IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.
new data added 04/01/2024

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Clayton Co. Court History & Records

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*History
Selected excerpts transcribed from a long article in the Clayton County Register, Wednesday, September 14, 1938, pgs 1 & 8:
Between 1,000 and 1,200 people participated Sunday afternoon in the celebration observing the 100th anniversary of the holding of the first court of record in Prairie La Porte (now Guttenberg) on September 11, 1838.

Following his introduction by B.W. Newberry, president of the Clayton County Bar association, Mr. Bliss (of Mason City) spoke of the appropriateness of holding this observance in Guttenberg and Clayton county. He pointed out a series of events in the early history of this county which had much to do with the history, not only of the county, but the state as well.

[the program] was closed by the benediction as given by the Rev. Father J.P. Taken of Elkader. Interspersing the program was a vocal solo by Adolph Benson and a clarinet solo by C. Paul Reagan, both of Elkader. Miss Frances Finley accompanied Mr. Benson, and Mrs. D.L. Wood accompanied Mr. Reagan.
Historical Data
- The first Court of record in what is now Clayton County was held at Prairie La Porte, in the Territory of Wisconsin, beginning on May 29, 1938.
- First Court of record in Iowa Territory held at Prairie La Porte, beginning on September 11, 1838
- First Term of Court to be held at Jacksonville (now Garnavillo) began on October 23, 1843
- Last Term of Court to be held at Jacksonville was on January 16, 1860
- First Term of Court to be held at Elkader was on May 21, 1860
- First Divorce of record in county was granted September 3, 1839
- First Naturalization was for John Downie, June 29, 1842
- First Will of record, William Beyer, Mallory township, executed September 22, 1849, admitted to probate September 27, 1849
- First Marriage of record in Clayton County - Thomas B. Walker and Susan E. Lyons, October 10, 1839, Eliphalet Price, J.P. officiating

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Additional history & related information:
Clayton County Bar * Chapter II, 1882 County History * Chapter VI, 1882 County History


*General Index, District Court, 1868-1873
Due to the difficulty in transcribing the handwriting in these old records, they will be most useful if browsed

Indexed by plaintiff: A * B * C * D * E-F * G * H * I * J * K * L
Indexed by defendant:
R * S * T * U - Z

*The Courts & Legal Profession, 1907 - historical data, biographies & photos New Database! 02/26/24

*Jurors - Iowa District Court and U.S. District Court

Historical Notes:

1834-1921: only a man could serve as a juror in Iowa if he qualified to vote (age a least 21; disqualifying examples: mental incompetency, non-citizen, convicted of treason or felony)

In 1834 Iowa was part of the Territory of Michigan, then of the Territory of Wisconsin. On June 12, 1838, Iowa was divided from the Territory of Wisconsin. Restricting jurors to men eligible to vote remained in effect when Iowa became a state in 1846. It was not until 1921 when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that women had the right and the duty to serve as jurors because the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1920) had granted them the right to vote. (source: iowacourts.gov)

Misc. years 1855 - 1879
Misc. years 1880 - 1889
Misc. years 1890 - 1899
Misc. years 1900 - 1919
Misc. years 1920 - 1929
Misc. years 1930 - 1939
Misc. years 1940 - 1949 Added in March & April: 1942 Grand, Feb. May & July petit jurors; 1945 Oct & Nov. petit jurors

*Clayton county Justice and District court proceedings

District Court, May & October sessions, 1855
As reported in the 1878 newspapers
As reported in the 1879 newspapers
As reported in the 1880 newspapers
As reported in the 1881 newspapers
As reported in the 1882 newspapers
As reported in the 1883 newspapers
As reported in the 1884 newspapers
As reported in the 1885 newspapers
As reported in the 1887 newspapers
As reported in the 1890 newspapers
As reported in the 1891 & 1892 newspapers
As reported in the 1893 newspapers
As reported in the 1894 newspapers
As reported in the 1896 & 1897 papers
As reported in the 1899 newspapers
As reported in the 1900 newspapers
As reported in the 1901 newspapers
As reported in the 1902 newspapers
As reported in the 1903 newspapers
As reported in the 1904 & 1905 newspapers
As reported in the 1906 newspapers
As reported in the 1908 newspapers
As reported in the 1914 newspapers
As reported in the 1915 newspapers
As reported in the 1917 newspapers
As reported in the 1918 newspapers
As reported in the 1920 & 1921 newspapers
As reported in the 1922 newspapers
As reported in the 1923 newspapers
As reported in the 1924 newspapers
As reported in the 1925 newspapers
As reported in the 1926 newspapers
As reported in the 1927 newspapers
As reported in the 1928 newspapers
As reported in the 1929 newspapers
As reported in the 1931 & 1932 newspapers
As reported in the 1934 newspapers
As reported in the 1935 newspapers
As reported in the 1936 & 1937 newspapers
As reported in the 1938 & 1939 newspapers
As reported in the 1940 newspapers
As reported in the 1943 newspapers
As reported in the 1944 newspapers
As reported in the 1945 newspapers New! 04/01/24
As reported in the 1947 newspapers
As reported in the 1949 newspapers


*Iowa State Training Schools / Reform Schools - adjudicated delinquents from Clayton co.

The Boys' Industrial School at Eldora & the Girls' Industrial School at Mitchellville (AKA Reform school / Juvenile Detention)

Court-ordered Inmates

 

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