DELHI, c. h., p. v., seat of justice of Delaware со., Iowa, 55 ms S. of Iowa city ; from W. 875 ms. (Fanning's, 1853)
DELHI.—The county seat of Delaware county, is located on the south-east quarter of section 17, township 88, north of range 4, west of 5th P. M. It was located by a vote of the people of the county, and was surveyed, platted, and laid off into lots on the 5th day of April, 1842, by Joel Bailey, county surveyor.
In the summer of 1843, Charles W. Hobbs and family moved to Delhi, and lived there two years before any other settlers came to the place. In the fall of the same year there was a Post office established, and Mrs. Mary E. A. Hobbs, wife of C. W. Hobbs, was appointed post master. This was the first post office established in the county; there was a mail route running from DuBuque via Delhi to Quasqueton in Buchanan county; the mail was carried by William Smith, of DuBuque, once a week on horse back.
About two years after C. W. Hobbs moved here, the town began to settle. John W. Clark, William Philips, Thomas Norris, A. K. Eaton and Joseph Mitchell, were the first settlers that located in Delhi. Thomas W. B. Hobbs, son of C. W. Hobbs, was the first child born in the vicinity of Delhi, and Marshal, son of A. K. Eaton, was the first child who died in Delhi.
On the 20th day of November, 1842, the Board of County Commissioners, consisting of William Eades, Daniel Brown and William H. Whitesides, with Charles W. Hobbs as clerk, held their first meeting at the house of William Eades, in Eades Grove, afterwards it was held at Delhi, the county seat.
On the 30th day of September, 1844, the first District Court was held at Delhi in a log court house, put up on the bank of Silver Lake by the early settlers.
The Hon. Thomas S. Wilson, judge; John W. Penn, sheriff; and Charles W. Hobbs, clerk; A. K. Eaton, Z. A. Wellman, George Watson and John W. Watson, at that time constituted the Delhi Bar.
Those courts were held under a Territorial form of government. Hon. Thomas S. Wilson was one of the judges of the Supreme Court, and presiding judge of the 3d Judicial District. On the 7th day of June, 1847, the first District Court was held under a State Government. Hon. James Grant, judge; John W. Penn, sheriff, and Charles W. Hobbs, clerk.
Delhi is located in a beautiful grove of burr oaks, on the borders of Silver Lake, a beautiful sheet of water, covering about 100 acres. In the early history of the county, it was a thriving place, particularly a short time before the location of the railroad west from DuBuque. When the road was expected to pass through this place, and the county generally was fast settling up, property rose in value to fabulous prices, and several fine buildings went up as if by magic. But the location of the railroad, some distance from town caused a decline in the business of the place, and it has remained stationary since. There are quarries of building stone near the town, and good timber on the river.
The Baptists, Methodists and Catholics have organized churches. The latter have recently bought of the Methodists the only church edifice in the place. The other public buildings are a court house, jail, county building for county offices, and school house. Messrs. Maxwell & Co's distillery is located here. Much attention has been paid to fruit raising. Messrs. F. B. Doolittle and J. M. Brayton have each extensive nurseries of fruit trees, suited to the climate.
There is Lodge of Odd Fellows located here. Population of the town about 500. (Hair's Iowa State Gazetteer..., 1865)