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Delta is located on section two, and was laid out in 1875. It is a beautiful site for a town, being situated on a high piece of ground, the country sloping toward the south forming a beautiful outlook. It is one of the best shipping points along the road, and the business men are among the most active and enterprising in the county. It contains a population of about five hundred, is regularly incorporated, having a full force of town officers and constitutes an independent school district which supports as good a graded school as can be found in this or any other county.
The following are the present officers of the corporation:
Mayor — J. H. Neas.
Recorder — W. N. Brown.
Treasurer — J. R. Stirlen.
Councilmen — Reuben Kinder, M. Whisler, F. "W. Prentiss, J. G. Sharp, S. G. Boise and Jas. Bethard.
Street Commissioner — David Smilie.
Marshal — D. Smilie.
Ioka is located on section 28, about one mile from the Jefferson county line. It was at one time in the center of the business of that township, and is on the surveyed route of the Muscatine & Missouri Railroad. It was laid out in June, 1856, by Thos E Ashcraft, Jabez Shook, Paul Sherradin, and D H Scisson. At the sale of lots, which occurred the following fall, lots sold at from ten to fifty dollars apiece. In 1856 the firm of Webb & Ashcraft carried on a dry goods business there; in 1857 the firm was succeeded by Webb & Beardsley, which was then changed to J Webb. Crandall & Disney established a dry goods store in 1857, which was afterward conducted by T E Ashcraft. Rugles & Carpenter and G M Peters were also in business there about that time; A Beardsley kept a boot and shoe store and afterward a hotel.
At present Ioka contains three dry goods stores, one drug store, one boot and shoe store, one tin shop and one hotel. There are four physicians to administer to the needs of the sick of the town and surrounding county: Dr Mulhern, formally of Sigourney, being the leading one; Dr. Rogers, formally a practician of considerable note, has, on account of age, almost entirely retired from practice.
The town is beautifully located on the prairie, about one mile from timber; contains about sixty houses and presents a neat appearance from any approach.
One of the chief features of Ioka is the Masonic lodge, which has a large membership and a creditable history. The following history of the lodge will be of interest to the members of the craft and elsewhere:
Justice Lodge No 230, A F and A M, was organized under dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Iowa, on the 9th day of February, 1868, with the following officers: W H Effner, W M; G H Smith, S W; J H Martin, J W; A J Porter, Treasurer; S Rogers, Secretary; W G R Talley, S D; David Cook, J D; E P Condreay, Tyler; W J Effner, S S; and J G Smith, J S.
On the 11th day of July, 1868, an election of officers was held, which resulted in the election of the following officers: G H Smith, W M; J H Martin, S W; J B Bell, J W; A J Porter, Treasurer; S Rogers, Secretary; W J Effner, S D; W H Adams, J D; G W Lemmons, S S; W G R Talley, J S; E P Condreay, Tyler.
On the 18th of July these officers were installed by W M Solon Gray, Ottumwa Lodge No 16, and duly constituted by the Grand Lodge of Iowa as Justice Lodge, No 230.
The second election of officers was held on the 24th of April, 1869, and resulted as follows: G H Smith, W M; J M Martin, S W; J T Walker, J W; W G R Talley, Treasurer; J B Bell, Secretary; G L Rice, S D’ W H Adams, J D; G W Lemmons, S S; E P Condreay, J S; J W Carpenter, Tyler.
On the 14th of May, 1870, the following officers were elected: J T Walker, W M; G H Smith, S W; J B Bell, J W; W G R Talley, Treasurer; S Rogers, Secretary; J H Martin, S D; A Myers, J D; W S Gaston, Tyler; A F Bean, S S; E P Condreay, J S.
On the 29th of April, 1871, the following officers were elected: J T Walker, W M; Asa Myers, S W; S Rogers, J W; W G R Talley, Treasurer; A F Bean, Secretary; L M Nunnaly, S D; J B Bell, J D; W S Gaston, S S; W Miller, J S; A P Black, Tyler.
On the 18th of May, 1872, the following officers were elected: S Rogers, W M; W D Ingalls, S W; A P Black, J W; C Bender, Treasurer; J C Ruggles, Secretary.
On the 12th of April, 1873, the following officers were elected: G H Smith, W M ; J H Martin, S W; J H Martin, S W; W G R Talley, J W; C Bender, Treasurer; John C Ruggles, Secretary.
The minutes do not show who the officers were for the year 1874 further than G H Smith, W M; J H Martin, S W; and J B Bell, Secretary.
On the 17th of April, 1875, the following officers were elected: W D Ingalls, W M; J M Richardson, S W; W S Gaston, J W; J B Bell, Treasurer; J T Walker, Secretary.
On the 8th day of April, 1876, the following officers were elected: J T Walker, W M; J C Ruggles, S W; J M Richardson, J W; G W Russell, Treasurer; G H Smith, Secretary.
On the 23rd of April, 1877, the following officers were elected: G H Smith, W M; W D Ingalls, S W; J B Bell, J W; J W Carpenter, Treasurer; J M Richardson, Secretary.
On the 15th of April, 1878, the following officers were elected: W D Ingalls, W M; J C Ruggles, S W; C Bender, J W; J W Carpenter, Treasurer; J M Richardson, Secretary.
On the 31st of March, 1879, the following officers were elected: J M Richardson, W M; J C Bell, S W; C Bender, J W; J W Carpenter, Treasurer; F M Israel, Secretary; --but, owing to the officers-elect failing to be installed, the old officers hold over.
There are quite a number of successful farmers, who, in addition to the regular work of the farm, deal extensively in stock. Among others, D C Baker, W G R Talley, and Wm Scearcy may be mentioned. Wm Fye formerly was the most extensive farmer in the township.
George Cypert Talley, who was killed at South English during excitement of war-times, an account of which is given elsewhere, was a resident of this township at the time of his death. He was buried near Ioka, and on a tombstone erected to his memory is the following inscription: “George Cypert Talley died August 1, 1863, aged 29 years, 5 months and 27 days. Died a martyr to his religious and political opinions; shot down by highwaymen at South English, Keokuk county, Iowa, while bravely defending the same.”
Martinsburg [Steady Run Township] was laid out and the town plat recorded November 11, 1854. It is located on sections 28 and 33, less than one mile from the Wapello county line. Like Ioka, it is located on a projected line of railway, and at one time bid fair to become a central shipping point for the surplus agricultural products of that region; but, alas! For the expectations of those early times! The Muscatine & Missouri Railway got no further than paper, and Martinsburg still remains a quiet country village, supporting a post-office, hotel, some prosperous business houses and a flourishing lodge. The only post-office in the township is at Martinsburg, but three others are of easy access: Walden, in Jackson, Hayesville, in Lancaster, and Slagle, in Benton.
The town of Richland was laid out by Pryor C Woodward on the 19th day of June, 1841, and surveyed by J B Davis, of Washington county. Soon after Benjamin Edwards laid out another town just five miles northwest of Richland, on the grounds now composing the beautiful farm of Allen Stalker. This town laid out was the rival of Richland. In one respect it had the advantage of most towns, for it had two names: one of which was Newton and the other Webster City. As it and Richland were both desiring to be recognized as the capital of the county when organized, it had another advantage, as will subsequently shown, because the chief officer of the county designed to make of this place a great metropolis.
Among the first settlers in the town of Richland were Eleazer Bales, C E Woodward, John Noyes, John Raines, R L Mark, James Williams, and Jonas Hoover. Hoover built the first house; Williams was the first postmaster; Raines was the first blacksmith, and although slow and tedious, was a good workman. Many have seen a good sewing needle of his make, about the right size to carry No 8 thread. Mark, and another man by the name of L J Smith, each had shops in which they sold whisky and groceries, and especially the whisky. In 1844 the first store was set up by Beriah Haworth. The first hotel was by Dr W H Tingle, in 1845. In 1848 Williams and McCracken built a stream saw mill.