Scott Co, Iowa USGenWeb Project


"From History of Scott County, Iowa 1882 Chicago:  Interstate Publishing Co."

Surnames:  Averill, Armstrong, Andrews, Barber, Budd, Boyd, Bell, Breckenridge, Bennett, Brusch, Conrad, Culbertson, Calhoun, Conrod, Coates, Chapman, Chamberlin, Doty, Doolittle, Daughenbaugh, Dunlap, Durbin, Dubois, Earhart, Fulmer, Fishback, Forsyth, Ferguson, Goodrich, Gast, Garber, Galt, Garner, Gaw, Harlaw, Haswell, Hubbard, Hammond, Hogan, Hire, Heleman, Huey, Herbert, Hays, Hopson, James, Kierney, Knox, Leamer, Lancaster, Maxwell, McKinster, McCoy, McKinstry, Metzgar, Morgan, McQuiston, Mathews, Moss, Martin, Monk, Pinneo, Pike, Palmer, Parkhurst, Peaslee, Patterson, Porter, Parcell, Penry, Rose, Rowe, Rice, Rathman, Stichter, Sturtivant, Sweet, Shadle, Sheer, Shafter, Slaughter, Stewart, Stafford, Shoemaker, Scott, Shaw, Sherman, Shearer, Suiter, Todd, Thompson, Taylor, Ulam, Vanduzer, Warren, Walker, Walter, Welch, Williams and Waters.

Princeton is the most northern township of Scott County, lying along the river, the first permanent settlement of which was made in the spring of 1836.

Giles M. Pinneo and Haswell H. Pinneo located their claims in the fall of 1835, and moved on them as permanent settlers in the spring of 1836.  George W. Harlan had located some claims prior to this for speculative purposes, but with no thought of settlement.  Giles M. Pinneo settled where he now resides, on section 84, while Haswell made his claim upon which a portion of the village of Princeton was subsequently located.  Many of the early settlers will remember his neat hewed log cabin, and the welcome there extended to all who might choose to call and test the hospitality of its owner.  He died many years since, enjoying the respect of all who knew him.

Thomas Hubbard, Sr., who had been living on the opposite side of the river since the close of the Black Hawk war, in the spring of 1836 moved over and settled on what is now a part of the city of Princeton. The Pinneos and Mr. Hubbard were the only settlers during the year 1836.

Thomas Hubbard was from Kentucky; had served in the Black Hawk war, and seemed to have much of the old Kentucky hatred for Indians.  While settled upon the Illinois side of the river, he had frequent raids made upon him by the red skins, which were repelled in true pioneer spirit.  The Indians were in the habit of stealing from him such few articles of "animal civilization" as he was able to gather around him, such as fowls, hogs and cattle.  He had procured some bees from the forest, which at that time were plenty, when one day on his return to his cabin he found that they had been robbed by the Indians.  He was soon upon their trail with his rifle, and came up with them as they were leaving the shore in their canoes.  He fired upon them, when the fire was returned, Hubbard taking to a tree for shelter.  Several shots were passed and one Indian was killed.  Many other skirmishes were often related by the old man of the his exploits with the red skins.  He returned to Kentucky and there died many years ago.

Between the years 1836 and 1840 came Daniel Hire, Benjamin F. Pike, Jesse R. James, Samuel Sturtivant, John B. Doty, Benjamin Doolittle, Jonas Barber, Jacob Rose, Abijah Goodrich, Mr. Sweet, Avery D. Pinneo, Gideon Averill, William Palmer, Franklin Rowe, Sterling Parkhurst, Matthias L. Pinneo, Samuel Gast, George Gast, Susanna Gast, Issac Daughenbaugh, John Leamer, Polly Leamer, Samuel S. Gast, John A. Gast, Wm. Gast, Henry Shadle, Mary A. Shadle, Jacob Fulmer and Christina Fulmer.

From 1840 settlement was slow in the township for 10 years, when for a time settlers came in quite rapidly. The township now has 300 voters.

In the first settlement of Princeton Township, like all other pioneer places, families underwent many privations.  Supplies of every kind, except for wild meat, had to be obtained from Fort Armstrong, on Rock Island.  These were taken up by water over the rapids in Indian canoes.  It was but little they were able to purchase, and all that was expected in those days were the bare necessaries of life.  A story is told of one of the Pinneos making a journey to Davenport, after it became settled and a store had been established, with a lot of beans in order to exchange them for goods to make clothing for his family.  It was bitter cold weather, and on the way he had an attack of the ague. He exchanged his beans with much difficulty at 25 cents per bushel, heaping measure, and took their "five-cent" calico at the rate of 35 cents per yard.  These were the beginnings of some of those who settled in this township.  But the brighter days have dawned, and many of the old settlers now enjoy the fruits of early toil, and are no more placed under the necessity of "planning and contriving" to secure the little necessary to eke out an existence.

Benjamin F. Pike came up from Rockingham in the spring of 1838, and brought with him a small stock of goods, which was the first store of any kind in the township.

The first frame house built in the township was in 1837, by Daniel Hire. In the spring of 1838 Benjamin Doolittle established the first pubilc ferry across the Wapsipinecon River, on the road from Davenport to Comanche.  Jonas Barber built a steam mill this year, the first of any kind in the township.  A distillery was also built this year by Jacob Rose.  The first children born were Henry Hire, Thomas Doty, and Albert Pinneo.  The first deaths in the township were Mrs. Mary Sweet and Mrs. Lucy Goodrich.

The Methodist circuit rider at an early day penetrated the township and was followed from time to time by representatives of various denominations.  There are now three represented in the township by organizations-Methodist Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Lutheran.  The later organization is at Lost Grove.  In 1853 three members of the Methodist Episcopal church,-Porter McKinster, Jerry Goodrich and James Todd-assisted by their friends and neighbors, erected a brick church edifice, 26x36 feet.  After holding services in this church about three years, the organization was transferred to Princeton, its three principal members having died meanwhile.  On the 10th of February, 1856, Rev. Daniel Garber, a minister of the Evangelical Lutheran church at Davenport, came to the township and organized a congregation of that faith. 

On Saturday, May8, a meeting was held for the election of officers.  Isaac Daughenbaugh was elected elder, and Samuel Gast, deacon.  The first meetings were held at the brick church, erected by the Methodists, and which they continued to use as the property of that denomination until 1859, when they built a house of worship in the town of Princeton, at a cost of $565, which they exchanged with the Methodists for their church edifice at Lost Grove, where they yet worship.

Rev. Daniel Garber was the first pastor.  He supplied the church until March 10,1857, when Rev. F.R. Sheer was called and served until 1869, with success, with the exception of one year (1858).  In 1869 Rev. George W. Shaffer supplied the pulpit, during which time he had a revival and 14 additions to the church.  Mr. Shaffer continued with the church until November, 1878, when Rev. J.L. Hammond assumed the pastorate.  Regular services of the church are held every Sabbath.  The present membership is 52.  The present officers are as follows: Samuel Heleman and J.A. Gast, elders; Adam McCoy and John Shaffer, deacons.

The Sabbath-school was first organized by the Methodist Episcopal bretheren in 1853.  The first superintendent was Daniel Conrad, a local M.E. preacher from Le Claire; secretary and librarian, James Todd.  In 1856 the Lutheran congregation took charge of the school, electing Dr. Samuel Gast, of Princeton, as superintendent; J.L. Gast, secretary and librarian.  The present superintendent is Rev. E. Hammon, assistant superintendent, W.E. Gast, secretary, William Hammond, librarian, G.C. Gast.  There are now 80 pupils enrolled, with the average attendance of 60.


The men who first settled this township being young men without families, it was for some time unnecessary to have schools, but as soon as children were reared large enough to attend, the parents provided schools as good as their limited means, both of money and ability in teachers, could afford.  The first school that was kept in what is now known as Princeton Independent District, was taught in the year 1846 or '47, by Miss Hanah Peaslee, in a log house owned by H.H. Pinneo.  The succeeding teachers in the same house were Mrs. Charles Budd and Milcah Goodrich.  About 1850, a bitter dispute having arisen as to where a proposed school-house should be located, the quarrel was carried so far that the project for building at all had for a time to be abandoned.  In the meantime G.H. Pinneo and Wilbur Warren being determined to have a school for their children, joined together and bought an old barn, added some lumber to it, and with their own hands constructed a house that was used for some time for both school and church purposes.  In 1852 a house 25x35 now known as the old school-house was built in the town, costing $375, and was then thought to be quite extravagant.  The first teacher in this house was Mathias D. Pinneo.  In 1856 it was found that the title to the land on which this house was built was not good.  So the heirs of the land made a compromise with the district by buying lot No.2, block 18, and building another house exactly like the old one on this lot.  This house was used for school purposes till 1864, when this school and the other schools in town were consolidated and occupied the upper and lower stories of a hall on Front street.  In 1862, under an act that had been recently passed, what had formerly been known as District No.1, Princeton Township, was erected into an independent district.  The first president of the independent district was Samuel Scott; first secretary, A.H. Pinneo; and treasurer, D.H. Culbertson.  Mr. Culbertson has been treasurer ever since.  In 1866 it was determined to build a house suitable for school purposes, and the contract was awarded to the firm of Walker & Patterson, for $4,500.  C.W. Pinneo was the first principal in this house, and has been ever since, except two years G.M. Boyd and two years J.S. Huey taught.  The present teachers are C.W. Pinneo, principal; W.L. Calhoun, intermediate, and D.E. James, primary.  Miss Peaslee, the first teacher in this district, received for salary $1.75 per week and boarded around.  The present female teacher receives $9 per week.  $20 per month was the highest wages paid to a male teacher previous to the year 1858, when the law requiring teachers to stand an examination before a county superintendent went into force.  The wages very soon advanced when some qualifications were required, and greatly added to the efficiency of the schools.  The number at present is about 150 scholars in all the departments, and the schools are considered quite satifactory in their management.

Princeton Township has six sub-districts, an enrollment of 142, and 219 of school age.  It has six school-houses, valued at $5,500. The town of Princeton is an independent district, with a stone school-house valued at $5,000.  There are 189 pupils in the district with an enrollment of 98.  Three teachers are employed, and the school is a graded one.


The first recorded plan of Princeton bears date Dec. 22, 1853.  Robert Bell, George H. Bell and John Culbertson were the proprietors.  The beginning of a  town had been made prior to this.

In the spring of 1838 B.F. Pike opened a store in the neighborhood, the first in the township.  The next one was opened by a company known as "Lawyer Hammond & Co.  In 1848 W.F. Breckenridge opened a store here, calling the place at that time "Pinnacle Point."

The city of Princeton was incorporated January, 1857, and in the month of March following the first charter election was held.  Samuel Porter was elected the first mayor and resigned in May.  At a special election held soon after, William Shaw was elected mayor to fill the vacancy.  At this time the city contained about 250 inhabitants, one store kept by Walter & Armstrong, two pubilc houses, one smith shop, one steam saw-mill, one church and forty-six dwelling houses.

In the month of March, 1858, William H. Thonpson was elected mayor.  This year the population of the place had increased to 500.  The improvements were greater in the youthful city of Princeton than at any other point on the Mississippi River, for the number of inhabitants.  This year there was built one steam saw-mill, by Isaac Sherman, from Cleveland, Ohio, at a cost of $8,000, capable of cutting 30,000 feet per day; two steam grist-mills, one by McKinstry & Hubbard, at a cost of $12,000; one by Herbert & Fishback, at a cost of $9,000, thought the firm failed before completing it.  D.D. McCoy built a large house and opened a fancy dry-goods store.  This season there were 62 dwellings built, among which was one by Dr. G.L. Bell, which cost about $5,000.

In March, 1859, Dr. Thomas Galt was elected mayor.  This year the population had reached 1,000, but, owing to the hard times there was not so much improvement as the previous year.  Walker & Patterson built a steam planing-mill, with all the improved machinery for making sash, doors and blinds, which was a great benefit to the place and surrounding country, besides being remunerative to its enterprising projectors.  F.G. Welch built a large three-story building for a dry-goods store, but did not live to enjoy his enterprising undertaking.  R. Bennett also erected a large store and opened a good stock of dry goods and groceries, and with the assistance of A. Kierney started a tin shop.  This year the Presbyterians erected their church edifice.  Dr. Galt erected a fine brick residence, 36x40, two stories and a half high, and finished in the latest style.  At this time there were 15 carpenters, six blacksmiths, four shoemakers, two tailors, one tinker, seven stores, one drug store, two churches, two public houses, one livery stable, two steam saw-mills, two steam grist-mills, one steam planing-mill, two carriage shops, four blacksmith shops, two public schools, two private schools, one lawyer.*