History of Palo Alto County, Iowa
By J.L. Martin as prepared for the Celebration at Emmetsburg
July 4, 1876

     County Judges: James Hickey, Thomas McCormick, Patrick Mulroney, Daniel Kane and John M. Hefley.
     Clerk of the Courts: Felix McCosker, Thomas Maher, Michael Hickey, Thomas McCormick, Lott Loughlin, John Pendergast, Wm. E. Cullen, James Hickey, J.H. Underwood, Robt. Shea and Thomas J. Prouty.
     Drainage Commissioners: John Shea, Jeremiah Crowley and Hiram Hall.
     County Auditors: John M. Hefley, Wm. E. Cullen, Wm. H.H. Booth, Wm. H. Shea and Benjamin Franklin.
     County Surveyors: James McCosker, Andrew Hood, Michael Hickey, John Neary, Benjamin Franklin, Geo. S. Anderson, T.W. Harrison, Geo. H. Pendelbury and Le Roy Grout.
     Sheriffs: Thomas H. Tobin, A.B. Carter, John Nolan, Patrick Lynch, Thomas Campbell, Patrick Nolan, John McCormick, John M. Hefley, M.D. Daniels, P.C. Nolan and J.E. King.
     Coroners: Oren Sylvester, R.F. Carter, John McCormick, Sr., J.H. Underwood, Michael Kirby, Milo Gardner, W.K. Mulroney and T.E. McMurtrie.
     Superintendants of Schools: John McCormick, Jr., William Carter, Daniel Kane, J.H. Underwood, David Spaulding, J.L. Martin, John J. Robins, Albert L. Day, Matthew Kean and John C. Bennett.
     County Supervisors: John Nolan, Thomas Dawson, James Nolan, Samuel McClelland, A.B. Carter, Joseph T. Mulroney, J.H. Underwood, H.L. Joiner, Martin Coonan, E.Randall, James Johnston, Thomas H. Tobin, M. Kirby, O.D. Rider, R.M.J. McFarland, Alexander Younie, John A. Anthony, Charles Gibbs, Philo Sanford, Matthew Ryan, Thomas Eagan and John Doran-The present Board being, Charles Gibbs, chairman, R.M.J. McFarland, Matthew Ryan, Thomas Eagan and John Doran.

     County Recorders: John M. Mulroney, A.B. Carter, Wm. D. Powers, William E. Cullen and J.L. Martin.
     It may not now be amiss to take a rapid survey of our


     At the time of the organization of the County, in 1858, the amount of taxable property was almost insignificant, and as late as 1865, it could not have exceeded $150,000. Thus the people had no means to carry on their county government, and money was needed at every step, and the only chance left them, save one, the sale of swamp lands, was to draw on the future and the credit of the County, and issue "warrants" or orders on the County Treasury, and sell them at what they would bring. This they concluded to do and the first order issued was dated Dec. 29, 1858, drawn in favor of Luse & Wilson for $165.40, for County books. In view of the great need of some public improvements, and the fact that the County had, or was to have through an Act of Congress passed in 1850 and thence through an Act of the Legislature of 1853, about 75,000 acres of swamp lands, and one William E. Clark, of Baltimore, having offered to build two bridges on the Des Moines, build a brick court house and school house, and put in a steam mill at Paoli, the County seat, the people, by unanimous vote for the above and some other sundry considerations, bargained and sold the above lands, except such as might be reclaimed (not being swamp) valued at $95,000 to said Clark, who, afterward, assigned his contract to John M. Stockdale, of Webster County, to whom a deed was made Dec. 29, 1860.

     Subsequently, a grant of land was made to the Des Moines River Improvement Company, which on their failure was transferred to the Des Moines Valley R.R. Co.-also about 75,000 acres, and still later another grant to the McGregor & Western, now McGregor & Mo. R.R. Co. of about 50,000 acres. In the mean time, large amounts of warrants, at depreciated values,

<Previous     Next>