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History of Cass Co. 1877


Chris Shuart came to Lewis in 1855. He was Superintendent of the Western Stage Company's line from Des Moines to Council Bluffs. He was in the company's employ twelve years. He thinks there was but one house in Lewis when he looked in upon the village first in the year named. The stages used to drive thirty miles without passing a house, and used to frequently camp on the prairie. Mr. Shuart has been on his present farm near Atlantic, ten years.

Isaac Dickerson was born in Pennsylvania in 1831. He removed with his parents, to Davis county, Iowa Territory, in 1845. After that, he resided in Jefferson county, and still later he lived in Mahaska county, coming from the last named county to this. In June, 1856, he located in Lewis and opened a stock of goods, as the agent of Shoemaker & Wilson, of Oskaloosa. During his first year's residence he was postmaster of the village, and it was he that introduced "boxes" or "pigeon holes" into that post office, and the event was one of importance to the villagers. In the early Spring of 1857, Mr. Dickerson was appointed County Treasurer and Recorder, (the offices being one under the law then in vogue) to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of S. M. Tucker, and in a few weeks after his appointment, he was elected to the same position. He was several times re-elected Treasurer, and held the office about nine years, going out of the office January 1st, 1866. In 1869 Mr. Dickerson removed to Atlantic, and in 1872, he built the large and handsome residence which he now occupies.  He has evidently prospered in the accumulation of "worldly goods," and has made his money in buying and selling lands. He is serving his second term as Mayor of Atlantic.

The early settlers of Pleasant township, (although the township was part of Cass then) were as follows: Wm. Baughman, 1855; Cyrus Baughman, 1856; Phillip Schwartz, 1857; and Samuel Stutler. Nathan Gibbs ws the first settler on the O'Connor place. O'Connor bought Gibbs out at an early day and for several years O'Connor and Stutler were the only settlers in that part of the township. David Robinson, 1856; -- Steadwell, 1856; John Clark, 1856; Al. Hill, Hiram Smith and his sons, Levi, J. D., Luke, Reuben, William, Oliver and Henry, 1855. Hiram Smith had one of the first frame houses in his section. Jacob Hadley did the work. Peter Stringham had the second frame dwelling in that part of the county. The first school was taught in that part of the county by Miss Morgan (now Mrs. Matt Shoemaker, living near Villisca.) Miss Tuttle was also one of the early teachers in that locality. The earliest preaching was by Rev. Geo. B. Hitchcock, of Lewis.

Joseph Northgraves built the house in Benton township now occupied by Geo. E. Williams, in 1854, but did not occupy it until 1855, passing the interval between the building and the occupancy, in Cincinnati, his former home. His daughter, Ellen, now Mrs. Albert Wakefield, of Grove City, taught school at Hamlin's Grove, Audubon county in the spring of 1856, which was the first school taught in that settlement.

In the year 1852, being a boy of eighteen years, Lewis Beason left his home in Logan county, Illinois, on horseback for Council Bluffs (then Kanesville) with the expectation of going to California, but he got homesick and retraced his steps. In 1854, however, he did make the trip to California, returning in 1855. In 1856 he located in this county, on section 21, Atlantic township. In that year he cast his first vote, at Grove City for John C. Fremont. In 1860 he was married, in Grant township, to Miss Augusta Wooster. He is now forty-two years old; is a native of Greene county, Ohio. He was the founder and original owner of the town of Anita.

J. W. Brown, landed in Lewis, April 12, 1856, and was the second lawyer in the county. He was admitted to practice in Judge Sears' court on motion of John Leonard, of Winterset, now District Judge. The first case in which Mr. Brown appeared (three or four weeks after his arrival) was one before Hiram Smith, Justice of the Peace. The first he had in the district court was Puckett vs. -- in which his opponent was Caleb Baldwin of Council Bluffs. Mr. Brown has frequently been the Democratic nominee for member of the General Assembly, but his party being in the minority, he was at no time elected. Mr. B. is a graduate of the University of Indiana. He called his first child born in the county, Lewis Cass, after the child's native county and native town.

Henry Michael, now of Nebraska, improved the farm on which Clark Byrd now resides, in the year 1855, and the house which Mr. Michael built still stands and is occupied by Mr. Byrd.

Samuel Smith opened a farm in the south part of the county in 1856 --- Abbott opened another in the same year.  Wm. S. Newlon was also one of the early citizens of the section.

What is known as the German settlement, in Noble township, was begun in 1868.

Uriah Daft and family settled in what is now noble township, October 18th, 1858. They came from Ripon, Wisconsin. Mr. and Mrs. Daft were natives of Lincolnshire, England. Mr. Daft died December 6th, 1873. rs. Daft is still a resident of the township named.

Milton Smith settled in Noble in 1857.

Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Case came from Lee county, Iowa, to Cass, in October, 1858. They are natives of Ohio, and lived in Lee county in the Territory of Iowa, as early as 1840. Mr. Case is aged 64, and Mrs. Case 61. They now live in Atlantic with their son-in-law, Julian Phelps.

J. M. Baxter, who has a farm of about 1400 acres, is a native of Vermont, and came to Cass county, a poor man, in 1857, settling first near the edge of Pottawattamie. He came from Lee county, Iowa, from whence came Oliver Mills, John Keyes, and numerous others. Henry Wissler, came with Mr. Mills, the same year.

Stiles E. Mills, father of E. C. Mills, of Atlantic, settled at Lewis in 1856. He now resides in Colorado. E. C., though a mere boy, went as a drummer with Co. "I," 23d regiment through the war.

Wm. Waddell, who came to the county April 12th, 1858, was born in Stuben county, New York, in 1834, and consequently is in his forty-second year. He came out for the purpose of entering a piece of land, holding a warrant for 160 acres. With that warrant he entered the n. w. qr. sec. 26, 75, 35 (Union township) on which there are at present two improved farms. His first employment after locating at Lewis, was that of attendant for a brick layer. During the summer of 1858, he was with K. W. Macomber and others surveying and sectionizing three or four northwestern counties of the State; then he clerked in a store, and in December of the same year he began teaching the Lewis school. In 1860, he was married to Miss Belle Johnson, daughter of Capt. Thos. B. Johnson. In 1862 he was elected County Clerk, serving six years. In 1869 he was elected County Surveyor but soon resigned. In February, 1870, he took the place of cashier of the Cass County Bank, then just organized, which position he continues to fill. In Mr. Waddell's successful and honorable career, and in the career of others of our prosperous old settlers herein mentioned, the young men who read these pages may find encouragement to worthy emulation.

Clement D. Tuttle, whose age is 49 years, moved to Cass county in October, 1857, and settled in what is now Atlantic township. He still lives on the land he bought from Uncle Sam and assures us that he rejoices in recollecting that he helped dozens of runaway slaves across Cass county in the dark years before the war.

John Rose settled in what is now a part of Noble township, in the year 1855, and was the first settler of that particular locality, as near as can at this time be ascertained. Mr. Rose met his death in a singular manner about the year 1857. On a cold day in that year he was in the Lewis flouring mill, wearing a shawl wrapped around his throat. The shawl caught in some of the mill gearing and Mr. Rose was drawn so tightly against the machinery that he was choked to death. Two of Mr. Rose's sons now live in Montgomery county. At one time, a petition was presented to the Board of Supervisors, asking the organization of what is now Noble township, proposing then to call it Rose township, but the prayer of the petition was not granted.

From the History of Cass County, Iowa Together With Brief Mention of Old Settlers
by Lafe Young, Atlantic, Iowa:  Telegraph Steam Printing House, 1877, pp. 35-39.
Transcribed for Cass County by Cheryl Siebrass
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