At the sitting of the Commissioners' Court, on January 9, 1849, Union Township, the first to be named in the
county, was created and its boundaries described. The place provided by the commissioners for holding the first
election was at the home of Leonard Bowman. Union is bounded on the north by Jefferson, on the west and east by
Douglas and Crawford, respectively, and on the south by Scott.
This township has many natural advantages. The surface is divided in about the proper proportion between rich prairie
and heavy timber land and was originally dotted with handsome groves. The North River zigzags across the northern
tier of sections, with the exception of section 1, and the Middle River, in its sinuous way, touches the southeast
corner of the township, and with tributaries of North River, such as Cedar Creek, furnishes abundant water and
drainage. There is a good supply of stone and the Des Moines and Winterset branch of the Rock Island Railroad traverses
its southern sections. The east corporation line of Winterset, or Center Township, occupies part of the west half
of section 31, or in other words, the southwest corner of the township.
Union Township attracted to its confines the Guye family, consisting of Samuel, his sons, James, George, Frank
and Houston, and daughters Mary, Elizabeth, Angeline and Maria. These people had come to the county on the evening
of April 28, 1846, with the Clantons, all being from Buchanan County, Missouri. On the 3d day of May, they staked
out claims on section 7, on the south bank of North River. This family became closely associated with the early
history of the county, and George Guye, who lived on the old homestead for over fifty years, is now and has been
for several years past a resident of Winterset.
Lemuel Thornbrugh was a native of Missouri and migrated to Madison County in May, 1846, settling in the Guye neighborhood,
where he built a cabin on land later owned by William Gentry and still later by George Horseback. Thornbrugh returned
to Missouri in the fall of that year and brought back with him his family. The Thornbrughs all lived on Lemuel's
claim on the Cedar until the fall of 1849, when Lemuel sold out and moved away. James left the Cedar in the spring
of 1847 and went south on Middle River. Here he took up another claim on the south side of the river in the timber,
where he grubbed a patch of land and with one yoke of oxen put out a small crop. He built a cabin, which was burned
down in May, 1861.
James Fidler, with his wife and unmarried children, also came in September, 1846, with Thornbrughs, James Thornbrugh
being his son in law, with whom Fidler lived until his death a month later. He had taken a claim and built a cabin
in the edge of the timber on section 29. His was the first death in Union Township.
Vincent Brown left his home in Buchanan County, Missouri, in 1847, and with his family settled on section 12. His
brother Flezekiah and another brother, James, and his family, came to Madison County about the same time. James
settled in Jefferson Township, while Hezekiah made his home at the above place, but went to Kansas a short time
before the war.
John R. Beedle immigrated from Northwestern Missouri to Madison County in June, 1846, and settled a quarter of
a mile northwest of the present Greenwood schoolhouse in this township, on section 4. That fall he moved to the
northeast quarter of the northwest quarter of section 11, and lived there until his death several years ago.
Philip M. Boyles came to the county in the summer of 1846 and located in Union Township. His first habitation was
a structure built of poles, which were fastened together with wooden pins and covered with basswood bark. For the
first few years he experienced all the trials and privations of a pioneer, at one time walking to Saylorville,
in Polk County, where he worked for two weeks at fifty cents a day in order to procure money with which to buy
seed corn. He was too poor to own a horse. It is said that Mr. Boyles hauled the first merchandise brought to Winterset,
bringing the goods from Keokuk for A. D. Jones. He was the first clerk of the County Commissioners' Court and took
a very active part in the organization of the county. Mr. Boyles became quite a large landowner and for many years
prior to his death was a resident of Winterset, where he engaged in the live stock business. A son, M. Boyles,
was born on the Union Township farm in 1853.
William Gentry, with his family, migrated from Indiana to Madison County in 1847, and located on section 30. He
was one of the three members of the first board of county commissioners. His sons, F. M. Gentry and W. W. Gentry,
were of the family who came with him.
John Butler and John Evans were settlers in the township as early as May, 1846. A day or so later came Irvin Baum.
Leonard Bowman was one of the settlers in this township of 1847, coming that year from De Kalb County, Missouri.
Alfred Rice, of the same place, was also a settler of 1847.
David Cracraft migrated from Buchanan County, Missouri, in 1847. He located on what is now known as the Withrow
farm, and lies buried on the Brockway place.
Major Farris was the first one of that name in the township, coming in the spring of 4849 with his wife, Minerva,
and child, Sarah Jane. He began the improvement of what afterwards became his father's place on the Elm, the southwest
quarter of section 1, but little of the land was broken that year. In March of the next spring, while sugar making
north on the Beedle place, he took a severe cold and died of pneumonia. Dr. J. H. Gaff attended him. His was the
first burial in the old Farris graveyard.
About September I, 1849, Charles Farris, wife and daughter, Nancy Jane, arrived here and lived in a tent with the
Beedles and Major Farris. He spent part of the early summer in improving a tract of ground, then put up a cabin.
Charles helped build the Major Farris double hewed log house that stood on the place until in the '70s. In 1850
Charles bought the southwest forty on section 1, where he built a cabin.
In April, 1848, William Stinson and wife, Margaret, arrived in the township from Burlington, Iowa, and lived with
the John Evans family that summer, when he moved into a cabin which he built on the place later owned by Suydam.
The next summer he removed to section 36, just west of Winterise, and in the fall of that year moved to what is
now known as the Harris farm. He built a one room frame shanty which was afterwards sold to Judge Pitzer. That
same year he built a cabin on the Aquilla Smith place and farmed the land until the Civil war. This, cabin stood
on a spot on the knoll now occupied by Judge Lewis' shop.
Joseph K. Evans and family and Hannah Smith, a sister of Mrs. Stinson, who afterwards married Samuel W. Poffinbarger,
came here in 1848. He built his house near the "lone elm" tree, which stood south of the Scydam place.
When the Stinsons arrived here the Gentrys lived next 'west of John Evans. The next place east was that of the
Boyles, then in their order the Butlers and the Thornbrughs.
John Evans raised a little corn and cabbage, but no turnips in 1847. In 1848 the Stinsons raised lots of onions
and potatoes, including sweet potatoes, and had a big crop of garden truck.
Those who came in 1847 were C. J. Casebier, P. Casebier, Joshua Casebier, William Harmon, M. Reeve, A. Hart and
Claiborne Pitzer. There were also Alfred Q. and Henry Rice, Basil Pursel, James Brown, George Magnus, John B. Sturman.
Charles Farris and the Guibersons in 1848, also William Butler and the Staffords.
Judge E. R. Guiberson came the year of 1848 and located a claim in Union Township. After Winterset had been decided
upon as the county seat, he endeavored to have Winterset discarded for the position and relocate the seat of government
on the northwest quarter of section 37, and adjoining a quarter section of land he owned in that community. In
this he was unsuccessful. He was one of the leaders among the men who built the superstructure of Madison County
and later represented Madison in the State Legislature. Israel Guiberson was a lawyer and held the office of recorder,
dying in an early day. Nathaniel removed from the old home in Holmes County, Ohio, in 185o, and located on section
17, and at the same time came W. B. Guiberson, who married Miss A. M. Pursel in 1866.
William Sturman was a native of New Hampshire. He removed to Ohio in an early day and from there came to Madison
County in 1849 and settled on section 9, this township, where he improved a farm and became a large landowner.
J. S. McGinnis left Indiana in 1852 and that same year located in Union Township. He married Miss Melvina M. Tisdale
The Rubys came as early as 1852. Eli Cox in 1856. He entered 120 acres of land in section 5, which was the last
entry made in the township. Mr. Cox erected a sawmill, which was kept busy for many years turning out lumber for
the settlers. He was one of the large landowners of the township.
Thomas Garlinger arrived in Crawford Township from Ohio in 1855. Moved later to Union Township and accumulated
several hundred acres of land. He was one of the most successful live stock dealers in the county.
If one should attempt to give the history of Union Township in all its details, a goodly sized book would be the
result. That means that the space required is greater than the scope of this work contemplates. The historical
society established a few years ago, has gathered some little local data in a fragmentary manner, pertinent to
the early history of the county, but the society, unfortunately, has been late in commencing operations. Most of
the people who came on to the prairies and into the timber of the county in the '40s have either passed from earth
or have gone to other parts of the country. Those remaining show the ravages of time, both physically and mentally,
and but few there are who can be relied upon for a statement relative to events transpiring in the early days,
so that if the reader becomes disappointed in not finding the names of certain families who early settled in the
community, or the relation of an incident seemingly of importance, and a part of the history of this community,
these things should be considered as attributable to the utter impossibility of securing the necessary facts.
In Union Township, as in all new American communities, as soon as the necessary preliminaries of building habitations
and garnering crops were consummated, educational facilities were provided for the children, church organizations
were established and other things accomplished, to ease the burdens of life and seek the contentment that comfortable
homes, well conducted schools, properly maintained churches and general prosperity evolve.
THE FIRST SCHOOL
By A. J. Hoisington
The first school in the township was erected during the fall of 1852, on the northeast acre of the northeast
quarter of section 17, which was donated to the vicinity by Nathaniel W. Guiberson, who had entered that quarter
from the Government in 1850. This log schoolhouse remained a few years, when a frame building was erected one mile
south and a quarter of a mile east of the old one. Samuel Guye secured the contract for the construction of the
building at $120 in cash. He was a millwright by trade and handy with tools. The structure was 20 by 20 feet and
most of the sawed stuff was done at the old Pierson mill at Sunimerset, in Warren County. Rough one inch oak boarding,
six inches wide, was used for the floor, laid on smooth surfaced logs for sleepers, The ceiling was one inch rough
linn boards, ten inches wide; the rafters and sheeting were sawed out by James and George Guye with a whip saw.
The shingles, which were of black walnut, were hand shaved and nailed on to the sheeting. The gable ends were weather
boarded and nailed to split out studding, roughly evened on the outer side. A rough puncheon door hung by iron
butt hinges was fastened by a thumb latch. It had no lock. There were six windows - three on the east and three
on the west, each with twelve panes 8 by 12 inch glass. Seats were made of rude puncheon, split out boards, smoothed
on top by a jack plane, supported by legs, of which one end was driven into two inch holes, bored into the puncheons
near each end. But few of the pupils had desks the first few years. At the first term a carpenter named Joseph
Thompson made a combined seat and desk, with a lid, and gave it to Emma and America Pursel, who used it between
them. This seat and desk was envied far and near throughout the county. Thomas Sturman made seats and desks for
each of his three sisters and himself. A fairly good teacher's table was furnished by the district. The room was
more or less heated by a long box stove that was 4 feet long, 2 feet wide and 2 feet high. It was built to hold
a lot of wood. The stove stood in the middle of the room and the pipe went straight up through the roof. This big
"wood eater" was a second hand monster and had been used by William Compton in his grocery store at Winterset.
The first term taught in this then "grand new schoolhouse" was by John Jordan, of Pella. He began
his ministrations on the first Monday in December, 1852, and continued the term twelve weeks. Basil Pursel was
the school director. Succeeding terms were taught by the following persons: The summer of 1853 by Jane Sturman,
winter term of 1853-54, a Mr. Wright, summer term of the year, Phoebe Gordon; winter term of 1854-55, John Bird;
summer term that year, Jane Turney; winter term of 1855-56, a Mr. Lewis.
Following is the complete enrollment of pupils attending the first term of 1852-53 in the new schoolhouse: Thomas,
Jane (married William Pursel), Harriet (married a Mr. Kelly), Sarah (married Frank McDaniel), children of the elder
James Sturman; Eliza (married Alfred Brittain), Missouri (married Jackson Jones)', Dorinda (married James Henry
Farris), Joel (died in 186o), and John James (died in the army), children of William Sturman; Francis M., Samuel
Houston, Mary (married Elzie Evans), Elizabeth (married Enos Mills), Angeline (married Henry Vanwy), Maria (married
George Ludington), children of Samuel Guye; William, Absalom K., and America M. (married William Guiberson), children
of Basil Purse; Frank, Irene (married Joseph Thompson), children of Henderson McDaniel; Reuben and Emmeline (married
Jacob Shellhart), children of David Cracraft; William, son of Nathaniel W. Guiberson; Eliza (married Challen Danforth),
Cecelia (married Daniel Brobst), children of John B. Sturman; George D., Martha (married S. S. Guiberson), and
John Thompson, children of William Ratcliff, whose widow had married Samuel Guye; Martha, Lizzie and Bruce, children
of Samuel Stover; Rebecca Ann, Matilda and Phoebe Allison, sisters of Mrs. Philip M. Boyles of southwestern Union
No very young pupils attended this school. At recess the larger ones indulged in a game called "snatch and
catch 'em," which was similar to "drop the handkerchief." Sometimes on extra cold days this game
was played until long after the noon hour, school being called about in time to be ready for a respectable dismissal
at 4 o'clock. Jump the rope was also a popular pastime and also "blind man's buff." Occasionally there
was a spelling school at night. Missouri and Jane Sturman usually "kept the floor" the longest when "spelling
By A. J. Hoisington
Another educational institution of Union Township in the early days was the Guye schoolhouse, which was built
at about the time or shortly after the Gulberson schoolhouse. There was some trouble experienced in getting the
district divided from the Guiberson district, for the reason that there was not enough money to build a schoolhouse.
Thereupon Basil Pursel donated hewed timber (sills, corner posts and plates) for a building, George and James Guye,
sleepers and joists; Samuel Guye, the studding, Richard Cooper, sheeting, Thomas Townsend and William, his son,
some other lumber, and Samuel Hildebrant, Hampton Jones and Levi Smith also contributed building material, all
of which was placed on the ground. The work of building was paid for out of public money.
Before this house was built, a term of school was taught in a house vacated by Levi Smith that summer. The first
teacher was Thomas Townsend who lived on the Casper place. The term was three months. When Townsend got his certificate
from the county superintendent he invited that official to visit his school, assuring him he would show him a model
institution. When the superintendent arrived at the Guye schoolhouse, he found Townsend sitting in the middle of
the room with a six foot gad in his hand, which he would wave through the air in one direction, pound it on the
floor and then wave it in another direction, exclaiming at each stroke "mind your books," and other like
expressions. He was a "Hard Shell" Baptist preacher and peculiar in his way, but the superintendent agreed
with him that he kept order with his gad. The school Official also learned that Townsend whipped at least one scholar
a day; but he taught no more in that section of the county. Everybody agreed he kept order but wanted no more of
his kind of teaching.
THE FIDDLER CEMETERY
By A. J. Hoisington
James Fidler was the first man who died in Madison County. He was well along in life and had been an almost
helpless invalid some eight years prior to his location in this township. His death had long been expected by the
family to occur at any time. Fidler took a claim and had built a cabin in the edge of the timber on section 9,
up on the ridge west of Long Branch. He died early in October, 1846. There being no graveyard in the county, and
one place being as good as another, naturally, he was buried on his own claim, a little north of his cabin in the
woods. Later that fall a little child of David D. Henrys was scalded to death by tipping over a pot of water. The
child's body was interred near Fidler's grave and this was the second burial there. Contemporaneous burials at
this place were those of Jane, daughter of Chenoweth Casebier, aged about sixteen years; James Thornbrugh, Eliza
Tremble, little Sarah Crawford, Anderson Crawford, Sarah Pender, four years old, who was burned to death; Mrs.
Mahala Simmons, wife of Henry Simmons, David Cracraft and one of his daughters, a child of Asa Mills and a child
of Philip M. Boyles.
A SENSATIONAL WAKE
By A. J. Hoisington
Jacob Evans died June 5, 1870, in Union Township, at the age of seventy three and was buried in Winterset cemetery.
All the members of the very large family, except one son, were in a room adjoining where the body lay. The men,
while laying out the body of the deceased, attempted to keep the partition door closed, but as often as they closed
it, some one would partly open it again from the adjoining room, and the men observed that some members of the
family were closely watching them. Miss caused annoyance and somewhat provoked them. It was after dark when the
body was prepared and placed to one side of the room. It was decided to remove the bed out of doors into an outbuilding.
This caused a disturbance in the adjoining room and it could be seen that those occupying it were peeping through
the partly opened door. After removing the bedroom doors those attending the body discovered an old trunk tinder
the bed, and while the bedstead was being taken down one of them got hold of the trunk, but at that moment two
grown up sons of the deceased rushed in, fighting each other, each one attempting to get to the trunk first. The
attendants interfered, desiring to learn what the trouble was about, and finally made peace between the boys. One
of the daughters then explained why the men had been closely watched and why the boys rushed in and were fighting.
It developed that in that old hair covered trunk, which was encircled a hundred times with bed cord, were their
father's will and $4,000 in gold. Ever since he had moved to Iowa in 1851, that frail safe had been the storage
place of a fortune in gold. In it Evans had brought the treasure then in view from Indiana to Iowa, and how many
years the trunk had performed its peculiar duty before the removal of the family here none but the members knew.
But it was a matter of local comment as early as 1857, when Mr. Evans paid for a building in the spring of the
year just mentioned, which had replaced one destroyed by fire, the money came from that old trunk. During all his
life in Iowa, either Mr. Evans or his wife was by that trunk. They never left it alone at any time. It was on their
minds all the time.
Union Township has no trading point within its borders. At one time, in the later '40s, a little settlement was
established at what later became known as Tileville, acquiring its name from the manufactory of tile in that vicinity.
A. D. Jones ran a small store there for a short time. Here was Montpelier postoffice, first in the county. It has
a railroad, however, but no station.
Fortunately, George W. Guye, one of the boys who came with his father, Samuel Guye, in the spring of 1846 and settled
in this township, is still living and has been for some years past a resident of Winterset. He remembers many interesting
things relative to his family, which history has now become part and parcel of that of Madison County. He says
that he was born in White County, Tennessee, in 1826, and that the family moved to Sullivan County, Indiana, in
1828. In that year they turned their faces westward and arrived in the Territory of Iowa in 1841, stopping at lowaville,
in Van Buren County. They then took the old Mormon trail and reaching a point in Nodaway County, near Andrew County,
Missouri, April 16, 1846, the family remained there until coming to Madison County, arriving in Union Township,
April 28th. "As early as 1841," he relates, "we heard of the Three Rivers country, that it would
be opened for settlement. There were glowing accounts of. this country coming to us from trappers and traders who
had been here. Upon reaching the county, we stopped with Hiram Hurst two nights, and one night at Linn Grove with
Lafridge Bedull, whom we knew in Missouri. The following night we were at Cruz Grove, north of Churchville, and
the next night camped in the J. H. Farris grove, where we stayed while staking out our claim, May 3, 1846. We built
a cabin of lion logs in two days and this was the first real house in the county.
"Hiram Hurst put in a crop in the summer of 1846 and then went after his family, meeting its members at
the state line. He had constructed a cabin of buckeye and hackberry, which he covered with elm bark. It was a small
affair. It was here we visited him the day we crossed the Middle River. We were the first guests lie entertained
in Madison County. When we arrived he looked wild and got his gun, but we told him who we were and that we were
looking for information. He said he had not as yet seen the country.
"My father, Samuel Guye, located on section 7, on land afterwards known as the Vanwy place. My claim was on
sections 5 and 8, parts of which afterwards became known as the Hendricks and Ryner farms. James also located on
section 8. The other members of the family were: Mary, who married Elzie Evans, and died in southwestern Missouri;
Elizabeth, the wife of Enos Mills; Francis M., who later became a citizen of Seattle, Washington; Samuel H., who
moved some years ago from the county to Des Moines; Angeline, the wife of Henry Vanwy; and Maria, who married George
"When the land here was opened for entry, on January 1, 1850, I went to Iowa City on horseback to buy land.
The journey there and back consumed seven days. I paid Judge Carrollton to bid in for me two hundred and forty
acres. This was the first farm land sold in Madison County at that time. I might here add that I did not get my
patent for the land on which I located and entered until twenty years afterwards.
"The members of my family farmed land on North River once cultivated by Indians. When we came here we brought
from seventy to eighty head of cattle and one hundred head of sheep. We broke the prairie in 1847 with oxen, of
which we had six yoke. We also had three horses.
"My parents were married in Tennessee. My mother owned slaves in that state at the time and before departing
for Indiana permitted them to purchase their liberty. Arriving in the Hoosier State, my parents bought a fine farm
and my father speculated in toll turnpikes, much to his disadvantage. He was compelled to sell the farm and met
with another disaster by taking $4,750 of the purchase price in bills of the State Bank of Indiana, which decreased
in value fifty cents on the dollar before arriving in Missouri, where another farm was purchased in 1841. Not liking
to live in a slave state, we left Missouri with some money, horses, cattle, sheep and household goods, and as has
been before stated, arrived in Madison County, April 28, 1846.
"John Beedle, John Chenoweth, Samuel Casebier, my brother, James Guye, and myself went to Des Moines on the
2d day of August, 1846, to vote at an election which was to be held on August 3d to ratify the first constitution
proposed in the State of Iowa. We all voted for the adoption of the constitution. At that time I was only twenty
PIONEERS OF UNION TOWNSHIP
By A. J. Hoisington
The story of each pioneer settler of Madison County becomes more and more interesting and romantic as the years
go by. Over sixty years have passed since they began to arrive; only a very few of those old enough to remember
their coming, what they did, how they lived and even who they were, are living to tell the tale.
Their names, where they came from, where they first located, what next they did and how they lived, their daily
habits, their customs, their religion and politics and the manner of people they were - and, finally, what became
of them - is of interest to us now. Ate random I will here briefly mention a few who came the first year or two
- there is no special reason that I mention one and omit another, since I have no favorites among them.
Omitting Hiram Hurst and the Clanton and Guye colonies, which makes a little book by itself, since they were the
first people; there came a few days after them the colony among whom are still well remembered, William Gentry,
Philip M. Boyles, John Evans, Asa Mills and others. This colony was a large one and all were from Missouri. It
should be recalled that Hurst, the Clantons and Guyes were all from Missouri, and for the matter of that, nearly
all the settlers in 1846 and 1847 came from Missouri - Northwest Missouri.
David D. Henry came in May, 1846, and settled on section 20, Union Township, on the north bank of Cedar Creek,
where was a beautiful little bottom of prairie meadow, making the first improvement there. He had a family and
was from Missouri. In 1851 he joined the California bound crowd and left, taking his family. He entered the southeast
quarter of the northeast quarter and the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of that section in 1850.
William Gentry came in May, 1846, from Missouri, first settling on the north half of the west half of the northwest
quarter of section 30, Union Township, near where the present house stands on top of the hill south of Cedar bridge,
straight north of Winterset. He entered one hundred and sixty acres there in 1850. He was one of the most prominent
and active citizens of the county in the early days of its history - one of its first county commissioners and
on the board that named Vinterset and platted the town. Later on he sold out and settled on the north side of the
lane, some distance west of where Tileville now is. Mr. Gentry's relation to the history of the early days makes
him an important figure in many of its chapters. Hem lived out his days in the county he helped to mold and established
and died respected by all.
Leonard Bowman came in the spring of 1847 from Missouri, and first settled on the east half of the southwest quarter
of section 5, in Union Township. As the lands in this county were not surveyed until 1849, it turned out that he
was on the quarter on which the Guyes had located the year before. There is quite a history to this quarter that
pertains to pioneer history of the county which is herein related. Not only was this southwest quarter the one
on which the pioneer Guyes first located, they being the first settlers west of close to the east line of the county,
but it was the first tract of land entered in Madison County - January 21, 1850. To make the long story brief,
George Guye beat Bowman to the United States land office, then located at Iowa City and got the land. After thus
losing his claim, Bowman settled west of where the county farm now is, in 1850. He sold out about 1853 and moved
to South Audubon County, Iowa, where he lived and died. When here he had a large family, of whom some were quite
grown up, among whom were sons, David, Reece, Daniel and Levi, and daughters, Mary and Cassie. David went to California,
Daniel married Elizabeth Folwell, in 1854, and lived in Audubon County, and Reece and Levi went west beyond the
Brownfield came in June, 1846, with John B. Sturman and John R. Beedle, from Missouri. He had a family and settled
on the northeast part of section 10, in Union Township, where Boone afterward owned some land. He made no improvements
but a log cabin and left in 1848. His only distinction here, besides being one of the very first settlers, is that
he was one of the five voters of Madison County, who went to Fort Des Moines and voted at the election, August
3, 1846, when the state constitution was adopted, which five voters marked the first road northeasterly to Des
Moines on their way to vote.
Thomas M. Boyles, brother of Philip, came with the colony, a single man, and settled on the southwest of section
17, Union Township, which he entered in 1850. He arrived in May, 1846, and there settled, building a log cabin
and cutting out a small clearing where afterward long. resided the elder Sturman and his son Thomas. Late in the
fall of 1847 he married a daughter of John Butler, who came with the Boyles from Missouri and who had settled in
the south edge of the timber next east of the Philip Boyles farm. There was a great wedding, but the big boys of
the then sparsely settled country were not invited. This slight they resented by organizing a charivari party.
Having long distances to go they were late in getting to the Butler cabin. All had gone to bed, or it seemed to
the boys they had, for the cabin was dark and quiet. The boys began their noise with every cow bell, stolen from
the cattle in all the region about. They had two big dinner horns, tin pans and other things, with which to make
the deafening noise. This infernal din they kept going until wearied out, but no one in the house seemed to give
any attention to them. They were afraid to try to get inside, because they might meet with trouble. Finally, they
quietly moved awar, disappointed, tired and disgusted. Passing through the timber northward, crossing Cedar, they
finally got to Boyles' cabin on the hill south of where Joe Forney lives now, determined to let Boyles and his
bride know they had called that way. Of course the bride and groom were at Butler's. Boyles had three sheep only.
The boys built a rail pen on top of a haystack and put in it the three sheep, but fearing the pen might not hold
them and the sheep get killed or injured in the downfall, they finally took the sheep down from the pen on the
stack and put them in the cabin, where they fastened them in and left them. Disarranging other things around the
place they pulled out for their several cabins of abode, miles away for all of them. Toward morning they got home.
It was a dead failure all around and the more so it seemed to them afterward when they could not hear even a whisper
from any one concerning what they had done that night. No one ever mentioned in their hearing, or so they could
hear of it, anything about their doings. Most of all, the boys wondered about the sheep in the house, but they
never knew, or heard. They have always supposed that when they left the Butler cabin, some one followed them, with
the expectation of mischief at Boyles' cabin and that when they left the latter with the sheep inside, some one
was there to right things. Thus ended the first charivari in Madison County. Among those in this crowd I remember
to have heard named George W. and Francis M. Guye, Reece, Dan and Levi Bowman and Martin Baum. There were nine
or ten in the crowd. Boyles later sold to the elder James Sturman and moved to Texas.