As the story goes, in 1836 – Philip Clark and his farmer friend from Elkhart County, Indiana, Eli Myers, rode their horses over the sixty mile wilderness trail, heading west, alongside the fur trader John Gilbert to Gilbert’s trading post on the Iowa River. Once there, they liked what they saw. Knowing that they were standing on the newly-acquired Keokuk Reserve, with more land soon to follow, it made for two excited settlers. Combine that with Gilbert’s existing friendship with the Meskwaki Chief Powesheik, and you have a perfect scenario for two farmers from Indiana who decided to bring their families west to this rich new land called Iowa.
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