MOUNT PLEASANT - 1856
Submitted by Pat Ryan White
"IOWA AS IT IS in
1856; a Gazetteer For Citizens,
Mount Pleasant, the county-seat, was laid out in the year 1836, by Presley Saunders; at that time the lands on which it was located were not in market, nor had it ever been surveyed, but the beauty of the location, taken in connection with the great abundance of superior building-stone, and the large body of timber that lay contiguous to the site, to say nothing of the never-failing springs of water that gush from the shores of the branch that runs through the suburbs of the town, induced the proprietor to believe that a town might be built up that would be a credit to the State. Nor in this has he been disappointed. This town now contains a population of about 1500 inhabitants, and is at present in a more prosperous condition, and is improving faster than at any former period.
The population of the county in February last, was 11,180. Beside the county-seat, there are other towns in the county of considerable size and importance. Salem, in the south-west part of the county, is a thriving young place, containing 875 souls. New London, on the eastern edge of the county has some 650 inhabitants. Trenton, in the northern portion, some 500; beside these are Winfield, Lowell, Hillsborough, Rome, East Grove P.O., Marshall P.O., Wayne P.O., &c., all in a thriving condition.
There are six church edifices in Mount Pleasant; Congregational, Presbyterian, Methodist, Christian, O.S. Baptist, and Missionary Baptist. Other towns and villages are proportionally well supplied with churches, all of which are well attended, and in a healthy condition. In point of morality and sobriety, the community of Mount Pleasant is unsurpassed in the State.
One newspaper, "The Iowa Observer," is well-conducted, and well-sustained. The number of magazines and newspapers taken at the P.O. indicate the intelligence and refinement of the people.
Mount Pleasant has been named and known heretofore, as the point possessing and offering greater educational advantages than any other place in the State, and she has yet no rival in this respect except Davenport. The "Iowa Wesleyan University," under the control of the M.E. Church, is a Collegiate Institute of the first grade, has 150 students, and is in full and successful operation under the management of Prof. James Harlan, with competant assistants. The "Mt. Pleasant High School and Female Academy," under the management of Prof. S.L. Howe, a teacher of acknowledged ability and experience has an average attendance of 100 pupils. The well-merited reputation of this school at home and abroad is attested by the patronage it receives. A Select School for Young Ladies, under the superintendance of Rev. B. Wall, and taught by Mrs. Wall and Miss McHarg, has recently been opened, which bids fair to become a Female Seminary of usefulness and extensive patronage. The town and county is well supplied with well-attended and ably-conducted common schools.
There are at present no manufactories of importance in Henry County. Steam flouring and saw-mills, a foundry, and a carding and fulling-mill are much needed, and would prove good investments. Coal, in considerable quantities, has been found on both sides of the Skunk river, also in-exhaustible quarries of the very best building stone near Mt. Pleasant. The Burlington and Missouri railroad will be finished to Mt. Pleasant during the present year. The Muscatine and Keokuk railroad also passes through Mt. Pleasant.
At the late session of the Legislature, the Iowa Insane Asylum was located at Mt. Pleasant, and fifty thousand dollars appropriated for the erection of the building.
The soil of Henry is second in quality to that of no other county in the State. The land is well watered, all entered, and rapidly filling up with a highly intellectual and industrious class of citizens.
HENRY COUNTY POST-OFFICES.
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