88. UNION COUNTY, IOWA

 

Section I: History and Geography


History

 

Union county was created in 1853 from Clarke County.  It was originally covered with gently rolling prairie with an occasional grove of trees.  In 1846 the Mormons established a way station named Mt. Pisgah on the eastern side of the county; they used this temporary home until 1852.  The first permanent settlers came in 1849.  Most towns began as the railroad pushed west, north and south.  The railroad brought settlers from the eastern states and from Sweden, Germany, England, Ireland, Bohemia, Czechoslovakia and other European countries.  Present population is 12,000.

 

Boundaries

 

Union County is located in southwestern Iowa in the second tier of counties from the Missouri border.  It is surrounded by the following counties: West – Adams Co., North – Adair and Madison Co., East – Clark Co., SE – Decatur Co., South – Ringgold Co., - and SW Taylor Co.

 

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

 

Town/Community        Township                                             Population

1890                                  1990

 

Afton 50830                    Union                                                  1,045                  953

Arispe 50831                   Sand Creek                                              34                     92

Creston 50801                 Douglas, Highland                                7,200                7,911

Cromwell 50842               Douglas                                                 269                   120

Lorimore 50149               New Hope                                              300                   377

Shannon City 50861        Grant                                                     100                     97

Thayer 50254                  Jones                                                    125                     79

 

Abandoned post offices

 

Town                           Township                                 Town                           Township

 


 

Afton Junction                Union                                        Myers

Alaska                          Jones                                        New Hope                     New Hope

Bismark                        Pleasant                                   Olio                              Pleasant

Coelo                            Platte                                        Olivet                            Sand Creek      

Edinburgh                      Dodge                                       Patriot                           Jones

Hawkeye City                Douglas                                    Petersville                     Jones

Highland                        Highland                                    Platte                            Douglas

Kent                             Platte                                        Philo                             Highland

King/Kings                                                                    Shepard                        Union               

Lee                               Lincoln                                      Spaulding                      Spaulding

Lydia’s Grove                 Douglas                                    Talmage                        Jones

Madden’s Grove Platte                                        Tingley                          Pleasant

McDill                           Dodge                                       Union City                     Platte

Monette                        New Hope                                 West Union                   Jones

Mt Moriah                      New Hope                                 Zalia                             New Hope

Mt Pisgah                     Jones

 

Section II: Resource Centers

 

Courthouse:

 

·         [UCCH]  Union County Court House

300 N. Pine Street

Creston, Iowa 50801

 

Genealogical Society

 

·         [UCGS] Union County Genealogical Society

C/o Gibson Memorial Library

310 N. Maple Street

Creston, Iowa 50801

 

Historical Society

 

·         [UCHS] Union County Historical Society

1101 N. Vine Street

Creston, Iowa 50801

(Museum at McKinley Park in Creston

 

Libraries with Genealogical or Historical Collections

 

·         [GML] Gibson Memorial Library

310 N. Maple Street

Creston, Iowa 50801

·          [SSCC] Southwestern Community College Learning Resource Center

1501 W. Townline Road

Creston, Iowa 50801

·         [IGSL] Iowa Genealogical Society Library

628 East Grand Avenue

Des Moines, Iowa 50309

·         [ISHL] Iowa State Historical Library

600 East Locust Street

Des Moines, IA 50319

 

Museums, Historic Sites and Visitor Centers

 

·         [MPMHS] Mt. Pisgah Mormon Historic Site

South of Lorimor, west of US hwy 169

·         Union County Historical Complex

McKinley Park

Creston, Iowa 50801

·         Green Valley Area Education Agency

1405 N. Lincoln

Creston, Iowa 50801

·         Union County Abstract, Inc.

107 E. Montgomery Street

Creston, Iowa 50801

 

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: 1850, 1854, 1856, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930; (microfilm) [IGSL] , [ISHL] , 1860-1920 (microfilm) [GML] Platte twp for 1860 w/ index, transcript [IGSL] , [ISHL]

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

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

·         Census index for Pleasant Township, 1860, 1870, [IGSL]

 

Vital Records

 

·         Births: from 1880, originals [UCCH]; 1880 - 1927, microfilm [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Deaths: from 1880, originals [UCCH]; 1880 – 1941, microfilm [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Marriages: from 1855, originals [UCCH]; 1855- 1928, microfilm [IGSL] , [ISHL] ; Earliest marriages 1854-1878, transcript [IGSL]

 

Probate and related records

 

·         Probate records: from 1850, originals [UCCH]

·         Probate Index:  from 1882, originals [UCCH]

·         Selected wills: 1877-1908, microfilm [IGSL]

 

Land and related records

 

·         From 1850, originals [UCCH]

 

Maps, atlases and gazetteers

 

·         Area maps, atlases and gazetteers: [UCHS]

·         Fire Insurance maps: [GML]

·         Patrons Directory (1875) [IGSL]

·         Northwestern Pub Co.: Plat Book of Union Co. (1894) [ISHL]

·         Index for Union Co. Plat Book (1894) [IGSL]

·         Union Co. Residents (1876) [IGSL]

·         Atlas of Union Co. (1942) [IGSL]

·         Colby: Map sketches and directory of Union Co. (1876) [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Ogle: Standard Atlas of Union Co. (1916) [ISHL]

·         City, County Directories, Telephone Directories, [UCHS] , [GML]

 

Court records

 

·         Court Records: from 1860, originals [UCCH]

·         Naturalization: 1870 – 1930, originals [UCCH]

·         Divorces (1906-1963), microfilm [ISHL]

 

Cemetery

 

·         Area cemetery records: [UCHS] , [GML]

·         Greenlawn Cemetery, Afton (1988) [IGSL]

·         Various Union Co. Cemeteries (1999) [IGSL]

·         Union Co. Gen Soc.: Union Co. Cemeteries (1988) [ISHL] , [IGSL]

·         Works Progress Administration (WPA) Grave registrations [ISHL]

 

Funeral homes

 

·         Afton

-          Powers Funeral Home

612 North Dodge Street, Afton, Iowa 50830

·         Creston:

-          Coen-Beatty Funeral Home

809 West Montgomery Street, Creston, Iowa 50801

-          Keating - Lindsay Funeral Home

601 New York Avenue, Creston, Iowa 50801

-          Larkin & Shelley Funeral home

604 West Adams Street, Creston, Iowa 50801

 

Church, Bible

 

·         Miscellaneous Records: [UCHS]

·         Union Co., Iowa Church records, n.d. [IGSL]

·         Union Co. Gen Soc: Methodist Circuit records 1867-80 (1993), 1881-1892 (1994) [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Union Co. Gen Soc: Records of the Afton Mission of Methodist [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Union Co. Gen Soc: Episcopal Church 1870-1896 [IGSL]

 

Military

 

·         Recorder’s discharge records beginning with WW I, [UCCH]

·         Union County Office of Veteran Affairs, assorted records from Civil War, [UCHS] , [GML]

·         Hall: The Union Co. Veterans Souvenir, n.d., [IGSL]

 

Newspapers:

 

·         Afton

-          Cary: Afton Star Enterprise, (partial 1880-1893, from 1906); 274 N. Douglas, Afton, 50830 [IGSL] , [ISHL]

-          The Afton Enterprise (1886-1896) microfilm [ISHL]

-          The Afton Tribune (1899-1901) microfilm [ISHL]

-          The Afton Star Enterprise (1905-1996) [ISHL]

·         Creston

-          Creston Publishing Co. (microfilm from 1880s) Adams St. and Division Street, Creston, 50801

-          Creston News Advertiser, Creston Centennial Edition  (1969) [IGSL]

-          Union Co. Gen Soc: Excerpts from Creston Daily Advertiser – 1885 (1993) 1890 (1995) [IGSL] , [ISHL]

-          The Creston Daily Advertiser (1882-1928) microfilm [ISHL]

-          The Creston News Advertiser (1928-2002) microfilm [ISHL]

-          The Creston Daily Gazette (1884-1920) microfilm [ISHL]

-          Daily Plain Dealer (1914-1918) microfilm [ISHL]

-          Union Co. Gen Soc: Index to the Creston Daily Advertiser (1990) [ISHL]

-          Saffell: Creston News Advertiser w/ index (1869-1969) [ISHL]

·         Shannon City

-          The Shannon City Messenger (1915-1918) microfilm [ISHL]

·         Assorted papers: (bound and on microfilm) [UCHS] , [GML]

 

Lineage and Service Organizations:

 

·         DAR lineage books: [UCHS] , [GML]

 

Educational, business and other:

 

·         Miscellaneous records: [UCHS]

·         Brown: Pictorial history of Tingley School 1883-1976 (1976) [ISHL]

 

County & Local Histories

 

·         C.J. Colby, Illustrated Centennial Sketches of Union County, Iowa, (1876), [UCHS] , [GML] , [IGSL]

·         Biographical and Historical Record of Union County, (1887), (1997 reprint includes index) [UCHS] , [GML] , [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         George A. Ide, History of Union County, Iowa, (1908), [UCHS] , [GML] , [ISHL]

·         Union Co. Gen Soc.: Union Co. History, (1981), [IGSL] ,  [ISHL]

·         Index to the 1981 Union Co., History, (1993), [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Centennial Histories, [UCHS] , [GML]

·         Myers: Afton Centennial, 1854-1954, (1954), [IGSL]

·         Index to Afton Centennial 1854-1954 [IGSL]

·         A history of Union Co., n.d., [IGSL]

·         History of Kent, Iowa 1869-1971,n.d., [IGSL]

·         Creston Centennial Celebration, (1969), [IGSL]

·         Union Co. Gen Soc: Personal recollections of Union Co., (1994), [IGSL]

·         Union Co. Gen Soc: Twice Told Tales, (1997), [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Shannon City History 1887-1987, (1987), [IGSL]

·         A Century in Arispe 1887-1987, (1987), [IGSL]

·         Lorimor – The first hundred years 1887-1987, (1987), [IGSL] , [ISHL]

·         Union Co. Gen Soc: Our own stories: recollection of Union County, (1994), [ISHL]

·         Anderson: Union Co., Iowa Pioneers, (198?), [ISHL]

·         Lucas: History of Kent and Platte townships, (1999), [ISHL]

·         Sullivan: Pioneer days of Union County, (1924), [ISHL]

·         Nichols: A history of Sand Creek twp to 1976, (1978), [ISHL]

 

Publications

 

·         Iowa Genealogical Society: Hawkeye Heritage articles through 1993, [IGSL] , (Entries indicate year, issue no. and page no.)

-          Abandoned towns (1980) 4:181

-          Bibliography of resource material (1980) 4:182

-          Various cemetery records (1980-1) check all issues

-          Claypoole cemetery additions (1982) 2:62

-          Earliest marriages 1854-1865 (1971) 2:62; 1864-1875 (1980) 4:183

-          Union County History (1980) 4:179

-          Jerusalem Cemetery (1973) 4:180

-          Mt. Pisgah Cemetery (1971) 4:154

-          Reasoner Cemetery (1976) 4:163

-          Union Co. cemetery finding aid (1970) 4:196

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

-          Union County cemetery transcriptions, vol 1-6

-          Afton Star Enterprise newspaper excerpts (1880-1893); every name index for Afton Star Enterprise books

-          Records of Afton Mission of Methodist Episcopal Church transcriptions

-          Methodist circuit of Union Co. 1867-1892, 2 vol.

-          Our Own Stories : personal memories of Union Co. Residents

-          Twice told tales, 2 v., historical accounts

-          Creston Daily Advertiser 1885 & 1890, 2v.; newspaper excerpts

-          Index to 1981 Union Co. History

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

-          Union County History, (1981)

-          Biographical history of Ringgold and Union Counties, (1887) (reprint)

 

Section IV: Credits (Record sources from within Union County are complied from information submitted by the following individuals and organizations)

 

We wish to acknowledge the contributions made by members of the Union County Genealogical Society, the Union County Historical Society, the Union County Courthouse, Gibson Memorial Library, 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.