Henry County IAGenWeb 


[6 inch x 8 inch] 4 page leaflet, dated August 17, 1889

Published by Howard & Co., Exclusive Job Printers.


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Black Hawk was born in the Sac Village about three miles from the junction of the Rock River with the Mississippi, in the year 1767. He died Oct. 3, 1838.

Presley Saunders

Died, at 6:30 o'clock this morning, July 19th, 1889, Presley Saunders, in the 81st year of his age. Mr. Saunders was the first settler of the city, and its proprietor and founder, having settled upon the tract of land out of which he subsequently platted the town, now city, in the fall of the year 1834. He built his first cabin near the spring in what is known as Saunders' Grove in the fall of 1834, then returned to Springfield, Ill., where he resided, returning here with his family in the spring of 1835, where he has resided continuously until his death. Mr. Saunders was born in Fleming county, Ky., July 1809, and emigrated with his father to the neighborhood of Springfield, Ill., in 1828. He projected and platted the city in March, 1836, and has been engaged in the mercantile and banking business continuously since he resided here. - Mt. Pleasant Evening News.

The first road laid out by the county Commissioners, was from Mt. Pleasant to Rome, in 1837.
Thanks to Geo. Cooper, Esq. for several logs used in building this Cabin.

We are under obligations to Messrs. Rees & Co., of Keokuk, for favors

The first divorce was granted in 1840, the title being Francis A. Forbs vs. Sarah N. Forbs.

The first Justice of the Peace for Canaan township, was Ambrose Yancey, in 1854. Horton J. Howard was the first Postmaster.

The first Postmaster of New London was John H. Kincaid. The first store was kept by Thomas Hedge.

Mrs. P. C. Tiffany tells the following incident of her sojourn at Farmington, in 1838, while her husband and brother were on a prospecting tour. One evening the young ladies of the tavern received invitations to attend a ball to be given in the neighborhood. The young ladies considered it necessary to appear in their finest apparel, as well as in a more cleanly condition than while engaged in their ordinary domestic duties. Mrs. Tiffany observed these toilet preparations with considerable amusement, until the girls took from the kitchen wall a large tin pan which served the double purpose of bread and dish pan, and proceeded to enjoy the luxury of a sponge bath; and when in the process of time they reached their feet, they deliberately placed all four of them in the pan, and allowed them to have what they called "a good soak." Nor were the fair maidens disturbed by bits of dough, remnants of former bakings which still adhered to the inner surface of the dish. To supply the deficiency of sponges, which were then not easily obtained, they made use of the clothes which had but a short time before been used in washing the supper dishes. When the ablutions were completed, they threw the water from the pan out through the door, gave the cloth a twist and shake and hung the appliances on the wall again. That night the land-lady found the bread supply rather low, and concluded it was necessary to mix up some "salt-rising." This culinary feat she performed in the aforesaid pan. The next morning Mrs. Tiffany's father was praising the bread; thought it tasted good. Mrs. Tiffany then told her father of the scene she had witnessed the evening before.
KEOKUK, (The Watchful Fox.)

Keokuk was born on Rock River, 1780. He loved peace and the social amenities of life. As an orator, he ranked with the most gifted of his race. 

On Thursday evening, May 22, 1851, at 8 o'clock, Dr. Thos. E. Corkhill preached at the house of Robert McCabe, in Canaan township, the first sermon preached in that township. The text was: Gal. 6, 9, "Let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap if we faint not." The audience consisted of about twenty-five persons, principally mechanics and laborers employed on the farm.

The first Postmaster in Trenton was Samuel Morrison; the first Justice of the Peace was A. Updegraph.

The first settlement of Rome was begun in 1836, Wm. Scott and James Strong kept the first store.

The first physician in Lowell was Wm. Marsh, and the first Justice of the Peace was Edward Archibald.

The first settler in Scott Township, was B. Hocreiter, in 1836; Winfield was laid out in 1852 by Asbury B. Porter. George Hoover kept the first store and was the first Postmaster.

The first couple married in Salem, was a Mr. Schafer and Elizabeth Dunham.

Robert McCabe gave the name to Canaan township; James Lawrence has the honor of being the first settler. 
The First White Child.

There is a gentleman in the city attending the races and watching for the final destruction of "Pompeii" who has a "record." His name is Iowa Smith, and he hails from Burlington. "Fate" could not conceal him "by naming him Smith," as she tried to do by the author of "America," for he bears the "lonely and unapproachable honor" of being the first white child born in the territory of Iowa. He wears his honor modestly, because he is a modest man; but safely, because the "record" can never be broken. A great many attempts have been made, but no other first white child was ever born in Iowa, and Smith has no fears of a competitor. In addition to being a historical curiosity he is a devoted lover of that noble animal, the horse, and whenever two or three trotters are gathered together there is Iowa, even in the midst. - Peoria Journal.

Some of the old settlers in this neck of the woods, think the above is a mistake. 

Our advertisers are all honest and will give you good bargains for your money.

Iowa became a state during James K. Polk's administration, Dec. 28, 1846. 

The First

The first seal used by Henry county, was a silver twenty-five cent piece, impressed in wax.

The first brick was made by Ezekiel Cooper, near the south line of Saunders' grove at a point a little east of what is known at the Farr place.

The first school was taught in Mt. Pleasant in 1836 by a Mr. Daniels.

The first burial in the old cemitery (sic) was of a man by the name of Pullman found in the woods south of town supposed to have been shot by some hunters.

The first Court ever held in Henry County was in a log cabin on the west side of the Park, just south of Presley Saunders' store building.

The first fourth of July celebration in Henry county, was in 1838. The speaker Payton Wilson, advocated moving the County seat to Oakland Mills.

The first Postmaster of Salem, was Aaron Street, Jr.

The first indictment for robbery was found Feb. 26, 1846, against John Kelly.

The first sheriff of the county was Andrew Kennedy, in 1838.

The first county Recorder was John H. Randolph, in 1837. 
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Images contributed by Pat White; transcribed and formatted by Conni McDaniel Hall, September 2019. 

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