Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 18, 2018

Libertyville: A look back in time

Aug 31, 2017

NOTE: Libertyville will be celebrating its 175th anniversary on Oct. 7. To lead up to the event, the town, its businesses and residents will be sharing highlights from the community’s history.


The history of Libertyville is closely tied to that of Iowa and Jefferson County. The year 1832 is the beginning of Iowa history, for before that the land we know as Iowa was the domain of Indians.

Following the defeat of Chief Black Hawk, the famous Sac Indian, a treaty was concluded by the United States and the Winnebagos, Sacs and Fox tribes by which the government acquired 6 million acres of land west of the Mississippi River.

This territory was opened June 1, 1833, and immediately settlers rushed in.

In 1837, only that part of Jefferson County lying east of the treaty line was open to settlement. This line entered the county at a point on the south county line, which is directly south of Libertyville, then ran northeast crossing Cedar Creek near the old Rock Island Railroad bridge, then in a straight line northeast, passing just west of Fairfield, and leaving the county at a point west of Old Pleasant Plain.

The earliest of settlers came from the east and south following the major water courses. In 1836, the county had an estimated population of 69 men, women, and children.

Before July 4, 1842, the village of Libertyville was known as the Colony. On that date, 300 people gathered in an open square just northeast of the town crossroads and witnessed the raising of a flagpole. Some of the men celebrated by firing anvil salutes, bottles of powder wrapped in twine, and even some flintlock muskets.

Sam McVey proposed the name of Libertyville, and it was unanimously adopted.

Charles Alden delivered the address of the day.

Small Town — Great Place

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