Thomas Mitchell - Early days
Posted By: JCGS Volunteer
Date: 12/12/2022 at 13:18:52
Early And Late Springs In Iowa
Uncle Tom Mitchell, of Mitchellville, was in Des Moines yesterday having taken “a day off” to celebrate the beginning of a fiftieth year of his continued residence in this country, and to “swap yarns” with some of the “newcomers” who have been trying to classify themselves as “old settlers” for several years. He arrived in Iowa, March 8, 1840, coming by steamboat to Ottumwa. The boat was commanded by Capt. William Phelps. Among the other passengers was Hon. James W. Nesmith, who resided in Iowa until 1843, when he removed to Oregon, which state he afterwards represented in the National congress for several years. Speaking of late and early springs, Uncle Tom said yesterday that the spring of 1840 was the earliest he had ever known in the state.
Soft maple trees along the Des Moines river, below Keosauqua, were in leaf on March 8 of that year. He arrived in this county April 14, 1844, and found the prairie grass six inches high on that date, and there were no frosts that spring after his arrival in Polk county. The spring of 1843 was the latest on the Iowa records. Loaded wagons crossed the Mississippi river on the ice at Burlington on April 6 of that year, and spring weather came very late, but good crops were raised, as indicated by the fact that corn sold at five cents per bushel in the southern counties of that fall. During his fifty-three years’ residence in the state, Iowa has never failed to produce a good crop of corn.
Uncle Tom is still hale and hearty, still loyal to Iowa and every good work, still faithful to Republicanism and the best possible government of all the people, and still has a good promise for the happy enjoyment of the leisure years of a busy, useful and good life. – Register.
Source: The Newton Journal; Wednesday, April 19, 1893
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