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1890 Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Story County, Iowa

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Page 131 of 460

wind, the mind becomes confused, courage departs, and then comes death on the wild waste. Few if any such casualties ever occurred in this county.

The pioneer physician of Story County was Alexander Favre, who located about one mile east of Ontario, and was among the first settlers in Franklin township. He was a man of ability in his profession, a native of France, and had the culture and manners of a Parisian. He lived among the pioneers, and was one of them until his death. The pioneer physician in the eastern half of the county was V. V. Adamson. He was a young man, scarcely having attained his majority, small of stature, weighing no more than the average boy of fifteen years, but bright and genial, and attained a good position and practice. He removed to Holton, Kas., where he is recognized as a leading citizen.

The pioneer lawyer was Isaac Romane, who was then, 1854, about forty years old. He had a healthy brain and plenty of determination. He was not an educated man, nor a thoroughly well-read lawyer, but held his own in the local practice for a number of years, appearing mostly in the courts of the justice of the peace. He afterward retired from practice, and removed to Missouri. The second attorney was George A. Kellogg, a young man in 1855, the year of his arrival, who was afterward county judge, and who is now an influential citizen of Fairhaven, on Puget Sound.

The pioneer preacher can hardly be named. Jeremiah Cory, Jr., of Iowa Center, conducted religious services as a member of the Baptist persuasion. He was called a "preacher," but may not have been regularly ordained. Probably the first services ever conducted in the county by an ordained minister were led by Thompson Bird, the pioneer Presbyterian of Fort Des Moines.

The pioneer hotel of the county was that opened by John H. McClain, in the summer of 1854. Before and after that time all citizens " entertained man and beast," as occasion, demanded and necessity required, but Mr. McClain extended hospitality as a matter of business.

The first Independence Day celebration was at Iowa Center, in 1854. John G. Wood was president of the day, Rev. W. B. Hand was the orator, and Peter Gordy read the Declaration. The salute was fired from the anvil of the blacksmith, and the national colors were extemporized by Thomas C. Davis, the material used being white muslin and lampblack. A bountiful dinner was spread, which was as free as air to all in attendance.

The first church was built at Iowa Center in 1857. It was of brick; was owned by the Baptists.

The first white willow trees, the forerunners of the many miles of fence-row and numerous groves, were planted near the northwest corner of the farm now owned by Mrs. Dinsmore, in Section 17, Nevada Township. The cuttings were set in 1857.

The first county fair was held in 1859. The court-house was used as a fine art and vegetable hall, and the live stock was exhibited on open ground not distant, but farther north and west.

The first suicide was that of Martin Batzner, a young man who acted as village barber in Nevada and also kept a small grocery and candy store. He shot himself through the body with a rifle, in a vacant log house then standing in Wood's addition.

Nevada, the seat of justice of this county, had its inception in the thought of providing for the necessities of a future not remote, and its authority in the statutes of the State. By an act of the General Assembly three commis-

Page 131 of 460

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