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Tama Co. Economic Development By Heath Kellogg

November 8, 2018
Northern-Sun Print
A man goes to see the pope. "Your Holiness. I work for KFC, and we'll offer you ten million dollars to change the reading of the Lord's Prayer from 'Give us this day our daily bread' to 'Give us this day our daily chicken.'" The pope is aghast! "I can't just go changing God's word for money!" The man comes back the next day: "Fifty million! Now, think of all the good the church could do with all that money, Your Holiness!" The pope in unimpressed: "Look, I told you. I just can't do it. I'm sorry." The guy is back a week later: "Final offer- $500 million. Take it or leave it." The next day, the pope calls all the leaders of the church together: "Boys, I have good news, and I have bad news. The good news is we've raised $500 million dollars for Catholic Charities." The room erupts! Everybody is so happy! The pope waits for the room to settle down. Then- "And now for the bad news: We lost the Wonder Bread account." Millions of people have signed up for DNA tests, sending saliva samples to laboratories and paying $100 to $350 or more for an analysis that promise to pinpoint the family tree. Some popular firms include 23andMe and "I believe everyone stops and wonders why they are like they are". Michael Crichton once said- "If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. " As a County we are at a significant time in our history. A time of transition and change, I believe it is important to know where we come from- "our 'tree". The first settlement of Tama County was recorded in the spring of 1849. The honor of the first settlement belongs to Isaac Asher, a farmer from Shelby Indiana. He settled about one half mile west of the present site of Butlerville (near present day Montour) in Indian Village Township. Asher settled first in Marshall County, on May 18, but the beauty of Indian Township attracted his attention, and in the spring of 1849, he permanently settled in Tama County with his wife and eight children, and was the first white settler in the County. He broke the first sod and planted the first crop of corn. The second family that settled in Tama County, were those of Anthony, William and Robert Wilkinson, who came from Coshocton County, Ohio, and permanently located in what is now Salt Creek Township (near present day Chelsea), on the 12th day of October, 1849- they were accompanied by their mother and three sisters. Anthony and William had been soldiers in the Mexican war and had just received their land warrants, and in due time located the same. Their brother Robert purchased land near them in the same township. The Ashers and Wilkinsons were the first and only settlers in 1849. What can we learn from the planters of the Tama County "tree"? For me, I learned that Tama County wasn't built on get rich quick gold grab of California- it was built by two families that worked hard and cleared and farmed the land with a labor of love. It was that labor that bonds families together and demonstrates the true value and importance of family- that is who we are, for that is where we came from.



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