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1890 Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Story County, Iowa

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Page 125 of 460

He was directed to employ a carrier on the route to Fort Des Moines and back once a week. Under these instructions Joseph P. Robinson was employed to perform the service. The route was established by way of Iowa Center, Peoria, Cory's Grove and Daniel Justice's, on Four-Mile. The first trip was made in November, 1853. This first post-office in the county was kept in the famous pioneer store of T. E. Alderman, he having pluckily carried out his intentions of being the first settler in the town, first merchant in the county and first representative of the post-office department. The receipts for the first quarter were $1.25, of which the postmaster had sixty per cent of a total of 75 cents. But the day of small things is not to be despised. This apparently insignificant establishment, with one mail in seven days, was but the harbinger of a service that now delivers its precious parcels through eighteen offices, some of which are supplied an average of five times each day, and seven days in every week. If those were the days of hope these are the days of fruition. The mails became more frequent as population increased. The weekly was followed by semi and tri-weekly trips, and supplemented by mails on other routes. It was not till Feburary, 1864, that the mails came daily.

Post-offices were next established at New Philadelphia and Bloomington, to be served from the office at Nevada, and for the transportation of the mail on that route, Joseph A. Fitchpatrick was the contractor. This was undoubtedly a " star route, " for it is well remembered that when it was impassable to every other conveyance, the contractor, still known affectionately to his intimate friends as "Joe," then a mere boy, braved storm and flood on foot in the service of the Government, and never missed a trip. His compensation was 75 cents for each trip, once a week.

In the Fifth General Assembly the Senatorial and Representative districts which included Story County were severally represented by Hon. James C. Jordan, of Polk County, and Hon. S. B. McCall, of Boone County. Both these gentlemen being neighbors and well acquainted with their constituency in this county looked well to the local interests. Among the acts secured by them were several for the location of State roads. It was provided in one of these that Wesley A. Daniel, of Tama County, Nathan F. Yeomans, of Marshall County, and Samuel McDaniel, of Story County, should be commissioners to locate a road from Toledo via Marshall to Nevada. The act provided that the commissioners, or a majority of them, should meet on the first Monday in April, or within six months thereafter, at Toledo, or at some other point by them agreed upon, and taking to their assistance a surveyor and the necessary chainmen and markers, and having been duly sworn to the faithful discharge of their several duties, to proceed to locate said road according to law. These commissioners and their assistants were to receive a per diem that was to be paid from the county treasury. Another act of the same General Assembly provided for a similar road from Fort Des Moines via Nevada and Eldora to Cedar Falls. John Keigley was the commissioner from Story County. The same law made it the duty of Evan C. Evans and T. J. Adamson, on the part of Story County, to establish a similar road from Newton via Nevada and Smithville, in Story County, to Homer, in Webster County. At the same session and in the same manner similar highways were located from Marietta via Nevada, Boonsboro, Jefferson, and Mason's Grove to Ashton, in Monona County; and from Nevada to the town of Rapids, in Boone County.

Page 125 of 460

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