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History of Iowa County, and Its People, 1915

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   born within the Town of Williamsburg, though I have a full sister, Mrs. E. H. Jones, and a half sister, Mrs. T. E. Gittins, still living and who were there before I was.  I am the only son of Richard Williams, the founder of the town and who died in 1860.  He had also three daughters, Mrs. Lizzie Baxter, now of What Cheer, Ia.; Mrs. Ed H. Jones, of Williamsburg, and Mrs. Jennie Jones.   All are living except the latter, who died in California several years ago.  My mother, Mrs. Ann Williams, also had three children by her former marriage, namely:  Richard Pugh, David Pugh and Mary Pugh, now Mrs. T. E. Gittins.   I can well remember some incidents in regard to the early mail service, when John Hughes, Sr., was postmaster at Williamsburg.  There was no regular carrier at that time, so the boys would stand on the corner waiting for some one to come along on their way to Marengo.  Whoever this happened to be, he was created mail carrier immediately.  The same one or someone else would bring the mail back that night, provided that he did not forget, which often happened.  Although only four years of age at the time, I remember when the 'Wide Awakes' were formed by the local boys and drilled in the old schoolhouse lot or on the square.  The regular infantry boys were encamped at Iowa City in 1861, but these Wide Awakes were intended only as home guards."


    North English is at present (1915) a city of 933 inhabitants.  It is located twenty-two miles south of Marengo, the county seat, and is situated on the top of a hill overlooking some of the best farming country in the Middle West.   The unsurpassed agricultural wealth, the rich deposits of clay suitable for mak- ing brick and tile, and the thriving commercial life of the town itself, are elements which have decided the prosperity and remarkable growth of this town.  The educational and social life of the community has been cultivated to a high degree, giving a base for permanency not surpassed by any of her sister towns.  The avenues of approach to the city are of the best and there are innumerable stretches of well constructed country roads leading from the city in every direction.  The soil of the surrounding country is deep, rich and varied and on it can be raised grains and cereals of all kinds and almost every variety of large and small fruits.   With good cause North English might be called a city of homes.  There are quite a few residence streets which are models for any city of the size in the state.  Seventy years ago this ground was a wild forest and dreary plain, un- tracked save by savage footsteps.  From this the town began and grew slowly and without boom or sudden influx of large numbers of people, until the present stage was reached.  During war times, the spirit of patriotism was strong; and these patriotic people of the old Town of North English experienced one engagement resulting in many shots and the death of one man. This was the only demonstra- tion in the nature of a real battle that occurred on Iowa County soil during the war of 1861.
    North English was at first called Nevada, and by a few people was dubbed Soaptown, the reason for which is explained elsewhere.  The town was laid out by Thomas G. Walters and Jacob Yeager on June 8, 1855, on the southwest quarter of section 36, township 78, range 10.  The postoffice was established about the same time.  At the time of its location the town was located on a site