History of Des Moines County, Iowa
In presenting this volume to the people of Des Moines County, the author has this to say. It was with some reluctance he undertook the task of writing a history of the county and its people. He felt such a history ought to be written, but would have preferred that its writing would have fallen to a more competent person. He does not claim that the work presented is a complete history of the county in every respect, nor that it is free from error. To write such a history would be impossible. It is the best that could be produced under the circumstances and within the allotted time for its writing. The writer has lived in the county for fifty-nine years and knew many of the pioneers and early settlers of the county while many of the incidents of which he has written, are from memory.
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A county is an integral part of a state, and a state, of a nation composed of states. In writing a history of a county, one of necessity must write concerning the activities taken by its people in the affairs of the state or nation, as well as those of its own domestic concerns. The people of a county are not only citizens of the state to which the county belongs, but of the nation of which the state is a part. The people comprising the states at the formation of the Federal Constitution were the fathers of the republic. In the preamble of that Constitution they caused to be written, "We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, etc., do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America," thereby declaring they were citizens of the republic as contradistinguished from their citizenship to state or any other municipal body. They recognized as binding upon them as individuals the Federal Constitution which they had created. From the premises thus laid down it will be seen that in writing a history of a county one must take into consideration all those things with which it is directly connected in so far as its material welfare is concerned, as well as the mental and moral development of its people. To write a complete history of a county one must go back of its organization as a municipal body and discover the condition of things before it came into existence. We want to know who discovered the country of which it is a part; when discovered, and trace in a chronological order, the successive events which have taken place in past times.