Allamakee co. IAGenWeb Land Records

Some Early Farm Ownership & Locations

by Mary Agnes Ratcliffe Bellows ( 1846-1930)

Words in parenthesis and minor editing by Cecil Hartley Pottratz (1904-1977)

From the river to the east and west line of French Creek Twp., at the top of the Big Hill (Beetem) were the farms of ferryman Wm . Brooks, Wm. Kibby, Dennis Donovan and D. Lahey. Up on Beetem Ridge were John D. Beetem, a Kentuckian, J. Schuster, John Ashbacker, Geo. and Gottlieb Wild, Aaron Dawson, G. Stark, M. Hoffman, John Stone, Henry Hirth, John Munz and Henry Haas whose stone dwelling is still in use. (torn down when a new house was built by Robert Hartley). The first schoolhouse was built in the early 60s.

From French Creek P. O. on creek and river were Wm. Yoeman, Geo. Kibby, the Clarks and Chas. Elliot who opened a small store on his farm around Owl's Head Bluff where in the 1850s a Mr. Woodmansee had platted on paper Alton City and disposed of lots to credulous persons at a distance who made inquiries by mail as to exact location and surroundings.

From the mouth of Clear Creek through Albert's farm past Old's Bluff (east of Mt. Hope Bluff) and around back of Mt. Hope were P. Waters, John Sheckelton, D. Hastings, J. W. Cole, the Williamsens, P. Fitzgerald and Marshall Merritt who was first postmaster at Clear Creek with weekly mail from Lansing and Burr Oak and return. Farther up the creek were M. Lamb, Nathan and Wm. Dennison, Wm and Thomas Lusk and Joseph Wampler. The Wheatland school district school was built in '60/'61.

Up the river in the small hamlet of New Galena-Hanover Twp and so named for Galena, Ill. where visions of mineral wealth were not realized were Oberts, Greenes, Mays and others. Farther down the river were Maurice O'Reagan, Patrick McGuire, Thos. Bulman and around The Elephant Bluff were George and Wm. Bulman, Thos. Reburn, J. Coleman, Wm. Sadler, John Rowe, Dr. J. S. Allen and ...Perkins.

Up the river from Benj. Ratcliffe were the Wm. Beardmores who had come from Liverpool, England to Wheeling in 1843 (1853) and to Allamakee Co. in 1865. The piece of land next to Beardmores on the river was owned by the widow of Lynn Ratcliffe who died Feb 1858 on the eve of emigrating with Bro. Benj. Ratcliffe -was later divided and sold to J. G. Ratcliffe and J. W. Hartley who improved it and later married Sarah Ratcliffe in 1868. J. G. Ratcliffe later removed to Waukon as County Supeervisor and business man later issuing the first Co. map. J. W. Hartley moved to French Cr. Twp.

In July 1864 J. Gilchrist of W. Va, purchased E. T. Albert's farm and in April 1865, J. Singleton purchased the farm of James Rowe (now Fedketter) in French Cr. Twp. Wm. Beardmore purchased the Chas. McGinnis farm next to Mt. Hope.

Notes from contributor:
- Mary Agnes Ratcliffe Bellows was the daughter of Benjamin Ratcliffe.She often contributed articles (signed M.A.R.B.) to the local newspaper(s) about the early farm ownerships, first schools, and life in general. She probably was mainly a local correspondent

- My mother, Cecil Hartley Pottratz, collected M.A.R.B.'s articles over the years.  They are in my mother's handwriting, so she either copied them from someone's scrapbook (if they had been in the paper) or from an original from some relative.

-contributed by Neva Auenson

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