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By W. S. Pitts

Submitted by Beverly Witmer & Lynn McCleary, March 14, 2013


One might exclaim; it is sufficient praise to say of a township of land, that it is a part and parcel of the State of Iowa. Such an exclamation although eminently a just one, could only be construed to mean in its prestine condition.

Nature when she prepared the great tract of country lying alone the Mississippi river-both east and west--within the para1lels of forty to forty-four degrees, was not sparing of her material. She put everything here that an oncoming, enterprising, industrious people would require to maintain and sustain them through all the years to come. The only conditions were, accept the lands and ‘work out your own salvation.”

Sturdy men and women from the eastern states and from across the seas looked over into this goodly land. They saw its rich soil, its numerous streams of water, its timber and its pasture lands. As they looked they said, "Herein is a glorious land wherein we will dwell, and here we will build our homes."

Thousands of acres of rich prairie lands awaited their coming; awaited the hands of the husbandman to make them blossom with waving grain and tasseled corn.

Iowa, which lies between two great rivers, the Mississippi and Missouri, was created a territory in 1838 and admitted into the union as a state in 1846. There is hardly a foot of waste land within its border. Its agricultural capacity is incalculable.

The first settlements were made along the great river. As more people came they passed through the rough and broken lands along the Mississippi and went out to the rich prairies, selecting their lands along the streams and near the natural groves of timber. There is no doubt but that the first permanent settlers in the townships now known as Fredericksburg and Dresden were Godfrey Vail and John A. Billings who came here July 8, '53.

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Page created by Lynn McCleary, March 3, 2013