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The following is a synopsis of the vote cast at the regular election in August, 1851. We give the vote on county judge:
At the same election Isaac H. Walters was elected sheriff, receiving 401 votes to 323 cast for Hugh Glenn.
Clarborn Hall received 401 votes for
recorder to 363 cast for William C. Williams.
The relative strength of the two political parties can be better determined by reference to the vote of the county for representative to Congress in 1852. Then, as now, the party lines were more closely drawn on national questions than in county affairs. The Whig candidate was Philip Viele and Bernhart Henn was the Democratic nominee. It is barely possible that Henn polled more than the full strength of his party as he had been Register of the Land-office for several years and was quite popular with all the settlers. We give the vote by townships.
In the vote for county officers the matter was more equally divided and the Whigs succeeded in electing some of their men. For State Senator Lysander W. Babbitt received 126 less votes than did his competitor and Admiral B. Miller was elected clerk of the courts over A. C. Cunningham, his Democratic competitor. He did not get the office without a contest, however, as will be seen from the following record:
"COUNTY COURT, September 14, 1852. "This day the judges of contested election of August 2, A. D. 1852, is awarded by the returns of Polk township, Marion county, Iowa, to Admiral B. Miller, clerk of the District Court of said county; verbal notice is given to said Miller of said suit. Admiral B. Miller appears in the office of the county judge, in the county aforesaid and produces his bond with surety A. B. Miller, P. T. Totten, Wilson Stanley, James M. Walters and John Butcher in the sum of $5,000 for his true performance therein containing for the term of two years, from August 2, 1852. Same day bond approved by the county judge and sworn into office.
The original canvass of the vote as made by the returning board consist ing of the county judge and two justices of the peace showed that Miller was defeated by one vote. We give the returns as made by the canvass
The question of the returns from Polk township, was the one which decided the contest. It appears that two Democrats in that township voted for Miller and they were counted for Cunningham. Upon contesting the election it was made to appear that the two votes in question were cast for Miller and he was accordingly declared elected.
At the Presidential election, in November of the same year, Pierce the Democratic candidate received 488 votes, Scott the Whig candidate received 411 votes, and Hale the Free-soil candidate received 13 votes: of these 13 votes, 10 were cast in Knoxville township and 3 in Red Rock township.
Whoever has studied the politics of Marion county cannot fail to have noted the fact that it has always been been very conservative. Evidence of that fact has been more convincing in more recent times when the politicians have more than once received substantial proof that a nomination is not equivalent to an election. The best evidence of the conservatism of Marion county is found by reference to the vote for Governor in 1854 when the great revolution in the politics of the State took place and Grimes was elected Governor. It will be seen that no great revolution took place in the politics of Marion county. The vote by townships was as follows:
We find the same tendency in the election of 1856 when Fremont.carried the State by a large majority. Marion county voted as follows:
In 1855 the people of the State voted on the prohibitory liquor law. We give the result of the vote in Marion county, as it will be of great valne to many of our readers and will doubtless be a surprise to many to learn that had Marion county decided this matter prohibition would not have been incorporated in the State constitution. We give the vote by towntownships:
The first election in which Marion county was carried by the Republicans on a straight political issue was at the State election of 1861 in which Samuel J. Kirkwood received 1,441 votes to William H Merritt's 1,402.
In 1864 in the vote for President of the United States, the vote stood: Lincoln, 1,459; McClellan, 1,453.
Since that time the county has remained very equally divided with a tendency to go Republican on State and National questions. Within the last few years, however, a new element has been introduced into politics by the organization of the Greenback party and the relative strength of the two old parties has thereby been somewhat modified.
We herewith give a synopsis of the vote at the last regular election, October, 1879, from which the relative strength of the three parties may be estimated:
Among the contested elections which have created great excitement throughout the county, the contest between J. B. Hamilton and George Kruck for the office of clerk of the courts in 1862 will be long remembered. Mr. Kruck having been awarded the certificate of election, and learning that measures would be taken to keep him out of the office, went to Des Moines and consulted an ex-member of the Supreme Court, and by his advice entered the clerk's office about midnight prior to the first day of January, and having got possession of the office held it vi et armis. He was re-elected in 1864.
Before leaving this subject it will be proper to refer to one of the most exciting contests which ever occurred in the State. It was in early times and persons who then resided in Marion county will be interested in read