the community was torn by the internecine feud-again the question was agitated with all the warmth that such things always engender. Neighborhood was set against neighborhood, and peace seemed to flee the land.
To calm the troubled waters the county judge appointed M. V. Burdick, G. N. Holbrook, and George Bronson a committee to relocate the county seat at such point as seemed, in their opinion, best calculated to please the greatest majority.
After some investigation in the center of the county these gentle-men came to Vernon Springs and New Oregon, then two rising and rival villages, near "Oregon Grove." Here they were, of course, assailed with the volunteered information that both of these places being the center of population, and the largest settlements in the county, should of right be the home of the county government. As might be expected, each hamlet upheld its own banner and talked for itself.
The citizens of New Oregon, finally, procured a vehicle to convey the commissioners through the surrounding country to demon-state to them: the truth of their assertion, that their town was the center of population, if not that of the geographical county, it being well known that the western part of the county was sparsely settled. The gentlemen were placed in charge of W. R.. Mead, then a young lawyer, newly arrived, to show them the vicinity. Through ignorance, on which, perhaps, was counted, or through calculation, they were driven eastward, crossing into Winnesheik county, were shown the thriving farms and settlements of that part of the country, as if it was a part of Howard. This seemed to satisfy the commission, who never dreamed that all this people did not reside in Howard county, and they returned to New Oregon, determined to locate the county seat there, but were met by the delegation from Vernon Springs, who advocated their claim.
These two, between them perplexed the commission, and after a hard wrangle with each, agreed among themselves as to what was best to do. A subscription having been started to build a court house, it was proposed to the two towns that, as both could not have it, and for peace sake, it would not do to give it to either, that they (the commission), would locate the said county seat at a place known as Pike's Peak, a bluff equidistant from both, on the main road leading from one to the other, provided the said subscription should be applied to the building of a court house.
These terms were accepted, and the place designated was made the seat of government.
The court house was built in February, 1859, at this point, by the subscriptions raised by the citizens of both towns, and once more "peace spread her pinions o'er the land."
Thus things remained, until in 1865 it was found that, as the building was built of bass wood the elements and the years had worked their will with it until it was unsightly and unsafe.
We find recorded that at the session of the board of supervisors, in September, 1865, the following resolution was passed:
"Whereas, The building now occupied by the county officers of Howard county has become so dilapidated by age, as to render it unfit for office purposes, and an unsafe repository for the records of said county;" the resolution going on to state that the county had been tendered the use of a building, owned by L. L. Halstead, and located in the village of Vernon Springs.
The building was built of stone and was in every way fitted for the use of the county, and the board resolved to remove the records and fixtures, together with the county officers, to the building and town aforesaid-that to be considered the county seat and court house. The board met at Vernon Springs for the October session, but owing. to the opposition of the New Oregon people, the offices were not removed thither. At this session the offer of Vernon Springs was renewed, but was met by the counter offer of New Oregon, who agreed to build a brick court house, and give the use of it free to the county. Neither of these propositions were accepted, however, by the board, and the offices still remained at "the bluff."
In January, 1867, however, a new rival for the county seat appeared upon the scene, in the shape of the now growing railroad town of Cresco; the rapid rise and progress of which was casting into dim shade all the other towns, and whose pretence of claim for the county seat was warranted by the fact that it then contained nearly one-sixth of the population of the entire county.
At the session of the board of supervisors, held during this month, an intimation was given the board that Cresco aspired to the honor of the county government, and in a few days a petition was presented, in which was prayed, that the honorable board would transfer the offices of the county to their town, and making a proposition to erect for the accommodation of the same a building of brick and in every way suitable for the purpose intended.
The board taking the matter under advisement, accepted an invitation to view the proposed site of the court house, in Cresco, and from the best reports handed down by tradition, the county fathers evidently had a good time and possibly "saw" the matter in its greatest extent.
However, be that as it may, it was hastily resolved by them to accept the offer, and the following was placed upon the records:
"Resolved, By the board of supervisors of Howard county, that the proposition of Messrs. Beadle and others to build a court house and furnish it, free of any expense, to the county, and also to provide a hall for the meetings of the board, and for court purposes, be and is hereby accepted; the sheriff is directed to remove the records, etc., at the time contemplated, viz: On or before June 1, 1867.
At the June session, again, the board directed the county officers "to remove their offices to the building now being constructed by the Howard county court house association in the village of Cresco, whenever the committee shall decide to accept it as a safe and suitable place for the same."
This was accordingly done. But, by a legal fiction, the old court house, on the bluff, was still regarded as the county seat, only the offices and records being moved to Cresco for safety and convenience.
At the September session of the board of supervisors, 1876, the following appears` upon the minutes:
"There was presented a petition to relocate the county seat at Cresco."
The board, therefore, issued the following proclamation: "To the legal voters of Howard county, Iowa:
You are hereby notified, that at the regular session of the board of supervisors of the county of Howard, Iowa, held at the court house in the said county, commencing on the first day of September, 1876, a petition of over one thousand of the qualified electors of said county, was presented to the said board of super-visors, asking that the said board order that at the next general election, to be held in said county, on November 7, 1876, a vote be taken in said county by the qualified electors thereof, upon the question of relocating the county seat of said county, which said petition designates Cresco, in said county, as the point at which said petitioners desire to have the said county seat relocated, and it appearing to the said board that due notice of the presentation of such petition to the board of supervisors had been given by three insertions in the Iowa Plaindealer, a weekly newspaper, published in said county, the last of which was more than sixty days before the said September meeting of the said board of supervisors, and it appearing to the board of supervisors by the affidavits accompanying the said petition, that the signers thereof were all legal and their signatures genuine, and that at least one-half the legal voters of said county, as shown by the last preceeding census, had signed said petition, it was therefore ordered by the said board of supervisors that at the next general election to be held in said county, on November 7, 1876, the question of re-locating the county seat of said county be submitted to the qualified electors of said county, and that said vote be taken, between Cresco, in said county, and the present existing county seat, and that the form of the ballot thereof be as follows:
For the county seat at Cresco; For the county seat at the place designated by the commissioners in 1858, about half way between the villages of New Oregon and Vernon Springs; of all which you will take due notice, and govern yourselves accordingly."
JAMES OAKLEY, Supervisors.
A. G. HUBBARD.
On looking up the election returns of November 7, 1876, it will be found that, notwithstanding one thousand voters signed the petition, some no doubt changing their minds, the vote stood: 800 in favor of relocating it at Cresco, and 969 against it, or rather in favor of retaining it where it was, in no man's land, off on the dreary bluff in a tumble down, dilapidated structure, once known as the court house.
Men now asked themselves the question of what was to be done, and many plans were canvassed, but nothing came of it, until after the burning of the court house at Cresco, and the re-erection of it it was a mooted question. Then was carried into effect the most feasible plan, viz: The lines of the incorporated town of Cresco, on the southern boundary, were extended so as to include the old bluff, whose crown lifted heavenward, was the recognized seat of government. When this was done, by vote of the board the court house was legally moved to the court house square, and the present beautiful and commodious building was erected. So ended the county seat questipn, for the time, at least.
Less acrimony was developed in the conflict of later years than is usual in such cases. The present officers (1883), are: John E. Peck, auditor; Charles I. White, treasurer; Carl K. Berg, recorder; Wm. Theophilus, clerk; J. J. Lowry, sheriff; Fred. C. Clark, county superintendent, all of whom may be found at their offices in the above building. The present members of the board of supervisors are: Charles Keefe, A. G. Hubbard, and James Oakley.
RAILROADS, THEIR INCEPTION AND COMPLETION; JOURNALISM IN HOWARD COUNTY; EARLY NEWSPAPERS, AND EARLY ADVERTISERS.
The various attempts and projects of earlier days to change the the roads of mud to that of iron, may be but briefly outlined in this chapter.
The Iowa and Minnesota division of that monster corporation, the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad, that now crosses the county, is simply an out growth of the McGregor Western railroad.
The first account, we find of any attempt to procure a railroad is on record, and in the form of a
STATE OF IOWA,
COUNTY OF HOWARD.
In pursuance of the code of Iowa, and at the request of a portion of the people, of said county, an election is hereby ordered to be held in the several townships in said county of Howard, on the third day of August, A. P. 1857, at the places where the last April elections were held, to vote upon the question, whether the said county of Howard, shall take $150.000 of the stock of the Northwestern railroad company and issue bonds in payment therefore, bearing interest at the rate of ten per cent. per annum; the principal sum to be paid in twenty years; and that a tax be levied upon the tax-able property of said county, for the payment of interest and principal.
The said railroad company to pay the interest on said bonds, until said road is in operation' to the east line of said county of Howard; bonds to be issued when said road shall be in operation to Decorah, Winnesheik county, and permanently located to the west line of Howard county.
The form of the vote shall be, "for the railroad stock" "against the railroad stock."
Every affirmative vote shall be considered for the proposition entire.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said county, this first day of July, A. D. 1857.
JAMES G. UPTON,
[SEAL.] County Judge.
It would seem, from the absence of anything in the records, that this scheme was a flash in the pan, that nothing came of it, as the Northwestern railroad company never came in the direction indicated. The matter was dropped until 1863.
It was at the September session, of the board of supervisors, of the county, that it was proposed to submit to the legal electors of the county, a proposition to donate all the lands in the county known as "swamp lands," to aid in the. construction and equipment of the McGregor Western railroad, on the condition, that the before mentioned railroad build a road from North McGregor westward, to intersect the county of Howard, from east to west.
This was ordered to be voted on by the people of the county at the next general election, and the clerk of the board instructed to make proclamation in accordance therewith.
Accordingly at the election, held October 10, 1865, the question being placed before the qualified electors of the county, for their approval or rejection, the donation was ratified by the people by some means which is gathered by, subsequent proceedings as the election returns show upon their face that they rejected it by a vote of 390 to 141,but some error must be in the record, as after developments show that the swamp lands were donated by the board about this time. The loosely kept minutes of these early times, causes considerable confusion, and leaves much matter to be gathered from the context.
At the Oct., session, we find that the board passed a resolution, that the question of extending the time, in which the McGregor Western railroad contract to build their road, through Howard county, be submitted to the people the railroad company not being able to fulfill the said contract, in regard to point of time, and also on the question of giving the same railroad the benefit of all the swamp lands within the borders of the county.
In October of the same year, an election being holden for the purpose, the vote stood, "for extending time to the McGregor Western railroad" 212, against such extension 20 votes.
On the question of giving the said railroad the entire benefit of the swamp lands 149 were in favor and, 70 against the measure.
It was during the year, 1866, that the McGregor Western, first crossed the county line, entering on section twenty-three in Vernon Springs township, and instead of fulfilling their engagements, with the people of the county, and intersecting the entire county from the east to west, turned their line northwest passed out of the limits of the county, after running along, for a short distance on the northern boundary, at section ten in the township of Oakdale. The number of miles of track, within the bounds of the county is, as was then built twenty-four and thirty-four one hundredths (24.34) divided as follows:
Vernon Springs township, including the town of Cresco, 8.49 miles; Howard Centre township, .25; Forest City township, 6.40; Chester township, 6.40; Oakdale township, 2.84.
This non-fulfillment of their contract by the railroad, seems to have been a fruitful source of trouble, the officers and people of the county, justly finding fault because the road did not intersect the entire county, which was part of the contract, entered into by the railroad company.
It seems that the action of the county, in donating these swamp lands to the railroad was not entirely legal, and the railroad company, in 1868, went to the legislature of the state asking them to legalize the action.
But at a meeting of the board of supervisors, held February 3d, 1868, a resolution was passed and a petition drawn up in accordance therewith, praying the legislature, not to pass the bill, then before them, legalizing. the act of a previous board of supervisors, in conveying to the McGregor Western railroad, all the swamp lands of the county, on the plea, that the said railroad, had failed to carry out the provisions of the orginal contract, entered into with the people of the county.
Suit was entered into against the railroad, for a recovery of the lands and breach of contract pleaded as the cause, but in July, 1869, the matter was adjusted and the suits withdrawn and the lands left in possession of the company, the railroad agreeing to locate a station at the town of Chester, which condition was accordingly carried out and Chester became a depot of the railroad.
The line passed into the possession of its present owners, the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad company, shortly after the settlement of the above question, and still is owned and operated by them.
There are four stations within the limits of Howard county, viz: Cresco, Bonair, Lime Spring and Chester.
Two additional railroads are on the tapis and possibly may be built in the future, one ascending Crane Creek, and passing through the county, nearly in the centre from south to north; the other on the natural grade of the "Wapsie" in the western part of the county in nearly the same direction.
These roads are as yet in the womb of time, but the general impression prevails, that one or both may be built, and that right speedily. This would be a considerable help to the county giving, them more direct communication with market, and induce the settlement of the waste places of the county.
The Anglo-Saxon, where ever he goes seems instinctively to plant, :almost the first thing, those mighty engines of civilization, that hand-in-hand go down the mighty corridor of time, with resounding steps-the school and the press. No better index as to the state of society-or the thrift of a community can be found, than in the press it supports. Look at the question, and decide the matter which way you will, whether the press is the power behind the throne, or simply the mirror of public thought-whether it is the leader or follower of opinions of the community, it must be conceded that the newspaper does not spontaneously arise in, nor thrive on virgin soil, but flourishes in a cultivated garden.
The press of Howard county is not in this respect one whit behind the other counties or in the standard that betrays the cultnre of the inhabitants.
The birth of the first newspaper, in Howard county, was an event, remembered by all the pioneers. Its initial issue was dated February 18, 1858 and was called the "Howard County Sentinel" and was publshed at New Oregon. The proprietorship was vested in the Howard county printing association, of which S. M. Oole was president; D. D. Sabin, vice president; M. M. Moon, treasurer; W. R. Mead, secretary; and James G. Upton, J. F. Mitchell, J.S. Lawyer, E. W. Allen, George W. Schofield,. C. M.Munson, and J. J. Clemmer, were directors. The editor was J. Howard Field, one of the bright luminaries of the journalistic corps, and who was more recently, and perhaps is now, connected with the staff of the "Chicago Journal" in an editorial capacity. This paper was neutral and independent in politics and religion and was a seven column folio and presented a very creditable appearance, both in the editorial and mechanical departments.
The fortunes of this paper were destroyed, with the office, by fire, during the year 1859 whereupon the association dissolved and did not attempt its resusitation.
The second paper was ephemeral in its duration, expiring of inanition within a year. It was a rival of the above named Sentinel and was established in 1858. The name was the "North Iowa Gazette' and the first issue is dated from Vernon Springs,March 26, and was also a seven column paper, owned by Harrison and Peck and was democratic in politics.
Immediately upon the burning of the office of the Sentinel and the dissolution of the association, H. Lick and W. IL Mead adventured their bark upon the stormy seas of pioneer journalism, in the form of the "New Oregon Plaindealer", the former as publisher and the latter as editor. Shortly after its inception F. J. Mead became possessed of the interest of Mr. Lick and the paper was then issued under the firm name of W. R. and F. J. Mead under which head it continues at Cresco to this day. It was a straight democrat sheet until quite lately, it having for some time advocated greenback sentiments. This paper was continued success-fully until in May 26, 1867, when it was transferred to the town of Cresco.
It has a circulation of about a thousand and is well conducted. It has also in connection with the newspaper office, a good job department, and enjoys a liberal share of the public patronage. W-R. Mead still fills the editorial chair and is the terror of evil-doers for his pen knows no mercy to the criminal against society and law.
Among the advertisers in the first issues of the Plaindealer in 1867, on its location at Cresco we find, the Empire house; B. Isaacs, manufacturer of wagons, buggies, etc.; Mrs. Knowles, millinery and dressmaking; Mrs. J. T. Donahoe, millinery and fancy goods; Bones & White, dry goods; J. J. Clemmer, drugs; B. Chapin, Hardware and stoves. W. H. Alleman, boots and shoes; D. Bean, harness; Mrs. F. H. Jewett, photographer; T. Miller, harness. G. A. Purdy, stoves; Perry & Conklin, agricultural machinery; E. B. Sloan, merchant tailor; Burdick & Clouse, general mer chandise; Price and Lowry, drugs; Parnell and Myers, blacksmiths. N. H. Knowles, M. D., and J. J. Clemmer, M. D., are all represented among the advertisers with Strother and Kirkpatrick, general merchandise.
W. R. Mead, the editor, one of the representative men of the journalistic fraternity in this section, came to the state of Iowa, in 1854, and employed his time on the 'Daily Northwest," then a paper published at Dubuque, by General Geo. W. Jones; he came to Howard county in 1857, intending to resume the practice of law, for which he had been educated, but journalism claimed him for her own and the fates so willed it,
The following, in regard to the press used in printing the New Oregon Plaindealer, is of historical value, as it is related by W. R. Meade, one of the owners of that paper, and is clipped from a late issue of the journal he so ably edits.
"The identical press that Lovejoy had at Alton, Ill., and which was thrown into the Mississippi at the time Lovejoy was killed by a mob, is said to be printing the Belmond, (Iowa), Herald. The editor will ship the press to the Illinois Historical society if they will ship him in return a new improved power press. Fair enough. -[Austin Transcript.
The press mentioned is the one used in this office when the Plain Dealer was established twenty-four years ago; was shipped by steamboat from the scene of its years of submersion, direct to McGregor; was used by us until our enlargement in 1869, when it was sold to G. E. Frost, of Clear Lake, and we understand was transferred by him to its present ownership. It is a press unlike in its construction, any other that we ever saw. In size it is for a six column paper, though we made a seven column paper by reducing the columns to narrow width. In Illinois the democrats threw it into the Mississippi, because it advocated abolitionism; in Iowa the abolitionists threatened to throw it into the Turkey river because it advocated democracy through the Plain Dealer."
In 1858, George W. Haislet, who in later years carried on the Decorah Radical, but now numbered with the dead, established a six column folio paper at Howard Center, called the "Northern Light". This journal was of but one years growth, when it met its demise. From a perusal of its issues we find that Royal O. Thayer, kept a livery stable and John W. Walters, was a carpenter and builder at that place.
During the early part of the year a paper was started, at New Oregon, in opposition to the Plain Dealer, by T. J. Gilmore and Fitz James McKay, and called the "Star of the West," but alas it was almost stifled in its birth and lingered along a sickly life for eleven short weeks and then departed to where so many newspapers go. It was intended to be a weekly paper, and was established for the purpose of publishing the tax sales, of the county-but it proved "weakly" and hence its demise.
The "Howard County Times" was established in Cresco, January 20, 1867,by F. C. Wood and Frank Mix, who were at the same time, editors and proprietors, no uncommon conjunction in this country. It started as a seven column folio, and was intensely and radically republican in politics, and has continued to hold the same opinions yet, although it has increased in size to a six column quarto. In August, 1867, F. C. Wood sold his interest in the paper to his partner, Frank Mix, who shortly afterwards died, but his estate still retained its interest therein, and C. F. Breckinridge, managed it, until I. A. Howie purchased it. Mr. Howie shortly afterward sold it to W. N. Burdick, now of the Postville Review.
After running it about a year, in April, 1873, Burdick sold it to W. M. Fogo and W. W. White, under whose management it continued, until April 1, 1873, when Mr. Fogo sold his interest to L E. Smith, who immediately entered upon the editorial control. On October 21, 1873, Mr. White also sold his interest, Mr. Smith be-coming the purchaser, since which time he has been sole owner and editor. The paper was known formerly as the Cresco Times but its name has been changed, under Mr. Smith's charge to its present one.
It is claimed for the Times, that it enjoys the largest circulation of any paper in the county, and is the exponent of radical prohibition and morality and is one of the finest sheets in the section both for the ability displayed in its columns and for the neatness of its mechanical "makeup."
Several more papers have been started in the county but they were of short duration, noticably, the "Peoples Representative" a weekly eight column journal, published at Cresco, in 1873 with George F. Crouch, as editor.
Lime Springs also has enjoyed several papers, but from some cause or other, their demise occurred early in life, and we have no record thereof.
COUNTY BUILDINGS; COURT HOUSES; JAIL; RESIDENCE OF FEB SHERIFF; POOR FARM; EARLY ATTEMPTS AT PURCHASE OF SAME; FINAL ACTION IN REGARD TO COUNTY FARM, ETC.
In no country under the sun, has a more magnanimous regard for the poor been displayed than in this noble republican home of ours-and this can be said more particularly of the countries of the great northwest. Howard county, is in this respect in nowise behind her sister counties.
It was not strange that the pioneer settler discovered, so early, the wants of his poorer neighbor, and was so prompt to extend to him a helping hand, and to inaugurate measures for his relief, be-beyond his means, when we remember that his state was also one of compartive poverty. "A fellow feeling makes us wonderous kind;" as the poet hath so beautifully sung.
No record has been kept of the many private acts of charity per-formed by the more affluent citizen toward his needy neighbor. The halo of eloquent silence surrounds them; but, deeply graven, in letters more pure and bright than gold, doth shine the deeds of many noble men and women, of this land, whose christianity and charity is not alone expressed by their dovotion to the services of the church.
The first organized effort on the part of the it t ns of Howard county, for the relief of their necessitious brethren, whom misfortune had reduced to penury and want is not recorded, here on earth; perhaps the recording angel has incribed it upon his book, and the action may bear fruition, elsewhere. Almost the first entries made in the books of the county judge, then ex-officio the county government, relates to the payment of small sums to the needy and destitute; "The poor and needy ye have with ye al-ways" we are told and we know that in the early days of this county's settlement, it was not exempt from the rule. The man reduced, through misfortune or thorough habits the opposite of commendable, could not be allowed to starve or want for shelter -the widow who had been left to buffet alone the billows of life's stormy sea, could not be neglected-the helpless orphans, left drifting toward the breakers must be helped, and the true hearted pioneer was not the man to turn his back on them, nor a deaf ear to their cry. Out of the funds at the disposal of the government seemed the best way, to provide for then, all could bear the burden equally and equitably.
For many years the poverty stricken were cared for in the homes that still remained to shelter them-in the homes of the stranger-their maintainence furnished by the county.
In 1866, the first effort was made to purchase a farm and erect buildings, suitable for the keeping and maintaining of those de-pendent upon the county purse.
During that year, a committee of three of its members was appointed by the board of supervisors, to solicit the terms for the purchas of a farm, suitable for the support of the wards of the county.
The committee were instructed to report to the board the prices, location, terms, advantages, etc., of lands offered them and thought by them fit for the purpose intended. They were further instructed that the county did not wish the land to amount to less than one hundred and sixty acres. They were also empowred to advertise for sealed bids, and to use all discretion in the matter, so as to present a full report, which was to be returned at the next meeting of the board.
The committee consisted of Mrssrs. C. S. Thurber, Stephen. Radford and C. W. Field.
At the September session, 1866, the committee handed in their report, which runs, as follows:
"That they have received several proposals of farms for sale, but not anything in their judgment answering the purposes of the county. Your committee would further report, that, in their judgment, they cannot purchase a farm with the necessary improvements, and therefore, would recommend, if the board see fit to purchase a farm, that they procure a piece of unimproved land and make the necessary improvements."
The affair seems to have collapsed, for want of life, at this juncture and the old method of providing for the poor still continued and we hear no more of the scheme until 1868, when, at the January session of the board, they passed the following resolution, in regard to the matter under discussion:
"Whereas, It is deemed advisable, by this board, that some provision be made for the poor of the county, whereby they may be subsisted at a less cost to the county, than by the present method, therefore;
"Resolved, That a committee of three, be appointed to look for a feasible site for a "poor house farm," improved or unimproved; ascertain the cost of the same, estimate the cost of the necessary buildings and improvements. and report to this board, at the June session, with a view to submit the proposition to a vote of electors, of this county, at the next general election, according to the pro-visions of the code of the state of Iowa."
Messrs. C. S. Thurber, Thomas Griffin and W. H. Patterson were the committee appointed, the latter being clerk of the board.
This committee' as instructed, returned a report at the June session, saying that they had viewed the place of Albert Miller, at Saratoga, of which the price was three thousand dollars, there being one hundred and sixty acres, twenty-five acres of timber, forty-five or fifty under cultivation, had a good house erected on it, was well watered and the means of access was good, being on the Main road, from Cresco to Osage. They also reported, that they had looked at the farm of Keuling and Robinson, about two miles south of Saratoga, which contained some three hundred and twenty acres, was well watered, with the means of access equally good, the land was of excellent quality and could be purchased for the sum of $1530. This they considered remarkably cheap, and estimated, that the necessary improvements could be made for the sum of $3500, and recommended, that the vote be taken on the amount of $5000, which would cover all the expense.
At the election held in November, of the same year, the question of levying a special tax, to pay far the poor house farm, the community seemed to think that some better plan existed, to pro-vide a home for the destitute, for the vote stood only 92 in favor of levying the tax and 709 against it. The subject was them dropped for the present. However in 1881, the board became the owners of a farm, the west half of the northeast quarter of section eleven, 99-11, and determined to utilize it for a poor farm, as there was a fine large house on it.
This land had originally been what is known as school, land and was purchased by some parties on contract, but was never deeded. Being covered by mortgages and judgments, the county bought up all claims against it, foreclosed the mortgages and bid it in, at the sale.
The following circular was issued, in regard to it, from the auditor's office by order of the board:
CRESCO, April 12, 1881.
To the Township Trustees of Howard county:
GENTLEMAN.-The board of supervisors have provided a poor house and farm, for the future support of such persons as need permanent relief, and have fixed on the 25th day of April, inst., as the time when all outside allowances shall cease.
You will please notify all such persons as are receiving permamanent relief from you, that their allowances will then cease, and that if further relief is required it will be furnished at the poor house, and if they apply, you will give them an order to the Steward of the poor farm for admittance and relief-simply give them the order. Cases will occasionally arise when it will be your manifest duty to furnish a conveyance, but as a rule, the friends of such poor persons should get them to the poor house. The trustees need not meet as a board for the purpose of sending a person to the poor house. The order of one trustee will be sufficient.
In providing temporary relief, great caution should be exercised, lest you and the public be imposed on; the fact that a per-son is poor, does not entitle such person to support at the public expense.
Many of the tax-payers are poor, and in view of this fact relief should be granted only in cases of extreme destitution. Let your allowances be very sparing until the next meeting of the board of supervisors, when each case should be fully reported by you, and the board will make such disposition of them as economy, the general welfare of the county, and necessity, demands.
The poor expenses of the county for the year 1880, amounted $23761.57, and are increasing, thus far in 1881, by nearly one half. The board of supervisors are doing all in their power to keep these expenses within reasonable limits, and they respectfully am your hearty and cordial co-operation.
Hereafter, claims. against the county for temporary relief, must be certified to by at least a majority of the board of trustees of the township where the person receiving aid resides.
Enclosed herewith, find blanks for use in sending poor persons to the poor house.
JOHN E. PECK,
By order of the Board of Supervisors.
P. S. The poor farm is located about three miles Northwest of Cresco, and was formerly known as the Sumner farm-sometimes called the Marlow place. J. E. P.
Joseph H. Batterham was appointed steward, at its inception and satisfactorily fills the place to the present writing. Thus through many adverse circumstances has been established this home for the indigent, and the charity of the county is brought under something like management.
In the year 1859, when the county seat was located on the bluff, midway between the villages of New Oregon and Vernon Springs, a subscription was raised in both towns, and a building erected and donated to the county. This being built of the most available lumber, basswood, in a few short years, became so dilapidated and rotten through the action of the elements and the exposed position of the structure, the timbers rotting down, the sheathing tumbling off, and the roof leaking, that much apprehension was excited in the minds of the county officers, as to its being a place of security for the records and other valuable books and papers of a necessity stored therein, and measures were taken, as early as 1865, to have the seat of government removed elsewhere. After some maneuvers on the part of the rival villages mentioned above, in 1867, the board of supervisors of the county accepted the offer of the Howard county court house association to build a brick edifice at Cresco, and put it at the disposal of the county. Immediately, upon the acceptation of this offer, the association commenced to erect the building on the site known as the court house square. The structure was of good size and every way applicable to the purpose for which it was intended. In July, 1867, it was occupied by various officers, who removed there with all their books, papers, and furniture, and the seat of county government, for convenience sake, was removed to Cresco, although the county seat proper, could not be legally moved; for explanation of this, see chapter IV. This building was then used as the county offices until December 1, 1876, when it was destroyed by fire. The devouring element, with greedy maw, soon wiped out of existence the entire building, and with it the records of the court; the books and papers of the other officers, however, being rescued from the insatiable monster. Many were, and are, the conjectures as to the origin of the fire, and more than one had suspicion that the hand of an incendiary put the torch to the building. This was seemingly strengthened on the development of the Kyte business, and some did not hesitate to aver that he was the guilty party, but of this there exists no certainty, and we should not add, uncharitably, to the burden he already bears. Let us hope that it was not so, for he has crime enough to answer for without charging him with arson. Let the broad mantle of charity cover up his misdeeds, and say that the conflagration was the result of accident.
After the loss of the court house, the association of the citizens of Cresco immediately proceeded to rebuild the edifice, and in a more imposing style of architecture.
The following items of information, in regard to the cost of the building, were obtained from a letter, written by Hon. John McHugh, to a committee of gentlemen, at New Hampton, who inquired respecting it. It would seem from that, that the association paid $5,707.90, the county giving $1,040.00, making $6,747.90, which was paid to the contractor. It is, however, claimed that the said contractors lost $1,825.00, making the building cost as follows:
Funds furnished by association $5,707.90
Funds furnished by county 1,040.00
Money lost by contractors 1,825.00
Making a total cost of $8,572.90
The building is a neat, stylish, red brick edifice, trimmed with Milwaukee brick of a soft cream color. The architecture is of the modern renaissance order, and the architect has displayed much taste in working out his ideas on the subject. A wide corridor through the middle of the first floor, with the offices on each side, presents itself to view on entrance. The recorder the first on the left, and next the treasurer's office; on the right hand the clerk of the court and the auditor hold forth.
The sheriff and county superintendent, are accomodated with offices in the basement. The second story, a fine commodious and well lighted room, is the court room in which is held the different courts when sitting in the county.
The grounds surrounding the court house, are handsomly fenced with an ornamental railing of iron, and artistically laid out. The county jail, and residence of the sheriff attached thereto, are located within the same enclosure, north of the court house.
The jail is one of the best in this section of country. In June, 1882, the board of supervisors instructed the auditor to advertise for bids for the building of a jail, the same to be erected of brick, with steel-clad cells, and also, for the erection of a residence, for the sheriff, to be attached, thereunto.
But on their receipt, the proposals, not proving to the satisfaction of the officials, they determined to carry out their ideas, by erecting the buildings, themselves. A. G. Hubbard was appointed as a building committee, to superintend the operation. Great satisfaction resulted from this action as well as considerable economy.
The business abilities of the board, were employed on this business of the county's, to the same extent as would have been exerted, had it been some of the private affairs, of their own. The cost of the steel clad cells, with the necessary fixtures, and the expense of putting them in place, was the greatest part of the out-lay, being $3500.
The entire cost of residence, jail and everything, foots up to $8,885, but the outlay has been not wasted, and the county has received full value for it money.
The jail is one of the best and most complete, for one of its size, in the northwest. The edifice is built of brick, the walls being very heavy and thick, and measures 22x24 feet, and thirteen feet high. A thick pavement or floor was first made under the cells, apparently burglar proof, being two feet thick and usuing some five cords of stone and seventeen barrels of cement in the making.
There are two cells, built of steel-or steel-clad-each six feet long by eight feet wide and seven high, with a corridor between five by thirteen feet in dimension. Each cell will hold four prisoners on a pinch. Above the cells is a water tank which supplies a bountiful supply of water for drinking and cleansing purposes.
The cells are made of five thicknesses or plys of hardened steel bars riveted together, and which are so hard that the usual burglars, saw will make no impression on them. They are opened and closed with the patent lever attachment, and the whole outfit is entirely first-class.
The unparalleled success of the financiering, of the last few years, in the accounts and funds of the county, cannot be lightly passed over in this connection, and could only be accomplished by splendid business ability and strict integrity united to peerless energy. We have it from undoubted authority, that, in 1877, when the affairs of the late treasurer, Kyte, were settled up, there was an empty treasury and a bonded indebtedness of over $20,000, as the only possessions of the county.
By a rigid system of economy, and an ability of financiering not often displayed, at least in public affairs, without raising the rate of taxation, the poor farm has been established, the jail built and paid for, the bonded indebtedness reduced to a merely nominal sum, county warrants brought to par, and money in the treasury to anticipate the current wants of the county. This is unparalleled in the annals of any county in the state. The taxation is less, and has been so, for the past few years, than ever be-fore, and is still decreasing.
These things are here spoken of, as many people are not aware, or at least are not cognizant, of the entire facts, and truth demands that the gentlemen, who have engineered the finances of the county for the last few years, should have all the honor and praise for their ability, business tact and integrity. With such men as L. T. Emmons, James Oakley, A. G. Hubbard, Thomas McCook and Chas. Keefe at the helm and the true eye of John E. Peck, as auditor, to look out for breakers, the people of Howard county may rest assured that their interests will not suffer:
EDUCATIONAL; COUNTY SCHOOLS; TEACHERS; COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS; INSTITUTES; CENSUS RETURNS FOR 1860, 1870, 1875 AND 1880, ETC.
Howard county, considered from an educational stand-point, takes very high rank, among the sisterhood of counties. The statistics show that in 1882, as taken from the report of the county superintendent, there were in the county 3,235 children within the county, between the ages of five twenty-one years divided as follows :
Afton township, 389; Chester, 172; Forest City (out districts), 141; Lime Springs station, 197; Howard, 248; Howard Center, 153; Jamestown (outside district), 122; Riceville, 32; New Oregon, 365; Oakdale, 136; Paris, 285; Saratoga, 134; Vernon Springs (outside districts), 211; Cresco, 419; Albion, 253.
Thre are enrolled in the county, out of these 2,864 scholars as attendants at the various schools, and the attendence is above the usual average by several per cent.
There are seventy-eight frame, three brick, and three stone school houses in the county and altogether valued at $58,630, some quite commodious and pretentious in architecture and many of them worth from $2,000 dollars upwards and one, that. at Cresco, one of the best in northern Iowa, valued at $14,000.
Quite a number are supplied with expensive apparatus, and five report having libraries, one with 2,500, and another, 1,500 volumes contained therein.
There are forty-six male and ninety female teachers, employed at an average compensation of $38, for males and $26 for females, although some of each receive quite respectable salaries. The great fault with Howard county, as with many others, is the paying of such small salaries, to their instructors, which is of itself reprehensible, for it keeps many truly competent people out of the ranks and leaves to mediocrity alone the task of teaching the rising generation.
When this mistaken policy, and false economy is done away with the school system will be complete but under the present rule, salaries are so small in many instances, as to be less than can be earned at any other employment, and people have got through working for glory.
The cost of tuition varies largely in each township, partly owing to some of them having a sparsely settled community, and but few children attending the school. We give the average cost per pupil by townships, and for the independent districts of Cresco, Lime Springs and Riceville and others.
Lime Springs 1.17
Forest City Township 3.26
Howard Centre 2.50
Vernon Springs 4.00
Paris Township 2.16
New Oregon 2.43
The first county superintendent of public schools, we have any record of, is C. E. Brown who seems to have held the position prior to 1858, but of this fact it is not certain, however; the list is as follows:
C. E. Brown, from 1858 to 1861.
Adam Fussell, from 1861, until September, 1862, when he re-signed, and the board appointed T. W. Lee, who held from 1861 -to 1869.
C. F. Breckenridge, from 1869 to 1873.
O. N. Hoyt, from 1873 to 1877.
W. H. Brocksome, from 1877 to 1879.
Fred C. Clark, from 1879; and present officer.
The first normal institute held within, the county, of which there exist any record, was during the spring of 1876. This was conducted by J. C. Gilchrist, of St. Paul, assisted by J. Breckenridge, of Decorah, and Miss Addie Bucklin.
There seems to be a hiatus existing in the records of these institutes, for the next we can find any account of, was held at Cresco, in 1880, there were enrolled fourteen male and sixty-nine female attendant teachers. J. Breckenridge, of Decorah, was conductor, assisted by R. S. Holway, Rev. S. G. Smith, A. S. Benedict and A. E. Anderson.
In 1881 was held the next with L. T. Weld, the efficient principal of the Cresco school, as conductor, assisted by Geo. Chandler, C. H. Valder, Mrs. Weld and among the lectures was Carl Von Ccelln, the state superintendent of public instruction.
At the institute of 1882, L. T. Weld was conductor as before, assisted by R. G. Young, with Mrs. M. H. Hunt, and S. P. Leland as lecturers. The attendance was sixteen male and sixty-seven female.
The following circular, issued as we go to press, by the county superintendent, explains itself:
"To Teachers and Those Intending to Teach:
The annual teacher's normal institute, of Howard county, for 1883, will be held in the public school building, at Cresco, commencing March 19th and continuing two weeks.
The institute will be conducted by Prof. L. T. Weld, of Cresco, and Prof. J. Breckenridge, of Decorah. All who intend to teach are cordially invited to come the first day, and remain during the entire session. The benefit derived from attending the institutes, are fully appreciated by all progressive teachers, and we feel confident that they will attend if it is possible for them to do so. In order, however, to reach some who have been teaching several terms, without making any visible improvement, and who seem to. be satisfied if they can get a second or third grade certificate (renewed), we feel compelled to say: that no third, or second grade certificate will be renewed; and those who fail to attend the institute must expect to pass a most rigid examination if they continue to teach. Our state superintendent,. Hon. J. W. Akers, will deliver a lecture before the institute. An examination will be held at the close of the institute. Hoping to meet you all on the first day of the institute, I remain yours respectfully,
F. C. CLARK, County Superintendent. There are now in the county one hundred and fifty-seven teachers, who hold the following certificates:
First grade, 13 males, and 28 females; second grade, 22 males, and 51 females; third grade, 12 males, and 36 females.
While in 1880 there were about one hundred, out of which number sixty-six held first grade certificates, but by raising the standard of examination the number has been decreased, but the grade has gained in efficiency. The description of the school houses of Cresco and Lime Springs may be found under the respective heads of those towns.
According to the United States census of 1860, the county of Howard, state of Iowa, contained 3168 inhabitants, of all ages, sexes, and colors.
The following table is a slight abstract from the census of 1870, of Howard county, as made by the United Stags:
Number of white inhabitants 6,270
Number of colored inhabitants 12
Number of acres improved land 44,235
Number of horses 2,175
Number of mules 37
Number of milch cows 2,734
Number of working oxen 431
Number of sheep 1648
Number of swine 2640
Number of bushels of wheat raised 321,514
Number of bushels of corn raised 120,234
Number of bushels of oats raised 263,258
Number of bushels of barley raised 13,357
Number of bushels of potatoes raised 30,713
Number of tons of hay made 14,880
Number of pounds of butter made 408,351
Number of pounds of cheese made 4,476
Number of pounds of wool raised 5,153
We also find that the value of property in the county is returned, in 1870, as follows :
Total assessed value, of all real and personal estate $1,426,727
Total true value of all real and personal estate 4,131,132
Total taxes levied in the county 45,754
The manufacturing interests of Howard county are represented, for 1870, as follows:
Number of manufacturing establishments 32
Number of hands employed 69
Capital employed $54,350
Wages paid 8,310
Material used 52,279
In 1875 the census, as returned to the sixteenth general asembIy of the state of Iowa, shows, as follows:
White male inhabitants in county 4,199
White female inhabitants in county 3,647
Colored male inhabitants 18
Colored female inhabitants 11
Number of horses in county 3,433
Number of mules 58
Number of milch cows 4,358
Number of work oxen 279
Number of other cattle 8,018
Number of hogs 5,777
Number of sheep 1,605
Number of acres of improved land in the county 115,823
There was raised in Howard county, and sold during the year 1874, products of the farm and dairy, as follows:
Cheese (not factory)16,671
Below we give the census of the number of inhabitants in Howard county, by townships, for the year 1880:
Cresco (town) 1201
Forest City 941
Vernon Springs 752
Howard Center 381
New Oregon 1153
VERNON SPRINGS TOWNSHIP; LOCATION; EARLY SETTLEMENT; VILLAGE OF VERNON SPRINGS; FIRST STORE, SAW MILL, GRIST MILL, CHURCHES AND SCHOOLS; CRESCO; RISE AND PROGRESS; EARLY MERCHANTS, CHURCHES, NEWSPAPERS AND PRESENT STATE OF SOCIETIES, CHURCHES, SCHOOLS AND GENERAL BUSINESS. RECORDS OF SCHOOL BOARD OF INDEPENDENT DISTRICT OF CRESCO.
VERNON SPRINGS TOWNSHIP.
H. D. Noble in an article published in the Crisco Times of July 6, 1876 gives the following in regard to Vernon Springs township which is made from township ninety-nine, range eleven.
"The first settlement was made by Oren Sprague, who built the first saw mill in Howard county, at the head of the grove on Turkey river, near what was later the town of Vernon Springs in the year 1853. William Harlow, Noonan, Thomas Fitzgerald and Thomas Granathan also took up claims about the same time in this precinct. The year after James G. Upton. first county judge, E. Gillett, first county clerk, M. G. Goss, M. L. Shook (on a claim taken first by Woodworth, alias "Old Frosty," of Decorah.
In August 1854, H. Blodgett and J. M. Fields came into this precinct as permanant settlers.
Mr. Noble further says; "There is no hesitancy calling this township the most beautiful of all Howard county, being a succession of groves and prairies, more equal in distribution than any other section; well watered by numberless springs and spring streams; more good dry tillable, land, with convenient spring courses for stock raising and grass growing-being at that point, of the great military ridge running from McGregor northwest, where the knolls gradually roll into level prairie-it is par excellence the township of Howard county. It contains the villiage of
Here the saw mill of Sprague had soon a neighbor for in 1854, Henry Milder, erected a store which was known as the "blue store."
The saw mill has long since given way to the extensive grist mill and saw mill erected by A. H. Harris, on its site, being the first mill (grist) erected in the county, and one that brought customers from the west and the northwest the full distance of a hundred miles or more. The store mentioned has given way to new ones, in 1859 the village contained two stores, one extensive distillery with brewery, steam saw and grist mill combined, one water grist mill and saw mill, one tannery, two blacksmith shops, one shoe shop,. one wagon shop one hotel, and an unfinished school house, The professional men at that time were, one doctor J. H. Bowers and one lawyer F. Belfoy.
The Babtist church was organized in 1857 with C. E. Brown as pastor.
The Methodist Episcopal church dates its organization from 1858 Rev's Fall, Waterburg and Young being among the early pastors.
The county seat was located at Vernon Springs in August 1855, by James G. Upton, county judge.
The township was organized in 1855, J. F. Thayer and C. S. Thurber being elected justices of the peace The first school in the precinct was taught by Aaron Kimball in 1857-8.
Although the village of Vernon Springs once occupied a conspicuous place in the county, and bade fair to grow into a large and thriving town, the rising glories of Cresco, so near it on the line of the railroad, so dimmed its light that it has gently settled back until a view of it calls to mind some thoughts of Goldsmiths, “deserted village"-verily its glory hath departed. The present county seat and largest and most important town in the county is the city of
which is located on portions of section 22, 23, 26 and 27 of this township, and is one of the liveliest and most flourishing of all the prairie cities.
The land, upon which this town now stands, was entered at the general land office in September, 1856, by Horace Barber, as the records show. In October, 1857; it was sold by him to M. L. Shook, who after holding it for some nine years, again sold it to Augustus Beadle during the month of April, 1866, who sold a part interest in it to W. B. Strong and B. H. Edgertown, and who immediately had it platted and laid out into town lots, the plat being placed upon record June 12, the same year. Several additions have since been added, necessitated by the surprising growth of the town, of which the most important are, Beadle Strong and Hungerford's, on the remaining portion of section 25; Baldwin's on the south-east quarter of section twenty-four; and Beadle's on the north-west quarter of section twenty-six.
Of its early settlement but little can be said. The old Greek Mythology told how Minerva sprang full armed from the head of Jove and thus it seems with the birth of Cresco that sprung into being a full fledged city. A bald prairie, which had been covered with the waving grain the season before, in June 1866 was covered with buildings, and the town made quite an appearance as such; so marvelous was its rapid rise-even in these days of mushroom growth-that it stands without a parallel in the country. We find among the first merchants of the town, who settled there on its first inaugeration. Strother and Kirkpatrick, who were large dealers in general merchandise; Bones and White, dry goods; J. J. Clemmer, drugs, paints and oils; B. Chapin, stoves and hardware; G. A. Purdy, stores; Burdick and Clouse, genaral merchandise; Price. and Lowry, drugs and medicines; W. H. Alleman; boots and shoes; Perry and Conklin, agricultural machinery; Mrs. J. T. Donahugh, millinery and fancy goods. There were also at the same time the following parties in business in the town B. Isaacs, manufacturer of buggies, wagons, etc.; Parnell and Myers, black-smiths; D. Beam and F. Miller, harness makers; Mrs. F. H. Jewett, photographer; Mrs Knowles and Co., milliner and dress-makers, and E. B. Sloan merchant taylor. The earliest physicians to locate at this point were N. H. Knowles, M.D. and J.J. Clemmer, M. D. who attended to the wants of the sick and hurt of the community, the latter gentleman, has "served his country" several times in an official manner, being for several terms, county coroner, and still resides in the town, and engaged in the practice of his profession, and ownes and operates a large drug store in connection therewith.
The hotel interest was also well represented at the time as we find the record of two good houses in the year 1867.
The Empire house, then engineered by J. DeNoyelles, now of the town Nashua; and the Durham house.
About all the lawyers, whose names we find in the early records, are W. R. Mead and H. A. Goodrich, we know that there Were more for what town is there in all the broad expanse of our native land, of a thousand inhabitants, that cannot boast of more than two of the bright lights of the bar.
In the early part of 1868, the question of incorporation came to the front, and, after some agitation, seemed to meet the views of the majority and an election was ordered for city officers, and Inc Gregory, was chosen mayor, on April 20th, that year; the other officers elected were:
W. R. Mead, recorder; Henry Widner, attorney; B. Chapin, treasurer; L. T. Woodcock, J. J. Clemmer, John C. Clark and John E. Peck, as councilmen.
The officers of the city, in 1875 were as follows: J. F. Webster, Mayor; Henry Widner, recorder; H. Clark, treasurer; H. C. McCarty, attorney; with H. E. Crandall, John E. Peck, G. W. Coon, Fred Miller and Jacob J. Lowry as council.
The city was controlled by the following officers, in 1882: Frank Sayre, mayor; F. A. Glass, recorder; with C. F. Webster, John B. Caward, William Wilbraham, Isaac Gregory, J. G. Doane and Henry Young as the the city council
At this writiting (March, 1883) the election for city officers has just resulted in the choice of following:
R. J. McHugh, mayor; A. F. Baumgartner, recorder; W. K. Barker, attorney; P. Connolly, treasurer; M, Luther, assessor; E.
H. Donahugh, street commissioner; and J. J. Lowry, H. C. Burgess and C. Frank Stremel, as members of the council.
Almost the first thing to do, it seems, when a new town is formed, is to institute a school, and in this respect Cresco is, in no wise, an exception, as it is recorded that a school was opened, during the first winter of the town's existence, in the building afterwards known as the private residence of Mrs. Bateman.
The independent school district of Cresco, seems to have been formed during the year 1869, but of this there exists no records, "to make assurance doubly sure." Of all that remains, we have' carefully gone over, and find that the minutes of the first board of school directors are dated December, 1871. The board then consisted of the following gentlemen: Augustus Beadle, E. Gillett, W. R. Mead, S. A. Stone, and W. H. Patterson. In January, 1872, the new board elected, consisted of Augustus Beadle, S. A. Stone, W. H. Patterson, D. W. Owen, W. R. Meade and E. Gillette, with Chas. I. White as secretary.
This board, at a session held Macrh 4, appropriated some four hundred dollars to purchase four lots, next to the school house lots, so as to give larger grounds for that edifice.
The election for officers of the above board, March 18, resulted in placing Augustus Beadle. in the chair; John E. Peck as treasurer; and Chas. I. White, secretary, as before. The board after organizing as above, immediately proceeded to levy a tax of ten-mills on the dollar for the school house fund.
Here it may be in order to make the statement that the main part of the present school building was erected of stone, during the summer of 1869, and cost in the neighborhood of #8,000. The connection will be perceptible when it is seen that this special levy of tax was for the purpose of building an additional wing. It would seem from the records, that during this year, the teachers were Mrs. Archer and Miss Nellie Phelps, together with L. T. Weld as principal.
At a meeting of the school board, held December 3d, 1872, it was
Resolved, That each and every member of the school board be required to visit the school, at least once a month, under penalty of buying the oysters for said school board.
And the resolution apparently clinches the matter by adding "that the said oysters shall be good ones."
The board, at the meeting of March 17, 1873, consistad of A. Beadle, president; John E. Peck, treasurer; C. I. White, secretary; E. Gillett, S. A. Stone, C. V. Jacobs, C. B. Sampson, John Farnsworth and W. R. Mead.
At this meeting the resignation of Miss Nellie Phelps, as teacher, was handed in and accepted, and Mrs. L. T. Weld was appointed to fill the vacancy. Contracts were also signed with L. T. Weld, Mrs. Weld, Miss Lockwood and Miss Nichols, as teachers for the ensuing year, and also wtih Miss Lucy Thurber for fall term of 1873.
The accommodations for school purposes seems to have proved insufficient, the board appointed a. committee, in August, 1873, to procure or build a room suitable for the purpose intended, that of establishing the primary school, separate from other grades. This committee reported, on September 21st following, that they had rented a room of Mr. Jackson, and fitted it up for the use of the said primary grade; and that the same was installed therein.
We find that the board, March 16, 1874, consisted of the following gentlemen:
E. Gillett, president; John E. Peck, treasurer; C. I. White, secretary; C. V. Jacobs, John Farnsworth, C. B. Samson, S. A. Stone and W. H. Patterson.
The report of the treasurer, of the school money was received March 16, 1874, and shows as follows:
On hand, in school house fund $1,323.32
On hand in teachers' fund 453.00
On hand in contingent fund 162.18
By resolution, April 6, 1874, the board instructed the clerk to issue the notice of a special election to order a tax to help build additional school house room. And on May 11, the following were named a committee to make plans and specifications for a wing to the school house, 28x52 feet, and also for the same to advertise for bids for the construction of the same: S. A. Stone, E. Gillett, C. I. White and John E. Peck.
This was accordingly done, and the fine additional wing on the west side of the main building was erected the same year, under their supervision, at a total cost of about $4,000. This gave the necessary room, and the separate system was abandoned, and the primary grade was restored to its place, in the same building, with the others; placing all uncle.' the controlling influence of the principal. The building was now large enough, for the time being, but as will be found farther on, it in time was considered too small, and another wing was added.
June 1, 1874, G. M. Harris was elected a member of the board, to fill the vacancy caused by the removal of C. B. Smith from the town.
The salaries of the teachers of the district are defined this year as being, principal, $1,000 for the first year; and $1,200 every succeeding year; first assistant, $450 first year, $500 succeeding years; second assistant, $350 first year, $400 per year afterwards; assist-ants in the intermediate departments, $400 first year, and $4.50 thereafter; first assistant in the primary grade, $400 the first year, $450 after; second assistant in same department, $350 the first year, with an increase of $50 the succeeding years.
The roll of teachers this year is, L. T. Weld, principal; Miss Addie E. Bucklin, first assistant; Mrs. Nichols, Miss Nichols and Miss Lucy Thurber.
The board of 1875 when convened, comprised the following list: S. A. Stone, president; John E. Peck, treasurer; Charles I. White, secretary; John Farnsworth, C. V. Jacobs, W. H. Patterson, P. T. Searles and C. F. Breckenridge.
The following is the roll of teachers in 1875:
L. T. Weld, principal; Mrs. L. T. Weld, Mrs. Nichols; Miss Simonds, Miss Lucy Thurber and Miss Addie E. Barnes.
At the annual meeting, September, 1875, the members of the board present were, S. A. Stone, president; L. T. Woodcock, treasurer; Charles I. White, Secretary; P. T. Searles, John Farnsworth, C. V. Jacobs, C. F. Breckenridge, W. H. Patterson.
Board for 1877 consisted of John Farnsworth, president; L. T. Woodcock, treasurer; C. I. White, secretary; C. F. Breckenridge, P. T. Searles, C. V. Jacobs, Daniel Platt and C. F. Webster.
In 1878 the following was the composition of the board of directors: C. V. Jacobs, president; L. T. Woodcock, treasurer; Charles I. White, secretary, with C. F. Breckenridge, C. F. Webster, Daniel Platt, L. E. Smith, and W. H. Patterson.
The roll of the teachers for the same year is given, as follows: L. T. Weld, principal; Mrs. L. T. Weld, Mrs. Nichols, Miss Viola Webster, Miss Kittie Harris, teachers, with one vacancy.
Under date of June 10, 1878, a resolution is found, instructing the secretary to call a special election of the voters of the district, to authorize the board to issue bonds to build another wing to the school house. The election was held, and it was found that the people of the city had the necessary confidence to make the authorization. The bonds were accordingly issued, and C. V. Jacobs and Daniel Ratt were appointed a committee to put in the foundation for the east wing of the school house. This was built at a cost of $200, the board entering into a contract with J. F. Mitchell, he agreeing to erect the same for that sum.
In the fall of 1878 the contract was likewise let for the erection of the building, S. H. Clark being the contractor, whose bid for $2,928 was the lowest and best.
The school board for the year 1879 consisted of the following gentlemen:
J. F. Donahugh, H. E. Lomas, Daniel Platt, L. E. Smith, W. H. Patterson, with C. F. Webster as president; L. T. Woodcock, treasurer, and C. I. White, secretary.
During March, 1880, the new board of school directors assumed the control, and consisted of the following gentlemen:
L. E. Smith, president; L. T. Woodcock, treasurer; Charles I. White, secretary; Daniel Platt, H. E. Lomas, W. H. Patterson, and S. F. Donahugh. No better board, could have occupied the responsible position.
By a resolution the salary of the principal, L. T. Weld, was made $1,200 per year, and that of all the assistants made a uniform rate of $35 per month.
It was during this year that the first class, under the present rule and grade, was graduated with all the honors. The occasion was made a season of festivity and rejoicing in a sober, intellectual way. The ceremonies and the entertainment furnished by the exercises are spoken of by many to this day.
January, 1881, it was found, as the money market had grown easier and the rate for the use of moneys had become less, that the bonds of the independent school district of Cresco could be refunded at six per cent., and the board passed a. resolution, instructing the clerk to proceed to do so immediately. The matter was soon adjusted on this basis, and some money was saved to the treasury by the action.
In March, of the same year, the new board was organised, as follows:
L. E. Smith, president; L. T. Woodcock, treasurar; C. I. White, secretary; H. E. Lomas, Daniel Platt; J. F. Donahugh, John Farnsworth, and C. F. Webster.
Six lots were purchased by the district, in October, 1882, of Augustus Beadle, in the school house block, for the sum of $350, giving the children a fine, large play-ground, and adding to the beauty of the surroundings of the school house.
The following is an abstract from the report of the treasurer of the independent school district of Cresco, delivered to the board at their meeting held March 20, 1882.
Annual report of money's received and paid out by the treasurer, for the year ending February 28, 1882:
SCHOOL HOUSE FUND.
To amount received of county treasurer. $1,702.13
By amount overpaid at. date of last report 423.74
By amount paid on bonds and interest 772.00
By amount on hand 506.39
Totals $1,702.13 $1,702.13
To amount on hand at last report $ 511.19
To amount received of county treasurer 3,215.53
To amount received from apportionment 610.74
To amount received from tuition 233.25
By amount paid teachers $4,073.27
By amount on hands 497.44
Totals $4,570.71 $4,570.71
To amount on hand at last report 17.88
To amount-received of county treasurer 1167 06
To amount overpaid 224 23
By amount paid janitor 350.00
By amount paid secretary 50.00
By amount paid insurance 106.00
By amount paid for wood 412.15
By amount paid for old orders 234.28
By amount paid for repairs, etc 256.74
Total $1409.17 $1409.17
The present board, at this writing (March 10, 1883,) is composed as follows:
L. E. Smith, president; L. T. Woodcock, treasurer; Charles I. White, secretary; C. F. Webster, John, Farnsworth, Daniel Platt, R. J. McHugh, and Doan.
There was in 1879 a bonded indebtedness of the district school house fund afloat, amounting to $5,000, which with the interest for that year $350, and indebtedness of the other funds of $316.67, made a grand total of $5,666.67, as- the incumbrance upon the property belonging thereto.
But by judicious management and real financial ability, the board have reduced the whale debt to about $1,500, and that with some money in the treasury.
For all the above information we are under obligations to the kindness and courtesey of county treasurer, C. I. White, who is-also secretary of the school board, and it is no more than just that we should render the proper acknowledgement.
The following is the annual report of moneys received and paid out by the treasurer of the independent school district of Cresco,. for the year ending February 28, 1883:
SCHOOL HOUSE FUND.
On hand at date of last report$ $506.89
Received of county treasurer 1399.99,
Paid on bonds 1225.00
Balance on hand 681.66
On hand at date of last report$ $497.34
Received of county treasurer 2797.60
Received of state appropriation 534.66
Received of Vernon Springs 142.00
Received of tuition 235.57
Paid on teachers' order 4203.50
Balance on hand 3.67
By county treasurer $ $941.00
By Vernon Springs 73.00
By other sources 13.50
To amount over paid at date of last report 224.18
To amount paid janitor 450.00
To amount paid for the school grounds 350.00
To amount paid for sidewalks and repairs 147.29
To amount paid for school furniture 22.65
To amount paid for wood and other expenses 331.74
By amount overpaid 498.36
ESTIMATE OF EXPENSES FOR THE COMING YEAR.
School house fund $1200.00
Teachers fund 3000.00
Contingent fund 1500.00
C. I. WHITE, L. E. SMITH,
The following is the course of study for the high school grade in the Cresco school. It is given as a specimen of the high class of education and culture given at this temple of knowledge.
JUNIOR YEAR-FIRST TERM.
Latin or review of English grammar
Arithmetic or Phyisology.
Latin or Word analysis.
Physiology, one-half term.
Physical Geography, one-half term.
Latin or drawing.
MIDDLE YEAR-FIRST TERM.
Latin or Chemistry.
Latin or Zoology.
Rhetoric and composition.
Natural Philosophy, one-half term.
Constitution of the United States, one-half term.
Latin or Geology.
Rhetoric and composition.
SENIOR YEAR-FIRST TERM.
Latin or Astronomy.
English and American literature.
Geometry and higher Algebra.
Latin or Book-keeping.
Latin or Political economy.
Elocution and Composition throughout the course.
We are told as early as 1855, the Methodists held religious services at Vernon Springs, as is detailed elsewhere.
The first church edifice erected in the town of Cresco, was of this denomination , and was built during the year 1866. It is a neat frame structure, capable of seating about three hundred people, and is furnished in good style. The cost of the building, as originally constructed, was about $3,000. For the first few years it appears that the services were held by the preachers on the circuit, but in 1870 the church was made a station, and a regular pastor was among the appointments, Rev. J. Riddington appears to be the first of these.
The date of his first efforts being 1870. He held the position but a short time, when he was succeeded by Rev. C. F. McLain, who was succeeded by Rev. W. H. Brocksome.
This gentleman was quite a favorite with his congregation and the community generally, and remained as pastor of the flock, until 1874, when he was displaced by Rev. J. Dolph, who occupied the pulpit until October, 1876, when Rev. J. L. Paine took his place. Rev. George Elliott was the next, and the date of his appointment, appears as being January 1, 1880. He held this until December 1. 1881, when the present pastor, G. W. Pratt succeeded him. There is a fine Sabbath school connected with the church, which has a fair regular attendance.
This church society was organized, July 20, 1867, under the name of Grace church.
The first rector was the Rev. J. Rambo, to whose untiring energy the church owes its existence. The church edifice was erected during the year 1868, and is a neat and handsome structure 24x34 feet in size, and is capable of seating some one hundred and fifty persons.
The funds for the building of the church, some $2,200, was mostly contributed by friends of the same denomination in the east. The bell was a donation from the famous banker, Jay Cooke, of Philadelphia.
There is a fine, pleasant parsonage, connected with the church. Rev. C. S. Percival, is the present rector.
The Congregational church of Cresco, is an outgrowth of the church at New Oregon, or more properly speaking is the same church removed to its new quarters. September 7, 1856, Rev. J. W. Windsor, organized the the church at New Oregon.
The infant organization numbered sixteen members at its inception, it grew and strengthened with years, and became the leading church.
Mr. Windsor remained pastor, until 1866, and then resigned and was succeeded by Rev. S. D. Peet, who, however, did not long stay, for we find, that during 1868, Mr. Windsor was recalled to the scene of his labors.
It was during his second pastorate, that the people seeing, that the majority of their members were emmigrating to the neighboring town of Cresco, determined upon removing the church there.
Accordingly in 1868, the building was removed to that place, and enlarged by the addition of twelve feet to the front and a belfry erected thereon.
The reorganization of the society now became necessary and a meeting was called for that purpose, and the object came into effect, and the edifice dedicated October 25th, of the same year, Rev. Samuel P. Sloan; McGregor, delivering the dedicatory ad-dress.
In 1871, Rev. Mr. Windsor, again resigned his charge, much to the dissatisfaction of the congregation, who all loved and admired him; Rev. Mr. Southworth was then called to the pulpit. The latter gentleman presided over the destinies of the flock, until the 21st of January, 1876, when Rev. A. S. McConnell was called and assumed the position of spiritual guide to the congregation. His initial sermon was preached about the middle of February, and and was one of the finest efforts heard for some time. The church continues yet under his able ministration, and is in a flourishing condition.
This society is noted as having a very fine choir, which adds to the attraction of the church services, and delights the true lover of fine music.
The bell that hangs in the belfry, and calls the worshipper to services of the church was presented to the society by a friend in New London, Conn., and is noted as being the first bell ever hung in a church tower, within the limits of Howard county.
The first organization of the Roman Catholic church in the county was at New Oregon, but as the society was. not of long duration the records have entirely dissappeared and hence the date is lost in the mists of the past.
In 1871, Rev. Father M. A. McCarty, succeeded in organizing the church anew.
The church edifice was erected in 1872, and is a neat specimen of church architecture. It is 24x48 feet in size and cost $3,000 to build.
Farther McCarty still continues to minister to the spiritual. wants of his flock, and is loved and revered by all, with whom he comes in contact.
The congregation is not very large, but the regularity with which the duties of the church are attended speak well for their devotion.
There is also a German Lutheran church organization, located here who have erected a fine edifice in the eastern part of the town. Of this society we have no notes.
The Baptist church of Cresco is of comparatively recent origin. In April, 1878, a society of this denomination was organized, of which Rev. E. W. Green seems to have been palter.
They had no church building but appear to have worshipped in Prices hall, but. with nothing like any regularity, it being of a spasmodic nature, running along nicely for a few months then suffering a suspension of a like time and again resuming services.. This gave great dissatisfaction all around, and in 1881, it was determined to reorganize on a different basis. This was accordingly done and on the ordination, of Rev. A. H. Carman, he was called upon to act as the pastor. Under his able leadership, the little band has grown to quite respectable proportions and is in a, flourishing condition.
In 1882 the church edifice was erected and dedicated as a house of worship November 5th, of that year. This structure although small in dimension, being but 28x42 feet, with a vestry 14-20, is one. of the finest in the city. In architecture it's a simplification of the Elizabethan gothic order, and the effect produced is beautiful. S. H. Clark was the contractor and erected the structure for $2,700.
Inside, the building, presents a fine appearance, with its stained glass windows, making "a dim mysterious light," that superinduces to religious thoughts. A good Sunday school is also at-tacked to the church. and is well attended and conducted and is looked upon as the nursery of the future church.
I. O. O. F.
Cresco lodge, No. 269, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized during the sprit, of 1874, with ten charter members, viz: John G. Stradley, S. T. Irvine, G. M. Harris, C. S. Maxson, C. F. Webster, J. F. Webster, M. S. Powall, J. J. Saulsbury, N. Pull-man, and D. W. Owen.
J. G. Stradley was the first N. G., and G. M. Harris, secretary. The present officers are: Robert Blackman, N. G.; George Pratt, V. G., and J. Welsh, secretary.
The lodge is reported to be in a flourishing condition, numbering among it many members, some of the most substantial men of the county. The finances, as is usual in the order, are in excellent shape, and bright days seem to be in store for it.
Cresco lodge, No. 150, A. F. and A. M., is an outgrowth of the New Oregon Lodge, which was moved to the town of Cresco, March, 1870.
The officers at that time were: M. M. Moon, W. M., and W. H. Patterson, secretary.
After its removal the membership increased rapidly, and we are informed that the efficiency of the work is remarkably creditable, and that the prosperous condition of the lodge is owing to the energy of the master. The present secretary is G. M. Harris, and the worshipful master, M. M. Moon.
Shiloh chapter, No. 64, R. A. M., was organized August, 1871, and has a healthy growth. M. M. Moon was the first H. P., and W. M. Fogo, secretary.
Howard lodge, No. ------, A. O. U. W., was organized July 26, 1876, and officers elected, as follows:
S. A. Stone, P. M. W.; M. M. Moon, M. W.; C. I. White, G. F.; M. L. Luther, overseer; C. J. Webber, recorder; S. L. Smith, receiver; C. F. Webster, financier; H. S. Loomis, guide; E. E. Bertrand, I. W.; Jasper Bottsford, O. W.; B. F. Stone, M. M. Moon, and C. I. White, trustees.
The lodge has had an almost uninterrupted course of success, and is rated very high in standard. The present officers are:
Jerry Barker, P. M. W.; W. M. Wildman, M. W.; M. M. Moon, foreman; W. C. Brown, overseer; John Farnsworth, receiver; John Peck, recorder; Geo. H. Kellogg, financier, Frank Sayre, guide; B. Watts, L W., and A. G. Genshaw, O. W.
THE LAND LEAGUE
was organized January 2, 1882, by the Celtic-American citizens, who almost to a man belong to it. The object is to have a more concerted action for the relief of their oppressed brethren, across the sea, and to countenance the legal efforts of Ireland's people to throw off the galling yoke of hated Albion. The officers are P. O'Malley, president; R. J. McHugh, vice-president; J. H. Foster, secretary, and P. Connolly, treasurer.
There has been a Good Templar lodge, in Cresco, organized about the year 1874, which arose, flourished and met its demise along with many other such societies. It would seem that all the institutions for the improvements of the morals of a community, are but short-lived. Several attempts have been made to resuscitate it,, but have been abortive.
Social Temple of Honor was organized November 25, 1881. The presiding Templars, Miss Violet E. Truman, and J. F. Webster, with Mrs. M. M. Moon, and Walter Doan, as recorders.
The Father Matthew Total Abstinence Society, a temperance organization under the auspices of the Roman Catholic church, was organized in the fall of 1874. It owes much of its success to the untiring efforts of Father McCarty, who is ex-officio, the leading spirit. Although having but a small beginning it has grown grandly, and now numbers eighty-five members. The officers are:
D. A. Lyons, president; Bernard Dougherty, vice-president; Daniel Barnes, secretary, and P. F. O'Malley, treasurer.
This organization has done more good than any other temperance body in the town, and deserves all the credit due it.
LEGION OF HONOR.
A lodge of this organization was instituted in Cresco, September 19, 1879, and is in a flourishing condition. The present officers are: President, Wm. Wilbraham; financial secretary, John E. Peck; recording secretary, C. F. Webster; treasurer, Charles I. White.
As early as the winter of 1857-8 the citizens of Howard county essayed to form an agricultural society, and during the summer of 1858 an organization was effected. In the fall of that year the fair was held under its auspices at Howard Center. It seems, however, that the country was not settled enough to support the society, and the whole matter was abandoned and the organization disbanded. In 1866 another effort was made in the same direction, and a company was formed under the same name-Howard County Agricultural Society-but it suffered the same fate as its predecessor, and soon was numbered with the things that were. Things remained thus, until in 1871, a new organization was made, and as the old saying has it, "three time is the charm," this was a success and a grand one at that, in fact it is said, that no similar society in the state is established on a better or more substantial basis than this. Its fairs and exhibitions have been a flattering success from the very beginning. The officers, in 1875, were: C. F. Webster, president; John E. Peck, vice-president; John Stein-man, secretary; Jesse Barber, treasurer. The present officers are: T. P. Davis, president, and C. F. Webster, secretary.
The society owns some ten acres of ground, beautifully laid out, with good buildings, sheds, pens, etc., and a remarkably fine floral hall. Everything owned by the company is paid for, and with money in the treasury they can bid defiance to any adverse fortune.
THE OLD SETTLERS SOCIETY
was organized in 1869, with Darius Seeley as president, and H. D. Noble as secretary. The first annual gathering was held the same year, at Gillett's Grove, Judge M. V. Burdick delivering the address. In 1871 the second meeting was held at Lime Springs, there being none held in 1870, and was largely attended, W. Dobson being the principal speaker. The society have held annual meetings every year since, and is in a fine and healthy state, and the gatherings are largely attended by the pioneers, who there retail to each other the stories of "old times," and tell those marvelous hunting yarns they so much delight in.
CRESCO DRIVING PARK ASSOCIATION
was at one time one of the most successful organizations of the kind in northern Iowa. It was organized in 1872 and on its inception purchased some eighty acres of land about. a mile from the town of Cresco.
A mile track was laid out, which was said to be one of the best in the state, and the grounds were enclosed. After a few years, however, the interest declined, and but little is said about it at present. The Howard county agricultural society own ten acres in the center of the grounds, and to them is due the fact of the preservation of the grounds and fences.
In the early days of Cresco, in 1868, Aaron Kimball and John Farnsworth established a banking house, under the firm name of Kimball and Farnsworth, with a capital large enough for the wants of the community at that time. A course of strict Integrity and honorable dealing has built up the concern, until, to-day, it is noted for its soundness and financial ability. The bank occupies quite commodious quarters on Elm street.
In 1873 A. D. Wright established a banking house also, but it was short-lived and exists no longer.
October, 1877, witnessed the opening of the Howard county bank, then owned and operated by Kerby and McHugh, the latter being the resident manager. After a very successful run of business, in July, 1880, John McHugh purchased the interest of D. R. Kerby, his partner, and under his able management and talented financiering the bank has won a front rank in the moneyed institutions of the county. A large insurance business is also trans-acted in connection with the bank, and the neat and stylish office on Elm street seems the beau ideal of a banking room.
These are among the most noteworthy institutions of Cresco. One, that of Bassett, Huntting & Co., was built in 1872, at a cost of $17,000) and is one of the finest steam elevators on the line of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad, and has a storage capacity of 50,000 bushels of grain. The other, equally fine and large, is operated by Gilchrist & Co.
It would seem that the first hotel in the town of Cresco, was the old Mansfield house, afterwards known as the DeNoyelles house. This was destroyed by fire, and on its site arose the present, Strother house. This is the largest of the hotels in Cresco, and the town can boast of quite a number, and is one of the finest in. the northern part of the state. It is a large, three-story brick veneered edifice, trimmed with cream colored Milwaukee brick.. It is large, roomy and commodious, and fitted up with all the modern improvements. The building was erected in 1876, by W. Strother, and was opened for business New Years night, 1877, under the management of Priest and Shaw, to whom it was leased. In April, 1877, however, Mr. Shaw withdrew from the partnership, going to Charles City, D. H. Priest still retaining the lease and operating the hotel, until December, 1879, when W. Strother, the owner, assumed the control, which he continues to the present time, meriting the encomiums of the traveling community, who so largely patronize the house. A mention of the house without speaking of the gentlemanly clerk, Sidney W. Hart, would be like the play of Hamlet with the prince left out.
The Webster house, on upper Elm street, is likewise an old landmark in the town's history, and in its early days was kept by J. F. Webster, from whom it derived its name. J. J. Mason is now and has been for some time the "jolly host," and the house enjoys a good share of business.
The Dilworth house was erected in 1876, by John Dilworth, its present owner, who has successfully conducted it since it was first built. Neat and commodious, and operated in first-class style it enjoys considerable popularity.
The Van Slyke house is also another of the fraternity of hotels, and holds its level with its compeers.
An indication of the importance of Cresco as a shipping point, will be found in the following statement:
Shipment of grain and produce from Cresco, via the Chicago, Milwaukee & Sty Paul railway, during the year 1882:
Grass seed 1,048,560
Flax seed 2,214,010
Mill feed 502,330
Dressed hogs 55,270
Horned cattle 665,500
Live hogs 3,860,000
FOREST CITY TOWNSHIP; LOCATION; EARLY SETTLEMENT; ORGANIZATION; FIRST SCHOOLS; POSTOFFICE, CHURCHES, AND MILLS; VILLAGE OF LIME SPRINGS, FIRST SETTLERS; MILL; TOWN OF LIME SPRINGS STATION, FIRST MERCHANTS, MECHANICS, ETC.; ORGANIZATION AND OFFICERS; SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, SOCIETIES, ETC., ETC.
Forest City formerly was known as Foreston, and occupies town one hundred, range twelve, west, and is the second in the northern tier of townships. For the facts, in regard to this town, we are indebted to the Cresco Times. In the issue of that paper, July 6, 1876 it is stated, as follows:
"The first settlers that claimed the vacant lands and homes of the red men, were R. S. Buckminster, J. Knowlton, John Adam and R. E. Bassett, Ben and George Gardner, Oscar Chesebro, the three Mortimers and others, who all came in the year 1854.
"The precinct was organized from Vernon Springs in the fall of 1856; C. S. Thurber was elected justice of the peace, and Edward Bassett, town clerk. The whole number of votes cast at this election was forty.
"The first school in the township was taught by Miss Helen Van Leuvan, in the year 1856, and the second was opened by James Morris, in the winter of 1857-8.
"The first postoffice was established at Lime Springs in 1855, A. D. C. Knowlton, postmaster."
The first death in the township occurred in the winter of 1854-5, and was that of John Mortimer, who was the pioneer in the city of the dead.
"The year 1859 seems to have been a year prolific in the formation of church societies. The Baptist being the first to lead off, under the direction of Rev. C. E. Brown, of Vernon Springs, at Lime Springs. The Methodist following shortly in the wake by organizing two churches, one at Foreston village, and one at Lime Springs, both owing their existence to the energy of Rev. Water-bury, of New Oregon. The Presbyterian denomination not to be outdone, also started churches at each of the above places, in the same year, under the ministration of Rev. A. Craig. The religious revival of that year seemed to have permeated all people, and denominations vied with each other in the formation of societies, and erection of temples of worship.
"For natural beauty of scenery this precinct cannot be excelled. The rocky shores of the Upper Iowa, fringed with the umbrageous shade of primeval trees, the high, rolling prairies spreading like a petrified sea of emeralds, the cosy homes nestling in the beautiful groves that dot its surface, all go to make up a picture not often met with, and where it is the lover of nature stands entranced."
"Along the banks of the river were found the many camping greunds of the aborigines, and it is told that they were a matter of considerable curiosity to the early settlers, one J. Knowlton, in his seeking over their locality, picking up and preserving a knife lost by some Jndian owner.
Fine water powers are within the limits of the township, which have been improved to some extent, 3 mills being erected, one at Foreston, one at Lime Springs (old town), and another about two miles west of the latter place. The precinct contains, besides the villages of Foreston and Lime Springs, the town of Lime Springs Station, the second town in the county in regard to population and business.
The old town of Lime Springs was first settled by Oscar Chesebro, and Joseph Knowlton, in the year 1854; here they erected their homes, and gathered around them quite a settlement. In the spring of 1857 the most of the land belonging to some land speculators, O. and W. O. Wood by name, they laid out a town plat.
The country settling up caused quite an influx of merchants and mechanics, and the site soon began to assume the appearance of a village, until two years later, in 1859, it contained two stores, one blacksmith shop, a wagon maker, tavern, school house, and some twelve or fourteen dwelling houses. The names of these early settlers are A. D. C. Knowlton, Joseph Knowlton, M. M. Marsh, C. C. Hewitt, W. O. Cheseboro, H. H. Wells, Oliver Cheseboro, and G. M. Van Leuvan, the latter gentlemen being engaged in the practice of law, and was the first lawyer in the township. The large grist mill was erected in 1859-60, by M. M. Marsh, and was, at the time, one of the best in that section.
This mill is a large three-story structure, partly built of stone and partly frame, and stands on a natural elevation on the. banks of the Upper Iowa river, whose current is utilized to propel its machinery. Since its erection by Mr. Marsh it has passed through the hands of several parties, notably, that of I. N. Drake, of Volga City. The Lime Springs milling company, consisting of H. W. Babcock and A. F. Baamgartner, who are the present owners and operators, and they intend to increase the facilities. and extend the business by the addition of newer and. more improved machinery.
The water power is first-class in every respect, and is a never failing source of motive power. Four run of stone is the present equipment of the mill, but the early spring will witness the introduction of the roller system for making fine flour, when the old grinding apparatus will be used to grind feed for cattle, hogs, and horses.
The same company owns some fifteen acres of pasture land, on which are kept some fine stock.
The mill is situated about three-fourths of a mile from the station of Lime Springs, and cannot keep ahead of their orders by running both night and day. A large amount of grinding is done for the farmers of the surrounding country, besides the large merchant business controlled by it.
This is almost the only business now in existence at the old town, for when, in 1868, the railroad located the station where it now is, the business of the town naturally gravitated there, until it is almost deserted. Two churches still point their spires heavenward, one belonging to the Baptist, and the other to the Methodist denomination'. The latter church seems, in these later times to have the general harmony of the society marred by internal dissensions. Those of the community who have removed to the station of Lime Springs, desiring to move thither the church edifice, are met by the action of those who remain in the "old town," whose interests are diametrically opposed thereto, and the matter has to be decided by some legal tribunal.
LIME SPRINGS STATION
is, next to Cresco, the most important one in the county, both as in regard to population and amount of business transacted. It is located on the southeast quarter of section twenty-nine, in the township of Forest City, on the line of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad, and about ten miles northwest from Cresco.
Laid out with fine broad streets, whose sides are fringed with stately trees and smiling cottages, or busy marts of trade and commerce, the town presents a charming appearance, and well deserves the encomiums lavished upon it by its citizens. The place has grown with a growth that in rapidity has scarcely ,a parallel. On the location of the depot of the railroad not even a single house was erected, but in the course of a few short months a flourishing town had sprung into existence, and what had been the pasture of the flocks and herds, echoed to the noise of artisan and mechanic, and the hurrying of tradesmens' feet.
In the spring of 1868 the town was born, as has been said, on the decision of the railroad company to place a depot at this point, and was known as Lime Springs Station, although the government called it Glen Roy postoffice to distinguish it from the older town, for many years.
Among the first merchants to settle, were: Peter Velie, jr. general merchandise; S. L. Carry, the same; John T. Cameron, produce; W. F. Daniels, groceries; J. E. Foster, furniture and undertaking; C. C. Hewitt, hardware; Joseph Knowlton, hard-ware and stoves; H. P. Marsh, lumber; M. M. and A. E. Marsh drugs and medicines; Ohlquist Bros., boots and shoes, and Alonzo M. Pettit, groceries and confectioneries.
The first wagon makers to locate and open up places of business were Henry D. Brown and William P. Reynolds, but which of these is the predecessor, is uncertain.
Lorin J. Johnson was the first to make and sell harness in the town, and the date of his settlement is identical with the birth of the village.
D. M. Fuller was the first architect and builder, and Drs. John W. Reed and Joseph N. Medbery the pioneer physicians.
Among the first places of business opened in the town Miller & Son's extensive livery stable and dray and 'bus line must not be forgotten.
The postofilce was established in March, 1868, and James Greenleaf commissioned as postmaster, but from some cause he held the office but about one month, when he resigned it, and Alonzo M. Pettit was appointed in his place, and still enjoys the emoluments of the office.
The Presbyterian church, a large frame structure with oval window frames, was erected in the year 1870, and is now under the able ministration of Rev. P. S. Helms, who is loved and revered by all in the community, both in and out of his church. The interior of the building is well finished, with frescoed ceiling, and is well carpeted, possesses a fine organ and services are well attended. In the spire, which adorns the front of the building, hangs a silvery toned bell that calls the devoutly inclined to worship.
The Baptist denomination also possess a neat and tasty church edifice, wherein Elder C. E. Brown holds forth occasionally, and Elder Benedict, on the alternate Sundays, holds regular services, and administers the rites of the church when the occasion demands. This edifice was erected about the same time as the other church.
The school building is a fine large brick building, and contains three rooms, and stands in a large open play ground.. The tutorship is vested in T. Dexter, principal, and Misses Libbie Smith and Hattie Johnson. There is also a fourth department, located at the old town under the supervision of Miss Ida Cheseboro.
The schools have an average attendance of fifty scholars, and present a remarkably high grade of study. The standard of the schools owes much to the efficiency and ability of Mr. Dexter, who has direct oversight of all the departments. His method of imparting instruction is novel, and is calculated to impress the knowledge desired upon the mind of the pupil to a surprising degree.
The incorporation of the town of Lime Springs Station, dates from May. 1876. At the first election held in that month, W. P. Daniels was elected mayor; Peter Velie, jr., recorder, and H. P. Marsh, Ole Tistleson, G. Somsen, C. E. Hamlin, and J. F. Thompson as members of the council.
Mr. Daniels did not see fit to qualify and assume the office, to which he was elected, and J. F. Thompson acted as mayor, pro tem., until May 29th, when a special election was held for the purpose of electing a mayor to fill the vacancy, and J. E. Foster was elected and immediately assumed the duties of the office.
At the first meeting of the council, held after he had assumed the chair, S. A. Miller was appointed marshal; Peter Velie, jr., treasurer, and H. C. Hewitt, collector.
At a meeting held May 30, 1876, it was resolved to build a jail or calaboose for the use of the city, on lot 11, block 1, and in accordance with the resolution work was begun, and the building erected in the succeeding month.
The city officers, at the present writing (March, 1883), are:
W. F. Daniels, mayor; Charles Gorst, recorder; L. J. Johnson, F. M. Clark, Ole Tistleson, W. H. Farrar, Joseph Knowlton, and Thomas Gates, councilmen. But at the election, held this month, however, W. F. Daniels was re-elected mayor, Charles Gorst, recorder, and A. S. Lambert, and J. F: Thompson, as councilmen in the place of Messrs. Knowlton and Gates, who retire to the shades of private life.
Lime Springs Station has a population, according to the census of 1880, of 468, and the old town, Lime Springs, 225.
The only manufacturing interest in the village is the Lime Springs Manufacturing Company's Works. Here are made all kinds of buggies, wagons, and agricultural implements, and is doing an extensive and remunerative business. A. A. Sage is the head of the concern., and it is owing to his energy and perseveaance that the company is on its present footing. The large brick structure on the eastern limits of the town is well filled with work in the process of being manufactured.
Among the societies established in the town, the
LIME SPRINGS LODGE, NO. 122, A. O. U. W.,
is the most popular, possessing a large membership. It was organized in the year 1876, and is in a very flourishing financial condition. Meetings are held the first and third Fridays of every month, and are well attended. The officers are:
J. D. Brown, M. W.; J. T. Smith, financier, and W. H. Farrar, recorder.
Howard lodge, No. 214, is an old established organization, and possesses a fine lodge room. About forty brothers, in good standing, are reported as the present membership. G. M. Van Leuvan is the worshipful master, and A. D. Prescott the senior warden at present.
TOWNSHIP HISTORY; LOCATION AND EARLY SETTLEMENTS OF SARATOGA, PARIS, AFTON, JAMESTOWN, HOWARD CENTRE, ALRION, NEW OREGON; EARLY CHURCHES, SCHOOLS, MILLS, AND SETTLERS THEREIN.
The history of this township is given by H. D. Noble, so fully, that we can do no better than quot it almost entire. He says:
"Saratoga township consists of congressional town 99, range 13, and belonged before its organization to Jamestown.
"The first settler that pitched his tent therein was Jared Sigler, who settled on Crane creek, in July, 1854. In the winter following, Chas. Salmon, claimed the southwest quarter of section twenty, and laid out the village plat of Saratoga. The town first organized in the summer of 1858, and the first election was held in October, of that year. Thomas J. Gibbons, was elected justice of the peace, and John R. Buckbee, town clerk. The whole number of votes cast at that election was but fourteen.
"In the summer of 1858, Rev. Coleman organized the first Congregational church.
"During that same year the first school was also opened and was taught by Miss Emma Seeley.
"This town is situated on one of the finest portions of Crane creek. Running as the stream does, through the whole length of the township, makes Saratoga as well watered as any section of country need be. The timber being confined to the banks of the creek.
"The prairie is low and grassy for the most part, still many fine, warm and dry farms are mingled with the beautiful grass lands in right proportion for successful farming, in all its departments."
Is located on township 98, range 12, and the north half of town-ship 97, range 12, and contains 54 sections. The first settlers, of which there seems to be any record or rememberance, were Thomas Griffin and Patrick Richards, who located in the year 1855.
They were followed, in 1856, by J. I. Sturgis and others, in the early spring and for many years thereafter the place was known as "Sturgis Point." The town was organized from New Oregon, in 1858, and at the first election, P. Smith was elected justice of the peace, and P. Griffin, town clerk. Twenty-two votes were polled in all.
During the winter of 1857-8 a school was opened for the rising generation, and I. C. Chamberlain wielded the Birch and "Full many a whisper, circling round,
Conveyed the dismal tidings, when he frowned."
In 1857 a post office was established at Sturgis' Point, with J. I. Sturgis as presiding genius.
This township is beautifully divided between grove and prairie, and well watered, as, indeed is all the county, by never failing springs. Running diagonally through the southwest corner of the town is Crane creek, and abundant grass lands seem to point that the hand of Providence intended this land for grazing, for nowhere can finer beef be made than on the bottom lands and high prairies of this section.
Consists of town 98, range 14, and north half of town 97, range 14, and was settled by A. Pooler, in the fall of 1854, set off from Howard, to which it was heretofore attached, in 1858, and organiced in 1858 as a seperate township. A. M. Cowan, and R. Wooten were elected justices of the peace. Forty-eight votes were polled at this election.
In 1858,the Methodists organized a church and under the ministration of Rev. W. Patterson made quite a mark in the history of those early days.
Tradition bath it, that, in the cold winter, of 1856, two men of this town W. Glass and Van Amburg, not being able to resist the benumbing effects of hypoborean winter were frozen to death.
was first settled by W. S. Pettitone, in August, 1854. It was first organized as a township with Afton, and then occupied congressional town 98, range 13, north half 97, range 13, town 98, range 14, and north half of town 97, range 14.
The date of this organization was 1856, but in the spring of 1858 it was divided into two precincts, the eastern one being called Howard, the western, Afton. Under the new organization, F. E. Day-ton and W. S. Pettibone were elected justices of the peace, and Jas. Hall, town clerk. Eight votes were all that was polled at this election.
The post office village at Busti, is the only approach to a town in the township, and it was here that a settlement was started by a colony from Erie, Pa., but it never grew beyond a tidy collection of houses, and still languishes, and awaits the great future.
While hunting through the musty records of the past for the history of this town, the following article, from the able pen of Mrs. E. V. Bennett, was found in the files of the Cresco Times, and as it covers all the ground, we have taken the liberty to quote freely from it, feeling that no efforts of ours could more fully cover the ground. In speaking, first of the topography, the article says:
"The main body of our woodlands is on sections 7, 8, 17, and 18, and constitutes what the earliest settlers at Wentworth, Mitchell county, named Round Grove, from its appearance at that distance. This timber consists of jack oak, burr oak, poplar and basswood, with a small portion of elm, maple and butternut.
"A brook zig-zags along the western line of sections 7 and 18, in the latter of which it unites with Spring Creek (which in section 19 has another small tributary). Thus linking the springs and narrow water courses of the northwest portion of the township, this stream crosses our west line in section 30, and a little further on is merged into the Wapsipinicon.
"That wealth of timber in Round Grove explains the fact that emmigrrtion first centred there, and commenced at that point our historical outline.
"The brook called by settlers, the Little Wapsie, rises near the centre, and runs south about midway through the township. This slender stream has no timbered margin within our limits, yet it also attracted settlement, and was bordered with pre-eruptions.
"Township 99, north, and range 14, west of the 5th principal meridian, was first sttled by whites in 1854. That year Messrs VanHoughton, Niles, Shaw and son broke a few acres of ground and started their log cabins in Round Grove. Before that date the surveyors foot alone had threaded its section lines; though the wild beasts of the wood and prairie had long before laid claim to these solitudes, and without filing their intentions had preempted the entire wilderness.
"The Teeple brothers came from Canada in the spring of 1855. and located on section 6, which the four brothers George, Ed-ward, Stephen and Albert, pre-empted."
These settlers seem to have been immediately followed by Ed. Irish and Samuel Hallett, who, however did not stay long, but sold out to actual settlers.
Willis Spencer was the next, with his three sons-in-law, David Patterson, Thos. De Moss and Lucius Fassett, who all came in June of the same, year, a colony of eighteen persons. In quick order followed Wm. and Dennis Rice, James E. Bennett and others. A party (who came with Bennett) erected a steam saw mill, which they had brought with them, and commenced operations in February, 1856 furnishing lumber for a number of pre-emption houses. This mill, however, was a losing investment, and it. was finally sold at auction, and taken to the Upper Iowa. The first case tried in the Howard county court, Rice & Bradford vs. Cutting, grew out of this mill property.
The company who constituted the mill party, were Jas. A. Cutting D. P. Bradford, Juo. Moffitt, and Lyman Southard, who all located claims within the present boundaries of the town. These parties date their incoming from the fall and winter of 1855, and before the new year had dawned Milo S. Torsey, Chas. D. Cutting,
Hazen Ricker and John Fiefield had joined this little squad of hardy pioneers. We must not forget to mention Asel Wilmot and Luther Titeum who are beleived to have located also this year. The year 1856 saw a large emmigration, most of those who settled being from New York, and the New England states. The most conspicuous names being Darius and Smith W. Seeley, the first named being afterwards county judge. It is said that in the spring 1858 the actual settlers on pre-empted land-pre-emptors as they were called-numbered sixty-three. Again we quote from Mrs. E. V. Bennett's article:
"A meeting was called January 1, 1856, to name the township, after some discussion it was named for the two persons who were then supposed to be the equal owners of the steam mill; (Bennett and Cutting).
"The first birth was that of Marcus DeMoss, April 12, 1856. The first death and burial was that of Mrs. D. Patterson, in June, 1857.
The first marriage was, is believed, that of Miss Martha Cassety to Ralph Watson, in December, 1858, Elder Griffin, a Baptist minister officiating. The first and only singing school was taught in the winter of 1867-8 by Dr. Stockwell."
The first election held in the township was during the presidential election of 56; but the following spring, April 7, an election was held for township and county officers, with the following result:
W. E. Thayer and D. Patterson, constables; H. Ricker, Asel Fasset and Smith W. Seeley, town trustees; and Willis Spencer and Darius Seeley, justices of the peace.
Among the first things mentioned, must not be forgotten the first school. This was opened and taught by Miss Jane Chandler, in a barn, on section '27, during the year 1857. This school was not at the public expense. The first public schools, were two, opened during the summer of 1858, one taught by Miss Mary St. John, the other by Miss Cassety. "The first school house" says Mrs. Bennett, "was built of logs, in Round Grove, in 1857."
In regard to early church matters the same article has some very interesting matter from which we glean. It seems that Seeley and St. John walking home from Rices, where they had been attending a Sabbath school, talked of the matter of establishing a Sunday school nearer home, circumstances favoring them a clam Was formed which developed into a Congregational society of thirteen members, organized by Rev. W. Coleman. Meetings were held alternately in the houses of Deacons Seeley and St. John, and afterwards contiuously in the school house a number of souls of being added in the interim.
The Methodists, while many of the early settlers were of that faith formed no class until 1869, when Elder Mapes, organized a society of fifteen members. In 1874, the Methodists dedicated a church in Riceville, a commodious and attractive gothic structure.
The Baptist interest is quite an entensive one, and is embodied in a Riceville church beyond the boundaries of the county.
The hotel was opened in 1870 by James Hendricks on the north-west quarter of section thirty.
The first post office was established in 1856 at the steam mill, with D. P. Bradford to handle the letters. This post office after being moved to the house of Erastus Leache, where it was burned and never re-established, but removed to that part of Riceville that lies within the boundaries of Mitchell county.
HOWARD CENTRE TOWNSHIP.
to 1877, Laban Hassett, one of the older settlers and for many years county surveyor, wrote a history of this town, which was published in the Cresco Times from which we freely quote, by permission. The account recites, in the first place, that H. K. Averill, deputy U. S. surveyor, says in regard to to the section in question.
"This township, lying as it does, at the head of one of the main branches of the Turkey river, is remarkably smooth and even. It is possessed with a preponderance of first-rate soil, and is tolerably well watered by creeks and marshes. There are but few springs in the township. No minerals are found, within its boundaries.
"Settlement was first made in the eastern part of the precinct, in 1855 by Royal O. Thayer, who arrived in April of that year."
Immediately following him we find the names of Alfred Eldridge and Willard E. Thayer, as pioneers of this section. In 1855, came also Ira Eldridge, who at once proceeded to erect a store, having brought with him a stock of goods. It was with great difficulty that he obtained lumber for the purpose of building his store.
A small part of it he got from Harlows mill, at New Oregon, and the balance he brought from the Mississppi river, except the studs and rafters which later were hewn out of poles cut in the grove.
The roof was made of lap shingles, split from oak timber. Early in September, he opened his stock of goods. He. also pre• empted the northeast quarter of section 36.
Michael Creamer and Patrick Mullen were also among the pioneers of that year, and Mr. Hassett reports that in the following year, viz:
In 1856, that there were added to the population, of the town-ship about forty pre-emptors; among whose names we find those of Wm. Conery, John F. Thayer, Wm. A. and Calvin F. Webster Henry A. Cook, Laban Hassett, Lawenoe Long and others.
In the spring of 1856, John F. Thayer, commenced the erection of a hotel, where Howard Centre now stands, which was so far completed on July 4th, that it was used for a dinning room and dance hall, although the sesond story was not yet up.
"The 4th of July," says Mr. Hassett, "was celebrated in a grove south of the creek, where seats were very conveniently arranged for the attendants,
"The principal speakers were James G. Upton and M. V. Bur-dick. Mr. B. delivering the oration, Allusion was made to the fact, that the camp fires of the Indians had been but recently extinguished, and yet, about 200 persons were in attendance to celebrate the nations birthday. New Oregon and Vernon Springs. furnishing a large portion of. the assemblage."
The town of Howard Centre (which now boasted of a hotel and store,) was laid out and platted, and put upon record. The acknowledgement of the plat bears date December 1, 1856, and is signed by Calvin F. Webster, Jno. F. Thayer, and wife, Thomas R. Perry and wife, W. E. Thayer and wife, and Royal O. Thayer and wife.
A hack was run to Decorah for the accomodation of individuals, and to bring supplies.
The fall of 1856, having been very dry, the infant settlement suffered much damage from prairie fires, and winter setting in with the greatest int.; . ity, and is remembered to this day by those who experienced it, as the coldest they ever knew, many of the poor settlers suffered much. Many of them had not time to finish their houses, and were poorly protected from the wintery blasts. Several persons were frozen to death in the awful "blizzard" of the 13th of December, among them Wm. Niles of this town.
Thayers hotel was burned on the 5th of February, 1857, when the air was so filled with snow flakes, that his neighbors half a mile distant did not see the flames.
Mr. Hassett relates that, "a school was in session in the hall, taught by W. B. Stone, and the fire caught from the stove pipe. Mr. Thayer was absent in the grove, after timber to build a barn, and when he reached home took in the situation; he commenced humming a tune in a manner peculiar to John F., and said: "Well I may as well draw this stick up there; I shall need a shanty to live in;" and accordingly left the timber by the burning coals. He had the hotel rebuilt, larger than before, and in readyness for occupation by the 4th of July next."
The first post office was established in March, 1857, and Henry A. Cook was the first postmaster. He soon resigned, and was succeeded by A. M. Pettitt.
"The order for the organization of Howard Centre township, isssued to John F. Thayer, by Judge Upton and attested by E. Gillett, was dated March 13th, 1857." The first election was held at the house of J. F. Thayer, on the 6th of April, 1857, at which twenty•three votes were polled.
Frank S. Trew, was elected Justice of the peace; Ira Eldridge, Chas. H. Wood and Calvin F. Webster, township trustees; T. R. Perry, township clerk; R. O. Thayer and O. A. Bunker, constables. The judges of this election were C. H. Wood, J. Webster and Jno. F. Thayer; and the clerks, T. R. Perry and William A. Webster.
At the organization of the township school board, May 7th, 1857. O. G. Talmage, was chosen president, Thos. R. Perry, secretary, and C. H. Wood, treasurer. The meeting was adjourned for four weeks to take into consideration the erection of a school house.
The first tax levied in the township was voted on the first day of June, 1857, for the purpose of building a school house.
During the spring of 1857, a Sunday school was established at Howard Centre, through the agency of the American Sunday school Uuion. L. Hassest was the Superintendent, with Mrs. T.
Perry as assistant. Rev. John W. Windsor, preached at Howrad Centre, once in two weeks during a large part of 1857-8, and Rev. C. E. Brown, in 1858-9.
Howard Centre was made the county seat of Howard county, by Judge Upton, and the records were removed there in October, 1857 and remained there, until the locating of the seat of county government on the hill, between New Oregon and Vernon Springs, in 1858.
The Northern Light, a six-column folio sheet, published by Geo. W. Haislet was started in the fall of 1858, and continued to be issued for about a year. From its advertisements, it may be learned, that R. O. Thayer kept a livery, and J. W. Walters solicited patronage as a carpenter and builder.
The first marriage ceremony solominzed in the township was by
L. Hassett, justice of the peace, who on the 11th of May, 1859, united in wedlock, B. F. Benson and Melissa Halsted.
The first child born in the Tp. was C. F. Bunker, advent on October 1, 1856, added a prospective voter to the county. The first girl was Irene E. Eldridge, born on Sunday, May 17, 1857. The first death was that of Mr. Wm. Niles, frozen to death, December 13, 1856, as related before.
The Howard Centre cemetery was laid out in June, 1863, the first person interred therein being Mrs. Harriet, N. Talmage, who, in an unfortunate state of mind, had drowned herself in the Turkey river near her house. This happened on the night of Nov. 1, 1862.
This was known as Osborne township until 1860, when its name was changed to the present one of Albion. It occupies congressional township 100, range 11, west, bordering the Minnesota line. Along its northern boundary runs the clear rock bottomed and spring made waters of the Upper Iowa river. There is an abundance of timber along the banks of the river, and extending some distance back. Bass, elm, maple, and ash being the predominating species, but some pines are to be met with. As has been most beautifully aid: "However, the crowning beauty of all this section, is the handsome groves that are universally found on the highest points of land, and in this respect Albion township can bear the palm."
The streams are all of the purest quality-liquid diamonds, so to speak-owing their origin solely to the springs. gushing from their homes in the limestone,. and within the cool waters the trout and bass still linger lovingly. Some of the first pioneers in the civilization of Howard county settled within what is now the boundaries of this township. The first whose name we have is Daniel Crowell, who located therein as early as the spring of 1853. Almost at the same time Andrew Nelson located his claim on section 10, and erected the family cabin, and in 1854 he was fol.-lowed by C. S. Thurber. But for this year the incomers were like angels' visits-few and far between-but in 1855 the great tide of immigration, which came to our state, caused quite a ripple thither-ward, and the beautiful prairies .and lovely, valleys of Howard county began to be thickly dotted with smiling farms, and smoke arose from the many cabins that were sprinkled over the verdant bosom of mother earth.
Among those who in the spring of that year took up their abode among us, we find: Oliver Arnold, Thos. Osborn, H. D. Lapham, W. D. Darrow, but these are but a few of the many whose names are borne by the recollections of those who remain, In 1856 a still larger wave of immigration flowed this way, and every succeeding year until the bloody days of the civil war, when it slacked up for some time, only to begin again in these later days.
This township was part of the precinct of. Vernon Springs, until 1857, when in the spring of this year it withdrew itself, and completed a separate• organization: There was cast at this election some forty-eight votes, and Josiah Kelly was elected town clerk, with James Nichols and James Oakley, justices of the peace.
The first church organization in the township was Baptist in denomination, and was effected in the spring months of 1856, with Rev. T. H. Miner as pastor.
The Methodist church society was formed the same year, under the energy and faithful efforts of the Rev. Wm. Lease.
In the month of March the Church of Christ was organized, mainly owing to the efforts of Rev. Wm. Phillips; the society numbered at its start some twenty members.
One of the early settlers says: "The character of the early, settlers of Osborne may be drawn from the fact of their thus early organizing religious societies."
The first school in the precinct seems to have been opened in the latter part of the year 1856, and was taught by Dr. Lewis Reynolds; the school was small, but the increase was rapid so that in 1859 the scholars in the township numbered some one hundred and forty.
At the same time there was over eighty legal voters in the same territory, and many who were not yet admitted to the privileges of franchise.
In 1855, at Arnoldsville, was established the first postoffice, but it was of short duration, when it was removed to Osborne; A. Allen being the postmaster.
The statement is made by H. D. Noble, that, "In 1858, Osborne like all other places had its theme of excitement. In that year the gold fever broke out; but happily very few `found the color', except in the faces of bilious, cadaverous, tired and jaundiced diggers. Hence its short life and speedy cure. The only gold in this section of the country will be found not by digging to pipe-clay, or bedrock, but in the rich loam that lies on the surface-the golden grain that feeds the world."
It is said that the first death that occurred in this vicinity, was that of Robert Gilchrist, who froze to death during the winter of 1854-5.
"Quarries of limestone and sandstone, and on the Iowa river quarries of rock straight as the mason's hammer could dress them, and smoother, too, are found."
With the exception of the postoffice village at Florenceville, in the extreme northern portion of the township, there is no town nor village, no fine farm broken to make a poor straggling village, but the whole section is given over to a constant succession of smiling farms and grazing grounds, covered with emerald verdure.
NEW OREGON TOWNSHIP.
We are indebted for the following history of New Oregon town-ship, to a paper written by H. D. Noble, one of the old settlers, and published in the Cresco Times, July 6, 1876.
"New Oregon was one of the first locations chosen by the pioneers, who first made Howard county their home. `Oregon Grove' was known far and near, and was a landmark to all western hunters and rovers in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota. The precincts of New Oregon consists of the north half of town-ship ninety-seven and township ninety-eight range eleven.
The first settlement was made in 1851, by Hiram Johnson. In 1858, Wm. Cottrell, H. Shuttleworth, and Wm. Brown fiat made claims in and about Oregon Grove. S. M. Cole, George Schofield, J. F. Mitchell, and others soon followed, and in 1855 a sufficient population had gathered to effect a permanent organization. Paris was included in the precinct as then formed. Daniel Mills was elected the first justice of the peace, and Samuel Coyl township clerk.
"Uncle" George Schofield built the first house in what has since grown to be the village of New Oregon. In the same year C. M. Munson opened a store near by, which was followed by others until the business part of town, in 1859, consisted of six stores, one wagon shop, plow shop, one harness maker, a tin shop, two tailor shops, three shoe shops, two blacksmith shops, a steam saw-mill, etc.
This village is on both sides of the Turkey river, and in the north edge of Oregon Grove.
At the same time it did not lack for professional ability, for it had within its jurisdiction one doctor J. J. Clemmer, and three lawyers, C. E. Berry, F. H. Jewett, and W. It. Mead.
Here was taught the first school in the county. In 1854 it was opened for scholars, and 'Miss Harriet Cole was the presiding genius, and with smiling face lured the youth to flowery paths of knowledge. Daniel Mills taught the first village school, which was established during the winter of 1856-7.
The Congregational church was organized at the hamlet of New Oregon, in 1856, and Rev. J. W. Windsor was installed as pastor.
The church, at first, was weak and feeble, as all such societies are in a new country, and their services were held as circumstances permitted. The' following lines were written about the church of early days, and breathe the very essence of true poetry. One of Howard county's gifted daughters is the author, but by her request we suppress the name, which modesty will not allow her to have given it to the world.
THE OLD LOG CHURCH.
On olden walls, in memory's hall,
With roses 'round it clinging:
A picture rare, of antique air,
The old log church is swinging.
Of timbers rough, and gnarled and tough,
It stands in rustic beauty;
A monument to good intent
And loyal, Christian duty.
The forest trees, kissed by the breeze
Of early autumn weather,
Stand grimly by, and seem to sigh
And bend their boughs together.
Down by the mill, and up the hill,
And through the hazel thicket,
And o'er the mead brown pathways lead
Up to the rustic wicket.
And by these ways, on holy days,
The village folks collected,
And humbly heard the sacred word
And worshipped unaffected.
Sweet fancy's art and poet's heart
Can see the old time preacher
And village sage now turn the page,
As minister or teacher.
For in the church, with dreaded birch,
On week days he presided,
In awful mien, a tutor seen,
'Twist lore and licks divided.
But where it stood, in dappled wood,
A village sprang to life;
And jolly noise of barefoot boys
Is lost in business strife.
With years now flown, the children grown,
Are launched on life's mad billows;
The pretty maid is matron staid,
The master's 'neath the willows.
Methodist Episcopal church was also formed during the year 1858, of which Rev. Waterbury was the initial pastor. The organization of a Roman Catholic church was attained in the course of the same year.
The natural location of the precinct of New Oregon is unsurpassed. Through its center, from northwest to southeast, runs the Turkey river, and emptying into this stream are spring streams that are found in all this section of Iowa. A fine body of timber, including all the varieties of our prolific west, borders the river, and furnishes to all the region round about timber for fuel, fences, and buildings.
The hard maple, elm white oak, and basswood form the bulk of this grove. Underlying this section is fine quarry limestone, fit for all purposes of building.
Through the southern part of the township (97), runs the Little Turkey river, fringed with groves and watering a beautiful prairie of moist stock-growing land."
After the building of the Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad, and the consequent springing into being, of the town of Cresco, the buisiness of New Oregon experienced the same fate that thousands of other thriving villages that have dotted these broad lands of ours, sank into comparative oblivion, the grass growing on the streets and all business at a stand still. People still reside there, for it is in the paradise of the county, but the stillness that reigns there makes one feel sadly that the tired and weary struggler had laid down and rested from life's weary battle, and that it is no longer sought to buffet the waves of adverse fortune.
CHESTER AND OAKDALE TOWNSHIPS.
These were united in one township until October 11, 1859, under the name of Iowa River Precinct, when they were separated and placed as now. The history of the two is so commingled that it. seems impossible at this day to seperate them, and hence we leave them like two lovers in fond embrace. For the facts in regard to them we acknowledge ourselves under obligations to L. F. Smith,. of the Cresco Times, who has kindly placed at our disposal many papers in regard to the same.
Chester precinct occupies the congressional township 100, range 13, and Oakdale 100, range 14, and are the most western of the northern tier. The Iowa river meanders along through the northern sections, the pure, limpid stream shimmering in the sun, and adding beauty to the landscape already charxnde with the emerald velvety verdure of the native grass, and the golden amber of the ripening grain, while groves of trees interspersed break up, what might prove to monotonous a view, where earth and sky alone are seen.
Henry Brown, in May 1853, made the first settlement in the township now known as Oakdale, and for nearly a year he had the unbroken solitude to himself, for there were no settlers but him until 1854.
During the summer of that year Roht. Jerod, Josiah Laws, O. M. Thayer, and M. Gates laid the foundation for the settlement that now graces this vicinity. They were, shortly, followed by A. W. Kingsley, Norman Freeman, C. M. Sawyer, and others.
Settlers having gathered in a sufficient number to justify the measure, withdrew the precinct from Jamestown, to which it had originally been attached, and organized as a separate township, holding an election for that purpose in April, 1857. which resulted in the election of John Adams and W. Y. Wells for justices of the peace, and C. M. Sawyer, town clerk. At this election forty-nine votes were polled.
The first regular district school was taught by Salinda Burknap, in the fall of 1857, although there still lingers a trace of a tradition that in the previous winter a school was taught, but of this there seems to be no certainty, nor is the name of the teacher remembered.
Within the boundaries of the two townships there is but one village, viz: Chester; the land being occupied with fine farms, and capital grazing grounds. All along the northern part of the town-ships fine timber abounds, and pure water from the many springs that gush from the lap of the earth.
the only village; is still but a small place, being too near towns having a larger growth, and whose proximity overshadow it. It was laid out, in March, 1858, by A. Eaton, and in 1859 already contained six dwellings, a tavern, and a school house.
The first postoffice was also started here; being established in January, 1858, with A. Eaton as postmaster.
There was a Methodist Episcopal church organized in March, 1858, with seven members; Rev. Norton, of Spring Valley, Minn., supplying the pulpit and attending to the spiritual wants of the little flock.
REMINISCENCES, ANECDOTES, AND INCIDENTS OF FRONTIER LIFE,GIVEN BY EARLY SETTLERS.
TAKING IT COOLLY.
The last night of 1855, a party of four men crossed the Mississippi, at Dubuque, and found a new years ball in progress, at the Key City house, (where numbers of people found a resting place, on their way to northern Iowa). At Dubuque they hired a teamster to take them to Howard county.
As they approached Burr Oak Springs, that first Sunday in January 1856, the cold and wind increased, while the falling snow so whitened the track before them, that it could only be distinguished by the withered grass which bordered it. They urged their driver to halt without avail, he was confident that he could make his way after dark without difficulty. A little further, on where the prairie fires had left no grasss to mark the roadsides, they were as effectually lost a few rods from the track, as though they had been miles away. Seeking the road they went as far apart as their voices should be heard, but after repeated efforts failed to find it.
They then lost no time in making preperations to spend the night in such a manner as, if possible, to secure their lives. They cleared the covered wagon box of trunks and luggage, tacked down the cover securely, and without being able to and upright, exercised, two at a time as if for wages. The teamster alone lay down, wrapping his feet in the contents of his carpet sack, and he alone was frost-bitten. By force of kicking they had to rouse him from danger. Had they trusted to wraps, bedclothing and buffalo robes-with which they were well supplied- and lain down to sleep, they would have paid the penalty with their lives.
"The mercury must have stood forty degrees below zero" said Dr. Fellows, who related this story of himself, his two brothers and R. Kerr, they afterwards learned, that a number of persona perished from exposure the same night.
The two succeeding days were so cold, that but few people left their houses. All that these young men had that night, in the way of nourishment, was a few small cakes and a bottle of brandy, the latter supplied the stimulus, that helped preserve them.
The early settlers met and organized a "squatter government," agreeing among themselves, that certain persons should act as officers. The "justice of the peace" named, was a lad of about nineteen years of age, Samuel Coyl, by name. A party, charged with larceny, was brought before "Sam" one day for trial. His honor, listened, with all the gravity of a deacon, to the evidence, which fully proved, that the accused, had broxen open a companion's trunk, and purloined, therefrom, the sum of forty dollars.
But "Sam" fully understood his want of jurisdiction,and proceeded to render the verdict, as follows: "Guilty-guilty as hell, and the court knows it from the evidence-but they can't prove it-Scoot-scoot, or judge Lynch will hold court here to-morrow.''
The culprit disapeared forth with.
The county of Howard, was settled from every land, and every clime, but very few, if any experienced business men, came among the early settlers. As might be expected, therefore, many mistakes were made in the "forms and ceremonies," and occasionally in the records. One young officer-young in years and young in office-when he carried a record from, one to a succeeding page, instead of noting the number of the future page, made this note, at the bottom of the first page, "see page ahead a little."
"It is told, that Howard county, from its organization, never elected, on a party vote, a democratic officer, yet the party kept up its annual county conventions for twenty years. At one of these conventions, only two persons were present. They were both of the legal profession. One was a large and the other was a small man, and the larger acted as president, and the other as secretary of the `"assembly." They put drink in their stomachs aid a full county ticket in the political field. The secretary, in finishing his report, said that "the attendance at the convention was large and respectable." The president protested and said: It is true, Mr. secretary, we seem to be many, but do you not notice that on the ayes and noes, that but two of us answer." The secretary replied: "Mr. president, if there is but two of us here, I insist that the report is correct, for are you not large and am not I respectable.'
The following lines were written by a gentleman now residing-in the county, and who was one of its earliest settlers; he has followed many trades and professions, and has been a leading farmer for the last quarter of a century. We insert it smply as a specimen of the culture that may be found in these climes, for it is, by long odds, the superior of the usual mediocre poetry-so called-that floats through the columns of the press of the day. It is said of the author, that although many of the poor, have been indebted to him for considerable amounts of money, yet he has never collected one cent by execution, or sale of property on mortgage. Such men are few and far between, but the fates have rewarded him and enabled him, through labor and business tact, to achieve a comfortable competence.
The anagram "Live on no evil" is probably the best in the English language. Spelled backward or forward it reads the same. Its sentiment expresses the essence of the ten commandments:
LIVE ON NO EVIL.
"Live on no evil," reads the same
As forth and back we trace the line;
It is the voice of God to man,
Proclamied from Sinai's height devine,
"Live on no evil," church or state,
But God-like rule with love, not hate.
"Live on no evil," landlord bold,
But so divide the loaf and sheaf
That tenant's children filled with glee,
Shall bless the hand that gives relief.
"Live on no evil," church or state,
But God-like rule with love, not hate.
"Live on no evil," merchant grand,
That shoddy cloth that brings you gain,
In rags hangs from the wearer's back,
The cold bites in and gives him pain.
"Live on no evil," church or state,
But God-like, rule with love, not hate.
"Live on no evil," railroad kings,
Nor scorn. our rights with haughty brow,
Those pondrous engines on those roads,
Must in the wake of mercy go.
"Live on no evil," church or state,
But God-Like, rule, with love, not hate.
"Live on no evil," money lords,
Your fiercest grasp shall prove your woe,
In life's last grasp with deep regrets,
And hellish moans you'll cry out, oh'
"Live on no evil," church or state,
But God-like, rule with love, not hate.
"Live on no evil," man of soul,
But right the wrong with all thy might.
When conscience all our acts control,
We all may speak from Sinai's height.
"Live on no evil," church or state,
But God-like, rule with love, not hate,
-[M. B. Doolittle.
One of the members of the board of supervisors of the county, wishing the board to do its full duty under the law, presented the following resolution, which was adopted and placed on the minutes, instructing the township assessors as to what was their duty:
"Resolved, That the assessors assess every thing that wears a yoke as an ox, and everything that gives milk a as cow."
WAR RECORD; ACTION OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF HOWARD COUNTY; THIRD IOWA INFANTRY; NINTH IOWA INFANTRY; THIRTY-EIGHTH IOWA INFANTRY; THIRD IOWA BATTERY OF LIGHT ARTILLERY; ROSTER OF VOLUNTEERS.
The people of the northern states may well be proud of the record they made in the dark and bloody days of the great civil war. When the war was pressed on the country, the people of this peaceful Northland were pursuing the even tenor of their way, doing whatsoever their hands found to do-making farms or cultivating those already made-erecting houses and homes, building shops and factories, and the whole country was alive with industry, and the future was rosy with promise. The county was just recovering itself from the financial panic of 1857, and the failure of the crops of 1858-9. The future looked bright and promising, and the industrious and patriotic sons and daughters of the free states were bouyant with hope, and looking forward to new plans for the ensurement of comfort and competence in their declining years, and they little heeded the muttering and threatenings of the wayward children of the slave states of the sunny south.
Like the true sons and decendents of sires, whose sturdy arm had withstood Britannia's mighty power in the infant days of our noble republic, they gave no heed to the whisperings of fear, or dreamed that one could be so base as to stand back when their country called them, bnt all flocked to the front to meet dire treason face to face, and smite it as it stood.
April 12, 1861, Major Robert Anderson, the commandant at Fort Sumter, in Charleston harbor, South Carolina, was fired upon by the hot headed rebels then in arms.
Although the blackest treason, men looked upon it as the sense-less bravado of the would-be agitator, as the empty vaporing of a few senseless fools, whose sectional bias and hatred of free institution had enraged and intoxicated them.
When a day later the telegraph wires bore to a startled north the stirring news, that Major Anderson had been compelled to surrender, to what had been at first regarded as a drunken mob; then the people looked and saw behind the curtain the dark spirit of treason stalk forth throughout the land. The patriotism that was bred in them leaped up and burned a steady flame upon the altar of their country.
Thus startled, as it were, from their bright dreams of the future, from undertakings half completed, and realized that, that mob had behind it a dark purpose; a deep, dark, well organized plan to disrupt this great Union, destroy the government, and to erect upon the ruins the oligarchy of slavery, and a slave-holding aristocracy.
But it was "reckoning without their host," for immediately upon the receipt of the news of the surrender of Fort Sumpter, Peasident Lincoln, who but a few short weeks before had taken the oath of office as chief executive of the nation's will, issued a proclamation, calling for 75,000 men, volunteers for three months. Scarcely had the ink dried upon the pen, scarcely had the wires stopped vibrating with the message, as it sped along through all the northern states, then the call was filled. Men were counted out by thousands and money poured with lavish hand into the lap of the nation. The people who loved their land and government, could not give enough. Patriotism vibrated and pulsed and thrilled through every heart. The merchant left his counter, the farmer his plow, the bench gave up the judge, and even the college and school furnished their porportion of the nation's defenders. All lines of party were swept away, and but one thought seemed to animate each breast-save the Union.
Not with insolence was the insolent flinging of the gauntlet met, but with the calm, determined mien of heroes, whose patriotism and love of country overpowered every other consideration.
But seventy-five thousand men were not enough to subdue the rebellion-nor were ten times that number. The war went on and call followed call, until it seemed that all the able-bodied men were in the front, fighting the battles of their country. But to every call, men and money were freely offered, readily and freely given and the people determined to crush out the foul treason and sub-due the rebellion.
Such were the impulses, motives, and actions of the patriots of the "Northland," among whom Howard's sons bore a conspicuous part.
Tuesday, June 4, 1861, the board of supervisors, in session assembled, by resolution appointed a committee, consisting of Messrs. Cary Munson and St. John, to draft resolutions "in the present crisis of national affairs, and recommend some offers of assistance to the general government."
The committee appointed, at once presented the following resolutions, which were immediately adopted:
Whereas, The president of the United States has issued his several proclamations for troops, to sustain our federal government, and suppress the rebellion, therefore,
Resolved, That we, as the legal representatives of the county of Howard, state of Iowa, do hereby, as loyal citizens and representatives, pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred-honors in sup-port of the Union, the constitution, and the laws.
Resolved, That the resources and credit of the county of Howard, both in men and money, be pledged to the last man and dollar to support the government in suppressing the present rebellion:
Resolved, That in case of reverses to our arms, making necessary an increase of our army, we will levy a tax on the taxable property of our county, sufficient to support a company of one hundred men, at least, in the field, by paying them five dollars extra over government price.
Resolved, That we fully endorse the course of the administration, and the action of our state legislature in regard to the present emergency."
At the September session of the board they passed another resolution, to pay ten dollars to each volunteer from the county for an outfit. Also to allow the wives and widowed mothers of the volunteers from Howard county, in service of the United States, four dollars per month, and one dollar for each child under twelve years of age. The clerk was ordered to audit their bills monthly, and when so passed the treasurer to cash them at once. The first who seems to have availed themselves of this allowance, was Mrs. Amelia Johnson, of New Oregon, she having two sons in the federal army.
At the August session of the board, 1862, the following resolution was adopted:
Resolved, That this board authorize the clerk to issue a county warrant for fifty dollars to each accepted volunteer, not the head of the family; and four dollars per month for each wife and widowed mother, and one dollar for each child of the same, under twelve years of age, of every acpepted volunteer, on presentation of proper bills, provided, that all of said volunteers be applied on the quota of Howard county for the late call for 300,000 men for three years, or during the war.
December 7, 1863, is the date of the following resolution adopted by the honorable board:
Resolved, that this board hereby appropriate the sum of three hunderd dollars to each accepted volunteer who shall enlist, from this county, between this and the fifth day of January next, provided, this resolution shall not extend to enlistments beyond filling our quota. Also the sum of four dollars per month to the wife, and one dollar per month to each child under twelve years of age, as an additional bounty to the family of any accepted volunteer, who enlists from the county within the term above specified, and that the clerk of this board be and is hereby authorized to issue warrants, to parties entitled thereto, on presentation of the proper certificates. And that we hereby levy an additional tax of fifteen mills on the dollar, for the purposes of the above bounty, and hereby instruct the clerk, to immediately, extend the same on. the tax list of this year.
As late as June, 1866, the following appears upon the minutes of the board:
"Board passed a resolution to pay every enlisted man the sum of one hundred dollars, as bounty, who was either a regular or volunteer, and who had received no bounty from this or any other county or state, including all drafted men, who were credited to Howard county. Also to men who enlisted, and through no fault of their own, were credited to other places; and also to make up the sum, to one hundred dollars, to all who enlisted from the county, when the bounty given was a less sum than that amour."
THIRD IOWA INFANTRY.
As a number of the men from Howard county were enlisted in this, one of the most noted of the Iowa regiments, a short sketch will not be out of place.
The "Old Third," as it is lovingly called by its late members, was organized in Dubuque, by Colonel N. G. Williams, and mustered into the service of the government, May, 1861. The officers were: N. G. Williams, colonel; John Scott, lieut. colonel; Wm. M. Stone, major.
Its initial fight was at Blue Mills, Mo.; where it laid the foundation for its after reputation as one of the best in the service. It also took a foremost part at Shiloh, Tenn; Hatchie river, Matamoros, Vicksburg, and Jackson, Miss; Atlanta, and participated in. the Atlanta campaign, and Shelman's march to Savannah.
The regiment was mustered out at Louisville, Ky., July 12, 1864.
NINTH IOWA INFANTRY.
Col. William Vandever, of Dubuque, received, in August, 1861, a commission to raise a regiment of Infantry in the state of Iowa, to be known as the ninth Iowa infantry.
Howard county, with the fires of patriotism burning brightly on her altars, contributed sixty-eight men for company I, and four for company H.
The regiment was mustered into the service of the United States, September 24, 1861, except companies H, I, and D, whose times of muster precede that date, being respectively, H Aug. 21, T September 18th, and D September 2d. On the 26th of September the regiment left Dubuque, for St. Louis, on the steamer Canada, and arrived at that place on the 30th.
Here they remained for some time. After drilling, and inspection, for a considerable time, the regiment was pronunced fit for duty, and on the 25th of January, 1862, was moved by rail to Rolla, Missouri, and assigned to the army, then making preperation to take the field against the enemy, under Major-General Samuel R. Curtis.
The regiment was brigaded with the 25th Missouri infantry, third Illinois cavalry and third Iowa battery, and the brigade placed under the command of Col. Wm. Vandever, baring the ninth, under the command of Lieutenant Frank Herron. The movements, of this regiment has been given in the history of the third Iowa battery, with which it was brigaded and whose exploits are there related by an eye witness.
The exploits of this gallant regiment, at the battle of Pea Ridge, have covered it with unfading laurels. The loss it suffered alone would tell the tale, had we no better testimony, having, three officers, two non-commissioned officers, and twenty-eight privates killed; six officers, thirty-eight non-commissioned officers and one hundred and thirty-nine privates wounded, many of whom after-wards died, and two privates missing.
Besides this engagement, called by the federal forces, the battle of Pea Ridge and by the rebels the battle of the Elkhorn, the rgiment took part in the fighting at Chickasaw bayou, Arkansas Post, seige of Vicksburg, Ringgold, Dallas, Lookout Mountain, and were participants in the world renowned Atlanta campaign, and the subsequent march to the sea.
The ninth finally laid down its arms and was mustered out at Louisville, July 18, 1865.
THIRTY-EIGHTH IOWA INFANTRY.
Company I., of this regiment, was almost entirely, composed of men from Howard county.
The regiment was mustered into the service of the United States, at Dubuque, November 4, 1862, with D. H. Hughes, of Decorah, as colonel. It took a part in the seige of Vicksburg, the Red river expedition under Banks, and December 12, 1864, was consolidated with the thirty-fourth infantry. Was mustered out at Houston, Texas, August 15, 1865. For full details of the movements of the regiment see page 307, history of Chickasaw county.
THIRD IOWA BATTERY OF LIGHT ARTILLERY.
As quite a number of the "boys" from Howard county were in the third Iowa battery it has been deemed of interest to give here a sketch of the same. We are indebted to the official report for the facts and quote freely from it.
"This battery was organized by Captain M. M. Hayden, under special authority from the secretary of war, during the months of August and September, 1861, at Dubuque, under the name of the the Dubuque Battery, and was attached to the 9th regiment Iowa volunteer infantry, Col. William Vandever, commanding. On the 3d of September, 1861, the first detachment was mustered in by Captain Washington, William H. McCluve, of Cedar Falls, Iowa, being mustered as first lieutenant, under whose charge the detachment was placed in Camp Union, near Dubuque.
"The battery was speedily filled up be recruits, and on the 24th of the same month, the final muster in as a battery took place; the following being the list of officers:
"Captain M. M. Hayden; senior first lieutenant, W. H. McCluve; junior first lieutenant, M. C. Wright; senior second lieutenant, W. H. Crozier; and junior 2d lieutenant, Jerome Bradley. September 26th, the battery in company with the ninth Iowa infantry, left for St. Louis, on the steamer, Canada, arriving on the 30th of September.
"The drill was here commenced, and clothing, etc., served out, the necessary requisitions being made out for horses, guns, harness, etc., were forwarded but owing to small supply and immense demand they had some time to wait for them.
"November 13th, the men were sent to Pacific City, Missouri, thirty-five miles west of St. Louis, to guard the railroad, although it would have puzzled any one to tell how, as they had no arms of any kind. Here they remained during the greater part of the winter. The guns and equipments were received by them December 1st.
"The battery consisted of four six-pounder bronze guns, and two twelve-pounder howitzers. After much drilling and inspections and reviews, in connection with the 9th regiment, they were pronounced as fit for duty, and that with the reputation of being first class in every particular.
"On the 25th of January, they moved by rail to Rolla, and as-signed to the army, then about to take the field, under General Curtis, and which intended to move on Springfield, Mo., then the headquarters of the rebel forces in that state, The battery set out for the rendezvous of Curtis' army, at Lebanon on the the twenty-eighth of January, sixty-five miles, over one of the worst roads ever seen.
"The continual rain and cold made this one of the most trying marches raw troops could be called on to perform; but in spite of all, after six day's of hard labor, the battery reached Lebanon. Here they were brigaded with the ninth Iowa infantry, twenty-fifth Missouri infantry, and third Illinois cavalry, Col Wm. Vandever commading."
The following is related in his report, by Capt. M. C.Wright, who commanded the battery in 1864. As it is the testimony of an eye witness we insert it in full as it covers the entire ground.
General Curtis commenced his forward movement on the 9th of February, and on the 13th, took peaceable possession of Spring-field, the enemy having evacuated their position on the night of the 12th.
"The famous race after Price commenced early in the morning of the 14th, and then the first live soldiering commenced. The weather was exceedingly cold for the season, but no allowance was made for this. On they pushed, making over twenty-five miles the first day out of Springfield. Every effort was made to force the enemy to halt, and fight, but to no purpose. He seemed only intent upon escape. In his flight everything which could retard his progress was thrown away. Old wagons, lame horses and mules, were by far too numerous along the road for anything short of a race for life.
"At Flat creek, distant about fifty miles south of Springfield, the battery was so fortunate as to get near enough to his rear guard to give him a few shells. This was their first gun at the enemy, and the conduct of the battery was witnessed by Gens. Curtis, Sigel, and others, who only complained that our boys drove them off too quickly. This occurred on the the 15th. The pursuit was still continued, and without eliciting anything of interest beyond the evident intention of the enemy to escape, if possible, until our forces had crossed the Missouri State line, and reached Sugar creek, where Price, strengthened by the arrival of 3000 Texas and Louisiana troops, under Ben McCullough, who had been sent northward to meet him, as well as emboldened by a very advantageous position, made a stand. The advance of cavalry coming upon the enemy, and thinking that he was in small force, probably only stragglers from his rear guard, charged him. but were forced to turn and fall back with considerable loss.
"Vandever's brigade was ordered forward at "double-quick," and our battery was pushed up beyond the furthest point reached by the cavalry, where our boys were greeted by a terrible flue from a battery concealed in the front, and under this fire the third went into battery and replied in the direction of the enemy, and such was the coolness of the gunners and the deliberation with which they delivered their fire, that in less than thirty minutes, not only was their loud-mouthed opponent, against whom the principal fire was directed, forced to limber up, and gallop off the field, but also the cavalry and infantry, which had deployed on the right and front, was taken with a sudden disgust of shot and shell, and betook themselves beyond reach before our own infantry were able to get within musket range. This lively little brush cost the battery two horses killed, and one caisson disabled by the enemy's fire.
"The affair was witnessed by Gens. Curtis and Sigel, and many other officers who were on the ground, and the battery received most unqualified approbation for the energetic, and skillful management of its guns. Being too much exhausted to push on, they remained on the field that night, and until the second morning, when, having gained some intelligent of the enemy's whereabouts, Gen. Curtis moved off to the right of the former course, in the direction of Bentonville, intending to flank the position of Price at Cross Hollow.
"The movement was a complete success. Our army flanked the position, but the enemy were, in the meantime, in full retreat, evidently, determined to place Boston mountain between them-selves and harm.
"It being impossible to move farther southward, owing to the exhausted state of the troops and horses, they went into camp at Cross Hollows, where they remained until the rebel army, re-enforced by 10,000 men under Van Dorn, marching northward to attack them compelled Gen. Curtis to fall back to the the strong position at Sugar creek, or rather to the ridge beyond, known as Pea Ridge.
This General Curtis did upon the 5th and 6th, of March, fortunately without the loss which the enemy contemplated inflicting upon him, viz:
"Whipping the army in detail; the army was camped at Cross Hollows. Carr's (4th) division, nowever, alone, were at this point, but Cutis' headquarters were here. Sigel's (1st) Asboth's (2d) and Davis' (3d) were at, and near Bentonville, the army having been separated on account of forage.
"On the 4th of March, a portion of Vandever's brigade, consisting of detachments of the 9th Iowa, and 24th Mo., infantry, and 3d Ill. cavalry, wrth one section of the battery under command of Lieut. Wright, the whole commanded by Col. Vandever, started, on a reconnoissance in the direction of Huntsville, Ark., distant forty-five miles. This place was reached, and the object of the expedition having been accomplished, it was about to start back for Cross Hollows, when the arrival of a messenger from Gen. Curtis, showed the folly of such an attempt, as it would only result in its falling into the hands of the enemy, Then commenced one of the hardest marches, that was made during the war. The troops were forced to march through one of the roughest countries in the Union, ford White river, and make forty-seven miles in one day. The ford over which they crossed was within seven miles of Cross Hollows, and while our little force was crossing here, the entire rebel army, under Van Dorn and Price, was at the former place, though, happily for our boys ignorant of their where abouts.
So well did Col. Vandever mange the march, that no one was allowed to escape, and thus give information to the enemy, of the proximity. At length, after this most exhausting march the detachment reached the camp of our forces at Pea Ridge about 9 P. M., greatly to the joy and surprise of almost every one, who had given it up for lost. The exhaustion of that march was so terrible, that scarcely one who escaped the destruction of the next two days' battle but could be found in the hospital; and many of them, the victims of that day's march, are now in their graves.
"Early on the morning of the 7th, skirmishing havin commenced on the extreme right of our line, Vandever's brigade was hurried to the front, and instantly became engaged. Two sections of the battery went into action under a terrific fire of both infantry and artillery, which were posted in the front, about 300 yards distant from Elkhorn tavern. The first Iowa battery, which the third relieved, had already been terribly cut to pieces, and was forced to leave the field. Before the battery had been in position ten minutes, it had one gun disabled by the enemy's artillery, one limber blown up, and several men wounded and horses killed. So destructive was the fire that Col. Carr, commanding the division, who was on the ground, ordered the two sections to fall back, which was immediately done. The entire battery again took up position to the right of Elkhorn tavern, where it remained until the entire division was forced to fall back in the evening. During the day the enemy repeatedly charged the position, but were in-variably driven back in confusion. In one of these charges they managed to secure one of the guns of the battery, which was being placed in an elevated position, some distance to the left of the battery, but was almost entirely unsupported. The division, which entered the fight in the morning with less than 2,200 fighting men, held their ground for over six hours against nearly five times their number, and not until over one-third of the entire division had been killed and wounded, did the enemy, afterwards known to be over 12,000 strong, succeed in forcing the gallant Carr to retire.
"The suddenness of their final attack, with the meagerness of the support, compelled the battery to leave two of their guns upon the field. These guns, however, were not abandoned, until they were spiked, and every horse had been killed, and every man serving with them, either killed or wounded. They fell back some 400 yards, where, support coming to their aid, they kept up fire with the remaining guns, until darkness put an end to the engagement.
"They remained on the field during the night, and participated in the engagement of the 8th, which terminated in the rout of the enemy, and his flight from the field.
"The entire loss of the battery in the two days was, two men killed, two officers and fifteen men wounded, twenty-three horses killed, and three guns captured. They fired, during the engagement, over 1,200 rounds of ammunition. The battery acquitted itself nobly in this, one of the most sanguinary conflicts of the war, and received most complimentary notices in the official reports of Cols. Vandever and Carr, also of Brig. Gen. Asboth. Three days after the battle, the army was moved southward again, but after one day's march, took the back track, and moved northward to Keithsville, where it remained until April 5th, when the army commenced the march to Batesville, Independence county, Ark., which point was reached without encountering anything of interest, about the 10th of May. From thence they moved south to Searcy, on Little Red river, and afterward returned to Batesville, about the 20th of June.
"From Batesville, Gen. Curtis commenced his celebrated march to Helena, Ark., where he arrived on the 12th of July, having en-countered most terrible hardships on account of the excessive heat, and great scarcity of provisions. Remained at Helena until Gen. Steele's expedition against Little Rock was organized, in August, 1863.
"During their stay at Helena, the battery was a portion of the force in several expeditions, most prominent among which were Hovey's Mississippi expedition, November 1862; Gorman's White River expedition, January, 1863; and the Yazoo Pass expedition, March, 1863. In the latter expedition the battery took an active part in the bombardment of Fort Pemberton, at the junction of the Tallahachie and Yallabusha rivers. Returned to Helena, April 8, 1863; remained in camp there until August 11th. The battery took part in the defense of this place against the attack of the rebels under Price, Holmes, and others, on the 4th of July, 1863. Fired over one thousand rounds at the enemy, but escaped without any loss of men, owing to the excellent protection of our fortifications. Had eight horses killed.
"During the fall of 1862, the battery was the recipient of a splendid stand of colors, consisting of a banner and guidon-a present from the ladies of Milwaukee, Wis. They were made of the finest material, and bore upon their folds the names of the different engagements in which the battery had participated. The banner bore on one side the coat of arms of Wisconsin, and on the other that of Iowa. They were accompanied by the most touching address from the donors, referring in most glorious terms to the conduct of the battery in every duty it had been called upon to perform, closing with a stirring appeal to the members of the battery to protect well the trust thus placed in their hands, and never to give up the struggle until these glorious colors should be honored throughout the length and breadth of the land. Coming from the ladies of a distant state, the battery was justly proud of these colors.
"Forming a portion of Gen. Steele's forces in the Little Rock expedition, it took part in the capture of that place, without any loss. Also took part in the expedition of Gen. Rice against Arkadelphia, in October, 1863.
"In December, 1863, and January, 1864, the battery re-enlisted as veterans, under authority of the War Department, and in February the veterans of the organization, with the officers, were sent north on furlough, from which they returned in May. After that time the battery received new guns and a complete outfit, as well as a large number of recruits.
"At the expiration of the original term of service of the battery, September 26, 1864, the non-veterans were sent north, where they, with Capt. M. M. Hayden, were mustered out, October 3, 1864.
The following is a list of killed and wounded at the battle of Pea Ridge, Ark., March 7th and 8th, 1862:
Killed-Privates Dudley Gilbert and Freedom Jackson.
Wounded-Sen. 1st Lieut. Wm. H. McClure; Jr. 1st. Lieut. Melvil C. Wright; Corpl. David H. Rowles; Privates Adolph Borget, Charles N. Collins, Wm. Field, Richard J. Long, Ephraim Odell, Francis M. Thompson, Jacob Yost (died of wounds), Thos. Bunton, Theodore Connerardy, George W. Dearth, John F. Kelly, Joseph R. Maddock, Calvin J. Smith.
LIST OF COMMISSIONED OFFICERS IN THE THIRD IOWA BATTERY SINCE ORGANIZATION.
Mortimer M. Hayden, captain, mustered out October 3, 1864.
Melville C. Wright, captain, promoted from first lieutenant, October 30, 1864.
Wm. H. McClure, first lieutenant, resigned September 4, 1862.
Jerome Bradley, first lieutenant, promoted A. Q. M., May 1, 1862.
Otis G. Day, first lieutenant, mustered out April 30, 1863.
Orlo H. Lyon, first lieutenant, promoted from second lieutenant, April 28, 1864.
Joseph J. Dengl, first lieutenant, promoted from second lieutenant, October 30, 1864.
Wm. M. Crozier, second lieutenant, cashiered by sentence general court martial.
Daniel U. Lee, second lieutenant, resigned October 11, 1862.
Leroy S. House, second lieutenant, resigned November 14, 1864.
Hiland H. Weaver, second lieutenant, promoted from first sergeant, October 30, 1864.
The third Iowa battery of light artillery, after holding part in the battles of Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, Lookout Mountain, Seige of Vicksburg, Dallas, and the famous Atlanta campaign, and marching with Sherman to the sea, was mustered out of the service at Davenport, July 14, 1865.
ROSTER OF VOLUNTEERS.
It is almost impossible to give the entire list of the sons of Howard county, in the service of the general government during the civil war, as all were not credited to the county. But by a careful investigation of the report of the adjutant general of the state, supplemented by personal inquiry, it is hoped that the list given is as accurate as the circumstances will. admit.
THIRD IOWA INFANTRY-CO. D.
Charles P. Brown,
Joseph S. Neff,
Gearge H. Culver,
Henry H. Sheldon,
R. E. Carpenter,
SEVENTH IOWA INFANTRY-CO. B.
W. E. Thayer,
Joseph M. Gallahan,
NINTH IOWA INFANTRY-CO. H.
Jasper N. Moulton,
A. J. Cook,
Samuel Fellows, 1st lieut.
C. B. Ashley,
W. C. Bryan,
James M. Johnson,
J. F. Powell,
Chas. W. Polley,
George S. Briggs,
Joseph H. Fenton,
Daniel C. Harding,
Chas. D. Lockwood,
Daniel A. McMartin,
Harvey S. Ayres,
John P. Freeborn,
Charles L. Wilder,
J. D. O'Donnell,
Horace B. Rome,
D. M. Townsend,
W. M. Colby,
Daniel B. Burke,
D. P. Griffin,
Charles Kemery, 2d lieut.
S. A. Converse
D. C. Horning,
Finley D. Pierce,
William L. Ransom,
T. J. Papili,
Amos S. Halstead,
Benj. F. Knight,
John F. Knight,
Thos. J. Bridges,
Ezra M. Cole,
Francis A. Daniels,
Martin B. Jones,
Hiram M. Townsend,
Geo. A. Owen,
Thos. J. Powell,
TWELFTH IOWA INFANTRY-CO. G.
V. R. Dunn,
THIRTEENTH IOWA INFANTRY
John R. Curry,
TWENTY-FIRST IOWA INFANTRY-CO. A.
CO. I. THIRTY-EIGHT IOWA INFANTRY.
H. Powell, 1st Lieut.,
W. H. Patterson, 2d Lieut.,
B. D. Everingham,
Lewis L. Light,
Jonas F. Adams,
Alva J. Stearns,
Samuel L. Thomson,
O. A. Bunker,
O. D. Curtis,
Otis A. Adams,
Wm. H. Buckland,
Charles E. Bopth,
G. W. Dawes,
Isaac W. Poe
Chas. W. Sawyer,
C. F. Mitchell,
E. B. Sloan,
M. C. Abrams,
D. C. Ashley,
Jos. W. Brown,
Jno. P. Bossard,
L. D. Bayes,
F. L. Dauberschmit,
A. J. Garnsey,
R. B. Henderson,
S. G. Oldham,
F. H. Ransom,
Andrew Witt, Jr.,
Jay H. Phillips,
Geo. W. Weller,
L. D. Huckins,
J. B. Kingsley,
C. M. Pepin,
A. S. Pepin,
Alex. J. Powell,
W. P. Rinia,
J. W. Maynard,
E. B. Millington,
H. C. Obert,
James M. Phillips,
John B. Parrington,
J. F. Sheldon,
FORTY-SIXTH IOWA INFANTRY-CO. F.
Ed. M. Ashley,
S. E. Trask.
SIXTH IOWA CAVALRY-CO. F.
William C. Storr,
W. F. Lyman,
B. W. Sawyer,
John M. Sawyer.
H. M. Harlow,
C. J. Nichols.
THIRD IOWA BATTERY.
Geo. L. Brown,
Edmund D. Howe,
George H. Niles,
George W. Combs,
Truman H. Smith,
James Q. Jones,
Theod. B. Sheldon,
CHRONOLOGY OF THE COUNTY, BEING AN ACCOUNT OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS, OCCURRING IN THE COUNTY, FROM THE EARLIEST TIME TO THE PRESENT MOMENT, ARRANGED CHRONOLOGICALLY.
During the month of December, Hiram Johnson erected Ida humble cabin, and dwelt therein, the first white man to locate within the bounds of what now constitutes the county of Howard.
This is the first year that any immigration came into Howard county. It is told, that during the twelve months, Henry Brown located in Oakdale township, Daniel Crowell and Andrew Nelson in Albion, William Cottrell, Thomas Lewis, William Brown and H. Shuttleworth in New Oregon, and Owen Sprague, William Harlow and others at Vernon Springs.
During the year S. M. Cole, James G. Upton, George Schofield and others came to Vernon Springs. "Uncle" George Schofield building the first house, in what was afterwards the villiage of. New Oregon.
A. D. C. Knowlton, Joseph Knowlton, Oscar Chesebro, located the first claims in Forest City township.
Jared Sigler and others in Saratoga, making the first settlements in that township.
This same year it is also recorded, that C. S. Thurber and others were the pioneers in the settlement in Albion township.
The first settlement of Afton township, was made this year, by A. Pooler. Joseph Hall and others.
A. Kingsley and others settled in the township of Chester. The first saw mill in the county, was erected this year, near Vernon Springs, on the Turkey river, by Oren Sprague.
Saw mill at New Oregon erected by William Harlow, in the early part of the year.
The first grist mill built in the county, erected at Foreston First store, within the limits of the county, opened by Henry
Milder, at Vernon Springs, and known as the "Blue Store" to all the settlers round about.
First school in the county, opened during the year by Miss Harriet Cole, at Vernon Springs.
The first post office, established in the county was at "Oregon Grove," and of which Hiram Johnson was appointed postmaster, but before his commission had arrived, he had removed from the county, and S. M. Cole was appointed in his place.
This year, Lucy Thurber, the first white child was born, in the county, and in October of this same year Jacob Harlow, the first boy in the county, was born.
It is recorded that the first death to occur in Forest City town-ship, was during this year, and was that of John Mortimer. Howard township first settled by W. S. Pettibone and others.
The first settlement in Jamestown township made by Messrs Van Houghton, Niles and Shaw.
During the winter of this year Robert Gilchrist, of Albion town-ship was frozen to death, while attempting to cross the prairie.
The settlements during the year are Thomas Griffin and Patrick Richards in Paris township; R. O. Thayer W. E. Thayer and others, in Howard Centre; C. D. Cutting, William and Dennis Rice, in Jamestown township.
The second grist mill erected in the county, at Vernon Springs, on the Turkey river.
S. M. Cole erects and establishes the first hotel in the county, it being near the town of Vernon Springs; this hotel was for some years the principal stopping place for M. O. Walker's stages and for all travelers and emigrants passing west.
The county organized this year, in accordance with an order issued from the court of Judge Lyons, of Chickasaw county, and first election held, resulting in the election of James G. Upton as county judge, Edmund Gillett, county clerk; William Woodward, recorder and treasurer.
Vernon Springs township was organized this year.
Postoffice established at the village of Lime Springs, with A. D. C. Knowlton as postmaster; this being the first in the township of Forest City.
The postoffice located at Arnoldsville was the first in Albion township, and A. Allen was commissioned the postmaster. It remained here, however, but a short time when it was removed to Osborne.
C. M. Munson opened the first store, in the village of New Oregon, during the year.
The settlement of Jamestown township dates from this year, although a few settlers had pre-empted claims therein the year be-fore. It is recorded that a party consisting of James A. Cutting, D. P. Bradford, John Moffitt and Lyman Southard, erected a steam saw mill, which they had brought with them, near the town of Riceville. Large immigration poured into this town this year, among whom may be found, the names of Darius and Smith W. Seeley.
The first election, ever held in the town of Jamestown, was the presidential one of this year, which resulted in the election of James Buchanan, to the position of chief executive of the nation.
April 12, Marcus De Moss born, the first birth in the precinct of Jamestown.
John F. Thayer commences the erection of the hotel, at Howard Centre, early in the year, and at the grand celebration held in the grove near by, and at which M. V. Burdick and James G. Upton, spoke, the lower story was used as a ball room, although the second story was not built yet.
The record of the survey and plat, of the town of Howard Center, bears date of December 1, of this year.
The first postoffice in the township of Jamestown is established in the spring, with D. P. Bradford, to handle the mails.
This year proving dry, and the herbage growing dry, the prairie fires, destroyed much property, for the pioneers, and the cold winter coming on, the coldest they had ever known, many being without shelter, suffered, untold hardship. The fearful blizzard of December 13, will be remembered by them all, and many suffered, even unto death, notably, among which is Mr. William Niles, who attempting to cross but a short strip of open country, wandered from the track, was lost, and perished in the darkness and the storm.
Rev. John W. Windsor organizes the Congregational church at New Oregon. This is the parent of the church of the same de-nomination now located at Cresco.
The first marriage in the county is celebrated this year, being that of Edmund Gillett to Miss Helen Barber, this was at Vernon Springs.
The county seat is located at Vernon Springs, in the spring, by order of Judge Upton, and the books and papers of the county moved there and court held at that place.
The organization of Forest City township is perfected, and the first election held therein, resulting in electing C. S. Thurber, justice of the peace, and E. Bassett, town clerk.
The first school in the township of Forest City was opened and taught by Miss Helen VanLeuvan, in the fall of this year.
Howard and Afton townships organized in one precinct during the year.
Charles F. Bunker, born October 1st, being the first birth in the township of Howard Center.
In the spring, in Albion township, the Baptist church was organized, with Rev. T. H. Miner as pastor. Later in the year the Methodist of the community organized their church, and Rev. William Lease was chosen their spiritual leader. The Church of Christ was also organized this year, under the labors of Rev. William Phillips.
During the fall of this year, Dr. Lewis Reynolds opened and taught the first school in Albion township.
The first regular village school was opened in the town of New Oregon, and Daniel Mills assumed the tutorship.
Albion township was a part of Vernon Springs, until this year, when it withdrew, and completed a separate organization, and held its first election, at which were cast some forty-eight votes, and resulted in electing James Nichols and James Oakley, justices of the peace, and Josiah Kelley, town clerk.
The townships of Chester and Oakdale organized in one, under the name of Iowa River, and at the first election, held in April, forty-nine votes were polled, John Adams and W. Y. Wells being elected justices of the peace, and C. M. Sawyer, town clerk. In the same township the first regular district school was organized, and taught by Miss Salinda Burknap, although it is said, that a school had been in operation the year before, but of which there is nothing known of a certainty.
Postoffice, at Howard Center, established; Henry Cook being commissioned as the first postmaster thereof.
The organization of Howard Center township perfected. and first election held March 13th, at the house of John F. Thayer, resulting in the choice of Frank S. Trew, as justice of the peace; Ira Eldridge, Chas. H. Wood, and Calvin F. Webster, town trustees; T. R. Perry, town clerk; R. O. Thayer, and O. A. Bunker, con-stables.
The township school board was also organized, and the first tax levied in the precinct was one voted by the people for the purpose of raising funds to erect a school house. The election took place June 1st.
It is recorded that, all this year, the Rev. John W. Windsor preached on alternate Sabbaths, at the town of Howard Center, being the first to teach the word of God in that precinct.
February 5th, during a blinding snow storm, the flakes falling so thick and fast that none could see the flames half a mile off, the hotel of John Thayer, at Howard Center, was destroyed by fire. There was, at the time of the breaking out of the conflagration, a school in session in the building taught by W. B. Stone. The fire caught from a defective flue, or a broken stovepipe, and in a short time reduced the building to a pile of ashes.
The host, Mr. Thayer was in the timber at the time, getting out timbers for a barn, and when he saw the work of the devouring elements, immediately commenced operation to rebuild him a hotel, even before the glowing coals had lost their firey breath, he began his labors, and by the fourth of July next had the building completed, and much larger and better than before.
I. C. Chamberlain teaches the first school in the township of Paris.
The postoffice at Sturgis' Point, in the same town, located with J. I. Sturgis as postmaster.
In Jamestown township the first election for township officers was held, April 7th, and W. E. Thayer and D Patterson were chosen constables; Willis Spencer and Darius Seeley, justices of the peace; H. Ricker, Asel Fassett, and Smith W. Seeley, town trustees.
The first school was also taught in this township, this year, Miss Jane Chandler being the teacher. The building was built of logs at "Round Grove," and for some years answered the purpose, when it grew to limited, as to space, and was replaced with a larger one of frame.
The first term of the district court, held in the county, was at Vernon Springs, Samuel Murdock being the judge. It was at this term that the first naturalization papers ever issued in the county, were taken out by Joseph S. Schafer, an alien, who desired to become a citizen of the United States.
During the fall the county seat was removed from Vernon Springs to the town of Howard Center.
First movement of the people of the county toward a railroad was initiated this year; a vote of the people offering the North-western railroad $150,000 to build a road into the county. This proved of no avail, as that railway never accepted the bonus nor built any track in that direction.
The Baptist church, at Vernon Springs, organized, with Rev. C. E. Brown as pastor. The first school, in the same township, opened and taught this year by Aaron Kimball.
Howard County Sentinel, the first paper published in the county, established February 18th, by a stock company, with J. Howard Field as editor. This paper was quite a success, u it was burned out in the following year, and never re-established.
The Star of the west, another journal, was established, at New Oregon, by Gilmore & McKay, but it had a life of but eleven weeks, ere it died.
George W. Haislet starts the Northern Light, a weekly paper at Howard Center; it lasted but one year, when it was removed to more congenial climes.
This seems to be a good year for newspapers, for we learn that the North Iowa Gazette, a democratic organ, under the editorship of Messrs. Harrison & Peck, issues its initial number. The duration of its life was only about a year, as it expired from want of patronage, there not being many democrats in the county.
During the summer the organization of Saratoga township, and the consequent election, is recorded. T. J. Gibbons being chosen justice of the peace, and John R. Buckbee, town clerk; fourteen votes were polled.
County seat moved from Howard Center and located on the bluff, between New Oregon and Vernon Springs villages, by the commission, consisting of M. V. Burdick, G. N. Holbrook, and George Bronson. These gentlemen were appointed by Judge Upton for the purpose, in answer to the wishes of the people of the county, and, finding that it could not be granted to either of the above mentioned towns, compromised the matter by giving it to neither, but placed it half way between them. The court house was commenced at that point this year, but was not finished and occupied until the next spring, and was paid for by the private subscription of both villages.
Methodist church, at Vernon Springs, organized, with Rev. Fall as pastor.
The Congregational church, at Saratoga, organized, and the first school, in that place, opened by Miss Emma Seeley.
At the organization of Paris township, this year, the vote polled was but twenty-three, and P. Smith was elected justice of the peace, and P. Griffin, town clerk.
Afton township was also organized this year, polling forty-eight votes, and electing A. M. Cowan and R. Wooten, justices of the peace.
The organization of the Methodist church, in Afton township, dates from this year.
The town of Chester laid out, in March, by A. Eaton, and the first postoffice established, and Mr. Eaton installed as the post-master.
Methodist church, at Chester, organized, in March, by Rev. Mr. Norton, with seven members.
The first marriage in Albion township takes place, being that of Ralph Watson to Miss Martha Cassety, the ceremony being per-formed by Elder Griffin, a Baptist minister.
This year the Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches, at New Oregon, were organized. The former under the pastorate of Rev. Mr. Waterbury.
It was during this year that the "gold fever" broke out in the northern part of the county, some deluded creatures conceiving that the auriferous metal could be found in paying quantities on the banks of the Upper Iowa river. The mania had its run, but that was to short, and the craze being over, the men settled down to work, and were once more reasonable beings.
The court house, on the bluff, near Vernon Springs and New Oregon, finished and occupied as such, in February.
The New Oregon Plaindealer established, ay H. Lick and W. R. Mead; this has proved one of the few successful papers. With-standing the storms and adversities of early journalism, it has rode triumphant into harbor. Continuing in New Oregon, until May, 1867, it was then transferred to Cresco, where it yet remains under the charge of W. R. and F. J. Mead.
The first Baptist church within the precinct of Forest City, was organized this spring, with Rev. C. E. Brown, as pastor and spiritual guide. The Methodist churches, at Foreston and Lime Springs, and the Presbyterian churches in both the above places, were also instituted during the year.
The large stone grist mill, at Lime Springs, was completed this year, although partly built the year previous. M. M. Marsh was the sole owner and builder, and at the time of its construction the finest in this section.
The first delinquent tax sale, in the county, was held, this year, and was but slimly attended.
The mode of county government being changed this year from the hands of the county judge to that of supervisors, one from each township; the board met January 7th for the first time.
The southern slave states having now risen in arms against the government, the board of supervisors, on June 4th, pass a resolution to sustain the honor of Howard county, by pledging the resources of the county to the federal government, both in men and money. In September they pass an ordinance, by which they agree to pay every man, enlisting from the county, ten dollars as an outfit, and also to pay monthly, to the wives of such, the sum of four dollars, and one dollar to each child under twelve years of age.
Company I, ninth Iowa infantry, raised in the county, and mustered into the service of the United States, September 18th. This company did good service in the fiery battle front, returning at the clone of the war with much thinned ranks, and leaving many a loved comrade in the cold embrace of death, far away in southern swamps.
The summer breezes blowing down from Minnesota bring the fearful tidings of Indian massacre and butchery. Thousands fleeing for their lives, leaving their property to be destroyed by the red fiends, came for shelter to Howard county, creating quite a scare. The county government asked the state for arms, but before the "circumlocution office" had got round to it, the need had passed away, and all was quiet once more.
Company I, thirty-eighth Iowa infantry, raised in the county, and marched to join the boys in the front. This company was mustered in at Dubuque, November 4th, and served its full time, until the close of the war.
The board of supervisors, of the county, submit to the ratification of the legal electors of the county, the question of donating all the swamp lands of the county to aid in the construction and equipment of the McGregor Western railroad, on the condition that they would build a railroad from North McGregor westward to intersect the county from east to west. At an election held, October 19th, the people, by a large majority, proclaim themselves in favor of such donation.
The cemetery in Howard township laid out, also the first person interred therein being Mrs. Harriet N. Talmage,. who had. drowned herself, while suffering under a temporary aberration of mind.
The board of supervisors of the county, finding, that it was still necessary to find a few more men to fill the quota of Howard county, in the federal army, offer the sum of three hundred dollars to all who will enlist, and be accepted, between December 7th and January 5th next, and their wives and children to receive the same monthly payments as had been paid to the others.
The board of supervisors, wanting to change the location of the county seat, declare that the present court house is unfit for the purpose, the weather having rotted it down, until it was unsafe for the records, and ordered the officers to remove the said records and papers to Vernon Springs. The board met at the latter place, but the records, etc., were not moved owing to the objections raised against it.
The time in which the McGregor Western railway was to get their track and roadbed into the county, having expired before they were enabled to do so, they asked the people to extend the time on the contract, which, at an election held in October, was accordingly done.
During the year the first effort was made to purchase a poor farm, and erect a poor house, but it fell through for want of the proper support.
In the spring of this year the McGregor Western railroad crossed the boundary of the county, and first broke ground for their track within its limits. Entering in section twenty-three, in Vernon Springs, the road passes northwest and leaves the county on section ten, Oakdale township, traversing the northeast corner, and skirting the north line of the county. The people and officers of the county justly complained at the action of the railroad company, in not complying with the terms of the contract entered into by them with the county, which recites that the road was to cross the entire length of the county, from east to west. This was the source of much trouble and litigation in the future.
The town of Cresco was laid out and platted, and the said plat placed on record, June 12th, of this year. There have been several additions made to this plat since, and now covers nearly four times as much territory as at first laid out.
The first settlement of the town also dates from this year.
The London Times, in an issue early in the ensuing year, quotes the town of Cresco as an example of the wonderful growth of the American western towns, and says "that in six months a bald prairie is covered with stores, shops, and dwellings of a thou-sand inhabitant, and resounds to the hum of rushing business."
The first school, in Cresco, also dates from this year, and was taught in the house, afterwards used as a private residence by Mrs. Bateman.
In the course of this year, the board of supervisors of the county are presented with. a petition, signed by Augustus Beadle and others, praying that the seat of the county government be re-located at Cresco, and offering, if that was done, to erect a suitable building to be used as a court house, and for the use of the county, donate it free of any charge whatever. A committee of the whole being appointed to view the proposed site of the building, was reported upon favorably, and the board accepted the offer, and ordered the county officers to remove the records, files, papers,. and offices to the new court house, when it was finished. The Howard county court house association immedialely commenced the erection of the structure, which was finished in June, and the removal made. Owing to the opposition of many in the county, the county seat was not formally relocated, but by a legal fiction Was still supposed to remain at "the bluff," but for the convenience the court house, at Cresco, was recognized as the real county seat.
January 20th the Howard County Times was born. The proprietors, Messrs. Wood & Mix, establishing the same under the most favorable circumstances. This paper passed through many hands since, but has never lost its prestige, as one of the brightest and best of northern Iowa's papers.
The board of supervisors submit to the action of the qualified electors, the question of levying a special tax, to furnish the necessary funds to purchase a poor farm, and erect suitable buildings, but on account of the hard times, owing to the depreciation in values, consequent on the close of the war, the people of the county saw fit to deny the tax, and for the time being the matter was dropped.
The matter of the McGregor railroad again crops out, in a petition to the legislature of the state, praying that body not to legalize the action of a former board of supervisors, donating all the swamp lands of the county, to the road, on the plea, that the said company had not complied with the terms of its contract. This matter was afterwards carried into the courts, and consider-able litigation carried on, but in the end the matter was compromised, and the railroad allowed to hold possession of the lands in dispute, on the condition that the company put a depot at the town of Chester.
On the night of March 15th, the office of the county treasurer was burglariously entered, the safe broken open and the contents, amounting to $13,000, abstracted. There has been no clue to the thief or thieves, nor never will be, in all probability, but suspicion was, and is, rife. This loss was a serious loss to the county, al-ready burdened with debt, and helped to retard the settlement of the county.
The railroad locate their depot within three-fourths of a mile of Lime Springs and the new town, Lime Springs station, sprung into being. This town, like its neighbor, Cresco, grew with a surprising growth and before winter had cast its snowy mantle over the ground, quite a town stood on what was a before a fertile farm. Among the first merchants in the place, we find the names of Peter Velie, Jr., S. L. Cary, J. F. Cameron, W. F. Daniels, J. E. Foster, C. C. Hewitt, Joeseph Knowlton, H. P. Marsh, M. M. and A. E. Marsh, Ohlquist Bros., and Alonzo Pettit.
The postoffice at Lime Springs station was established this year, with James Greenleaf as postmaster; he however, did not occupy the position, but about a month when on his resigning it, Alonzo Pettit was appointed, and still holds that office.
The town of Cresco is incorporated, and an election held for city officers, April 20th, resulting in the choice of Isaac Gregory, for mayor; W. R. Mead, recorder; Henry Widner, attorney; B. Chapin, treasurer and L. T. Woodcock, J. Clemmer, John C. Clark and John E. Peck, as council.
The station at Chester, located this year, and the business of the town receives a new impetus.
The independent school district of Cresco, organized, this year and the main part of the school building, at that place erected.
The Methodist church, in Jamestown township, was organized during the course of this year, by Elder Mapes, with some fifteen members.
The indebtedness of the county in its present state of floating warrants proving an incubus upon the finances of the treasury, the board resolved to bond it and create a sinking fund for the redemption thereof. This was accordingly done, and bonds issued in sums of $100, and the whole debt placed in shape. It is owing to this and the able management of the funds since, that the county enjoys its present good financial condition.
By the law of the state board, the of supervisors is reduced, this year, to the number of three.
The bridge at Lime Springs, then in the process of construction, falls in ruins.
Presbyterian and Baptist churches in Lime Springs station, built during the year.
James Hendricks builds and opens the hotel in that part of the town of Riceville, which lies in Howard county.
October 21st, the Cresco Times, passed into the hands of L. E. Smith, who is at present the sole proprietor and owner.
The People's Representative, a weekly newspaper, starts on the stormy sea of journalism. This paper seems to have succumbed to the tide of adverse fates, as it no longer exists.
At the election, held in October, this year, "Jerry" Barker, received 656 votes, and W. W. White, 651, for auditor. The latter being the incumbent of that office, contested the election, claiming illegal votes on the part of the opposition. The matter continued for some time and the conflict waxed warm. The board of supervisors took the matter in hand and decided to appoint Mr. Barker to the office, claiming the right to do so; to this Mr. White objected, saying that the board had no right to remove him, and that the law approved of his right to hold the office, until his successor was elected. He was shortly reminded of the fact, that as he had been appointed by the board, to fill a vacancy, and not sleeted the same power could rescind the appointment. This view of the matter caused Mr. White to surrender, and Mr. Barker entered upon the duties of the office, early in the ensuing year.
The school building, at Cresco, proving not large enough, the west wing, of that structure, was built this year, adding consider-able more room.
The Methodist church of Riceville, was erected and dedicated in the early part of the year. This is one the neatest specimens of gothic architecture in the county.
The wrought iron bridge at Florenceville is construeted during the year.
The first normal institute, in the county, is held during the spring of this year. J. C. Gilchrist, of St. Paul was the director and was assisted by J. Breckenridge, of Decorah, and Miss Bucklin, of Cresco.
In May, of this year the town of Lime Springs Station is incorporated.
December 31st, the court house, at Cresco, is destroyed by fire and all the court records and valuable papers reduced to ashes. The fire is thought to have been of incendiary origin, but of this there yet lacks proof. About midnight the alarm was given and all hastened to the burning building, but to late to be of any good, as the flames had gained such a headway as to defy their feeble efforts. A strong effort was made to save the papers in the court room, but the heat and the dense volumes of smoke drove back, all such as volunteered for the forlorn hope. In a few short hours the building was reduced to a pile of glowing ashes, and smoking heaps of rubbish.
This year will ever remain notorious, from the defalcation and absconding of the treasurer, Frank Kyte. It seems, that Monday, July 12th, the news was received in Cresco, that Mr. Kyte was drowned at McGregor, the afternoon before. On receipt of intlligence, sevsral of the most prominent citizens, left for the point in questicn to verify the report, and if true, to recover the body. On their arrival at that city they found that, althoug strenuous efforts had been, and were being made that no signs of the corpse were. visible. After developments opened the eyes of all, and the conviction was forced upon them, that instead of being drowned, Frank Kyte, had decamped with $18,500 of the county's money, and that the story of his drowning was a plot, to cover up his tracks.
The corporation of Cresco, extends its limits southward so as to take in the bluff, whereon rested the legal county seat, and so absorbing, as it were, that honor. This settled the county seat question, it is hoped definitely.
The people of the county, seeing that a rigid adherence to the letter of law, and a strict government of the bond of Frank Kyte, the defaulting treasurer, would work the financial ruin of many persons who had signed it, petition the board of supervisors to compromise the matter with them. This was accordingly done, and the matter rested.
The new court house, at Cresco, rebuilt and re-occupied by the county officers.
The first class to graduate, from the Cresco high school, held its commencement exercises this year.
The debt, of the independent school district of Cresco, is bonded by resolution of the board of school control.
Jail and sheriff's residence erected, in court house square, by the county.