Self-guided Tour Map of Hinkletown, Foote P.O.

As appeared in the 1860s - 70s at its boom period.

See descriptions of each location by number below:

1. Hickory Ridge School, first named Hickory Grove School, was built as a log cabin by early settlers in the summer of 1849.  William Carter, Mordecai Suiter and Berrimand Breeden helped with the construction.  The log schoolhouse was first built a half-mile directly west of this site. A more modern schoolhouse was built about 1875 on this site at Hinkletown, and the final schoolhouse was built here in 1906.  The school closed in 1949.  The schoolhouse became the home of Frank and Ernie Dixon after their house burned down. 

 2. Home of Sam and Mary Watters.  Earliest known settlers at actual site of Hinkletown, Samuel C. and Mary Watters settled on this location about 1845.  He built his log cabin on the early trail that began at Muscatine on the Mississippi River and went to Fort Des Moines, and intersected the settlement at Hinkletown/Foote.  Sam was a farmer and raised hogs.  On October 19, 1851, the Board of County Supervisors ordered that Sam be paid one dollar for killing one prairie wolf.  He sold the farm in 1857 and opened the post office at "Dover" in Honey Creek Township on August 6, 1858.  The post office at Dover must have been one of the shortest-lived in Iowa history.  It closed on October 22, 1858, just two months and 16 days after it was opened by Sam Watters.  He moved back to Foote after Dover proved to be a bust.  Watters was a member of Farmers Lodge # 168, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons at Foote, advanced to the Sublime third degree of Freemasonry in February 1865.

3. Brick Kiln.  An early brick kiln existed at this location.  Brick manufacturing was one of the primary businesses at Hinkletown between 1852 and 1910.  Brickmakers at Hinkletown/Foote P.O. included:

 William J. Watkins                          1852 – 1870              South side of Main Street

David Watkins                                                                   South side of Main Street

Charley Watkins                                                                South side of Main Street

William Carter                                1870 – 1876              North side of Main Street

C.W. Carter                                    1870 – 1876              North side of Main Street

Thomas F. Hudson                        1879 – 1900              North side of Main Street

Charley Hudson                                                                 North side of Main Street

Edward Bratton                             1870s – 1880s          North side of Main Street

Charley Bratton                             1870s – 1880s          North side of Main Street    

Frank Morgan                                1870s – 1880s          North side of Main Street

Harvey Duer                                    1870s – 1880s         North side of Main Street

Freeman Reed                               1870s – 1880s          North side of Main Street

Jesse Hudson                                1870s – 1880s          North side of Main Street

Oscar Baggs                                  1870s – 1880s          North side of Main Street

 4. Home of Jeremiah M.Suiter, a Hinkletown blacksmith, built in 1865.  Jeremiah was one of the first settlers in the area, traveling to Iowa from Ohio with his parents in 1846. As a young boy he and his brother, Mordecai Y. Suiter, Jr., hunted and fished and played on the English River bluffs, Little Creek, and all the way to Old Man’s Creek.  The Suiter family first settled one mile directly west of Hinkletown, building their log cabin on the county line, close to the Muscatine to Fort Des Moines Trail.  Jeremiah’s father, Mordecai Y. Suiter, Sr., was killed March 7, 1852 in an unfortunate accident   while building a dam across the English River.  The father Mordecai is buried on the property in the Suiter family pioneer cemetery, now extinct, the headstones having disappeared after 1975.  When the boys grew of age, they drew up a legal instrument, July 8, 1864, with their mother Rachel, promising to take care of her for the rest of her natural life in exchange for horses and their father’s blacksmith tools.   In May 1865 he was married to Miss Catherine E. Watkins.  In November 1865 Jeremiah purchased this Hinkletown home from brickmaker William J. Watkins and set up his adjacent blacksmith shop with his brother Mordecai.  Jeremiah remained at Hinkletown until 1883, when he moved to South Dakota and set up another blacksmith shop in Charles Mix County.  Mordecai moved to Oskaloosa, Iowa.  When the boys were in their late 60s they got together and published a series of eight articles in the Oskaloosa Globe about their early days of settling at Foote, covering the years 1846 – 1852.  The stories give a clear image of the days before the town was established on the site.

 5. Blacksmith Shop of Jeremiah M. Suiter, beginning in 1860’s.  Suiter was an 1846 settler to the area. 

 6Home of Montgomery and Mary Blair.  The Blairs came to Iowa County by covered wagon in 1852.  The home was later owned by Ed Bratton, and had an extensive apple orchard in back of the house.

 7.  The English River Bluffs were the fishing, hunting grounds and the site of outdoor adventures for many a Hinkletown youth.  Brothers Mordecai and Jeremiah Suiter wrote accounts of their boyhood days from 1846 - 1852, printed in the Oskaloosa Globe, 1905. 

 8. General Store of Dixon & Miller – 1870’s.  Edwin Dixon was a respected Civil War Veteran, as was his partner, James A. Miller.

 9. Home of Edward J. and Margaret Wilson, 1860s –70s.  Ed Wilson was one of several town blacksmiths. Two blind broom makers later lived and worked at this site in 1880s.

 10. Home of James A. Miller, storekeeper at Hinkletown.  Partner in the Dixon & Miller General Merchandise Store on the north side of Main Street.

 11. Hudson Brick Yard, 1880s – 1900. Thomas F. Hudson & Sons.

 12. General Store of Charles F. “Frank” Lytle – 1870s –‘80s, also postmaster at Foote P.O. in Hinkletown.  This was a two-story building and the Lytle family lived in the upstairs.  Lytle purchased the store and adjacent post office building from William J. Watkins in April 1874.  Frank Lytle had also been a postmaster at Lytle City prior to moving to Hinkletown.

 13.  Office of Dr. John F. Baughman, physician and surgeon – 1870s.  Baughman was also a postmaster at Hinkletown.

 14Foote Post Office was opened March10, 1862, and remained at Hinkletown until it moved to Greene Valley in 1885.  Postmasters at Hinkletown include the following businessmen in order of service beginning in 1862:  John Fordice, Harmon Henkle, George W. Henkle, William J. Watkins, Edwin M. Ritchey, Edwin H. Dixon, Charles F. Lytle, Dr. John F. Baughman, James H. Wolf, and David Dewees. The post office likely opened in the Pioneer General Store of  Henkle & Littler, and in 1867 was moved to its own building constructed by William J. Watkins on the south side of Main Street.  At one time a north-south road passed to the east of the post office, allowing easier access for those living in Liberty Township, Keokuk County to the south to retrieve their mail.  Residents in the northern tier of Liberty Township, including Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 and 12 were served by the Foote Post Office.  In Fillmore Township, Iowa County, Foote Post Office served portions of Sections 21, 22, 23, 24, and all of Sections 25, 26, 27, 28, 34, 33, 35, 36, and portions of Sections 19, 30, and 31 in Greene Township, also in Iowa County.  The remaining Sections in Fillmore Township were serviced by Lytle City to the north and Carter P.O. and North English to the west.   In these early days, mail was not delivered, which also assured that when the residents of Foote P.O. came to Hinkletown to pick up mail, the three general stores and half dozen other businesses would benefit from the activity.

 15.  Brick Kiln. William J. Watkins erected the first brick kiln after settling here in 1852.   He organized Liberty Twp in 1854.  This facility was comprised of approximately a 30-foot diameter brick kiln with large chimney. 

 16.  Hinkletown’s steam sawmill was housed in a large frame building, approximately 30’ X 50’.  Started by Patrick W. Rock in 1859, sold to Harmon Henkle in 1861, later to Pettibone & Wiseman, partners.

 17.  Pioneer General Store of Henkle & Littler, built in 1861.  Later operated by Philetus M.Axtell & T. P. Matthews.  Axtell was a Corporal in Company H, 2nd Iowa Volunteer Infantry.

 18. Home of Harmon & Lydia J. Henkle, built by Henkle in 1861.  Later owned by Charles W. Carter, and Thomas F. Hudson in the 1880s.

 19.  Early road and bridge over English River. Later extended from Keota to Marengo.  Bridge known as Rock’s Bridge, constructed in the late 1850s and reconstructed to a sturdy version in the 1860s.

 20.  Homes of Matthew Grey, William Weimer, and Berrimand Breeden (not shown on map), early settlers who built along the overland trail. 

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