Jefferson County Online
A Glimpse of Iowa in 1846
By John B. Newhall.
Transcribed and contributed by Cathy Joynt Labath


Is bounded north by Washington, east by Henry, south by Van Buren, and west by Wapello; containing an area of about three hundred and eighty square miles. In point of fertility of soil, excellence of timber, and healthy location, Jefferson will rank among the most desirable counties of Iowa. No better evidence can be adduced in favor of its combined excellences, than the fact that, previous to October 21st, 1837, more than one-half of the whole county belonged to the Sac and Fox Indians, (consequently not subject to occupancy by the whites,) since which time the population has increased upwards of six thousand inhabitants!

     Jefferson is well watered by the Checauque or Skunk, and its various tributaries, the principal of which are Big Cedar on the south, and Walnut, Richland and Brush creeks on the north. These streams abound with excellent timber, embracing the usual descriptions of oak, hickory, walnut, locust, linn, &c., with a sufficiency of water power to supply the demands of the adjacent country both for sawing and grinding.

     Near the forks of the Walnut creek is a heavy body of timber called the Rich Wood; the soil is excellent, with abundance of rock and stone coal, and will admit of large and extensive settlements.
     Locust Grove, near Big Cedar, and adjacent to the old Indian boundary line, is beautifully situated about seven miles west of Fairfield. It is about five miles in extent, and one mile wide, encompassed by broad and gently rolling prairies. Here is a large settlement of intelligent and enterprising people, possessing well improved farms, good schools, good preaching, and all  those appendages that give charm to social and civilized life.

     The Round Prairie, in the southeastern portion of the county, is a charming strip of country. Here are farms not inferior in extent and cultivation to the old counties on the Mississippi.

     Fairfield is the seat of justice of Jefferson county.  It is a place of rapidly increasing trade, situated in the heart of one of the richest agricultural counties of Iowa. Here is located the United States Land Office for the southern district of Iowa. [ See Fairfield Directory.]

[Seat of Justice of Jefferson County.]


Dealers in Dry Goods, Groceries, Hardware, &c.- Sample & Manning, Wm. I. Cooper & Co., C.S.
     Schaeffer and Co., J.W. Taylor & Co., J.L. Myers & Co., Richard Irwin,  Wm. Alston, G.W. Markle,
     Wm. Pritt, G.W. Slatter.

Druggist - Daniel V. Cole.

Watchmaker and Silversmith - E.J. Harper

Tailors - Winner & Ogden, Wm. A. Hendricks, Ultz and Houghland.

Saddlers - Wm. A. McKimmy & Co., Adam H. Weir.

Boot & Shoe Makers - John S. Berg, ___ Johnson.

Cabinet Makers - Gossage, Elliott & Co., S.G. Finney, W. Bartholomew.

Carpenters - Thorne & Crain, Robert Hill, William Kittle, J. Cunningham.

Carriage and Wagon Manufactory - Shamp & McComb.

Gunsmith - Daniel Mendenhall.

Blacksmiths - C.C. Van & Co., Baker Brothers, J. Anderson.

Chair Factory -Jenkins & Knight.

Sign and Ornamental Painting.- Anson Ford.

Carding and Cloth Dressing Establishment - Millikin, White & Co.

Mills in the vicinity of Fairfield.
      Name                            Stream              Saw or Grist
     Bush's                   On Cedar Creek        Saw
     Wesley Depew     On Cedar Creek       Saw and Grist
     Pitkin & Junkin    On Cedar Creek       Saw
     Deeds                    On Skunk River        Saw and Grist
     Goodspeed          On Cedar Creek        Saw

Hotels - National, kept by Samuel Shuffleton; Eagle, Mrs. Beck

     Old School Presbyterian;   Pastor, Rev. L.G. Bell.
     Congregational;                    Pastor Rev. Wm. A. Thompson.
     Methodist Episcopal;           Pastor Rev. Mr. Reeder.

Schools - There are two day schools; one kept by R.W. Steele, and one by Mr. Bright.

Postmaster - Ebenezer S. Gage.

Lawyers - Samuel Shuffleton, Thomas H. Gray, Slagle and Acheson, C. Baldwin, Wm. H. Lyons,
     Cyrus Olney, Wm. E. Groff, J.B. Teas, Ezra Drown, Charles Negus.

Doctors - J.C. Wear, J.S. Moberly, Wm. L. Orr, __ Steele.

Justices of the Peace - Samuel G. Finney, Wm. E. Groff.

Notaries Public - Wm. H. Lyons, Robert Brown.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Cathy Joynt Labath
Iowa History Project
Coordinator for Scott, Henry, Jefferson, Dubuque and Palo Alto Co, IA
Newspaper Abstracts

This page is copyrighted and was created 07/28/2003. The page may be copied and used for personal purposes but can not be republished nor used for commercial purposes without the author's written permission.

I am the County Coordinator and the Webmaster, the one who is responsible for the IAGenWeb project for Jefferson County, Iowa. Please contact me if you would like to contribute to this database or if you note any problems with these pages.

Return to the Jefferson County Main Page