Tama County, IA
USGenWeb Project

The Early History of Toledo was sent by Dennis Connell Wendell, the great-grandson of Daniel Connell.

Thank you Dennis for this great contribution!

The articles were published in the Toledo Chronicle in September 1888.

Early History of Toledo
By Daniel Connell
First Article

History is the facts and incidents connected with the life of a neighborhood which, when gathered and recorded, is the history of that locality, added to that of other neighborhoods within certain limits is a town, county, state and nation. When the dates, the names of the individuals, and the incidents of a neighborhood are gathered early from those who helped create and carry on that life, by one who has a taste for such work, an accurate history is obtained which is reliable for all time. When the gathering of a history is neglected until one or more of the early generations of a settlement have passed away, data is gathered from hearsay and fragmentary scraps in public prints should such exist. In New England history was gathered from the parish and town records which were an accurate and true record of all that transpired; this is not the case in the West or new state. In some portions of Tama county, and particularly in the north, men have been found, residents from the earliest day of their neighborhood, who accepted to them the labor of love, and have given to the public a generally accepted history of the first quarter of the first century of the political existence of northern Tama, and it is to be regretted that no Dysart or Connell has been found in the three south tiers of townships of Tama county to do the same, that all collected in one volume would give a full, minute and reliable history, one to be accepted by all now and hereafter. It is still more to be regretted that the labors and results of these industrious authors are allowed to pass away in forgetfulness and be lost with the loss of files of Reporter, Star-Clipper and Democrat; it is discouraging to such efforts that their labors should be but to gratify curiosity for a day, and not find a safe and durable repository, at least in the archives of one of our old settler societies; as it is left there has been no satisfaction for the labor.

I will hastily sketch the early history of Southern Tama that we may be led up to Toledo. This portion of the county received the first settlers. The U. S. census of 1850 gave Tama county a total of eight souls; this number was probably not correct yet there was not more than twice that number; it was the days of the Vandorins and Wilkinsons. The settlements up to 1852 were along the valley of the Iowa river, the then highway west, and its tributary creeks; the early settlers being from a timber country considered forty acres or more timber essential to a farm. In May, 1847, Isaac Asher passed up the Iowa valley and settled just across the line in Marshall county, near Indian Village, and two years later removed into that township; this year 1849, in May came to York township Wm. Vandorin, wife, two children and two hired men and Isaac Smith, Vandorin and Smith having viewed the land the previous year; to Salt Creek came the Wilkinson brothers. In 1850 there came to the later town Robt. Arbuthnot, R. A. Redman and Wm Boaz. Next year farther up the valley settled the Blodgetts, the Chules, the Applegates and the Daileys; the Carters, Anthony Bricker, Wm. Taylor, Dooley, Warner and John C. Vermilya. Eli Chase was the first settler in Columbia. In 1852 emigration was comparatively large both at the south and north sides of the county. In the south most of the settlers located in Toledo township; there were the Hollen brothers, Myers, Overmyers, Voorhes, Ruse, and Giger; the Bruners and the Reedys, Ross and Davis, also Col. Butler, at Indian Village, and some others whose names I do not recall. Of those locating on Wolf Creek I do not design to speak.