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Major Events in Clinton's History

The following is from the Clinton Herald, Wednesday, October 26, 1938.

Major events of historic nature since Elijah Buell settled in what later became Lyons in 1835 and Joseph M. Bartlett established a store in what later was known as New York and then became Clinton, as revealed in published histories and the files of The Herald, tell the rise of a struggling, pioneer settlement and its subsequent development into one of Iowa's foremost cities.

Obviously, it is impossible to chronicle all the happenings of more than a century but an effort was made to single out the most important ones.

The History:

1835 Elijah Buell settled in what became Lyons.
1836 Elijah Buell breaks first ground for crops.
1836 J. M. Bartlett settles on land which later becomes Clinton.
1837 Buell hauls wheat and salt pork to Chicago, returning with load of salt. Wheat sold for 40 cents per bushel and pork at $2.25 per hundred.
1838 Iowa Territory organized out of "Black Hawk" country.
1838 Joseph M. Bartlett sells to Capt. C. G. Pearce of Cincinnati and Col. Beal Randall, Baltimore, land which now embraces greater part of Clinton upon which he had settled in 1836.
1838-1839 City first known as New York. Bartlett's store, the Perrin House and the Pearce home were the only buildings.  Bigelow's mint was first manufacturing enterprise.  Hard money was coined and distributed in all directions as legal tender.
1839 First election held.  Furrow on section line between Townships 81 and 82 marked road to interior of county.
1839 First district court held in October.  Hon. Thomas S. Wilson, Dubuque, was the judge; James D. Bourne, sheriff, and Martin Dunning, clerk.
1840 Territorial legislature, by enactment Jan. 11, organized the County of Clinton, the law to take effect March 1, 1840, and making Camanche the county seat.  Election of three commissioners and other officers set for first Monday in April.  The Rev. Oliver Emerson preached first church sermon in Clinton.
1841 First record of proceedings of commissioners show session Jan. 5. Robert C. Bourne, Eli Goddard and Elijah Buell were first county commissioners.
1842 Territorial post road established between Davenport and Dubuque.  Route passed through Clinton.  Name of town of "Vandenburg" changed to "DeWitt."
1844 Tornado swept souther part of county, June 4, fatally injuring a Mr. Peoples, a farmer living near what is now known as Shafton.  Caused heavy loss in livestock and buildings.
1844 First steps taken toward obtaining admission of Iowa into Union by passage of a law by territorial legislature providing for an expression of the opinion of the people at the April election of that year.  The majority opinion was favorable.
1845 Congress passed law March 3 for providing for admission of Iowa into Union but people rejected it because western boundary was only 30 miles west of Des Moines.
1846 Convention held May 18 completed constitution which was voted on and adopted during August election.  Congress passed final act Dec. 28, 1846, which declared "that the State of Iowa shall be one, and is hereby declared to be one, one of the United States of America and admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original states in all respects whatsoever."
1850 Population of Clinton county rises to 2,822 with 19,008 acres of improved land.
1855 Iowa Land Company, which founded Clinton, organized May 28.  By articles was authorized "to purchase, hold, improve and sell real estate."  First purchase of land, comprising 500 acres, made July 4.  First growth was very slow.  Chicago, Iowa and Nebraska railroad reaches Fulton, Ill.
1856 First school election held.  Clinton Herald published first edition Dec. 18.
1857 Charter conferred upon City of Clinton Jan 26 by general assembly.  Unanimously adopted by city March 7, ninety-seven votes being cast.  Samuel Crozer was the first mayor.  Railroad reaches DeWitt.
1859 Amended charter adopted April 5, dividing city into four wards.
1861 Recruiting of men for Civil War service started April 18, three days after declaration of war.
1865 City enters "Era of Expansion." Railroad bridge across Mississippi river completed.  Clinton National bank organized.
1866 Gray's addition added to city June 22, making first addition to original plat of Clinton.
1867 Engine house and council chamber constructed in Second street between Fourth and Fifth avenues.  Old special charter abandoned and Clinton chartered as second class city with 15,000 residents.
1869 Clinton Gas Light and Coke Co., organized.
1869 Clinton Horse Railway Co., begins operation.  Court house moved to Clinton from DeWitt, Nov. 21.
1871 Old Jefferson school completed with seating capacity of 475 pupils.
1874 Clinton Water Works Co., given franchise.
1878 Joseph C. Root and J. K. P. Balch established one of first, if not the first, telephone exchanges in United States.  Ringwood annexed to Clinton.
1882 Gen. N. B. Baker post, Grand Army of the Republic organized July 3.  County votes 3,267 to 2,547 against prohibition.
1885 Clinton county population increased to 38,661.  Mississippi Valley Spiritualist association acquires Mt. Pleasant park.
1887 Free mail delivery service established.
1890 Young Men's Christian association organized.
1890-1891 Lyons and Fulton bridge built.
1892 Clinton and Illinois bridge completed.
1893 City hall erected.  Cost was $25,000.
1895 Clinton and Lyons consolidated.  Wartburg college opened.
1898 Clinton county send Company L to Forty-Ninth regiment for Spanish-American war duty.
1902 Post office building completed.
1906 Clinton Sugar Refining Co. (now the Clinton Corn Company) begins operations here.
1907 Clinton post office raised to first class rating June 1.
1909 First train operated on new North Western bridge over Mississippi river, Feb. 22.
1910 North Western railroad opens East Clinton, Ill., roundhouse, the largest in the world.
1913 North Western opens new Camanche avenue shops.
1916 Battery A, Iowa National Guard, answered call of President Wilson, June 30, for service on Mexican border; released Dec. 24, 1916.
1917 Battery A, Iowa National Guard, reported for World war duty at call of president Wilson, June 18.  Hundreds of Clinton and Clinton county men answer call to arms.
1918 Nov. 11 Clinton stages greates celebration in its history as Armistice with Germany and her allies is signed.
1919 Battery A, 126th field artillery, discharged from federal service Jan. 20.
1920 New North Western passenger station completed.
1921 First paving laid on Lincoln Highway in Clinton county.
1922 Construction of subways completed by North Western railroad.  New Clinton High School building completed. North Western shopmen join nation-wide strick July 1.  New No. 2 fire station built.
1923 Clinton gives great and reverent tribute to memory of President Warren G. Harding when funeral train stopped here.
1925 Eagle Point park acquired as part of Clinton park system.
1926 Murray gang of payroll robbers broke jail Feb. 9; recaptured near Chadwick, Ill., and one killed in gun battle.
1927 New streets named and numbers changed Feb. 1.  Plans for Union station announced March 15. St. Mary's High school dedicated Oct. 26.  Tri-City and Northwestern Bell telephone companies merge Nov. 21.
1928 The Clinton Herald purchases Clinton Advertiser Feb. 29.
1929 Riverview park swimming pool opened.
1930 B. M. Jacobsen elected to congress as "Democratic trail blazer from Iowa."
1931 New municipal incinerator completed.
1932-1933 City's banks successfully weather crisis of national banking holiday proclaimed by President Roosevelt.
1934 New Washington Junior High school completed and opened to pupils early in October.
1935 Preliminary work on construction of Lock and Dam No. 13 begun June 22.
1936 Rep. B. M. Jacobsen, Clinton, Second Iowa district congressman dies.  W. S. Jacobsen, his son, chosen to fill vacancy on democratic ticket and wins election.
1937 New central fire station completed and occupied.  E. I. du Pont Nemours & Co., announce plans June 5 to locate new cellophane plant at Clinton.  New Riverview park stadium completed.
1938 Voters in special election Sept. 26 favor creation of public docks commission.