History of Hamilton County, Iowa

VOLUME I

This volume brings the General History of Hamilton County down to the beginning of the Twentieth Century and no attempt has been made to make a systematic record of events occurring later than the above date. It presents the first serious attempt at compiling and publishing a History of Hamilton County that has ever been made. Chapters three to ten inclusive are the work of F. O. Lee, deceased. They were written in 1890 and 1891 and are presented, practically, as they were prepared by him and in the preparation of these chapters, Mr. Lee was always glad to acknowledge valuable assistance from Isaiah Doane. Chapter twenty-eight entitled "The Mills of the County," was prepared by Mrs. Effie McKinley Kantor.
Chapter twenty-nine entitled "The Kendall Young Library" was prepared by E. D. Burgess.

Articles on Church History have been contributed by Chas. Biernatzki, Capt. Frank E. Landers, Dr. W.R. Homan, Rev. M.L. Melick, H.A. Maxon and Prof. F.C. Runkle.

The editor desires to acknowledge great assistance from the files of the Hamilton Freeman, of which an almost complete set is in existence and from the writings of J.H. Stephenson, Isaiah Doane, W.L. Clark, S.B. Rosencrans and Chas. Aldrich which have appeared in the press of the county from time to time. He also desires to express gratitude for the kindly interest taken in the work by Capt. Frank E. Landers and for the immense fund of information he has always so promptly and willingly supplied. He is also grateful for the kindness of E.S. Boudenot, in making certain drawings to illustrate the work.

 

Table of Contents.

CHAPTER I
GEOLOGICAL... 1

CHAPTER II
OUR TITLE... 17
CHAPTER III
THE FIRST SETTLERS... 29

CHAPTER IV
EARLY EVENTS CHIEFLY OF A POLITICAL NATURE... 49

CHAPTER V
THE SPIRT LAKE MASSACRE... 69

CHAPTER VI
JUST BEFORE THE WAR EVEXTS OCCURRING IN '57-'58-'59 AND '60... 93

CHAPTER VII
THE CIVIL WAR - LOCAL EVENTS OCCURRING DURING THE GREAT STRUGGLE... 115

CHAPTER VIII
JUST AFTER THE WAR - EVENTS BETWEEN THE BLOSE OF THE WAR AND THE ARRIVAL OF THE FIRST RAILROAD... 133

CHAPTER IX
THE FIRST RAILROAD - THE ARRIVAL OF THE "IRON HORSE" AND ATTENDING EVENTS... 147

CHAPTER X
THE NEW COURTHOUSE PRINCIPAL EVENTS OCCURRING DURING THE "SEVENTIES"... 167

CHAPTER XI
REMINISCENCES OF PIONEER LIFE... 187

CHAPTER XII
POLITICAL HISTORY... 205

CHAPTER XIII
CITY POLITICS... 233

CHAPTER XIV
RIVER LAND TROUBLES... 249

CHAPTER XV
A CHAPTER OF TRAGEDY... 261

CHAPTER XVI
MILITARY HISTORY... 273

CHAPTER XVII
SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR... 297

CHAPTER XVIII
THE TOWNSHIPS HOW AND WHEN ORGANIZED... 305

CHAPTER XIX
HAMILTON COUNTY ATTEMPTS TO GET MORE RAILROADS... 327

CHAPTER XX THE ROSENCRANS PARK... 331 CHAPTER XXI
INVENTIONS, MANUFACTURING, WHOLESALE AND RETAIL TRADE... 339

CHAPTER XXII
THE BENCH AND BAR... 355

CHAPTER XXIII
THE MEDICAL PROFESSION... 371

CHAPTER XXIV
THE NEWSPAPERS... 375

CHAPTER XXV
HANKS AND BANKING... 381

CHAPTER XXVI
THE CHURCHES... 389

CHAPTER XXVII
IN MEMORIAM... 413

CHAPTER XXVIII
THE MILLS OF THE COUNTY... 423

CHAPTER XXIX
PUBLIC BENEFACTORS... 435

CHAPTER XXX
THE SCHOOLS... 443

CHAPTER XXXI
AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS... 449

 

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VOLUME II (Biographical)

 

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Hamilton county is located very near the centre of the state of Iowa. Its present limits were established by an act of the legislature in 1850 and it was then named Risley, in honor of a Colonel Risley, who was killed in the Mexican war.