The history of pioneer settlement is in many respects a traditional subject. Records of the days when the settlers hewed their homes from the timber and laboriously broke a patch of ground for provender have not been adequately preserved. There was so little that happened in those days which impressed the pioneers as being important that they neglected to record it. The purpose of history, such as this volume, is to set forth as many of these deeds and occurrences as possible, so that the next generation and the next may have recourse to the recital of their forefathers’ lives in this new country. That much has been omitted which should have been preserved is possible; that some statements have not been sufficiently extended is likely; and that some generally accepted facts may not accord with individual experience and preconceived notions is possible; but yet the data has been prepared as well as possible with the means of knowledge at command.

History is not like mathematics, an exact science. Witnesses in court who see the same things rarely see them from the same angle or testify alike as to the exact facts. As said before, much of history is tradition, tales passing from mouth to mouth, from sire to son, from generation to generation, and the truth never gains in the transmission of these tales. We accept as facts a great deal of history which doubtless never occurred; much that in the light of the larger experience of our time we know cannot be true, but we take it with allowance and glean from it what good we can. The public and written records are reliable so far as they go, but are often defective or incomplete. The recollection of actors in past events are of value as history, but their credibility must be taken with regard to the accuracy of their observation and memory, the soundness of their judgment and their reliability to relate the facts unbiased by preconceived notions of personal interest.

In the beginning of Iowa history, and also that of Iowa County, settlements were miles apart and social intercourse was difficult. Log rollings, husking bees, barbecues, cabin buildings and other entertainments of like nature supplied the only opportunities for the people to congregate together; these periods were often months apart. An extreme hardiness of body and spirit resulted from this life; men were cast with steel. Writers of today lament the deterioration of modern society into luxurious, dependent and idle existence. This may be true,

31 32

but the discussion of such a question is for a different literature from history. It is to the first men of the county and their influence in building up the community and to the men of the present generation who are stolidly retaining this standard, as well as to the noble women of all generations who have lovingly supported their fathers, husbands, brothers and sons, that this work must be dedicated.

Every authority will agree with the statement that the sole motive of emigration to a new land is one of economy. It is when living conditions become difficult in the larger settlements, when competition threatens prosperity, and when the desire for larger space becomes uppermost, that an exodus to strange lands occurs. So it was in the settlement of Iowa County in the early 1840s. The people came here with the purpose of building new homes, raising crops, and opening up a new country for the happiness of themselves and children. They were but following the fundamental laws of existence and the survival of the fittest.


In regard to the very first settlement in Iowa County there have been several claims, some of them not deserving mention. The most probable is that Edward R. Ricord took up a claim in 1842 on Old Man's Creek. Another authority claims the settlement made by Linneas Niles and John Burgett near what is now Homestead to have been the first. It is said that a man named Cleveland accompanied the latter. Edward Ricord settled just east of the boundary line in 1837, on the small strip of Iowa County which was the only portion opened for Settlement at that early date. Most of the old settlers gave the honor to Ricord and, in truth, the latter, during his life, often stated that he was the first to settle in the county. His claim was partly in section 3 and partly in section 4, township 79, range 9. Mr. Ricord had two brothers, Elisha and Jacob, who settled in the same neighborhood several years afterwards. About the only neighbors Mr. Ricord had when he first took up life in this district were the Indians, whose title to the lands immediately north and west of him did not expire until May 1, 1843; in fact, many of them stayed longer than that date. Ricord was within a short distance of the settlements which had begun in Washington and Johnson counties, also a trading point had been established at Iowa City. It was not many months afterword that the whole country was thrown open to settlement and then neighbors came in thick and fast.

It seems strange to the reader that the first settlements were made in the timber lying along the streams, when the rich prairie afforded vaster opportunities for crops and prosperity. The settler had many reasons for locating close to the forest. Principally for the reason that he had to build his home of the logs which he cut. The homes were made in the groves which were being formed between the abrupt turns of the streams, these being called groves. Even now there are groves scattered over Iowa County which bear the name of the first settlers within their shade.

North and west from the Ricord Settlement extended a grove largely settled by native Irishmen, and bore the name of the Irish Settlement. Farther to the north and west in an extension of the same timber was the Scotch Settle-

Taken in 1867



ment, a full description of which by John Cownie is found in another part of this volume. Near the east line of the county, immediately south of the Iowa River, in the present vicinity of Homestead, was the Brush Run Settlement. In the northwest corner of the county, near the present site of the Town of Koszta, was the settlement at first known as Hoosier Grove and afterward called The Hench Settlement. All the way from Hoosier Grove to the east line of the county, along the timber which lined the banks of the Iowa River, and the adjoining bluffs, claims were taken at an early day and improvements soon began. South of the river, about four and a half miles east of Marengo, was located the old trading house. This is shown on the map on another page, which location was taken directly from the Government township surveys made at the time and cannot be disputed.

Another family settling early on Old Man's Creek was named Convers. Erastus Convers was a voter at the election held at Old Man's Creek in August, 1845, and the records prove that William and Elizabeth Convers entered some land in that locality some time afterwards, being the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 3. This was immediately east of the Ricord Settlement.

This entry and that of Ricord were all that occurred before the year 1849 in what is now Greene Township, then considerably larger. Immediately north of Old Man's Creek, in what is now York Township, in the same settlement, Henry Sarry, Michael Duffey and Clark Jones bought land prior to 1849 and their names appear as voters in the first election in 1845. Edward Spratt and John Convey were also settlers here prior to August, 1845; James McKray was another early comer; also Michael Roup and Reuben Smith. After the year 1845 there came the following: Edmond Butler, John Furlong, William Butler, John Wycoff, Evan Evans, Joseph Yocum, Thomas Hanson and Stephen Hanson.

The first elections held by these settlers was [at] the house of Edward R. Ricord and until the year 1847 the precinct went by the name of Old Man's Precinct. Then it was given the name of Greene Precinct and has been known as such ever since. In Mr. Ricord's second home constructed in this county the men of the community first assembled to discuss the business affairs and to hold political meetings. Ricord had, upon first coming to the county, constructed a cabin on the north side of the creek, but after living here a year, during which time the family were subjected to several attacks of ague, he moved his belongings to the south side of the creek upon higher ground. This last house was a double log cabin. This was the general headquarters of the first settlers on Old Man's Creek.

Soon after the Indian title was extinguished the most desirable claims along the Iowa River were taken by settlers, most of them from the East. The first of them were: Lewis F. Wilson, John Lenderman, William Taylor, Stephen Chase, Edward Trotter, Lineas Niles, N. W. Dowd, William McCorkle, Abraham Price, Isaac Clark, M. T. Cleveland, Benjamin Hutchinson, Anderson Meacham, Lewis Lanning, William Foster, R. M. Hutchinson, Charles Kitchens, A. P. Kitchens, G. W. Kitchens, T. W. Kitchens, R. B. Groff, Robert McKee, John Burgett, Howard Sprague, Porter Hull, Orley Hull, Amos Crocker, William Betts, Robert Greeley, Robt. Furnas, Snyder, John Adams, David Troup, George

Vol. I—3 34

Troup, Casey, Andrew Stein, John Irvin, R.F. Mason, Simon Hollopeter, Wannemacher, William Downard and William Hench.

Near the present site of Homestead the early settlers were Lineas Niles, John Burgett and M T. Cleveland; the latter went to California in 1850 for unknown reasons. Porter and Orley Hull were also in this vicinity at a very early date, but did not stay long. Porter remained in the county, once living in Marengo, while Orley kept a hotel at Homestead for some time, then moved to Oregon in 1850. Howard Sprague and several others of the same name also settled there, most of them afterwards scattering to different parts of the country. William Crawford moved from Homestead to Marengo and then to Hardin County, Ia. He was a member of the second board of commissioners which served in Iowa County.


The old trading house which stood on section 35, township 81, range 10, was the general headquarters for all the settlers between the years 1843 and 1846. The origin of this place was as follows: In 1837 the United States Government found it necessary to establish an agency for the benefit of the Musquakie and Pottawattamie Indians, whose home was in part of Iowa Territory not then a portion of Iowa County. A section of land was fenced, part of it was plowed and some buildings erected. A man named Patterson first had charge of these buildings which were known collectively as the trading house. On the removal of the Indians the Government first leased the Indian farm premises to certain settlers: William Downard opened up a store of general merchandise there and Charles Kitchens cultivated the land. On October 11, 1845, R. M. Hutchinson purchased the land and buildings of the Government and thus the place became the property of a private individual. The trading house was located at a point between the present sites of Marengo and Homestead and was the place where all the settlers along the Iowa River went to vote. The country around there was termed Iowa Precinct. The county commissioners also held their meetings there for a time. Kitchens, who had farmed the land for the Government, moved farther west and erected a sawmill on Bear Creek.


William Downard had, as mentioned, the first store at this place, and also the first place of business in the county. He had been employed as a clerk in the Andrews store at Iowa City prior to coming here. One day a Mr. Mason, living just across the river from Marengo, went to the Andrews store at Iowa City, bought a consignment of goods and tendered a draft for $250. Downard accepted the paper, but neglected to have Mason indorse it. The proprietor quickly dispatched Downard to the Mason home for the necessary signature, but after arriving there, found that there was no ink in the house, nor in fact in the county, so he scraped some soot off the side of a kettle and manufactured enough for Mason to sign his name. Traveling overland upon his return to Iowa City he saw the trading house and the country around and made up his mind that he would like to locate there and start a business of his own. Accordingly


shortly afterward, he bought out the stock of Andrews and moved it to the point of the trading house. After conducting a store here for about a year, Downard moved to the new Town of Marengo and opened up another establishment.

R. M. Hutchinson, who had bought the old trading house and the land adjoined, was a notable figure in the life of early times. Not only was he liked for his personal characteristics, but was admired for his physical proportions, it being said that he was six feet eight inches in height, and with a wife who was six feet three inches. Downard [did they mean Hutchinson?] was a member of the first board of county commissioners. An incident is related in connection with his life history, that the sheriff once had him lift the members of the grand jury through a trap door into the second story of Groff's house, where the second session of the District Court was held. The land where the old trading house was located is now owned by the Amana Society.


Farther up, on the south side of the river, the next settlement was at Marengo. The location of the county seat at this place had much to do with its early settlement. Robert McKee located in the vicinity of Marengo early in the year 1845, before the county seat was located. Upon arriving there he found a small log cabin, which had been erected by someone, presumably a Mormon itinerant, and in this crude structure McKee made his first abode. He soon after erected a new house, this being the first house put up in the vicinity of Marengo, although it was not on the original townsite. It later came within the corporate limits of the town. McKee built and operated a ferry at Marengo for years. This was located near the foot of Bridge Street. He was also the first postmaster at Marengo, receiving his commission in March, 1846. He died in the '70s [1870's].

The decision made by Downard to build a house in the new settlement of Marengo was not arrived at without some hesitation. Not a single house had been erected on the townsite and there were no preparations for building owing to some difficulty in regard to the ownership of the land. Again there was already one store farther up the river, beyond the townsite, kept by a Mr. H. H. Hull. Hull came through one night on his way to Iowa City and stopped over night at the Downard home. In the morning he borrowed $2.50 from Downard with which to buy his goods. Thus Downard, when he opened his store, competed with goods bought with his own money.

Downard erected his store house and dwelling upon the same ground and under one roof. The two consisted of one room 18 by 16 feet in dimensions. The building was located on the northeast corner of out-lot No. 8 and was a short distance west of the public square. This was the first building erected on the townsite and was constructed before there was any sawmill in the county. The lumber was transported by ox-team from Wassonville, in Washington County, where was located the nearest sawmill. Having completed his residence and moved into it with his family, his store room was supplied with a stock of goods consisting of dry goods, groceries, hardware, drugs, agricultural implements, musical instruments, books, stationary and provisions. A great part of the trade which transpired at the store was the exchange of corn and other produce for mer-


chandise: Downard hated to do this owing to the extreme trouble in getting produce to other markets.


R. B. Groff, known afterwards as an author and lecturer, was another of the early inhabitants of Marengo. On April 7, 1845, he left his Pennsylvania home and came to North Bend, Johnson County, Ia., where he first settled in the spring of 1845. In the fall of 1846 he visited Iowa County and was much pleased with the country. He traveled up the river as far as Honey Creek and stayed over night with Lewis Lanning. He then returned home and sold his land in Johnson County to Nicholas Zeller for $600, $300 of which he placed in the hands of Nathaniel Scales, who was about to visit Dubuque, where the nearest land office was then located; the money was to be used in entering 240 acres of land, immediately south of the Iowa River in this county. During his trip through Iowa County, Mr. Groff paid a visit to the old trading house and thus describes the place: "When I first came to the trading house in the fall of 1846, it was occupied by Robert Hutchinson. The rails around the section (broken up by Mr. Phelps, of Illinois, for the Government, by an order from Congress through the executive in 1837 - Van Buren) had been burned and stolen so that not more than 160 acres were then enclosed in one field. This had been bought by Hutchinson at the minimum price, $1.25 per acre. This had remained as the most advanced trading post in Central Iowa for nearly twelve years. The new purchase, including this, had just been made; many of the Musquakie tribe were lingering around their old home. Nothing is so curious to man as his own species. I gazed with wonder on their ponies, wigwams, squaws, papooses, dogs, guns and playgrounds. We gathered up the bones of an old pony, white as well burnt limestone, and, being slightly acquainted with comparative anatomy, I skillfully laid them together. When they saw this they collected around me in groups, manifesting the greatest interest. When the vertebrae were nearly adjusted, one of the tall, lean, lank, straight-built, well-formed men said, 'Heap know how,' pointing to the structure. These were the only English words I heard them say.

"They closely scrutinized every move of a white man. Many stood around me poorly clothed, with their dark, twinkling eyes, forms erect, as if a lightning rod had directly clenched head, back and heel. I saw them running footraces. I proposed to run with one of their skinaways, or boys. This please them; they soon collected around; I slipped my coat and boots, tied a light kerchief around my head, ready for the sport. The boy far surpassed me, although I did my level best. I laughed with them.

"I passed through their old cemetery. Round most of the graves were pens made of round poles. Some had roots of trees placed at the head of the corpse, roots up, touched with red paint; bodies were laid on the ground and covered with rushes.

"I saw them at worship the next day; they had blacked their faces and wore a deep, solemn mien. One old man looked up as he threw a large red ball into the air, uttering wild, ear-piercing cries to the Great Spirit, which in turn was caught up by the others till distant hills re-echoed the sound."


In regard to the first store kept by Horace Hull, a short distance west of Marengo, Groff has the following to say:

"Horace H. Hull was the first merchant in the county; money being scarce and skins plenty, he traded groceries for skins. If a man wanted one pound of sugar, the customer gave one coon skin and the merchant handed out the sugar with a rabbit skin as change. Mr. Hull got his supplies from Grover and Holt of Iowa City and it was during a trip for goods that the said Hull performed the first legal act, to my knowledge, in the county. He had been elected justice of the peace and his jurisdiction was co-extensive with the county. A pair presented themselves as candidates for matrimony, at Brush Run, now Homestead, on the way to the city. They were both dressed in all the beauty of primitive simplicity. The groom had on a pair of pants and a shirt, the bride a pair of shoes and a dress. The justice said to the pair, 'please be elevated, rise up, join hands;' then to the groom, ' You take this woman to be your wedded wife, promising to nourish, cherish and sustain her during death and sickness, and all the incidents of natural life, and-Oh! there is a mistake, it used to be usual in Ohio where I was brought up to inquire if anyone has any objections.' This brought down the house. After order had been restored, the justice said to the bride, 'What do you think of these things?' She said, 'I think they will do.' Whereupon the justice pronounced them man and wife."

Another settler who located on the ridge just south of Marengo was Amos Crocker. He died many years ago. The first place of public entertainment was a tavern kept by a man named Kirkpatrick. A person by the name of Betts settled early and constructed a cabin on Hilton Creek not far from Marengo. A rainstorm flooded the valley in which Betts lived one night; he and his wife, with three children, escaped; but his son William, with two other members of the family, had more difficulty. The young man reached safety but the other two were drowned. This same William Betts was afterwards drowned in the millrace at Marengo.

Before there was any settlement made at Marengo a number of persons had located at Hoosier Grove, in the northwest corner of the county. One of these who afterward attained some prominence in the county was Lewis F. Wilson. He was a North Carolinian and came to this county in 1843, after some time spent in both Johnson and Poweshiek counties. He located on Honey Creek and found that several other persons had settled there. Across the river was a cabin which had been built and was occupied by one John Adams. Adams stayed there until the gold excitement of 1850, whereupon he started for California, only to perish in the mountains en route. William Taylor had also settled in the vicinity of Honey Creek, his claim being about a mile and a half east of the present site of Koszta. It is said that he gave the name Honey Creek to the stream which flows into the Iowa at that point, having found a bee tree nearby.

Stephen Chase was another who settled in the county about the same time Mr. Wilson came; also a man named Furnas, and one named Snyder. Edward Trotter and Robert Greeley also settled early. Anderson Meacham was a pioneer and neighbor of Mr. Wilson. William Hench settled in the county in 1844. He cultivated a claim and kept a tavern. At one time he loaned the county com- 38

missioners a sum of money to enter a part of the land on which Marengo is situated.

Charles Kitchens first located at the trading house, but soon after removed to a claim on Bear Creek near the present site of Ladora, on section 8, Sumner Township, where he erected a sawmill, the first in the county. He had several sons, among them being A. P., T. W., and G. W. The latter located on the river above Marengo, while the other two settled near the parent and aided in the erection and operation of the sawmill. T. W. Kitchens was killed by lightning.

North of the Iowa River there was a chain of settlements extending from the mouth of Honey Creek to the Johnson County line. Chief among these settlers was David Troup, who came from Bates County, Mo., in September 1846, and settled near the extreme corner of Iowa County north of the river. When Troup came to the vicinity a man named Andrew Stein resided there. Farther down the river on the same side was R. F. Mason. John Irwin resided north of the river. Abraham Price, from whom Price Creek took its name, lived near the mouth of that stream. Some time after the year 1846 Mr. Hollopeter settled north of the river and there died. A Mr. Wannemacher located on land near that of Troup, but died while serving in the Civil war in Iowa County troops. With Mr. Troup, when he came to this county, was a brother, George, and his stepfather Casey attended with his family.

In 1852 a Mr. Stewart constructed a ferry line across the river a short distance above Marengo, and George Troup assisted in operating the boat. Shortly after the ferry was put into operation a California emigrant, with a three-yoke ox-team, came along and wished to cross on the ferry. The teams were taken on, but not tied to the guards, so that when the boat was pushed off the oxen became frightened and backed off, the whole outfit going into the water. The boat quickly sank and the three men, Stewart, Troup and the emigrant, drowned.

David Troup resided upon his claim for twenty-two years, and then removed to Warren County, where he remained until 1871, at that time moving to Sumner County, Kansas.

The settlements in the south part of the county on English River were not made as early as those on Old Man's Creek and along the Iowa River. Prior to 1848 there were, however, quite a large number of people located along the valley of the English River and English Precinct had been established. At the election held at the house of George Miller, in April of that year, there were exactly eleven voters. They were: William K. Miller, Thomas Dedmore, Reuben Miller, Burris Cole, Aaron Cheney, George Miller, Nicholas Tinkle, David Tinkle, Christopher Tinkle, Lewis D. Green and John Dennis. George Miller was probably the first who came to the locality as well as being the most important personage in the community after it was formed. It is said that Reuben and William K. Miller were his brothers. From this settlement the Town of Millersburg sprang and was named.

A branch route of the Western Stage Company diverged from the main line at Iowa City, and passing down through the Miller Settlement and on through Dresden and Montezuma, intersected the main line again at Lattimer's Grove, near the west line of Poweshiek County.

These comprised the real early settlements of Iowa County, and branching from them other communities were formed in other portions of the county. All

A Pioneer of Iowa County

are important, but the preceding one named are credited with being the foundation of them all.


The necessary prelude to land entry was land survey; the settlers before the time of survey were called squatters or bore no distinction whatever, for the land could not be said to have been theirs in the view of the Government until a survey had been made. More is said of these so-called squatters in the Tanner article upon another page. The first survey in Iowa County occurred in 1844. It was not until the year 1846, however, that any number of entries were made in the county. Then considerable land was purchased by those who had previously been residents of the county.

The first land entered in the county was lot 1 and the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter and east half of the southwest quarter of section 35, township 81, range 10. The parcel contained 152 46/100 acres and was entered by R. M. Hutchinson. This was on the 11th day of October, 1845, and was the land upon which the old trading house was located.

The second entry was made by John Mendenhall and consisted of the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 28, township 81, range 9; the entry bears the date of November 1, 1845. The following list gives the names of those who entered land in Iowa County prior to the year 1850, the township and range, and the date of the entry:

In township 78, range 9: Jacob Ricord, November 3, 1845; Edward R. Ricord, November 3, 1845; Edward R. Ricord, July 27, 1846; William and Elizabeth Convers, August 9, 1848; Elisha Ricord, July 3, 1848; Mary L. Legare, August 20, 1849; William T. Allen, November 15, 1849.

Township 79 north, range 9 west: David Greenlee, April 25, 1854; Elisha H. Ricord, July 27, 1846; Henry Starry, December 16, 1846; Lambert Lamberts, February 27, 1846; Michael Duffey, July 7, 1848; William and Elizabeth Convers, August 9, 1848; Clark Jones, March 17, 1848; Herman Legeon, May 5, 1849.

Township 80 north, range 9 west: Lewis Doty, March 31, 1849; William Spicer, May 3, 1849; Jonathan Sprague, June 23, 1847; George W. Hess, October 2, 1848; John A. Hunter, March 28, 1849; Elhannan Blalock, April 25, 1848; Lineas Niles, July 11, 1849; Daniel Talbott, June 26, 1849; John A. Hunter, March 28, 1849; Orley Hull, March 22, 1848; John Cook, November 19, 1849; David McLeory, September 8, 1849.

Township 81 north, range 9 west: Joseph Burns, August 3, 1848; William G. Adams, August 3, 1848; Joseph Swayer, August 3, 1848; Jefferson Usselman, July 2, 1849; Joseph Burns, August 3, 1848; Moses Aunspaugh, August 3, 1848; George Marshall, August 18, 1849; William G. Adams, August 3, 1848; F.E. Barney, September 8, 1848; Thomas Darling, February 22, 1848; William Marshall, July 19, 1847; Samuel Lee, August 3, 1848; Joseph H. Fisher, July 17, 1848; Benjamin McCorkle, December 8, 1848; Joseph Brown, December 14, 1846; William McCorkle, July 3, 1847; Rolla Johnson, July 11, 1848; Mills White, June 26, 1849; Samuel Burns, August 3, 1848; Solomon Simmonds, July 10, 1848; Franklin Neff, August 3, 1848; William W. Riddle, October 11, 1848;


James M. Marshall, October 11, 1848; Friend Carter Brown, October 8, 1847; Robert M. Hutchinson, August 1, 1849; Daniel Talbott, June 26, 1849; James Hay, September 8, 1849.

Township 78 north, range 10 west: Elisha Ricord, May 13, 1846; Jefferson G. Brandon, December 9, 1849; John Davis, July 9, 1849; Chancey Clothier, July 5, 1849; Nimrod Ross, February 20, 1849.

Township 79 north, range 10 west: Le Grand Byington, July 9, 1849, three entries.

Township 80 north, range 10 west: Daniel Bryan, March 28, 1849; William W. Wallace, October 27, 1849.

Township 81 north, range 10 west: John Bishop, October 17, 1848; John C. Culbertson, October 21, 1848; George R. Rider, October 28, 1848; Robert M. Hutchinson, October 6, 1847; George Sheaffer, October 31, 1849; Daniel A. Peck, July 11, 1848; George Titler, April 9, 1849; Ransom Mason, January 27, 1847; John R. Ross, January 22, 1849; William T. Dobbs, September 11, 1849; Joseph S. Kilgore, June 11, 1849; Andrew Mitchell, October 31, 1849; John J. Rider, October 31, 1849; Jefferson Miles, July 2, 1849; Josephus Talbott, October 3, 1848; Calvin C. Salesbery, September 9, 1848; William T. Dobbs, September 9, 1849; Quinton B. James, September 9, 1849; William H. Wallace, October 22, 1849; Abel Rawson, October 22, 1849; Thomas Miles, October 27, 1849.

Township 78 north, range 11 west: John Miller, June 6, 1848; Thompson Carnahan, June 6, 1849; John R. Summitt, May 8, 1846; William Clifton, March 23, 1848; George Miller, June 6, 1848; John Miller, June 6, 1848; John Dillon, June 6, 1849; Mary S. Legaire, August 16, 1849; Alexander Young, May 8, 1846; Barnes Cole, May 3, 1849.

Township 80 north, range 11 west: William H. Wallace, October 22, 1849; Abraham P. Kitchens, November 6, 1849; Joseph M. Kitchens, November 8, 1848; Patsy Kitchens, November 8, 1848; Nicholas Mouser, October 22, 1849; Stephen Chase, June 1, 1846; William Stone, May 23, 1849.

Township 81 north, range 11 west: Richard B. Groff, October 12, 1848; Judson W. Athey, July 10, 1846; Mary S. Legaire, August 21, 1849; Mathias Hollopeter, July 1, 1847; Squire Brown, July 10, 1846; William Alvey, July 18, 1848; Joseph H. Fisher; April 23, 1849; James Gilbert and George W. Goings, August 2, 1849; Charles Aid, May 3, 1849; Calvin C. Salesbery, September 9, 1848; Richard Reynolds, April 30, 1849; William Justus, July 10, 1846; John R. Ross, October 17, 1848; George Titler, April 9, 1849; Jeremiah H. Richardson, December 19, 1846; Sylvester Middleworth, December 19, 1846; Robert Woods, October 7, 1848; Jesse W. Hollowell, May 4, 1849; John W. Ritz, June 28, 1848; Etherial C. Lyon, February 12, 1846; William H. Wallace, October 22, 1849; Abel Rawson, October 22, 1849; Horace H. Hall, October 12, 1849.

Township 78 north, range 12 west: William Rankin, August 17, 1849; Andrew Taylor, June 1, 1849; William Taylor, June 1, 1849; Albert L. Gross, August 15, 1849; David McCullough, December 5, 1849; John A. Rosenberger, October 22, 1849; Alexander Reynolds, August 14, 1848.

Township 81 north, range 12 west: William Greenlee, February 1, 1847; Robert Furnas, February 8, 1847; Elijah Trueblood, July 7, 1848; John Hunsucker, September 18, 1849; Jeremiah Snyder, September 12, 1849; Lucien


Q. Hoggatt, September 19, 1849; Levi Bunting, September 16, 1849; John Benson, April 21, 1848; Thomas J. Polly, April 21, 1848; Jeremiah H. Richardson, December 23, 1846; Anderson Meacham, October 14, 1848; Sylvester Middleworth, December 19, 1846; William Taylor, June 28, 1847.

Note: Most of the settlers entered from two to five tracts.


The first settler in the county was E. R. Ricord, March 1837.

The first white child born in the county was probably Michael Convey, born May 1, 1844. There has been much dispute over this question, but the early date of Convey's birth apparently settles the question beyond all doubt.

The first death in the county was that of Mrs. James McKay in the fall of 1842.

First land was entered by R. M. Hutchinson on October 11, 1845.

The county seat was located August 14, 1845.

The first term of court was held April 20, 1846.

Marengo was laid out in 1847.

The first railroad came into the county in 1860.

The first courthouse was constructed in 1847.

The second courthouse was constructed in 1861-69.

The third courthouse was built in 1892.

The postoffice was established at Marengo, April 11, 1846.

The first newspaper was the Valley Visitor in 1856.


Before March, 1846, there was no postoffice in Iowa County, and the people had to go all the way to Iowa City for their mail. At the above mentioned date Robert McKee was commissioned postmaster at Marengo and then the people of the Iowa Valley had much better mail facilities. The mail to the points along the route of the Western Stage Company was carried, of course, by stage coach, but from Marengo, both north and south, diverged mail routes upon which the mail was carried on horseback, and sometimes the mail carrier went on foot. Mr. Groff related the following experience in carrying the mail:

"I had the contract of supplying the mails from Marengo to Marietta, the old county seat of Marshall, to Toledo, county seat of Tama, Ia. I frequently swam the Iowa River with my team, got sloughed before we had bridges or ferries. I lost the mail one time when Walnut Creek, twelve miles west of Marengo, in the spring freshet of 1858, had her 'back up.' The mail floated some eighty rods, grounded in a slough and laid there quietly for three days, when it was fished out by the postmaster, Blake, carefully dried on a board and sent through next trip. I saw some bank bills and a decision of the Superior Court that had deep yellow color lines plainly scored on the folded paper."


It has been stated elsewhere that William C. Carter and Sidney Ann Tinkle were the first to be married by license procured in this county. They were


married on April 19, 1846, Henry Starry, justice of the peace, performing the ceremony. Other early marriages were: Ethan C. Crawford and Rebecca Burgit, April 1, 1847; Samuel Huston and Mary M. Beem, May 28, 1847; J. H. Richardson and Katherine E. Lanning, January 23, 1848; Henry Sprague and Mary Ann Walters, April 16, 1848; J. M. Kitchens and Ivey Snook, November 23, 1848; George Snook and Catherine Scholes, April 2, 1849; John E. S. Gwinn and Catherine C. Wilson, June 16, 1849; Charles Cheeny and Chanty Dennis, June 23, 1849; Samuel S. Cole and Sarah Dennis, June 23, 1849; H. C. Holmes and Sarah E. Crawford, August 13, 1849; Alex Smith and Millia Miller, August 19, 1849; Hanson Sprague and Rebecca Crawford, August 13, 1849; Michael Zeigler and Jane Hollopeter, April 8, 1850; William Alvey and Elenor Penny, April 25, 1850; Jeremiah Morford and Mary Hanner, May 2, 1850; George Wallace and Eliza A. Alvey, July 3, 1850; William Merrifield and Margaret C. Givens, August 22, 1850; Hiram Walrod and Elizabeth Betz, October 28, 1850; Richard Williams and Mrs. Ann Pugh, January 4, 1851; William Hinkle and Martha Ginther, April 10, 1851; E. C. Hendershott and Mary Bishop, May 8, 1851; William Converse and Clarkey Jane Henry, June 23, 1851; John Ritz and Nancy C. Morrison, July 25, 1851; John Snow and Susan Jane Jones, August 29, 1851. During the first five years of the county twenty-five couples were married. Mary Bishop, the wife of E. C. Hendershott, was the first school teacher in Marengo.