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A Fact A Day About Iowa City - Sharon Township

BOONE, IDE, BAILEY, HALL, WILLIAMSON, FRY, SCHMIDT, RATZLAFF, HERMAN, MEMLER, DAVIS, MARNER, ROBERTS, SPENCER

Posted By: Mistina Christner (email)
Date: 9/13/2018 at 11:51:29

Source: Kalona News April 19, 1941

A FACT A DAY ABOUT IOWA CITY
Sharon Township
By J.E.R.

William A. Boone, an Iowa City pioneer, who died some months ago, in Iowa City, was one of the few "old-timers", who remembered in recent years the so-called "Bonn's Schoolhouse", a typical Hawkeye "little red school house on the hill." This quoted phrase does not, however, carry a definite meaning, as to the exact location or color of the structure in question.
Not long before his death, Mr. Boone declared that the school held a fond place in his memory. He contended, indeed, that the old maps and other records showed that its real name was not "Bonn's" but "Boone's", and that its history was linked with his family, as the second title indicates. Harking back to long-gone years, Mr. Boone once remarked that people were inclined long ago to miscall the Boone patronymic, and hence - as he remarked to a Press-Citizen writer - he was not surprised that the misspelling crept even into court records.
This came to pass, after the first election was held in Sharon township, in that school, in 1858. Mr. Boone was a pupil therein, the following year. (Incidentally, Mr. Boone, born in Iowa City, believed that he and W.E.C. Foster, also a native of Iowa City, were the two oldest residents of the old capital, living here - or anywhere - at the time this statement was made)
Mr. Boone recalled two other pioneers, who attended the "Boone" school in those olden days - Barbara and John Rhodes. Two other Sharonites whom he named as true "old-timers" were Mrs. Mabel Fry Williamson, and Mrs. Joseph Hall, formerly Miss Ann Bailey. In Mr. Boone's opinion, the two first white men of Sharon township were Asa Bailey and W.W. Ford. He gave the date of their settlement as 1837, whole Johnson County was still a part of Wisconsin territory.
Accepting Mr. Boone's recollections, this indicates that these two men arrived not long after Philip (Phil) Clark and Eli Myers, widely described as the "first white settlers to set foot on Johnson County's virgin prairies," made their first preliminary visit here.
Sharon's St. John's German Lutheran church, erected in 1875, was also dedicated that year - by the Rev. C. Ide of the Iowa City German Lutheran church. He and other Iowa Citians (The Rev. M. Hoerlein; and the Rev. Mr. Hartman) served as pastors of that church later. The roster of founders thereof carried the names of Schmidt, Ratzlaff, Herman and Memler families, among others. Sharon's business enterprises included the Sharon Cheese and Butter association, which opened in June 1881. An early president was G.R. Hall; vice-president, T.D. Davis; secretary, J.J. Marner; treasurer, J.J. Roberts, and superintendent, J. Spencer.


 

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