History of Audubon county, Iowa

All life and achievement is evolution; present wisdom comes from past experience, and present commercial prosperity has come only from past exertion and suffering. The deeds and motives of the men who have gone before have been instrumental in shaping the destinies of later communities and state. The development of a new county was at once a task and a privilege. It required great courage, sacrifice and privation. Compare the present conditions of the people of Audubon county, Iowa, with what they were seventy years ago. From a trackless wilderness and virgin land, it has come to be a center of prosperity and civilization, with millions of wealth, systems of railways, grand educational institutions, splendid industries and immense agricultural and mineral productions. Can any thinking person be insensible to the fascination of the study which discloses the aspirations and efforts of the early pioneers who so strongly laid the foundation upon which has been reared the magnificent prosperity of later days? To perpetuate the story of these people and to trace and record the social, political and industrial progress of the community from its first inception is the function of the local historian. A sincere purpose to preserve facts and personal memoirs that are deserving of perpetuation, and which unite the present to the past, is the motive for the present publication. A specially valuable and interesting department is that one devoted to the sketches of representative citizens of this county whose records deserve preservation because of their worth, effort and accomplishment. The publishers desire to extend their thanks to the gentlemen who have so faithfully labored to this end. Thanks are also due to the citizens of Audubon county for the uniform kindness with which they have regarded this undertaking, and for their many services rendered in the gaining of necessary information.

 

Table of Contents

CHAPTER I GEOLOGY, TOPOGRAPHY, ETC. 33
CHAPTER II ORGANIZATION OF AUDUBON COUNTY 46
CHAPTER III OFFICIAL ROSTER 63
CHAPTER IV SETTLEMENT OF AUDUBON COUNTY 68
CHAPTER V THE FIRST SETTLERS 82
CHAPTER VI GOVERNMENT SURVEYS AND LAND ENTRIES 135
CHAPTER VII POLITICAL PARTIES AND ELECTIONS 138
CHAPTER VIII COUNTY SEATS AND COUNTY SEAT CONTESTS 144
CHAPTER IX RAILROADS, HIGHWAYS AND TRANSPORTATION 159
CHAPTER X AUDUBON COUNTY IN THE CIVIL WAR 164
CHAPTER XI THE BAR OF AUDUBON COUNTY 173
CHAPTER XII THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 175
CHAPTER XIII THE PRESS 177
CHAPTER XIV BANKS AND BANKING 184
CHAPTER XV CHURCHES AND RELIGION 186
CHAPTER XVI AUDUBON COUNTY SCHOOLS 238
CHAPTER XVII LODGES AND FRATERNAL SOCIETIES 245
CHAPTER XVIII TOWNS AND VILLAGES 256
CHAPTER XIX THE DANES 290
CHAPTER XX AUDUBON COUNTY STATISTICS 296
BIOGRAPHICAL MENTION 305

 

Read the Book - Free

Download the Book - Free ( 58.7 MB PDF )

Time flies, never to return. Sixty-four years have flown since the settlement of Audubon county. That period lies behind; the future is before us. Posterity will eagerly scan every source of information to be found concerning the history of their forbears. It is the duty to future generations to perpetuate the history of our people. The best time to write history is at the time of its passage; but, in large measure, this has been neglected to the present time. Our people have been too busy in home-making and in wresting sustenance from a new country; their lives too fully occupied with the duties, necessities and cares of every-day life, and often too poor to devote time or attention to preserving records of the events of their lives and acts. When they passed away, perhaps brief obituaries or grave-stones recited their names, ages, etc., all that is now known about them; even this is often wanting. Some of the history of our people can be found in the public records; the newspapers contain mention of individuals and events that have transpired; church and society records tell of their memberships; the monuments of the dead record names and dates of births and deaths of those who lie in the cemeteries; the family Bibles are repositories of the records of others.

The unit of history is the individual; it proceeds into the family, the neighborhood, town, county and state relations; the aggregate forms the history of a given people.

Three principal events enter into the lives of persons births, marriages and deaths. The record of marriages were by law required to be kept before the settlement of this county, and we find such records kept from the organization of the county. It is doubtful if all marriages which have occurred here since then have been recorded here; many of our people were married before settlement, and some were married outside the county. The records of births and deaths were not required by law to be kept until long after the settlement of the county, and were not kept for many years. Our public vital statistics are far from complete. It is impossible at the present time to discover accurate vital statistics of all people who have lived here, and this is especially true of the early settlers. The current events of the daily lives of the people have become in large measure obsolete; the early settlers have mostly passed away, and the memories of the few remaining with us are imperfect, their recollections of early events being often contradictory. Most that occurred here in early times, except such as is of record, has been forgotten, never to be recalled. It is remarkable that so many events of early times have been rescued from oblivion at this late day.

It has been the purpose of this work to compile and preserve some of the principal events and affairs that have transpired in Audubon county since its foundation, in the year 1851, gathered from every available source discovered, for future reference and use.

In its preparation the writer has been assisted by very many persons, too numerous to mention even by name, who have been universally kind in imparting information, and who are entitled to my profound, kindest thanks, as well as to the gratitude of the countless posterity who may rejoice in find- ing their contributions.