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The 1879 History of Jones County Iowa was transcribed by Janet A. Brandt.


The name of this city has a somewhat romantic origin, and is derived from a simple incident in its early history. This incident occurred in the house of G. H. Ford about 1842, and is thus related by Edmund Booth, who happened to be present: "One day three Indians came in. At a glance, it was seen, that they were not of the common, skin-dressed, half wild and dirty class. They were a man, woman and daughter, and all wore a look of intelligence quite different from the generally dull aspect of their race. The man and woman were dressed mostly in the costume of white people, with some Indian mixed; but the girl, bright and pleasant-faced, and apparently about eight or ten years old, was wholly in Indian dress. One can form some tolerable idea of her appearance from the carved full-length figures sometimes found in front of tobacco and cigar shops in the cities. These are not always fancy figures, but taken from real life, though such are rarely, if ever, seen among Indians, as they travel from one part of the country to another. The girl was dressed as became the daughter of a chief. She was really a handsome girl. Her dress was entirely Indian, bright as was the expressions of her face, tasteful, and yet not gaudy. She wore ornamented leggings and moccasins, and her whole appearance was that of a well-dressed Indian belle.
"It was evident that these Indians were, as we said, not of the common order, and this fact excited more interest in us and Mr. and Mrs. Ford, no other persons being present, than was usually the case at that day, when the sight of native sons and daughters of the wild frontier was a common occurrence. The three were entirely free from the dull, wary watchfulness of their kind, and, though somewhat reserved at first, were possessed of an easy dignity. They readily became cheerful, and, but for their light red color, would be taken for well-bred white people. They were from Wisconsin and on their way West.
"We inquired their names. The father's was Nasinus. The name of the mother was a longer one and has escaped our memory. The name of the daughter was Anamosa-pronounced, by the mother, An-a-mo-sah, as is the usual way, and corresponds to the Indian pronunciation of Sar-a-to-gah, the Saratoga of New York. When we asked the mother the name of her daughter, the latter laughed the pleasant, half-bashful laugh of a young girl, showing she understood the question, but did not speak. This interview was decidedly agreeable all around. After more than an hour spent in conversation, having taken dinner, they departed on the military road westward, leaving a pleasant impression behind them.
"It occurred to us that the names of the father and daughter were suitable for new towns-in fact, infinitely preferable to repeating Washington and various others for the hundredth time. Unfortunately, we neglected to ascertain of them the meaning of their names; but, some years later, Pratt R. Skinner removed here from Dubuque and established a land agency, subsequently a dry-goods store, under the firm of Skinner & Clark. Mr. Skinner had been engaged in government surveys in this part of Iowa, and was no stranger to the Indians and their language. He said the word Anamosa signified white fawn, and the probability of such being the case is natural enough, when we consider the Indian custom of naming persons from individual objects.
"After Lexington had been platted on this spot and had become the county seat, we brought forward the subject of changing the name of the town, and thus avoiding the numerous delays and losses in mail matter, resulting from similarity of post-office name, almost every northern State having its Lexington. Skinner and C. C. Rockwell, joined in the move, but, on consultation, the Board of County Commissioners concluded they had no power in the premises, and that it was the province of the District Court. At the first session of that Court held in Lexington, a petition, gotten up mainly by Skinner and Rockwell, was presented. Judge Wilson assented, and since then the town has borne the name of Anamosa."


In the early part of 1854, a petition was presented to the County Judge of Jones County, requesting the appointment of an election to decide whether or not Anamosa should become an incorporated town. The Judge granted the petition, and named May 1, 1854, as the day on which said election should be held, and at which election persons residing in the platted village of Anamosa should be electors. The result was in favor of an incorporation.
A second election was ordered to be held in the Court House of Anamosa on the 27th of May following, to choose five persons who should prepare a charter for the proposed town. This election resulted in the choice of C. L. D. Crockwell, D. Kinert, P. R. Skinner, S. T. Pierce and Joseph Dimmitt.
The charter was not submitted for adoption for almost two years, being adopted March 19, 1856, and submitted for the consideration of the County Judge. By him the first election was immediately ordered, resulting in the choice of William T. Shaw, Mayor; C. C. Peet, Recorder, and G. W. Keller, Joseph Mann, S. T. Buxton and H. C. Metcalf, Councilmen.
Anamosa was divided into wards and declared organized as a city February 6, 1872, by the Town Council. This organization was completed by the first city election held March 4, 1872, when two Councilmen were elected from each ward.
No better index to the state of society or the thrift of a community can be found than the press it supports. Decide the question as you may, whether the press is the power behind the throne, or simply the mirror of public thought, the newspaper does not thrive in a virgin soil, but prospers only in a cultivated garden. The press of Anamosa and of other towns of the county show the people of Jones to be not one whit behind the standard which culture would demand in the support of the newspapers.
The first news sheet issued in Jones County was called the Anamosa News, started by William Haddock in February, 1852. He purchased an old press and type in Wisconsin, paying therefor $300. In 1856, he sold the affair to Nathan G. Sales, who conducted the sheet in such a manner as to pique the Republicans of Anamosa and surrounding country; whereupon, some of the more vengeful and enterprising spirits determined to have an organ of their own. J. E. Lovejoy, of Scotch Grove Township, brother of Owen Lovejoy, being a practical printer, talked of selling his farm and starting a paper. It was likewise one of the ambitions of C. L. D. Crockwell to be the proprietor of a journal. They entered into partnership, Lovejoy making out a list of types and machinery needed, and sending to Cincinnati for the same. Crockwell became security for the payment of purchase money.
The first issue of the paper came out in August, 1856. After three issues, Lovejoy, not enjoying the hardships and labor connected with journalism on the border, and owing to sickness in his family, returned to his farm, leaving the entire affair on Crockwell's hands. The latter was a druggist, and had but little time or inclination to devote to editorial duties. He therefore asked Mr. Edmund Booth to contribute editorials to the young enterprise, which he did for some months. Matt Parrott, now State binder and publisher of the Iowa State Reporter at Waterloo, bought an interest in the paper in January, 1858. May 3 of the same year, found the journal, which was called the Eureka, under the ownership of Crockwell, Parrott & Booth. June 28, 1859, Crockwell retired, and December 12, 1862, Edmund Booth became sole owner of the paper. His son, T. E. Booth, was received into partnership October 10, 1867, and for the past twelve years the Eureka has had a prosperous existence under the proprietorship of E. Booth & Son.
It was the original purpose to call the paper the Free Soiler, and such was the name in the first prospectus, that being the time of the Free-Soil movement. Crockwell, however, who delighted in oddities, gave it the name it still wears-Eureka (I have found it). The journal was first issued in the first brick building erected in Anamosa, being only one story high, fifteen feet square, built for a physician's office. It has since occupied quarters in the brick building of S. T. Buxton, H. C. Metcalf, and for the past nine years has found a home on the second floor of the building on the corner of Ford and Main streets, built by E. Booth & Son for the purpose.
The original size of the Eureka was a seven-column folio, which was enlarged to eight columns in October, 1866, at which time the office purchased a Hoe power-press, the first power-press for a country office in this part of the State. Edmund Booth continues political editor of the sheet, which has ever been Republican. T. E. Booth cares for the local page and attends to the business affairs connected with the office. The circulation is now 1,500.
It may now be amiss to state in this connection that J. E. Lovejoy, the first proprietor of the Eureka, was brother to the celebrated Owen Lovejoy, of Illinois, and likewise brother of Elijah P. Lovejoy, who was killed by a mob at Alton, Ill., in 1838.
George H. Walworth, a brother-in-law of Edmund Booth, was one of the defenders of Elijah P. Lovejoy, and was in the building when Lovejoy was shot. Mr. Walworth was elected to the Iowa Legislature in 1839, for Jones and Cedar Counties, and after Jones was entitled to a Representative, Walworth represented the county for two or three terms. He afterward went South and was killed by an accident. Mr. Walworth was a man of fine abilities and remarkable personal attractions, and was noted for his energy and enterprise.
Anamosa Journal-The organ of the Democratic party at the county seat of Jones, is a seven-column folio weekly paper, published every Thursday and entitled the Anamosa Journal. This paper was established in the year 1872, by one A. L. Smith as editor and proprietor. Under the management of Smith, the enterprise seems not to have proved a success, and, on the 1st of January, 1874, it passed into the hands of P. D. Swigart. On the 7th day of the same month, a half-interest was sold to J. M. Swigart, and the publication continued under the firm name of Swigart Bros., until the 29th of June, 1874, when J. M. Swigart disposed of his interest to C. H. Monger, the firm changing to Monger & Swigart. On the 1st of August in the same year, J. A. Monger purchased the interest of Swigart and the firm changed to Monger Bros. J. A. Monger continued as one of the proprietors for a year, when the Journal passed into the hands of C. H. Monger, sole editor and proprietor from that time to the present.
The real prosperity of the Journal may be said to date from the time it passed under the management of C. H. Monger. The parties connected with the paper prior to that time were not educated to journalism and were not well calculated to succeed in such an enterprise. Mr. C. H. Monger had been somewhat educated in the newspaper business before he came to Jones County, and his success is in a measure due to that fact.
The political complexion of the Journal, as has been indicated, has been throughout unhesitatingly Democratic. Mr. Monger, by birth and education, possesses the qualifications essential to the publication of a Democratic journal. He is not Democrat from choice but by nature, and he engages in the work of his hand with all the ardor of his soul.
The policy of the Journal, under its present management, has been decidedly aggressive and outspoken. No one can be at a loss to know on which side of all public questions the Journal stands. What can be said of the independence of the Journal on political questions, may likewise be said in reference to all social questions. Under the management of Mr. Monger, the Journal has steadily increased its patronage and has a large circulation.
March 25, 1859, a petition, signed by ten voters of the town of Anamosa, was presented to the Town Council praying an election to be held in said town to decide whether the corporation and territory adjoining, which had previously been attached for school purposes, should become a separate and independent district in accordance with certain powers conferred by the State Board of Education during the previous year.
In answer to this petition, the Mayor, by order of the Council, proclaimed an election, to be held on the second Monday of April following, to decide the matter. In this election an unanimous vote of seventy ballots was cast in favor of a separate district.
The first Board was elected April 19, 1859, and was composed of William T. Shaw, President; J. S. Dimmitt, Vice President; J. J. Dickenson, Secretary; Israel Fisher, R. S. Hadley, R. Crane and David Graham, Directors.
There were at that time five teachers employed in the district. During the summer of 1859, school was kept in what was known as the "Brick Schoolhouse" and the United Brethren Church—two teachers in each. The schools were kept in session forty-four weeks out of fifty-two, and the school year was divided into a summer and winter term of twenty-two weeks each.
The old schoolhouse, in what was known as the Belknap District, was at once sold by the new Board to Adain Snyder for $130. In the winter of 1859-60, the M. E. Church was rented for school purposes. In the summer of 1861, St. Marks' Episcopal and the Congregational Churches were rented by the district. In these buildings and other rented rooms the public schools were kept until the erection of the present school building. The site of this structure, which is commonly called the Graded School, was purchased in the spring of 1861 of Burton Peet, being two and a half acres of the northeast corner of Section 10, in Fairview Township. In April, 1861, bids were received for the erection of a building in accordance with the specifications and plans already prepared. Two bids were presented only—E. C. Holt, $4,600, and Alonzo Spaulding $4,475. The latter was awarded the contract, and in June a tax of five mills was levied toward meeting the wants of the building fund. The house was not completed until the winter of 1862-63, and, when plastered and furnished, cost almost double the original bid.
An addition was made to the building in 1872, to defray the expenses of which bonds of the district were voted to the amount of $5,000, being five $1,000 bonds due in one, two three, four and five years. The addition was not built by single contract.
To accommodate pupils in that portion of the district, a schoolhouse was erected in the summer of 1867, in the direction of the stone-quarry. This was burned in 1871 by a fire originating from a locomotive, and sweeping through the timber in which the schoolhouse was located. A new building was immediately erected at a cost of $1,000.
In April, 1877, that portion of the Independent District south of the Wapsipinicon was set off to the Fairview District, the river being declared a legal obstruction, preventing the attendance of children from the opposite side.
April 8, 1872, the Independent District of Strawberry Hill was separated from the Independent District of Anamosa by a vote of the electors of the former corporation. The vote stood 23 to 2 in favor of a district organization.
A course of study was formally adopted in 1874, arranging for a high school department of three years. At that time, there was an indebtedness of $6,500 hanging over the district, which has all been since removed.
The present schools of Anamosa comprise the Quarry School, which is not graded, and is in every respect a country school, save that it is under city government, and the Graded School, which includes seven departments. This two-story brick building occupies a conspicuous location, and is a comfortable habitation for the rising generation of the city. The school year now comprises nine months, usually beginning in September.
The report for the term ending June 20, 1879, shows: Total enrollment, 367; average attendance, 284; percent of attendance, 92. The teachers elect with their salaries are: Principal, Park Hill, $900 per year; Assistant Principal, Mrs. L. M. Noble, $40 per month; Room 2, Miss M. Scroggs, $30 per month; Room 3, Miss S. L. Cunningham, $30 per month; Room 4, Miss Julia Foos, $30 per month; Room 5, Miss Ella Foos, $30 per month; Room 6, Miss J. Chapman, $30 per month; Room 7, Miss Abbie Porter, $30 per month; Quarry School, Miss Nellie Beardsley, $30 per month.
The present Board of Directors; I. H. Brasted, President; J. C. Dietz, Secretrary; T. W. Shapley, Treasurer: L. J. Adair, J. S. Stacy, B. Huggins, James Lister, Linus Pitcher.
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