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History of Cedar
County, Iowa, 1878.

  
 

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Care of County Poor.

Ever since the organization of the county, the unfortunate, the infirm and the poor have been generously and humanely cared for by the county authorities.  July 2, 1850, the following order was made, which shows the method of securing care and attention for the poor in early times:

Ordered, That the Clerk give notice of the time and place, and proceed to make inquiry at public outcry, who will keep William Brown for the least sum per week for the next three months, and that the person who will keep the said William Brown, shall have him and shall have the benefit of his labor.

Under the management and direction of the County Commissioners and County Judge, the care and sustenance of the unfortunate was secured by appropriations. Those having the care of the poor would present their accounts, and they would be audited and ordered paid.  When the management of county affairs passed under the direction of a Board of Supervisors, a change in the care of the county poor was inaugurated.

April 4, 1871, a farm of 160 acres, being the northeast quarter of Section 25, Township 82, Range 3 west, was purchased by the county from E. C. Smith and Mary E. Smith, his wife, at $40 per acre, amounting in all to $6,400.

At a session of the Board of Supervisors, April 3, 1871, a resolution was passed declaring that County Bonds be issued to the amount of $10,000, bearing ten per cent. interest, the interest payable semi-annually, to cancel the debt contracted in the purchase of the above farm, the purchase of farming implements, etc., providing also that the bonds should not be sold for less than par value and accrued interest on said bonds, payable on or before five years from date.

Proposals were invited for the erection of a suitable building, and the contract was awarded to J. E. Coudry, of Stanwood, for $1,750.  A barn and other outbuildings have been built since.

Statement of the Purchase of the Poor Farm.

E. C. Smith, Dr.  
   To Cash $2,023.75
   Bonds to E. Smith 2,500.00
   Bonds to E. C. Smith 1,500.00
  $6,023.75
Contra, Cr.  
   By 160 acres of land, $40 per acre $6,400
   By interest on same for 19 days 410.00
  $6,433.75
   Cedar School Fund Mortgage 410.00
  $6,023.75

There are at present 14 persons on the county farm, which is in charge of Walter Jeffries.

The following is an official list of the county officers as nearly perfect as it is possible to compile it.  Some of the early records are missing, so that it was impossible for Mr. Carroll, the County Auditor, to make it entirely full and complete:

County Officers Past and Present.

Senators -- J. J. Matthews, 1855;  J. W. Cattell, 1856-58;  J. M. Kent, 1859-63;  Henry Wharton, 1864-67;  W. P. Wolf, 1868-71;  J. C. Chambers, 1872-75;  H. C. Carr, 1876-78.

Representatives -- Amos Witter, 1852-53;  A. D. Graham, 1854-55;  Ed. Wright, 1856-57;  Ed. Wright and Wm. Lundy, 1858-59;  Ed. Wright, 1860-61;  J. H. Rothrock and H. C. Loomis, 1862-3:  J. W. Stanton and W. P. Wolf, 1864-65;  Ed. Wright, 1866;  C. P. Sheldon, 1867;  W. S. Chase and C. P. Sheldon, 1868-69;  J. Q. Tufts and J. W. Beatty, 1870-73;  J. Q. Tufts and Henry Wharton, 1874-75;  R. G. Scott and Alex. Moffett, 1876-77;  Elwood Macy, 1878.

County Judges (Note:  Office of County Judge discontinued; office of Auditor created, 1868.)  S. A. Bissell, 1852-55;  Wells Spicer, 1856-57;  Geo. Smith, 1858-59;  W. P. Cowan, 1860-61;  J. C. Betts, 1862-68.

Auditor -- The office of Auditor was created under the law abolishing the office of County Judge.  The same law provided that the County Judges should serve as County Auditors until the first regular election next succeeding, and J. C. Betts being County Judge became County Auditor, and served until January 1, 1869.  In October, 1871, E. M. Brink, was elected to succeed Betts, and served until January, 1874.  October, 1873, Moreau Carroll was elected s Brink's successor, and re-elected in 1875 and again in 1877.

Clerks -- Wm. K. Whittelsey, -------, Jno. P. Cook, 1841;  Patterson Fleming, 1842, resigned August 14, 1844;  John Culbertson, 1844-47;  James H. Leech, Jan. 1, 1848, to Sept. 1848;  Saml. D. McCausley, 1848-49;  Jos. K. Snyder, 1850-51;  J. W. Cattell, 1852-55;  S. W. Young, 1856-58;  Saml. Stafford, 1859;  Alonzo Shaw, 1860-64;  Sylvanus Yates, 1865-68;  Wm. Elliott, 1869-72;  W. H. Van Ness, 1873-76;  T. C. Prescott, 1877-78.

Treasurers -- Wm. K. Whittlelsey, 1848-49;  J. C. Betts, 1850-55;  H. C. Piatt, 1856-69;  Saml. Wampler, 1860-61;  G. P. Ingman, 1862-67;  E. H. Pound, 1868-71;  T. C. McClelland, 1872-73;  Saml. Wampler, 1874-77;  Geo. Huber, 1878.

Recorders -- Wm. K. Whittelsey, 1848-49;  J. C. Betts, 1850-55;  H. C. Piatt, 1856-59;  Saml. Wampler, 1860-61;  G. P. Ingman, 1862-64;  J. C. Betts, 1865-66;  Jesse James, 1867-72;  C. W. Hawley, 1873-78.

Sheriffs -- Geo. McCoy, (-----);  Patterson Flemming, 1844-47;  Jas. H. Robinson, 1848-49; Charles Sweatland, 1850-53;  J. H. Birely, 1854-57;  George Huber, 1858-59;  J. L. Bradshaw, 1860-61;  David Platner, 1862-65;  J. D. Shearer, 1866-75;  A. B. Maynard, 1876-78.

Supt. of Schools -- Joshua Maynard, 1858-59;  Jas. McClung, 1860-61;  W. P. Wolf, 1862-63;  C. A. Pound, 1864-67;  E. L. Bassett, 1868-69;  A. B. Oakley, 1870;  C. W. Rollins, 1871-75;  Eunice E. Frink, 1876-78.

Surveyors -- A. Shaw, 1849;  Saml. Dewell, 1850-55;  Geo. Whister, 1856-57;  M. G. Miller, 1858-61;  L. D. Durbin, 1862:  Jas. McClung, 1862-65;  F. A. Gates, 1866-67;  M. G. Miller, 1868-73;  F. A. Gates, 1874-75:  M. G. Miller, 1876;  S. Y. Yates, 1877;  John Buck, 1878.

Coroners -- Andrew Ford, 1854-55;  Jacob Shawver, 1856-57;  C. A. Pound, 1858-60;  A. Parsons, 1860-61;  Noah Green, 1862-63;  G. W. Smith, 1864-65;  T. James, 1866-67;  W. B. Hammond, 1868-69;  A. Parsons, 1870-71;  B. Wilhelm, 1872-75;  L. L. Sweet, 1876-78.

Chairmen Board of Supervisors (Note:  Board of Supervisors created 1861.)  C. P. Sheldon, 1861-62;  Henry Wharton, 1863;  C. P. Sheldon, 1864-66;  Jno. Leith, 1867-68;  J. P. Ferguson, 1869-70;  S. W. Young, 1871;  H. C. Gill, 1872-73;  Alex. Moffit, 1874;  H. G. Coe, 1875;  O. H. Helmer, 1876;  N. E. Smith, 1877;  D. T. Hedges, 1878.

Drainage Commissioners (Note:  Drainage Commissioners discontinued in 1867.)  R. Gower, 1860-67.

County Commissioners -- C. Sweatland, 1850-53;  Saml. Hanlin, 1857.

School Fund Commissioners (Note:  School Fund Commissioner discontinued in 1858.)  Wm. Mason, 1847-49;  P. J. Friend, 1850;  Wm. Morton, 1851-53;  J. K. Snyder, 1854-58.

First Courts.

Judge Tuthill states that, in 1842, he saw and examined the old book of records of the District Court in Cedar County, and made a memorandum of its contents, from which it appears that the first session of the District Court was held at Rochester, on Monday, May 28, 1838.  Present, Hon. David Irwin, Judge;  Wm. W. Chapman, District Attorney for the U.S., and -------, U. S. Marshall.  (The name of the Marshall is not given, but he was paid for 125 miles travel.)

The appointment of Robert G. Roberts as Clerk of the Court was announced, and he filed a bond, in the penal sum of $2,000, for the faithful performance of his duties, with Martin Baker, James W. Tallman, Richard Knott, George McCoy and Stephen Toney as his sureties, and entered upon the discharge of his duties.

I. C. Hastings, Esq., was appointed District Attorney pro tem. for Cedar County.  The Sheriff's name is not given; but the name of James W. Tallman, Sheriff, is appended to the return of a writ, dated June 23, 1838.

The Grand Jury for the United States was composed of the following persons:

Jehu Kenworthy, Foreman;  Alanson Pope, Henry B. Burnan, Martin Baker, Jonathan Morgan, Solomon Knott, Abraham Nix, Henry Hardman, William Miller, Richard Knott, James Sutford, Abraham Kiser, John W. Wilkinson, William Morgan, W. A. Rigby, James W. Doty, Stephen Toney, John C. Higginson, Robert Miller, Conrad Switzer, Henry D. Brown and William Green.

This Grand Jury was impaneled, sworn and charged by the Court; retired; and, after a short time, returned, and stated that they had no business before them, and were discharged.

The Territorial Grand Jury were:

Charles Whittlesey, Foreman;  William Mason, Elias Epherson, Felix Freeland, Benjamin Fraseur, David W. Walton, James Buchanan, Daniel Hare, Hector Sterritt, William Stoutt, John Jones, Elisha E. Edwards, George McCoy, Nathaniel Baker, John McMain, Jesse Toney, Arthur Dillon, Thomas Lingle, Richard Knott, William Green, John Blaylock.

The Petit Jury, on the part of the United States, were:

William Baker, Moses B. Church, James A. Porter, Robert Miller, John Leverich, Orrin Lewis, James Leverich, Jr., Solomon Knott, Clement Squires, James Sutford, Stephen Toney, Jonathan Morgan.

This jury was not impaneled, as there were no cases tried at the term.

The second term of the District Court was held at Rochester, on Monday, the 1st day of October, A. D. 1838.  The Judge not being in attendance, the Court was adjourned, from day to day, by the Clerk, Robert G. Roberts, until Friday, October 5th, when it went over to the next regular term, by operation of law.

Elisha E. Edwards, (Note:  Commission of Robert Lucas, Governor, to Elisha E. Edwards, as Sheriff, is dated September 22, 1838.  Hw was sworn in October 1, 1838.) Sheriff, not being present, Harvey B. Burnap, the Coroner, acted in his stead.

The only case on the docket was Allen Scott vs. Jacob Fought and Daniel Hare.

The District Court.

Article 5 of Section 6, in both the old and new Constitution of Iowa, contains the following:

Sec. 5.  The District Court shall consist of a single Judge, who shall be elected by the qualified electors of the district in which he resides.   *     *     *

Sec. 6.  The District Court shall be a court of law and equity, which shall be of distinct and separate jurisdiction, and have jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters arising in their respective districts in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

We are compelled to chronicle the fact of the absence of Book A, of the District Court, which contains the records of the court from the time of its first session in the house of Stephen Toney, in Rochester, in the Spring of 1838;  therefore, this history of the District Court, will, aside from the first meeting at the house of Stephen Toney in Rochester, and the first grand and petit jurors, commence with the July term of 1840.

At the first and second sessions of the Board of Commissioners of Cedar County in April and May of 1838, they agreed with Stephen Toney, "that said Toney was to furnish a house for the accommodation of the first session of the District Court.  The Commissioners selected the following named persons to serve as grand and petit jurors at the first session of the court.

Grand Jurors.

Alanson Pope, Solomon Knott, Jehu Kenworthy, Martin Baker, William Mason, Harvey B. Burnap, John Jones, Jonathan Morgan, Robert G. Roberts, Henry Hardman, David W. Walton, Wm. Miller, Charles Whittelsey, Henry Buchanan, Wm. Green, Abraham Kizer, J. W. Wilkinson, John Blalock, James Setford, George Smith, John Finch, Wm. Morgan and Jackomeyer Baldwin.

Petit Jurors.

Benjamin Fraseur, John Scott, Charles M. Moberly, Prior Scott, Washington A. Rigby, Walter Freeman, Felix Freeland, James Buchanan, Elias Eperson, Richard Knott, Daniel Howe, Abraham Nix and George Miller, Jr.

The first case of record in the District Court, was at the July Term 1840, on a change of venue from Muscatine County.  The case was brought on an action of debt.  Martin Sutherland for the use of George W. Garner vs. Lewis McKee.  The record does not show what disposition was made of the case.

Hon. Joseph Williams was Judge; William Whittelsey, Clerk, and George McCoy, Sheriff.

The first grand jury of which we have any record as being sworn, consisted of the following named settlers:  Walter Freeman, Daniel W. Walton, Nathaniel Baker, James Ford, Solomon Knott, Benjamin Fraseur, Andrew Crawford, Wm. H. Bolton, James Poston, Daniel Hare, Luke Billups, William Young, Robert Miller, Samuel Long, James W. Tallman, William Mathews, Jonathan Morgan, Alanson Pope and William Worthington.  James W. Tallman was appointed Foreman.  The District Attorney not appearing, the Court appointed Wm. G. Woodward to act as Prosecutor.  On motion of Stephen Whicher, William Reagan having "presented his credentials as an attorney of one of the United States of America, was admitted as an attorney of the District Court of Cedar County."  Judging from the records, a great deal of respect and dignity generally conceded to courts was not given to Judge Williams, as twelve cases of contempt appear on the Judge's docket.  However, the court was exceedingly lenient, as the cases were all dismissed.

"The grand jury returned into court, and not having any business before them as a grand jury, for the United States, retired on the part of the Territory of Iowa."

The first criminal trial by jury, as well as the first trial by jury in the county of which any record was found, was that of the United States vs. John Howard.  The record does not show what the crime was with which Howard was charged.  The prisoner pleaded not guilty, and the case was tried July 15, 1840.  The jury consisted of Rueben Long, Samuel Gillilan, Luther Bradley, Christian Holderman, David McCroskey, Robert Starrett, Aretus Crane, George W. Latimer, William Stockden, Joseph Olds, James Stockden and Isaac Comstock.  The jury returned a verdict of guilty, and fixed Howard's sentence at one year in the penitentiary at Fort Madison, and that he pay the costs of prosecution.

The first indictments returned by the grand jury, was the United States vs. Clerman Squires, indicted for receiving stolen goods; one indictment against Wesley Reynolds for horse stealing, and one against John Leverich and Larry C. Switzer for riot.

May 18, 1841, John Safley and John Ferguson, having resided five years in the county and one year in Iowa Territory, took out their naturalization papers.

At the May term, 1841, twenty-eight lawyers were in attendance.  They were as follows:  Weston was the Attorney for the United States and Carlton for the Territory.  The members of the Bar were Messrs. Hastings, Whicher, Lowe, Woodward, Rankin, Richman, Huber, Hall, Cook, Keagan, Hampton, Geo. Smith, Sanford, Thomas H. Smith, Butler, Geo. Green, O. C. Ward, Bates, Howell, Grant, Mattoon, Patterson, Thompson, Wood and Hawson.

The first divorce case was that of John Dolan vs. Sarah Dolan, brought 24th of March, 1845.  The defendant failed to plead, answer or demur, and the court granted the petition.

Criminal Mention.

Elizabeth Simmonds was indicted at the March Term, 1846, for the murder of an illegitimate child by throwing it into the snow and water, where it was found some days afterward.  The prisoner being unable to employ counsel, Messrs. Lowe & Whicher were appointed to defend.  The case was tried April 3, 1846.  John P. Cook prosecuted.  William Morgan, William H. Dillon, George L. Smith, James Beatty, E. A. Gray, Gabriel Culver, James Laughrey, William Denny, John S. Martin, Barton W. Wall, William Hoch and Nicholas Stutsman were sworn as jurors.  Verdict, "not guilty."

The Funk Wife Murder. -- At the September Term, 1856, the grand jury returned an indictment against John Funk, for the killing of his wife on the 27th of May, 1856, by cutting her throat with a knife.  The case came on for trial September 24, 1856, John Huber, Prosecuting Attorney.  After the evidence for the State was all in, and part for the defense, the attorney discovered that one of the jurors was not a citizen of the county, and the jury were discharged from further consideration of the case.  The evidence brought up an issue as to the sanity of the defendant.  A jury was summoned to try the issue, and returned a verdict of insanity without leaving their seats.  Funk was conveyed to the jail at Davenport, until suitable provision for his care could be made by the Governor.

The Boyle Matricide Case. -- Patrick Boyle was indicted at the December Term, 1869, for the murder of his mother with a certain deadly weapon, the name of which is unknown, by striking her upon the head, breast and arms, and by choking her.  William G. Thompson prosecuted and Messrs. Piatt & Carr and E. Cook defended.  The body was disinterred four days after burial.  Patrick Boyle and his wife were arrested and a preliminary examination held, and Mrs. Boyle discharged.  Patrick Boyle was tried at the December Term, 1869.  The court gave an instruction to the effect that the omission of the word "deliberate" in the indictment was not material, and refused to give the following instruction offered by the defense:

As the indictment lacks the essential ingredient of charging that the alleged acts of the defendant, in producing or causing the alleged death of Mary Boyle were "deliberate," and as it is nowhere in the indictment that the defendant "deliberately" did kill and murder, you can in no event find the defendant guilty of a greater offense or degree of crime than in the second degree.

The jury returned a verdict of murder in the second degree, and Boyle was sentenced to the penitentiary for life, and to pay the costs of the suit.  A bill of exceptions was prepared and an appeal taken to the General Term Court, where the decision of the court below was affirmed.  The case was then appealed to the Supreme Court, where the decisions of the court below were reversed and the case remanded for a new trial.  A change of venue was taken to Muscatine.  Boyle was brought from the penitentiary, the case was re-tried and a verdict of not guilty was the result.

The Ryan-Harrigon Murder. -- John Ryan was indicted at the November Term, 1873, for the murder of his employer, Cornelius Harrigon, on the 19th of October, 1873.  They were having a "shucking bee" at Harrigon's house when a quarrel ensued between Ryan and Harrigon.  Ryan struck Harrigon with a heavy wooden chair, inflicting a mortal wound.  Ryan was tried at the May Term, 1875, and the jury returned a verdict of murder in the second degree, and Ryan was sentenced to the penitentiary for a period of eight years.

The Purza-Brummell Affair. -- In the late Fall of 1873, there came to Tipton a man named D. Purza, representing himself to be a physician.  He opened an office and commenced the practice of his profession.  Among the afflicted who called upon him for treatment was a farmer of Dayton Township, named William Brummell.  On the 6th day of June, 1874, Dr. Purza administered to him an overdose of Podaphyllin, or the extract of May apple root, from the effects of which he died.  The circumstances attending his death led to a post mortem examination, and the finding of an indictment against Dr. Purza by the grand jury at the November Term (1874) of the District Court.  His trial came on at the May Term, 1875.  Milo P. Smith and H. C. Carr appeared for the prosecution, and William E. Leffingwell and Wolf, Landt & Yates for the defense.  Purza had some friends who believed him a victim of persecution, while others pronounced him a most arrant humbug, and, as a consequence, the trial excited a good deal of interest.  The trial of the case was closely contested, but resulted in a verdict of "not guilty."  Purza remained in Tipton for a few weeks after his acquittal, when he left the country, went to California and settled in San Francisco.

 

 
 

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