IOWA: IOWA AS IT IS IN 1855; A GAZETTEER FOR CITIZENS AND A HANDBOOK FOR IMMIGRANTS. N. HOWE PARKER. CD-WIN/MAC
Author: N. Howe Parker
Pages: map + 285
Pub. Date: (1855) 2007
This "Gazetteer for Citizens and Handbook for Immigrants" contains many details that will help you to understand the conditions and obstacles that were faced by the early immigrants to the prairies of Iowa.
The description of each county includes its physical location, early history, and the main cities and town. Also included in many cases are the early settlers or settlements, churches, schools, streams, mountains, and other physical features, as well as the churches, businesses, schools, banks, and other economic characteristics of the area.
State-wide descriptions of the climate, soil, geology, railroads and a variety of statistics are provided as are detailed descriptions of the government (including a list of political figures from the previous 10 years), education, religion, and banking in the State. Similar descriptive material is provided for Western Iowa and Nebraska.
Fascinating advice is provided for immigrants to the area in relation to the "selection, entry, or purchase, and cultivation of prairie lands." Another section attempts to prepare the immigrant for the realities of pioneer life with this sobering warning:
"There is no fancy work in a frontier life, except to him who is weaned from the world at an early age, and assumes the life of a savage. It may do for the intelligent and enterprising of our eastern cities to build for themselves fancied cottages upon our western lands while they are gorged with the pleasures of a city life; but the stern reality of a frontier life will not be all sunshine and happiness; there is labor to be done to enjoy it; there is care and toil, privations and sufferings, universally attendant upon any one's settlement in the new portions of the West; and he who leaves the luxuries of the East and moves to the West, expecting to realize the fancied sketches of rural felicity, will be most sadly disappointed. But let him surmount these obstacles, and he can make himself a home that will yield him a rich and lasting harvest."
The original color township map from this book is rarely found in any form but is included on this CD in beautiful high-resolution. Its details include "Streams, Roads, Towns, Post Offices, County Seats, Works of Internal Improvement, &c, &c" as of 1855.
Although copyrighted in Chicago, this book was printed in Philadelphia which may explain why it was not included in the Ante-Fire Imprints Inventory.
Summary by Archive CD Books USA
The CD includes high-quality images of every page as originally published (not just a transcript) and is fully searchable using Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 5 or later recommended) on any Windows, Macintosh, or Unix computer. The data on this CD is completely self-contained, and requires no installation.