The History of Birmingham - 9th Grade Theme Paper
- The following
“I am sending the history of
The History of
In June, 1839, the proprietor of
The first settler was Mr.
The first lawyer was Mr. H. C.
Clinton--who in the future thought that
Dr. W. Miller was the first physician
to move to this settlement. He
was a kind, noble person, and helped very much in the planning and
progressing, of the town.
Dr. I. N. Norris moved here later, and
a daughter of his was the first person born here.
A child of Titus Moss was the first
death. Moss, was another of
the many, that took a good interest, in this place, and helped as much
as he could.
Our first postmaster was Jacob Lawton.
Besides being postmaster here, he also carried mail to
Twenty-one years after
The first school was in a log
hut--which was very crowded and inconvenient.
Although there was a large fireplace, it was not warm enough on
the coldest days, to be comfortable.
The seats, or what were really benches, were made from logs, that
had been made very crudely.
In 1872 a public school was built, and
then the district employed four teachers.
The district then began to be very prosperous.
Rev. McArthur was the founder of the
academy--and it was called “The Birmingham Collegiate Institute”.
McArthur was a United Presbyterian minister.
A good illustration of this institution being very successful is:
in 1878 there were over a hundred students, for the average, of
that year. This showed the
spirit that McArthur must have put into the school and the interest
other people, besides those residing in
A few years later there was a log
school house built--but as it was too crowded, quite a few classes were
held in the second story, of two of the stores.
The present building was started in the spring of 1889--but was
not completed until the summer of 1990.
In 1919, two rooms were added to this building.
The district now employs ten teachers.
While the progress of the schools were
going on rapidly--so were the churches.
The first M. E. Church was organized by
Rev. Joel Arrington, in 1839. Their
first church was constructed of logs.
Later, in 1847, a frame church was built--then a larger one
constructed, in 1858. This
church burned down, in 1894--and then another built--but it burned down
in 1919. A large church, of
Spanish architecture, is now standing, but was dedicated
Rev. Soloman Coles organized the first
Presbyterian church here, in 1839. The
first meeting was held in a barn--but later, in 1850, a church was
built. Another church was
built to take its place, in 1854--which, the former, was sold, for a
barn. The United
Presbyterians and Presbyterians united in 1916.
The old church was sold, and is now being used as a hall and
theater. The new church, a
large building, was built in 1916--and is still standing.
The United Presbyterians organized in
1839. Rev. Vincent was the
first minister--and the first church was built, in 1874.
When they united with the Presbyterians in 1917, the church and
lot was sold to the citizens of
Rev. Douthy organized the First
Methodist church, 1874--the same year a church being built.
In a few years this was torn down, and a new one built, which is
While these schools and churches were
being constructed there was also what you might term as an ‘industrial
stage’ in manufacturing.
A grist mill was erected in 1850, by
Gwinn and Bott. In 1854 it
burned down but was rebuilt in 1871.
Several years ago they started to take their building down,
because the lumber in it was so old, it was dangerous, but was not
completely torn down until this spring.
In 1860, a plow and wagon factory was
built. Their work, in the
beginning, was very successful.
In 1870, was the first time the woolen
factory, was run successfully. After
that date, the work done by it, was wonderful, for the size of it.
In 1871, C. L. Moss, built a cheese
factory. It was not a very
successful factory at first but in later years it improved very much.
John Park, James Glunder, and John
Porter, opened a tannery, in 1868. Later
the building was sold to G. B. Smith, in 1869, and was made into a pork
packing house. Two years
later (1871) , he moved his business to Keokuk.
The F. E. A. M., No. 56, was organized
About 1889, the Norris Brothers started
a school, for persons wanting to study medicine.
This was one of the most successful schools, that was ever
organized. Their school
building, was the Doctor’s office--standing about where Keimer’s
Hotel now stands. Many young
people, from places all around here, attended this school.
Then later, most of them went to Keokuk, to finish.
Much credit has been given to this school--for the work it did.
Some of the best doctors in the state attended this school--and
most of them say they learned more at this school, than they possibly
could have learned at any other, for they explain that the Norris
Brothers made it so interesting. Dr.
Norris, one of the Norris Brothers, is still living here in
In 1878 the population of
Even though all the citizens living in
|Source: clippings from
scrapbook located in the Van Buren Co. Genealogical Society Library,
Contributed by Volunteer Transcriber Kathy Fisher
Van Buren Co. GenWeb Project