Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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1883 History of
Franklin & Cerro Gordo Counties


At a meeting of the old settlers of Clear Lake and vicinity, held at the old school house on the 30th of June, 1875, J. Dickirson was chosen chairman and S. M. Richardson, secretary, after which a general consideration of forming an old settlers' association was entered into, and on motion they resolved to issue the following invitation:

"The undersigned, old settlers of Clear Lake and vicinity, would respectfully invite all persons who resided in Cerro Gordo and adjoining counties previous to and including 1860, to meet at Clear Lake on Wednesday,July 21, 1875, for the purpose of organizing an old settlers' association, having for its object a renewal of old acquaintance and social enjoyment. Also to collect and record a full list of the early settlers of this vicinity, as far as possible, with their present location. "We would recommend that the meeting be held on the picnic plan, in regular old-fashioned free and easy style, without set speeches or programme, and that each one present do his part to entertain the party as the occasion suggests. Also, that during the meeting a permanent organization be effected by electing officers, recording members, and appointing of committees to carry out its objects."

Geo. E. Frost, Marcus Tuttle, C. S. Goodwin.

Committee of Invitation.

The invitation was signed by James Dickirson, C. S. Goodwin, George E. Frost, J. S. Sirrine, Mrs. B. H. Speers, Joseph Wood, J. B. Wood, C. A. Medaugh, Charles Callanan, Oscar Stevens, J. Cbilson, William Wilson, Joseph Barth, Harrison Hayden, Ed Nicholas, Mark Dexter, O. V.Thompson, Gabriel Pence, William Dean, John Pence, Jerome Chelson, R. O. Sirrine, Jr., Marcus Tuttle, Thomas S. Gardner, S. M. Richardson, Al ford Taylor, Samuel Ward, George Gilraore, W. C. To npkins, Jacob Ward, E. A. Tuttle, M. P. Rosecrans, J. M. Elder, William McGowen, M. Callanan, Jr., E. Crowell, C. H. Day, John Van Patter, Willard Dart, L. E. Crowell, A. S. Felt, R. O. Sirrine, William B. Stilson, WilHam Ellis, Dr. A. M. Puttie and many ladies.


Pursuant to the above call, a large number of old settlers of Cerro Gordo and adjoining counties assembled in the park at Clear Lake, on the 21st of July, 1875, for the purpose of renewing acquaintances, talking over old times and organizing the Old Settlers' Society. A constitution and bylaws were adopted,of which the followinging is a part:

"This organization shall be known as the 'Old Settlers' Association of Cerro Gordo and surrounding counties.

"Membership. Any person who was a resident of northern Iowa, in or before the year 1860, and is now a resident of Cerro Gordo, or any surrounding county, may become a member of this association by giving his or her name to the secretary. "The annual meetings shall be held, during the summer season, at such time and place as the executive committee shall direct.

"The following were the first officers of the society: President, Marcus Tuttle, of Cerro Gordo county; vice-presidents, H. G. Parker, of Cerro Gordo county, William Rhodes, Worth county, W. P. Gaylord, Floyd county, Mrs. John Mabin, Hancock county, and Mrs. Robert Clark, of Winnebago county; secretary, C. M. Adams, of Cerro Gordo county; treasurer, Mrs. H I. Smith, of Cerro Gordo county.

A record book was opened and over 300 names were enrolled, showing that there was a large attendance, and that the object of the meeting was highly appreciated. Everything at this first meeting passed off pleasantly, and all present pronounced it an enjoyable affair."


On the 1st of September, 1876, was held the second annual meeting of the Old Settlers' Association of Cerro Gordo and surrounding counties. The meeting was held in the park at Clear Lake. At 1 o'clock a large company assembled in the park and were called to order by the president, Marcus Tuttle, who made some appropriate remarks, after which all the company joined in singing "Auld Lang Syne." Mrs. Pollard, of Keokuk, better known as Kate Harrington, the Iowa poetess, then read an original poem that displayed much talent and thought in its preparation.

Among the speakers who addressed the society were Mrs. Greene, H. G. Parker, James Dickirson, Capt. G. R. Miller, Charles McNany, George E. Frost, Mrs. Thompson, G. B. Rockwell, William Rhodes, Horace Green, A. B. Tuttle and A. S. Felt.

The general character of the speeches was to review the early clays and experiences of each, and as the tale of hardships and difficulties, of toil and weariness was re-told, the interest deepened and became intense in the hearts and minds of many upon whom had been visited all the scenes to which the speaker referred.

The re-unions of the association have been held annually since its organization; the interest has increased with the growth of years, making each new meeting a time long to be remembered. A very interesting meeting was held June 11, 1880, the account of which is taken from the Mason City Express of June 16, 1880.

"Last Friday morning, though the weather was rather unpromising, the old settlers, and new ones too, began to gather in by the hundreds, and when the old settlers' band arrived at the picnic ground a large number were present.

"After the opening exercises the president, George E. Frost, delivered a very appropriate address of welcome. On account of the absence of Hon. Jarvis S. Church, the response by Capt Lucas, on behalf of the old settlers, was made the leading address of the day.

"Though many were disappointed in the absence of Mr. Church, they had the pleasure of listening to the able speech of Capt. Lucas. The afternoon was spent in attending to the business of the association and making short speeches.

"There were about 2,000 people on the ground, and the many happy greetings, hearty hand-shakings, and the general good feeling which prevailed, all showed the interest of the people in these annual re-unions.

"The officers in 1883 were: President, I. W. Card, of Cerro Gordo county; vicepresidents, 'James Dickirson, Hancock county; David Secor, Winnebago county; J. P. Taylor, Floyd county; George Watson, Worth county; and W . A. Buvnap, of Cerro Gordo county; historian, G. R. Miller, of Cerro Gordo county; secretary, T. G. E-nsley, of Cerro Gordo county; and treasurer, Alonzo Willson, of Cerro Gordo county.'"

  Chapt. XVII. "Old Settlers' Asssociation." History of Franklin & Cerro Gordo Counties, Iowa. p. 734. Continental History Co. Springfield IL. 1883.
Contributed by Sally Youngquist, 2008



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