Wolfe's history of Clinton 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 that have gone before have been instrumental in shaping the destinies of later communities and states. The development of a new country was at once a task and a privilege. It required great courage, sacrifice and privation. Compare the present conditions of the people of Clinton county. Iowa, with what they were one hundred 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 indus- tries 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. The work has been in the hands of able writers, who have, after much patient study and research, produced here the most complete biographical memoirs of Clinton county, Iowa, ever offered to the public. 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 Clinton county fur the uniform kindness with which they have regarded this undertaking and for their many services rendered in the gaining of necessary information.
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The territory from which Clinton county was carved was discovered by white men as follows: In 1541, DeSoto first saw the great West in the New World, discovered in 1492 by Columbus. He was not successful and left no trace of settlement, save making enmity between the Indians and whites. The French were eager to seize territory mid were the first to profit by DeSoto's defeat. Net it was more than a hundred years before any advantage was taken of this first discovery of this territory.