Henry County, IAGenWeb

A Glimpse of Iowa in 1846
By John B. Newhall


     Henry county has, deservedly, the character of one of the most healthy, fertile and productive counties of Iowa. It is situated immediately west of Des Moines, and contains an area of about four hundred and thirty-two square miles. The face of the country is generally high, dry and rolling. Prairie generally predominates, although the water courses abound with some of the best bodies of timber in the territory. Many of the farms of Henry bear the aspect of old settled country. Much attention has been devoted, by several enterprising individuals of this county, to the introduction of an excellent and superior quality of fruit; several extensive nurseries are already established, where every variety of fruit trees may be obtained. In horticulture, Henry will probably take the lead as the fruit county of Iowa.


     It appears from the Marshal's returns for 1840, that there were, in Henry county, 1,086 individuals engaged in horticultural pursuits; 26 in commerce; 99 in manufactures and trades; 18 in the learned professions; 7 primary schools; 920 horses and mules, 2,634 neat cattle, 2,538 sheep, 12,714 swine, and $3,220 worth of poultry. Productions-11,375

* The writer presented specimens of this singular formation to the National Institute, Washington, and to the British Museum, London; where they were regarded with extreme interest for their unique beauty.


bushels of wheat, 23,500 bushels of oats, 280 bushels of buckwheat, and 283,000 bushels of Indian corn. It may be safe to add, at the present time, 200 per cent, at least, on the foregoing statistics. Population in 1840, 3,784; in 1844, 6,017.
     Mount Pleasant is the seat of justice of Henry county, and the most important town in the county. It may be regarded as one of the most healthy locations upon the west side of the Mississippi. [ See Mount Pleasant Directory.]
     Salem is also a pleasant and thriving town, situated in the southern part of the county. It has a charming location on a beautiful prairie of gentle undulation, and commands a wide and expansive view of the surrounding country. Salem is interesting from the fact of its being the nucleus of a large and respectable settlement of Friends, or Quakers. Here, also, is the extensive fruit nursery of the Llewellyns.
     There are also several smaller villages in Henry county, among which are New London, Trenton, &c.


[Seat of Justice of Henry County.]


     John K. Randolph, P. & A. Saunders, D. Gilchrist and Co., E.S. Hill, A. McKinney, H. Ray.
     Druggists- B.F. Stephenson, Dr. Davis.
     Saddlers- Edward Trine, J.D. Waugh.
     Tinners- J. & W. Craig.
     Tailors- Douglass & Rogers, John Eshelman, J. Pollock
     Cabinet Shops- Reuben Allen, E.D. Young
     Blacksmiths.-Rucker & Gass, Jno. Campbell, Jacob Shoup.
    Wagon Shop- Pixley & Thomas.
     Plough Manufactory- Mr. Buckley.
     Gun Smith-Mr. Hixon.
     3 Shoe Manufactories; 4 Carpenters' Shops; 1 Turner; 1 Paint Shop.
     Lawyers- Wm. Thompson, John T. Morton, Wm. H. Wallace, Franklin Street, A. Lotspeich.
     Physicians- Dr. Darling, J.H. Temple, Chas. S. Clark, J.D. Payne, G.W. Snyder, Dr. Farriss, Dr. Harper.
     Magistrates- P.C. Tiffany, A. McKinney.
     Post Master- John S. Bartruff.
     Hotels- Henry House, P.C. Tiffany; Mount Pleasant House, J. Bowman.
     Churches.- Methodist Episcopal, Pastor, Rev. Mr. Simpson; Baptists, Rev. Mr. Burnett; Christian, _______; Presbyterian, _______; Congregational, ______.
     Lodges- Mount Pleasant (Masonic Lodge), No. 8.
     Schools- "Mount Pleasant High School" and Female Seminary, Samuel L. How, Principal; 120 Students.
     Select School.- By Miss Huestis and Miss Mary Jane Young.
     Mount Pleasant Collegiate Institute.- This Institution, chartered by the Legislature of Iowa, is in a flourishing condition; endowed with Professors in Natural and Moral Philosophy, Literature, Languages, &c. The buildings are spacious and convenient, affording every facility for the accommodation of youth.         Rev. A.J. Huestis, Pres.
     County Officers- District Prosecutor, Wm. Thomson;


Sheriff, Samuel Smith; Clerk of the District Court, E. Kilpatrick; Judge of Probate, A. McKenny; Recorder, John P. Grantham; Coroner, Moses Beers; Treasurer, Wm. S. Viney; County Surveyor, H.H. McMillan.


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