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I History of the County, its Cilies, Towns, &r.,
A Biographical Directory of Citizens, War Record of its Vol-
T ESS than half a century has rolled into eternity since the Indian title to
L any portion of the soil of Iowa was extinguished, and the Black Hawk Purchase permitted the resistless tide of emigration westward to flow across the Mississippi, and only thirty years ago the Winnebagoes reluctantly left their Iowa Reserve, the southern line of which was very near the northern part of. Black Hawk County. Less than thirty-five years have elapsed since STURGIS and ADAMS built the first rude log cabins in the valley of the Cedar, and the first brave and hardy pioneers settled on the beautiful prairies of Black Hawk. But these fleeting years have been replete with eventful changes—of history that it has been the purpose of this work to gather, arrange and preserve for transmission to posterity as one of the almost countless chapters in the annals of this great country.
The task has been an arduous and responsible one. Some years had passed, after the first permanent settlements by STURGIS, ADAMS, HANNA, VIRDEN, MELROSE, MULLAN, NEWELL and others, before any written records were made; and of those who settled in the county in 1815, only one now remains to tell the story of their hardships and privations.
The compilers have been forced to depend upon the remembrances of the early settlers for many of the incidents recorded in the following pages. But memories fail with the accumulating burdens of years, and events that were vividly recalled ten or fifteen years ago, are now so nearly forgotten that they return with difficulty at the call of the historian. The reminiscences of JAMES NEWELL, one of the pioneers of Iowa as early as 1834–5, written by himself before his decease, kindly placed at the disposal of the historians by S. H. PACKARD, Esq., of Cedar Falls, have furnished some interesting and valuable matter for this work. Large numbers of circulars and letters addressed to Township Clerks and old settlers, asking for information for this work, have not been answered, with one or two honorable exceptions. It has often occurred, also, that different individuals have given sincere and honest, but, nevertheless, conflicting, versions of the same events, and it has been a task of great delicacy to harmonize these conflicting statements. This work has been done with much care and discrimination, with the sole purpose of arriving at the truth. How well this task has been performed, the intelligent reader must judge. It will be strange, indeed, if, in the multiplicity of names, dates and events no errors,