Source: REGISTER OF OLD SETTLERS , BOOK One, page 135 & 146
submitted by Lynn McCleary, Sept. 21, 2007

Muscatine, Iowa. Sept. 15th 1883.

The constitution of this society provides that “That Annual Meeting shall be held on the last Wednesday of September; at which meeting the officers of said society shall be elected.”

This year the Annual Meeting occurs on the 26th day of September, 1883.

Our numbers are fast thinning out, and soon the Early Settlers will be gone.

Let us meet together once again and greet each other with a hearty, good shake of the hand. It is hoped that each township in the county will be represented with a goodly number of its pioneers.

Each family bring a basket dinner and have a love feast.

Meet at UNION HALL, (formerly Hare’s,) Muscatine, which will be open at 10 A.M. Meeting organized at 12.

Suel Foster, President

P. Jackson, Secretary.

*** continued on page 146 ***

The Old Settlers
Sep. 26, 1883 (hand written)

The annual meeting of the Old Settlers of Muscatine county took place in Hare’s Hall to-day. Tables were spread for dinner, of which about 200 persons partook. The affair was somewhat informal, there being no prepared programme, but it was very pleasant throughout, if we may except some confusion caused by a portion of the assembly talking while persons who had been called on were attempting to speak.

After dinner, President Suel Foster called the meeting to order and the officers for the ensuing year were elected as follows:

    President – Josiah P. Walton,
    Vice-President – John A. Parvin,
    Secretary – Peter Jackson,
    Treasurer – Mrs. P. Jackson
Speeches being in order, Joseph Bridgman responded with some interesting reminiscences of early times. He alluded to a remark of Capt. Orrin Smith that when he first passed up this river from St. Louis to Galena in 1827, he thought it “a God-forsaken country,” but lived to change his mind. Mr. B. said there was no better country anywhere and he concluded by admonishing those present not to permit any dark shadow to fall upon the school houses and churches which have done so much to make this a desirable land to live in.

Suel Foster, reminded by the reference to Capt. Orrin Smith, told an incident connected with the early settlement of Dubuque, during which lead miners who went there in 1833 before permission was granted for settlement, were driven out by the military from Rock Island.

John A. Parvin being called on, responded with an expression of pleasure to meet so many of his old neighbors of forty years ago. He attributed the advancement made in civilization and the betterment of society to the Sunday Schools, churches and public schools in which certain of the old settlers interested themselves. These blessings are only to be perpetuated by putting the right men into office.

R. M. Burnett, when called out, said though among the undergrowth of old settlers, he was glad to be counted among them. He had spent more than half his life here and was pleased to be known and recognized by the old settlers.

V. Chambers said he regarded it as one of the grandest privileges to attend these meetings; he had come to this one under difficulties. His father’s family located in this county in 1836, when there were not over twenty white people in it.

Rev. J. H. Barnard spoke as a representative of those present who were enjoying the courtesies of the occasion. He was pleased to hear these old settlers eulogize the church and the Sunday school. It was proof that border life is not always made up of “roughs.”

Samuel Sinnett told of the trials of pioneer life in Indiana before he came to Iowa in 1839. Had he known of this country he would not have spent five years of his life in Indiana.

Richard H. Randall, a well preserved citizen of Clinton county, aged 76, who was present with his wife, both early settlers of Muscatine county, responded to a call by relating incidents connected with his coming to Iowa in 1838, crossing the river at Buffalo and locating at Center Grove, in Fulton township, where in 1844 a hurricane blew down his house and killed his mother.

S. W. Stewart, of Wilton, said he came to Iowa in 1838. He said most of the old settlers were honest men. The talking became so loud in another part of the room that our reporter could not hear all Mr. S. said.

This concluded the formal exercises of this very interesting and profitable occasion, and most of the company dispersed at about 3 o’clock.

Back to Book One, INDEX

Back to the Muscatine Co. IAGenWeb, Index Page