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September 9, 1851, received from ex-treasurer.
.8 111.81 72.44 172.74
The resources of the county in 1852 may be estimated from the following:
The following summary of taxes levied for the year 1852 on the above assessment, and delinquent taxes for previous years cannot fail to be of in
"SEPTEMBER 11, 1852. "Received of Joseph Brobst, county judge of the county of Marion, State of Iowa, the tax-list for the year 1852, being in the aggregate as follows:
"I have this day received for collection, being the taxes as set forth for the above years named, including delinquent tax, amounting to seven thousand and sixty-six dollars and thirty-four cents.
"CLAIBORN HALL, "Treasurer Marion County." Passing over a period of three years we give assessment for 1855:
ASSESSMENT BY TOWNSHIPS FOR 1855.
The foregoing tables we have compiled with great care and considerable labor, believing that they will be of great interest in instituting a comparison with like tables for the last year, which will be given farther on.
Be it said to the credit of the county officials that although their salaries were meager and their work laborous, they as a rule discharged the duties confided to them with scrupulous honesty, and with probably one or two exceptions their character was never so much as tainted with the breath of suspicion. That a few exceptions to this general rule of honesty and integrity did exist in early times, as well as in more recent times, does not prove that Marion county officials have been less upright than the general average, but simply establishes the fact that the general average is considerably below perfection.
He who records the deeds of his fellow men must reproduce the bad along with the good, and while it is his priviledge to submit as models the records of the wise, the honest and the upright, it is likewise his duty not wholly to ignore the record made by the foolish, the dishonest and the profligate, who by misdemeanor in office and misappropriation of money have betrayed their sacred trust, defrauded their best friends and left behind them a record, the contemplation of which arouses no pleasant memories. The tourist, if his travels be at all extended, beholds not only grand mountains, magnificent forests and luxuriant vegetation; at times he must plunge into miasmatic swamps and cross dreary deserts, and mingled with the notes of joy will come wafted to his ear the wail of despair. Thus it is with one who journeys back through the musty records of the past-even those humble volumes which constitute the archives of the county; he will find there the record of those who were proof against the sorest temptation, whom the lust for money could not buy nor the voice of flattery swerve: and again, like the tourist in the miasmatic swamp, will he come to places where all he can do is to hold his nostrils and wade.
It is not our intention to impress the reader with the idea that Marion county has been peculiarly unfortunate in this respect, for such has not been the case. The county has been peculiarly unfortunate in having its treasury plundered, but it would be very unjust to charge this all up to the account of the county officials.
In 1867 the treasury was robbed by unknown parties and the sum of $32,471.81 taken. The treasury was again robbed in more recent times and at least part of the money recovered and the burglars sent to the State prison. These matters will be more fully treated elsewhere. It will be proper at this place to speak of the Stanfield defalcation, which occurred in 1857.
In 1854 David Stanfield was elected treasurer of the county; after serving one term of two years he was re-elected. At the election in August, 1857, he was a candidate for a third term and was defeated. Upon entering upon the duties of the office his successor, William Ellis, discovered a deficiency amounting in all to $4,546.20. Mr. Stanfield seemed to be ignorant of what had become of the missing funds and indignantly repelled the charge that he had embezzled them.
This defalcation was the cause of much crimination and recrimination, out of which grew a feeling of enmity and bitterness, which the healer, Time, has not yet been enabled entirely to assuage. It seems that after the defalcation became known Mr. Stanfield went to Missouri, and thinking he had gone to elude justice, action was taken for his arrest.
The following extract from the record explains itself: