Town and Township
"Much of the history of West Union has
been necessarily included in the general history of the county,
as it was the first town in the county and was selected as the
county seat. The township, as created by the County
Commissioners of Fayette County in 1850, is identical with
Congressional Township No. 94, north of Range 8 west, but it
included a portion of Township 94, Range 7, and Township 95,
Range 8, as erected by the Commissioners of Clayton County in
The surface is rolling, with steep bluffs
along the Otter Creek in the eastern central portion. The soil
is a deep, rich loam, clayey in the northern and eastern
portions, and somewhat sandy in the southwest, bearing both wet
and dry weather remarkably well, and seldom failing to reward
the industrious farmer with fair harvests.
About one-third of the area of the township
is covered with timber, mostly on the eastern part. The
prevailing varieties are white and red oak, maple, elm, linn or
basswood, butternut, hickory, black walnut, box elder, with an
occasional pine and cedar. Several very fine and valuable sugar
maple groves graced the forests in early times, but most of them
have fallen before the woodman's axe to furnish fuel and lumber.
A fine one yet remains on the farm of Mr. Jacob Hoyer, about a
mile east of the town of West Union.
The township is watered by Otter Creek
through the center, from west to east, while excellent springs
of pure living water are numerous. Good water is generally
obtained from wells at various depths from fifteen to forty
feet, and above rock, except in a few instances.
The township was a portion of the Winnebago
Reserve until 1848. A favorite camping ground of the Indians was
on Section 16, west of the north branch of Otter Creek, on the
present farm of Mr. J. Messingham, formerly H. W. Muse's place,
and south of the present residence of Mr. J. C. Montgomery
(formerly the home of Jacob Cory, W. C. Ashby, D. W. Hall and B.
H. Sampson, successively.) Small hunting parties of the Indians
encamped there several times after the township was settled by
the whites, and as late as the Winter of 1857-8, and their lodge
poles could be seen there for many years afterward.
The first to locate on this township were
Lorenzo Dutton, Henry Jones and Charles M. Jones, who selected a
spot for a home on what was afterward Section 3, in July, and
Mr. Thomas J. Smith, who arrived about the same time. Smith is
believed to have built the first cabin in the township, about
the 15th to the 20th of August, 1848, on the farm now owned by
Remembrance Lippincott, about a mile east of town. Mr. William
Wells and Gabriel Long were here at the time, and helped to cut
the logs and to make the "shakes" for the roof. Mr.
Dutton and the Joneses returned to their location and built a
cabin in September following. David Smith settled on Section 16
in the fall of 1848, and Morris B. Earll and Jacob Cory on
Section 16. Henry F. Smith located near them on Section 9. Jacob
F. and Henry Smith (sons of Henry F. Smith), spent the Winter of
1848-9 here. Absalom Butler settled here in April, 1849; George
Smith, April 22; William Wells, April 23; William Redfield,
Franklin Bishop and Stephen Bailey in May; Solomon Bishop and
Gabriel Long July 4; Jacob W. Rogers, with his wife and daughter
Ada, and Jacob LyBrand, September 7; Humphrey Tibbetts, October
25; William Felch and his two sons, Cephas and Richard, probably
in October or November, 1849; Matthew Wells, Spring of 1850;
Joseph W. Foster, July 4; John Phillips and Daniel Cook,
September, 1850; David Wells, Dr. J. N. B. Elliott, 1850;
William McClintock, Henry C. Lacy, Phineas F. Sturgis, Thomas
Woodle, Joseph H. Stafford, David Stafford, Edwin Smith, Porter
L. Hinkley, in the Spring of 1851; J. G. Webb, September 1851;
John S. Brewer, Charles McDowell and others came in 1852; Isaac
F. Clark, Myron Peck, John Gharky and others, 1853. Among other
early settlers, the dates of whose settlement cannot now be
ascertained, were James Carl, William Kilroy, Jonathan Ferrell,
Jonathan Cruzan, Eli Root, William Root (1849 or 1850), Thomas
Ritchie, George Stansbury, Elisha Van Dorn, Friend Dayton, H. S.
Brunson, Joseph Deford, George W. Neff, Nicholas Butler, Willis
T. Bunton, William Barnhouse, John Saltsgiver.
The town of West Union was laid out in the
Fall of 1849, and re-surveyed in 1850. The site of the town was
known as "Knob Prairie," and was named "West
Union,' by William Wells, at the pioneer 4th of July
celebration, 1849. The first survey was done by Erastus A.
Light, assisted by Thomas R. Talbot.
The first township elections are recorded
The first house on the town plat was built by
J. W. Rogers in 1849. Mr. Rogers was appointed Postmaster in
January, 1850, and William McCloud carried the mail once a week
between Elkader and Fort Atkinson, via West Union. Mr. Rogers'
house being the first in the future city, he, of course, became
the first hotel keeper, as strangers visiting this region
insisted on stopping with him, refusing to go on if it was near
meal or bedtime, as there was not another house in sight.
The first store was opened by LyBrand and
Rogers in September, 1849, in a part of the dwelling house of
William Wells, near the center of Section 17, and perhaps two
rods southeast of the present residence of Mrs. Eliza, widow of
William Wells. They kept a general stock of merchandise which
was removed to the house of Mr. Rogers about January, 1850,
where the firm "kept store: until Mr. LyBrand removed
LyBrand, Allamakee County.
Daniel Cook built a small store and stocked
it in the Summer of 1850, and commenced work on a hotel building
on the corner of the southeast corner of Vine and Elm streets in
the fall of the same year.
The first law suit was before Henry F. Smith,
Justice of the Peace, in 1851. George Stansbury had sold some
dressed hogs to Daniel Cook. Cook, in turn, had sold one-half of
one of them to M. V. Burdick, who had discovered a suspicious
spot on the neck of the dead animal, and returned it to Cook as
being "diseased meat." Cook wanted Stansbury to take
it back; but he refused, stoutly alleging that the meat was
good. Cook thereupon commenced suit, which was duly tried before
Justice Smith, and created considerable excitement in the little
hamlet. The Justice decided that there was "no cause of
action." It was afterwards discovered that the hog had been
killed by a gun shot, and the suspicious spot that had caused
this trouble was occasioned by the bullet, which lodged in the
neck of the animal.
The First Hotel
In the Spring of 1851, Daniel Cook, who had
commenced a hotel building, the previous Autumn, sold to J. H. &
D. Stafford, who erected the Stafford Hotel, known as such until
it was purchased by S. W. Cole, and by him called the "West
Union House." Chauncy Leverich was building another hotel
on the southwest corner of Vine and Walnut streets, where the
Descent House now stands. At the same time Leverich had
purchased the land of William Wells, upon condition that he
should have the house up and enclosed by the 4th of July, 1851.
Mr. J. B. Hough, of Clermont, who helped build the "Leverich
House," says that they raised the frame of that a few hours
before the Stafford Hotel was raised; that there was
considerable rivalry between the workmen on the two buildings,
to see which would get their frame up first. The Stafford Hotel
was finished and opened first, however (see general history.)
A Comical Race
During the Summer of 1851,
Daniel Cook had a bear chained near his store, which was near
the back end of the building now known as the Stewart House, but
known as the "Dayton House" in 1854. He was fattening
the animal in anticipation of a grand Christmas shooting match.
The boys and young men used to tease this bear by throwing
sticks, etc., at him, and it was intensely amusing to them to
see the bear start for them and be brought up "all standing"
when he reached the end of his chain. One day "Phin"
Sturgis was amusing himself at the bear's expense in this
manner, and had roused the anger of Bruin by poking sticks at
him, until the animal started for his tormentor. "Phin"
ran the usual distance and turned, expecting to see the usual
performance when the bear reached the end of his chain; but much
to his surprise and terror, Bruin didn't stop.
In some way the chain was broken loose from the post, and "Phin"
found that he would have to "git" pretty lively if he
wanted to escape a bear hug. He wasn't disposed to laugh now.
There were no houses then on the east side of Vine street, and
it was an exciting race. Sturgis says: "I did my level
best, and made splendid time, but the bear was close behind me
when I reached the building on the corner where the Hobson boys
have their job printing office now, and I had begun to think my
time had come. But I suddenly dodged around the corner of the
house; and the bear, too fat to turn so quickly, kept right
along to the timber." The bear was found in the timber the
next day, tangled up with his chain, re-captured and returned to
his imprisonment; but Sturgis says he had no desire to meddle
with him any more. The shooting match came off according to the
programme, and bear steaks were served to the guests at the
grand Christmas ball at the Stafford Hotel.
The first white child born in the town was Oscar W. Rogers, son
of Jacob and Sarah Jane Rogers, October 2, 1849. The first religious meeting was held in 1849, at the house of
Henry F. Smith, Esq., which stood near the present site of
George N. Rosier's barn. Rev. John Hinman was the clergyman, but
the precise date is lost.
The first church was built by the Methodist society in 1853, on
Lot 15, Block 19, in West Union.
In 1851-52 . Gabriel Long and
Joshua Wells built a steam saw-mill on Block 19, West Union. The
mechanical and engineering work was done by Norman Churchill, of
Monroe, Wis. The old frame is still standing near the brick
flouring-mill, the building of which was commenced by Wm.
Redfield, Maxson & Co., in 1855. In April of that year, says
the Pioneer, "A large portion of the
material is already on the ground to build the steam
flouring-mill of Redfield, Maxson & Co." This mill was
located on Block 19, just north of the saw-mill. It was built of
brick, and was not completed until 1857. It was never very
successful, and has been silent now for some years.
In the Spring of 1852, Mr.
Wanzer, of Clayton County, arrived at West Union, with the
exciting information that he had traced two thieves with a span
of stolen horses to the vicinity of the town, and that the
rogues were still in the vicinity. The people of the town had
strong suspicion that Leverich was in league with the band of
outlaws then infesting the county, and concluded that he might
hold communication with the thieves during the night. Upon the
supposition that they were concealed somewhere in the Turkey
River timber, a line of sentries was established between the
suspected point and the town. The night passed, and no
discoveries were made; but it was afterward learned that the
rascals were at Lost Grove that night, and that they received a
supply of food from West Union at that place. Leverich, if it
was him, was too sharp for them; and, although strongly
suspected, was never fully detected in any unlawful act.
One day in September, 1852, a
messenger came riding in hot haste into West Union with the
startling announcement that fifteen hundred Indians were
advancing upon the town to exterminate its inhabitants; that all
the settlers to the west had been ruthlessly murdered and
scalped, and their cabins burned, and that unquestionably the
merciless savages would hurl themselves upon the town during the
following night. Immediately the wildest excitement prevailed.
There was "hurrying to and fro;" a meeting was called,
and the brave citizens of West Union decided not to run, but to
make a determined and vigorous defense. William McClintock was
elected Commander-in-Chief, and Friend Dayton was dispatched
post haste to Elkader for a supply of ammunition, as there was
none in town. The people were requested to bring out all the
arms they had, and succeeded in finding one rifle, one army
musket and one single-barreled fowling-piece. The
Commander-in-Chief shook his head dubiously when he reflected
that these composed the entire armament of the place, that they
had no powder, and that in a few hours fifteen hundred red
devils might be screeching their terrible war-whoop in the
peaceful streets of the town. He and his brave but unarmed
supporters were intensely relieved, however, when they learned
soon after that there was not an Indian within 150 miles of
In 1852, in the fall, Judge
Woodle, Rev. H. S. Brunson and Rev. John Webb opened a store on
Vine street, and employed Phineas F. Sturgis as accountant and
salesman. Their store was known to the early settlers as "The
M. V. Burdick says that the
firm adopted the word "handsomely" for cost mark; that
he deciphered it, that he would let them know it, and sent a
note without signature as follows:
Beware, ye men of the Arcade,
I will not let you doubt
Though "handsomely" your cost mark's made,
'Tis "handsomely" found out.
Burdick was not successful in
disguising his chirography, as his friends recognized his
propensity for rhyming, for the next time he entered the store
Mr. Sturgis very complacently handed him the note, and, with a
merry twinkle of the eye, asked him if "he had ever seen
"The Arcade" was on
the west side of Vine street, a small wooden building still
standing, a short distance north of the Bank Building, over the
door of which may yet be seen the old sign of "Woodle &
The first paper in West Union is
not included in the list of newspapers of the county. It was not
printed, appeared semi-occasionally and was called The
Gleaner. Nobody knew who published it, and it made
unmerciful thrusts at random. "Everybody," says Mr.
Burdick, "was hit, but nobody knew who it was that hit him."
Burdick says the following carried in The Gleaner
"didn't cost him a cent:"
M. V. BURDICK
Attorney at Law
Clients taken in and done for; victims fleeced in the tenderest
and most approved style.
Office, on Judge Woodle's desk. Residence, in Dr. J. N. B.
Elliott's - back side of his house
The first paper printed in West
Union, and the first in the county, was the Fayette
County Pioneer, the first number of which was issued
October 23, 1853, by John Gharky, who cherished a just pride in
an "untamable pen," and who endeavored to make the
Pioneer conform to his ideal. He is said to have
been a warm-hearted, generous man, with his roughest side out.
The Raid on the Black
Warrior, West Union
In 1854, there was a saloon
called "the Black Warrior," located probably on Lot 3,
Block 13, on the south side of Elm Street, kept by a Mr. Padden
and a partner whose name is forgotten. The baleful influences of
the place were so keenly felt that the ladies of the town
determined that it must and should be suppressed. Accordingly,
on the 29th of June of that year, they assembled to the number
of fifteen or twenty, proceeded to the saloon and requested the
proprietor to quit the business that was making so much mischief
and trouble in the community. Mr. Padden declined to give an
answer until he could consult with his partner, who, he said,
was at Auburn. His partner was sent for, but the ladies were
impatient. They thought that Padden was only dallying to gain
time, and they decided to adopt decided measures. One of the
rear windows was boarded up; these boards were removed and the "Black
Warrior" was in possession of its enemies. Several barrels,
half barrels, demijohns, etc., were quickly emptied of their
contents. While the work of destruction was going on, Padden
made an attempt to replace the boards on the window and thus
imprison the crusaders within, but, says a prominent citizen, "I
was standing close by, and he couldn't make the boards fit."
This event caused a great deal of excitement and ill-feeling,
and numerous threats were made of retaliation; houses were to be
painted black, etc., but fortunately these threats were
unfulfilled. It was an element in the following election,
however, and the "Black Warrior" and its friends
succeeded in tieing Elder Webb with Gabriel Long, as their
candidate for County Judge, who then "drew lots" with
Webb and "wore the ermine."
The doctors were J.N.B. Elliott,
J. H. Stafford, J. Cruzan, Levi Fuller and J. H. Hart. The
attorneys, William McClintock, C. A. Newcomb and Jacob W.
Rogers. M. V. Burdick had just left. The attorneys all did a
land office business. Davis & Minford, Tibbetts, Piper and
L. B. Dershan were the blacksmiths of the town. At the close of
1854, Philip Herzog sold his interest in the red Empire Cabinet
and Chair Factory, on the east side of the square, to W. T.
Perry, who, with Nathaniel C. Smith, Herzog's partner, enlarged
the business. E. L. Sherman and John A. Grover were the harness
makers and saddlers. Brewer & Peck, wagon makers. Webber
came in 1855. Henry Wohrenberg was tailor, the first in town. S.
D. Rowland dressed deer skins, which were plenty and cheap.
Occasionally an elk was brought to the West Union market.
Sampson & Cowles were shoemakers, employing three or four
In the Fall of 1854, George W.
Snell arrived in town with a traveling daguerrean car, stopped
on the public square and remained some time. D. B. Hanan was
taking likenesses in a room in Hale's Hotel.
During the Winter of 1854-5,
five families lived in Matthew Wells' house, on the west side of
Bine street, afterward owned by Milo McGlathery. Corn sold for
35 cents a bushel; pork, 3 to 4 cents a pound; hickory, maple
and ash sold for $2 a cord, and oak, walnut, basswood, etc., at
$1.75. Fifty cents a cord was paid for chopping wood, and
laborers received $1 a day.
In the Fall of 1854, William
Wells made a sale of lots in his addition to West Union. Dr.
Fuller bought two for $90, and C. A. Newcomb two for $85. April
20, 1855, F. Dayton sold at auction sixteen lots in Block 17.
Henry Smith bought one on which was a house, for $110. Twelve of
the lots sold at prices ranging from $33 to $67.
In January, 1875, the Fayette
County Union published an interesting communication from
John Gharky, the first editor in Fayette County, entitled "Twenty
Years Ago," from which the historian compiles the following
interesting statements in relation to West Union in 1854-5:
The principal dry goods merchants at West Union at that time
were Densmore & Co., the "Co." being Charles
Chadwick, L. C. Noble and B. T. Reeves; Henry C. Lacy & Co.
in their "Crystal Palace," and Charles A. Cottrell,
successor of the lamented Daniel Cook. Berkey & Winet were
almost exclusively in the grocery trade, in which their
principal rivals were Somers & Webster, who occupied their
noted "Black Warrior."
In May, 1854, Dr. Levi Fuller and H. Chandler established the
Pioneer Hardware Store. This was the first hardware in the town,
and in the Fall of the same year was owned by J. H. Hart &
There were four public houses in the Fall of 1854, viz.: The
West Union Hotel, Job Arnold, proprietor, which was the first
tavern first occupied by David Stafford, by his widow, "Aunt
Lucinda," after his death, and then by S. W. Cole. The
Irvin House, on Lot 1, Block 13, where the Descent House now
stands. This house was built by Chauncy Leverich, and opened as
a hotel by him; bought by _____ Irvin, and kept as the Irvin
House by his sons James and John. The Dayton House, on Lot 5,
Block 13, Elm street, east of the West Union House, built by
Friend Dayton and kept by him; and the United States House, on
Lot 5, Block 11, Vine Street, built by Job Arnold as a
storehouse, purchased, enlarged and opened as a hotel by Samuel
On Christmas evening, Dec. 25, 1864, a grand ball was given at
the Irvin House. A general invitation was extended, a splendid
supper prepared and a merry time was had. The Irvins were good
providers, their wives superior cooks, and that house, says
Gharky, "set an excellent table." Cotillion parties
were quite common. Society was not artificially graded then, and
at these parties silk and calico, broadcloth and bluejeans,
mingled together on the same broad level.
Henry Jones and Luke Camp were independent surveyors. Jud.
Jones was schoolmaster, occupying the Baptist Church, teaching
phonetics, and giving general satisfaction.
During 1854, great improvements
were made in the new town. Samuel Hale, C. A. Newcomb and D. J.
Marvin erected six houses; and the following named persons one
building each, viz.: A. J. Clark, William Minford, H. S.
Brunson, A. Gruver, N. Pease, Joshua Wells, Levi Fuller, Gideon
Stafford, Gabriel Long, S. Bailey, H. Wonnenberg (the first
tailor), M. Rowe, William Gibson, U. L. Stowe, Darius Hanan (the
first daguerrean artist), J. R. Smith, J. Niekel, George R.
Slayton, E. Luce, Berkey & Winet, D. H. Hall, C. W. Corey,
Stephen Reeves, S. M. Phillips, A. C. South, H. Chandler, Friend
Dayton, Somers & Webster, Sam. Malone, R. A. Bishop (the
first baker), and Mr. Neffin, making a total of thirty-seven.
June 1, 1854, D. P. Foster, familiarly called "Palm"
for short, a son of Joseph W. Foster, took the contract to carry
the mail to and from McGregor twice a week.
July 10, 1854, Orton's Circus performed to crowded seats - the
first exhibition of the kind in West Union.
August 3, 1854, the first regular camp-meeting commenced a
short distance west of town. The Pioneer of that
date remarks: "The first large out-of-doors meeting in
Fayette County was held at a large rock in Pleasant Valley
Township as far back as 1850, if not further." It was in
1849, in West Union Township.
On the last Friday night in December, 1855, the Methodist
parsonage was consumed by fire. The minister's library was very
January 17, 1856, the boiler for the steam flouring-mill
arrived; and on the 29th of the same month, a dumb man preached
in the Methodist Church. Subject, "Abraham Sacrificing
Isaac." Rev. Mr. Dollarhide assisted.
Death By Poison
On Tuesday night, May 31, 1859,
Lewis Nash, aged some 9 or 10 years, a son of Lyman Nash, died
suddenly at the house of Dr. Stafford in this place, from the
effects of eating wild parsnips, it is supposed. In the course
of the preceding afternoon, he and two or three other boys dug
and ate what they supposed to be artichokes, but which proved to
be the poisonous plant above mentioned. The other boys were
sick, but recovered.
There were 170 Good Templars in West Union in February, 1867.
A railway meeting was held at
the Court House on Thursday evening, January 9, 1868. Joseph
Hobson was Chairman and J. W. Shannon, Secretary. William
McClintock, Esq., stated the object of the meeting to be to
decide upon the necessity of sending someone to Des Moines to
assist our legislative delegation in protecting our interests in
relation to the land grant.
Addresses were made by Judge McClintock, Joseph Hobson, S. S.
Ainsworth and Richard Earle.
Judge McClintock was invited to go to Des Moines for the object
The local finance committee was instructed to make an effort to
raise the necessary funds, and report to Judge McClintock.
S. S. Ainsworth, I. F. Clark and J. F. Babcock were appointed a
committee to circulate petitions.
On Sunday, July 18, 1875, the pulpit of the M. E. Church at
West Union was occupied by Mrs. Mary C. Nind and Mrs. Lucy E.
Prescott. In the evening, Mrs. Prescott delivered a short
address on the orginazation of the Woman's Foreign Missionary
Society. At the close of her address, several ladies, deeply
imbued with the importance of attending to the spiritual wants
of the heathen on the opposite side of this wonderful little
planet, gave their names for membership, and on Monday afternoon
a Branch Society was organized by the election of officers as
President, Mrs. L. W. Waterbury; Vice Presidents, Mrs. C.
Miller, Mrs. Tyrrell and Mrs. Joseph Hobson; Recording
Secretary, Mrs. Jennie Lacy; Assistant, Miss Fannie Hobson;
Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. L. Armstrong; Treasurer, Mrs.
Myron Peck; Literary Committee, Mrs. Wm. Fuller, Mrs. A. C.
Jones, Miss Julia Capwell, Miss Julia Slitor.
March 23, 1878, Frank Reed, a journeyman cooper, committed
suicide at the United States House, West Union, by taking
laudanum. He was an unmarried man, and came to Fayette County
from Sterling, Illinois.
The first school house in West
Union was a log structure, built in the Summer of 1850, on the
north end of Lot 1, Block 15, on the east side of the town. Some
authorities state that J. S. Pence taught the first school in
this building in the Winter of 1851-52, but there is strong
evidence that James Boale taught first in the log school house,
six months, for $100. Mr. Boale was examined for the position by
J. W. Rogers, in his field near the northwest corner of the
southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 16,
Township 94 north, Range 8 west, a little southeast of the
school house, with hoe in hand, standing beside a crooked rail
fence with "all out-doors" for a room and all creation
for an audience, if they chose to attend. Mr. Boale stood on the
other side of the fence, passed a short and satisfactory
examination, and gave good satisfaction.
The log school house was used for religious purposes as well as
for schools for some years, until churches were built and the
school district had outgrown its dimensions. Then the churches
were used for school houses; but, until 1858, the author can find
no record of schools or school districts.
May 3, 1858, the electors of School District Township of West
Union assembled at the Court House and elected S. S. Ainsworth,
President; E. L. Hackett, Vice President; D. G. Hoffman,
Secretary; John Gharky, District No. 1; William M. Eldridge, No.
2; D. B. Smith, No. 3; A. Butler, No. 4; Isaac Hitch, No. 5;
George Neff, No. 6; F. Smith, No. 7; Lewis Davis, No. 8; and
Samuel Harper, No. 9. At this meeting it was resolved to submit
the question of levying a tax of two mills for "Teacher's
Fund" and two mills for "School House Fund" to the
legal voters of the district; also, whether the Board should be
authorized to borrow $5,000 for procuring sites and building
The Director of Sub-district No. 1 was authorized to organize
two schools in that district, and Messrs. Gharky, Ainsworth and
Hoffman appointed to employ teachers therefore.
On the 26th day of May, 1858, William Wells donated to No. 1 an
acre of ground lying southwest of Wells' donation, on
consideration that a school house should be built thereon; but
the district selected another site, and the land was "deeded
back" to Mr. Wells.
Miss Quackenbush, Miss Sleiter and Mr. Carpenter were teachers
in No. 1 in 1858, and Miss Morton taught in No. 4.
It would seem that at that time there was no school house in
No. 1, for on the 16th of October, 1858, the Board paid rent for
the Baptist Church and for Ormond's Hall, probably for school
purposes, and the United Brethren Church was used as a school
house in the Summer of that year.
In 1859, there appear to have been but seven sub-districts, and
three schools were authorized in No. 1. This year, the Baptist
Church and Brick Church (U. B.) were used for school houses in
No. 1, and D. W. Hammond and wife and Miss M. E. Hackett were
the teachers. Miss Hawley, teacher in No. 2; Miss Farrer, No. 3;
W. T. Mitchell, No. 4; S. B. Potter, No. 5; Emma Hale, No. 6;
James L. Campbell in No. 7.
In the Spring of 1860, Sub-district No. 1 drops out of the
township district records, and the inference is that No. 1 was
erected into an independent district at that time. In 1861,
there were only six sub-districts and No. 7 was made No. 1.
An agreement between the Independent District of West Union and
Township District, entered into on the 19th of December, 1863,
stipulates that thereafter Sections 16, 17, and 18, south half
of Sections 7, 8 and 9, west half of Section 15, northwest
quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 22, north half of
northeast quarter of Section 21, northeast quarter of the
northwest quarter of Section 21, and north halfs of Sections 19
and 20 should constitute the independent district.
At the meeting of the Board of Directors of the township
district in March, 1878, the following teachers were paid, viz.:
Emma House, No. 1; C. G. Graham, No. 2; Dell Abbott, No. 3; J.
E. Robertson, No. 4; Louise Crowe, No. 5; J. F. Cornish, No. 6;
Carrie Harrison, No. 7.
The Board for 1878 is constituted as follows: Wm. Alcorn, No.
1; M. N. Trout, No. 2; J. F. Smith, Jr., No. 3; Charles Hoyer,
No. 4; John W. Stewart, No. 5; B. F. Conkey, No. 6; J. G.
Nefzgar, No. 7; John A. Knox, No. 8; John W. Steward, President;
Morris Merritt, Secretary.
The Independent School District, of West Union, was organized,
probably, in the Spring of 1860, but the early records are lost.
It is said that at the first meeting, when a Board of Directors
was chosen, the district voted to borrow money to build a school
house, and for three years were voting taxes and rescinding
them; but at last, in May, 1863, a contract was made with David
Winrott and Lewis Brown to build a school house on Lots 4, 5, 6
and 7, Block 4, plat of Union <sic>, on the north side of
Elm Street, for $2,900. The house was to be 30x50 feet, two
stories, with a vestibule 10x30 in front, and, as the district
was "short," the contractors were allowed a year in
which to complete it. They commenced work in May, 1863, and the
building was ready for occupancy in April, 1864. The first
teachers in the new building were E. B. Wakeman, Principal; Mrs.
R. R. Wakeman, Miss Jennie E. Hines and Addie M. Close. The term
commenced April 25 and ended July 18, 1864.
In 1869 or '70, an addition was made to the school house of
another building about the same size of the first, built by
School Board of 1878 - G. H. Thomas, President; L. L.
Ainsworth, Joseph Hobson, D. M. Hoyt, H. B. Hoyt and William
McClintock, Directors; S. B. Zeigler, Treasurer; J. D. Neff,
Secretary; Teachers - 1878 - B. R. Anderson, Principal; Hiram C.
Bishop, Louise Hinkley, Hattie Thornton, Ida Noble and Cassie
Fayette County National
Bank of West Union
The following gentlemen,
subscribers to the capital stock of the Fayette County National
Bank, viz.: David Bell, Dover; C. R. Bent, Lewis Berkey, George
Blunt, Joseph Hobson, H. B. Hoyt, Myron Peck, William Redfield,
L. W. Waterbury, E. A. Whitney, S. B. Zeigler, of West Union;
William Larrabee, B. H. Hinkley, of Clermont; D. B. Herriman,
Wadena, and J. K. Rosier, of Dover, met at the office of Joseph
Hobson, in West Union, on Monday, June 24, 1872, and organized,
by the election of a Board of Directors as follows: David Bell,
George Blunt, D. B. Herriman, Joseph Hobson, H. B. Hoyt, William
Larrabee, Myron Peck, E. A. Whitney and S. B. Zeigler.
President, Joseph Hobson; Vice President, S. B. Zeigler;
Cashier, E. A. Whitney; Teller, E. B. Shaw.
The capital stock was $50,000. The amount of stock subscribed
for was $59,500, and a redistribution of stock was made so as to
include all applicants, and, as far as possible, allow each to
have the amount of stock he desired.
The Fayette County Bank was merged into the National Bank, the
assets of the former being transferred by the proprietor, S. B.
Zeigler, to the latter on Monday, August 5, 1872.
The officers of 1878 are: Directors: Joseph Hobson, S. B.
Zeigler, Edward A. Whitney, H. B. Hoyt, Myron Peck, William
Larrabee, L. W. Waterbury, B. H. Hinkley and Wm. R. Morley;
President, Joseph Hobson; S. B. Zeigler, Vice President; E. A.
Whitney, Cashier; Ephraim B. Shaw, Assistant Cashier. Capital
stock, $100,000; surplus, $10,000.
Connected with the institution is the
Fayette County Savings
with the following officers:
Directors, Curtis R. Bent, J. Hobson, John Owens, L. W.
Waterbury, B. H. Hinkley, H. B. Hoyt, Myron Peck, E. A. Whitney
and S. B. Zeigler; President, S. B. Zeigler; Vice President,
Joseph Hobson; Treasurer, E. A. Whitney; Assistant Treasurer, E.
The township of West Union was
first organized in 1849, under the jurisdiction of Clayton
County, but there are no records to be found to show its early
political record. It is seldom that a township can be found with
complete and continuous records from its first organization.
West Union was incorporated
under the general laws of the State, and the first election was
held April 26, 1866. H. N. Hawkins was elected Mayor; S. F.
Clark, Recorder; John S. Sampson, Charles Chadwick, Henry
Rickel, Myron Peck and James S. Wright, Trustees. The first
action of the Town Council was the passage of an ordinance
fixing the time of meeting on the first Monday in each month.
Ordinance No. 2 provided for the
election of a Marshal and Treasurer, and for the appointment of
said officers until the next general election, in 1877 <sic>.
Ordinance No. 4 provided for the levy of seven mills on the
dollar on all taxable property in the incorporate town of West
Union. Ordinance No. 5 authorized the Mayor and Recorder to
borrow money for the use of the town, not to exceed $700 in
amount, at 10 per cent interest. Ordinance No. 7 provided for
the payment of each attendance at each session, $1.50 to each
member of the Council, except the Treasurer, who received "the
sum of two percent on all monies paid out by him," and the
Clerk received (in addition to the $1.50) ten cents per hundred
words for all writing done in connection with his duties as Town
Recorder. J. J. Welsh was appointed Marshal, and J. J. Berkey
Treasurer. Dr. W. A. Chase was appointed Health Officer.
May 16, 1866, a committee was
appointed to inquire into the practicability of building a
calaboose for the town. June 18, 1866, J. Bell was appointed
For 1867, Mayor, S. B. Zeigler;
Recorder, S. S. Seely; Trustees, H. Wimber, L. Dershan, Noah
Phillips, George L. Noble and B. Herserman; Treasurer, J. J.
For 1868, Mayor, S. B. Zeigler;
Recorder, S. S. Seely; Treasurer, J. J. Berkey; Trustees, Myron
Peck, L. W. Waterbury, J. J. Ingersoll, Samuel Holton and S.
Beattie; J. J. Berkey appointed Recorder, October 12th, to fill
For 1869, Mayor, S. B. Zeigler;
Recorder, James S. Wright; Treasurer, J. J. Berkey; Trustees, L.
W. Waterbury, S. Beattie, D. W. Redfield, S. Holton and M. Peck.
February, 1870, the town appropriated $200 for the purchase of
four fire extinguishers.
For 1870, Mayor, S. B. Zeigler;
Recorder, A. B. Ecker; Treasurer, C. H. Talmadge; Trustees, J.
S. Sampson, H. Wimber, E. N. Phillips, Samuel Holton, Samuel
For 1871, Mayor, S. B. Zeigler;
Recorder, A. B. Ecker; Treasurer, L. W. Waterbury; Trustees, C.
T. Nefzger, Myron Peck, E. H. Kinyon, A. H. Foxx, John Rapp.
April 3, 1871, C. T. Nefzger was
appointed to confer with William Wells in regard to getting a
deed of the graveyard to the incorporate town of West Union.
Deed was made and delivered to the Town Council Oct. 23, 1871.
For 1872, Mayor, P. L. Hinkley;
Recorder, William Cowle; Treasurer, L. W. Waterbury; Trustees,
John Rapp, John S. Sampson, C. T. Nefzger, H. B. Hoyt, Henry
Wimber. August 9, I. F. Clark was appointed Recorder, vice
William Cowle, resigned.
For 1873, Mayor, J. J. Berkey;
Recorder, Wm. E. Welsh; Treasurer, L. W. Waterbury; Trustees,
John Rapp, George Ogsbury, Silas Beattie, I. F. Clark, Wm.
Gruver. April 11, 1873, a resolution was passed directing the
Mayor to "make, execute and deliver to the Board of
Supervisors of Fayette County, Iowa, a quit-claim of the public
square, known as the Court House Square, in West Union, Iowa, in
behalf of said town, whenever said Board of Supervisors shall
appropriate the sum of $5,000 for the building of a courthouse
on said public square, and shall enter into a written contract
with responsible parties for the building of the Court House
For 1874, Mayor, J. J. Berkey;
Recorder, E. B. Shaw; Treasurer, L. W. Waterbury; Trustees, A.
H. Fox, George Ogsbury, John S. Sampson, John Owens, John Cook.
For 1875, Mayor, Henry Rickel;
Recorder, P. L. Hinkley; Treasurer, L. W. Waterbury; Trustees,
John Owens, Geo. H. Thomas, John S. Sampson, John Cook, Milo
Feb. 1, 1877, the Council issued
bonds for the purchase of fire extinguishing apparatus, to the
amount of $2,300.
For 1876, Mayor, H. Rickel;
Recorder, J. H. Donald; Treasurer, L. W. Waterbury; Trustees, G.
H. Thomas, John Owens, E. B. Shaw, A. Gunsalus, John Cook.
For 1877, Mayor, George Ogsbury;
Recorder, John H. Donald; Treasurer, John S. Sampson; Trustees,
James Stewart, O. E. Taylor, C. McMaster and H. C. Gunsalus.
For 1878, Mayor, George Ogsbury;
Recorder, John H. Donald; Treasurer, A. K. White; Trustees, W.
N. Hodgkinson, W. C. McMaster, B. W. Finch, James Stewart and O.
Methodist Episcopal Church,
- In 1850, the Otter Creek Mission was re-organized, with Rev.
H. S. Brunson as Presiding Elder, and Rev. S. H. Greenup and
Rev. E. Howard, Pastors. West Union was taken up as an
appointment, and a class organized, consisting in part of Mrs.
Elizabeth Cook, Mrs. Lucinda Stafford, Jos. W. Foster and wife,
Mrs. Ellen Cruzan, with G. P. Slayton as Leader, and Rev. J. B.
Hollingshead and Rev. Elisha Hartsough as Local Preachers. The
first Quarterly Conference was held two miles east of West
Union, on a big rock. The first place of worship in West Union
was the old log school house; but in 1853, with Rev. Jos. R.
Cameron as Pastor, a frame church was commenced, and finally
completed through the energy and liberality of Dr. Fuller, C. R.
Bent, J. S. Brewer and others. Here a Sabbath school was
organized, with J. S. Brewer as Superintendent. The society
continued to prosper under the pastorates of Rev. L. S.
Ashbaugh, Rev. Isaac Newton and Rev. J. M. Rankin, until 1859,
when the appointment known on the circuit as West Union ws
organized into a station. This was with many fears of inability
to support a Pastor, but was finally ventured upon when Dr.
Fuller became responsible for the Pastor's salary. At the next
Annual Conference, Rev. G. Clifford was appointed as the first
Pastor of West Union Station. The first parsonage was bought in
1855, during the pastorate of Rev. L. S. Ashbaugh. This was
burned in 1859, during its occupancy by Rev. J. M. Rankin. The
present parsonage was purchased, and has been improved from time
to time, until it has become a very comfortable house for the
The present church was commenced
in 1866, and carried forward to completion during the pastorate
of Rev. Wm. Fawcett, and at a cost of $8,000.00. The building
was dedicated in the presence of an over-crowded assemblage,
Jan. 5th, 1868, Rev. Dr. Raymond, of the Garrett Biblical
Institute, Evanston, Ill., preaching the sermon. The music was
under the direction of Prof. Mark Jones. Dr. Fuller, in behalf
of the Trustees, presented the church for dedication, but before
this was done, the indebtedness remaining, some $2,500, was
pledged on the spot.
The society now numbers 225,
divided into eight classes, under the sub-pastoral care of C. R.
Bent, R. Sampson, Wm. Edgar, J. S. Brewer, JaneSampson, H.
Rickel, John Riley and Devitt Neff. The Board of Stewards
consists of C. R. Bent, A. E. Rich, H. Rickel, P. Clark, D. W.
Clement, W. H. Huyck, R. Sampson and J. S. Brewer. Trustees -
Dr. L. Fuller, Jos. Hobson, M. Peck, J. H. Donald,C. T. Nefzger,
P. Barnhart, J. J. Berkey, Wm. Ash and E. Kramer.
The Sabbath school, under the
superintendence of D. W. Clement, numbers one hundred and fifty.
The following Pastors have
served the church since its organization in 1850; Revs. S. H.
Greenup and E. Howard, 1852; Rev. Jos. R. Cameron, 1854; Rev. L.
S. Ashbaugh, 1856; Rev. Isaac Newton, 1858; Rev. J. M. Rankin,
1859; Rev. Geo. Clifford, 1861; Rev. B. Webster, 1862; Rev. R.
Swearingen. 1864; Rev. W. Smith, 1865; Rev. H. S. Church, 1866;
Rev. W. Fawcett, 1868; Rev. R. N. Earhart, 1870; Rev. W. P.
Watkins, 1872; Rev. M. H. Smith, 1874; Rev. J. R. Berry, 1875;
Rev. J. B. Casebeer, 1877; Rev. D. Sheffer. Ladies' Aid Society
- Mrs. Jane Sampson, President; Mrs. Darnell, Treasurer; Mrs. M.
Peck, Mrs. Wm. Heiseman, Mrs. M. C. Sheffer, Mrs. Benj.
Heiseman, Mrs. W. H. Huyck and Mrs. D. W. Clements, Directors.
Women's Foreigh Missionary Society - Mrs. M. C. Seffer,
President; Mrs. Wm. Cox, Vice President; Mrs. Jane Sampson,
Corresponding Secretary; Mrs. Martha Jones, Secretary and
Regular Baptist Church
- At a meeting of the Regular Baptist Brethren residing in West
Union, at the house of Hon. Thomas Woodle, on the 23d day of
October, A. D. 1852, Elder Thomas Ritchie, of Stroudsburg,
Penn., and Elder Calvin D. Farnsworth, of Colesburg, Iowa, were
requested to sit as an Advisory Council with them.
The meeting was opened by
prayer. Elder Thomas Ritchie was called to the chair, and Friend
Dayton was elected Clerk. The Council decided to recognize them
as a "Regular Baptist Church of Christ."
The next day, 24th, the
Recognition Sermon was delivered by Rev. C. D. Farnsworth, the
Charge by Rev. Mr. Ritchie, and Right Hand of Fellowship by Mr.
The original members were
Lorenzo Dutton, Malinda Dutton, Francis Skelton, Martha Burdick,
Livona Burdick, Friend Dayton, Sarah Ann Dayton, Baltus Dayton,
Reuben Dayton, Thomas Woodle and Rachel Woodle.
November 15, 1852, the little
church again assembled at the house of Thos. Woodle. At this
meeting, Lorenzo Dutton was Moderator; Francis Skelton was
elected Church Clerk, and Friend Dayton, Deacon.
March 18, 1853, Elder J. Arnold
was engaged to preach one-fourth of the time for six months.
May 19, 1853, the church
resolved to purchase a "lot of ground in West Union, in
order to build a small house of worship on it, and that the
dimensions of said house shall not exceed 20x26 feet.
Job Arnold, Friend Dayton and L.
Dutton were elected Trustees of the church, and were authorized
to act as a Building Committee, and to circulate subscription
papers to raise funds with which to build.
In September, Mr. Arnold
resigned as Trustee, and D. H. Hall was elected in his place.
Elder George Scott was engaged as Pastor, for one year, his
salary to be $100.
Like most other societies, this
little church thought it could not build a house of worship
without incurring a debt; and in November, 1853, Thomas Woodle
was authorized to negotiate a loan from the American Baptist
Home Mission Board, to "pay for the house of worship that
the church is building." This church was built on the west
side of Walnut street, on Lot 18, Block 13, West Union, and was
completed and dedicated. It is now occupied by W. N. Pierce, as
a carpenter shop.
March 18, 1854, Dayton, Hall and
Dutton were appointed a committee to report suitable persons for
Sabbath school officers. About this time, the church labored
with Brother Arnold, received his confession and was satisfied.
April 1, Brothers Woodle and
Byam were elected Superintendents of the Sabbath school; M. V.
Burdick, Secretary, and I. F. Clark, Librarian. In July, Elder
Scott was called to continue his labors, and E. C. Byam was
granted a license to preach.
The records do not show when the
house was finished or dedicated; but August 5, 1854, the church
voted to "expend what money there is in the treasury to
repair the damage occasioned by the late storm."
December 10, 1854, Elder Scott
July 21, 1855, Brother A. G.
Emery was licensed to preach, and invited to supply the church
with preaching until a minister could be procured.
Rev. J. H. Parmalee occupied the
pulpit in 1856; and during the year, an effort was made to
enlarge the church building.
Rev. Myron Newill became Pastor
of the church July, 1858; he resigned April 3, 1859; and August
20, Alonzo Abernethy was licensed to preach. The next Pastor was
Rev. John Williams.
The society was incorporated in
1861, Benjamin Morse, A. B. Collins, James Bell, A. E. Walls, A.
Greshbacher and S. W. Cole being the corporaters.
Rev. Mr. Hill was Pastor in
February 3, 1866, the Trustees
reported that they had sold the meeting house to the Lutheran
Church, for $250; and asked what they should do with the money.
Elder Starr was Pastor in
In May, 1867, the church
commenced the work of building a new church edifice, on Lot 6,
Block 5, corner of Main and Vine streets, which was completed,
and dedicated January 6, 1870, by Rev. N. F. Ravlin, of Chicago.
Deacon B. Morse reported the whole cost of the building to be
Rev. R. F. Powers was Pastor for
a few months early in 1869, followed, in March, 1870, by Rev. C.
G. B. Jackson, and remained two years.
In August, 1872, Rev. Thomas Ure
became Pastor, and continued until February, 1874.
The church was destitute of a
Pastor until February, 1875, when Rev. J. C. Douglass assumed
the pastorate for six months, leaving the pulpit in August.
Until August, 1876, the church
was supplied occasionally, but at that time, Rev. M. H. Perry,
the present Pastor, entered the pulpit.
The present church officers are
B. Morse, W. A. Whitney and F. Y. Whitmore. Deacon Morse has
been Deacon of this church for nearly twenty years. Ansel A.
Johnson, Clerk; F. Y. Whitmore, Treasurer; W. A. Whitney, D.
Merritt and James S. Kent, Trustees.
Not one of the original members
are now members of the church. Present membership - about
Presbyterian Church -
For many years the Presbyterian element in and around West Union
had no church of their order. The first attempt to plant a
Presbyterian Church was made by the United Presbyterians; but
this failed. Some time after this, a petition to the Presbytery
of Dubuque, in connection with the General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, was
presented, asking for the organization of a church in West
Union. The following extract is made from the records of the
Presbytery of Dubuque, at a meeting held at Littleton, Iowa,
April 25, 1867:
A petition signed by twenty-five persons, of
whom nineteen are church members, was presented, asking for the
organization of a church of our order at West Union, in Fayette
County, Iowa. Mr. Jesse Philips, of that place, was heard by the
Presbytery on behalf of the petitioners. It was therefore
resolved that the request be granted, and that a committee of
three be appointed to organize a church at West Union, if the
way be clear, at their earliest convenience. Revs. J. McKean and
J. D. Caldwell and Elder S. F. Glenn were appointed said
This committee met in West
Union, June 19, 1867. A sermon was preached by Rev. J. D.
Caldwell, and was followed immediately by the organization of
the church. Only eleven persons joined at this meeting. These
original members were the following: Nathan Shaw, Eleanor Shaw,
Lovica J. Bell, Elizabeth H. Shaw, Rebecca A. Shaw, Wm. Selder,
S. A. Selder, Jesse Philips, Nancy A. Philips, E. M. Campbell
and Mary J. Irvin.
Nathan Shaw and Jesse Philips
were elected as Ruling Elders, and immediately ordained and
installed, with appropriate ceremonies.
But the church was as yet
without either a house to worship in or a Pastor to direct their
devotions. In the Autumn, however, the latter want was supplied.
Rev. J. W. Dickey was called from Ohio, to take charge of the
newly formed church. This proved the beginning of a long
pastorate. Mr. Dickey was not, however, regularly installed,
until November 5, 1868.
From the Spring of 1868 to the
Fall of 1869, the old Methodist Episcopal Church was used. This
was purchased by the Presbyterian society and occupied for three
months, but was finally deserted, and services were held in the
Court House, till January, 1871.
In the meantime the society had
been busy building a church edifice worthy of the worship of
God. The Building Committee was composed of Messrs. E. B. Shaw
and L. Fuller, M. D., who superintended the work. The result was
a very good brick structure, with commodious and comfortable
appointments. It is well suited in every way for the purpose
designed, and is exceedingly neat and tasteful in appearance.
The cost of this house was only $4,500.
This house was dedicated with
appropriate services, January, 1871. The sermon was preached by
Rev. D. Russell, of Manchester. From that time, the church has
had a name to live. It has had a home, and around that home have
gathered many pleasant memories.
The pastoral relations of the
Rev. J. W. Dickey with this people, which had been so long
maintained, were finally severed, April 18, 1876, at a meeting
of the Presbytery held in Dubuque. Thus the critical period of
the church's history - the formation and moulding of its
character - was in the hands of this servant of God. For nine
years he held the reins and guided the church successfully, as
long experience had taught him. The church owes much to the
faithful labors of this, its first and, so far, only Pastor duly
Rev. Mr. Dickey was succeeded by
Rev. D. Russell, who had charge for one year, but was never
installed. He served from May, 1876, to May, 1877. The
prosperity of the church still continued, and many were
attracted to the preaching of Mr. Russell.
He was followed by Rev. W. O.
Ruston, immediately, who is at present in charge of the church,
though not as yet installed as Pastor.
One hundred and thirty-seven
have, in these ten years of church life, been received into
membership. Of this number, 32 have died or been dismissed to
other churches, leaving 105 as the present membership.
Christian Church - This
church was organized in the Winter of 1853-4, but had no church
until the next year (1855). Their first Pastor was Rev. E.
Griffin. In 1865, the church was incorporated, with the
following Trustees; John Ecker, William McCleery and Lorenzo
Dutton. In 1871, the society ceased to hold meetings. The church
was then let to the German Lutheran Society and S. S. Ainsworth,
who kept a private school in it; and upon information being
given to the Assessor of that fact, he at once levied tax, and
there being no one to pay said tax, it was sold in default
thereof and bid in by David Winrott. Mr. A. B. Ecker, however,
in 1874, made oath before the Board of Supervisors that it was
church property, whereupon the tax was remitted to Mr. Winrott.
Its last Pastor was Rev. Mr. Anderson.
Seventh Day Adventists
- The germ of this Society dates from a tent meeting held at
Fayette in August, 1867, the services being conducted by Elders
D. T. Bordeau and George R. Butler. At this time, the only
professors of this faith in Fayette were D. R. Seeley and his
wife, Ellen A. At this meeting, the accessions were Nason Hoyt
and Byron Hoyt, of West Union, and Paulina Lippincott. Since
that time, occasional services have been held by Elders Butler,
C. A. Washburn and E. W. Farnsworth. The Society has eleven
members, including Fayette. The Elders are Elisha Brigs, of
Fayette, and Nason Hoyt, of West Union. The church has
petitioned the Conference to hold the annual tent meeting for
1878 at Fayette.
West Union Lodge, U. D. - The
earliest Masonic records of West Union Lodge have been
mutilated. Eight or ten pages have been torn out, and it is
impossible now to determine the precise date when the lodge was
organized U. D. The first meeting of record was March 28, 1855,
and several prominent citizens of West Union were raised. It is
probable that the Lodge was organized in 1853-4, probably in
1852. The original members, so far as can be ascertained, were
Charles A. Cottrell, J. B. Hollingshead, J. B. Hough, O. Somers,
____ Chamberlain and, presumably, C. A. Newcomb. Bro. Hough
states that Charles A. Cottrell was the first W. M.; J. B.
Hollingshead, S. W.; John Dorland, J. W.; O. Somers, Secretary;
J. B. Hough, S. D.; John Williamson (from Elkader, who aided in
organizing the Lodge), J. D.; J. F. Dorland, Tyler.
West Union Lodge, No. 69. - The
charter of this Lodge bears date of June 5, 1856, with C. A.
Cottrell, W. M.; J. B. Hollingshead, S. W.; John Dorland, J. W.,
and others of the Lodge, U. D., as charter members. The first
officers under the charter were elected July 1, 1856, as
follows: Henry Jones, W. M.; L. C. Noble, S. W.; John Dorland,
J. W.; James F. Dorland, Treasurer; O. Somers, Secretary.
Masters from organization to
1878 - C. A. Cottrell, to July, 1856; Henry Jones, July, 1856-7;
George Ogsbury, 1857-8; Thomas Cincaid, 1858-9; E. R. White,
1859-60; Robert Evans, 1860-1; George Ogsbury, 1861-5; William
Cowle, 1865-70; L. L. Ainsworth, 1870-1; S. B. Zeigler, 1871-2;
William Cowle, 1872-4; S. E. Robinson, 1874-5; James S. Wright,
Secretaries - O. Somers to
1857; Judson Hale, 1857-8; S. S. Seeley, 1858-9; John S.
Sampson, 1859-60; S. B. Zeigler, 1860-1; William Cowle, 1862-4;
Joseph Hobson, 1864-5; Mark Gilbert, 1865-6; C. H. Miller,
1866-9; H. B. Hoyt, 1869-70; C. H. Talmadge, 1870-4; A. N.
Hobson, 1874-5; W. N. Hodgkenson, 1875-6-7; C. H. Talmadge,
Officers of 1878 - J. S.
Wright, W. M.; A. C. Gunsalus, S. W.; G. D. Darnell, J. W.; John
S. Sampson, Treasurer; C. H. Talmadge, Secretary; S. S. Sanford,
S. D.; J. P. Parrott, J. D.; D. Vermilya, S. S.; L. B. Dershan,
J. S.; Thomas Cox, Tiler. Membership in 1878 - sixty-two.
I. O. of O. F.
Round Grove Lodge, I. O. of
O. F., was organized July 26, 1852, by D.D.G.M. Thos. B.
Dripps, assisted by B. H. Fox, with the following charter
members: Wm. McClintock, Clark Newcomb, Edwin Montgomery, Joseph
H. Dripps, A. W. Dripps. The following first officers were
elected: N. G., Wm. McClintock; V. G., L. R. Miller; R. S.,
Joseph N. Dripps; Treasurer, Edwin Montgomery. The following
gentlemen were admitted at the first meeting: M. V. Burdick, H.
S. Brunson, Thos. Woodle, George A. Cook, John Cook and P. L.
Hinkley. Like many other organizations and associations that
fell during the last war, Round Grove Lodge succumbed to the
inevitable, and surrendered its charter about 1864. However, in
1871, upon petition of Wm. McClintock, D. M. Hoyt, D. Winrott,
S. B. Zeigler, R. Gilbert and L. B. Dershan, the charter was
returned and the re-organization effected by Orlando McCraney,
G. M. of the State, Nov. 27, 1871, when the following officers
were elected: N. G., H. Rickel; V. G., H. A. Stowe; R. S., Mark
Gilbert; Treasurer, S. B. Zeigler; F. Y. Whitmore, V. G.; and W.
A. Chase, R. S., to fill vacancy. Its N. G.'s have been:
in 1872, F. Y. Whitmore; 1873, D. Winrott and F. Y. Whitmore;
1874, James Whillis and L. M. Whitney; 1875, M. M. Deppe and P.
L. Hinkley; 1876, S. Holton and D. F. Bushnell; 1877, D. W.
Clements and G. L. Abbott; 1878, J. Holmes.
V. G.'s: 1872, D.
Winrott; 1873, D. W. Redfield and James Whillis; 1874, L. M.
Whitney and M. M. Deppe; 1875, James Stewart and S. Holton;
1876, D. F. Bushnell and D. W. Clements; 1877, A. E. Winrott and
James Holmes; 1878, S. R. Haines.
R. S.'s: 1872, L. M.
Whitney; 1873, A. E. Winrott and W. A. Chase; 1874, M. M. Deppe
and James Stewart; 1875, E. H. Kinyon and D. F. Bushnell; 1876,
D. W. Clements and A. E. Winrott; 1877, M. Peck and S. R.
Haines;; 1878, T. D. Reeder. Treasurers: 1872 till July,
'74, Samuel Holton; July, 1875, E. H. Kinyon; July, 1876, James
Holmes; July, 1877, M. Peck till July, 1878, present incumbent.
West Union Encampment -
Organized in 1873; its charter is dated Oct. 22, 1873, and bears
the following names: F. Y. Whitmore, W. H. Chase, A. E. Rich, D.
Winrott, D. M. Hoyt, J. L. Davis, O. P. Miller, L. M. Whitney,
D. W. Redfield. The following officers were elected: C. P., F.
Y. Whitmore; H. P., O. P. Miller; S. W., David Winrott; J. W.,
John L. Davis; L. L., M. Whitney; Treasurer, D. M. Hoyt. Present
officers are: C. P., F. Y. Whitmore; H. P., David Winrott; S.
M., M. Deppe; S. W., Thos. Cox; J. W., T. D. Reeder; Treasurer,
A. O. of U. W.
West Union Lodge, No. 25, was
instituted April 19, 1875, with fifteen charter members, as
follows: B. Morse, C. M. Lockwood, J. D. Neff, C. H. Talmadge,
H. C. Warner, A. G. Schermerhorn, James Stewart, A. S. Barnes,
H. A. Holmes, W. N. Hodgkinson, C. A. Dorland, Geo. Ogsbury, S.
E. Robinson, A. E. Winrott and J. J. Welsh. The first officers
were: Geo. Ogsbury, P. M. W.; B. Morse, M. W.; H. A. Holmes, G.
F.; A. G. Schermerhorn, O.; H. C. Warner, Recorder; J. D. Neff,
Financier; S. E. Robinson, Receiver; C. A. Dorland, Trustees.
Present officers: J. H. Lakin, P. M. W.; Mark Gilbert, M. W.; A.
C. Gunsalus, Foreman; Chas. Woodard, Overseer; C. M. Lockwood,
Recorder; F. Y. Whitmore, Financier; Wm. Huyck, Receiver; C. W.
Hodgkinson, Guide; G. W. Gilbert, I. W.; Wharles Winrott, O. W.
Present membership about fifty.
I. O. of G. T.
West Union Lodge, No. 126, was
organized in 1858, and the following were the only officers that
can now be ascertained: P. W. C., H. N. Hawkins; W. C., S. W.
Cole; W. V., Margaret Parrott. Its charter members were I. F.
Clark, A. L. Clark, S. W. Cole, M. H. Cole, Benj. Morse,
Margaret Parrott, Louis Brown, Catherine Brown, H. N. Hawkins,
Henry Reber, Henry Rickel, Lucretia Hinkley. After a desperate
struggle for life, the Lodge finally succumbed and yielded up
its charter in the Winter of 1868 and '9.
West Union Lodge, No. 671
This Lodge was organized July
20, 1874, at the office of the Fayette County Union,
with the following charter members: Henry Rickel, Frank
McClintock, B. Morse, Frank Clark, George Harper, Theo. Freer,
H. B. Warner, John Sampson, Mrs. Susan Rickel, Mrs. Freer,
Lillian M. Rickel and Mrs. Sarah E. Morse. The Lodge was
organized by Amos Jones, G. W. C. T., of Iowa. First officers
were: C. P., B. Morse; W. V. T., Mrs. S. Rickel; W. R. S., Frank
McClintock; W. F. S., H. C. Warner; W. T., George Harper; W. M.,
John Sampson; W. G., Frank Clark. Its last officers were: W. C.
T., Ella Whitney; W. V. T., Lizzie Mulligan; W. S., Allie Green;
W. F. S., Lula Morse; W. T., L. Gilbert; W. C., Augusta Jordan;
W. M., C. A. Johnson; W. I. G., Frank Blank. This lodge met with
the same fate as the first, and surrendered its charter in
Early in the centennial year
(1876), the Town Council, appreciating the necessity of some
organized means of protection in the event of fire, issued a
call for a meeting of citizens at Mayor Rickel's office, for the
purpose of organizing a fire department. Accordingly, about
sixty interested citizens met and elected the following
officers: Chief of Department, John Cook; Secretary, L. M.
Whitney; Treasurer, J. A. Hoyt. The Mayor and John Cook then
went to Chicago and purchased a chemical engine and hook and
ladder wagon of the Babcock Manufacturing Company, and the
following officers were appointed to man the respective
machines: Engine: Foreman, D. Winrott; 1st Ass't Foreman, W. E.
Welsh. Hook and Ladder Wagon: Foreman, James Green; 1st Ass't
Foreman, Frank Crane. This virtually made two companies, and but
one organization, and the next year the leading spirits,
recognizing the importance of two organizations, effected a
dissolution of the old organization at a meeting held August 24,
and notified the Town Council to that effect. Thereupon, the
Council appointed a committee of six charter members, three from
each division, as an organizing committee, and the following is
the result of their labors:
Engine Company, No. 1.
- Organized Dec. 19, 1877. The following officers elected:
Foreman, L. M. Whitney; First Assistant Foreman, W. M. McNally;
Secretary, F. Hobson; Treasurer, M. L. Smith. They are the
West Union Hook and
Ladder Company - Organized Dec. 12, 1877. The following
officers elected on the 27th: Foreman, B. H. Holmes; First
Assistant Foreman, D. O. Smith; Second Assistant Foreman, E.
Sibert; Secretary, G. H. German; Treasurer, A. C. Gunsalus. They
are the present officers. The town built them an engine house in
1876, and in May, 1878, raised it up and added a fine hall. They
are now, after passing through various vicissitudes, in a
prosperous and harmonious condition.