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

From 1878 Jackson County, Iowa Gazetteer


Baldwin is a small place on the Iowa Midland railroad, two miles east of Monmouth, was laid out in 1855 by Henry Hames and Jos. Skinner. It has two churches, three stores and a hotel, also has a graded school.
[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


Baldwin is located as nearly as may be in the center of Monmouth Township, on the line of the Midland Railway and is an unincorporated town of probably four hundred inhabitants.

February 9, 1859, at this point a few lots were platted and recorded by Henry Haines, under the name of Fremont, and a few houses were built there. It was not until the building of the railroad in 1871, however, that any considerable progress was made. The town of Baldwin adjoining Fremont on the east, was platted by Edward Baldwin, October 20, 1871, being located on the northwest quarter of Section 22, in Monmouth Township. The village is now known as Baldwin, that being the name given alike to the depot and the post office. On the county records, however, the name Fremont has never been changed.

An addition to the town was laid out about 1873 by J. M. Zook, and the lots now unsold in the town belong to Mr. Zook or Mr. Baldwin. This land was formerly owned by Joseph Skinner, who settled in 1844, on what is now known as the Baldwin farm. Here was born in 1845, Julia A. Skinner (now Mrs. Wivinis). The first store in the place, we are informed, was kept by Jacob Zook.

The post office now known as Baldwin, was started at what is now known as Mill Rock. The first Postmaster was James B. Cobb, and the office was called Cobb's office until it was charged to Baldwin after the railroad came through. The first Postmaster, when the office was located in Fremont, was Levi Snoburger. The office was for political reasons moved back to Mill Rock, three fourths of a mile south of Fremont, under the care of Ira Stimpson and Josiah Hunt. Upon its second removal to its present location after the founding of Baldwin, it was kept by John Reed. The other officials in charge have been John McGregor, Washington Long, Nan Davis and N. S. Andrews. The last named holds the office at the present time. There is a daily mail east and west over the Midland road. No money orders are issued at Baldwin.

BUSINESS The principal business houses of Baldwin are as follows: Three general stores, J. H. Sokol, S. D. Fort, F. M. Wheeler; hardware, Scheib Brothers; drugs, N. S. Andrews and C. B. Gilmore; lumber-dealer, William Dickenson grain and stock dealer, Washington Long; livery stable, L. D. Watson; agricultural implements, J. H. Spray; wagon-shops, Joseph Beck, Jr., and Matt Blezek; hotel, Transit House, by J. H. & E. M. Spray; physicians, Dr. John Gilmore and Dr. J. Townsend.


The Baldwin Independent District --The first schoolhouse in this vicinity was about a mile southeast on the creek bottom, and was the building of Subdistrict No. 2, of Monmouth Township. The first teacher in this district is said to have been Frederick Earle. The next schoolhouse was located between the site of Fremont and Mill Rock, and after the former place grew to be something of a town, a building was erected in the village. The Baldwin Independent District was organized by vote of the electors of Subdistrict No. 2, about 1873. The first School Board of the independent district was composed of F. J. Gregor, J. W. Reed and Jerry Widel. Of these, the first named was President. Edward Baldwin was the first Treasurer.

On the 5th day of December, 1874, it was voted by a ballot of 30 to 4, that bonds of the district should be issued for the purpose of erecting a building commensurate with the growing need of the district. Bonds were therefore issued for that purpose to the amount of $2,200. It was decided to build a two-story frame building containing a room on each floor; the second story to be used by the more advanced department of the school. Bids were received January 20, 1875, for the erection of a house, such as was called for by the specifications which had been agreed upon. The bids were as follows: Davis Leland, $2,390; Jeremiah Widel, $1,800; P. M. Van, $1,875; C. T. Sewards, $2,500; D. A. Waterman, $2,000; J. Drake, $1,965. The contract ---was awarded to Jerry Widel at his bid, $1,800. The entire cost of building and furniture was about the same amount as the issue of bonds, viz., $2,200. Of these bonds, $800 are now outstanding, the remainder having been paid. The old schoolhouse was sold at public auction, July, 1875, for $50, and has been converted into an agricultural warehouse by J. H. Spray.

The present Board of Directors are: R. S. Brown, J. M. Zook and F. A. Obergfell. S. D. Fort is Secretary and William Scheib, Treasurer. School is maintained during nine months of the year. The teachers are Charles Miller, and his wife, Martha Miller. The former receives $40 per month, and the latter $20 per month. The average number of pupils belonging to both the departments during the winter of 1878-79 was 100. The average percentage of attendance eighty-eight.

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

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