Pleasantville is the third largest town in Marion County, being exceeded in population only by Knoxville and Pella.
It was laid out on August 1, 1849, by Stanford Doud for Wesley Jordan, and the plat was duly filed on the 7th of
September following. That original plat shows nine blocks, eight of which are divided into eight lots each, one
block being left in the center of the town for a public square. Since the original survey was made the town has
been increased in size by Ramsay's addition and six additions made at different times by Mr. Jordan. The streets
running east and west in the original plat were North, Jackson, Monroe and South, and those running north and south
were East, Washington, Jefferson and West. On June 7, 1852, North, South, East and West streets were vacated, pursuant
to an election previously held.
In the spring of 1872 a petition was filed in the District Court asking for the incorporation of the town. An election
was ordered to ascertain the sentiment of the citizens on the question, when forty six votes were cast in favor
of incorporating and sixteen against it. The court then ordered an election for town officers, to be held on July
16, 1872, at which time William H. Miner was elected mayor; T. J. West, clerk; Miles Jordan, David Hockert, Elias
Williams, Christian Pentz and Solomon L. Hart, councilmen.
Wesley Jordan built the first house in Pleasantville. He was also the first merchant and the first postmaster,
the postoffice being kept in his store. Milton T. Glenn was the first child born in the town, the date of his birth
having been December 19, 1851. The first hotel was kept by William H. H. Alley.
For several years the growth of Pleasantville was "slow but sure," but with the completion of the Chicago,
Burlington & Quincy Railroad in 1879 the town took on new life. Although the place has never experienced a
pronounced boom, the growth has been of a healthy character and the town is one of the active business centers
of the county. It has two banks, a number of mercantile concerns handling drygoods, groceries, clothing, hardware,
furniture, drugs, etc., grain elevators, a flour mill, lumber and coal yards, a weekly newspaper, a cornet band,
Methodist and Christian churches, a public school that employs eight teachers, and a number of cozy homes. It is
the principal shipping point between Knoxville and Des Moines.
Pleasantville is so named on account of the pleasant surroundings, being located upon a beautiful prairie, and
the highest point of land in Marion County is within the limits of the town. The population in 1910 was 691, and
the property was assessed for taxation in 1913 at $524,272.
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Also see -Towns and villages with links
City of Knoxville
City of Pella
Marion County, IA
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