Iron County Historical Society

History of Iron County

As written in the History of Southeast Missouri, Goodspeed History of Southeast Missouri, Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1888.

Iron County Formed.

The county of Iron was erected from portions of the counties of St. Francois, Madison, Washington, Dent, Reynolds and Wayne, by an act of the Legislature approved February 17, 1857 Maj. John Polk, representative of Madison County (but a resident of the proposed new county), Conrad C. Ziegler, of Ste. Genevieve, member of the State Senate, and James Lindsay, enrolling clerk of the Senate, were instrumental in securing the passage of the act Great difficulty was experienced in securing sufficient territory without reducing other counties below their constitutional limits, hence the peculiar shape of the county At a special election ordered to held on the first Monday in June, 1857, J. V. Logan, John W. Miller and Moses Edwards were chosen members of the county court; John F. T. Edwards, clerk of the courts, and John Cole, sheriff The county court held its first meeting in Arcadia, on August 4, 1857, when the county was divided into seven municipal townships, Dent, Kaolin, Iron, Pilot Knob, Arcadia, Liberty and Union, and the necessary officers appointed for each At the same term Theodore F. Long was elected school commissioner, A. C. Farnham, treasurer, and Allen W. Hollaman, county surveyor.

By the act forming the county the county was made liable for its proportionate part of stock subscribed to the Fredericktown & Pilot Knob Gravel Road Company, incorporated February 5, 1855, and accordingly, an order was made for the erection of a courthouse and the issuing of county bonds, bearing ten per cent of interest, for $10,000. In April the contract for the courthouse was awarded to George S. Evans and William F. Mitchell for the sum of $14,000, and John V. Logan was appointed to superintend the work The corner-stone for the new building was laid on the 4th of July, 1858, and in October, 1860, it was completed and occupied In April, 1866, $10,000 was appropriated for the erection of a jail, and the contract for the building awarded to Thompson & Flynn for $8,972.50 The total debt of the county now reached the sum of nearly $18,000, but from that time on it steadily reduced There is now no bonded debt, and during the year 1887, $4,958 was appropriated for the improvement of roads, in addition to the road tax On January 1, 1888, there was a balance in the treasury, above all outstanding warrants, of $11,363.55.

The circuit court for Iron County was organized on May 16, 1858, by Judge John H. Stone The members of the first grand jury were John F. Green, Elbridge Clayton, John Imboden, J. H. Russell, Joseph Sutton, George W. Young, James Sloan, John P. Hayden, Samuel Rice, William Boatwright, Michael Vineyard, Andrew Henson, Frank P. Smith, Joseph Beal An indictment was returned against Malinda and Washington Brannum for grand larceny The former was convicted, and sentenced to the penitentiary for two years The latter was acquitted In 1860 William H. Young was arrested for the murder of his father, whom he had stabbed in a fit of intoxication He obtained a change of venue to Reynolds County, and while out on bail was killed in a fight There have been several convictions of murder in the various degrees, but none have paid the death penalty in Iron County.

Official Directory. - The officers of Iron County have been as follows

Clerks of the County Court. - John F. R. Edwards, 1857-61; David Humphreys, 1861-65; Joseph Huff, 1865-70; Joseph T. Ake, 1870-78; G. B. Nall, 1878-86; W. A. Fletcher, 1886.

Clerk of the Circuit Court and Recorder. - Joseph Huff, 1872 (the present incumbent).

Sheriffs. - John Cole, 1857-62; W. N. Gregory, 1862-65; Morgan Mace, 1865-68; James Buford, 1868-72; D. F. Martin, 187276; James Buford, 1876-80; W. A. Fletcher, 1880-84; S. E. Buford, 1884-86; P. W. Whitworth, 1886.

Collectors. - Same as sheriffs to 1880. James Buford, 1880-82; W. A. Fletcher, 1882-86' S. E. Buford, 1886.

Treasurers. - A. C. Farnham, 1857-58; David Carson, 1858-62; Theodore P. Russell, 1862-63; Amos N. Hunt, 1863-64; H. P. Russell, 1864-70; James A. Greason, 1870-76; D. F. Martin, 1876-78; Isaac G. Whitworth, 1878-86; William H. Whitworth, 1886.

Assessors. - J. M. Powell, 1860-61; Charles H. Collins, 1861-64; Joseph Huff, 1864-65; Richard F. Trow, 1865-66; Warren E. Peck, 1866-68; R. F. Trow, 1868-70; Ira M. Raney, 1870-72; A. D. Williams, 1872-74; William E. Bell, 1874-82; S. E. Buford, 1882-84; John W. Harral, 1884-86; Samuel P. Reyburn, 1886.

Judges of the County Court. - John B. Logan, 1857-65; John W. Miller, 1857-58; Moses Edmonds, 1857-59; Samuel Tulloch, 1858-60; Philip Pipkin. 1859-60; William Suites, 1860-62; John W. Hancock, 1860-65; John P. Hayden, 1862-66; Franz Dinger, 1865-68; T. P. Russell, 1865-72; Joshua Mason, 1866-70; P. H. Jaquith, 1868-70; Franz Dinger, 1870-82; Nathan Johnson, 1870-74; Joseph L. Stephens, 1872-80; A. D. Williams, 1874-7; Leroy; Matkin, 1876-78; John Kemper, 1878-80; D. H. Palmer, 1880-86; J. G. Clarkson, 1880; A. W. Holloman, 1882; Robert J. Hill, 1886.

Representatives in the Legislature. - John Polk, 1858-60; Jeff C. Russell, 1860-62; David Carson, 1862-64; John V. Logan, 1864-66; P. H. Jaquith, 1866-68; C. R. Peck, 1870-72; Charles Van Roden, 1872-74; John F. T. Edwards, 1874-76; A. W. Holloman, 1876-78; John Berryman, 1878-82; Thomas Foley, 1882-86; W. T. Crocker, 1886.


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