The village of New Boston is situated on a part of sections 31 and 32.

In September of 1834, the town of New Boston was laid out (the first of any in the county). The land was owned originally by Wm. Denison. He sold out his claim, or two thirds of it. to Elijah Iles, of Springfield, and Edward Burralll, of Massachusetts. An honor attaches to it of more than usual importance from the fact that the surveying was done by Abraham Lincoln, the Martyr President of the United States. The site possessed peculiar natural advantages, and had been known as the upper Yellow Banks, the Lower Yellow Banks being located at Oquawka.

To say that site was more favorable for a city than any other point for miles either way is certainly no discredit to the larger cities that have since been founded and hold populations largely in excess of New Boston. Situated opposite the mouth of the Iowa river, which is a navigable stream for some distance; located on high banks, without the inconvenience of bluffs in the rear with Sturgeon Bay as a safe and commodious harbor ; a rich agricultural country surrounding it, and no large city within a great distance; what more natural than to suppose it simply a question of time when it should be the city of the west!

Lots in New Boston were held at high figures in earlier times, prices ranging from $200 to $700. The lot where the old "Drury "Warehouse" stands brought $900. James S. Thompson settled and commenced business in New Boston in 1836, and from that time until his death, 1868, was closely connected in public and private life with the welfare of the community

In 1840 Dr. Mark Willits settled in New Boston, the first resident doctor of the place.

He is still living in the town at this date, April, 1882, and has had .a wide and extensive practice almost continually during his long sojourn in the county. Drs. Hereld, Shiner and Howey were early physicians.

Mr. M. Poffenbarger settled in the town in 1840.

In 1845 the first newspaper in the county was established at New Boston, under the name of the "New Boston Advertiser." The name and management were changed several times, being successively "The Yeoman of the Prairie Land," the "New Boston Broadhorn," "The Golden Age," "The New Boston Nonpareil," "The New Boston Reporter." and lastly, the "New Boston Herald," the last number of the latter being published in 1872, 0. A. Ballard, editor.

The following is a list of the town clerks: Thomas Alyea, one year; R. Thomas, one year; Isaiah Alyea, one year; G. B. Tyler, one year; Simeon Sheldon, one year; J. E. Griffin, six years; A. F. Waterman, two years; D. T. Hindman, one year; George Lytle, one year; C. A. Ballard, three years; R. S. Scudder, two years; T. EL Doughty, eight years.

The justices of the peace have been: G. W. Warner, sixteen years; J. C. Swaiford, two-years; Amos Prouty, fourteen years; John Sharp, four years; C. W. Bras, twelve years; W. C. Austin, eight years; John Roberts, four years





History of Mercer and Henderson County

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