Iowa History Project



The Quakers of Iowa




Louis Thomas Jones



Authorís Preface


In the present work the author has endeavored to present the essential features of the history of the people called the Quakers, from the time of their first appearance in Iowa down to the present time. To accomplish this within the limits of a single volume the writer has been compelled to omit many matters of local interest. Space permitted only the briefest mention of those who have been leaders in many fields of church activity; while as regards the Friendsí communities, many Iowa Quaker meetings, particularly in the western part of the State, are not even so much as mentioned. To explain this omission the writer desires to state that it ha been his purpose to trace in detail the rise of only those settlements which formed the basis of Iowa Quakerism before the founding of the Iowa Yearly Meeting of Friends in 1863. After that time the subject has been dealt with as a whole. Much of local and personal interest has thus been sacrificed in these pages.

††††††††††† Much of the initial work on this volume was done during the three years when the writer was connected with Penn College at Oskaloosa, Iowa, where he had access to the rich collection of manuscript records stored in the college vault. During the last fifteen months of his researches the writer lived at Iowa city and was connected with The State Historical Society of Iowa, thus having the advantage of its valuable library. Most of the materials used, however, were secured from outside sources which are indicated in the notes and references. The writerís acquaintance with almost the entire Iowa filed, together with his personal correspondence with the principal members of the various sects, made possible a familiarity with the present conditions in the various branches of the Society in Iowa which proved to be of great value.

††††††††††† The writer desires to take this opportunity to express his gratitude to the large number of persons, both in Iowa and elsewhere, who have cooperated in bringing together the materials used in this work. To Dr. David M. Edwards and Dr. Stephen M. Hadley, both of Oskaloosa, Iowa, the writer is greatly indebted for valued assistance. Thanks are also due to Miss Florence Franzen and to Mr. Jacob Vander Zee of Iowa City, Iowa, for their help in verifying the manuscript. Much credit for whatever merit the work may possess is due to Dr. Dan E. Clark, Assistant Editor of The State Historical Society of Iowa, for his many suggestions, corrections on the manuscript, and for the index. And finally, only through the continued interest, assistance, and advice of Dr. Benjamin F. Shambaugh, Superintendent of The State Historical Society of Iowa, has the publication of the volume in its present form been made possible.


Louis T. Jones


The State Historical Society of Iowa

Iowa City



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