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Harrison County Iowa Genealogy

Original Town Plats

Extracted from the 1915 History of Harrison County, Iowa, by Hon. Charles W. Hunt, Logan; published by B. F. Bowen & Co., Inc.

Transcribed and submitted by Mona Sarratt Knight

CALHOUN: The original town plat of this county was that made for Daniel Brown, who was the first settler. This platting was for what is now referred to as OLD CALHOUN, for long years defunct. It was platted August 19, 1853, on the southeast half of the southwest quarter of section 19, township 79, range 43, in what is now Calhoun township. Calhoun aspired to be the county seat.

MAGNOLIA was platted by the county authorities, that being the location designated for the county seat by the locating commissioners. The plat was recorded July 5, 1854, and February 19, 1855. It is in section 5, township 79, range 43, in Magnolia township.

LITTLE SIOUX was platted October 1, 1855, on the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 24, township 81, range 45, by S. W. Condit and T. B. Neeley.

JEDDO was platted January 12, 1856 on the north half of the southeast quarter of section 12, township 79, range 42, by James W. Denison and George W. Thorp, Denison acting as the attorney for Anson Briggs and wife.

ST. JOHN was platted December 5, 1857 on sections 26 and 27, township 78, range 44, by a company of ten men as follows: P. J. McMahon, J. A. Jackson, H. C. Purple, C. Vorhis, E. W. Bennett, Noah Harris, George H. Cotton, John Deal, Robert McGavren, and G. H. McGavren.

MELROSE was platted August 4, 1857 by W. E. Walker, in section 11, township 79, range 44.

CINCINNATI was platted June 9, 1857 in section 22, township 78, range 45, by W. V. Mason, who represented a corporation comprised of thirty three men. It was situated in Cincinnati township.

ELDORADO was platted June 9, 1857, by D. W. and Mary Jane Young, in sections 11 and 12, township 80, range 43.

OLMSTEAD was platted in section 27, township 81, range 41, by Henry Olmstead, December 31, 1857.

BUENA VISTA was platted in section 10, township 79, range 42, by H. F. Shinn, Levi Reeder, S. King, George W. White and Thomas W. Reeder, July 14, 1856.

PARRISH CITY was platted by Hon. Isaac Parrish in sections 21 and 22, township 78, range 45, May 22, 1858.

MAGNOLIA CITY was platted (included in present Magnolia), December 1, 1860 in section 32, township 80, range 43, by James Hardy and wife.

WOODBINE was platted by John I. Blair (the railroad king), then connected with the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company, as a construction agent, December 5, 1866, in section 14, township 80, range 42.

MISSOURI VALLEY was platted by John I. Blair, for the railroad company, January 28, 1867 in section 15, township 78, range 44.

DUNLAP was platted by John I. Blair, June 26, 1867, in section 3, township 81, range 41.

LOGAN was platted by Henry Reel, July 19, 1867, in sections 18 and 19, township 79, range 42.

RIVER SIOUX was platted (old town) September 10, 1868, by John I. Blair, section 23, township 81, range 45.

MONDAMIN was platted September 10, 1868, by John I. Blair, in section 30, township 80, range 44, and section 25, township 80, range 45.

MODALE was platted March 2, 1874, by Alonzo and Hannah Beebe, in section 30, township 80, range 44.

RIVER SIOUX (new towns) was platted by the Sioux City & Pacific Railroad Company in section 26, township 81, range 45, December 7, 1875.

CALIFORNIA JUNCTION was platted by the Missouri Valley Land Company, September 9, 1880, in section 15, township 78, range 45.

PERSIA was platted by L. C. and Alice Baldwin, June 6, 1882, on parts of sections 4 and 9, township 78, range 41.

YORKSHIRE was platted by the Milwaukee Land Company, June 8, 1882, in section 28, township 78, range 41. The present town of Yorkshire was platted by Edward Howard, in section 29, township 78, range 41, May 16, 1887.

PISGAH was platted in the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter, and part of the south half of the northeast quarter of section 14, township 81, range 44, by the Western Land and Town Lot Company and the Boyer Valley Railroad Company, January 20, 1899.

ORSON, the last town platted in the county, had its platting recorded March 23, 1899. It was executed by the Western Land and Town Lot Company in sections 32 and 33, of township 81, range 44.

It may be added that the defunct plattings of the county are these: Jeddo, Parrish City, Olmstead, Buena Vista, Eldorado, Cincinnati, St. John, Melrose. The two latest town plattings are along the line of the Mondamin branch of the Northwestern railway, both in Jackson township. These are named Pisgah and Orson. The former was named for the oldtime post office Mt. Pisgah.

A defunct platting which does not appear on record today was FOUNTAINBLEAU, which was platted by Charles La Ponteur, a Frenchman, in 1866. It was in the northeast corner of section 18, township 81, range 44. It was situated on the banks of the Little Sioux River, as well as on the old state road. He kept the stage station and had several wives, some of whom were Indian maidens. This village never thrived and no trace of it remains at this date. Memory of old-timers only can give faint descriptions of it, but it is related that the proprietor had sanguine hopes of its becoming a great place. It is believed that too much whiskey and too many women might have caused the downfall of his cherished hopes.

The first village platted in Cincinnati township was the town of Cincinnati, platted on section 22, township 78, range 45, June 9, 1867, by W. V. Mason, who represented a corporation of thirty-three men, many of whom were from Ohio, coming from near the city of Cincinnati. The location being on the Missouri River, it was designed and thought that at no distant day it would become a city, second to none along the great Missouri slope. It was fixed as a steamboat landing and was accessible to the finest timber as well as being on a line, where a railroad would, they believed, eventually cross the Missouri, or the Big Muddy as it was then called by many. In this they were not mistaken, for not many years later, the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad passed this route to Blair, Nebraska, which overshadowed the towns on the Iowa side of the river.

PARRISH CITY, platted by Hon. Isaac Parrish, on section 21, and section 22 of Cincinnati township, May 22, 1858, at about the same geographical location as Cincinnati, was really a rival paper town. Its history was brief and of but little historical consequence. The high hopes of its proprietor were nipped in the bud by the survey made and the final location of Missouri Valley, California Junction, and other towns.

OLMSTEAD was the name of a platting made December 3, 1857, in section 27, township 81, range 41, on beautiful table land three miles south of present Dunlap. It was platted by Henry Olmstead, one of the first settlers of the township. The plat never amounted to anything. The survey and final building of the Northwestern railway and the platting of Dunlap forever precluded its growth. Subsequently the spot was marked by the residence of L. Kellogg, a brick house later owned by Mathew Jennings.

A village named MELROSE in sections 2 and 11 was platted about 1860 by a firm in the east, styled Baker & Co. For good reasons, it never materialized. It was one of the many blue-sky town sites platted at an early day in the west for the purpose of swindling people. Fine maps and charts were produced and several stylish men came on from the east to sell their town lots in the charming village of Melrose. But, alas, they found them not. It was represented by the maps that the place was a steamboat landing and had several hundred people. It was a case of Yankee cheat brother Yankee. The land where the supposed village was, later was known as a part of the A. Morrow estate.

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