Iowa Old Press
The Democratic Union
Keosauqua, Van Buren, Iowa
August 26, 1854
We note below briefly, a few items in regard
to the location, population, &c. of our towns and cities.
In ascending the Demoine, the first town in Van Buren county, and the first of any importance on the Iowa side, is
This place is on the N.E. bank of the Demoine 30 miles from its mouth. It has been incorporated as a city, has the benefit of a State Dam now in progress of its construction. The country around, and tributary naturally to this city is the oldest settled of any in the county. There is at this place a bridge over the Demoine on the route leading from the Mississippi west. This city is not behind any in the county in its permanent and valuable buildings, and we believe ahead in its church edifices.
Six miles above this place on the same side of the river is
An unincorporated town with a less number of inhabitants than Farmington, but has the advantage of a finished dam and consequently mills and machinery. They have a large flouring mill, saw and lath mill, &c. also a very extensive woolen factory in successful operation. This place illustrates the great benefit to town and country of the Hydraulic power being created by our State works.
Three miles above the place on the same side of the river is situated
an incorporated city of about the same size as Bonaparte, and its equal in manufacturing facilities, so far as motive power is concerned, having a finished dam. Here also is erecting a large flouring mill, saw, lath and other machinery in operation. Here also, is located the extensive paper mill of Messrs. Green, Brag & Co., most of the papers in southern Iowa are printed upon paper manufactured at their establishment. Some of the finest private residences in the county may be seen here. Here also they have a very fine building designed as an Academy, Church buildings, &c.
On the opposite side of the river quite a town has been built up, and is still on the increase called
Here they have an equal advantage of water power with Bentonsport, and have a large flouring mill, saw and lath mills, carding, &c.
Nine miles by the river, above these two last named towns, and 50 miles from the mouth, is
The county seat located at what was known as the early settlement of the country as the "Rapids at the Great bend." This place was early located and the country around it in a high state of cultivation. The State work is not yet completed at this point, the Lock and Dam are both being constructed with a very fair prospect of completion this fall. The building of this work has of course stopped all the mills and machinery propelled by water. There is running now only such as are propelled by steam-flouring, saw and other mills, much less, however, than the country around demands. New mills are in process of erection and will be ready for the power when completed by the State. County Court, School and Church edifices help to make up a very fair city, built upon one of the most delightful places in Iowa. The ground rises in three benches reaching back from the Demoine, admittedly the most beautiful stream in the west. Three miles above is
with two stores, various mechanic shops &c. In short, quite a little village with very good citizens.
Four miles above that is
not quite so large as a town of that name in Penn., still quite a little gathering with its store, shops, &c.
Six miles farther up comes
with its stores and country, accommodating mechanics, steam saw mill, &c.-with a State Dam location. That, when completed, will give that place a start. In short with that power, and their situation with a good country around, they ought to make a place.
Six miles above is
once an old Indian town-surrounded with memorials of the departed race of aborigines. Just above town is the grave of Black Hawk, and his bones, all except the skull, of which the grave was robbed by a Prenologist.
This is quite a business place, and has lately taken a start and given evidence of progress corresponding with the country-which by the way is the richest in the valley.
On the opposite bank is
a new town just opened out. It has the most extensive flouring mill-steam-in the county, also a team saw mill, lath machine, carding machine, &c., also an extensive distillery that makes most of the whisky sold in the valley, and furnishes High Wines to Keokuk and other larger towns for the manufactory of Brandy, Gin, Rum, Wine, &c.
Off of the river and twelve miles north of Keosauqua, on the Divide, is
a stirring, growing business place.- it is on the great road leading from Keokuk to Fort Demoine, and bids very fair to rival Fairfield, "The Queen." There are here a large number of stores, and abundance of goods.
Three miles below we have
on the same road and same divide, not so large a town quite a Birmingham, but a very good business place and in a very rich and well settled portion of the county.
On the south side of the river, and twelve miles south of Keosauqua, is
supporting three or four stores, shops, &c. This town is in a very fine farming neighborhood and will eventually make a snug town.
West of that on the Missouri line is
with our store and-over the line in Missouri-'tis said one grocery, on the old fashioned plan of selling as they please and to whom they please, and by the small or big to suit customers.
Still west comes
with stores, steam mill, &c. quite a city for one just planted.
Over on the road leading from Keosauqua to Bloomfield, is
a place of some business importance with a store or two, shops, &c.
On the road leading from Keosauqua to Iowaville, is
a place of business, as the name would indicate, two stores, shops, &c., and a fine country around tributary to it constitute its claim to notice.
Sixteen in all leaving out several places where there is one store, and that are in fact named as towns.
We think we were right last week in saying that could VanBuren consolidate her towns she would boast one of several thousand more inhabitants than is now in the State. She is the third in population and the first in Agricultural productions in the State.
Iowa Old Press
Van Buren County