HARDIN COUNTY Was first settled in 1851, and contains a population of some 2000. The largest town in the county is Eldora, which is inhabited by some 15 families.
No churches erected yet — preaching by Cumberland Presbyterians and Methodists.
Well supplied with public schools in a good condition.
Coal abundant — timber more than an average. Red sandstone, and fine white limestone in abundance. Good prairie land — no better.
Hardin, (in the language of the pioneer from whom we gleaned the statistics), "is a little out o' the way, but it's a mighty fine spot when you get to it."
Flouring and saw-mills much needed. But a comparatively small portion of the land in Hardin is entered. (Iowa As It Is in 1855; A Gazetteer for Citizens..., 1855)
HARDIN COUNTY Was organized in 1853, and is bounded on the north by Franklin, on the east by Grundy, on the south by Marshall and Story, and on the west by Hamilton, being in the fourth tier of counties south of the northern boundary of the State, and the sixth west of the Mississippi River.
It is well watered by the Iowa River and its numerous tributaries, on which timber is abundant. About one-sixteenth of the county is wood land, principally oak and hickory, though maple, walnut, linn and elm, are found in considerable quantities. The Iowa River furnishes an abundance of water power, there being good mill sites on it, from three to five miles apart throughout its entire course in the county. The prairies are generally rolling, on which the soil is equal to that in any part of the State.
The entire central portion of the county is underlaid by an inexhaustible coal field, from which coal is taken out in large quantities.
Red sandstone and fine white limestone for building purposes are found in abundance, in different parts of the county.
The DuBuque and Sioux City Railroad passes through the northern portion of the county, and is now completed to Iowa Falls, on the Iowa River.
IOWA FALLS is in the northern part of the county, on the Iowa River, and on the DuBuque and Sioux City R. R., 16 miles northwest of Eldora. It contains four churches, Baptist, Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian; also one flouring mill, two saw mills, five general stores, one grocery store, one hardware store, one drug store, and two brick manufactories. The advantages of Iowa Falls as a manufacturing town are very superior, as it possesses an almost unlimited supply of water power. The finest quality of limestone is found in and around the town. Population, 600.
ELDORA is the county seat, situated on the Iowa River, on the stage route from Marshalltown to Iowa Falls. It contains two churches, Christian and Methodist; also Montague Lodge of Masons and a Lodge of I. O. O. F. There are three general stores, one drug store, one grocery, one hardware store, one saw-mill and one stone-ware pottery. The Hardin Sentinel is published weekly, by Marcus C. Woodruff. The Iowa River affords superior water power at this point. Population, 400.
ALDEN is in the northwestern portion of the county, on the Iowa River, 22 miles northwest of Eldora. It contains three churches, Advent, Congregational and Methodist; also one flour mill, one saw mill and two general stores. The township contains a good supply of timber, on the Iowa River. The manufacturing facilities are good, but the mill-power only partially improved. Population, 300.
LITHOPOLIS is in the eastern part of the county, on the stage route from Waterloo to Eldora. It has two churches, Presbyterian and United Brethren; also one drug store, three general stores, one hardware store, one flour mill, one saw mill and one tannery. The Iowa River affords a good water-power, and is skirted with fine timber. Iron ore and coal is abundant. Population, 250.
DELANTI is on the Iowa River, on the stage route from Iowa Falls to Marshalltown. It contains three churches, Baptist, Christian and Methodist; also one flour and saw mill, and one general store. Population, 100.
NEW PROVIDENCE is in the southern part of the county, eight miles from Eldora. It has two churches, Friends and Methodist Episcopal, and two general stores. Population, 100.
ACKLEY is situated in the north-east corner of the county, in Etna township, on the DuBuque and Sioux City Railroad, 135 miles west of DuBuque, and 16 miles north-east of Eldora, the county seat. The soil of the surrounding country is a dark loam, mixed with clay and black sand, and the surface is sufficiently rolling to suit all kinds of grain and grass. Population of township, 500; of village, 30.
UNION, is a post office, in the south-eastern part of the county, 10 miles from Eldora. Population of township, 600.
The remaining villages and post offices in the county are: Hardin City, La Yerba, Point Pleasant, Quebec and Tipton Grove. (Hair's Iowa State Gazetteer..., 1865)