of Jefferson County
"WOOSTER. In the western part of Sec. 13, Cedar Township.
P.O. Est. 10 Dec 1853; John Templeton, first p. m.; Henry Keltner was
also a postmaster at Wooster, and Z. T. Smith was the last, when the office
was discontinued 2 Mar 1891. Wooster also had a Hard Shell Baptist Church,
a General Store and a blacksmith shop. Lou Gaines owned the farm
in 1921 and he moved the store and post office building and made of it
a hog house, and the little old post office alongside the Glasgow road
was no more. (Ledger, Jan 18, 1958)"
The above information was compiled by Mary Prill and published in the Hawkeye Heritage, July 1967.
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This story was originally one of a number of articles in the Fairfield Ledger which was later included into 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:
Jacob Wright, Ruby Wright Bristow, Joshia Wright, Margaret Cox, Earl Pickel, Clarence Tracht, May Parsons Pickel, John Parsons.
Peachblossom rural school, now
a museum at Round Prairie Park located approximately 10 miles southeast
of Fairfield, is the only remaining structure closely related to the once
little settlement of Wooster.
The village is one of many early Jefferson County communities that existed and finally vanished.
It was located at the Crossroads on the Glasgow Road in Cedar Township about eight miles southeast of Fairfield. The school was located a half mile north. The school closed in 1958 and the building was moved to the park in 1978.
Jacob Wright is said to be among the first settlers in the area. He came from Morgen County, Illinois, in 1848.
Ruby Wright Bristow, 600 East Burlington, provided some information concerning the early Wooster settlement taken from family records. She is a great-granddaughter of Jacob Wright.
Jacob Wright purchased 320 acres for $900. It was half timber and half prairie. Settlers made certain at least a portion of their homestead was timber for building purposes and fuel.
Similar to today, landowners in those days also faced tax increases. Tax receipts in possession of Mrs. Bristow show her great-grandfather paid taxes of $6.39 on his 320 acres in 1849. In December, 1851, with state and county road taxes added, they jumped to $12.51.
During a period of four years, 1852 to 1856, they increased from $15.70 to $30.83, nearly double.
Accommodations for those early settlers were meager. Notes stated the pioneer Wright family had completed a new house about a year after their arrival which was described as being 14 feet square, indicating it was larger than the original temporary home. The family included the parents and 10 children.
Sometime later Wright learned the land across the road was for sale. At once he made plans to purchase the land. When asked if he didn't want neighbors, he answered, "Sure I like neighbors, but not that close."
He made plans to return to Illinois to borrow money to purchase the additional land. He made the trip by foot.
Somewhere along the route just across the Mississippi River in Illinois he found a wallet containing a considerable amount of money, enough to make the land purchase.
Soon after he met a man on horseback who said he had lost his wallet and was looking for it. Jacob Wright could have remained silent and come back with the money. But he elected to return the wallet to its rightful owner. He went on, borrowed the money, returned to Iowa and bought the land.
He later donated a part of the newly acquired land as a cemetery. The cemetery, known as Wright Cemetery still exists and is located on the north side of the Glasgow Road some distance west of the Wright farm.
Jacob Wright's son, Joshia, born March 2, 1852, died at the age of three. He was the first to be buried in the new cemetery. There is a stone at his grave at the far north end of the cemetery.
It is assumed Wooster was born about the time the first settlers arrived. One report said it was laid out in 12 lots.
At one time it had a general store and post office, a Baptist Church, two houses and a granary. The last building razed was the remains of the store and post office.
The first Cedar Township District No. 6 school was built in 1858. In 1886 the original building was remodeled and made larger. It was later replaced by a new building in 1915 and the old building was moved to Wooster, a half-mile south and was used as a granary.
In early years the building was painted red. It wasn't painted for a number of years and the red paint had faded badly. Someone remarked, "It is about the color of a peach blossom." Hence the name, "Peachblossom School."
The school was closed in 1958 but continued to serve as a community gathering place for a number of years before it was moved to its present location in Round Prairie Park.
Members of the class of 1921 donated the funds to erect the historical sign at the original school site. Members of the eighth grade class of 1921 include Margaret Cox, Ruby Wright Bristow, Earl Pickel, Clarence Tracht, May Parsons Pickel and John Parsons.
The original site is now cropland; there is no evidence there was ever a school at that location.
The coming and going of a railroad had no bearing on the little settlement of Wooster. It just existed for a time then "died on the vine."
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