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Zearing, Iowa 1956 History

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16Community History, Zearing, Iowa

Horatio was the secretary of the first school board meeting held in Lincoln township. He was prominent for many years in Lincoln township school affairs. The first school house in the township was called the Wickham school.

Amos A. Bartine helped Horatio build the buildings on the Wickham farm. Amos walked to Illinois Grove from Davenport, Iowa, in 1855. Horatio and Amos stayed at the Abbott home in Illinois Grove during the construction of the Wickham buildings.

Horatio died on December 29, 1912. Pauline died on July 9, 1910. They are buried in the Zearing Cemetery.


Levi Norton was born in Pennsylvania on August 3, 1823. This Levi Norton should not be confused with the Levi Norton who moved to Lincoln township in 1896. Levi's wife, Catherine Gilmore, was born in Ireland on April 17, 1838.

The Norton family started farming in the spring of 1856. They had purchased a farm in Section 4 in 1855.

Levi and Catherine were the parents of six children. They were:

Jerusha Norton Gilmore, born on November 11, 1855.

Eliza Norton McCaskie, born on October 10, 1857.

Samuel J. Norton, born on February 5, 1860.

Thomas W. Norton, born on February 13, 1864.

Fanny Norton Williams, born on March 23, 1870.

Emily Belle Norton, born on July 17, 1873.

1860–Iowa Agricultural Census

Levi Norton

65 acres improved, 78 acres unimproved—cash value, $600. Farm implements–cash value, $100.

Livestock—2 mules, 2 milk cows, 1 other cattle, 7 hogs—cash value, $250.

Grain–40 bushels wheat, 200 bushels Indian corn, 56 bushels oats.

Levi died on August 15, 1901. Catherine died on January 18, 1901. They are buried in the Zearing Cemetery.


Horatio C. Wickham in a letter written to a Story county atlas committee stated that the Campbell, Miller, Barkdull, Ragan, Gilmore, Wickham, and Norton families were the only families who actually lived in the territory which was later called Lincoln township in the period 1854 to 1860.

Our own study of the local records and the Iowa census brings us to the same conclusion. We agree with Horatio that the seven families named by him were the only families to establish homes in Lincoln township during the period of 1854 to 1860.

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