Town of Ioka
Ioka is located on section 28, about one mile from the Jefferson county line. It was at one time in the center of the business of that township, and is on the surveyed route of the Muscatine & Missouri Railroad. It was laid out in June, 1856, by Thos E Ashcraft, Jabez Shook, Paul Sherradin, and D H Scisson. At the sale of lots, which occurred the following fall, lots sold at from ten to fifty dollars apiece. In 1856 the firm of Webb & Ashcraft carried on a dry goods business there; in 1857 the firm was succeeded by Webb & Beardsley, which was then changed to J Webb. Crandall & Disney established a dry goods store in 1857, which was afterward conducted by T E Ashcraft. Rugles & Carpenter and G M Peters were also in business there about that time; A Beardsley kept a boot and shoe store and afterward a hotel.

At present Ioka contains three dry goods stores, one drug store, one boot and shoe store, one tin shop and one hotel. There are four physicians to administer to the needs of the sick of the town and surrounding county: Dr Mulhern, formally of Sigourney, being the leading one; Dr. Rogers, formally a practician of considerable note, has, on account of age, almost entirely retired from practice.

The town is beautifully located on the prairie, about one mile from timber; contains about sixty houses and presents a neat appearance from any approach.

One of the chief features of Ioka is the Masonic lodge, which has a large membership and a creditable history. The following history of the lodge will be of interest to the members of the craft and elsewhere:

Justice Lodge No 230, A F and A M, was organized under dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Iowa, on the 9th day of February, 1868, with the following officers: W H Effner, W M; G H Smith, S W; J H Martin, J W; A J Porter, Treasurer; S Rogers, Secretary; W G R Talley, S D; David Cook, J D; E P Condreay, Tyler; W J Effner, S S; and J G Smith, J S.

On the 11th day of July, 1868, an election of officers was held, which resulted in the election of the following officers: G H Smith, W M; J H Martin, S W; J B Bell, J W; A J Porter, Treasurer; S Rogers, Secretary; W J Effner, S D; W H Adams, J D; G W Lemmons, S S; W G R Talley, J S; E P Condreay, Tyler.

On the 18th of July these officers were installed by W M Solon Gray, Ottumwa Lodge No 16, and duly constituted by the Grand Lodge of Iowa as Justice Lodge, No 230.

The second election of officers was held on the 24th of April, 1869, and resulted as follows: G H Smith, W M; J M Martin, S W; J T Walker, J W; W G R Talley, Treasurer; J B Bell, Secretary; G L Rice, S D’ W H Adams, J D; G W Lemmons, S S; E P Condreay, J S; J W Carpenter, Tyler.

On the 14th of May, 1870, the following officers were elected: J T Walker, W M; G H Smith, S W; J B Bell, J W; W G R Talley, Treasurer; S Rogers, Secretary; J H Martin, S D; A   Myers, J D; W S Gaston, Tyler; A F Bean, S S; E P Condreay, J S.

On the 29th of April, 1871, the following officers were elected: J T Walker, W M; Asa Myers, S W; S Rogers, J W; W G R Talley, Treasurer; A F Bean, Secretary; L M Nunnaly, S D; J B Bell, J D; W S Gaston, S S; W Miller, J S; A P Black, Tyler.

On the 18th of May, 1872, the following officers were elected: S Rogers, W M; W D Ingalls, S W; A P Black, J W; C Bender, Treasurer; J C Ruggles, Secretary.

On the 12th of April, 1873, the following officers were elected: G H Smith, W M ; J H Martin, S W; J H Martin, S W; W G R Talley, J W; C Bender, Treasurer; John C Ruggles, Secretary.

The minutes do not show who the officers were for the year 1874 further than G H Smith, W M; J H Martin, S W; and J B Bell, Secretary.

On the 17th of April, 1875, the following officers were elected: W D Ingalls, W M; J M Richardson, S W; W S Gaston, J W; J B Bell, Treasurer; J T Walker, Secretary.

On the 8th day of April, 1876, the following officers were elected: J T Walker, W M; J C Ruggles, S W; J M Richardson, J W; G W Russell, Treasurer; G H Smith, Secretary.

On the 23rd of April, 1877, the following officers were elected: G H Smith, W M; W D Ingalls, S W; J B Bell, J W; J W Carpenter, Treasurer; J M Richardson, Secretary.

On the 15th of April, 1878, the following officers were elected: W D Ingalls, W M; J C Ruggles, S W; C Bender, J W; J W Carpenter, Treasurer; J M Richardson, Secretary.

On the 31st of March, 1879, the following officers were elected: J M Richardson, W M; J C Bell, S W; C Bender, J W; J W Carpenter, Treasurer; F M Israel, Secretary; --but, owing to the officers-elect failing to be installed, the old officers hold over.

There are quite a number if successful farmers, who, in addition to the regular work of the farm, deal extensively in stock. Among others, D C Baker, W G R Talley, and Wm Scearcy may be mentioned. Wm Fye formerly was the most extensive farmer in the township.

George Cypert Talley, who was killed at South English during excitement of war-times, an account of which is given elsewhere, was a resident of this township at the time of his death. He was buried near Ioka, and on a tombstone erected to his memory is the following inscription.

“George Cypert Talley died August 1, 1863, aged 29 years, 5 months and 27 days. Died a martyr to his religious and political opinions; shot down by highwaymen at South English, Keokuk county, Iowa, while bravely defending the same.”

Reference: History of Keokuk County, Iowa, 1880.

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