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History of Cass Co. 1877


In this chapter I have aimed to gather a few interesting facts from the official record kept by the board of supervisors:

On the 7th day of January 1861, the first board of supervisors met in Cass county, the law creating such boards having been enacted at the session of the General Assembly of 1860. The board consisted of one member from each township, and was constituted as follows: C. S. Newton, Edna; R. C. Gordon, Turkey Grove; Peter Hedges, Union; E. B. Bell, Cass; Dawson Glasgow, Lura; Samuel L. Lorah, Pymosa; Thomas Meredith, Brighton. The board organized by choosing S. L. Lorah chairman, for one year. D. A. Barnett, being county clerk, was clerk of the board. In casting lots for terms of service, Messrs. Glasgow, Meredith and Gordon drew two year terms. Messrs. Newlon, Lorah, Hedges and Bell, one year terms.

E. W. Davenport was elected county surveyor by the board, June, 1861, to fill vacancy caused by the removal of A. J. Osborne from the county.

In October 1861, the board appointed a committee of citizens to inquire after the necessities of the families of volunteers. That committee consisted of John Keyes, Peter Kenoyer and Dr. J. B. Carey. On the recommendation of this committee the clerk of the board of supervisors was authorized to issue warrants for the relief of the destitute families of soldiers.

H. Temple resigned the county judgeship October, 1861, and the board appointed E. W. Hall to fill the vacancy.

At the October election, 1861, the vote between J. S. Rand and E. W. Hall for county Superintendent was a tie and the candidates drew lots for the place, Mr. Hall being successful. At the same election the vote was a tie between James L. Byrd and Job S. Haworth, for drainage commissioner. Another drawing was had and Mr. Haworth drew the long straw. Mr. Hall resigned soon after and J. S. Rand was appointed to the superintendency.

At the January meeting, 1862, the new members of the board were as follows: T. R. Chapel, Cass; F. H. Whitney, Breckenridge; John B. Hardenberg, Pymosa; John Irvin, Edna.

The board organized by electing R. C. Gordon, chairman.

In February, 1862, a special meeting of the board was held for the purpose of selling the swamp and over-flowed lands to the American Emigrant Co. The board made the sale and called a special election to ratify the same. The election was held March 25th, 1862, and the contract was ratified by the people. Votes polled 275; for the contract 175; against the same 100. The contract between the county and the company was that the company was to have all the county's swamp lands for building county buildings to cost $4,000. The company was to have four years to do the work in. The company finally paid the money instead of furnishing the buildings.

E. B. Bell was appointed County Judge June, 1862, to fill a vacancy.

Lewis public square was ordered fenced in 1862, and trees were planted on the square.

September, 1862, Breckenridge was changed to Union township.

In the year 1863 the board of supervisors was constituted as follows: F. H. Whitney, Union; T. R. Chapel, Cass; J. Irwin, Edna; J. B. Hardenberg, Pymosa; D. Glasgow, Lura; John Leslie, Brighton; Wm. Judd, Turkey Grove. On Motion of F. H. Whitney, T. R. Chapel was chosen chairman for one year.

At the June meeting, 1863, the board selected J. E. Pratt to represent Union township, vice F. H. Whitney, removed from the township. In the fall Mr. Pratt resigned and John Meredith was appointed to the place, Mr. Pratt having moved to Brighton township, was chosen to fill the vacancy caused by resignation of John Leslie from that township.

In 1864 the board was constituted as follows: C. S. Newlon, Edna; D. Glasgow, Lura; J. E. Pratt, Brighton; Wm. Judd, Turkey Grove; John C. Cannon, Pymosa; Wm. H. Bailey, Cass; N. Meredith, Union. On motion of Wm. H. Bailey, C. S. Newlon was chosen chairman for one year. The proceedings show that swamp lands were deeded to the American Emigrant Company, January, 1864, for $4,000.

E. B. Bell, County Judge, died in January, 1864, and E. W. Davenport was appointed to the place by the board.

In 1864 the Board authorized County Treasurer Dickerson to keep revenue stamps for sale and to account them as cash in his settlements.

At the January meeting, 1865, the members present were as follows: Thomas Meredith, Brighton; Wm. H. Bailey, Cass; James B. McDermott, Lura; John C. Cannon, Pymosa; David A. Barnett, Turkey Grove; John Tate, Union. D. A. Barnett was elected chairman. At this session of the board the following resolution was adopted:

    Resolved, by the Board of Supervisors of Cass County, Iowa, acting for and in behalf of said county, that a bounty of $300 be paid by the said county to each volunteer and to each drafted man who shall be accepted, or shall furnish a substitute who shall be accepted, to fill the quota of the county of Cass, aforesaid under the call of the President of the United States for three hundred thousand men of date December 20th, A. D. 1864. And that the same shall be paid as follows: The Clerk of the District Court and ex-officio clerk of the Board of Supervisors of Cass county, State of Iowa, is hereby authorized and ordered by the Board of Supervisors to issue to each volunteer and to each drafted man, warrants upon a fund to be called and known as the "bounty fund" in the sum of three hundred dollars to each, whenever a certificate from the provost marshal of this, the 5th District of Iowa, shall be filed in the said clerk's office, that the said volunteer or drafted man or his substitute as aforesaid has been accepted and accredited to the county of Cass, in the State of Iowa, on the aforesaid call for 300,000 men.

The resolution further provided that at the September meeting of the board, a bounty fund tax would be levied to pay these warrants; and until paid the warrants should draw ten percent interest. For immediate use, the board resolved to borrow the "Town Fund."

The yeas and nays were called, and all the supervisors present, voted for the resolution. The supervisors present were Messrs, D. A. Barnett, Wm. H. Bailey, John C. Cannon, Thomas Meredith, J. B. McDermott and John Tate.

At the June meeting, 1865, Thomas Meredith resigned Supervisorship of Brighton, and M. B. Darnell was appointed. At the same meeting J. B. McDermott resigned the place of Supervisor from Lura township, and James Turner was appointed.

In September, 1865, the citizens of Lura township petitioned the board to authorize that township to vote on changing its name. The board authorized a vote, which was had and the name was changed from Lura to Grant.

At the October meeting, 1865, Wm. F. Altig, appeared as Supervisor from Brighton township, having been elected to fill a vacancy.

In January, 1866, the Board consisted of the following members: Wm. F. Altig, Brighton; Wm. H. Bailey, Cass; C. S. Newlon, Edna; Lewis Beason, Grant; James L. Byrd, Pymosa; D. F. Gaylord, Union; D. A. Barnett, Turkey Grove. The last named gentleman was elected Chairman.

At this session the Board appointed Henry Temple a committee to go to Des Moines, to secure the passage of an Act by the Legislature, then in session, legalizing the town plat of Lewis; and also employed Wm. Waddell to re-survey and plat the town. Both gentlemen discharged the duties required of them.

At the June meeting, 1866, J. W. Brown was chosen County Attorney.

At the October meeting, the war being over, the relief fund was transferred to the bridge fund.

In 1867, the Board was constituted as follows: James L. Byrd, Pymosa; Wm. H. Bailey, Cass; D. F. Gaylord, Union; C. S. Newlon, Edna; Lewis Beason, Grant; A. Brown, Turkey Grove; Wm. F. Altig, Brighton. James L. Byrd was chosen Chairman.

The Swamp Land Fund of over $4000, was loaned in 1867 for first time. The fund amounts to over ten thousand dollars now.

At the October meeting, 1867, the Board adopted the following, en motion of Supervisor Gaylord:

    Resolved, That our intercourse with Wm. F. Altig and Wm. H. Bailey, as members of this Board has been pleasant and agreeable and that their deportment has always been gentlemanly and courteous and that it is with a feeling of regret that we part company with them, and our best wishes attend them.

At the same meeting the following was adopted:

    WHEREAS, In the order of Republican institutions it becomes necessary for the elder members of society to give place to the younger, and
    WHEREAS, The venerable friend, Cyrus Newlon, having been a member of this board for six years, and this in all human probability being the last time that he will meet with said Board in his official capacity, then be it
    Resolved, That in the discharge of his official duties he has ever been zealous to the best interests of his constituents, and courteous and gentlemanly in his demeanor toward members of this Board, and that our best wishes attend him in whatever position he may be called to fill.

The following gentlemen constituted the Board in the year 1868: Lewis Beason, Grant; Anson Brown, Turkey Grove; D. F. Gaylord, Union; James L. Byrd, Pymosa; Z. Clarey, Brighton; John Leslie, Edna; John A. Mills, Cass. Mr. Byrd was re-elected Chairman.

In June, 1868, Z. Clarey, resigned the position of Supervisor from Brighton, and M. B. Carnell was appointed.

The members for 1869 were as follows: D. F. Gaylord, Union; James L. Byrd, Pymosa; John A. Mills, Cass; W. W. Jameson, Turkey Grove; J. C. Morrison, Grant; Simeon S. Green, Brighton; John Leslie, Edna. Again Mr. Byrd was chosen Chairman.

At the January meeting, 1869, the following preamble and resolution was adopted:

    WHEREAS, Wm. Waddell's term of office as ex-officio Clerk of this Board having expired, we the members of the Board deeply regret that his pleasant countenance will greet us no more as our Clerk. Therefore be it
    Resolved, By the Board of Supervisors of Cass County, Iowa, That as a business man, and a courteous gentleman he has no superior, and for truth, integrity and honesty of purpose. We feel in duty bound to freely testify that he has always maintained an even and unruffled deportment toward the members of this Board, and always studiously tried to do that which was for the best interest of the county, without fear, favor or affection. That the thanks of this Board be tendered to Wm. Waddell for the able and efficient manner in which he has discharged the duties of Clerk of this Board, and that our best wishes attend him in his retirement from the duties of his station.

Henry Temple was chosen County Attorney for the year 1869

On Monday, June 7th, 1869, Wm. Waddell and others appear and file notice of publication and a petition for the removal of the county-seat from Lewis to Atlantic. At the same time R. G. Phelps and others appear and file a remonstrance. These papers were referred to a committee, consisting of D. F. Gaylord, S. S. Green, and John A. Mills, and the parties given until noon of the next day to file additional petitions and proofs. No additional proofs appear to have been filed. The special committee above named did not report until Thursday, June 10th, 1869, when they reported as follows:

    "We, the undersigned committee to whom was referred the petition and remonstrance pertaining to the removal of the county-seat, beg leave to report and recommend that the whole question be referred to the committee of the whole, as the committee have arrived at no definite conclusion as to the merit of the case."

    D. F. GAYLORD, Chairman.
    S. S. GREEN.

On motion, the above report was received and adopted. The further proceedings are recorded as follows:

    "And now the whole question pertaining to the re-location of the county seat being referred to the committee of the whole, there-upon John A. Mills, Supervisor, offered the following preamble and resolution:

    WHEREAS, Under the existing circumstances it seems proper that this Board should have some legal advice, therefore be it

    Resolved, That one attorney upon each side be allowed the privilege of giving his advice."

That resolution was lost.

Supervisor Gaylord offered the following resolution:

    Resolved, By the Supervisors of Cass county, Iowa, That we deem the affidavits accompanying the petitions for the re-location of the county-seat, to comply with section 3, of Chapter 49, of the Acts of 1862, and are sufficient in form."

Mr. Gaylord moved the adoption of this resolution, which was done unanimously.

Supervisor Gaylord offered the following resolution and moved its adoption, which was done by a majority vote; the ayes and nays not being recorded:

    Resolved, That we deem the affidavits and proofs accompanying the remonstrance not sufficient to fill the requirements of section 3, of chapter 49, of Acts of 1862."

The record further says:

    "And it appearing to the Board of Supervisors of Cass county, Iowa, that the petition for the removal of the county-seat from Lewis, and the relocation of the same at the town of Atlantic, was signed by 682 of the legal voters of the county, as shown by the proofs; and it also appearing that the number of voters in the county as shown by the last preceding census on file in the proper office, is 821; and it further appearing that due and legal notice that said petition would be presented at the present session of the Board, has been given by publication, as provided by law."

Supervisor Gaylord also offered the following, which was adopted, without the ayes and nays being recorded:

    Resolved, That it is ordered by the Board of Supervisors of Cass county in the state of Iowa, that at the next general election to be holden within and for said county, on the second Tuesday of October, 1869, to-wit: on the 12th day of October, 1869, a vote shall be taken on the re-location of the county-seat of Cass county, between the said town of Atlantic, and the town of Lewis, the existing county-seat, and that the ballots of each voter voting on such re-location shall designate that it was cast for the county-seat at Atlantic, or, for the county-seat at Lewis.

On petition of G. A Hebing and others, the Board at its June meeting 1869, ordered the organization of the township of Bear Grove (tp. 75, R 36) as now constituted. The name was selected by the petitioners.

June 12th, 1869, the Board appointed D. F. Gaylord a committee "whose duties it shall be to control the matter of bridge building under the direction of this Board; to select bridge sites, make specifications and plans, purchase material, make contracts for building bridges, said contracts, always to be given to the lowest responsible bidder, etc., etc.

September 7th, 1869 John A. Romig and 27 others petitioned the Board to organize township 74, range 36, now Noble, as a civil township to be called Rose. The prayer of the petition was granted and Uriah Daft was appointed to post notices of an election.

Afterward the vote was reconsidered and Rose township was not organized.

At the October session, 1869, Newton L. Mills appeared as the successor of his brother, John A. Mills, deceased.

At this meeting, John C. Morrison, said:

    Mr. Chairman, and members of the Board: It becomes my painful duty to officially announce to you the death of John A. Mills, the youngest member of this Board, who departed this life October 2d, 1869, and suggest that steps be taken to properly express the sense and feeling of this Board, upon this occasion. In performing this duty I cannot refrain from saying that in several ways he was really the life of our body, and that I deeply deplore the loss we sustain by his death."

In accordance with Mr. Morrison's suggestion the following preamble and resolutions were adopted.

    Whereas, The Allwise Creator has seen fit to visit this community and especially this Board with the Messenger of Death, and taken from among us our brother and fellow citizen, John A. Mills. Knowing him as we knew him, by intimate business and social association to be endowed with rare intellectual ability, untiring energy, and unsullied honor, his courteous and gentlemanly deportment as a member of this Board, has sincerely endeared himto us all. In his death we truly feel the irretrievable loss of one of our best members; the county one of its most useful and promising citizens; and his family an affectionate husband and father. Therefore be it

    Resolved, That the members of this Board hereby tender to the widow and family of the deceased, our heartfelt sympathy.

The Board at their meeting, October 20th, 1869, declared the result on the county seat election. Total number of votes polled 893; for Atlantic, 618; for Lewis, 275; majority in favor of Atlantic, 343. The Board, therefore, formally declared Atlantic to be the county-seat, and ordered that the building on lot 13, block 34, in Atlantic, donated for five years by the Atlantic Town Company, be thereafter known as the court house.

October 20th, 1869, Newton L. Mills, J. C. Morrison, and D. F. Gaylord, were appointed a committee to receive the Atlantic court house from the Atlantic Town Company, and were also empowered to dispose of the county's court house and other property in Lewis.

At the same meeting the stone building, now used as an office for the County Recorder, but then used in Lewis as an office for the County Treasurer, was ordered to be removed to Atlantic and to be placed where it now stands, on the south-east corner of block 52, the block donated to the county by the Atlantic Town Company.

November 8th, 1869, the committee appointed to examine the Atlantic Town Company's court house reported that the building was all that the company's bond required them to build, and notified the county officers that the building was ready for use. The Treasurer and Recorder were ordered to occupy the front room; while the Auditor and Clerk were notified that they were to have the back room.

The first regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors held in Atlantic, was the January meeting, 1870. The Board was then constituted as follows:

James L. Byrd, Pymosa; D. F. Gaylord, Union; W. W. Jameson, Turkey Grove; H. G. Van Vlack, Bear Grove; S. S. Green, Brighton, E. J. Shields, Edna; N. L. Mills, Cass; J. C. Morrison, Grant. Mr. Byrd was re-elected Chairman. The record shows that the old Lewis court house sold at auction November 20, 1869, to Isaac Dickerson for $231.

Phelps & DeLano were chosen county attorneys for 1870.

D. F. Gaylord was re-chosen bridge agent for 1870.

At the June meeting, 1870, Benjamin Albee became a member of the Board, from Bear Grove township, vice Van Vlack, removed from the township. The record further shows that J. B. Allman removed the old stone office from Lewis to Atlantic for $180.00.

At the June meeting, 1870, the Board, in pursuance of an act of the 13th General Assembly, ordered the submission to the voters of the county, the question of the authorizing or prohibition of the sale of wine, ale and beer in the county, and Prohibition was adopted.

June 11th, 1870, the county was re-organized into sixteen townships making the civil and congressional townships exactly correspond. The townships were created and named as follows.

Bear Grovedo75do36

The first elections in the townships as above constituted were held in October, 1870, at the places designated below.

VictoriaNot known MassenaWhitneyville
LincolnA. Trimmer's residence GrantMorrison's School H.
BentonCannon's school house FranklinMcClure's             do
UnionGaylord's do       do EdnaWhisler's               do
NobleSchool house No. 1 Bear GroveNot known
AtlanticAt Court House PymosaBrinkerhoff School H.
BrightonBerry's School house WashingtonWatson's                 do
CassLewis     do       do PleasantStutler's                   do

Bear Grove township having been organized at a previous time did not need an officer as above.

September 6, 1870, the Board paid J. G. Weeks, of Des Moines, $360.00 for the privilege of using his system of keeping tax books.

At the September session, 1870, a petition was presented to the Board asking that a vote be ordered on the establishment at Lewis of a county high school. The Board decided that the petition lacked twelve names of having the lawful number and the petition was laid on the table.

The October term of the Board, 1870, was the last of the Board as constituted with one member from each township. The separation of the Board of that year seems to have been a sorrowful one. At the October meeting a long series of resolutions expressive of their sentiments of regret were adopted. The members had served from one to five years together. The last one of the resolutions was of a personal nature and was as follows:

Resolved, That we regard our aged brother, J. L. Byrd, who has served us for five years as chairman, with veneration and esteem, and that his deportment to the members of this Board has always been marked with dignified courtesy and kindness, becoming his position, and that during his services as chairman, no appeal has been taken from his decisions, and in parting with our chairman, he takes with him to the end of life our heartfelt esteem for the many little kindnesses shown us during our association with him."

The Board met in January, and under the new law was constituted of three members from the county at large, namely: Dr. A. Teal, William Waddell, and W. W. Jameson. The terms of office as determined by the previous Board by lot, was as follows: Wm. Waddell, three years; Dr. Teal, two years; W. W. Jameson, one year.

C. F. Loofbourow was chosen county attorney for 1871.

The Board of 1871 offered a reward of $300 for the discover of a vein of coal in the county that would yield enough to pay to work.

In 1871, the Board consisted of W. W. Jameson, A. Teal and William Waddell, the latter being chosen chairman. In 1872, H. G. Van Vlack succeeded W. W. Jameson. Mr. Waddell was re-chosen chairman for that year. In 1873, Homer L. Darnell succeeded Dr. Teal. Mr. Waddell was again elected chairman. January 1st, 1874, Mr. Waddell retired, being succeeded by E. E. Herbert, the Board then consisting of H. G. Van Vlack, H. L. Darnell, and E. E. Herbert. On motion of Mr. Herbert, Mr. Van Vlack was chosen chairman. April 22d, 1874, H. G. Van Vlack resigned and G. I. Chizum was appointed to fill the vacancy. September 7th, 1874, H. L. Darnel resigned and James H. Vinson was appointed to fill the vacancy.

In October, 1874, M. J. Stearns was chosen to fill a vacancy and served during the year 1875. January 1, 1875, E. J. Shields took his seat for a full term, the Board then standing, Shields, Herbert and Stearns. In January, 1876, the new Board came in, the number of members, having by vote of the people, been increased to five. The Board was then constituted as follows: E. J. Shields, E. E. Herbert, S. E. Huse, J. P. James, and Charles Pickett. The county is at present divided into supervisor districts, which districts are consstituted as follows:

DistrictNo.1,Grant, Benton, Franklin, Lincoln.
dodo2,Brighton, Pymosa, Washington.
dodo4,Bear Grove, Cass, Pleasant, Noble.
dodo5,Massena, Union, Edna, Victoria.

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. 98-100.
Transcribed for Cass County by Cheryl Siebrass.

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