The history of Lee county, Iowa

Nearly sixty years have come and gone since Dr. Samuel C. Muir built a house at Puck-e-she-tuck as a permanent home for his Indian wife and children, and almost half a century has been added to the pages of time since white men began to exercise dominion in the land of the Sacs and Foxes. These years were full of change and of history, and, had some of the vigorous minds and ready pens of the early settlers been directed to the keeping of a chronological journal of events, the record would be invaluable to the local historian of the present. With such help, it would be a comparatively easy task to write a reliable and correct history. Without such aid, the undertaking is a difficult one, and the difficulty is materially increased by reason of the absence of nearly all the pioneer fathers and mothers.

Of those who came here in pursuit of homes and fortunes between 1833 and 1840, but few are left to greet those who now come to write the local history of their county a county second to none in the great State of Iowa in point of historic interest. The struggles, changes and vicissitudes that fifty years evoke are as trying to the minds as to the bodies of men. Physical and mental strength waste away together beneath accumulating years, and the memory of names, dates and important events becomes buried in the confusion brought by time and its restless, unceasing mutations. Circumstances that were fresh in memory ten and twenty years after their occurrence are almost, if not entirely, forgotten when fifty years have gone; or, if not entirely lost from the mind, are so nearly so that, when recalled by one seeking to preserve them in printed pages, their memory comes slowly back, more like the recollections of a midnight dream than an actual occurrence in which they were partial, if not active, participants and prominent actors. The footprint of time leaves its impressions and destroying agencies upon everything, and hence it would be unreasonable to suppose that the annals, incidents and happenings of almost half a century in a community like that whose history we have attempted to write, could be preserved intact and unbroken in memory alone.

In the absence of written records, recourse was had to the minds of such of the Pioneers and Old Settlers as have been spared to see the wilds of 1820 and 1833 emancipated from Indian hunting-grounds and camping-places and made the abode of thrift, wealth, intelligence, refinement, of schools, colleges, churches and cities, of the highest order. In seeking to supply missing links in the county's history by personal inter- views, different individuals rendered different and conflicting, although honest and sincere, accounts of the same events and circumstances. To sift these statements and arrive at the most reasonable and tangible conclusions was a delicate task, but a task we sought to discharge with the single purpose of writing of incidents as they actually transpired. If, in such a multiplicity of names, dates, etc., some errors are not detected, it will be strange indeed.

 

Table of Contents

HISTORY NORTHWEST AND STATE OF IOWA.
ABSTRACT OF IOWA STATE LAWS.
ILLUSTRATIONS.
MISCELLANEOUS.
HISTORY OF LEE COUNTY.
HISTORY OF KEOKUK.
HISTORY OF FORT MADISON.
TOWN HISTORIES.
BIOGRAPHICAL TOWNSHIP DIRECTORY.
LITHOGRAPHIC PORTRAITS.

 

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The Knights Sword and Helmet. This paper, the official organ of the Order of the Knights of Pythias in the State of Iowa, was established February 1, 1877, by the Pythian Printing Company, with H.W. Dodd as Manager. During its first year, Hon. John Van Valkenburg was editor; but, since that time, Mr. Dodd has been sole editor and manager. It is a monthly journal, with a wide circulation, extending into the Canadas and as far as Honolulu, in the Sandwich Islands.