Fillmore Township, Section 35.  A predominantly Irish-Catholic community located in a heavily timbered area on the Iowa - Keokuk County line.

Hinkletown was settled in the 1850’s and named in the 1860’s after businessman Harmon Henkle, who purchased an existing sawmill from Patrick Rock.

In 1852, William Watkins settled here and built and operated a brick factory for 14 years.

About 1855, Henry Charles Chapman established a shoe making shop.

The town sat on the southern route of the Diamond Trail that went from Burlington to Fort Des Moines.  Several businesses, two general stores, two lodges, a doctor’s office and stage coach stop operated for several years.  The Foote Post Office was housed on the main road in the general store building of Frank Lytle.

The Hickory Ridge School, located on the west end of town, served as community center, with weekly literary programs and debates, and housed as many as 52 students each session.

The “Hinkletown Journal” was a weekly newspaper published by Rachel Breeden Weimer.  

The town began its decline in 1872, when wealthy businessman Henkle moved his residence and businesses, along with several business partners, to the newly established railroad town of Keota, nine miles directly south.  A new stage and mail route was quickly established between Keota and Hinkletown through to the county seat of Marengo.

St. Patrick’s Church was erected in 1875 and a second building was constructed along side to house the Ancient Order of


However, Hinkletown took a second big hit in 1879, when a railroad went through just four miles south, in spite of petitioning of the businessmen and residence to bring the railroad through Hinkletown.

Most of the remaining businesses moved to the new town of Kinross.  The remaining general store and brick kilns were operated by Thomas F. Hudson and sons until the early 1900’s.

By 1923, the store was vacant and in dilapidated condition.  The school operated until 1952, and the church was torn down in 1965.

Today, there is little evidence that a thriving town ever existed at this site.

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Hickory Ridge School

at Hinkletown Iowa - Circa 1910


1880's Photo of Ancient Order of Hibernians

At Saint Patrick's Little Creek Church

Hinkletown, Iowa


Information supplied by Iowa Ghost Town visitor Dave Jackson.  Community History Project, North English, Iowa.  Compiled from 1881 and 1915 Iowa County histories, US Post Office records, maps, oral and written history accounts. December 2003.

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