submitted by Shirley Plumb, Aug. 31, 2007

(Jany 1890 - hand written)

The West Liberty Enterprise comes out this week in a double, illustrated edition with a fine editorial review of the history of the town and its many commendable features. We learn from it that the first election in that part of the county was held in the autumn of 1837 in the log cabin of Wm. A. Clark, when eight votes were cast. The first sermon was preached in the same house by Rev. Martin Baker in the fall of 1837. The first mill was located on what is now the farm of S. Hendrickson, northeast of town a primitive affair, the motive power being a yoke of castle or team of horses as the customer might be able to furnish. The first post office was opened in 183809 in a cabin on the Lancaster farm, with Francis Foote a P. M. Postage was 25 cents on all letters, and such was the scarcity of currency that letters would frequently remain n the office for weeks because of the financial weekness of the party addressed. Arvin Bagley built the first regular inn in the settlement in 1841, in which the first store was opened by Peter Heath who kept his stock in a dry-goods box. The writer says: It was not the custom of Mr. Heath to keep his goods on exhibition all the time. On the contrary he had regular evenings during the week when the box would be opened, and its contents offered for sale at public auction. One important condition was attached to the sale: No one, no matter how much he desired it, could have more than a certain limited quantity of each article. The stock was limited, and Mr. Heath intended that no one should get up a corner on it and raise the price.

The first school in the settlement was opened in 1838 or 39 by Miss Vienna Winchester, who afterwards became the wife of Geo. Paul, Esq., of Iowa City. The fourth teacher was Hon. S. T. Chesebro, who opened a select school in a cabin in December, 1849.

The first death in the settlement occurred in January, 1837. In that month a settler by the name of Heulick, lost both his wife and child. The first marriage in the community occurred in 1839, when John Wolf and Mary Ann Bagley united hearts and fortunes. Shortly after occurred the marriage of W. A. Clark and Louisa Bagley, the brides being sisters.

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