Iowa Old Press
Dubuque Weekly Times
Dubuque, Dubuque, Iowa
January 13, 1859
DESCRIPTION OF COUNTIES IN IOWA
Number of townships, 16; square miles, 576; acres,
368,000; acres assessed, 366,000; assessed value, exclusive of town lots,
$1,174,480.00; assessed value per acre, $3.29; population, 1856, 8099;
population, 1858, estimated, 10,300.
Delaware county is directly west of Dubuque county. The Maquoketa river runs southward across the central part, the north fork of the Maquoketa waters the eastern part, and Buffalo creek the western. Two of the northeastern townships are watered by branches of the Turkey river flowing northward.
The Dubuque and Pacific Railroad crosses the county near its center, and is completed two miles west of Nottingham, forty miles from Dubuque.
The Dubuque Western Railroad crosses the southeastern part, and is completed to Sand Spring, thirty-seven miles from Dubuque. - The Dubuque, St. Peters and St. Paul Railroad will probably be commenced at a point on the Dubuque and Pacific Road, near the eastern part of this county, and will run across it northwesterly. It is tolerably well timbered, and the soil is well adapted to agricultural purposes. Nearly all the streams are bordered by groves of oak, maple, white and black walnut, basswood and elm. The soil varies from sand to clay, with a clay subsoil. Lime stone and brick clay, gently undulating prairies and a rich soil, besides good water power on many of the streams, are among the natural advantages of this beautiful county.
DELHI, the county seat, near the center of the county, five miles from the Dubuque and Pacific Railroad, contains eight hundred inhabitants, has a newspaper, churches, half a dozen stores, a flouring mill, and saw mills. Nottingham, Manchester, and Masonville are towns on the Dubuque and Pacific Railroad. Sand Spring is a new town on the Dubuque Western Railroad, and is being settled by a colony from New England, under the agency of Rev. L. Bolles, of Ware, Massachusetts, who has recently purchased several thousand acres of land a few miles west of Sand Spring, in this county, for another town named Banks. The other towns in the south half of the county are Hopkinton, Rockville, Uniontown, Hartwick, Almoral, Coffins Grove, Mount Hope, Coldwater, Poultney and Forrestville.
Oakland and Colesburg are in the north half of the county. These villages, including those named on the railroad, contain from one hundred to three hundred inhabitants. - A literary institution of excellent character is in operation at Almoral, and schools are established in all the villages.
Good improved prairie land, within a few miles of the railroads, can be purchased for five to eight dollars per acre; timber land commands a higher price. The price of cultivated land depends as usual, on the value of the buildings and other improvements.
Number of townships, 12; square miles, 432; acres,
276,480; population, 1858, estimated about 400.
This county was organized in 1858. It is watered by a number of lakes, by branches of the Des Moines river and by the head waters of Little Sioux river. Spirit Lake, nearly circular in form, about ten miles in diameter, is partly within this county. Lakes East and West Okaboga, about five miles in length each, are near the center of the county.
The first settlement was made at Spirit Lake in 1855.
SPIRIT LAKE CITY, situated south of the lake of that name, is the county seat.
This county is mostly rolling prairie, is sparsely timbered; and is well adapted to grain and grass. A mail route crosses it from Sioux City, Iowa, to Mankato, Minnesota.
This county, like the neighboring counties of Emmet, Palo Alto, Clay, O'Brien and Osceola, is principally government land.
Number of townships, 17; square miles, 612; acres,
382,720; acres assessed, 391,680; assessed value, exclusive of town lots,
$7,195,800; assessed value per acre, $18.96; population, 1856, 25,871;
population, 1858, estimated, 33,000.
The county of Dubuque upon its first organization previous to 1856, embraced the whole northern half of Iowa, and all that portion of Minnesota west of the Mississippi. It was some years afterwards reduced to its present limits, being twenty-six miles long upon the river, with an average width of about twenty-four miles. The land in Jefferson, Peru, Julien, Table Mound and Mosalem townships, constituting the eastern portion of this county, is somewhat broken by the bluffs along the river. These townships contain most of the valuable mines of lead ore which have made this county so famous for its mineral wealth. Concord and Liberty townships adjoin Clayton county on the north; Liberty, New Vienna, Dodge and Cascade townships join Delaware county on the west; Cascade, Whitewater, Washington, and Mosalem townships form the southern tier and border upon Jackson county on the south; and Vernon, Taylor, Center and Iowa townships occupy the central portion of the county.
This county is well watered by hundreds of rivulets supplied by never-failing springs, and the number of good mill-streams exceeds the number of townships. The smaller streams are so numerous as to furnish a water power, often within a distance of four or five miles, for saw-mills to manufacture the abundance of timber that fills the valleys of nearly all the streams. The Maquoketa river and its tributaries water the whole southern and western parts of the county, and the Little Maquoketa and its several branches, water the central northern and eastern portions, reaching the Mississippi about five miles north of Dubuque. Flouring-mills, saw-mills and some other manufacturies, are in operation on all the large streams, and there is no spot in the county more than four or five miles from mills. The timber is principally oak, but ash, basswood, and elm are abundant on the bottom lands along the rivers. Limestone quarries are found on the borders of the streams and frequently but a short distance from the open prairie, still inviting the farmer to the use of easily cultivated soil, offering no obstruction to the plow, and rich with the decayed vegetation of ages. Below this fertile mold there is usually found a clayey subsoil that supplies the reserved moisture for the porous surface in case of drouth. Only a little over one-fourth of the land is under cultivation; yet the corn product alone, as shown by the census of 1856, is a million bushels annually. It appears by the State Auditor's report for 1857, that the assessed value of land is about nineteen dollars per acre, or one-fifth more than in any other county in the State, and nearly five times as great as the average assessed value of the land in the northern half of the State. This latter difference, however, is mainly owing to the less assessed value of the land in a large number of new counties.
The county seat is at Dubuque, which is included in Julien township. There are nearly twenty towns and villages, and nearly that number of Post Offices in that county.- Cascade is a thriving village, in Cascade township, as well as New Vienna, in the town of that name. Durango is in Jefferson and Cacota in Center township. The principal villages on the Dubuque and Pacific Railroad are Julien, ten miles from Dubuque; Caledonia, fifteen miles from Dubuque; Epworth, twenty miles; Farley, twenty-five miles, and Dyersville, near the western line of the county, thirty miles from Dubuque. These towns are surrounded by good agricultural lands, have schools, churches of different denominations and stores and shops of various kinds. A Female Seminary has recently been established at Epworth under the auspices of the Methodist denomination. St. Joseph's Academy is a Catholic Institution for females in Table Mound township.
One of the greatest sources of natural wealth in this county is the inexhaustible mines of lead extending through its whole eastern portion, and yielding, even with the present imperfect mining, a product of nearly half a million of dollars annually.
Unlike most mining regions the soil is fertile and the surface is but little disturbed by the working of the mines. Some veins of ore, yielding several hundred dollars for every lineal foot, are worked beneath cultivated fields.
Recent experiments have proved that the use of capital in deeper mining, by the aid of suitable machinery, will be a highly remunerative investment.
For nearness to market and proximity to a flourishing city, and in the combination of resources both of an agricultural and mineral nature, no county in the State surpasses Dubuque.
The position of Dubuque city and county, nearly midway between St. Louis and St. Paul, and about five hundred miles distant upon the Upper Mississippi, and also its location on the railroad lines across Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, have made them the center of trade for this portion of the Northwest. Sustained as the city is by the trade, to a great extent of the northern half of Iowa, and a part of that of Minnesota, it must eventually become the metropolis of the Upper Mississippi.
E.H. HARRISON was on the 3d inst. elected President of the Keokuk Branch of the State Bank of Iowa, vice S.F. MILLER, who declined a re-election.
GLEANINGS FROM THE NOTEBOOK OF THE ITINERATING EDITOR.
Manchester, December 23, 1856.
Left Independence, Buchanan county, this morning, with
some reluctance, because we found exceedingly comfortable quarters at the
Montour House, kept by Mr. E.W. PURDY. In our two weeks' ramble in Jones, Linn,
Benton and Blackhawk counties, we have met no where such a crowd at a hotel as
at the Montour. This is doubtless owing in part to the excellence of the house,
and in part to the increase of travel. The roads are good and people are
improving the opportunity to do some business and visiting. Some are trying
runners, other wheels. The Western Stage Company sends out its coaches, which,
being lined inside, are very comfortable. Drawn by fast horses over fine roads,
they afford a delightful method of travel. We came down from Waterloo to
Independence yesterday, a distance of twenty-five miles, in about two and a half
hours. This is good speed for wheels in the winter.
Manchester is in Delaware county, ten miles west of Nottingham. The Dubuque and Pacific Railroad is graded to this point, and judging by the immense number of ties which hear find a market daily, we should suppose that the road would be opened thus far westward in a very short time. A freight depot is nearly completed; in short the indications are that the road will soon take another stride toward sunset.
Manchester has about six hundred inhabitants, and is growing rapidly. It is most charmingly located in a burr oak grove on the south fork of the Maquoketa, which affords excellent water power here. The village is but three years and a half old. We notice many beautiful dwelling houses, painted white, with yards and gardens around them showing a good deal of taste. A cemetery of four acres, three fourths of a mile from the village, has been laid out and protected by a picket fence, another evidence of the refinement of the people. A Lyceum has recently been formed and is well attended. Its President, Mr. H.M. CONGAR, is just the man to be as the head of such an institution. He has several earnest co-workers, and among them are Rev. Messrs. FIFIELD and AMSDEN. The former is the pastor of the Congregational church, and is well known in Dubuque. He has a well selected library, secolar as well as religious, and is a man of extensive reading. Mr. AMSDEN preaches every other week at Delhi.
The religious societies of Manchester are Baptist, Congregational and Methodist.- No houses of worship have been erected, but probably some will be in another summer. There is one large school house in the village, where religious and literary meetings are held. Two select schools are being taught, by skillful educators.
Messrs. TOOGOOD, BROTHER & BOARD have a tannery nearly completed. It will tan by the new process, E. DANIELS'S patent, of which we have repeatedly spoken of in the Times. - The building, which they have erected, is 22 by 40 feet. Mr. T. KELLY has a saw-mill, and GILBERT & KELLER a brick-yard. There are three hotels in the place, the Clarence, Messrs. TOOGOOD and BETHELL, proprietors; the Exchange, kept by Mr. PATTERSON, and the Baldwin House, G.J. BALDWIN. The Clarence Hotel is being re-fitted and is a fine House, large, commodious and well kept. Mr. TOOGOOD, whose acquaintance we have this day formed, is almost too good to us- but we believe it is his way to treat everybody to the best of his ability.
We saw this afternoon a very disgraceful and painful scene in Manchester- such an one as has never been known in the place before. We refer to a general fight among the little club of saloon-frequenters. Two men, partially intoxicated, came out of one of the two or three "hells" of the place, and commenced fighting, several persons following and surrounding them. After they had bruised each other's faces considerably, an effort was made to separate them, when Mr. BURRINGTON, the first settler in the place, came up and interfered, he evidently being determined that the fighting should progress. As one man, a little more intoxicated than himself, approached him, he struck the poor fellow over the head with a club which broke in twain. The man fell upon the ice and we supposed was killed, as the blood spurted from his head in a stream. He soon rose, however, and seemed very much bewildered. He was soon led away from the scene. Mr. BURRINGTON meanwhile seizing a much heavier club - a stake from an ox sled - threatened to kill the first man who laid hands on him! - More than once he raised the frightful weapon, and seemed to be on the point of striking down a neighbor. Officer Reeves being notified of what was going on, came and took Mr. B. away. We hope he will have to suffer the penalty of law for his brutal conduct. He is disgracing a town which was once called by his name.
In striking contrast with this scene was one witnessed here this evening - a large school house full of well-dressed, intelligent and refined people, listening to a lecture on "The Educated Man." A more attentive audience we never saw. The mass of the settlers in Manchester are Eastern people, and have cultivated most carefully the social graces. They feel most pungently the disgracefulness of the bloody scene of which we have spoken.
DELHI, January 4, 1859.
Delhi, the seat of justice of Delaware County, is a quiet
village of a little less than a thousand people. Like most of the towns west of
the Mississippi, it feels seriously the heavy financial pressure. Town lots have
greatly depreciated in value, and rents are moderate! Men are much more
temperate in their expectations of speedily realizing a fortune, than they were
eighteen months ago. Some of them would be contented with the assurance that
they will be independently wealthy, and prepared to retire from business in two
years from this date!
Delhi has been settled about ten years. C.W. HOBBS, now of the Osage Land Office, was, we believe, the original squatter. Among the other early settlers were Dr. JAMES WRIGHT, F.B. DOOLITTLE, Z.A. WELLMAN, E.C. HARDING, JOHN W. PENN and JOHN H. PETERS. Most of these gentlemen are still living here. Dr. WRIGHT is the newly-elected Clerk of the District Court. Judge DOOLITTLE is a farmer and horticulturist, he having a large orchard of apple trees adjoining the village on the east. Mr. WELLMAN was late Prosecuting Attorney. Mr. PENN is a wealthy farmer in this township. Mr. PETERS is an able attorney, and was a member of the Constitutional Convention.
The location of Delhi is very pleasant, it being an oak opening, and beside Silver Lake, said to be a very lovely sheet of water.It is a mile or more in length, and half a mile wide. It has been used to-day for a race course - though we did not witness the trotting match. The lake has an abundance of excellent fish of about every species found in western waters. Near the lake is the old log Court House, still standing, though in a dilapidated state. Another Court House has been erected and also a jail. The County buildings adjoining the Court House, are excellent, being built of brick.
We find in Delhi five grocery and dry good stores, a drug store, a hardware store, shoe shops and the usual number of other mechanic shops. SYLVESTER BRADY & CO, have an excellent steam flouring mill. The Hardin House, kept by WM. WILSON, is the only hotel in the place. There is a good public school here, and a select school which we hear highly praised, kept by Prof. HARGER. The Methodists have a fine church edifice here, and the Presbyterians and Baptists have organizations. The Methodists and Baptists are holding a series of religious meetings in concert.
Delhi has but one newspaper, the Democrat, published by Messrs. HAYS & CORBITT. It has been negotiated for by MR. ASHBAUGH, and will make its appearance as a Republican paper on the first of February.
Two lines of hacks run between Delhi and Nottingham, and as they are in opposition to each other, they make brisk business. We believe that Mr. N. McCORMICK, the mail carrier and proprietor of the regular line, was the means of securing a daily mail between this point and Dubuque. Delhi is four miles south-west of Nottingham.
For much of the information embodied in these notes we are under obligation to S.G. VAN ANDA, Esq., one of the Justices of the Peace, and most respected citizens of Delhi. He has taken much pains to make our first visit to this place pleasant, and to furnish us with the knowledge of which we are in pursuit. He is one of the most active members of the Literary Association formed here the early part of the winter, and in which many of the citizens of the place, old and young, take a deep and commendable interest.
HOPKINTON, January ?, 1859.
Came to this place this afternoon, from Delhi, with Mr. MARVIN HUTCHINS, of the Harding House. He drives fast horses, and we came down, a distance of eight miles, in one hour. The road leads, most of the way, through the valley of the Maquoketa, and is a pleasant route. In the summer, it must be charming.
Hopkinton is delightfully located in an oak opening, like Delhi and Manchester, in the same county, and is the prettiest site for a village that we have found in these parts. It can be made a town unsurpassed in beauty in Delaware county. Appreciating the natural advantages and attractions which their town possess, the citizens have laid the foundation for a splendid institution of learning. A large brick edifice is enclosed and will be finished and ready for use early in the spring. It is located on an eminence, and has a very commanding appearance in this young country. It will cost about ten thousand dollars. It is one of the best buildings of the kind in the interior of the State. The citizens have shown much enterprise in starting such an institution.
Hopkinton is located on the north-east side of the south fork of the Maquoketa, which affords good water power at this point.- NICHOLS & HOLMES have a flouring mill here, and there are two water and three steam saw mills; also a lath and shingle mill connected with every one of them.
There are two hotels in the place, kept by ROY JACKSON and WILLIAM HOLT; five grocery and dry goods stores; a drug store; a hardware store; a gun shop; a jeweler and dentist; two blacksmith shops; two brick yards; two cabinet shops; and a broom factory.
The Presbyterians have a small brick church; and the Reformed Presbyterians, sometimes called "Covenanters," have laid the foundation of a church. Their pastor, Dr. ROBERTS, whose hospitality we are sharing in, is a learned and most worthy man. The United Brethren, Methodists, and Baptists, have organizations in Hopkinton. The Sons of Temperance are numerous here. Mr. M.S. BUTLER teaches an excellent district school in this place, having about eighty pupils. Aside from the common English branches, he has classes in philosophy, algebra and Latin.
In April, 1855, Hopkinton had but eleven dwelling houses. It has since improved seven hundred per cent, it now having at least eighty private dwellings.
A flourishing literary society has recently been formed here. A lecture was delivered before it this evening. Before the speaker commenced, a lad or man about eighteen months old, took possession of the steps leading into the pulpit and the speaker refused to proceed until this gentleman in small clothes was removed. The lecture commenced, and so did the prattle of the little man, now in the rear of the house. The lecturer, thinking that it was needless for two persons to talk simultaneously to the same audience, held up, until a man, older than the garrulous one, removed the rising genius from the meeting-house. At the close of the lecture, Mr. W.A. ROBERTS, by request of the audience, sang PARK BENJAMIN'S noted song, "The Old Sexton," We have never heard it sung better.