of Jefferson County
(Round Prairie Township)
"GLASGOW. Sec 21, Round Prairie Township. Oldest settlement
in Jefferson County. Glasgow is not a "vanished" village but its
heydays are long gone. Plat filed 10 Jul 1840 by Thomas Miller and
Ephraim Glasgow; see pp. 26 - 27, 1909 Atlas. P. O. Est. 24 Apr 1846;
John Arrowsmith first p. m.; Geo. Chapman was postmaster in 1859; P.O.
disc. 29 Jun 1901. The 1856 census taker found Glasgow a "flourishing
little village containing 30 families, 136 inhabitants; two churches; one
school house, two stores, three blacksmith shops, two waggon shops, one
cabinet maker shop, one harness shop, one tailor, one tanyard, and one
Tavern, a Post Office, & c." The last general store closed in November
The above information was compiled by Mary Prill and published in the Hawkeye Heritage, July 1967.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The following story was originally one of a number of articles in the Fairfield Ledger which was later included in the book Villages and Towns of Yester-year in Jefferson County by William R. Baker. We hereby include it on this page with the permission of the Fairfield Ledger.
Names mentioned in this article are as follows:
John Watson; Claire Litton; Thomas Miller; Ephraim Glasgow; George Shaner; Lou Unkrich; a partnership of Stump and Heer; Dr. Carl Bishop; Dr. Clements; John Howell; J.P. Christler; Jacob Knepley; Elliott P. Taylor; Clara Sloan.
They didn't have cars racing up
and down the streets of Glasgow when that town was a thriving community
shortly after the turn of the century, but they had horse races. If you
don't believe it, ask John Watson,
92, former resident of the Glasgow Community.
When Watson attended school at Glasgow there were no cars. His father allowed him to ride horseback to school so he could get home earlier to help with the chores on the family farm.
One day the boys began bragging about how fast their horses could run, resulting in races up and down the main street in Glasgow.
"When my father learned about it, I was grounded", Watson said. "I had to walk after that." Watson, now a resident of Fairfield, spent most of his life in the Glasgow Community and can remember when it had a population of nearly 100 people and a number of business establishments. Today there is little to attest to its early importance as a trading community.
All that is left reflecting its past is the United Methodist Church and 14 houses, many of them dating back to 1900 and beyond.
Watson was born August 7, 1890, in Van Buren County and the family moved to a farm a mile west of Glasgow in Round Prairie Township when he was a year old. He lived on a farm in the Glasgow Community until 1978 when he and his wife, the former Claire Litton, moved to their home at 308 East Adams. She is deceased.
Glasgow, located in southeast Jefferson County, is one of the oldest communities in the county. A history of Jefferson County states it was laid out July 10, 1840, by Thomas Miller and Ephraim Glasgow.
The original plat consisted of four blocks of 12 lots each in the northeast quarter of section 21, Round Prairie Township. The settlement was named after one of its founders. Miller and Glasgow opened a general store soon after.
Watson can remember when Glasgow had three grocery stores operated by George Shaner, Lou Unkrich and a partnership of Stump and Heer. There were also two blacksmith shops, two shoe cobblers, two doctors, Dr. Carl Bishop and Dr. Clements.
There was a school, two churches, two lodge organizations, the Odd Fellows and Masons, a post office with John Howell as postmaster, and a justice of peace, J.P. Christler. Watson described the J.P. as a "nice old man of German descent, always neatly dressed who also gave violin lessons."
There were no telephones. If someone became ill the patient was taken to the doctor's office at Glasgow. If the patient was too ill to travel, a member of the family had to go to the doctor's office to summon medical aid.
"I know there were many times when Doc. Bishop got up in the middle of the night, some times in rainy or bitter weather, and rode miles to treat a patient," Watson recalled.
There was no hospital in the county prior to 1912 and patients were cared for in their homes, or taken to hospitals in larger cities.
The first religious services conducted in the area were held in homes during the winter of 1837 - 1838 by a Methodist missionary. That was before the town of Glasgow was platted.
The original Methodist Church was constructed in 1847. It was torn down in 1874 and all available material was moved to the present site where the Glasgow Methodist Church is now located. The ground was donated by Jacob Knepley.
The Glasgow Church is still a "going church" with regular worship services every Sunday along with special services and events.
Elliott P. Taylor, a Civil War veteran, was one of Glasgow's better known early citizens. He was born in Aurora, December 23, 1845. At the age of 16 he enlisted in the 4th Iowa Calvary (sic) and served during the Civil War.
Discharged in 1865, he returned to Jefferson County and operated a hotel in Glasgow for a number of years. He was married in 1867 to Clara Sloan.
Watson described the hotel as a frame two-story structure with a porch along the front. It was razed many years ago. He said patrons included livestock buyers who traveled through the county and traveling salesmen who called on the business establishments, and those passing through the area.
Entertainment in the community included programs and gatherings at the Glasgow school and nearby rural schools, family visiting and "leafing at the stores."
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