Centennial History of Webster County, Iowa

The compiler of the following pages had intended to write a short history of Fort Dodge. Much of the material would have been from memory— more from that promised to be furnished by various old settlers, and a still greater portion from conversations had years ago with Major William Williams, and others of the early settlers, together with such assistance as might have been derived from a careful search of the public records. Having been allowed to peruse certain manuscripts, of which E.G. Morgan, Esq., was the author, written by him to have been read at the local centennial celebration on the Fourth of July, 1876, but which he failed to deliver in consequence of the rain-storm that day, I became impressed with the amount of statistical and other information it contained, and believing it to be much superior to anything I could have given to the public, requested the use of such manuscript for publication. To this, Mr. Morgan very kindly assented, and as a result, the public have the benefit of his labors.

The biographical sketches are written by myself, and are confined mostly to acquaintances of olden times. Same of them, the main incidents of whose lives are given, will have their first intimation of our intentions, upon seeing their names in these pages. No man has paid, or promised a consideration of any kind on such account. We publish these sketches simply because we deem them interesting reading matter, and believe such interest will increase with years.

It is hoped and believed that copies of this history will be preserved in families and elsewhere, and that it may become the basis upon which the historian of 1976 my found his record of events.

The anecdotes herein relate are believe to be strictly true. Those detailed as having transpired where the author was present, are precisely as related. Others are from good authority— the evidence of such as were auditors and witnesses.

The state of society twenty years ago was much mire favorable to the development of the ludicrous than at present, and if we could collate for this work, the good jokes and trite sayings of those days, we would lie able to furnish a volume better filled with mirth-provoking articles than any comic publication of the day.

While we have labored in collecting the facts, and putting them in form for publication. Mr. Charles E. Denison has busied himself upon the mechanical department. If any profits result or losses occur, we share them alike.


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Henry Lott, the first settler in the County of Webster, erected the first cabin near the mouth of the Boone river, on land now owned by Loudowic Maricle, in section 24, township 87, range 27. The date of his settlement is unknown. He was found there in 1846, by the pioneers, engaged in the laudable enterprise of selling whisky to the Indians, stealing their ponies and running them off to the south. He cultivated but little land. Lott was a slim, dark eyed, shrewd man, with a fair education., and claimed to have been born in the New England States. His first wife, who was a daughter of one of the early Governors of Ohio or Pennsylvania, died in the winter of 1846 and was buried without a coffin, puncheons being placed at the bottom, sides and ends of the grave, the body lowered and others laid over the remains. Her grave is in the cemetery on the Vigors' farm, section 25, township 87, range 27.