The Washington County history, like other county histories published during the 19th and 20th centuries, was subscription based. Note Isaac’s insistence in the first receipt that “this is to be first-class binding, or not accepted”. Isaac sat for a photo portrait (shown in the header of this blog) and provided autobiographical information. When I first found Isaac’s biography in this history book, I marveled at the amount of detail he provided. This was before I learned about his journals, which, I’m sure, he referred back to for help in writing his biography.
The county history was published once there were enough subscribers. This was an expensive purchase at the time and is probably a contributing factor for many of our ancestors choosing not to be included in these “mug” books.
 Burrell, Howard A., History of Washington County, Iowa: From the First White Settlements to 1908, The S. J. Clark Publishing Company, Chicago, IL, 1909