but the earth could be found for a floor. The first County
Superintendent of Schools was John McCormick, Jr., who was elected on the 6th
day of Nov., 1860. It does not appear who (if any one) taught in this house
during that season and the first school of which we have any authentic record
was taught on Sec. 34,97,33, just north of Martin Loughlin's residence, in the
spring of 1861; a few days later a school was commenced by Miss Mary Matthews at
West Bend township in the house first referred to. In 1870 there were 14 schools
in the county, 11 school houses, 6 log and 5 frame, 24 teachers examined, and
420 persons of school age. And in the year 1875, there were 74 teachers
examined, 53 school houses, all framed, 63 schools, and 1180 pupils.
The total amount expended for educational purposes in
1870 was about $3,300, and in 1875 it was $15,618 nearly.
The first marriage in the County was that of Thos. H.
Tobin to Miss Ellen Loughlin, Jany.7th, 1860.
The first law suit was S.B. Olney vs. Washington Reed,
May 3d, 1859.
While noting the progress of our people from the trials
and struggles of the early time up to so respectable a position as they now
assume among the highly civilized people of Iowa, it may not be amiss to take a
glance at their
which, to those concerned, was always full of interest, and may
be of some interest to us to-day. At the first election there were 44 ballots
cast, a number too small to be missed from our more ponderous but no more
exciting elections of to-day. We would naturally suppose this to be too limited
a number in which to get up any divisions, or out of which to construct any
factions, but we have both recorded evidence and evidence of living witnesses,
that there was division, and one of the most bitter contests ever waged
within the sacred precincts of Palo Alto swept every citizen
into its giddy vortex on one of those occasions. Such is the
strange power of politics to excite the people. We find no record of the cause
of division but the vote stood distinctly on every man and measure proposed 17
to 27, with the exception of Thos. H. Tobin who, according to the records had no
opposition, and was unanimously and triumphantly "elected High Sheriff of
Palo Alto County."
The first contested election was brought to trial Oct.
17th, 1861, John M. Mulroney contestant and John Nolan, James Nolan and Thomas
McCormick, incumbents, but what might have been the cause of action, or the
nature of the defense, history fails to record.
Of the 47 ballots cast Oct. 11th, 1859, Samuel J.
Kirkwood (Rep) for Governor received 3 and A.C. Dodge, 44.
Of 34 ballots cast Nov. 8th, 1864, George B. McClellan
had 33, and Abraham Lincoln, 1.
Of 624 ballots cast on the 12th day of October, 1875,
the Samuel J. Kirkwood above named, had, for Governor, 324 votes and Shepherd
Leffler had 300.
But we will return more directly to our local
government, which though showing some extravagances and errors-and what
government does not?-has been such as to lead the careful historian, in most of
even the blamable cases, to look at least with charity, upon the acts of those
inexperience young statesmen, who had everything to provide, and much to endure,
and in the following list of county officers from its organization to the
present time, will be found dozens of men whose private word was a faultless
The following are the names, including the present
incumbents, of the County officers, in chronological order from its organization
to the present day:
Treasurers: John M. Mulroney, James P. White and M.L.