Welcome to...
Jackson County, Iowa
Part of Genealogy Trails

Welcome to Iowa Genealogy Trails

Jackson County, Iowa News Articles

Return to News Index or Return HOME

- - 1843 - - GREAT PIGEON ROOST. - There is an immense pigeon roost in the forks of the Maquoketa, in Jackson county, such as has never been seen in this country before. It is three miles long, and half a mile in width. There can be no estimate made of their numbers. Their roosting places are about a mile distant from their nests and feeding places, being three in number, and each one covering a section of land; and, in passing to and fro, they darken the air with their number, break down young trees with their weight, and hundreds are killed by getting entangled in the falling limbs and branches. The people kill them with clubs, and their noise is so loud that when a gun is fired amongst them the report cannot be heard, and a person can stand in one place and shoot all day the birds returning as soon as you can load. They are building their nests, and the people are alarmed lest they may destroy their crops.- Dubuque Miner's Express.

[Washington Globe, Washington D. C., May 17, 1843, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]


Decidedly the richest joke, as well as one of the best signs of the season thus far, was that which transpired at Maquoketa on last Saturday. The pro-slavery leaders in that region had appointed Maquoketa as the place and Saturday as the time for holding a grand Buchanan rally and ratification meeting. A committee appointed for the purpose came to this city, and made arrangements for the attendance of the Independent Brass Band, making an advance payment of $80 for their services. The hour arrived. A very respectable assemblage had gathered together.-The orators were all ready, and the resolutions all prepared. The band played an overture and had completed another tune, when-some one in the crowd proposed "Three cheers for Fremont!" [a popular anti-slavery proponent] They were given with a heartiness and emphasis that left no doubt as to the sentiments of the meeting.

There was a dilemma. Evidently this was not the kind of entertainment for which the appetites of the Buchanan leaders had been whetted, and for which they had been at such pains to provide music, and banners, and resolutions!-Clearly, there was not in that crowd of Freemen and Fremonters, the materials out of which to manufacture a pro-slavery meeting. The leaders were struck dumb, though the exact manner of their disappearance could not be ascertained. At all events they evaporated, and the assemblage resolved itself into a hearty Fremont and Dayton meeting. Such is the kind of signs and jokes which illustrate the progress of the good cause in Iowa.-Dav. Gaz.
[Source: Rockford Republican (Rockford, IL) Wednesday, August 20, 1856, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]


The Maquoketa Sentinel announced the discovery of gold in the vicinity of Maquoketa, and says "strange as it may sound it is no humbug!" Large numbrs of citizens of Maquoketa have gone prospecting.
[Source: Holmes County Republican, Millersburg, Ohio, June 10, 1858, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]


Two girls, cousins, aged 15 and 16, hung themselves in Jackson county, Iowa recently, on account of loving the same man.
[Star of the North (Bloomsburg, PA) August 22, 1860, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman] (does anyone know their names?)

- - 1868 - - MURDER AT ALMA, IOWA
Last Wednesday afternoon a number of raftsmen stopped at Alma, Iowa, a small town on the Mississippi river, and having drank much whiskey, demanded more. The saloon keepers refused to give them any, and in their rage the raftsmen proceeded to the task of demolishing every drinking establishment in the place. They then attacked the stores and private residences, and robbed and beat the inmates. The Sheriff and his deputy tried to restore order, but some of the raftsmen drew their revolvers and shot him and his companion dead, and then fired promiscuously into the crowd, dangerously wounding a number of others. The German citizens at last constituted themselves into a vigilance committee, and proceeded to clean out the invaders.
[Source: Alexandria Gazette (VA) Friday, July 3, 1868, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]

- - 1870 - - TOO MANY POTATOES
The Maquoketa (Iowa) Sentinel says potatoes are so plenty in that region that they do not know what to do with them.

[Source: The Ottawa Free Trader (Ottawa, IL) April 30, 1870 transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]


Two thousand dollars have been raised at Davenport, Iowa, for the relief of the Iowa sufferers from the grasshopper plague, who are chiefly located in the counties of Dewitt, Clinton, Lyons, Maquoketa, Tipton, and Cedar Rapids.

[Daily Graphic (New, NY) Monday, July 13, 1874, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]


A valuable lead mine has been discovered near Monmouth, about twelve miles from Maquoketa, Iowa. At last advices the operators had penetrated the vein seven feet and had not touched bottom.
[Daily Inter Ocean (Chicago, IL) Saturday, February 5, 1876, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]

- - 1876 - - PLENTY OF SALOONS

The people of Clinton and Jackson counties, Iowa, have the choice of 1,300 saloons.
[Source: The Worthington Advance (Worthington MN) April 6, 1876, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]

- - 1877 - - HANGING TREE

Jackson County, Iowa, has an old oak tree on which during the past fifteen years no less than seven men have been hanged by a vigilance committee. The tree stands at the edge of the town of Andrew, the old county seat, and within a few rods of the village cemetery. It is a scraggy old oak, with one large limb projecting outward from the trunk, at a right angle, like the yard-arm of a vessel, from which the victims of the committee's wrath were swung off into eternity. The committee is still in existence, but it is a long time since it has had occasion to hang a horse-thief. [Source: Daily Inter Ocean (Chicago, IL)Tuesday, September 4, 1877, transcribed by mkk]


The farmers Near Maquoketa, Iowa are doing a profitable business in raising roots and herbs containing medicinal properties and shipping them to manufacturers of drugs.

[Dodge City Times, Dodge City, Kansas, January 12, 1878, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]

- - 1882 - - TRAIN FARES

Another opportunity to visit Northwestern Iowa, Northern Nebraska, Southern Minnesota and Eastern Dakota is offered by the Illinois Central railroad, who will run another of their popular excursions to Cherokee and Le Mars, Iowa; Wayne and Norfolk, Nebraska; Slayton and LuVerne Minnesota; Salem, Mitchell and Chamberlain, Dakota, On September 12th, leaving Freeport at 4 p. m. Fare for the round trip to Le Mars, Iowa, $18.00; Wayne, Neb., $15.00; Norfolk, Neb., and Slayton, Minn., $16.00; Salem, Dakota, $17.00; Mitchell, D. T., $18,70; Chamberlain, D. T., $21.40. Tickets good to return on regular trains within thirty days from date of sale. Stop over privileges granted on Illinois Central west of Manson, on all tickets. No stop over privileges granted east of Manson. No change of cars to Sioux City. For further particulars apply to P. H. Murphy, agent, Freeport, Ill.
[Source: Daily Gazette (Rockford, IL) Saturday, September 9, 1882, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]


The Spiritualist Society of Maquoketa met in its room last Thursday night, and by an almost unanimous vote changed its name. It now goes by the name of the "Church of the New Era." In this change it does not go back on spiritualism, nor is it any less a spiritual society now than it was before. One of the reasons given for making the change was that there are many progressive people who would like to associate with them who were not fully convinced of spiritualism. They thought it not just the thing to hold on to a name that would exclude these honest people. Again it was urged that all organizations, the object of which is to discuss theological and spiritual problems are known as churches, that the word church would enable people to at once class them as a religious body. A committee was chosen to draw up the necessary papers and procure an act of incorporation-Record.

Source: (Jackson Sentinel, Maquoketa, Iowa, May 15, 1884), Submitted by Kenneth E. Wright.

The Mixture that Caused a Disgraceful Church Row.

[Special Dispatch to the Herald.]
MAQUOKETA, Ia., Oct. 8, 1883. A sensational church row occurred here Sunday night at the Union prohibition meeting composed of the Methodist and Congregational denominations. The meeting occurred at the Methodist Church, and, as it had been announced that the people would be told how to vote, the edifice was densely crowded. After the introduction of the Congregational pastor, who delivered the address, H. W. McCarron, a strong Prohibition-Greenbacker, arose and asked whether the meeting was to be in the interest of temperance and Christianity, or in the interest of the Republican party. If the former, he would remain; if the latter, he would leave. The congregation hissed him, and the pastor called upon the deacons to put him out. He then turned upon the ministers and denounced them as hypocrites, unworthy of the name of Christians. The deacons made a rush at him and attempted to drag him out. His daughter called on the congregation to hear her father, as he was right. His friends then rushed to the rescue, and a scuffle ensued. In the heat of the excitement noses were pulled, and one deacon received a blow on the neck, but, owing to his under position, he was unable to turn the other sided to his assailant. McCarron freed himself from the deacons, and was then permitted to leave quietly. Several old supporters of the Methodist church followed him out and did not return. When order was restored the meeting went on. Members of the church were instructed to unite in earnest prayer from morning til night for the success of the cause.

[Boston Herald (Boston, MA) Tuesday, October 9, 1883, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]


DUBUQUE, Iowa, June 11.-The State Firemen's tournament had another successful day. The Stuarts won the ladder-climbing in six seconds, running fifty feet and climbing a thirty-foot ladder. The Sawyers, of Iowa City won the hose coupling contest in three seconds. The Wilton's won the hook and ladder sweepstakes in 48 ½ seconds. The Hursts, of Maquoketa, won the 48-seconds class hose race in 49 seconds. The A. H. Smiths, of Clinton, won the sweepstake hose contest in 44 ¼ seconds.
[Source: Daily Inter Ocean (Chicago IL) Saturday, June 12, 1886, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]


MAQUOKETA, Iowa, Oct. 29.-A perfect sea of flags and bunting greeted Governor Boles as he was driven up the main street of this city at 8 o'clock this morning. The county that furnished the first state governor, a thorough democrat, has kept faith with the party since, and today extended a royal welcome to the illustrious statesman upon whose shoulders has fallen the mantle of Ansel Briggs, the early favorite son of Jackson County. It has been many a day since the quiet old town has had such a wakening up as the hosts of democrats and the half-dozen bands of music gave her to-day.

In preparation for the arrival of the chief executive the business men, irrespective of party, displayed liberal decorations, and the work of a committee of business men in providing street banners and decorations was shown in a score of clusters of flags and bunting that stretched across the street and mottoes that extended a welcome to the governor. One decoration that attracted particular attention was a flag that bore upon its face the date "1840," and had been first unfurled to the breezes in that year. During all the early campaigns it did service upon democratic days, and as if sensible of the honor conferred upon it of extending the first greeting to the first democratic governor in Iowa for a quarter of a century, it spread itself out without a wrinkle or a fold as Iowa's gray-haired chieftain passed beneath it.

Early in the forenoon the sidewalks of the city became impassible so crowded were they with expectant people, and in true democratic style the populace took to the middle of the street. A parade had been announced for 10 o'clock, and at that hour from over the hill that skirts the business part of the town came the sounds of music and shouts of men. It was the head of the largest street demonstration ever seen in Maquoketa. A hundred horsemen, hundreds of carriages and farmers' wagons, loaded to their utmost capacity, hundreds of footmen and six bands passed up and down the principal streets, waving flags, and shouting their political leader's name. At the close of the parade a public reception was held in the court house, and for a solid hour Governor Boles shook hands with a constant stream of people who fought and scrambled to gain admittance to the court house.

It was out of the question to get even a respectable fraction of the people beneath the roofs of all the halls in the city, and in spite of a severe wind the meeting was held in the public park, fully 6,000 people being packed like sardines around the speakers' stand. They could not all hear, but they stayed just the same and cheered with their ore fortunate neighbors.

Congressman Hayes, of Clinton; John C. Bill and Judge Nathaniel French, of Davenport, followed the governor, the severe wind precluding the possibility of a long address from any one speaker.

[Chicago Herald (Chicago, IL) Friday, October 30, 1891, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]


Several heretofore reputable farmers and merchants in Jackson county, Iowa have been found to be robbers and arrested.

[Source: The Worthington Advance (Worthington, MN) February 1, 1894, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]

- - 1896 - - A FOSSILIZED FLY.

A workman in a limestone quarry at Maquoketa, Iowa, the other day found imbedded in the rock, twenty-five feet below the surface, a fly. The fossil is perfect. The feelers and legs and delicate wings, as well as the body, are as complete as when the insect alighted and stuck in the ooze away back in the upper Silurian period ages ago.
[Source: Rockford Republic (Rockford, IL) March 7, 1896, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]

- - 1903 - - A TOWN FLOODED

By the breaking of a Dam - Residents Fled to the Hills – Crops Destroyed

Dubuque, Ia., July 11.-Green Island, a town 30 miles down the river, was nearly wiped out last night by the breaking of the Maquoketa dam. Fortunately the residents heard the roar of the approaching flood and ran for the hills. No lives were lost, but several of the houses were washed away and all were flooded. The crops were all washed away as was also considerable live stock.

[Source: Grand Forks Daily Herald (Grand Forks, ND) Sunday, July 12, 1903, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]


Eldora, Iowa, March 18.- "White cap" vigilance has been threatened to the members of the school board of the city of Maquoketa unless that body withdrew its drastic order that children will not be permitted to attend the public schools of Maquoketa unless they are vaccinated. One of the letters which the board has just received threatens them with death. The postal authorities have been notified.

[Source: Grand Forks Daily Herald (Grand Forks, ND) Saturday, March 19, 1904, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]

- - 1905 - - STORKS HIGH RECORD.

In Nine Houses in a Row 105 Children Reside
Eldora, Ia., June 10.-A little cross roads town in Jackson county, in this state, near Maquoketa, rightfully lays claim to being the banner anti-race suicide locality in the world. Living the lives of free born, strong, healthy Americans in nine small houses, all in a row, reside 105 youths ranging in age from one to 23 years. A traveling salesman, John Alexander, of Waterloo, discovered this remarkable circumstances, having visited the homes and counted the children.

[Grand Forks Daily Herald (Grand Forks, ND) Sunday, June 11, 1905, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]


Maquoketa, Iowa, Sept. 18.-The oil excitement caused by the discovery of oil on the farm of Samuel Earles, near here, grows in intensity. Every incoming train is loaded with strangers, oil men and those who came merely from curiosity. Every livery stable in town is doing a rushing business, hiring teams to drive out to the Earles farm.

Henry Brinckner, an electrician, and E. D. Chipman, a manager of the telephone company, decided to make a quiet investigation. They loaded up a wagon with barrels, and during the night slipped out to the well unobserved. They lowered a pump into the hole and began filling the barrels. As they pumped the oil in the hole would slowly fall, and then in a few minutes would rise again to its former level. In this way they filled their barrels without perceptibly lowering the level.

H. A. Guffy of Pittsburg, Pa., telegraphed for an expert of his company, who arrived today with testing apparatus. A test was made near the well and at a depth of twenty feet the bulb showed oily water, so that the expert said he was satisfied the well was genuine. It is reported that Guffy has leased the Earles farm. It is said also that Earles was offered $75,000 for his farm, but refused the offer. A drilling rig already is on the ground and operations will be begun as soon as the leases are signed up.

[Duluth News-Tribune (Duluth, MN) Wednesday, September 19, 1906, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]


Andrew, Iowa, Sept. 23, 1909

The town of Andrew, the peace of which has never been disturbed by the whistle of a locomotive, and where the monument erected to the memory of Ansel Briggs, the first governor of the state, was unveiled Wednesday, is a place of 300 inhabitants, quaint and interesting, but it played a large part in the early history of eastern, Iowa. Governor Carroll was the chief figure present.

Five thousand persons thronged the cemetery, the largest crowd probably gathered at Andrew. Second in importance from the standpoint of state interest was the presence of Ex-Governor Larrabee, who addressed the audience twenty minutes.

A memorial address reviewing the struggles and accomplishments of the life of Ansel Briggs delivered by W. G. Gregory, curator of the Jackson County Historical Society, Maquoketa. He revealed the efforts made to get appropriations through the legislature which finally culminated in securing one thousand dollars at the last session through the labors of Representative Ellis of Jackson County. This with three hundred dollars added by the society sufficed to move the body of the former governor from Omaha to Andrew and defrayed the expenses of erecting a monument.

As the band played patriotic airs and salutes were fired by the Maquoketa militia, Mrs. Nannie Briggs Robertson, granddaughter of the departed governor drew away the flag that veiled the monument. Governor Carroll then introduced and delivered the dedicatory address. After reviewing the school system inaugurated by Briggs he declared no official act of his own was he more heartily in on than in signing the bill for an appropriation for money for the Briggs monument. He wondered how such a memorial was possible at the price paid. He referred to wonderful growth in population, transportation facilities, educationally and commercially of the state since 1846 and declared Briggs laid the foundation for such growth. He urged the development in Iowa history through instruction of a hall of fame such as is placed in Washington and declared he would be glad to sign another bill of equal import to the Briggs appropriation measure.

Ansel Briggs was governor from 1846 to 1850. He was born in Vermont, but during his youth removed with his parents to Ohio and in that state became interested in the institution of stage lines and removing in 1836 to Jackson County, Iowa, followed the same vocation, holding numerous contracts for carrying United States mails in this section of the new territory. He was elected to the House of Representatives in the Territory in 1842, and on the admission of Iowa to the sisterhood of states was nominated to the governorship, the election being held in October. He took his seat Dec. 3 Governor Briggs continued his residence in Andrew until 1870, when he removed to Council Bluffs. In 1881, while making his home with his son in Omaha, he passed away.

(Source: Waterloo Reporter, Waterloo, Iowa, September 23, 1909) Submitted by Kenneth E. Wright


Maquoketa Decides to Present Operators Chance to Pay Higher License to Run.
Maquoketa, Dec. 14.-The city council at a special meeting took back everything it did at the regular meeting last week when it decided by a close vote of four to three to award the saloon licenses for the coming year to the three highest bidders. The consternation of the present saloonkeepers was extreme and suspicion at once arose that a plot was being hatched.

Public opinion was decidedly with the present licenses and after a week for second thought, a special session was called and by a unanimous vote the license fee was raised from $1,600 to $2,500 a year and the men now operating given first chance. It is thought that all three will pay over the money and continue to run. This will give Maquoketa a net fund from liquor privilege of $6,600, the remaining $900 going to the county under the provisions of the mulet law.

[Source: Ottumwa tri-Weekly Courier (Ottumwa, IA) December 17, 1912, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]


Water Works Station and Electric Light Plant Resume Business.

Maquoketa, Aug. 22.-The flood is receding and all danger here is passed. The city water works, which were put out of commission when the Maquoketa river flooded the pumping station, has resumed operations and the city, which was without water for nearly a day, is resuming normal conditions.

The electric light plant was forced to shut down on account of the high water, and this interfered with business. There was no serious property loss and no one was drowned.
[Source: Evening Times-Republican (Marshalltown, IA) August 22, 1912, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]


First Drawing Since Women Suffrage

Mrs. A. H. Moravec & Mrs. Edith Francois

The new order of things is getting started over at the court house and women voters are being drawn for the jury service, along with the men. The names of the voters of Jackson County were placed in the box for drawing last month and this means the names of the men and women alike. Saturday, those in authority made the drawing and the result was that two ladies were drawn on the petit jury, but none succeeded in alighting on the grand jury.

The two ladies who were fortunate-or rather unfortunate-enough to be drawn for jury service are Mrs. A. H. Moravec of Fulton and Mrs. Edith Francois of this city. This is going to revolutionize to a certain degree the jury work, and we’re guessing the ladies will be a splendid addition to capabilities shown in deciding on cases coming before them.

[Maquoketa Excelsior-Record, Published December 14, 1920, submitted by Kenneth Wright]

- - 1931 - - RUN ON LA MOTTE BANK


LA MOTTE, Ia., Jan 8 (A.P.) - The cry of "Bank's Closed," rang over La Motte. The closed bank, however, was in Lamont - but the damage was done. Depositors staged a run on the Iowa Savings bank here and the doors were closed. Officials said the bank was in excellent condition and the closing was for protection of depositors.
[Source: San Diego Union - San Diego, California, Friday, January 9, 1931, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]

Copyright © Genealogy Trails
All data on this website is Copyright by Genealogy Trails with full rights reserved for original submitters.