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Harrison County Iowa Genealogy

Extracted from the History of Harrison County Iowa
National Publishing Company

Chapter VIII

This chapter is one of varioous items of historic interest, which do not seem to properly belong to any one particular chapter.  Yet they treat upon subjects of much value and will doubtless be used for reference  many times, by the reader of this volume.

Herein may be found items concerning Schools, Village plats, Population table, Marriage record, Nativity of population, Public gatherings, Old Settlers Association, Prices--then and now, grasshopper plague, The Mormons or  "Latter Day Saints."


The following  town plats have been recorded in Harrison County:

Existing Plats--Calhoun, California Junction, Dunlap, Little Sioux, Logan, Magnolia, Mondamin, Moale, Persia, River Sioux, St. Johns, Woodbine and Yorkshire.

Defunct Plats--Jeddo, Parrish City, Olmstead, Buena Vista, Eldorado, Cincinnati and Melrose.

The pioneer plat in Harrison County was Calhoun, which was recorded in August 19, 1853, by Daniel Brown.  Its location is the east half of the southwest quarter of section 19-79-43 and what is now Calhoun Township.

Magnolia was platted by the county--that being the spot named for a county-seat.  It was recorded, July 5, 1854 and February 19, 1855.  It is on section 5, of township 79, range 43 and section 32, township 80, range 43, in Magnolia township.

Little Sioux was platted, October 1, 1855, on the northeast quarter of the south-east quarter of section 24-81-45, by S. W. Condot and T. B. Neeley.  Jeddo was platted, January 12, 1856, on the north half of the southeast quarter of section of  12-79-42, by Jesse E. Denison and George W. Thorp, Denison, acting as attorney in fact for Aaron Briggs and wife.  St. Johns was platted, december 5, 1857, on sections, 26,27, 78-44 by a company of ten men comprised of P. J. McMahon, J. A. Jackson, H. C. Purple, C/ Vorhis, E. W. Bennett, Noah Harris, George H. Cotton, John Deal, Robert McGavern, Pres. and E. W. Bennett, Sec.

Melrose was platted, August 4, 1857, by W. E. Walker, on Section 11-79-44.

Cincinnati was platted, June 9, 1857, on section 22-78-45 by W. V. Mason, who represented a corporation comprised of thirty-three men.  It was in Cincinnati Township.

Eldorado was platted, June 9, 1857, by D. D. and Mary Jane Young, on sections 11 and 12-80-43.

Olmstead was platted  on section 27-81-41, by Henry Olmstead, December 31, 1857.

Buena Vista was platted on section 10-79-42, by H. F. Shinn, Levi Reeder, S. King, George H. White and Thomas W. Reeder, July 14, 1856.

Parrish City was platted by Isaac Parrish on sections 21 and 22-78-45, May 22, 1858.

Magnolia City (included in Magnolia) was platted, December 1, 1860, on section 32-80-43, by James Hardy and wife.

Woodbine was platted by John I. Blair (of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company), december 5, 1866, on section 14-80-42.

Missouri Valley was platted by John I. Blair, January 28, 1867, on section 15-78-44.

Dunlap was platted by John I. Blair, June 26, 1867, on section 3-81-41.

Logan was platted by Henry Reel, July 19, 1867, on sections 18 and 19-79-42.

River Sioux (old town) was platted, September 10, 1868, by John I. Blair, on section 23-81-45.

Mondamin was platted, September 10, 1868, by John I. Blair, on section 30-80-44 and section 25-80-45.

Modale was platted, March 2,1874, by Alonzo and Hannah Beebe, on section 30-79-44.

River Sioux (the new town) was platted by the Sioux City & Pacific Railrway, on section 26-81-45, December 7, 1875.

California Junction was platted by the Missouri Valley Land Company, September 9, 1880, on section 15-78-45.

Persia was platted by L. C. and Alice Baldwin, June 6, 1882, on parts of section 4 and 9-78-41.

Yorkshire was platted  by the Milwaukee Land Company, June 8, 1882, on section 28-78-41.

The present plat of Yorkshire was platted by Edward Howard, on section 29-78-41, May 16, 1887.


According to the Federal census returns of 1854, there were at that date 1,065 people living in Harrison County; in 1856, the population was 1,900; in 1860 it had increased to 3,621; in 1865, it had 4,265; in 1870, it had reached 8,931; in 1880, there were 16,649. The 1890 census shows the population to be 21, 356.  To show the increase in several townships of the last decade the following is subjoimed:

Allen 297574
La Grange530630
Lille Sioux1,0361,150
St. Johns2,2973,792

The following shows the nativity of the population residing in Harrison County, as given by the State census reports of 1885:

Total American born 20,560 -- Foreign born 2,058.

From Alabama ther were 6; Arkansas 9; California 19; Colorado 12; Connecticut 115;  Delaware 12; Georgia 4; Illinois 1388; Indiana 1061; Iowa 9,659; Kansas 113; Kentuckey 164; Louisana 1; Maine 32; Maryland 76; Massachusetts 100; Michigan 268; Minnesota 111; Mississippi 31; Missouri 418; Nebraska 243; Nevada 1; New Hampshire 58; New Jersey 66; New York 1142; North Carolina 69; Ohio 1420; Oregon 5; Pennsylvannia 858; Rhode Island 4; South Carolina 5, Tennessee 75; Texas 24; Vermont 223; Virginia 211; West Virginia 89; Wisconsin 349; Dakota 20; Idaho 2; Montana 2; Utah 32; Washington 2; Wyoming 3; England 243; Scotland 71; Ireland 436; Wales 13; Canada 439, Norway 35; Sweden 84; France 13; Germany 489; Bohemia 21; Holland 5; Denmark 133; Total Born in the Unitd States 18502; Total Foreign born 2,058.  Grand Total in 1885, 20,560.

The States furnishing the greatest number are:  Iowa, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, New York and Pennsylvania.


Scriptures tell us that men and women are not given in marriage, in the future world; be that as it may, it is evident  that they have been marrying here in Harrison  county!  The official marriage record  shows that since the  organization of the county, there have been nearly four thousand marriage certificates issued.  While it would be of little interst, in a work of this character, to go into detail, it may be of value to some, to know some-thing concerning the first of which we find a record.  It shows the following:

June 9, 1853, John Jones and Elizabeth Outhouse were married by Stephen King, County Judge.

August 16, 1853, Samuel McGavern and Mary M. Harden were united in marriage by the above named official--Stephen King.

January 9, 1854, Chester Staley and Harriett Mahoney were united by Edward Todd, a Justice of the Peace.

May 5, 1854, Evans Obanion and Malinda Smith wee united by P.G. Cooper, County Judge.

March 25, 1854, Charles McEvers and L. Neeley were married.

July 4, 1854, James Kirkland was married to Rachel M. Deal.

There are many amusing anecdotes connected with some of the earlier weddings; one of these, which has been called to mind by an old resident of the county, is worthy of recital.  It is said that upon one occasion, in the "early fifties."a young and unsophisticated couple sought out, in one of the incipient villages of this locallity, the party authorized to tie the hymeneal knot.  A well known citizen, a wag, by way of a practical joke, referred to the Postmaster, saying that the Government authorized that offcial to act upon such occasions.  When the custodian of the mails was interviewed by the embarrassed pair, he disclaimed any knowledge of such authority, but added,  that as he had not been long in the employment of the Government, he was not quite "up to snuff"; but if the gentleman who sent them there said that he could, he supposed it was true.  Accordingly the blushing couple were ranged up in front of the Postmaster, a young and gay bachelor, who in the most approved style impressed them with the solemnity of the occasion, warned them to "let no man put assunder what he had jned." and in closing pronounced them Mr. and Mrs., etc., according to the postal laws of the United States.  nd you may now go in peace--only $1 apiece, please."

July 4, 1855, B. H. Dennis and Nancy Brown were married.

Transcribed by Alvin Poole, December 5, 2018.  Pages 75-78

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