Postville, Iowa - A Spunky Little Town
From our Regular correspondent.
Postville, Iowa, Dec. 1, 1871 - In justice to one of
the spunky little towns of Iowa, I have to speak
to-day of Postville, twenty-six miles west of
McGregor, on the Milwaukee and St. Paul Rail road,
just now pricking up its ears to hear the whistle on
a branch of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and
Minnesota Railroad, in process of construction by way
of Independence to this point. Since this last-named
road has reached Nora Springs in its northward
course, its apparent vigor and importance have given
rise to this branch upon which work is going forward
between Postville and Clermont, and also between
Clermont and West Union. The best authorities I have
seen are not willing to allow that this connection
between Cedar Rapids and Postville will be later of
accomplishment than next August or September. Once
finished, Postville will have a valuable competition
in markets, while the road will feed the Milwaukee
and St. Paul, and let Milwaukee still further out
upon the rich soid of this state, daily demanding
more markets and fast being netted with railroads.
Postville is situated at the corners of four counties
and has the grounds of the Northeastern Iowa
Agricultural Society - an important organization
which came into life about a year ago. Thirty acres
of ground, fitted up at an expense of over $7,000
belong to the Society, and lie adjoining the town.
These grounds are beautifully enclosed and supplied
with ample shedding and stabling, and permanent
floral and art hall buildings will be constructed
next summer. Among the officers of the Society are
some of the foremost agriculturists of the state, and
life and vigor are plainly alluded to when we say
that it has 284 life members distributed over all the
counties included in its territory, and that,
contrary to the general experience in district fairs,
its exhibition this autumn was completely successful.
Since additional railroad connection must enlarge
both population and business here, let me state
somewhat of the offers the town makes to new comers.
Building material is in sufficient abundance. Good
stone, lime and sand are found within two miles of
the town, and clay producing a first-class brick is
just at hand. Hard wood for fuel costs $3.50 to $4
per cord, and water is reached at depths varying from
15 feet to 30 feet.
Business lots, in good locations, sell at figures
ranging from $50 to $250. The most extensive dealer
in property of this kind is Hon. John T. Stoneman, a
large owner in the real estate of the town.
Lumber may be had at about the following figures:
Siding $25 to $30; flooring, $35 to $45; joists and
building timber, $22 to $24; shingles, $3.25 to
$5.50; and stock boards and fencing, $18 to $22, each
according to quality.
Manufacturing has not yet been established; but steps
are taken to erect a feed mill, chair and tub factory
and planing mill next summer.
The public school building is a first-rate brick
structure, just finished, with three departments,
three teachers and 199 pupils regularly graded.
The Congregationalists have a church here, as also
the Methodists, Baptists and Lutherans, while the
Roman Catholics are just building.
The business firms are summed up about as follows:
- Lumber dealers: Hoyt, Burdick
& Mott, and Seely, Shaw & Tredway
- Grain dealers: Basset, Huntling & Co., of
McGregor, represented here by N.G. Reedy, Roberts
Brothers, and E.J. Stevenson & Co.
- In Agricultural implements, Mr. McKinley has a
branch of the house of D.G. Goodrich, of
- In dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes,
clothing, etc., Roberts Brothers, Leithold
Brothers, and L. Poesch have large stocks and do
a lively business.
- Precott & Easton deal extensively in heavy
and shelf hardware, nails, wagon material,
- H. Stone in stoves and tinware.
- General smithing and wagon building, J.C. Dow;
wagon and carriage building alone, F. Meyer.
- E.D. Stiles is the principal dealer in, and
manufacturer of furniture.
- E. Schmitz, manufacturer of harness and
- There are two druggists, N.W. Stiles and A.
- Jewelers, E.J. Ferry and J. Glines.
- Photographer, J. McCartney.
- S.S. Powers is the single practicing attorney.
- There are three physicians, three milliners,
and four blacksmiths.
- The Masonic fraternity have a lodge here.
- The only dealer in groceries, confectionery,
etc., is J. Moir, at the post-office.
- C. Van Hooser is the 'live' live-stock dealer
- The foremost hotel of the place is the
National, quiet and comfortable, with good livery
Looking over this pleasant Iowa town,
and considering its age and prospects, one is
astonished at the readiness with which the blank
prairie yields to the magic of the Yankee hand, and
springs up into thriving villages and communities,
with much of comfort, convenience, and often even
elegance, in their very youth.
~The Milwakee Sentinel, Milwaukee, WI,
Tuesday, December 5, 1871
~transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall for Allamakee co.
~see also Lansing in 1871
and Waukon in 1871