and wild turkeys. He saw the trail made by the dragoons the year before near the Chariton. Frequent trips were made by people from Missouri into Appanoose in search of game and bees but no settlements were made until the spring of 1838, when Ewing Kirby a young man from Missouri crossed into the then Indian country with his family and built a cabin near where Cincinnati now stands. Colonel James Wells a year later made a claim and built a mill in the southern part of the county. Others came soon after but, as the country still belonged to the Indians, complaints were made and a company of dragoons was sent from the Agency on the Des Moines River to drive the intruders out and burn their buildings. In 1843 William Cooksey took a claim near the Chariton River, and the next year J. F. Stratton from Missouri made a claim where Cincinnati stands. Solomon Hobbs, George Buckner, J. F. Stratton and others came during the following season. They were mostly young men without families doing their own housework and living in the most primitive manner. George W. Perkins was the first settler in Center township and planted the first orchard in the county. Rev. W. S. Manson preached the first sermon in a log cabin on the west side of the river. About this time S. F. Wadding opened a store where Centerville now stands.
The Indian title to Appanoose was not extinguished until 1843 but there was a strip of country about nine miles wide extending along its southern border which was claimed by Missouri and in this disputed territory, which was finally awarded to Iowa, settlers were not molested as they claimed to be in Missouri. The north line of this strip ran close to where Centerville stands.
On the 1st of April, 1844, the first election was held in a log cabin built by J. F. Stratton, at which nine votes were polled. Benjamin Spooner was chosen judge, and J. F. Stratton clerk of the District Court. In 1846 Centerville was laid out and first named Chaldea but the citizens