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Friday, February 27, 2015


This next post to me, is hysterical.  I am going to stereotype for a minute, but in my mind's eye I see a sweet tiny lady with a bun on the top of her head, a pencil behind her ear, a high neck long sleeve blouse and a long dress. I can almost smell the ink in the presses and see the old wooden floors.
Ok, from now on, I am going to show quotes from the book exactly how the author says them. You, I am sure, will love this. Now remember, this is an encyclopedia.
"As well informed as scholars are in this the noon-day of the nineteenth century, none are well enough versed in ancient day history to trace out the first school system (if such it may have been styled), that at the very dawn of civilization and human intelligence undertook to instruct the young. It appears like some fixed star, which has been for ages lost in the far-away sky of mythology and is today obscure in the shadows of the dim and misty past.  We Know something of the history of the schools of old Babylon, at least 3,000 years before the advent of the Christian era---schools of medicine-schools of science--even in the Chinese Empire.  We have a fair idea of the schools in Egypt in Moses' time, and the schools and lyceums of Greece, back to the siege of Troy.  However, but comparatively little is now known of the mode of teaching in those earlier days, and not until the fifteenth century does it appear there was much in the way of intelligent effort toward the instruction of the masses.The history of education has been a varied one.  The Puritans had no sooner landed and established themselves on the wave-washed and stormy coast of a wild New England shore than they planted the precious seeds, the germ of which is the vital part of our great free public school system.  These seeds  were sown deep, and  roots were far-reaching and sufficiently strong to enable them to endure the storms and trials of two and a half centuries, yet unshaken, not disturbed or interrupted in its onward course, or in the least caused to lesson its grip on the free and native soil.
This system, with such modifications as time and surroundings dictated, was brought from that far-away shore the land of our forefathers, where they turned their faces toward the setting sun; and some of these precious seeds, thus sown, have found lodge-ment in the great State of Iowa, which today ranks first in point of education among the galaxy of forty-two brilliant State-stars, now comprising our Union!"
For now I will quit quoting the "book".  The author goes on some more about the prized subject of Education. We will continue next time about that and our Cherokee County education.
Just a thought about how the internet would write about the education of Cherokee County and it's origin. 

Monday, February 23, 2015


Good morning!  It is so good to be back. On my second cup of coffee, all propped up on my chair, ready to go.  Today's topic is fun. Especially the way the "book"  phrases everything.
The political history of a country is always one of general interest, and especially is this true in a free land, where in the eyes of the law all are upon an equality, where it has been show that even the humblest  the rail splitter or the tow path boy can attain the highest honor within the gift of the American people. We delight to see merit rewarded;  we are pleased with the onward progress of one from the  walks of life, as step by step he mounts the ladder of fame. Every citizen has a kind of political ambition, and while he may never reach the highest pinnacle, there is a possibility that his children may.
There is an excitement about a political campaign which nearly every American citizen rather enjoys, and although personalities are often indulged in, as a general thing all yield gracefully to the verdict of the people, a majority vote, and submit themselves to the "powers that be".
The political history of Cherokee County is more fully and much more authentically shown in giving the abstract of votes for the various years than in any other manner.  The county has been Republican by large majorities ever since its organization; yet at times Democrats and Independent nominees have been elected by virtue of their own popularity, or at times by cross-fights between regular candidates in the county conventions.
It should here be recorded that with but few exceptions the Government affairs of Cherokee County have been well  taken care of. The bleak, wild prairies of   1856, when the Government survey was completed, have been developed; the angry and deceiving streams, which so greatly harassed the early settlers, have been bridged at numerous points; over 100 school buildings adorn the landscape and value to the county; over 2000 acres of artificial timber have been planted and cultivated; railroads have crossed and re-crossed the territory.  The prairie wilderness has been dotted with enterprising towns and cities, until today, standing thirty three years distant from the landing of the pioneer colony, we look out upon a fruitful, valuable landscape of agriculture, and observe the coming and going of upward of 16,000 prosperous and contented people.
There were many pages of votes cast for each township and I will not write those down, however, I will add something interesting here. There was a special election held June 27, 1882 the question as to whether the following should become an amendment to the 
State constitution of Iowa.:
No person shall manufacture for sale, or sell, or keep for sale, as a beverage, any intoxicating liquor whatsoever, including ale, wine and beer.
I can't help but think of all the old western movies and Victorian novels I have read where, wine, beer, and port were an everyday thing. I checked the votes and Cherokee Township was overwhelmingly positive no liquor!
Next time we will talk about educational things and issues for Cherokee County.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Church Property 1885

According to the record made in the State census of 1885, Cherokee County had the following religious denominations:  The same also gives value of church property (church buildings) and the seating capacity of each building belonging to the same:
Baptist, church property $2500 seating capacity 200.
Adventists church property $4000 seating capacity 200.
Christians, church property, $2500 seating capacity, 200.
Congregationalists, church property, $8,800 seating capacity 750.
Episcopal, church property, $2000 seating capacity, 175.
Methodist, church property, $18,980, seating capacity, 1520.
Presbyterian, church property, $7,000 seating capacity 350.
Roman Catholic church property, $13,800 seating capacity, 650.
Total church edifice property, $50,750.  Total seating capacity, 4,225. I realize that these numbers are for the whole county, but they are amazing to me. It just shows how important that religion was to these folks.
"Going to Church" not only provided spiritual solace, but a place to socialize with their neighbors, and for the children to picnic and play games after services. Many parents did not take no for an answer or "I'm too tired." 
The ministers were poorly paid, so the parish invited them to meals, carried meals to them as well as things from their gardens etc.
My grandmother's family Bible holds records for generations of deaths, baptisms, marriages, etc. It is huge and the pages are fragile. Hopefully, someone in my family will want to care for it. It is especially beautiful at Christmas time, because it has colorful pictures in it.
The next chapter in the book is boring to me. It tells about plats of land that are defunct and made active etc. 
So the subject that we will think about are the politics of the county. Fun chapter.
See you next time!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Marriage Records

In the early history of Cherokee County, marriages were not performed in the grand style that characterizes our present age.
Then there were no tinted wedding cards, with the formal invitation printed in letters of gold; no royally dressed bride and bridegroom made their appearance before the hymeneal altar in the austere presence of priest or clergyman. Most of the earliest marriages were solemninized before a justice of the peace, whose hearth stone was sheltered by the logs of a rough, though usually cozy cabin. Here were found genuine  love and hospitality.  And who dare say the hearts thus united in these rude, uncouth cabin homes were not as closely and lastingly united as those of our modern pomp and show who celebrate the occasion in expensive mansions and have free access to the most costly of bridal chambers.
The newly married pair in those pioneer day here in Cherokee County went to 'keeping house" in a log cabin and  awaited the future tide of their good fortune to provide for them a more spacious and comfortable place of abode.  Their parents were plain and perchance had been united in  a similar humble home in some one of the Eastern or Middle States, and very naturally their children imbibed the same attributes which had so graciously gifted their fathers and mothers.
They were then willing to begin life at the bottom, in a manner in keeping with their financial surroundings.
The first marriage in Cherokee County was that of the first settler, Carlton Corbett, to Miss Rosabella Cummings, November 20th 1859.  The ceremony was performed by His Honor G.W.F. Sherwin then county judge.
Marriages were not of frequent occurrence in this thinly settle country, as it has been found by consulting the records that no others were united in marriage until March, 1866 after the boys came home from the Civil War, when William Mead and H.E. Twifford were married.  The next marriages were those uniting James H. McKinley and Lovina Fisher; Jasper Scurlock and Angeline Huntly; Newton  Scurlock and Anice Huntly; Abner B. Stimson and Annie Eliza Jackson; Jerub Palmer and Eliza Terwilager.
Next time we will talk about Religious denominations and properties thereof.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

To Move or Not to Move The House of Justice

I just want to remind you that the words that I print for the most part come from the encyclopedia that was published in the 1800's.  The terminology is theirs not mine.
Cherokee County is remarkable in this one particular  that the county seat, which was located by the legal commissioners in 1857, at Old Cherokee, has never been removed, only the short distance to the railroad town.  The same location and  the same location and the same building originally erected in  1863, still serve the county.
There never have been but two attempts (proper) to relocate the seat of justice; one of those attempts was in June 1879, when the eastern portion of the county tried to remove it to the little village of Aurelia, which of course was foolish,  which that town is in the extreme eastern portion of the county.  However, the number of signatures to the remonstrance outnumbered the petition, hence the contest ended, without even an official mention on the  county records.  The petition and counterbalancing remonstrance, however, are still on file in the auditor's office.
The second attempt to relocate the county seat was in 1885.  This time the measure came quite near carrying.  The people of the entire west part of the county were arrayed against those of the eastern portion, and the proposition was to move to the village of Meriden, which in fact is about a mile nearer the exact geographical center of Cherokee County than the present court house site.  The contest was a spirited one, however, mostly on paper!  Petitions and remonstrances were the weapons used to settle the question as to whether the measure should be submitted to a vote of the people or not.  The census of 1885 (State)
had just been taken  the advance sheets were out but the work proper had not yet been published by authority of the State.  This fact virtually settled the matter as the majority of names were found on the remonstrances.  The old frame courthouse was, at the day it was erected, good enough, but it hardly does justice to the now rich county. Neither does it do justice to the county officials and the modern mode of caring for public records.  Not one of the county offices is large enough for business to be properly transacted, and the courthouse hall excluded about all at court time but the member of the bar, witnesses and court officials.
The officials say that the only thing Cherokee County needs, tp ,ale her fully up to the times we live in, is a good court house.  The present dilapidated concern does not do justice to the intelligence and wealth the courthouse possesses.  
See you next time!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Who's Going to Write the News?

This morning as I am drinking my second cup of coffee, I am scanning the "book" to see what the people of Cherokee County are going to do next. 
It looks like the newspaper men are having another "tussel" over county printing   The Times, Democrat and Register all taking a hand in the contest, which was settled in favor of The Times and Democrat.  I think this is so interesting because my father worked at the Times for many years doing special things like invitations and many other things that people ordered. I have a picture of my dad at the Times reading on his lunch break.  I can remember when I was a Freshman I had forgotten to do a homework assignment. We were supposed to gather weather forecasts from the newspaper. Of course, I said, " Daddy, what am I going to do?" He was so calm and easy going he said,  " I will bring you home some paper you can use for the cover."  The cover was gray and pebbly. I cut it into a shape like a cloud.  I will never forget the note on my booklet when I got it back.  It said, " What this report lacks in content is made much better by your imagination."  My dad smiled when I showed it to him and I said a silent WHEW !!!!!
See you next time. We once again talk about taxes and a new courthouse.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Poor Farm and Deportation of German Family

At the general election, held November 3, 1885, the people voted on the question of improving a poor farm. I am going to insert some of my grandmother's statements here. My grandparents were always comfortable financially, however, my grandmother, especially was fearful of overspending and "landing" in the poor farm.  I don't know if that was her personal feeling or parroting of my grandfather.  The election was voted on not to exceed the cost of $10,000.
They had an election to buy land on the  northeast quarter of section 8, township 92 to 40 was purchased for $30 an acre, the same being agreed to be a unanimous vote of the members of the board. They erected several buildings that were suitable? on the newly purchased Poor Far, for the sum of $4,250.  The question mark I inserted was what were the buildings, dormitories, kitchens, stables etc.
It was this year, 1885, that the Board of Supervisors gave Germany to understand that paupers from that Empire could not be supported at the expense of our country. A North German woman who had come to our shores with a husband and two children had been bereft of her companion soon after coming here; and it was found that the family were without means, so Cherokee County provided for their immediate needs, while Judge Wakefield, then district judge, was consulted concerning the question. He finally decided to order the county to return the woman and her children to their native land, which was promptly executed.

Next time we will find out the "tussle" of vying of who should get to be the "printing" of the news.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Purchases of Safes, and Tools

The publishers of a small 1000 pamphlet about Cherokee County was paid $100.00, however the book that "you  now have in your hand" was not appropriated any money for this work.
There are many little remarks that are not interesting in the next few paragraphs.
In 1873, when two fire proof safes were ordered for county use, of the Hall Safe and Lock
Company. Price paid, $1000. Another safe (for the treasury) was ordered in that same month from the above firm, which cost the county, laid down, $1500.  These three safes were insured for $2000 against loss. Up to this date Cherokee County had never had a safe place of deposit for her records and money.  The vault was completed during that year.

At a meeting of the board, January 1877, $300 was appropriated from the general county fund, to aid in procuring suitable tools and implements for which to prospect coal, the sum of $1000 for fifty tons of coal, mined within the county from a vein not less than three feet thick. It must go into history, however, that the coal was never discovered, hence no money paid!  During this year was the purchasing of Fairbanks & Co. proper standard weights and measures for the use of the scales of weights and measurers, a county office created about that time by the General Assembly.
At this time the purchase of tobacco for prisoners use was discontinued.
Next time, new taxes, new buildings, more bridges and another courthouse and jail.
See you soon.
                          Lu Anne

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Money Starts Coming to the County

September of 1867 was the birthday of newly created townships, one called Willow, and another called Spring.  The office of sheriff went begging this year; Mr. Stiles resigned and G.E. Fisher was appointed, but refused to serve, whereupon Luther Phipps was tendered the office, held it four months and resigned, when S. Miller took it for the remainder of the term.
In 1868 nothing of importance happened to cause recording except at the fall election, which eighty votes were polled.
In 1869 three new townships were formed by a subdivision of others.  The offices of sheriff, recorder and school superintendent became vacant by resignation, and were supplied by appointment.
The year 1870 marked a new era in Cherokee County matters.  It was that year in which the Iowa Falls and Sioux City Railway was extended and completed through the County.
More money was appropriated for public improvements than any previous year in the settlement of the county.  The bridge at Old Cherokee was repaired at a cost of $2900; Mill Creek was bridged at an expense of $5,000 and 6 bridges spanning the Maple River were constructed at a cost of $2240.  Five more townships were formed; Silver, Tilden, Sheriden, Amherst and Liberty. Three hundred and sixty one votes were polled at the annual election, and other indexes of rapid growth were to be seen on every hand.
I can remember in fifth grade we had to draw a huge map of Iowa and all of the townships, rivers, and towns. It was very traumatic because I was afraid something was going to happen to my masterpiece on the way to school.
In April, 1871 the supervisors ordered a jail built.  It was made of 2x8 plank; was 14x14 and seven foot tall in the clear. Nathan Bell built it.
Next time is about a small publication for the county.

See you soon!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Flooding of 1867

On January 12, 1864, the board consisted of Albert Phipps and Thomas Scurlock who as a Board of Supervisors, deemed it wise and prudent to dispose of the swamp land then owned by Cherokee County.  It was submitted to be voted on the board.  The vote being unanimously in favor of selling the same to Carlton Corbett. It was submitted to the people, at a special election in February, and was then ratified by the taxpayers. The amount received for these lands was $2000, which was soon paid out to T.B. Twifrord for the construction of a bridge. The bridge was across the Little Sioux River, on road No. 7 near Rogers' Mills.  It was completed in the fall of 1866, and in the high water of the spring of 1867 it was all washed away.  Thus, unfortunately, the county's swamp land, which many Iowa counties save for advanced prices, and finally built fine courthouses with, was washed down stream in the angry spring floods of the uncertain Little Sioux.
In this same chapter, the content went from flooding to the salaries to the soldiers, back to flooding. Therefore, I shall follow the reporter's wording.
At the September session of the supervisors in  1864 it was resolved that there shall be paid to each man who has already enlisted or who shall enlist as a soldier in the Union Army for three years, the sum of $75.  And also that the sum of $20 be paid for all hundred day men. It would be interesting to know about the "one hundred day men" and their duties, and where they were sent.
During the year of 1865 the principal historic action of the supervisors was the dividing of the county then all in one township, into two, Cherokee and Pilot.  In March of that year the board ordered the county treasurer to dispose of all gold coin on hand.  The amount was $140.00 which brought the county $245, or a premium of $105.
At the March session of 1866 a contract was let to Jared Palmer to bridge the Little Sioux at the Cherokee Centre.  The contract price was $1140.
In my opinion,(which I know I am not supposed to have one,) I have no idea where these folks kept coming up with the money to building these bridges.
The next thing we will be following is the rental of the Courthouse to be rented for a winter school.

Ok, see you soon. Hope you enjoy the life of the pioneers as we know them to be in Cherokee.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Board of Supervisors

During the winter of 1859-60 an act was passed by the General Assembly, which was approved by the Governor of Iowa, changing the Board of Supervisors of the county.  This board took charge and had the power formerly vested in the county Court system except the issuance of marriage licenses, probate matters and civil cases at law.  The County Court still held its session and continued to do so until 1869 when it was abolished by law; but little of interest transpired, as the time was all spent in routine business.
The Board of Supervisor consisted under the law of one member from each civil township in the county,  As this county only had one township, the "board"  consisted of one member  Albert Phipps; however, there was no great amount of business  amd
It may here be stated that on January 1, 1861, the county treasurer had $557 on hand. The year 1862 but little business was transacted by the supervisors.  At the fall election only sixteen votes were cast.  There were two supervisor elected, the regular one and one "at large" the board the following year, 1863, being composed of O.S. Wight and J.A.  Brown.  January, 1863 they made a contract with one Jacob H. Cornell to erect the courthouse for $1900 to be erected November of that year.
The vote cast at the fall election of 1863 was only seven  the smallest ever had in the county at a general election. A good share of the male adults at that time were serving their country as soldiers, either at the South fighting the "Rebs" or taking care of the savage Indians in the western border States. At this time O.S. Wight was the legal incumbent of only four different offices, but be it said to his honor he bore the positions of trust and meekness, and all old settlers say, "He made a good officer."
Next time we will talk about the swamp lands and the flooding of the Little Sioux River. Reading ahead, I also see payment to the soldiers who had joined the army or who were preparing to enlist.
See you next time!