Source: REGISTER OF OLD SETTLERS , BOOK One, page 3 - 9-b, 19 - 21
submitted by Lynn McCleary, January 26, 2008

February, 1856
(hand written pages)

Meeting of the "OLD CITIZENS”.

At a meeting of the old citizens of Muscatine held at Hans Hall Monday morning February 4th, 1856, to prepare suitable testimonials, relative to the death of one of their number, the late JUDGE ARTHUR WASHBURN.

Joseph Bennett called the meeting to order, when Pliny Fay was called to the chair and Joseph Bridgeman appointed Secretary. After remarks by the chair and T. S. Parvin the latter moved the appointment of a committee of three to prepare motions for the consideration of the meeting. T.S. Parvin, Joseph Bennett & W. A. Jamison were appointed said committee, who reported the following papers which were unanimously adopted, viz:

    In the year 1835 Arthur Washburn moved from the state of New York and came to this city then known as “Caseys Landing” a trading point with a single cabin, when the present county was a part of Des Moines one of the two counties into which the then District was divided as the whole attached (with Wisconsin) to Michigan Territory.

    In 1836 Mr. Washburn was appointed Post Master at the Mouth of Pine known as “Iowa” Post office the only office in the limits of the present county.

    *** continues on page 4 ***

    In the fall of 1838 the Iowa District having on the 4th of July previous been created into a Territory Mr. W was by Gov. Lucas appointed Judge of the Probate Court.

    In 1851 when the Code of Iowa (admitted into the Union in 1846) created the office of County Judge Mr. W. was elected the first incumbent of that office, which he administered for four years, and during his turn of office raised the currency of the county by an e-commercial administration of its affairs from a greatly depreciated rate to fear.

    Judge Washburn also filled several other important offices as Justice of the Peace, County Commissioner te te wherefore in view of the above brief history be it.

    Resolved that us the Old Citizens of Muscatine County have heard with unfrigued sorrow of the death of the late Judge Washburn one of our number who by his long residence, quick and un assuming department won the public regard.

    Resolved, that us deeply sympathise with his Widow Felicldum in their irreparable loss, and commemorate them to the care of them who has said he would be “a father to the fatherless and a judge of the Widows”.

    *** continues on page 5 ***

    Resolved that a copy of these proceedings be transmitted to the family of our deceased friend and also furnished to the papers of the city for publication.

    On Motion of T.S. Parvin

    Resolved, that this meeting do now adjourn to meet again on Saturday evening in the Lecture room of the Congregational church for the purpose of organizing a “Society of the First Settlers of Muscatine County”, to include all who settled here prior to the first day of January 1840.

    (signed) Pling Fay Chr.
    J. Bridgemen Secy
    Muscatine February 5th 1856
    Transcribed by order of the Society by T.S. Parvin Secy


    At an adjourned meeting of the First Settlers of Muscatine County, held at the Lecture room of the Congregational church on the evening of February 9th, 1856

    On motion of Pling Fay The Hon. Joseph Williams was chosen Chairman and T.S. Parvin Secretary

    Upon a call then were forever present, the following persons. Viz:

      Jospeh William, T.S. Parvin, Pling Fay, Joseph Bridgeman

      *** continued on page 6 ***

      Suel Foster, Myram Ward, H.Q. Jennison, Wm. Chambers Jr, H.H. Hine, Giles Pettibone, Zeph; Washburn, Jas S. Allen, G.W. Humpheys, A. T Banks, J. R. Walton

      On motion of M Bridgeman ordered that the Chairman, Secretary to M. Washburn were appointed a committee to prepare & report a Constitution for the government of the Society of First Settlers.

      On motion of M Humphrey Ordered , that the Secretary be requested to furnace a Copy of the resolutions recently prepared and published by the ‘Old Citizens” relative to the death of the late Judge Washburn and record the same among the deceased viz’s of this Society.[see page 3 & 4 for these Proceedings]

      On motion of M Bridgman

      The society then adjourned to meet at this place on Saturday next at 2 O’clock P.M. for the purpose of having the report of the Committee on Constitution and to present the organization

      T.S. Parvin

      *** continued on page 7 ***

      Lecture room, Cong; Church
      February 16th 1856

      The Society of First Settlers of Muscatine Iowa, met pursuant to adjournment
      Hon. Joseph Williams in the Chair.

      Judge Williams from the committee reported the following Constitution which after one amendment was adopted in the forum following, viz;



        We the subscribers hereto, bring “the First Settlers” or immigrants who made Muscatine Formerly Bloomington and Muscatine County in the Territory of Michigan, Wisconsin & Iowa our home; and who commenced the building and improvement of the prosperous City and County of which us an still inhabitants, Do hereby agree to form ourselves into a Society to be called and Known as “the Society of First Settlers of Muscatine Iowa”; and adopt the following as our form of organization

        Article 1st. - Of Members,

        The Society shall consist of those “first settlers” who, having emigrated from their former homes came to Muscatine (formerly Bloomington) and Muscatine County, then and made their home here….

        *** continues on page 8 ***

        …previous to the first day of January A.D. 1840, as well as those citizens of the City or County who settled in Iowa before said day together with their descendants in all time to come.

        Section 2d. Of Membership, contd

        Each & every of such First Settlers who shall subscribe his name to these Articles shall be deemed a member of the Society

        Article 2d - Objects

        The design of this organization is and shall be, to collect and preserve a correct list of the names of persons who commenced and made the first settlement in Muscatine County and who were the pioneers of civilization at this point on the Western bank of the Father of Waters Male and Female including all who settled here previous to the first day of January A.D. 1840. The State or County, County and town from whence they came, their Age, profession, Trade or occupation

        To collect and preserve a true history of the first settlement, the progress thereof, interesting facts incidents thereto, anecdotes & peculiar characteristics of the persons who composed the settlement.

        Also, to make and keep a record .…

        *** continued on page 9 ***

        …. of the deaths, marriages and funerals by immigration, and in short by all proper means to collect & preserve for the future the facts and circumstances of the history of the first settlement of Muscatine and of the “The First Settler” .

        Viz: As it is also a permanent feature of the design of this association to hold in sacred regard that social feeling and fellowship which is peculiar to pioneer life and should be only the more matured and refined by growth of population and the increase of civitized associations, the Wives and Daughters and other female relatives of Members shall be held and deemed honorary members of this Society.

        Section 3d - Anniversary

        To the end that the foregoing feature of our organization may be won publicly manifested then shall be An Anniversary Meeting of the male and female members of this Society to be held at such time as the ByLaws shall prescribe and at such place in the City of Muscatine as may be agreed upon by a majority of the actual members and to be conducted in such manners as may by such majority be deemed such advisable.

        *** continued on page 9-a ***

        Section 3d - Of Finances &c.

        For the purpose of procuring Books of Record and other things necessary to the accomplishment of the designs of the Society, such means as may be proper shall be provided by the By-Laws hereafter to be adopted.

        Article 4th - Of Officers & Elections

        The officers of this Society shall consist of a President, Vice President and Secretary to be elected annually at the Anniversary Meeting.

      *** continue on page 9-b ***

      The society then proceeded to an Election of Officers.

      On motion of Mr. Humphrey the Hon. Joseph Williams was unanimously declared elected first President.

      On motion of Mr. Bridgemean Mr. Thomas Burdett was unanimously chosen first Vice-President and

      On motion of Mr Couch, Theodore Sulton Parvin was unanimously chosen, first Secretary of the Society.

      On motion of Mr Humphrey the committee that drafted the Constitution were appointed to submit a Code of ByLaws


      To purposed suitable resolutions expression of our feeling upon the death of Stephen Whicher one of our numbers.

      On motion of T.S. Parvin

      , that the President be appointed to purpose a History of the Courts of the County to the first of January 1840.

      Ordered that the society adjoin till Saturday next 10 O’clock A.D.

      T.S. Parvin Sec,

      *** continued on page 19 ***

      Lecture Room of the Congregational Church

      The society of the First Settlers of Muscatine Iowa, met pursuant to adjournment on Saturday 22d February 1856 at 10 o’clock A.J.

      Hon. Joseph Williams Pres;
      In the chair
      T.S. Parvin Secretary

      Wm Gordon, Saml. Lucas, J.K. Williams, Wm St. John, Abraham Smalley, A. T. Bank, A. Burdett, G.W. Humphrey, Jas Weed, M. Gilbert, Saml. Gilbert, Thos Morford, Joseph Bridgeman, Zeph. Washburn.

      The President as chairman of the Committee for By Laws, submitted the following, which was adopted as a Code of By-Laws

      Section 1st. Annual Meetings

      The anniversary meetings of the Society shall be held on the twenty eighth (28th) day of June in each year (this being the anniversary of the extension of Civil Law over the “Iowa District” by attaching it to the Territory of Michigan in 1834] when the officers shall be elected as provided in the Constitution Artl. 4, and such social entertainment or proceedings suited to the occasion as a majority of the actual members may by vote a quorum may be had.

      *** continued on page 20 ***

      Section 2d. Quarterly Meetings

      The society shall hold Quarterly meetings, on the 21st of September (the anniversary of the Black Hawk purchase in 1832) the 7th of December (the anniversary of the organization of the County of Muscatine by the Territory of Wisconsin in 1836) and on the 15th of March to commemorate the first settlement made in the county by the late Benjm. Nye in the Spring of 1834.

      Special meetings shall be called by the proper officers upon the written request of five actual members after due notice.

      Section 3d. of Financials

      As far as it may be convenient, it shall be the duty of the members of this society to attend the funeral of a brother settler when notified of his death.

      Section 4th. Duty of Officers

      The President and in case of his absence from the meetings of the Society the Vice President shall preside at all meetings of the Society. In the case of the absence of both any member may be chosen by a majority of the members present to preside in their stead.

      The Secretary shall do and perform the usual duties of that office and also act as Treasurer of the Society.

      Section 5th. Special Duties

      Whilst it shall be the privilege and duty of each and every member of the Society to collect and present entertaining facts to the “first settlement” it shall be the special duty of the Society ….

      *** continues on page 21 ***

      ….to collate, arrange and keep of record of proper history of the land.

      Section 6th. Approval to

      The facts and history so furnished and presented for record shall be subject to the approval or rejection of the majority of the members present at any meeting of the Society.

      Section 7th. Voting

      All voting may be had viva ever by “ a division”, or when called for by a rising vote and when required by ten members a “ballot” shall be had.

      Done in Session the 23 d. day of Febry 1856.
      Joseph William Pres.
      T.S. Parvin Sec.

    The Committee to propose resolutions relative to the death of Mr. Whicher passed and obtained further time to report.

    On motion of Mr. Bridgeman the Secretary was directed to present the papers of the City for publication and abstract of our proceedings and a notice of the first Quarterly meeting on the 15th of March next.


    Voted, that the Honorary Members be invited to meet with us on that occasion.

    T.S. Parvin Sec.

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