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In The Olden Days ~ John Ricker ~ Lucas County, Iowa
Posted by: Deborah Brownfield - Stanley (ID *****1616) Date: December 01, 2004 at 08:59:27
  of 606

The Chariton Leader, Chariton, Iowa
Thursday, February 7, 1907

The Way Political Meetings Were Conducted Here Before the War.
C.F. NOBLE, of this city, fell into a reminiscent mood, Monday, and related
some of his personal experiences soon after coming to Iowa from his native
Canada. He resided at LaGrange. In the fall of 1860 political discussion
was at a high ebb. This was the campaign in which Lincoln and Douglass were
pitted against each other for the Presidency. On a certain night a great
Republican rally had been advertised at Woodruff's barn, at "Union Corners"
down in Washington Township, this neighborhood then being one of the most
populous places in the county. It was but a little before sun down that he
saddled his mule and started to hear the discussion. On nearing Old
Greenville he met the Chariton marching club, in full cleat, with band and
banner, passing up the old trace road to torture a virulent Democrat with a
patriotic serenade." This, of course, raised the castle and brought the
desired result, which terminated short of a pitched battle. Yells and
echoes were heard from every quarter -- charges and counter charges.

At that time the Hon. Robert Coles and Dr. Lind were rival orators and had
been billed to hold a joint debate at LaGrange a week later. On nearing the
"Corners" he ran into a group of men quarrelling as to which was the smarter
man, Coles or Lind. The question was discussed vehemently on both sides and
a free for all fight ensued. Finally there was a thunder of "imprecations
and curses" heard above the din of battle and the notorious John Ricker, the
terror of Honey Creek, appeared on the scene and branded each and all
Douglass men rebels and liars, cracking his fists together and frothing at
the mouth. Finally a truce was had and the discussion proceeded at the barn
but all was more exciting than the accounts of the encounters in the arena
of historic times. Even the women seemed to enjoy the excitement and often
grew desperate in the cause, having their heroes with true partisan devotion
whether of the drubbed or drubbing. The political campaigns are not fought
out like they once were, but who will not say there is in the modern plan an
ample compensation for the lack of pristine vigor?
Copied by Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert
November 30, 2004

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