I live in Burlington, Iowa and I have a mystery on my hands. Several years ago, a friend of a friend found an old ledger book inside a wall while renovating his house. It apparently sat in a garage until my friend recently acquired it, and since I'm known as a history nut, she gave to me. I had intended to look through it and then donate it to the local history museum, but I was surprised to find that it was from Ohio!
The first dates appear to be in April 1846, and most of the accounts are in the Columbus area.I found several of the names still listed in the 1860 Federal census for Columbus.
The name John Strickler is written twice on the binding on the inside back cover, in sort of childish block writing.There is a brickmaker by the name of Jacob Strickler, with a son John, listed in the 1860 Federal census for Burlington. A man also named Jacob Strickler seems to have had a very large account with the company that kept this ledger. The duo of Strickler & Merrick is also mentioned quite often.
I discovered that the Columbus Stricklers were in the stonecutting business, and there are a lot of references to "stone work" and a "stone shop." There are also several references to a journal and other ledgers and "day books."
Mainly, I'd like to know how it ended up in a wall in Iowa. In the middle of the last page, headed Bills Payable, "Burlington, Iowa" is inexplicably written upside down. Another mention of Burlington on one page precedes a bit of what I assume is personal writing, but it is mostly scribbled out and I can't make any sense of it.This page is opposite one of Jacob Strickler's account records, toward the end of the book.
There is also a small sheet of paper that appears to be a receipt for payment on a land purchase in Burlington, possibly in 1873. I plan to visit the courthouse tomorrow to look at the deed book for the property.In the meantime, I would like to hear from anyone who might have information on Stricklers who moved from Ohio to southeastern Iowa in the mid-1800s, or any other info that might shed some light on this.