44. HENRY COUNTY, IOWA

 

Section I: History and Geography


History

 

Henry County emerged out of Des Moines County when the latter was divided in 1836. Henry had become a part of Iowa with the Black Hawk Purchase of 1832. It derived its name from Colonel James D. Henry. Like the rest of Iowa, Henry was apart of the Louisiana Territory in 1800 until ceded to the United States in 1804. The first settler, Hiram Smith, established himself at Lowell in 1833. He brought an explosion of pioneers with James Dawson settling in Center Township in 1834 staking a claim in Tippecanoe. Presley Saunders arrived that fall but returned to Illinois until the next spring. He returned and built a cabin at today's Saunders Park. Isaac Pigeon put down roots south of Salem in 1835. Reverend Jon Ruble brought Methodism to Mt. Pleasant in the same year. The first courthouse came in 1839 smack‑dab in the middle of Mt. Pleasant's City Square, and a military road was laid out between Dubuque and Keosauqua the same year. In 1842, the Iowa Territorial Legislature approved the incorporation of Mt. Pleasant Literary Institute. It became Iowa Wesleyan College (Pioneer Hall). The tempo picked up after Iowa's statehood in 1846. A plank toll road linked Burlington and Mt. Pleasant in 1853. Mt. Pleasanter James Harlan was elected Iowa's first Republican senator in 1855. And more progress, in late July 1856, with the arrival of the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad at Mt. Pleasant; the opening of the first quarry providing ballast and stone for the Burlington railroad bridges. Coeducation came to Iowa Wesleyan University setting a first in higher education in the State.

 

Two institutions established in 1861 are Camp Harlan, Civil War rendezvous camp, slightly west of Mr. Pleasant, and the first mental health facility west of the Mississippi. Near one hundred member Second Baptist Church is organized in 1863 for Black residents. In 1870, a Women's Rights Convention is held in Mt. Pleasant with dignitaries such as Amelia Bloomer, Annie Savery, Hannah Tracy Cutler and Mary Darwin present. Joshua Newbold is elected lieutenant governor in 1876 and, in 1877, he occupies the governor's chair when Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood is elected to the United States Senate. The Burlington & Northwestern railroad reaches Winfield from Burlington in 1876, A girls' reform school is located southwest of Mt. Pleasant in 1878.

 

Boundaries

 

Henry County is located in southeastern Iowa, and is bordered by the following counties: West: Van Buren and Jefferson Cos.; North: Washington and Louisa Cos.; East: Louisa and Des Moines Cos., and South: Lee County.

 

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

 

Town/Community        Township                                             Population

1890                                  1990

 

Hillsboro 52630              Salem                                                     200                   169    

Lowell                           Baltimore                                                 150                       

Mount Pleasant 52641    Center                                                  3,997                7,959

Mount Union 52644        Canaan                                                     75                   140

New London 52645         New London                                             580                1,992

Olds 52647                    Wayne                                                      50                   205

Rome 52642                  Tippecanoe                                              200                   124

Salem 52649                 Salem                                                     551                   453

Swedesburg 52652         Wayne                                                    100                       

Trenton                         Trenton                                                    200                       

Wayland 52654              Jefferson                                                  350                   838

Winfield 52659               Scott                                                       461                1,051



 

Abandoned towns

 

Town                           Township                                 Town                                       Township


 

Arthur                                                                           Lancaster

Baltimore                                                                      McCabes

Bedford                                                                         McCarverstown

Belfast                                                                          McClureville

Bengall                                                                         Marshall                                    Jefferson

Beery                                                                            Mid Prairie

Boyleston                      Jackson                                    Oakland Mills                            Tippecanoe

Chicaqua                                                                       Rome                                        Tippecanoe

Coppock                                                                       Shockley

Cotton Grove                 Canaan                                     Stringtown

Crooked Creek                                                               Traxler

Denova                          Tippecanoe                                Vega (#1 and #2)

Dover                                                                            Washington

East Grove                                                                    Wayne                                      Wayne

Finis                                                                             West Mount Pleasant                 Center

Freeport                                                                        Winona                                     Wayne

Jefferson                                                                       Willisborough                             Salem

Ketchum Switch                                                                        Woodlawn

LaHoyt

 

Section II: Resource Centers

 

Courthouse:

 

·         [HCCH] Henry County Court House

100 East Washington

Mt. Pleasant, Iowa 52641

 

Genealogical Society

 

·         [HCGS] Henry County Genealogical Society

P.O. Box 81

Mt. Pleasant, Iowa 52641

 

Libraries with Genealogical or Historical Collections

 

·         [CPL] Crew Public Library

City Hall

Salem, Iowa, 52549

·         [HPL] Hillsboro Public Library

East Commercial Avenue

Hillsboro, Iowa 52630

·         [IWCL] Iowa Wesleyan College Library (J. Raymond Chadwick Library)

105 West Broad Street

Mt. Pleasant, Iowa 52641

·         [MOTML] Midwest Old Threshers Museum Library

1887 245th Street

Mt. Pleasant, Iowa 52641

·         [MPPL] Mount Pleasant Public Library

200 North Main Street

Mt. Pleasant, Iowa 52641

·         [NPL] H.J. Nugen Public Library

103 East Main Street

New London, Iowa 62645

·         [RTML] Repertory Theater Museum Library

1887 245th Street

Mt. Pleasant, Iowa 52641

·         [SHM] Swedish Heritage Museum

107 Freeport Avenue

Swedesburg, Iowa 52652

·         [WPL] Wayland Public Library

218 West Main Street (city hall)

Wayland, Iowa 52654

·         [WML]  Winfield Municipal Library

112 West Ash Street

Winfield, Iowa 52654

·         [IGSL] Iowa Genealogical Society Library

628 East Grand Avenue

Des Moines, Iowa 50309

·         [ISHL] Iowa State Historical Library

600 East Locust Street

Des Moines, Iowa 50309

 

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


Census

 

·         Federal: 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, microfilm: [MPPL] , [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Federal Indices: 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1920, microfilm: [IGSL] , [ISHL]

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

·         Henry Co Gen Soc: Henry Co Census for 1852, 1854, 1863, 1869 (1989): [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Hayes: Index to the Henry County 1925 Census: [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Colby: Henry Co., Iowa 1850 Census, (1979), transcript: [ISHL]

·         Henry Co Gen Soc: 1870 Census Mortality Schedule (1989): [ISHL]

 

Vital Records

 

·         Births: from 1880, originals: [HCCH] ; 1880-1935, microfilm: [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Henry Co Gen Soc: Henry Co. Births – 1880 (1991): [IGSL] ; 1881-1888 (1999): [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Marriages: from 1836, originals: [HCCH] ; 1836-1931, microfilm: [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Henry Co Gen soc: Marriages from 1836, transcription, n.d.: [IGSL]

·         Henry Co Gen Soc: Marriage Book F, 1874-1880 (1997), transcription: [IGSL]

·         Colby: Henry County Marriages 1836-1857 (1978), transcription: [ISHL]

·         Deaths: from 1880, originals: [HCCH] ; 1880-1935, microfilm: [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Henry Co Gen Soc: Death Records, Book 2, 1893-1898 (1991); Book 3, 1906-1913 (1996): [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Henry County death records derived from 1850, 1860, 1870 federal census mortality schedules: [MPPL]

 

Probate and related records

 

·         Probate records, from 1837, originals: [HCCH]

·         Wills, 1839-1915, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Probate minute book, 1869-1884, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Probate case files, 1836-1920, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Record of heirs and estates, 1864-1896, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Probate, marriage licenses and naturalizations, 1847-1868, microfilm: [ISHL]

 

Land and related records

 

·         Land records, from 1837, originals: [HCCH]

·         Land deeds, 1837-1892, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Town lot deeds, 1852-1885, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Homestead records, 1853-1908, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Land mortgage indices, 1851-1919, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Area land records, 1884-1992, indexed: [MPPL]

·         Swedesburg property owner’s records and residents, 1867-1995: [SHM]

 

Maps, atlases and gazetteers

 

·         Andreas: Historical Atlas of Iowa (1875): [CPL]

·         Cooper: Map of Henry County, Iowa 1859 (1989): [ISHL]

·         Brooks and Whiting: Atlas of Henry County, Iowa (1895): [ISHL]

 

Court records

 

·         Court Records, from 1837, originals: [HCCH]

·         District court records, 1837-1888, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Naturalization records, 1882-1906, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Henry Co Gen Soc: Naturalization records, from 1841, transcription (1991): [IGSL] , [ISHL]

 

Cemetery

 

·         Cemetery records for all county cemeteries, alphabetical order: [MPPL]

·         Henry County Cemetery Records, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Swedesburg cemetery records: [SHM]

·         Winfield cemetery records: [WML] 

·         Henry Co Gen Soc: Forest Home Cemetery, Mt. Pleasant (1987): [IGSL]

·         Henry Co Gen Soc: Henry Co. Cemeteries, (1989): [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Waterman: Cemeteries of Henry Co. (197?): [ISHL]

·         Waterman: Salem, Iowa Quaker Cemetery (1971): [ISHL]

·         Waterman: South Cemetery, Salem (1971): [ISHL]

·         Witt: Cemetery inscriptions from Brighton Hillcrest Cemetery : [ISHL]

 

Funeral homes

 

·         Mount Pleasant

-          Beatty Funeral Home (Formerly Crane Funeral Home)

408 North Broadway, Mount Pleasant, Iowa 52641

-          Weir Funeral Home (Former Cookes and Cookes-Lunning Funeral Home)

213 North Main Street, Mount Pleasant, Iowa 52641

-          Olson – Powell Memorial Chapel

709 East Maple Street, Mount Pleasant, Iowa 52641

·         New London

-          Elliot Chapel

1 Rosebud Lane, New London, Iowa 52645

·         Wayland

-          Beatty Funeral Home

301 West Main Street, Wayland, Iowa 52654

·         Winfield

-          Honts Funeral Home

102 South Olive Street, Winfield, Iowa 52659

 

Obituaries

 

·         Henry County Obituary alphabetical card index file: [MPPL]

·         Henry County death records from Mt. Pleasant papers, 1921-1959, (1959): [ISHL]

 

Church, Bible

 

·         The Mennonites of Iowa: [CPL]

·         Histories of Iowa Wesleyan College and Methodist files: [IWCL]

·         Iowa Wesleyan College Church Files and related records, 1840-1960, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Swengle Meyer collection of all Iowa Methodist churches (includes pastor information) : [IWCL]

·         Swedesburg Lutheran Church records: [SHM]

·         Excelsior Journals, 1870s, 1880s, Quaker settlement: [SHM]

·         Commemorative booklet: Sugar Creek Church, 1871-1971, Wayland (1971): [ISHL]

·         Farmer: Sugar Creek Mennonite Church Congregation History 1871-1997 (1997): [ISHL]

·         Sugar Creek Mennonite Church 1972-1986 (1986): [ISHL]

·         Centennial of the Presbyterian Church, Winfield (1956): [ISHL]

·         Wright: History of the Good Samaritan Society of the Pleasant Hill Community (Church), n.d.: [ISHL]

·         Area Bible records, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Area Church records, microfilm: [ISHL]

 

Military

 

·         Index to Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the Civil War: [MPPL]

 

Newspapers:  (on microfilm for towns listed; there may skips in the date ranges listed for each newspaper)

 

·         Selected newspapers of Henry County (1849-1944): [CPL]

·         C.S. Rogers file of the Mt. Pleasant News (1849-1944): [IWCL]

·         Rogers: The Newspapers of Henry County 1848-1944 (1944): [ISHL]

·         Area newspapers, microfilm: [MPPL]

·         Mount Pleasant

-          Daily Reporter (1880-1882): [ISHL]

-          The Dial of Progress (1896-1904): [ISHL]

-          The Evening Journal (1898-1910): [ISHL]

-          The Free Press (1874-1905): [ISHL]

-          Henry County Press (1872-1873): [ISHL]

-          Home Journal (1860-1866): [ISHL]

-          The Iowa Free Democrat (1850-1853): [ISHL]

-          Morning Journal (1905-1906): [ISHL]

-          Mt. Pleasant Journal (1866-1914): [ISHL]

-          Mt. Pleasant News (1959-1990): [ISHL]

-          Mt. Pleasant Free Press (1906-1959): [ISHL]

-          Mt. Pleasant Republican (1901-1906): [ISHL]

-          Mt. Pleasant Weekly News Journal (1915-1918): [ISHL]

-          Mt. Pleasant Weekly News (1895-1927): [ISHL]

·         Salem

-          Salem News (1920-1972): [ISHL]

-          Salem Weekly News (1880-1949): [ISHL]

·         Winfield

-          Winfield Beacon (1882-1997): [ISHL]

-          Winfield Courier (1876-1877): [ISHL]

 

Lineage and Service Organizations:

 

·         DAR Index to Hidden DAR Names, Vols. 151-166: [MPPL]

 

Educational, business and other:

 

·         Mt. Pleasant high school year books, 1910-1994, selected years: [MPPL]

 

Miscellaneous records:

 

·         Lincoln family documents, Senator James Harlan’s connection to: [IWCL]

·         Area family histories, alphabetized: [MPPL]

·         Area family histories, microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Mt. Pleasant city council minutes, from 1858: [MPPL]

·         Mt. Pleasant city ordinances, revised 1884: [MPPL]

·         Swedish immigrant stories based on family names: [SHM]

·         Swedesburg historical writings of Carl A. Anderson: [SHM]

·         Historical information on New Sweden, (Jefferson Co.): [SHM]

·         Winfield city records, from 1882: [WML] 

 

County & Local Histories:

 

·         Western Hist. Co.: The History of Henry Co., Iowa (1879): [NPL] , [MPPL] , [ISHL]

·         Workman: Index to the 1879 History of Henry Co., Iowa (1987): [ISHL]

·         Henry Co Bicentennial Commission: The History of Henry County, Iowa (1982): [CPL] , [NPL] , [MPPL] , [IGSL]

·         Acme Pub Co: Biographical Review and History of Henry Co., Iowa (1888): [CPL] , [NPL] , [MPPL] , [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Workman: Index to 1888 Biographical Review and History of Henry Co., Iowa (1987): [ISHL]

·         Biographical Review and History of Henry Co., Iowa, indexed (1906): [MPPL] , [ISHL]

·         The History of New London, Iowa (1975): [NPL]

·         Henry County History 1839-1976, Centennial edition: [NPL] , [MPPL]

·         Hayes: Highlights of Henry County History 1833-1976: [MPPL] , [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Mt. Pleasant “Her First 100 years”: [MPPL]

·         Mt. Pleasant Sesquicentennial History 1835-1985: [MPPL]

·         50th Anniversary of Winfield (1931): [WML] 

·         100th Anniversary of Winfield (1981): [WML] 

·         Index to some Henry County, Iowa Histories: [IGSL]

·         Young: From High Grass to High Henry (1987): [ISHL]

·         Salem History Book Committee: The Place of Peace, memories of Salem, Iowa 1835-1996 (1996): [ISHL]

·         Rhodes: Homes and architecture in Mt. Pleasant (1981): [ISHL]

 

Publications

 

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

-          1854 Special Census (1969) 3:108

-          1860 Census Mortality Schedule (1969) 4:174

-          1883 Pension List from the Mt. Pleasant Free Press (1969) 4:171

-          Badley Cemetery (1968) 3:145

-          Henry County Check List (1969) 3:107, 4:149

-          First Marriages of Henry County (1969) 4:179

-          Grand Army of the Republic, Salem (1969) 4:165; Hillsboro (1969) 4:160; New London (1969) 4:162; Winfield (1969) 4:169; Mount Pleasant (1969) 3:120

-          Henry County History (1969) 3:106

-          Henry County Township Map (1969) 4:106

·         The following Henry County Publications are for sale through the Van Buren County Genealogical Society.  Consult the Van Buren County Genealogical Society webpage for a detailed listing and availability.

-          Everyname Index to the Henry County 1888 Portrait Biographical Album

-          Everyname Index to the Henry County 1906 Biographical Review

-          Everyname Index to the Henry County 1879 Biographical Sketches

·         The following Henry County Publications are for sale through the Iowa Genealogical Society.  See the Iowa Genealogical Society webpage for a detailed listing and availability.

-          Birth records, 1880 - 1888

-          Cemetery records, available by townships

-          Census transcripts: 1852, 1854, 1863, 1869, 1925

-          1870 Mortality Schedule

-          Death records, 1880 - 1913

-          Everyname Index to the Henry County 1879 Biographical Sketches

-          Marriage records, 1857 – 1931

-          Naturalization records, from 1841

 

Section IV: Credits

 

We wish to acknowledge the contributions made by members of the Henry County Genealogical Society, the Henry County Courthouse, the Iowa State Historical Society and volunteers at the Iowa Genealogical Society in providing data contained in this research guide. Their efforts have been of immeasurable help in gathering this information.