is situated in the third tier of counties south of Minnesota State
line, and the second west of the Mississippi River, and is bounded
on the north by Clayton county, east by
Dubuque county, south by
Linn counties, and west by
The surface is gently
undulating, about three-fourths prairie, the timber being along the
streams, and accessible to all parts of the county for farm
The soil is excellent and
well adapted to the cereals, grass, root crops, etc., of which vast
quantities are annually shipped east by the two railroads. Stock
raising, particularly sheep raising, is on the increase for which
the high prairies and never failing streams of pure spring water are
well adapted, and will undoubtedly in a short time be the leading
branch of husbandry.
Building stone and brick clay
are found in nearly all parts of the county.
The principal stream is the
South Fork of the Maquoketa River, running through the county from
the northwest corner, to near the south east, and Buck Creek on the
west. The other streams are the North Fork of the Maquoketa in the
east, the Little Turkey in the north east, and the Buffalo in the
south west part of the county. All of these streams afford water
power for mills or manufactories.
There are five grist mills on
the South Fork, one on Plum Creek, and one on Henry Creek. Also on
the latter is a woolen factory, 1 1/2 miles north of Manchester;
also one is being erected on the South Fork at Hartwick, 2 1/2 miles
south-west of Delhi.
This county is twenty four
miles square, and contains the following named sixteen townships,
viz: Adams, Bremen, Coffins Grove, Colony, Delaware, Delhi, Elk,
Hazel Green, Honey Creek, Milo, North Fork, Oneida, Prairie,
Richland, South Fork and Union.
The DuBuque and Sioux City
Railroad crosses the county from east to west, through the centre,
and the DuBuque South Western Railroad crosses the south eastern
part in a south westerly direction.
The county was organized on the
3d day of August 1841, by the election of Wm. H. Whiteside, William
Eades and Daniel Brown, county commissioners.
Among the earliest settlers of
the county were Wm. Bennett, Wm. Eades, Robert B. Hutson, David
Moreland, Lawrence McNamee, Ezra Hubbard, Clement Coffin and John
DELHI, The county seat of Delaware county, is located
on the south-east quarter of section 17, township 88, north of range
4, west of 5th P.M. It was located by a vote of the people of the
county, and was surveyed, platted, and laid off into lots on the 5th
day of April, 1842, by Joel Bailey, county surveyor.
In the summer of 1843, Charles
W. Hobbs and family moved to Delhi, and lived there two years before
any other settlers came to the place. In the fall of the same year
there was a Post office established, and Mrs. Mary E.A. Hobbs, wife
of C.W. Hobbs, was appointed post master. This was the first post
office established in the county; there was a mail route running
from DuBuque via Delhi to Quasqueton in Buchanan county; the mail
was carried by William Smith, of DuBuque, once a week on horse back.
About two years after C.W.
Hobbs moved here, the town began to settle. John W. Clark, William
Philips, Thomas Norris, A.K. Eaton and Joseph Mitchell, were the
first settlers that located in Delhi. Thomas W.B. Hobbs, son of C.W.
Hobbs, was the first child born in the vicinity of Delhi, and
Marshal, son of A.K. Eaton, was the first child who died in Delhi.
On the 20th day of November,
1842, the Board of County Commissioners, consisting of William Eades,
Daniel Brown and William H. Whitesides, with Charles W. Hobbs as
clerk, held their first meeting at the house of William Eades, in
Eades Grove, afterwards it was held at Delhi, the county seat.
On the 30th day of September, 1844,
the first District Court was held at Delhi in a log court house, put
up on the bank of Silver Lake by the early settlers.
The Hon. Thomas S. Wilson, judge;
John W. Penn, sheriff; and Charles W. Hobbs, clerk; A.K. Eaton, Z.A.
Wellman, George Watson and John V. Watson, at that time constituted
the Delhi Bar.
Those courts were held under a
Territorial form of government. Hon. Thomas S. Wilson was one of the
judges of the Supreme Court, and presiding judge of the 3d Judicial
District. On the 7th day of June, 1847, the first District Court was
held under a State Government. Hon. James Grant, judge; John W.
Penn, sheriff, and Charles W. Hobbs, clerk.
Delhi is located in a beautiful grove
of burr oaks, on the borders of Silver Lake, a beautiful sheet of
water, covering about 100 acres. In the early history of the county,
it was a thriving place, particularly a short time before the
location of the railroad west from DuBuque. When the road was
expected to pass through this place, and the county generally was
fast settling up, property rose in value to fabulous prices, and
several fine buildings went up as if by magic. But the location of
the railroad, some distance from town caused a decline in the
business of the place, and it has remained stationary since. There
are quarries of building stone near the town, and good timber on the
The Baptists, Methodists and
Catholics have organized churches. The latter have recently bought
of the Methodists the only church edifice in the place. The other
public buildings are a court house, jail, county building for county
offices, and school house. Messrs. Maxwell & Co.'s distillery is
located here. Much attention has been paid to fruit raising. Messrs.
F.B. Doolittle and J.M. Brayton have each extensive nurseries of
fruit trees, suited to the climate.
There is Lodge of Odd Fellows located
here. Population of the town about 500.
MANCHESTER, situated near the centre of Delaware, is
the largest and most important village in the county. It is located
on the line of the DuBuque & Sioux City Railroad, forty-five miles
west of DuBuque, and fifty-one miles from Cedar Falls. It is in lat.
42 (degrees) 28 N. and in long. 91 (degrees) 32 W. It is mostly on
the east side of the Maquoketa River, which, at this place, is about
seventy feet wide.
The first person residing upon the
land before a town was anticipated, was O.P. Reeves. To this
gentleman much of the first work towards the establishment of a town
is to be credited. His liberal gift of forty acres of land was the
principal inducement to two gentlemen, Dyer and Chesterman, to
locate the village. This was done in the spring of 1855. John
Brownell donated five acres, and Levens Burrington twenty acres. The
above persons were the first on the ground. Among the first pioneers
of the town were Edson Merrill, A.R. Loomis, Dr. Robbins and Thomas
Toogood. The first white child born in the place was Marvin Reeves;
the first death, Charles E. Reeves, children of Marion Reeves. The
first marriage, that of Lyman Wright to Sarah Lockwood. The first
house erected was the dwelling of Marion Reeves*.
[*footnote: The land at first was covered with a
beautiful grove of burr oaks, with a fine growth of grass beneath,
presenting, in summer, with the surrounding country, a charming
prospect to the pioneer. In those days deer in numbers were often
seen grazing and gamboling on the favored spot. Wolves were also
numerous, and ventured quite near to the few houses that were there.
Snakes of a large size were plenty, and had a strange penchant for
the abodes of men, to the great terror of the women and children. In
one instance, a fair lady rose from her bed all unconscious that
during the night a snake, even and-a-half feet in length, was coiled
up in the same bed, as unaware of it, as Milton describes the Mother
of Mankind to have been of the presence of Satan in her bower,
....."Whom there Ithuriel found, Squat like a toad, close to the ear
The first store built was the one
still known as the Long Store. The Clarence Hotel and the Old
Exchange were among the earliest buildings erected. Formerly the
village was called Burrington, but this name proving unsatisfactory
to most of the inhabitants, it was changed to Manchester. More
buildings were erected in 1856 than in any other year since the
commencement of the town. The town has doubled in population and
wealth since the late war commenced, and greatly improved in
civilization, intelligence and religion.
Before the settlement the Indians had
gone and left not a trace behind. Among the first provisions made
for civilized living was the erection of a school house in the
centre of the village. The building was used for school and
religious purposes by the citizens of the place for five years, and
is still used by the Baptists for their meetings. A cemetery was
laid out consisting of two acres, and one of the most beautiful of
the kind, as far as nature is concerned.
Manchester is considered a healthy
locality, and nature has done much to make it a fine site for a
town. It can afford to the skill and labor of man the best of
gardens, best of roads, best of cellars and wells, and the best
locations for fine residences. The people are mostly from the
Eastern States, and their dwellings present the tidy appearance so
prominent in New England rural villages. There are several fine
residences already erected. Its groves are beautiful, and much
resorted to for celebrations.
The place has had its public schools
and select high schools; its different religious denominations, and
its Temperance, Agricultural and Masonic Societies, almost from the
first settlement. The religious denominations are the Methodist,
Baptist, Congregationalist, Universalist and Christian. These
denominations have each about thirty members, and the first three
mentioned have resident ministers. The Agricultural Society is one
of interest and instruction to the farmers of the vicinity, and
meets on the last Saturday of each month. The Masonic Society bears
the name of the Manchester Lodge, No. 165, and was established Oct.
6th, A.D. 1862, A. L. 5862; meets Saturday, on or before the full
moon of each month; number of members forty-one. The town has also
several military companies, and since the rebellion commenced, the
village and its township have furnished more than a hundred soldiers
for the Union army, not one of them a drafted man.*
[*footnote: Of the volunteers who have enlisted from
this village and township, the following are the names of those who
have lost their lives in the service of the country: Elijah M.
Overocker, Thomas Otis, John Otis, Melvin Keller, Dudley Guilbert,
Wm. Guilbert, Hiram Cronk, Franklin Wilcox, S. Sutherland, A. E.
Richmond, Melvin Hempstead, Gideon Potter, John Van Curne, James
Loring, Byrom Clark, Wm. Koltenbach, R.B. Truby and Charles Robbins.
No storied mausoleum marks the spot or the places where those
eighteen heroes have fallen, or tells of their noble sacrifices for
Union and Freedom, yet in the memories of their relatives, in the
hearts of this people, in the history of the nation, could they have
asked a more glorious career while living or prouder fame when
The Delaware County Union is a
newspaper published in the village by Ed. Burnside. It is generally
thought that Manchester will soon become the county town. It is
surrounded by a large tract of fertile land, well adapted to raising
grain and stock, water being near at hand for cattle. To the north
there is a good supply of timber, extending to the vast forest of
the Turkey River. South of the town two or three miles, large stone
quarries abound, furnishing a good building material, and clay is
close at hand, out of which many thousands of bricks have been made.
The small fruits flourish finely in
the gardens, and some amateurs in the vicinity have succeeded in
raising apples. Flowers and shrubs in many front yards are
cultivated by the residents with good taste, and trees are set out
in front of a number of buildings.
The most conspicuous building in the
village is the Congregational Church, a new structure worth $5,500,
and capable of seating nearly three hundred persons. The Methodist
Church is partially completed, and will be an ornament to the place.
The Christian denomination propose to build a church the ensuing
year. The Clarence Hotel is a commodious and well conducted house,
and the only one in the village. Preparations are being now made for
the erection of two large public houses. West of the river the
elevator is the most prominent building; it is sixty-five feet high,
worth $7,000, and capable of storing 25,000 bushels of grain.
There is a substantial bridge built
across the Maquoketa River at this point, costing nearly $1,800. It
is also spanned by the railroad bridge. It affords an excellent mill
privilege, on which a flouring mill is being erected at an estimated
expense of $20,000. About a mile north of the village a woolen
factory, four stories high, is in process of erection, at an outlay
of about $12,000, and planned for one hundred and eighty spindles.
In the centre of the village a stone school house is being built at
a cost of $5,000. The village was separated from the rest of the
township, as to educational matters, and made a "City District", in
the spring of 1861. Handsome stores and dwellings are being build
each year. The village consists of one hundred and sixty dwelling
houses, containing one hundred and eighty-five families, making a
population of eight hundred and fifty-two persons, as ascertained by
actual count, made on the 21st February, 1865. The total number of
buildings, including thirty-seven stores, is two hundred and nine;
not built close together, but at a roomy distance from each other,
so that these houses spread over an area equal to the city of
Boston, with its 160,000 inhabitants. The railroad passes through
the south end of the town, at a desirable distance, with its depot
on the west side of the river. One passenger train each way and
several freight trains pass over the road every day. Sometimes an
accommodation train runs for several months between Manchester and
DuBuque. The increased business of the place will soon make this a
The shipments from Manchester during
the year 1864 were as follows: Wheat, 80,156 bushels; oats, 124,636
bushels; barley, 3,570 bushels; butter 166,601 lbs; hides, 37,831
lbs; wool, 11,177 lbs; dressed hogs, 647,533 lbs; live stock,
1,426,000 lbs; miscellaneous articles, 600,329 lbs.
HOPKINTON, covering an area of about one square mile,
is composed of two parts, Hopkinton proper, and a small village on
the south side of the Maquoketa River, known as South Hopkinton. It
is situated ten miles from the centre of the county, and five from
the south and east boundary lines. It is eight miles south-east from
the county seat, and three from the DuBuque South-Western R.R. A
switch is contemplated to connect this place with Sand Spring, the
Lying on the second bench of the South Fork
of the Maquoketa, in a grove of burr oaks, it seems as if nature had
arranged it expressly for a village site; gradually rising it opens
into a large rolling prairie on the north-east and east, which
extends to the timber of the North Fork of the Maquoketa, a distance
of seven miles. On the north are oak openings, which extend to the
heavy grove of Plum Creek; the country lying between in broken, and
numerous ledges of limestone abound affording good quarries, which
are well worked.
West and south it is bounded by the
Maquoketa, and a heavy growth of timber, three miles in width,
consisting of black walnut, maple, ash, oak, and other valuable
varieties. At the foot of the hill on the western side of the
village are the celebrated springs, known as "Jackson's Springs."
They are three in number, producing quite a stream, which is
tributary to the Maquoketa; the water is so plenty, and of such
excellent quality, that many prefer it for use, rather than depend
upon wells and cisterns. They issue from the solid rock, and excite
the surprise and admiration of all who visit them.
The first claim was made in 1838, by Wm.
Nicholson. In 1840, H. A. Carter, and Leroy Jackson, from DuBuque,
purchased the claim, each entering a section of land. Jackson
settled in the fall, Carter the following spring. Carter was a
native of Massachusetts, Jackson of Kentucky. The latter had settled
in DuBuque, in the year 1833. Erecting their log cabins, they went
to work like all new settlers, living for a time in back-woods
style, surrounded by the Indians of the tribes, known as the Sacs
[*footnote: The country formerly belonged to
Blackhawk and his tribes. Although twenty-five years have passed
since, with their rapid changes and improvements, still, the
remnants of the tribes yearly revisit their former hunting grounds,
and the graves of their fathers.]
A short time before a colony of
Scotch people emigrated from the Red River of British America, part
locating in Jones county, and the remainder in a grove south-east of
town, which has since been known as "Scotch Grove;" otherwise the
country was a wilderness, inhabited only by the Red man and wild
animals. Then there were but three houses between this place and
DuBuque settlement, a distance of forty miles. For ten years, these
pioneers lived quietly upon their farms engaged in agriculture,
though for several years, the improvement was slow, yet in time they
gained in wealth and resources. H. A. Carter cultivated a large hop
yard, from which he shipped yearly a large amount. For many years
they were obliged to draw their produce to DuBuque, it being the
most convenient point. In 1841, the first white child was born,
Sarah B., daughter of H. A. Carter, (she is now the wife of Surgeon
M. Hale, U.S.A.) The first death occurred in the fall of 1844, in
the decease of Mrs. H. Carter, (mother of the same gentleman.)
The rapidity of
immigration, and general prosperity about the year 1850, gave
a new impulse to these men, and they formed the plan of laying
out a town, which was done the same year, and inducements held
out for enterprising persons to assist in building up the
place. It soon became quite flourishing for a country village;
from the first, care had been taken to keep it from every
thing that would exert an immoral influence and to procure all
religious and educational advantages that could be found in a
new and comparatively wild country.
At this time there existed four
denominations: the Old School Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist
and United Brethren. A good district school was maintained,
and occasionally a select school with evening schools of
different kinds for general improvement. No liquor shops,
billiard saloons, or intemperance in any form were tolerated.
It was known everywhere as a strictly moral town; the
influence could not be otherwise than good, the community was,
and is still noted for intelligence, enterprise and
patriotism. In 1854, a large colony of the Reformed
Presbyterian church attracted by the fertility of the soil and
favorable situation for locating in a body, bought large
tracts of land in the surrounding country, reducing the wild
prairies to well cultivated fields; having procured the
services of Dr. Wm. L. Roberts, of Sterling, N.Y., as their
Minister he came the following year. For some time the
question had been agitated as to the best means to promote the
educational interests of the community. Finally it was decided
to attempt the erection of an institution of learning which
was commenced in 1857, but not opened until 1859.
At the present
time there are two church buildings; the Collegiate
Institute*; two hotel buildings; six dry goods stores, one
hardware and one drug store; one grist and one saw mill; one
sash, door and furniture factory; and two district schools,
accommodating three hundred children.
[*footnote: Lenox Collegiate Institute. This
flourishing Institution, (late the Bowen Collegiate
Institute,) is pleasantly located on a gentle eminence in the
village of Hopkinton. It was founded in 1857, but owing to the
financial crisis at the time, it was not until August 1859,
that it was opened for students. The building is 40X60 feet;
two stories high. It is used entirely for school purposes, and
is capable of accommodating 200 students. The cost of the
building, including apparatus and fixtures, was upwards of
$10,000. This sum was contributed almost entirely by the
citizens; and the college, now completed and prosperous,
stands an honor and an ornament to the village, affording
superior educational advantages to a large tract of
surrounding country, and will continue to stand a lasting
monument to the commendable enterprise, untiring energy, and
zealous devotion to the cause of education, possess by the
people. Messrs. Carter, Jackson, Kilpatrick and others
contributed liberally in money to the amount of several
hundreds, and even thousands of dollars each, besides devoting
much of their time and labor to its erection and subsequent
improvement. At its opening there were but forty students in
attendance. The faculty consisted of Rev. Jerome Allen,
principal; Orman E. Taylor, professor of mathematics, and Miss
Lucy Cooley, preceptress. The school was early placed under
the supervision of the Presbyterian church, and grew rapidly
into favor, especially with that denomination of Christians.
The number of students continued to increase until at the
breaking out of the late war, there were 125 in regular
attendance. Not less than 80 young men have enlisted from this
school, and twenty of these have already sacrificed their
lives on the "altar of their country's liberty."
Notwithstanding this the school has always been
self-sustaining, receiving of the patronage to support a full
and eficient corps of teachers. All needed improvements have
been promptly made, and all necessary additions to the
apparatus procured from time to time to meet the demands of
the classes, until now it contains all that is necessary
for the illustrations and experiments of a thorough course
in philosophy, astronomy, chemistry, and other sciences. In
December 1862, on the resignation of Prof. O. E. Taylor
James W. McKean, a graduate of Jefferson College, Penn., was
elected to fill the vacancy, and subsequently in the spring of
1863, on the resignation of Prof. Allen, he was made President
of the faculty. Up to this time the school had continued as a
private enterprise, belonging to a few of the citizens, but at
the meeting of the Synod of the Old School Presbyterian
Church, in the autumn of this year, it was deeded to that
body. The school now received a fresh impulse, and students
came flocking even from distant parts of this and adjoining
States. Prof. McKean continued to discharge the duties of his
responsible position acceptably until April 1864, when the
call was made for hundred day troops. Nearly all the young men
capable of bearing arms immediately enlisted, and the
President enlisted with them. The trustees elected a new
faculty, and September 15th, 1864, the school commenced
apparently refreshed by its short respite from labor, and the
winter term of 1864-5, there were one hundred students in
attendance. The faculty consists of Rev. Jerome Allen, prof.
of natural sciences, and teacher of languages; Samuel Calvin,
prof. of mathematics; Miss Mary A. George, preceptress,
teacher of English branches and assistant teacher of Latin,
and William Flude, prof. of music. Two flourishing literary
societies are maintained by the students; one by the young men
know as the "Atheian Literary Society," the other by the young
ladies under the name of the "Minervian Literary Society."
These possess jointly a library of upwards of 500 volumes,
which is being constantly increased by donations and
purchases. The cabinet of Mineralogy and Geology is large,
containing many hundred valuable specimens. Three gymnastic
classes, including all the young men, are organized under the
leadership of efficient teachers.]
The resources of
the surrounding country are excellent in grain, building
material, stone, timber, etc. Fruit has not received as much
attention as in many other places, yet there are several good
orchards. The number of inhabitants is about 700, mostly from
the Eastern States.
COLESBURG is a small village, of about four hundred
inhabitants, situated in the northeastern corner of Delaware
county, being twelve miles from Guttenberg, on the Mississippi
River, the nearest river market to this place; it is
thirty-five miles from DuBuque, and twelve miles north-west
from Dyersville, on the DuBuque and Sioux City Railroad,
making the markets and facilities for travel good.
In 1838, when the Winnebago
Indians inhabited the country, the first settlement was made
by Solomon Wadsworth, on a small clearing about one and a half
miles from the present site of the village. Among the first
settlers were Martin Vansicle, Edwin Dickens, John Nagle,
Wellington Wiltse, Silas Gilmore, Thomas Cole, Horace Mallory,
and David Moreland, some of whom are now enjoying a ripe old
age in the vicinity of their early struggles. Annis L.
Mallory, daughter of Horace Mallory and his wife, was born on
the fifth day of October, 1839, being the first white child
born in this settlement. Elizabeth Landis died in February
1843, the first death in the settlement.
The village owes its prosperity to
the agricultural rather than the mechanical population. It
contains four dry goods and variety stores, besides the usual
allotment of groceries, together with a steam saw mill, a
steam grist mill, cabinet shop, blacksmith shops, wagon shops,
shoe shops, etc. The country surrounding is a rich
agricultural section , wheat and corn being the staple
productions; fruit is raise in limited quantities, owing to
the newness of the settlement or incompatibility of climate;
however, the farmers are showing more interest in this branch
of agriculture than formerly, and the time may come when this
will be a fruit growing section. Timber is plenty and in
abundance for building purposes, and there are several good
stone quarries in the neighborhood.
The place contains four churches of
the following denominations: Presbyterian, Cumberland
Presbyterian, Methodist and Catholic. The educational interst
are looked after principally by the common district schools;
there has been for a few years past a high school, but the war
has made such inroads on the young population that it is
suspended for the present. Constellation Lodge No. 67, of A.
F. & A. Masons, meets every Thursday night, on or before the
full moon. Colony Lodge No. 50, I.O.O.F., meets every Saturday
The principal population is of
eastern people, and the community is intelligent, industrious
and loyal, "having furnished men enough to constitute an
entire company, and brave, good men there were among them,
some of whom were shot down in battle and others languished
and died in southern prisons."
EARLVILLE is beautifully located on the DuBuque and Sioux
City Railroad, 37 miles from DuBuque. Plum Brook runs near the
village, and affords facilities for mill purposes. The village
contains two churches, Congregational and Methodist; also
Oneida Lodge, No. 132, I.O.O.F., two druggists, two general
stores, two groceries and one flour mill. Population 200.
BARRYVILLE is a post office in Prairie township, on the
stage route from Manchester to Marion, six miles south of
Manchester. The township was organized in 1857, by John S.
Barry, and consists entirely of prairie land. The soil is a
black loam with clay subsoil. Population 100.
SAND SPRING is a station on the DuBuque Southwestern
Railroad in the south-eastern corner of the county. It is
between the North and South Forks of the Maquoketa Rivers,
four miles from each. the township is abundantly supplied with
water, timber, and stone. The town contains two churches,
Methodist and Baptist, three general stores, two drug stores,
two saw mills, and one broom factory. The Sand Spring Sentinel
is published by T. H. Bowen. Population 200.
FORESTVILLE is on the Maquoketa River, in the northwestern
portion of the county, 18 miles from Delhi. It has two
churches, Baptist and Methodist, one general store, one
flouring mill, and one saw mill. Vicinity population 120.
MASONVILLE is on the DuBuque and Sioux City Railroad, 53
miles west of DuBuque. It contains four churches, Baptist,
Methodist, Episcopal, Universalist, and Wesleyan Methodist;
also two general stores. Population 100.
ALMORAL is situated in Oneida township, near the central
portion of the county, about four miles northeast of
Earlville, on the DuBuque and Sioux City Railroad. It contains
two churches, Methodist and Congregationalist.
UNIONTOWN is a post office on the state road from
Garnavillo to Appanoose, 40 miles from DuBuque. the township
contains two churches, Baptist and Methodist. Population of
TOWER HILL is a post office in the southeastern portion of
the county, 15 miles from Delhi. Population of township 400.
DELAWARE CENTRE is a village of Oneida township, and a
station on the DuBuque and Sioux City Railroad, 41 miles west
from DuBuque, and 3 1/2 miles north of Delhi, the present
GREELEY is located in Elk township, seven miles north
from Delaware Centre. It contains two churches, Christian and
Universalist, two general stores, one flour mill, one wagon,
one cabinet, and two blacksmith shops, with a population of
YORK is a post village in Honey Creek township,
northern part of the county. It contains one general store,
one blacksmith shop, also one Congregational, one Methodist,
and one Presbyterian church organization in the vicinity.
The following are other villages and post offices in this
county: CAMPTON, HAZEL GREEN, MOUNT HOPE and SAND