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1914 County History
1914
Towns and Villages

Scattered over Lee County are a number of towns and villages, some of which are business centers of considerable importance, while others are merely small railroad stations, neighborhood trading points or post offices for a given district. In the early days of Lee County's history there seems to have been a sort of mania for laying off towns,, the principal object having been the sale of lots to new comers. Hawkins Taylor, one of Lee County's pioneers, in an article published in the Annals of Iowa for October, 1870, says: "Speculation was running high in the spring of 1836, and everybody we met had a town plat. There were then more towns in what is now Lee County than there are now, if a paper plat constituted a town; and every man tfn lL :B nad a town had a map of the county marked out to suit his town as a county seat." 

Not all the towns referred to by Mr. Taylor could secure the county seat. In spite of that fact, however, some of them have survived, others have disappeared entirely from the map, and it is quite probable that none of them has come up to the hopes and expectations of the founders. From a careful examination of old plat-books, atlases and newspaper files, the following list of towns that are or have been in Lee County has been compiled: Ambrosia, Argyle, Ballinger, Beck, Belfast, Benbow Siding, Big Mound, Bricker, Buena Vista, Bullard, Camargo, Charleston, Connable, Cottonwood, Court- right, Croton, Denmark, Donnellson, Dover, Franklin, Galland, Hinsdale, Houghton, Jeffersonville, Jollyville, Ketchum Switch, La Crew, Leesburgh, Macuta, Melrose, Mertensville, Montrose, Mooar, Mount Clara, Mount Hamill, Nashville, New Boston, Nixon Station,. Overton, Pilot Grove, Primrose, Russellville, Saint Paul, Sandusky, Sand Prairie, Sawyer, Shopton, South Augusta, South Franklin, Summit Siding, Summitville, Tuscarora, Viele, Vincennes, Walanva,, Warren, Wescott and Wever. 

In this list there are a few instances of two names applying to the same place. For illustration: "Courtright ,, and "Mount Hamill" refer to same village, the former being used by the founders of the town and the latter by the post office department. "Vincennes" and "Sand Prairie" likewise refer to the same place. Galland was formerly known as Nashville, both of which names appear in the list. Many of these towns have no special history, but such facts as the writer could gather concerning them are given below. The figures showing the population are taken from Polk's Iowa Gazetteer for 19 14. 

Ambrosia

The old Town of Ambrosia was situated about three miles west of Montrose. In its early days a general store and blacksmith shop were located there, and when Ambrosia Township was erected by the county commissioners in 1841 it was ordered that the first election should be held "at the Town of Ambrosia." After the railroad was constructed up the bank of the Mississippi River, missing the town, the business interests removed elsewhere, the post office was discontinued, and about all that is left to perpetuate the name is the public school known as the "Ambrosia District." 

Argyle 

The Village of Argyle is situated in Des Moines Township, on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, fifteen miles southwest of Fort Madison. It has grown up since the railroad was built through that part of the county, has three general stores, a flour and feed mill, express, telegraph and telephone service, a money order post office and a population of fifty.

Ballinger 

Ballinger is a small station on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad in the southeast corner of Montrose Township. It was established after the railroad was built and takes its name from one of the pioneer families in that locality. It has no business interests of importance.

Beck 

Two miles south of Viele, on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, is the little station of Beck, or Beck's Siding, but the place has no history except that a siding was put in here by the railroad company for the convenience of local shippers and was named for the owner of the land upon which it is situated.

Belfast 

This town is located in the northwestern part of Des Moines Township, on the Des Moines River and the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, and had a population of 90 in 1914. It has a money order post office, a general store and is a shipping point for a considerable territory. 

Benbow Siding

On the Fort Madison & Ottumwa Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, a short distance northwest of Sawyer, is a shipping station called Benbow Siding. It has never been officially platted as a town and the name does not even appear on the time tables of the railroad company.

Big Mound 

1 he old Village of Big Mound is situated in the western part of Cedar Township, about one mile from the Van Buren County line. It takes its name from a knoll in the vicinity and in its early days was a trading point of some importance. After the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad was built, the business was diverted to Mount Hamill, or Court- right, and Big Mound is little more than a memory.

Bricker

Bricker is a little station on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad nine miles southwest of Fort Madison, in Jefferson Township. It has no history nor no business interests of importance.

Buena Vista

Three miles west of Keokuk, in the southern part of Jackson Township, is the little hamlet of Buena Vista, a flag station on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, though the railroad company does not keep an agent there. Mail is delivered to the few inhabitants through the Keokuk post office.

Bullard 

Bullard, or Bullard's Station, is situated in the northeastern part of Jefferson Township, on the Burlington & St. Louis Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, five miles from Fort Madison. Mail is received by rural delivery from Montrose.

Camargo

Among the early settlers of Des Moines Township was Samuel Hearn, who established a ferry across the Des Moines River, not far from the present hamlet of Hinsdale. A settlement grew up about the ferry and in time a post office was established there under the name of Camargo. Both ferry and post office were ultimately discontinued and the site of the village is now farming land.

Charleston

The Town of Charleston was laid off by George Berry on September 23, 1848, for Jacob Hufford, and the plat was filed in the office of the county recorder on June 1, 1849. The original plat shows forty-eight small and three large lots, with Hackberry, Main and Elm streets running north and south, and First, Second, Third and Fourth streets running east and west. It is located nearly in the center of the township of the same name, on the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, eighteen miles from Keokuk. In early days Charleston was a popular place for holding conventions, on account of its central location, and at the special election held in August, 1845, the town received forty-one votes for county seat. At that time Charleston was in the zenith of its glory. Failing to secure the county seat, the town has kept on in the "even tenor of its way," and is now a trading point for a large agricultural district. Its estimated population in 1914 was sixty-five. It has three churches, a public school, a money order post office with one rural route, express and telegraph offices, telephone connections, a hotel, a general store, and does considerable shipping.

Connable 

Twelve miles northwest of Keokuk, on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, is the little flag station of Connable, so called from the owner of the land at the time the station was established. It is merely a shipping point and has no commercial interests of consequence.

Cottonwood 

This is a station on the Fort Madison & Ottumwa Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, twenty-three miles from Fort Madison. It is located near the line dividing sections 10 and ii in Cedar Township, not far from the site of the old Village of Russellville, has a general store, a money order post office, telephone connections, a Methodist Episcopal Church, and in 1914 the population was estimated at twenty-five.

Croton 

The original plat of Croton was filed in the county recorder's office on May 3, 1849, by Lewis Coon. It shows twelve blocks ot eight lots each. Subsequently six similar blocks were added, making a total of 144 lots. Croton is situated in the southwestern part of Van Buren Township, on the Des Moines River and the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, twenty-six miles northwest of Keokuk. It has Adventist, Baptist and Methodist Episcopal churches, a money order post office, telephone connection, express office, a public school and an estimated population of one hundred.

Denmark 

The Town of Denmark is situated near the center of Denmark Township, seven miles north of Fort Madison. Sawyer is the nearest railroad station. Denmark was laid out by Timothy Fox, Curtis Shedd, Lewis Epps and W. Brown and the plat was filed for record on January 17, 1840. It has two general stores, a private banking house, harness and wagon repair shops, a hotel, an independent tele- phone exchange, an academy, in connection with which is conducted a library, Baptist and Congregational churches, and in 1914 the population was estimated at two hundred.

Donnellson

Early in the spring of 1 88 1 the Town of Donnellson was surveyed by H. A. Summers, county surveyor, for Esten A. Donnell and others and the plat was filed in the office of the county recorder on May 21, 1 88 1. Since that time Borland's, Abel's, Frank's and Trump's additions have been made to the original plat, the last named in June, 1905. Donnellson is situated in the southwest corner of Franklin Township, at the junction of the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant and the Burlington & Carrollton divisions of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. It has two banks, an electric plant, a flour mill, several stores, a good public school building, a weekly newspaper, German Evangelical, Methodist Episcopal, Mennonite and Presbyterian churches, a money order post office with four rural routes, and a number of pleasant residences. According to the United States census for 1910 the population at that time was 337. It is one of the Incorporated towns of Lee County. 

Dover 

No official plat of the old Town of Dover is available, so that its early history cannot be given with certainty. It is located in the southeast quarter of section 8, in the northwestern part of Franklin Township and in 1914 consisted of a general store and a few dwellings. A post office was once maintained here, but it has been discontinued and the few inhabitants now receive mail by rural delivery from the post office at Donnellson.
 
Franklin

The Town of Franklin (also called Franklin Centre in early days) owes its origin to the commissioners, James L. Scott and S. C. Reed, who selected the site as the place for the county seat of Lee County, an account of which is given in the chapter on "Settlement and Organization." The town was laid off by order of the county commissioners on March 21, 1840, and was for a time the seat of justice of the county. Franklin is situated in the eastern part of Franklin Township, on the Burlington & Carrollton Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, twelve miles west of Fort Madison. It is incorporated and in 1910 reported a population of 138. It has two general stores, a furniture and undertaking establishment, a money order post office, telephone connections, a hotel, and is a ship- ping point for the surrounding country.

Galland 

When this village was first laid out it was called Nashville. The first settler here was Dr. Isaac Galland, in 1829, after whom the post office was named when it was established some years later. The first schoolhouse in the State of Iowa was built at Galland — or Nash- ville, as it was then called — in 1830. Galland is situated in the southeastern part of the Township of Montrose, on the Mississippi River and the Burlington & St. Louis Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, three miles down the river from Montrose. It was at one time a trading point of some importance, but its glory has departed, the post office has been discontinued, and the few inhabitants now receive mail by rural delivery from Montrose.

Hinsdale 

This is a small station on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad m the southwestern part of Des Moines Township, seventeen miles northwest of Keokuk. It has no special history.

Houghton 

Houghton is situated in the eastern part of Cedar Township, on the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, thirty-three miles from Keokuk and twenty-two from Fort Madison. It has two general stores, a money order post office, telegraph and express offices and about fifty inhabitants.

Jeffersonville 

On January 27, 1870, William Crosley filed in the county recorder's office the plat of town called Jeffersonville, which had been laid out for him by William H. Morrison, deputy surveyor, in June, 1867. The plat showed sixteen lots in the northwest quarter of section 16, near the junction of the Burlington & St. Louis and Burlington & Carrollton divisions of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway System. Subsequently the plat of Viele, just north of the junction, was surveyed and Jeffersonville passed into history.

Jollyville

In May, 1856, F. M. Jolly employed Samuel W. Sears, then county surveyor, to lay off a town on his farm in the southeast quarter of section 7, township 68, range 3, about three-fourths of a mile from the present railroad station of Wever. The original plat showed six large and twenty-four small lots, which were all sold, and Jollyville was a thriving little place until Wever sprang up on the railroad, when the business interests all removed to the new town. 

Ketchum Switch

It is hardly appropriate to classify this place as a town, as it is merely a siding on the Burlington & Carrollton division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, about two miles west of the Town of Warren and was placed there by the railroad company for the convenience of a few shippers in that locality.

La Crew

La Crew is a station on the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, in the northwest corner of Franklin Township, near the Marion Township line. It was laid off by James A. Davis, county surveyor, November 1, 1881, for J. and W. Bonnell and J. W. Powell, and the plat was filed for record on May 22, 1882. It is twenty-eight miles from Keokuk and eighteen from Fort Madison, has two general stores, a hotel, express and telegraph service, telephone connections, etc. A post office was formerly maintained here, but it has been discontinued and a rural route from West Point now supplies mail daily.

Leesburgh 

Hawkins Taylor, in the article referred to in the opening of this chapter, says Leesburgh was laid off by William Skinner some time prior to the spring of 1836, and that it was located a few miles south of Franklin. No official plat of the town can be found and nothing can be learned of its history further than the above meager statement of Mr. Taylor. It was evidently one of the "paper towns" which were so common in early days when speculation was rife.

Macuta 

This is the first station southwest of Fort Madison on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. It is six miles from Fort Madison, in Jefferson Township.

Melrose 

The original plat of Melrose, which was filed on November 20, 1857, shows thirty-six blocks of twelve lots each, located in section 1, township 65, range 6, in the northwestern part of Jackson Town- ship. No railroad ever came to the town, which failed to fulfill the expectations of its founders, and the plat was subsequently vacated with the exception of a few lots upon which dwellings had been erected.

Messingerville 

On August 29, 1855, L. E. H. Houghton, B. Smith and F. W. Billigman filed with the county recorder a plat of the Town of Messingerville, located in the northwest quarter of section 24, township 65, range 5. Messingerville is now practically a part of the City of Keokuk.

Mertensville
 
On the Fort Madison & Ottumwa division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, twenty-one miles from Fort Madison, is the little station of Mertensville. It is in the extreme northwest corner of Marion Township, not far from the Henry County line, and has no commercial importance aside from its shipping interests.

Montrose 

The incorporated Town of Montrose is situated in the township of the same name, on the Mississippi River about midway between Fort Madison and Keokuk, on the Burlington & St. Louis division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. It is a town of more than ordinary historic interest, as it marks the site of the first white man's settlement in what is now Lee County. An account of this settlement will be found in the history of Montrose Township.

The first attempt to lay off a town here was in 1836, which fact was communicated to the war department by Lieutenant-Colonel Mason, then in command of the garrison at Fort Des Moines. Later in the year the fort was abandoned and the plat of the town was completed by David W. Kilbourne, of Keokuk, who gave it the name of Montrose. No official plat was filed, however, until April 5, 1854. Oren Baldwin, then deputy county surveyor, who made the plat, states in his report that the survey was made at the request of Edward and Virginia C. Brooks, Francis E. Billon, Dabney C. and Walter J. Riddick; that it included the tract of 640 acres — part of the old Spanish grant to Louis Honore Tesson — as well as the Town of Montrose, and that it was completed on May 8, 1853. 

Montrose was incorporated in 1857. Dr. J. M. Anderson was chosen the first mayor at a town election held on June 1, 1857; Washington Galland was elected recorder, and E. J. Hamlet, Gowen Hamilton, B. F. Anderson and George Purcell, councilmen. At that time, and for a number of years afterward, Montrose was an important river town, on account of its being located just above the head of the rapids, where cargoes were unloaded and carried over the rapids in lighters, except in times of high water, when the large steamers could pass over the rapids without difficulty. The completion of the Government Canal in 1877 put an end to the lightering business.

David W. and Edward Kilbourne opened the first store in 1839, but were succeeded by Chittenden & McGavic. A large saw-mill was one of the early industries. About the time the canal was opened to traffic, this mill was operated by the firm of Wells, Felt & Spaulding and cut over fifty thousand feet of lumber daily. It also had machinery for making shingles, lath and fence pickets and a planing mill for dressing lumber.

In 1910, according to the United States census, the population of Montrose was 708. The town has Catholic, Methodist Episcopal, Presbyterian and Latter Day Saints churches, a fine public school building, a weekly newspaper, an opera house, and is connected with Nauvoo, Illinois, by a steam ferry. The principal business interests are three general stores, a hardware store, a drug store, the Standard Garden Tool Company, a button blank factory, large nurseries, coal and lumber yards, three groceries and a bank. The town also has an international money order post office and lodges of the principal fraternal orders. Several fine orchards, truck farms and vineyards are in the immediate vicinity, the products of which are taken by a canning factory in the town. 

Mooar

Shortly after the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad was completed, the little station of Mooar was established six miles north of Keokuk and was named for the owner of the land on which it is situated. It has never grown to any considerable proportions.

Mount Clara 

This is also a station on the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy system of railroads. It is situated twelve miles from Keokuk, near the northwest corner of Montrose Township, and is a shipping point for a rich agricultural district.

Mount Hamill 

It is not often that a small town is honored by having three names, but such is the case with this one. The original plat was made by James A. Davis, county surveyor, for A. L. Courtright and R. A. Jarrett and it was filed under the name of "Courtright 1 ' on July 5, 1 88 1. When the post office was established there it was given the name of "Mount Hamill, 11 and as a station on the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad the name appears on the time tables as "Hamill. 1 ' In the survey made by Doctor Davis, the plat of the town shows fifteen blocks of eighteen lots each, but only four of the blocks were at that time subdivided. Mount Hamill is situated in the southeastern part of Cedar Township, thirty miles from Keokuk, by rail, and about twenty-three miles from Fort Madison. According to Polk's Gazetteer, the population was 200 in 1914. It has a bank, an automobile garage, Christian, Congregational and Methodist Episcopal churches, general stores, an agricultural implement house, telephone and telegraph service, a fine public school building v etc., and is the trading and shipping point for a populous farming community.

New Bosston 

The first plat of New Boston was made by Oren Baldwin and it was filed in the office of the county recorder on July 28, 1855. The town is located in the southeast corner of Charleston Township and is a station on the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad sixteen miles northwest of Keokuk. It has a money order post office, a general store, and is a shipping point of some importance. The population in 1914 was 75. It is connected with the surrounding towns by telephone.

Nixon Station 

In the southeast corner of Charleston Township, only a short distance from New Boston, is Nixon Station, at the junction of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and the Koekuk & Mount Pleasant railroads. Aside from its importance as the crossing of two lines of railway, it has no commercial interests worthy of mention.

Overton 

Among the early settlers of Marion Township were Elias and James Overton, who settled in section 22, in the southern part of the township. When the Fort Madison & Northwestern Railroad — the narrow-gauge — was commenced in the early '70s, Mr. Overton laid off a town on his farm, about a mile and a half southwest of the present Village of St. Paul, and gave it the name of Overton. Trains stopped there regularly for a time, but after the road was made a standard-gauge and became the Fort Madison & Ottumwa division of the Burlington system the station was discontinued and the Town of Overton passed out of existence.

Pilot Grove 

On March 20, 1858, George Berry, then deputy county surveyor, laid off the Town of Pilot Grove near the center of section 10, town-ship 69, range 6, for Stephen Townsend, Wesley Harrison and others, and the plat was filed for record on April 16, 1858. It shows 166 lots and a large public square. Pilot Grove is a station on the Fort Madison & Ottumwa division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, seventeen miles northwest of Fort Madison. It has a post office, a bank, a general store, telegraph and express offices, telephone connections, and ships considerable quantities of live stock, etc. According to the Iowa Gazetteer for 1914, the population was then eighty-five. 

Primrose 

On February 28, 1848, George W. Perkins and James H. Washburn laid out the Town of Primrose on the west side of section 23, in Harrison Township. The plat was filed in the office of the county recorder on April 21, 1850. In November, 1878, Levi and Lucretia Davis laid out an addition of fifty-four lots. Primrose is eighteen miles west of Fort Madison and about two and a half miles north of Warren, which is the nearest railroad station. It has a general store, a public school building, Lutheran, Methodist Episcopal and Presbyterian churches, a money order post office, and a population of 150.

Russellville 

This town was surveyed and platted by James Hanks on March 11, 1858, for David Doan. The original plat shows twenty lots. Russellville has also been called Doantown, after the proprietor. It is situated in the northern part of Cedar Township.
 
Saint Paul 

Concerning this town Polk's Iowa Gazetteer for 1914 says: "St. Paul. A discontinued post office one and one-half miles from St. Paul station on the C. B. & Q. R. R., in Marion Township, Lee County, sixteen miles west of Fort Madison, the judicial seat, and six from West Point the nearest banking point, whence it has rural delivery." Saint Paul was laid off by George Berry on the last day of April, 1866, and the plat was filed for record on the 25th of the following September. It shows sixteen large lots — 177 by 390 feet — and a public square 400 by 420 feet. A Catholic church was built here at an early day and at one time Saint Paul was a trading point of some importance. There is still considerable business done there.

Sandusky 

Five miles north of Keokuk on the Burlington & St. Louis division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, is the little Village of Sandusky. It occupies the site of the old trading post established by the Frenchman, Lemoliese, in 1820. A post office was established here at an early date, but after the inauguration of the rural delivery system it was discontinued and mail is now supplied through the office at Montrose. A general store and a canning factory are the principal business interests of Sandusky.

Sawyer 

Sawyer is a small station on the Fort Madison & Ottumwa division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, six miles north of Fort Madison. It is the outgrowth of the railroad and has no important business enterprises.

Shopton 

Strictly speaking, Shopton is a part of the City of Fort Madison. It is so named on account of its being the location of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad shops, two miles from the passenger station of the city.

South Augusta 

Directly across the Skunk River from the Town of Augusta, in Des Moines County, is the Town of South Augusta. It is situated in the northeastern part of Denmark Township and was laid off by George Berry on April 19, 1843. The history of the town does not differ materially from that of other country villages.

South Franklin 

When the Burlington & Carrollton division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway System was built through Franklin Township it missed the Town of Franklin, passing about two miles south. On August 22, 1872, P. H. Smyth laid off a town on the railroad, directly south of old Franklin, and gave it the name of South Franklin. The plat of Mr. Smyth's town shows 108 lots. Several business concerns moved from Franklin to the new town on account of the advantages offered by the railroad.

Sugar Creek 

On the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, seven miles west of Keokuk, in Jackson Township, is the little station of Sugar Creek, which takes its name from the stream near which it is located. No official plat of the town can be found and, aside from its railroad connections, it has no history nor business importance.

Summit Siding 

In the northwestern part of Washington Township, on the Fort Madison & Ottumwa division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, is Summit Siding, a small station established there by the railroad company for the convenience of shippers in the immediate vicinity. No town has grown up about the siding.

Summitville

The old Town of Summitville is situated in the southwestern part of Montrose Township. It is a station on the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, eight miles north of Keokuk and twenty miles from Fort Madison. It has a general store, a money order post office, Christian and United Presbyterian churches, a public school building, and in 1914 had an estimated population of one hundred 

Tuscarora 

This town was laid off by Stephen and John B. Perkins and James Douglas about 1838, on Perkins' Prairie, in the southern part of what is now Marion Township and on the road running from Fort Madison to Salem. It was one of the towns projected for speculative purposes and in the public library at Fort Madison is one of the advertisements, in the form of a poster issued by the proprietors, announcing the sale of lots, in what was to be the metropolis of Lee County. Tuscarora failed to meet the anticipations of the founders, however, and in time disappeared from the map entirely. 

Viele 

Viele is situated in the northern part of Jefferson Township, six miles southwest of Fort Madison, at the junction of the Burlington & St. Louis and the Burlington & Carrollton divisions of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway System. It has a general store, ex- press and telegraph offices, telephone connections and some minor business interests. The post office formerly maintained here has been discontinued and rural delivery from Montrose now supplies daily mail to the inhabitants.

Vincennes 

The railroad name of this village is Sand Prairie. It is situated on the Des Moines River and the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, in the southern part of Des Moines Township, fifteen miles northwest of Keokuk. It has a general store, a feed mill, telegraph and express offices, telephone connections, a money order post office, a public school, and in 1914 had an estimated population of one hundred and fifty. Vincennes is one of the best shipping points between Keokuk and Farmington.

Walanya 

One of the early towns of Lee County was Walanya, which was laid off by Samuel Sears in section 18, township 69, range 7, in the western part of Cedar Township and not far from the Van Buren County line. The original plat shows a town of some pretensions, but Walanya never came up to the hopes of the founders and after some years the plat was vacated.

Warren 

Warren is a station on the Burlington & Carrollton division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, located in the southern part of Harrison Township, seventeen miles by rail from Fort Madison. The plat was filed for record on May 1, 1876. It has grown up since the railroad was built and is the principal shipping point for a rich agricultural district in Harrison and Van Buren townships. A post office was once maintained here, but it has been discontinued and rural delivery from Donnellson supplies the inhabitants with mail daily.

Wescott

Five miles north of Fort Madison, on the Burlington & St. Louis division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway System, is the little station of Wescott. No official plat of the place was ever recorded and it has no business enterprises of consequence. 

West Point

In the year 1834 a man named Whitaker laid claim to the site of the present Town of West Point. The next year he sold his interests to John L. Howell and John L. Cotton, who in turn sold to Abraham Hunsicker. Mr. Hunsicker laid off a public square with one tier of lots surrounding it, and Mr. Cotton built a log house near the northwest corner of the square and opened a store. This was the first business enterprise and the place was known as "Cotton Town." During the year 1835 anc ^ ear ly m 1836 a few log cabins were erected. In May, 1836, William Patterson, A. H. Walker, Green Carey and Hawkins Taylor purchased Mr. Hunsicker's claim, procured a patent for the land and on June 11, 1840, laid off the Town of West Point. In an article written by Mr. Taylor for the "Annals of Iowa," he gives many interesting facts concerning the early history of West Point, a few of which are here reproduced:

"John L. Cotton had the only store. The house was about twelve by sixteen feet, of peeled hickory logs, split side in, rough boards nailed over the cracks and no ceiling. His stock in trade was one barrel of 'red eye,' said to be of approved quality; about a dozen pieces of calico and as many more pieces of domestics; a few fancy articles, tea, coffee and tobacco, all amounting in value to perhaps two hundred dollars. 

"Within a few days after our purchase, my associates returned to Illinois, leaving me to put up a frame house for each of us, 18 by 32 feet, one story high. I had not a foot of plank to use in any of them; the studding were rails straightened; the siding split boards, and the floor puncheons. The front doors and window-sash were brought round from Pittsburgh and bought at Fort Madison. 

"On the 10th of September, 1836, the proprietors of West Point made a sale of lots, after pretty full advertisement. The proprietors were all temperance men, and one or two of them were elders in the old blue-stocking Presbyterian Church. They had set apart a liberal plat of ground to their late minister, who was coming to settle there, and they had arranged to build a meeting-house and organize a church. To be a 'hard-shell' Baptist was then respectable with the settlers; to be a Campbellite was passable; and to be a Methodist could be tolerated; but they felt that it was asking rather too much for anyone to come among them and propagate temperance and blue-stocking Presbyterianism. It was strongly whispered that this was a bad lot to settle in a new country — in fact, it was whispered pretty loudly. The proprietors were very anxious to have their sale a success. They were all Kentuckians, and, at that time, had seen but few Yankees; still, they had picked up some Yankee ideas, and, as nearly all the settlers were from the South, they concluded to make, on the day of sale, a regular old-fashioned barbecue. No sooner was this known than the hard-shells themselves softened and offers from all quarters were made to take charge of the roasting department of the barbecue, and the worst of enemies became friends. Both the sale and the barbecue were a grand success; plenty to eat for all and well cooked, no one intoxicated, everything cheerful and pleasant. The sale amounted to about twenty-three hundred dollars. 

Not long after this sale, the people of West Point began a fight to secure the county s.at. The contest was kept up until 1 843, when a commission composed of Thomas O. Wamsley, I. N. Selby and Stephen Gearhart, appointed by the Legislature, selected West Point as the most suitable location for the judicial seat of Lee County. For a brief period there was rejoicing among the West Pointers, and then another act was passed, authorizing an election at which the people could decide the location for themselves. In that election Fort Madison won and some of the citizens of West Point suffered pecuniary losses in consequence. But the town held on and in time regained much of its former prosperity. 

The West Point of 19 14 is one of the thriving towns of Lee County. It is incorporated, has a bank, a canning factory, a cigar factory, a weekly newspaper, several well-stocked mercantile establishments, a good public school building, an international money order post office with five rural routes, Methodist Episcopal, Presbyterian and Catholic churches and a number of handsome residences. Being located on the Fort Madison & Ottumwa division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway System, in the center of a rich farming country in West Point Township, and only eleven miles from Fort Madison, it is an important trading and shipping point. The West Point District Agricultural Society has held annual fairs at West Point for nearly half a century. According to the United States census for 1910 the population of the town was then 570. 

Wever 

In July, 1 891, Elisha Cook surveyed and platted the Town of Wever for William and Louisa Blakslee, George W. and Clara Tucker, and others, and the plat, showing eight blocks of four lots each, was filed with the county recorder on December 18, 1891. The town is the outgrowth of the building of the railroad which is now the Burlington & St. Louis division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy System. It is located in the central part of Green Bay Township, eight miles by rail from Fort Madison, and is the commercial center of Green Bay and a large part of Washington and Denmark townships. Wever has a savings bank, three general stores, a money order post office with two rural routes, a public school, a grain elevator and some minor business concerns, and in 1914 had an estimated population of one hundred. 

Post Offices

The following list of Lee County post offices is taken from the United States Postal Guide issued in July, 1914, the figures in parentheses showing the number of rural delivery routes emanating from the office immediately preceding: Argyle, Belfast, Charleston (1), Cottonwood, Croton, Denmark, Donnellson (4), Fort Madison (3), Franklin, Houghton, Keokuk (2), Montrose (4), Mount Hamill (2), New Boston, Pilot Grove, Primrose, Summitville, Vincennes ( 1 ), West Point (5), Wever (2). Domestic money orders are issued by all these offices and international money orders by the post  offices at Fort Madison, Keokuk, Montrose and West Point.


Source:  History of Lee County, Iowa, by Dr. S. W. Moorhead and Nelson C. Roberts, 1914

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