MOUNT PLEASANT - 1856
Submitted by Pat Ryan White
"IOWA AS IT IS in
1856; a Gazetteer For Citizens,
Mount Pleasant, the county-seat, was laid out in the year
1836, by Presley Saunders; at that time the lands on which it was located were
not in market, nor had it ever been surveyed, but the beauty of the location,
taken in connection with the great abundance of superior building-stone, and the
large body of timber that lay contiguous to the site, to say nothing of the
never-failing springs of water that gush from the shores of the branch that runs
through the suburbs of the town, induced the proprietor to believe that a town
might be built up that would be a credit to the State.
Nor in this has he been disappointed.
This town now contains a population of about 1500 inhabitants, and is at
present in a more prosperous condition, and is improving faster than at any
The population of the county in February last, was 11,180.
Beside the county-seat, there are other towns in the county of
considerable size and importance. Salem,
in the south-west part of the county, is a thriving young place, containing 875
souls. New London, on the eastern edge of the county has some 650
inhabitants. Trenton, in the
northern portion, some 500; beside these are Winfield, Lowell, Hillsborough,
Rome, East Grove P.O., Marshall P.O., Wayne P.O., &c., all in a thriving
There are six church edifices in Mount Pleasant;
Congregational, Presbyterian, Methodist, Christian, O.S. Baptist, and Missionary
Baptist. Other towns and villages
are proportionally well supplied with churches, all of which are well attended,
and in a healthy condition. In
point of morality and sobriety, the community of Mount Pleasant is unsurpassed
in the State.
One newspaper, "The Iowa Observer," is
well-conducted, and well-sustained. The
number of magazines and newspapers taken at the P.O. indicate the intelligence
and refinement of the people.
Mount Pleasant has been named and known heretofore, as the
point possessing and offering greater educational advantages than any other
place in the State, and she has yet no rival in this respect except Davenport.
The "Iowa Wesleyan University," under the control of the M.E.
Church, is a Collegiate Institute of the first grade, has 150 students, and is
in full and successful operation under the management of Prof. James Harlan,
with competant assistants. The
"Mt. Pleasant High School and Female Academy," under the management of
Prof. S.L. Howe, a teacher of acknowledged ability and experience has an average
attendance of 100 pupils. The
well-merited reputation of this school at home and abroad is attested by the
patronage it receives. A Select
School for Young Ladies, under the superintendance of Rev. B. Wall, and taught
by Mrs. Wall and Miss McHarg, has recently been opened, which bids fair to
become a Female Seminary of usefulness and extensive patronage.
The town and county is well supplied with well-attended and
ably-conducted common schools.
There are at present no manufactories of importance in
Henry County. Steam flouring and
saw-mills, a foundry, and a carding and fulling-mill are much needed, and would
prove good investments. Coal, in
considerable quantities, has been found on both sides of the Skunk river, also
in-exhaustible quarries of the very best building stone near Mt. Pleasant.
The Burlington and Missouri railroad will be finished to Mt. Pleasant
during the present year. The Muscatine and Keokuk railroad also passes through Mt.
At the late session of the Legislature, the Iowa Insane
Asylum was located at Mt. Pleasant, and fifty thousand dollars appropriated for
the erection of the building.
The soil of Henry is second in quality to that of no other
county in the State. The land is
well watered, all entered, and rapidly filling up with a highly intellectual and
industrious class of citizens.
HENRY COUNTY POST-OFFICES.