Shortly after that vast southwestern
territory known as the Louisiana Purchase had been acquired by the United
States, from France, Congress, by an act of 1804, divided this new possession
into two bodies. That lying below the thirty third parallel of north latitude
was called the Territory of Orleans; and the remaining portion was known as the
District of Louisiana. This latter, for political purposes, was engrafted on to
the Indiana Territory.
In 1805 the District of Louisiana was merged into a Territory of its own. In 1807 another subdivision was made, and the Territory of Iowa was created, which was at first attached to the Territory of Illinois, and later, in 1812, to Missouri Territory.
When Missouri was admitted as a State, in 1821, Iowa was again an outcast, until 1834, when she clung to the skirts of Michigan Territory. By this time all the region west of the Mississippi and north of the north line of Missouri had been purchased from the Sac and Fox Indians, and comprised Michigan Territory. It was usually referred to by the people of Illinois and other Eastern States as "The Purchase."
In 1836 the Territory of Wisconsin was created by an act of Congress, and Iowa Territory was again placed in the keeping of a new foster parent, by being attached to Wisconsin. In 1838 Iowa Territory was given a separate Territorial government, but it still included a part of Wisconsin, west of the Mississippi River.
In 1846, after considerable wrangling over the boundary question by the people of the Territory, they finally voted in favor of going into the Union as a sovereign State, and accordingly Iowa was admitted December 28, 1846.
Several years prior to the admission of Iowa as a State, the Territorial Council had passed an act to organize new counties, as will be seen in Chapter 34 of Revised Statutes of Iowa, 1843:
"An Act to establish new counties and define their
boundaries, in the late cession from the Sac and Fox Indians, and for other
"Sec. 4. The following boundaries shall constitute a new county, to be called Kishkekosh, to wit: Beginning at the northwest corner of Wapello County; thence west on township line dividing townships 73 and 74, to range 20, west; thence south on said line to the northwest corner of Appanoose County; thence north to the place of beginning; which county, with Wapello and the territory lying west, shall be attached to Jefferson County for judicial, revenue, and election purposes."
This same bill provided for the creation of ten other counties, and also made provision for their survey as soon as the Indian treaty could be ratified.
The first measure to conserve the peace in these newly organized counties was the appointment, by the Governor, of justices of the peace for the various precincts throughout the counties so created.
On the 1st of May, 1843, the Indian title became extinct, and immediately followed an influx of sturdy pioneers, a further account of whose incursion and pioneer life will be found elsewhere in this volume.
The name Kishkekosh seemed harsh to the ears of the white settlers, and the name was subsequently changed to that of Monroe County.
The name Kishkekosh was given to the county in honor of a minor chief of the Sac and Fox band, and the name, in the Indian tongue, is said to mean "a savage biter."
Kishkekosh was a member of Black Hawk's suite, who accompanied that redoubtable chieftain, after his capture, in his tour throughout the East, and by contact with civilization rapidly learned the manners and customs of the white race. It is said that, in a superficial way at least, he assumed the graces of a Chesterfield, and grew particularly gallant towards the squaws of his tribe, when he returned to his people to inculcate among them the customs of the whites. In sitting down to a meal, he would first assist the dusky lady guests to the food; and he carried this spirit of gallantry so far as to attempt to correct the state of slavery to which the squaws were subjected by their oppressive lords, by enjoining the latter to do the drudgery themselves.
It is said that he entered into this reform with so much zeal
that he actually set the example himself.
Black Hawk never made his predatory incursions as far west as Monroe County, when there was any white prey within its borders. He died in 1837, at Iowaville. Yet it is quite probable that many a fierce encounter has been waged on Monroe County soil between the Sacs and Foxes of eastern Iowa and western Illinois and the Iowas, Pottawattamies, and other less powerful tribes west of the Mississippi River.
The very name of Black Hawk was sufficient to strike terror into the hearts of the pioneer settlers of eastern Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana.
Most writers, describing the personal appearance of Black Hawk, represent him as the very embodiment of all that is fiendish and terrible; but Joseph Hoskinson, one of the pioneer settlers of Iowa, who died at his home in Monroe County a few years ago, and who was present at the treaty between the Government and the Sacs and Foxes, where Burlington now stands, informed the writer that Black Hawk was the handsomest Indian he ever saw. He stood near him at the treaty and admired the imperial bearing of the chief.
While he showed the treachery and cunning of a fiend - like Red Jacket, he would "not bend the knee." No imperial crown ever sat upon a prouder head, and no monarch ever merited a coronet of higher token of fidelity to his people than Black Hawk. How strange it is that the hand of fiction has never woven about the harsh outlines of his memory the softening gauze of sentiment and romance!
Until the 13th of February, 1844, all the territory west of Wapello County, including Kishkekosh County, was attached to Wapello County for election and judicial purposes, and the first court house jurisdiction included Kishkekosh County was held in Ottumwa in September, 1844; but the character of the litigation was mainly disputes over claims to land.
At that time, the homestead laws were different from those of the present day, and were also more lax in their provisions. Every person entitled to the homestead privilege was allowed a half section of land - 160 acres in prairie and 160 acres in timber. The earliest settlers took their claims before the land was placed upon the market for homesteading, and for several years held them by virtue of "squat-
ter sovereignty," intending to enter the land when placed
upon the market. When the land was finally opened for filing, many of the
settlers did not have the funds for making the homestead entry, but continued to
hold their claims. There was always someone in the country who had a little
spare money with which to contest claims occupied by the "squatter."
While he had this lawful right, he seldom had the effrontery to exercise it.
Necessity, the mother of invention, devised a means of protecting the "squatter's" interests. Judicial proceedings were expensive, and, even if resorted to, would have afforded no relief to the "squatter." The "Club law" was accordingly instituted by the settlers to protect themselves and their neighbors from the "claim jumper." While it was not in strict accord with the laws of the land or the equity of indiscriminating justice, the great body of the people, in whose interests all written laws should be framed as against the opposing few, construed it as "Vox populi, vox Dei ” - "The voice of the people is the voice of God."
Some brave pioneer settler would select a claim, but, being unable to make a homestead filing on it at once, would erect a "claim pen" - i.e., a log pen sixteen feet square and four rounds high; this would hold his claim for six months, at the end of which time it was presumed he would have completed a cabin. Frequently, however, owing to sickness or other unavoidable cause of delay, he failed to erect a domicile or make the necessary improvements on his claim. Then would the "claim jumper" attempt to take possession by moving on to the land or into the vacant domicile, in case the "squatter" had temporarily abandoned it. The captain of the "Club" was at once notified, and the entire population - for everybody belonged to the "Club" - turned out, and, marching to the usurper's stronghold, would force him to depart. Sometimes the "jumper" became defiant, and was roughly handled by the "Club," but usually he quietly acquiesced in their verdict, and vacated without protest.
While at this day the "Club law" may seem somewhat revolutionary, yet no rule for the regulation of society has ever been placed in the statutes by a higher tribunal than that of the sturdy pioneers of Monroe and other counties in their struggles in the wilderness to support and provide a home for themselves, their wives and their little ones.
The first election held in Kishkekosh County took place
at the house of W. G. Clark in the autumn of 1844; and in the
spring of 1845 the precinct was duly organized into an independent county by an
act of the Council and House of Representatives of the Territory of Iowa. The
act also provided for the location of a county seat, and following is the text
of the bill:
"An act to organize the County of Kishkekosh and to provide for the location of the seat of justice thereof.
"Section 1. Be it enacted by the Council and House of Representatives of the Territory of Iowa, That the county of Kishkekosh be, and the same is hereby, organized from and after the first day of July next; and that the inhabitants of said county shall be entitled to all the privileges to which by law the inhabitants of other organized counties of this Territory are entitled, and the said county shall constitute a part of the First Judicial District of this Territory.
"Section 2. That, for the purpose of organizing said county, it is hereby made the duty of the Clerk of the District Court of said county, and in case there should be no such Clerk appointed and qualified, or for any cause such office should become vacant on or before the tenth day of July next, then it shall be the duty of the Sheriff of Wapello County to proceed immediately after the tenth of July to order an election in said county of Kishkekosh for the purpose of electing three County Commissioners, one Judge of Probate, one County Treasurer, one Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, one Surveyor, one County Assessor, one Sheriff, one Coroner, one County Recorder, and such number of Justices of the Peace and Constables as may be directed by the officer ordering such election; the officer having due regard for the convenience of the people; which election shall be on the first Monday in the month of August next. And that the officer ordering such election shall appoint as many places for holding elections in said county as the conveniences of the people may require, and shall appoint three Judges of Election for each place of holding elections in said county, and issue tickets to said Judges for their appointment; and the officer ordering said election shall give at least fifteen days' notice of the time and place of holding said election, by at least three printed or written advertisements, which shall be posted up at three or more of the most public places in the neighborhood where each of the polls shall be opened as aforesaid.
Section 3. That the officer
ordering the election aforesaid shall receive and canvass the polls and grant
certificates to the persons selected to fill the offices mentioned in this Act,
and in all cases not provided for by this Act. The officer ordering said
election shall perform the duties of a Clerk of the Board of County
Commissioners until there shall be a Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners
elected and qualified for said county under the provisions of this Act.
"Section 4. Said election shall, in all cases not provided for by this Act, be conducted according to the laws of this Territory regulating general elections.
"Section 5. The officers elected under the provisions of this Act shall hold their offices until the next general election, and until their successors are elected and qualified.
"Section 6. The officer ordering the election in said county shall return all books and papers which may come into his hands by virtue of this Act to the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners of said county, forthwith after said Clerk shall be elected and qualified.
"Section 7. That the officer conducting said election shall be allowed the same fees for services rendered by him, under the provisions of this Act, that are allowed by law for similar services performed by the Sheriff in similar cases.
"Section 8. That the Clerk of the District Court of said county of Kishkekosh may be appointed by the Judge of said court, and qualified at any time after the passage of this Act; but shall not enter upon the discharge of the duties of said office prior to the 1st day of July next.
"Section 9. That all actions at law in the District Court for the County of Wapello, commencing prior to the organization of the said county of Kishkekosh, when the parties or either of them reside in said county of Kishkekosh, shall be prosecuted to final judgment, order, or decree, as freely and effectually as if this Act had not been passed.
"Section 10. That it shall be the duty of all Justices of the Peace residing within said county to return all books and papers in their hands, appertaining to said office, to the nearest Justice of the Peace which may be elected and qualified for said county under the provisions of this Act. And all suits at law or any official business which may be in the hands of such Justice of the Peace, and unfinished, shall
be completed or prosecuted to final judgment by the Justices of
the Peace to whom such business or papers may have been returned, as aforesaid.
Section 11. That the County Assessor elected under the provisions of this Act, for said county, shall assess the county and in the same manner and be under the same obligations and liabilities as now are or may hereafter be provided by law, in relation to Township Assessors.
Section 12. That James A. Gallilher, of the county of Jefferson, E. S. Rand, of the county of Van Buren, and Israel Kister, of the county of Davis, be, and they are hereby, appointed Commissioners; or any two of them shall meet at the house of W. G. Clark, Esquire, in said county, on the first day of July next, or at any other such time within a month thereafter as a majority of said Commissioners may agree upon, in pursuance of their duties under this Act.
Section 13. Said Commissioners shall first take and subscribe the following oath, to wit: 'We do solemnly swear (or affirm) that we (or either of us) have no personal interest, either directly or indirectly, in the location of the seat of justice in the county of Kishkekosh, and that we will faithfully and impartially examine the situation of said county, taking into consideration the future as well as the present population; also to pay strict regard to the geographical center of said county and locate the seat of justice as near the center as an eligible situation can be obtained;' which oath shall be administered by the Clerk of the District Court or Justice of the Peace of the county of Kishkekosh; and the officer administering the same shall certify and file the same in the office of the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners of said county, whose duty it shall be to receive the same.
"Section 14. Said Commissioners, when met and qualified under the provisions of this Act, shall proceed to locate the seat of justice of said county; and as soon as they shall have come to a determination, they shall commit to writing the place so selected, with such name as they may see proper, and a particular description thereof, signed by the said Commission and filed with the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners in which such seat of justice is located, whose duty it shall be to record the same and forever keep it on file in his office, and the place thus designated shall be the seat of justice of said county.
"Section 15. Said Commissioners
shall each receive the sum of two dollars per day, while necessarily employed in
the duties enjoined on them by this Act, which shall be paid by the county, out
of the first fund arising out of the sale of town lots in the said seat of
"Section 16. That the territory west of said county be, and the same is hereby, attached to the county of Kishkekosh for election, revenue, and judicial purposes.
"Section 17. The judge of the First Judicial District may appoint such time for holding court in said county as he may deem proper and convenient.
"Section 18. This Act to take effect and to be in force from and after its passage.
"Approved June 11, 1845."
On the fifth day of August, 1845, the committee named to select the location for a county seat chose the spot where Albia now stands, and named the place Princeton.
At the same time an election was held throughout the county to elect the various county officers, as provided in the bill. Wareham G. Clark was elected Probate Judge; James Hilton, Clerk of the District Court; Jeremiah Miller, Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners; T. Templeton, Treasurer; John Clark, Sheriff; and Joseph McMullen, Moses H. Clark, and J. S. Bradley for County Commissioners.
John Massey, who still resides on his farm a couple miles south of Albia, surveyed the county seat in the summer of 1845. When the survey was made, it was found that one John Stephenson owned a part of the site selected by the committee, but, after some wrangling over the matter, the dispute was finally settled by arbitration.
Scarcely had Princeton been selected as the county seat when she found herself confronted by a rival. A postoffice had been established at Clarksville in January, 1846, with Levi Dungan as postmaster. While Princeton was
but a hamlet, Clarksville, was no larger, and the claims which the latter presented for consideration were embodied in the following:
To the Honorable Council and House of Representatives of the
Territory of Iowa:
"Your petitioners, citizens of Kishkekosh County, Iowa, ask of your honorable body the adoption of a bill referring the relocation of the seat of justice of the county to the people, at the coming election in April, 1846.
"Your petitioners ask of your honorable body that the citizens of said county may be privileged to vote for Princeton or Clarksville as the future seat of justice of said county.
"Your petitioners would respectfully represent to your honorable body that the location of the seat of justice of said county by Commissioners appointed by your honorable body has resulted much to the dissatisfaction of a large majority of the inhabitants of said county.
"Your petitioners believe that it is for the interest of the present, and will also be for the interest of the future population of said county, that its seat of justice should be relocated.
"Your petitioners would respectfully represent to your honorable body that the quarter section on which the town of Princeton is located is three miles east of the geographical center of said county, to its nearest point; that it is fifteen miles from the west line of said county, and eight and one half miles from the east of line of said county; that the geographical section upon which the town of Clarksville is located is one mile north and one and one and one half miles east of the geographical center of said county; that it is a handsome, eligible town site, and is situated upon the main divide running diagonally through the county from the southeast corner to the northwest corner of the county. And it is far superior as a central point for natural divide roads, and is one and one half miles from two good mill sites, on Cedar River, with good ridge roads running to the same, and good bodies of building timber convenient to said mill sites; that the town of Princeton is situated four and one half miles from a good mill site, and a road cannot be obtained nearer on suitable ground.
"Your petitioners would respectfully say
to your honorable body that two, only, of the Commissioners officiated in the
selection of the present town site (Princeton), and that they commenced their
labors on Tuesday evening at about four o'clock on the fifth day of August,
ultimo, and finished on Friday following, examining the county as such not to
exceed two and one half days, mainly without roads and when the exuberance of
vegetation would necessarily retard their examination.
"Now your petitioners firmly believe that no Commissioners can, in so short a time, sufficiently examine this county, and that in this hasty examination great injustice has been done to our county.
"Now your petitioners would respectfully represent to your honorable body that there were polled at the present August election in said county one hundred and thirty two votes for Congressional Representative, and the same number for and against the Constitution, and that the number of voters within the county will not materially swell the above number at the present time; and that while the population is small, and before any expense shall have been incurred by the improvement of the said town of Princeton, the question of selection should be referred to the people.
"Your petitioners fully believe that if the town of Princeton is suffered to remain the seat of justice in said county, that it will ever be a subject of contention between the citizens of the county, and that an inland county like the present Kishkekosh should have as central a location as could be selected.
Your petitioners would further say that that portion of the county lying west of the geographical center is not settled as fully and as thickly as it is east of said center, and for this reason, that the east part of the county lies the most convenient to the Old Purchase, on which most of the settlers are at first dependent for the common necessities of life; but that the west portion of the county will compare favorably with any other portion of the county; that it has fine bodies of timber and good prairie, and will, in all probability, very soon be as densely settled and improved as any other portion of Iowa."
To this petition were attached the following signatures:
Robert Husted, H. W. Brown, Geo. Root, Elijah Johnson, Henry Barnes, N. E. Hendrix, Wm. Hendrix, Amos
Strickland, R. O. Strickland, Joshua Flecheart, Geo. Weaver,
Daniel McIntosh, Daniel Chance, John Chance, John Sappenfield, John Hammer,
Nathaniel P. Jackson, Michael Hittle, James Findley, Orlando Myers, Solomon
Robinson, Peter Cain, M. H. Clark, Henry H. Harrison, Geo. Bougher, Wm. H H.
Daivs, Jacob Hammer, Daniel Cone, David Ramsey, Matthias Hogg, Allen C. Phinney,
Christopher K. Wilson, Andrew Gillespie, Wm. Records, Joseph McMullen, T. G.
Templeton, Jonas Wescoatt, James McCarroll, H. Runnels, Eliphalet Johnson,
Samuel Tyrell, John Miller, Job Rogers, Madison Anderson, Nelson Wescoatt, Wm.
Bailey, Michael Blair, John Bougher, J. G. Epperson, Wm. Stewart, Oliver Tyrrell,
John Clark, N. B. Preston, Levi Dungan, James Stephenson, Roland Inghan, John
Stephenson, Harden Searcy, John Bailey, H. F. Bailey, Wm. Garland, Nelson Cain,
E. H. Brandon, Geo. Cain, I. C. Layton, A. Wilson, Reuben D. McKinney, Wm.
Murphy, Wm. Miller, Jeremiah Miller, Orrin Miller, Aaron, Pickerell, Wm. V.
Beadle, Chas. Anderson, Jas. Anderson, Orrin Wilson, B. F. B. Bates, Harry
Miller, Daniel Judson, Philander L. Tyrrell, Josiah Edmonds, Marshall S. Tyrrell,
Elam Judson, Smith Judson, Chas. Bates, Homer J. Tyrrell, James O. Bender, Lewis
M. Bentley, Nathaniel Newman, Andrew De Koven, Thos. E. Forest, John Copple,
Willis Stephens, Ezra P. Cone, Leonard Copple, Jesse Combs, Samuel Cane, Joseph
H. P. Stewart, John H. Wilson, James Stewart, Nathan H. Wilson, Wm. Clodgelter,
Solomon Byerley, W. G. Clark, Thos. Coppedge, Isaac Hopper, Ivan Beebe, Peter
Wells, James Hilton, John Stephenson, S. J. Warden, Otho Williams, Jesse Walker,
Allan Williams, Joseph Kerns, Marvin Williams, Walter H. Cross, Harry Cross,
Thos. H. Brock, Jacob M. Davis, Samuel Davis, Johnathan Mason, John Davis,
Wesley Cain, C. H. Brandon, Willoughby Randolph, Geo. H. McLaughlin, Geo. Cain,
Thos. Williamson, Abner Barbour, Jackson Scott, William Bisland, John M.
McIntyre, John McGinnis, Peter Johnson, Jas. Brandon, Robert Finley, Robert
Henderson, Perry Runells, Abram Williams, Geo. Cline, James Pomeroy, Anson
Wiseman, John M. Wallace, James R. Bruce, Levi Hagan, David Cooper.
Notwithstanding that the foregoing petition was accompanied by an indorsement from one John Bailey, who certified among other things that he had lived on the creek
for about nine months, and had explored the stream both ways,
and had found elegant timber, good rock, and fine spring water in abundance,
etc., for a verification of which statements he invites the public to visit his
residence, about five miles south west of Clark's Point; and notwithstanding the
averments in the foregoing petition, to the effect that there were "two
good mill sites" on the lordly "Cedar River," within one and one
half miles of Clarksville, the county seat remained at Princeton.
The patrons of the town of Princeton, however, retorted by a
"To the Honorable Council and House of Representatives
of the Territory of Iowa in Legislature assembled:
"Whereas, A petition is gotten up for an Act to be passed by your honorable body for an election to decide whether our county seat shall remain at Princeton, or be removed to Clarksville;
"We, the undersigned citizens of said county, feel it our duty to oppose the same, believing your Honors will see the propriety of this opposition in the following reasons to-wit:
"We, as a county, petitioned your honorable Legislature for Commissioners to be appointed by them to locate our county seat, which was granted, and according to law they have acted. Although the petition aforesaid is said to contain evidence that said Commissioners traveled and labored but two and a half days, it is well known to us to be a misrepresentation. We know they commenced operations on Tuesday in said county, and stuck the stake on Saturday following, on the northwest quarter of section 22, range 7, west.
"We oppose said petition from the fact that at least two thirds of their signers have never seen the location of either Princeton or Clarksville, and know nothing of the propriety or impropriety of removing it.
"Again, many of the names on the petition were under the age of 21.
"The northeast corner of the county being more thickly settled than the south, but not likely to be so in the future, serious inconvenience will necessarily be suffered by future population. The center of the county is in Cedar Bottom, consequently not suitable for a town. Your Commissioners
located Princeton on the center line of the county running east
and west, and the north and south line on the west of the town is just three
miles from the center.
"Again, the quarter of land Princeton contains is worth at least double, to the county, what the quarter at Clarksville is worth, from the situation of both. Clarksville is a narrow, crooked ridge, interrupted by sloughs, while Princeton is a beautiful, level prairie.
"We oppose the unnecessary expense for the county to make an election on the subject.
"Your petitioners, therefore, request your honorable body to let the county seat of Kishkekosh County remain at the town of Princeton, according to its location, for which your petitioners would ever pray."
To this remonstrance were attached the following signatures:
F. R. S. Byrd, Aliathan Newton, Noah Bonebrake, John Bonebrake, Geo. W. Bethards, Wm. Olney, Josiah C. Boggs, L. M. Boggs, Jeremiah Wilson, A. M. Walker, John Walker, Michael Lower, John Lower, Jas. McRoberts, Wm. Scott, Jas. R. Boggs, Joseph Lundy, Wm. Bellsland, Eliphalet Johnson, Abram Tilley, Lawrell Tyrrell, Creath Renfro, John Renfro, John B. Gray, John A. Massey, Abraham Webb, Andrew Gillespie, Andrew Elswick, Jonathan Elswick, Calvin Elswick, John Walker, F. New, Jabez Tuttle, Thornton F. Chapman, Thos. R. Barbour, Christopher K. Wilson, Abner Harbor, Jas. T. Bradley, Horace I. Tyrrell, F. Healy, Robt. M. Hartness, Oliver Tyrrell, Philander Tyrrell, I. Beebe, G. Judson, Joseph Bruce, John Midlain, Wm. McBride, George Anderson, Job Rogers, John Gunther, Israel Green, Oliver P. Rowles, David Rowles, James Hardestay, Reuben Mock, Thomas McSouth, Ira Beebe, Peter Miller, Andrew Barber, B. F. B. Bates, Chas. Anderson, Wm. H. McBride, Wm. Buchanan, Geo. Day, Jas. Gordon, Jas. McIntyre, Jacob Zigler, John M. McIntryre, John R. Bruce, Mesach Pluffs, Lawson Bradley, Orwin Judson, Wm. Bonebrake, A. Dorothy, Smith Judson, Harry Miller, Chas . Bates, Joseph Franks, John Webb, Wm. Lower, Jacob Bonebrake, M. Cross, Alfred Marvin, Geo. Marvin, Foster Marvin, John Mock.
To the petition calling for an election to reestablish the county seat, and in behalf of the town of Clarksville, there were 149 signatures, and the remonstrance were attached
88 names, among which Ira Beebe and Wm. McBride each subscribed his name
twice. The names of Andrew Gillespie, Ira Beebe, Philander Tyrrell, and B. F. B.
Bates occur in both petitions.
An election was held in April, 1846, and it was decided, by a bare majority of 4, to allow the county seat to remain at Princeton. Accordingly, on January 19, 1846, the Legislature passed a bill permanently locating the county seat at Princeton, or Albia, as it was named in the bill - an act having been passed the same day changing the name.
At the county seat election there was considerable political wire pulling. At the same election some officers were to be elected, among which was a delegate to the constitutional convention called for the purpose of adopting a State constitution. Wareham G. Clark, W. H. H. Davis, and Mr. Leighton were the aspirants. The Princeton crowd were Whigs, and Clark and Davis were Democrats, but the Whigs entered into a compact to support Davis if he would use his influence in behalf of Princeton. He did so, but the Whigs went back on him and voted for Leighton. Mr. Clark, on the other hand, was elected delegate by a good majority.
The county seat question now being settled for all time, the Board of Commissioners, consisting of Smith Judson, Wm. McBride, and Andrew Elswick, met on the 17th of August, 1846, for the purpose of arranging plans to erect a court house. According to specifications, the structure was to be 20 feet square and 14 feet high, and constructed of hewn logs 7 inches in thickness and hewn on two sides, and the cracks between the logs were to be not more than 3 inches wide at the corners. The roof was to be composed of clapboards 3 feet in length and nailed to rafters hewn on one side. The gable ends of the building were to be weatherboarded in the prevailing architecture of the period. The architect undertaking the erection of this edifice was placed under a bond of $160 to secure its completion by the 25th of September.
Another session of the Board of Commissioners convened in extra session on the 18th of August, to consider plans and proposals for the chinking and daubing of the court house, and the transaction of other matters of importance.
In 1847 the subject of liquor trafic came up, and at the April election a vote was taken on the proposition to issue
a license for the sale of intoxicants; 82 votes were cast in
favor of license and 42 against the measure.
When the court house was finally completed, and the contractor paid for the job, which amounted to $75, the Board of County Commissioners next began to canvass the question of erecting a county jail. In April, 1848, arrangements were made to build a jail 16 feet square. The walls, loft, and floor were to be composed of hewn logs 1 foot square, and there was to be one window 14x16 inches, secured by suitable fastenings. Alpheus Miller and Doster Norland were awarded the contract for building the jail. The cost of the structure was $174.