History of Adams Township, Wapello County,
From: History of Wapello County, Iowa
By Harrison L. Waterma, Supervising Editor
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. Chicago 1914
Adams Township occupies all of the congressional township 71, range 14. It lies in the southwestern corner of
the county, with Monroe County on the west and Davis County to the south of it. The Township of Green is its eastern
boundary, and Polk Township the northern. The land, which is high roiling prairie, is drained by Bear Creek and
Little Soap. There is some coal. The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad enters the township on section
6, and running in a southwesterly direction, leaves its boundaries at the northwest corner of section 7.
Blakesburg is located on section 7 and is a railroad station on the line of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St.
Paul Railroad. It was laid out in 1852 by Theopliilus Blake and Cyrus Van Cleave, pioneer settlers of the township.
The hamlet is situated upon high rolling prairie, and at the time of its birth, was near a heavy body of timberland.
In this vicinity there is considerable coal. In 1856 the place had grown to considerable importance and contained
a good grist and sawmill, four dry goods stores, three blacksmith shops, a wagon and plow shop, a cabinet shop,
shoemaker, gunsmith, tailor and saddler's shops. There were aiso three physicians, two ministers, and a lawyer.
The postoffice was established in Blakeshurg, January 24, 1851, with William Kinder as postmaster. He was succeeded February 2, 1853, by S. H. Butcher, and S. G. Finney took up the burdens of the position February 28, 1857. During his administration the name of the office was changed to Amador, December 8, 1857, which meant the reappointment of S. G. Finney at that time. His successors in office under this name were as follows: S. W. Hurst, June 8, 1859; S. A. Swiggett, April 20, 1861; G. A. Derby, August 23, 1862; J. F. Adams, November 6, 1863; under Mr. Adams administration, on August 25, 1865, them office was renamed Blakesburg, and has so continued to the present day. Mr. Adams was reappointed and held the office until he handed it over to his successor, D. C. Ryboit, September 3, 1866. Those who followed Mr. Ryholt are the following named persons: B. F. Pratt, February 9, 1869; C. W. Pratt, February 12, 1872; D. C. Ryboit, April 14, 1874; D. L. Hardy, March 23, 188o; L. F. Stuart, July 22, 1885; Charles W. Reading, April 25, 1889; Mrs. Samaranus Barnes, April 11, 1893; Moses H. Abernathy, April 17, 1897.
The Blakesburg Savings Bank was established in 1900, with a capital of $20,000. J. T. Hackworth is president; Walter Abegg, cashier. The surplus and undivided profits are $10,000; deposits, $90,000.
BLAKESBURG IN THE CIVIL WAR
W. H. H. Asbury, who resided in Ottumwa at the time, prepared the following history of the part played in the great war by Blakesburg boys, which was read here on the occasion of the Blakesburg Old Settlers' and Old Soldiers' Association meeting, held August 24, 1903:
President Lincoln issued his first call for soldiers April 15, 1861, to serve for three months. The Blakesburg
boys answering this call were Ermon E. Macstick, Z. M. McAllister, Joseph Berkey, Jr., James Blake, John Coen,
George W. Graves, George Lottridge, William Reed, W. H. H. Asbury, Henry Blake, Conrad Stocker and H. H. Hornbaker,
they enlisting in a body at Ottumwa in Capt. C. C. Cioutman's company. The company was filled to its maximum and
was ready to go to the front in less than a week from the date of the president's call.
A HOME GUARD COMPANY
During the months of June and July, 1861, a "home guard" company was drilling in the streets of Blakesburg at least two days of each week. The people of the burg were scarcely a day during this time out of hearing of the fife and drum. Out of this "home guard" company there went into the Third Iowa Cavalry in Augusta, Alvin H. Griswold who was made a second lieutenant of the company, George W. Stamm, who was promoted through the various grades of minor company offices to that of first lieutenant; Thomas Commons, who became an orderly sergeant; John D. Pickett, A. K. Ewing, W. H. Blake, A. D. Woodruff, Willard S. Lewis, John Church, George W. Holt, Aaron Millard, James M. Miller, August Ortloff, Robert Terrill, Nathaniel W. Williamson, Thomas Bourman, Nathaniel Barnes, William Austin, W. H. H. Asbury and Andrew J. Graves, all became members of Company K of the regiment, except Barnes, Asbury and Graves, who were members of Company D, E and M, respectively. On the regiment's return home in February, 1864, on veteran furlough, the following Blakesburg boys joined, to wit: Samuel Austin, Adolph Carlton, Walden W. Lewis and Hugh McQueen.
THE DEATH LIST
Of the Blakesburg "squad" who went into the Third Iowa Cavalry, Lieut. A. H. Griswold was killed by the enemy in ambush at Village Creek, Arkansas, June 27, 1862; A. K. Ewing was killed in battle at La Grange, Arkansas, May I, 1863; James Monroe Miller was killed in the assault on Columbus, Georgia, in the last battle of the war east of the Mississippi, April 18, 1865; William Austin and Thomas Burman were captured at Ripley, Mississippi, June 11, 1864, carried to Andersonville, where they died of starvation. W. H. Blake returned home broken in health and died at his mother's home in Blakesburg shortly after the close of the war, as direct a victim of army service as any who died of battle wounds. Robert Terrill died of pneumonia while at home on veteran furlough, in February, 1864.
During the summer of 1861, other Blakesburg boys went to the front as follows: William K. Litsey, Conrad Stocker, Watson Woodruff and Daniel Stocker as members of the Seventh Iowa Infantry; Daniel Easeley, Jr., Silas Adams, Lawson Carlton and R. W. Tuttle, First Iowa Cavalry; Hiram Hull, Eighth Iowa Infantry; A. N. Stamm, Fourth Iowa Cavalry; George Ryboit, Seventeenth Iowa Infantry; the four Stocker brothers, Hiram, Henry, Isaac and Alvin, Thirtieth Iowa Infantry; Capt. D. L. Hardy and Joseph Shay of the First Colorado Cavalry. Of these William K. Litsey was killed at Layo Ferry, Atlanta campaign, May 15, 1864, and Watson Woodruff died in the hospital at Keokuk, of wounds received in the same engagement.
THE THIRTY SIXTH IOWA
During the slimmer of 1862 the Thirty sixth Iowa was organized. Blakesburg and its tributary neighborhoods furnished many men for this regiment, Company B being largely made up in Adams Township. These men were: Capt. S. A. Swiggett, B. F. Abegg, John W. Ayres, Lucius Bond, William Daniton, Nelson Derby, John R. Fent, Lacy Garlinghouse, Ashford Goode, Daniel Goode, Peter Goode, George Howard, Thomas Kendall, John W. McMahill, Amos J. McCormack, H. A. Pratt, Earl Barrows, Ben Carter, Orin A. Derby, Thomas Peters, S. J. Bader, C. W. Reeding, John H. Smith, P. R. S. Tinsley, David S. Turpin, John Wood, Jacob West, Levi West, John N. Belles, Isaac N. Belles, W. C. Derby, and Calvin Smith, all of Company B; Asa S. Baird, Marshal Law, Laurel Belles and John T. Riddle, all of Company A; Anderson Hopper, William H. Taylor and J. S. Robertson of Company K.
LONG LIST OF FATALITIES
Of the above, Isaac N. Belles, Banion O. Custer, Benjamin Carter and Isaac Belles were killed at Marks Mills, Arkansas, April 25, 1864. The following were wounded in the same engagement: Lucius Bond, James B. Fent, Levi Gates, Peter Goode, Thomas J. McCormack, Calvin H. Smith, Daniel Williams, David E. Williams, Albert Grimes, Thomas A. Carter. Those who have died were Earl Barrows, Henry R. Fent, J. II. Smith, David S. Turpin, John Wood, Samuel H. Terrell, W. H. Taylor and Joseph Robertson.
Number of Blakesburg men in the Thirty sixth Regiment, total, 44; killed, 4; wounded, to; died, 8; total, 22.
Fatalities and wounded being just one half of the number enlisted. All those in the battle of Marks Mills who were
able to travel were taken to Tyler, Texas, as prisoners of war.
THE "OLD BOYS"
Blakesburg furnished a contingent of "old boys" who went into the Thirty seventh Iowa Infantry known
as the Grey Beards. They were Theophilus Blake, Sr., Thomas Lottridge, Benjamin Asbury, Joseph Berkeyson, Charles
W. Derby, William Fent, Isaac Hornbaker, Silas Reynolds and Frederick Schroyer. While these old boys were not intended
for active field duty they were quite as valuable to the service as the younger and more active regiments in guarding
prisoners and doing post and garrison work.
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