OSCEOLA, the county seat [Clarke County, Iowa], is located one mile east of the centre of the county, on the dividing ridge between the head waters of White Breast and Squaw Creek, is forty-five miles south of Des Moines City, and sixty-five miles west of Eddyville, the present terminus of the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad, and on the line of said road.
It was first settled by John Sherer, Wm. W. Hurst, M. R. Lamson, Geo. W. Howe and Perez Cowles, in 1852. The first white child born in the town was Florence A. Lamson; first death, Mary, daughter of Wm. W. and Nancy Hurst.
There is now a carding machine in operation, and is being enlarged to receive machinery for the manufacture of woolen fabrics in all its branches.
There are five church organizations in Osceola, Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Protestant, Presbyterian, Christian and Baptist. The Methodist Episcopal have erected a large and commodious church edifice, which was dedicated last spring. The Methodist Protestant and Christian churches have each buildings in progress.
There are nine dry goods stores, three drug stores, six family groceries, three hotels, one cabinet shop, one tin and stove store, one spinning wheel factory, six physicians, one dentist and six lawyers.
The Masonic Fraternity and Odd Fellows have each an organization, with large membership. The former hold stated meetings on Tuesday evenings preceding the full moon. The latter meet every Saturday evening. The county supports one newspaper,  the Union Sentinel, published weekly at Osceola, by J. H. Cavelry. It is Republican in politics, neutral in religion, and independent in all things.
There are at this time three schools in the place, and throughout the county a general system of common schools was organized in 1856 by Prof. J. H. L. Scott, and by him are the citizens of the county indebted for his zeal and labors in educational matters, in which none could have done better. 
By his untiring efforts a High School was organized in Osceola in 1855, and continued up to 1860, when he took the supervision of the Seminary under control of the M. E. Church, and in 1863, while in successful operation, the young men in attendance in answer to our country's call, went into the service, the Seminary was discontinued for the time being. Population, 600.   (Hair's Iowa State Gazetteer..., 1865)

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