HISTORIES OF DES MOINES COUNTY, IA
By Cay Merryman March 2006
HISTORY OF DES MOINES COUNTY IOWA 1879
Source: Chicago: Western History Co. 1879
This history tells a lot about the people who lived in Danville Township in 1879, names, wives, children, land, trades, and where they lived.
Surname, Given Name, Occupation, Section, Post Office
Alter, John K., farmer, Sec. 10; P. O. Danville
Alter, Jacob, farmer, Sec. 10; P. O. Danville; born in Washington Co. Penn., March 1, 1817; came to Des Moines Co. April 18, 1847. Married Miss Jane S. Knox in February, 1838; she was born in Washington Co., Penn., Oct. 5, 1821, died Feb. 18, 1855; married again Mrs. Elizabeth Delaplaine April 3, 1856; she was born in Preble Co., Ohio; Dec. 19, 1824; her parents came to Burlington in 1836; were early settlers of the city; she married Aaron H. Delaplaine Oct. 25, 1849, he died Dec. 1, 1854; has five children by former wife: Elizabeth C., John K., Isaac W., Jacob B., Edwin M; lost three: Henry, Mary and one died in infancy; and by present wife four: Frank E., Mary J., Cora B., Nettie M.; one died in infancy; Mrs. A., by former husband has one child: Naomi B.; lost one: William. Mr. A. held the office of Assessor of Danville Twp., six years; was elected Township Treasurer in 1861 and still holds the office. Owns 176 acres of land, valued at $60 per acre; made all the improvements. Members of the Baptist Church; Republican.
Anderson, W. S., farmer, Sec. 8; P. O. Danville; was born in Alleghany Co., Va., Dec. 29, 1817; came to Burlington in 1837; in 1839, moved to Danville Twp., where he now lives. Married Miss Mary G. Gaylard Dec. 8, 1847; she was born in Litchfield Co., Conn., Sept. 5, 1828; they have seven children: Eliza J., William A., John T., Martha, Fauntenelle, Anna B., Charles, and two dead, James E. and Sarah E. Owns 130 acres, valued at $50 per acre; held office of Trustee. Member of M. E. Church; Democrat.
Armstrong, T. D., far., Sec. 19; P. O. Danville
Alspack, W. H., blacksmith, Sec. 22; P. O. Danville
Antrobus, B. W., far., Sec. 25; P. O. Middletown
Almsbaugh, Valentine, far., Sec. 22; P. O. Danville
Allen, E. A., far., Sec. 25; P. O. Danville
Alspach, R. L., far., Sec. 16; P. O. Danville
Beck, Henry, far., Sec. 11; P. O. Danville
Baldwin, Amos, far., Sec. 3; P. O. Danville
Bishop, J. P., far., Sec. 9; P. O. Danville
Boss, Jeremiah, far., Sec. 16; P. O. Danville
Boyce, S. N., far., Sec. 14; P. O. Danville
Boner, H. O., far., Sec. 18; P. O. Danville
Bolton, M. F., far., Sec. 16; P. O. Danville
Boom, Frank, far.; P. O. Middletown
Bishop, Morris, far., Sec. 34; P. O. Danville
Bolton, J. H., far., Sec. 32; P. O. Danville
Brass, S. J. & J. N., farmers, Sec. 25; P. O. Middletown
Beams, Elijah, farmer; P. O. Middletown
Blakeway, V., farmer, Sec. 33; P. O. Parrish; born in Washington Co., Penn., Oct. 18, 1804; went to Marshall Co., Va. Married Miss Mary Rumble June 24, 1841; she was born in Fayette Co., Penn., Aug. 19, 1825; came to Des Moines Co. in 1842; owns 120 acres of prairie land, valued at $50 per acre, and eighty acres of timber, valued at $20 per acre. Has five children: Lavina J., Samantha, William, Frank and Otis R.; lost three: John, Benson and David E. Mr. and Mrs. B. are members of the M. E. Church; Republican.
Blakeway, William, Sr., farmer, Sec. 32; P. O. Parrish; born in Washington Co., Penn., Dec. 25, 1807; went to Marshall Co., Va;., in 1826. Married Miss Elizabeth Ward Nov. 17, 1828; she was born in Marshall Co., Va., Nov. 4, 1803, and died March 17, 1867; came to Des Moines Co. in 1841, and settled where he now lives with his nephew. Member of the M. E. Church and a Republican.
Blakeway, William, farmer, Sec. 33; P. O. Parrish; born in Des Moines Co., July 30, 1847; owns eighty three acres of land valued at $50 per acre; he is now living at the homestead with his parents. Member of the M. E. Church; Republican
Blakeway, Frank, far., Sec. 28; P. O. Danville
Boyer, S. B., far., Sec. __; P. O. Middletown
Brauer, J. H., far., Sec. 24; P. O. Middletown
Cable, Jonathan, farmer, Sec. 4; P. O. Danville
Coade, John, far., Sec. 3; P. O. Danville
Clingman, Ransom, far., Sec. 3; P. O. Danville
Clingman, Cyrus, far., Sec. 7; P. O. Danville
Coade, Henry, far., Sec. 11; P. O. Danville
Chambers, R. B., far., Sec. 10; P. O. Danville
Cady, Ebenezer, far., Sec. 20; P. O. Danville
Clark, Wm. M., far., Sec. 19; P. O. Danville
Campbell, John, blacksmith, Sec. 16; P. O. Danville
Crawford, Wm. D., far., Sec. 23; P. O. Middletown
Crawford, R. C., far., Sec. 25; P. O. Middletown
Catlin, Sam'l, far., Sec. 25; P. O. Middletown
Cady, Ed., farmer; P. O. Danville; born in Windham Co., Conn., April 18, 1799; came to Des Moines Co. Oct. 12, 1837; located one and one half miles west of Danville Center. Married Miss Lida Cale, April 9, 1827; born in Windham Co. Conn., Nov. 29, 1798; died March 24, 1864; married again to Mrs. Emilia R. Braley, Oct. 9, 1864; born in New London Co., Conn.; Jan. 18, 1809; has three children by former wife: George W., Ebenezer and Edwin C., a Baptist minister in Roseville, Ill.; two dead: Maria and Charles; Charles served three years in the army; died April 26, 1869; Mrs. C. has one child by former husband: George P. and three dead: Albert, Eliza A. and Lester E.,went to Honduras, Central America, and died there. Members of Baptist Church. Owns ninety acres of land valued at $5,700. Republican.
Cady, Edwin, far., Sec. 17; P. O. Danville
Carden, John, far., Sec. 25; P. O. Middletown
Cochran, T., far.; P. O. Middletown
Craig, John, far., Sec. 22; P. O. Danville
Crawford, O. P., far., Sec. 5; P. O. Danville
Crocker, Wm., far., Sec. 4; P. O. Danville
Chambers, J. A., far., Sec. 16; P. O. Danville
Cresap, Joseph, far., Sec. 18; P. O. Danville
Crawford, Grandison, far., Sec. 24; P. O. Middletown
Cresap, Van, far., Sec. 7; P. O. Danville
Cresap, Sprig, far., Sec. 7; P. O. Danville
Cresap, Price, far., Sec. 7; P. O. Danville
Chambers, W. O., far., Sec. 6; P. O. Danville
Dodds, Henry, far., Sec. 3; P. O. Danville
Denny, Jame;s, far., Sec. 14; P. O. Danville
Davis, J. A., far., Sec. 33; P. O. Danville
Delaplain, I. F., far., Sec. 15; P. O. Danville
Dixon, M., far., Sec. 30; P. O. Danville
Dewey, P. S., far., Sec. 15; P. O. Danville
Dee, George W., far., Sec. 36; P. O. Middletown
Denny, R. J., far., Sec. 3; P. O. Danville
Eggleston, D. R., far., Sec. 16; P. O. Danville
Evans, Lewis, far., Sec. 16; P. O. Danville
Evans, M. M., far., Sec. 33; P. O. Danville
Eggleston, Wm., far.; P. O. Danville
Evans, Walter, far., Sec. 33; P. O. Danville
Esau, Rheinhart, far., Sec. 12; P. O. Danville
Fimmen, H., far., Sec. 12; P. O. Danville
Friedrich, D., far., Sec. 1; P. O. Danville
Foster, R. B., far., Sec. 8; P. O. Danville
Funk, Henry, far., Sec. 29; P. O. Danville
Friedrich, J. H., far., Sec. 16; P. O. Danville
Ferrel, Jos., far., Sec. 16; P. O. Danville
Fallahay, Patrick, far.; P. O. Middletown
Fogel, J. H., carpenter, P. O. Middletown
Gugeler, J. F., far., Sec. 1; P. O. Danville
Grant, Levi, far., Sec. 4; P. O. Danville
Gilmore, R. M. D., Danville; born in Boone Co. N.Y., Jan. 1, 1819; attended the Ohio Medical College in 1846 and 1847; came to Des Moines County in 1839, and commenced practicing in 1844; has been in constant practice for 34 years; most of the time in Des Moines Couny. Married Miss Barbara Hyter Nov. 10, 1847; born in Dearborn Co., Ind., Jan. 2, 1818; have three children: Horace E., Albert L. and Isaac C. H.; four dead: Oliver L., Estela, James L. and George E.; all died within 10 days. Mrs. G. is a member of the M. E. Church; Republican
Gregg, A., Danville Center; P. O. Danville; born in Ohio Co., Va., Feb. 2, 1810; came to Des Moines Co. Nov. 17, 1834, and settled in Augusta Twp., where he improved a large farm; sold out and came to Danville Center, where he now lives a retired life. Married Miss Frances Redding Jan. 24, 1836; she was born in Illinois, July 29, 1819, and died June 10, 1848. He married again, Mrs. Mary F. Allison, Dec. 25, 1866; she was born in Wayne Co., Ohio, June 21, 1833; has three children by former wife: Sarah D., Nancy C., Virgil; three dead: Frances W. Morgan, H. T., Mary M., and three by his present wife: Charles A., Mary E. and Samuel. Mr. G. took the first paper that was published in Burlington; was Township Clerk in Des Moines Co.; the first Baptist Church was organized in his cabin. Mr. and Mrs. G. are members of the M. E. Church; Republican.
Gapen, Elisha, fr., Sec. 31; P. O. Parrish
Graig, J. M., far., Sec. 33; P. O. Parrish
Gladden, Madison, far., Sec. 35; P. O. Middletown
Green, Joseph, far., Sec. 36; P. O. Middletown
Graig, Wm., far., Sec. 15; P. O. Danville
Grimes, Robert, far., Sec. 15; P. O. Danville
Guion, P. M., far.; P. O. Danville
Glandon, W. R., far., Sec. 25; P. O. Middletown
Giese, G. F., physician, Sec. 25; P. O. Middletown
Harty, J. D., far., Sec. 30; P. O. Augusta
Hanna, J. L., far., Sec. 32; P. O. Parrish
Hanna, Caswell, far., Sec. 32; P. O. Parrish
Hanna, Abner, far., Sec. 35; P. O. Parrish
Hitchcock, John, far., Sec. 5; P. O. Danville
Hall, Luke, far., Sec. 5; P. O. Danville
Hanna, S. O., farmer, Sec. 35; P. O. Middletown; was born in Union Co., Ind., Nov. 29, 1829; came to Des Moines Co. in the fall of 1837. Married Miss Margaret J. Davault, March 17, 1858; she was born in Cumberland Co., Penn., Jan. 1, 1835; they have six children: Jefferson S., Jas. C., Reathe E., Laura M., Nellie J., Maggie B. , Minerva E. and two others died in infancy. Members of the M. E. Church, Mr. H. served as Clerk of Augusta Twp. Two years; owns 152 acres of land, valued at $50 per acre. Democrat, Mrs. Margaret Davault, Mr. H.'s mother-in-law, makes her home with him; she was born in Cumberland Co., Penn., Aug. 9, 1796; came to Des Moines Co. in 1851.
Hemmings, John, farmer, Sec. 13; P. O. Middletown; was born in England Jan. 24, 1834; came to Des Moines Co. in 1855, and settled in Augusta Twp.; moved to Danville Twp. In 1865, and located on the farm where he now lives; owns 196 acres, valued at $50 per acre, on which he made most of the improvements. Married Miss Mary Wilks Nov. 17, 1859; she was born in England Sept. 9, 1836; they have five children: Mary A. (now Mrs. Carden), Alice E., Frederick, Francis J., James A. Members of the Congregational Church. He is a Democrat.
Haman, Wm., far., Sec. 2; P. O. Parrish
Higley, E. C., far., Sec. 15; P. O. Danville; born in Berkshire Co., Mass., Aug. 22, 1810; came with his parents to Portage Co., Ohio; to Des Moines Co. in 1839, and has been a resident of Danville Twp. ever since. Married Miss Amanda Messenger Oct. 28, 1835; born in Portage Co., Ohio, March 17, 1812; have three children: Sibyl A. Stewart, Henry H. and Mary P. Member of Congregational Church. Mr. H. owns ninety-five acres of land, valued at $50 per acre. Republican.
Hall, J., Dr., Danville; born in Merrimack Co., N. H., July 4, 1807; came to Wisconsin in 1832; practiced medicine for five years; came to Des Moines Co. in 1837, where he has devoted his time to his profession the last few years; being well advanced in years, declines, except when some of his old friends call on him; he now lives with his daughter, a retired life. Married Miss Harriet Corning, April 25, 1835; she was born in New York City Feb. 10, 1809; died July 27, 1877; have five children: Edson C., Albert, Eliza B., Lufanna J., Adina B., and three dead: Clarissa C., Emily K. and Jasper C. Mr. and Mrs. H. were members of the first Congregational church built ;in Danville Twp.; the first schoolhouse in Danville Center was built by Dr. H. and other old settlers, the first teachers Miss Wakefield and Miss Wilson. There were few buildings in the township when the Doctor came, and those rough log buildings, most of them built close to the timber. The Doctor stands by the Republican party.
Higley, H. H., far., Sec. 22; P. O. Danville
Howard, W. & C.A., farmers, Sec. 13; P. O. Middletown
Hall, Jeremiah, far., Sec. 22; P. O. Danville
Howard, Wesley, far., Sec. 23; P. O. Middletown
Hanna, John, far., Sec. 28; P. O. Middletown
Hurlbut, T. K., farmer, Sec. 27; P. O. Danville; was born in Hartford Co., Conn., April 22, 1817; came to Des Moines Co. in 1837; owns 204 acres, valued at $45 per acre. Married Miss Jane Tweedy March 27, 1848; she was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, May 8, 1830; have nine children: William H., born Feb. 26, 1851; Carlos, Dec. 5, 1852; Mary J., Nov. 8, 1854; Lucy P. Jan 18, 1857; Emma, Nov. 16; 1858; Frank, Dec. 24, 1862; Kate G., Jan. 8, 1865; Sarah L., Dec. 28, 1866; Adela M., April 8, 1869; lost three children: Charlotte M., born April 7, 1849; Frank M., Jan. 22, 1861; John, Sept. 28, 1871. Carlos lives with his parents at the homestead; is a member of the Congregational Church. Republican.
Hunter, G. W., far., Sec. 8; P. O. Danville
Huchen, Fritz, far., Sec. 2; P. O. Danville
Hodgens, R. L., merchant, Middletown
Herd, Robert, far., Sec. 30; P. O. Danville
Helt, G. W., far., Sec. 16; P. O. Danville
Hilderbrand, John, far., Sec. 10; P. O. Danville
Irwin, James, farmer, Sec. 21; P. O. Danville
Irwin, John, Sr., far., sec. 27; P. O. Danville
Irwin, James P., farmer; P. O. Danville
Iles, A. C., far., Sec. 24; P. O. Danville
Johnson, Olman, farmer, Sec. 1; P. O. Danville
Jester, B. B., Sec. 32; P. O. Parrish; born in Brooke Co., Va., July 5, 1829. Married Miss Sarah A. Moore March 15, 1865; born in Marshall Co., Va. Jan. 28, 1836; has two children: Anna E. and Mary R. Owns 161 acres, valued at $50 per acre. Both members of the M. E. Church; he is a Republican.
Johnson, Joel, far., Sec. 7; P. O. Danville; born in Anderson Co., Tenn., March 26, 1800; came to Des Moines Co. in 1836, and settled where he now lives. Married Miss Susannah Johnson; born in Tennessee, and died in Des Moines Co. in 1841. Married again, Miss Lucinda Judd, in May 1847; born in Kentucky May 1, 1827; has five children by former wife: Mary J., James A., Joel W., Francis M. and Oliver; two dead: Noble and Martha A.; and nine by present wife: Canada P., Louis H., Luther, Louisa, Rachel, William H., David G., Harvey and Caroline E.; one dead: Isaac O. Owns 300 acres, valued at $45 per acre; made all the improvements. Democrat.
Jarvis, James, far., Sec. 1; P. O. Danville
Jaggar, H. E., far., Sec. 17; P. O. Danville
Jarvis, George, far., Sec. 11; P. O. Danville
Jacob, H. H. and J. J., farmers, Sec. 20; P. O. Danville
Jacques, W. J., far., Sec. 22; P. O. Danville
Kobb, Jacob, far., Sec. 19; P. O. Danville
Kelley, J. S., far., Sec. 9; P. O. Danville
Kobb, George, far., Sec. 17; P. O. Danville
Kountz, John, far., Sec. 16; P. O. Danville
Keller, S. E., carpenter, Sec. 16; P. O. Danville
Landes, David, far., Sec. 32; P. O. Danville
Lycock, Reuben, far., Sec. 2; P. O. Danville
Lindley, Alva, far., Sec. 13; P. O. Danville
Long, John, far., Sec. 24; P. O. Middletown
Laughlin, O. D., far., Sec. 27; P. O. Danville
Lamme, William, Danville; born in Greene Co. Ohio, Feb. 14, 1814; came to Sangamon Co. Ill., in 1818; went to Hancock Co. and lived three years; came to Des Moines Co. in 1835. Married Miss Hester Elliott Aug. 27, 1838; she was born in Morgan Co., Ind., March 19, 1818; have three children: Mary J. Seamons, William H. and Claire Blakeway, and one dead: David P. Mrs. L. is a member of the M. E. Church. Mr. L. was elected to the Legislature in 1874 and was among the first settlers of Union Twp. where he entered 320 acres of land three years before it came into market; improved it, put it under good cultivation and sold; came to Danville where he now lives retired. Always a Republican
Lewis, N. R., farmer and stockraiser, Sec. 20; P. O. Danville; born in Hartford Co. Conn., May 28, 1817; came to Des Moines Co. in 1844. Married Miss Minerva Burnell in 1847; she was born in Massachusetts Jan. 4, 1824, died Aug. 12, 1868; have five children: Aurelius N., Ratio F., Ella M., Alonzo J. and Clarence G. Owns 240 acres of land, valued at $60 per acre; made all the improvements. Is a member of the Congregational Church; Republican.
Laux, Michael, far., P. O. Middletown
Luckman, H. F., far., Sec. 12; P. O Middletown
Mintling, W. S., far., Sec. 1; P. O. Danville
Mathews, David, far., Sec. 3; P. O. Danville
Mathews, Herman, far., Sec. 9; P. O. Danville
Mathews, Henry, far., Sec. 9; P. O. Danville
McDonald, John, far., Sec. 6; P. O. Danville
McGohan, G. N., far., Sec. 23; P. O. Danville
Mitchel, John, far., Sec. 14; P. O. Middletown
Morse, R. L., far., Sec. 24; P. O. Middletown
McCormick, J. B., Sec. 22; P. O. Danville
Masters, Nathan, Sec. 32; P. O. Parrish; born in Ohio Co., W.Va., Nov. 17, 1803; came to Des Moines Co. in 1837; entered a claim, where he now lives; returned to Virginia, and moved his family here in 1838. Married Miss P. Roberts April 31, 1837; born in Ohio Co., Va., Feb. 14, 1804; died Aug. 16, 1839. Married again, Catherine Blakeway, March 22, 1842; born in Ohio Co., Va., March 18, 1806; Mr. M. has one child by former wife: William H.; one died in infancy; has two by present wife: Sarah J., James F.; lost one: Cynthia. Owns 240 acres valued at $50 per acre. Has been a member of the M. E. Church forty-eight years; Mrs. M. for fifty-seven years; he is a Republican.
Moore, Wm., far., Sec. 31; P. O. Parrish
Melcher, Edw., far., Sec. 30; P. O. Parrish
Melcher, Dennis, potter and manufacturer of stone ware, Sec. 31; P. O. Parrish; born in Germany, Oct. 9, 1814; learned his trade in the old country and came to New Orleans in 1839; thence to St. Louis, and to Scott Co., Mo.; worked at his trade at those places; went to Louisville, Ky., where he married Miss Mary A. Faust Nov. 21, 1842; born in Germany Jan. 24, 1824; came to Burlington Sept. 21, 1843; lived there till 1851; then moved to his present residence; has six children: Sophia, Joseph P., Mary E., Louisa F., Dennis and Frank F.; lost three: Mary, Francis H. and John E. Owns 315 acres, valued at $50 per acre; buildings that cost $10,000. He was elected Supervisor of Des Moines Co., in 1876, and served three years. Democrat.
Mensenger, Alanson, merchant, Danville.
Mix, G. H., far., Sec. 29; P. O. Danville
McElhenny, A. W., far., Sec. 29; P. O. Danville
Marchant, Samuel, far., Sec. 14; P. O. Danville
Moore, McHenry, far., Sec. 2; P. O. Danville
Moore, W. F., far., Sec. 26; P. O. Parrish
Marchant, S. D., far., Sec. 23; P. O. Danville
Newland, Jabes, far., Sec. 4; P. O. Danville
Nealey, M. W., farmer, Sec. 12; P. O. Danville; born in New York April 6, 1814; is a millwright by trade; came; to Des Moines Co. in 1835; helped to build the Star flouring mill; it was one of the first mills built in Des Moines Co. ; also helped build a mill on Sugar Creek, in Wapello Co., the first mill built in that county, and helped build the old Western Hotel at Burlington. There were only eight or ten buildings in Burlington when Mr. N. came to Des Moines Co. Married Miss Harriet Wolverton in 1842; she was born in Hamilton Co., Ohio, in 1825; have eleven children: Mary E., Lou., Alonzo, Frank, Kate, Cora A., Charley, Harvey, Ellie, Birdie, Grace B., and two dead; Durand died in infancy; owns 264 acres valued at $50 per acre. Republican. Mr. N. made his first coffin ever made for the Indians for Keokuk's son; it was made from slabs split out of a tree.
New, D. M., far., Sec. 19; P. O. Danville
Neil, J. L., far., Sec. 15; P. O. Danville
Naw, John, far., Sec. 36; P. O. Middletown
Newell, Albert, far., Sec. 16; P. O. Danville
Naw, S. & G., farmers, Sec. 35; P. O. Middletown
O'Neal, James, far., Sec. 25; P. O. Middletown
Owen, W. B., far., Sec. 21; P. O. Danville; born in England Nov. 10, 1803; came to Pennsylvania in 1850, and to Des Moines Co., in 1868. Married Miss Sarah Hall July 31, 1830; she was born in England June 17, 1808; have six children: William, Olivia, Amelia, Taretha, Clara, Ada, and one dead, Sarah. Members of the M. E. Church. Owns thirty acres, valued at $60 per acre. Republican
Palmer, John H., far., Sec. 27; P. O. Danville; born in Franklin Co., Penn., Sept. 19, 1818; came to Des Moines Co. in 1845. Married Miss Susan Basher in January 1839; she was born in Berkeley Co., Va., Aug. 13, 1814; died in May, 1872; married again, Mrs. Maggie Fore, Oct. 20, 1874; she was born in Franklin Co. Penn., May 6, 1836. Mr. P. has eleven children by former wife: Martha V., Geo. W., Mary E., John B., James P., Jonathan N., Henry H., Jennie, Emma P., Lemmon B., Claryn E. and one dead: Florence E. ; one by present wife: Mertie. Members of the M. E. Church; he a member of A. F. & A.M. and I.O.O.F. Owns 140 acres valued at $60 per acre
Palmer, Luke, far., Sec. 12; P. O. Burlington
Palmer, J. H., far., Sec. 27; P. O. Danville
Packwood, Jas., far., Sec. 10; P. O. Danville
Parr, Richard, far., Sec. 1; P. O. Danville
Parrott, S. L., far., Sec. 6; P. O. Danville
Palmer, G. W., far., Sec. 18; P. O. Danville
Parrott, J. T., far., Sec. 16; P. O. Danville
Philips, David, far., Sec. 24; P. O. Middletown
Porter, S., Mrs., Sec. 29; P. O. Danville; born in Marshall Co. Va., March 31, 1809; came to Des Moines Co. in 1838. Married R. M. Porter March 22, 1828; born in Washington Co. Penn. April 17, 1807; died May 28, 1846; has four children: Reuben R., Vear, Mary V., Jonathan R., and four dead: Elizabeth J., John, Rebecca E., and Maria M. Mrs. P. is a member of the M. E. Church.
Porter, Vear; born in Marshall Co., Va., July 4, 1834; living with his mother at the homestead. Enlisted in the 15th I.V.I., Co. E, and was discharged in 1862 on account of wounds received at Pittsburg Landing. Has served as Assessor of Danville Twp. two years. Is Captain of the rifle company of Danville, and a member of A. F. & A. M. and I.O.O.F. of Danville. Republican.
Parrott, W. S., far., Sec. 5; P. O. Danville
Porter, Eph., harness-maker; Danville
Riddle, Robert, far., Sec. 1; P. O. Danville
Robinson, Samuel, far., Sec. 5; P. O. Danville
Rose, John F., far., Sec. 7; P. O. Danville
Rowe, Elias, far., Sec. 30; P. O. Danville
Renner, Franklin, far., Sec. 19; P. O. Danville
Rankin, J. M., far., Sec. 26; P. O. Middletown
Robertson, Jas., far., Sec. 8; P. O. Danville
Seaton, J. & G., farmers, Sec. 18; P. O. Danville
Swan, F. A., farmer; P. O. Danville
Shoemaker, Henry, far., Sec. 4; P. O. Danville
Sourwine, Geo., far., Sec. 5; P. O. Danville
Sharp, John, far., Sec. 14; P. O. Danville
Sharp, Jos. G., far., Sec. 14; P. O. Danville
Sater, Thos. P., far., Sec. 5; P. O. Danville
Sanderson, F. S., T. F. & R. S., farmers, Sec. 12; P. O. Danville
Scott, Geo., far., Sec. 7; P. O. Danville
Swan, N. H. & S. B., farmers, Sec. 21; P. O. Danville
Syester, John W., far., Sec. 21; P. O. Danville
Sater, T. J., far., Sec. 16; P. O. Danville
Sawtelle, Geo., far., Sec. 30; P. O. Danville
Smith, J. H., far., Sec. 26; P. O. Middletown
Seymour, J. H., far., Sec. 30; P. O. Danville
Sanders, J. A., Danville; born in Washington Co. Penn., Aug. 17, 1801; came to Des Moines Co., Nov. 15, 1850; bought 120 acres of land, at $6 per acre, improved and sold for $50 per acre; moved to Danville in 1877, where he lives retired. Married Miss DeBerry April 1, 1827; she was born in West Virginia Oct. 25, 1806, died May 21, 1875; married again, Mrs. Lydia Lewis Sept. 19, 1877; she was born in Cambria Co., Penn., Jan. 1, 1814; Mr. S. has six children by former wife: Andrew J., Elizabeth, Phebe, James, Sarah J. and William; lost three: Emeline, Newton and John; Mrs. S. has by former husband eleven children: Ephraim, Kate, Melinda, Edward, Alfred, Emma, Ellen, Mattie, Jennie, Justus and Charles, and lost three: Levi, Enoch and Augusta. Mr. S. owns eighty acres of land, valued at $50 per acre. Mr. S. member of the Congregational Church; Mrs. S. member of the Baptist Church. Mr. S. is a Republican.
Seymour, E. H., farmer, Sec. 22; P. O. Danville; born in Des Moines Co., Iowa, May 22, 1848. Married Miss Sarah A. Porter Jan. 15, 1872; she was born in Hartford Co., Conn. Aug. 4, 1850; have two children: Percy W. and John P. Mr. S. owns 377 acres of land, valued at $40 per acre. Mr. S.'s mother came to Des Moines Co. in 1834. She was born in Connecticut Sept. 19, 1807; his father was born in Hartford, Conn., March 31, 1796, died Feb. 13, 1859. Mr. E. H. Seymour owns Royal King stallion and General Jackson trotting horses, and is a breeder of Berkshire swine; has a stock farm one and a half miles south of Danville.
Seymour, Wolcott, Esq., the first son of Jeremiah Seymour and Emily Demming, his wife; was born Aug. 17, 1813 in Hartford Co., Conn. The ancestors were from England, being among the first settlers in Connecticut. About 1675, three brothers came to this country and from these all the Seymours have descended, among whom we may mention the Hon. Horatio Seymour, at one time Governor of New York, and Hon. Thomas H. Seymour; the latter was educated at West Point, held the office of Colonel in the Mexican War, elected Governor of Connecticut, also Congressman from the Hartford District, and was appointed Minister to Russia. In 1838, Mr. Seymour left the scenes of his youth, gave up the comforts of a pleasant home and migrated to Iowa, landing in Burlington, July 5, the day after it had become a Territory. After exploring six months, he concluded to make Danville his future home; beginning life in moderate circumstances, Mr. Seymour entered 320 acres of wild land which he immediately began improving; but when the land came into market, in 1839, it could hardly be called a home. In the course of time, it, with many other farms, became an oasis in the wilderness, and, at the present writing, he has a fine farm with improvements second to none in the country. Then, as now, the common schools were the great fountains of knowledge, and to these Mr. Seymour went in the winter, spending his summers in working on the farm. Mr. Seymour was Justice of the Peace for some thirty years, and at one time Secretary of the School Board. Mr. Seymour was originally a Whig; he afterward joined the ranks of the Republican party. In 1852, Mr. Seymour was elected to the Legislature, as a Representative from Des Moines Co.; being elected by the Whigs, he was a member of a small minority, the Democracy holding the balance of power. Feb. 3, 1842, Wolcott Seymour and Amelia Hawkins were joined in marriage; they had two sons, both of whom are living; one at home, and the other one mile south of Danville. His wife died in 1865, and Jan. 2, 1873, he was married to Mary Robinson. Although living on a farm, yet Mr. Seymour feels that his days of work have passed, and he now lives at his ease, surrounded by all the comforts that tend to make life pleasant.
Shepherd, B. W., stock-dealer, Sec. 9: P. O. Danville
Smith, Ellison, far., Sec. 15; P. O. Danville
Sargent, W. H., far., Sec. 24; P. O. Middletown
Scott, C. B. and G. and W. H., farmers, Sec. 36; P. O. Danville
Stoner, C. F., far., Sec. 31; P. O. Danville
Still, A., merchant, Danville
Seymour, H. C., far., Sec. 28; P. O. Danville
Streed, John F., far.; P. O. Middletown
Sawtelle, H. C., far., Sec. 20; P. O. Danville
Seims, D., far., Sec. 1; P. O. Danville
Syester, W. H., far., Sec. 22; P. O. Danville
Stewart, W. H., physician, Danville
Seymour, E. P., far., Sec. 16; P. O. Danville
Stigga, H. H., far., Sec. 2; P. O. Danville
Seamans, B. B., far., Sec. 23; P. O. Middletown
Streed, Aaron, far., Sec. 25; P. O. Middletown
Swan, R. O., far., Sec. 25; P. O. Middletown
Sawtelle, S. M., far., Sec. 20; P. O. Danville
Tonkinson, C. B., far., Sec. 18; P. O. Danville
Tomes, Reuben, far., Sec. 27; P. O. Danville
Thomas, S. O. and J. farmers, Sec. 5, P. O. Danville
Vance, W. M., far., Sec. 6; P. O. Danville
Ward, S. A., far., Sec. 5; P. O. Danville
Whisler, John, far., Sec. 30; P. O. Danville
Ward, Joseph, Sec. 29; P. O. Danville; born in Marshall Co., W. Va., Jan. 7, 1796; came to Des Moines Co. in 1844. Married Miss Sarah Swan Dec. 23, 1819; she was born in Greene Co., Penn., Jan. 19, 1797, and died Oct. 15, 1863; he married again Sept. 23, 1875, Mrs. Sarah Swan; she was born in Muskingum Co., Ohio, Feb. 27, 1816; Mr. W. has four children by his former wife: Sarah A. Thompson, Joseph, Elizabeth Sawyer, William, and six dead: Henry S., Hettie, Mary J., John, Elizabeth and Andrew; Mrs. W. has four children by her former husband: David, Gilbert, Mattie, Bernard and two dead:
Emmans and Elizabeth. Mr. W. owns 185 acres of land, valued at $50 per acre. He served as Major in the 144th Va. Regt.; was enrolled in 1812, and served till 1845. Is a Democrat. Mrs. W. is a member of the M. E. Church.
Williams, G. W., far., Sec. 17; P. O. Danville
Wilcox, M. D., far., Sec. 21; P. O. Danville
Wilcox, A. A., far., Sec. 21; P. O. Danville
Williams, J. W., far., Sec. 29; P. O. Danville
Williams, J. H., far., Sec. 18; P. O. Danville
Welch, Samuel E., far., Sec. 25; P. O. Middletown
Waltz, Edward, far., Sec. 31; P. O. Danville
Wertz, Amos, far., P. O. Middletown
Westerbeck, J. W., far., Sec. 25; P. O. Middletown
Wechman, F., far., Sec. 16; P. O. Danville
Watson, Andrew, far., Sec. 16; P. O. Danville
Wing, J. P., butcher, Sec. 25; P. O. Middletown
Wright, J. A., physician, Danville
Pages 597 - 605
Danville Center, an old settlement, so called because it is the center of the township of that name, has never been laid out into town lots or incorporated as a town, although it is quite thickly populated. The first settlers in the vicinity referred to came together from McDonough County, Ill., in the spring of 1834, established claims and built log cabins in the southwestern part of the present township, which was not laid out and sectionized until 1836 and 1837. The names of these pioneers were William Dickens, Noble Hously, Enoch Cyras and Elihu Chandler.
Enoch Cyras intended to build a log cabin somewhat superior to those of his companions; but, being unable to complete it by fall, he constructed two temporary double-rail pens to shelter him from the winter’s cold. In the fall of the same year. Azariah Gregg and William Sawtelle came from Ohio County, Va., near Wheeling, which place they left October 1, 1834, traveling by team. They halted in Morgan County, Ill., a few weeks to rest, then, continuing their journey, arrived at Flint Hills November 17, and stopped one day with a party who had come the previous spring and built a cabin.
November 21, 1834, they reached Enoch Cyras’ pens, where they passed the night. While entertaining his guests and describing to them the beauties and merits of his adopted prairie home, Mr. Cyras told them that he and two companions had cut down eighty bee-trees and abstracted therefrom six half-hogsheads of honey and combs and, to verify his statement, exhibited to them his one-third share of two half-hogsheads. Surprised at the sight, Mr. Gregg exclaimed, “Well, this is indeed a land where milk and honey flow.”
Noble Hously, brother-in-law to Enoch Cyras, had a claim, which Gregg and Sawtelle purchased. They also took up a claim bordering on the one purchased, and, in the cabin built by Hously, kept bachelors’ hall. In due time a cabin was erected on the claim taken up. In the fall of 1835, Gregg bought Sawtelle’s interest in the claim purchased of Hously, and still retained his half-ownership in the other claim. After William Sawtelle married Mary Whitaker, they moved into the new log house.
During the first week in December, 1834, Noble Hously’s wife was delivered of a son, the first child born in what is now Danville Township.
Azariah Gregg tells the following snake story to illustrate or give some idea of the superabundance of reptiles in the vicinity of their humble homes at that period. He says: “Sawtelle and I were plowing some time in the month of March, 1835, when we were approached by William Dickens and Enoch Cyras and asked if we wouldn’t like to go snaking. I confess we did not exactly understand the meaning of the term, and had a sneaking idea that they intended to perpetrate some practical joke upon us. However, I replied that I would not mind unhitching, which we did. After we had been walking for some time an explanation was made to the effect that, while on a hunting tour, Dickens and Cyras had discovered signs of the existence of snakes, and, supposing that on this warm day I speak of the vipers would be likely to come out and enjoy the sun, they concluded that, with our assistance, some of them might be placed out of harm’s reach.
We arrived at a ledge of rocks on Wolf Branch, which led into Skunk River, when we beheld, projecting over one of the rocks, a huge rattlesnake. We knew that we were on the right track, and, taking a roundabout way, we soon saw, lying on the withered leaves of the previous autumn, several piles of snakes, of all sizes and kinds, sunning themselves, gathering strength and preparing to travel through the country during the summer months, and finally return to their rendezvous in the fall. In one cluster there were blacksnakes, gartersnakes, rattlesnakes and other species, constituting one happy family; but both their travels and their happiness were of short duration, for there and then we slaughtered eighty of them. Many of the rattlesnakes were, according to their rattles and buttons, thirty-three and thirty-four years old. What seemed most strange to us was that all the different varieties inhabited the same den.
Mr. Gregg also relates an occurrence which later came very near costing him his life. Sawtelle and Gregg had been at work in the timber one day and in the evening as they were returning toward their cabin, they met William Dickens, who informed them that he had noticed two young Indians loitering about their cabin and trying to effect an entrance, with the probably intention of pillaging the house. He said the two young bucks would no doubt make a second attempt, and advised his friends, in case they could succeed in surprising and catching the Indians, to present them with a good strong dose of strap-oil. This, they concluded, would be a wise plan and agreed to act upon Dickens’ advice. The following morning, as Gregg and Sawtelle were partaking of a scant morning meal, the door opened and in stepped unceremoniously the young bucks.
The one had left his gun outside standing against the cabin while the other had brought his inside and leaned it against the wall. Sawtelle told Gregg to hold the door to prevent their egress, while he would get a rawhide, which lay on a shelf, and do the whipping. The Indians at once perceived that something was wrong, became frightened and tried to escape; only one succeeded and the unfortunate one received a sound threshing. In his anxiety to get away, he forgot his gun but soon returned and begged for it.
He had been gone but a very short while the second time, when a dozen or more warriors, dressed in their war-blankets, deliberately entered the cabin in a state of apparent excitement and displeasure. They growled and in their own language called Sawtelle and Gregg bad white men. Mr. Gregg says, “it was our turn now to become frightened, and I really expected they would murder us. I told Sawtelle we must by all means appease their anger, and knowing their fondness for flour. I gave them all we had, besides making them other presents. Finally they departed, some calling us good white men while others still growled.
Presently a second party made their appearance in much the same manner, but as we had no more presents to give them, I told Sawtelle we must stand our ground, and I ordered them to leave, which, after a good deal of talk they did, and to my utter astonishment. From that day on every Indian we saw seemed to know us. The course we had taken with the two young Indians proved to be bad policy.
Gregg came to Burlington long after he had ceased to think of the matter, and hearing that Chief Keokuk was at the time in Jeremiah Smith’s store trying to buy his stock for distribution among his tribe, Gregg concluded he would like to see the old fellow.
Jeremiah Smith being anxious to make a trade with Keokuk, had been dealing out whisky to him quite liberally, until the Indian blood had become aroused, and his savage nature showed itself plainly. The moment Gregg entered the store, Keokuk looked at him fiercely, as though he recognized in him a foe. He exchanged a few words with a young Indian standing near who quickly left but very soon returned, handing Keokuk what proved to be a long dagger, “Quick as lightning,” says Gregg, “he made an overhanded thrust at me, striking me in the abdomen. Fortunately, however, my vest and underclothing were so thick that the force of the blow was deadened and I only received a slight wound.
By this time the interpreter standing near the door interfered and as soon as possible, I departed in search of better company. From my experience, I would judge Indian whipping rather an unprofitable business to indulge in.
Edwin Cady was born April 18, 1799, in Brooklyn, Conn., and always lived there until he started West, June 19, 1837, with his family, consisting of his wife, Lydia Cole, whom he married April 9, 1827, and his four sons, George, Charles, Ebenezer, and Edwin C., now a Baptist minister. The family brought with them their furniture and provision, and traveled by team twenty miles to Norwich, Conn. There they secured deck passage on board boat for New York, providing their own staff of life. Arrived at the great metropolis, Mr. Cady remembered having a resident friend there and decided to pay him a short visit; however, not wishing to impose upon the friend’s hospitality, he packed along his stock of eatables.
After a short repose, he bethought him it might be a good plan to negotiate for the cheapest mode of transportation, and in this end started out on a tour of inquiry, which resulted in the purchase of second-class tickets for the family to Philadelphia. However, as the household goods could not be taken on the same train, he remained with his friend in New York two days, to give the furniture a good start. Landing in Philadelphia with empty stomachs, the family concluded to go to an hotel for a good, square, warm meal. “But,” remarks Mr. Cady, “all but the square meal did we get; the cabbage was warmed over, and so tough I couldn’t chaw it.” The party returned to the depot, bought more second-class tickets to Pittsburg, and, wanting to give the furniture another good send-off, the next question was, “Where shall we stop two days?”
Although somewhat verdant as a traveler at this time, but in no way ceremonious, and having a keen eye to economy, the first requisite of a Western pioneer, Mr. Cady says: “I hunted up the head man of the depot and asked him why we couldn’t lay our loose bedding (which, by the way, we carried with us) on the floor of the waiting-room and stop there. He said we could and we found it not only cheap, but comfortable enough.
We didn’t go to the hotel again, but cooked what we wanted to eat on the stove in the depot waiting room. When we got to Harrisburg, Penn., we found our goods transferred to a canal-boat, on which we also took passage and fell in company with a family just arrived from Ireland. On the boat, we lived like princes. At the base of the Alleghany Mountains, both the furniture and ourselves were put into a bare car, drawn up the incline railroad and by regular train down the other side of the mountain, where we again took to a canal-boat. About twenty-eight miles east of Pittsburgh, a heave rainstorm raised and broke the canal to such an extent that we were obliged to lay up one week for it to be repaired.
The little village on the canal at this point was a pleasant one, and we had a very enjoyable time among the clever inhabitants while we remained there. At Pittsburgh, we took deck passage per steamboat for St. Louis, where we transferred to another boat, bound for Quincy, Ill. From there we went to Payson, Ill., where we remained in a rented room some eight weeks, for the purpose of making inquiries in reference to a suitable location for us to settle in.
Mr. Cady went on horse-back to see Samuel Jagger, who had a claim, and was then living about two miles west of what is now Danville Center, in a log cabin. While negotiating with Preacher Tally for a claim, Mr. Cady assisted Jagger to raise a frame house on his claim, one mile and a half west of Danville Center of today. The claim joining Mr. Jagger on the east was bought by Mr. Cady. Then he returned to Illinois and brought his family by team to the old log cabin standing on the purchased claim, the family arriving there in October, 1837. About one year later, he pre-empted his claim.
The first log schoolhouse in Danville Township was built in the summer of 1837, on Section 20, and taught by Cordelia Terrill.
The first mill in the township was a saw-mill run by horse-power, and owned by Edwin Cady.
The first mechanic was John Neel, wagon-maker. Dr. Jeremiah Hall was the first physician, and Alfred Clark the first Justice of the Peace.
Mr. Cohorn, from Kentucky, kept the first store in the township, on Section 20. The second store was kept by David Prichard, of Cincinnati, in Deacon Porter’s house.
The first death was that of Mrs. Jaggar, at the age of eighty three.
The first couple married were Jacob Hearty and Margaret Eslinger.
The first church in the township was the Baptist, which was organized October 20, 1834, and its history is as follows: In the spring of 1854, a few Baptists from Illinois and Kentucky settled in what is now called Danville and Augusta Townships.
The country at this time was, of course, nothing but a wilderness. What is now the city of Burlington contained then four or five log huts. A few families settled at different points along Skunk River and on the Flint, and one or two had already commenced making a home near Pleasant Grove. The spring of 1834 may be said to be the commencement of the settlement of Des Moines County; and these Baptists were among the very earliest pioneers in this part of the State.
At this time there was no church organization in that part of the Territory, now Des Moines County, no minister of the Gospel of any denomination, and no public religious services of any kind; and these brethren, accustomed to such privileges in their former homes, determined upon organizing themselves into a church. Accordingly they invited Elder John Logan, of McDonough Co., Ill., to come over and preach for them and assist them in organizing a Baptist Church. On the 19th of October, John Logan and Gardner Bartlett arrived in the settlement and stopped at the cabin of Noble Hously, situated in Augusta Township, subsequently owned by Mr. Azariah Gregg and now by Mr. Gibson. There in that rude hut, the same evening, John Logan preached, probably the first sermon preached in this part of Iowa by an evangelical minister to a congregation of white people.
On the next day after John Logan had preached, the brethren and sisters met again in the same place and organized themselves into a Church to be known as the Regular Baptist Church, at Long Creek, Iowa. Revs. Logan and Bartlett officiated on the occasion, Rev. Logan preaching the sermon. The Articles of Faith adopted by the Church, were those of the Brush Creek Baptist Church, Green Co., Ky., which had been brought here by Brother and Sister Manly.
The following are the names of the constituent members of that little organization, the pioneer Baptist Church of Iowa: Enoch Cyrus Rebecca Cyrus, Anna Cyrus, Frank Cyrus, Rachel Dickens, Mary Ann Dickens, Noble Hously, Naomi Hously, William Manly, Hepsibah Manly and Jane Lamb.
The next day after the organization being Sabbath, religious services were held again in the same place. Rev. Logan preached in the morning and Rev. Bartlett in the evening. For several months after this they had no preaching.
In the following spring, Rev. Logan, again visited the little band and preached to them. By this time the number of Baptists had been increased by the arrival of new emigrants into the community. Among those who had settled in the neighborhood since the organization were William Mathis and family, and Jemima Dobson (now Chandler). These had come as early as October 27, of the year 1834. The visits of the Illinois preacher were continued at irregular intervals for some time, perhaps up to the spring of 1836.
The next preacher that visited the Church was Elder Alexander Evans. The first minutes we have are of a church-meeting held the first Saturday in February, 1838, at the house of William Mathis; and at this time the Church must have had a Pastor, for the minutes of this meeting show that the ordinance of baptism was administered, and that divine service was held regularly at these church-meetings. By “divine service” was meant the preaching of the Word, for it was the universal custom in the West, in early times, to have preaching on the day of their church-meeting, even if they had no preaching on the Sabbath.
The first mention of Rev. Evans being called to the pastorate was in June, 1840. The minutes of that meeting read: “Called Elder A. Evans, for one year, for which the Church agree to contribute for his support $75.” Rev. Evans was called again in June, 1841, and the Church subscribed for his maintenance $112. In June, 1842, Rev. Evans received another call, and, in July, 1843, he received a fourth call, but in September of that year he resigned.
The first Deacons mentioned in the minutes are Israel Cannes and Jonathan Philpott. The first Church Clerk mentioned is William Mathis, who held the office till June, 1845.
The first baptism recorded in the minutes was that of Mary Ann Kees. She was received as a candidate for that ordinance on the first Saturday of February, 1838. The aged Elihu Chandler was received for baptism on the first Saturday in July, of the same year. That was the day on which Edwin Cady and Lydia Cady, his wife, united with the Church by letter.
In November, 1843, the aged Rev. Elder Burnett commenced his first pastorate of the Church and closed it in November, 1844; and in 1849, Rev. Burnett preached for the Church again.
During the period of nearly thirty-seven years, of which time we have record, the Church has had eleven pastors. Of the first fifteen years of that time, they had four pastors, viz.: Revs. A. Evans, H. Burnett, Seamans and Wells. During this time there is a gap in the minutes of three years, from 1845 to 1848; and again of eight months, from September 1851, to May 1852. The minutes of May, 1852, say that “the Church met regularly during the last interim.”
The pastors, from 1853 to the present time have been seven, viz: Revs. Sperry, Bowen, Paul, Knight, Russ, West and King. The period of which we have an account would given an average pastorate of something over three years to each one. But this by no means gives a correct view of the Church’s history on this point. The first pastorate embraces a period of five years and five months; Rev. Russ’ pastorate four years and four months, and the last pastorate six years, while one or two others were less than one year.
The deaconship of the Church presents a very different picture. Mr. Philpott was elected in 1838, and resigned in 1854, at the time of his dismission from the Church to unite with the Church at New London. Mr. Cady was elected one of the Deacons in 1845, twenty-nine years since. Messrs. Ritner and Loughry were both Deacons for quite a number of years. Mr. Scovil was also Deacon for some three years; and Messrs. Lindley and Foster during the present pastorate.
There have been only three Church Clerks. The first, William Mathis, served eleven years; the second, Jonathan Philpott, over four years; the present incumbent, Jacob Alter, was elected to the office on the second Saturday in September, 1858
Up to the year 1850, the Church worshipped in the “old Danville schoolhouse.” In 1849, being desirous of building a meeting-house, they became incorporated by the name of the “Long Creek Baptist Church, located at Danville, Des Moines Co., Iowa,” and this is its corporate name today. Edwin Cady, William Mathis and Jonathan Philpott were elected Trustees. In the spring of 1850, measures were taken to build the house now occupied, and on the third Saturday in August of that year, the Des Moines Association held its twelfth anniversary in the new meeting house, and on the following day the house was formally dedicated to the worship of God, Father Seamans preaching the dedicatory sermon.
Since the organization of the Church, or perhaps more correctly, since the existence of any written record, there have been received into its fellowship 301 persons; 195 of these by baptism, and 106 either by letter or experience. Of the number received by baptism, 53 were baptized during the first pastorate, and 63 during the last pastorate. Of the number received by letter or experience, 39 were during the first pastorate and 25 during the last.
One peculiar feature of the early history of the Church is its gradual and constant increase. Conversions seemed to take place through the entire year, and baptisms are reported on twenty-three regular meetings during a period of four years and ten months.
Unlike the present time, the reception of members by baptism was looked for on every church-meeting, rather than once a year, or, as it frequently happens, once in several years.
And this gradual increase in the membership of the Church continued until an antimission element appeared in the Church, and a controversy arose in consequence of one of the members having left the Church, joined another Church and was rebaptized. On the occasion here referred to, resolutions were adopted by the Church strongly protesting against the practice of rebaptizing, as both unscriptural and sinful.
During this period of a third of a century, as is common to most churches, there were periods of religious declension, and then again times of most gracious visitations of the Holy Spirit. But at no time has the Church been unsound in its doctrines or loose in its practices. It may seem at times to have been more strict in its discipline than churches are ordinarily, but perhaps not more so than loyalty to the Master demanded.
There is no opportunity of knowing the exact amount of its benevolent contributions to various objects, but in this respect, it may be said that of late years, its record will compare favorably with most churches of its pecuniary strength. From its earliest history, it identified itself with the work of missions, both home and foreign, and but few churches in the State of Iowa have been more liberal in aiding the needy ministerial student.
The first Pastor came to the Church under the auspices of the Home Mission Society, and, for several years, the Church received help from that society..
In the educational interests of the denomination the Church has taken an active part. Both Burlington and Pella have received material assistance and a large share of patronage from some members. From its earliest history. Mr. Cady has been enlisted in behalf of Burlington Collegiate Institute, and the deceased Henry Ritner, was among the founders and very first patrons of the school at Pella. But the sympathies of this Church have not been confined to schools of this State. Today, the Theological Seminary in Chicago is receiving liberal assistance from this Church, and not a few ministerial students have, both in this State and others, been cheered by the benefactions of this people.
In the history of Iowa and associational organizations, this body finds a creditable record. The first association in this State was organized on a spot of ground sacred in the memory of this people as a preaching place for the Danville Church. A small grove adjacent to the house of William Mathis, and now owned by Mr. Jacob Funk, but since then defaced of its primal beauty by the ruthless hand of the woodsman, was the birthplace of the old Des Moines Baptist Association. That parent Association largely owed its existence to this the oldest church in the State. Danville was not only the first in moving for an association, but was more largely represented in that meeting than any other church. Besides this, was given to them the additional honor of entertaining the first representative body of the Baptists in Iowa.
It is found on the minutes of the Church that at a business meeting, on the fourth Saturday in May, 1842, Henry Ritner and Daniel Smead were appointed delegates to sit in council at Iowa City with delegates from the different churches, for the purpose of organizing a general association of the State of Iowa. And in the early history of Baptists in Iowa, it will be safe to say that, among lay members, no names were more familiar, and but few more active and useful, than those of William Mathis, Jonathan Philpott, Edwin Cady and Henry Ritner. Of that number, three have gone to their reward, and Mr. Cady alone is left of that band of workers to toil on, by assisting grace, a little longer.
George Cady was baptized by Elder A. Evans, on the Sunday after the first Saturday in October, 1841, thirty-three years since. Edwin Cady, Jr., was baptized March, 1844. Charles Cady and Jacob Ritner, both deceased, were baptized the same day. The vote on his license to preach was taken on the second Saturday in February, 1853.
During the history of the church we have been sketching, Messrs. Philpott, Cady, Ritner, Loughery, Mains, Scovil, Lindley and Foster have served as Deacons. Five members - Langdon, Cady, Seamans, Judd and Loughery - have been licensed to preach. Two members, Knight and Ross, have been ordained whilst members of the Church.
The present membership numbers 134. At this writing the Church is without a pastor.
The Congregational Church, of Danville, was organized June 29, 1839, by Rev. Reuben Gaylord and Rev. Asa Turner. The following were the constituted members: Samuel B. Jaggar and wife, Cordelia Terrill, Harriet C. Hall, Mary Corning, Anna Messenger, Amanda Higley, Reuben Gaylord and wife, Heman Seymour and wife, Thomas K. Hurlbert, Betsy Mathews, Lucinda A. Moore, Ebenezer O. Messenger, Peter Moore, Lydia Humphrey, John C. Hitchcock and wife, John Hitchcock and wife, Madison Minor and wife, Rachael Hitchcock, Irene Hitchcock, Clark Hitchcock. Rev. Reuben Gaylord was the first Pastor. The congregation first worship in a log house, and, in 1844, built the first church edifice in the township. The present church was erected in 1868, and E. P. Smith first officiated as Pastor in it. The present Pastor is Rev. J. D. Baker. The present membership numbers about one hundred and the church property is valued at $700.
The Methodist Church records have been kept in such a manner as to be unintelligible; wherefore, no early history of the Church can be given with any degree of accuracy. The present church-building was erected in 1856. Prior to this time, the congregation worshipped in the Baptist Church building. I. N. Busby is the present Pastor. The membership numbers eighty, and the church property is valued at $1,000.
Danville is situated one-half mile north of the center of the township, or the settlement called Danville Center, and, like it, lies on an open prairie. The village was founded by Alanson and Miss Harriet Messenger, in 1854, and laid out into town lots the same year. The village has never been incorporated. Danville is located on the property owned by the deceased Hiram Messenger, who pre-empted and bought the claim, and was the first settler on the site of the present village.
Hiram Messenger was born at Beckett, Mass., in 1786. In 1812, he moved to Ohio, and from there to Iowa, and the present Danville in the spring of 1839, when he built a slab-board stable, in which the family resided until the fall of the same year, when they moved to a double log house just completed.
In 1842, Hiram Messenger was appointed Postmaster, and was the first one in what is now Danville Township. He died in 1851.
The first store at Danville Station was started by Alanson Messenger, in 1855, in a little old building now used by A. Still as a warehouse. In 1873, Mr. Messenger built his present fine business block. He has been Postmaster since 1863.
The coming of the B. & M. Railroad, in 1855, changed mercantile matters entirely, and brought all the business to Danville Station; but, for religious comfort, the inhabitants are compelled to visit the old settlement. The people of both the Center and the Station pride themselves, and with justice on their fine two-story frame schoolhouse, located between the two places, and erected in 1877. The graded system has been adopted in the Independent School District of Danville. J. E. Cavenee was the first teacher in the new schoolhouse, and J. B. Hungerford is the present Principal. The average attendance at this school is sixty-five.
The Danville Cornet Band was organized in February, 1876. The members are: Harvey Wilcox, Leader; H. H. Shepherd, William Shepherd, E. H. Porter, J. P. Irwin, H. A. Lewis, David Rittner, Edward Neal, William Cady, E. H. Seymour, H. H. Higley and William Sawtelle. The instruments cost $400.
Danville Lodge, No. 343, I.O.O.F., was instituted February 24, 1876, and a charter was granted October 19, of the same year. The charter members were A. A. Miller, J. J. Patton, John Irwin, Jr., R. H. Bolton, B. W. Shepherd, W. H. Swan, J. P. Irwin, W. H. Stewart, J. S. Irwin, D. W. Paine, Reuben Tomes, Samuel A. Smith, Frank Cady, W. D. Moore, J. F. Masters, J. S. Koontz, Vear Porter. The first officers were: J. H. Besore, N. G.; M. P. Stoner V. G.; S. E. Keller, Recording Secretary; P. M. Guion, Permanent Secretary; M. P. Ruth, Treasurer. The present officers are: J. P. Irwin, N. G.; Frank Cady, B.G.; Samuel A. Smith, Secretary; J. F. Masters, Treasurer. The Lodge meets in Central Block. The present membership is thirty-seven, and the value of the Lodge property $300.
Danville Lodge, No. 48, A.F. & A.M., was instituted under dispensation July 1, 1854, and a charter was granted June 6, 1855, the charter members being as follows: R. B. Foster, R. G. McFarland, Caleb Webster, Prentice Yoeman, J. S. Stephenson, L. L. Berry, C. D. Beebe, Clark Jackman. The officers under the dispensation were: Prentice Yoeman, W. M.; R. G. McFarland, S.W.; Caleb Webster, J. W.; J. J. Stephenson, Treasurer; R. B. Foster, Secretary; L. L. Beery, S. D.; C. D. Beebe, J. D.; Clark Jackman, Tiler. The first officers under the charter were: L.L. Berry, W. M.; Caleb Webster, S. W.; William Wiggins, J. W.; R. B. Foster, Treasurer; Christian Fischback, Secretary; R. G. McFarland, S. D.; Clark Jackman, J. D.; C. D. Beebe, Tiler. The present officers are: J. A. Wright, W. M.; R. M. Chamber, S. W.; B. F. Berton, J. W.; W. H. Stewart, Treasurer; J. P. Irwin, Secretary; Reuben Tomes, S.D.; A. A. Wilcox, J.D.;
J. F. Masters, Tiler; This Lodge has a membership of forty-nine. The value of its property, including building, furniture, library and money at interest, is $1,800. It was first instituted at Lowell, Henry County, under the name of Lowell Lodge, No. 48, and chartered June 6, 1855. This charter was surrendered June 4, 1857, and returned June 8, 1864. The place of meeting was changed to Danville, Des Moines County, and Lodge named Danville Lodge, No. 48.
Danville has three general stores, one furniture store, one harness-shop, two blacksmith-shops, one tailor-shop, on carpenter-shop, one tin shop, three physicians, one live-stock firm, one elevator, one flouring-mill and one cheese-factory, also one public hall.