Did You Know? May 1, 1839.

The Midnight Ride of Philip Clark.
Did You Know – the audio version.

On May 1, 1839, three Territorial commissioners were to report to Johnson County, with the assignment of picking the location for the new Iowa capital city. By mid-day, only one man – Chauncey Swan- had arrived, leaving the good people of the county seat of Napoleon wondering if the whole project would be lost. Thankfully, a 35-year-old farmer named Philip Clark saved the day! He mounted his horse, made a 35-mile trip through the wilderness, fetching a second commissioner – John Ronalds. They arrived in the nick of time – saving the future hopes of Johnson County before the strike of midnight.


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