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



Jones County, traversed as it is by the North and South Maquoketa and Wapsipinicon Rivers, has been obliged to expend in the building of bridges sums which to other counties would seem almost marvelous. Not only have these larger streams made heavy drafts upon the county treasury, but numerous creeks have demanded a steady expenditure of the public funds to render them passable. It has been the custom of the Board of Supervisors usually to make appropriations in part for the building of bridges, expecting the remainder to be raised by subscription. Thus an appropriation would be made with the understanding that the citizens most interested in the bridge would subscribe and pay $1 to every $2 expended by the county, or $1 to every $3 of the public funds. Wooden bridges only were erected for a time, but a longer-sighted policy has of late years led to the building of substantial iron superstructures.
The first bridge of importance in the county was thrown across the Wapsipincon near where the Anamosa Cemetery now is. This was on the old Military road from Dubuque to Iowa City. The bridge was built by the Government, at an expense of $2,900, Calvin Reed being the contractor.
In 1857, $2,000 was appropriated by the County Judge to assist in bridging the South Maquoketa, and $1,800 to span the Wapsipinicon at Overacker's Ferry.
A bridge was built at Metcalf's and Graham's Mills, across the Wapsipinicon, in 1862-63, at a cost of $2,500, of which the county paid one half.
A bridge at Oxford's Mills was built in 1865, with A. A. Reilly as contractor, at a total cost of $4,674, of which the county paid about one-half.
In November, 1864, $2,000 was appropriated toward building a $3,000 bridge at Monticello.
In 1865, a bridge was built at Newport, for $3,900, of which $2,350 was contributed by the county, and the remainder raised by subscription. In 1872, this was replaced by an iron bridge, built by the King Bridge Company, and costing $13,500.
A bridge over Walnut Creek, at Rome, was built at an expense of $2,528.50.
An appropriation was made in November, 1868, to bridge Buffalo Creek, at Fremont's Mills, at a cost of $3,000, two-thirds to be paid by the county.
In January, 1869, $3,000 was appropriated for the bridging of the Wapsipinicon, near Ballou's stone quarry, in Hale Township. A subsequent appropriation of $2,450 was made in the following year. The entire cost of the bridge was near $8,000.
Appropriations were made in 1870, for bridges at Corbet's Mill and Clay Mills, each to cost near $3,000, of which the county would pay two-thirds, the remainder to be raised by subscription.
An iron bridge was built across the south fork of the Maquoketa River, near Walter's Mills, in June, 1871.
In the winter of 1872-73, the bridge at Monticello was taken out by the ice, and a superstructure of iron was substituted by the Massillon Bridge Company, in the summer following. The iron bridge across the Wapsipinicon at Anamosa, was completed by the Ohio Bridge Company, during the same season.
The bridge at Supple's Mills was completed in 1875, at an expense of $6,654.46. The contractors were Kline, Wybel & Co., and Z. King & Co.
The iron bridge across the Buffalo at Fisher's Mills, completed in 1878, cost $9,620.42.
The bridge at Olin, completed in October, 1877, by the King Bridge Company is a substantial structure and cost Jones County $9,737.53.
Fremont Mill bridge was built by the Massillon Iron Bridge Company in Monticello in 1873 and later relocated to Central Park, near Edinburgh.

Wapsipinicon River bridge at former state highway 151, Anamosa.

Hale bridge, a three-span bow string bridge, was built in 1877 and 1879 over the Wapsipinicon River at the town of Hale by the King Bridge Company. It has been restored and on 8 March 2006 was relocated from the town of Hale to the Anamosa State Park, 16 miles up-river. Many photos are available at the King Bridge Company site.

Bridge at Olin. Anyone have information on this bridge?

To encourage the cultivation of trees, orchards and hedges, the Board of Supervisors, at the June meeting, 1878, resolved that $100 should be deducted from the assessment of each person having planted and cultivated an acre of forest trees, with not less than five hundred trees per acre; also, a deduction of $100 for each half-mile of two-year-old hedge, and $100 for each acre of fruit trees duly cultivated and planted; provided always, that in each case the owner send to the Board a general statement of the manner of planting and cultivation.
We quote from an article published in the "Annals of Iowa," October, 1871, written by Edmund Booth, of Anamosa, for more than twenty years the editor of the Eureka. Mr. Booth, though usually classed among deaf mutes, is not really such. He lost his hearing when a mere lad, and has the power of speech in a limited way. He was educated at the Hartford Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, and was subsequently, for seven years, a teacher in that institution. He writes:
"In the spring of 1840, the site of what is now Anamosa did not contain a human dwelling of any kind. At the distance of a mile or more therefrom, and at a point now called Fisherville, there stood a log house, about 18x20 feet in size, owned by a company engaged in building mills, such as were needed by frontiersmen for grinding or sawing. The company consisted of Timothy Davis, of Dubuque; Gideon H. Ford and George H. Walworth, the first and last named being subsequently know in Iowa politics. There being no house within five miles of the place, Mr. Walworth brought two of his sisters from their home in Illinois to aid in housekeeping. One of these sisters was a mute from New Hampshire, and educated at the Hartford institution. Another mute, a young man, also educated at the same school, Mr. Walworth found at Alton, Ill., and brought on, as a skillful carpenter. The name of this young man was L. N. Perkins.
"In May or June of the year above indicated, a brother-in-law of the writer, Col. David Wood, of Springfield, Mass., arrived with his family, and with him I decided to erect a frame dwelling-the first frame dwelling erected in the county-on the site of what afterwards became the town of Anamosa. The frame was prepared at the mills near the log house aforesaid, and in June or July we proceeded to dig the cellar.

(Note-In this connection it may be interesting to the reader to know that the second marriage license in Jones County was issued July 25, 1840, to Edmund Booth and Mary Ann Walworth, and that they were married on the following day, by John G. Joslin, Justice of the Peace, who, in the absence of other form of marriage ceremony, made use of the printed service of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert, which appeared about that time in the newspapers, the queen having married, February 10 previous. Doubtless a very quiet wedding, as neither of the parties most interested could hear a sound, nor could Miss Walworth speak a sentence.-Editor.)

"One day, while engaged in the latter occupation, in company with Perkins, whom I had hired for the purpose, no other person being present, the Sheriff of the county, Hugh Bowen, came along in his usual way, on horseback. He stopped, dismounted, drew a roll of papers from a tin case, and entered our names, places of nativity, etc., in the census of 1840. Having performed this duty, the Sheriff remounted his horse and proceeded to the log house before mentioned. While he was entering our name and all the et ceteras, I noticed that his paper was printed in the form usual upon occasions of this kind, and that he placed the proper figure under the head of deaf mutes. The taking of the census was completed throughout the country, and was in due season printed and laid before Congress and the public. Many persons now living will remember the storm which the publication of this census brought up. John Quincy Adams, ex-President and then member of the Lower House at Washington, and others, as well as the newspapers, attacked it fiercely as having been manipulated in the interests of slavery. John Tyler was President, through the death of Harrison, and John C. Calhoun was Secretary of State. The office of Secretary of the Interior had not been created, and the Census Bureau had charge of census affairs subject to the control of the Secretary of State. The abolition war was raging in Congress and out, the Southern politicians and Northern tools declared slavery divine-the best possible condition for the blacks. To prove the truth of this latter assertion, the census returns had been so falsified as to show that a far greater proportion of the free blacks of the North were variously afflicted with physical infirmities than was the case with the enslaved blacks of the South; but possibly because there were not enough blacks in some of the Northern States or because the fraud might be too easily detected, or because Southern statesmen in their ignorance of the real state of things in the North, supposed Northern mutes were generally uneducated, as those of the slave-holding States, the mutes of the North were very liberally classed in the published returns as deaf, dumb, blind, idiotic, insane and colored!
"While the feeling on this subject of falsifying the census was at its height, I received a copy of the Hartford Courant, in which was a communication, probably written by Mr. Weld, the Principal, or some one of the teachers, giving the localities of the former pupils of the Hartford institution, and now published by the Government as colored and overwhelmed by all the ills that can afflict humanity. The mutes of Jones County, Iowa, that is, the three mentioned above, I learned now for the first time, were down in the archives of the Government, and for the information of the coming ages down to the end of time, described as 'deaf, dumb, blind, idiotic, insane, colored.'
"There are those who are readily irritated at trifling annoyances, but bear great misfortunes with a quiet philosophy or a stolid indifference. The statement just quoted was too atrocious, too extravagant and too absurd for indignation. It brought greatly to my recollection the wrathful exclamation found in Shakespeare:

"'Get thee glass eyes,
And, like a scurvy politician, seem
To see the things thou seest not.'

"Years passed until 1847, and the Territory of Iowa had become a State. The subject of a school for deaf mutes within our borders had occasionally crossed my mind and been dismissed as untimely. As a Territory, nothing could be done save in a private way. Iowa, as a State, could make provisions whereby mutes might have equal educational privileges with hearing children. But the State was neither populous nor wealthy enough to embark in costly schemes, and I therefore wrote to Thomas Officer, Principal of the Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb, at Jacksonville. Ill., to ascertain whether, and on what terms, his school would receive and educate the mutes of Iowa. His answer was favorable; the terms, I think, $100 a year for board and tuition. This was during the early part of the session of 1848-49 of the Iowa Legislature.
"On receiving Mr. Officer's answer, I immediately wrote to Dr. Nathan G. Sales, then representing our county in the Lower House, requesting him to inaugurate and press through a bill authorizing the sending to the school at Jacksonville such Iowa mutes as were of educational age, and before they became too old to enjoy the advantage, at the same time stating that our new commonwealth was too young and not sufficiently advanced in population or ability to start a school of our own. Incidentally, and as a tolerable good joke, though at my own expense, and never dreaming of the use to which the Doctor would put it, I told him that by the census of 1840, all the mutes of Jones County were bound up in calf, laid away in the Government Library and published to the world as, 'deaf, dumb, blind, idiotic and insane niggers,' asking his opinion at the same time, as a physician, whether it was possible for a person to be at once idiotic and insane? In this letter I enclosed the one from Mr. Officer.
"The Doctor, as he afterward told me, read my letter in open session and there was a general laugh, as well there might be. He brought in a bill making provisions for the education of the mutes and blind of the State, but met with opposition on the score of poverty. He therefore resorted to strategy. There was a bill providing for a sword for some officer who had distinguished himself in the Mexican war. The Doctor compared the extravagance of this motion with the necessity of assisting to the afflicted of the State, and secured the passage of the bill through the House.
"The bill became a law and appropriated $50 per year to every mute sent to the institution at Jacksonville, the parents or friends to pay the balance necessary to make up the $100 required annually. It was the best that could be done at the time.
"In the spring of 1849, I went to California and returned in 1854. On inquiry, I found that the law had been so changed as to allow each mute $100 annually in the Illinois school. During my five years of absence, the State had grown remarkably in population and wealth, and now I thought the time had come for a school of our own. With this view, I again wrote to Mr. Officer, the Principal of the Jacksonville Institution, for data regarding the number of our pupils, etc., and hinting at the establishment of a school in Iowa. Trouble in one of my lungs, resulting from lung fever during student days, forbade my taking the work of teaching on myself. I therefore wrote to David E. Bartlett, who was conducting a private school of mutes at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., stating how the matter stood and suggesting to him to come and start a school at Iowa City, then the capital of the State. Mr. Bartlett had formerly been a fellow-teacher with me in Hartford, and I knew him to be abundantly qualified, he being by nature a hearty enthusiast in his profession, and having the love and respect of his pupils and all the mutes of his acquaintance. To my great regret he declined the proposal, pleading 'age and seventeen little responsibilities'-meaning his pupils. Knowing no other teacher of mutes outside of the regular institutions worth having, and knowing also that no teacher, properly qualified, naturally and otherwise, connected with any established institution would sever such connection for what might appear a Don Quixotic adventure into a frontier State, I concluded to wait until near the time of the assembling of the next Iowa Legislature, and then, by letter or some other means, enlist a few of the prominent men of Iowa City in the project, induce them to bring the matter before the Legislature and obtain an appropriation for the founding of an Iowa Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb, to be located at the capital of the State. A foundation of this kind once laid, I knew there would not be the slightest difficulty in finding any one of the best teachers in the older institutions to take charge of it.
"While I was waiting the lapse of a few months, the Iowa City papers informed me that a Mr. Ijams, of the Jacksonville institution, had appeared with the intention of starting a school for mutes. Prominent men in Iowa City enlisted in the project. The Legislature responded favorably, and success crowned the effort. At the first State Fair held at Iowa City, I attended and called at the institution a half-hour every morning before the fair was fully opened.
"When it was proposed in the Legislature to erect a new building and give the school a permanent location, Dr. Sales suggested to me to get up a movement in favor of its removal to Anamosa. 'No,' I replied, 'public institutions are liable to mismanagement and abuse by those in charge, and it is essential to have this school at the State capital, where it will be under the immediate eye of the Legislature and the State officers.' The institution went to Council Bluffs."
The sketch shows that, directly and indirectly, the humane and complete provisions now in existence for the care of deaf mutes in Iowa were, in their beginnings, the result of the efforts of Jones County men.


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