Iowa is 57 Years Old Now

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Dec. 29, 1903

Iowa is 57 Years Old Now

On December 28, 1846, The State Was Taken Into The Union.

No Festivities Mark Date

Formerly Each Anniversary Was Celebrated in Fitting Way.

There were no festivities either in Fort Dodge or in any part of Iowa yesterday celebrating the fifty-seventh anniversary of the birth of our state, Iowa. Perhaps it was that everyone had forgotten such a trivial thing as the birthday of the state, coming to nearly upon the Christmas day.

On December 28, 1846, the state of Iowa was ushered into the world and given a name of its own. True, it had existed for some time preceding that date, but not as a state, merely as a part of that territorial strip owned by the United States and known as the Louisiana purchase. Then in December, 1846 it was honored with a name and was recognized as a state with its own government.

Not many years ago it was popular to celebrate the birthday of our state and in nearly all of the cities and villages of the great state of Iowa, some demonstration was made celebrating the event, but this has fallen into disuse and now that event is not of enough importance to even be remembered even by those who have had much to do with caring for its affairs since it was given the name of state. Perhaps there are a few who were in this section of the country when the name Iowa was added to the states of the union who remembered it and who felt a thrill at the dawn of its fifty-seventh birthday, but the pioneers who have done so much towards making Iowa the power that it is in the nation are very few and are becoming fewer and fewer with each anniversary of its birth.

Aside form being the date of the birth of Iowa, the year 1846 is a memorable one in other respects. In that year was elected the first democratic governor of the state, Ansel Briggs. Mr. Briggs’ opponent in the race for governor was Thomas McKnight, who polled 7,349 votes against the 7.626 votes polled for Briggs. At that time the republican party had not yet put in an appearance and the first representative of that party that has ever since held the control of the state with the exception of Governor Boles, was Ralph Lowe, who was elected in 1857 by a large majority. On the abolition ticket seven years before William Penn Clarke received 575 votes.


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