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Clarinda, Iowa: Some Early History

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(1875 Clarinda, IA. Plat)
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(1902 Clarinda, IA. Plat)
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(1985 Clarinda, IA. Plat)

An act to appoint commissioners to locate the seat of justice of Page county was passed during- a session of the legislature in December, 1852. The act reads as follows: "Be it enacted by the general assembly of the state of Iowa that John Scott and Thomas Gordon of the county of Fremont, and Jacob Miller, of the county of Taylor, be and they are hereby appointed commissioners to locate and establish the seat of justice for the county of Page, and that the name of the seat of justice shall be Clarinda. "Approved December 22, 1852." [REF:#1]

The county seat was located in accordance with the above authority by the commissioners therein named on the northwest quarter of section 31, township 69 north, range No. 30 west. In May, 1853, the above quarter section of land having been preempted in the name of Page county, was laid out into lots. The town was laid off under the direction of William L. Burge, prosecuting attorney and acting county judge, by E. Miller, surveyor, Benjamin Dodson, chairman, and Robert Stafford, axman. There was a sale of lots on the following September. The lots upon which T. D. Hawley's store and the First National Bank were afterwards located brought fifteen dollars each. R. W. Stafford bought them. Other lots around the public square were sold as low as two dollars and a half each. Clarinda has always been the county seat of Page county and there has never been any concerted action on the part of any community in the county to take away from Clarinda that distinction. Fifty years ago [1859]] there was some talk of getting up an agitation for the removal of the county seat to a town plot, then known as Page City. It was all talk and in the nature of a real-estate boom and lots at Page City were sold at exorbitant prices. Every one but the purchaser of the lots forgot about the county seat scheme in a very short time.

Page county was then divided into two civil subdivisions known as Buchanan and Nodaway. A few years later Tarkio and Nebraska townships were set off. The county court of January 20, 1858, reorganized the civil townships, creating Dyke, [Sic] Douglas, Pierce and other townships, thus making smaller the former subdivisions of the county. It will be of no value to the reader to follow the various changes of township boundary lines.
Various other changes have been made from time to time until today [1909] the civil townships are all square, each containing thirty-six square miles, except Nodaway and Nebraska. The former has fifty-five and a quarter sections, while the latter is cut down to seventeen. [See: Early Settlement]

It is not definitely known but presumed that Clarinda was platted in May, 1853, but no record of the plat was made until December 7, 1857. George RIBBLE, a pioneer, made the next platting February 23, 1858.

It is said that a member of the general assembly. Rev. Carl Means, who represented this district when the county was organized, suggested the name for the county seat to be located as Clarinda in honor of a niece of Alexander M. Tice, a pioneer of the county. Her name was Clarinda Buck, a daughter of John Buck, of Nodaway county, Missouri. She was a young lady of charming personality and very much admired for her beauty of person and character. She became a wife and moved to Portland, Oregon, where she died nearly a half century ago.

First Business in Clarinda
In E. MILLER's 1876 History, he states: [REF:#004, Pg26]
In the period of 1851 to 1861 the settlements in Nodaway Twp. increased rapidly, especially about 'Clarinda'.
In 1856 came "Sol" ROUND,
Cyrus CREEL,
James McCOWAN, (still earlier)
Alexander DAVIE,
Henry HAKES,
Henderson MURRY,
and a great many other good and true men, even the mention of whom space forbids.

In 1866 it was concluded by the citizens of Clarinda that the growth of the town warranted its incorporation. To further this end, a petition was presented the county judge on October 10, 1866, signed by the proper number of freeholders, whereupon the Judge, John R. Morledge, [sic MOLDRIDGE] ..prs] granted the prayer and established the town of Clarinda under authority of the state laws. The first election was held in March, 1867. Since its incorporation the following have served as mayors of the city:
 John R. Morledge,  John R. MOLDRIDGE, Lawyer, b. 1812, England.  per 1860 Census, Pg 911
 W. R. Harrell,  W.R. HARRILL, Harnes Maker, b. 1810, IL.  per 1860 Census, Pg 9191
 F. L. Cramer,  F.S. CRAMER, Shoe Maker, b. 1835 PA.  per 1860 Census, Pg 920
 H. Hiatt,  three years, [Horton HIATT, Nodaway Twp.  
 John R. Morledge,  John R. MOLDRIDGE, Lawyer, b. 1812, England.  per 1860 Census, Pg 911
 J. M. Briggs,    
 H. Hiatt,  two years,  
 J. M. Brigg's,    
 H. Hiatt,    
 Thomas Evans,  three years. [Thomas EVENS, Farmer, b. 1826 PA.  per 1860 Census, Pg 921

The incorporated town grew very rapidly and became of sufficient importance and dimensions as to demand a charter as a city of the second class. This was consummated in time for the spring election of 1882.
N. B. Moore was the first mayor after this change and remained in office three years.
He was succeeded by Raymond Loranz, two years,
John R. Good, two years,
E. P. H. Stone,
J. E. Hill,
M. J. Hoge,
D. H. Childs,
C. W. Foster and
E. B. Westcott, who is now [1909] serving his second term.

 Date  Type  Remarks  Source
   Attorney   1st (regular) J.J. BARWICK.  [REF:#1]
 1864  Banker   1st was J.I. McINTVRE, from Noggara Co. NY.  [REF:#1]
 1866  Building   1st brick block building bult by BUTLER, THOMPSON & COMPANT?  [REF:#1]
 1856  Church   1st built by Methodist Episconal  [REF:#1]
 1858  Church   1st Church built (no name)  [REF:#3]
 1853  Church   1st Sermon preached in Clarinda, Jun. 1853, Rev. Samuel FARLOW  [REF:#3]
 1854  Church   1st Sermon some say Rev. Samuel FARLOW, Methodist  [REF:#1]
 1854  Church   1st Sermon some say Uncle Jimmy STOCKTON, a Cumberland Presbyterian.  [REF:#1]
 1856  Death   1st was Milton GUTHRIE, fever  [REF:#1]
 1853  Doctor   1st was J.C. HOLMES, M.D. came 1853 from Monroe Co., NY. (See 1855 Doctor)  [REF:#2]
 1855  Doctor   1st was J.L. BARRETT, M.D. came in Jun. (See Doctor 1853)  [REF:#1]
 1855  Doctor   1st was J.L. BARRETT, M.D. noted for his wit & cheerfulness (See Doctor 1853)  [REF:#3]
 1855  Doctor   1st was S.H. KRDELBAUG. M.D. from Clearmont Co., OH  [REF:#3]
 1858  Doctor   2nd was N.L. VanSANDT, of Brown Co., OH.  [REF:#2]
 1854  Goods   1st goods were sold by CAMP & CONN.  [REF:#1]
 1855  Hotel   1st by George RIBBLE, from Montgomery, PA.  [REF:#1]
 1855  Hotel   1st by George RIBBLE, from Montgomery, PA.  [REF:#3]
 1866  Newspaper   1st Author & Journalist was George H. POWERS of Medina Co., OH.  [REF:#2]
 1856  Newspaper   1st Editor & Publisher was N.C. RIDENOUR from Campbell Co., TN. (Clarinda Democrate)  [REF:#2]
 1867  Newspaper   2nd Editor & Publisher was Ralph ROBINSON of Wash. Co., PA. (Clarinda Herald)  [REF:#2]
   Photographer   1st was a young man reared here named OWENS. Traveling artist preceded him.  [REF:#1]
 1854  Plow   Breaking Plow was designed by Isaac VanARSDOL  [REF:#1]
 1854  Postoffice   1st Postmaster S.F. SNIDER  [REF:#4]
 1871  Railroad   1st train rolled into Clarinda from Villisca in Nov.  [REF:#1]
 1854  School   1st Schoolhouse built of logs  [REF:#1]
 1854  School   1st Schoolhouse in Clarinda  [REF:#3]
 1854  School   1st taught by Elijah MILLER in the "old cottonwood" (See School 1853)  [REF:#1]
 1853  School   1st taught in Preacher FARLOW's house Mrs. Isabella FARLOW  [REF:#3]
 1853  Settle   1st on the town Plat in Apr. Rev. Samuel FARLOW  [REF:#1]
 1853  Settle   2nd on the town Plat in Judge SNYDER  [REF:#1]
 1863  Store   1st Agricultural Implements sold by Wm. BUTLER  [REF:#1]
 1854  Store   1st Blacksmith shop opened 1854,5 by Ray HADSESTY  [REF:#1]
 1871  Store   1st Boot & Shoe store was run by BEEMAN & CALDWELL  [REF:#1]
 1865  Store   1st Carriage Maker, was J.B. CHAMBERLA of Warren Co., OH.  [REF:#2]
 1870  Store   1st Clothing House was Val GRAFF.  [REF:#1]
 1865  Store   1st Dentist was probably Dr. SANBORN  [REF:#1]
 1855  Store   1st Drug Store was opened Spring, bt Dr. CONNER  [REF:#1]
 1855  Store   1st General Mdse. open by J.S. CATHCART, from St. Joseph, MO.  [REF:#2]
 1854  Store   1st General Store was opened by CONN & CAMP  [REF:#3]
 1856  Store   1st Grain & Stock Dealer, Jacob BUTLER, form Wayne Co., IN.  [REF:#2]
 1871  Store   1st Grain & Warehouse erected by BUTLER & CROOKS  [REF:#1]
 1864  Store   1st Hardware Stock was Al COLLINS.  [REF:#1]
 1860  Store   1st Harness Maker, was Alexander SCOTT  [REF:#1]
 1855  Store   1st Livery business was Lem DAVISON  [REF:#1]
 1870  Store   1st Lumber store (soft wood) was OSGOOD & KIMBALL  [REF:#1]
 1865  Store   1st Millinery Stock, were SMITH sisters.  [REF:#1]
 1859  Store   1st Pottery was burned by KRIDELBAUGH Brothers  [REF:#1]
 1855  Store   1st Shoe store opend by Columbus BRIDGES  [REF:#1]
 1854  Store   1st Wagon Repairwas John ALLEN  [REF:#1]
 1868  Store   2nd Blacksmith was James KEENER, of Indiana Co., PA.  [REF:#2]

   Source and Reference Notes!
 [REF:#1.]   History   of Page Co., IA. 1909, by W.L. Kershaw, (Pg 224-6)  [See: 1909 History]
 [REF:#2.]   Patrons   of Page Co., IA. Andeas Plat Book, 1875  [See: 1875 Plats]
 [REF:#3.]   Plats   Atlas of Fremont & Page Co.'s IA. - 1966, by Midwest Atlas Co., Fremont, NE.  [See: 1966 Atlas]
 [REF:#4.]   History   of Page Co., IA., by E. MILLER, 1876, Herald Book and Job Office, Clarinda, IA.  [See: 1876 History]


Profile Series!
These records are part of the "Genealogy Computer Package"
*** PC-PROFILE *** Volume - I Page Co. Families Profile©
Compiled and self Published in Jun. 25, 1989 by Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. with the assistance of my late mother
Mrs. M. Lucille (WILSON) SARRETT (1917-1987)

E-Mail: Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. Friends of Page Co.,

Text - Copyright © 1996-2007 Paul R. Sarrett, Jr.
Created: Dec. 01, 1996; Feb. 25, 2004;  Nov. 15, 2007;