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1776 - 1876 Centennial History
In September, 2019, Christine S. sent us a scanned copy of the 1776 - 1876 Centennial History for our county. The outer cover of the booklet has suffered some degradation and has been taped together at the fold, but is otherwise in good shape. Note that the date range refers to the centennial of the United States, not the State of Iowa or Jefferson County in particular. Below, the booklet has been transcribed with Christine's kind permission. The .pdf version of the booklet can be seen here.
Thanks, Christine, for sharing this wonderful bit of history!
AUTHORITY OF BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.
BY AUTHORITY OF BOARD OF SUPERVISORS,
CHAS. H. FLETCHER,
In response to the Governor's Proclamation, the citizens of Jefferson County met at the Court-House in Fairfield on the 26th day of May, 1876, and selected the following citizens as a Committee to procure the publication of such a History of Jefferson County: S. M. Boling, C. W Slagle, I. D. Jones, W. W. Junkin, Chas. Negus, C. H. Fletcher and J. F. Wilson.
The Committee, so appointed, held a meeting on the same day, and selected S. M. Boling as its Chairman.
On Monday, June 5th, the Committee waited upon the Board of Supervisors for aid to secure the publication of the History. The Board, by resolution, appropriated three hundred dollars for that purpose.
At a subsequent meeting of the Committee, Major Chas. H. Fletcher, one of the Committee, was selected as County Historian.
J. H. Allender, Chairman, Thomas Pollock, and Henry B. Mitchell.
The County of Jefferson is situated in the southeastern part of Iowa, its eastern boundary line being thirty-six miles west of the Mississippi river, and its southern boundary line twenty miles north of the southern boundary line of the State. It is bounded on the north by Keokuk and Washington counties; on the east by Henry; on the south by Van Buren, and on the west by Wapello county. Its breadth from east to west is twenty-four miles, and from north to south eighteen miles, containing 432 square miles, or 276,480 acres of land.
The county is divided into twelve civil and congressional townships, to wit: Round Prairie, 71, Range 8 west; Lockridge, 72, Range 8 west; Walnut, 73, Range 8 west; Cedar, 71, Range 9 west; Buchanan, 72, Range 9 west; Penn, 73, Range 9 west; Liberty, 71, Range 10 west; Fairfield, 72, Range 10 west; Black Hawk, 73, Range 10 west; Des Moines, 71, Range 11 west; Locust Grove, 72, Range 11 west; Polk, 73, Range 11 west. The name refers to the civil, and the number to the congressional designation. The congressional townships are of equal size, except Fairfield and Liberty -- Fairfield containing all of township 72, Range 10 west, and so much of township 71, Range 10 west, as lies north of Cedar creek; Liberty all of township 71, Range 10 west, lying south of Cedar creek.
The lands of Jefferson county are known as first, second and third purchase lands, the first purchase extending to and including all of Walnut, Lockridge, Round Prairie and part of Buchanan and Cedar townships; the second, Black Hawk, Fairfield and Liberty, and a part of Des Moines townships, and the last the remainder of the county and territory west. The purchase refers to the acquisition by the U. S. Government of the territory from the Indians.
In the winter of 1837 the Legislature of Wisconsin passed an act creating Henry county; prior to this the lands of Jefferson county were included in what was Des Moines county. In January, 1839, the county of Jefferson was created out of lands west of Henry county, and east of the Indian boundary line. Under succeeding land purchases the county was extended to its present limits. The new Territory of Iowa had been organized, and the present county of Jefferson was created by the Iowa Legislature. The act designated Joshua Owens of Lee, Samuel Hutton of Henry, and Roger N. Cressup of Van Buren county, commissioners to locate the county seat. The Board discharged their duty in March, 1839. The commissioners met in Lockridge, a point about seven miles east of Fairfield. At this meeting John A. Pitzer was appointed clerk to the Board. It was first supposed that Lockridge would be selected as the county seat, but the commissioners wisely chose the present site of Fairfield, it proving to be near the geographical centre of the county, as now organized. The next Board was elected on the first Monday of April, 1839, and held their first meeting on the 8th day of April, 1839 -- John J. Smith, Daniel Sears and Benj. F. Chastain composing the Board. At the same election John W. Sullivan was elected Treasurer; James L. scott Sheriff; John A. Pitzer, Clerk, and Wm. Bonnifield, Surveyor. The lands were not yet surveyed, and the survey and transfer was not completed until May 13, 1842, when Ezekiel Gilham, Daniel Sears and Barraca S. Dunn, were chosen Trustees for the purpose of transfer.
The first white person known to have visited the county with the intention of settling was John Huff, who came in the early spring of 1835. He was accompanied by Levi Johnson, a boy 12 years old, whose mother lived in Henry county, a little east of Mt. Pleasant. In January, 1836, Huff again visited the land, but was soon starved out. In June, 1836, he one more determined to secure a home in the beautiful country, and with him brought a wife.
James Landman, had settled on the east ½ of the sw ¼ of Section 7, of what is now Round Prairie township. The property is now owned and occupied by William Case, Esq. Here the first house in the county was built, in 1936. In June, 1836, John Huff and wife, Alfred Wright and family, W. G. Coop and family, David Coop, Isaac Blakely, and Samuel S. Walker and family arrived.-- Later in the season Harmon J. Aikes, George Stout and Joseph M. Parker arrived. Samuel T. Harris moved into the county, north of Landman, some time in May or June, and settled in what is now Lockridge township.
Isaac Blakely and Nellie Landman were the first couple married, in the spring of 1837, getting their license at Burlington, Rev. Bradley performing the ceremony. In 1839 Jefferson county was issuing licenses. Harmon J. Aikes and Martha Frost secured the first license from the Clerk of Jefferson county, March 14, 1839, and were married the same day. The Blakelys, fearing their marriage by Rev. Bradley was not legal, procured a license four days after Aikes, and were a second time married by Rev. Benj. F. Chastain. The Akies' and Blakelys were fearful lest there might be some defect in the marriages, and not until a special act of the Legislature, legalizing all marriages, was passed, did they feel secure.
In the fall of 1836 Cyrus Walker appears, as the first white child born in the county, a son of Samuel Scott Walker.
Rev. Samuel Hutton preacher the first sermon in the fall of 1836, at the house of James Landman, the first settler -- a fitting place and manner for the dedication of the new county and people to morailty and christianity.
Col. W. G. Coop laid out the town of Lockridge, in Section 30 of Lockridge township, and established the first store and town in the county, in the spring of 1837.
Flour was almost unknown to the settlers in 1836 and 1837, and even corn meal was hard to get. The nearest mill was located in Schuyler county, Illinois, a distance of one hundred miles from the settlement. Then it was called Rall's Mills, now Brooklyn.-- Joseph M. Parker was selected as mill boy for the whole county, and with an ox team made the journey to and from the mills some two or three times, occupying about twenty-nine days to the trip.
Disease and death followed the pioneers, and in early 1837 a child of Alfred Wright, Esq., died. Soon after, David Coop, first settler of what is now Buchanan township, died on his claim.
In 1838, Henry Rowe, having become a settler, erected a horse-power mill to grind grain, which was the first mill built in the county. The customer was required to furnish his own power and pay a small toll for the use of the mill. In 1840 John Troxell built a mill on Cedar creek, near the present Chicago & Southwestern Railroad bridge over that stream, and where the mill now known as Read's mill stands.
Dr. William Stevenson was the first physician who practiced among the settlers, making his visits as early as 1839. He resided in Mt. Pleasant. It remained for Dr. J. T. Moberly to beat off the honor of becoming the first resident physician, in 1839.
Col. Samuel Shuffleton sought out the town of Fairfield in the summer of 1839, coming over the country alone and on foot; reaching Fairfield, he commenced the practice of law.
The first election was held on the first Monday in April, 1839. Frederick Lyon was Sheriff by appointment until the election of James L. Scott.
The first court was held August, 1839, Hon. Joseph Williams presiding. The Judge reached the town on horseback, having ridden from Bloomington, (now Muscatine,) a distance of one hundred miles, unattended. The court, by its first order, established the eagle side of the silver dime as its official seal. The attendant attorneys were Van Allen, Buckland, Teas, Olney and Shuffleton. Cyrus Olney was the Prosecuting Attorney. The first case before this court was Hosea Hall vs. Isaac Bush. Damages. Verdict, $5 for plaintiff. The first suit brought in the county was before Daniel Sears, J. P., Round Prairie township, brought by Joseph M. Parker against Ezekiel Kirk. Nuisance.
The first hotel was kept by Thomas Dickey, in 1839. Dickey was the first Postmaster of Fairfield. Dickey's house was a one story log building, with but one room, 10x12 feet square, and in one end of this room the M. E. Church of Fairfield was organized, March 22, 1840. It has been heretofore stated in print that Thomas Dickey was a coarse, irreligious character. The only surviving member of the organization, Mrs. J. W. Culbertson, gives Mr. Dickey a record for being a good kind of man, having a kind heart and generous impulses hidden beneath a rough exterior.
The first jail was built on a lot nearly opposite the present Presbyterian Church of Fairfield, was a log structore of double thickness, 18x21 feet square, built 1839.
The first Court-house stood on the southwest corner of the Square, on lot No. 8, block 14, old plat of city.
Thomas Johnson opened and taught the first school in the county, in Round Prairie township, in the spring of 1838.
The first school-house was built in 1838, in Round Prairie township, on the se ¼ of Sec. 7.
The first coal found and sold in the county was near Whitfield, on Cedar creek, in 1842, by Job Clinkenbeard; however, the settlers of Round Prairie township discovered coal before that date.
The first Judge of the District Court, Joseph Williams, has been succeeded by Charles Mason, Cyrus Olney, J. C. Knapp, Wm. H. Seevers, Caleb Baldwin, H. B. Hendershott, Wm. M. Stone, Wm. Loughridge, E. S. Sampson and H. S. Winslow, and the Circuit Court L. C. Blanchard.
Of these, Joseph Williams, Caleb Baldwin and Wm. H. Seevers have served on the Supreme Bench. Charles Mason has filled the office of Commissioner of Patents; W. M. Stone the office of Governor of Iowa, and E. S. Sampson member of Congress.
John A. Pitzer, was the first Clerk of the District Court, and has been succeeded by John W. Culbertson, Sawyer Robinson, David J. Evans, Robert F. Ratcliff, William Long, George H. Case and M. S. Crawford.
Frederick Lyon filled the office of Sheriff by appointment until April, 1839, when James L. Scott was elected. He has been succeeded by James T. Hardin, John Shields, Samuel S. Walker, G. M. Chilcott, Jesse Long, George Shriner, James A. Galliher, J. F. Robb, James A. Cunningham, Jacob S. Gantz, James S. Beck and James M. Hughes.
The following persons composed the first grand jury: Henry Shepherd, John Gillam, Wm. Vinsen, Wm. Precise, John Ankrom, Joseph Higginbottom, William Hueston, David Cowan, Josiah Lee, John Parsons, David Peebler, John Miller, Jonathan Turner, James Coleman, James Landman, Henry McCauley, Frederick Fisher, James Gilmer, Archer Grau, Aiden Nordyke, Rodham Bonnifield, Jonathan Dyer and Enos Ellmaker.
The grand jury retired to a strip of timber north of Fairfield, about half a mile, to deliberate.
The following persons were the first petit jurors: Wiley Jones, Abraham Louden, Isaac Blakely, Isaac Whitaker, Edward Busic, Isaac McCalla, John Vinsen, Geo. C. Parker, Charles Holloway, Geo. W. Troy, John Eastepp, David Eller, John Reager, John W. Johnson, Michael Peebler. Benjamin Mount, Greenup Smith and Alfred Aiken. Samuel Moore was appointed Deputy Sheriff, and Willis C. Stone and Abner Mitchell, Constables, and Alexander Kirk, Crier.
William Bonnifield, the first Surveyor, has been succeeded by John Ross, D. Switzer, S. Whitmore, Robt. H. Greenland, Samuel Jacobs, John Snook, A. R. Fulton, H. R. Skinner, A. R. Fulton and Isaac H. Crumly.
J. W. Sullivan, the first Treasurer, has been succeeded by Willis C. Stone, J. T. Moberly, J. Ratliff, Greenup Smith, Jesse Woollard, Anson Ford, Samuel H. Bradley, H. P. Warren, T. B. Shamp, Robert Brown, Joseph A. McKemey, Geo. W. Pancoast, Wm. S. Moore, L. P. Vance, Ira G. Rhodes and L. P. Vance.
James Saunders the first Recorder, has been succeeded by W. Y. McGaw, and Anson Ford. In 1851 the office was consolidated with that of Treasurer. The following Treasurers performing the duties of Recorder: Samuel H. Bradley, H. P. Warren, T. B. Shamp, Robert Brown, Jos. A. McKemey and Geo W. Pancoast. Since the separation of the office from that of the Treasurer in 1865, Samuel H. Bradley, Geo. H. Case, D. B. Miller, J. C. Rock and J. A. Montgomery.
The County Assessors were R. B. Allender and David J. Evans. In 1851 the system was changed and Township Assessors elected.
In 1851 Charley Kyle was elected county road supervisor, but this office was abolished in about two years, and the present system of district supervisors established.
During the continuance of county commissioners, John J. Smith, Danl. Sears, B. F. Chastain, Wm. Hueston, Henry B. Notson, Robert Brown, Ezekiel J. Gilham, B. S. Dunn, Thomas Mitchell, Smith Ball, William A. Hendricks, Wm. Brown, A. L. Connable, Wm. Judd, Daniel Mendenhall, George Hannewalt and James H. Turner were members of the Board. The Board was abolished in 1851.
John A. Pitzer, Samuel Shuffleton, James T. Hardin, John Shields and Samuel H. Bradley successively served as clerk to the Board.
In 1851 Henry B. Notson was elected Probate Judge; he was succeeded by Charles Negus and Barnet Ristine. Office discontinued.
The County Judges were Moses Black, Thos. McCulloch, Samuel H. Bradley, Wm. K. Alexander and Thomas Morgan.
The Board of Supervisors was then established. J. H. Allender, M. W. Forrest, W. T. Burgess, Thomas Pollock, R. T. Gilmer and H. B. Mitchell having served on this Board.
The office of County Auditor was also established. Thomas Morgan, D. B. Miller and S. M. Boling having filled the office.
The office of school fund Commissioner existed from 1847 to 1857. Robert Brown, F. M. Allen, W. C. Jones and W. K. Alexander serving successively in that capacity.
The system of County Superintendent of Schools being adopted, the office has been filled by Reed Wilkinson, Robert S. Hughes, S. V. Sampson, David Heron, J. N. Edwards, W. H. McCrackin, T. A. Robb and McKenney Robinson.
Cyrus Olney was the first prosecuting attorney; he was succeeded by George Acheson, Ezra Drown, Caleb Baldwin, Samuel Clinton and Charles Negus, county prosecutors; George D. Woodin, H. S. Winslow, M. A. McCoid, S. G. Smith and G. W. Lafferty, district prosecutors.
Jefferson county has been represented in the State Senate by Wm. G. Coop, J. R. Teas, Robert Brown, John Howell, John Park, Wm. M. Read, James F. Wilson, J. M. Shaffer, D. P. Stubbs, A. R. Pierce and M. A. McCoid.
In the House of Representatives by Alexander Wilson, Richard Quinton, ------ Stansberry, J. W. Culbertson, R. R. Harper, J. H. Flint, S. Whitmore, J. R. Bailey, W. H, Lyons, George Weyand, William Baker, Andrew Collins, Thos. McCulloch, Charles Negus, H. D. Gibson, W. J. Rodgers, H. B. Mitchell, J. Wamsley, R. Stephenson, Edmund Meachum, Wm. Bickford, C. E. Noble, Louis Roeder, J. F. Wilson, Thomas Moorman, Mathew Clark, Peter Walker, W. W. Cottle, A. R. Pierce, Owen Bromley, Geo C. Fry, John Handen, A. R. Fulton, William Hopkirk, Joseph Ball, Edward Campbell, Jr., and W. L. S. Simmons.
In 1842 the Land Office was removed from Burlington to Fairfield. William Ross, Arthur Bridgeman, Bernhart Henn, George Wilson, Francis Springer and James Thompson were Registers; and John Hawkins, V. P. Van Antwerp, W. H. Wallace and J. W. Culbertson were Receivers.
In 1844, Robert Brown, Samuel Whitmore, J. L. Murry, Hardin Butler and S. S. Ross were elected delegates to the State constitutional convention. The constitution submitted was rejected by the people, and in 1846 a second convention was called. Wm. G. Coop and S. S. Ross were sent as delegates. James F. Wilson was chosen a delegate to the convention of 1856, for the revision of the constitution.
Two citizens of the county have represented the First Congressional District of Iowa in the United States Congress -- Bernhart Henn in 33d and 34th Congress, from 1851 to 1855, and James F. Wilson in 37th, 38th, 39th and 40th Congress from 1862 to 1869.
The office of Coroner has been filled since 1865 by J. B. Simpson, J. M. Shaffer, R. J. Mohr, T. D. Evans, F. T. Humphreys, T. D. Evans.
The resident practicing attorneys since the organization of the courts are Samuel Shuffleton, Cyrus Olney, Thomas H. Gray, Jas. F. Rice Charles Negus, Geo. Acheson, C. W. Slagle, H. B. Hendershott, Wm. McKay, S. J. Bayard, W. W. Williams, C. Baldwin, Ezra Drown, Sam'l Clinton, A. A. Dravo, W. E. Groff, James F. Wilson, D. P. Stubbs, S. P. Majors, John Brown, R. F. Ratcliff, R. C. Brown, W. B. Culbertson, ------ Boone, I. D. Jones, J. J. Cummings, James McWilliams, S. W. McElderry, W. H. Wallace, J. T. McCullough, W. H. Hampson, B. Giltner, M. B. Sparks, J. E. Williams, Geo. F. Walker, D. B. Miller, Geo. H. Green, ------ Guest, S. Clingman, M. A. McCoid, David Heron, C. D. Leggett, David Acheson, L. S. Negus, W. A. Frush, J. S. Coop, W. G. Ball, Al. Thompson, T. Y. Lynch, W. T. Burgess, D. R. McCrackin, David B. Wilson, P. I. Labaugh, M. Green, C. H. Boerstler, J. R. McCrackin, Rollin J. Wilson, R. H. Knight, J. O. Mount, C. H. Fletcher and Geo. H. Case. Those in italics are still practicing in the county.
The firm of Slagle & Acheson is composed of Christian W. Slagle and George Acheson, who were schoolmates in Washington, Pa., attended the same college, studied law in the same town, and together came to Iowa, settling in Fairfield in 1843, and have been continuously associated together in the practice of law to the present time.
The first Express company was Parker's, by stage once a week. John Wells, agent, 1856. United States Expess opened an office in 1857, Geo. A. Wells, agent. American Express in 1858, on the completion of the Burlington & Missouri Railroad to Fairfield.
The first announcement of a railroad meeting was in the Sentinel of Oct. 6, 1848. The first railroad meeting was held Jan. 6, 1849. Capt. Daniel Rider, chairman, and Dr. Wm. L. Orr, secretary. C. Negus, J. Rider, Wm. I. Cooper, Wm. G. Coop, Arthur Bridgman and Wm. Pitkin, were chosen trustees to solicit subscriptions in Jefferson county. V. P. Van Antwerp, S. J. Bayard, and C. W. Slagle, a committee to memorialize Congress for a grant of land.
In 1858, the Burlington & Missouri River railroad was completed through the county, having 27 miles within the county, being assessed at $12,000 per mile.
In 1870 the Chicago & Soutwhestern (sic) railroad was completed through the county, intersecting the B. & M. at Fairfield. It has 26 4-5 miles in the county, being assessed at $3,700 per mile.-- The citizens of the county subscribed one hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars to secure the C. & S. W., and one hundred thousand in county bonds to secure the B. & M. R. R.
The survey of the St. Louis, Keosauqua & St. Paul railroad has been made through the county, intersecting the C. & S. W. railroad and the B. & M. railroad at Fairfield.
A tax of forty thousand dollars was voted in 1871 to aid in building the Ft. Madison & Northwestern railroad.
The early records of the county have been in part preserved, but not to the extent that they should have been. The proceedings of the first Board of Commissioners are in a good state of preservation, as also the marriage record; Probate court records; record of licensed ministers; first District Court; first conveyances, and of the Sheriff's office.
The first order of the Board of Commissions was that "James M. Snyder, surveyor of Henry county, be employed to survey and lay out the town of Fairfield," April meeting, 1839. At this meeting John J Smith and Daniel Sears were present, and Benj. F. Chastain was absent. Snyder was paid $65 for services. J. M. Parker and Geo. W. Troy $1.50 each, as chainmen.
The first order of Henry B. Notson, Probate Judge, was the appointment of Sampson Smith guardian of Eliza Koons and Martha Koons. Bond $1,000. March 9th, 1841. David Eller, surety.
Edward T. Williams, was the first administrator appointed, to administer the estate of John L. Williams, deceased. Bond $600. May 28th, 1841. Daniel D. Jones and Medley T. Shelton, sureties.
First minister credential, 1839.
"We the Separate Baptist Presbytery, have enquired into the views and qualifications of Jacob Spainhower, and have ordained him to preach and administer the sacraments of the Gospel as the Gospel directs. As witnes thereof we have thereunto set our hands this 17th day of July, 1834.
The first recorded deed, April, 1839, James L. Scott to W. G. Coop; consideration $50; executed Nov. 22, 1838, before Wm. Griffey, J. P. for Henry county, conveying ne¼ se¼ sec. 1, township 71, range 9 west. Witnesses, A. L. Griffey and Henry Woolard.-- Recored as of Henry county.
The first deed recorded as of Jefferson county, was for the consideration of love, affection, the better preferment in marriage and one dollar, of Andrew J. Cassida, executed by his father Martin Cassida, before Henry B. Notson, J. P., June 17, 1839, John A. Pitzer, witness; conveyed "¼ sec. land in the rich woods, 5 horses; 1 mare called 'Fan;' 1 chesnut sorrel eight years old; 1 mare called 'Sal;' 1 bright sorrel 8 years old; 1 horse called Oliver; 1 chestnut sorrel two years old; two yoke of oxen; 3 milk cows, 1 called pink; 1 white and 1 ghent, said cows have calves; 2 steer yearlings; 8 head of sheep 3 of which are wethers; 1 ram; 4 yews (sic); 39 head of hogs, two of which have a black list round them, the residue of the body black and white spotted. The above named stock is marked with a smooth crop and underbit in the right ear; 2 wagons; 3 plows; 5 bee hives; the crop of corn and vegetables; household furniture; 5 beds and bedding; 1 clock; 1 table; with five hundred dollars in cash; 1 cross-cut saw and other carpenters tools."
Jefferson county furnished 966 men for the war of the rebellion, according to the Adjutant General's report of 1866, but as many citizens of the county entered the army at other ppoints it has been ascertained that the total number who fought in the war of 1860 will approximate 1,600.
Three thousand seven hundred and seventy-five marriage licenses have been issued since the organization of the county.
A deed granting freedom to Caroline, from Mary and G. W. Mosely, dated Oct. 19, 1849, and describes Caroline as follows: a mulatto girl 38 years old, about five feet three inches high, stout, bony frame, but not corpulent, large face, strongly marked features, hazel eyes, ordinary mulatto complexion, about half-blood. some small moles upon the face, two of which are very prominent, one on the right side over the eye. the other on the top of the nose, neat habits, rather intelligent, free of speech, hair mostly straight, beginning to turn gray.
The first black man in the county was Charles Forrester, who was in the Territory as early as 1843. The proper authorities applied to Geo. Acheson, who was then prosecuting attorney, to have the man arrested under the statutes of 1839, which was enacted Jan. 21, 1839, and provided "That from and after the first day of April next no black or mulatto person shall be permitted to settle in the Territory, unless he or she shall produce a fair certificate from some Court of the United States of his or her actual freedom." Acheson declined to arrest, and Forrester opened a barber shop in Fairfield and prospered.
The county, topographically speaking, is all the most critical could wish for. The lands are what are known as rolling prairie and woodland, properly interspersed for tilling, and building and fencing timber. The landscape from the higher ground is pleasing and attractive to the eye, inviting the stranger to a closer examination of the view before him. The abundance of streams, skirted with heavy growths of timber, give a variety and richness to the prospect. Along the larger streams, such as the Checauqua, (Skunk,) (sic) Cedar, Walnut and Competine, the lands are to some extent broken, but none, or but a few sections, are lost to cultivation.
The central part of the county is the highest ground, the water shedding towards the north, south and east, while the sheds of each township are well defined and reach to all parts of the land.
Few counties in Iowa are so favored as to water and timber, almost all of the streams furnishing sufficient water for a motive power, as well as for stock; while timber for building purposes is to be found in abundance. Black, white, burr and red oak, hard and soft maple, hickory, elm, ash, walnut and birch, being the principal varieties.
The streams occupy a prominent position in the topography of the county. Entering the county near its northeast corner, in sec. 1 of Walnut Tp., is the Checauqua (Skunk) river, which flows through the eastern tier of sections of that township, its course south; entering section 1 of Lockridge township, it changes its course westerly, touching section 2; reversing its course, it flows through sections 12 and 13 leaving the county at the half section line of section 13, watering ten sections.
Burr Oak creek rising in section 1 of Penn township, traversing the township in a southeasterly direction, emptying into the Checauqua river in sec. 2 of Lockridge township, watering 12 sections.
Big Turkey creek rises in sec. 7 of Lockridge township, its course eastward, along the boundary line of Walnut and Lockridge townships, passing through 8 sections, emptying in to Walnut creek near the junction of Walnut and Burr Oak.
Brush creek rises in Fairfield township in sections 1 and 2, flowing eastward across Buchanan and Lockridge townships, entering Henry county from section 36, of Lockridge township, watering 12 sections.
Walnut creek has three prongs west of section 23, of Penn township. The north prong rises in section 3; the middle prong rising in sections 9, 17 and 21; and the south prong in section 29, of Blackhawk township. The north fork entering Penn township in section 7, the middle prong in section 18, and the south prong in section 30, watering 19 sections in Blackhawk; 10 sections in Penn; 9 sections in Walnut; and 2 sections in Lockridge township, emptying into Checauqua (Skunk) river in section 2 Lockridge township; its general course east.
Little Turkey rises in section 17, Lockridge township; enters Skunk river in section 11, same township, watering 11 sections.
Big Cedar enters the county in section 18, Locust Grove township, passing through Locust Grove, Fairfield, Liberty, Cedar and Round Prairie townships, leaving the county from section 35, of Round Prairie township, traversing 31 sections, and in its windings making about 62 miles of the stream in the county.
Lick Creek rises in section 16, of Des Moines township, passing through Liberty township, making its exit from the county from section 32, of Liberty township, watering 8 sections.
Crow creek, the western branch, rises in section 24, of Fairfield township; the eastern fork in section 20, of Buchanan township, flows south, uniting in section 20, of Buchanan township; flowing south through Cedar township, emptying into Cedar creek in section 18 of Cedar township, watering 8 sections.
Little Competine rises in section 18 of Polk township, emptying into Big Competine in section 6 of Locust Grove township, watering 5 sections.
Big Competine enters the county in section 31 of Polk township, flows south through Locust Grove, emptying into Cedar in Section 21, watering 7 sections.
Coon creek rises in sections 7 and 9 of Polk township, flowing into Competine in section 21 of Locust Grove township, watering 13 sections.
Smith creek rises in section 24 of Polk township, flows south, emptying into Coon creek in Section 3, Locust Grove township, watering 6 sections.
Richland creek rises in section 18 of Black Hawk, flows north, leaving the county from section 5 of the same township, watering 3 sections.
Rattle Snake rises in section 13 of Cedar township, flows through Round Prairie township, emptying into Cedar creek in section 33 of Round Prairie township, watering 7 sections.
Wolf creek rises in sections 26 and 27 of Buchanan township, flowing eastward, crossing section 1 of Cedar, passing through round Prairie, making its exit from the county from section 1 of Round Prairie township, watering 13 sections in its course.
Troy's branch rises in section 27, Buchanan township, flows south through Cedar township, emptying into Cedar township (sic - creek) in section 28 of Cedar township, watering 10 sections.
Origin of names of streams: The Checauqua was so called by the Indians, from the great number of skunks that inhabited its bottoms; and to this day there are sections of country bordering upon the stream so infested with these little animals as to cause great annoyance and even pecuniary loss to the citizens. John Huff christened Brush creek, it being the only stream on which underbrush was found. Walnut, from the large walnut trees on its banks. Turkey creeks, from the frequence of meeting turkeys in the timber along them. Rattle Snake, having killed a rattle-snake five and a half feet long near it. The settlers named Competine from the Indian by that name who lived on the stream.-- Coon creek, from its inhabitants -- the coons being so numerous. Smith creek, from the first settler on its banks. Burr Oak, from the timber skirting it. Lick creek, from the saline spots frequented by the deer. Crow creek has been known as Ballard's and later as Dyer's; but W. B. Culbertson and William Pitzer called it Crow, from the frequent congregation of large flocks of those birds in its timber. Several small branches are found throughout the county which have not received mention here.
Is a rich loam, two feet in depth, with a sub-soil of loam, sand and clay, which, when exposed to atmospheric influences, becomes almost as productive as the original soil. The sub-soil approximates eight feet in depth. Corn, wheat, rye, barley, oats, hemp, and all varieties of grasses and vegetables, yield a large crop.-- Fruits of all varieties common to the latitude, grow well and bear profusely in the county. In no part of the county is there much waste land. Almost the entire land is under cultivation, except such as is reserved for timber, and this is susceptible of cultivation. The surface of the county being a succession of draws, the rich soil is by nature irrigated and drained thoroughly.
The coal interests of the county are assuming great importance, not less than ten banks being open and in full operation. Penn Township is the principal coal section, five banks operated within its borders. The Jefferson county coal company having two shafts open at Perlee, from which in 1875, the company took 400,000 bushels. This company was organized in 1870. The town of Perlee was laid out by the company, and has become a business center of considerable importance. James F. Wilson is President and C. W. Slagle, Secretary. The Washington coal company, also at Perlee, was organized in 1875, and as a result of the first year's operations, mined 250,600 bushels. Wm. E. Thompson is the President. The Perlee coal company, (Miller & Co.,) are operating at Perlee and took out in 1875, 150,000 bushels. The Cedar coal company, near Pitkin's ford, mine 75,000 bushels annually.-- Scoler and Waterworth, proprietors. This bank is one of the oldest in the county. The Coalport mines in Lockridge township are in successful operation; the mines were opened in 1862; in 1875 there was taken out 100,500 bushels. Several smaller mines are operated, yielding about 150,000 bushels of coal annually.-- The total product of coal for 1875 was 1,135,000 bushels, valued at $102,159.00. Coal has been discovered in every township in the county except Walnut, and even here prospecting has been done with every prospect of meeting with success.
Two varieties are found, sand and lime stone. Practical as well as scientific tests place the sand stone among the finest and most durable in the State. The mansonry in the Burlington & Missouri railroad bridge over Cedar creek, as also other mansonry, has stood not only well, but has solidified by atmospheric influences, while in the chemical and mechanical tests made by Professor Hinrichs, of the State University and Gen. Rodman, the rock known as the "Stever stone," was deemed the best in the State for all purposes. A superior quality of lime is made from the lime stone, found in abundance in all parts of the county.
This valuable material is found in connection with the coal seams in great quantities. In the vicinity of Brush creek, in section 36 of Walnut, and section 1 of Lockridge, there is a large bed of fire clay, about twelve feet deep, resting on a thin strata of iron ore underlain with sand stone.
is to be found in large quantities in all parts of the county, usually within the timbered lands. A superior grade of brick is made from this clay.
The beds of the streams furnish a good quality of sand for building purposes.
The manufacturing interests of the county are not as fully developed as they should be with the water-power, and material, and fuel in such abundance. The fertility of the soil and the ease with which crops are made, has attracted the agriculturist more readily than other interests. The county is looking up in the manufacturing interest of late, and the facilities offered to mechanical work are attracting attention. There is one woolen mill, two agricultural implement manufactories, one furniture factory, broom factories, cheese factories, lumber and flouring mills. The value of manufactured products in 1874 were $172,750.
The inhabitants of Jefferson county are more particularly an agricultural people. Surface, soil, climate, and in fact all influences attract the immigrant to the farm or herd. The crops are abundant, and the prices obtained for all products usually good, with convenient facilities for shipping.
Simultaneous with the organization of the county did the farming interest commence its successful career, and the rural districts have steadily maintained their superiority by keeping in advance of the county towns in improvement and development. Early in the county's history did the farmers meet together and seek more knowledge of the farm, orchard, dairy and herd.
Jefferson county brought into life the State Agricultural Society, organizing at the court house in Fairfield, on the 28th day of December, 1853, what was to become the successful State society of which we are all proud. All the movers in this organization were citizens of the county, to-wit: C. W. Slagle, B. B. Tuttle, Caleb Baldwin, Jacob Ramey, W. S. Lynch, Lames Beatty, John Andrews, P. L. Huyett, and J. M. Shaffer. P. L. Huyett was chosen President, and J. M. Shaffer, Secretary. Charles Negus was the first person who paid his initiation fee and signed the by-laws.
The first State Fair was held in Fairfield, east of the grounds now occupied by the B. & M. depot, in Oct. 1854. The Fair of 1855 was held on the grounds southeast of Fairfield. At the first fair the exhibitors of Jefferson county were awarded 92 out of 240 premiums.
The County Agricultural Society was organized 24th of Jan. 1852, with the following officers: Benj. Robinson, Prest., James Beatty, Vice prest., Caleb Baldwin, Sec'y, Chas. Negus, Treas.-- The society held annual meetings until within the past two years.
In 1840 but a few acres of land were improved; in 1847 the value of lands entered was $402,498.00; town lots, $30,486; in 1875 the improved land was assessed at $2,762,932; town lots $198,011. Value of farm products, $1,530,140; value products of the herd in 1847, $127,014; 1875, $912,657; products of the garden in 1875, $21,314; orchard, $46,912; small fruit, $17,448; dairy, $108,218; forest, $45,297. A total in 1875 of $2,660,686 from agricultural interests. To this add manufactured products, $172,750; real property, $2,793,418; making a grand total of $5,626,254. In 1875 there were 167,389 acres improved land and 66,979 acres unimproved land: 1,130,584 rods of fence (note: one rod equals 16.5 feet); 16,237 acres spring wheat, 6,182 acres winter winter (sic) wheat harvested; 55,061 acres corn gathered; 21,060 acres rye; 14,005 acres oats; 80 acres barley and 343 acres buckwheat harvested; 21,808 acres blue grass; 33,774 acres timothy, and 282 acres Hungarian raised, and 702 acres in potatoes and other vegetables, vines, etc., etc. There are 55,475 acres natural timber, 99 acres planted timber, and 118,662 rods hedge fence in the county.
The growers of stock have given much attention, within the past few years, to the improvement of breeds. Importation and home crosses have placed the herd in Jefferson county in a good paying condition.
Hogs.--The Poland-China, Berkshire, Chester-White, Essex, Sussex, and Magee have been introduced, and proved a source of profit to the grower. No. of stock hogs on hand in 1875, 59,083.
Horses.--The grades and classes are becoming more diffused, and the draft, roadster, and horse of all work, more distinct and better adapted to the work of each class. For draft, the Percheron, Norman, English draft, and Clydesdale. For roadsters, Hambletonian, Gold Dust, and Bashaw. Number of horses in the county in 1875, 9,448.
Cattle.--The improvement in cattle is marked in all grades and classes. Durhams, Devonshires, Jerseys and Alderneys having been crossed with the natives, producing good marketable cattle for beef, improved cows for the dairy, and breeders. In 1875, there was on hand 7,428 milch cows: 20 work oxen and 18,326 other cattle. Total, 25,774.
Sheep are numerous throughout the county. The improvement in breeds is not so marked as in other stock, yet a good animal for wool and mutton is bred. Number on hand in 1875, 21,816.
The total value of the products of the herd in 1875, $912,657.
The settlers of the county are of many nationalities and creeds. A thrifty, industrious class of people--successful farmers, merchants, mechanics and professional men. Under the control of such a citizenship there can be no wonder at the growth and development of the county within forty years, a growth in prosperity and wealth that will compare favorably with any county in the State. In 1837 the population did not exceed one hundred and thirty-seven. The inviting climate and rich lands brought an influx of settlers until in 1840 the population had increased to 2,780, and to 8,463 in 1847, and to 17,127 in 1875.
Walnut township was settled principally by Germans, who came from the south of Germany, natives of the countries bordering on the Rhine. John Spielman, Esq., now of Fairfield, was one of the earliest settlers. An industrious, frugal class, the development of the township rapidly progressed. Their religious belief, Lutheran and Catholic.
Lockridge township is largely settled by Swedes, who are improving the land and accumulating much wealth in property and money.
Cedar township was early settled by a colony of French, who form a large part of the citizens of that township. Under their settlement the lands have been brought into a high state of cultivation.
A large number of English have settled in different parts of the county, a number of whom are farmers, but the largest population being miners.
Penn township, as also Blackhawk township, is largely settled by Quakers, who flocked in to secure the beautiful prairie lands of these townships as early as 1840. The good fences, spacious barns, neat dwellings, fine stock and clean fields, speak volumes for their industry, prosperity and wealth.
The first post office was in Thomas Dickey's hat, and Dickey was the first postmaster. It is not known whether Dickey was regularly appointed by the Department, or not, or whether he was the postmaster by the suffrance of the settlers; however, it is certain it was from him the first citizens of Fairfield obtained their letters, at the moderate price of twenty-five cents each. There are now in the county 18 offices, to-wit: Fairfield, in Fairfield township; Salina, Four Corners and Glendale, in Lockridge township; Wooster, in Cedar township, Glasgow and Vega, in Round Prairie township; Libertyville, in Liberty township; Perlee and Pleasant Plain, in Penn township; Germanville and Merrimac, in Walnut township; Baker, in Black Hawk township; Batavia and Brookville, in Locust Grove township; Abingdon, in Polk township, and County Line in Des Moines township. Fairfield and Batavia are money order offices.
From Fairfield to Brookville, Abingdon and west line of the county, service semi-weekly. From Fairfield south to county line of Van Buren county, daily, except Sunday. Fairfield north, to Baker and north line of the county, daily, except Sunday. Fairfield southeast, to Glasgow and Vega, tri-weekly. Glendale to Salina, tri-weekly. Lockridge to Four Corners and Germanville, tri-weekly. Daily service on the B. & M. R. R. to Glendale, Fairfield, Whitfield and Batavia. Daily service on the C. & S. W. R. R., to Pleasant Plain, Perlee, Fairfield, Libertyville and County Line. Batavia to Brookville and Abingdon, service tri-weekly. In 1847 eight mails per week were received at the Fairfield post office; in 1875 it averaged eight mails per day.
In 1859 the log jail was torn down and the present brick building erected. The little frame court-house was sold and the present brick court-house erected. A controversy arose as to the location of the building -- the commissioners determined to place the building in the Public Square; the citizens opposed the Board, and after quite an exciting suit and considerable delay, the citizens triumphed.-- The house was then erected on its present site -- lots 1 and 2, block 3, old plat.
The present efficient Board of Supervisors -- Allender, Mitchell and Pollock -- are doing much to advance the interests of the county. Mr. J. H. Allender has been a member of the Board since the inauguration of the present system, and is now the chairman. The Board has recently let the contract for a number of substantial iron and wooden bridges in all parts of the county, and before the dawn of 1877 these improvements will be placed at the service of the citizens.
The average width of the principal highways is 66 feet, and are generally laid out upon the section or half section line, cutting the lands of the county in a desirable shape for agricultural or stock purposes. Neighborhood or cross roads are open at right angles to the principal roads, giving easy and direct access to the railroad stations and markets in the county. Under the superintendance of the district road supervisors the highways are, as a general rule in good condition, permitting at most seasons of the year, heavy hauling.
Board fences are rapidly taking the place of the old-fashioned worm rail fence. It matters not of what material the fence is constructed, the Jefferson county farmer realizes the benefit of high protection for his crops. Osage orange hedges are much used, and are carefully cultivated; some of the most perfect and finely keps hedges in the State can be found within the limits of the county.
The importance of preserving natural timber has not been so much felt in Jefferson county as in many other sections of the State, on account of the great abundance; but within a few years past much care has been taken to protect the forests of the county. The great supply of coal for fuel materially aids the people in their desirable effort.
The Iowa Sentinel was established June 12, 1847, by A. R. Sparks, being the first paper published in the county. Drown & Pope succeeded to the ownership in 1850 and conducted it until 1851, when it was discontinued. D. Sheward revived it in 1853, but it discontinued in 1856.
Fairfield Ledger first issued in 1850, by Orlando McCraney. May 26, 1853, purchased by W. W. Junkin; is still published by him every Thursday.
Jeffersonian appeared in 1858, T. B. Taylor, editor. Passed through several ownerships; discontinued 1860.
August, 1861, D. Sheward published the Constitution and Union. Sheward was arrested for disloyalty, and in 1864 a part of his type and press were destroyed.
The Home Visitor appeared in 1864, by A. Axline. W. W. Junkin purchased it and merged it in the Ledger.
The Iowa Democrat, M. M. Bleakmore, was issued July 1, 1866. I. T. Flint purchased the office and changed its name to Industrial Era, in 1873. In 1875 he removed the Era to Albia.
The Iowa Democrat was revived by M. M. Bleakmore, December, 1874.
Zetagathian, organized Feb. 1, 1876. Object, development of oratorical powers and debate. 25 active members, 15 honorary members. S. C. Farmer, Jr., Pres't; J. S. McKemey, Sec'y.
Fairfield Lodge instituted Aug. 14, 1875; 30 members. Wm. Black, C. C.; J. J. Cummings, K. R. and S. Chosen Friend Lodge No. 35 Perlee; instituted Dec. 31, 1875; 37 members. A. Maxwell, C. C.; W. A. Frush, K. R. and S.
Jefferson Lodge, No. 4, Fairfield. Instituted by P. G. M., W. H. Munro, March 10, 1846. W. I. Cooper, W. L. Orr, T. D. Evans, C. Keifer and N. W. Wiles. First N. G., W. I. Cooper; present N. G., R. A. Daugherty. Present membership, 86.
Walnut Lodge, No. 317, Perlee. Instituted May 27, 1875, by B. F. Snyder, 7 members; present membership, 41. First N. G., Robert Drummond.
Emmett Lodge, No. 295, Libertyville. Instituted Oct. 15, 1874, by W. K. Alexander, assisted by I. D. Jones -- 7 members; present membership, 28; Jacob Wagner first N. G.
Abingdon Lodge, instituted Nov. 30, 1875 -- 9 members; present membership 24; N. D. Williams first N. G.
Glasgow, No. 45; instituted Oct. 26, 1853, reorganized Dec. 17, 1873 -- 10 members; S. C. Ridgway N. G.
Batavia. No report has been received, after two applications.
Clinton Lodge, No. 15, Fairfield, organized Sept. 7, 1847 -- 9 members; present membership 120. J. L. Myers, 1st Master.
Glasgow Lodge, No. 68, organized September, 1854.
Abingdon Lodge, No. 104, organized March 24, 1857.
Killomy Lodge, 198, Batavia; organized Aug. 24, 1856.
McCord Chapter, No. 5, Fairfield; organized Oct. 18, 1852 -- 10 members. W. W. Whitaker, H. P., T. F. Higley, Sec'y; present membership 68.
Ancient Order United Workmen, Fairfield Lodge, No. 52; organized March 8, 1876 -- 22 members. M. W., H. S. Willis.
The citizens of Jefferson county have been, from the early settlement of the county, earnest in their efforts to place a liberal education within the reach of every class of people. Throughout the county good, substantial and comfortable school houses have been provided, efficient teachers employed, and much care devoted to securing reliable and improved text books. There are in the county 36 school districts in which there are 87 school houses, valued at $96,240. Schools are taught on average of six months each year in the several districts. The lowest salary paid teachers is $20 per month, and the highest $150 per month.
The first meeting to secure the location of the branch of the Iowa University at Fairfield, was held in Fairfield, March 13, 1849. S. J. Bayard, C. W. Slagle, Dr. Stark and Wm. Bonnifield taking an active part in securing the location.
Jan. 15, 1849, the Legislature created a branch of the State University at Fairfield. The citizens of Fairfield purchased a site for the University, near Fairfield, and also erected a building. In 1851 a hurricane partially demolished the building. It was again built, but the Legislature abolished the branches and decided to have but one institution, and that located at Iowa City. The grounds and building were then purchased by a company, and Prof. J. Anderson placed in charge. June 5th, 1863, the institution was incorporated as the Fairfield College with the following officers: C W. Slagle, Prest , George Schramm, Vice-Prest., A. R. Fulton, Sec'y, and Rev. A. Axline, Principal.
In 1849 a Female Seminary was established by Rev. L. G. Bell. After a few years it was discontinued, when Miss Helen E. Pelletreau opened a similar institution, which was discontinued in 1865.
There are at this time, in addition to the public schools, a number of private schools in successful operation in the county.
Parsons College, an institution under the control of the Presbyterians of Iowa, was endowed by Lewis B. Parsons, Sr., of St. Louis, Mo., with a bequest of $40,000 in lands and money. The citizens of Fairfield made a further endowment of $27,000. Large, fine grounds adjoining the city of Fairfield, a commodious house for the accommodation of the officers, was secured; a chapel and school room was erected in 1875. The attendance and financial condition at the end of the first scholastic year presents a favorable exhibit for the institution. The officers are, Professor A. G. Wilson, Rector, Rev. Carson Reed, Secretary.
There are four Congregational churches in the county. The Fairfield church was organized on 21st Dec. 1839, with 12 members. The church was completed, Nov. 28th, 1842. Present membership, 150; average attendance in Sabbath school, 100; Pastor, Rev. C. Compton Burnett.
Glasgow church organized May 21st, 1853; present membership, 19; attendance in Sabbath school, 35; Rev. J. Barnett, Pastor; membership at organization, 6; church erected, 1876; Rev. Simon Waters, first Preacher.
Black Hawk, organized July 16th, 1862; present membership, 54; attendance at Sabbath school, 20.
Wooster organized Feb. 26, 1866; present membership, 19; attendance at Sabbath school, 35; Rev. J. Barnett, Pastor. Rev. A. S. Wells and Rev. Reed Wilkinson are connected with the association and reside in the county.
The Presbyterians have six churches in the county.
The Fairfield church was organized Oct 2d, 1841, by Rev. L. G. Bell, with 9 members; church edifice built in 1842, not completed until 1843; present membership, 195; attendance at Sabbath school, 100; Rev. Carson Reed, Pastor. This church has been successful in all these years, yet was never dedicated.
Batavia; membership, 50; Sabbath school, 70.
Libertyville, organized in 1848; membership, 48, S. school. 66.
Pleasant Plain, organized, May 1872.
Perlee, organized, Oct. 1874; membership, 12.
Lockridge, membership, 4.
Salina, membership, 42; Sunday school, 50. First organized in Richwoods in 1844.
Roman Catholic church of Fairfield organized June, 1860; church edifice built, 1860; Rev. James Slattery, Pastor; membership, 80.
Catholic church, Germanville, organized in 1850; membership not accurately known.
The Lutheran church of Fairfield was organized in 1856 with 6 members; church edifice built in 1858; Rev. A. Axline was the first Pastor; present Pastor, Rev. W. M. Sparr; membership, 109; average attendance at Sabbath school, 92.
The New Sweden. (Lutheran,) Lockridge township, was organized in 1854; Rev. M. F. Hopkinson, first Pastor; Rev. J. E. Rehnstrom, present Pastor; membership, 400; attendance at Sabbath school, 115; church edifice built, 1860.
German Lutheran, of Germanville, was organized in 1843, and church edifice built; present membership, 200; attendanceat (sic) Sabbath school, 150.
The Methodist church of Fairfield organized the church in Dickey's log tavern, March 22, 1840 with 7 members. Mrs. Elizabeth A. Culbertson is the only surviving member present at the organization. She still resides in Fairfield; present membership, 360; present Pastor. Rev. H. E. Wing; average attendance at Sunday school, 125. The church was called the M. E. Church of Fairfield. Harmony church was a division of the original church divided in 1869, but in 1876 the two were united under the name of the First M. E. Church, of Fairfield.
Mt. Zion church, Des Moines township organized in 1865, 13 members; first Minister, R. Williams; church built, 1867; present membership 28.
Glasgow church organized in the house of James Kiakpatrick (sic) in 1839. Rev. Joseph Kirkpatrick was the first Minister; members at organization, eight; present membership, fifty; church edifice erected in 1852.
Brookville M. E. church organized in 1856; present membership 50.
Much effort has been made, not only by the historian, but by the ever energetic Rev. H. E. Wing of Fairfield, to secure the history of the other M. E. churches in the county, but such efforts have only met with disappointment.
The Baptist church of Abingdon was organized in 1868; church edifice erected 1869; first Preacher, Elder R. M. Tracy; membership at organization, 12; present membership, 80.
Brookville Baptist church at Fairfield was organized in 1844.-- Wm. Elliott was the first Pastor. The church waned in about two years, but was re-organized in 1856 under Rev. John Williams with 16 members.
There is also a Baptist church at Batavia; no record received.
The Baptist church of Glasgow in Round Prairie township, was organized in 1852 with 20 members; Rev. Wm. Elliott was the first Elder; church edifice erected in 1854; Rev. Samuel Hutton preached the first Baptist sermon in the township and county in 1836.
The Episcopal church, St. Peters of Fairfield, was organized by Rev. Adderly, August 6th, 1855. Wm. Dunwoody, H. B. Mitchell and Charles Negus signing the articles of association; Rev. Louderback preached the first sermon in 1850; present membership, 20; church erected 1856.
The Christian Church of Abingdon was organized in 1843 with 15 members; present membership, 210; first Preacher Robert Long; church edifice built in 1851; frame church built it (sic) 1856.
The Christian Church of Fairfield -- no particulars secured.
Walnut--73-8.--Was surveyed in 1839 and organized the same year. The first settler was a man by the name of Turner, whose sobriquet of "Old Bossie-toe" is still fresh in the memory of old settlers. He built his house in 1837 on the banks of the Checauqua (Skunk) river. His occupation was fishing and hunting. Squire Kimberly filled the double position of school teacher and Justice of the Peace, teaching school in the first school house, in 1841. In 1843 the Lutherans built the first church where Germanville now stands. Rev. Jacob Spainhower, a Baptist preached the first sermon in 1839. Rev. Daniel Heider was the first permanent preacher, 1844. Dr. Thomas Maley was the first physician, 1840. Christian Shaffer was the first death, 1840. The The (sic) first child born was Henry Knerr, 1839. The first marriage Jacob James and Miss Blakely, 1840. Silas Deeds built the first mill, on the present site of Merrimac, 1841. The first post office in Germanville, 1844. John Spielman was first school director, 1840. Post offices, Germanville and Merrimac.
In 1875 the population was 1,096; number of families, 184; dwellings, 201; voters, 228; militia, 145; 2 milles; 3 churches; 6 school-houses; 2 ministers; 1 physician; -- church members; 247 school children; 10,337 acres improved land; 9,420 acres unimproved land; 1,770 head of cattle; 70 head of sheep; 3,013 head of hogs; 632 horses; 17 mules; 4,243 acres natural timber; 5,643 apple trees; 97 peach trees; 57 pear trees; 35 plum trees; 642 cherry trees; 2,413 acres of wheat; 5,061 acres of corn; 2,160 acres of rye; 741 acres oats; 11 acres barley; 32 acres buckwheat; 4,192 acres of grass; 32 acres sorghum; 68 acres potatoes; 463 rods hedge; 99,513 rods of fence; 89 stands of bees. Value of school property, $4,500.
Penn--73-9--Was surveyed in 1840 and organized in the same year. Samuel T. Harris was the first settler, building his house on se¼ of section 29. He came into Penn township from Lockridge township in 1838, having settled in 31 of Lockridge in the summer of 1836. The first school house was built in 1840 and Dr. Paine taught the first school. The Quakers erected the first church in 1841. Ransom Coop preached the first sermon in 1840 in Harris' house. Dr. J. C. Ware, of Fairfield was the first physician, 1842. James Reddick was the first death in 1842. The first store was opened in Pleasant Plain in 1844.
In 1875 the population was 1,678; 326 families; 276 dwellings; 255 militia; 322 voters; 11 school houses; 4 churches; 6 stores; 3 ministers; 4 physicians; 1 lawyer; --- church members; 683 school children; 5 coal banks; 15,397 acres improved land; 4,008 acres unimproved land; 105,022 rods fence; 1,746 acres wheat; 3,933 acres corn; 47 acres rye; 935 acres oats; 5 acres barley; 32 acres buckwheat; 70 acres sorghum; 3,415 acres grass; 41 acres potatoes; 5,173 acres natural timber; 41 acres planted timber; 18 rods hedge; 11,128 bearing apple trees; 152 peach; 85 pear; 75 plum; 2,458 cherry; 905 horses; 1 964 cattle; 3,243 hogs; 1,987 sheep; 40 mules; 68 stand of bees; value of school property, $7,950; towns, Pleasant Plain and Perlee.
Black Hawk--73-10--Surveyed 1840. Organized in 1841. First house was built by the first settler, a Mr. Nelson, in 1840 on Dr. Bartow's present farm. --- Bennett taught the first school in 1842. The first church was built in 1843. Rev. Hardin preached the first sermon in 1840. The first school house was erected in 1845, and was a log structure. The first birth was a child to Nelson. G. P. Bartow was the first physician in 1844.-- Gideon Rhodes, first death, in 1843. Post office, Baker.
In 1875 the population was 977; dwellings, 163; physicians, 1; school-houses, 9; school children, 356; acres improved land, 18,118; unimproved, 1,884; rods fence, 68,565; acres wheat, 1,985; corn, 5,522; rye, 220; oats, 1,881; buckwheat, 43; sorghum, 32; grass, 4,972; potatoes, 62; natural timber, 2,820; planted timber, 37; rods hedge, 13,881; apple trees, 2,875; peach, 10; pear, 9; plum, 11; cherry, 1,250; horses, 821; cattle, 2,413; hogs, 10,480; sheep, 610; mules, 33.
Polk--73-11--Was surveyed and organized in 1843. The town of Abingdon is situated in the south part of the township. Matthew Spurlock was the first settler in the spring of 1843 and immediately erected the first house. First marriage Daniel French and Betsey Long. Henry Ream was the first doctor, 1845. C. H. McCulloch the first postmaster, appointed in 1850. The first school house was erected in 1850. Peter A. McReynolds taught the first school in 1845. The first store was kept by J. C. Harris in 1850. The first child was born in 1844, a son to Spurlock. The first death was a pioneer moving further west in 1843. First preacher, Robert Long, in 1873. First church built in 1851.
In 1875 the population was 1,096; families, 239; voters, 256; militia, 209; school children, 400; school-houses, 8; churches, 4; stores, 7; acres improved land, 16,091; unimproved, 3,003; rods fence, 75,333; acres wheat, 1,978; corn, 5,762; rye, 142; oats, 1,401; buckwheat, 11; sorghum, 15; grass, 2,982; potatoes, 134; natural timber, 1,742; planted timber, 11; apple trees, 4,860; cherry, 535; horses, 739; cattle, 1,812; hogs, 7,125; mules, 43. Value of school property, $4,000.
Locust Grove--72-11.--Was surveyed and organized in 1840. William Vincent was the first settler who built the first house in 1838. The first school was taught in 1840 by Samuel Bonman. The first school house was built in 1840. The Methodists built the first church in 1856. Moses Shinn was the first preacher.-- Dr. J. D. Stark was the first physician, 1839. George Kountz was the first death in 1839. Jasper Kountz and Susan Burns were the first couple married, and Martha Kountz the first child born, 1839. Samuel Kirchville opened the first store in 1840. The first mill was a horse power erected in 1840.
In 1875 the population was 1,471; 279 families; 252 dwellings, 329 voters; 216 militia; 2 mills; 9 stores; 5 school houses; 4 churches; 3 ministers; 2 lawyers; 5 doctors; 426 church members; 232 school children; 11,996 acres improved land; 7,184 acres unimproved land; 113,475 rods fence; 1,246 acres wheat; 4,401 acres corn; 93 acres rye; 944 acres oats; 15 acres buckwheat; 22 acres sorghum; 4,791 acres grass; 41 acres potatoes; 5,932 acres natural timber; 7,685 rods hedge; 6,330 apple trees; 98 pear; 205 peach; 87 plum; 1,203 cherry; 742 horses; 69 mules; 2,130 cattle; 3,312 hogs; 1,950 sheep; 136 stands of bees; value of school property, $3,000 Towns, Brookville and Batavia.
Fairfield (exclusive of City.)--72-10--The most central township in the county. Surveyed and organized in 1839. Henry B Notson was the first settler and built the first house on the se¼ of section 25. First school house was a log structure in the city of Fairfield, on lot 8 block 14, where Jordan Bros. & Co's store now stands, 1839. First church was built by the Congregational Society, on lot 7 block 14, city of Fairfield, 1842. The first store was opened by William Hueston on lot 8 block 8, City of Fairfield, 1839. The first mill was built by John Troxell on the present site of Reed's mill in 1841. Rev. Reuben Gaylord, Congregationalist, preached the first sermon, December 1839. First school teacher, Miss Clarissa Sawyer, 1839. First doctor, John T. Moberly, 1839. First death, Mrs. Bowman, 1839. First birth, son to a Mr. Shepherd. First marriage, Farnham Whitcomb to Nancy Fox, 1840.
In 1875 the population was 1,544; 304 families; 247 militia; 361 voters; 354 dwellings; 10 school-houses; 1 church; 50 church members; 376 school children; 18,034 acres improved land; 3,956 acres unimproved land; 105,034 rods of fence; 1,077 acres wheat; 4,591 acres corn; 208 acres rye; 1,330 acres oats; 22 acres barley; 28 acres buckwheat; 9 acres sorghum; 8,553 acres grass; 106 acres potatoes; 4,398 acres natural timber, 2 acres planted timber; 3,550 rods hedge. Bearing fruit trees: 9,536 apple; 122 pear; 250 peach; 36 plum; 1,785 cherry. Stock: 757 horses; 2,166 cattle; 2,898 hogs; 1,605 sheep, 33 mules and asses. 86 stands of bees 15 miles of Railroad. Value of school property, $6,425. Railway station, Fairfield.
Buchanan--72-9--Was formerly equally divided, for civil purposes, between Lockridge and Fairfield townships. Buchanan was organized in 1856. David Coop was the first settler, building the first new house on the nw¼ of the w½ of the nw¼ of section of 23 in 1836. The first school house was built in 1842. Andrew Simmons taught the first school in 1838. Rev. Asa Shinn preached the first sermon in 1839. The first church was a log structure built in Richwoods in 1842, was replaced in 1860 by a frame built by the Methodists. The first child was born to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Higgenbottom, 1837. The first death was David Coop, 1837. The first marriage Harmon J. Aikes and Martha Frost, 1839. William Stevenson first physician, 1837, First store at Lockridge.
In 1875 the population was 1,157; 235 families; 242 dwellings; 255 voters; 177 militia; 3 churches; 6 school-houses; 4 stores; 450 school children; --- church members; 16,872 acres improved land; 5,504 acres unimproved land; 110,465 rods of fence; 1,742 acres wheat; 2,933 acres corn; 147 acres rye; 784 acres oats; 15 acres barley; 20 acres buckwheat; 25 acres sorghum; 6,733 acres grass; 79 acres potatoes; 3,244 acres natural timber; 15 acres planted timber; 14,442 rods hedge; bearing fruit trees, 10,956 apple; 213 pear; 399 peach; 76 plum; 1,367 cherry. Stock: 896 horses; 2,365 cattle; 3.230 hogs; 2,313 sheep; 53 mules; 83 stands of bees. Value of school property, $6,000. Towns, Lockridge and Salina. Railway stations, Lockridge and Glendale; miles of Railroad, 10.
Lockridge--72-8--Surveyed and organized as Congressional township in 1837. Samuel T. Harris was the first settler, erecting the first house on section 30 in 1836. In 1837 Wm. G. Coop laid out the town of Lockridge in section 31, and here the first church, school house, and store were erected. Wm. G. Coop keeping the store in 1837. Wm. Stevenson was the first doctor, 1837, and Henry Rowe built the first mill in 1838. Samuel Hutton was the first preacher and preached at Harris' house. The first birth was a child to one of the Coops, 1837. The other record is identical with Buchanan as to civil division. Post offices, Salina, Glendale and Coalport.
In 1875 the population was 1,675; families, 322; voters, 277; militia, 192; school-houses, 5; dwellings, 290; school children, 234; acres improved land, 12,473; unimproved, 7,197; rods fence, 112,435; acres wheat, 2,425; corn, 4,773; rye, 369; oats, 929; barley, 8; buckwheat, 15; sorghum. 36; grass, 3,400; potatoes, 45; natural timber, 3,717; rods hedge, 6,353; apple trees 9,275; pear, 92; peach, 617; plum, 162; cherry, 1,120; horses, 779; mules, 62; cattle, 2,372; hogs, 3,107; sheep, 1,791
Round Prairie--71-8.--Was the first settled. The land was surveyed in 1837, and the township organized in 1839. It is the southeastern township in the county. James Landman was the first permanent settler and erected the first dwelling early in the spring of 1836, on the e½ of sw¼ of section 7. The Methodists built the first church in 1847; Rev. Samuel Hutton was the first preacher, preaching the first sermon in Landman's house in 1836. Hutton was a Baptist, as was the Landman family. The first school taught was by Thomas Johnson in the first school house built on the se¼ of section 7, and was a log structure built in 1838. Wm. Stevenson was the first doctor visiting the settlement in the winter 1836-7; he resided in Mt. Pleasant. Isaac Blakely and Nellie Landman were the first couple married in the spring of 1837. Cyrus Walker the first child born in 1836. The first death was a child of Alfred Wright early in the summer of 1837. Miller and Glasgow laid out Glasgow in 1838 and established the first store. Daniel Sears was the first Justice of the Peace. The first case was Joseph M. Parker's complaint against Kirk for permitting a nuisance.
The population in 1875 was 1,047; number of families, 214; voters, 158; dwellings, 196; stores 2; churches--1 Congregational, 1 Methodist, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Baptist; 2 ministers; 3 doctors; 6 school-houses; 1 coal bank; 9,716 acres improved land; 7,784 acres unimproved land; 80,363 rods of fence; 1,596 acres wheat; 4,058 acres corn; 313 acres rye; 844 acres oats; 10 acres barley; 27 acres buckwheat; 30 acres sorghum; 3,200 acres grass: 4 acres potatoes; 6,983 acres natural timber; 4 acres planted timber; 12,572 rods of hedge; 7,726 apple trees; 91 pear trees; 641 peach trees; 32 plum trees; 999 cherry trees; 700 horses; 71 mules and asses; 3,283 head of cattle; 3,538 head of hogs; 1,853 head of sheep. Towns, Glasgow and Vega. Value of school property, $4,540; school children, 259.
Cedar--72-9--Surveyed 1837. Organized 1839. W. G. Coop built the first house on the ne¼ of section 1 in 1836. John Huff built the second house in the spring of 1837. First school house a log structure, 1840. First teacher, Thomas Johnson. Samuel Hutton preached the first sermon in Coop's house, 1836. William Stevenson was the first doctor, 1837. First death, Henry Milton's child, 1837. First child born was William Coop, winter 1836-7. First store was opened by Franklin Gilmore, near where Wooster now stands, in 1839.
In 1875 the population was 756; 150 families; 156 voters; 107 enrolled militia; 142 dwellings; 1 mill; 1 church; 5 school-houses; 1 minister; 1 doctor; 168 school children; --- church members; 12,103 acres improved land; 10,398 acres unimproved land; 73,620 rods of fence; 5,306 acres wheat; 2,933 acres corn; 147 acres rye; 784 acres oats; 15 acres barley; 20 acres buckwheat; 9 acres sorghum; 3,951 acres grass; 62 acres potatoes; 7,672 acres natural timber; 5,660 rods hedge. bearing fruit trees, 7 144 apple; 53 pear; 197 peach; 80 plum; 907 cherry. Stock: 637 horses; 1,801 cattle; 1,871 hogs; 1,019 sheep; 29 mules. 41 stand of bees. Value of school property, $2,100. P. O., Wooster.
Liberty--71-10--Surveyed and organized in 1840. J. J. Smith was the first settler and physician, erecting the first house on section 36 in 1837. The first school house and church were built in section 36 in 1838. John Cameron was the first preacher and John Beck the first school teacher in 1838. The first birth was a son to Elias Smith, 1837. The first death a child of John precise 1838. The first marriage was Charles Perine and Miss Jane Cameron. The first church was built by the Methodists. Town and post office, Libertyville.
Population in 1875, 1,071; dwellings, 193; voters, 244; militia, 185; families, 201; mills, 3; churches, 3; school-houses, 7; stores, 3; school children, 444; acres improved land, 11,650; unimproved, 3,601; rods of fence, 11,960; acres wheat, 1,814; corn, 4,046; sorghum, 22; grass, 2,982; potatoes, 70; natural timber, 3,423; planted timber, 7; apple trees, 6,774; peach, 253; pear, 232; plum, 139; cherry, 2,231; horses 735; cattle, 1,812; hogs, 3,788; sheep, 3,159; mules, 43. Value of school property, $7,120.
Des Moines--71-11--Is the southwest township in the county. Several sureys of this township have been made, the last one being in 1847, when the organization of the township was permanently established. A railway station has recently been established at the west county line. Adam Winsell was the first settler, building the first house on the sw¼ of section 34, 1838. In 1844 the first school house was built on the sw¼ of section 34. The first school teacher was Silas Wells, 1844. The first sermon was preached by Rev. Joel Harrington in Winsell's house in 1840. The first church was built by the Methodists in 1869. Edward Boyer was the first doctor, 1840. John Winsell and Charlotte Nagle were the first couple married, 1841. Lewis, son of Lewis and Vienna Winsell was the first child born, 1839. Cutting & Gordon established the first store, 1842. The first mill, a tread mill, was built by Ellmaker in 1842. Post office, County Line.
In 1875 the population was 1,202; 218 families; 281 voters; 197 militia; 2 churches; 8 school-houses; 1 minister; 2 doctors; --- church members; 343 school children; 14,637 acres improved land; 3,040 acres unimproved land; 106,958 rods of fence; 2,037 acres wheat; 3,725 acres corn; 196 acres rye; 1,577 acres oats; 41 acres buckwheat; 37 acres sorghum; 5,533 acres grass; 79 acres potatoes; 6,221 acres natural timber. Bearing fruit trees: 7,144 apple; 67 pear; 192 peach; 77 plum; 945 cherry. Stock: 873 horses; 73 mules; 2,662 cattle; 9,773 hogs; 4,809 sheep. 92 stands of bees. Value of school property, $4,925.
The city of Fairfield was located on the sw ¼ of Section 25, Township 72, Range 10 West, by the Board of Commissioners, composed of Samuel Hutton, of Henry, Joshua Owens, of Lee, and Roger N. Cressop, of Van Buren county. The town quarter was decided upon in March, 1839, the land surveyed, and twenty-five blocks laid out in regular squares of eight lots each. James M. Snyder, of Henry county, was employed as surveyor, assisted by Joseph M. Parker, George W. Troy, James Coleman, David Bowman, John Payton and Sylvanus Herrington. Twelve streets were laid out, six from north to south and six east and west. Block No. 13 was reserved for public purposes. The streets bordering on the Square are 82½ feet in width, the others 66 feet wide.
The location selected is a desirable one, near the geographical centre of the county, is an elevated prairie, skirted on the north, east and west with timber; Crow creek rises north of Fairfield, circles to the east and south, within a short distance of the city. The natural surface is rolling, giving a good opportunity for a perfect system of drainage from the central part of the city in every direction. It is geographically situated in latitude 41 deg., 1 min., and longitude 91 deg., 57 min., or 14 deg., 56 min. west of Washington. 940 feet above the level of the sea. The original streets were named by the Commissioners as follows: Sears, Walnut, Madison, Monroe, Church and Chastain, running east and west; Smith, Williams, Washington, Jefferson, Jackson and Houston, running north and south.
William Hueston built the first house, a log structure, on lot 8, block 8, old plat of the town. The house was 10x12 feet square, built in April, 1839. It was in this building Hueston opened the first store in Fairfield, soon after its completion. Thomas Dickey built the second house, of logs, 10x12 feet square, on lot 1, block 7, where he opened the first hotel.
The Commissioners borrowed of Ebenezer S. Gage, at 20 per cent interest, the money necessary to pay the entry fee at the Land Office, which was done at Burlington, May 13th, 1842. The town quarter was held by pre-emption prior to this. It was necessary to borrow money to pay Gage; each time the lots in the western part of the city were mortgaged for security. The Commissioners ordered a sale of lots on the 15th of May, 1839, when Alexander Kirk, by public outcry, made the sale, and the deeds for these lots were signed by the Commissioners as "Board of County Commissioners," the seal upon these documents being the liberty side of the silver dime.
The first court house was a frame building erected on lot 8, block 14, and was the first frame building in Fairfield, completed in 1839; the house is still standing on lot 6, block 14. The first school teacher, Miss Clarissa Sawyer, taught the first school in the log school house that stood on the present site of Jordan, Bros. & Co's store, n½ lot 8, block 14, 1840. Two of Miss Sawyer's first scholars are now living in Fairfield, Cranmore W. Gage and W. B. Culbertson, Esq. The old log jail stood on lot 4 of block 23, now occupied by D. B. Wilson's residence. In 1842 the Congregationalists built the first church on lot 7, block 14; building now standing on lot 5, block 14. A year later the Presbyterians built a church. Dr. Wm. Waugh built the first frame dwelling in the spring of 1840. Col. Samuel Shuffleton soon after built the second. John T. Moberly was the first physician, 1839. Samuel Shuffleton first lawyer, 1839. Rev. Reuben Gaylord, Congregationalist, preached the first sermon in the fall of 1839. A son was born to a Mr. Shepherd in the fall of 1839; the first on the town quarter.-- Farnham Whitcomb and Nancy Fox were the first couple married 1840. Eliphalet B Fitch first death in the town, 1839; shortly after, Wm. Winn died.
In 1847 the city was incorporated and the following persons have filled the office of Mayor: Barnet Ristine, Samuel J. Finney, A. H. Brown, W. K. Alexander, T. D. Evans, Wm. E. Groff, Geo. Acheson, D. P. Stubbs, R. F. Ratcliff, Wm. Long, Charles David, David R. McCrackin, J. J. Cummings, I. D. Jones. J. J. Cummings is the present Mayor.
The Jefferson County Library Association is an institution of Fairfield--was incorporated March, 1852, opening a library of 500 volumes. Present membership 300; number of volumes in Library at this time, 4,600. The officers are James F. Wilson, President; C. W. Slagle, Treasurer; N. S. Averill, Secretary, and A. T. Wells, Librarian. In addition to the book department the Association have accumulated a fine cabinet of geological and other curiosities. Literary entertainments are given every Monday night throughout each winter.
In 1839 when Mrs. Bowman died her remains were deposited in what is now known as the old Cemetery. Eliphalet B. Fitch and Wm. Winn were soon after buried in the same parcel of ground, and not until 1870 was the now pretty city of the dead, Evergreen Cemetery, located on the grounds just north of Fairfield and adjoining the old Cemetery. Clement Jordan's wife died, and he sought a suitable lot within the old enclosure wherein to place the remains; failing to find a lot, he buried his wife on the lot of a friend, and at once set about devising ways and means to establish an attractive city of the dead, and to-day the citizens of Fairfield owe much to Mr. Jordan for his efforts to establish Evergreen Cemetery.
In 1840 the town of Fairfield had a population of 110. In October 1847 it had increased to 141 families and 651 inhabitants.-- In 1847 the business of Fairfield was done by six dry goods, three grocery, and two drug stores; two hotels, two livery stables, eight cabinet and wheelwright shops, three blacksmith, two shoemaker, two harness, three tailor, two chairmaker, two cooper, one gunsmith, and one tin shop, employing about fifty persons. There was one carding machine, four church organizations, two church edifices, three ministers, seven lawyers, the United States and the State land offices.
In 1876 the city presents greater proportions, showing a healthy growth in twenty-nine years. There are 13 grocery stores doing a business of over $200,000; 1 wholesale grocery house, $60,000; 2 restaurants, $25,000; 2 general stores, $100,000; 7 dry goods stores, $150,000; 4 clothing stores, $37,000; 3 boot and shoe stores, $50,000; 2 hat and cap stores, $25,000; 3 jewelers, $25,000; 5 drug stores, $70,000; 3 book stores, $30,000; 4 meat markets, $50,000; 6 millinery stores, $75,000; 10 saloons, $100,000; 3 stove and tinware stores, $60,000; 2 foundries, $40,000; 1 woolen factory and 1 woolen goods store, $30,000; 2 flouring mills, $50,000; 2 butter and egg depots, $40,000; 2 hardware stores, $50,000; 4 grain houses, $150,000; 2 furniture stores, $40,000; 3 harness, 6 tailor, 5 wagon, 10 boot and shoemaker, 7 blacksmith, 1 gunsmith and 4 barber shops, doing a business of $100,000; 3 lumber yards, $125,000; 1 furniture factory, $50,000; 3 livery stables, 2 bus lines, 1 broom factory, $75,000; and in addition to these there are three banks, 19 lawyers, 14 doctors, 4 dentists, 1 taxidermist, 6 insurance agencies, 1 pension agency, 2 justices of the peace, 3 telegraph office, 2 R. R. depots, 1 patent medicine manufactory, 4 private schools, 1 union school, 4 hotels, 1 opera house, 3 public halls, 2 musical instrument dealers, 3 newspapers, 3 coal dealers, 1 public library with 4,620 volumes, 10 church organizations, 9 church edifices, 1 Masonic hall, 1 Odd Fellows hall, 1 Zetagathain hall, 1 Knights of Pythias hall, and 1 Ancient Order of Workingmen hall.
The total business of Fairfield approximates $3,000,000, about 30 times as much business as was done in 1847. In 1847 the money at interest was 6,000; in 1876, $300,000.
Batavia is in Locust Grove township, a station on the B. & M. railroad twelve miles west of Fairfield; is a prosperous young town. Population, 400.
Brookville has never improved much since laid out by T. M. Brooks, in 1850. Population about 50.
Abingdon, in Polk township, is a thrifty country village, well situated in a rich, productive neighborhood. Its nearest railroad station is Batavia. Population, 250.
Libertyville was originally known as "The Colony;" is a neat, pretty station on the C. & S. W. railroad in Liberty township.-- Population 600.
Glasgow is one of the oldest towns in the county, and its history is closely connected with the earliest incidents connected with the county history. Population about 200.
Germanville is near the center of Walnut township, and is the neighborhood trading point of the Germans who settled in that township. Population about 60.
Pleasant Plain, twelve miles north of Fairfield, in Penn township. First settled in 1839. Population, about 250. A station on the C. & S. W. R. R.
Salina is an old town about equally divided between Lockridge and Buchanan townships. Population about 200.
Coalport, Glendale, and Whitfield, are stations on the B. & M. railroad.
Perlee was laid out in 1870 by the Jefferson County Coal Company and is a point of no little importance in the county. Is growing and improving through the influence of the coal trade.-- Three large coal companies are mining at Perlee, and there is an inexhaustible supply of coal in this locality, which, by chemical analysis, has been proven the best steam and heating coal in the State. A station on the C. & S. W. R. R.
In 1835 Huff sank his boats of honey in Skunk, and barefooted, walked to Burlington for shoes, and hooks to raise his goods. The settlers attended the first sermon preached by Samuel Hutton, barefooted -- the women riding in Parker's ox-wagon to the door, and then putting on their shoes, listened to the sermon. John Huff still resides in Fairfield, and quaintly says he don't think the preachers of 1835 and 1836 meant any harm by preaching. The raising of Troxell's mill was an incident of no little historical importance. Young chickens, and a barrel of whisky were the features. Dancing was also a feature, and the daughter of one of our now prominent citizens taking the hand of an old settler of prominence, thus addressed her father, who played the fiddle: "Dad, give us something quick and devilish. I want to trot this old hoss around a little." Mrs. M. E. Woods says the first dance was at her house, and was more pleasant than those of the present day. C. W. Slagle was the first orator of a 4th of July celebration in Fairfield. Thomas Dickey had about thirty boarders in his cabin. How they slept and ate is better known to themselves. In winter, the snow would get a little to deep on the floor and bed clothes, yet these pioneers had the future of Fairfield in view, and waited and worked. The first horse thief was imprisoned with log-chains which held him fast to a stump. A man by the name of Kephardt was hung by Judge Lynch for killing a woman and two children, July 5th, 1860. In 1840 the season was similar to the present, 1876. Storms raged and much damage was done. Old probabilities seems to have lost his reckoning, and three tornadoes passed through the county, uprooting trees and causing other damage, while rain storms prevailed to an alarming extent, all the streams were high, and as if to mark the opening and Centennial periods of Jefferson county, these storms appear, creating commotion at the county's birth, and again at the anniversary of the nation's birth to Liberty.
The historian wishes to return thanks to Henry Webb, of Round Prairie; John Huff, Mrs. Elizabeth Culbertson, Mrs. M. E. Woods, Joseph M. Parker, Mrs. Charles David, William Rowland, I. D. Jones, Dr. N. Steele, J. W. Culbertson, John Spielman, Wm. Alston and David Webster, of Fairfield; David Coop, of Penn township; Samuel Robb, of Locust Grove township; Mr. Robert Black, of Des Moines township; Dr. S. K. Tracy, of Locust Grove township; Dr. G. P. Bartow, of Black Hawk; and Eli Kirk of Fairfield, for assistance in gathering the information contained in this work.
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