of Jefferson County
"PLEASANT PLAIN. Secs. 2 & 11, Penn Township. A. M. Emry
was the postmaster in 1859. Plat, p. 18, 19O9 Atlas.
A "Quaker Meeting" was organized at this place on Feb 3, 1841. Pop. in
1894, 197. Noted for the "Old Academy" which stood on the ground
where the brick school building is now located. Richard A. Hartman
is pastor of the Pleasant Plain Friends Church in 1967."
The above information was compiled by Mary Prill and published in the Hawkeye Heritage, July 1967.
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The following story appeared in the Ottumwa Courier, November 29, 1999, pages 1 and 2, and is copied here with the gracious permission of the Ottumwa Courier.
"Jefferson County town celebrates history"
"Hometown: Pleasant Plain formed an academy in 1876"
By DANA BROWN Courier regional editor
"PLEASANT PLAIN -- Just as the name suggests, Pleasant Plain is affable
and unpretentious. It is a quiet community of about 100 residents located
in the far northeast corner of Jefferson County.
But there is more to Pleasant Plain than meets the eye today.
The same pioneer spirit that drove the development of many Southern Iowa communities is also part of Pleasant Plain's history. And although many of the historical buildings are no longer standing, there are markers that rekindle a sense of the community's rich heritage.
Dick Pohren is the second-term mayor of Pleasant Plain. He has lived in the community all his life and operates one of the town's only businesses, Pohren's Body Shop, which he started in 1972.
"It's a quiet community, you might say," Pohren said, but added that the community has plans to start a new housing project to generate growth. But he focused on bits and pieces of the community's past recently during a brief walking tour of his hometown.
The community was first settled by Quaker farmers in 1836 and was originally given the name Pleasant Prairie before it was changed to Pleasant Plain. The settlement eventually grew from a church built of logs and one store to a thriving pioneer community that included an opera house, hotels, grocery stores and restaurants, clothing and shoe shops, a pharmacy, barbershops and a millinery. The Pleasant Plain Button factory also operated in town. Pohren said he can still dig in his yard and find old oyster shells once used to make buttons at the factory.
Near Pohren's home, a large stone marks the spot where the former Pleasant Plain Academy stood. Because education had been important to the early settlers, the first -(Continued from Page 1)- school was a simple log cabin built in 1837. It was also the first school established in Jefferson County.
In 1876, the Pleasant Plain Academy Association of Friends was formed and set about constructing a school building, which was completed in 1876. The academy was under the supervision of the Friends Church but admitted young people of all denominations. Often tuition was paid in products such as wheat, corn and meat.
The academy was closed within years after the tuition law of 1911 provided that tuition be paid at public schools but not religious institutions. In 1919 the former academy was torn down and the lumber used to build a private home.
Pohren said the stone, which also has a plaque commemorating the Pleasant Plain Academy, was placed in its current location but only after exerting great effort. Placing the stone was part of a bicentennial project completed by the Pleasant Plain Bicentennial Pioneers.
"That was a project," Pohren said with a laugh. "You don't move them every day."
He said the large rock was selected from its former hillside location near Germanville. Pohren said the rock was more easily pushed on to a flatbed truck with a bulldozer than it was to get off. What started out to be an expected one-hour project turned into a daylong endeavor, he said. Again using a bulldozer, they were able to get the rock pushed off the truck.
"Where it landed was where it was," Pohren said.
Also buried near the large rock is a time capsule. Placed in the ground during the town's bicentennial in 1977, the capsule is slated to be opened in 2007.
Some of the information used in this article was provided from a booklet entitled "Memories and Glimpses from Old to New Pleasant Plain, Iowa -- 1976. "
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.
Pleasant Plain is located in Penn Township. About 1836 a group of settlers from Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Indiana came to Penn Township and settled in the area called Pleasant Prairie. These settlers were Quakers who had left their homes in the slave states. The settlement first consisted of a church and a store ran by Isaiah Hinshaw. In 1841 David Switzer a deputy surveyor platted out the town for Isaiah Hinshaw. The town was located in sections 2 and 11 of Penn Township. The town consisted of 8 blocks. Pleasant Prairie became known as Pleasant Plain.
Pleasant Plain had 2 hotels The Broadway House. Proprietor was Elijah Edwards who ran the hotel from 1876 to 1881. The other hotel was the Groves Hotel, which was started in 1893.
The Farmers and Merchants bank was started By David Dickerson. The bank was started somewhere between 1900-1903.
Blacksmiths, Harness Shops, Carpenters and Livery Barns
Blacksmiths in Pleasant Plain were Aaron Burgess who was one of Pleasant Plain's earliest settlers. He was also a machinist and mechanic. Other blacksmiths were R.E. Caviness, Mr. Paxton who for one year worked with Caviness, Dan Rickard, Perry Cole, Abel Roberts, C.R. Humphries, J.D. Scothon and J.S. Koontz. Frank McMurray and Frank Fuqua had livery barns. Wagon shops were operated by J.S. Koontz and his partner Mr. Klingaman. Frank Eck sold Charter Oak wagons. Walter Edwards was a carpenter in Pleasant Plain and built several of the homes in town. Pleasant Plain had 3 painters and paperhangers, J.P. McConnell, Jesse Lyston, and W.L. Noe.
Clothing Stores and Millinery stores and Shoe Stores
Pleasant Plain has had several clothing and millinery stores.
Clara Mealey had a millinery shop in 1879. Others millinery shops were
Kaska and Kaska Millinery and Notions, and the Edwards Sisters who were
quite well known for their hats.
There were 2 New York stores in Pleasant Plain. They were run by W. O. Bowen in 1888 and Andrews and Powers in 1893. Others who ran clothing and dry goods stores were Pickard and Fleener, Risk, and Hufstedler and Loehr which opened for business in 1899. This firm also sold carpets. Shoe stores were run by N. Hackney in 1879 and C.E. Pickard in 1901.
C.O. Turner came to Pleasant Plain from Cedar Rapids in 1906 and purchased the dry goods business ran by W.O. Bowen. Turner started a general store and also sold groceries, and bought cream and eggs. For a time the post office was located in his store as he had been named postmaster. Turner's store was relocated on Main Street and the old building torn down. Harry Turner purchased the store from his father in 1949. By that time Turner also had a trucking business. Harry Turner operated the store and also was a Phillips Bulk Oil Dealer. Harry Turner and his wife ran the store until 1972 when they sold it to Howard Lucas. Lucas ran the grocer store and a fish market for 3 years. In 1975 he had an auction and sold the grocery items. Harry Turner continued to operate the oil business for 4 years after he sold the grocery store. He sold the oil business to Bob Hiatt on January 1, 1976.
Pleasant Plain Post Office
The Pleasant Plain post office was established in 1849. First postmaster was Edward Hobson. Other early postmasters were Stephen Heard and A.N. Emry who was postmaster in 1859. Postmasters in later years were Harry Turner, Joe Supalla who succeeded Turner as postmaster. He moved the post office to his store and service station. Mabel Supalla was assistant postmaster. In 1968 Virginia Popejoy was named acting postmaster when Joe Supalla retired. The post office was in Popejoy's home until 1969 when it was closed and Pleasant Plain became a rural route out of Brighton.
The first barbershop was operated by Linley Frazer in 1894. A tonsorial parlor was run by W.A. Hook around 1895. In 1903 J. A. Hemmings and J. Barkhuff had barbershops in Pleasant Plain. W. S. Pollen was the last in 1911.
Doctors in Pleasant Plain
The first physician in Pleasant Plain and Perm Township was Dr. J. C. Ware. The next was Dr W.Z. Hodson and then Dr. Frank Smith who came from Van Buren County. Dr. Smith's specialty was fractures. The Doctor who practiced the longest at Pleasant Plain was Dr. Cassius Bailey. Dr. Bailey was born in 1871. He married Mary Josephine Hosette in 1899. Dr. and Mrs. Bailey came to Pleasant Plain the same year, when Dr. Bailey started a practice, which lasted until 1931 when he died. Other doctors were Drs. Albert Everett Conrad, A.C. Crumley, S.K. Davis, John Fleener, W. Poison, Mary G. Hunter, N. Labaugh, Thomas Mealey, M.L. Powers, F. R. Smith, Victor Todd and Ernest White. Dr. Charles Henry who practiced from 1931 to 1935 and Mrs. Olivia C. Hoskins were the last doctors who practiced at Pleasant Plain.
Dr. Mealey was also well known, coming to the area in 1857. He was remembered for his many kind deeds that he did to help the poor. He practiced until his death in 1898. His nephew, David, operated a Drug Store in Pleasant Plain around 1876 until 1917.
Other Businesses in Pleasant Plain
Albert Hanshaw opened a plumbing and Hardware business in 1947. He operated this business for ten years until illness forced him to close it. In 1959 he and his son Larry opened a TV repair business. The Hanshaws closed the business and moved it to Richland. The business in Richland was closed in 1964. Another business was the Prairie Gem Feed Co. started in 1953 by Le Roy Chalupa.
Richard Pohren opened a body shop in 1970 and ran it part time and another body shop, Gary's Body Shop, was opened by Gary Houseal in 1971. Gary Houseal and Dick Pohren later became partners until 1974. Gary opened a shop in Germanville and Dick remained in Pleasant Plain and changed the name of the shop to Pohren's Body Shop.
Pleasant Plain also had a telephone company and funeral business and furniture store all run by John T. Ellison in the same building, which was on Main Street.
Some of the industries in Pleasant Plain were a cheese factory; a flourmill called the Centennial Flouring Mill built in 1876 by Michael Mesner and Jacob Heflinger. Other proprietors were the Crumly Brothers. Pleasant Plain also had a brick and tile factory called the Pleasant Plain Brick and Tile Works. Pleasant Plain also had a lumberyard run by Albert Crumly.
Pleasant Plain School
The first school in Pleasant Plain was taught in 1837. This log school was the first one in the county. It was located east of the Friends Church. There were 18 students in the first year at the school. Another school building was built west of the Friends church to replace the first one.
In 1876 the academy was built. It closed in 1916. The academy was the first of its kind in this part of the state. Pleasant Plain Consolidated School was built in 1918. It became a part of the Fairfield school district in 1967. Seventh and eighth grade students started attending junior high at Fairfield. The Pleasant Plain Building housed elementary classes until it was closed in 1981. The building was purchased by the Pleasant Plain Pioneers who used it as a community center. The Pioneers have sold it to a private owner.
Churches of Pleasant Plain
Walnut Creek Friends Church
In section 15, south west of Pleasant Plain, was Walnut Creek Friends Church. Records show in 1852 that Quakers residing at Walnut Creek made a request to the quarterly meeting to hold worship service on the first and fifth days of the week and preparative meeting on the 5th day before the monthly meeting. This meeting was to be called Walnut Creek Friends Church. The request was granted. Many of the ministers at Pleasant Plain also preached at Walnut Creek. Walnut Creek merged with Pleasant Plain Friends Church in 1918.
Pleasant Plain Friends Church
Pleasant Plain Friends Church goes back to 1836. A group of Quaker settlers from Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Indiana settled in Penn Township. Some of the names in the early years of the church were Andrew, Bell, Hinshaw, Hoskins, Jones, Paxson, Pickering and Smith. Pleasant Plain was part of the first Quarterly meeting established west of the Mississippi. The settlers established a quarterly meeting in 1852 and built a log church not far from the present building. In 1860 a frame building was erected. In 1890 the main part of the current building was built. The bell and bell tower were added in 1894. The bell from the Presbyterian Church was given to the Friends church in 1894. The church is still very active with many of the descendants of the early pioneer families as members. There have been several members of the church who have gone out in the mission field from Pleasant Plain Friends Church. Eli Parker was the first minister at Pleasant Plain. A partial list of the others who have been pastors at Pleasant Plain are Amos Cook, A.J. Wooten, Levi Marshall, L. Maria Dean, Joseph Sopher, Alfred Hanson, Arthur Hammond, George Deshler, Charles Haworth, Oren and Oshea Hutchins, Melvin and Anna Smith, Harvey Moon, Wade Dillavou, Ron Bryan. Sue McCracken is currently serving as pastor.
The Methodist church was organized in 1893. The trustees of the church bought land from I.H. Crumley to erect a church building on. The building was completed in December of 1893.
Some of the pastors were A.C. Brown in 1903, Rev. Lounds in 1909 and Rev. Lee Pratt in 1913. The church was later served by seminary students. In 1920 the church and its contents were sold at auction. The building was later torn down.
United Brethern Church
There was a United Brethern Church at Pleasant Plain. The Ground was deeded from Thomas and Rebecca Jones and Isaac and Rebecca Crumley for a church building. This building was torn down and moved and rebuilt.
Pleasant Plain Presbyterian Church
The Presbyterian Church was organized 1872. There is very little information about the church except that when it closed the bell was given to the Friends Church. The building later became a maintenance building for Jefferson County.
Pleasant Plain Today
Pleasant Plain was on the stagecoach line from Washington to Fairfield. It continued to grow after the railroad came. In 1888 the Rock Island Railroad straightened and improved its track. The right of way was moved south of Pleasant Plain. A new town was built along the new right of way named East Pleasant Plain. This began the decline of Pleasant Plain. Many of its businesses moved to East Pleasant Plain. Today Pohren's Body Shop and Stewart Auto Detailing are the only businesses in Pleasant Plain. In 1992 the new section of the Pleasant Plain Road which bypasses Pleasant Plain on the east was built. Dick Pohren is Mayor of Pleasant Plain.
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The Brighton Enterprise, Thurs. Aug. 27, 1931, 1-1.
HISTORY OF FRIENDS CHURCH GIVEN AT HOMECOMING SUNDAY.
Preparative Meeting at Pleasant Plain on February 3, 1841.
In the summer of the year 1835 Isaac Pidgeon and his wife and
seven children left their home in South Carolina and headed their team
of oxen toward the territory west of the Mississippi River, which was then
known as the Black Hawk Purchase. Crossing the river near where the
town of Burlington now stands, they pushed their way about thirty miles
into the new country, and located a claim near the present town of Salem
in Henry County. In a short time two other families of Friends joined
the Pidgeons and it was decided to found a Quaker Community in the Iowa
Country. Other families of Friends heard of the new settlement and
came to take up claims. The town of Salem was laid out and several
Quaker communities were established in southeastern Iowa.
For two reasons conditions there were not as desirable as the settlers had hoped. One reason was that they were annoyed by slave catchers from the Missouri border; and the other was that they were close to the Mormon settlement in Illinois. In the face of these conditions many families again gathered their possessions and headed their oxen toward a new settlement about 35 miles northwest of Salem. Here the second community of Friends in Iowa was formed. The name given at first was Pleasant Prairie but was soon changed to Pleasant Plain.
The chief concern of these early Friends was to establish church and school. A Monthly Meeting had been set up at Salem, and on Feb. 3, 1841, a committee came from Salem to open a Preparative Meeting at Pleasant Plain. A Preparative or Indulged meeting carried on its own meetings for worship on First Day and Fourth Day but all business was conducted thru an older Monthly Meeting.
Rapid indeed must have been the growth of the new settlement, for in less than two years Pleasant Plain was raised from the stage of a Preparative to that of a Monthly Meeting. On Dec. 28, 1842, another committee came from Salem properly directed and authorized to solemnly establish a Monthly Meeting in accordance with the ancient order of the Society of Friends. Joseph Roberts was chosen as the first clerk.
From the very first certificates of membership began to pour into this new Monthly Meeting from all parts of the East and South. During the nine years from 1842 to 1850, 150 members came from various centers in Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina and Tennessee. In 1850 two English Friends who attended Pleasant Plain Monthly Meeting, reported that "The business was conducted in a weighty manner, there appearing to be amongst them a number of well concerned Friends who are endeavoring in faithfulness and simplicity to uphold our religious testimonies in this far western land."
In 1852, ten years after the Monthly Meeting, a Quarterly Meeting had been set up in Iowa and the first Yearly Meeting was held near Oskaloosa with from 1200 to 1300 people in attendance.
At different times several Preparative Meetings were under the direction of Pleasant Plain. Among these were Richland, Rocky Run, Spring Creek and Spring Bank, Nebr. These were all transferred or Monthly Meetings set up, with the exception of Walnut Creek. In the Quarterly Meeting Minutes of 11 - 20th, 1852, we find the following: "By the reports from P.P. Monthly Meeting it appears that Friends residing on Walnut Creek in the south part of P.P. neighborhood, request the privilege of holding a meeting for worship on First and Fifth days of each week, and a Preparative Meeting on fifth day preceding the monthly meeting, to be known by the name of Walnut Creek, which being considered is united with and granted and P.P. Monthly Meeting is directed to attend the opening thereof and report to next Quarterly Meeting." This meeting continued until 1917 when it was united with P.P. Meeting.
The first meeting house, built of logs, was located a short distance east and south of the present building. This log building was replaced about 1850 with a frame structure. Both buildings were used as school house also until the brick school building was built. The interior of the second building was divided by a half partition and sliding shutters into two equal parts, the one for the men and the other for the women. At their front there was a raised platform, called the gallery, on which were placed seats in two rows, one a step higher than the other, for the use of the ministers and elders.
During the business session the sliding shutters were closed so that the men and women carried on their business meetings separately. Each body had its clerk and for the handling of matters of mutual concern "messengers" were used to pass back and forth with written or oral messages through a door in the partition. This practice was followed until June 1887, at which time the minutes of the Monthly Meeting of Women Friends reads, "The meeting convened with open shutters for the purpose of considering the subject of uniting menís and womenís meetings. After some discussion for and against by all in submission it was decided to hold it together hereafter unless we should become dissatisfied."
One thing of which we may be proud was the establishment at P.P. in June 1884 of the First Day Scripture Schools or Sunday Schools. Until this time the religious instruction of Quaker children had been almost ignored. The belief had been prevalent that people would involuntarily be led into such religious exercises as were in accord with the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and that to have a set time for such acts of devotion was strongly tinctured with formalism, always extremely obnoxious to Friends. The setting apart of a special time and place for a group study of the scriptures by both children and adults marked a new departure of great importance, and soon other meetings had set up First Day Scripture Schools patterned by the one at P.P.
The chief distinguishing feature between modern and early Quakerism was the pastoral system. Early Friends had always held the belief that all members of the meeting had equal privileges and responsibilities, and that the only impelling force to vocal utterance was the direct leadings of the Holy Spirit. They had strongly opposed formality in the religious service and the practice of employing a paid minister. By 1875 Iowa Yearly Meeting had directed that each Monthly Meeting have a committee on pastoral care over the entire membership, who will be expected to extend pastoral care toward all the flock by visiting each family by two or more of their number to encourage an establishment and growth in the divine life. This system proved impracticable because the members of the committee had difficulty in finding the time for church duties and a demand was made for someone who could devote his entire time to the work. During the years 1878-1888 a revival movement swept over the country and there was an ever greater demand for a pastor who could give his time and effort to the spiritual needs of the people and encourage new converts.
Eli Parker was the first pastor at Pleasant Plain. He was followed by Amos Cook, A. J. Wooten, Levi Marshall, L. Maria Dean, Joseph Sopher, Alfred Hanson, Arthur Hammond, George Deshler, Charles Haworth, Oren and Osia Hutchins, Melvin and Anna Smith, and Harvey Moon. Most of these pastors also served at the meeting at Walnut.
The history of the church would not be complete without mention of the Academy which was started about 1876. The school was carried on by the members of the church and the teachers were active Christian Workers. Many who are now leaders in other meetings received their training and inspiration in this school.
The main part of the present building was erected about 1890. Walter Edwards was the carpenter and he also made the pulpit, which is still in use. About four years later the bell from the Presbyterian Church was given to the Friends and the vestibule and belfry were added. In 1919 the basement was enlarged and arranged for the Junior Sunday School and the Kitchen.
Fairfield Ledger, May 6, 1875, 2-4. PLEASANT PLAIN, IOWA. April 27, 1875.
Editor of Ledger: - Perhaps some items in regard to our village and
vicinity would be of interest to some of your readers. Our location
is, perhaps, not known to all of them. For their benefit we would
state that Pleasant Plain is in the northeast corner of Jefferson county,
on the Southwestern Branch of the C., R. I. & P. R. R. The surrounding
country is probably as rich in soil, and affords as many facilities for
successful agriculture, as any portion of the State. The amount of
shipping at our railroad depot is said to exceed that of other and rival
points. A majority of our citizens, and of the immediate farming
community, are Friends. The Friends have a large church building;
The Presbyterians, and United Brethren, also have houses of worship.
At this time we form rather an exception to the general depression of business. Several business houses and quite a number of private dwellings have very recently been erected, and many more are in process of erection. The Pleasant Plain Regulator, our new paper, we owe to the enterprise and public spirit of one of our new and valued citizens - Mr. Bowen, of the New York Store. But our wonted prosperity is not without its alloy; our largely increased trade and activity of business have brought some of their attendant evils. We have been brought to realize that Satan is still, as in the time of Job, "going to and fro, walking up and down in the earth." The skill and efficiency with which his work was performed here gives evidence that the servant employed was one well trained, and doubtless, often before dispatched on a similar errand. To drop the figure and speak plainly, thieves have been in our midst. In one night five or six houses were entered and a considerable amount of money taken. The principal sufferer was the new proprietor of our R. R. hotel. It was a very daring act, and evidently it was no novice who so quietly and quickly achieved this deed of darkness. The malicious attempt to blast the character of two of our worthy young men has most signally and utterly failed, and they now stand higher in the community than ever. The malice and wickedness of this attempt seem aggravated, from the fact that the young men are connected with the family of one of our most highly respected citizens - one who has done very much for the public good - a man whose deeds of kindness to the poor and distressed are widely known. A Citizen.
Fairfield Ledger, Jan. 15, 1879, p. 3, c. 6.
Pleasant Plain is one of the thriving little towns of Jefferson county, and appears to be doing a good business. The flouring mills owned by Messner & Matthews are the important industry. Crumley & Bowen own the lumber yard; W. O. Bowen has a large stock of dry goods and general merchandise, and reports a good business, which he deserves; Harvey & Son, grocers and hardware dealers, report a good trade; F. L. Eck deals in hardware and implements; D. H. Meally, drugs; Alex. Charles, general merchandise; Abel Roberts, harness; N. Hackney, boots and shoes; Clara Meally, millinery; Geo. McKinnis is station agent; T. McConnell, postmaster; E. Edwards owns the only hotel; Williams & Harkin and Morgan Bros. handle considerable stock. The Pleasant Plain Academy, under the management of N. Rosenberger, is flourishing finely, and is quite a credit to the town and its people. The village is well supplied with churches and school facilities, and shows a healthy growth within the past few years.
Fairfield Ledger, Dec. 8, 1880, p. 3, c. 6.
A DAY IN PLEASANT PLAIN. It was our luck to be in Pleasant Plain yesterday during the stormy weather. The snow kept many people in-doors, but a large number were attending to business. L. J. Bidwell, a good democrat who ought to vote the republican ticket, was shipping hogs, but he had time to put $1.50 in THE LEDGER exchequer. The Broadway House, kept by E. Edwards, gave us a hearty welcome. W. O. Bowen, J. Harvey & Son, A. Charles, D. H. Mealey, A. Roberts, Mr. Campbell and other business houses, have been having a good fall and winter trade. T. L. Emery has been having a good business in the egg and butter line. The Centennial Mills were running on full time, and the Drain Tile works have done a good business. The academy we did not visit, but Prof. Rosenberger is energetic and has about seventy-five students. Brother Frasher is running his News on time, and is presenting an acceptable paper to the citizens. He is doing a good business. Pleasant Plain has improved greatly within the past six years and is still on the boom. Friend Isaac Crumley is buying hogs and putting all the money he can into the pockets of the people. Mr. Bowenís store is probably the finest and most complete in the county outside of Fairfield. The stores in P. P. all carry fine stocks of goods. We may drop in again on our friends there some pleasant day.
Fairfield Ledger, Wed., Jan. 5, 1881, p. 2. Business Directory for Pleasant Plain.
Fairfield Ledger, Feb. 16, 1881, p. 3.
PLEASANT PLAIN NOTES. The snow storm of Friday found us at Pleasant Plain, just as did the one in December. The December storm was nothing to compare with that of February. Agent Folsom informed us that there had been shipped from Pleasant Plain over the C., R. I. & P. in 1880, 162 car loads of produce, of which there were: stock, 115; grain, 32; tiling, 5; apples, 9; eggs, 1. The total freight received was 17 cars, or 335.980 lbs. The Centennial mills are run on time by Messner & Matthews, and are doing good work, receiving custom from all the country roundabout, and getting credit for making good flour. The store of A. Charles was a cosy retreat from the storm, and there we found a fine display of dry goods, groceries, ladiesí goods, clothing, &c. We had a few minutes talk only with Dr. F. R. Smith, who had to take a jaunt several miles east of Germanville to see some patients. We were excused from accompanying him. Dr. Smith is a graduate, having received his diploma, and is rendering satisfaction to his patients. James Gatlin becomes landlord of the Broadway House, Mr. Edwards retiring after an experience of five years. We were glad to learn that Mr. Edwards is in condition to visit his friends next summer. The snow storm and our presence kept many people from Pleasant Plain, but the stores of W. O. Bowen, Harvey & Son, F. L. Eck, M. L. Campbell, and others, had a fair share of trade. Railroad and court house talk was indulged in considerably, Pleasant Plain people want the narrow gauge, but realize the fact that they cannot get it without a subsidy. It was thought by those to whom we talked that Penn township might vote a 3 per cent. tax, but not one of 5. Brighton has voted a 5 per cent. tax, and the fear was that the latter would get the road because of the heavier tax voted. The survey of the road was pointed out to us, and the road had been promised them on condition of a 5 per cent. tax. There is considerable opposition to the court-house question, and we were assured that Penn township would vote against it. We were asked why Fairfield was not out enlightening the people? We assured them, and now repeat the assurance to our readers, that Fairfield will not send advocates throughout the country. She is no more interested in building a substantial court-house than any other township. Being in and near town the citizens of Fairfield township see the great need of a court-house, and this alone will impel her citizens to vote in favor of it. So far as any benefit to Fairfield is concerned our people cannot see it so urgently as to induce them to send speakers to other townships. If the people of the county want the court-house they will vote in favor of the tax, and Fairfield will be benefited in proportion to other townships, and pay about one-fifth of the cost. If the people are not satisfied with the proclamation of the board of supervisors that the "court-house and county building is to be completed at a cost not to exceed the sum of fifty thousand dollars," we cannot understand that any reiteration of that statement is necessary. The Blackhawk Alliance voted against building a new court-house. If a majority of the people vote down the proposition on the 15th of March, the people of Fairfield township can visit the scattered institutions of the county with as much facility as any other portion of the people. We shall vote for the proposition because it will benefit the people by giving them a safe place for their records, and not because it will benefit Fairfield township any more than any other portion of the county. Will any opponent of the question tell us how a plan and specifications could be voted on intelligently by the people?
Ledger, Dec. 17, 1884, 3-5. OPERA HOUSE AT PLEASANT PLAIN.
Ledger, Wed., Jan. 20, 1886, 3-3. Miss Anna M. Smith appointed post-mistress at Pleasant Plain, vice Miss Mira McConnell, resigned.
Fairfield Ledger, Wed., June 23, 1886, 3-6. Pleasant Plain Academy Reunion.
Brighton Enterprise, Sat., May 4, 1912, 1-1. (25 YEARS AGO - 1887) ...The old woolen mill removed from Pleasant Plain.
Fairfield Ledger, Tues., Apr. 2, 1889, 3-2. T. F. Emry has been appointed postmaster at Pleasant Plain.
Fairfield Tribune, May 23, 1889, 5-1.
Reverends Mr. and Mrs. E. G. Parker, who recently became pastors of the Pleasant Plain Friends church, are from Washington County, Kansas, where they had been located for two years. They were formerly from Henry County, Indiana. Mr. Parker was educated at Springfield Academy, and has been in the ministerial work proper for ten years, though, according to the custom of the sect, he has done more or less speaking in the cause since his conversion 20 years ago. Mrs. Parker is also a regular minister and shares the preaching as well as pastorial labors of the church with her husband. They are, as we understand, the first regular pastors of the Pleasant Plain church, and preach also at Walnut church. Their family consists of a daughter 16 years old and a son 18, who entered the Academy immediately on arrival at Pleasant Plain.
Ledger, Tues., June 4, 1889, 2-3. Pleasant Plain Store Robbed.
Ledger, Wed., Oct. 8, 1890, 2-5. The Friendsí meeting house at Pleasant Plain, a structure erected in 1850, is being torn down. A new building will be erected on its site, 32 x 48 in size.
Fairfield Ledger, Wed., Aug. 31, 1892, 3-1. It is said that T. F. Emry has resigned the postmastership at Pleasant Plain and that Miss Sarah Jones will be appointed in his stead.
Tribune, June 14, 1893, 3-2. Methodist Church, Pleasant Plain.
Tribune, Aug. 23, 1893. Methodist Church, Pleasant Plain.
Fairfield Ledger, Wed., Dec. 6, 1893, 1-7. The new Methodist Church at Pleasant Plain has been completed and will be dedicated Dec. 10.
Fairfield Ledger, Mar. 7, 1894, 3-5. The first number of the Pleasant Plain Champion, published by Wilson & Eck, has made its appearance.
Fairfield Ledger, Wed., Apr. 25, 1894, 3-4.
DESECRATING A CEMETERY. About Nov. 19th the cemetery at the Friends church at Pleasant Plain was desecrated in manner most wanton. Stones and monuments which marked the resting places of at least 12 persons were overthrown, broken and mutilated. They bore the names of Harriet R. Williams, Jacob Paxson, Mary S. Watkins, Linton Johnson, Sarah O. Hamill, Sylvester L. Johnson, Henderson F. Jones, Alpheus T. Clark, Mahala Harvey, Moses Hoskins, William T. Hadley and Isaiah Hinshaw - names of some of the best families in Penn township.
Ledger, Wed., Oct. 17, 1894, 2-5. PLEASANT PLAIN. The Society of Friends is getting lumber on the grounds to build a belfry for the bell that came out of the Presbyterian Church, and which was given it. The old U.B. Church has been torn down and removed to Cottonwood, where it will be re-built.
Brighton Enterprise, Sat., June 20, 1896, 1-4. Pleasant Plain Academy Grad.
Ledger, Wed., Nov. 16, 1898, 3-3. DEATH OF AN AGED PHYSICIAN. Dr. Thomas S. Mealey, Pleasant Plain. (See obituary.)
Ledger, Feb. 21, 1900, 3-5. PLEASANT PLAIN (good).......
Fairfield Ledger, Sat., Jan. 22, 1927, 3-5. Band Concerts at Pleasant Plain 25 Years Ago. (1902).......(Lists personnel)
Fairfield Ledger, Oct. 29, 1902, 3-2. A Bank at Pleasant Plain.
Brighton Enterprise, Sat., Mar. 9, 1907, p. 1. Picture of Building & Advt. of J. Harvey & Co., Pleasant Plain, Iowa.
Brighton Enterprise, Sat., July 20, 1907, 1-2. PLEASANT PLAIN. Jake Mills is moving Mrs. Ellysonís old furniture store to East Pleasant Plain.
Brighton Enterprise, Sat., Feb. 1, 1913, 1-2. PLEASANT PLAINS.
Brighton Enterprise, Sat., July 17, 1915, 1-4. Button Factory at Pleasant Plain. - Ledger.
Brighton Enterprise, Sat., Mar. 18, 1916, 5-3. PLEASANT PLAIN HAS THREE GROCERIES NOW.
Brighton Enterprise, Wed., May 24, 1916, 4-3.
PLEASANT PLAIN. The citizens of this community should remember
that the little town of Pleasant Plain is still here and improving.
We have a jewelry store, barber shop, two dry goods stores and general
merchandise stores, three groceries, drug store, dealer in pumps, windmills,
etc., grist mill, saw mill, academy and two churches.
Fairfield Journal, Fri., June 2, 1916, 3-2. (Same as above item)
Brighton Enterprise, Feb. 17, 1917, 1-1. FIRE AT PLEASANT PLAIN.
Brighton Enterprise, Thurs., Feb. 13, 1919, 2-2. PLEASANT PLAINíS NEW CONSOLIDATED SCHOOL.
Brighton Enterprise, Aug. 12, 1920, 1-2. The Pleasant Plain Methodist church and fixtures were auctioned off last Monday and netted between $800 and $900 for the church treasury. The two lots were sold to Dr. Bailey for $50 each. The building brought over $400 and the seats, furnace, etc. furnished the rest.
Fairfield Ledger-Journal, Dec. 1, 1921.
(Shows picture of school.)
A School House With Noble Ancestry. The Consolidated
school house in Pleasant Plain where the farmers institute was held last
week, comes of an interesting line of ancestors. The present building
was erected in 1918 and was the successor to the old Friends academy.
The school is to be more than a school house if the board of directors
have their way; it is to be a place wherein any important community meeting
may be held. The institute was but the forerunner of a long series
of similar affairs, it is planned. The board is made up of T. Clyde
Coffin, president; Mahlon Roberts, secíy; F. A. Apt, treas.; S. M. Grove,
Elmer Coffin, F. L. Rynor.
In writing of the ancestory of the school, M. Roberts of Veo says: "My memory runs back to the brick school house situated on the "Friends Meeting House Grounds." In the "early forties" school was held in a long "meetinghouse" the scholars and community consisting chiefly of Friends and the school adjourned during the "Mid Week" meeting hour and all were supposed to attend meeting and even after the brick school house was built the school dismissed to attend the mid-week meeting, fourth day at eleven a.m. The brick school house was an uncomfortable structure and was replaced by a new frame public school house known as No. 2, on a plat of ground leased from Wm. Pickard and now used as a shelter for consolidated school busses (sic). The Pioneer teacher known to me was Peter Berdell, James Harvey, Benjamin C. Andrews, Townsend McConnel and others all of the Friends church. In 1870 the C. R.I. & P. Ry. was built through the town and an addition was laid out and new homes began to be added to the town and those interested in education conceived the idea of a higher school in the community. There was at that time a Friends school at Salem (Whittier College) one of Oskaloosa (Penn College) and other private schools of academic grades in the state so the idea was sprung for an academy the spring of 1876.
Stock subscriptions were $25 each and the subscribers were Thomas Charles, (once Co. Supervisor;), William Pickard 4, Isaac Crumley 5, (County Surveyor;) Milton Hoskins, James Harvey 2, (pioneer teacher;) Lewis Hospins, (Calvinís brother,) Eli Hospins 3, (estate Calvin brother;) Jeves Harvey, Joe Paxson 3, John T. Paxson, Phoebe Hibbs, Mira McConnell, Elizabeth Hibbs, Menerva Harvey, Mary Andrews, Ann Hibbs, B. C. Andrews 3, Henderson Gorsuch, John D. Edwards 2, Moses Roberts (father), W. D. Edwards, Moses Hoskins 2, Mary Brown, Leah J. Paxson, Joseph H. Burgess, Joshua Macy and others. The enterprise was active and July 4th, 1876, the first stone of the foundation was laid and the first organized board consisting of Thos. Charles, President, B. C. Andrews, President, James Harvey, Treas., Hilton Hoskins, Lewis Hoskins, I. H. Crumley and the first term of school began Oct. 4, 1876 with Chester P. Dorland, principal and wife "Linda" as assistant.
This was among the pioneer high schools of southeastern Iowa and was attended by students over a wide range of territory and for many years flourished as one of the best and when the public high schools became established and drew their patronage from all sides and better equipment than the few supporters of the academy were able to furnish and the attendance was too small to justify continuance of the same. The school closed its last year of 1914-15. One year in such a community without a high school was experience enough and the smoldered interest burst forth in a call for consolidation which was brought about and organized in 1917, and today is a school of which the community is justly proud of.
Ledger-Journal, Mon., Aug. 28, 1922, 1-4. History of territory of Pleasant Plain School ......(Interesting for history of Penn Twp.)
Fairfield Ledger, July 1, 1926, p. 1.
Ledger, Mon., Dec. 20, 1926, p. 4.
HISTORIC OLD SCHOOL STANDS AS LANDMARK YET IN PLEASANT PLAIN.
Brighton Enterprise, Thurs., Dec. 21, 1967. (40 YEARS AGO -
The button factory at Pleasant Plain burned to the ground Monday evening.
Ledger, Sat., May 23, 1936, 5-4. Old Pleasant Plain Academy Reunion Soon.
Ledger, Thurs., June 25, 1936, 8-4. Old Pleasant Plain School Reunion July 4.
Ledger, Wed., July 8, 1936, p. 3. PLEASANT PLAIN ACADEMY REUNION held Sat., July 4, on the ground where the Academy formerly stood but where the consolidated school building is now located . . . . .Registration Roll. Picture of old Academy building, pulled down in recent years; Pleasant Plain Business Directory of 1896, etc. . . . .
Ledger, June 28, 1951. 110th Anniversary, Pleasant Plains Friends Church, founded in 1841. Picture of first church, a log structure.
Ledger, July 5, 1951. Pleasant Plain Friends Church celebrated 110th anniversary of original church last Sunday, July 1 . . . . Original church built 1841 of logs, also served as a school; dismantled and replaced. Present building built in 1890.
Ledger, Wed., Mar. 23, 1955, 9-4. Friends Church at Pleasant Plain has new Parsonage.
Ledger, Aug. 11, 1962. PLEASANT PLAIN BUSY CENTER 70 YEARS AGO. Once boasted a population of over 300. First inhabitants arrived in 1838-39. The town continued to grow and prosper until the railroad was moved from Pleasant Plain to East Pleasant Plain about 1904. Since then its population has slowly dwindled. In the 1890s it was a flourishing community with several stores, a blacksmith shop, hotel, telephone office, several churches, lumber yard, mill, tile factory and elevator. . . . The community was first known as Pleasant Prairie, and later changed to Pleasant Plain. These settlers originally came from Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia. . . .The Pleasant Plain Academy was built in 1876. . . . .closed after the school term of 1917-18. . . . Several business establishments lined Main St. One early settler was Aaron Burgess, mechanic, machinist and blacksmith. There were several grocery stores, another blacksmith shop run by Perry Cole, W. S. Follenís barber shop, the Frank Eck Dry Goods store and the D. H. Mealey drug store, post office, implement store, undertaking parlor and furniture store, newspaper - the Pleasant Plain Regulator. The railroad originally ran north and south through the community near the Friends Church and Cemetery. Albert Crumley operated a lumber yard west of the depot across the tracks. The Crumley granary was located south of the depot. The tile factory was operated by Andrew Brothers and a button factory was located nearby.
Ledger, Sat., Aug. 4, 1968, 1-1.
PLEASANT PLAIN POST OFFICE TO STAY OPEN. . . . .Joe Supalla, Postmaster. (See earlier article about closing.)
Ledger, Tues., Oct. 1, 1968, 3-6. PLEASANT PLAIN.
Mrs. Bill Popejoy has taken over the post office duties of Pleasant Plain and is operating the office from the breezeway of her home. Bill Popejoy is operating the D-X filling station at Brighton. He also does some interior decorating. The Post Office has been closed in Pleasant Plain, and Mrs. Popejoy handles the mail from 8 until 10 a.m. each morning.
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