Site Inventory Form      State Inventory No.                               New   Supplemental

State Historical Society of Iowa    Part of a district with known boundaries (enter inventory no.)      

(December 1, 1999)                                      Relationship:   Contributing     Noncontributing

                                                      Contributes to a potential district with yet unknown boundaries

                                                     National Register Status:(any that apply)  Listed   De-listed   NHL   DOE

                                                     9-Digit SHPO Review & Compliance Number      

                                                      Non-Extant  (enter year)      

 

1.  Name of Property

 

historic name   East Grove Iowa Underground Railroad Historic District

 

other names/site number       

 

2.  Location

 

street & number  Jackson Township SE ¼ of the NE ¼ of Section 33, vicnity of 1890 335th St

city or town East Grove                                                                   vicinity,    county Henry  

Legal Description: (If Rural)  Township Name                     Township No.        Range No.   Section    Quarter   of  Quarter

                                         Jackson Township                                                        33            SE              NE 

      (If Urban)    Subdivision                                                 Block(s)                                       Lot(s)      

3.  State/Federal Agency Certification [Skip this Section]

4.  National Park Service Certification [Skip this Section]

5.  Classification

Category of Property (Check only one box)  Number of Resources within Property                                               

              building(s)                             If Non-Eligible Property             If Eligible Property, enter number of:

              district                                  Enter number of:                       Contributing       Noncontributing

              site                                                     buildings                                                      buildings

              structure                                             sites                             5                               sites

              object                                                 structures                                                     structures

                                                                            objects                                                         objects

                                                                            Total                             5                               Total

 

Name of related project report or multiple property study (Enter “N/A” if the property is not part of a multiple property examination).

Title                                                                                                                                                         Historical Architectural Data Base Number

                                                                                                                                                              

6.  Function or Use

Historic Functions (Enter categories from instructions)                    Current Functions (Enter categories from instructions)

 

Domestic Village District                                                             

 

                                                                                             

 

Early Settlement Farmstead Hamlet                                             

 

7.  Description

Architectural Classification (Enter categories from instructions)      Materials (Enter categories from instructions)

 

19th Century Pioneer Era Farmsteads                                      foundation          

 

19th Century Quaker Meeting House and Cemetary                   walls                 

 

                                                                                        roof                   

 

                                                                                        other                     

Narrative Description ( SEE CONTINUATION SHEETS, WHICH MUST BE COMPLETED)

8.  Statement of Significance

Applicable National Register Criteria (Mark “x” representing your opinion of eligibility after applying relevant National Register criteria)

 Yes  No  More Research Recommended         A     Property is associated with significant events.

 Yes  No  More Research Recommended         B     Property is associated with the lives of significant persons.

 Yes  No  More Research Recommended         C     Property has distinctive architectural characteristics.

 Yes  No  More Research Recommended         D     Property yields significant information in archaeology or history.


County   Henry                           Address  Jackson Township SE ¼ of the NE ¼ of Section 33, vicnity of 1890 335th St                Site Number     

City         East Grove                                                                                                                                          District Number      

                                                                                                                                                                               

Criteria Considerations

    A    Owned by a religious institution or used           E   A reconstructed building, object, or structure.

                for religious purposes.                                          F    A commemorative property.

     B   Removed from its original location.                    G   Less than 50 years of age or achieved significance within the past

     C   A birthplace or grave.                                                        50 years.

     D   A cemetery

 

Areas of Significance (Enter categories from instructions)          Significant Dates

                                                                                                                    Construction date

                                                                                                             1840            check if circa or estimated date

                                                                                                                    Other dates

                                                                                                                           

 

Significant Person                                                          Architect/Builder

(Complete if National Register Criterion B is marked above)                       Architect

                                                                                            

                                                                                       Builder

                                                                                            

Narrative Statement of Significance ( SEE CONTINUATION SHEETS, WHICH MUST BE COMPLETED)

9.  Major Bibliographical References

Bibliography   See continuation sheet for citations of the books, articles, and other sources used in preparing this form

10. Geographic Data

UTM References (OPTIONAL)

      Zone          Easting                                    Northing                                        Zone          Easting                                    Northing

1                                                                               2                                                             

3                                                                               4                                                             

 

             See continuation sheet for additional UTM references or comments

11. Form Prepared  By

name/title  Doug Hamilton and Lewis D. Savage

organization                                                                                                                     date  2006

street & number  2140 227th St                                                                                      telephone  641 472 8422

city or town  Fairfield                                                                          state Ia                  zip code  52556

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTATION (Submit the following items with the completed form)

FOR ALL PROPERTIES

1.     Map: showing the property’s location in a town/city or township.

2.     Site plan: showing position of buildings and structures on the site in relation to public road(s).

3.     Photographs:  representative black and white photos.  If the photos are taken as part of a survey for which the Society is to be curator of the negatives or color slides, a photo/catalog sheet needs to be included with the negatives/slides and the following needs to be provided below on this particular inventory site:

Roll/slide sheet #                   Frame/slot #                        Date Taken          

Roll/slide sheet #                   Frame/slot #                        Date Taken          

Roll/slide sheet #                   Frame/slot #                        Date Taken          

         See continuation sheet or attached photo & slide catalog sheet for list of photo roll or slide entries.

         Photos/illustrations without negatives are also in this site inventory file.

FOR CERTAIN KINDS OF PROPERTIES, INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING AS WELL

1.     Farmstead & District: (List of structures and buildings, known or estimated year built, and contributing or non-contributing status)

2.     Barn:

        a.     A sketch of the frame/truss configuration in the form of drawing a typical middle bent of the barn.

        b.     A photograph of the loft showing the frame configuration along one side.

        c.     A sketch floor plan of the interior space arrangements along with the barn’s exterior dimensions in feet.

State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) Use Only Below This Line

Concur with above survey opinion on National Register eligibility:  Yes   No      More Research Recommended

    This is a locally designated property or part of a locally designated district.

 

Comments:                                                                                                                                                             

 

Evaluated by (name/title):                                                                                         Date:                                        


 

 

 

East Grove, Conducting the Underground Railroad

Joel C. Garretson and Joseph D. Hoag

 

 

“…The writer's father, Joel C. Garretson, was a warm personal friend of Henderson Lewelling. They had worked together in the anti-slavery cause, and both had suffered the abuse heaped upon the abolitionists of that period.”

Iowa Journal of History
Volume 27 October, 1929 No. 4

-O.A. GARRETSON
 

 

“At the home of Joel C. Garretson, five miles southeast of Salem, a fugitive slave tapped lightly at the cabin door in the early hours of the night. Mrs. Garretson opened the door and saw a colored man before her. The negro gave her to understand that he was a fugitive and was closely followed. Not wishing to arouse the curiosity of her own children and those of a neighbor who were present, she, by a wave of the hand, directed him to a peach orchard which stood near by. The negro lay down around the base of a bushy tree around which the grass and weeds had grown until they almost touched the spreading branches of the tree, and awaited the outcome. It was well for him that he found this hiding place as quickly as he did. In a few minutes his pursuers arrived, for Joel C. Garretson was an open advocate of the emancipation of the slave, and his home was the natural place to look for the fleeing property of the slaveholders. The pursuers came to the house and cautiously inspected the premises, and looked in at the windows, but made no attempt to enter the house. They carefully searched the orchard passing back and forth among the trees almost in reach of the breathless fugitive who lay silently beneath his leafy shelter, until the hunters, failing to find their prey, quietly departed, and were seen no more.

Mr. Garretson was not at home on this occasion and Mrs. Garretson was left to her own resources. She was a woman of unflinching courage, however, and entirely devoid of fear. As soon as the slave hunters were gone and the children asleep, she went to the home of Joseph D. Hoag on the opposite side of the road and about an eighth of a mile to the east. Mr. Hoag secured some provisions and together they sought the famished negro and gave him food and drink.

Near the center of the farm then occupied by Mr. Hoag there is a high ridge from which the ground slopes in every direction except to the southwest which is toward the open prairie. On this ridge was a cluster of hazel brush and small jack oak trees. When Mr. Garretson returned, he piloted the fugitive to this thicket and concealed him where he could have a fair view in every direction. Here the fugitive was fed for some time by Garretson and Hoag until his wife and child, who had been hiding elsewhere, were brought to him. They were then taken in charge by Nathan Kellum of
New Garden who conveyed them along by-ways toward Denmark.

When the rescue party met the men from Denmark who were to pilot them on it was so near morning that the fugitives were concealed in a ravine and the conducting parties returned to their respective homes. On the following night the negro family was conveyed to
Denmark where they were cared for by unfaltering friends.”

 

-O.A Garretson 

The Iowa Journal of History and Politics, July 1924 edition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rachel Kellum remembers the East Grove Conductors of the Underground Railroad:

 

“Just before dark one evening a young man lightly tapped on door of the Joel Garretson home four miles east of Salem. The wife cautiously opened it, and by waving her hand showed him the way to the orchard, where he went and found a hiding place underneath a bushy peach tree that had tall grass meeting the limbs. In a little while the men were there hunting him, and as they thought went all over that orchard. When they were tired and left Joel Garretson took him to where Joseph D. Hoag would expect to find any one that needed help. (Which was a certain thicket) and took him food and returned to the hose to see what would come next. They did not have to wait long until some one came with the wife and babe of the young man, and they were taken to him in the thicket during the night. J. D. Hoag conveyed them to a hiding place near his home where they remained during the day. At night the conductor on the underground railroad came, riding as though going to a wolf chase, but the returns had to be different. With the woman for the horse and the two men walking they proceeded. The moon was shining and enough of the slave holders and their men were there so that their patrols passed over the road every thirty minutes. Under these conditions the trip was made by keeping sufficient distance from the road, only when it must be crossed, and then wait for a cloud in the clear sky to cover the moon, but it came and while not large was thick enough to make a deep shadow in which they crossed the road and thanked God for it and took courage. When they met the man from Denmark, it was so late at night they had to secrete the slaves in a ravine, three miles this side of Denmark. Then the race for safety and perhaps life began. The distance of seven miles home was covered at a speed that no one timed. The father who was up watching, took Nathan Kellum's horse to the back stall, hid the saddle and bridle, gave the horse a few rubs to even up the hair, and fed all the horses in the stable, when approaching footsteps warned him, and he concealed himself while the slave holders examined the horses. They said none of them had been run or they had not been sweating, and were breathing evenly, so they left, not wanting to waste their time.”  - "Reminiscences", WesternWork 4-1908  by Rachel Kellum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

East Grove

 

Place of early Iowa anti-slavery political activism.

 

Organization of Anti-Slavery, publication.  Original 1840 articles of incorporation and also receipt of purchase and subsequent bill of sale of a printing press for the organization.  Original handwritten documents dated to 1840 and East Grove in possession of Joel H. Garretson in 2006 currently living in East Grove area.

 

 

 

In 1837, after he had reached his majority, Mr. Garretson emigrated to Iowa. Here he became a public speaker of no mean ability and freely and fearlessly used his powers to create a sentiment against the institution he so much abhorred. He helped to organize the Free Soil party of Henry County, and he and Samuel L. Howe became the candidates of that party for the legislature. In the campaign he vigorously stumped the county in the interests of his party, although he had no more hope of being elected than of being translated.

Joel Garretson was also one of the little group, including Dr. Curtis Shed and Eli Jessup, which met at
Iowa City to organize the Free Soil party in Iowa. An opponent of the movement ridiculed the meeting, declaring that the whole State convention of the new party was organized and engineered by a dozen men. "Oh", said Dr. Shed, "that is a lie, there were only half a dozen of us”."

 

Iowa Journal of History and Politics, July 1924 O. A. Garretson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

East Grove Quaker Meeting House, Site

In vicinity north of 1890 335th Street Henry County

SE corner of the SE ¼ of section 28

 

“A Meeting House was constructed of logs placed on limestone corner stones, the only remaining evidence today of a structure.”  -A current owner of the site, Joel H. Garretson

 

As a Quaker Meeting the East Grove Meeting in Iowa opened in 1849.  Opening 5 December 1849 it served as a small neighborhood meeting place for several Quaker families in rural southeast Henry County.  East Grove was one of several hamlet Quaker Meetings in the area of Lee and Henry Counties established at the time period of pioneer settlement in southeast Iowa.  (Book J p-50 land records).  East Grove was home to abolition activists and conductors of fugitive slaves on the under ground rail road.  

 

The East Grove Quaker Meeting House itself was of log construction.  It was set off of the Daniel Morfeld property on a south facing wooded knoll as a site between several Quaker settlers of the time as their Meeting house and burial ground.  The East Grove Meeting ran for about 20 years and was laid down as a meeting in 1867. 

 

The East Grove Monthly Meeting records exist inter-filed with Salem Monthly Meeting and Quarterly Meeting records in the Iowa Yearly Meeting archives in Oskaloosa and in Iowa City at the State Historical Society Libarary.  Ephriam Ratliff was one founding member and tended the meeting for its life until meeting was laid down.  Ephriam Ratliff had certificates as a minister in the Society of Friends and would travel down from his farms closer to Salem for Quaker Monthly Meetings in the area by horse and buggy.  Other family names of members at East Grove include Hoag who was an activist on the underground railroad.

 

East Grove came to be situated between the Quaker settlements of Salem to the northwest and New Garden to the southeast.  There were also Quaker families of Hicks and others to the east of East Grove in the direction of Lowell and the Skunk River who worshipped in silent un-programmed Quaker Meeting fashion in people’s homes (southeast Jackson Township in Henry County).  There were about 60 people of these ‘Hicksite’ families to the East of the East Grove.  Mention of these families is made in the records of the East Grove Meeting.    Pilot Grove also as an adjoining Quaker settlement and a Quaker Meeting sprung up there to the south of East Grove.

 

-These notes are constructed from oral history interviews of Lewis Savage collected 2001-2006.  Lewis Savage speaks from his knowledge and research of the East Grove Quaker Monthly Meeting records.  Lewis D. Savage was 92 in 2006 and a student for much of his adult life of the underground railroad in Southeast Iowa.  His grandfather was this traveling Quaker minister, Ephriam Ratliff.

-Doug Hamilton

Fairfield 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

East Grove Quaker Meeting Site

 

The land on which the Meeting House and cemetery was located was purchased from the government by Robert Price in 1839.  The patent is dated December 1841.  Robert Price was buried on his own land.  After his death the Price land and cemetery was sold to Joel C Garretson.  In 1869 Alonzo Mosher purchased the land where the Meeting House was located and subsequently it was owned by his grandchildren, Frances and LaMoyne Mosher.  The meeting house site and cemetery then was owned by Mrs. Howard Garretson, Gilbert Garretson and now by a current generation of Garretsons (2006).  (notes by Lewis D. Savage)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The East Grove Friends Meetings –Jackson Township Henry County Iowa

 

 

Transcribed Notes related to East Grove From Salem Monthly Meeting Minutes:

 

“4-27-1839- Ephrain Ratliff came to Jackson Township.  Walnut Ridge Monthly Meeting Indiana.  Communicated about minister’s certificate.”

 

“10-26-1839- Certificate for Robert W. Bunker and son Jonathan from White River Monthly Meeting Indiana”

 

“4-25-1840- Jacob Maxwell and family from Salem Monthly Meeting Indiana”

 

“6-27-1840- Certificate for Samuel Ratliff, Spiceland Monthly Meeting Indiana

 

“10-3-1841- Certificate for Timothy Widdifield from Young Street Monthly Meeting Canada

 

“4-22-1843- Certificate for Joseph D. Hoag Minister and sons Joseph Jr., Nathan L. Middleton Monthly Meeting Ohio

 

“Eli Jessup”

 

“3-30-1844- East Grove Friends request a Preparative Meeting.  5 mi SE Salem.”

 

“2-22-1845- Complaint against Asher Woolman by East Grove Preparative Meeting”

 

“1-24-1846- Certificate for James S. Cowgill and family from Chesterfield Monthly Meeting Ohio”

 

On March 30,1844 the Friends of East Grove requested of the Salem Friends Monthly Meeting to have Preparative Meetings.  This request was granted two months later.  The records indicate that the meetings were discontinued in 1857.  On October 17, 1860 members requested an Indulged Meeting to be known as the “Glendale Indulged Meeting” to be held in the home of Jonathan Mosher.  In 1861 those Meetings were discontinued.  Later Meetings were held in Glendale School. 

 

“8-17-1859- Certificates received for Jonathan and Elizabeth Mosher and children Alonzo, Hannah, Maria, Julia, Elma, David, Nathan, Walter F. – from Le Ray Monthly Meeting New York.”

“10-17-1860- Friends in vicinity of Moshers request priveledge of holding an Indulged Meeting to be know as Glendale Indulged Meeting this coming winter and spring at the house of Johathan H. Mosher on first and fifth days.”   

 

(These notes were transcribed by Lewis D. Savage directly from records of Salem Friends Monthly Meeting minutes.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

East Grove Quaker Meeting Burial Ground Site

In vicinity north of 1890 335th Street Henry County

SE corner of southeast ¼ of Section 28 Jackson Township

Three known burials at the site.

 

“Immediately to the east of the former Meeting House lies a small cemetery with three known burial plots. Robert Price was the first to be buried in the cemetery in 1839, followed by Isaac Garretson in 1844, and Sammie Ratliff in 1848. It has long been believed others may lie there, but these three are the only recorded.”  -Joel H. Garretson (2006)

 

See current essay by Joel H. Garretson for physical description of East Grove, Meeting House site and burial ground. http://www.garretson.us/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=33&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

 

 

 

The site of the Quaker Meeting House and burial ground is currently owned by the Garretson family (2006).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early Henry County

Quakers of Jackson Township

Atlas of 1870

 

Ephrain Ratliff

Samuel Ratliff

Abner Woolman

Alonzo Mosher

Jonathan Votarus

Brent Farson

Joel C. Garretson (attender)

Joseph D. Hoag

Erick Knudson

James Masden

John Masden

James Cowgill

Martin Cammack

Robert Bunker

Thomas Pickard

Jacob Maxwell

 

-Obtained from Lewis Savage’s research notes, 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farmstead Site of Joseph D. Hoag

1890 335th Street Henry County

 

Fugitive Slave Era

“The Hoag house was equipped with a secret hiding place beneath the staircase leading up to the second floor. …The rough and timbered terrain surrounding the community also offered excellent cover and protection for the escapees.”

-Joel H Garretson (2006)

 

Photos and records also in personal collection of Joel H Garretson

 

“Just before dark one evening a young man lightly tapped on door of the Joel Garretson home four miles east of Salem. The wife cautiously opened it, and by waving her hand showed him the way to the orchard, where he went and found a hiding place underneath a bushy peach tree that had tall grass meeting the limbs. In a little while the men were there hunting him, and as they thought went all over that orchard. When they were tired and left Joel Garretson took him to where Joseph D. Hoag would expect to find any one that needed help. (Which was a certain thicket) and took him food and returned to the hose to see what would come next. They did not have to wait long until some one came with the wife and babe of the young man, and they were taken ti him in the thicket during the night. J. D. Hoag conveyed them to a hiding place near his home where they remained during the day.”  -Rachel Kellum, 1908

 

 



”Mr. Garretson was not at home on this occasion and Mrs. Garretson was left to her own resources. She was a woman of unflinching courage, however, and entirely devoid of fear. As soon as the slave hunters were gone and the children asleep, she went to the home of Joseph D. Hoag on the opposite side of the road and about an eighth of a mile to the east. Mr. Hoag secured some provisions and together they sought the famished negro and gave him food and drink.

Near the center of the farm then occupied by Mr. Hoag there is a high ridge from which the ground slopes in every direction except to the southwest which is toward the open prairie. On this ridge was a cluster of hazel brush and small jack oak trees. When Mr. Garretson returned, he piloted the fugitive to this thicket and concealed him where he could have a fair view in every direction. Here the fugitive was fed for some time by Garretson and Hoag until his wife and child, who had been hiding elsewhere, were brought to him. They were then taken in charge by Nathan Kellum of
New Garden who conveyed them along by-ways toward Denmark.”  -O.A. Garretson, 1924

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joseph D. Hoag

 

 

The first Hoag family in America emigrated from Wales.  John was father of Joseph and they attended a Friends Meeting in New Hampshire.  Joseph married Hulda Case when he was past twenty years of age.  He and his wife both had gifts in the Ministry. Notes from “The Journal of Joseph Hoag” 1860.  Joseph was the father of Joseph D. Hoag, notes from Lewis D. Savage research material.

 

 

Joseph D. Hoag emigrated to Iowa in the 1840’s.  “5-27-1843- Certificate received for Joseph D. Hoag and sons, minister, and sons, Joseph Jr., Nathan L. from Middleton Monthly Meeting Ohio”.  “Joseph Hoag, father of Joseph D. Hoag, minister visits Meeting with certificate of unity from Ferrisburg Monthly Meeting Vermont.”  Joseph D. Hoag was married to Dorcas Tabor.   (These transcriptions of Quaker transfer records from Salem Monthly Meeting Minutes are obtained from research notes of Lewis D. Savage)

 

Joseph D. Hoag was evidently an active minister and clerk in the Society of Friends.  He was able to travel widely visiting Friends Meetings throughout Iowa at the time.  He was a delegate to the Iowa State Constitutional Convention from Henry County in 1844.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farmstead Site of Joel C. Garretson

335th Street Henry County

Listed already.

 

Fugitive Slave era

 

“Garretson routinely hid slaves in an orchard behind his house and at one time had a $500 reward on his head for aiding and abetting escaped slaves. The rough and timbered terrain surrounding the community also offered excellent cover and protection for the escapees.”  Joel H. Garretson (2006)

 

“Just before dark one evening a young man lightly tapped on door of the Joel Garretson home four miles east of Salem. The wife cautiously opened it, and by waving her hand showed him the way to the orchard, where he went and found a hiding place underneath a bushy peach tree that had tall grass meeting the limbs. In a little while the men were there hunting him, and as they thought went all over that orchard. When they were tired and left Joel Garretson took him to where Joseph D. Hoag would expect to find any one that needed help. (Which was a certain thicket) and took him food and returned to the hose to see what would come next. They did not have to wait long until some one came with the wife and babe of the young man, and they were taken ti him in the thicket during the night. J. D. Hoag conveyed them to a hiding place near his home where they remained during the day.”  -Rachel Kellum, 1908

 

 

Joel C. Garretson,

 

“Joel C. Garretson, who was associated with many of the events which happened on the Underground Railroad at Salem, was not a Quaker. He had been reared, however, under the tenets of that Society and adhered to many of its precepts. He believed in the absolute equality of every man before his Maker and the law. While a youth, yet in his teens, he was traveling over Price's Mountain in the State of Virginia, where he met a column of slaves, consisting of twenty negroes, marching in double file. Between the files was a heavy chain to which the handcuffed slaves were chained. Behind them rode the slave driver on horseback, whip in hand, while in the holster of his saddle were his pistols, ready for action. This sight so impressed the youthful mind of Joel Garretson that he vowed then and there that if ever he had an opportunity to strike this hated institution a blow, he would do it with all his energy.”

 

Iowa Journal of History and Politics, July 1926  O. A. Garretson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

East Grove Iowa, Henry County, Jackson Township area settlement by Quakers

 

Quaker Transfer Records, taken from the Salem Monthly Meeting Minutes

 

 

8-31-1839             -Certificate received for Eli Jessup from New Garden Monthly Meeting Indiana

 

-For Nathan H. Bond from New Garden Monthly Meeting Indiana

 

 

9-28-1839             -Certificate received for Robert Price and son Alfred from Spiceland Monthly Meeting Indiana   (Robert Price died in 1839)

 

10-26-1839 -Certificate received for Robert Bunker andd son Jonathan from White River         Monthly Meeting Indiana

 

6-27-1840               -Certificate received for Samuel Ratliff from Spiceland Monthly Meeting Indiana

 

10-30-1841              -Certificate received for Timothy Widdifield from Young Street Monthly Meeting Canada

 

5-27-1843             -Certificate received for Joseph D. Hoag, Minister, and sons, Joseph Jr., Nathan L. from Middleton Monthly Meeting Ohio  Joseph Hoag (father of Joseph D. Hoag) minister visits meeting with certificate of unity from Ferrisburg Monthly Meeting Vermont

 

3-30-1844             -East Grove Friends request Preparative Meeting- 5 miles S E of Salem

 

5-25-1844             -East Grove request approved

 

11-29-1845 -Joseph D. Hoag proposes visit to Pleasant Plain Monthly Meeting Iowa

 

1-24-1846               -Certificate received for James S. Cowgill and sons, James, Josiah, Joshua from Chesterfield Monthly Meeting Ohio

 

{From Lewis D. Savage’s research collection, his handwritten transcription notes of the original Friends Meeting minutes.}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes from, Salem Quarter Meeting Minutes 1848-1962:

 

Salem Quarterly Meeting Opened 5-20-1848 –Joseph D. Hoag clerk

 

8-18-1849             -East Grove and New Garden Preparatory Meetings request Monthly Meeting to be held in even months at East Grove and at New Garden on odd months.

 

11-17-1849              -East Grove Monthly Meeting established to alternate –East Grove and New Garden

 

2-21-1851             -Report to Quarterly Meeting –The Committee on Concerns of the People of Color in giving attention to the object of their appointment have found an aged colored man in a suffering condition, also a widow woman with three orphan children to whom they have extended care and offered some pecuniary assistance, and it appears likely that further assistance will be required.  But the Committee having no means at their disposal for that purpose were united in laying the subject before the Quarterly Meeting.

 

8-21-1852               -Joseph D. Hoag clerk for day.  We believe Friends bear a testimony against slavery.  No people of color under our direction.

 

2-17-1855             -Committee appointed to visit and restore harmony in East Grove Monthly Meeting.

 

5-19-1855             -East Grove Monthly Meeting requests said Meeting be held continually at New Garden and granted

 

8-16-1856             -Jesse Hiatt appeals for right of membership from East Grove Monthly Meeting

 

5-16-1857             -East Grove Monthly Meeting and Preparatory Meeting Discontinued changed to New Garden Monthly Meeting

 

11-19-1859              -New Garden Monthly Meeting reports an Indulged Meeting named Pilot Grove

 

2-16-1861             -Salem Monthly Meeting reports Glendale Indulged Meeting (met in home of Jonathan Mosher is still kept up and pretty well attended.

 

5-18-1861             -Glendale Indulged Meeting kept up

 

11-21-1863 -Salem Monthly Meeting reports it attended opening of Valley Meeting as directed

 

 

3-19-1864             -New Garden Monthly Meeting reports request for establishment of Monthly Meeting and Preparative Meeting at Pilot Grove and Committee appointed

 

3-18-1865             -Salem Monthly Meeting reports request of Chestnut Hill and Valley Preparatory Meetings to hold a Monthly Meeting by name of Union.

 

8-10-1867             -Salem Monthly Meeting reports request of Chestnut Hill and Valley Preparatory Meeting for Monthly Meeting to be know as Chestnut Hill and approved  -opened 10-1867

 

 

{From Lewis D. Savage’s research collection, his handwritten transcription notes of the original Friends Meeting minutes.}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Quakers of Iowa

 

By

 

Louis Thomas Jones

~~~*~~~

Part I

Historical Narrative

______________________

 

 

V

 

The Quakers in the Back Counties

 

 

East Grove, about five miles southeast, and Chestnut Hill about the same distance directly south of Salem were also important settlements which flourished during the first generation about this early Quaker center in Iowa; but of these Chestnut Hill alone remains, a mere remnant of its early strength.

 

Keokuk and Fort Madison were the natural gateways to Iowa for those of the Quakers who came from the East and the South by the river route (i.e., down the Ohio and up the Mississippi); while Burlington was more accessible to hose who crossed the prairies of Illinois by the overland route from Indiana. It will be seen at a glance that the lines from these three points converging at Salem brought the Quakers directly into the fertile lands between the Des Moines and the Skunk rivers—a region of great fertility which extended almost without a break to the northwest for nearly a hundred and fifty miles into the very heart of the State. With that keenness for good agricultural lands which as always characterized the Quakers, those of the order who came here settled in this promising country, building up community after community which they christened with such appropriate names as New Garden, Pleasant Plain, and Richland.

 

It is but natural that inquiry should be made as to the cause of so marked a disappearance of the Quakers from a land so thoroughly adapted to their needs. Therein lies a unique and interesting story. When the Friends came to Iowa it was primarily for economic reasons. At the same time they clung to their anti-slavery sentiments. In coming west they had deliberately chosen the free soil of Iowa; but to their dismay they soon found themselves annoyed by slave-catchers from the Missouri border. The second factor entering into the abandonment of the early settlements was their close proximity to the Mormons.(60) In the face of these undesirable conditions the Quakers of southeastern Iowa did as their ancestors had always done under such circumstances—they moved into the back counties.(61) And so, out upon the prairies of Jefferson County the second Quaker stronghold in Iowa grew into being. In this fair and fertile land the onward-moving Quakers once again bade their oxen “Whoa”; and upon a prairie now called “Pleasant Plain” they planted homes, and erected church and school.(62) To this new settlement many Quakers moved, peopling the land with their industrious and happy families.

 

61- A third very important factor in the weakening of Quakerism in this early center was the planting of the Roman Catholic stronghold at Mt. Hamill in the very heart of the Quaker region. In late years these Catholics have bought up nearly all of the available lands in the vicinity, and the Quakers have all but disappeared.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes from “A Glimpse of Iowa in 1846” By J.B. Newhall –Second Edition

 

 

Pg. V,VI Intro   - “The unparalleled rapidity with which they are being developed.”

 

“Here we behold the emigrant crossing the majestic river with the Bible, the axes, and the plough –emblems of peace, prosperity and power.”  “History never presented a spectacle half so sublime as the long train of moving emigrants, going forth to consecrate the pathless prairie to freedom and a lofty civilization.” 

 

“Within a few years the early Iowa country was transformed from a primeval wilderness of boundless prairies that rapidly changed from the lone log cabin of the pioneer settler to a land of settled communities that rapidly advanced across Iowa.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Quakers of Iowa

 

By

 

Louis Thomas Jones

~~~*~~~

Part I

Historical Narrative

 

 

 

VI

 

The Iowa Field in 1850

 

                Robert Lindsey and his companion (Benjamin Seebohm), having at various times visited together nearly every Quaker community in America (including the Yearly Meetings of North Carolina, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Ohio, Indiana, and the settlements in Canada),(72) in the opening of the year 1850 turned their faces toward distant Iowa.

 

After dining at the “busy and thriving” town of Burlington, they pressed on westward. As the shades of evening settled down upon the prairie the weary and travel-worn Friends approached the little Quaker settlement of East Grove, which was within five miles of Salem.

 

Then came the joy of the end as the heavy carriage pulled up to the door of their friend Joseph D. Hoag.(74)

 

On the morning of the 23rd (January), the weather being “very pleasant”, the visitors together with their host, Joseph D. Hoag, as guide and Amos Hoag as driver, left East Grove on their way to the new and rapidly growing Quaker settlement of Oakley in Cedar County, which was located some eighty miles to the northward.

 

On the following day, February 14th, came the East Grove Monthly Meeting which was likewise attended by the visitors. Her again they found that the men and women were compelled to hold their business meetings in a meeting-house of a single room “with only a wagon cover hung up between them… nevertheless it was an interesting and satisfactory time”.

 

On the 15th, 16th, and 17th of February came the sessions of the Salem Quarterly Meeting to which all of the subordinate meetings of Friends in Iowa reported. Here again the English visitors were brought into contact with a typical pioneer Quaker gathering. For long distances the Friends came in their heavy wagons, braving the severities of winter, and bringing their families to the quarterly religious and social gathering which played so large a part in the life of the Quakers in the earlier days. The business session being over, at the Sunday meeting for worship the crowd “was very large, the house being filled to overflowing”. Though there is no specific record, it is reasonable to suppose that on this occasion, Benjamin Seebohm, the chief spokesman of the traveling pair, preached form the rich store of his religious experience that spiritual admonition and testimony for which he was so widely known.

            Having touched the settlement at East Grove upon their arrival in Iowa, there still remained three communities of Friends in the vicinity of Salem for the travelers to visit before the tour of the meetings in Iowa could be said to be complete.

           

At the break of dawn on February 21st, the home of Joseph D. Hoag was all astir. Lonely indeed had been these English Friends far out in this western country; but now their thoughts were on the homeward journey. Then came the “solid parting” and the long remembered “farewell”(77) between those who through days of toil and hardship had learned to know and love each other. Long, it is said, were moistened eyes turned towards the eastward from the little cabin window, as the quaint old carriage moved across the prairie.

 

Notes and References

 

72- The movements of the two English Friends, Robert Lindsey and Benjamin Seebohm, among the American Yearly Meetings in 1848 are noted in the Friends’ Review, Vol. I, p. 377; Vol. II, p. 227.

 

 

Joseph D. Hoag

 

74- Joseph D. Hoag was one of the three commissioners appointed by the General Assembly of Iowa in 1847 “to locate the permanent Seat of Government of this State, and to select the lands granted by Congress to aid in erecting public buildings.”—Laws of Iowa, 1847, p. 85. The quotations in the text are taken from a copy of Robert Lindsey’s Journal.

 

 

 

Until about 1850 the busy town of Salem had served as the chief point of entry for the stream of Quakers which poured into the southeastern part of the State and settled in the fertile valleys between the Des Moines and Skunk rivers. While settlements were thus rising one after another in quick succession, a new gateway was opened to the northeast, and at Bloomington (now Muscatine) the ferrymen became familiar with the Quaker salutations, “thee” and “thou”.

The first Friend known to have entered at this new gateway was Brinton Darlington,(80) who bought a farm near Muscatine in 1843. Then came Laurie Tatum, who pressed on about thirty miles to the northwest and settled in Cedar County in 1844. Close upon his coming followed J. H. Painter and family in 1845.

The first collective religious meetings to be held among this new group of Friends began in the “fore part of 1849”, and were held as the occasion suited at the homes of Laurie Tatum or J. H. Painter.

[80-Brinton Darlington, long one of the most prominent members of the Red Cedar Monthly Meeting, was born in Pennsylvania in 1804. He was successful in business, being a partner in a large woolen mill. This mill burned late in 1841, and Darlington moved to Iowa with his family in the spring of 1842.—Memorials Concerning Deceased Friends, Members of Iowa Yearly Meeting (Philadelphia, 1872), pp. 15, 16.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

East Grove Photos or UGRR period paintings:

 

Portrait of Joel C. Garretson, private collections of Garretson family, contact Joel H. Garretson

 

Portrait of Ephrain Ratliff,  private collection of Lewis D. Savage