of Jefferson County
(Black Hawk Township)
"BLUE POINT. A P.O. near the northwest
corner of Black Hawk Township, as appears on maps of 1855, 1856, and 1857.
Named for a point of timber that came out into the prairie and could be
seen for fifteen or twenty miles."
The above information was compiled by Mary Prill and published in the Hawkeye Heritage, July 1967.
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The following information comes from the book "Glimpses of Yesterday" by Dixie Richardson, published in 1999 and copied here with her permission. The book contains histories and personal memories of Richland, Iowa, and the surrounding area. Copies of the book are available from Dixie Richardson, 556 South Davis, Ottumwa Iowa 52501-5301 for $13.00 and this covers postage and handling as well.
In Jefferson County in Blackhawk and a portion of Polk Townships was the settlement of Blue Point. It was named for a stand of timber, which extended out into the prairie and could be seen as far as 15 to 20 miles away. The first settler to Blue Point was Jesse Ruggles who came to the Blue Point area in 1839. Some of the other early settlers at Blue Point were William and Mary Boag Lock who came to the Blue Point area in 1851, Henry Hardin, George Snyder, Charles Shy, William Turnbull, and William Lewman. Many of descendants of these families live in or not far from the Blue Point area.
Blue Point did not have any stores but a post office was shown to be located in the north west corner of Blackhawk Township. This post office was on maps of Jefferson County in 1855, 1856, and 1857. In 1844 a road was authorized to run from Blue Point to Fairfield. Another road ran from Blue Point to Agency.
BLUE POINT SCHOOL
Blue Point School was located in the southeast comer of section 6 of Blackhawk Township. The first school building was a log cabin. The cabin had a hole cut out of one side to let light in. Fifteen pupils attended this first school with Charles Stafford as teacher. A school building was erected in section 6 of Blackhawk Township. Some of the teachers at Blue Point school were J. S. Drummond, E. M. Brown, Anna Mc Clintic Rakow, Kate Stephenson Nelson, Hattie Orr Bray, Emma Hadley Spaulding, Ethel Greeson Rivey, Rilla Hadley Lock. Record of a visit to Blue Point School in 1870 by the county superintendent of schools mentions the following about Blue Point School:
'Teacher was J. S. Drummond with an enrollment of 49.' It goes on to say that the day of the visit 33 students were present. Mr. Drummond did not believe in punishing the students but rather would send them home to have the parents mete out punishment. On the day of the visit the superintendent was quite taken of the honesty shown by the students at Blue Point. The students were asked to answer perfect or imperfect when called upon to tell how their conduct had been for the day. Of the 33 students in attendance at school that day 28 answered imperfect. Mr. Drummond's wages were $33.00 per month.
METHODIST CHURCH AT BLUE POINT
In 1840 a group of settlers gathered at the home of James Lewman to organize a Methodist church. Those attending the meeting were Henry and Catherine Hardin, Jesse and Luvinia Ruggles, Mary Lewman and Leah Lewman. The church services were held at the cabin of Henry Hardin who had come to the Blue Point area in 1840. His cabin was a few rods from Blue Point Cemetery. Hardin died in 1892 and is buried in Blue Point Cemetery.
It is also thought that the church also met at the schoolhouse for services. Other records mention the Blue Point Charge, which had meetings as early as 1853 in a schoolhouse, which was about 2 miles northeast of Packwood. Most of this congregation later became affiliated with the Packwood Methodist Church. Ministers mentioned are Henry Hardin and Moses Shinn.
CENTER METHODIST CHURCH
In section 16 of Black Hawk Township a short distance south of the Blue Point area was Center Methodist Church. This church had a very active congregation for many years. The church was closed in the 1920s and the building was torn down in 1934. The church Bell is now in front of the Richland United Methodist Church.
BLUE POINT CEMETERY
Blue Point Cemetery is in section 4 of Blackhawk Township. Many of the early settlers in the Blue Point area and some of their descendants are buried in the cemetery.
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