Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cost of Railroads

  From the North American and United States Gazette of Philadelphia, 2 June 1871:
  The following is given by the Centerville Citizen as a statement of the cost of railroad building in Iowa:  "The rails used on C. & S. W. Railroad are 24 feet in length, weigh 448 pounds, and cost, delivered here, a little over 4 cents a pound, or $18 a rail; 440 rails costing $7,929; 440 joints, costing $170; 40 kegs of spikes at $38 per keg, or 4 cents for each spike; 2,500 ties at 50 cents each, $1,250, are required in making one mile of track.  This, with $425 for laying it, makes a total of $10,986, exclusive of right of way, grading, bridges, and cattle guards.  In some parts of the county the grading cost as high as $9,000 a mile.  The construction of thirty miles of road through Appanoose County cost over $500,000. 

Drop Fox Bounty In Iowa, Because of Missouri Mixup

  From the Chicago Daily Defender of 13 February 1961:
  Chariton, Iowa -- (UPI) -- Appanoose County Auditor Verl K. Farnsworth has announced three southern Iowa counties have discontinued $2 fox bounties because "you can't tell a Missouri Fox from an Iowa Fox."

Refuses to Put Troops in Iowa Coal Fields

  From the New York Times of 27 August 1927:
Governor Hammill Tells Owners and Miners 
to End Trouble and Keep the Law.
  Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 26 (AP). -- Governor John Hammill today urged the Iowa coal operators and miners to strive for a settlement of their differences, declaring that "the public is interested in a settlement and the miners need the employment and Iowa the industry."  The Governor for the third time refused a request of the operators to send State troops into the mine fields of Appanoose County to aid local officers in preserving order.
  Governor Hamill told the operators and miners that, "instead of talking about each other," they should "talk to each other," and arrive at a settlement of their differences.
  The Governor denied the request for troops on the ground that the situation in Appanoose County did not warrant such a course.  He reached the conclusion at the end of a conference with operators, miner's union officers and the civil officials of Appanoose County.
  The Governor warned the operators and the miners that "law must prevail," and directed the Sheriff of Appanoose County to "take all necessary steps to preserve order and protect the lives and property of the citizens."
  He specifically directed the Sheriff to protect the men who are employed on the $5 a day wage schedule and to see that no property is destroyed. 

Wage Trouble in Iowa Mines

  From the New York Times of 2 October 1896:
  Ottumwa, Iowa, Oct. 1 -- The mines of the Appanoose District are closed and work is stopped.  The strike is the result of the new scale of prices posted yesterday at all of the mines in the district.  The men decided to quit work for the rest of the week for the purpose of considering the new scale.  At all the mines meetings were held to-day and committees appointed to attend a meeting at Centerville tonight.  The new scale gives the men 85 cents for Winter and 75 cents for Summer mining.  This is an increase over the prices paid during the latter part of last Winter and was supposed to go into effect to-day. 

Iowa News in the Milwaukee Daily Sentinel

  In the late 1800s, the Milwaukee Daily Sentinal regularly ran a series of news briefs from Iowa and other Midwestern states.  Below are some examples related to Appanoose County or Iowa.
  8 October 1869 -- The Moulton Independent (Appanoose county) says a man named Cross was killed at Ormanville between Drakesville and Ottumwa, by falling on a circular saw.  He was literally cut to pieces. 
  15 December 1869 -- Moulton, Appanoose county, is a candidate for the location of the national capital.  -- A man in Chariton has quit chewing tobacco after using the weed for fifty-two years.  -- There are two hundred and sixteen newspapers in Iowa, of which one hundred and forty-seven are Republican, thirty-nine Democratic, thirty-two neutral or unknown, and eight others variously classed. 
  9 February 1870 -- The hog cholera is raging in Appanoose county. -- More than seven millions of acres of land have been granted by the state of Iowa to railroads.  This is about one-fifth of the acres of land in the entire state. 
  30 March 1871 -- A dry goods store owned by Mr. Woodbridge, at Moulton, Appanoose county, was destroyed by fire on the 22d instant; loss $5,000.
  23 January 1872 -- Coal enough underlies Appanoose county to supply the present 240,000 families in Iowa with two hundred bushels to each family, each year, for over six hundred years.
  16 August 1872 -- A post office at Orleans, Appanoose county, was robbed last Tuesday night.
  3 July 1873 -- The prospect for abundant crops of all kinds is the best that has ever been seen in Appanoose county.
  14 August 1873 -- The Appanoose county wheat crop will average twenty bushels to the acre. To show the difference between the grain crops of two years in Floyd county, the Charles City Intelligencer states that one man last year had 1,200 bushels of wheat and on the same ground this season, his crop will not fall short of 4,000 bushels. 

Theodore Perry Shonts - Jerome Teacher

  Nearly every short history of Jerome mentions that Theodore Perry Shonts became more famous than any other person who taught in the Jerome schools.  The following information is taken from his obituary printed in The New York Times on 21 September 1919.
  Theodore Perry Shonts died early in the morning on 21 September 1919 at his home, 930 Park Avenue, New York City, after an illness extending over a period of three months.  He was first a railroad organizer, construction expert and manager, and later a traction expert in charge of almost the entire transportation system of New York City as President of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company.  He was appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt to serve as the Chairman of the Isthmian Canal Commission (1905-1907) and organize the forces that dug the Panama Canal.
  He was born 5 May 1856 in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, a son of Dr. Henry Daniels Shonts and Margaret Nevin Marshall.  In boyhood Theodore came with his parents to Appanoose County and attended the public schools.  In Centerville, where the family settled, the young man passed the early years of his life until he was sent to Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois.
  "During an interval in the process of his own education, when he was only 15 years old, the overseers of [the Jerome school] had trouble getting a teacher whom the pupils would not 'induce' to leave.  The directors called on Mr. Shonts's father and through him offered the teaching post to Theodore.  Dr. Shonts at first demurred, on the ground that Theodore was too young to assume the responsibility of the education of the youth of the countryside, but he was finally persuaded, and the 16-year-old student became a school master.  The story goes that the most noteworthy phase of the conduct of the classes in that rural school thereafter was the sepulchral silence that overhung the room when the teacher was speaking to the pupils."

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Battle of Massard Prairie - Casualties

  Dale Cox [with William Cox, Editor]  recently published a new history The Battle of Massard Prairie: The 1864 Confederate Attacks on Fort Smith, Arkansas [Bascom, FL: William Cox, Publisher, 2008].

  While assembling the book, Dale Cox compiled a list of the casualties suffered by the Sixth Kansas Cavalry during the battle of Massard Prairie and posted them, 16 May 2008, on the Kansas in the Civil War Message Board.  For Company B in which many Appanoose County volunteers served, he identified the following casualties:
  Killed:  Corp. Thomas L. McCauley, John Parker and Joshua B. Zents.
  Mortally Wounded:  George W. Rinker and Benjamin C. Wallace.
  Wounded:  1st Lt. Jacob Morehead, Sgt. James H. Asher, Corp. Calvin R. Jackson, Antoine Furtmire, Marion Hinton, Edwin Jackson, David P. McDonald and Edwin Parker.
  Captured:  Sgt. Noah Scott, Sgt. Addison Pendergast, Sgt. John W. Miller, Sgt. Cyrus M. Teater, Corp. Peter Sidles, Corp. David P. McDonald, Corp. Oliver C. Rinker, Corp. Thomas C. Harrison, David H. Allen, Sylvester Buck, Cyrus Boston, Thomas Hamlin, Alexander Jackson, Edward T. Jennings, Adam Kiser, Enoch Manning, William J. Manning, George R. Root, Elmore Strickland, John O. Wood, David S. Clark, John Cox, Benjamin F. Davis, Thomas Haslett, Jefferson Kenedy, John O. Wood, Donald McDonald, Edward R. Arrison, Samuel J. Bellvail, Arthur Gillman, John W. Goldsberry, Andrew Humphrey, William T. Hercules, George McGuire, Allison W. Orill, Matthew Paite, David Paite, George W. Ross and Josiah Roy.