1915 History of Marion County

History of Marion County Iowa and Its People, Volume I
by John W. Wright and W. A. Young (1915)

Many thanks to Mary E. Boyer, who graciously transcribed these chapters for IAGenWeb Marion County.

Volume II of this history consists entirely of biographies, online at The Iowa Biographies Project. Angie Hardesty has a copy of Volume II that she'd like to sell for $10.

Table of Contents Volume I

Chapter I: Physical Features, Geology, Etc.
Location and Boundaries - Surface - The Des Moines River - Origin of its Name - The Skunk River -
Other Water-Courses - Timber - Geology - The Glacial Epoch - Character of the Glacial Drift - Geological Surveys -
Economic Geology - Coal - Building Stone - Clays - Miscellaneous Minerals - Water Supply

Chapter II: Aboriginal Inhabitants
The Mound Builders - Character and Probable Purpose of the Mounds - Districts in the United States -
Peculiarities of Each - Theories Regarding the Mound Builders - Mounds in Marion County - The Indians -
General Distribution at the Close of the Fifteenth Century - The Sacs and Foxes - The Iowas -
Character Sketches of Their Principal Chiefs - The Pottawatomi - The Winnebago

Chapter III: The Period of Preparation
Early Explorations in America - Conflicting Claims of England, France and Spain -
First Settlements in the New World - Jesuit Missionaries - Marquette and Joliet - La Salle -
Province of Louisiana - French and Indian War - Fur Companies - Clark’s Conquest of the Northwest -
The Louisiana Purchase - Iowa Under Various Jurisdictions - Acquisition of Indian Lands -
Policies in Dealing with the Indians - The Black Hawk War - Treaty of 1832 - Treaty of 1842 -
Its Principal Provisions - Removal of the Indians From Iowa

Chapter IV: Settlement and Organization
Progress of Settlement in Iowa - Indian Treaty of 1842 - Early Trading Posts in Marion County - First Settlers -
West of the Red Rock Line - Claims and Claim Associations - Pioneer Life and Customs - Amusements -
Organization of the County - The “Cornstalk Convention” - The Organic Act - Locating the County Seat -
First Election - Election Precincts - Road Districts - Second Election - Vote on the State Constitution -
Evolution of the Present System of County Government

Chapter V: Public Buildings, Etc.
No Public Buildings When Marion County Was Organized - The First Courthouse - Its Cost and Location -
The Second Courthouse - Condemned as Unsafe in 1895 - Present Courthouse - Bonds Voted to Build It -
Completed in 1896 - The Jail - The County Farm - Home for the Aged - The Inebriate Hospital

Chapter VI - Township History
Introduction of the Township System in the United States - Act of the Legislature
Authorizing Civil Townships in Iowa - Marion County Divided into Ten Townships in January, 1847 -
List of Townships in 1914 - Clay - Dallas - Franklin - Indiana - Knoxville - Lake Prairie - Liberty -
Location and Physical Characteristics of Each - Early Settlers and Incidents -
Present-Day Conditions - Schools - Railroads, Etc.

Chapter VII - Township History, Continued
Perry Township - Pleasant Grove - Polk - Red Rock - An Indian Voter - Summit - Swan -
An Example of Frontier Justice - Union - Washington - Historical Sketch of Each Township -
Pioneers and Their Experiences - Early Schools and Elections - Railroads - Population and Wealth

Chapter VIII - The City of Knoxville
Beginning of the City's History - Surveying the Site - Agents to Sell Lots - First Settlers - Changing the Name -
Incorporation of the Town - Growth and Development - Public Lighting - Telephones - Waterworks -
City Hall - Sewer System - Public Parks - Miscellaneous History - Commercial Club -
List of Mayors - Population and Wealth

Chapter IX - Pella and its Environs
Location - Original Survey of the Town - Additions - First Settlers - The Holland Colony -
Hendrick P. Scholte - Religious Persecution in Holland - Sod Houses - Pella Incorporated -
List of Mayors - The Semi-centennial - Growth and Development - Fire Department -
Electric Light - Waterworks - Education - Business Interests - Population and Wealth

Chapter X - Towns and Villages
Speculation in Townsites in Early Days - List of Towns and Villages in Marion County -
Historical Sketch and Interesting Incidents of Each - Post Offices and Rural Routes in 1914

Chapter XI - Marion County in the Civil War
Introduction of Slavery into the United States - Its Prominence as a Political Issue - The Missouri Compromise -
The Omnibus Bill - Political Campaign of 1860 - Secession of the Southern States - Organization of the
Southern Confederacy - Star of the West Incident - Fort Sumter - Call for Volunteers - Iowa's Response -
Brief Histories of the Regiments in Which Marion County was Represented -
Rosters of Marion County Companies - Miscellaneous Enlistments - General Summary - The Work at Home

Chapter XII - Spanish-American War, Etc.
Conditions Before the War - Cuba Under Spanish Rule - Insurrections and Revolutions - The Ten Years' War -
Debt and Tyranny - Uprising of 1893 - General Weyler - Sentiment in the United States -
Destruction of the Battleship Maine - Action of Congress - Cuban Ports Blockaded - War Declared -
The Fifty-first Iowa Infantry - Service in the Philippines - Iowa National Guard - Soldiers' Monument at Pella

Chapter XIII - Internal Improvements
Conditions in 1843 - Development of Seventy-two Years - River Transportation - Des Moines River Land Grant -
Steamboats on the Des Moines - Public Highways - Old Indian Trails - Corduroy -
First Roads Established by the County - Ferries and Bridges - The Railroad Era - Early Opposition to Railroads -
Railroad Meeting at Knoxville in 1853 - The Various Lines of Railway in Marion county - Mileage and Valuation

Chapter XIV - Finance and Industry
Public Finances - Bonded Indebtedness - Value of Taxable Property - Agriculture -
Statistics Relating to Crops and Live Stock - Farmers' Institutes - Their Influence - Coal Mining -
Brief Sketches of the Leading Mining Companies - Manufacturing

Chapter XV - Educational Development
Early Schoolhouses - Their Furniture - Course of Study - Spelling Schools - First Schools in Marion County -
Public School System - Permanent School Fund - School Revenues of the County in 1914 - Modern Buildings -
Central College at Pella - The Press - Short Histories of the County Papers - Public Libraries

Chapter XVI - Church History
Difficulties Attending the Writing of Church History - Methodists First in Marion County - Methodist Churches -
Baptists - Christians or Disciples - Presbyterians - United Brethren - Lutherans - Congregationalists -
The Reformed Church - Catholics - Miscellaneous Churches - Rural Churches

Chapter XVII - The Bench and the Bar
Purpose of the Courts - The Lawyer as a Citizen - First Courts in Iowa - First District Court in Marion County -
Judge Williams - Judge McFarland - Judge Stone - Changes in Judicial Districts - Judge Ayres -
The Circuit Court - The Bar - Brief Sketches of Early Lawyers - Present-Day Attorneys

Chapter XVIII - The Medical Profession
The Doctor's Welcome in a New Settlement - Home Remedies of Pioneer Days -
Character of the Olden Time Physician - His Stock of Drugs and Method of Treatment -
His Social Standing - Sketches of Early Marion County Physicians - Medical Societies

Chapter XIX - Societies and Fraternities
Agricultural Societies - Old Settlers' Association - Masonic Fraternity - Independent Order of Odd Fellows -
Knights of Pythias - Improved Order of Red Men - Grand Army of the Republic - Miscellaneous Societies

Chapter XX - Miscellaneous History
The Rose Ann McGregor Case - The Majors' War - Early Day Lawlessness - Treasury Robberies - Jim Lane's Trial

Chapter XXI - Statistical Review
Population - Official Census Reports - General Industrial Conditions - Chronology -
A Summary of Principal Events Connected with Marion County History - Postscript