Woodbury County, Iowa Officials Appointed

The officials mentioned appear to have been appointed to hold until the first election; for on August 16th of the year following,

John Cook gives his bond as county Judge; Samuel H. Casady as Treasurer; M.F. Moore, Prosecuting Attorney.

October 15th this entry appears: John R. Myers was this day appointed District Clerk for this county, in place of Theophile Brughier, suspended by the District Judge at the last term of District Court.” The proceedings, as appears by this record, are mixed as to dates, as if some original entries and others were copied from an older book.

August 1, 1853, Thomas L. Griffey as Organizing Sheriff, appointed Orin B. Smith Prosecuting Attorney and Eli Lee, Coroner. On the 30th of the same month, Hiram Nelson gives his bonds as Treasurer and Recorder.

A petition is on record, asking Orin B. Smith, county Judge, to call an election on the first Monday of April, 1855, to decide whether the county seat shall not be removed from Sergeant’s Bluffs to Sergeant’s Bluffs City. Twenty-six persons sign the petition. The first seat of justice was half way between Sioux City and the present station of Sergeant’s Bluffs. It is called on the records indifferently, Sergeant’s Bluffs, Thompson town and Floyd’s Bluffs.

The election removed the county capital to Sergeant’s Bluffs City, now Sergeant’s Bluffs Station, on the Sioux City & Pacific road, where it remained until March 3d. Here let the record under this date tell the story.

March term of county Court of Woodbury County: Met at Sioux City, there being no place at the county seat for holding said court, first Monday of March.

Petition of S.P. Yeomans and George Weare and others forty-nine others praying for the removal of the county seat from its present location to Sioux City.

Remonstrance presented by B.E. Clark, J.D.M. Crockwell and others, against the removal of the county seat.

F. Chapel, Sheriff, sworn; that the notices of the presentation of the petition for the removal of the county seat were duly posted, according to law.

This is all that is disclosed by the records about the locating of the county seat at Sioux City. When it is remembered that the county Judge before whom the petition for removal came, was John K. Cook, the founder of Sioux City, no further record is need to indicate what disposition was made of the petition for removal.

April 15th, 1859, Berhard Henn, Jesse Williams, A.C. Dodge, and others, petition the county Judge, John K. Cook, to enter for them the west one-half of section 28, township 89, range 47, as a town-site in trust for the lot owners. This town-site in the petition is called East Sioux City, now part of Sioux City east addition, and now comprises the principal business and residence parts of the town.

The present officers of Woodbury county are:

  • J.R. Zuver, Circuit Judge, Fourth Judicial District
  • C.H. Lewis, District Judge, Fourth Judicial District
  • S.M. Marsh, District Attorney
  • M.L. Sloan; Auditor
  • Treasurer, John P. Allison
  • Clerk of Courts, J.H. Bolton
  • Recorder, Phil Carlin
  • Sheriff, D. McDonald
  • Coroner, Dr. W.O. Davis
  • Superintendent of Schools, N.E. Palmer
  • Surveyor, G.W. Oberholtzer
  • Attorney, G.W. Wakefield
  • Insane Commissioners, J.H. Bolton, Isaac Pendleton, Dr. J.M. Knott
  • Supervisors, P.C. Eberley, J.S. Horton, John Nairn, A.J. Weeks, D.T. Gilman

The Courts

The first term of the Woodbury County Court was held at Sioux City in March 1855, John K. Cook acting as Judge. The first term of District Court began September 3d, of that year, with Samuel H. Riddle as Judge.

In the early days of the city, court was held in the now dilapidated brick building, yet standing on lower Fourth Street, near Virginia. Afterwards, the county built the house now called “the old jail,” on Virginia Street, near Seventh. This was used as a jail, and occasionally for court purposes, until the fall of 1876, when the commodious and imposing edifice, which had been begun the previous spring, was completed. Woodbury County points with pride to this Court House. No other county in the State has one of more architectural beauty, and few are larger and more convenient. The contractors were Sioux City men, C.E. & D.T. Hedges, and the building cost (complete) $100,000.

The present Judiciary is:

  • C.E. Lewis, of Cherokee, District Judge, and
  • J.R. Zuver, of Sioux City, Circuit Judge.
  • S.M. Marsh is District Attorney.

A bill has been introduced in Congress, which, if it becomes a law, as now seems likely, will give Sioux City terms of the United States Court.

Source: Woodbury County Iowa, History of Western Iowa, 1882

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