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 1906 Comp. - County Gov't/Leg.


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The third event of importance in 1857 was the election of Samuel L. Lorah, in October of that year, to succeed Judge Dickerson. The petition presented by the people of Grove City at the September term of his court, in 1858, was by a majority of the legal voters of the county, but the removal was not carried at the general election in October. Judge Lorah was one of the ablest of the early county judges. A native of Pennsylvania, when thirteen years of age he removed with his parents to Franklin county, Ohio, and at seventeen left home to serve his apprenticeship as a tanner and to follow that occupation for twelve years. For fifteen years he served as clerk of the Court of Common Pleas of Wayne county, Ohio, and for three years as its probate judge. Then, in the fall of 1854, he settled in Pymosa township, buying at different times, chiefly in sections 13 and 14, fully 1,000 acres of land. After serving for two years as county judge, in the fall of 1862 he was elected to the General Assembly of Iowa. He was a member of the first Board of Supervisors of Cass county and continued in this service for many years, besides holding numerous township and school offices. In 1880 he laid out the village on section 14 which bore his name. Judge Lorah was a Democrat and few citizens of Cass county were more widely known or more highly respected. He died at his home in Lorah, July 27, 1885, his remains being brought to Atlantic for burial.

Judge Lorah was succeeded by Henry Temple, the lawyer and postmaster of Lewis, and afterward county recorder and a prominent attorney of Atlantic. Much of the jurisdiction and power of the county judge were taken from him with the creation of the Board of Supervisors, on New Year's day of 1861, and as Judge Temple held the office from January, 1860, until October of that year, he was the last incumbent of the old-time county judgeship.


The first meeting of the Board of Supervisors of Cass county was held at the courthouse at Lewis, on the 7th of January, 1861, Samuel L. Lorah, Thomas Meredith, C. S. Newlon, R. C. Gordon, Peter Hedges, E. B. Bell and Dawson Glasgow being present. Ex-Judge Lorah was chosen chairman for the ensuing year.

The first warrant ordered drawn by the board was issued to William S. Newlon for three days' service ($6) as school superintendent. That office had succeeded the school fund commissionership, in the winter of 1857-8. James M. Brown, a highly educated lawyer by profession, and a farmer residing near Lewis by necessity, was the first superintendent of schools, and afterward became mayor of Atlantic and one of its leading citizens. Mr. Newlon was the second superintendent.

In October, on a motion made by E. B. Bell, the Board of Supervisors appropriated $1,200 for the relief of the families of the volunteers who had so promptly responded to the call for troops, and a committee, consisting of John Keyes, the sheriff, Peter Kanawyer and J. B. Curry, was appointed to inquire into the necessities of such families and apportion the relief.


Although he had been but a few years in the county, Mr. Keyes was already one of its most popular men. Perhaps the early years of his manhood spent as a commercial traveler had something to do with the ease and attractiveness of his manners. He had also been a hotel keeper at Milwaukee and a merchant at Madison, Wis., before he came to Lewis, in 1856, and also engaged in business. At all events, he was a successful man of the world and a good sheriff of Cass county, serving in that capacity for six years from 1857. When the city of Atlantic was founded he removed to that place and became one of the founders of the Cass County Bank. He died in September, 1873, leaving a large estate to his widow and an only daughter.

"Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pg. 68-70.
Transcribed by Cheryl Siebrass, August, 2018.


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