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Ringgold County was named for Maj. Samuel Ringgold, a hero of the Mexican-American War, who died in battle on May 11, 1846. The first white settler, Charles Schooler, came to what would later be called Ringgold County in 1844. Other settlers followed, and the county was officially established on May 14, 1855. The towns of Caledonia, Ringgold City, and Mount Ayr, the county seat, were all established that same year. Beginning in 1879, the railroads came, and other towns grew up quickly along those lines. Only one railroad town does not survive today: Knowlton, which forfeited its incorporation in the mid-1920s. Road construction and the automobile spelled doom for rural post offices, schools, and general stores, but much of this history was captured in pictures.