Hampton, the county seat of Franklin county, was laid
out in June, 1856, being first called Benjamin. The
idea was to give distinctive honor to Benjamin
Franklin by bestowing his full name on town and
county. It is very slightly northeast of the exact
geographical center of the county.
The first settlers in the town were James Thompson,
A.J. Cannam, Obadiah Smith, James T. McCormick and
George Beed, in 1856.
Among other early settlers were John Garner and Geo.
Ryan, who each donated to the county the undivided
half of eighty acres of land to secure the location
of the county seat at Hampton.
Other early newcomers were Dr. J.A. Guthrie, R.F.
Piatt, Chauncey Gillett and the Beed brothers.
Hampton, at the time of the census of 1900, had a
population of 2,727. It has a fine system of water
works, complete sewerage system, fire department,
electric lights, a beautiful public park, fine court
house, four banks, three weekly newspapers, excellent
schools, the leading church organizations and some
very fine church buildings. Farir grounds with good
buildings and high grade stock farms are in close
~Source: Iowa State Atlas - 1904, Counties of Iowa
Descriptive and Historical; Huebinger and
Company, 1904; Franklin County, pg 353