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1878 Jackson County, Iowa Gazetteer
1879 Jackson County, Iowa History

From 1878 Jackson County, Iowa Gazetteer


Andrew, situated on the old stage route between Davenport and Dubuque, and about the geographical center of the county, was named in honor of Andrew Jackson, and the first settler was located here as early as 1837. It was for some time the county seat, and the jail is still located here, with Mr. T. M. Hamilton as Chief Warden. There are four churches-Lutheran, Methodist, United Presbyterian, and Presbyterian. These, with a good public school, furnish the religious and educational element necessary for the community.
[Owen's Gazetteer and Directory of Jackson County, Iowa, Owen Publishing Company, Davenport, Iowa, 1878. Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman.]

From 1879 History of Jackson County Iowa


When Linn, Jones and Jackson Counties were organized by the Territorial Legislature of Wisconsin, Bellevue was made the county seat of all three counties. Here the first courts were held, and here was the place of meeting of the County Commissioners for several years. April 12, 1841, we find the following entry upon the County Commissioners' book:

Jesse Yount, Thomas S. Denson and Eli Goddard (Commissioners appointed to relocate the seat of justice of this county) appeared and took the oath prescribed by law. preparatory to entering upon their duties.

April 15, 1841, these Commissioners made the following report:

The undersigned Commissioners, appointed to re-locate the county seat of Jackson County, Territory of Iowa, in accordance with an act to amend an act entitled an act to re-locate said county seat, have selected the southeast quarter of Section 22, Township 85 north, of Range 3 east of the Fifth Principal Meridian, and have named said county seat Andrew.
Thomas S. Denson,
Eli Goddard,
Jesse Yount,

It seems that it was necessary to have this choice ratified by a vote of the citizens of Jackson County, and, in an election held on the last Monday of May, 1841, Andrew had 208 votes, Bellevue 111 votes, and Center 1 vote, there being a majority of 96 votes in favor of Andrew.

Andrew is the point chosen by three Commissioners, appointed under the Territorial government, and by them designated as the county seat. This commission located the prospective town on the southeast quarter of Section 22, Township 85, Range 3 east, and gave it the name Andrew, being the given or Christian name of the General and statesman from which the county derived its title.

As has been already mentioned elsewhere, Andrew is situated on a gentle eminence, which makes it somewhat conspicuous, in making the approach from different directions. There is nothing about its locality which would recommend it as a site for a town, save its central position in the county. The surrounding land is moderately well adapted for farming, and is thickly interspersed with timber, a large portion of which is undergrowth, and not valuable save as fire-wood. The soil is quite sandy; the country is rough and roads rather difficult to travel, with this redeeming quality--that they are rarely muddy. Good stone quarries in the vicinity furnish superior building stone, and the principal buildings of the town are of that material.

Andrew has no railroad nor stream near by, nor is there any railroad in early prospect. This difficulty in communicating with other parts of the county has been the fatal blow to the citizens' early hopes, and lost for the town the county seat. A daily stage-line, carrying United States mail and passengers, connects Maquoketa with Bellevue, by way of Andrew. Three times per week a stage carries mail from Andrew to Dubuque, stopping at Cottonville, Lamotte, and other intermediate points.


The quarter-section chosen as the site of Andrew was claimed by one John Hendley in 1837, and, in 1838, was by him sold to Ithel Corbett. It was the law, in the organization of counties, that each county might enter a quartersection of land as a county seat; yet this did not dispose of the settler's claim, which, of course, was a matter in equity. However, Corbett sold his claim upon this land for a nominal sum, which was duly entered by the county.

First, the town was surveyed, the surveyors beginning by laying out a public square not far from the center, and then platting other blocks surrounding that. After the plat was complete, a number of the lots were put up at auction by the County Commissioners, and by them sold to the highest bidder. The remainder of the town was sold to the firm of Brigg & Francis.

The first house upon the plat of Andrew was the one built in 1837 by John Hendley, and stood almost opposite what is yet called the Stone Court House. The first Court House was a log structure built by the citizens of Andrew and vicinity. It was in size about 30x40 feet, and was located on the present post office site, a short distance north of the Public Square. This was used a Court House until the county seat was removed to Bellevue in 1848, and has since been torn down to be converted into a stable.

The first jail in Andrew was made of hewn logs in floor, walls and ceiling. Above the ceiling was an attic and in the middle of the attic floor a trap-door. When prisoners were to be imprisoned they were taken into the attic, required to descend through the trap-door by a ladder into the jail and the ladder then removed by the keeper. No other entrance was made to this jail, which answered the purposes of the county until 1847. Its site was near where Daudel's wagon-shop now stands.

The first frame house upon the town plat was built by John Francis, after the county seat had been located in Andrew, and rented as a grocery--not a green-grocery, but a grocery where liquors were on tap by the half-pint or tengallon keg. Nothing short of a half-pint of " old rye" was considered a drink in those days.

The first stores were by Samuel Jennings and Messrs. Briggs & Fenn. These last two merchants have since been Governor of Iowa and United States Representative, respectively.

The first post office was located in Andrew a few months after it was made the county seat, being on the mail route then owned by Ansel Briggs, between Davenport and Dubuque. Thomas Marshall was the first Postmaster.

The first resident physician was Dr. M. H. Clark.

The first church organization was that of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and theirs was the first church building erected, built in 1849.

The first school in Andrew was kept by S. S. Fenn, in the court-room, in the winter of 1841-42. This was a subscription school, at which all the surrounding youths might be instructed at the sum of $2.25 per quarter of thirteen weeks. The first public school was taught by one Mrs. Garretson, in a frame school building erected by the citizens on the ground where William Pollock's residence now stands.

The first hotel was built here about 1842, by Ithel Corbett, and by him subsequently rented to P. B. Bradley. The present Franklin House was built in 1845, by Messrs. Trout & Simmons. It was first rented by Alf Clark, and subsequently by Mrs. Carpenter.

Of the settlers who resided in and about Andrew at the time it was located, we are informed there are but two remaining in the county now living, viz., Nathaniel Butterworth and Widow Courtney.

[The History of Jackson County Iowa, Published November 1879. Transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]

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