History of Douds-Selma Iowa by Van Buren County Historical Society

History of Douds-Selma - 1968

The Van Buren County Historical Society
Compliled by Marie Greenfield, Douds and Clay M. Lanman, Keosauqua

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Grateful appreciation is hereby expressed to those persons in the Douds and Selma area who have assisted in supplying and checking material used herein.

Printed by the Van Buren County Register, Keosauqua, Iowa, 1968

The study of history is the vital link of the present generation with the heritage of the past. The Van Buren County Historical Society provides a unique opportunity to not only study the history of our county but to actively participate in the preservation of tangible items for the enjoyment of future generations.

The society was organized in 1960. It has nearly completed the restoration of the first floor of the historic Pearson House in Keosauqua, a station on the Underground Railroad, following the damage by the tornado in 1967. It is developing a museum in down town Keosauqua and is cooperating with interested persons in the Douds-Leando community in the restoration of one of the best and last remaining log cabins in the county.

Officers are Clay M. Lanman, Keosauqua, President; Alma Lindsay, Birmingham, Secretary; Clem Topping, Stockport, Vice President and Ada Lazenby, Keosauqua, Treasurer.

If you would like to help keep the past alive for our sons and daughters, your membership of $1.00 annual or $10.00 [1968 rates] life is sincerely solicited.

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Towns of Northwest Van Buren

DOUDS

Douds was platted in 1866 by the Eliab and David Doud, Jr. who had settled here in 1843 having come from Ohio. Lots were laid out on each side of the old territorial road which connected Fairfield, Iowa and Memphis, Missouri between the railroad and the river. This is now main street of Douds and highway No. 98.

The village was called Douds Station by officials of the railroad which had just been built.

Deeds to the lots contained the stipulation that the property would revert to the donors should any saloon or other place for the selling or disposing of intoxicating liquors be established on them. Such a phrase is found even in the deeds conveying the lots which were given to establish a church.

Other settlers already in the community were Samuel Holcomb, Nathan Tolman, Jack Walker, Dr. Peter Walker, John Walker, David Shelby, William Young, David Drake, William Schuyler, Moses Starr, John D. Baker, John Hill, William C. Adams, James Johnson, Elliot Baker and Dr. Boyer.

LEANDO

Leando was laid out in 1834 which makes it 32 years older than its sister village on the north side of the river. It was then known as Portland. After 1840 the post office name was Leando. Founders were Samuel Holcomb, Robert Leggett, David Maggard and others.

A saw and grist mill erected in 1854 blew up in 1875 killing a Mr. Yarnell and severely burning Robert Green. A. L. (Darley) Doud, then 15, described the event as an eye witness in his letter to the students of the Ellis School written in 1938 and reproduced in this booklet.

A ferry operated between Douds and Leando until the bridge was completed in 1898. There was opposition to the construction of the bridge. Opponents of the construction forecast that it would mean the end of the business community of Leando.

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BUSINESS CORNERS

Business Corners was located just east of the present Junction of highway 98 and 16 and was a thriving village but only a few houses now remain. It was laid out in 1846 by Ami Adams. Other early settlers around the corners were Silas Gorbinham, Walter Whitten, Ruben Sperry, Wesley Van Osdel, Charles T. Gardner, Henry Drake, Julius Clark, Nero Herington, John Clark and William Boggs.

SELMA

Selma was platted about 1851 being first named Independent through it was popularly called Stumptown for George Stump who laid it out on land he had accepted as payment for his services as a government surveyor. He kept the first store and was the first postmaster.

The post office was established in 1858 when the town was named Hickory. It is uncertain when the name Selma came into usage.

I0WAVILLE

Iowaville just west of Selma was platted in 1837 on land purchased from the Indians and in the 1860's there were some 200 inhabitants. The site had been the chief village of the Iowa Indians and Black Hawk spent his last years here at peace with the white men. He died here in 1838. See the stories of Black Hawk elsewhere in this booklet.

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The Douds Came to Douds


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The earliest event which can be traced in the chain of events which led to the establishment of the town of Douds was the emigration of Henry Doude from Guildford, England to Guilford, Connecticut about the middle of the seventeenth century. In and around Guildford, Connecticut, he and his descendants lived for well over a hundred years. At least one of his descendants, Captain Giles Doud, participated in the Revolutionary War for a short time before his death in 1776. It is from a brother of Giles Doud that Mamie Eisenhower is descended.

A grandson of Giles Doud, named David Doud, married Fear Beaumont in Lebanon, Connecticut close to the turn of the eighteenth century. Fear Beaumont was descended from John Alden and was the daughter of

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Isaiah Beaumont, who commanded Connecticut colony troops during the Revolutionary War under the aegis of Governor Jonathan Trumbull, who kept his headquarters at Lebanon. Fear Beaumont's brother, William Beaumont later became a famous Civil War surgeon and was the first man since classical times to discover the nature of the process of digestion. He was aided by an Indian who had received a shotgun blast in the stomach. When the wound healed, a large opening in the belly remained through which Dr. Beaumont, with the aid, of a lamp, could literally see food being digested.

Surprisingly for people whose families had been bong settled, David and Fear Doud left Connecticut and settled in Luzerne County (now Bradford County), Pennsylvania, in the general area of what is now Pittsburgh. There their sons Stanford, David, Jr., John Mason and Eliab were born between 1804 and 1812. There were four other children in the family, but it was these four men who brought the family to Iowa.

By the third decade of the eighteen hundreds, David and Fear Doud had moved to Johnstown in Licking County, Ohio. Eliab Doud and Stanford Doud, at least, attended Granville College, which was later absorbed by Denison University in Granville, Ohio. On November 25, 1832, Eliab Doud was issued a certificate to teach reading, writing, arithmetic, english grammar and geography by the Commissioners of Licking County. By the first part of the 1840's, he had taught at the Millersburgh Academy in Millersburgh, Kentucky. It was from that town in 1842 that his friend, Thomas Nunn, wrote him in a letter addressed to Alexandria, Ohio where David and Fear Doud were then living, inquiring as to his whereabouts and urging a speedy return to Millersburgh.

About that time, Eliab and one or more of his brothers had made a trip to Iowa Territory to find a good site for settlement. They looked at what is now Millersburg, Iowa. and at Douds. During 1842 or 1843, Eliab, David Doud, Jr., Stanford Doud and possibly John Mason came to Iowa to spend the rest of their lives. Eliab, David, Jr., and Stanford all laid claims to substantial farms. They chose the site at Douds because it seemed to be a natural commercial location. It was opposite an existing village, Portland, now Leando, and near another, Business Corner, and it was on the Des Moines River, which was then an artery for steamboat traffic. The farms of Eliab and David, Jr., bordered the Des Moines where it was crossed by the main territorial road from Fairfield to Memphis, Missouri. The part of that road that passed through their land is now Main Street. David's farm began on the west side and extended to the road north at Clyde Ruble's farm and Eliab's began at the east side of Main Street and extended to the east edge of the Douds Stone, Inc. quarry site.

The Doud men immediately set about business. Eliab and Stanford Doud, on October 8, 1843 opened a subscription for the purpose of raising money to build a mill and dam in the Des Moines River on the Eliab Doud

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claim. Several dozen subscriptions were made in the amount of two or three dollars, mostly to be paid in corn or labor. By far the largest subscription was the subscription of David Doud, Jr. in the amount of $22.50. Eliab Doud opened a coal mine on his farm from which he sold coal to steamboats plying the Des Moines, although the first coal mine in the area was operated by Alexander Findlay, Sr., on his farm near Business Corner. Eliab Doud had also been admitted to the practice of law in Iowa Territory on September 10, 1843. He was the first justice of the peace in Douds, continuing for most of the rest of his life, and his handwritten accounts of the trials he held are still in the hands of his descendants.

About this time Stanford Doud left Douds, and moved to Marion County, where he was a farmer and surveyor. He laid out the towns of Hamilton and Pella, among others.

David Doud, Jr. was a member of the Iowa State Legislature from 1856-57. Eliab Doud served as a state senator from 1866-68. According to a family story, Eliab also performed the service of stopping an Indian raid. During the time that Black Hawk and some of his supporters lived at Iowaville after their defeat in the Black Hawk War, a group of them decided to take vengeance by attacking Fort Madison, the site of an early Indian victory. As they passed through Douds going down the river, Eliab is said to have stopped them by simply talking them out of it and sending them back to Iowaville.

The Civil War divided the people of the area and the Doud family among many others. John Mason Doud, two of Stanford Doud's sons and three of Eliab's brothers-in-law fought with the Union. But according to an old Keokuk Gate City, David Doud, Jr. was among a group of Van Buren County men who held meetings in support of the South. According to another story, Leando people predominantly sympathized with the South, and when William Henry Morrison came home on leave from the Union Army, he was threatened and even shot at in streets of Leando.

The land on which Douds sits was acquired from the Sauk and Fox Indians in the Second Black Hawk purchase in 1837. When government surveyors began their work, there were already many settlers in the area, and Portland was an existing village. The area was much praised by early visitors for its fertility.

It was thought that transportation could be rendered easy by making the Des Moines River navigable at all times of the year. By 1838, the steamboat "Science," commanded by S. B. Clark, had ascended the Des Moines River to Keosauqua, unloaded there, and gone on to Iowaville. In 1846 Congress set aside a great deal of public land along the Des Moines for sale to finance the navigation project. The government engineer recommended the building of 28 dams, the ninth to be built here. Considerable work had been done on it by 1852 when difficulty arose in

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the Demoine Navigation Company. By that time it was already apparent that transportation problems would be solved by the railroad. Some of the lands granted to the Navigation Company were transferred to the Keokuk, Fort Des Moines, and Minnesota Railroad Company, which began construction of a railroad from Keokuk to Des Moines. It had reached Bentonsport by 1858. In 1864 the Company changed its name to the Des Moines River Valley Railroad Company. The Civil War had interrupted construction, so it was not until August 29, 1866, that the opening excursion left Keokuk and passed through Douds on its way to Des Moines. Its right of way is the right of way now occupied by the Rock Island.

The opening of the railroad naturally interested merchants in living near it, and the town was soon platted on a small part of the land of Eliab and David Doud, Jr., which extended between the river and the railroad tracks. Although Eliab Doud received a letter addressed to him at Doud's Station in 1863, the official plat of the town was not recorded until December 12, 1866.

It was the railroad that gave the town its name. Before platting, the area seems to have been called "Alexandria," for a short time, after Alexandria, Ohio where the Douds last lived before coming to Iowa. But the Doud men had been very interested in the construction of the railroad, and Eliab even gave it the right of way across his farm. The railroad built a station at the intersection of the tracks and what is now Main Street, and the town was thereafter known as Doud's Station until usage and the post office department shortened it to Douds.

The first new resident of the town was Dr. James Crawford. The first couple married in Douds was a son of David Doud, Jr., Thomas Doud. and Mary Sherer. Their son David was the first child born here. The son of Andrew Fink was the first to die. The first merchant was Wilson S. Parker, whose store was where the bank now is. The first blacksmith was W. M. Martin, where Barker's store now is. William Fink and Thomas Doud also opened an early store which was later sold to J. M. Morrow.

The first constable was Archibald Freshwater. The first school house was opened in 1868 in a log cabin belonging to Eliab Doud. His daughter Mary was the first schoolteacher and she was also the first postmistress of Douds. Other early settlers not named were Michael Tobias, Samuel Holcomb, Jack Walker, John Walker, Dr. Peter Walker, David Shelby and William Young.

This is the history of Douds as far as I can tell it up to about 1870.

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Reminiscences of A. L. Doud

(The following letter was written to the sixth grade students of the Ellis School at the request of their teacher Mary Margaret Morrow. Mr. Doud was one of the four sons of Eliab Doud who, along with his brother David, was a founder of Douds. The initials he used in signing his name stood for Abraham Lincoln, but he was known throughout his life by the childhood nickname of Darley. He was born in 1860 and died in 1947.)

November 7th, 1938

Sixth Grade Students of the Ellis School

Douds, Iowa

Dear Students:

I am glad to give some of my recollections of the earlier days of this community, which includes a few years before the town was platted. In those days a child was not supposed to start as a student in school until they were five years old; although that age was not always strictly adhered to. Many parents would teach their children the alphabet and, the first part of arithmetic before starting them to school. I myself was six years old, when starting to school at the old Business Corner School, located on the second hill south of the crossroad, where the last schoolhouse was built in that school district. I attended school there in 1866 and 1867. The school house was furnished with slab benches for the seats, and a part of the scholars-the more advanced, had a crude desk-had nothing to lean on either backward of forward; and one of the methods of punishment was to place on the nose of the student who violated the more important rules, a split hazel stick about four inches long, and stand the culprit student in a corner of the school room. Yes, I had experience of that kind, and it had the right effect. The platting of the town was done in December, 1866; and the building commenced in the fall of 1867-the original platting all being below the railroad track. The name of the town was first called Douds Station. No schoolhouse was built until the summer of 1869 and the first building used for school-in the spring of 1868-was the hewed log house that was vacated by my fathers family in the fall of 1867, which log house then stood about fifty feet southeast of the frame house now owned by Mr. Luther Sadler located on the lot near the north end of the river bridge.

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Said log cabin was where I was born January 9, 1860. One of the new inventions I first saw while living in the log house was, while I was about four years old, a coal oil (now kerosene) lamp, purchased in Birmingham; and that evening my father took the lamp out doors away from the house, filled the lamp with coal oil, made all of the children stand "way back", then finally lighted the lamp with an old fashioned match. The lamp producing yellowish light which for those days, or nights, was wonderful. Before that, tallow candles were used and for out door light such candles were used in a perforated tin lantern. Our ordinary menu in those days was mush and milk for supper, fried mush for breakfast and cornbread for dinner. Of course, we usually had at the proper meals, different kinds of meat, potatoes, cabbage, fruit and other eatables; but in the earlier part of the 1860's we had wheat bread only on Sundays, or when visitors were present.

I remember my mother as a wonderful cook, and a wonderful mother my father as being strict in his discipline (it seemed so then) but, as I grew to maturity I understood it was because he wanted his children to learn those ways necessary to make character and right living. One cannot help having a deep reverence for such parents as that. I am sure you feel that way about your parents. My parents always taught me to respect my teacher-that my teacher wanted to be helpful to me. and was anxious for my success, that correction by the teacher was for my benefit.

Among the wonderful things I remember, was the total eclipse of the sun, when I was nine years old-in the afternoon August 1869. Chickens went to roost; milk cows came in from pasture; and a few people were frightened-thinking the world was coming to an end. The darkness-total-lasted about one hour, and was a grayish darkness. There were no bridges crossing the river here at that period; the bridge here being erected in 1897 and '98. Previous to that, crossing the river was on a ferry (when the water was too high to ford); the ferry had guyropes fastened to pulleys running on a steel cable fastened to tall poles anchored on each side of the river.

Your history will tell you of the Civil War-1861-1865. I remember incidents of the last two years. My mother's brother-John Whitten-was, while in the Union Army captured with other soldiers, by the Confederate soldiers, in a terrific battle, and confined as prisoners of war, in the notorious prison Andersonville. After a year and a half confinement in that prison my Uncle John Whitten, with others were exchanged; but another of my mother's brothers was not so fortunate-he having died, just before the exchange, while in that prison, caused by the cruel treatment received. I was at the railroad depot with my mother and father, when Uncle John arrived here from prison. He of course, had to be assisted from the train-his appearance was ghastly,

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and I (a four year old) was sure frightened. Abraham Lincoln's second election as President, was in November 1864-I can remember climbing on top of our high gate post and yelling as loud as I could for "Abe Linkun". He with George Washington were the two great Presidents.

One of the most magical scenes I ever witnessed happened during the Summer of 1874; my brother next older-Everett--and I were in a row boat about the center of the river between Portland (now Leando) and Douds Station, about 9 o'clock a.m.-, when my father called us to go to the hayfeld. I was rowing the boat toward our home shore, and at the time I was casually looking in the direction of the grist and saw mill, owned by Messrs. Yarnell and Sullivan, located near the river bank, in the eastern part of Portland; when without warning, I saw a tremendous explosion in the mill; throwing steam, particles of wood and metal, high into the air; the sight followed by a terrific concussion, which shook dishes and tinware in the stores in Douds.

Mr. Yarnell, engineer, was instantly killed. Mr. Sullivan, Sawyer, knocked unconscious and badly injured, and Mr. Robert Green, helper, terribly scalded.

A great many oxen were used in hauling during those earlier days; even in riding in wagons to places of meetings. Horses replacing oxen entirely about the latter part of the 1870's. We girls and boys of that earlier period, really enjoyed ourselves; probably the conditions then did not cause as much selfishness as it may cause now. One thing sure, I believe the great material improvements we now have, make the opportunity greater for you young people, to either grow in right living and splendid character, or, the reverse; your moral will power should decide. My hope for you all is that it will.

I must ask you to overlook the weakness shown in this rather lengthy story, and try to find something that may help you.

My best wishes to you all, and to your splendid teacher.

A. L. Doud

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Early Businesses and Industries

by Berdott Grubbs

The first store in Douds Station was owned by W. S. Parker. The next store history mentioned is a general store owned by William Fink and Thomas Doud.

The first store in Portland was owned by Jesse Sutton.

In later years different individuals were interested in stores in both sides of the river. Later times found the following persons in the store business in our community; Johnson, Manning, Liming, Rambo, Morrows, Reno, Saxman, Cooper, Talbott Sisters, Bucy, Ferguson, Baker, Finney, Hewitt, Grubbs, Lanman, Carroll, Barker, Pollock, Pedrick, and possibly others.


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In the town or settlement of a hundred years ago, second fiddle was most likely played by the village blacksmith. There had to be a store and a blacksmith shop. If this position was contested it could only have been by the harness and shoe shop. If you needed something to work with you went to the local blacksmith or shoe and harness man and he made it for you.

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The first harness and shoe shop seems to have been W. H. Morrison, whose shop was opened in Portland in 1869. In the early seventies, his brother Gene was in the business with him and made shoes during that time. In 1908 his son Harry Streeter Morrison joined him and the business was called W. H. Morrison and Son. The son continued this business until about 1955. Others in this line were J. D. Gilbert, Wilson Wiley, Wm. Parson, and possibly others.

The first blacksmith in Douds Station was M. Martin. In Portland, James Adams. These were followed by; John Walker, Asa Salter, Ben Salter, Robert Grubbs, Bud Kinsey, Van Byers, Louira Loomis, Jess Loomis, Bill Pence, Charles Shott, Earl Shott, Clair Towne, Scott Burns, and possibly others.

Saw mills have played a very important role in our history. The first recorded was a combination flour and grist mill located where Jack Ritz now has his repair shop. It was built in 1854. This mill blew up in 1875 and killed one man and badly burned another.

Other saw mill operators were; Clint Gilbert, Asa Jones, Moore Bros., R. W. Creek, Clyde Breckenridge, Newt Winsell, Julius Roush, John Brooks, L. R. Trout, Earl Trout, Harold and Franklin Brown.

Grinding of grain was an important industry in any early community. Besides the mill just mentioned, a grist mill was operated in Douds Station for a short time in the 1860's. The Leando Roller Millers was built in 1875, and was operated by the Ferguson family, James A. Pete, and others. It was a large three story plant employing several men and produced both feed stuffs and flour. It went out of operation about the time of World War I. George Wiley ran a grist mill during the early part of this century. A. S. Sanford and Son were in the feed and grain business for many years up until about 1930.

The quarrying of stone has been carried on in the heart of this community since 1927. Douds Stone Inc. in it's growth since that time, has done much for this community. It has furnished home town employment for a sizable crew practically continuously during that time. It has helped to improve the productivity of our land and improve our roads and highways.

From the time of the first settlers in the area and for the next one hundred or more years coal mining played an important role in the economy of this community. It was mined for many mines of various types from an area of several square miles north of Douds. Family names associated with the coal business include Findlay, Doud, Carson, Samuels, Edwards, Ratcliff, Daniels, Albrecht, and others. Besides domestic usage and usual heating needs it fueled steam boats on the river until they were discontinued and, for the railroad up to 1910. Coal was shipped by the car-load to surrounding areas and markets. The largest operation furnishing employment for up to twenty-five men during the rush sea-

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son, in the production phase itself. The hauling furnished the means of a livelihood to many more.

The last large operation was the Ratcliff-Albrecht stripping field at the intersection of highway 98 and 16 north of town. Most of this coal was shipped out of town by rail from chutes east of the depot. This operation was discontinued in 1951.

During the early 1900's the hardware and furniture stores came in on the scene. In this field we find the names of W. W. Jackson, Laurence Elsensohn, A. S. Sanford, Wallace Campbell, and last but not least, the Pedricks.

The first bank, The Douds-Leando Savings Bank, was established in 1902. In 1910, The Farmers and Traders Savings Bank was started and the Douds-Leando Savings Bank became the Iowa Savings Bank, operated by W. A. Carson and A. L. Doud. The great depression of 1939 brought about the closing of this bank. For some the financial hardship caused by this catastrophe was not the whole story . . . for they considered Bill Carson and A. L. Doud two of their best friends and knew that their burden was also great.

Douds has also had such other businesses as drug stores, barber shops, livery stables, millinery shops and at one time a pool hall. Klinehan had a cheese factory just east of John Robinsons and James Moore had a chair and coffin factory across the street from the old telephone office from about 1890 to 1910. There have been three potteries operated in this area. One on the James Besick place, one near Ralph Davises and one out by Floyd Trouts. A brick kiln once operated in about that same area. R. A. Grubbs and W. A. Kerr operated in two different locations between 1931 and 1945 making lathe tools, grinding wheels and other items.

This I know is quite incomplete, but it at least tells part of the story of the businesses and industries of our home town.

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"Hello, Central?"

by Edith Plowman

Telephones were in use in Douds and Leando before 1900. Lines went out through the country and were connected by switches in some of the homes. Such switches were operated by John Hendricks, Bert Channell, Emery Shaffer and possibly others. In the late 90's it was decided that a better system was needed. So a mutual company was formed and a board of directors was appointed. They were Lewis Plowman. Joe Elsensohn, Samuel Locke, N. Millisack and Jacob Reneker. A switchboard was bought and located in the house owned by Dr. Henry Herriford and was installed by Lewis Plowman in the late 90's.

Dr. and Mrs. Herriford and daughters Cassie and Eva were the first operators. During the Doctor's last illness the switchboard was moved to a house east of this location and Bert Channell was operator. Then, after the death of the Doctor in 1908, the board was moved back to the Herriford property. Mrs. Herriford and daughter were the operators until 1918.

Otis and Edith Hewitt and daughter Hazel were operators for 20 years except one year when Roy and Ada Griffin were the operators. Mr. and Mrs. John Hudson were operators the next 4 years followed by Roy and Eva Haney and Roscoe Haney until 1958. Edith Plowman and Hazel Grubbs continued as operators and the company sold to the Iowa Illinois Telephone Company and went on dial April 8, 1964.

Edith Plowman was the Edith Hewitt mentioned above, having married Gilmore Plowman in 1953. Altogether she worked as telephone operator or substitute for 46 years. She says that she sure misses the switchboard and one detects the nostalgia for the past when she said, "It sure was nice when people could call up the operator and tell her they were going to be if so-and-so called."

Old timers remember the short period of about a year around 1918-1919, when a switchboard was established over the drug store in Douds. The switchboards were not interconnected so some people who had phones on both switchboards were frequently called upon by friends to relay messages. This was brought to an end when fire destroyed the building.

Modern efficient telephone service with buried cable lines is quite a contrast from the old wires strung down crooked hedge poles or perhaps down the top of the fence posts which are remembered by many local residents. No one would like to return to the days of separate switchboards on each side of the river but who is there among us that does not sometimes long for the cheerful voice and friendly help of a local operator.

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The History of Douds Stone, Inc.

by Cy Greenfield, Superintendent


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In 1926 W. H. Swank who had been promoting the Chequest Stone Corp. at a point between Pittsburg and Douds, and to which no railroad had been extended, became interested in a ledge of stone at Rocky Branch almost a mile east of Douds on the W. F. Doud farm. This ledge had been worked some on the surface for limestone for which a small crusher, powered by a threshing machine, was used. He finally leased 10 acres and opened a quarry using a heavy jaw crusher. The crushed stone was then hoisted in cars holding about 2 tons, by a heavy derrick to a platform about halfway up the depth of the open pit. After going through the crusher it was elevated to the top of the bins and there was run over several screens to sift out the several sizes of stone wanted, and then piped to the bins. This was in 1927, and the open pit being bordered with considerable clay and sandstone, an attempt was made to wash the dirt out with heavy pumps. That did not work out, and Swank being in financial difficulty, the quarry was taken over by H. E. (Jim) Millen.

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One of the Hubbells of Des Moines was later interested in it, and Millen then operated the quarry for them. In 1947 the high water of the river broke the dike at the south end of the pit and flooded the whole quarry-an area of about 15 acres.

In 1931 the quarry had been made into a mine instead of an open pit and a face of 24 feet was taken out. In 1949 as the owners had made no move to reopen and pump the quarry out, a local company was formed and the quarry purchased from the Hubbells.

Meanwhile, the company had bought 180 acres north and east of the 10 acres and work was continued under that land.

The local company not being in financial condition to modernize the plant, sold the quarry to Yates and Combs in 1955. Later the company acquired the W. F. Doud farm of 190 acres and have used part of it for a portable crushing outfit. At present the company is mining the upper 12 ft. The machinery has been modernized and where the first opera-tors could produce 3-4 hundred tons per day, they can now crush al-most that much per hour.

Limestone from this quarry is continuously shipped out by truck and by rail. It is used extensively throughout southeast Iowa by farmers and the asphaltic concrete industry. Mined for over 40 years, there is still no limit to the limestone supply in the Douds area.

In the 1930's agricultural lime was the prime product of this quarry. With the adoption of the use of crushed stone for roads, lanes and driveways and its increased use as an aggregate in concrete and asphaltic concrete production has increased tremendously.

The limestone at Douds rates with the finest for construction purposes due to its hardness and ability to withstand deterioration from the elements. It is not polluted with impurities, contains no shale or sandstone. The stone at Douds is a combination of 60 to 65% calcium carbonate and 20 to 25% magnesium carbonate which makes it a premium product for agricultural lime. All of the concrete paving in Van Buren and Wapello County areas laying west and north of the Douds mine have used stone from this quarry as an aggregate.

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"Come Quick, Nellie's Sick"

by Davis Pollock

("Come Quick, Nellie's Sick. Yours Truly, John Dooley" was an actual telegram sent to summon a doctor from Keosauqua in the days before the telephone.)

Our community has been blessed with many of those paragons of virtue-the general practioner. The country doctor, or "Doc" as he was known to the citizens of the community, was not merely an M.D. He was


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all things to all men-a podiatrist, psychiatrist, pediatrician, dentist, the list could go on and on.

Doctor James Crawford was the first resident of the town, moving from the inland town of Business Corners. Dr. Peter Walker and Dr. Buyer

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were among the early settlers of our community. The town's only full time Dentist was Dr. Spaulding, who lived and worked in the present Ralph Davis' home. The first physician in Leando was David Truit.

Dr. T. G. McClure married the daughter of Dr. Crawford. He interned under his father-in-law and became the town's only doctor after the unfortunate demise of Crawford when he took the wrong medicine. Becky fortunate demise of Crawford when he took the wrong medicine. McClure actively participated in community affairs and sought to improve the town. [transccribed as printed] He was on the board when the Church was built on the North side. He also was the first president of the Farmers and Traders Savings Bank. He built the spacious home where Cy Greenfield resides, however; the building costs in those days were slightly different-$2.00 per day not per hour.

Dr. Henry Herriford moved from Missouri in 1893. After attending the Keokuk Medical School, he began his practice which lasted 38 years until 1908. He had two daughters Eva and Cassie whom you know as Mrs. Bill Carson. Dr. Herriford's home housed the first telephone switchboard our community ever had.

After Basset, Dr. Gray and Dr. Pollock followed. After a brief practice, Gray accepted a post with a mining firm as the company Doctor. Doctor Pollock came to Douds in 1908 after attending the Keokuk Medical School. In 1910, he married Elizabeth Doud, a direct descendant of the original founders of the town. Doc was a physician for nearly 38 years. Interspersed with raising 5 children plus the usual pattern of a Doctor's life made his life a hectic happy one. Dr. Cummings was the town's last resident physician. Much of the country doctor's prescriptions were dispensed in the informal setting of the street corner. Many frantic races were staged against that old bearer of good 'tidings, Mr. Stork.

Page 19 - History of Douds-Selma

Church Bells Ring

by Beulah Pedrick

The first Church was a Baptist Church put up in 1869 on a lot south of the present Baptist Church on land given by Eliah and Mary Doud This building was also used by the Methodist. The Baptists occupy a building which was the second School House in Douds.

In 1892, a Community Church was built by public subscription and used by the Methodist congregation until the flood of 1947.

The Methodist Church at Mt. Moriah was founded in 1847 and the Zion Lutheran October 20, 1849, the first English speaking Lutheran Church in Iowa.

There are no available records of the Church in Leando but it is thought to have been erected about 1875. The same bell rings out today in the belfrey of Christ Methodist Church which was dedicated October 23, 1960.

Zion Lutheran is remodeled and now known as Zion Bible Church. It is located on Highway 16 about a mile east of the junction with No. 98 North of Douds.


[click photo to view]
Page 20 - History of Douds-Selma

From The Hickory Stick to
The Yellow School Bus

by Marie Greenfield

The first school house was built in the summer of 1869. However, school was held in the spring of 1868, in a hewed log house owned by Eliab Doud, which he and his family had vacated in the fall of 1867.

The log house stood about fifty feet southeast of the frame house owned by Luther Sadler, now by Eddie Lunquist, at the north end of the river bridge.

Mary A. Doud, oldest daughter of Eliab Doud, was the first teacher. 

The furniture was very crude, the pupils sat on benches. They had no desks.

Discipline was also handled in a much different way. One method as related by A. L. Doud, Sr., in a letter to the pupils of the Ellis School back in 1938, was to place on the nose of the student who violated the important rules, a split Hazel stick about four inches long and stand the culprit in a corner. Usually it had the intended effect.

Two-room schools were built on each side of the river offering training only through the eighth grade. Consolidation of the districts was effected and a new building errected in Leando in 1916-1917.

When the district was first consolidated with the outlying rural districts, a high school curriculum was introduced. Prior to that time the school in Douds Station and in Leando each had the lower 4 grades in one room and the upper 4 grades in the other. Then when the 4 years of high school studies were added, the first six grades attended the school in Leando (located in what is now the park) and the 7th and 8th grades as well as all of the high school, attended the school house in Douds. It was located in what is now known as "The Field Day Grounds". When the new consolidated building was finished in the fall of 1917, the school opened with all 12 grades under one roof with R. B. McComb as the superintendent. The first graduating exercises were held the following May with 3 members in the graduating class. They were Barbara Oltman Schaub, now of Skamania, Washington; Gladys Holcomb Whitney now of Glendale, Arizona and Milton Bradshaw.

A new gymnasium was built in 1946 and '47 and was the athletic center of the community for nearly 20 years.

In 1961 still further consolidation took place when the Douds-Leando school became a part of the Van Buren Community School District with its high school center in Keosauqua. The first six grades plus kindergarten and a "head start" class are now being taught in the Douds school center.

Page 21 - History of Douds-Selma

Chief Black Hawk Finds Peace
At Iowaville

Iowaville, a tiny hamlet of two houses, was once the busy village where Chief Black Hawk spent his last days. In the 1860's there were about two hundred inhabitants. The village site on the Des Moines River was purchased from the Indians in 1837 and platted the same year. Black Hawk died at Iowaville in 1838 and was buried on the James Jordan farm, two miles west of Selma.


Black Hawk's last lodge was built on the rolling hilly land along the Des Moines River near Iowaville, then a trading post. Early in the spring of 1838, Black Hawk and his family moved to this home from the lodge he had built on Devil's Creek in the Half-Breed Tract after the United States Government had made the first Black Hawk Treaty purchase (September, 1836). His new neighbors helped Black Hawk build the best lodge he had known. It was furnished with a table, chairs, mattress, and even a looking glass. Here Black Hawk lived with his wife (Asshewequa), their daughter (Namequa), and two sons (Nasheakusk and Nasomee). Their nearest neighbor, James Jordan, recalled in after years that Mrs. Black Hawk was an unusually neat housekeeper, sweeping even the door yard.

Much of the time, Black Hawk sat on the river bank beneath an oak and an elm (so entertwined that they seemed like one tree), living over the bygone days and watching the slow waters of the Des Moines River as they flowed to the Mississippi. No longer Black Hawk the War-

Page 22 - History of Douds-Selma

rior, he was now an old man who had seen much and was willing to dwell in peace among his neighbors.

A hero and a martyr to many, he found that his lodge on the Des Moines River was a center of interest to white people. Small, slight and withered-looking, Black Hawk mingled freely with the white settlers. His daughter, Namequa, sometimes went to the white man's dances at Fort Madison. Once in 1837, Black Hawk trekked along with the white settlers in Van Buren County to the first church meeting, held under a huge elm tree on the banks of the Des Moines River.

In 1838, just before Black Hawk had moved to his lodge on the Des Moines, James G. Edwards, the editor of the Fort Madison Patriot, had suggested on March 24, 1838, that the people of Iowa call themselves Hawkeyes to save the memory of the old chief from oblivion. The people of Fort Madison and Burlington, accustomed to seeing Black Hawk on his frequent visits to their towns, adopted the name, and it was soon in general use.

Black Hawk often visited the cabins of his neighbors on the Des Moines River, and made many trips to Iowaville. The old chief must have liked the rolling hilly country along the river, so similar to that of his childhood home on the Rock River in Illinois. Also, the village of Hard Fish, the chief who replaced Black Hawk, was not far away.

In September, 1838, Black Hawk set out with other chief men of the Sac and Fox to visit the commissioners of the Government at Rock Island, Illinois. Taken seriously ill, he had to return. Although his illness was described as a "violent bilious attack," some historians claim Black Hawk was stricken with malaria. When his neighbor and friend, James Jordan, visited him, Black Hawk asked for the help of a white doctor. Jordan sent to Fort Edwards (Warsaw), Illinois for one. Mrs. Black Hawk had told Mr. Jordan previously, "He is old. He must die. Monoto calls him home." The seventy-one year old man, attended by his wife and daughter, lay resting on the mattress. In a farewell speech made at Fort Crawford just after the Black Hawk War, when he had been a prisoner and had expected to be executed, he had said, "Black Hawk is an Indian. He has done nothing of which an Indian need be ashamed. Black Hawk is satisfied. He will go to the world of spirits contented."

On the third day of October, 1838, before the doctor could arrive and before the important men of the tribe had returned from Rock Island, Black Hawk died.

He had told James Jordan just how he wished to be buried, and had chosen as his burying-ground a point overlooking the Des Moines River on James Jordan's farm, the site of his last friendly council with the Iowa Indians. He was buried in full uniform, with epaulets valued

Page 23 - History of Douds-Selma

at $500; it is said that the uniform had been given to him by President Andrew Jackson. On his breast were pinned medals valued at $1,200, given him by the British, French, and American Governments. His body, cane in hand. was placed on a hewn board, one end of which was sunk in the ground, and the other laid on posts about three feet high. Beside him lay his sword, and, for his journey to the spirit land, a pair of moccasins and food for three days. Over this a mound was erected by leaning puncheons against a ridge pole that was supported on two forked sticks. This framework was covered with thick turf, but openings were left in the tomb so that his Indian friends could watch the progress of Black Hawk's decay. In front of this rude tomb stood his war club, a shaved post four or five feet high, painted with stripes for each scalp he had taken during his life. There was also a pole with an American flag. All around this was a palisade about eight feet high.

The palisade protected the body from prowling animals-but not from prowling humans. One day when Mrs. Black Hawk visited the grave, the body was gone. She was grief stricken, and the other Indians were stirred to anger. They soon discovered who had stolen the body. In 1894, many years later, the story of the theft was told by Sarah Welch Nossaman, an eye witness to part of the proceedings. She was about fourteen when she went to the Turner cabin near Bonaparte to help Mrs. Turner, a neighbor, who kept a store with her husband. Living with them was Dr. Turner, a brother. It was not long before they all knew that Dr. Turner was thinking of stealing the body so that he could exhibit the bones throughout the United States to the crowds that would flock to see Black Hawk's remains. On July 3, 1839, the night he stole the body, they all stayed up until his return at about three the next morning. He brought the head of Black Hawk with its magnificent headdress into the kitchen. Sarah could detect no change in Black Hawk's features. Hiding the head, Dr. Turner went to bed, and did not get up until late afternoon. Then he began to boil the flesh from the head. That night he sneaked away, taking the remains of Black Hawk with him.

When Sarah awoke the next morning, she found the storekeeper, his wife and children huddled in her room. Running to look out the window, she saw Indians in war paint brandishing weapons and thronging about the cabin. Mr. Turner at last went out to ask what was wrong. The Indians demanded Dr. Turner and the stolen body. The storekeeper protested that he did not know where his brother was, but the Indians gave him ten days to bring back Dr. Turner and Black Hawk's remains. Mr. Turner promised to find his brother, and sent a boy across the river to warn him to escape into Missouri as swiftly as he could. That night the settlers nearby could hear the beat of wardrums and the shrill wailing of the squaws. The Turners sent Sarah home, and fled, taking

Page 24 - History of Douds-Selma

with them what little they could carry. None of the settlers sympathized with them, and none helped them. The settlers were themselves uneasy, not knowing what the Indians would do. Meanwhile, about fifty Indians, accompanied by Hard Fish, Mrs. Black Hawk, and Nasheakusk, Black Hawks son, went to Burlington to report the theft to Governor Lucas.

The Governor, after promising them that the thief would be caught and punished, sealed his promise with a pow wow in the Old Zion Church, then the Territorial capitol. The Indians returned to Van Buren County, satisfied that the Governor would do all he could. Their return, and the subsequent visit of the Indian agent, reassured the apprehensive settlers. The Indians resumed their former peacefulness after swearing a solemn curse against the Turner family.

Dr. Turner left the "remains" in Quincy, Illinois with a professional anatomist, who cleaned, polished, and varnished the bones. The Turners then went on to St. Louis, where they all died several years later of cholera. The Quincy anatomist, Dr. Hollowbush, in fear of the law, admitted possessing the bones, and the mayor of Quincy returned them to Burlington. When Mrs. Black Hawk was notified, she came to Burlington and identified them as Black Hawk's. His headdress and wampum accompanied the remains. Mrs. Black Hawk was so pleased with the condition of the bones that she asked Governor Lucas, whom she called "a good old man," to keep them for her. Lucas was succeeded by Governor Chambers, who inherited the custodianship of the bones, and sent them, in a small black box, to a Dr. Lowe, requesting that they be placed in the Burlington Historical and Geographical Institute. Before Dr. Lowe, whose office was in the building adjoining the Institute, had given them to the Institute, that building burned, destroying also the building in which Dr. Lowe had his offices. Black Hawk's remains are believed to have been destroyed in the fire.

Mrs. Black Hawk lived in her husbands lodge until the fall of 1845, when the Sac and Fox were removed from the Des Moines River valley to a reservation in western Kansas. It is said that Mrs. Black Hawk died in Kansas on August 29, 1846, at the age of eighty-five. In his autobiography Black Hawk had said of her: "This is the only wife I ever had or will have. She is a good woman, and teaches my boys to be brave."

(The above has been taken from "Van Buren County" compiled by the Writer's Program of the Works Project Administration, 1940)

Page 25 - History of Douds-Selma

Details of various accounts of the final years and death of Chief Black Hawk and the theft of his body vary somewhat, but there seems to be a common ground that runs through the sources of information that are now available 130 years after his death.

The story of the Black Hawk Kettle written by Nora Burrier of Farmington is found in a 3-ring binder which was prepared by Gerry E. Whitmore of Bonaparte and his daughter Mrs. Roy (Marie) Greenfield of Douds in 1956. Identical copies are in the hands of the State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City; the Black Hawk Museum at Rock Island, Illinois; the Van Buren County Historical Society at Keosauqua and Mrs. Roy Greenfield.

Copies of signed testimonials and other documents are included which authenticate the old iron kettle. Letters related to its placing in the Black Hawk Museum are also included.

A clipping from the Eldon Forum, which is a copy of an address at a Fourth of July Celebration in 1876 is also of interest. It was written and delivered by Peter Mulvany from information told him by James Jordan himself. The clipping includes an account of the most terrible Indian battle which occurred in the river valley between Iowaville and Eldon. The battle resulted in the almost complete extermination of the Iowa Indians by the Sac and Fox races.

Story of Black Hawk Kettle

As told to Nora Burrier by Z. T. and Joseph Cox

(It is one of the inexplicable mysteries of God that every event that happens carries on its face the truth about it. It is always there and we have only to look closely to know the truth.)

Once when visiting in the hospitable home of a friend, Z. T. Cox of Manito, Illinois, and in company of his brother, Joseph Cox, both being over four score years, I asked them concerning the antiquity of an old fashioned kettle of ample size and substantial pattern which I had observed in the storage room.

Page 26 - History of Douds-Selma

"How old is it?", I questioned.

Z. T. replied, "It is more than a hundred years, but its age does not signify all. It has played a part in the history of Iowa by incidentally serving a gruesome purpose in the furtherance of man's perverse ways, which serve to create the destinies of peoples and nations."

"Tell me all about it", I pleaded. He then related the following narrative.

"The frontier town, Lexington, in 1838 was situated on the Des Moines River about forty-five miles above its confluence with the Mississippi River, where a small creek named Lexington, added its contribution to the volume of the mighty tributary. The village was the residence of only a few of the most daring to intrude upon the Indian Territory beyond the protection of the settlements to the East. But the Indians were friendly and life here was profitable and serene, surrounded by surpassing scenic beauty in the smiling world of trees and growing things, neighborly love, irresponsibility and freedom."

"Who were these settlers?" I asked.

"Well, there were the families of a doctor named Turner, of our Uncle Jefferson Cox, who kept the store, supplying not only the settlers but selling to the Indians, foodstuffs, tobacco and whiskey. Then there were a few others engaged in trapping and trading with the Indians, a man named James Jordan, who presided over the Indian trading post."

"What tribe of Indians were these?"

"An auxiliary of the Sauk and Fox, presided over by the subordinate chief, Black Hawk with most of his people joined the British and fought for them throughout, committing many depredations on the border settlements. Afterwards, in opposition to the head chief, Keokuk, who cultivated American friendship, he was leader of the British sympathizers. In 1837, he accompanied Keokuk on a second trip to the east, after which he settled on the Des Moines River near lowaville, dying there of flux disease on October 3, 1838.

His remains which had been placed upon the surface of the ground in the James Jordans dooryard were dressed in a military uniform presented by Gen. Jackson, with a cane given by Henry Clay. The body was stolen from this resting place July 1839 by Dr. Turner, Ed Reed, Warren Cox and Jefferson Cox from the white settlement at Lexington.

"Were they enemies?" I asked

"No", he replied. "Black Hawk was a close personal friend of my father's, coming often to his store and setting up the whiskey to all the white men. But Dr. Turner was a scientific researcher who desired to

Page 27 - History of Douds-Selma

find and sell to scientists in the east, the skeleton of a perfectly formed man. He argued that it was no sin to steal a dead body so his friends participated in the theft, conveying the corpse on the back of a horse to a hut near the mouth of Lexington Creek.

Here Dr. Turner dismembered the body, built a fire, and boiled the bones to remove the perishable parts, in this same identical kettle which I have inherited from my father. The next day he started on horseback to take the bones to Burlington, the seat of government for this territory. From Burlington, he sent them to Quincy, Illinois for articulation.

Scarcely had Dr. Turner disappeared from Lexington when Black Hawk's relatives and the members of the tribe discovered the theft of the body of their beloved chief and came wildly down the river to rescue and wreck vengeance. They came in a swarm, and made things lively in the little town of Lexington. The three remaining guilty men found a hiding place for several days. Dr. Turner was apprised of their threats and skipped for parts unknown.

On protest made by Governor Lucas of this territory, the bones were brought back from Quincy and offered to the Indians, but the sons of Black Hawk being satisfied to let them stay in the governor's office, they remained there for some time and were later removed to the collection of the Burlington Geological and Historical Society where they were destroyed by fire in 1855 when that building was burned.

Some years later Dr. Turner died in San Francisco after which his wife made a statement corroborating the story of the Cox brothers participating in the theft.'

Page 28 - History of Douds-Selma

Mt. Moriah Church 1846-1968

by J. H. (Harold) Morrow of Eldon, Iowa

The first worship services were held in various homes, with a leader chosen from the group. The first services of which we have a record were conducted in a school house near the Leonard Laughlin corner. In 1846, the Business Corners and Mt. Moriah Community established the Methodist Episcopal Church. Land was given for the church and cemetery by Fredrick and Sarah Adams. The 9th day of February, 1852, Fredrick Adams sold " four acres and thirty-five rods more or less to the trustees of the Mt. Moriah Church, P. D. Walker, Wm. Schuyler, C. Louis, Mores Wm. Young, James Johnson and John Cree for the sum of $10.00 paid to me and my wife Sarah Adams by Jess Belnap." The first church was made of logs all hand hewn. The benches now in the church are the original benches of the log church, which was dedicated in 1846.

In 1867 the congregation of Mt. Moriah built a new brick church. The size of the new church was 40 x 60 feet. On April 13, 1871 the congregation met for the purpose of organizing a Sabbath School and proceeded to elect M. P. Walker their Superintendent, Mr. Owen Nutt-Assistant Superintendent, W. Walker Secretary, Mrs. Vickie Gilbert Assistant Secretary, and J. E. Walker Treasurer.

The early known ministers were: 1881-1882-J. E. Roberts; 1883-1884 -E. J. Pike; 1885-J. W. Armocot; 1886-J. C. Miller; 1887-W. M. Porter; 1888-1892-George W. Barber.

In 1892 this brick building was destroyed by wind and rain to such an extent it was unsafe for further use. The men of the community worked together and tore down the old brick building and constructed the present church on the same site. The chandelier of oil lamps that still hang in the church, was purchased for $65.00 at the time of construction. These lamps are still in their original position with the exception that they have been converted to electricity.

The following ministers served in the present church: A. E. Thornley-B. F. Shane-A. C. Boyd-W. R. Robinson-Frank Seeds-W. E. Berg-W. H. Jones-W. H. Slack-Elmer Sandmyer-E. S. Hehener-C. E. Ellis-F. Garrett-M. E. Nehf (J. C. Austin) Barber-W. J. Hamilton-C. R. Rowe-C. H. Chader-P. O. Clint-Wyatt Stevens-Orcutt Moore-E. K. Parrott Roudybush-J. R. Kapp-Robert Farr-1955-56 L. T. Terpstra.

In 1896 Mrs. B. F. Shane and Mrs. Minnie Adams helped to organize a woman's society in the home of Howard Suit. Those present were Mrs. Park, her daughter Mrs. Rosa Greenfield, Mrs. B. F. Shane and Mrs. Adams. This society was active till 1943 when it united with the women of the Zion Lutheran Church to be known as the Ladies Aid and still remains active.

On June 8, 1961 the Mt. Moriah Church was sold by the Methodist Conference to the Mt. Moriah Cemetery Association. Trustees are Ross Cramlet, Leonard Laughlin, Dean Dooley, Tom Nutt and Harold Morrow.

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Reproduced with permission of the Van Buren County Historical Society

Transcribed by Rich Lowe for the Van Buren County IAGenWeb Project - copyright 2007