CORYDON, the county seat [Wayne County], is situated near the centre of the county, and is sixty miles from the railroad at Ottumwa, from which place a daily mail is received via the Western Stage Company. It was located in the year 1851, by George W. Perkins, Wm. Davis and Lancaster M. Boggs, Commissioners appointed by Act of the General Assembly, to establish a permanent seat of justice for Wayne County. It was partly surveyed by Benjamin Barker, County Surveyor, and finished by J. F. Stratton, of Appanoose County. The lots were owned by the county, and were sold after being appraised at public sale. The first sale was made to George Gorman, to-wit: lot 4, block 14, for $38, on the 3d day of November, 1851, by Seth Anderson, County Judge. The court house was built by Wm. F. Lancaster and John Davis. It stands on the Eyetooth lots, (as they are called,) at the northeast corner of the square. It was built in the year 1856, at a cost of about $600. The first term of the District Court was held, however, in the house now owned by B. H. Kelly, and was presided over by Judge McKay. There were but three cases, which were to have been conducted by A. Harris and H. Tannehill, as attorneys. The house was neither chinked nor pointed, and the judges desk was a keg. John Allen, County Clerk, swore the first witness; a gust of wind blew the papers out of the house, and dismissed the suit more summarily than lawyers are wont to have them dismissed. It is said that the papers have not been found even to this day.
George Gorman drew the first house into Corydon on an ox wagon, and became the first resident thereof. The house is 12x16 feet square, and yet remains. It stands opposite the Union Hotel, and is owned by Messrs. Howe & Richards. In this Gorman kept the first store ever in Corydon, and made change it is said with squashes and pumpkins. He was afterwards elected, and served one term as Treasurer and Recorder of the county. Following him in the same year, came Seth Anderson and J. J. Phillips, now the proprietor and landlord of the Union Hotel. Dr. Payton was the first physician located in Corydon, and was afterwards Treasurer and Recorder, and subsequently County Judge of the county, and is now a resident of Oregon. The first child born in this town was a son of Seth Anderson. The first death was that of a child of J. J. Phillips. The first marriage was that of C. C. Jackson and Rachel Greenman, on the 30th of September, 1853, by S. Anderson, County Judge. The first sermon preached was by Rev. Morgan Parr, of Bethlehem, of the Christian denomination, one of the oldest settlers of the county, and a North Carolinian by birth. John Hays, Jr., was the first attorney in Corydon. There are two very good church edifices, viz.: Presbyterian and Methodist. The Baptists, Christians, United Brethren and Universalists also have church organizations. The Masonic Hall is situated on the southeast corner of the square. The Society was organized June 3d, 1857, and now numbers over seventy members. The Good Templars have a large list of members. The school house is a very good edifice, and will accommodate two teachers and one hundred and twenty-five pupils. There are two hotels in the place. (Hair's Iowa State Gazetteer..., 1865)

Total Population 1860
Free Black Population 1860
City or Town