….the county seat of Henry County, offers many inducements as a place of residence – the most prominent of which are its educational advantages. It is a town of schools and churches, and as a natural consequence enjoys a high moral temperature. The Iowa Wesleyan University, under the Methodist supervision, and the Young Ladies Seminary, under Presbyterian control, are among its chief attractions. There are two large Union School buildings, and thirteen churches. The Presbyterians [Old School] have, the present year, discarded pew renting, and the Pastor’s salary is raised by free will offerings collected every Sabbath during the morning service. It is an experiment – and thus far, works well.

The State Lunatic Asylum is located at this point, and it is a structure the people of Iowa may well be proud of. There are 400 inmates, and the Institution, as at present managed, elicits the highest commendation of the people.

Mt. Pleasant claims about four thousand inhabitants. It is improved after the style of New England villages – each residence having extensive grounds highly ornamented. There is not much visible improvement, and as a business place is not so much desirable – every department being full, and in some cases overdone. Among its celebrities is a lady preacher, the Rev. Miss Chapin, who officiates every Sabbath in the Universalist Church. The Post Office is also under feminine control – a soldier’s widow being the presiding officer. The late Bishop Hamline was for some years a resident of this place, and here his earthly labors closed. It is also the home of the eccentric Henry Clay Dean.

[“Henry County Press”, Wednesday, September 23, 1868, Page 3]

Transcribed and contributed by Pat White, February 2018

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