|29||The Founding of Zearing, Iowa||29|
“The early history of Zearing is so interwoven with my life that I can hardly tell what I know about it without telling some of my early experiences.
“I awakened on the morning of October 17, 1881, and came downstairs to find strange men in our home. One of the strange men was frying beefsteak. Another one was dressing my little sister, Grace. My father was running hither and thither setting the table and waiting on my mother. I was quite surprised to hear that a new baby brother had arrived during the night. His name was Burton Anthony Richardson. Burton came too soon to be the first baby born in Zearing. That honor went to Ernest Bean. Ernest became the State Geologist of Wisconsin when he grew up.
“The strange men were surveyors who had come to lay out the town of Zearing. I had the pleasure of riding in the surveyor's wagon when the corner stones were laid.
“Feeding those who came to buy lots was quite a problem. My father, and eleven year old sister, Nellie, got dinner for them. Nearly all the lots in the original plot were sold on the first day. The town grew rapidly and soon the wolves that formerly howled at night were driven away.
“Asa M. Williams was the first mayor. Perhaps he wished that he had not accepted the office when one night a band of men rode into town shouting and firing their guns in every direction. However, they soon left after doing no more harm than to frighten the peace loving people of Zearing.”
George W. Phillips furnished the story of the naming of Zearing, Iowa. In the interests of accurate history I have checked every source of information I could think of to cast doubt on his story. Personally I never doubted George's story. George was not the type of a person who would give out information based on imagination. After an intensive investigation I can state that there is no reason for anyone to doubt the story told by George.
George W. Phillips was born on November 18, 1858, in Coshocton county, Ohio. He told me that he came to Lincoln township in 1873. George was a pioneer school teacher in our community. He served as Story county superintendent of schools from 1895 to 1899.
George said that he drove cattle many times across the land where Zearing was later located. George never married. He died on March 22, 1952. He is buried in the Zearing Cemetery.
The railroad came through Lincoln township in 1881. It was proposed that a town be located in Lincoln township. The railroad