Historical reminiscences of the city of Des Moines, together with a full description of the city and county. H. B. Turrill, 1857 Transcribed by Ralph Leonard

Polk County—General Summary.

Polk county is divided into twelve townships, as follows: Allen, Beaver, Camp, Delaware, Des Moines, Elkhart, Fourmile, Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, Saylor, and Washington.

Polk City is a fine and flourishing town, situated near the Des Moines river, fifteen miles north of Des Moines. It bids fair to rise to some importance.

Dudley, on the west side of the river, below Des Moines, was laid out in 1846. It is yet but a small town. In 1851, when the great flood was at its hight (sic), it was totally over-flowed. Jeremiah Church, one of the original proprietors of the town, is said to have escaped the raging waters by climbing a cotton-wood tree, where he amused himself, and delighted the finny tribes sporting beneath him, by the dulcet strains which he drew from his favorite old fiddle.

Rising Sun is a small village, five miles east of Des Moines, in the midst of a fertile prairie country.

Lafayette, Corydon, Mitchell, Saylorville, Apple Grove, West Liberty, Centerville, Hopkin’s Grove, and Union, are small places, some of them only names.

At the presidential election, held November 4th, 1856, the number of votes cast in the different townships of Polk county were as follows:

Townships. Polls. Townships. Polls.
 Allen, 63   Four Mile, 106
 Beaver, 48   Franklin, 42
 Camp, 182   Jefferson, 287
 Delaware, 62   Madison, 182
 Des Moines, 1,097   Saylor, 117
 Elkhart, 57   Washington, 28
 Total in Polk county,                            2,269


70                                                              HISTORY

These votes were divided between the three Presidential candidates, as follows:

Fremont, -         -         -          -          -          1, 098

Buchanan,   -         -         -          -          -         888

Fillmore,     -          -          -          -         -          92

City Officers, elected May 4th, 1857, whose term of office expires May 4th, 1858:

Mayor—W. H. McHenry.


First   Ward—W. A. Hunt, J. F. Kemp.

Second   “     F. R. West, L. White.

Third      “     I. Cooper, W. C. Burton.

Fourth    “     R. L, Tiderick, M. Lawrence.

Fifth       “     J. W. Stanton, G. W. Connor.

Sixth      “     H. H. Griffith, J. A. Williamson.

Seventh  “     W. A. Scott, J. Hyde.

On the eleventh of May the Council elected the following subordinate officers:

City Engineer—B. Callan.

  “   Treasurer—Benjamin Bryant.

  “   Recorder—B. D. Thomas.

  “   Assessor—H. E. Lemoreaux.

  “   Marshal—W. Deford.

Street Commissioner, West side—J. McNamarra.

    “            “            East  “      Will Tomlinson.

OF DES MOINES.                                                 71

Table, showing the amount and value of the real and personal property liable to taxation in Polk county, for the year 1853:

  Number. Value.
 Land, 151,683  acres, $664,522
 Town lots, 639 92,764
 Horses, 1, 415 67,073
 Neat cattle, 3, 716 51,532
 Sheep, 3, 090 4,537
 Swine, 5, 137 10,722
Capital in manufactures, 6,350
    “       "   merchandise, 28,311
 Carriages, etc.,
600 23,925
 Moneys and credits, 60,000
 All other property, 6,694
          Total, $1,016,409

72                                                  HISTORY OF DES MOINES.

TABLE, showing the amount and value of the real and personal property, liable to taxation, in Polk county, Iowa, for the year 1856:

  Number. Value.
 Land, 313,557 acres. $2,498,532
Town lots, 811,517
 Horses, 2,256 175.888
 Mules and Asses, 74 5,446
 Neat cattle, 6,788 26,172
 Sheep, 3,920 6,909
 Swine, 14,191 34,823
Capital in merchandise, 87,367
    “       "   manufactures, 46,875
 Carriages, etc., 1,031 48,828
 Moneys and credits, 04,482
 Taxablehousehold furniture, 9,229
 Ferry Franchises, 420
         Total $4,057,693

Increase in the value of taxable property in three years, 3,041,284.

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