Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
This township takes its name from the beautiful Clear Lake within its borders. It is bounded on the north by Grant
township, on the east by Lake [township], on the south by Union [township], and on the west by Hancock county,
and comprises congressional township 96, range 22 west.
This territory is made up principally of rolling prairie land, which descends toward
Clear Lake, which is one of the prettiest sheets of water in all Iowa, containing
about 3,100 acres, being six miles long and two and one half miles wide. There
are no streams within the township except the outlet of the lake, which furnishes
good water power. The soil is not unlike most of that in Cerro Gordo county, a
deep rich loam of a very productive quality.
This territory is made up principally of rolling prairie land, which descends toward Clear Lake, which is one of the prettiest sheets of water in all Iowa, containing about 3,100 acres, being six miles long and two and one half miles wide. There are no streams within the township except the outlet of the lake, which furnishes good water power. The soil is not unlike most of that in Cerro Gordo county, a deep rich loam of a very productive quality.
During the fall and winter of 1850, reports were circulated in the sparsely settled river counties of our State, by Indians and adventurous hunters, that a beautiful lake existed way back in the center of the State, where buffalo, elk, deer and fur bearing animals roamed the prairie in abundance, and wild fowls covered the waters; where a large lake filled with fish shone forth as a gem in the prairie, and large bodies of timber afforded shelter from the storms of winter. Those were the days of pioneer adventure when the few people of our State lived, not by the fruits of agriculture or mechanics, but by a wild pioneer mode of life, roaming from place to place, seeking the best location for game, discovery or Indian trade.
These reports reached the ears of Joseph HEWITT and James DICKIRSON, then living at Strawberry Point, Clayton county, in this State, and May 20, 1851, they started out with their teams and families to find the beautiful lake that had been described to them by Indians. They passed the few scattering settlers along the river until they reached the last settlement, of three families, near where the town of Bradford, in Chickasaw county, is now located. From there west, not even a wagon track had ever indented the prairie, and they pursued their journey until they reached Willow creek, one mile east of this place, which they found impassible, spending nearly two days in attempting to cross, and finally succeeding in crossing the stream near Andrew SWART'S present  residence, reaching the shores of Clear Lake July 14,1851; fifty-six days to make a journey that now occupies but eleven hours by railroad.
Messrs HEWITT and DICKIRSON each had a wife and one child, and they selected a point on the south side of the lake, on the bank nearly north of where Ed ATKIN'S house now  stands, and a large burr oak tree, nearly covered by a wild grape vine, afforded them shelter from the sun and a safe place to hang the game they captured.
John ALLOWAY and Henry ROBINSON, two young men, accompanied them and stayed about a year. When they came here it was their intention to hunt, fish and explore the country and then return to the settlement in the fall, but owing to an unusually wet season and high water that made the streams unfordable and impossible to return, they erected cabins in the timber near their summer camping ground, and these eight persons, four men, two women and two children, spent the winter here entirely cut off from communication with the world for thirteen months, except a visit by William GARN is, who called on them in February, 1852, and stopped there three days to rest his team. He was the first rusticating visitor at Clear Lake.
During the winter HEWITT and DICKIRSON resolved to make Clear Lake their home, and early in the spring, ALLOWAY and ROBINSON returned.
Mr. DICKIRSON claimed the land where the town is now located, also his farm east of town, and in the spring of 1852 he cleaned up and plowed a piece of brush land, and that summer raised a crop of corn on a portion of the ground now  occupied by Judge ROSECRANS' and Elder ROBINSON'S places, and adjoining them south, which was the first grain raised in this part of the State. Thus they lived through the summer and winter of 1852, with an occasional visit from a hunter or Indian.
In July, 1853, the WRIGHTS settled on Lime creek, three miles north of where Mason City now is, and in the fall of 1853, James and R. O. SIRRINE, with their families, arrived and settled here, and have remained most of the time since. Rowland GARDNER claimed the farm now owned by E. A. TUTTLE, three miles east of town, and built a cabin, a portion of which is now standing near the Wescott school house. He went to Spirit Lake, and with his entire family, except two daughters, was murdered by the Indians at the Spirit Like massacre, in 1856. One daughter [Abigail] was taken prisoner, and was held by the Indians about a year, when she was ransomed by the government. The other daughter was away from home at the time and escaped. She afterward married William WILSON.
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Eliza GARDNER who was away from the home at the time of the Spirit Lake Massacre, taught at the first school in Cerro Gordo County.
Harvey LUCE and family were all murdered by the Indian, at the same time.
Michael CALLAM, Jr., came to Clear Lake township in 1855. He was born in Ireland in 1839, and becoming a resident of the State at fifteen years of age, has literally grown up with the country. He has seen Cerro Gordo county advance from its almost primitive condition to a prominent rank among the counties of Iowa. He owns a farm of 180 acres on section 21, where he resides; he also owns eighty acres in Union township and is classed among the most intelligent and prosperous farmers of the township of Clear Lake. His wife, Mary GRAY, of Linn Co., Iowa, was probably the first white child- born in the town of Marion. Mr. and Mrs. CALLAM have five sons and four daughters. Michael CALLAM, Sr., was born in Ireland in 1803, and came to America in 1842, settling in Canada where he lived about five years. He went to Illinois and settled near Rockford, and about 1852 he purchased a farm at Pilot Grove, near Independence, in Buchanan county, and removed his family there. In the spring of 1854 he made a claim on section 26, in Clear Lake township, Cerro Gordo county, where he has since resided. His children are — Mary (Mrs. KENNEDY), John, Martin, Michael, Jr., James, Charles and Joseph.
Calvin S. GOODWIN has been a resident in Cerro Gordo county since February, 1856, at which date he came to Mason City. That place included four or five log structures, and the only person in trade there was John L. McMILLEN. Mr. GOODWIN remained in that locality about one and a half years. Not long after coming to the county he entered a claim of 160 acres, which he afterwards proved up and sold. He is a native of Boston, Mass., born in 1824. He remained in the Bay State until sixteen-years-old and then went to New Hampshire He married Rosanna ABBOTT of Cheshire county in that State. He had a natural aptitude for the mechanical arts, and without giving any allotted time to acquiring its details, he began to operate as a carpenter and has spent some years of his life in that vocation, and also as a cabinet maker. When he came to this county he left his family behind until he could provide for their comfortable reception, returning for them in 1858, when he rocated at Clear Lake, arriving May 16, of the year named. He was one of the first settlers on the plat of Clear Lake, and resides on the same lot which he originally occupied. Of late years he has given some attention to farming, having become the owner of a good farm in Lake township. Mr. and Mrs. GOODWIN have three children — Mary (Mrs. E. H. SIMPSON), Perley Lincoln and Winnie. The eldest was born in New Hampshire, the others at Clear Lake.
Benjamin H. FROST resides on section 2, and has resided in Cerro Gordo county since the fall of 1860. He was born in Vermont in 1816, where he lived until about thirty years of age. He was married in Vermont to Amanda L. HAMILTON. They were both born in the same town, the latter in 1827. They removed from Vermont to St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., in 1843, where they lived for several years. They came to Scott Co., Iowa, in 1847, thence to Floyd county, in 1860, and here, as stated, in 1862, and settled where he now lives several years later. Mr. FROST has seven children. Chauncy, the eldest son, enlisted in 1863, in the 32d Iowa Volunteer Infantry, where he served nearly two years. He joined that regiment as a recruit, and when the regiment was discharged at the expiration of its term of service, he was transferred to the 8th Infantry, and served the balance of his term of three years enlistment. He now resides with his father; married Sarah MARTIN; they have three children.
Seth M. RICHARDSON, justice of the peace, received his appointment to the office in 1873, and has been its incumbent most of the time since. Pie entered eighty acres of land in what is now Owen township, Cerro Gordo county, in June, 1855, on which he settled permanently with his family, Sept. 18, 1860. He removed, in 1865, to Clear Lake township, where he worked at the trade of blacksmith about seven years, when he was compelled by failing health to relinquish manual labor to a great extent. Mr. RICHARDSON was born in Herkimer Co., N. Y., and soon after, with his mother and family, removed to Cayuga county. He was brought up in Cayuga and Cortland counties. At the age of fifteen he learned his trade, which he has followed since for forty years. In the fall of 1854 he located in Dane Co., Wis., where he lived. His wife, formerly Locena SALISBURY, was born in Cortland Co., N. Y. They are the parents of four children — Byron, a resident of Lincoln township; Phebe L., Mrs. F. M. ROGERS, resides at Mason City; Carrie S. and Melirra A., Mrs. G. E. EHLE, who resides at Clear Lake.
Fred LANGENBERG, the oldest German resident of Clear Lake township, settled in Cerro Gordo county in July, 1866. His father, John LANGENBERG came to America with his family in 1850 and located near Fond du Lac, Wis. In 1870 he came to this township, where he died. Mr. LANGENBERG, of this sketch, was born in Saxe Weimar, Germany, in 1842. In 1877 he located on his present property on section 10, where he owns 240 acres of land under an advanced state of cultivation. He is a notable farmer and stock-raiser of the township, and is in the front rank of its substantial and prosperous citizens.
James A. HAMMOND resides on section 1, Clear Lake township, where he settled in 1818. He purchased his land unimproved, but he now owns 120 acres, and has good improvements. He was born in Herkimer Co., N. Y., April 3, 1825, his parents being Stephen and Lorency HAMMOND. He was reared on a farm, and received a good education. On Sept. 30, 1853, he married Mary WILLIAMSON, who is a native of Otsego Co., N. Y. Mr. HAMMOND followed farming in his native sate until he came to Iowa, in 1868. They have six children — Edgar, Ida, Stephen, Jennie, Francis and Minnie. In politics Mr. HAMMOND is a republican, but only takes enough interest in political matters to go to the polls and vote.
Henry BURKHOLDER lives on section 28, where he settled in 1869. He bought his farm of George HINES. Mr. BURKHOLDER was born in Lycoming Co., Penn., in 1845. He removed to Green Co., Wis., in 1855, where he worked at the blacksmith's trade. On the breaking out of the war he enlisted in the 5th Wisconsin Battery, where he served twenty months, when he was discharged for disability; but afterward re-enlisted in the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry, where he served until the close of the war. He participated in the battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro, etc. His wife was Elizabeth CASE, born in Delaware Co., N. Y., in April , 1831. He has been married twice; his first wife being Mary FARLEY. He had seven children by his first wife, five sons and two daughters, Only two sons and two daughters are living. Mrs. BURKHOLDER'S first husband was William MERCHANT, by whom she has one daughter — Rosa.
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Elizabeth (CASE) MERCHANT BURKHOLDER died May 10, 1915, and was interred at Clear Lake Cemetery.
Mrs. Jane (BARNARD) CLEMENT resides on section 12. Her husband, Franklin CLEMENT (deceased), was born in Orange Co.,Vt., in 1818. At the age of eighteen he went to Michigan, and after a brief residence there, returned to Vermont. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. CLEMENT occurred at Cohoes, N. Y., in 1848, and, immediately after, they went to Connecticut, where Mr. CLEMENT was engaged as inspector in the works of an ax manufacturing company. He afterward removed to Pennsylvania, and there became a manufacturer of axes. The family emigrated, in 1855, to Winona, Minn., and were among its first residents. Mr. CLEMENT was there engaged in general blacksmithing and machine repairs. In 1869 he came to Clear Lake, where he died suddenly, Feb. 17, 1883. He was universallv esteemed in the community of which he was a member. He located and improved a fine farm, a little north of Clear Lake village, and built a pleasant home. He was sixty-five years old. Mrs. CLEMENT is a native of Orleans Co., Vt., she was born in 1819, and removed Winooska Falls, Vt., to New York State. She has two children — Emily, born in Connecticut, in [January 8] 1850, and Albert Todd, born in 1858.
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Franklin CLEMENT, the son of William and Sarah (HUNTINGTON) CLEMENT, ws born January 16, 1818. Franklin and Sarah "Jane" (BARNARD) CLEMENT had a daughter Ada who died in infancy.
Henry A. GROVES, dealer in agricultural implements, has been a resident of Clear Lake since the spring of 1869. He was born in Dane Co., Wis., in 1844, and came with his father's family to Winneshiek Co., Iowa, where they were numbered among the pioneers. His father, Andrew GROVES, resided there until his death. Henry A. GROVES enlisted at Decorah in the spring of 1861, in company D, 3d Iowa Cavalry, which was the first company that left the county. In November following he was discharged on account of physical disabilities; but recovering his health, he subsequently re-enlisted in the 16th United States Infantry, and served three years, participating in many important battles and campaigns; among the former were the battles of Corinth, Miss., and the battle of Perryville, Ky., Stone River, Murfresboro, Holmes' Gap, etc. He was slightly wounded at the battle of Stone River. Mr. GROVES, in connection with his implement business, also deals quite extensively in live stock, and is counted as one of the business men of Clear Lake. His wife was Lena WIGHTMAN, a native of England. They have one daughter — Gracie.
James A. RICE was born in Lake Co., Ill., March 23,1847. He came to Floyd county with his father in 1855. The latter kept hotel for some years and afterward settled on a farm. Mr. RICE was married in 1869 to Laura A. QUINBY, a native of Vermont, born in 1851. Her parents came to Floyd county in 1858. The children are three in number — Nellie, Addie and Carl. The latter died July 30, 1883. In 1870 Mr. RICE came to Clear Lake and began operation in omnibus and dray business, which occupied his time until his death, April 26, 1883. He belonged to the orders of Odd Fellows and United Workmen, at Clear Lake. His life was upright and industrious, he was successful in business, and his energetic, reliable character won general esteem and respect.
John CHAPIN resides on the south half of the northeast quarter of section 2, Clear Lake township. He was born in 1833 in the town of Otselic, Chenango Co., N. Y. He reached manhood's estate in his native State, and went afterward with his father to La Crosse Co., Wis. The latter purchased the farm now occupied by his son in the spring of 1871, of Isaac PIZER. The senior CHAPIN died in 1876. Mrs. CHAPIN was Sarah JAMES, of Ohio. Her father was an early settler of La Crosse, Wis., where he died. Mr. and Mrs. CHAPIN have six children — Charles A., William, Frank, Bertha, George and Albert. The homestead includes eighty-five acres of land under good improvements.
James QUICK resides on section 24. He purchased his farm in 1871. He was born in Somersetshire, England, in 1819. He was brought up as a farmer. He came to the United States in 1850. He first settled in Onondaga Co., N. Y., in the town of Marcellus. From New York, he went to Ashtabula Co., Ohio. He enlisted in 1861, under John BROWN, son of old John BROWN. of Kansas fame, and Harper's ferry notoriety. He participated in the battle of Corinth, and other important battles and campaigns. He served three years and was severely injured while in the service, but has not, as yet, succeeded in getting a pension. His wife was Mary Ann REED; she was born in Somersetshire, England. They have had nine children, seven of whom are living; two boys and five girls. The names of the deceased are, Lewis F. and Martha CANE.
Charles E. and Harvey J. PIERCE, sons of Charles and Sarah (LESLIE) PIERCE, are both natives of Essex Co., N. Y. The family moved to St. Lawrence county, in that State, and, in 1858, to Winnebago Co., Wis., where the father died, Sept. 6, 1882. C. E. PIERCE was born in 1841. He remained in Winnebago county until 1873, when he came to Clear Lake and purchased the property he now owns, consisting of 120 acres of land on section 8. One forty was owned by Samuel WARD. another by Alva GOODWIN, and a third by James ROBINSON. The combined parcels of land constitute a valuable farm. Mrs. PIERCE was born in Fond du Lac, Wis. Of four children resulting from this union, two are living — Florence M.. born in Wisconsin and Frank L., born in Clear Lake township. The last named is one of triplets, two of whom were girls and are deceased.
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Charles E. PIERCE'S gravestone gives his birth date as April 29, 1849. He died January 25, 1898, and was interred at Clear Lake Cemetery. Frank L. PIERCE was born in 1864, and died in 1927 with interment at Lincoln Cemetery, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa.
H[arvey]. J. PIERCE was born in 1844. He located in Clear Lake township in June 1872, purchasing 112 acres of land, eighty of which was originally entered by a man named PLUMMER for Thomas S. GARDNER. The latter gave it to his son Stanton, who sold it to Solomon GARDNER. By another transfer it became the property of George WETMORE, of whom it was purchased by Mr. PIERCE. The family of H. J. PIERCE includes his wife and two children — Edith M. and Ora J. Mrs. PIERCE, (Clara E. BLISS), was born in Vermont in 1841. Her parents, Stephen and Angeline (PATTEE) BLISS, settled in Wisconsin in 1849. Mrs. BLISS was a niece of the Rev. Elias PATTEE, first officiating clergyman at Clear Lake.
Francis BURNHAM settled on section 32, Clear Lake township, in 1868, purchasing his farm of William BOYDEN. Mr. BURNHAM was born in Essex Co., Mass., April 1, 1842. He lived there until the fall of 1864, when he enlisted in the heavy artillery and served until July 10, 1865, when he was mustered out. Mr. BURNHAM moved to Waterloo, Black Hawk county, in 1866, but returned to Massachusetts, and came back to Iowa in 1868. He married Susan GRANT, a daughter of Francis and Margaret GRANT, of Cape Bieton Island. Mr. Burnham's parents were Nathan and Sarah (BROWN) BURNHAM. Mr. BURNHAM'S farm consists of eighty acres of choice land.
O. A. KIMBALL settled on section 9, in 1874, where he now lives. He purchased his farm of Colonel WILSON, of Illinois, and was the first settler on the land, making all of the improvements. His farm, which now consists of 120 acres, was formerly larger, but a portion of it is now owned and worked by his son. Mr. Kimball was born in Erie Co., N. Y., in 1829, and was there brought up. He moved west and resided in the Rock River Valley for twenty-five years previous to coining to Iowa. His wife was Philanda PIKE, also born in Erie Co., N. Y. They have nine children, seven sons and two daughters.
William McFADDEN, who settled in 1874, is a native of Terra Haute, Ind., born in 1829. When fourteen years of age he went to Louisville, Ky., where he was engaged as clerk for about three years. He then returned to Indiana. His father, William McFADDEN, was born in Harrisburg, Penn. He was an earlv settler of Terre Haute, Ind. His mother was Elizabeth (LEE) McFADDEN. The parents of Mr. McFADDEN removed to Keokuk, Iowa, in 1848. His father engaged in keeping hotel in that city, but died in 1850. Mr. McFADDEN kept hotel sometime after his father's decease. He was married to his first wife at Keokuk; her name was Mary J. HEAIGHT, a daughter of Captain S. HEAIGHT. He went to California in 1858, where he was engaged in mining for one and a half years; then returned to Iowa; was engaged in steamboating for a number of years. His residence during this time was at Galena, Ill. In 1855 he engaged as clerk for H. F. McCLOKY, a commission merchant at Dunleath. He was also engaged in the same capacity, for Charles MERRY, at Earlville, Delaware county. He removed from Earlville to Delhi, and came to Clear Lake in 1874, and since that time bas been variously engaged. He lost his first wife - July 29, 1873 His second wife was Miss A. E. PARSONS, born in West Virginia; she died here Nov. 6, 1882. Mr. McFADDEN had five children by his first wife, four of whom are living — Harry, Willie, Laura and May. He had five by his second wife — Lena L., Wallace L., Kate, John and Leon. During the war Mr. McFADDEN was employed by the government as river and railroad transportation clerk. He was in this service for about two years. He is at present variously engaged, He is a first class auctioneer, and a skillful painter and an excellent accountant and bookkeeper.
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Ann Ellen (PARSONS) McFADDEN was born April 28, 1844, and died November 6, 1882. She was interred at Clear Lake Cemetery.
Clark HUNTLEY is located on section of Clear Lake township, where he has charge of the MESSER farm, owned by H. M. MESSER, of Milwaukee, Wis. The farm is a fine one, containing __ acres. Mr. HUNTLEY took the management of the place in 1870, and has since been in charge, with the exception of two years. The bulk of the improvements have been made under his care, including the planting and cultivation of one of the finest groves in the township. In addition to the pursuits common to agriculture, Mr. HUNTLEY is interested somewhat extensively in raising stock. He was born in Oswego Co., N. Y., in July, 1840. His father died during his early childhood, and about 1849, he was taken with his mother's family to Dodge Co., Wis. Mrs. HUNTLEY was Alice JOSLIN before her marriage. The family circle includes five children - Vincent, Clinton, Ida E., Nellie and Mabel.
Edward SHAW is the custodian of the camping grounds of the Methodist
Church. He was born in New York, in 1813, where he was reared. In 1840 he went
to steam boating on the Mississippi river. On the breaking out of the rebellion, he
chartered his boat to the government, and was placed in command of the gunboat
Tyler, which joined the fleet under Comodore ROGERS, and afterwards became connected with Comodore FOOTE'S fleet. He
took an active part in many important engagements on the Mississippi river and its
tributaries. His boat participated in the bombardment of Forts Henry and Donelson. At Pittsburg Landing his vessel
took an active part in resisting the advance of the enemies forces, when the
army under GRANT were apparently overwhelmed. After this battle he guarded with
his boat the mouth of White river, and subsequently took charge of Indianola at
Cincinnati, and afterward of the gunboat Joliet, of the Chattanooga, Tennessee and
Yazoo rivers. While in this service he took an active part in all the severe and
important engagements of the gunboat fleet. During the last year of the war he
was a member of Gov. MORTON'S station, and served as sanitary and military agent,
stationed at Nashville. After the war he engaged in the oil business, in West
Virginia, from whence he came to Clear Lake. His wife, was formerly
Amanda LEWIS, a native of New York city. She accompanied her husband in
several expeditions during the war. Mr. and Mrs. SHAW celebrated their golden wedding Nov. 21, 1882. They relate
with much enthusiasm many thrilling experiences in the late war. They have
three children — Sarah, wife of Rev. J. H. LOZIER, who was a correspondent for the
Cincinnati Commercial during the war of the rebellion, and later in the struggle
was chaplain in the 37th Indiana regiment. He is the eminent clergyman of the Methodist Church, in which service he
located and laid out the [Methodist] camp grounds of Clear Lake. Their second child, A. B. SHAW
resides in London, England. The youngest, Frank, who resides in California, is
engaged in silver mining. Mr. SHAW has been a resident of Clear Lake since 1875.
George V. RICHARDSON resides on section 7, where he settled in 1877. He bought
his farm of H. DUNLAP and Anna FLETCHER. The farm was entered by Mr. PLUMMER,
who sold it to Orville HUBBARD, who transferred it to Hugh DUNLAP, of whom Mr.
RICHARDSON purchased. Mr. RICHARDSON was born in Jackson Co., Mich., in 1841.
His father, A. C. RICHARDSON, was a native of Alabama, N. Y. His mother, Sarah
(SCRIPTURE) RICHARDSON, was born in Massachusetts. They, however, removed from
Canada to Michigan. Mr. RICHARDSON went to Wisconsin from Michigan and
thence to Winona, Minn., where he enlisted, Aug. 15, 1862, in company D, 7th
Minnesota Infantry. He served three years, or until the close of the war. His
regiment spent the first year of their term of service on the frontier, fighting the Indians. They then
went south and joined the 16th corps, under A. J. SMITH; were at
the taking of Mobile, battle of Spanish Fort, Fort Blakely and others. On the
close of the war he returned to Minnesota and in 1869 came to Cerro Gordo county,
and purchased a farm in Lime Creek township, where he lived until he came to
Clear Lake township. His wife was Frances HALL, a native of Wisconsin. They
have three children — Alice, born May 12, 1868; Grace, born Sept. 7, 1869; and
Edith, born Dec. 25, 1871.
J. E. BOLTON, of the firm of LINDON & BOLTON, came to Clear Lake in 1877. He
was born in England in 1842. He came to the United States with his parents, who
settled in the town of Portland, Columbia Co., Wis. Mr. BOLTON has had a good
deal of experience in buying, selling and the raising of cattle. He left Wisconsin
in 1871, and went to Kansas and with J. R. WHEELER, of Columbus, Wis., bought
and herded a large number of Texas cattle, but the severe winter that followed
caused the loss of a large part of their herd, and the venture was not altogether
a financial success. He went to Franklin Co., Iowa, in 1873, and resided some time
at Northwood, Worth county. While at Northwood he was for a time associated
with his present partner, Mr. LINDON, in buying and selling stock. From Northwood he went to Nebraska and came here
as stated above. He resides in the village of Clear Lake where he has erected a fine
residence. Mr. BOLTON does most of the purchasing of stock, and is abroad much
of the time while not employed. Mrs. BOLTON was formerly Mary A. VANCE, born
in Wisconsin. They have one son — Floyd Eugene.
John M. ROBINSON, a farmer on section 10, is a son of the Emerald Isle. He was born
in August, 1836, and accompanied his father's family to Canada in 1840. In
1865 he came to Iowa and remained in Wright county until 1878, when he bought
the property he now owns of Joseph CASE. Mrs. ROBINSON, formerly Martha ROWEN,
is a Canadian by birth. She is the happy mother of six children — Eva, William,
Irwin, Ira, Edwin and Freddie. Both parents are members of the Methodist
Episcopal Church at Clear Lake. Mr. ROBINSON'S father died in Canada.
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Martha (ROWEN) ROBINSON was born in 1837 and died in 1903. She interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City, Iowa.
George V. RICHARDSON resides on section 7, where he settled in 1877. He bought his farm of H. DUNLAP and Anna FLETCHER. The farm was entered by Mr. PLUMMER, who sold it to Orville HUBBARD, who transferred it to Hugh DUNLAP, of whom Mr. RICHARDSON purchased. Mr. RICHARDSON was born in Jackson Co., Mich., in 1841. His father, A. C. RICHARDSON, was a native of Alabama, N. Y. His mother, Sarah (SCRIPTURE) RICHARDSON, was born in Massachusetts. They, however, removed from Canada to Michigan. Mr. RICHARDSON went to Wisconsin from Michigan and thence to Winona, Minn., where he enlisted, Aug. 15, 1862, in company D, 7th Minnesota Infantry. He served three years, or until the close of the war. His regiment spent the first year of their term of service on the frontier, fighting the Indians. They then went south and joined the 16th corps, under A. J. SMITH; were at the taking of Mobile, battle of Spanish Fort, Fort Blakely and others. On the close of the war he returned to Minnesota and in 1869 came to Cerro Gordo county, and purchased a farm in Lime Creek township, where he lived until he came to Clear Lake township. His wife was Frances HALL, a native of Wisconsin. They have three children — Alice, born May 12, 1868; Grace, born Sept. 7, 1869; and Edith, born Dec. 25, 1871.
J. E. BOLTON, of the firm of LINDON & BOLTON, came to Clear Lake in 1877. He was born in England in 1842. He came to the United States with his parents, who settled in the town of Portland, Columbia Co., Wis. Mr. BOLTON has had a good deal of experience in buying, selling and the raising of cattle. He left Wisconsin in 1871, and went to Kansas and with J. R. WHEELER, of Columbus, Wis., bought and herded a large number of Texas cattle, but the severe winter that followed caused the loss of a large part of their herd, and the venture was not altogether a financial success. He went to Franklin Co., Iowa, in 1873, and resided some time at Northwood, Worth county. While at Northwood he was for a time associated with his present partner, Mr. LINDON, in buying and selling stock. From Northwood he went to Nebraska and came here as stated above. He resides in the village of Clear Lake where he has erected a fine residence. Mr. BOLTON does most of the purchasing of stock, and is abroad much of the time while not employed. Mrs. BOLTON was formerly Mary A. VANCE, born in Wisconsin. They have one son — Floyd Eugene.
John M. ROBINSON, a farmer on section 10, is a son of the Emerald Isle. He was born in August, 1836, and accompanied his father's family to Canada in 1840. In 1865 he came to Iowa and remained in Wright county until 1878, when he bought the property he now owns of Joseph CASE. Mrs. ROBINSON, formerly Martha ROWEN, is a Canadian by birth. She is the happy mother of six children — Eva, William, Irwin, Ira, Edwin and Freddie. Both parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Clear Lake. Mr. ROBINSON'S father died in Canada.
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Martha (ROWEN) ROBINSON was born in 1837 and died in 1903. She interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City, Iowa.
The first marriage in Clear Lake township was that of Mr. FLETCHER and Emma MORRIS, in 1855.
The first birth was a son to Mr. and Mrs. James McCIBBINS.
The first death was the wife of Levi LAWRENCE who died some time in 1855 or 1856.
Upon the organization of the county there were but three townships, The one on the western border was called Lake, but soon after sub-divided, and what is now known as Clear Lake township was organized.
The first election was held November, 1876, at the house of R. O. SIRRINE. The first justices of the peace were Horace PARKER and Alva B. TUTTLE.
In 1883 the officers were: N. W. WARREN, H. E. PALMETER and W. L. BACKHUS, trustees; Charles JOHNSON, clerk; I. S. SAMPSON, assessor; S. M. RICHARDSON, justice of the peace.
From the time Clear Lake was set off from Lake until 1882 it comprised one school district, but at that date was made into five independent sub-districts, which, in 1883, contained eight school houses outside of the incorporation of Clear Lake.
During 1855 a large number of new settlers came in and lands were taken up, and a settlement commenced in earnest. Joseph Hewitt entered land and laid out the town of Clear Lake City, on the south side of the lake, which was surveyed by the government surveyor, and embraced the first camping ground. The following spring James DICKIRSON commenced a town which was laid out on the grounds now used for the cemetery, and this was called Clear Lake. It was afterward located and the town of Livonia laid out on the same lands during the county seat contest of 1857. Large additions were made to Clear Lake City by HEWITT and R. O. SIRRINE, and the town extended from the outlet of the lake to Mr. CALLAHAN'S place, and at one time contained twenty-five buildings.
The present  town of Clear Lake was laid out in 1856 by James DICKIRSON and Marcus TUTTLE, who owned the land. Twenty- three others took an interest with them in this town site. J. CROW came early in 1856 and built a cabin on the lake shore, near the foot of Main street, and when the town was laid out, built the house afterward occupied by William COLLINS and used it for a hotel. The proprietors gave away lots the first year, and in the fall of 1856 there were about forty dwellings, and quite a town commenced, but the financial crash of 1857 caused an exodus, and, in 1858, there were only fifteen families left.
The town is located on sections 12 and 13 of township 96, range 22, and sections 7 and 8, of township 96, range 21. The place has about 1,600 population , made up mostly of New England people.
The following plats were recorded for Clear Lake and its various additions:
The initiatory steps toward the development of this locality were taken in 1855.
Thomas PALMER built the first store and brought the first regular stock of goods here and opened a store, although Mr. TUTTLE had brought in and sold a quantity of groceries before that time. During the summer of 1856 Oscar STEVENS and Ed NICHOLS settled at this place and erected a steam saw mill and commenced making lumber, and supplied the whole country around. In 1857 the boiler in the mill exploded, demolishing the mill and machinery, and it was not repaired again until 1862. In 1857 Marcus TUTTLE erected a large steam mill in this village and manufactured large quantities of native lumber until the building of the railroad. The old mill still stands, remodeled and cbanged, but still the memento of other days.
Previous to 1856 the nearest postoffice was at Cedar Falls, seventy miles distant, and the accommodating postmaster used to send the mail to this region of the country by teamsters who were frequently passing to and from Dubuque for groceries and other supplies.
In the fall of 1855 J. B. STEWART, of Mason City, ran a weekly express from that place to Cedar Falls, bringing the mail in a grain sack and distributing it all the way as he traveled. A spirit of accommodation was then the rule instead of the exception, and many a traveler on the road, anxious to hear from distant friends, would get the mail-carrier to stop and open the bag, and receiving his mail, would go on his way rejoicing. During the following winter, one CUMMINGS was employed and paid, by subscription from the people, to bring the mail weekly from Cedar Falls to Clear Lake. Sometimes in consequence of storms or high water, several weeks would intervene between the visits of the mail carrier. In 1856 the Government employed Charles JOHNSON, of Shell Rock, in this county, to carry the mail; and most faithfully did lie fulfil his trust. No storms or high water, interfering with the trip, and the running of his cloth covered vehicle; he would travel on horseback or on foot, with snow shoes, or raft to cross the waters, if need be, but guarding the United States mail most faithfully as a treasure more sacred than life itself. And though passengers and packages were left on the road or lost in the streams, the mail must go through.
James S. SIRRINE, of this place, succeeded him as mail carrier. When the railroad came to nearer points a semi-weekly mail route was established. A tri-weekly four-horse stage coach run from Charles City here for about a year, but was then followed by the iron horse upon the completion of the M. & St. P. R. R. to this point in 1870.
One of the most ludicrous incidents of this early settlement, was when stories were current of the merciless savages butchering whole families in Minnesota, and some of our timid neighbors feared they might sometime serve us in the same manner. One Amos GARRETT, with his family of small children living near here in his cabin, was given largely to boasting of his bravery, and telling how he would scatter death and destruction among the red-skins, should they ever molest him. But finally his courage was put to a test. A company of hunters camped one night some little distance from his cabin, but were not perceived by him until he espied their camp fire through the bushes. Shortly after, hearing a succession of gunshots caused by the hunters emptying their guns after their day's hunt, he was convinced that they were Indians, and they had commenced their slaughter. He was not slow in ordering his family to follow him to a place of safety. The mother snatched the infant to her breast, the father took the next older one on his back, and the others followed, and fled hastily through the brush from the enemy. Fear lent wings to their footsteps; but the lusty child on the back of the redoubtable Amos grew wonderfully heavy, and believing that the Indians were in hot pursuit at their heels, he dropped the child, and without one farewell embrace, told his wife and children they must "take care of themselves," and left them to their fate, to save his own precious life, and next day reached the Iowa river, giving a glaring account of the massacre of the entire settlement at Clear Lake, and that he alone was left to tell the story. Two or three days later he came sneaking back to his cabin, where he found his family safe, but not particularly anxious to see the brave father and defender The poor fellow never heard the last of the story here, and finally emigrated to parts unknown, where it is hoped his dreams are not disturbed by the yell of the savages, or the scarcely less endurable jeers of his neighbors.
No record of the first school at Clear Lake was preserved, but it has been found by old settlers that the first school was taught by Elizabeth GARDNER, in the log house of Joseph HEWITT. This was also the first school in the county. Miss GARDNER had one dollar per scholar and her board. The school had an average attendance of seventeen scholars, and was taught in the summer of 1855. Miss GARDNER was a daughter of Rowland GARDNER, who, with six of his family, was killed by the Indians in 1857 at Spirit Lake. Miss GARDNER afterward married William WILSON, of Mason City, who froze to death at that place.
Mrs. STILER taught the next school at the Lake.
The first teacher whose name appears on the district record is Reuben HUMPHREY, and his contract bears date, Dec. 14, 1857, and was signed by himself and James SIRRINE, A. B. TUTTLE and T. S. PALMER, directors. The wages paid him for his services was $30 per month for a three and a half months' school, twenty four days regarded a month.
The next contract recorded was made June 1, 1858, with Susan TOMPKINS for a twelve weeks' term, at four dollars per week.
The next teacher was probably W. N. SKINNER, though nothing on the records proves this, but it is well known that he was a teacher there about that date.
The next contract appearing is one made with A. E. HOWARD, on the 29th day of November, 1858, for a four months' school, at $25 per month.
Miss A. M. WHITNEY succeeded Mr. HOWARD on the 19th of May, 1859, at five dollars per week of five and a half days each — until Saturday noon.
J. M. BRAINARD was the next teacher, his contract dating Oct. 23, 1859, for forty weeks, for the consideration of $318. He was succeeded by George GRIFFITH, who taught several terms.
Nathan BASS, Jean DUNCAN, Ira KLING, Delia CAMP, Fiorine BLOOM, John McGRAW, Miss SWEENEY, Jeannette DUNCAN, Fanny HICKS, Alice ROSECRANS and several others whose names do not appear on record, have taught the school in Clear Lake down to 1872.
From that date until the village was organized as an independent district, in 1874, Professor D. A. HAM, associated with Mr. FLUEN, had charge of the schools. Professor HAM was a very successful teacher and improved the condition of the schools in Clear Lake.
The following named have been principals of the Clear Lake graded schools: Prof. M. M. GILCHRIST, M. F. MILLER, F. H. HANNAH, and A. W. WIER. The salary has usually been $75 per month.
The assistant teachers, down to 1883, have been: Miss HASKELL, Miss DUNCAN, Ella C. PALMER, Miss E. SOBER, Florence NICHOLS, Mr. HALL, Miss E. ROBERTSON, Eva DONAHUE, (afterward Mrs. L. G. HOLLISTER), Miss MINER, Miss BENNETT, Miss NASH, Miss WIER, Miss GARDNER, Miss WETHERALL.
S. M. RICHARDSON held the office of treasurer of the district from the time of its organization to the date of this book. M. P. ROSECRANS also served as secretary since 1877, attending every meeting of the board — about 150 in all. About 1880 this largeindependent district was sub-divided into five districts, also of an independent character.
In 1883 there were 324 pupils — 163 males and 161 females — at which time there were six teachers employed, five females and one male.
The public schools of Clear Lake are managed by the following corps of teachers: Adolphus W. WIER, superintendent and principal of the High School; Miss Clara B. WIER, grammar department; Miss Janet DUNCAN, intermediate; Marion DUNCAN, 2d primary; Florence A. NICHOLS, 1st primary.
Prof. WIER is a native of Prussia, where he was born in 1844. He came to the United States when thirteen years of age, and located in Grant Co., Wis. He was educated at the Normal School, at Viroqua, Vernon Co., Wis., and at Iowa College, Grinnell, where he was a student two years. He began teaching in 1865, and the following year came to Iowa. Since 1869 he has been continuously engaged in school work. His first term of labor in this county was at Rockwell, where he continued until the autumn of 1882, when he was appointed to his present position.
A good description of the school houses of this village was published in the Clear Lake Observer, in 1876, of which the following is an extract:
"The old school house, as it is now called was built by M. BUMGARDNER, in 1857, and still stands in this village, and could its history be written in full, what a record it would yield up. Here our schools were kept for years. The young of our township assembled here, and with few exceptions, acquired their entire school education within its walls. Here all religious meetings were held, and the people of all the country around gathered together therein. Although the house was but twenty-six feet square, there was room for all, for we were few in number, all equals; all denominations could listen to the same preacher, and the open hand of of fellowship, friendship, and pioneer equality, was extended to all within its walls. Here the teachers of our county assembled in their institutes. The politician stood on its rostrum and made promises to his constituents; the boys met here in their debating clubs; the Good Templars in their lodge; the girls came to the old school house to singing school. On its floor stood sixteen of Clear Lake's best and bravest boys, raised their hands toward heaven, and took upon themselves the oaths to serve their country as soldiers and protect their country's flag. Here they met to exchange a last farewell, and but few of them ever returned to its walls. Here friends met to pay the last sad rites to departed friends, and hear words of consolation from the minister. Here the wife, mother, child, brother and sister, met when near the end of a long week the anxiously looked for mail was expected to arrive and bring tidings from loved ones away in the army. Here for nineteen years the annual election has been held, and the ballot box contest been decided; here courts of justice have been nearly all held; forensic eloquence has flowed freely; heredisputes between neighbors have been settled, innocence established, and guilty ones started from its walls to prison; here young men and maidens have come to be made as one."
Long may the old school house stand a relic of the past. The school house near the Methodist church was built in 1869, and the other one in 1872, and during the past winter nearly 200 scholars were in regular attendance, and four teachers were employed.
The Clear Lake postoffice was established in 1856, with Joseph HEWITT as the first postmaster, who kept the office at his residence, at what was later known as old Clear Lake City. In 1859 he was succeeded by Edwin NICHOLS, and in 1862 came George E. FROST. The entire receipts of the office during Mr. FROST'S first and second quarters was $9.38. Mr. FROST served until 1875, except an interval of six months, during which time Marcus TUTTLE was postmaster. FROST was finally succeeded by Alexander CAMPBELL, who served until 1877. Mr. FROST was then reappointed, but as he did not desire the office longer, he became instrumental in the appointment of A. D. ELDRIDGE, who was the postmaster in 1883.
This office became a money order office in 1873. The first order was issued July 12, 1873. In January, 1873,it was made a Presidential office of the third class, and the salary fixed at $1,200. At this date A. D. ELDRIDGE was re-appointed.
Alfred D. ELDRIDGE came to Clear Lake in 1869. He was born in St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., in 1843. His parents settled in Winneshiek Co,, Iowa, in 1875, and subsequently removed to Grundy county, aud finally returned to St. Lawrence Co., N. Y. Mr. ELDRIDGE is also engaged in the drug business, and has been connected with that business since 1875. His store is the oldest drug store in the town, having been established by JOHNSON & SWEENEY, in 1868. The business has changed hands several times since it was established. Mrs. ELDRIDGE was a daughter of E. C. JOHNSON, one of the early settlers of Clear Lake.
The Tom HOWARD Post, No. 101, of the Grand Army of the Republic was organized Oct. 15, 1872. The name Tom HOWARD Post was adopted in honor of Lieut. Thomas HOWARD of the 23d Iowa, a gallant soldier from Clear Lake, who was killed at the battle of Pleasant Hill, Louisiana [April 9, 1864, Red River Campaign].
The following was published in one of the county papers after the preliminary meeting held for the organization of the post at this place:
"The old soldiers of Clear Lake have held a preliminary meeting and will organize a post of the G.A.R. with the above name. No more appropriate title could be found for this company of veterans than that of brave Tom HOWARD. The writer of this and the brave lieutenant were borne off the bloody battle field of Pleasant Hill together, on that terrible evening of April 9, 1864; poor Tom shot through the bowels and the writer through the thigh. We lay side by side until long into the night on a grass plat in front of one of the houses of the village, and were then removed to a pig pen or cow shed which had been created into a hospital, and we were there separated, never to meet again. The brave HOWARD knew that his was a mortal wound, but not a murmur escaped his lips, while his bright young life was ebbing slowly away, and our conversation was foreign to the horrors of war. The 23d Iowa contained scores of good and brave men, but none braver, better or more beloved than Lieut. Tom HOWARD of company B. When the army retreated he was left in the hands of the rebels, and his body lies buried in the pine clad hills of Louisiana, but his noble spirit has received a better reward, and the boys ot the Lake are to be commended for the selection of so good a name to designate their post."
The charter members of this post were: J. B. CHARLTON, H. A. GROVES, Ed. NICHOLS, G. W. RICHARDSON, James McLAUGHLIN, D. K. WILLIAMSON, G. W. DONALDSON, William H. SHENAFELT, William COX, John PHILLIPS, J. BOWERS, Fred SHELDON, D. SMITH, Benjamin LEONARD, F. LANDENBERG, E. NEWTON, A. COTTERELL, A. R. NETLEY, J. SPRAGUE, J. A. SMITH, C. A. HURNING, George E. PRIME.
In 1883 the post had thirty members, with the following:
Commander, J. B. CHARLTON; S. V. C., H. A. GROVES; J. V., Ed. NICHOLS; O. D, J. W. PHILLIPS; Q. M., G. W. RICHARDSON; adjutant, J. A. SMITH.
The commander is the presiding officer of the post and J. B. CHARLTON has held this position ever since its organization. The total membership in 1883 was thirty. There was one death from its membership.
Verity Lodge No. 250, A. F. & A. M. [Ancient Free and Accepted Masons], was organized under dispensation from grand master John SCOTT, on Friday Nov. 30, 1868, with the folowing officers:
M. P. ROSECRANS, W. M.; Marcus TUTTLE, S. W.; Edwin NICHOLS, J. W.; Charles WALBRIDGE, treasurer; George E. FROST, secretary; R O. SIRRINE S. D.; F. FOLSOM, J. D.; and James DICKINSON, tyler.
The lodge met in the hall in the third story of the Lake House, where the meetings were held until the June following, when they moved to TUTTLE & GOODWIN'S Block and from there to STEVEN'S Hall on Main street, at which place they met in 1883. The lodge meets on Wednesdays before the full moon in each month.
The names of the worshipful masters, and the terms they served, are as follows: M. P. ROSECRANS, two years; Marcus TUTTLE, three years; George E. FROSE, one year; R. O. SIRRINE, three years; W. R. PATRICK, one year; J. O. DAVIS, four years; A. D. ELDRIDGE, one year; G. F. McDOWELL being in office in 1883, at which time the lodge was in a flourishing condition.
Lake Side Lodge No. 170, A. O. U. W. [Ancient Order of United Workmen] of Clear Lake, was organized May 28, 1878, by the following charter members:
O. STEVENS, J. O. DAVIS, W. A. BURNAP, J. H. BOEYE, J. H. WOODSTOCK, George STOCK, Geo. STOCKBRIDGE, J. H. SALISBURY, Charles MILLER, Elon HAYES, O. A. BISHOP, H. D. WESTERMAN, C. O. INGALLS, William L. BACKHUS, A. H. GREEN, James NOLAN, E. D. BABCOCK, L. G. HOLLISTER, James A. RICE, (deceased), A. STEVENS, Marcus TUTTLE.
officers of this lodge were:
SALISBURY, financier; O. A. BISHOP, receiver.
The officers acting in 1883 were: J. O. DAVIS, P. M. W.; A. NELSON, M. W.; A. STEVENS, foreman; William L. BACKHUS, guide; Oscar STEVENS, overseer; William McFADDEN, recorder; J. H. BOEYE, financier; H. A. PALMETER, receiver.
When first organized this lodge contained thirty-nine members, but owing to various reasons in 1883 there were but twenty-nine. Only one death has occurred in the lodge from its organization to August, 1883; that of James A. RICE. The lodge was a flourishing one, and well represented by the most prominent men of Clear Lake.
Clear Lake Lodge, No. 187, I. O. O. F. [Independent Order of Odd Fellows] was organized under dispensation, Feb. 4,
1870. The charter members were:
The first officers were:
At the first meeting petitions for membership were received from George E. FROST, George R. CONGDON and James GOODWIN, all of which were accepted and duly installed. The receipts at the first meeting were $57.
The lodge was incorporated Dec. 16, 1878. The following is article second, in the form of their incorporation:
"The title of said corporation shall be Clear Lake Lodge, No. 187, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, formed for the object of improving the moral and social condition of its members and to create, hold, manage and disburse a beneficiary fund for the relief of the members of said corporation and their families under such laws, rules and regulation as are now and shall hereafter be prescribed by the Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of the United States, and the Grand Lodge of the State of Iowa for its government, and by such rules, by-laws and regulations as the corporation may establish, not in conflict with the constitution and laws of the State of Iowa."
The by-laws of the lodge were drafted by a committee consisting of C. H. STANLEY, L. F. KNAPPING and D. S. DODDS. The first regular officers were elected June 30, 1870, and were as follows:
N. W. ELLIS, N. G.; D. S. DODDS, O. G.; H. D. LINDLEY, R. S.; George E. FROST, treasurer; G. R. BEAVER, P. S.; J. W. PHILLIPS, G. R.
The lodge received its charter Oct. 26, 1870. The following have served as N. G. since the organization to 1883:
C. S. GOODWIN, George FROST, Oscar STEVENS, N. W. ELLIS, T. S. SIMPSON, J. H. BOEYE, C. S. GOODWIN, T. S. SIMPSON, E. D. BABCOCK, William L. BACKHAS, D. D. HAWE, J. H. WOODSTOCK, A. M. THAYER, D. G. HOLLISTER, J. A. SMITH, Thomas BAKER, J. H. SALISBURY, J. THACKER, D. R. WILLIAMSON and J. W. DAWSON.
In June, 1883, the following were the officers of the lodge:
J. W. DAWSON, N. G.; W. WINNIE, V. G.; J. H. BOEYE, treasurer; William McFADDEN, P. and R. secretary.
The lodge meets every Monday evening, and, in 1883, had a membership of fifty-four, in good standing. At that date their place of meeting was at STEVEN'S Hall, which they rented in November, 1882, for five years; sub-renting to the A. F. & A. M., the A. O. U. W., G.A.R. and the encampment of the I. O. O. F. In 1883 the lodge owned $300 worth of property and has several hundred dollars in cash in its treasury. They have suffered the loss of but one by death — George GILMORE.
Clear Lake Encampment, No. 107, I. O. O. F. worked under the dispensation given them June 22, 1882. The first officers were:
William L. BACKHAS, C. P.; J. H. SALISBURY, H. P.; J. H. SMITH, S. R.; J. THAYER, J. W.; J. W. PHILLIPS, guide; J. H. BOEYE, treasurer; Oscar STEVENS, scribe.
In 1883 the encampment numbered twenty-one members; holding meetings the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, in the hall of I. O. O. F.
"Tina" Lodge, No. 101, Rebekah Degree of the I. O. O. F., work under dispensation granted them April 14, 1800. N. W. ELLIS, N. G.; Minnie STEVENS, V. G.; William McFADDEN, secretary; Mrs. W. L BACKHUS, treasurer.
The charter members of the society were:
William McFADDEN, Mrs. A. E. McFADDEN, J. H. SALSIBURY, J. W. PHILLIPS and wife, Thomas BAKER and wife, N W. ELLIS, J. TASKER, A. M. THAYER, J. A. SMITH, Joseph BOWERS, Azor STEVENS, Mrs. S. A. STEVENS, Oscar STEVENS, J. H. BOEYE.
The charter was received Oct. 21, 1880. They had a membership of thirty-six in 1883. The lodge took its name in honor of Tina TASKER, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John TASKER, who died March 30, 1883, and was buried April 1, at Clear Lake Cemetery.
The Methodist Episcopal Church may justly claim the honor of first sending a herald of the cross to Clear Lake, which has since become so famous for its religious gatherings and church societies. In the summer of 1857, Elder Elias PATTEE preached the first sermon ever listened to at Clear Lake. The services were held at the house of Joseph Hewitt, near the bank of the lake. Elder PATTEE died Sept. 29, 1860, and his remains lie buried in the cemetery east of town. A class was organized at the time mentioned.
The following pastors served on the circuit in which Clear Lake was situated, from the time of the organization of the class, until 1870; Rev. W. P. HOLBROOK, Rev. James HAWKINS, Rev. GLASSNER, Rev. John BALL, Rev. GASSURE, Rev. TAYLOR, Rev. COOLEY, Rev. BURGE, Rev. A. S. GROOM, Rev. SMOY and Rev. WHITE.
In 1870 the Des Moines district, at its session held for such purposes, appointed Rev. James WILLIAMS to the circuit in November, 1870. The Rev. J. W. TODD, presiding elder of the Fort Dodge district, held the first quarterly meeting, of which J. M. DAVIS was recording secretary, and James PRICE, Ira L. BAILEY, Marcus TUTTLE, Levi LLOYD and J. TASKER were elected trustees, and YOKUM, LOCKWOOD, James PRICE, J. O. DAVIS and DYER were elected stewards.
The society was incorporated Nov. 20, 1870, and the church building was purchased the following year. The pastors since 1870, inclusive, were: Rev. James WILLIAMS, Rev. James A. ROBINSON, A. JAMISON, B. WEBSTER, M. CONLEY and Rev. J. WALKER.
In 1883 Rev. J. WALKER was pastor, with the following church officers: C. B. CHRISTIAN, treasurer of stewards, and T. CARTER of trustees. At this date the church had 145 members, with an average attendance of 185 at its services. In 1883 the society sold their old building and built in a more central location. The new church is a Gothic structure, costing about #4,000. They also have a good parsonage property. The Sunday school in 1883 was under the management of the pastor in charge, and had an enrollment of 165 members, with an average attendance of eighty-five.
Rev. J. W. WALKER, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Clear Lake, was born in the province of Ontario, Canada, in 1844. In 1870 he went to the United States and preached at St. Johnsbury, Vt., but feeling the need of a better education he took a preliminary course of study at the New Hampshire Seminary. After receiving his diploma he entered the Boston University, where he graduated with honors, in 1876. The same year he joined the New Hampshire Conference and was stationed at Amesbury, Mass. Then he filled four of the best appointments in the Conference: Keene, Methuen and Exeter. Compelled by throat troubles to leave the sea-coast, he bade farewell to the classic town of Exeter in the autumn of 1882, joined the Northwest Iowa Conference and came to Clear Lake.
Mr. WALKER is an impressive and effective speaker, his sermons having the true ring, and his efforts are greatly promoting the religious growth of his present charge. A beautiful church edifice was being erected in 1883 under his pastorate. Mrs. WALKER is a native of New Hampshire and received her education at the New Hampshire Seminary and Female College. After leaving school she passed three years in active temperance work and lectured snccessfully throughout that State, Massachusetts and Vermont. She left the platform to become a minister's wife, entering heart and hand into the work, and is beloved everywhere. Two little girls — Ethel and Marion — make sunshine in their home.
The Baptist Church was organized Jan. 30, 1867, at the Clear Lake school house, then situated at the corner of Main street. It took the name of the First Baptist Church. Revs. Freeman and Wood were present, aiding in the organization.
The first deacons were: Willard DORT and Elon A. TUTTLE. The first members were as follows:
Willard DORT, Elvira DORT, Rosa A. HOWARD, Levi FROST, Elizabeth SAXBY, Emma BRYAN, Elizabeth RIDER, Nancy PIZER, J. S. SAXBY, Joel FAY, Elon A. TUTTLE, Orrissa C. TUTTLE, Adelmer TUTTLE, Lucian TUTTLE, Marcus TUTTLE, Caroline M. TUTTLE, A. BATTERSON and Mrs. SPENCER.
Their house of worship was commenced in the autumn of 1872 and dedicated Dec. 15,1873. Tne dedication hymn was written by Mrs. L. BOARDMAN. This edifice cost about $2,000. The following pastors have served:
Revs. Morgan EDWARDS, F. H. HANNAH, J. L. COPPOCK, H. C. NASH, A. C. NICHOLAS and H. B. WATERMAN.
In 1883 the Church officers were: H. M. DAY, Thomas BAKER and W. S. HOWE, deacons; F J. FISHER, James DAWSON and Wilber GLIDDEN, trustees; H. O. WARNER, clerk; James DAWSON, treasurer At this date the membership was about sixty.
A Sunday school was organized Jan. 1, 1874. The first superintendent was M. J. HULL. In 1883 the superintendent was _. M. DAY. The total membership was then 146.
The Congregational Church of Clear, Lake was organized, in 1870, by Rev. A. S. ALLEN, who continued to be their pastor until 1876, when by an accident and old age he was obliged to give the work over to other hands. His labors were under the auspices of the American Home Missionary Society. The first organization consisted of nine members, and when his pastorate closed there were twenty-six. The Congregational and Methodist societies built a union church that finally became the sole property of the Methodists, after which Rev. A. S. ALLEN commenced to build a house of worship, and succeeded in getting a foundation and frame up when his labors ceased. In February, 1876, Rev. R. R. WOOD was called to be their pastor and served the church until 1878. His labors resulted in completing the building and adding to the church a membership of over forty. In August, 1878, the Rev. A. M. CASE was engaged as pastor, serving three years. At the close of his work the church numbered 100, above losses and removals and deaths. The Rev. CUTLER was next called, coming in February, 1882, remaining one year.
The following befitting tribute to Rev. A. S. ALLEN, one of the above pastors, was published in the Cerro Gordo County Republican under the head of "A good man fallen — Father ALLEN."
"The people of Clear Lake and Cerro Gordo county in general suffered a great loss in the death of Rev. A. S. ALLEN, who departed this life Nov. 8, 1876. His death was not unexpected to his friends, but when the final hour came, they were shocked and greatly mourned the sad event. Mr. ALLEN was a very remarkable man in many respects, and one whose works will live long after him, to bless the coming generations. He was born in Medfield, Mass., in the year 1797, and in his youth removed to Andover, N. Y., where he practiced law and was afterwards elected judge of one of the State courts. While under direction of Rev. Dr. HUNTER he studied theology, and in 1833 he entered the ministry and preached ten years to Congregational Churches in that State, at the end of which time he removed to Wisconsin, and soon after devoted his entire time and talent to the work of a home missionary. His benevolence was one of his adorning traits of character. When he began his ministerial career he was worth $30,000, but by his donations to charity and benevolence, ho expended nearly all of it. He was one of the first peace commissioners at Phidelphia. In 1848 he lost his wife — the choice of his youth — leaving a family of small children, to whom he was devotedly attached. In 1868 he located at Clear Lake, and afterward served Cerro Gordo county as school superintendent, to the entire satisfaction of all. He continued in his work with vigor and success until a few months prior to his death, when he, by reason of advanced years, was compelled to give it up. Mr. ALLEN stood out prominently as one of the noble grand old men, who seemed to have come down to us, as from the past. His heart and soul was in his work, and to do good was the chief aim of his life. But this grand Christian character has passed away, and he has been gathered to his fathers, like a shock of ripened grain is gathered into the garner to await its reward. The deceased left two sons and six daughters. Of the former, one is our well known townsman, Dr. ALLEN, and the other, Gen. Thomas ALLEN, of Oshkosh, Wis., editor of the North-west, and for four years Secretary of that State. The daughters are excellent types of pure Christian womanhood, whose lives have been devoted to the elevation of their sex and race. One was a missionary to Jamaica for years, and another a teacher among the Freedman at the South. In fact the impress of their father's goodness was distinctly marked in the life and character of all his children. The funeral services of this man — this pioneer patriot and Christian — was conducted by Rev. Mr. ADAMS, of Waterloo, Iowa.
Rev. R. R. WOOD, Congregational clergyman, was born in Franklin Co., Vt., in 1819. In 1837 he went to Grant Co., Wis. He entered the ministry in 1842 in connection with the Rock River Conference of the Methodist Church, and labored with that body until its division, when he became a member of the Wisconsin Conference. During the period of his labors as a Methodist minister, he had the following charges: Milford circuit in the R. R. Conference, the Dundee part of the Elgin circuit, Joliet, Black River Falls, Mission, Dodgeville, Delavan, Monroe, Sylvania circuits; thence to La Crosse, and was the first presiding elder of that district. He went from there to Providence, Wis., to Lancaster and Patch Grove, in Grant county. In 1861, feeling impelled to aid in the suppression of the rebellion that menaced the life of the Nation, he took temporary leave of the pulpit and hastened to enroll himself as a defender of the flag of a united people. He raised a company of the 2d Wisconsin Cavalry which he commanded in the field during two year's service, after which he resigned. In 1864 he raised company A. 53d Wisconsin Volunteere Infantry, and was its leader until the end of the war. He then engaged in mercantile business at La Crosse, and a year later resumed the ministry as a vocation, joining the West Wisconsin Conference and receiving the appointment of Leon circuit. His next charge was that of Black River Falls, where he continued one year. In 1869 he came to Iowa and was stationed at Frankville one year, after which he went to Burr Oak, and during the five years next succeeding interested himself in farming. In 1876 he came to Clear Lake and served as pastor of the CongregationalChurch two and a half years. In June, 1878, he went to Britt, Hancock county, and in December following he organized a Congregational society there, continuing its pastor until April 18, 1883, when he again resumed ministerial relations with the church at Clear Lake. Mrs. WOOD, formerly Sarah Ann TITSWORTH, was born in Logan Co., Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. WOOD have one son and four daughters.
THE ADVENT SOCIETY. At the first or early settlement of this place, this society had no representatives. The first believer in the doctrine at this place, that we have any knowledge of, was Mrs. Roxana CROWELL. In the year 1859 Elder Peter S. W. DEYO came here and preached a few sermons, but met with no visible success, and he became disheartened and went away. No more preaching of this doctrine was had until 1865 when Elder H. H. JAYNES came here and preached a few sermons, at which time four persons were converted to his faith, to-wit: Caleb FAY and wife, and Isaac PIZER and wife; but he didn't organize a society. Matters remained thus until the 9th day of March, 1867, when Elder DEYO returned and commenced a series of lectures at the old school house on the subject of the prophecies and other religious matters, continuing the same until the 25th of the month - the result of which was the conversion and baptism of many according to the usages and customs of that religious denomination. On the 20th of this same month, a petition was presented to the Elder, signed by some twenty persons, requesting him to organize a society of Christians at this place, taking the bible as their only rule of faith and practice; and accordingly, on the 22d, the people met for that purpose, and nearly thirty names were registered to the church covenant, who then proceeded to the election of officers, with the following result:
James DICKIRSON and Isaac PIZER were elected deacons, and C. S. GOODWIN, clerk. The society have employed as preachers Elder H. H. JAYNES and wife, F. H. KINNEY, Peter S. W. DEYO, C. C. RAMSEY and others.
In 1874 the society determined to build a chapel, and commenced work at once, and during the summer erected a Commodious building 26x40 feet in size, costing $1,000, all of which was paid as they progressed with their work. In 1883 regular services were not maintained.
The parks as well as the streets and public buildings of the town bespeak the
character of its people, and any one visiting Clear Lake cannot fail to admire the
taste displayed in both public and private grounds. The town park is situated on the
eastern shores of the lake, gently sloping to the waters edge. It was laid out with
the town in 1856, though but little improvements were made until 1872. George
E. FROST, editor of the Observer, suggested that "May Day" of that year be observed
by planting shade trees in the park. Each person was requested to plant one or more
trees. This timely suggestion was well heeded and before sundown, May 1, the
citizens had planted out 1,500 trees of various varieties, each tree bearing the
name of its donor for several months. In 1883 the trees thus planted were in
deed a charming sight to behold, towering thirty, forty and fifty feet, interlocking with the branches of the few
native trees which had screened the placid waters of the lake from the prairie landscape on the east, and had been the
camping ground of the savage tribes of Indians in former years. TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: The first band stand
in city park was constructed in 1877.
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: The first band stand in city park was constructed in 1877.
The first newspaper in Clear Lake village was the Independent, founded in 1860 by Silan NOYES and John M. BRAINARD. This paper was continued only one year, and moved to Hancock county.
In 1883 there were two papers, the Record, published by George E. FROST, and the Mirror by BUSH & HURN.
Another mark of the refinement and intelligence of the people of Clear Lake, is the respect paid their dead. The cemetery was first laid out by James DICKIRSON, in 1857, and re-platted by the town in 1872. The grounds are located less than a mile east of the town.
In May, 1878, Clear Lake was connected with Algona and Mason City by a telephone line.
Clear Lake village was incorporated as a town in 1871. The following is a list of those who have served as mayor, from that time to the present:
W. H. STANLEY, two years; M. W. WOOD, one year; H. H. SCHELL, one year; T. J. REED, one year; J. B. CHARLTON, three years; L. G. HOLLISTER, one year; Dr. George F. McDOWELL, four years. Mr. McDOWELL was mayor in 1883.
The town has always been cared for in a wise, judicious manner by the city council. It is provided with a fine hand fire engine costing $1,800. Thirty men can be used in forcing water with this engine. A hook and ladder company work in union with the fire department. The supply of water is furnished by several large cisterns built far enough from the surface so they will not freeze. These cisterns are usually tilled from the lake. The town may well be proud of its fire department, consisting of sixty members, all equipped with uniforms and well drilled.
The first to engage in trade in Clear Lake was T. S. PALMER, who opened a general store in 1855, and remained about five years. The next store was opened by P. F. STURGESS, of West Union. He built a store building on Main street, and sold goods about three years, and then returned to West Union, where he was living in 1S83. The next general store was that of BRAINARD & NOYES in 1862 or 1863. They sold to TUTTLE & GOODWIN. M. P. ROSECRANS bought TUTTLE & GOODWIN out in November, 1865, and run the only store in the place for the next year and then moved his stock to Belmond, Wright county. The town was next supplied with goods by TUTTLE & GOODWIN, who sold to WALBRIDGE & HICKS in 1870. Leonard STILSON opened the next general store, and after a year removed to Lake Mills, Iowa. In 1867 M. P. ROSCRANS again embarked in trade. He continued about six months and sold to Mr. STILSON, who removed the goods with others which he had to Lake Mills. John CHESTNUT was the next general dealer. He was succeeded by ONSTINE Bros., who closed out the stock.
Among others in trade were John O. DAVIS, L. CARTER, George EMMERSON and J. H. SALISBURY. In 1883 the business was in the hands of HUBBARD Bros. HALVERSON & Co., DAVIS & JAYNES, Christian & KNUDSON and HOLLISTER & HOWE.
The firm of DAVIS & JAYNES, general merchants, was founded in 1879. Their business is managed carefully, and on a basis of upright principles, and is deservedly successful. Their stock includes complete lines of general goods.
J. O. DAVIS, of the firm, came to Clear Lake in 1870, and entered upon the business of a merchant tailor. In 1875 the concern was merged in the firm of DAVIS & HUBBARD, and changed to general stock, which was continued until February, 1879, when the firm style became DAVIS, HUBBARD & Co. In November following the present co-partnership was formed. Mr. DAVIS is a native of Wales, born in 1836. His parents left their native land when he was a child and located in Lewis Co., N. Y. Mrs. DAVIS was formerly Ada M. PHILLIPS, born in New York. They have one daughter — Katie A., and one son, Clinton L.
The first exclusive hardware store was operated by Mr. MOORE, who was succeeded by PALMETER Bros. The next in this line was BISHOP & DAVIS, who sold to D. KNUDSON in 1881. The business in 1883 was represented by PALMETER Bros., and KNUDSON.
The firm of PALMETER Bros., general hardware dealers, consists of D[wight]. H. and H[erbert]. E. PALMETER, successors to J. H. SWEENEY.
They have been in business since February, 1874. Their father, Theron PALMETER , removed from Chautauqua Co., N. Y., to McHenry Co., Ill., remaining there until June, 1863, when he settled in Lake township in this county [Cerro Gordo], on a farm which he sold in 1882, and went to Britt, Hancock county. D[wight]. H. PALMETER [(1845-1931)], elder of the brothers, was born in June, 1846, in Chautauqua Co., N. Y., and came in February, 1863, to Cerro Gordo county. His wife was born in Potosi, Wis. She was, before her marriage, Ada S. ARMSTRONG. Mr. and Mrs. PALMETER have a son — Roy W., and a daughter, Linnie Vi. H[erbert]. E. PALMETER [(1848-1935)] was born in 1848. His wife, Emily E., daughter of J. A. FLETCHER, was born in Rock Co., Wis. Her death occurred in May, 1882. She left two children — John F. and Loro E. Palmeter. The Messrs. Palmeter are successful business men and are doing a thriving trade. They own 400 acres of land in Lake township, eighty acres of which were originally a part of their father's farm.
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Theron PALMETER died at the age of 92 on January 22, 1910. His wife, Uriah (BENTLEY) PALMETER, died at the age of 66 years on September 10, 1887. Theron and Uriah were interrerd at Clear Lake Cemetery. Dwight and Herbert PALMETER were also interred at Clear Lake Cemetery.
The first exclusive grocery stock was carried by N. CARPENTER, in 1868. He sold to T. S. SAMPSON. The second to deal in this line was Mr. TWITCHELL, who remained a short time and removed. F. CLEMENT was also among the early dealers in groceries. He afterward sold to BARTLETT, and he to KNAPPING & Co., who were still engaged in trade in 1883. McLAUGHLIN & WOODSTOCK bought the store room formerly occupied by TUTTLE & GOODWIN and opened the first large grocery establishment in the town. KNAPPING & Co., were the only exclusive dealers in 1883.
The drug trade was first represented by MAYES & HALL, in 1871. They sold to SMITH & PRIME, and a little later PRIME sold his interest to SMITH, and shortly afterward SMITH went out of business. In 1871 M. P. ROSECRANS and Dr. McDOWELL opened a drug store. After one year Mr. ROSECRANS sold to SIMESON & McDOWELL. J. H. SWEENEY started the next drug store, and soon after sold to A. D. ELDRIDGE, who was in trade in 1883, at which time he and John L. ETZEL did the drug business of the town.
Tne pioneer agricultural implement dealer at Clear Lake was Mr. MANNING, who came in 1868 and remained two years. He sold on commission for a Charles City house. H. A. GROVES was the next dealer. CARLYON Brothers came in 1873; the firm was later changed to T. H. CARLYON. The dealers in this branch of business in 1883 were: CARLYON, BOEYE, L. G. HOLLISTER and H. A. GROVES.
The first furniture store was started by R. W. CATLIN, in 1872. He afterward closed out and moved away from the place. The next was J. E. PERRY, who was the sole dealer in 1883.
J. E. PERRY, furniture dealer, began his business in January, 1881. He is a native of Milwaukee, Wis., born in 1838. He was brought up in Columbia and Dodge counties Wis., and when a young man, learned the trade of carpenter. He came to Clear Lake, Dec. 8, 1869, and followed his trade until the time mentioned, when he established his present business. His wife, formerly Katie McCLEMEND, was born in Washington Co., Wis. Ella, Edwin and Guy are the names of their children.
George E. FROST opened the first banking house in the place in 1866. This was the only bank in the place in 1883.
The first man to do wagon work in the vicinity of the Lake, was T. S. GARDNER, in 1862. Mr. GARDNER served in the army, and upon his return again worked at his trade, and in 1883 was running a repair shop just south of the town. The next to engage in the business was Mr. BERKLEY, who afterwards went in company with James WOOD. In 1874 Mr. BOEYE started a shop, and a little later, one was opened by M. BATES, who carried on the business in 1883.
Thomas S. GARDNER resides on section 24. His settlement in Lake township dates from the fall of 1859, when he located on section 11, residing there several years. In 1863 he enlisted in the 32d Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served until the termination of the war. He saw much active service and was engaged in a number of prominent battles and campaigns. After the close of the war he took up his residence in Hancock county. Four years later he purchased the property he now owns at Clear Lake. Mr. GARDNER was born in Otsego Co., N. Y., in 1822. In March, 1854, he moved to Wisconsin. He married Edna Amelia CLARK. Stanton, John, Mary, Harriet, George and Clara are the six promising children of a proud and happy father and mother.
John Henry BOEYE, wagon maker, was born Aug. 18, 1830, at Wesselburen, Holstein, a province in the dominion of Denmark. His father took part in the revolt of the people against the arbitrary rule of the king of Denmark in 1848, and thereby lost his property, which was considerable. He died before the end of the war, leaving his family in straitened circumstances. At the commencement of this rebellion the revolutionists had but one cannon and three cannon balls, and those constructed for guns of other calibre. They had 1,000 muskets of a motley character, a limited supply of ammunition, and no credit. The men armed themselves with scythes, pitchforks and everything that could be adapted as a weapon, and for three years the patriots waged their righteous war under the most advei'se circumstances, enduring the severest hardships with unflinching fortititude. They fought bravely for a cause worthy their sacrifices and sufferings, believing it involved their rights, - both human and divine. Denmark formed an alliance with Prussia and Austria, and the weak succumbed to the strong. The king made a few concessions to the people and peace was restored. Mr. BOEYE enlisted at seventeen in this war. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant and served in that capacity to the end of the war. His father was a carriage maker and he had learned the trade, which for a few months following the war he pursued. A draft into the service of the king, against whom he was recently in arms, was imminent, and, concluding that his absence from the Fatherland would be to his own individual interest, he took passage for America in a sailing vessel, and, after a tempestuous voyage of eighty-one days, landed at the city of New York. He was twenty-one years old, in a land of strange people, without money or friends, and wholly ignorant of the maimers, customs and language. His courage and resolution proved available aids and he obtained employment in the Harlem Carriage Manu. factory, where be remained a year. At its expiration he removed to St. Louis, and after a brief delay there, went to Calloway Co., Mo., and established the business of wagon and carriage making on his own account. Here he made the most satisfactory venture of his life, one which has been the most auspicious and of the greatest interest — his marriage with Anna Katrine DICKOP, which transpired Aug. 25, 1855. He did business in Calloway county three years, when he went to Chicago and worked at his trade six months. He then took up his residence at, Delhi, Delaware Co., Iowa, where he prosecuted his business and interested himself generally in social and political affairs. During this time he was warmly interested in the Davenport & St. Paul Railroad, in which company he now holds some stock. In 1874 he came to Clear Lake and opened his business anew, locating on Fourth street where he is carrying on a prosperous trade in the now celebrated "BOEYE wagon." Mr. BOEYE is a member of the Orders of Masons, Odd Fellows, and United Workingmen. He belonged three years to the town council and has been justice of the peace. Mr. and Mrs. BOEYE have had eight children, five of whom are yet living. A. N. BOEYE is private secretary of the N. W. R. R. Co., and lives at Eagle Grove. He is an attorney by profession and a stenographer. Mary A. is Mrs. S. WILCOX, wife of an attorney at Des Moines. Frank J., Anna and Ida are at home. The two oldest and the youngest child are deceased.
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: John Henry BOEYE died on September 13, 1908. Anna Kathrine (DICKOP) BOEYE was born February 3, 1836, and died August 26, 1896. They were interred at Clear Lake Cemetery.
The first blacksmith shop was conducted by Robert O. SIRRINE at a very early day. The next was Mr. HEATH, who purchased his tools of T. S. GARDNER during the war. The next were RICHARDSON & HAYS. Following them came Mr. BOEYE. In 1883 this trade was represented by: John CLAY, J. H. BOEYE, P. PRAMER, HITCHCOCK & DAWSON, and FELT & Co.
Clayton TOMPKINS operated the first boot and shoe shop in Clear Lake. He sold to Mr. TASKER. The business was also represented in 1883 by H. M. McGOWAN and A. G. JOHNSON.
Henry McGOWAN, boot and shoe dealer, established his business here in 1882. His assortment of stock comprises a full and complete line of wares suitable to the local demand. He was reared to manhood at Johnstown Centre, Rock Co., Wis., but is a New Yorker by birth, born in New York city, April 12, 1851. His parents located in Rock county, where he learned his trade under the supervision of his father, James McGOWAN, who is still a resident at Johnstown Centre. Mrs. McGOWAN was formerly Ella C. PALMER, daughter of Dr. N. H. PALMER, a pioneer settler of Charles City, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. McGOWAN have one child — James P. McGPWAM. Mr. McGOWAN has been engaged many years in his present business, and has lived at Clear Lake since 1880.
J. TASKER, dealer in boots and shoes, established his present business at Clear Lake in 1869, prior to any similar enterprise in the vicinity. He was born in England in 1829, and learned the details of the shoemaker's craft in Sheffield. Some years before he reached his majority an elder brother came to America, and settled at Council Hill, Ill. He is a clergyman by profession. When Mr. TASKER, of this sketch, was twenty-one years of age, the family started to establish a home in this country, leaving behind one son, who still lives at Sheffield. The purpose of their emigration was never accomplished, as the father, mother and eldest daughter died of cholera while en route from New Orleans. The remaining children settled at Council Hill. Mr. TASKER went, after a few years, to Wisconsin, residing in Grant, and subsequently in Crawford counties. He married Cordelia M. SCELLINGER, a native of New York. Two of five children are still living — Josephine and Newell. Two children died in infancy. Tina, an estimable young lady, died March 30, 1883, aged nearly twenty-three years. She was universally beloved, and her name and memory are perpetuated in the style of Tina lodge of the Order of Rebecca (sic), at Clear Lake.
The first harness shop was run by Peter WEST, who remained but a short time. He was succeeded by various others. In 1883 the business was in the hands of Daniel GILBERT and A. R. ATWOOLL.
The first to engage in the livery business was John W. PHILLIPS, in 1869. He continued only a few years and closed out his stock. The next who entered this business was O. SWEET, who, in 1876, formed a partnership with Charles CALLANAN. The firm subsequently dissolved, and Mr. SWEET went out of business. Charles T. CLARK engaged in the business in 1876, building a new frame barn on the corner, between the Phillips and Lake Hotels. In 1880 George LAMSON opened a livery. The last named and Charles T. CLAKR, were the only ones in the business in 1883.
George LAMSON, livery man, was an early settler in Iowa, his residence in the State dating from August, 1845. He was born in Essex Co., N. Y., Oct. 16, 1829. In August, 1845, his father emigrated to this State, and settled in Jackson county, ten miles west of the present town of Maquoketa, where he spent the remainder of his life. Mr. LAMSON was engaged in farming in Jackson county until 1866, when he removed to Anamosa, Jones Co., Iowa. He remained eight years, operating in grain and stock. In 1874 he transferred his business to Garner, Hancock county, and in 1880 he came to Clear Lake, where he entered upon his present business, succeeding ROEHE & HALL. His brother, E. T. LAMSON, is a prominent citizen of Greene, Butler county. Mr. LAMSON was married, in Jackson county, to Nancy DUNCAN. They have two sons and five daughters.
In 1883 the legal profession was represented the following, whose sketches appear in the Bar chapter: LEE & ADAMS, BUSH & HUM, M. P. ROSECRANS and George E. FROST.
At this date the physicians of that town were Drs. McDOWELL, Charlton, WRIGHT and SPAULDING.
The first regular photographer was G. H. ROE, who came in 1874. A little later came S. SLOCUM. In 1883 the business was carried on by H. S. MATHER.
H. S. MATHER, photographer, established his business here in 1881, and is the only representative of his art in the city. He is a good artist and thoroughly competent to excel in all branches of his business. He has recently erected a new building with excellent arrangements for first-class work. He makes a specialty of telescopic views of Clear Lake and vicinity and has constantly on hand an assortment of views of the Lake, village and camping ground. Mr. MATHER is a native of Cazenovia, N. Y., and was born in 1836. He studied the technique of his art at Morrisville, N. Y., and has pursued his present calling since 1865. His wife, Jennie (SLOCUM) MATHER, is also a native of Cazenovia.
The first jewelry store at Clear Lake was established by Matt. SIMESON in the fall of 1869, which he discontinued after ten years of active business, in consequence of ill health. He was a Norwegian by birth, born in 1846, came to America and learned his craft in La Crosse with George E. STANLEY. He died at West Salem, La Crosse Co., Wis., Sept. 6, 1881. He left no family.
O. R. SIMENSON, brother and successor to Matt. SIMENSON, was born in Norway in 1848. In 1850 his father moved his family to the new world and found an abiding place in La Crosse Co., Wis. Mr. SIMENSON learned the printer's trade at La Crosse and in the spring of 1870 came to Clear Lake, where he was employed as a compositor on the Clear Lake Observer. He abandoned the printer's art to become a jeweler, and acquired the details of the business in the shop of his brother to whose interests he succeeded. He married an English lady, Hattie WESTERMAN. Etta Marie SIMENSON is the only child.
The United States Express Company established an office at Clear Lake in 1870. Maurice ROACH was the first agent. He was also the first station agent. He was succeeded by A. R. CHAPMAN, who held both offices in 1883.
The first to buy and ship grain was L. O. HUNTLY. About 1877 the Northwestern Grain Company erected a large elevator, and were doing the principal business in 1883.
In the winter of 1869-70 the first lumber yard at Clear Lake was established by WOODFORD, WHEELER & JOHNSON. The lumber was drawn by teams from Mason City, and the business transactions were conducted by the firm as named until the retirement of Mr. JOHNSON in 1873. In 1873, George G. WOODFORD was associated with the operating parties, WOODFORD & WHEELER, when the style became WOODFORD, WHEELER & Co. The firm have a very extensive lumber trade, and deal largely in coal, lime and brick. The senior partner of the original copartnership, Truman WOODFORD, is a resident of Milwaukee. He is a native of New York, and went to Wisconsin about 1856. His lumber interests are extensive and cover a period of twenty-five years Mr. WHEELER is also a non-resident, being in charge of a yard at Nora Springs. George G. WOODFORD is a nephew of Truman WOODFORD, and son of Romania WOODFORD. He was born in Tioga Co.,N. Y., Oct. 19, 1834. He grew to manhood on a farm, but was engaged for many years in lumber and stock trade in his native State. He came to Clear Lake in July, 1869, and purchased his present lumber interests, removing his family to this place in October following. Mr. WOODFORD was born in Ontario Co., N. Y. They have two children — Charles R. and Susie, born in Tioga Co., N. Y.
G. B. HANEY, of the firm of GILMAN & HANEY, lumber dealers, was born in the State of Tennessee, in 1848. His father, J. M. HANEY, was a native of Alabama and his mother, Mary E. WINSETT, was born in Tennessee, Mr. HANEY removed with his parents to Wisconsin about 1850. His father is deceased, and his mother resides at Osage, Michael Co., Iowa. Mr. HANEY resided in Osage from 1866 till he came to Clear Lake, where he was for sometime engaged in mercantile business. He came to Clear Lake in the fall of 1882, at which time the present partnership was formed. His wife, Mary MILLER HANEY, was born in Pennsylvania; they have two children — Bernard and James.
The first hotel in the town was built by Jame CROW in the winter of 1855. He was succeeded by A. P. HARPER, E. CROWELL and Dr. STANSBURY. Subsequently the Lake House was built [in 1858] by James DICKIRSON, who occupied it, as landlord, for several years, when he leased it to J. H. WOOLSEY and then sold it to John CHESTNUT.
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: The Lake House stood at the corner of Main Avenue and South 3rd Street. It was constructed of native oak and walnut, was three stories tall and measured 38 x 68 feet. During the late 1890's it was moved to the south side of the lot and used as a rooming house. The foundation was so well constructed that it was later used as the foundation for the Park Hotel (a.k.a Elk and Rogers Hotel). In 1917, W. F. RICH bought the building for $87.50 who used some of the fram timbers in the construction of other buildings on the RICH farm.
The PHILLIPS House was opened in 1869 by J. W. PHILLIPS, who was still operating it in 1883.
John W. PHILLIPS, proprietor of the PHILLIPS House, Clear Lake, was born Aug. 14, 1821, in the town of Riga, Monroe Co., N. Y. He is the eldest of nine children, and remained a resident of his native State until he was twenty-two years of age. He was married to Louisa RICHMOND, a native of Ogden, Monroe Co., N. Y., and they removed to Dodge Co., Wis., in 1843. They changed their residence to Randolph Center, Columbia county, September, 1846. They came to Clear Lake in 1869. Mr. PHILLIPS enlisted as a soldier in the civil war, Aug. 14, 1862, in company E, 29th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, serving nine months and receiving his discharge for physical disability. The Clear Lake Moon published the following sketch of the army experience of Mr. PHILLIPS:
"On the breaking out of the war, he enlisted in Captain DUNHAM'S company, in the regiment commanded by Col. C. R. GILLS, and took his place in the ranks as a private, where he remained until his constitution, once so robust, gave way under the sufferings and trials of a soldier's life, and we next hear of him at Helena, Ark., prostrated on a bed of sickness, and finally the news was brought to his family that he was dead, that he had died in the hospital, but soon after word came that he was living The facts of the case were these. He left his company sick with typhoid fever and grew worse gradually until he ceased to breathe, so far as could be observed. The physician pronounced him dead. He was then removed to the dead house, and preparations were made for his burial. But the parties whose duly it was to bury him, thought they discovered signs of life. He was taken back to the hospital and life was restored, although it was many weeks before he acquired sufficient strength to be about again. From this sickness he never fully recovered. Mr. PHILLIPS was one of the earliest settlers of Dodge Co., Wis. He located on a quarter section of land, which he sold three years after for $1,000 and removed to Columbia county. He has managed a hotel since 1871. Previous to 1882 he had a number of sail and row boats on Clear Lake. Mr. and Mrs. PHILLIPS have had five children, four of whom survive — Albertus Z., Alice (Mrs. Darian HAWK); Mrs. Clarissa CLARK and George J., and Huldah Ann, wife of George RICE, who died in 1880."
The FELT House once stood near the PHILLIPS house, but in 1877 or 1878 was moved to a point opposite the city park, and there run as a Turkish bath house; but in 1881 it was remodeled into a first class hotel and operated as such in 1883. In 1870 J. M. EMMERSON, of Dubuque, purchased, the island in the lake, and erected one of the finest hotels in the State, and at a great expense had it fitted up in modern style as a summer resort. Mr. EMMERSON also had charge of the steamer Lady of the Isle, which made connections with all passenger trains. This house was leased to BROWNS & ENGELS, later to a Mr. BURGH, of New York city, who operated it until the spring of 1875, when it was destroyed by fire. The building and furniture were valued at $30,000. Lake View House was built in 1876 by L. V. DAVIS. It is midway between the village and the camp ground park. The same year the PARK House, located on the State camp grounds, was built by the Camp Ground Association. Both the Lake View and PARK House, in 1883, were only run as summer hotels, as was the WEBSTER House, just east from the camp grounds. The regular hotels, doing a commercial business in 1883, were the Lake, PHILLIP and FELT Houses.
The STEVENS House was built ready for occupancy, May 1, 1882. This hotel is located at STEVENS Landing,on a high property, on the southwestern shore of the lake, a distance of two and one-half miles from the foot of Main street, and about the same from the camp grounds. The building is a frame structure, about 60x60 feet, two stories in height. It is situated in one of the most picturesque and charming spots in the region of the lake. It is about twenty-five feet above the water level in the lake, and in 1883 had become one of the most popular places of resort in the lake region. The grounds are made beautiful by the hand of nature alone; the native timber, composed of stately oaks, sheading the surrounding grounds.
In the spring of 1856 Edward NICHOLS and Oscar STEVENS built a steam saw-mill at Clear Lake — the first erected at that place. It was managed by NICHOLS & STEVENS about two years, when it was partially destroyed by an explosion of the boiler, when Mr. STEVENS purchased the interest of his partner, refitted the works, and operated it something like six years. The site of the mill was on SIRRINE'S Addition on the east side of the lake. Mr. STEVENS removed the mill in 1872, and fixed it just north of his flouring mill, where it stood until April, 1883. It was then moved to Emmettsburg.
A few years later Marcus TUTTLE built a steam saw-mill in the village near the lake shore. It was primarily under the management of Mr. TUTTLE, followed by L. V. DAVIS. These mills afforded much substantial benefit to the settlers. The last named structure is now the barn of the Lake View House.
In 1869 Oscar STEVENS built a small frame structure at the outlet of the lake, about twenty rods west of the site of the flouring mill now in operation, in which was placed the first flouring mill at Clear Lake. It had two run of stone, and was owned by Z. LUDDINGTON. When it was finished, Mr. STEVENS bought a half interest in it, and later became its sole owner. A short time after it was burned, together with a large quantity of grain held in store for flouring. There was no insurance on mill or contents and, occuring in mid-winter, was a severe loss to the owner, a man struggling to get on in the world and heavily in debt to the former owner, then resident at Uniontown, Penn. Mr. STEVENS communicated to him without delay an account of the disaster, and Mr. LUDDINGTON replied generously deferring his own security until Mr. STEVENS should rebuild and establish his business.
Accordingly in the ensuing spring Mr. STEVENS began a larger and better mill, but met with another misfortune. An accident in his saw-mill resulted in a crushed foot which disabled him for many months. Yet without money he managed to push the process of reconstruction in which he was engaged until completion was reached. Mr. STEVENS still owns and operates the mill. It is a frame building with main part two stories high above the basement, 30x40 feet, having an addition 16x40 feet. The basement extends under the entire building. It is located at the outlet of the lake a few rods below its mouth, and is run by water-power. It has three run of stone and a feed mill. The business is extensive and the quality of the manufactures most excellent.
Mr. STEVENS is a native of Wayne Co., Penn, and was born in 1833. Alfred STEVENS, his father, was a Vermonter by birth, emigrating with his parents to Pennsylvania when a boy. The latter went to Illinois with his family in 1836. He afterward went to Racine, Wis., where he lived two years before his death. Oscar STEVENS came to Clear Lake May 1, 1855, and has been continuously engaged in the milling business. In 1879 he built a tower on STEVENS' Point overlooking the lake. This was destroyed by a tornado, and from the material Mr. STEVENS built the STEVENS' Park Hotel.
This enterprise has attracted the attention and turned the eyes of almost the
entire Nation toward northern Iowa, and has done more for Cerro Gordo county
than any other one thing. Upon the organization of the Northwestern Iowa (Methodist) Conference,
held at Ft. Dodge in the fall of 1871, Rev. John Hogarth LOZIER, of that conference,
now presiding elder of Sioux City district was appointed chairman of a committee
to select a site for a conference camp ground. This committee visited various
points in the conference, including Okoboji and Spirit Lakes, and finally decided
upon Clear Lake as the most suitable place, all things considered, for a camp
meeting ground and also for a summer resort. They based their opinion mainly
upon the fact, that, in addition to Clear Lake being bountifully supplied with fish,
its waters were better sheltered by timber from heavy winds, and therefore safer for
sailing parties; while its extensive shallow bathing beach, entirely safe for women
and children, with water warmer than that of most lakes fed by living springs,
together with other reasons, marked this as fitted by nature for a summer resort
and desirable location for a camp ground.
But before this site had been fixed upon and improvements commenced, the other
conferences were asking for a "part and lot in this matter" also. It was accordingly decided to make it a State camp
ground, instead of limiting to one conference.
As Mr. LOZIER had some ready money he was requested to purchase the grounds,
providing against any "fancy price" which might have been asked had it been
known what it was for. The ministers in the several conferences agreeing, in writing, to help Mr. LOZIER to raise the
money to secure the whole property to the church.
With this understanding an association was formed of which Mr. LOZIER was
made president, Cyrus SPAULDING, vice-president, Rev. R. W. KEELER, secretary,
J. GARMORE, treasurer, and Edward SHAW superintendent, and constituted the board
of managers, under whose supervision the grounds were cleared, buildings
erected, and the enterprise carried to a high degree of perfection. Unfortunately
for Mr. LOZIER'S pocket, the financial panic, resulting from the failure of Jay
COOKE, threw the country into such a condition that the men who pledged to help
raise the funds to re-imburse him, were never able to fulfill their promises, so Mr.
LOZIER had to carry almost the entire financial burden, which he did at a great
sacrifice to himself and family, and he never could have tided the enterprise over
the crisis had it not been for Mr. Truman WOODFORD, of Milwaukee, a heavy creditor
of the enterprise, and now its honored president.
During Rev. Mr. LOZIER'S administration he was the target of much abuse and
false accusation, as he was at the time being run by the radical temperance people of Iowa, against GEER, for
Governor of the State, but a committee, chosen by the severally interested M. E.
Conferences after a most thorough and searching investigation, published a complete vindication of both Mr. LOZIER and
his associates, a copy of which is too long for a work of this character.
After a vindication of the founder of of the giant enterprise they all agreed to
carry out their original purpose, and accordingly requested each of the conferences of northern Iowa, to be equal in
possession and control of the same, and it is now in their hands, as shown by the public records of 1882.
Mr. LOZIER was promptly chosen as one of the trustees from his district, but declined any active management of the park,
and paid his way, and that of his family, into the grounds that he virtually originated and gave to the church.
This camp ground association have made many fine improvements about the
Lake. This tract containing several acres of land, slopes gradually to the southwest
to the beach of the prettiest sheet of water in all Iowa The grounds are
covered with beautiful oak and hickory trees of natural growth, and they have
streets and avenues like a village, with a goodly number of cottages belonging to
stock and lot owners of the concern.
Upon the organization of the Northwestern Iowa (Methodist) Conference, held at Ft. Dodge in the fall of 1871, Rev. John Hogarth LOZIER, of that conference, now presiding elder of Sioux City district was appointed chairman of a committee to select a site for a conference camp ground. This committee visited various points in the conference, including Okoboji and Spirit Lakes, and finally decided upon Clear Lake as the most suitable place, all things considered, for a camp meeting ground and also for a summer resort. They based their opinion mainly upon the fact, that, in addition to Clear Lake being bountifully supplied with fish, its waters were better sheltered by timber from heavy winds, and therefore safer for sailing parties; while its extensive shallow bathing beach, entirely safe for women and children, with water warmer than that of most lakes fed by living springs, together with other reasons, marked this as fitted by nature for a summer resort and desirable location for a camp ground.
But before this site had been fixed upon and improvements commenced, the other conferences were asking for a "part and lot in this matter" also. It was accordingly decided to make it a State camp ground, instead of limiting to one conference. As Mr. LOZIER had some ready money he was requested to purchase the grounds, providing against any "fancy price" which might have been asked had it been known what it was for. The ministers in the several conferences agreeing, in writing, to help Mr. LOZIER to raise the money to secure the whole property to the church. With this understanding an association was formed of which Mr. LOZIER was made president, Cyrus SPAULDING, vice-president, Rev. R. W. KEELER, secretary, J. GARMORE, treasurer, and Edward SHAW superintendent, and constituted the board of managers, under whose supervision the grounds were cleared, buildings erected, and the enterprise carried to a high degree of perfection. Unfortunately for Mr. LOZIER'S pocket, the financial panic, resulting from the failure of Jay COOKE, threw the country into such a condition that the men who pledged to help raise the funds to re-imburse him, were never able to fulfill their promises, so Mr. LOZIER had to carry almost the entire financial burden, which he did at a great sacrifice to himself and family, and he never could have tided the enterprise over the crisis had it not been for Mr. Truman WOODFORD, of Milwaukee, a heavy creditor of the enterprise, and now its honored president.
During Rev. Mr. LOZIER'S administration he was the target of much abuse and false accusation, as he was at the time being run by the radical temperance people of Iowa, against GEER, for Governor of the State, but a committee, chosen by the severally interested M. E. Conferences after a most thorough and searching investigation, published a complete vindication of both Mr. LOZIER and his associates, a copy of which is too long for a work of this character.
After a vindication of the founder of of the giant enterprise they all agreed to carry out their original purpose, and accordingly requested each of the conferences of northern Iowa, to be equal in possession and control of the same, and it is now in their hands, as shown by the public records of 1882.
Mr. LOZIER was promptly chosen as one of the trustees from his district, but declined any active management of the park, and paid his way, and that of his family, into the grounds that he virtually originated and gave to the church.
This camp ground association have made many fine improvements about the Lake. This tract containing several acres of land, slopes gradually to the southwest to the beach of the prettiest sheet of water in all Iowa The grounds are covered with beautiful oak and hickory trees of natural growth, and they have streets and avenues like a village, with a goodly number of cottages belonging to stock and lot owners of the concern.
Their tabernacle, built in 1876, has a seating
capacity of over 1,000; it is an octagon, running high enough for gallery rooms
above. This is nestled in the midst of a beautiful heavy growth of oaks on the
most elevated portion of the plateau. Down on the beach there are bath houses
erected, and docks for the many row and sail boats which ply the lake in the summer months. They also have a large
tower and observatory near to and overlooking the lake. Total cost of improvements about $12,000. The Clear Lake
Park association own about forty acres of land, lying between the railroad and
lake; have it laid out for the accommodation of summer residents and visitors,
with special depot, hotel, market, postoffice, pavilion for meeting purposes, private residences, camp grounds, etc.
Since the organization of this Camp Ground Association, Clear Lake has become quite noted throughout the whole
western country, and it has been the great gathering place, every summer since then,
for all the State meetings and conventions, especially those of a religious character,
such as camp meetings, temperance jubilees, musical concerts, Sunday school assemblies, etc. To these gatherings there
has always been a very large attendance from all parts of Iowa, and many from out
the adjacent States. The most noted men of the Nation have favored this place by
lectures, speeches and sermons, many which have been Rev. Dr. NEWMAN, of
Washington, D.C, Dr. VINCENT, T. De Witt TALMAGE, the several bishops of the
M.E. Church, and other distinguished men who have been listened to by the thousands.
Since the organization of this Camp Ground Association, Clear Lake has become quite noted throughout the whole western country, and it has been the great gathering place, every summer since then, for all the State meetings and conventions, especially those of a religious character, such as camp meetings, temperance jubilees, musical concerts, Sunday school assemblies, etc. To these gatherings there has always been a very large attendance from all parts of Iowa, and many from out the adjacent States. The most noted men of the Nation have favored this place by lectures, speeches and sermons, many which have been Rev. Dr. NEWMAN, of Washington, D.C, Dr. VINCENT, T. De Witt TALMAGE, the several bishops of the M.E. Church, and other distinguished men who have been listened to by the thousands.
Among the early physicians was Dr. M. M. SKINNER, who was born in Onondaga Co., N. Y., April 1], 182.5. His father, Peter SKINNER, though a man of energy and intelligence, was unable to give his son a liberal education, and he was thrown upon his own resources. After receiving a common school education, he continued his studies without a tutor for several years, teaching school winters to pay his way. He studied medicine in Fulton Medical College at Oswego, N. Y., graduating at the Medical College of Woodstock, Vt., in May, 1850. He began the practice of his profession in Washingtonville, Oswego Co., N. Y. Dr. SKINNER was married to a sister of Hon. H. G. PARKER, of Mason City. From Oswego county he moved to Litchfield, Herkimer Co., N. Y., where he secured quite an extensive practice. In November, 1856, he moved to Anamosa, Jones Co., Iowa, where his older brother, Pratt R. SKINNER, had settled.
Early in the spring of 1857 he removed to Clear Lake, where his brother-in-law, H. G. PARKER, resided At that time Clear Lake City was only a small cluster of log houses at the east end of the lake. Although it was not his intention to practice medicine in this county, it was soon known that he was a physician and he was almost compelled to attend the sick. Early in life he had worked at the carpenters trade some, and from his acquaintance with tools, he constructed the first revolving horse hay rake ever used in Cerro Gordo county. He delivered the oration at the first 4th of July celebration in the county, at Clear Lake, in 1851. He was appointed county school superintendent, in 1858, to fill a vacancy. He also taught school at Clear Lake City, in a log cabin, during the winter of 1857-8. In 1858 he removed to Anamosa, Iowa, where he was living in 1883.
During his residence at Clear Lake, he found the skull of a human being, near the house of James SIRRINE; and upon examination it was found to have the mark of a knife, clearly indicating that the victim had been scalped by tbe Indians. It was supposed by some to be the head of a white man, and by some that of Pacheukar, the young Indian, who had been shot, beheaded and scalped by the Sioux, several years before, near R. O. SIRRINE'S house.
1895 Clear Lake Township Plat Map
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