Henry County, IAGenWeb


Portrait and Biographical Album of Henry County, Iowa
Chicago: Acme  Publishing Company, 1888.


In this connection is presented short historical sketches of the various townships. As stated in the preface much of the information usually embodied in history will be found in the biographical sketches.

Baltimore Township – p.679

THIS township was first settled in 1834, on section 32, by J. A. Box, who also claims to have been the first settler in the county. Black Hawk, Wapello, and other noted Indians, were frequent visitors at his cabin until they either died or passed on toward the setting sun. The first child born in the township was T. S. Box, who was probably also the first white child born in the county.

Baltimore comprises all of township No. 70 north, or range 5 west, and is almost exclusively timber land, and very much broken. Notwithstanding this fact there are some excellent farms in the township, and some most excellent people.

The village of Lowell was laid out by M. M. Carver, and the first house was built by Harmon Matthews. The first mill was put up by Hiram Smith in 1838. Dr. William Marsh was the first physician in the place, and Edward Archibald the first Justice of the Peace.

The first school-house was a typical log one, which was blown down after a year or two of service.

Canaan Township – p.679

THE prairie townships were the last to be settled, pioneers thinking it necessary to settle in or near the timber, that they might have its protecting influence from the chilling winds, and have plenty of fuel and fencing material, as well as material for their houses. Canaan being exclusively prairie, was therefore not settled for many years after those more highly favored by an abundance of timber land.

James Lawrence has the honor of being the pioneer settler, dating his residence from 1848, at which time he settled upon section 33. Among others who came in at an early day were Robert McCabe, Ambrose Yancy, Thomas E. Corkhill, William Corkhill, Jacob Hare and A. Baxter.

Canaan has more tillable land than any township in the county, and is one of the best improved, having an enterprising class of citizens. The Burlington & Western Railroad crosses the township, having one station, Mt. Union, a bright little village settled by a good class of well contented people.

The Protestant Methodist Church of Mt. Union was organized in the year 1876 by W. Hudelston. The society worshiped in a school-house until 1880, when a new church was built of very pleasing appearance. The successive ministers were Rev. W. Hudelston, Josiah Selby, Rev. Mr. Brown, S. J. Geddes, W. Sparks, J. Patton, G. M. Scott, Wm. Van Vleet, and the present pastor, J. L. Scott.

Center Township – p.680

THE history of this township is connected with that of the city of Mt. Pleasant. James Dawson has the honor of being the first settler, locating here in the spring of 1834. Among others who came in early were Presley Saunders, John M. Hanson, M. H. Barnes, J. Wilson and Levi Smith. The township comprises all of township 71 north, of range 6 west, and is a fine body of land, two-thirds of which is prairie.

Jackson Township – p.680

JAMES RICHIE was the first settler in this township, locating on section 6 in 1836. Soon after him came Larkin Johnson, William Williamson, Elijah Burton, Robert Price, J. C. Garrison, Jonathan Russ, A. Walter, J. Maxwell, George Jones, T. Frazier, John Johnson and J. A. Edwards. Jackson comprises all of township 70, range 6 west, and is about equally divided between timber and prairie land. A fine class of people reside here, and the farms are generally well improved, while the citizens are for the most part in good circumstances. The Skunk River passes through the township.

Jefferson Township – p.680

THIS township lies in the extreme northwestern part of the county, and comprises all of township 73 north, of range 7 west. Among its first settlers were Hiram Howard, Henry Payne Roberts, R. M. Pickle, T. Mosher, Harrison Matthews and Daniel Turney. Jefferson is about equally divided between timber and prairie land. Americans, Germans and Swedes are the nationalities principally represented in the township at the present writing. The Germans are generally connected with the Mennonite Church.

The village of Marshall was laid out in 1851 by Rogers & Pickell, its first store being kept by the latter gentleman. The town grew but slowly, attaining a population of 200. On account of there being so many mistakes in the forwarding of mail, much of that intended for Marshall going to Marshalltown, while some intended for the latter being sent to Marshall, the post-office authorities ordered the name of Marshall changed. Wayland was then chosen, and the town has for about ten years been known by that name. It is now on the line of the Oskaloosa Branch of the Central Iowa Railroad, and is quite a shipping and trading point.

Marion Township – p.680

DURING the year 1835 George Dutton made claim to a portion of section 22, township 72 north, of range 6 west, now known as Marion Township, and was the first settler within its limits. Being one of the best in the county, the township rapidly settled up with a fine class of citizens, and to-day is one of the best improved in the county. It is well adapted to the raising of fruits, and being well watered, is a good stock country, many of its farmers making a specialty of stock-raising. There is neither railroad nor village in the township.

New London Township – p.680

NEW LONDON comprises all of Congressional Township No. 71 north, of range 5 west, and is a fine body of land, principally prairie. It is traversed by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, which enters the township on section 36, and pursuing a northwest course passes into Center from section 18. The village of New London is the only town in the township.

New London was first settled in 1834, by A. C. Dover, who located on section 26. He was soon afterward followed by Peter Hall, John Dalson, Jacob Burge, S. H. Dover and others, though the township settled slowly till after the completion of the railroad.

City Of New London – p.680, 681, 682

IN the fall of 1833 Abraham C. Dover made claim to the present site of New London. The following year his brother, Solomon H. Dover, came in, followed by others. In 1837 the first-named secured the services of Benjamin Matthews, and had platted a town site, to which he gave the name of Dover. He shortly afterward sold the town plat to J. J. King, and the name of the town was changed to New London. A post-office was established here in 1838, John H. Kincaid being the first Postmaster. Thomas Hedge opened the first store during the same year. This store was a regular visiting place for the Sac and Fox tribes until the establishment of the trading-post at Agency City.

The town was of slow growth, but in 1861, having a population of 300, it was incorporated, Benjamin Matthews being elected the first Mayor. It has never attained a very large growth, but it has always been a good trading-point. Surrounded by a fine agricultural country it has afforded the farmers a good market, the surplus earnings being spent among the liberal tradesmen. At the present writing, in the spring of 1888, the town is well represented in the mercantile trade, and is abundantly supplied with churches and schools. Two newspapers, of which mention is made elsewhere under the head of “The Press,” are here published.

The first meetings of a religious nature were held by the Methodist Episcopal people at the house of W. W. Steele in 1838. A class was soon organized, and regular services held. In 1846 a house of worship was erected, which continued to be used till the winter of 1887-88, when services began to be held in a new house of worship, which was then completed at a cost of $2,500. A Sunday-school is maintained with a good attendance.

In 1848 a Christian Church was organized here, its first services being held in the school-house. Alexander Pattison was the first pastor. In 1849 a house of worship was erected, but was subsequently sold, the congregation now using the Baptist Church. Elder Richards, who lately came to them from the Protestant Methodist, is now serving the church as pastor.

The Protestant Methodist Society was organized in 1858. In 1867 it purchased the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, which it used till 1873, when the present church edifice was erected at a cost of $4,000. The society is flourishing; Rev. J. L. Scott is the present pastor.

The Presbyterian Church of New London dates its organization from 1856, and after many trials was re-organized in 1868. In 1874 steps were taken for the erection of a house of worship, which was completed at a cost of $6,000, and dedicated May 9, 1875, Rev. W. G. Craig preaching the dedicatory sermon. Rev. D. S. Tappan, of Mt. Pleasant, officiates as a supply.

The Baptists at one time had a good organization here, which was allowed to disband.

New London was organized as an independent school district in 1857, though the first school was held in 1839 in a log building erected for educational and religious purposes. In 1856 a brick building was begun, and completed in 1859, to be used for school purposes. It was erected at a cost of $4,500. N. R. Cook was the first teacher in that building. Becoming unsafe it was torn down in 1885, and until the erection of the present school building school was held in the old Academy building. The present house is a frame structure erected at a cost of $4,000. The first teachers employed in the new building were Miss Hester Barr, Principal; Miss Rutledge and Miss Linnie Lyman. The present Principal is B. J. Adams, with C. J. Seymour and Miss Linnie Lyman as assistants.

In 1865 a number of leading citizens formed a stock company and put up a fine building for an academy. The city gave the association a lease of the public square for that purpose for a period of ninety-nine years, or so long as the building should be used for High School purposes. Much interest was taken in the enterprise in the beginning, and for several years the school prospered, but the interest waning the last school was held in 1878, except when used a public school in 1886. At present the building is used by the Good Templars, G. A. R., W. R. C. and literary associations.

Through the efforts of I. S. Crabb a meeting was called Dec. 15, 1879, and the New London Library Association was formed. At present there are 265 volumes in the library, the greater number being of a high order of merit.

The secret and benevolent orders are represented by Masons, Odd Fellows, G. A. R., W. R. C. and Good Templars.
New London Lodge No. 28, A. F. & A. M., was instituted in 1851, and has had a very prosperous career, and at the present time has a membership of eighty, with Columbus Nugen, W. M.; Henry Mehler, S. W.; J. L. Shields, J. W.; William Allen, Treasurer; I. S. Crabb, Secretary.

Salem Township – p.682, 683, 684

THIS township comprises all of Congressional Township 70 north, of range 7 west. It is one of the first settled in Henry County. There are now within its borders two villages, Salem and Hillsboro, while the township is traversed by two railroads. The Friends effected a settlement in the township in the spring of 1837. The following account of their emigration and settlement is from the pen of Henry W. Joy, one of the original emigrants.

“In the summer of 1836, several Friends of Cherry Grove Monthly Meeting, Ind., decided to seek a new home in the West, and in the fall of that year they organized a party composed of the following-named members: Reuben Joy and Dr. Gideon Frazier, of Wayne County; Stephen, John and Nathan Hockett, and William Hammer, of Randolph County, Ind. They started on horseback to what was called the Black Hawk Purchase, crossed the Mississippi at Burlington, from thence via Mt. Pleasant to Salem, Henry Co., Iowa, then part of the Territory of Wisconsin. After several days spent in inspecting the county, it was decided to locate the colony at Salem the following spring, on the 10th day of May, 1837, the colony, composed of the following-named Friends and their families: Reuben, Henry W. and Abram P. Joy, Dr. Gideon, Stephen and Thomas Frazier, Lydia Frazier, Thomas Cook and Levi Cammack, nine families in all, started from the neighborhood of Williamsburg, Wayne Co., Ind., for their chosen location on the Black Hawk Purchase. They had seven wagons and considerable stock, and the journey through Indiana and Illinois was a long and tedious one. They landed in the neighborhood of Salem June 17, and there found Isaac Pidgeon, who, with his family, was a member of the Society of Friends. He had been a resident for two years, and continued to make that his home until the time of his death. Two other families of Friends were there, but did not remain. The families mentioned above were the only permanent settlers of the Friends in the township of Salem. There were two other families of squatters, not Friends, residing in the township. One lived in a cabin, the other in a pole smokehouse. A stone house, party finished, and tow cabins, covered in, comprised the habitations of the settlement. Four weeks later Stephen Hockett, Sr., Stephen Hockett, Jr., John Hockett and Harrison Hoggatt, with their families, comprised a second party of emigrants, all members but one, and all from the old neighborhood in Indiana, arrived at Salem within two weeks from the arrival of the second party. A third appeared, comprising four families, all Friends: William, Nathan and Isaac Hockett and William Hammer. The last two were from Randolph county, Ind., and from the same Monthly Meeting. From this until winter set in Friends kept coming in small parties of one, two and three families, most from the same Monthly Meeting in Indiana, though there were a few from other places. At first it was necessary to go to Illinois, about seventy-five or eighty miles, for provisions, and many privations had to be endured. About the middle of the eighth month in 1837, a conference of Friends was held at the house of Isaac Pidgeon to arrange for religious meetings. From that autumn meetings were held weekly. For eight or ten months they assembled at the house of Henry W. Joy. The first sermon preached in Salem by an authorized minister was delivered at the house of Henry W. Joy, by Rev. Thomas Frazier, in the fall of 1837, while Mr. Frazier and some members of his family were here prospecting. They made a permanent residence the following spring. A delegation composed of grandfather Stephen Hockett, Reuben and Rachel Joy, Mary Hockett and Stephen Hockett, Jr., and wife, were sent to the Vermillion Monthly Meeting in Illinois in the ninth month of 1838, to provide for the organization of a monthly meeting at Salem.

A committee from the Vermillion Monthly Meeting arrived at Salem on the 1st day of the sixth month, 1838. A preparation meeting was held on the 7th, and the first monthly meeting on the 8th of the tenth month, 1838. Stephen Hockett, Jr., and Henry W. Joy were appointed overseers to look after the welfare of the Society. Henry W. Joy died at his home in Salem, Nov. 25, 1883, aged seventy-five years. He was the last survivor, who was then the head of a family, of the original members of the first monthly meeting. His wife died Nov. 8, 1877. A meeting-house of suitable capacity was built in 1840, and the society rapidly increased in membership.

About 1843 a division occurred through the agitation of the slavery question. As is well known, the Friends were all Abolitionists in principle, but a minority comprising the more ultra ones were disposed to undertake aggressive measures in the interest of the slaves and in violation of existing laws. They established stations where runaway slaves were to be secreted until they could be forwarded to Canada by what was known as the “underground railroad.” Large numbers of slaves were enticed from their masters and helped to Canada in that manner. A majority of the Friends, while they would not refuse shelter to an escaped slave if applied to, did not believe it right to go about to violate the laws of the land in the manner of the more ultra ones. They claimed to be a law-abiding people and were opposed to the lawless acts of their more hot-headed brethren. The result was the active abolition members withdrew from the meeting and erected a meeting-house of their own, which they occupied a few years and then leased it to the village for school purposes and returned to the original meeting.

The Society erected a brick meeting-house in 1853, which they occupied until 1867, when it was utilized as a part of the Whittier College, and the college Board of Trustees erected a new meeting-house for the Friends, which building served the Society until 1876. At that time the present frame meeting-house was erected. Later, the older and more conservative members became alarmed at what they felt to be a disposition on the part of the younger members to deviate from the old established customs, language and maxims of the Society. The younger and progressive party proved the more numerous, and after the lapse of a few years the conservatives withdrew and erected a new meeting-house, where they met and proceeded to re-organize the Salem Monthly Meeting on the basis of the old principles and maxims of the Society as given by Fox and Penn. Those most prominent in effecting a separation were Peter Hobson, William Savage, C. J. Poulter, Wythe Elliott, David Parkins, Thomas Nicholson, George Stephenson and their families. The re-organized monthly meeting was held June 3, 1879, since which time they have maintained their separate meetings. The Progressive or Fast Friends as they are termed, have maintained the original organization, and being largely in the majority hold the Society property.

Village of Salem – pg. 684, 685, 686

THE village of Salem was laid out in 1839 by Aaron Street, Jr., and Peter Boyer. Among the first to settle at this point were R. W. Joy, R. F. Joy, Peter Boyer, Aaron Street, Jr., Isaac Pidgeon, William Pidgeon, G. W. Henderson, J. H. Pickering, William Leewelling, Henderson Leewelling, Peter Hobson and John W. Frazier. The town rapidly increased in population, and in 1840 was duly incorporated. A post-office was established soon after the first settlement was made, and Aaron Street, Jr., was commissioned Postmaster. John Bell started the first store and Peter Boyer kept the first hotel.

After a few years the village made no special increase in population, and to-day numbers but little over 600 people. During the past few years it has been visited by two or three destructive fires, which has retarded its growth somewhat. With commendable enterprise, the burned places have been generally rebuilt, and those who were able to sustain the loss have prospered. It cannot be denied, however, that the fires in a commercial way have injured the place. The first o the series of fires occurred Dec. 4, 1885, when Whittier College was burned, proving a total loss to the society. The origin of the fire is unknown. The most disastrous fire of the series occurred on the evening of June 26, 1886, and originated in a hardware store in the rear of the post-office, adjoining Union Block on the west. The fire was soon beyond control and spread to the Union block, a large wooden structure, containing five stores on the floor, a dwelling, and large hall, known as Union Hall, above. This block with its stocks of goods was entirely consumed, while a dwelling belonging to Wythe Elliott, and a couple of small buildings, one used as a barber shop, and the other as a junk shop, completed the row burned. The fire crossed the street to the south, and caught the large hotel owned by William Kittle, which, together with most of its contents, was destroyed. Next southward came John Collat’s tinware and stove shop and a crockery store. Then W. B. Donaldson, drugs, J. W. Fisher, general store, A. W. Fisher, restaurant, J. C. Reeves, drugs, and J. M. Triplet, general store. The aggregate number of buildings burned was fourteen, while the estimated loss was $50,000. This fire was supposed to be the work of an incendiary, and swept a large part of the business portion of the town, taking the entire west side of the public square, except Dr. Evans’ place, and the south side of the block lying north and west of the square.

The next fire was that of the grist and flouring mill of Fullenwilder & Elder, which burned Dec. 12, 1886, the fire being thought accidental. The loss was about $6,000.

Following that of the burning of the gristmill came the fire of July 27, 1887, which originated in a little building situated near the Congregational Church, owned and occupied by Arthur Honnicutt as a meat market and grocery. In addition to Mr. Honnicutt’s building there were consumed Collins’ confectionery and dwelling-house, the Congregational Church and John Steinmetz’ Hotel. This fire was supposed to be of incendiary origin. A little later the fire fiend again showed his hand by the burning of a large and fine dwelling on West Main street, owned by James Leach, and which had been unoccupied for several days. His loss was about $6,000.

Another supposed incendiary fire was started Nov. 21, 1887, in a dwelling occupied by R. Latty, situated in the southern part of town. The fire was extinguished before much damage was done.

Prior to the burning of Whittier College the village had been very free from such experiences, no fire of consequence having occurred for several years. The burnt district was largely rebuilt, and business is fast settling back into its former channels, and the good people of Salem are looking forward to a season of increased business activity and safety. In proportion to its size Salem has suffered more by fire in a given time than any town in Iowa, but her people are bound to stay, and the rapid progress already made in rebuilding speaks well for the future.

The village is represented religiously by the Friends, Congregationalists, Baptists and Methodist Episcopal, the first being the strongest, mention of which has already been made.

The first regular appointment of the Methodist Episcopal Church, that included Salem, was in 1840, when Rev. T. M. Kirkpatrick was appointed to Mt. Pleasant, since which time preaching has been regularly continued, the greater part of the time in connection with Hillsboro. In the Salem and Hillsboro charge there are nearly 300 members.

The Congregational Church of Salem was organized about 1854. Rev. J. C. Cooper was the first pastor. A house of worship was erected soon after the organization of the society. It was a brick structure, the estimated cost of which was $1,500. For a period of thirty-three years this house re-echoed the songs of praise that were therein sung, but on the 27th of July, 1887, it was totally destroyed by fire. At the present writing the church has seventy-nine members, with Rev. D. D. Tibbetts as resident pastor.

The schools of Salem rank high. The first schools were held in private houses in 1839. In 1853 the district rented the Friends’ meeting-house, which they used for three years, when a brick school-house was erected, and used till 1864, when a brick dwelling, two and a half stories in height, was purchased and remodeled for a school building, and is used to this day.

A private academy was built in 1845, by Reuben Darling, who in 1854 sold it to Leonard Farr, who continued the school until 1860.

Whittier College is an institution in which the citizens take special pride, a full history of which may be found under the head of “Educational,” in another part of this work.

The various secret and benevolent societies are here represented by the Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias and the G. A. R.

The earliest records of Salem Lodge No. 17, A. F. & A. M., show that a regular communication was held Jan. 28, 1852, at which the Worshipful Master (not named) presided, and that the following-named brothers filled the positions named: A. H. Pickering, S. W.; G. Mershon, J. W.; L. J. Rogers, Treasurer; Thomas A. Marvin, Secretary; E. Cook, S. D.; Lewis Taylor, J. D.; Lewis Brown, Tyler. Several brothers were admitted by card and initiation that evening. This lodge is therefore thirty-six years old. It has had a successful career, and its membership now numbers thirty-nine, having at present writing, in November, 1887, the following-named officers: J. T. Ingram, W. M.; W. A. Wilmeth, S. W.; D. J. Jones, J. W.; J. B. Ross, Secretary; William Matthews, Treasurer; Dr. J. M. Evans, S. D.; J. R. Matthews, J. D.; Robert Russell, Tyler. The lodge owns the hall in which it meets, which is well furnished, and has been occupied for some years.

Salem Lodge No. 48, I. O. O. F., was instituted March 26, 1853. The charter members were C. V. Arnold, N. G.; J. L. Chambers, V. G.; Richard Spurrier, J. L. Chambers, William Johnson, Samuel Smith, C. M. McDowell and J. S. Bartruff. The lodge has had a very successful career, and while many of its old members are scattered throughout the country it yet numbers sixty-one active members. The lodge owns the hall which it occupies, and has a fine library. In the fall of 1887 the following named were the officers: O. H. Cooke, N. G.; R. H. Dawson, V. G.; N. Cammack, Treasurer; C. A. Stevens, Secretary.

In connection with the lodge there is Salem Chapter No. 66, I. O. O. F., which was organized in 1874, and is also quite prosperous.

Adam Kimpel Post No. 245, G. A. R., was organized Nov. 9, 1883, with twenty charter members. Dr. J. M. Evans being the first commander. The present roster shows a membership of forty, with J. T. Ingram, Commander; George Cramer, Adjutant; L. B. Culver, Quartermaster; Dr. J. M. Evans, Chaplain. The post is strong, and is doing good work.

Monarch Lodge No. 143, K. of P., was instituted July 15, 1884, with nineteen charter members. It has been very successful since its organization, and comprises some excellent material.

The Bank of Salem was organized as a private bank in the spring of 1881. It does a general banking business, and has the confidence of the community in general as regards its stability. George W. Tyner is the President, and W. H. Bliss, Cashier.
The citizens of Salem and vicinity maintain an agricultural society, besides which there is also an Old Settlers’ Association, and in both of these organizations they take a lively interest.

Scott Township –pg. 686, 687, 688

SCOTT TOWNSHIP is situated in the north-east corner of the county, having in it the village of Winfield, now one of the most enterprising of all the towns in the county. This township was first settled in 1836, B. Hochreiter having the honor of being the pioneer. It is principally prairie, the natural timber being found only along Crooked Creek. The soil is good and all the cereals suitable to the latitude can be grown here.

The town of Winfield was laid out in 1852 by Asbury Porter. This was long before the days of railroads, three years before one had crossed the Mississippi River, and the town grew but slowly. The town and township were named in honor of Gen. Winfield Scott, and as the former was laid out when Scott, the last Whig candidate, was running for the Presidency against Franklin Pierce, it is reasonable to suppose that Mr. Porter was a Whig. The first store was established by Mr. Porter, who placed it in charge of Jacob Palm as manager. It was subsequently purchased by George Hoover, who has been given the credit of being the first merchant in the place.

At a later day, William T. Clayton came to Winfield, purchased property in the vicinity and embarked in the mercantile business. He was a very enterprising man, and was quite successful in business, accumulating in comparatively a short time about $25,000, the greater part of which he subsequently invested in town lots in the village of Burris, that was to be a station on an air-line railroad between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. The road was never built, the city failed to materialize, and Mr. Clayton lost heavily.

The first stores in the place were those known as general stores, in which every conceivable article in demand was supposed to be kept, but as the town grew, and the country around it prospered, trade began to divide. John Stewart, of Crawfordsville, came to the place and opened the first drug-store, and was followed in due time by Frank in the hardware business. Kirkpatrick & Jackson were the pioneer furniture dealers, J. B. Lynch kept the first hotel, Charles Deyarman ran the first livery, Charles Craven was the first wagon-maker, Bridges & Smith ran the first gristmill, George Sales & Ross were the first lumber dealers. The first blacksmith-shop in the township was started by John L. and Michael Myers, in 1852, on the place where Wesley Myers now lives, one-half mile west of Winfield. At that time there was no village here, and the shop was carried on in connection with farming. After the village was laid out, Herman Bowers commenced here the business. He came from Wayne Township, and later moved to Missouri. The second shop was opened by William G. Lauder, now deceased. In 1870 Mr. Myers moved into the village, where he has since been engaged in the business, and is the oldest blacksmith in the north part of the county. The first physician here was Dr. Martin, who came from Keithsburg, Ill., and who later moved to Kansas.

Soon after laying out the village, a post-office was established here, and George Hoover was commissioned its first Postmaster. He held the office but a short time and was succeeded by William T. Clayton. In 1857, shortly after Buchanan was inaugurated, J. H. Goodspeed was appointed, and for twenty-seven years faithfully discharged the duties of the office. During his administration a money order department was attached, and on the 2d of July, 1877, the first order was drawn in favor of William L. Miller, Geneva, Kan. Up to Nov. 4, 1887, there had been drawn 6,363 orders. Mr. Goodspeed was succeeded by Dr. J. W. Hanna, who now holds the commission of “Uncle Sam” as his duly authorized agent.

For many years the village was “left out in the cold” by the various railroad companies that had built their lines of road through this section of country. It was not until the centennial year that the efforts of its citizens met with success in connecting the town with the outside world by iron bands. At that time the Burlington & Northwestern Railroad was completed from Burlington to this place. Subsequently the road was extended to Washington, and another company acting in connection built from here the Burlington & Western, with Oskaloosa, Iowa, as its terminal point. The Central Iowa, about the same time the latter was built, completed its line from Oskaloosa to Keithsburg, so that to-day Winfield has superior railroad facilities, and in respect to freight has just competition. While its growth has not been phenomenal, or as great as its friends desired, yet a good, solid business has been done by its merchants, while the place itself shows evidence of thrift.

Immediately on the heels of the railroad came the newspaper press, that herald of universal progress. On the 27th of June, 1876, the Winfield Press, with H. G. Rising as editor and proprietor, made its appearance. But it came too soon, the people were hardly ready for it, and in one short year its light went out.

Burlington, Mt. Pleasant and Washington afforded the only banking facilities to the citizens of Winfield till 1883. In September of that year, a private bank was started with H. C. Weaver as cashier, and having as its backers E. L. Penn and Charles Snider, of Mt. Pleasant, and Henry Clark, now President of the first National Bank of Creston. After running for about two years its affairs were wound up, it not proving a paying investment for those interested. During this year, however, B. B. Lindley established the Bank of Winfield, which has since been in successful operation. This bank does a general banking business, with the First National Bank of Chicago, and Gilman, Son & Co., New York, as its correspondents. The Bank of Winfield has a fireproof vault.

The religious interests of Winfield are guarded by the United Presbyterians, Presbyterians and Methodist Episcopal.

The Methodist Episcopal Church is the oldest organization in Winfield, dating back to the winter of 1848-49, when a class was organized in the house of Thomas Alexander, with six or eight members. The first meetings were held from house to house, and later in school-houses. Sometime in the sixties a frame church building was erected, since which time the society has had a home. The church has usually been in a prosperous condition, spiritually and otherwise, and never more so than the present time, when it has a membership of 200, with a live Sunday-school from which to draw recruits from time to time.

The United Presbyterian Church was organized Oct. 16, 1865, by Rev. A. Story, of Columbus City, with eleven members. The first service was held at the house of J. P. McCulley, and Robert Walker and J. P. McCulley were elected and ordained as Elders. The first regular pastor was Rev. J. M. Henderson, from Portland, Ohio, an earnest and faithful worker in the Master’s cause. He was installed in April, 1866. During that year a good substantial church building was erected, 36x60 feet in size. Rev. Thome succeeded Mr. Henderson, and at present fills the pulpit. The present membership of the church is seventy-four, and it is in a good, healthy condition.

The Presbyterian Church of Winfield was originally organized under the name of Round Grove Presbyterian Church (Old School) in 1856, by Rev. Thomas H. Dinsmore, with twenty-one members. Rev. Francis B. Dinsmore was its first pastor. He was succeeded by Rev. McBride, and in turn by Revs. D. T. Campbell, H. M. Corbett, L. K. Berridge, J. R. Brown, A. W. Ringland, G. W. Hays, Joseph Dickey, D. T. Campbell, J. B. Butler. The present house of worship was commenced in 1865, completed the next year, and dedicated in 1867, Rev. George D. Stewart, D. D., preaching the dedicatory sermon. The present membership of the church is 10, and it is in a flourishing condition, spiritually and financially, with a good Sunday-school.

The Masonic fraternity is represented by Good Faith Lodge No. 230, A. F. & A. M., instituted June 2, 1869, with George Hammond, W. M.; R. C. Jackson, S. W.; George W. Brewington, J. W. The lodge is in good financial condition, and is composed of many of the best citizens of Winfield and vicinity. Its lodge room is well furnished. The following named comprised its officers in November, 1887: T. Russell, W. M.; Caleb Russell, S. W.; Alex Wiley, J. W.; J. C. Green, Secy.; J. T. Davidson, Treas.; Jacob Renshaw, J. D.; W. H. Wise, S. D.

Tippecanoe Township – pg. 688

CHARLES DAWSON has the honor of being the pioneer in Tippecanoe, which comprises all of township 71, range 7 west. He located on section 1 in 1834, and the year after sold his claim to William B. Lusk, who also makes claim to being the first permanent settler in the county. While one or two others came in before him and made claims, Mr. Lusk came to stay, and yet remains an honored citizen of the township and county. Among others who came in an early day were William Hockett, T. Wright, Linus Fairchild, William H. Lyon, Thomas Grant and Charles Maxwell. The Skunk River enters this township on section 3, and after running southwest about a mile and a half, touching section 5, it takes a southeasterly course and passes out from section 24. With its tributaries, this stream affords an abundance of water for stock and mill purposes. The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad passes through the northern part of the township, having one station, Rome.

Rome was first laid out in 1846, the original town site being on the west side of the river. William Scott was the proprietor of the town site, and in company with James Strong kept the first store. Prior to this, in 1842, Mr. Knight kept a blacksmith-shop here, and Mr. Scott had a hotel.

In 1856, D. C. Whitwood, who probably knew of the proposed location of the railroad, came here and bought 160 acres of land on the north side of town, twenty-five of which he laid out in town lots, to which he gave the name of Chicauqua, the Indian name of Skunk River. In 1866, O’Loughlin & Baker purchased of Whitwood the land originally purchased by the latter, and in that same year the two town were incorporated as one under the name of Rome. James Gallagher was the first Mayor of the village.

Rome has had its ups and downs in common with all other towns, but is withal a pleasant place to live in.

Trenton Township – pg. 688, 689

THE first settlement made in this township was in 1836, and among the first settlers were Michael Crane, Hon. James C. Green, James McPheran, J. H. McPheran, George Miller, Joseph, Jacob and Perry Morrison, Isaac Jordan, J. and B. B. Allender, Absalom Leeper, John Kephart and A. Updegraff. Among all these Mr. Green, it is believed, is the only one left in the township.

Michael Crane came in the spring of 1836, made claim to the site of the present village of Trenton, laid out a village and called it Lancaster, after the place of the same name in Pennsylvania. In 1837, Samuel Brazleton, Col. Porter and George Miller bought the claim, had it resurveyed, and at the suggestion of James C. Green named it Trenton, after the capital of New Jersey. Some two or three years later George Miller purchased the interest of Col. Porter, and Mr. Brazleton and Mr. Miller became sole proprietors.

Soon after laying out the town a post-office was established here, with Samuel Morrison as the first Postmaster. The first merchant in the place was Timothy Gaskell. The first physician was William Finley, while A. Updegraff was the first Justice of the Peace, James Conner kept the first hotel.

Deprived of railroad facilities, Trenton has not been able to keep pace with the rest of the world, though it has tried hard. For many years Joel Turney ran a wagon-shop here, and did an excellent business, but being compelled to haul material from the railroad station, and to haul back such material as he made up that was not taken by citizens, he finally removed to Fairfield, where he has the benefit of competing railroads.

The village has a school building worthy of a more pretentious place, and its educational facilities are second to none. The Presbyterian Church of Trenton was organized July 17, 1841. Previous to 1868 the congregation worshiped in a building erected many years previous, but being too small to accommodate the growing society, a new church was erected during the summer of that year and finished and dedicated Sept. 19, 1869, by Rev. McClintock, then of Mt. Pleasant, but now of Burlington, Iowa. Rev. H. M. Corbett served the church as pastor for some time after the new church was built, after which the pulpit was supplied irregularly until June, 1885, when Rev. C. C. Humphrey organized a Congregational society.

Henry County Institute Of Science

Trenton Township possesses an institution of which she may well be proud in the above-named society. In 1869 George Miller, then a resident of the village of Trenton, conceived the idea of donating a library and a place for social meetings to his home. He at once began the erection of a building in Trenton, which was barely finished when his death suddenly occurred before it was transferred. His relatives in Pennsylvania carried out the wishes of the donor, and the building was completed and made over to the Trustees whom he had selected. It is a large, square brick building, two storied in height, well lighted and conveniently arranged. The main floor is devoted to the library which contains over 1,200 volumes, which are added to every year, a fund being raised for that purpose. Meetings are held on the first Saturday in every month, at which questions of social and political economy are discussed. The influence of the institute is all for good, and it has done a good work in the northern portion of Henry County, giving to its people an opportunity to meet and talk over those problems of life which should be the study of every good citizen.

The donor, Mr. Miller, “builded better than he knew,” and the “Henry County Institute of Science” is to-day a greater power for good than he ever anticipated.

Wayne Township – pg. 689

WAYNE comprises all of township 73, range 6 west, and was among the last settled, though to look at the beautiful farms and elegant farmhouses within its limits, one can bet wonder why the early settlers of Henry County did not lay claim to the entire township. Among those who first came here for settlement were B., W. H. and W. S. Sicafoos, Sylvester Smith, J. Woodworth, William Morford, S. Larkins, W. Crill and P. Young. Later a large number of Swedes came, and that nationality is more strongly represented than any other at the present time.

The Central Iowa, and the Burlington & Western Railroads pass through this township from east to west. On the former is the village of Olds, and on the latter is that of Wayne, affording markets for all the produce and stock of the township. Swedesburg is another small village, consisting of a number of families mostly of the nationality of which its name is suggestive. A large and flourishing Swedish Lutheran Church, together with a school, is maintained here. The Friends have formerly been well represented here, but are being ought out from time to time by the Swedes, who are probably now in a majority in the township.

Reformatted by Conni McDaniel Hall for Henry County IAGenWeb, November 2014.

History Index  **  Home Page