Jefferson County Online
A part of the IAGenWeb and USGenWeb Projects

First Families Of Jefferson County

The following information was gathered by Mary & Orville Prill in the book they authored, Jefferson County Records, Volume III, pages 174 - 177. It was transcribed for this page by Nancy Dorwart.


IOWA GAZETTEER, Published by Bailey & Hair, 164 Clark St., Chicago, 1865. Page 224 - Jefferson County.

Deedsville Mills (now known as the Merrimac Mills) on the Skunk River, belonging to William J. and John S. Rogers, have machinery for carding wool, attached.

The first settlement made in Jefferson County was in the spring of 1836. At that time the following persons with their families, settled in Round Prairie, in the southeast part of the county, which was then a part of Henry County, to-wit:

James Landman, Amos Lemmons, George Stout, Alfred Wright, Noah Wright, William G. Coop, David Coop, Lambeth Morgan, John Huff, Samuel S. Walker and George W. Troy. Isaac Blakeley and Harmon J. Akes, two young men, also came the same spring. A man by the name of Samuel Harris also settled the same spring about seven miles east of where Fairfield now stands.

Sometime in the year 1836, Daniel Morris settled in Locust Grove, in the west part of the county. In 1836, Col. W. G. Coop laid out a town about seven miles east of Fairfield which he called Lockridge. In 1836 a store was kept at the town of Lockridge, above mentioned. Salt sold for $7.00 per bushel. Corn meal was brought from Illinois and sold for $1.25 per bushel. As in all new countries, the early settlers experienced great inconvenience for the want of mills.

Of the settlers who came in the spring of 1836, the following are still in the county: Alfred Wright, Noah Wright, William G. Coop, John Huff and George W. Troy.  Some of the others are dead and some have removed to other parts. Daniel Morris still resides in Locust Grove.

HISTORY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY, IOWA, Western Historical Company, Chicago: 1879. Page 354.

During the summer of 1836 a very considerable number of claim-hunters visited the country west of Skunk River and in the Cedar Creek region. Many of them selected claims, which they came to occupy the following season. Some made immediate improvements and came with their families to occupy them in the summer and fall of 1836. So far as can be remembered by John Huff and Mrs. Lambirth (Sarah Ann Tilford, widow of Thomas Lambirth), the following list embraces the entire population when the summer of that year faded into autumn and autumn whitened into winter:
James Tilford and his son Joseph; Thomas Lambirth and wife; Samuel Scott Walker, his wife and two children; John Huff and wife; Amos Lemon, his wife and five children; Isaac Blakeley; James Lemmon, his wife and six children; David A. Woodward (a boy who came with John Huff, now a resident of Neosho County, KS), Col. W. G. Coop, his wife and three children: Noah Wright, his wife and one child;  Harmon J. Sikes and three brothers, all unmarried; George Stout, his wife and three children; Samuel T. Harris, his wife and eight children; David Coop, his wife and two children; ____ Ballard; Fred Lyong and Lambeth Morgan, both unmarried; Isaac Bush and a man named Mount, the two last named being the last arrivals in the fall of 1836.

Total, sixty nine. The names of the heads of families and the number of children here given are quoted from memory and may not be exactly correct, but are believed to be nearly so.

A majority of those named above settled in Round Prairie, but some of them settled in other parts of the new “El Dorado.” Samuel T. Harris selected a claim  and settled about seven miles east of the present city of Fairfield. Ballard made a claim some two miles northeast of Fairfield and built a camp in the grove on the land now owned by Eli Hoops. Ballard came to the country more as a bee-hunter than with the intention of becoming a permanent settler and tiller of the soil. Ballard’s hunts for bees were mostly confined to the timber along a small stream that was known to the early settlers as “Ballard’s Branch,” but now called Crow Creek. But in a few years, the country became too thickly settled to suit Ballard’s idea of prosperity and success, so he moved on further west.

Letter from Hawkins Taylor, 6 Nov. 1878 to the Ledger: “In the spring of 1836, Scott and Combs Walker, cousins of mine, James Gilmer, Burton Litton, Hardin Butler, ____ Hardin and probably some other families that I have now forgotten, settled in Round Prairie. They were all from Adair County, KY, the same county that I came from. Hardin Butler was the grandson of John Butler, one of the most noted Indian scouts that ever was in KY. Amos Lemon settled on the farm now owned by Albert Howell. He was a preacher of the Baptist faith.”

“History of Jefferson County, Iowa” by Charles J. Fulton, Vol. 1. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, 1914. Chapter X. THE LAND SURVEY. The first settlers came to an open country where each as he arrived selected a place that pleased his fancy. If his tract adjoined the claim of another, it conformed to that. Beyond this there was no regularity of bounds and no certainty of acreage. There could be none until the lands were surveyed. No title could be acquired until this was done. In the meantime the settlers were but “squatters” whose rights of possession were acknowledged and protected under rules imposed and enforced by themselves.

CEDAR TOWNSHIP. Survey commenced Aug. 8, 1837: completed Aug. 18, 1837.
 -House occupied as a settler, Benjamin Mount. (Sec. 24 ?)
 -Large cornfield, but no house, claimed by John Mounts.
 -John Huff a settler, small improvement. (Sec. 12 ?)
 -William G. Coop a settler on the NE qr. of Section One.
 -Samuel Combs a settler on the SW qr. of Section 35, his improvement is on the NW qr. of same.
 -Jacob Wiley a settler on the SE qr. of Section 34, his improvement on  NE qr. of same.
 -Large cornfield, claimed by Elizabeth Parker a settler on NE qr. of Section 14 and Samuel Bomafield, a young man who boards with her, but a settler.
 -House occupied by William Williams a settler.
 -Cornfield claimed by George W. Troy, a settler on the SE qr. of Section three.

P. 57 ROUND PRAIRIE TOWNSHIP.   Survey commenced August 19, 1837, completed August 31, 1837.

-Thomas Lambirth a settler on the SE qr. of Section 24.
-James Walker a settler upon SW qr. of Section 25.
-House occupied as a settler by Owen Callfield, cornfield claimed by same.
-Cornfield claimed by Amos Lemons, a settler on SE qr. of Section 27.
-House occupied as a settler by James Gilmer.
-House now building by William Daugherty.
-House occupied by settler Isaac Blaker (Blakeley).
-Cornfield claimed by John N. Gillam (Gilham), settler, house.
-Cornfield owned by Samuel Walker, a settler on NW qr. of Section 21.
-Alexander Kirk a settler on SE qr. of Section 16.
-House reportedly owned by Thomas Johnson who is absent.
-Cornfield owned by Richard Steward, settler on SE qr., Section 18.
-Rhodeham Bonn field a settler on the NW of the SW qr., Section 4.
-On the SW qr. of the NE qr. of Section 31 is a mile site and a mile in an advanced stage of building. Name of occupant or owner of mile not known.
-Cornfield on NW qr., Section 19 claimed by Samuel S. Walker.
-Joseph Parker a settler SE qr., Section 17.
-Cornfield claimed by Alfred Right a settler on SW qr., Section 8.
-William Barger, a settler on SW qr., Section 7.
-James Lanman a settler on the SW qr., Section 7.
-Large cornfield owned and claimed by William I. Stout and Hasey I. Stout, settlers but no house holders.
-House occupied by Geo. Stout.
-James Clark a settler on the SW qr., Section 6.

P. 69 LOCKRIDGE TOWNSHIP - Field Notes. Survey completed Sept. 22, 1837.

-John Roberts a settler on NE qr. Section 11.
-Jas. A. Cochran a settler on SW qr. Section 1 and proportion of the village of New Haven on same.
-Samuel Coal a settler on the NW qr., Section 1.
-Henry Shepherd a settler on the SW qr., Section 26.
-Cornfield owned by Henry Bow (Rowe?) a settler on NE qr., Section 31.
-Samuel M. Harris a settler on NW qr., Section 31.
-John Pierson a settler SW qr., Section 30.
-John W. Mitchell, settler on NE qr., Section 31.
-House occupied as a settler by William Tilford.

P. 83. WALNUT TOWNSHIP.  Survey completed November 17, 1837.

-House occupied by Johnson Hampton a settler
-Joseph Zurk a settler on the NE qr., Section 36.
-Andrew Turner a settler o SE qr., Section 26.
-John Voorheis a settler on NW qr., Section 35.
-A beautiful sugar camp, interspersed with many wigwams where the Indians from an appearance have made quantities of sugar.

WALNUT TOWNSHIP - Surveyor's Notes cont.

-John Fulton a settler upon the SE qr., Section 2.
-Henry McCauly and Isiah Lee joint settlers on NE qr., Section 17.
-Adam Winsell a settler on the SW qr., Section 7.
-Lewis Winsell a settler on same.
-William Young a settler on same.
-House occupied as joint E. Boartman, A. Willard, J. Randall, E.C. Eddy, E. Lomas, G. W. Tewelle, John Benns.

BLACK HAWK TOWNSHIP  -  Survey completed by May 8, 1841.

-M. Meakers improvement.
-J. Robertsons improvement.
-V. Nelson’s improvement.
-J. Hadles (Hadley?) improvement.
-Cross road NW to Blew Point.
Enter Blue Point Grove E. of G. Rugals improvement.
-W. loman improvement.
-J. Hillers improvement.
-J. Brown improvement.

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP  - Survey completed June 26, 1841.

-Troxells mill on SE of Section 3 is a saw and flouring mill and coal bank apparently extensive.
-Road from Burlington to Indian Agency.

CENTER and FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIPS - Surveys completed July 20, 1841.

-On NW qr. Of Section 32 is a good saw and flouring mill. (Clinkenbeard’s Mill)
-On SW qr. Of Section 25 is situated the town of Fairfield.
-Road from Fairfield west to Clinkenbeard’s Mill.

Ref: Page 124, Vol. 1, JEFFERSON COUNTY RECORDS.  (Tombstone)
The Fairfield Ledger, Jan. 13, 1897. Page 3, Col. 6.
DEATH OF A NOBLE WOMAN. Mrs. E. J. (Emily J.) Hendricks died the 28th, after a lingering illness, at the age of 79 years. Rev. G.L. Minear conducted funeral services at the Parsonsville church and a large concourse of people testified to the esteem in which the good woman was held. Mrs. Hendrick’s maiden name was Frazey. She was born in PA (Bedford County), where she married Wilson Green and immediately the young couple moved in a one horse wagon, to Portage County, OH, where they lived until 1844. They came to IA and bought Col. William Coop’s large farm on which remained the few cabins which had been the old town of Lockridge. She lived on this farm more than 52 years. In 1854 Mr. Green died. Leaving his widow with five sons and two daughters to rear, all but one of whom remain to mourn their mother. After 14 years of widowhood Mrs. Green married Rev. J. H. Hendricks, with whom she lived a beautiful and happy life of 23 years, Mr. Hendricks dying in 1891. Mrs. Hendricks was connected with many families throughout the county, Dr. W. J. Green and Alfred Green of Fairfield being brothers of her first husband and Mrs. C.A. Herring a granddaughter of her second husband. She and her family were much the largest contributors toward building the Parsonsville church and since building, its chief support.

This page was created on 4 November 2007. The page and/or its linked data may be copied and used for personal purposes but can not be republished nor used for commercial purposes without the author's written permission.

I am the County Coordinator and the Webmaster, the one who is responsible for the IAGenWeb project for Jefferson County, Iowa. Please contact me if you would like to contribute to this database or if you note any problems with these pages.

Return to the Jefferson County Main Page