History of Wapello County, Iowa
The aim of the publishers of this volume has been to secure for the historic portion thereof full and accurate information respecting all subjects therein treated, and to present the data thus gathered in a clear and impartial manner. If, as is their hope, they have succeeded in this endeavor, the credit is mainly due to the diligent and exhaustive research of that well-known pioneer resident of Wapello county, Capt. S. B. Evans, of Ottuma, whose high character and recognized ability as an editor and author have brought him prominently before the people of the Hawkeye State. His patient and conscientious labor in the compilation and presentation of facts is shown in the historical port on of this volume. This record gives an elaborate description of the land and its aboriginal occupants before the opening of the "New Purchase," and a comprehensive account of the organization of the county, and of the leading events in the stages of its development from 1843 to the present time, as set forth in the table of contents. Certain subjects which Captain Evans hoped to introduce have been omitted for lack of requisite data, but all topics and occurrences are included which are essential to the usefulness of the history. Although the purpose of the author was to limit the narrative to the close of 1900, he has deemed it proper to touch on some matters overlapping that period. For any possible errors that may occur in the work, the indulgence of our readers is asked.
Table of Contents
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What is now known as the State of Iowa became a part of the United States in 1803. In 1804 it was included in what was known as the district of Louisiana. March 3, 1S05, it was organized as a part of the Territory of Louisiana. In 181 2 it was included in the jurisdiction of the Territory of Missouri, and in 1834 it became a part of the Territory of Michigan. In 1836 it was included in the Territory of Wisconsin. In 1838 it was organized as the Territory of Iowa, and was admitted into the Union as a State in December, 1846. The first legislative body that ever sat in the present limits of the State of Iowa was the Territorial legislature, which was composed of a few men and which was convened in a little room in an old frame building, gone years ago, situated on Front street, Burlington, in the winter of 1838. Robert Lucas, a former governor of Ohio, was appointed by President Van Buren to be governor of the Territory of Iowa. Governor Lucas was disposed to wield the large veto power he possessed with the sway of an autocrat and a stormy session was the result. The great wrangle arose over the location of the capital of the Territory. Both Burlington and Mount Pleasant, in the southern part of the Black Hawk purchase, wanted it, while their opponents favored a central location. The central party won. Three com- missioners were appointed to select the site of the seat of government within the limits of Johnson county. They decided on a place, and laid out a square mile, which they called Iowa City, and there the capital was located. The eighth and last Territorial legislature was held there in 1843-44. In February, 1844, the legislature adopted an act, submitting to the people of the Territory the proposition to form a state institution and to apply for admission to the nation. The measure carried, and the convention met at Iowa City in October, and on the first day of the following November finished its work and reported a State constitution and State boundaries. The latter did not meet with favor. The line between this State and Missouri lay 30 miles north of its present location, and the western line stopped far short of the Missouri River. By a small majority, the people rejected the lines. May 4, 1846, another convention assembled and another constitution, prescribing the present State boundaries, was drafted. The people adopted it, Congress adopted it, and Iowa was admitted as a State, December 28, 1846.