Iowa: The Home for Immigrants, Being a Treatise on the Resources of Iowa & Giving Useful Information with Regard to the State, for the Benefit of Immigrants & Others.
Published by Iowa Board of Immigration, Des Moines 1870
Highlights & Miscellaneous Items from the Book
Chapter 1, Historical Sketch
Page 9 has the dates that Iowa was transferred to all the territories that included it.
Indians: The Ioway who fought with the Sioux to the north, were originally Pau hoo chee, a tribe from the lake region to the northeast. In approximately 1690 the tribe followed their chief Mau-haw-gaw to the Mississippi River, crossed it and built a village. They called the river Neo-ho-nee. Mau-haw-gaw’s descendant Mahaska (White Cloud) fought the Sioux and the Osage from the south. White Cloud died in 1834 at ca. 50. His son, of the same name, became chief of the Ioway which was the most numerous and powerful tribe between the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers. Tribe numbers were reduced by wars, whiskey, and smallpox to about 1300 by the time they crossed the Missouri to join other Indians. (white man and the government’s policies continually drove the native Americans farther west)
The Sac and Fox came into Iowa from Illinois ca. 1824 under Black Hawk. There were many fights with white authority and with other Indians. After the “Black Hawk Wars” in 1833, B.H.’s power waned and his rival Keokuk was chief of the Sac and Fox. Black Hawk died in October 1838. (more on Black Hawk in the book Galland’s Iowa Emigrant, in Wregie Memorial Library)
Black Hawk’s subordinates: Wapello, Appanoose, Kishkekosh, Pashepahaw, and Hard Fish took over the tribe.
Julian Dubuque started mining and trading in September 1788 at Dubuque, the first white settlement in Iowa. The second was Montrose at the Des Moines River (later Fort Des Moines), Louis Honori the settler, in 1799.
The population of Iowa in 1836 = 19,531, 1838 = 22,859, 1840 = 43,114, 1844 = 75,152, 1846 = 97,588, 1847 = 116,651, 1849 = 152,988, 1850 = 191,982, 1851 = 204,774, 1852 = 230,713, 1854 = 326,013, 1856 = 519,055, 1859 = 638,775, 1860 = 674,913, 1863 = 701,732, 1865 = 754,699, 1867 = 902,040, 1869 = 1,040,819.
Chapter 2, Geographical Sketch
“The Wapsipinicon River rises in Minnesota and flows in a southeasterly direction for over 200 miles, through Iowa, draining with its branches a belt of territory only about 12 miles wide. This stream is usually called “Wapsi” by the settlers and is valuable as furnishing good water power for machinery.”
The word prairie is of French origin, meaning grass-land. 9/10 of Iowa was prairie.
The timbers of Iowa (1870) were white, black and burr oak, black walnut, butternut, hickory, hard and soft maple, cherry, red and white elm, ash, linn, hackberry, birch, honey locust, cottonwood, and quaking asp, plus a few sycamore and groves of red cedar, and a few isolated pines.
Chapter 3, Geology
A chart of the values of brown coal shows that coal from Arbesan, Bohemia has 36 parts carbon + 64 parts Bitumen (the combustibles) and 3 parts ashes + 11 parts moisture (the impurities) to score 88 in value. Bilin, Bohemia’s coal was similar, scoring 81. Iowa coals averaged 50 carbon + 50 Bitumen, and 5 ashes + 5 moisture, for a score of 90. (The soft brown coals of eastern Europe caused a lot of lung disease and premature death, hence higher scores are desireable.)
Page 26 describes the rich soil of Iowa — “It is supposed that there is no where else on the globe an equal area of surface with so small a proportion of untillable land as we find in Iowa. The soil is generally a drift deposit, with a deep covering of vegetable mold, and on the highest prairies is almost equal in fertility to the alluvial valleys of the rivers in other States. The soil in the valleys of our streams is largely alluvial, producing a rapid and luxuriant growth of all kinds of vegetation. The valleys usually vary in extent according to the size of the stream. On the Iowa side of the Missouri river, from the southwest corner of the State to Sioux City, a distance of over one hundred and fifty miles, there is a continuous belt of alluvial “bottom”, or valley land, varying in width from five to twenty miles, and of surpassing fertility. This valley is bordered by a continuous line of bluffs, rising from one to two hundred feet, and presenting many picturesque outlines when seen at a distance. The bluffs are composed of a peculiar formation, to which has been given the name of “bluff deposit”. It is of a yellow color, and is composed of a fine silicious matter, with some clay and limy concretions. This deposit in many places extends eastward entirely across the counties bordering the Missouri river, and is a great fertility, promoting a luxuriant growth of grain and vegetables.”
Chapter 4, Agriculture and Horticulture
Page 29 which included statistics on the corn and oats crop in Iowa is the next page in hardcopies of this book report. Sorry, could not insert in this document.
On February 1, 1869 the value of livestock in the state was $95,109,517 out of $1,527,705,029 in the country.
Chapter 5, Education, State Institutions, and the Railroad
Chapter 6, The Land Grant Railroads & Their Lands Now in the Market
There were over 2000 miles of railroad in Iowa in 1870.
Page 40 begins an extensive description of the railroads in Iowa. In 1856 Congress made a grant of lands to Iowa to aid in the building of the railroads. The state donated the lands to various companies for construction of 5 great trunk lines crossing Iowa from east to west. The great financial crisis and then the Civil War delayed the construction. Four lines were completed by 1870, with the fifth expected to be finished the following year. The lines were: Burlington and Missouri River Railroad, the most southerly; Chicago, Rock Island, & Pacific RR, thru Davenport; Chicago & Northwestern RR, from Clinton; Dubuque & Sioux City RR, and McGregor & Missouri River RR, not complete in 1870. Chicago & Northwestern owned 747 acres in Jones County which it sold for $3 to $12 per acre to Jones County settlers whose population = 13,306 in 1860, 13,495 in ’63, 14,376 in ’65, 16,228 in ’67, and 18,113 in 1869. Timber was selling for $15 to $40 per acre in Iowa at this time. Maquoketa had 1385 people in ‘67 and 1348 in ‘69.
Chapter 7, Government Lands
In 1870 all the government lands in Iowa were in the northwest corner of the state.
Pre-emption, the homestead privilege, is described (there were land programs that preceded the Homestead Act of 1862). An application for homesteading follows or is the next page in hardcopies of this book report.