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Many Towns of County Have Disappeared in a Century
Mt. Pleasant News; October 1, 1955 pg. 6
The changes in towns and town post offices of Henry county in a little over
a century have been numerous. This list of abandoned towns, or abandoned post
offices, in the county was prepared by Mrs. Helen Virden, county recorder, in
connection with some statewide research.
BALTIMORE: a village laid out February 6, 1877 by Michael T. Simmons and
Jacob Conkright in the southeast quarter of section 18, Baltimore Township on
the north bank of Skunk River. In one of the old Commissioner records this is
called New Baltimore and was named as a precinct for election purposes in
January 1841. The township was named for this town. The Township Baltimore being
established in 1841. Records show the purchase of land for this town in 1837.
BANGALL: Probably in the southern part of Section 27 Tippecanoe Township.
The Post office was established June 25, 1889 with Albert Lamm postmaster. Its
name was changed to Denova March 5, 1890. It was discontinued as a post office
December 1905. This village had rail service at one time. The 1895 map shows
Denova in Section 35. Neither of these towns were platted as a matter of record.
BEDFORD: a town platted April 5, 1839 by William Thrash and William H. Lyon
in the Southwest quarter of Section 30, Center Township. It had no post office.
BEERY: Common corner of Section 7-8-17-18. Baltimore township. The post
office was established July 1, 1896 with Evangeline R. Beery as postmaster and
discontinued April 30, 1901. This was very likely named for the Beery family and
many of the descendants live in Henry County now.
BELFAST: A village laid out by James Gibson in 1837 - July 8th. It was on
the east half of the southwest quarter and the West half of the southeast
quarter of Section 32, Trenton Township, south of Skunk River. It had no post
BOYELSTON: A post office for a time in the northwest quarter of Section 2,
Jackson Township and moved later to the Northwest quarter of Section 36. The
post office was established July 13, 1868, James E. Shelledy postmaster and
discontinued March 22, 1895. The bridge across Skunk river at this point is
still called the Boyelston Bridge.
COTTON GROVE: A post office at first in South Section 21 and later in the
northeast quarter of Section 28 Canaan Township. The post office was established
September 3, 1858 with Horton J. Howard as postmaster and discontinued September
CROOKED CREEK: The early name of the post office at Marshall. The post
office was established February 3, 1843. Rufus M. Pickel, postmaster. Its name
was changed to Marshall on October 8, 1851. Later changed to Wayland March 20,
1880. Laid out September 24, 1851.
DENOVA: See above as Bengall, changed to Denova March 8, 1890.
EAST GROVE: A post office on the north side of the southeast quarter of
Section 33, Jackson Township, established March 28, 1848, Joseph D. Hoag,
postmaster and discontinued October 12, 1859.
FINIS: Near southeast corner of Section 16 and northwest corner of Section
21, Tippecanoe Township. The post office was established February 13, 1896, John
R. Montgomery, postmaster and discontinued December 28, 1896, having been a post
office less than one year, there is some question of the exact location of this
town inasmuch as it was never platted.
HILLSBOROUGH: The name of the Town called Hillsboro now and was platted as
Washington, February 9, 1840. Changed to Hillsboro January 20, 1887.
IRISHTOWN: A colloquial name of Woodlawn. (See under Woodlawn) Did not have
a post office.
JEFFERSON: A town laid out August 12, 1837 at the common corner of Sections
23,22,26 and 27 Jefferson township. It had no post office.
KETCHAM SWITCH: A railroad station in the southwest quarter of the
southeast quarter of Section 1 Tippecanoe township. Its post office was LaHoyt.
It was called Ketcham Switch or sometimes Ketcham. This was named after an early
family in Henry county who owned a Ketcham Mill and the bridge adjacent was
named the Ketcham bridge and is still referred to in that fashion. At one time
there was a Ketcham Ferry where the Ketcham bridge now stands.
LAHOYT: The name of the post office at Ketcham Switch. The post office was
established July 29, 1880, Levi Durk postmaster and was discontinued May 15,
1901; reestablished October 15, 1901 with Emerson Glover as postmaster and
finally discontinued August 31, 1904.
LANCASTER: The name of Trenton when established in 1836. The name of the
town wsa changed to Trenton a year later and is still called by that name.
McCABES: Near the center of Canaan township as shown on maps dated 1857. It
had no post office.
MIDPRAIRIE: Only reference to this town found in Scott township in a map of
1870 probably located on the line of the county.
MT. VERNON: Only reference to this town is in a list of Post Offices located
in Henry county in 1879. Location is not ascertained.
McCARVERSTOWN: The original name of the present town of Lowell. Before 1843.
Supposedly laid out by McCarver, one of the first settlers in Iowa and named for
him. The proprietors of the plat on record are given as M.M. McCarver and Edmond
Archibald. The surveyor John C. Mather. There was no post office listed for
McCLUREVILLE: The original name of a post office established July 28, 1890
and named for the postmaster George D. McClure. It was located in the southeast
quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 32 in Jefferson township. This town
was not platted.
MARSHALL: The name of the present town of Wayland from 1851 to 1880. The
town was laid out as Crooked Creek and was changed to Marshall October 3, 1851
and to Wayland March 20, 1880. R.M. Pickle and M.S. Roberts were the
proprietors. Rufus M. Pickle was postmaster. In some instances the name is
listed as Fickle.
MT. STARLING: A town laid out September 29, 1837, William Scarey and
Archibald Kerr as proprietors. The plat gives no location and is believed to be
a town in the adjacent county.
OAKLAND MILLS: A thriving village for many years with a woolen and grist
mill on the north bank of the Skunk River. It is located in the SW quarter of
Section 24, Tippecanoe township. The village is presently well known fishing
spot in SE Iowa but the post office that was established in April 1868 with Miss
Pauline A. Clark as postmaster was discontinued July 29, 1878 reestablished
February 1879 and finally discontinued Oct 31, 1901. This is listed as a town in
1853 map with a connecting railroad called the "K-Line" or "Old Jerky." This
town was platted but never incorporated of record.
RURAL: A post office on the north side of the northwest quarter of Section
9. Jackson township. The post office was established June 5, 1893 with Charles
Noble as postmaster and it was discontinued Feb. 17, 1894.
SHOCKLEY: Once located near Winfield and sometimes reported as being the
original name of the town of Winfield. The post office was established June 21,
1852 and Thomas Shockley was named postmaster. One this same date the town of
Winfield was platted with Asbury Porter as proprietor. This plat was not filed
and made a matter of record until 1855. The name was changed to Winfield
according to history on Dec. 10, 1852.
STRINGTOWN: The name of a hamlet at the post office of Traxler. It was
never platted as a town as a matter of record. The post office was established
SWEDESBOURGH: The name of the post office at the town now shortened to
Swedesburg. One record calls it Sweedsbourgh. The post office was established in
1870 and was changed to the name of Swedesburg May 18, 1893. It was platted
Sept. 11, 1875.
TRAXLER: A post office in the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter,
Section 20, Marion township for Stringtown. The post office was established in
1890, Calvin C. Stevenson was postmaster and it was discontinued Jan 13, 1898.
VEGA: A post office established June 20, 1851, Joseph W. Frame, postmaster.
1895 map shows Vega as being in Section 19, Tippecanoe township. In June, 1851,
when the post office was established it was in Jefferson county. It was
discontinued in February 1866 and reestablished in January 1871 with George
Chapman as postmaster and finally discontinued Sept. 9, 1899. It is assumed that
it was a post office in Henry county from January 1871 to September 1890.
WASHINGTON: Original name of Hillsboro was platted as Washington March 2,
1840. The sworn chairmen were Charles Brewington and Luther C. Courey, John C.
Mather, surveyor. It was changed to Hillsborough Jan 10, 1844 and to Hillsboro
on Jan. 20, 1887.
WAYNE: A hamlet at the center of the West line of Section 3, Wayne township.
The post office was established Aug. 4, 1851, Sylvester Smith postmaster and
discontinued Feb. 13, 1904.
WEST MT. PLEASANT: The name of the present town of Mt. Pleasant when it was
in Wisconsin territory.
WINONA: In the southwest quarter of Section 12, Wayne township. The post
office was established June 18, 1869. Thomas Brown was postmaster and the office
was discontinued Nov. 7, 1879.
WOODLAWN: A small community about one half mile south of Mt. Pleasant,
locally called Irishtown. This was platted as a town June 11, 1856 with Lockwood
and Graham as proprietors.
CHICAUQUA: Original name of the town of Rome and laid out Sept. 24, 1857,
located as being part of the Northeast quarter of Section 5-71-7 (Tippecanoe
township). The proprietor was D.C. Whitwoods and the surveyor John Rhiza.
This information is authenticated by records in the Recorder's Office of
Henry County, research of Guy R. Ramsey of Iowa State College, Henry County
History 1870 and 1879 and plats. The business directory was taken from the plat
book of 1870.
Special Note: Coppock, a town in the northwest corner of Henry county, has
a taxation district in three counties- Henry, Jefferson and Washington.
Trenton and Oakland Mills were once considered as possible locations for
the county seat. The plat of Trenton setting aside a lot in each block for the
use of the county should Trenton be located as the county seat. The first
territorial road was approved in 1838 on Dec. 19, and called for a road from
Fort Madison to Trenton.
The County of Henry was established in the 1st Wisconsin Territorial
Legislature and the precincts were established in 1841 and the lines of the
county (boundaries) were established in 1837 by action of the County
Commissioners and were determined by Asbury Power.
Cathy Joynt Labath
Henry Co, IA USGenWeb Project
I'm trying to break through my brick wall and I'm almost half way there. My husband's direct ancestors, Joseph R. & Mariah Rhoades were residing in Jackson Twp., Henry Co., Iowa by 1870. They were residing in Salem Twp., as early as 1854.
Joseph Rhoads b abt 1794, NJ came to Wayne Twp., Marion County, Indiana with his parents & siblings as early settlers of that area in the mid 1820's. By 1852-1854, Joseph & Mariah headed to Iowa and probably with a son, David b 1841, IN.
It wasn't until early this week that I finally came across where Joseph & Mariah were residing. I had presumed they had died in Marion County, IN. I'm hoping there is someone who might know of where they might be buried. I'm assuming they died prior to 1880 as I haven't been able to locate them. Their son, David is still residing in Jackson Twp in 1900.
Any help will be appreciated