Mills County, Iowa

Mills County Tribune
February 22, 1910


IN MILLS COUNTY 67 YEARS AGO
Glenwood, Iowa

The Tribune was yesterday morning honored by a call from Charles W. Tolles, Mills County's first treasurer and recorder. He had been in Glenwood for several days visiting his brother, H. A. Tolles, and left that afternoon for his home in Canyon City, Colorado.

The Tribune on June 16, 1908, spoke at length of Mr. Tolles upon his previous visit here, giving interesting facts as to his early life. He is now in his 87th year and is remarkably well preserved. He came to southwest Iowa in the early forties and lived for a time in the McKissick grove settlement south of Sidney.

Mr. Tolles made a trip about the year 1843 from McKissick Grove to Council Bluffs, passing through Mills County. This was before there were any white settlers in Mills County, and before the days of the stage coach. Of course, there were no roads or bridges, as there were no vehicles of any kind passing this way to require them.

Later, in 1849, Mr. Tolles homesteaded 160 acres, comprising the southwest quarter of Section 13 in Center township. Here he built a log cabin, and his nearest neighbors were the Mormons located in an extensive settlement across Silver Creek to the east.

He was a friend of old John Brown, and on one occasion the noted Abolishionist remained over night at his home. Brown was accompanied by a small band of armed men and they had with them a little company of fleeing slaves. These camped in the grove near the Tolles home.

Mr. Tolles plans to return next fall, and expects to spend several days camping in this grove near the site of his old log house. It is said that the logs from this pioneer structure are now in use in a building now standing on the old Henry Ranne farm near by.

Contributed by Deb Hascall


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