Fremont County, Iowa

Fremont County Travels
by Nancy Newton

View from the Attic ~ A Weekly Series
Fremont County Historical Society
Week of September 14, 2009

I grew up on a farm just south of McPaul, Iowa. Each summer after my father had the crops in and the corn laid by, we would head west to visit such historical places as the red woods of California, Old Faithful at Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. Dad would pull over at every historical marker and read every word, because he was so interested in history. So, I guess my interest in history I inherited from my father.

This summer, I took a trip through history, and did not travel very far from my present home just south of Bartlett. The trip was through books, visiting local libraries and museums to learn about the history of the Thurman area.

Through my research I found lots of fascinating historical events happened very near my family home south of McPaul. I learned that on July 20th, 1804, the Lewis and Clark expedition camped just 9 miles upstream from my family home. I learned that the Underground Railroad route was probably just south of my house. I learned that when the Mormon Battalion was heading south of Council Buffs in 1846 to go fight in the Mexican War they stayed close to the Missouri River on high ground, so they would have passed just west of my home place. I learned that the Pottawattamie Indians owned much of the land in this area from 1837 to 1847, so I can assume that the Indians once lived and played where I grew up.

What a journey I had this summer, and it was just right outside my back door here in Fremont County.

All of this historical information, plus more, will be on display at the Thurman Town Hall, for their "Hills and Heritage" event on September 19 and 20. There will be old maps showing you the Underground Railroad route through Thurman, pictures and maps explaining the Pottawattamie Indian connection to Thurman, pictures and maps explaining where the Lewis and Clark expedition camped and many copies of Thurman newspapers will be there. Yes, Thurman used to have a newspaper. Information will be available on the Mormon‘s part in the founding of Thurman. Two rooms will have displays by Bob Sharp who is with the Pioneer Cemetery restoration group.

Other events, planned for the two day event, include old-time music, pioneer games, Pottawattamie nation, 1800’s re-enactors, crafts, buggy rides, pioneer honor parade, a cemetery walk with our ancestors, archeology and nature talks, winery grape stomp, and Green Hollow tours.

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Page updated on June 20, 2017 by Karyn Techau