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Ringgold Roots
Ringgold County Genealogical Society
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County
Vol. III, Pp. 8-9.
January, 1982


Redding, in Clinton Township, is locted twelve miles from Mt. Ayr on the Grant City Branch of the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy [CB&Q] Railroad. It was laid out in 1880, by a town company composed of railroad capitalists. J. W. CROUCH built the first house, which is now the Redding Hotel. Immediately after, and all about the same time, WILSON & CONINE built a store, W. C. WILSON a dwelling, N. B. ALLER a restaurant, WATSON a store, Al. SILVERS a store, George DENNIS a blacksmith shop, and Oliver WOOLMAN a wagon shop. The village obtained most of its growth the first year. By 1882, the population was 300, and the village was incorporated. The officers for 1886 are: Mayor, L. P. MILBURN; Council: W. E. LAWHEAD, Loren GEE, Thomas DEMCY, F. M. WISDOM, Milton WISDOM; Marshal, J. H. BAIRD; Treasurer, J. T. BERNARD.

In 1884 the village met with two serious reverses, in the shape of fires. The first, in April, destoryed five buildings at the northwest corner of the square. July 5, following, the whole north side was swept away, including William ANTHONY'S general store, P. B. FRANCES' general store, B. J. CONINE'S hotel, Samuel WARDEN'S dwelling, C. S. PUGSLEY'S general store, G. M. SMITH'S grocery and hardware store, and D. W. POOR'S grocery. The business portion of the village has been partially rebuilt, but the population is less than formerly. The state census of 1885 gave it at 210; they claim 250 now.

The business firms of 1886 are:

    P. B. FRANCE
    general store
    J. M. SMITH
    general store
    D. M. SMITH
    general store
    general store
    lumber & furniture
    drug store
    P. MOLER
    George HUNTSMAN
    livery stable
    Union Hotel
    Joseph SHAW
    Redding Hotel
    W. T. SMITH
    livery stable
    J. W. CROUCH
    Henry H. ROKES
    harness shop
    station agent

  Two papers have been published at Redding. The Reporter was started in 1885 by F. M. WISDOM, and ran for a few months. The Independent was started in December, 1885, by BURRELL & NOBLE. The latter withdrew after a time, and again, later, CLAYBURG Brothers became proprietors. The paper suspended in the summer of 1886. It was independent in politics, and published on Thursdays, at a $1.50 per year.

The only lawyer who has lived and practiced at Redding was George SPENCE, who was here two or three years. He went to Dakota in 1884.

The first physician here was Thomas KENWORTHY, who lived near the village site when the latter was selected. he soon moved to Oregon. Dr. McLEAN was here one year and then went to Missouri. The present physicians are A. K. KING, THomas H. HUMPHREY and W. E. LAWHEAD.

The Methodist church at this place was built in the spring of 1884 at an expenditure of about $1,200. The society is an old one, and formerly worshiped in the schoolhouse south of Redding. Services are held in this church nearly every Sunday, by one denomination or another. Rev. WITHERS preaches here for the Methodists, and Rev. GOLDING for the Missionary Baptists. D. W. POOR conducts the Sunday-school, the usual attendance of which is seventy-five.

Thomas HUSTON Post, No. 51, G.A.R., was organized in March 1883, with William ANTHONY as Commander; A. AMICK as Adjutant; L. W. PARSONS, Officer of the Day, and S. OLIVER, Quartermaster. The officers for 1886 are: M. A. WAUGH, Commander; D. W. POOR, Senior Vice-Commander; I. T. OWENS, Junior Vice-Commander; Rev. William GOLDING, Chaplain; A. AMICK, Adjutant; David HILLHOUSE, Officer of the Day; J. T. MEDARIS, Quartermaster; F. M. OLIVER, Office of the Guard; J. P. PARKER, Surgeon; J. W. ATHEY, Quartermaster-Sergeant. The membership is now thirty. Meetings are held on Friday evening on or before each full moon.

The Women's Christian Temperance Union and the Cold Water Army Templars was here, but is now defunct.
- From Biographical & Historical Record of Ringgold and Decatur Counties, Iowa
Lewis Publ. Chicago. 1887.


The name Redding has been attached to three locations. A post office was chartered in 1855 at a spot two miles north of the present town location. Then, in the 1870's, the town covering about 10 blocks was started just north of the present town. When the railroads were built in 1879, a New Redding was laid out in sections 11, 12, 13, and 14 of Clinton Township. The population grew to 300.

There were several early settlers who have descendants still living around here. John BAIRD and his sons Samuel and Absolam came from Monroe County, Indiana in 1848; H. T. "Thomps" MILLER, born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, came with his large family in 1859, coming all the way by team. His brothers Squire and William came also. Squire MILLER was the father of 17 children. D. C. ABARR and J. W. ABARR came with their mother and two brothers in 1856 from Indiana, as did Alvin POORE and family

Happy Birthday, Redding!!

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, May of 2010

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