History of Iowa, Volume III, by B F Gue, 1903

Contributed by Debbie Clough Gerischer

Notes: You can read more of History of Iowa, Volume III on the

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HANCOCK COUNTY was created in 1851 from territory formerly embraced in Fayette and was attached to Boone in 1853. It lies in the second tier south of Minnesota in the sixth west of the Mississippi River and was named for John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress. Several tributaries of the Iowa River take their rise in the county and the east fork flows through the east side. A number of small lakes are found in various sections, among which are Twin Lakes, Crystal Lake and Eagle Lake.

On the 9th of September, 1854 Anson Avery made a claim at Upper Grove and in October, George Nelson located near him. The following year Reuben and Orick Church, Thomas and Malcom Magill and Benoni Haskins joined the settlement. In September, 1855, John Mabin and Jacob Ward settled in a grove on Lime Creek near Ellington. The first settlers at Crystal Lake were Edwin Trumbull and Myron Booth who arrived in 1865.

The county contains sixteen townships, making an area of five hundred seventy-six square miles, and was organized in June, 1858, by the election of the following officers: R. P. Rosecrans, judge; George Loupee, clerk; Reuben Church, treasurer,, and Benoni Haskins, sheriff. On the 4th of November, 1865, John I. Popejoy and James Goodwin were appointed commissioners to select a site for the county-seat. They located it where Concord now stands. A tract of land was donated to the county by Thomas Seymour and in May, 1867, was platted and named Concord. Previous to the selection of Concord the county business had been transacted at Ellington, where in 1860 W. E. Tucker and Mr. Tobin had established a newspaper named the Hancock Sentinel. A brick courthouse was built at Concord in 1868. The Milwaukee Railroad was built through the county in 1869-70, running a mile north of Concord, where in July, 1870, John Mabin laid out a town named Graner. Britt is a flourishing town on this road near the middle of the county, In the southeast part of the county the town of Goodell is located on the line of the Cedar Rapids Railroad.