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Adair County Iowa


A Brief History of Adair County from the 1875
A.T. Andreas Illustrated
Atlas of the State of Iowa.

There seems to be some conflict of opinion as to who was the first white settler in Adair County. It was probably Adair N. Johnson, who came as early as 1849. The next was William Alcorn, who settled at the upper crossing of Middle River in 1850. This was in what is now Jefferson Township in the north part of the county. Perhaps about the same time a man named Lyon erected a cabin near the large spring at Vawter's Grove, in Jackson Township, in 1851. Lyon sold his claim to one Taylor, who was on his way to California with a drove of some four or five hundred head of cattle. Taylor, after wintering his cattle, sold out to J. G. Vawter. Lyon and Taylor were but temporary residents, and left as soon as permanent settlers began to come in. Among the first permanent settlers were William McDonald, who located at the lower crossing of Middle River; Alfred Jones, in Jackson Township; Robert Wilson, in Grand River Township; George M. Holaday, in Jefferson Township;

Walnut Township, in the northwest part of the county, was settled in the Spring and Fall of 1855 by several families from South Carolina. Those who came in the Spring were James Thompson and Isaac S. Arledge; and in the Fall, Charles Smith and Lewis Underwood.

Jeremiah Rinard and Stover Rinard settled in Jefferson Township, adjoining Walnut on the east, in the Summer of 1855. Most of the early settlers in this part of county were from South Carolina and Indiana. Settlements were made this year in various parts of the county.

The first white child, Margaret Johnson, was born in 1850. The first death was that of a child of John Gilson in the same year. The first marriage was that of William Stinson and Elizabeth Crow, the license being issued May 6, 1854, and the marriage solemnized the next day by George M. Holaday, County Judge.

Transcribed by Carlyss Noland

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Adair County

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