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Chapter 22

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
Iowa As It Is in 1856

by
N. Howe Parker

Chicago and Philadelphia, 1856

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Chapter 24
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

p202 Chapter XXIII

Unentered Lands in the State

By the following reports from Land-Offices, the amount of unentered or vacant land in the several Districts is represented. By reference to the map,º the Land Districts will be easily recognised, being bounded or marked by pink lines.

In the Fort Des Moines District

Jasper County, half entered — say 230,000 acres vacant. Mahaska, mostly entered. Marion, probably three-fourths vacant. Marshall contains 368,000 acres — three-fourths vacant. Hardin, the same — also three-fourths vacant. Grundy, Butler, and Floyd, each three-fourths vacant. Mitchell is fully nine-tenths vacant.

Each county, with the exception of Jasper, Webster, p203 Guthrie, and those directly on the State line, have the same area, containing about 368,000 acres.

Worth, Cerro Gordo, Hancock, Winnebago, Bancroft, Kossuth, Emmett, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Humboldt, Wright, Franklin, and Calhoun are almost entirely vacant.

Emmett, Bancroft, Winnebago, hancock, Kossuth, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, and Calhoun are not in the market, but probably will be next fall.

Webster County is nine-tenths vacant. Greene, Boone, Story, and Guthrie, each three-fourths vacant. Polk has, perhaps, 20,000 acres of prairie vacant. Adair and Dallas half vacant. Madison one-fourth, Warren one-eighth, and Marion one-tenth vacant.

All the counties in this District are well watered, and, on the streams, generally possess good timber. In such counties as are in market, but little timber-land remains to be entered, though it can be purchased from present holders at from $2.50 to $20 per acre, according to quality and location.

The receipts at the Fort Des Moines Land-Office, in seven months previous to the 1st of March, 1855, were $962,373.97.

In the Council Bluffs (Kanesville) District.

This District contains about 9,584,640 acres. The counties composing the District average about 368,640 acres each.

More than three-fourths of this immense body of land remains vacant, and subject to entry at $1.25 per acre.

About one-half of the land in Fremont, Mills, and Pottawattamie p204Counties is purchased; less than one-fourth in Harrison, Adams, and Taylor Counties; less than one-eighth in Page, Cass, Monona, Shelby, and Woodbury Counties; less than one-twentieth in Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, Sac, and Ida Counties. The rest of the counties in the District are entirely vacant.

This Land-Office was opened for pre-emption entries on the 12th of March, 1853, and the first public land sale was made on the 6th of June following. Since the opening of the office, 488,841 acres have been sold, amounting to $611,051.26.

In the Fairfield District

Vacant Lands: Acres
Appanoose Co. contains, 14,680
Monroe " 16,140
Mahaska " 2,734
Davis " 14,320
Wapello " 2,120
Keokuk " 5,332
Van Buren " 3,080
Jefferson " 450
Washington " 1,440
Lee " 200
Henry " 332
Louisa " 440
Des Moines " 440
Total, 61,708

In the Chariton District,

The amount of unentered land in the several counties, as near as can be estimated, is as follows:

Vacant Lands: Acres
Appanoose Co. contains, 20,000
Monroe " 46,000
Marion " 12,000
Wayne " 136,000
Lucas " 70,000
Warren " 70,000
Decatur " 110,000
Ringgold " 300,000
Clark " 50,000
Madison " 80,000
Union " 230,000
Adair " 80,000
Total, 1,204,000

p205 The Iowa City Land District

Consists of the Counties of Clinton, Scott, Muscatine, Johnson, Cedar, Iowa, and Powesheik; the four southern townships of Jones; eight southern townships of Linn; eight of Benton, and eight of Tama Counties; four in the north-east corner of Mahaska, six in the north of Keokuk, six in the north of Washington, and one township of Louisa County.

Nearly all the lands in this District are now entered, and I suppose not over 200,000 acres are vacant; much of it lying in small, scattered tracts, so that it would hardly be worth while to enter into statistics. Most of the vacant lands, however, are in Tama County. An enumeration would be fully as much trouble as if there were more, and the business of the office has so diminished, that the undertaking would not be necessary at all to the usefulness of our work.

[Note. — The foregoing lists of unentered lands were procured in March. Since then heavy entries have been made, especially in the Fort Des Moines and Kanesville (Council Bluffs) Districts.

On the 1st of September, 1855, the land-office at Fort Dodge will be opened, and some thirteen counties of land brought into market. The author made a tour through this district in June, inst., and can assure those wishing desirable locations, that the north-western portion of the State is rich in eligible mill-sites, heavy timbered lands, running streams of pure and lasting water, the best of prairie soil, and extensive beds of iron ore, coal, gypsum, red and yellow ochre, &c.]


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