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1876 Centennial History

of Webster County,


also the City of Fort Dodge

Organization of Webster County

CHAPTER 12, laws of the fourth General Assembly, approved January 12th, 1853, attached Yell and Risley counties to Boone county, and prescribed the manner In which they should be organized. By virtue of this act the citizens of Webster county, in March, 1853, petitioned the Hon. SAMU B. MCCALL, County Judge of Boone county, to order an election for county officers. The judge issued an order for an election to be held on Monday, the 4th day of April 1853. The election was held. The whole number of votes cast was sixty-three, and returns made to the judge of Boone county, who, on the 9th day of April, 1853, issued certificates to the following officers: County Judge, Win. PIERCE; Clerk of the District Court, JESSE GOODRICH; Recorder, JAMES HOOK; Prosecuting Attorney, GEO. W. HALL, and JOHN H. COFER each received twenty-eight votes—a tie; Sheriff, JAMES DOTY; Coroner, THEODORUS ESLICK; School Fund Commissioner, LOUDOWIC MARICLE and JOHN TOLMAN, each received twenty-seven votes—a tie; Surveyor, GEOROE W. HALL; Drainage Commissioner, DANIEL GAYLOR; Township Assessor, SAMUEL ESLICK; Justices of the Peace, JOHN H. COFER and JOHN TOLMAN; Constables, JOHN DEVORE and CHAS. BURCHARD; Township Trustees, ISAAC HOOK, ANDREW GROSSOLOSE and JOHN GAYLOR; Township Clerk, LOUDOWIC MARICLE.

The first official act of Judge PIERCE of which there is a record, was the issuing of a marriage license, May 14, 1853, to JOHN JACOB HOLMES, who was then Hospital Steward at the fort, and Miss EMILY LYON, a housekeeper for the officers. Soon after the organization of the county, the District Judge of the Fifth Judicial District appointed three commissioners to select a site and locate a county seat. They selected the southwest quarter of section 6, township 87, north of range 26, and a town was laid out and named Homer.

In March 1866, the citizens of the county petitioned the Hon. WM. N. MESERVEY, Comity Judge, to order an election on the question of removing the county seat from Homer to Fort Dodge. The election was held on the 7th day of April 1856, and as soon as an office could be procured, the records were taken to Fort Dodge and the present county seat established.


BY chapter 142, laws of the fifth General Assembly, approved January 24th, 1855, the following unorganized counties were attached to this county, to-wit: Wright, Humboldt, Pocahontas, Palo Alto, Kossuth, Hancock, Winnebago, Bancroft and Emmett. These counties were all organized by the County Judge of Webster, as follows:

BY an order of the County Court of Webster county, an election was held in the County of Wright, August 6th, 1855, and DAVID DEAN was elected County Judge. A full set of county officers was chosen, and the returns made to the judge of Webster. At this time Wright county polled twenty-eight votes.

AT the general election held on the 6th day of August, 1855, Kossuth county was organized in the same way as Wright. There were thirty-two votes polled and ASA C. CALI, was elected County Judge, and LEWIS H. SMITH, County Surveyor.

ABOUT the first day of April, 1857, Hon. SAML. KEES, then County Judge of Webster, deputized HENRY A. CRAMER, at that time a resident of Humboldt county, as Deputy Sheriff, and gave him a warrant for the holding of an election in that county, on the first Monday In April, with orders to serve the same. CRAMER took his warrant and went to Humboldt county, but found the homes of the settlers deserted, they having fled to Fort Dodge from fear of the Indians, who were at that time reported as being on their way down the Des Moines river. CRAMER found food cooked and warm on the stoves. He helped himself to eatables and returned his warrant unserved. Judge KEES subsequently issued his warrant for an election to be held on the first Monday in August, 1857. The election was held and 103 votes polled. The returns made to the judge of this county, show JONATHAN HUTCHISON elected County Judge, A. MCLEAN Treasurer and Recorder, and HBNRY A. CRAMER, Coroner.

THIS county was organized by an order of the County Court of Webster, previous to the general election held the second Tuesday in October 1857. The returns made to the Comity Court show that there were twenty-seven votes cast, and ROBERT CIJ'AHK received the whole number for County Judge.

ON the 23d of September, 1858, the County Court of Webster ordered an election to be held In Palo Alto county, on the second Tuesday In October following. The election was held, but the returns being irregular the election was held to be void.

On the 22d of November 1858, the Court again issued an order for an election to he held on the 20th day of December 1858, and a full board of county officers was elected. These returns made to the Court show that JAMES MICKEY was elected County Judge, and JOHN M. MUI,RONEY, Treasurer and Recorder. The whole number of votes cast was forty-four.

ON the first day of January, 1850, the County Court of Webster issued an order for an election to be held in Emmett county on the 7th day of February following. The returns show that an election was held on Unit day at which there were cast twenty-six votes for county officers. A. JENKINS, was elected County Judge, and STANDI.EY WESTON, Treasurer and Recorder.

THIS county was organized by an order of the County Judge of Webster comity, who issued an order the 19th day of February 1859, directing an election to be held on the 15th day of March, following. At this time a full board of county officers was elected. The returns show that twenty-three votes were cast, and DAVID SLOSSON elected County Judge, and WM. H. HAIT Treasurer and Recorder.

THE records of Webster county show no county organization of this county.

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