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"This indenture, made this third day of December, 1847, between Jacob H. Majors of Scott township, Mahaska county, Iowa, of the first part, and

David F. Laughton of the same township and county aforesaid, of the second part, witnesseth: that the said party of the first part, for and in consideration of the sum of fifty dollars in lawful money of the United States, to him in hand paid by the said party of the second part, at and before the ensealing and delivering of these presents, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, and the said party of the second part, his heirs, executors and administrators forever released and discharged from the same by these presents here granted, bargained and conveyed, and by these do grant, bargain and confirm unto the said party of the second part, in actual possession now being, and to his heirs and assigns forever, all that certain piece and parcel of land situated as follows:

"Being the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter of section 12, in township 74 north, of range 18 west, together with all the appurtenances thereunto belonging or in anywise appertaining, and issues and profit thereof, and also all the rights, title and interest or demand whatever of the said party of the first part in and to the above-described premises, with the said hired tenants and appurtenances, to have and to hold the said premises above-described to the said party of the second part forever. And the said party of the first part, for himself, his heirs and assigns, do forever agree to warrant and defend with the said party of the second part, and his heirs and assigns forever.

"In witness whereof, the said party of the first part has hereunto set his hand and seal this day and year above written. Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of Henry Nooton.



The official act of the Territorial Legislature authorizing the organization of Marion county, and defining its boundaries, was approved June 10, 1845. Thus it will be seen that it was not organized until some two years after the first settlements were made.

The Indians had left and the whites had not yet appeared in large numbers. Although the county contained but few people the white man had marked it for his own.

During these years the county was in an undefined state of existence or non-existence. In one sense it was a county in another it was not. There was a region of country as early as 1843 inhabited, and to a certain extent improved, now known as Marion county. But there was no county organization, no county government and not even many citizens. It gained the latter rapidly, but in other respects it remained at a stand-still in its undefined state of existence.

The work of organization was only begun when the county was officially named and its boundaries defined. It remained to hold an election and organize a county government.

Thus the early settlers were for a time in a peculiar condition. They dwelt in the county, but were not properly citizens of the county, as the it had no legal existence, its name was not officially recognized, its boundaries were not officially defined, it had no courts or other judicial or executive authority and the people were still under the discipline of another county.

For judicial and other purposes the country was still a part of Wash

ington county, and so continued till its formal organization took place. It does not appear that there was much call for the exercise of this authority or that the loose, ill-defined county government produced any bad results. "The laws are for those who need them," and the early settlers dwelt together in harmony that did not call for the interference of judge or sheriff. This is a somewhat remarkable case and contrasts most decidedly with the experiences of other counties. The county seems to have prospered well during this period of loose half-formed organization. The settlers were too busy with their own affairs to intermeddle with those of others, and so had little occasion to call for the authority of law. But it soon became apparent that the business affairs of the community demanded a separate county organization. Roads should be laid out, a county seat located and other preparations for a thriving and prosperous future. These things were necessary not only to meet some pressing demands that begun to be felt, but they were likewise important as incentives to local pride and healthy emulation. So in 1845 the county was formally organized in the manner more fully spoken of in a subsequent chapter under the head of county organization.

The people at the time of organization were almost exclusively emigrants from the older States in the same latitude, or from European countries in nearly the same latitude, thus proving that emigration, like commerce, travels along the parallels of latitude.

The county filled up steadily and rapidly, and especially during pioneer days was its progress and development continuous. The county never was subjected to that period of reaction which comes as an inevitable misfortune to plague those communities which from some false and exaggerated sentiment spring up into unhealthy and abnormal growth. Nearly all of the people were poor in purse. Few men of means came to Marion county in early days. But although they came almost without exception poor in pocket, they brought with them industry, economy and intelligence, so that in the course of years wealth has been the result. The growth of the county never slackened nor came to a stand-still except for a very short time, but continued steadily from year to year so that from its beginning with some seventy families in 1843 it has become the dwelling-place of more than twenty-five thousand happy and prosperous people. The brunt of the pioneer battles was borne by the early settlers, for within a few years the great hardships of pioneer life had disappeared, and the people lived in comparative comfort.

The next year after the organization of the county, in 1846, it had already acquired a population of 1,360 souls. In 1847 there were 2,350, which shows an increase of nearly one hundred per cent in one year. In 1849 the population had grown to 3,797. In 1850 the population was 5,412, and in 1851, 5,809, and in 1852 it reached 6,289. In 1854 there were 9,315 people in the county, and at the end of the first decade of the county's history, the population was 14,060. These figures certainly show a steady, continuous increase of people and afford a reliable index to the development of material resources of the county, which was healthy and vigorous. With the first decade of the county's history ended what is known as the pioneer period.

Passing beyond the pioneer period it is interesting to note the increase of population till the present time. In 1859 the population was 16,167; in 1860, 16,813; 1863, 17,318; 1865, 18,719; 1867, 20,181; 1869, 23,440;

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