Mills County, Iowa  


History Journal




Contributed by Joe DeGisi with permission from Beverly Boileau


by D.H. Solomon




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The Opinion
Glenwood, Iowa
July 29, 1876

to bear to the right to pass it (now Andrew J. Fair's wagon shop); and here we entered a well beaten street. This house he said was Judge Bennett's office, and the Clerk's office - that Bennett had bought it of George Hedges for a court house; it is 14 x 18. On the right (west) of this street (block 17) was a corn field of 4 to 5 acres enclosed by a worm fence. On the se corner of which (lot 6) was a large two story frame store house, Nuckolls' store; on the left (east) also (block 20), was a rude fence which enclosed a cabin (Coons) and a truck patch; then occupied by Froughlein McCabe, the village carpenter, southeast of the store (lot 8, block 21) was a small story and a half hotel kept by Jesse Painter (now the Hudson house). The sign post that was then there is still offering its inducements to the weary traveler to cease his pilgrimage and be entertained, but the house is now raised, enlarged, new commodious and well kept. George was a great talker and as a stage driver had all the usual accomplishments, speaking several languages besides the english merely for emphasis and style.

About one year before this at the city of Quincy, in Illinois, where I was at that time reading law with Browning & Bushell, I had made the acquaintance of Col. Sharp, casually, as he was passing enroute for home (Coonville) in a two horse buggy - I asked for him and George drove me to his house. This was a two story frame, with a shed room on the north and then stood on the corner opposite where the foundry now is (lot 5, block 16) and on the precise spot where Mrs. Deuell (described above as the child first born in Mills county) now resides. It did not take me long to discover that this spot was, through the attractive magic influence, which Col. Sharp always exercised over men the head quarters of Mills county. This house it was said had been built about two years before by W.W. Noyes. That the trees from which the materials - the timbers, siding, finishing, flooring, frame stuff, doors and all lumber - had been obtained were cut while out in full leaf - and that in six weeks time from the felling of the trees the house was finished and occupied, the hurry being in consequence of a desire to get a house ready for Judge Sloan to hold court in. It was in the lower room of this house that the first court in October 1851 was held. This house has been moved to the south side of the public square, and is the building now occupied by Stoddard Wick's drug store (still headquarters), and after 25 years has the appearance of being as sound and substantial as houses of but five years standing. When I arrived, Bela White kept store in the lower room, and the shed on the north side and the room up stairs - which was all in one room, about 20 feet wide by 45 feet long, and above the store room - were used by Col. Sharp as a dwelling. In this large room up stairs, which was not lathed or plastered, nearly all the trades and intrigues of the time, in Mills county, were concocted and carried out. The only entrance to this upper room was by a pair of stairs inside of the main building and in the rear end, and to reach these it was necessary to pass through the shed room.

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This shed room was divided into two, about 12 feet was cut off in front, where I think there were a few drugs on some shelves - Dr. Wm. Street had his office there - and another in the rear, used by Sharp's family as a family room, dining room, kitchen, etc.

In this upper room, too, the dances were held about two nights of each week. And in those days nearly all the citizens took part in them alike, the old as well as the young. There was often much beauty, grace, and even fashion, displayed. When a grand affair was desired, Fred Lord was sent for to fiddle. One evening after supper, one of Tyson's boys was blacking his boots and preparing for the dance - the tickets were generally $1.25 for gent and his lady. We discussed the matter. On being told by me that the nights doings would cost him $25, he looked at me in astonishment, and asked, "how could that be?" I replied, that the $1.25 would now buy one acre of our fine Mills county land, and that the day he did this his $1.25 would be worth to him $25. Poor fellow, he and his whole family, a wife and children, were drowned one night while asleep in their beds, in their humble dwelling in the valley of Cherry creek, near Denver City.

The stage line at that time belonged to Silas Green, brother of Manly W., hereafter described, and some other men, and the stages stopped at the McCabe tavern - a small one story building having 4 rooms below and 3 rooms in the attic. This building is still standing and is occupied in part by the Sprague Foundry. Mrs. Roxanna Blackmar tells me she landed here in April 1852, says they came by boat as far as St. Joe, in order to get a boat for Kanesville, but failed, and then her husband, D.W. Blackmar and Jacob Woodrow procured two yoke of cattle and came up the river bottom to the old stage road coming up through the hills to Sidney, which contained at that time but two houses, and the next habitation was Noah Green's stage station - Gailiard's - and there was no house from Greens until reaching Coonville. They crossed Keg creek on a bridge which stood in the crossing of Walnut and Green streets, and angled across block 22 to the McCabe tavern. That McCabe then kept store across the street in a small one story building on a lot next to and north of the corner (Sharps - lot 5, block 16), and that he then kept the post office also. That Coolidge had the best store in the county, in the building above described as Nuckolls. That Blackmar bought a log cabin of a Mormon which stood just north of the frame house they afterwards built and lived in, getting one acre of ground (lot 4, block 18), for $20 and a wagon cover. They went to the town spring for water, which was between the Coons and Everett houses. And Blackmar and John Snuffin put up a blacksmith and gunsmith shop a little south and east of a cabin which stood somewhere about the corner where Heinsheimer's store is now. The precise location of this cabin is much disputed by the old settlers, some placing it on the SW corner of the public square, and nearly in front of Vaughan's store - the house built by Townsend - others say it was in Sharp street, others that it was precisely where Heinsheimer's store stands, and still others and among them John Sivers and myself, that it was still further south, and on the ridge.

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I am inclined to think we are, all of us, correct about it, for it stands in recollection only. It was occupied by the families of Samuel Allis, Wm. Snuffin, Daniel Tinkel, Burnes Decker, Wm. R. English and Geo. Graves in succession, and was used part of the time as an office or headquarters of Gordon & Townsend. It was built by a Mormon named Crossley.

Walnut street, the length of but two blocks, was the scene of all business done at Glenwood in the year 1853, except such as could be drawn away from that to the public square by Capt. W.R. English, Sarpy's clerk, and R.B. Townsend, who did not get into his store until late. The trading mostly all of it centered at Nuckoll's corner. The county business and such as Bennett controlled tended toward his office on lot 10, block 2_, and was about equally divided between this point and Sharp's corner, lot 5, block 16, a distance of 200 yards. The post office was at Tyson's dwelling house, on west side of block 22, and due south of McCabe's hotel, and the hotel business was about equally divided between Painter and McCabe. This street was constantly filled with people and scenes of strife and anger occurred almost daily. Here the two factions had been and were still in the habit of meeting and having their angry conflicts with deadly weapons. I soon had forced upon me the exciting details of broils and disturbances both past and present. Their impress will never be effaced.

W.W. Noyes, a Mormon, at first lived about two miles south of Coonville on the _____ tract that was present to P____ Goode, by his excellent and exemplary Christian father, Elder Goode, on his marriage with Miss Gallaher, and which is now owned and occupied by some of the Stranathan family, and here was the first stage stand. In 1850, Noyes built the McCabe tavern and moved to Coonville and at first kept the stages. In the summer of 1851, he built the house on the opposite corner. The Wick house for Judge Sloan to hold court in. But prior to this the frame house on the bank of Keg creek at the bridge built by Britton & Co., was built. This was the first frame house in the town, and was on the south side of block 33, or in the street - Green street. The houses here prior to that, being those built by Coons, Everetts, Britton, Crosby's, and a cabin on block 20, and south of Everett's, once occupied by the widow Ahers, and the Mormon's who sold to Blackmar that occupied by Dr. Rogers, which was, built by Alex Miller, a half breed Indian, and one or two on block 15, and that on the precise location of which is in much doubt, but which was near the SW corner of the public square. These made Coonville as it was in its prestine purity. When Noyes built in 1850 the crossing on Keg creek was still on the bridge built by Britton & Co., out of Burgers logs, and the road then passed north around to or near the south west corner of the public square and thence on round heading the branch Coon lived on. The post office was kept at his house. Coolidge built his store in 1850, and filled it with a mammoth stock of goods, and did an immense business. He had a shed room an the rear end of the building and in this his family resided in 1851. Gabriel Cotton built a small temporary house and sold it to Mr. Richardson and he afterwards built his ____ _____ lot 3, block 11. The John Snuffin house on lot 2, block 16, was built by Buchanon, a brother of Mrs. Coolidge, of whom Snuffin bought, a part of which is still to be seen. It is the projection on the west end of Bartholomew's

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dwelling house. In 1851 Silas Hillman built a small house on the lot just north of the Sharp house which was on lot 5, block 16, and they dug a partnership well. In 1852, the hotel kept by Painter on lot 8, block 21, was built by Beeson. This was a deaf man. He had some money and had loaned Noyes $500 with which to erect the house to hold court in on lot 5, block 16, took a mortgage and through some technicality lost the money. In 1852 also Washington Hepner built the small house in block 20, where Tolles' shop now is and where my law office was at first. In the same year James Bates, who had been a clerk for Noyes, built or partly built the Tyson house in block 22. He was then single but was about to marry a daughter of Lloyd Fallon. Lewis Johnson and his cronies fell out with him and when any of them came into town, would try and catch him at work there. He was afraid of them and had reason to be, and would slip into the brush and hide whenever he saw them coming; once they came, and seeing his coat thought they had him. They shot his coat full of bullet holes, but he was hid in the brush looking at them. He finished, but did not ever live in the house - sold to 0.N. Tyson and left.

Judge Bennett figured largely in those days, was county judge, a tolerably good rough and tumble lawyer, and enjoyed the confidence of the people generally in 1853. He had come there in the fall of 1851 from Savannah in Andrew county, Mo. He boarded with McCabe that fall or the forepart of the winter of 1852. He and McCabe's daughter, Sarah, were making it up to marry. McCabe opposed the match, but on what grounds is impossible to tell. She was of age and Bennett certainly a worthy young man. What he was has been shown. He has since been for two terms, a member of congress, and was worth at one time, as he has since told me himself - $100,000, made in coal oil and other speculations. McCabe was a man with very little to recommend him. The girl was a poor - dependent orphan child. He even went so far as to assault her with great violence seizing her by the hair of the head. They eloped and were married in Missouri. Bennett had some law books which had cost him $265 - all the cash he had at the time. McCabe seized and dumped them into the vault of his privy and destroyed them, as it was claimed by Bennett. The very elements seemed in those days of insubordination to sour on the law and everything which pertained to it.

After marrying, Bennett resided with his wife up the Tinkle branch, on property now owned by Leonard Hanston, in the house built by Esq. Gammet, but long since gone. It was on the bank of the creek and near an excellent spring. Leonard in plowing there not long since found a pure silver teaspoon.

In 1852 Bennett built in town the house now owned and occupied by our energetic fellow townsman, Sprague, the foundryman, but which was then but one story in height and had but two rooms. The three causes between McCabe and Bennett on the docket for Bradford's court, sprung out of this singular conduct of McCabe.

In the fall of 1852, McCabe was arrested for robbing the mail, Bennett prosecuting. Robinson, who assisted him in the post office and who had been teaching school that summer in the log school house, was implicated with him. Letters and envelopes were found under the school house floor.

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There was nothing proven against McCabe except that he threw into the fire and burnt a letter that was so poorly superscribed that it had been sent from one office to another, and having been once or twice returned to this office, Coonville, he became out of patience with it and while under the influences of liquor threw it into the fire. Robinson was acquitted. McCabe was convicted, sentenced and served a short term in the penitentiary, and returned. He was coopering in the Silas Hillman house, his former store and post office, when I reached here. People who were here at the time and acquainted with all the facts and circumstances, thought generally that he was guilty of nothing more than burning the letter, as stated.

After court adjourned in the fall of 1851, Noyes bought goods of Thomas E. Toodle, and put a store in the lower room of the house he had just built on lot 5, block 16. It was not long before Tootle mistrusted all was not right; he had been posted by the Green's. It was said Tootle came up, closed him out, and transferred the goods to Jesse Painter.

Painter then placed his old stock in with those, and opened out on a large scale, and about the time he had got fairly under way, Samuel H. Riddle (Judge Riddle), came and closed him out on an old back debt. Riddle disposed of the goods, and Bela White then came in with a stock. He was there when I arrived, and Sharp was trying to get him out. White and Sharp were not friendly. White had first opened and kept a store over on Jesse Miller's farm - now the county poor farm. It was there that some parties had projected a town, called Lewis, and had tried to beat Coonville for the county seat.

In February 1853, Coolidge sold out to the Nuckolls' and in April following, Manly W. Green was married, and in the same month came with his beautiful bride to Glenwood, in the capacity of clerk for Nuckolls.

Green occupied the shed room in the rear end of the store as a dwelling. Coolidge bought the house Wash Hepner had built, and moved his family into it. They were living there when I rented the south shed room for an office. When I came here the old Mormon bridge in Green and Walnut streets east of Tyson's, was all the bridge there was across Keg creek for miles either way. There was at that time a small frame house just west of the building Sharp lived in, and in the same block, No. 16. To this Gordon and Townsend had some few goods - T.B. Gordon and R.B. Townsend. He opened out that fall on the public square.

The 4th of July of that year was celebrated on the square. Mrs. Tinkle got up the dinner in the log house whose precise location cannot be found. The brush had just been cut off of lot 7, block 1, on the north side of the public square, by Tinkle, preparatory to building the tavern which he did afterwards build, and there they spread the tables under a shade prepared. At night they had a dance in Townsend's store house. Jacob Woodrow and Ebernezer Woodrow fiddling for them - and they were good at it too - Jake called off.

Joe Rawles then owned and was running the Coolidge Mill. He was the great feature and leading spririt among those who delighted to call themselves the law and order party. The Mormons generally sided with him. And Lewis Johnson was the great feature and leading spirit of the opposite side.

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Many were the strifes and conflicts between these two parties and these two men. Rawles was a cool brave man and so was Johnson. They were each too smart to allow themselves to come into an actual personal attack, each was very cautious in regard to the other. I have witnessed several personal encounters when both were fully armed and prepared for the worst, and each determined not to give an inch, but words were the only weapons used. The community was shaken to its centre affecting every member in it, at the time reached here by these causes and their quarrels. And a man could not remain here without becoming identified with one or the other of them. Neither side trusted Sharp, though I believe he had more favorites among the Johnson folks than the others. The first trouble I had to contend with was the former acquaintance and his claims of friendship for me. I boarded at his house two weeks, and until I took the school. But I gave Mrs. Sharp four 95 cent pieces - all the money I had, to pay two weeks board.

Out of money and the prospect for legal business being dull, I sought a district school. Dr. Achilles Rogers was then school commissioner and it was necessary to obtain a certificate from him. He gave me a searching and critical examination, undertook to floor me by routing me through Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, plain and sperical comic sections, in fact over the entire field of the science of quantity, the Greek and Latin languages, Chemistry, Geology and other abstruce sciences pure and mixed, all to ascertain if I was qualified to teach a common district school in Coonville. I did not tell him, nor was it known here that I had graduated at Yale in the class of 1851. He finally but with some hesitation gave me a certificate, and I felt a keen sense of gratitude towards my Alma Mater for having qualified me to pass such an ordeal. The first week my school was but poorly attended, averaging but about 6 scholars per day. My introduction through Col. Sharp had set them against me. The second week however I had over 30. Rawles gave way and all found that I was going to be independent. The school house was a log cabin, with one door in the east; this was made of clapboards - a battened door - put together with wooden pins and hung on wooden hinges each hinge extending entirely across the door and a batten. The latch was a wooden bar sliding up and down in a wooden clasp, and fastened in the door by a wooden pin in one end, while the other rested in a wooden catch or jaw, fastened to the door caseing; this latch was raised to open the door by means of a string fastened to the same at one end while the other was passed through a gimlet hole in the door some two or three inches above the latch. Once the scholars made it up to fasten the teacher out, and they did it effectually by simply pushing in the string. The floor was made of puncheons, of windows there were two - one on the north and one on the south side - and were it not for spoiling Mickelwaite's Indian story I would say that they were each about 6 feet long horizontally, and about 12 inches wide and made by sawing one log out and inserting a sash that was hung on leathern hinges at the top so that to open them the sash were raised on the inside. The house had been chinked and daubed, but the mortar had mostly fallen out. The benches were all made in the same way but of different heights, to suit the ages of the scholars, a slab with five inch and a half auger holes bored in it, with pins of suitable length inserted in each hole, two in each end standing out from each other so as to give them a broad

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base and the other in the centre at right angles to the top or face of the bench - for a support. There were writing desks on each side and far enough from the wall to admit of seats behind them. These seats rested on pins that were driven into the wall. A rude table pinned together and a split bottomed chair (one of Whiting's) and a small piece of hazel about two and a half feet in length as an emblem of authority completed the furniture. At first the scholars arranged themselves in groups according to the class in which their parents belonged, and I found some trouble to get them to mix and intermingle. The spirit of insubordination was quelled after the first week, and I found no trouble in controling. I furnished all books except the common spelling book, and we had a fine time generally.

In the spring of 1853, some Indians fired into a camp of some emigrants on Mosquito creek, just above St. Mary's, and crippled a woman. The camp was at the bridge on the Council Bluffs road. There was quite a camp, some 30 or 40 wagons. It was an Sunday, in daylight and about 10 o'clock in the morning. The emigrants gathered and took after the Indians, and shot 3 of them dead - the third was shot in the back of the neck as he went over the bank of the river. They were California emigrants. They ran one three miles before they got him. Some of our citizens who were passing on their way to Council Bluffs at the time the fracas began, saw a dead Indian laying in the sand by the roadside, the flies blowing him, as they returned from the Bluffs in the evening.

In 1851 or 2, Col. Sarpy started a town below Trader's Point and called it St. Mary's. In 1853 he had a large steam ferry-boat there, and much of the emigration ferried there. There was at that time no steam ferry-boat above St. Mary's or Bellevue, but great numbers crossed south of the mouth of the Platt, on account of the Horn and Loup Fork, on the north side, which they often found it difficult from high waters to cross. There were no other towns in Mills county in 1853, but St. Mary's and Glenwood. Up to that time there was no Pacific City, no Loudon, Mt. Olive or Hillsdale, no White Cloud, no Milton or Malvern, no Hastings, and no Emerson.

The towns of Trader's Point or Council Bluffs, St. Mary's, Platteville or California City, have all been washed into the river, and there are now no trace of either of them left.

Nebraska was not open for settlement in 1853.

It had been the habit to break up all courts even the district court, and the practice of law had rather a grave and serious outlook to me. Lawyers had not been allowed to do or say anything distasteful to any of those wild and boisterous spirits.

James Evans had built a claim house on a claim; the party headed by the Johnsons wanted it, and ordered him off. He did not go. One night about midnight a party of men came and built a brush and log heap against it while the family were in it asleep; then set fire to the brush heap, and burnt the house. Evans employed me to bring suit against the Johnsons - we had selected George Hepner as the man who had the most nerve to try it before, as a justice of the peace. Hepner came to Glenwood to try the case - Pl'ff introduced its proofs and rested - Defense introduced witnesses and among the rest Miss Hester Ann Johnson, daughter of Lewis, a fine

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looking and apparently amiable, and I have no doubt a perfectly truthful young lady - she made her statement of the truth of which I had no doubt, they were attempting to establish an alibi, and show by her that they had been in bed and asleep at home the precise time the act was done, I felt that I could break the charm on cross examination. Lewis Johnson sat near and looked daggers at me - she was perfectly fair and candid in her answers (I was a single man). Johnson felt the sand slipping from under his feet - he was really very smart. The trial was in the room now used by Andy Fair as a wagon shop, and it was used for that purpose then. The room was crowded full of men. Johnson sprang to his feet with an oath, and his hand upon his knife which he always carried in his belt, with the words, "Don't you insult my daughter sir," as he rose I saw plainly it was his intention to knife me, but in an instant I saw his eye resting on some object behind me. There I stood between the two factions. Johnson and his crew in front, and Rawles and his party behind me, both prepared for blood, many of them armed with wagon spokes and felloes. Hepner spoke in a calm, firm tone, saying sternly, "Johnson sit down!" He did it, and the trial progressed. After that we never had any more trouble in courts, from threats or intimidation or force.

(Continued in the Mills County Journal, August 19, 1876)

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Mills County Journal
Glenwood, Iowa
August 19, 1876

I left the court room when court adjourned, was perfectly composed and unconcerned, felt no uneasiness, in fact, had forgotten the exciting incident of the day. Walked down to Sharp's house, went up the back stairs and took a seat by Wheatly Mickelwaite's bed. He was sick. The bed was in the east end and the stairs in the west end of the room, 45 feet apart. I had been seated but a moment when hearing someone coming up stairs, I looked up and there stood Johnson with a cocked pistol in hand. He ripped out an oath, "now, damn you, I have got you, defend yourself." I did not move or say a word. I had no weapon, I never carried them in my life. Mickelwaite heard him, and raised up in bed and said, "don't shoot, Johnson, put up your pistol and come here." He did so and was as white as a sheet, he and Mickelwaite had some talk. He told Johnson I was simply doing my duty for a client, and he would find my blood harder to get rid of than he thought. That Solomon was unarmed and that he, Johnson, could offer no possible defense for the act, and other things to that effect. We then, Johnson and myself, conversed a little. At first he was very angry, but finally got into a perfectly good humor, offered me his hand and we separated all right.

The emigration in passing went west through the hills to the Missouri bottom and what is now Pacific City, but was then Mayfield's farm on to Bethlehem, St. Mary's and Trader's Point. The road then ran about as it does now to Pacific.

Glenwood contained in July 1853, the following houses only:

1. Sarpy's store on the public square
2. Townsend's new store on the public square
3. The cabin, the place where located is in dispute
4. The blacksmith and gunshop
5. The cabin east of the spring (Everetts)
6. The cabin west of the spring (Coon's)
7. Blackmar's dwelling, a cabin on Locust street
8. The clerk's office on east side of Locust street
9. Nuckollsl store on west side of Locust street
10. Painter's hotel, on east side of Locust street
11. Coolidge's residence, on east side of Locust street
12. The McCabe tavern, on east side of Locust street
13. The Tyson building on east side of Locust street
14. The McCabe cooper shop, west side of Locust
15. Sharps house on west side of Locust street
16. The frame due west of that
17. Dr. Rogers house, a cabin on lot 3, block 10
18. The large cabin on block 15
19. A small frame on block 15
20. Azor Richardson's house on lot 3, block 11

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21. John Snuffin's house on lot 2, block 16
22. Judge Bennett's house, lot 1, block 9
23. House on block 33, near first bridge built by Britton & Co.
24. The old school house, lot 7, block 28
25. The cabin built by Henry G. Wolf, and occupied by Major English's family for a long time, on lot 7, block 4
26. The cabin on block 20, and south of that built by Everett

Now blot out from your view, and if possible, efface from your mind and memory your long lines of store houses to overflowing with tons of goods and merchandise of every description that can be called for - wholesale and retail houses - with their dapper and accommodating salesmen and clerks, their hordes of customers, and their smooth faced, silvery tongued, drummers from every city in the land. Your two to three hundred farmers teams that may be seen each recurring Saturday, hitched in your streets and alleys. Your banks and your shavings shops, your commodious brick court house, in which so many appeals for the redress of grievances - hundreds of arugments learned, eloquent, entertaining and instructive, and stern decrees and judgements meteing out justice between man and man have so often been pronounced. Your jail and its checkered iron grates, your costly brick church edifices with their dazzling spires, affording facilities for listening to instructive and eloquent discourses upon morals and religion. Your $15,000 ward school house, your large brick Orphans home, and each and every one of them fully paid for, and without the least shadow of an incumbrance - your B. & M. Railroad depot, with its side tracks constantly lined with freight cars. Your telegraph and express offices, your many palatial brick and frame residences, your long line of homelike cottages resounding with the merry ringing laugh of happy children, and having about them the emblem of unruffled domestic comfort and bliss. Your lawyers shingles and their immense libraries filled with legal lore, your physicians sign, and drug stores, your jewelry and many millinery establishments, your blacksmith and gunsmith shops, your provisions stores and meat markets, your milk and vegetable wagons and ice wagon, your printing offices and your college the Western Iowa Institute, your daguerrian and auction rooms, your iron foundry, wind mill manufactory, and other artizan and machine shops, your implement houses, your mammoth lumber yards, hourly receiving and distributing countless bills of pine and other lumbers, your carpenter, stone cutter, and marble shops, your busy masons and mechanics of every description busily employed in raising new edifices, your hotels and eating rooms, your paint shops and wagon and carriage factories, your harness and collar factories, your soap factory, and your shirt factory, your large Odd Fellows and Masonic halls, your city council chambers, and Mayor and city council, your crowded omnibus incessantly plying between the depot and various points of the city, owned and driven by a graduate of Dublin University, who greets his passengers, on entering his coach, in their own language, whatever it may be, and with an air and finish that would be at par at the court of St. James, speaking with precision and fluency, the French, the German, and the Italian, being himself, a native born Englishman, your long line of express wagons on their busy march from sun to sun, laden

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with merchandise and machinery from the depot, and other burdens between various points of the city, your numerous pairs of scales and the hundreds and thousands of wagon loads of corn, wheat and other farm products that are daily being weighed thereon, and driven to our depot for shipment, your large droves of fat cattle and hogs that you will see most any day being driven through the streets of our city to the depot, your excellent Howe bridges across Keg creek, your busy street commissioner with his brigade of graders, sidewalk and crossing builders, who are daily at work upon your streets, your miles of sidewalk and brick pavements, your livery stables with their gay horses and costly equipage, your elegant private turnouts that may be seen any morning or evening upon your streets, and your matchless suburban drives so richly fringed with their forest foliage, the delightful music of your silver cornet band - admitted to be second to none in the State - that is heard every evening, and instead of this truthful and accurate picture of the lively scenes of July 1876, the Centennial year, substitute in your imagination trackless and almost impenetrable groves of young timber and brush, studded with plum bushes, hazle brush, and wild gooseberry and every variety of raspberry bushes, laden with fruit, all dripping with dew and casting their dismal shadows upon places which are now hard beaten dusty streets, displaced only here and there by a rude cabin and the Nuckoll's corner, etc., and the wild squeak of the wooden hinges of the old school house door above described, and you have Coonville - Glenwood of July 1853, the day I reached here, and became a Coonvillian.

Glenwood, though a most attractive city to reside in, is not at the center of the county, but is about six miles off from the center.

The geographical center of Mills county is at or within less than 40 rods of the half mile stake on the section line between sections 13 and 24 in township 72, range 42. Henry Ranne owns and has his magnificent farm on the south and west of this corner, and our enterprising citizen Harry Wearin owns the other quarter. The corner is in the road in front of Ranne's gate. No one we presume, thinks of that as the future county seat. But some of our good friends at Malvern do not conceal the fact that they would be pleased to see and have among them as permanent residents, some of our Glenwood lawyers and the county seat. At first there was some talk of it, but of late, though there may be a good deal of thinking and hoping by some, there is not much said. Malvern is itself two miles from that center corner, and has the advantage of Glenwood in distance only about four miles. Hillsdale also is about as near the corner as Malvern and don't see why she should be ignored. Malvern is a fine town and does not need the county seat to make it a very desirable place for business or residence. It is not at all probable the county seat will ever be re-located, and moved from Glenwood, and though there is now and then something heard said in regard to such a thing it is scarcely thought of among the well advised. The statute upon this subject is this.

1st. Whenever the citizens desire a re-location they may petition their board of supervisors at any regular session.

2nd. Such petition shall designate the place at which the petitioners desire to have the county seat re-located, ;and shall be signed by none but

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legal voters of the county, and shall be accompanied by affidavits sufficient to satisfy said board that the signers are all legal voters of said county, and that the signatures are all genuine.

3d. Remonstrances, signed by legal voters of the county only, and verified as the petition, may also be presented. If the same persons petition and remonstrate, that shall be counted only on the remonstrance and if the remonstrance has the greatest humber no election shall be ordered.

4th. Sixty days notice of the presentation of such petition shall be given by three insertions in a weekly newspaper.

5th. Upon the presentation of such a petition signed by at least one half of all the legal voters in the county as shown by the last preceding census. If the notice shall have been given the board they shall order that at the next general election a vote shall be taken between said place and the existing county seat, and notices shall be posted up fifty days before said election in three public places in each township, and a notice thereof shall be published in some newspaper for four weeks, the last to be 20 days before the election.

6th. The ballot shall state that it was cast for the county seat and name the place voted for.

7th. If the point designated in the petition obtain a majority of all the votes cast, the board of Supervisors shall make a record thereof and declare the same to be the county seat.

8th. The vote for re-location shall not take place in any county oftener than once in three years.

This act will be found on pages 46 and 7 of the Code of 1873.


An offshoot of Oberlin in its origin and characteristics, is said to owe its inception to a purpose formed by Geo. B. Gaston, who on his way to the Mission among the Pawnee Indians in the year 1840, passed up the valley of the Missouri.

In 1848 he in company with several pioneer families landed at what is known as Civil Bend on the Missouri river in Fremont county. They met with all the usual trials of the frontier settlers. John Todd was among them. They had shipped a steam mill but its arrival was long delayed and when it came the boiler was unfit for use. The next season (1849) there was a tremendous June rise of the Missouri. Tradition points with significance to the high water of "49." To this fact no doubt Tabor is indebted to its elevated site claimed to be over 300 feet above the level of their first location.

In 1851 they selected as a permanent location of their colony, the site of the present town of Tabor upon the line between Fremont and Mills counties. There they organized a Congregational church of then but eight members, but now over 275. They also selected a spot for the erection of a College, and marked it on their plat "College Grounds." This was in Fremont county, but very near the line. In 1856 a board of trustees was incorporated and an academy opened in 1857,s and in 1866 a College

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department was opened. Gaston being all this time regarded as the leading spirit though generously aided by zealous supporters. For years the main line of travel between Glenwood and Sidney, passed Tabor and still does. The stages stopped there and there is now a daily line of hacks plying between Hillsdale and Tabor.

Quite an institution of learning is now built up there. To start it, it is said Mr. Gaston put in every dollar he had and began life anew. In 1857 the first term began with 17 students, since then, it has numbered among those who sought culture - intellectual and moral - beneath the roofs and within the now massive walls of it, something over one thousand, many of whom have gone forth to usefulness and now fill posts of duty and of honor. The cost of two edifices is nearly $25,000. One is 64 x 32 with a chapel above and recitations below. The other 60 x 40 on the ground - a substantial brick with three stories above the basement.

It may be thought that these buildings being located in Fremont county, a reference to Tabor College is out of place in the history of Mills county, but the institution in its beneficial influences is so materially felt by us that we think we have a just right to claim it especially since it is located so near our line that the diurnal shadows of its massive brick walls strive hard to cover Mills county soil. It is destined I have no doubt to be in time a noted seat of learning, which in fact it is now.

Continued next week . . . . . . . .


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