35. FRANKLIN COUNTY, IOWA

 

Section I: History and Geography

 

History

 

Franklin County was created in 1851 by an act of the State Legislature, but it was not organized until 1855. Since there were not enough settlers in the area to hold an election Franklin County was attached to Hardin and Chickasaw counties. On August 5, 1855 by an order of the county judge in Chickasaw county, an election was held at the home of James B. Reeve. The new county was named Franklin for Benjamin Franklin.

 

Two Franklin County men, Job Garner and George Ryan, gave 40 acres of land, which was platted and sold for town lots. The sale of these lots made the county enough money to build the courthouse and do the necessary work such as laying city streets, building roads, and paying for the costs of surveying and platting. On June 2, 1856, H.P. Allen, the county surveyor, finished the work of platting the village and the plate was recorded. The name Benjamin, honoring Franklin was chosen for he new town by both Garner and Ryan, and was used for some time. When R. F. Piatt objected on the grounds that there was already another Benjamin in the state, Judge Reeve was induced to change the name to Hampton, after Hampton Roads, Virginia.

 

Hampton is two miles east of the center of the county, and was later connected with the rest of the world by good roads and 3 railroads, but at the time of the organization of the county there was no roads at all and very few horses or oxen. In 1857 a post office was established at Maysville where most of the mail for Hampton was delivered. Later that year an office was chartered at Hampton. On December 19, Robert F. Piatt was commissioned the first postmaster.

 

Franklin County contains 16 townships named as follows: Reeve, Morgan, West Fork, Osceola, Ingham, Geneva, Oakland, Hamilton, Grant, Lee, Wisner, Richland, Scott, Marion, Ross and Mott. The Reeve's family home became the first county courthouse. The first census was taken in the new county in 1856 and the population was counted at 780. Just four years later it numbered 1309.

 

Boundaries

 

Franklin County is located in the north central part of Iowa and is bounded by the following counties: West: Wright; NW: Hancock; North: Cerro Gordo; NE: Floyd; East: Butler; SE: Grundy; South: Hardin; and SW: Hamilton.

 

Current towns and communities (Zip codes given for towns having Post Offices

 

Town/Community        Township                                             Population

1890                                  1990

 

Ackley 50601                Osceola, Hardin Co.                              1,286                1,696                

Alexander 50420            Scott                                                        50                   170

Bradford 50041              Grant

Burdette                        Lee                                                           25                                        

Chapin 50427                Ross                                                       200

Coulter 50431                Scott, Marion, Morgan, Hamilton                                       252

Dows 50071                  Morgan, Wright County                             600                   660

Faulkner                        Osceola                                                    50                       

Geneva 50633                Geneva                                                    300                   169

Hampton 50441             Washington/Mott                                   2,067                4,133

Hansell                         Ingham                                                    169                     83

Latimer 50452                Marion                                                      70                   430

Oakland                        Oakland                                                  100

PopeJoy 50227              Oakland                                                  200                     92

Sheffield 50475              Ross                                                       610                1,174

 

Abandoned towns

 

Town                           Township                                 Town                           Township

 


 

Cream Hill                     Ingham                                      Menzie                          Ingham

Coldwater                      West Fork                                 Oakland Valley              Oakland

Congress                      Hamilton                                   Otisville                         (became Dows)

Elide                             Reeve                                       Reeve                           Reeve

Ingham                          West Fork                                 Shove’s Grove                Richland

Maysville                       Reeve                                       Union Ridge                   Ingham

Washburn                     Ross


 


Section II: Resource Centers

 

Courthouse:

 

·         [FCCH] Franklin County Courthouse

12 First Ave. NW

Hampton, Iowa 50441

 

Genealogical Society

 

·         [FCGS] Franklin County Genealogical Society

Hampton Public Library, 4 Federal Street South

Hampton, Iowa 50441

 

Historical Societies

 

·         [FCHS] Franklin County Historical Society

P.O. Box 114

Hampton, Iowa 50441

 

Libraries with Genealogical or Historical Collections

 

·         [AcPL] Ackley Public Library

401 State Street

Ackley, Iowa 50601

·         [AlPL] Alexander Public Library

409 Harriman

Alexander, Iowa 50420

·         [CPL] Coulter Public Library

111 Main Street

Coulter, Iowa 50431

·         [HPL] Hampton Public Library

4 Federal Street

Hampton, Iowa 50441

·         [DPL] Dows Public Library

Dows, Iowa 50071

·         [IGSL] Iowa Genealogical Society Library

628 East Grand Avenue

Des Moines, Iowa 50310

·         [ISHL] Iowa State Historical Library

600 East Locust Street

Des Moines, Iowa 50309

 

Museums, Historic Sites and Visitor Centers

 

·         Dows

The Depot Visitor Welcome Center

Dows, Iowa 50071

·         Ackley

[AHC] Ackley Heritage Center

737 Main Street

Ackley, Iowa 50601

·         Reeve Township

Maysville School

·         Hampton

[FCHM] Franklin County Historical Museum

Franklin County Fairgrounds

Hampton, Iowa 50441

 

Section III: Records – records may be found at the record sites abbreviated after each entry.  See Section II for complete record site information.


Census

 

·         Miscellaneous census records: [HPL]

·         Federal: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, microfilm: [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Federal Indices: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1920: [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         State: 1885, 1895, 1915, 1925: [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Foster: Franklin Co Index to 1856 Special State Census (1987): [ISHL]

 

 

Vital Records

 

·         Births: from 1880: [FCCH] ; from 1890, microfilm: [FCHM] ; 1880-1917, microfilm: [IGSL] ; 1880-1937, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Birth index: 1880-1894, microfilm: [IGSL]

·         Deaths: from 1880: [FCCH] ; from 1890, microfilm: [FCHM] ; 1880-1941, microfilm: [IGSL] , [ISHL]  

·         Death index: 1880-1894, microfilm: [IGSL]

·         Marriages: from 1855: [FCCH] ; from 1875, [FCHM] ; 1855-1925, microfilm: [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·          Franklin Co. Gen. Soc.: Declaration of Intent (1985): [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Skovgard: Franklin County Marriages 1855-1880: (1981) [ISHL]

 

Probate and related records

 

·         Probate records: from 1864, originals: [FCCH] ; microfilm: [FCHM]

·         Probate calendar, 1884-1891, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Probate inventories and appraisements, 1892-1926, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Probate record, 1855-1899, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Record of heirs and estates, 1862-1927, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Wills, 1898-1913, microfilm: [ISHL]

 

 

Land and related records

 

·         Land records: from 1855, originals: [FCCH] ; microfilm: [FCHM]

·         Lands and deeds, 1855-1910, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Land records, town lots, to 1910, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Homestead records, 1882-1940, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Franklin Co. tax records, [FCCH]

 

 

Maps, atlases and gazetteers

 

·         Area maps, atlases and gazetteers: [FCHM]

·         Directory of farms and farmers: [IGSL]  

·         1880 Franklin Co. Map and Index: [IGSL]

·         Title Atlas Co.: Atlas of Franklin Co. (1977): [ISHL]

·         Hardin and Franklin Co. directories (1946): [ISHL]

 

 

Court records

 

·         Court records, civil and criminal: from 1856: originals: [FCCH] ; microfilm: [FCHM]

·         Affidavits and powers of attorney, 1907-1934, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Franklin Co Gen Soc.: Naturalization Records 1856-1943 (1985): [IGSL]

·         Naturalization records, 1855-1929, microfilm: [FCCH] ; 1914-1927, microfilm: [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Franklin Co Gen Soc: Naturalization records 1856-1943, transcript (1985): [ISHL]

·         Administrators, guardians, executors, 1891-1932: [ISHL]

·         Pension tax records, 1934-1936: [ISHL]  

·         Adoption records: [FCCH]

·         Divorce records, from 1869: [FCCH]

 

Cemetery

 

·         Area cemetery records: [HPL] , [FCHM]

·         Cemetery records, trustees, etc, 1907-1929: [ISHL]

·         Works Progress Administration Graves Registration Project (c1938): [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Bi-centennial Heritage Committee: Cemetery listings: [ISHL]

·         Butson: Seven Franklin County Cemeteries: [ISHL]

 

Funeral homes (Current)

 

·         Ackley

-          Sietsema Funeral Home

510 10th Avenue, Ackley, Iowa 50601

·         Dows

-          Elledge Funeral Home

100 North Lee Street, Dows, Iowa 50771

·         Hampton

-          Sietsema & Vogel Funeral Home

306 Central Avenue E., Hampton, Iowa 50441

·         Latimer

-          Willim Funeral Home

320 East Street, Latimer, Iowa 50452

-          Sietsema & Vogel Funeral Home

303 South Donavan Street, Latimer, Iowa 50452

·         Sheffield

-          Grarup Funeral Home

203 Maple Street, Sheffield, Iowa 50475

 

Obituaries

 

Church, Bible

 

·         Area church and bible records: [FCHM] , [AHC]

·         Beer: Ghost Churches of Franklin Co. (1976): [IGSL] , [ISHL] , [FCHM] , [HPL]

·         Chapin Baptist Church: [ISHL]

·         Knoer: History of the McKenzie Church, Sheffield, n.d.: [ISHL]

·         75th Anniversary of the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church Congregation 1878-1953 (1953): [ISHL]

 

Military

 

·         Military discharge records, 1917-1945, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Miscellaneous military records: [FCCH] , [FCHM]

·         Residents in the 1870’s – Civil War Veterans who settled after the war, pensioners, 1883: [IGSL]

 

Newspapers:  (on microfilm at town listings; years indicate span of newspapers on file, there may be skips in the listings)

 

·         Selected area newspapers, microfilm: [HPL] , [AcPL], [AHC]

·         Selected area newspapers, bound volumes: [HPL] , [FCHM] , Hampton Publishing Co., Hampton

·         Ackley

-          The Ackley World – Journal (1976-1996): [ISHL]

·         Dows

-          The Dows Advocate (1893-1997): [ISHL]

-          The Dows Reporter (1963-1971): [ISHL]

-          The Wright County Reporter (1927-1971): [ISHL]

·         Hampton

-          The Franklin County Recorder (1921-1930): [ISHL]

-          The Hampton Chronicle (1975-1995): [ISHL]

-          The Hampton Globe (1893-1913): [ISHL] , [HPL]

-          The Hampton Times (1975-1997): [ISHL]

-          The Franklin Record (1962-1862): [HPL]

-          The Franklin Reporter (1867-1873): [HPL]

-          The Franklin Recorder (1859-1929): [HPL]

·         Sheffield

-          Sheffield Press (1880-2000): [ISHL]

 

Lineage and Service Organizations:

 

·         Area DAR records: [HPL]

 

Educational, business and other: (school annuals for this county)

 

·         School annuals: [HPL] , [FCHM]

·         Old School records: [FCHM]

·         Miscellaneous business and organizations records: [FCHM]

 

Miscellaneous

 

·         Area family histories: [FCHM] , [HPL]

 

County & Local Histories:

 

·         Union Pub Co.: History of Franklin and Cerro Gordo Counties (1883): [ISHL] , [HPL] , [FCHM]

·         Franklin Co Gen Soc: Index to the 1883 History of Franklin Co.: [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Stuart: History of Franklin Co, Iowa (1914): [ISHL] , [HPL] , [FCHM]

·         W.P.A.: Franklin County History (1941): [ISHL]

·         Foster: Franklin County History 1852-1970 (1970): [IGSL] , [ISHL] , [HPL] , [FCHM]

·         History of Latimer: [FCHM]

·         History of Hansell: [FCHM]

·         History of Hampton: [FCHM] , [HPL]

·         Greimann: The Chapin Story, 140 years of history (1997): [ISHL] , [FCHM]

·         History of Alexander: [FCHM]

·         The History Committee: Morgan township history (1976): [IGSL]

·         Jones: Inventory of county records, Franklin Co. (1978): [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Miscellaneous records from Franklin Co., n.d.: [IGSL]

·         Whipple: A tale of two towns: Oakland Valley and Popejoy (1993): [IGSL]

·         Greimann: The History of Chapin and Ross Townships (1967): [ISHL]

·         Franklin Co Gen Soc: Franklin Co. Newsletter: [IGSL]

·         Franklin Co Gen Soc: Franklin Co. Old Settlers: [ISHL]

·         Pioneer Ackley: a bicentennial tribute (1976): [ISHL]

 

Publications

 

·         Iowa Genealogical Society: Hawkeye Heritage articles through 1993, [IGSL] (Entries indicate year, issue number and page number.)

-          A life of Unusual hardship: Obituary of Mary Ann Hart (1982) 4:172

-          Early marriages: 1855-1872 (1976) 4:157

-          Index to the 1856 special census (1987) 3:136

-          Marriages: 1873 – 1880 (1990) 4:196

·         The following Franklin County publications are for sale through the Franklin County Genealogical Society.  See the Franklin County Genealogical Society Webpage for a detailed listing and availability.

-          Index to the 1883 Franklin County History

-          Old Settlers of Franklin County, 1911 and earlier

-          Maps of Franklin County: 1882 with name index; 1920 with farm owners

·         The following Franklin County publications are for sale through the Iowa Genealogical Society.  See the Iowa Genealogical Society Webpage for a detailed listing and availability.

-          1856 Iowa Census for Franklin County

-          Franklin County Marriages, 1855-1880

-          Naturalization records, 1856-1943

 

Section IV: Credits (Record sources from within Franklin County were compiled from information submitted by the following individuals.)

 

·         Marian Sanders; Alden, Iowa

·         Bernie Greimann; Chapin, Iowa