View From The Attic
15 September 2008
There has been renewed interest in the Underground Railroad in the
state of Iowa. Two years ago, Max Beebout and myself, with members
of the State of Iowa Historical Society, met at Max’s house near
the Blanchard Cemetery south and west of the town of Percival.
The Historical Society Members were seeking more information
about the people involved in helping slaves escape north.
Max and I were able to
supply them with information including letters newspaper clippings
and a map drawn up by Samuel Platt Ricketts. Samuel had traveled
by covered wagon from Ohio with his parents in the late 1840s.
This map drawn by him marked all the locations of early settlers
and the land they owned, also the location of the post office,
church and a piece of land where George Gaston wanted to build a
The State Historical Group
told us that there is far more information known about these early
settlers from Civil Bend, Tabor, and the vicinity, and their
involvement in the Underground Railroad, than any other part of
These archeologists walked
the sites of interest in the area, dug holes and sifted the dirt.
They found pieces of blackboard, a pipe stem, a broken marble and
many pieces of pottery, crockery and glass. During their stay they
collected more information about the movement of slaves through
September is Archeology
Month and the work in this area is continuing as historical folks
learn more about those who lived long ago in Fremont County. No
doubt more answers will come.