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the spring of 1851, Thomas B. Twiford, of county seat notoriety, and Wm. McCoy, built the Thomas Ellis saw mill above where Beumer's mill now stands, and it did a good business until 1860.
"By this time many settlers had come in, the Norwegians generally settling on the north side of the creek, the Irish on the south side, with a few Americans and other nationalities sprinkled in and among them, but the large per cent. of settlers were of foreign birth.
"The county records fail to show when the township was organized by the election of township officers, but there is an entry in them, dated December term, 1353, as follows: ‘Paint Creek Township was organized so as to conform to the congressional township of town ninety-seyen, range four. The Trustees gave the township its present name, and the township records show the first election to be held in Riley Ellis' mill, where the corn cracker was, August, 1852, James Bryson, George Watkins, and Reuben Sencebaugh being judges of election, and William McCoy and Thomas G. Ellis were the clerks. The Trustees appointed William McCoy, Township Clerk. These are the earliest dates our records show.
"The first election was held on the first Tuesday in November, 1852, and was the presidential election. The third election was on the fourth of April, 1853, and is the first record I find of the election of township officers, being for Trustees: James Bryson, Andrew Mitchell and Reuben Sencebaugh; for Township Clerk, Wm. McCoy; for Assessor, James Bryson; for Constables. John Bryson and John Stull; for Justices of the Peace, James Bryson and Reuben Sencebaugh. At this election there were cast for county seat, fifty-eight votes, of which Columbus had forty-nine and Waukon nine. The trustees held two meetings in the winter of 1852--3, one to appraise and divide section sixteen, and the other to divide the township into road districts, doing this work so well that the district remains the same to this date.
"In 1856 Mr. James Beebe built a large frame hotel in Waterville, capable of accommodating all the guests that a town of one thousand inhabitants would furnish, but it failed for want of patronage, and its builder is now in New Mexico. In 1857 was organized in this hotel the Prairie du Chien & Mankato Railroad Company, with the Hon John T. Clark, now of Postville, for President. The object of this company was to build a railroad from the Mississippi at Johnsonsport, connecting there with the railroad from Prairie du Chien, and running up the creek to Waukon, thence west to Calmar and on to Austin and Mankato, Minnesota. Engineer Wm. W. Hungerford was the active man in the enterprise, and devoted considerable time to it, making surveys and locating the line from the starting point on the river to the State line in Howard County. Most of the resident right
of-way on the entire line was secured, and about forty thousand dollars in subscriptions and donations to the capital stock, the design keing to donate this to the railroad company running into Prairie du Chien if they would extend their line across the river and cover the route. The enterprise failed, the extension being made via Bloody Run and Monona, in Clayton County.
"In the spring of 1857, Spooner and Beebe started at Waterville the first tannery ever built in the county. They purchased a recipe for tanning with japonica, using it with hot liquor, thus tanning the hides in a few days so that they could put them on the market and get returns very much quicker then by the old way of tan-bark and cold water. They run their business about two years, but not proving profitable they abandoned it."
The Villages of Allamakee County; Lybrand, Lansing, Winfield, Waukon, Columbus, Hardin. Smithfield, Postrille, Milton, Village Creek, Ion, Rossville, Volney, Cleveland, Johnsonsport, Allamukee, Nezekaw, Chantry, Alton, Buckland, Manchester, New Albin, Myron, Dorchester, Lafayette, Paint Rock, Waterrille, New Galena, Wexford, Union City.
Lybrand.—The first platted town in the county, was founded by Jacob Lybrand, who came from West Union in the spring of 1850 or 1851. It is located on section 15, Post Township, and was platted May 3, 1851, from a survey made April 1st by S. P. Hicks, Deputy County Surveyor. Hiram Jones and Jacob Lybrand were the owners of the land, and their acknowledgment was taken before Elias Topliff, Justice of the Peace. Being on the main traveled road between McGregor's Landing and Decorah, it soon became a place of considerable importance for those days. Mr. Lybrand opened a store, and a post office was established there in 1851, but was discontinued a few years later. The old "double trail” to the Indian “Decorah village" ran through this settlement from "Hickory Creek" at Hardin, and crossed the Yellow River at what was called "the dry sink," from near which one of the mainly traveled branches diverged towards the north, passing west of Waukon and extending to two Indian villages in the Iowa valley near the mouth of French Creek. Mr. Lybrand was a bachelor, of somewhat eccentric habits, and was widely known as a remarkably honest and conscientious man. He remained here
a few years when he removed to Minnesota and located a town which he named St. Nicholas, on Lake Albert Lea. The town of Albert Lea got the start of his place, however, for county seat, and he went to Alexandria, that state, from which he was driven by the Indian outbreak of 1862, and returned to Allamakee and Fayette counties for a couple of years. Again going to Minnesota, he located the town of Red Wood Falls, but finally returned to Alexandria, where he died Jan. 21, 1875, upwards of seventy years of age.
Lansing-Was the second village surveyed and platted, in 1851, John Haney and Horace H. Houghton proprietors. The records declare that the plat was filed Jan 7, 1852, and acknowledged not until Dec. 30, 1852, but this is generally conceded to be an error, and that the latter date should be '51.
Winfield—This name passed out of existence about the year '60, it being changed to Harper's Ferry, by an act of the Legislature. It was platted May 8, 1852, by Wm. X. Hall and Dresden W. H. Howard, before W. F. Ross, Justice of the Peace. This was one of the places voted on for county seat in 1851, under the name of Vailsville. At one time it promised to become a place of no little importance, a secondary channel of the Mississippi, or large slough—Harper's Slough-permitting large steamers to land there except in very low water. The site is one of the finest along the river, being a level plateau above high water mark, extending back nearly a mile to the foot of the bluffs and three miles up and down the river. It is still a good village, to-day, with a popluation of about a hundred and fifty.
Waukon—The original town plat was filed for record December 3, 1853, by the county, as the county seat—which it is to-day.
Columbus-The next in order, was also formerly an important town in prospective, and enjoyed the distinction of being the county seat about two years, from 1851 to 1853. A few little old buildings, out of repair, comprise all that remains of its original glory. Its location is on the south side of the mouth of Village Creek, and there is but little room for a town. It is sometimes called Capoli. Leonard B. Hodges, Thomas B. Twiford, and Aaron Chesebro, had it surveyed and platted June 30, 1852. Elias Topliff also had a proprietary interest in the place at one time. North Capoli is on the north of the creek and adjoins South Lansing. It was platted April 16, 1860, by Elias Topliff and J. M. Rose, “Trustees of the Columbus Land Company No. 1." Twiford and Jones, Alex McGregor, and others of McGregor's Landing, we believe, were the original locators of this village site and landing. L. B. Hodges and a man by name of Carpenter opened a land office here at an early day. Hodges is now (or was recently) Commissioner of Forestry of the State of Minnesota, and has also, we believe, had charge of the setting out of trees along the line of the Northern Pacific railroad. Twiford went to Min
nesota, where he located and laid out the town of Chatfield, and became quite well to do, but lost his wealth in the crisis of 1857, and is now in Kansas.
Hardin—Is located (the original plat) partly in this county and partly in Clayton. The owners at the time of platting-January 9,1854—were Leonard B. Hodges, in Allamakee, and Joseph and Almirah Collins, over the line. This was a point of some note for a number of years prior to this date, it being one of the four post offices in Allamakee County in 1851, the others being Postville, Lansing and Tom Corwin (later Jobnsonsport). The postmaster at that date was L. B. Hodges. Additions were platted in 1856, Hardin Center; in 1857, East Hardin, and in 1859; but were mostly vacated, and the village is no larger now than thirty years ago. There was at one time a large steam grist mill here, located on the Clayton side of the line.
Smithfield.-N. W. 4, Sec. 24, in Franklin township. Platted February 11, 1854; acknowledged before John R. Wilson, J. P., by Wm. M. and Sarah Smith, and Austin and Harriet Smith. This is the site of one of the many excellent mills along the course of Yellow river.
Postville.- Was not platted until June 1, 1853, although its settlement dates from 1841, as before stated. The proprietors of the town plat were Mrs. Zeruiah and George S. Hayward.
Milton.-On Section 18, Lafayette township, was laid out by Jesse M. Rose, December 7, 1851. He it was who here built the first flouring mill in the county, in 1853. Afterwards, in March, 1857, Mr. Rose had another tract of land, lying to the east of Milton, divided into lots and blocks, and named it after the stream
- Village Creek. In the latter year, also, September 7, Eldridge and Marilda Howard (Mr. Howard was a Methodist divine) platted a tract of land adjoining the original town plat of Milton on the north, and called it Howard Center. All three surveys are now spoken of as one town, Village Creek, which was the name of the postoffice when established there about 1857. An effort was made to have it called Milton, but there was already an office of that name in the State. Hon. L. E. Fellows, now of Lansing, was the first postmaster. Its population in 1880 was only 107, but it is an important manufacturing community, possessing several flouring mills and a woolen mill, which will be alluded to under the head of manufactures.
Ion.-In Linton township, was surveyed and platted by D. W. Adams, January 1, 1855, for Sewall Goodridge, Chas. W. Cutter and Abram J. Kennison. Population in 1880 was fifty-five. This place was sometimes called Bunker Hill.
Rossville.-The first settlement here was made in 1850 or 1851 by Wm. F: Ross. It was laid out May 31, 1855, by David and Catherine E. Skinner, Wm. F. and Sarah I. Ross, Elias and Mary A. Hatfield, in accordance wi'h survey made by Joel Dayton,
county surveyor, May 15, and acknowledged before Jackson Mitchell, J. P. This village was at one time an aspirant for county seat honors, but failing therein its prospects were blighted. A steam saw.mill was among its notable features in the early days. There are now three church buildings-Baptist, Presbyterian and Methodist, -a good school-house, hotel, and two stores.
Volney-On the eastern line of Franklin township was laid out by Samuel and Margaret Biggs, February 12th, 1856, in accordance with a survey made the previous October. Thos. Crawford, J.P., took the acknowledgment. We have not been able to ascertain the date of its first settlement. The Volney flouring mills have always been among the best in the county. Population in 1880, 93.
Cleveland. In the extreme southeastern corner of Post township, is one of the places that existed only in prospective, though the land was laid out in town lots March 3, 1856, by James M. and Marie Ann Arnold, who settled there about 1850, or '51. It is near Reuben Smith's location of '49. John Laughlin was the Justice before whom they acknowledged.
Johnsonsport--At the mouth of Paint Creek, was the earliest steamboat landing in the county and is supposed to be the place of the first permanent settlement outside of the Old Mission, the circumstances of which have been related in another place. Of course it was an important point in the early days, though but few houses were ever erected there. In 1851 there was a postoffice at this point called "Tom Corwin," with Armstrong Glover as postmaster. It was laid out as a town April 3, 1856, by Henry and Mary Johnson, Armstrong and Emily Glover, Geo. L. and Ann Miller, Wm. F. and S. 1. Ross, Michael and Mary Clark, and M. Rafter. Geo. L. Miller, J. P. This was on the N.fr of section 15, Fairview township, and was surveyed by Joel Dayton, County Surveyor.
Allamakte --Lay to the north of and adjoining Johnsonsport, on fractions 5 and 6, section 10, and was platted in February, 1858, by Wm. W. Hungerford, County Surveyor. The later postoffice of Allamakee was some two miles further down the river. After the settlement of Lansing, Columbus and Harper's Ferry, this point dwindled into insignifigance, and with the exception of a time when it was brought to notice as the river end of the mythical Prairie du Chien and Mankato Railroad, remained in that condition until the construction of the Waukon and Mississippi Railroad, in 1877, again brought it into prominence, but its original names are now lost in the postoffice of "Waukon Junction."
Nezekau-Is one of those mythical towns whose very site is utterly unknown to a majority of our inhabitants, and whose name is almost forgotten except when discovered on the map. It existed (only on paper) to the south of the mouth of the Yellow River, on fractions 3 and 4, section 34, Fairview Township. It was laid