is one of the oldest points in Wayne County. It was platted June
6, 1853, by Columbus and Martha Parr. Morgan Parr
& Sons built a saw-mill here in 1855. Benjamin Parker was
the first merchant and Columbus Parr the first postmaster. In 1857 Bethlehem
was a good town. William
McCarty was merchant and stock-dealer, and saw-mill was in
full operation (though removed the following year), Dr. L. D.
McKinley was practicing medicine. Drs. John Boswell, William Prather and
Dr. Townsend were all early physicians here. In that year, 1857,
the different denominations partially built a church, which
was used by them jointly until 1861, when the Methodists
purchased it and completed it.
This building remained in use until 1885, when it was
sold and the Methodists and Baptists united in remodeling the
Baptist church, which was built in 1865. Revs. Swim and
Coiner were early Methodist preachers, and Rev. Bolster is
well remembered by the Baptists.
Hammer kept the first “tavern” for several years. A steam saw and
grist mill was built in 1875, and operated intermittently
until the fall of 1885, when it burned.
1867 the farmers of Union Township organized the Union
Township Agricultural Association, and held two very
successful exhibitions in the autumns of 1867 and 1868 at
Protzman is the present merchant, and William King postmaster.
from the Biographical and Historical Record of Wayne and
Appanoose Counties, Iowa – Originally published 1886,
Inter-State Pub. Co., Chicago, IL
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