Des Moines Union Historical Company.

The history of Boone County, Iowa, containing ... biographical sketches ... war records of its volunteers in the late rebellion, general and local statistics, portraits of early settlers and prominent online

. (page 1 of 88)
Online LibraryDes Moines Union Historical CompanyThe history of Boone County, Iowa, containing ... biographical sketches ... war records of its volunteers in the late rebellion, general and local statistics, portraits of early settlers and prominent → online text (page 1 of 88)
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3 1833 01077 3064







A History of tk County, its Cities, Towns, &c.,

Biographical Sketches of its Citizens, War Record of its Volunteers in the late Ee-
bellion, General and Local Statistics, Portraits of Early Settlers and Prom-
inent Men, History of the Northwest, History of Iowa,
Map of Boone County, Constitution of Iowa,
Miscellaneous Matters, &c., &c.




Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1880, by


In the Ofl&ce of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. O.








The American people are much given to reading, but the character of the matter read is

such that with regard to a large proportion of them it may indeed be said that ' ' truth is

stranger than fiction." Especially is this the case in respect to those facts of local history

belonging to their own immediate country and neighborhood. This, perhaps, is not so

much the fault of the people as a neglect on the part of the book publishers. Books, as a

rule, are made to sell, and, in order that a book may have a large sale, its matter must be

T'of such general character as to be applicable to general rather than special conditions — to the

y^ Nation or State rather than the County or Township. Thus it is that no histories heretofore

^ published pertain to matters relating to county and neighborhood affairs, for such books, in

» xorder to have a sale over a large section of country, must necessarily be very voluminous, and

.contain much matter of no interest to the reader. The publishers, having received a liberal

patronage from the people of Boone county, have endeavored to prepare a work containing

a full and minute account of the local affairs of the county.

, The following pages constitute a history of the Northwest and a detailed account of the

^ early settlement, natural resources and subsequent development of Boone county, together

with reminiscences, narratives, and biographies of the leading citizens of the county.

The work may not meet the expectations of some; and this is all the more probable, see-

, ing that it falls short of our own standard of perfection: however, in size, quality of mater-

^^^al and typographical appearance, it is such a book as we designed to make, and fills the con-

> ditions guaranteed by our prospectus.

To the early settler, who braved the dangers, endured the hardships and experienced the
enjoyments of pioneer life, it will be the means of recalling some of the most grateful mem-
ories of the past; while those who are younger, or who have become citizens of the county
in more recent times, will here find collected in a narrow compass an accurate and succinct
account of the beginning, progress and changes incident to municipal as well as individual

The old pioneer, in reviewing the histoiy of the county, all of which he saw, and part of
which he was, will find this work a valuable compendium of facts, arranged in analytical
order, and thus will events which are gradually vanishing into the mists and confusion of
forgetfulness be rescued from oblivion.

The rising generation, which is just entering upon the goodly heritage bequeathed by a
hardy and noble ancestiy, will find in this work much to encourage them in days of de-
spondency, and intensify the value of success when contrasted with the trials and compared
with the triumphs of those who have gone before .

In the preparation of this work we have been materially aided by numerous persons in
sympathy with the enterprise and solicitous for its success : to all such we feel ourselves un-
der great obligations, and take this method of acknowledging the same. To Judge I. J.
Mitchell, John A. Hull, to the publishers of the various newspapers and the incumbents of

the several county offices, we are under special obligations, and whatever of merit the work
may have is largely due to their assistance.

In presenting this work to our many hundred patrons, we have the satisfaction of knowing
that they are of sufficient intelligence to appreciate merit when it is found, and errors will
be criticised with the understanding that book-making, like all other kinds of labor, has its
peculiar vicissitudes.

Whatever of interest, of profit, or of recreation the reader will find in perusing the follow-
ing pages will be a source of satisfaction, gratitude and happiness to the





The Northwest Territory :
Early French Explorations in

the Mississippi Vail ey 7

Early Settlements in the North-
west 1*

The Northwestern Territory.. 22

The lionisiana Purchase 28

Indian Wars in the Northwest 34
Sketches of Black Hawk and

other Chiefs 42

Early Navigation of Western
Rivers 56


Archeology of the Northwest. 69
Sketches of Western and

Northwestern States 67

Expedition of Lewis and Clarke 86

Sketch of Chicago 96

History of Iowa :
Descriptive and Geographical

Sketch 10.5

Geology of Iowa 117

Economic Geology 125

How the Title to Iowa Lands is

derived 130

Early Settlements and Territo-
rial Organization 141

Territory of Iowa . 153

State Organization 158

Educational 162

State Institutions 169

Railroads 172

Official Record 174

The Judiciary 176

Congressional Representation . 177

State Agricultural Society ,178

Centennial Awards 191



County— its Location and Name
—Captain Boone and the United
States Dragoons 257—262


TTJBE8. Situation — Extent-
Surface— Rivers— Timber— Cli-
mate — Prairies — Soil — Geology
—Economic Geology —Coal-
Building Stone— Clays— Spring
and Well Water 262—270


FAIB8. Policy of the Govern-
ment— Treaties— Annuities —
The Sac and Fox Indians —
Eeokuk — Wapello— Indian In-
cidents and Reminiscences—
The Neutral Strip— The Potta-
wattamies — John Greene and
His Band — The Sioux— The
Lott Atrocity — The Re-
venge 271—293

TLEMENTS. Importance of
First Beginnings— Character of
First Settlers — Noah's Bottom
and Col. Babbitt— Elk Rapids
—Swede Point— Hull's Point
—Pea's Point — Boonesboro —
Milford~The Rush of 1856 and
1865 293—320


Characteristics of the First
Settlers— Conveniences and In-
conveniences — The Historic


Log Cabin— Agricultural Im-
plements — Household furni-
ture-Pioneer Com Bread-
Hand Mills and Hominy Blocks
—Going to Mill — Trading
Points — Hunting and Trapping
—Claim Clubs and Claim Laws
—A Border Sketch —Surveys
and Land Sales - Western Stage
Company — First Records —
Growth of the County— Table
of Events 320—348


OF THE COUNTY. Couuty and
Township Organization — Con-
dition of Territory Before Or-
ganization—Act of Organiza-
tion— S. B. McCall Commis-
sioned Sheriff— First Election
-Proceedings of Commission-
ers — The Location of County
Seat — County Judge System —
First Courts— First Precincts
— Ferries- First Jail— Organi-
zation of Townships — First
Court-house— The Township
Board — Early Officers and
Finances — Public Highways
Public Buildings


Defalcations — Official Direct-
ory 388-406




CHAPTER IX.-Old Settlers' As-
sociation— Churches— Agricul-
tural Societies — Gold Excite-
ment — Accidents and Crimes
—Mine Statistics 434—460


Original River Improvement
Grant- Subsequent Modifica-
tion of the Grant — Extent of
Improvement in the Channel
of the River- Extension of the
Grant, and its Diversion to
Railroad Purposes— Difficulties
Between the Settlers and the
River Land Company — Swamp
Lands — How Disposed of— Ink-
pa-du-ta War — The Pardee
Siege — The River Land
War 460—474


Fort Sumter and Lincoln's
Proclamation — Recruiting in
Boone county — Account of
Companies Recruited in Boone
County with Full and Accurate
Lists of Names — Soldiers'
Record— Sherman's March to

the Sea 474—494



ICAL 655


Westward the Star of Empire

takes its Way 17

An Indian Camp 33

Indians Trying a Prisoner 49

A Pioneer Winter 65



Lincoln Monument, Springfield,

Illinois 72

Chicago, in 1820 97

Present Site Lake Street Bridge,
Chicago, 1833 97


Old Fort Dearborn, 1830 103

The " Old Kinzie House " 103

A Prairie Home 129

Breaking Prairie 145



John A. Hull 273

John A. McFarland 307

William F. Clark 341

Theodore DeTarr 375


C. J. A. Ericson 409 A. Downing 546

JohnH. Jennings 443 J. B. Hurlburt 579

Frank Champlin 477 W. L. Defore 613

J. W. Black 5111




Des Moines 555

Garden 615

Douglas 617

Cass 620

Peoples 623

Union 626


Beaver 628

Maroy • 681

Worth 638

Colfax 646

Jackson 647

Yell 652


Amaqua 662

Grant 663

Pilot Mound 665

Dodge 669

Harrison 677



Adoption of Children 203

Bills of Exchange and Promis-
sory Notes 195

Capital Punishment 199

Commercial Terms 208

Damages from Trespass 201

Descent 195

Estrays 201

Exemption from Executions 200

Fences 202

Forms :

Arti cle of A greement 209

Bills of Sale 210

Bond for Deed 217

Bills of Purchase 207

Chattel Mortgage 215


Forms :

Confession of Judgment 208

Lease .... 214

Mortgages 212, 213

Notice to Quit 210

Notes 207-215

Orders 207

Quit-claim Deed 216

Receipts . . 208

WiUs and Codicils 211, 212

Warranty Deed 216

Game Laws :
Birds and Quadrupeds ... .... 217

Fish and Fish Ways 218

Interest 195

Jurisdiction of Courts 198


Jurors 199

Landlord and Tenant 206

Limitation of Actions 199

Married Women 200

Marks and Brands 201

Mechanics' Liens 204

Purchasing Books by Subscrip-
tion 219

Eoads and Bridges 204

Surveyors and Surveys 204

Support of Poor 205

Taxes 197

Wills and Estates 196

Weights and Measures 207

Wolf Scalps 201


Map of Boone County Front.

Statistics 183

Constitution of the State of
Iowa 220



Constitution of the UnitedStateB.240
Practical Rules for every- day
use 252

Population of Iowa Cities.
The Pioneer





Des Moines.


Douglas ....





. ..555


Beaver 628

Marcy • 691

Worth 638

Colfax 646

Jackson 647

YeU 652



Pilot Mound.



Adoption of Children 203

Bills of Exchange and Promis-
sory Notes 195

Capital Punishment 199

Commercial Terms 208

Damages from Trespass 201

Descent 195

Bstrays 201

Exemption from Executions 200

Fences .202

Forms :

Article of Agreement 209

Bills of Sale 210

BondforDeed 217

BUls of Purchase 207

Chattel Mortgage 215


Forms :

Confession of Judgment 208

Lease 214

Mortgages 212, 213

Notice to Quit 210

Notes 207-215

Orders 207

Quitclaim Deed 216

Keceipts 208

WUls and CodicUs 211, 212

Warranty Deed . 216

Game Laws :
Birds and Quadrupeds ... ; . . . 217
Fish and Fish Ways 218

Interest 195

Jurisdiction of Courts 198


Jurors 199

Landlord and Tenant 206

Limitation of Actions 199

Married Women 200

Marks and Brands 201

Mechanics' Liens 204

Purchasing Books by Subscrip-
tion 219

Roads and Bridges 204

Surveyors and Surveys 204

Support of Poor 205

Taxes 197

WiUs and Estates 196

Weights and Measures 207

Wolf Scalps 201


Map of Boone County Front.

Statistics 183

Constitution of the State of
Iowa 220



Constitution of theUnitedStateB.240
Practical Rules for every- day
use 252


Population of Iowa Cities 255

The Pioneer 256


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MI4.LS«n>DU»lM .1 /.

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The Northwest Territory.


De Soto — Le Caron — Samuel de Champlain — French Adventurers — James Marquette — Louis
Joliet — Embarkation to Explore New Countries — Lake Michigan and Green Bay — The
"Ouisconsin " — Indian Accounts of the Country — Discovering the Great River — Indian
Name of the River — Joy of the Explorers — Intei-view with Indians on Iowa Soil — Feast —
Speech of an Indian Chief— The Des Moines River — " Muddy Water " — The Arkansas —
Return — Indian Nations — Marquette's Record — His Subsequent Voyage — La Vantum —
Marquette's Death — Removal of His Remains — Joliet's Subsequent Explorations — Robert
La Salle — Louis Hennepin — Chevalier de Tonti — De La Motte — Fort Crevecoeur — Henne-
pin's Voyage — Falls of St. Anthony — Seur de Luth — Hennepm's Claims as an Explorer —
Colonization of Louisiana — Dissensions — Murder of La Salle.

The three great colonizing powers of the Old World first to raise the
standard of civilization within the limits of North America were France,
England, and Spain. The French made their earliest settlements in the
cold and inhospitable regions of Quebec; the English at Jamestown, Yir-
ginia, and at Plymouth, Massachusetts; and the Spaniards on the barren
sands of Florida. To the French belongs the honor of discovering and colo-
nizing that portion of our country known as the Yallej of the Mississippi,
including all that magnificent region watered by the tributaries of the Grea,
River. It is true that more than one hundred years earlier (1538-41) tht
Spanish explorer, De Soto, had landed on the coast of Florida, penetrated the
everglades and unbroken forests of the south, finally reaching the banks of
the Great River, probably near where the city of Memphis now stands.
Crossing the river, he and his companions pursued their journey for some
distance along the west bank, thence to the Ozark Mountains and the Hot
Springs of Arkansas, and returning to the place of his death on the banks of
the Mississippi. It was a perilous expedition indeed, characterized by all
the splendor, romance and valor which usually attended Spanish adventurers
ol that age. De Soto and his companions were the first Europeans to behold
the waters of the Mississippi, but the expedition was a failure so far as related
to colonization. The requiem chanted by his companions as his remains
were committed to the waters of the great river he had discovered, died
away with the solemn murmurs of the stream, and the white man's voice
was not heard again in the valley for more than ahundred years. De Soto
had landed at Tampa Bay, on the coast of Florida, with a fleet of nine ves-
sels and seven hundred men. More than half of them died, and the remainder
made their way to Cuba, and finally back to Spain.

Four years before the pilgrims "moored their bark on the wild New Eng-
land shore," a French Franciscan, named Le Caron, penetrated the region of


the great lakes of the north, then the home of the Iroquois and the Hurons,
but a French settlement had been established at Quebec bj Samuel de
Champlain in 1608. This was followed by the establishment of various
colonies in Canada, and the hardy French adventurers penetrated the coun-
try by tlie way of the St. Lawrence and the lakes. In 1625 a number of
missionaries of the Society of Jesus arrived in Canada from France, and
during the succeeding forty years extended their missions all along the
shores of Lake Superior.

In 1637 a child was born at the little city of Laon, in France, whose
destiny it was in the fullness of time to be instrumental in the hands of
Providence in giving to the world a definite knowledge of the grandest and
most fertile region ever opened up to civilization. That child was James
Marquette, the descendant of a family of Celtic nobles. He entered the
Society of Jesus when seventeen years of age, and soon conceived a desire to
engage in the labors of a missionary among the Indians. He sailed for
Quebec in 1666, and two years later founded the mission of Sault Ste. Marie
at the Falls of St. Mary. The winter of 1669-70 he spent at Point St.
Ignatius, where he established another mission. Here the old town of
Michillimackinac, afterward called Mackinaw, was founded. It was from
Indians of the different tribes who came to this mission that he received
some vague intimations of the great river — the father of all the rivers. He
at once conceived a desire to penetrate to the banks of the wonderful river,
and carry his missionary work to the tribes which he had learned inhabited
its borders. He applied to his Superior, Claude Dablon, for permission to
"seek new nations toward the Southern sea." The authorities at Quebec were
equally desirous of having new regions explored, and therefore appointed
Louis Joliet to embark upon a voyage of discovery. Joliet was a native of
Quebec and had been educated in a Jesuit College. He had at the age of
eighteen taken minor orders, but had abandoned all thoughts of the priest-
hood and engaged in the fur trade. He was now twenty-seven years of age,
with a mind ripe for adventure. He left Quebec, and arriving at Mackinaw
found Father Marquette highly delighted with the information that they
were to be companions in a voyage which was to extend the domain of the
King of France, as well as to carry the Gospel to new nations of people. The
explorers, accompanied by five assistants, who were French Canadians, started
on their journey, May 13, 1673. Marquette has himself recorded in the fol-
lowing simple language their feelings on this occasion: "We were embark-
ing on a voyage the character of wliich we could not foresee. Indian corn,
with some dried meat, was our whole stock of provisions. With this we set
out in two bark canoes, M. Joliet, myself and five men, firmly resolved to do
all and suffer all for so glorious an enterprise." They coasted along the
northern shore of Lake Michigan, entered Green Bay, and passed up the
Fox river, carrying their canoes across the Portage to the " Ouisconsin," now
called Wisconsin. At Lake Winnebago, before crossing the Portage, they
stopped at an Indian village, which was the furthest outpost to which Dab-
lon and Allouez had extended their missionary work. Here they assembled
the chiefs and old men of the village and told them of the objects of the
voyage. Pointing to Joliet, Father Marquette said: "My friend is an envoy
of France to discover new countries, and I am an ambassador from God to
enlighten them witli the truths of the Gospel." The Indians furnished two
guides t^conduct them to the Wisconsin river. It is related that a tribe of
Indians endeavored to dissuade them from pursuing their perilous journey


bj telling of desperate and savage tribes that they would meet; that the
forests and the rivers were infested with frightful monsters; that there were
great fish in the rivers that would swallow up men and canoes together, and
of a demon who could be heard from a great distance, and who destroyed all
who approached. Unmoved by these frightful stories, Marquette, Joliet,
and their five brave assistants, launched their little canoes on the waters of
the Wisconsin, and moved slowly doAvn the current. After a lapse of seven
days, June 17th, 1673, they reached the mouth of the Wisconsin and glided
into the current of the Mississippi, a few miles below the place now known
as Prairie du Chien. Here, and on this day, the eye of the white man for the
first time looked upon the waters of the Upper Mississippi. Marquette called
the river " The Broad River of the Concej)tion," The Indian name is derived
from the Algonquin language, one of the original tongues of the continent.
It is a compound of the words Missi, signitying great, and Sepe, a river.

The explorers felt the most intense joy on beholding the scene presented
to their enraptured vision. Here was the great river whose waters somewhere
thousands of miles away flowed into a Southern sea, and whose broad valley
was the fairest and richest in the world, but unknown to civilized man, save
as an almost forgotten dream or a vague romance. They had solved one of
the great mysteries of the age in which they lived. As they glided down the
stream the bold blufis reminded Marquette of the '-castled shores of his own
beautiful rivers in France." The far stretching prairies alternating with
forests, on either side, were adorned in all the wild glories of June. Birds
sang the same notes that they had sung for ages amid those "forests prime-
val," while herds of buffalo, deer and elk were alarmed and fled to the dense
retreats of the forest or the broad prairies beyond. Not until the 25th June
did they discover any signs of human habitation. Then, about sixty leagues,
as they thought, below the mouth of the Wisconsin, at a place v/herethey
landed on the west bank of the river, they found in the sand the foot-prints
of man. Marquette and Joliet left their five companions in charge of the
canoes and journeyed away from the river, knowing that they must be near
the habitation of men. They followed a trail leading across a prairie clothed
in the wild luxuriance of summer for a distance of about six miles, when
they beheld another river and on its banks an Indian village, with other vil-
lages on higher land a mile and a half from the first. The Indians greeted
the two white strangers, as far as their ability permitted, with a splendid
ovation. They appomted four of their old men to meet the strangers in
council. Marquette could speak their language. They informed him that
they were "Illini" (meaning "we are men"), and presenting the calumet of
peace, invited them to share the hospitalities of their village. Marquette told
them of the object of their visit, and that they had been sent by the French,
who were their friends. He told them of the great God that tlie white man
worshiped who was the same Great Spirit that they adored. In answer, one
of the chiefs addressed them as follows:

"I thank the Black Govm Chief (Marquette) and the Frenchman (Joliet)
for taking so much pains to come and visit us; never has the earth been so
beautiful, nor the sun so bright as now; never has the river been so calm, nor
so free from rocks, whiuh your canoes have removed as they passed; never
has our tobacco had so fine a flavor, nor our corn appeared so beautiful as we
behold it to-day. Ask the Great Spirit to give us life and health, and come
ye and dwell with us." ^

After these ceremonies the strangers were invited to a feast, arfSccount of


which is given by Marquette. It consisted of four courses. First, there
was a large wooden bowel filled with tagamity, or Indian meal, boiled in
water and seasoned with oil. The master of ceremonies, with a wooden spoon,
fed the tagamity to their guests as children are fed. The second course con-
sisted of fish, which, after the bones were taken out, was presented to the
mouths of the strangers as food may be fed to a bird. The third course was
a preparation of dog meat, but learning that the strangers did not eat that it
was at once removed. The fourth and final course was a piece of buffalo
meat, the fattest portions of which were put into the mouths of the guests.
The stream on whose banks took place this first interview between the
explorers and the untutored Indians, after parting with their guides, was the
Des Moines river, and the place of their landing was probably about where
the town of Montrose is now located, in Lee county, Iowa. One of our
sweetest American poets has rendered Marquette's narrative in verse, as

Online LibraryDes Moines Union Historical CompanyThe history of Boone County, Iowa, containing ... biographical sketches ... war records of its volunteers in the late rebellion, general and local statistics, portraits of early settlers and prominent → online text (page 1 of 88)