Madison County, Iowa


by Herman Mueller

  Herman August Mueller was a prominent Madison County citizen and historian for many years. He wrote numerous papers and finally authored the 1915 History of Madison County and Its People. Herman was born in 1866 in Jefferson Township to George and Katherine Schott Mueller. He lived his entire life in Madison County, marrying Cora Irvin in 1909 and thence residing in St. Charles until his death in 1943. He and Cora are buried in the St. Charles Cemetery.

Up to the time of the Revolutionary war, practically all the people of the United States were living east of the Allegheny Mountains in the thirteen original colonies.  There was very little emigration to the west of the Alleghenies until after the close of the war but then it flourished.  By the turn of the century there was quite a wave of immigration into Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio,  Indiana and Illinois, until by 1818 all five of them had sufficient population to be admitted as states.  Iowa had scarcely been thought of and as yet belonged to the Indians.  It was not until after the Black Hawk war, 1832-33, that the first settler crossed the Mississippi and settled along its western shore.  The first Iowa settlers came from across the river, from Illinois, Indiana and Ohio and the eastern states.  Some came by steamers down the Ohio River and up the Mississippi River and then scattered along the western bank of the Mississippi, some stopping at Keokuk, and others at Burlington, Davenport, Clinton and Dubuque.  Others came west across the country in prairie schooners, and they were ferried across at these various places.  Clayton was among the first Iowa counties to be settled, having over 1700 citizens in the 1840 census. Hence by the time that Madison County was open for settlers, late in the fall of 1845, Clayton County was pretty well settled for that day.

The first settlers in Madison County were from Missouri, coming in the spring of 1846.  Hirum Hurst was the first, rumored to be a fugitive from an arson charge in his home state of  Missouri. He came alone and later went back to Missouri to collect his family and belongings. The Clanton contingent settled near where St. Charles now stands.  The Guye family settled in Union Township.  Later in the summer there came also from northwestern Missouri John Evans, Lemuel Thornbrugh, John Butler, William Butler, Irwin Baum, Martin Baum, Jacob Combs, William Combs, John Beedle, Philip M. Boyles and others.

The following year there came David Bishop and the Whiteds, who settled south of Middle River on what was afterwards known as Hoosier Prairie.  These were from Indiana and started a colony of Hoosiers, made by the addition of the Henkels, the Runkles, Queens, Debords and others.

Union Township Sturmans, Lulls and Phillipses came from Coshocton County, Ohio.  Later in the 50s there was a large colony settled in Ohio Township, from which the township took its name.  However, people from Ohio and Indiana settled in various parts of Madison County; the Irish settlement in Lee and Crawford townships; the German settlement in Jefferson Township; the Quakers about Earlham; the Ohio Swiss German settlement in Penn Township and the  Kentucky settlement in South and Scott townships.

It will be noticed that all the settlements already mentioned came from outside the State of  Iowa, while the Clayton County settlers came from within the State of Iowa.  Up to the time of the Civil war and later there were many no doubt who had first settled in some other part of Iowa and later moved to Madison County, but there is no single county that ever sent such an immigration as Clayton, and one that has made such an impression upon the people. This wave began about 1864 and lasted until 1873. The cause of this emigration was to find cheaper lands, as the land from where they came had increased in value and they were also seeking a more moderate climate.

Charles C. Goodale, one of the best known men in Madison County thirty years ago, had the following to say: "The first settler from Clayton County was John Wragg, who in the year 1863 settled in Grand River Township, but only stayed there about a year, when he removed to Dallas County, where he remained until he died.

The pioneer of the Clayton County wave, however, was Daniel Hazen, who, having sold his farm in 1863 in Clayton County, and desiring a more moderate climate where the winters were not so severe, shortly afterward made a trip through the southern and southwestern part of the state, and becoming attracted by the fertility of the soil in Jefferson Township, purchased land there in 1864. In 1865 he moved there and was shortly afterward followed by three of his brothers, Emerous and Rufus Hazen, who settled in Jefferson Township, and Emerson Hazen, who settled in Lee Township. With Rufus Hazen came Miss Lucinda Parks, who shortly afterwards married Henry Gutshall, a resident of Jefferson Township, and there they still reside.

In August, 1865, Charles C. Goodale, an acquaintance of the Hazens, came to Jefferson Township and worked for Daniel Hazen, and during the winter taught school in the Jefferson schoolhouse in that district. During the winter he purchased a tract of land in Lee Township, where he afterwards resided until the fall of 1873, when he moved to Winterset, having been elected county auditor. John Stevenson settled in Lee Township in 1867 and remained there several years, after which he removed to California.

Jefferson Township was the favored township for the people from Clayton County, owing to the character of the soil, which resembled that of Clayton County, and also to the smooth undulating surface in the northern part where most of them settled. In 1866 those who came to  Jefferson Township were Malcolm McBride, William C. Hazen, Gustavus Hazen, John Kelley, Mrs. Estey, George and John Brooker and John Hartenbower.

In 1867 those who came were William Brewster, Leonidas Renshaw, Lewis Ballou, Enoch Allen, Frank Trunkey, Elliott Cook, Jonathan Smith, John Hutchins, Alfred Pierce, Almon Wright, John Wright, Dewitt C. Wright, Hardy Lockwood, Gudliffe Brooker, Frederick Brooker, Timothy Killam, and John Smith. All these settled in Jefferson Township. Afterwards and prior to 1870 those who settled in this township from Clayton County were Merrill A. Knight, Alexander Miller, Sylvester Renshaw, Silas Angier, William Kelley, Gearhardt Storck, John Westphal, Herman Marquardt, Ferdinand Marquardt, Mr. Steinhouse, Merrill Carty, Harriet Hazen, George Allen and William Buske.

In 1868 Anson M. Peters settled in Madison Township and soon after George Storck settled there. About the same time Simeon Alger settled in Penn Township and Thomas Adams and William Shennan settled in Jackson Township.

During the period from 1865 to 1870 Dr. Evan Linton, Mrs. Linton, Harrison, Hettie and Emily Linton, Emily Adams and Charles Henry Lancaster came from Clayton County and settled in Winterset.

Of the foregoing settlers, John Hartenbower and John Smith were afterwards elected as representatives; Merrill A. Knight, county treasurer; George Storck, county supervisor; Dewitt C. Wright, clerk of the district court; and Charles C. Goodale, county auditor."

Of the list mentioned it will be noted that many have moved away and others have passed to a better land. However, many of their descendants are living within the county, some occupying the homes where their parents first settled.

The  Clayton County settlers were an honest, sober, industrious class of citizens and were progressive farmers. They became identified with Madison County's best farmers and having settled in the north part of the county, they made a wise choice in the selection of farms and soon became well-to-do and prosperous. John Wragg, who settled in Grand River in 1863, went to Dallas County the following year and founded the Wragg Nursery, which is now known all over the state. 

Lee Township Emerson Hazen came here in 1865 and owned 320 acres of land in section 16. He died several years ago. Part of the farm is still owned by a son and daughter. John Stevenson came in 1867 and owned a farm on section 5, which is now occupied by William Shambaugh. Mr. Stevenson moved to Colorado many years ago.  Solomon H. Bronson arrived in 1868 and for a time lived on section 19. He soon afterward began buying and shipping hogs, making his residence at De Soto, Booneville and Commerce. He died a few years ago at the latter place.

Madison Township Enoch Allen in 1867 bought 640 acres of land on sections 11, 12, 13 and 14, which he sold to Anson M. Peters, who came in 1868. Mr. Peters owned one of the best farms in Madison Township. Several years ago he moved to California, first disposing of his land. It is owned at present by Henry Thomsen and others. George Storck, the first of the Germans, came in 1868 and bought 160 acres on which he still lives. He owns in all 440 acres.

Penn Township Simeon Alger settled at Penn Center, in Perm Township, in 1868, and there passed away. He was the father of Mrs. L. Renshaw, Mrs. Merrill Carty and Mrs. Rev. William Mercer.

Jackson Township Thomas Adams and William Sherman settled here in 1868. Clark Sherman owned land in sections 4 and 9 from 1876 until 1901.

Jefferson Township Daniel Hazen bought his farm in section 27 in 1864 and moved thereon in 1865. He later owned 320 acres. About 1883, on account of ill health, he and his family went to Florida and there his wife died. He and his sons returned to Madison County. He died a number of years ago. His son Bert now lives in Union County and Carl lives in Oregon. Emerous Hazen bought land on section 3 in 1865, where his son Frank still resides. Rufus Hazen settled on section 14 in 1865, near Pleasant Grove Church.  He moved to Union County many years ago and some of his children still reside there. He is now deceased.

Charles C. Goodale came in 1865. He worked for Daniel Hazen and also taught school. He later lived on a farm in Lee Township. In 1873 he was elected county auditor, holding the position three terms. In 1887 he moved with his family to Lamar,  Colorado. For four years he was surveyor general of Colorado and made his home in Denver. He is now practicing law at Lamar, where he has property interests.

George Allen, who came in 1865, was a brother of Mrs. Emerous Hazen.  Mrs. Henry Gutshall, who was formerly Miss Lucinda Parks and came here in 1865, lives on the old homestead on section 2.

George Brooker, who came in 1866, married a Miss Killam. He owned the northeast quarter of section 22. He died about 1885. His children were. Clinton and Elmer E. of Des Moines, Orva of South Dakota, Ernest of Jefferson Township and Mrs. Williams. John Brooker, who came in 1866, settled on section 16, Jefferson Township.  He died in Winterset in 1904. He married Mary Hubbard and their children are Ernest, William, and Mrs. Lou Imes, Mrs. Trindle, Mrs. Coe and Clara. Malcolm McBride, who came in 1866, settled on section 22. He died about 1894. He married a Miss Hazen, who died many years ago. Their children were Lawrence William of New Mexico, Mrs. Hettie Baur, Mrs. Nellie Alexander and Carrie.

John Kelley, who came in 1866, married a Miss Estey and they had several children. Mrs. Estey, who came the same year, died many years ago. Besides her daughter, Mrs. Kelley, her children were Oren, Benjamin and Mrs. Kopp. Gustavus Hazen at one time owned Reigle Mill. John Hartenbower owned 160 acres of land on section 25. He was elected representative in 1870. He later went to Kansas where he was elected to the same office. He died a few years ago.

Elliott Cook owned 320 acres of land on section 24.  Francis Trunkey owned land on section 13. He moved to Van Meter, Iowa, and died there several years ago. Gudliffe Brooker lived on section 20.  He became very prominent in Sunday school work and was president of the  county Sunday school association for twenty years or more. He sold his farm and died in Earlham in March, 1907. Frederick Brooker lived but a short time in Jefferson Township, when he moved to Missouri and there died.

William Brewster owned land on section 21. He eventually returned to his old home in Connecticut and died there several years ago. Lewis Ballou owned 240 acres of land on section 17. He eventually moved to Pasadena, California. Leonidas Renshaw owned a farm on section 21. He sold his land several years ago and moved to Indianola and later to Canada. He married a Miss Alger. John Hutchins owned the northwest quarter of section 16.  He died several years ago.  Some of his children resided in Colorado and a son. Dr. Arthur C. lives in Des Moines. His daughters are Mrs. Frank Howell and Mrs. Alvin Williams.

Munson Wright owned the Procknow farm. He moved to Storm Lake. Alfred Pierce, who lived on section 12, married a Miss Wright. Almon Wright lived on section 12. D. C. Wright was elected clerk of the district court in 1893. He later moved to North Dakota. Timothy Killam first located in Winterset and later in Jefferson Township. He was the father of Mrs. Gudliffe and Mrs. George Brooker, James Monroe Killam of Truro, Timothy Ingram of St. Charles, Clinton Dewitt of Sioux City and George of Denver.

Jonathan Smith, who owned land on section 14, moved to Van Meter and died there a few years ago. John J. Smith lived on section 10, and was elected representative in 1875.

Silas Angier moved from the county to Dakota and later moved to Indianola, Iowa. Adam Geizelman lived on the Renshaw farm. All the above named came in 1867 to Jefferson Township.

George Cook, who came in 1868, owned eighty acres on section 14. His children were Elliott, Frank and George. He died in 1885.

Merrill Knight, who came the same year, owned 160 acres on sections 7 and 8. He was elected county treasurer in 1875 and served two terms.  He conducted a hotel in Winterset for a time and later lived on a farm in Jackson Township, where he passed away.  He had three sons and three daughters.

Sylvester Renshaw came in 1868 and settled on section 21, Jefferson Township. He married a Miss Hazen and moved to Earlham. Alexander Miller settled on the southwest quarter of section 9, Jefferson Township.

Gerhardt Storck came in 1870 and located on sections 9 and 10. He married a Miss Marquardt and reared a large family and died. Ferdinand Marquardt came in 1870 and located on section 3.

William Buske, who came to the county in 1871, lived on section 8. He later moved to Des Moines.

August Bernau came in 1872 and settled on section 7. He died in 1885. John H. Bernau, also deceased, lived on section 14. Another son William lived on the homestead. The daughters were Mrs. R. Kneuper and Mrs. Henrietta Wishmire. Charles and Merrill Carty, who came in 1872, were then aged eleven and thirteen years respectively.

August Zieman and wife came in 1873 and located on sections 21 and 28. Carl Marquardt and wife also came in 1873. They were the parents of Mrs. Gerhardt and Mrs. George Storck, Mrs. William H. Burger and Ferdinand and Herman Marquardt. Frederick Roggeman came in 1873 and settled on section 8. He sold to Louis Niendorf.

John Westphal came here in 1874 and settled on sections 3 and 4. He died in 1884. His widow afterward moved to Des Moines. His son Herman lives in Jefferson Township. Frederick H. Myers came in 1874 and located on 320 acres on section 21.


Transcribed by Judy Wight Branson

Edited by Kent Transier


Maintained by the County Coordinator

This page was created on Sept 27, 2006.
This page was last updated Thursday, 19-Jan-2017 21:37:22 EST .