Country Facts and Folklore
By Andy Reddick


Combing through the historical archives available on line, I stumbled across some very interesting information. A special business inventory was issued for the two Van Buren County settlements of Douds Station and Lebanon in 1882, that not only provide the population of each unincorporated village but also gives a thumbnail sketch of the business activity, according to the vocation listed by each head of family.

Douds Station was said to have a population of 100 people, with 15 heads of family listed. From that listing, the village then had 2 doctors, 2 blacksmiths, a general store with two storekeepers, a music store, drug store, tin shop and a ladies’ hat factory, as several people listed themselves as milliners. The village had a post office and it is noted that mail was delivered on a daily basis.

Lebanon, according to this source, had a population of 130 in 1882. That is by far the highest total I have found for this village. There were only 12 heads of family listed, therefore it appears that each had a very large family to support. Lebanon had a postmaster in 1882.

Lebanon also had a blacksmith, a justice of the peace and a shoemaker. A minister for the Methodist Church is listed. The Lebanon Store had two storekeepers, there were 2 doctors, a lawyer, and an undertaker. It is interesting that the carpenter also listed himself as a notary public.

The stagecoach ran from Lebanon to Milton on a tri-weekly basis at this time, and the fare each way was fifty cents.

(From the website featuring early Iowa maps)

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Contributed to the Van Buren Co. IAGenWeb Project by Andy Reddick