Cerro Gordo County Iowa
Part of the IaGenWeb Project
Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Prior to Dec. 17, 1856, the territory comprising Falls township was in
that known as Owen [Township]. It is bounded on the north by Worth county, on the east by
Floyd and Mitchell counties, on the south by Portland township, and on the West
by Lime Creek [township], and comprises township 97, range 19 west. The land is for the
most part prairie, and the surface gently rolling, with some quite flat land in the
northeast part. Along the Shell Rock river in some places are seen fine native
groves, however, most of the native timber has been cut off and a flourishing
second growth has sprung up. The soil is a rich, dark loam, and very productive.
Wheat used to be the chief crop, but late years it has not been a profitable crop,
and the farmers have turned their attention more especially to other cereals and
stock raising, in which they have been much more successful. In this section of
the county may be found some of the finest horses and cattle in northern Iowa.
The township is well watered by the Shell Rock river and its tributaries. This
stream enters the township from the north, on section 5, and takes a general southern
and eastern course, passing through sections 8, 16, 17, 21, 22 and 27, and across the
corner of 26 to 35, and from thence into Portland township. It is a beautiful
stream, and in an early day supplied an abundance of fish. One of the tributaries
of this pretty rock-bottomed stream enters the township from the west on section 6,
passes through this and cuts across the corner of section 7 to section 8, where it
enters the Shell Rock river. Another branch enters the township from Worth
county, on section 3, and passes west to section 4, through that section in a general
southern course to section 9, thence to section 16, into 15, and back into 16, where
it joins the Shell Rock river.
The first permanent settler in Falls township was Elijah WILTFONG, who was a native of Ohio. He came from Indiana, in 1853, made claim to a large tract of land, and built his cabin on setion 21, where he lived until 1863, when he removed to Oregon. In 1883 he was living in Los Angeles, Cal. His son came with him to Iowa, and took a claim on the same section with his father, and afterward moved to the Pacific coast.
John MYERS came, in the spring of 1854, and located on section 6. He built a small cabin and lived there until 1856, at which time he sold out and went to Kansas.
James WRIGHT, a native of Brown Co., N. Y., came to the township in 1854, purchasing a claim on section 17, but for some reason did not prove up, but sold his claim in the fall to Lewis MOSHER, and took another claim, on section 5, where he built him a cabin, broke and fenced a few acres. In the fall of 1855 he again sold to George FREDERICK, and in the spring of 1856 removed to Minnesota, and from there to Kansas, where he died March 18, 1859. His widow is now the wife of John D. MASSEY, who lives in Rock Falls.
Robert CAMPBELL, a native of Columbiana Co., Ohio, came here from Porter Co., Ind., in October 1854, coming over land by teams. He settled on the northwest quarter of section 16, lived in a log house, 14x16 feet, which had split puncheon for the floor and was roofed by shakes. It was here, in this humble abode, that the first white child in this town was born — Delphina CAMPBELL. The first marriage ceremony was also made sacred within this rude cabin home. The family remained in this house three years and then moved to section 17, where they lived until 1874. Mr. CAMPBELL now  resides in Mason City.
Mahlon BROWN, a native of New York, came in May, 1854, and settled on section 16, where he built a log house and lived for two years then moved to the prairies on section 15, where he remained seven or eight years then went to Dakota and later to California, after a few years stay there, he returned to Dakota Territory and then died.
George and Peter CLYMER came in 1854. George settled on section 8, where he lived a short time and then moved to Lime Creek, where, in a few years he died. His brother Peter settled near Worth county line and lived there about two years, then went to Winnebago county, and located.
Among the few settlers who located in the township in 1854 was Richard MORRIS. Upon his arrival, he had but $1.60 left in his pocket and no funds from which to draw. lie at once sought employment by which to drive the "wolf from his door," and he got work on a saw mill, which was going up at Nora Springs. He sowed some buckwheat and planted a small patch of corn, near Nora Springs, which provided something upon which to subsist during the following winter. In October of that year he came to Falls township, and bought a claim on section 22. There was a small cabin on the land, but it had no roof, so he at once covered it with shakes. He was forced to sell one of his horses to raise money with which to enter his land, and then had to borrow, paying 40 per cent, in order to make out enough. His family lived the first winter on buckwheat cakes and corn meal ground in a coffee mill. The following spring he went to the Turkey river for some flour, and paid $6 per hundred after going that long journey of sixty miles and return. This family contented themselves in this cabin until 1879, at which time they built a comfortable house.
Mr. MORRIS is a Green Mountain boy by birth, having first seen the sunlight in Bennington Co., Vt., Nov. 28, 1812. During the first year of his life his parents removed to Washington Co. N. Y. In 1824 they became residents of Cattaraugus county, in the same State, where they were early settlers. There his father bought government land and cleared a farm. Mr. MORRIS remained at home until twenty-one years of age when he was married to Fannie STODDARD, a native of Vermont, born Dec. 1, 1811. He purchased forty acres of land in Erie Co., N. Y., built a log house, cleared most of his tract of land and held it as a homestead four years, when he moved to LaGrange, Wyoming county. Five years later he changed his residence to Roscoe, Ohio, and worked three years as a carpenter, when he again made a transfer to Dresden, sixteen miles from Roscoe. Here he bought a team and engaged in the transfer of supplies and manufactures for a distillery, operating between Dresden and Zanesville. After three years he purchased a lot in Uhrichsville, Tuscarawas Co., Ohio, built a house and worked as a carpenter until 1853, when he set forth to seek a spot for a home in the west. He spent a winter in McHenry Co., Ill., and the following spring came to Iowa. The next fall he settled in township 97 north, range 19 west of the fifth principal meridian, buying a claim on section 22.
The record of Mr. MORRIS is eminently creditable to him. Coming to the State with nothing but his team, he has pushed his way with energy and economy, until he owns 420 acres of land, well equipped with good buildings.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. MORRIS, ten in number, were born in the following order — Edwin F., Florilla, Charles S., Mary J., Ellen, Rebecca, Joseph, Matilda, Olive A. and Alice. Ellen died when six years old. Mary became the wife of Minor WRIGHT, settled in Kansas, and died in 1877, leaving four children.
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Richard MORRIS died November 3, 1883, and was interred at Rock Falls Cemetery, Rock Falls.
Chauncy LUGARD, said to have been an Italian by birth, came from Canada in 1854, and settled on section 25. He was a natural genius and a good mechanic, but was addicted to drink. He lived here until 1863 when he moved away.
Benjamin SUTTON, a native of Devonshire, England, came from Wisconsin in 1854, and entered 400 acres of land in this township. He went to the land office at Des Moines to enter the land, making the journey on foot. In the fall of 1855 he came back from Wisconsin, and spent the winter in hunting and rail-splitting — getting out fencing enough for a quarter section of land. In July, 1856, he sold his land and returned to Wisconsin, and in 1857 he started back to Iowa with some cattle, crossing the Mississippi river at McGregor with 100 head, ten of which he sold, and the balance he brought through to this township. He let them graze during the summer, and provided an ample supply of prairie hay for them to feed upon during the winter months. He kept this drove of young stock at the grove on section 8, retaining them until 1861, when he sold them and purchased land on section 8, where he erected good buildings, and there resides at the present time.
Ira WILLIAMS, a native of New York, came to Falls township in 1855, from Illinois. He settled on section 17, where he made a hay house and strewed hay upon the ground for a floor. In this abode he and his family lived for two years, when they built a log cabin, which at first was roofed with bark, but later by shakes. In 1859 he sold out and moved over into Lincoln. He served as a soldier in the last war, and died in Lincoln township in 1877. His widow, now the wife of O. E. THOMPSON, still resides in that township.
Adam KRAMER came from Muscatine Co., Iowa, in 1855, and entered land on sections 7 and 8. He lived there three years and then moved to the northwest quarter of section 6, and still later to Clear Lake, where he died. His widow now lives in Worth county.
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Adam KRAMER died at the age of 76 years, 8 months and 25 days on March 19, 1872. His wife, Elizabeth E. was interred beside him at Lincoln Cemetery, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa.
John MORGAN came, in 1855, from Johnson Co., Iowa, and located on section 8, where he lived two years and then moved to Texas.
Heman M. REDINGTON was a pioneer farmer of Cerro Gordo county, where he located in 1855 on section 8, Falls township. Soon after he moved to section 7, where he died in 1865. He was born Nov. 25, 1796, in the State of New York, and was married in 1819 to Christian AURENGER, also a native of New York, born in 1799. In 1842 the family moved to Illinois, where Mr. REDINGTON bought a farm in Boone county, where he resided until he moved to Iowa. Mrs. REDINGTON yet survives and lives with her daughter at Rock Falls. Two sons, Martin and William, are residents of the same village. The first was the pioneer blacksmith of the town. A daughter, Clarissa REDINGTON, was married in 1854 to James WRIGHT and settled in Falls. He died in 1859 in Kansas. His widow was married in 1863 to John D. MASSY, the proprietor of the hotel at Rock Falls.
In the spring of 1855 Charles TENNEY, a native of Maine, and George FREDERICK, a German by birth, came from Kenosha Co., Wis. They came from McGregor on foot. TENNEY selected the west half of the northeast quarter of section 8, and also bought the southeast quarter of that section. FREDERICK chose land in Rock Grove. Mr. TENNEY walked to the land office at Des Moines to enter his land. From there he went to Grinnell, Iowa, where he was joined by FREDERICK and they returned to Wisconsin, and in July of the same year they started back to Iowa with ox teams. In company with them were John BROWN and Henry SENIOR, who settled in what is now Portland township. They were four weeks on their way. TENNEY built a log cabin on his land which he covered with shakes and then laid a puncheon floor. He and his comrade FREDERICK were both single men and kept bachelor hall together; but FREDERICK married the following fall and settled on section 5, where he now resides. TENNEY married two years later. He now lives on section 6.
Thomas PERRETT, a native of England, came to America in 1854 and spent that winter in Dubuque and Delaware counties, this State, and the following spring  came to Falls township and entered there three "eighties" on section 27, and bought eighty acres of timber land on section 16. The first season he worked for A. J. GLOVER, and that fall he was joined by his brother, J. C. PERRETT, and his cousin, Joseph. They were all single men and they spent the winter in a log cabin on section 10. This house was called the "bachelors' retreat." In the spring, J. C. or Charles, as he is better known, and Joseph returned to the lakes, where they were employed as sailors; but in the fall of that year they returned to spend another winter in their cozy retreat. In 1857 Thomas built a log cabin on his place, on section 27, and lived in it until 1871, when he built the stone house in which he now resides. In 1860 Joseph PERRETT settled on section 27, on land his cousin had entered for him. He built a log cabin in which he lived until 1876, when he built the farm house in which he now lives.
Charles JOHNSON came in 1855 and settled on secton 17. He carried the mail from Charles City to Mason City for some years. At that time he was a single man, known as "old bach" JOHNSON. He afterwards married and raised a family. He died in 1868.
Charles PERRETT never made a permanent settlement, though he is well known here from his frequent visits. He now lives in Chicago, where he is superintendent of the Menomonee barge line, and a member of the board of trade.
Edwin BECK with came in 1855 and settled on section 36, where he lived until 1860, at which time he moved to Michigan.
A. J. GLOVER came in 1855 and settled at Shell Rock Falls, where he bought a mill site of Elijah WILTFONG and built a mill. He was an enterprising man and much liked by all. He remained but about four years, when he sold out and went to Michigan, where he still lives.
Thomas PERRETT, one of the settlers of 1855, was born May 27, 1827, in Somersetshire, England. He received a good education and was reared to agricultural pursuits. In 1854 he came to America and proceeded direct from New York city to Iowa. He spent a short time at Dubuque, then went to Delaware county, where he aided in laying out the town of Manchester. In March, 1855, he came to Cerro Gordo county and entered land in township 87 north, range 19 west. The tract was located on section 27, and he also purchased land on sections 16 and 21. During the summer following he was in the employ of A. J. GLOVER, and aided in the construction of a sawmill. He drew the first load of sawed lumber into Falls township from Charles City. In the fall of 1855, he settled on his own land, and in 1859 was married to Mary J. BROWN of Ohio. He has brought his farm under a good degree of cultivation and erected thereon substantial buildings, among which is noted the fine stone house in which he now resides. He owns 450 acres of land and has filled responsible official positions in his town and county. Mr. and Mrs. PERRETT are the parents of four children — Lizzie, Hattie, Laura and Thomas.
Horace GREGORY was a pioneer of Cerro Gordo county, whither he came from Kane Co., Ill. He was a New Yorker by birth, born in Delaware county Aug. 14, 1805. He there reached his majority and married there March 22, 1829. His wife, nee Sally VARNALD, became the mother of nine children, six of whom yet survive. Mr. GREGORY lived in Delaware county a few years after his marriage, and then located in Steuben county. Ten years after he removed with his family to Kane Co., Ill., where he became a land holder in Big Rock township. He labored early and late and met with the meritable success of thrift and industry, settled his family in a comfortable house and steadily advanced in prosperity until 1855, when he disposed of his landed interests and sought a new home in this State. With his household he made an overland trip, effecting transportation by the aid of three pairs of oxen and a span of horses, and driving fifteen head of cattle. The journey consumed about four weeks, and was by no means tedious and wearisome. They settled on section 12 of township 96 north, range 19 west. Their land was wholly unimproved, but its culture was an entirely different matter from former experience, and its progress to a better condition was rapid and encouraging under the efforts of experience and resolution. Mr. GREGORY died March 8, 1873, in Rock Co., Minn, where he removed in 1869. His wife survives him and lives with her sons at Rock Falls.
Thaddeus W. GREGORY was born in Delaware Co., N. Y., May 6, 1832, came to Iowa with his parents, and in 1862 enlisted as a soldier in the civil war, but did not live to enter active service. He died a month after his enrollment, leaving a wife and three children now residents in Nemaha Co., Kan. Jasper C. is engaged in farming and trading in lumber in Washington territory. Elba S. was a soldier in the 7th Iowa Volunteer Cavalry, and now lives in Washington territory. Horace A. enlisted in company B, 7th Iowa Volunteer Infantiy, and received a severe wound at the battle of Belmont which procured his discharge. On recovery he re-enlisted, and was in service until the end of the war. He now lives in Washington territory, and is clerk of the court of Snohomish county. Salathiel Q. was a soldier in company A, 21st Iowa Volunteer Infantry, served until the expiration of his term, and now resides at Rock Falls. Francis M. GREGORY was born in Steuben Co., N. Y., April 16, 1839. At the age of twenty-one he went to Illinois, and Sept. 18, 1861, enlisted in the 8th Illinois Cavalry, which was sent to Washington to join the army of the Potomac. He was under fire at Manassas Junction, Yorktown, Williamsburg, Gettysburg, South Mountain and Antietam, besides participating in minor engagements. He was commissioned second lieutenant April 11, 1864, promoted to first lieutenant Sept. 18, 1864, and raised to the rank of captain Dec. 15, 1864. His regiment was discharged July 21, 1865, and he went to Portland, Iowa. In 1868 he came to Falls township where he located, on section 28, buying wild land upon which he has made the usual improvements and erected his present residence. He was married Feb. 11, 1866, to Maggie J. SMITH. Mr. and Mrs. GREGORY have had three children — Marion, Myrtie and Mary. Marion was born Feb. 17, 1867, and died Oct. 15, 1872. Mr. GREGORY has one other surviving brother, George B., who is a cooper by trade and resides at St. Cloud, Minn.
George FREDERICK, a pioneer farmer, settled in Falls township in July, 1855. He entered land in Rock Grove in the spring of that year, after which he returned to Wisconsin, coming back as stated. He was unmarried, and, in company with a Mr. TENNEY, he operated his own domestic affairs until fall, when he changed his condition to the married state. His wife was Arvilla CAMPBELL, and theirs was the first marriage in the townslfip. In the autumn of 1855 Mr. FREDERICK purchased land on section 5, of which he took possession the following spring, occupying a log house until 1870, when he built the frame bouse his family now occupy. He owns 172 acres of well wooded and watered land. Their are eight children belonging to the household — Amzie, Ella, Leslie, Mary, George, Charlie, Belle and Orlin. Mr. FREDERICK was born in Germany, June 25, 1825, where he was trained to agricultural pursuits, and educated in the public schools. He came to America in 1850, landed at New York, and proceeded to Tarrytown. He was employed two months on a farm, and then went to Kenosha Co., Wis., where he followed farming for a livelihood until 1 855, when he became a citizen of Iowa.
William SHERICK, a native of Pennsylvania, came here from Illinois, in 1856, and settled on section 36, where he remained until 1872, at which time he removed to Oregon, where he now lives.
William WILSON, a native of South Carolina, came from Illinois in the fall of 1859 and settled on section 36, where he died two years later. He was buried at Spring Grove, Floyd county. His widow now lives with her daughter at Wadena, Minn.
Among the number coming in between 1857 and 1860 were Jacob FREDERICK, John CLAUS, Joseph PERRETT, B. A. BROWN and George A. MORSE.
Jacob FREDERICK was born in Germany, Aug. 17, 1836. He was a farmer's son and attended school until he was sixteen-years-old, when, fixing upon the trade of a wagon maker as a vocation, he apprenticed himself and worked at the business until 1857 in his native land. In that year he came to America, landed at New York and spent nearly a year there, working a part of the time at carriage painting. In 1858 he came to Iowa and settled in Cerro Gordo county. He opened a wagon shop at Plymouth where he transacted his business two years, when the shop with its contents was burned, entailing a loss of $500. He then turned his attention to farming, entered land and engaged in stock raising. In 1866 he purchased a farm lying on sections 7 and 8 and built a house. He is still engaged in raising stock and exhibits some fine blooded specimens. He was married in 1868 to Adele ALDEN, a New York lady by birth, by whom he has four children — Lewis E., Ida M., Carl V. and Ada Belle.
John CLAUS, an early settler in Falls township, is a native of Germany, where his birth occurred June 27, 1820. He was trained in his native country to agricultural pursuits and educated at the public school. In 1850 he sailed for America and after a prosperous voyage landed at Castle Garden, N. Y. He entered at once as an apprentice with a baker in New York city, where he remained five years and then returned to Germany on a visit. He spent a year among the friends and scenes of his childhood, coming back to Long Island, where he resumed his former business. He came to Iowa in 1858 to secure a home. He invested his savings in land on sections 7 and 8 in Falls township, residing at Plymouth until 1862, when he became the owner by purchase of wild land on section 4, and there took up his residence. He has improved the land and and erected substantial and suitable buildings. July 4, 1858, he was married to Cynthia, daughter of Robert and Amanda (BAKER) CAMPBELLL. They have eight children — Frank, Lettie, Jonn, Ernest, Annie, Alice, Willie and Clara.
Joseph PERRETT, an early settler in Falls township, was born in Somersetshire, England, Feb. 25, 1834, where he labored on a farm until the age of sixteen, when he entered upon his career as a sailor. During the four years that followed he sailed around the world and visited some of its principal ports. In 1854 he set out for America, landed at New York, from there went to Buffalo, where he engaged for the season as sailor on the lakes. In the autumn of the same year he came to Iowa, passed the winter in Dubuque and Delaware counties, and assisted in laying out the town of Manchester. The following spring he responded to his longing for a sailor's life, and passed the season on the lakes, returning to Iowa in the fall. In company with his cousins, T. and J. C. PERRETT, he spent the winter in Falls township, and entered a tract of land. He was married in Illinois, April 4, 1858, to Sarah H. BROWN. In 1859 they came to Falls township, and became inmates of the household of Thomas PERRETT, where they remained one and a half years. Meanwhile Mr. PERRETT built a log house, 14x20 feet, on his land on section 27. With the exception of three years, when he was engaged as captain of a schooner on the line from Chicago to Buffalo, and which finished his career as a sailor, this has been the home of his family. In 1876 he erected his present residence. Mr. PERRETT has met with a fair degree of prosperity, being now the owner of 317 acres of land under advanced improvement. Two children — Jennie and Mary, are members of the household.
B. A. BROWN, merchant and postmaster at Rock Falls, was born at Hampden, Geauga Co., Ohio, June 27, 1845. When he was an infant of six months, his parents emigrated to Wisconsin and located at East Trov, Walworth county. They again changed their residence, when he was eight years of age, to Lake Co., Ill., where they remained until I860. In that year they settled at Rock Falls, Iowa. In 1866 Mr. BROWN fixed upon the calling of stone mason and plasterer as a vocation, which he pursued fourteen years. In 1880 he turned his attention to mercantile operations, in which he is still engaged. In 1882 he connected the Rock Fals creamery with his other business. He was married Dec. 8, 1870, to Mary A. SMITH. From this marriage are two children — Richard and Maggie E. BROWN.
George O. MORSE is a native of the Empire State. He was born in Pittstown, Rensselaer county, Nov. 24, 1826. He was a farmer's son and trained to the pursuit of his father, receiving also a fair education. At the age of seventeen he entered upon his contest with the world, engaging first with a farmer at $5.50 per mouth. He came west in 1855 for the purpose of establishing himself in life, and entered land in Cerro Gordo county, township 97 north, and 19 west, on sections 26 and 27. He stayed a night with Elijah WILTFONG, and after securing the entry of his land, went to Illinois, rented land, bought a considerable flock of sheep, and pursued farming there until 1860, when he came back to Iowa and settled on his land. He built a log house, in which he lived two years, when he bought a farm of Elijah WILTFONG, on section 21, to which he transferred his residence. In 1865 he built another log house on the place, which he occupied until 1871, when he erected the frame house which is his present abode. He is one of the most extensive land-holders in the township, having 800 acres. Mr. MORSE was married in 1858 to Eliza A. WILLIAMS, a native of Saratoga Co., N. Y. The record of the children of Mrs. and Mrs. MORSE is as follows — Ella, born April 9, 1859, died Oct. 12, 1880; Emma F., born Aug. 5, 1857, died in April, 1882. The other children are George F., Burt and Oscar. The parents are members of the M. E. Church.
Francis Joseph LANGSCHADL is a Bohemian by birth. He attended school in the celebrated city of Kuttenberg until thirteen-years-old, when he entered upon a course of instruction as a dyer, which calling he pursued until 1852. He labored as a farmer six years, and in 1858 left his native country for America. His first location was in Mahoning Co., Ohio, where he worked in a tannery three years, and then went back to the land of his birth, where he owned property. He spent nearly a year there, and on selling his farm came back to the United States. In 1863 he bdught land in Cerro Gordo county, this State, on sections 4 and 5. He lived twelve years in the log house he built, and then constructed the stone residence in which he now lives. He was married in 1869 to Miss FITZL, also a native of Bohemia. They have two children — Francis and Sylvia. Mr. LANGSCHADL was born in 1830.
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Francis Joseph "Frank" LANGSCHADL died on November 17, 1903. Mary LANGSCHADL was born July 13, 1851, and died April 12, 1922. Frank Jr. was born January 10, 1870, and died September 19, 1896. They were interred at Bohemian Cemetery, Plymouth, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa.
During 1865 the following located in the township: Truman HILL, Conrad GILDNER, Valentine CLAUS and William C. GRAVES.
Truman S. HILL was born Oct. 4, 1840, in Boone Co., Ill., where he passed the early years of his life in the pursuits common to the sons of farmers' and as a student. In 1865 he came to Cerro Gordo county and was employed two months as assistant in a blacksmith's shop. He then came to Plymouth and worked as a carpenter. In 1870 he opened a wagon shop in the new town of Plymouth, the first business of the kind established there. In 1879 he formed a partnership with T. A. BARNES, which relation still exists. The firm connected cabinet work with wagon making, which they still pursue, and also operate as carpenters and builders. Mr. HILL was married June 16, 1868, to Ann A. REDINGTON, a popular teacher in the public schools of the county. Mr. and Mrs. HILL rejoice in the possession of two promising sons — James M. and Truman H.
Conrad GILDNER is a native of Germany, born Feb. 27, 1842. When he was four-years-old his parents bade good bye to the Fatherland, and emigrated to America, settling in Canada, where the son was brought up to agricultural pursuits. In 1865 he came to the States and selected Iowa as his destined home. He came to Falls township, and bought wild land on section 25, breaking some of it to the plow the same year. The second year he harvested the first crop, and built a log house. He rented land on section 35, on which he lived until 1869, when he took possession of his own property, inhabiting the log house mentioned until 1872, in which year he built a frame house to which he made a large addition in 1882. His place is now in first class condition, being finely improved and set with forest and fruit trees in convenient and appropriate places. Mr. GILDNER was married in 1861 to Julia SCHNARR, who died March 11, 1870, leaving three children — Henry, Annie and Nettie. His second marriage took place in the fall of 1870. His wife, Mary SCHNARR, is sister to the lady he first married. From the last union there have been five children born, four of whom are now living — John N., Lydia, Albert and Eda. Maggie died when four-years-old. Mr. GILDNER is a member of the German Baptist Church.
Valentine CLAUS was born at Rheinhessen, Germany, July 20, 1845, where he went to school until fifteen-years-old. He came to America in 1865, remaining with friends in New York about six weeks, when he made his way to his brother's in Falls township. He was an inmate of his family until 1871, when he built a house and moved on a tract of eighty acres of land he had previously bought on section 18. Two years after he bought eighty acres on another section, whither he removed. He has made fine improvements on his farm and it is well stocked with every modern convenience for the prosecution of successful farming. Mr. CLAUS is a member of the German M.E. Church. He was married in 1872 to Katie GILDNER, and is made happy by the possession of the following named children — Maggie, Mary, Clara and Wesley.
William C. GRAVES, second son of Dr. Charles and Sarah (CLEVELAND) GRAVES, was born in Oneida Co., N. Y., Jan. 1, 1841, where he passed his youth in school and on a farm. He enlisted as a soldier in the civil war, Aug. 28, 1862, serving in company J, 81st New York Volunteer Infantry, and received honorable discharge Nov. 17, 1864. He took part in a number of engagements and was dangerously wounded June 3, 1864, at the battle of Cold Harbor. He was shot in the right shoulder and was taken to the hospital at Washington, D.C., where he remained until October, when he obtained a furlough of thirty days and went home. On his return to Washington he was discharged. In 1864 he came to Iowa with his parents and remained with them until 1870, in which year he was married to Elizabeth HOLDEN, of Wisconsin. In 1873 Mr. GRAVES located on the farm on section 5, where he now lives. He has filled several offices of trust in his township and is a member of the present board of trustees. Mr. and Mrs. GRAVES have children as follows — Asa, Cassius, George, Edwin and Carrie.
Charles FARINGTON, one of the settlers of 1866, is a son of the Empire State, born at Poughkeepsie, Duchess county, Aug. 21, 1817. There he was educated and reared to the occupation of a farmer. At the age of twenty-two he went to Chenango county and bought a farm in the town of Greene, where he remained until 1856, when he disposed of his property and went to Sauk Co., Wis. In 1866 he made another change to Cerro Gordo Co., Iowa, where he purchased land on sections 26 and 35. He built his house on the latter in a natural grove near the Shell Rock river, the site of his present residence. He was married in September, 1835, to Ellen HOFFMAN, of Duchess Co., N. Y. Mr. and Mrs. FARINGTON rejoice in the possession of six promising children — Elmira, Melissa, Charles W., Catharine M., Theodore and Commodore. The two last named are twins.
Henry GILDNER, Senior, is a native of Germany, and was married there to Anna MOKE. In 1846 they emigrated to America and settled in Canada, where they resided until 1866. In that year they came to Cerro Gordo Co., Iowa, and located in Falls township, where Mr. GILDNER purchased a farm on section 14, Falls township, which is still their home. They have five children — Conrad, Catharine, Henry, Elizabeth and Warner. Mr. and Mrs. GILDNER belong to the German Baptist Church. Henry GILDNER, second son of Mr. GILDNER, was born in the county of Perth, Canada, Nov. 11, 1853, where he resided with his parents, accompanying them to Iowa in 1866. Feb. 19, 1876, he was married to Mary Ann BRUNNER, also a native of Perth Co., Canada. He had previously, in 1873, purchased a farm on section 13, and on his marriage he settled upon it. He did the first breaking in 1874 and raised his first crop the following year. He has made the usual improvements, set out numerous forest and fruit trees and built his residence. He has a farm of 160 acres, one half of which is situated in Mitchell county. The children of Mr. and Mrs. GILDNER are — William E., John H. and Edward E. Mr. and Mrs. GILDNER are members of the German Baptist Church.
James McADAM, a farmer, settled in Falls township in 1867, when he at once became a land-holder on section 27, where he improved his farm according to the best known methods, and built the house in which he now lives. He was married in 1853 to Maria FOX. She was born in Beaver Hill, Sullivan Co., N. Y. They have six children — Elizabeth, William, George, Vettie, Rozana and Albert. Mr. McADAM was born Oct. 18, 1831, in Delaware Co.-, N. Y. At the age of fourteen he began to work as carpenter with his father, who was a master builder and millwright. When twenty-three years of age, he went to Ogle Co., Ill., and settled In the new town of Polo, where he pursued his trade until 1867, the date of his removal to Iowa.
George HELM came to the township in 1808. He is a native of LaFayette Co., Wis. He was born Nov. 25, 1843, and passed the years of his early life alternately on the farm and at school. He remained at home until 1868, when he went to Illinois and spent the summer of that year, returning to his native State the ensuing fall, and after a brief visit, proceeded to Iowa where he bought wild land on section 3, of Falls township. He put up buildings as he improved his farm, and had a good frame house and barn which were destroyed by a heavy gale of wind in June, 1882. He rebuilt his house from the ruins, made an addition and again occupied it. Mr. HELM has his land under good cultivation, has set out fruit and shade trees and has an attractive home. In March, 1867, he became the husband of Lucretia LEWIS, of Coles Ill. Mr. and Mrs. HELM have a son and a daughter — Lewis C. and Lilian E. HELM.
Conrad KRUG settled in the township in 1805. He was born in Germany, June 18, 1833. He was raised to agricultural labor, attending school until he was fourteen years old. In 1856 he left his native land for America, first settling in Canada, where he spent his time in farming and chopping wood. In 1865 he came to Iowa, and in 1866 located on section 36, in Falls township. He built a house and stable in the fall of that year, and his stable, with a pair of horses, together with his farming tools were destroyed by fire. He then sold the land and went to Portland township where he rented land. In 1868 he bought forty acres of land, which, three years later, he sold and purchased 160 on sections 14 and 15 of Falls township. In 1883 he had 180 acres of land under good state of cultivation. Mr. KRUG was married in 1855. They have five children — Henry, Peter, William, Mary E. and Katie. He is a member of the German Methodist Church. Mr. KRUG takes much interest in educational matters and has held several township offices.
Christian L. BERLIN was born in Germany, March 13, 1837. At the age of fourteen years, he left school to learn the cooper's trade, serving an apprenticeship of three years, after which he worked as a journeyman eighteen months where he learned the details of his chosen calling. He traveled in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, working at his trade at intervals during six years, when he made his way back to Germany. In 1863 he came to the United States. He landed at New York and spent a year there and in Hoboken, when he went to Cattaraugus county and engaged in farming four years. In 1868 he settled at Rock Falls, Iowa, where he found employment at his trade. In 1872 he bought a tract of land on section 23, of.which, however, he did not enter into possession until three years later. He made extensive improvements and constructed substantial buildings. He has now 295 acres of land. Mr. BERLIN was married in 1863 to Sophia STEINHAGAN. Their living children are — Lottie, Rudolph, Lizzie, Augusta, Charlie and Sophia.
Reuben KINNEY was born on the sea shore in New Jersey. His parents were from Scotland, of which country they were natives. They settled in New Jersey, where Mr. KINNEY, of this sketch, grew to manhood. He obtained a fair education at the common schools, supplemented by two terms at the high school. At nineteen he decided to become a mechanic and learned the trade of carpenter and joiner, which he followed in and around Newark, N. J., until 18_9, when he came to Iowa. The first six months after his arrival he lived in the south part of Worth county, when he proceeded to Cerro Gordo county and bought a village lot at Rock Falls. He built a tine frame house, laid out his place to the best possible advantage and set out fruit trees and shrubbery. His home is attractive and valuable. Since his location here, he has worked at his trade. In 1871 he purchased a tract of land on section 20, which is tenanted. He was married in 1856 to Julia SPANGENBURG, born in the State of Maine. Mrs. KINNEY became the mother of twelve children, ten of whom are yet living — Sarah A., Margaret, William H., Amanda, Rosella, John, Rachel, Emma, Charles F. and May. The mother died in 1880, and Mr. KINNEY married, in September of that year, Elizabeth LEE. By this Union there is one child — Serena [born May 22, 1881].
Simon CALVERT was born in Yorkshire, England, Oct. 27, 1836. When he was three-years-old, his parents emigrated to America and took up their residence in La Fayette Co., Wis. He became a miner when only fourteen years old, which pursuit he followed until 1859 in Wisconsin, and in that year he went to Pike's Peak, where he operated in the mines about one year, going thence to Mexico. He passed a few months there in the silver mines, and proceeded to California, remaining there until 1862, when be went to Nevada and engaged in mining eighteen months near Virginia City. He proceeded to Oregon and Vancouver's Island, going thence up the Frazier river where he passed a summer, returning to New York via Panama. His next remove terminated at Mineral Point, Wis., where he settled on a farm he had previously purchased. Mr. CALVERT was married March 29, 1864, to Martha A. VICKERMAN, of Yorkshire, England. In 1866 the family moved to Avoca, Iowa county, where they kept a hotel one and a half years. Mr. CALVERT sold his property and entered mercantile business in Grant county, where he continued to operate until 1869. July 4, of that year, he came to Mason City, Cerro Gordo county, and soon after purchased a farm on sections 23 and 26, in Falls township, where he now resides and is engaged in stock raising. He owns 370 acres of land. In the CALVERT household are four children — Clydie C, Wilbur B., Osmer T. and Charles L.
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Simon CALVERT died December 12, 1906. Martha A. (VICKERMAN) CALVERT, born March 24, 1838, died on January 10, 1910. Simon and Martha were interred at Rock Falls Cemetery, Rock Falls, Iowa.
Henry CALVERT, a trustee of Falls township, was born May 26, 1841, in Iowa Co., Wis. He was a farmer's son, and in the early years of his life, his time was passed similarly to other boys. He obtained a liberal education at the district schools. He resided with his parents until 1861, when he went to Nevada He mined for gold two years in Nevada, and then went to California, where he was for a time interested in mining, and then engaged as superintendent of a stock farm. In 1869 he retraced his steps to Wisconsin, making a brief stay and then came to Iowa. He located in Falls township, where he bought wild, unimproved land on section 24. In 1871 he erected a fine frame building, which was destroyed by fire only a few months after its completion, and again in 1878 he had his entire crops of grain, his stables, threshing machine, horses and other stock burned up. These circumstances, which would have discouraged most men, only excited him to more strenuous exertions, which have surmounted all difficulties, and placed him as one of the solid men of the county, and won for him the respect and confidence of all his neighbors. He was married in September, 1871, to Mary A. SHORT, who was born in Philadelphia, but reared and educated in Ann Arbor, Mich., and was at that time a most successful and popular school teacher. Mr. and Mrs. CALVERT have had four children, and but two of these are still living. Mr. CALVERT has his farm under admirable cultivation, audis well supplied with shade aud fruit trees, and it is probable that his assortment of fruit is as large and as fine as any in the county, including apples, cherries and plums, and a great variety of small fruit.
George DANEY, a settler of 1866, was born near the celebrated Honorlaw Heath, Middelrie county, England, Dec. 1, 1831. When three years of age his father re- moved with his family to no less noted town than that of Richmond, Surry county. When he was ten years of age his father died, and two years later his mother died, and he was then left on his own responsibilities for a livelihood. At the age of thirteen he went to London, and served three years as waiter boy in a hotel, when he returned to Richmond and was engaged by Col. Sir John BURGOYNE, of the Queen's Guards, and served with him a short time, and receiving from him papers of influence, he endeavored to enlist in the famous Light Brigade, which was soon after cut to pieces in Balaklava, but being one-fourth of an inch too short, he was rejected. After two attempts to enlist he sailed from Liverpool in the year 1848 for the States, landing at New York. He went to Montreal and acted as bar tender for his uncle a brief period, when he returned to New York and engaged in various capacities. His first fixed employment was with a baker with whom he contracted to learn the trade. March 28, 1852, he set out for Panama, where he joined the construction force on the railroad across the Isthmus. He remained six months, and, becoming ill, he went back to New York. His broken health precluded his laboring for nearly a year. On recovery he found a situation at Newark, N. J., to work at his trade. He came west to Leavenworth, Kan., in 1855, and soon after engaged with an Indian trader at Sioux City, with whom he remained two years, trading with the Indians on the plains. His next move was to Omaha, where he spent a season as woodsman, and afterwards served as hand in a saw mill near Council Bluffs. A year later he rented a farm on the Missouri bottoms and left it to operate a bakery at New Carlisle, Ind. At the expiration of a year he went to Buchanan, Mich., where he worked at his trade. He then contracted to clear a lot of timbered land and next rented land and engaged at farming. His crops failed through dry weather and frost and he went to Wisconsin, where he found employment in a saw mill on the Yellow river. In about a year he built a boat and set out with his family for Illinois, intending to make the route by water. At Bellevue, Iowa, he sold his boat and took passage on a steamboat for Rock Island. Here he worked a year at his trade when he came to Plymouth.
Mr. DANEY is a genius, adapting himself to all sorts of labor and ready to grapple with any demand that presents itself. He was married Nov. 3, 1859, to Mary E. SLATER, of Michigan. They have had eight children — Sarah E., William,Hattie, Jennie, Florence, Blanche, Pearl (died in infancy) and Ernest. Mr. DANEY has been identified with religious work in Plymouth since his settlement there. Ha has been deacon of the Congregational Society for ten years and now belongs to the M. E. Church. He has been superintendent of the Union Sunday school eight years.
Joseph COTEY, general merchant, was born in St. James Parish, province of Quebec, Canada, Nov. 4, 1831. (The name was originally COTE, pronounced as now spelled). His parents moved to Montreal when he was ten-years-old, when he was sent to the friars' school for four years. At the age of fifteen he was bound out as a clerk in a dry goods store his principal failed a year after,and he then apprenticed himself to a shoemaker. In 1847 he moved to Rochester, N. Y., where he finished learning his trade in 1851. He went to Dundee and there at twenty years old commenced going to public schools. The following year he attended the academy, paying his tuition by teaching French. In 1855 he went to Columbus, Wis., and opened a shoe shop in company with Samuel ELLIOTT, brother of John A. ELLIIOTT. He was married in Otsego, Wis., to Hannah M. TOMPKINS, of Dundee, Yates Co., N. Y. He prosecuted his business in Columbus eleven years, adding general merchandise during the last six months. He then removed to Mitchell Co., Iowa, in 1866, and opened a general store at West Mitchell. In 1870 he established the first store in the new town of Plymouth, occupying a building now used as a hotel, and known as the Plymouth House. The next year he put up a building, 20x64 feet, which he afterward extended to 48x80 feet. This was destroyed by fire in 1881 when he moved to his present quarters on the south side of main street. His stock is large and varied, including staple and fancy dry goods, boots, shoes, hardware, clothing, groceries, drugs, school books, stationery and trunks, valises and yankee notions. He also has a tin shop connected with his establishment. Mr. COTEY has built several structures in the town and devoted his energies largely to its advancement His oldest son, Clinton D., is engaged in the store; his second son, Charles J., is a student at Ames college [present-day Iowa State University. His only daughter, Emelie Adelle, died in 1871, aged eight years.
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Adelle COTEY, born May 27, 1861, the only daughter of J. & H.M. COTEY, died on January 31, 1872. She was interred at Oak Grove Cemetery, Mitchell, Mitchell County, Iowa.
John GOOTLIEB, blacksmith, was born in Germany, Aug. 10, 1846. At the age of fourteen, he left school to learn his trade. After his apprenticeship he worked as journeyman until 1865 when he came to America. He landed at New York and went at once to Maysville, Wis., where he remained but a short time, going thence to Oshkosh, where he worked at his trade for one man three and a half years excepting four months. In 1868 he opened a shop on his own account. Two years later he sold his business and removed to Iowa. After a brief stay in Calmar he went to Mason City, where he worked eleven months for Samuel WAUKEL. He then came to Plymouth and opened the shop where he still prosecutes his business. He was married Nov. 13, 1869, to Clara IRING, a native of Madison, Wis. Six children have been born to them — Johnnie, Frank, Katie, Delia A., Mary, and Bertress D. In 1872 Mr. GOOTLIEB built the house in which he now resides.
George WARD, railroad contractor, is a native of Kent Co., England. While yet a boy he became interested in railroading, and at fourteen years of age was employed on one of the railroads of his own country. He was married in 1859 to Mary CHAMBERS, of Kent county, and the same year proceeded to the United States. He went from New York to Port Jervis, Orange county, and labored as a woodsman for a short period, and again engaged iii his former capacity. He went to New Jersey in 1861 and operated a toll gate on the Colesville and Deckertown turnpike. He then bought teams and gave his attention to teaming one year. In 1865 he came to Waterloo, Iowa, and acted as superintendent for Elwell, Couch, Glass & Co., in excavating for the foundations of their great mill. On the completion of this he took a contract from the Burlington Railroad Company, whose line was in process of building between Cedar Rapids and Waterloo. Following this he engaged to construct a portion of the road between Charles City and Calmar, and afterward between Mason City and Algona. In 1870 he took a contract to build a part of the road between Mason City and Lyle. On the laying out of the town of Plymouth, he bought lots and erected the first building. In 1874 he purchased the interest of the railroad company in the town plat, and has erected several buildings. In 1881 he built his present residence. Mr. WARD was born July 16, 1831.
Patrick FLOOD is an adopted son of America, and is a fine sample of what a man may become and accomplish under the benefits of republican institutions. He was born in county Kildare, Ireland, in 1818, and there reared on a farm. He was a young man when he first set foot on American soil, in New York. His first employment was at gardening, in Orange Co., N. Y., and his first earnings were sent to his native land for the emigration of a brother. He stayed a short time in Orange county, and went to Albany, and from there to Yates county. Soon after he sent money home for the purpose of bringing out two sisters and another brother. He labored as a farmer in Yates county about fifteen years, then locating in Ogle Co., Ill., where he purchased property in Polo. He worked as a mason's assistant a short time, bought a team, rented land and employed himself in farming. In 1868 he exchanged his property in Polo for land on section 10, in Falls township, Cerro Gordo Co., Iowa, and in 1870 moved here with his family. He drew lumber from Nora Springs to build his house, and applied his energies to improving his farm. In February, 1883, he rented his place and and moved to Plymouth, where he owns the finest residence in the village. His family consists of his wife, formerly Katie NOLAN, of Carlow Co., Ireland, and three children — Harriet E., Katie A. and Lulie J. Helen M., the oldest child, died when twenty-three months old. Mary A., Ellen, Thomas M. and Annie died in infancy.
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Patrick FLOOD, born January 2, 1822, died on February 7, 1895. His wife, Catharine, was born January 13, 1826, and died May 19, 1885. They were interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City, Iowa.
Nelson L. PAGE, grain buyer, was born Feb. 12, 1849, in Windsor Co., Vt. While he was yet in childhood, his parents went to Wisconsin and located in Dane county, where he spent his youth in school and assisting on the farm. On attaining his majority he came to Mona, Iowa, and operated in wheat about six months. He then came to Plymouth, and, conjointly, with his brother, L. A. PAGE, continued to buy wheat. In 1876 he rented EHLER'S flour mill, which he managed six years, after which time he resumed his previous vocation, and still retains it, being the sole operator in grain at Plymouth. May 12, 1880, he was united in marriage to Nellie BRIMSON, of Norwalk, Ohio. Mary is the name of their only child.
R. M. TODD, mill owner at Rock, Falls is a native of "Auld Scotia," and was born at Perthshire, July 18, 1836. He was sent to the school in his parish until he had acquired a good degree of education, and in 1852 came to America. Two years later he went to California, where he engaged in mining. In 1858, in company with several others, he made the first exploration up the Frazer river in the Golden State. In 1863 he left California, returned east and settled at Milwaukee, interesting himself in commission business. He was married in 1865 to Salene ELMORE, and three years later went to Minnesota, where he bought a farm in Freeborn county, near Glenville. In 1871 he came to Rock Falls and purchased an interest in the flouring mill, of which he is now sole owner. His fine residence is situated on the south bank of Shell Rock river. Mr. Todd has a family of three children — Charlotte, Helen and Blanche.
L. COLE, station agent, was born in Athens, Somerset Co., Maine, March 1, 1847. He worked on the farm summers and attended school winters until seventeen years of age, when he went to Massachusetts, and located at Neponset village, where he was employed to drive a milk wagon to Boston. In the fall he returned home, and went to school that winter; and the next summer worked at farming. In the fall he went to the Penobscot river, where he was employed in a mill to saw shingles. He worked there one year, then started west. He stopped a short time at Oshkosh, then went up the Little Wolf river, and worked in a shingle mill until fall, when he returned home and attended school that winter. In the spring of 1868 he returned to Oshkosh, Wis., where he entered the commercial college. He graduated in the fall, and engaged with FLETCHER & EVERETT to keep books. He was with them until March, then engaged as clerk on a steamboat running on the Fox river. He then made the acquaintance of L. R. ROOT, superintendent of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, who gave him employment in the depot at Berlin. He was employed in several places in this State until December, 1871, when he was appointed station agent at Plymouth, a position which he still retains. He was married the 24th of April, 1872, to Clara STEVENS. They have been blessed with live children — Bertie, Levi, Eben, Claudie and Clifton D.
Patrick O'NEIL is a native of Ireland. He was born in 1822, and reared on a farm in that country, making his home there till 1841, when he came to America. He landed in New York and went to Monroe county, where his brother was living. He was there employed in farming until 1844, when he started west, going directly to Milwaukee, which was then but a village. He worked at mason work there a while, but soon purchased timber land on that section, built a cabin home and improved some of the land. After a short stay there he sold out and moved to Washington county, where he was among the first settlers. He purchased 120 acres of timber land of the government, built a hewed log house, a good sized barn, and cleared 100 acres of his land. He remained there until 1871 when he sold and moved to Iowa, locating in Cerro Gordo county. Here he bought wild land on section 30, Falls township, erected a frame house, in which he was living in 1883. He was married in 1844 to Mary HICKEY, by which union there were nine children — Mark, Catharine, Mary, Maggie, Patrick, Bridget, James, John and Henry.
Patrick O'CONNELL was one of the settlers of 1871. He was born in Ireland, at the city of Dublin, in 1821. There he received a liberal education in the schools of his native city. At the age of eighteen he left his native land for America, landing at New York city, where he found employment with a plumber for six months, when he engaged in the North River foundry. Four years later he went to Pennsylvania and settled in Washington county and engaged in farming for ten years. In 1851 he removed to Wisconsin and located in Washington county. He bought timber land of the Government and erected him a log house, cleared his farm up from a dense forest and lived there until 1871, when he sold out and came to Cerro Gordo Co., Iowa, settling on section 30, of Falls township. He was married in 1842 to Bridget BERGAN, by whom he has had seven children — Thomas, Mary, John, Annie, Aleshia, Daniel and Catharine.
J. E. COLE is a native of Broome Co., N. Y., born July 14, 1838. When he was ten years old his parents settled in Dane Co., Wis., where they were pioneers. In 1856 with his parents he removed to Iowa Co., Wis., where they again engaged in farming. He was married Dec. 5, 1861, to Sarah J. SANGUIN a native of Pennsylvania. In 1834, conjointly with his brother-in-law, G. G. HICKOK, he purchased a livery stable and stage route at Lancaster, Grant Co., Wis., which business he managed two years then resumed farming in Iowa county. In 1870 he went to Grand Tower, Ill., where he was in charge of the stables belonging to the Grand Tower Mining, Manufacturing and Transportation Company. He returned to Wisconsin in 1871. In the spring of 1872 he located on a farm in Cerro Gordo Co., Iowa. He bought land on section 36, Falls township, which he has put under a high state of improvement. He built the commodious frame house where he now lives in 1882. Eight children grace the home and gladden the parents hearts. Their names are Wilbert E., Ida E., Charles G., Perry O., Franklin J., Edith E., Elmer J. and Gracie Alice. Mr. and Mrs. COLE are members of the Free Methodist Church.
Levi HELM, assessor of Falls township, was born March 13, 1848, in Fayette township, LaFayette Co., Wis., and obtained his education in the district schools of his native town. His father was a farmer and the son was instructed in that vocation, and in later years of his minority he traveled with a thresher. At the age of twenty he determined upon the trade of carpenter and joiner, at which he worked eighteen months. In 1872 he came to Iowa and located in Falls township. He rented land on section 15 the first year, and, the year ensuing, leased a considerable tract on sections 20 and 21, during whick time he made a purchase of land on section 1, and made a beginning of improving it. In 1874 he raised and harvested his pioneer crop. The next year he built a house which he occupied until February, 1882, when he removed to the LEWIS place on section 16, having been appointed administrator of that estate. In addition to the management of a farm, Mr. HELM has worked at his trade to some extent. He was married Dec. 5, 1871, to Ora L. MOSHER, of Green Co., Wis., by whom he has four children — Jessie, Charles L., S. Bernice and Roswold X.
Fred EHLERS, miller, settled in Plymouth and established himself in his present business in 1874. He is associated with his brother. They built their mill and continue sole proprietors. Mr. EHLERS was born in Milwaukee Co., Wis., April 28, 1843, and passed his younger days on his father's farm, attending the common schools. When seventeen he entered a flouring mill at Maysville, Jackson county, to learn the trade, where he remained one and a half years, going thence to Hamilton. He worked there two years and went to Trueville. His next move was to Milwaukee, to attend Bryant and Stratton's Commercial College. On leaving school he went to Chicago and found employment as clerk in a wholesale flour store and afterward in a wholesale grocery. After spending a year in Chicago, he went to Grafton, Wis., and was occupied there in a mill one and a half years, going then to Benton Co., Iowa, where he bought a flour mill of Jacob SAMS, at Shellsburg, which he operated until coming to Plymouth. Mr. Ehlers was married in 1867 to Miss M. K. KNAPP, of New York. Harry, Freddie, Minnie, George, Daisy and Arthur are the names of their children.
William H. MOORE resides in the village of Rock Falls, where he removed in the spring of 1883. He was born in Orleans Co., N. Y., Nov. 28, 1820. His parents removed soon after his birth to Ontario county, and four years after went to Yates county. When he was thirteen-years-old, they settled in Washtenaw Co., Mich., where they were pioneers of York township. At the age of twenty-one Mr. MOORE returned to the Empire State,where he remained some time occupied in farming in Ontario and Allegany counties. He was married in Allegany county, Oct. 24, 1847, to Hannah A. POTTER. In 1865 he went to Barry Co., Mich., where he bought land in the oak openings. He improved his farm and built a house and occupied the same place until 1860, when he sold and went to Minnesota, taking up his residence in Freeborn county, where lie bought government land in the township of Freeman. He built a home and made other improvements, remaining there until 1876, when he again disposed of his land by sale and removed to Cerro Gordo county, buying 240 acres of land on sections 26, X4 and 35, which he occupied until his retiring, when he rented this property. His wife died in 1855 leaving a son Edwin G. He was again married in July, 1858, to Euphemia A. PICKLE. From the second marriage there are three children — Everett S., Mary Luella and Addie.
Capt. Samuel R. APKER is a native of Lycoming Co., Penn., born July 7, 1834. Early in life he went to South Carolina, where he resided a few years with an uncle. He then went to Baraboo, Wis., and after a three years' engagement in a saw mill, he entered into mercantile business. In December, 1861, he enlisted in company H, 17th Wisconsin Volunteers. He was mustered into service as first lieutenant and a few months later was promoted to the rank of captain. In July, 1863, he veteranized and was discharged at Louisville, Ky., July 14, 1865. He participated in a number of battles, among them being that at Corinth, Atlanta and the siege of Vicksburg. He marched to the sea with SHERMAN and was under fire in the numerous frays of that notable campaign. During his period of service he led his command in twenty one general engagements. Following is a reprint from a Madison paper:
"The members of company H, 17th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, presented Capt. S. R. APKER with a beautiful gold watch and chain as a token of their love and esteem for him as an officer and a gentleman."
On receiving his discharge Capt. APKER returned to Madison, and after a month's stay came to Iowa. He opened a hotel at Conover, Winnesheik county, where he did business two years. He was burned out and came to Cerro Gordo county. After a brief stay at Clear Lake and Mason City, he went to Nora Springs and managed a billiard hall four years. In 1874 he engaged in mercantile business in Plymouth in which he has since continned. He was married in 1866 to Rosa Valley. Ralph and Maud L. are the names of their two children.
Peter WALLRAFF, harness maker at Plymouth, opened his shop in 1877. He commenced to learn the harness making trade when but three years of age at Cross Plains, Wis., where he served two years, then went to Milwaukee and worked one year, then went to Black Earth. His health being poor, he was obliged to leave the shop, and do out door work. In 1871 he went to Kansas, where he engaged in farming, at Minneapolis, in that State, one year, then returned to Wisconsin. In 1873 he went to Minneapolis, Minn., where he found employment on the railroad. He remained there one year and returned to Wisconsin. He was married the 24th of July, 1875, to Louisa STRUMS, and settled at West Mitchell, Iowa, where he worked at his trade until 1877. He came from there to Plymouth. Mr. WALLRAFF is a native of Germany, born on the banks of the river Rhine. March 25, 1851. He was but three years of age when his parents came to America, and settled in Dane Co., Wis., where he was reared and educated. He is one of the tallest men in the county, measuring six feet and four and one half inches. Mr. and Mrs. WALLRAFF are the parents of two children — Harry and Oscar.
Daniel W. WALKER, a teacher of the public schools of Falls township in 1883, is a native of Iowa, born in Louisa county, May 28, 1853. His early education was received in the district school and advanced by four years' schooling at Grand View Academy, from which he graduated in 1873. He completed his education at Iowa College in 1880. In the meantime he had been teaching school, commencing when he was sixteen years of age. He was at one time principal of a school in Muscatine county for four years. In 1880 he went to Union, where he was engaged as principal of the schools. Two years later he was appointed postmaster there, the same year purchasing a newspaper, the Union Star. In September of the same year he sold his paper and resigned his position as postmaster and at once came to Rock Falls, where he was engaged as principal of the schools. In 1876 he married Amanda JONES, of Muscatine county. They have three children — Arthur, Albert and an infant. His father, John P. WALKER, is a Scotchman. He came to this country when but ten years of age and settled in Illinois. In 1836 he came to Iowa, settling in Louisa county, being a pioneer settler there. His wife, whose maiden name was Rachel A. DICKEY was a native of Ohio. She died in 1880. Her husband was still living in 1883.
Falls township was organized in December, 1856. The first election was held in April, 1857, at the house of John F. FORD, on section 2 of what is now Portland township. At this election there were thirty-four votes cast for the following officers:
Thomas TENNEY, John M. HUNT, Horace GREGORY and A. J. GLOVER, trustees; Frederick PATTEE, assessor; L. S. EAGER, clerk; George L. BUNCE and Charles W. TENNEY, justices of the peace; John BROWN and Robert CAMPBELL, constables.
In 1882 the officers were:
John CLAUS, William C. GRAVES and Henry CALVERT, trustees; Fred EHLERS, clerk; B. KENYON and S. D. GREGORY, constables; Levi HELM, assessor; G. H.Waller, Joshua McALLISTER and A. W. HADWICK, justices of the peace.
The first birth in Falls township was a daughter of Robert and Amanda (BAKER) CAMPBELL, which occurred July 28, 1856. She was named Delphina, and is now the wife of Albert WEEK, and is the mother of one child.
The first marriage in this township was that of George FREDERICK and Miss Arvilla, daughter of Robert and Amanda CAMPBELL, the ceremonies taking place in their cabin Nov. 19, 1855. Rev. Thomas TENNEY married the couple. It will be seen that Mr. and Mrs. CAMPBELL had the honor of being the parents of the first child, and also of giving the first bride in the township.
The first death in the township was that of Thomas CORKERTON, who had settled on section 10. He had been married but a few months, and his wife was on a visit in Illinois from whence he had come. He was stricken with fever, while boarding at Elijah WILTFONG'S, and after a short illness died. He was buried on his own land — the west half of the southwest quarter of section 10. His remains were afterward removed to Plymouth cemetery. His death occurred some time in October, 1855.
In 1855 a man named RALPH, and his family, came to Iowa and took a claim in Worth county, near the line of Cerro Gordo county. They lost their claim and moved to Bristol; and in December of the same year, he and his wife went to Nora Springs with two yoke of oxen and a sled, for provisions. On their return they spent one day and two nights at the house of James WRIGHT, on section 5, Fall township. The morning they left Mr. WRIGHT'S for home was pleasant, but soon began to blow and turned extremely cold. That night one pair of their oxen returned to WRIGHT'S, and they, supposing a calamity had overtaken them, went in search. The following day William REDINGTON and Charles JOHNSON started out, and after several hours found the body of the man on the sled, about nine miles from Plymouth. His wife's shawl was closely wrapped about his body. Her body was found three miles further on. It appeared that she had turned the cattle loose and started ahead on foot for help, having left her shoes on the sled, which can never be fully accounted for. She walked three miles in her stocking feet. The two bodies were brought back to Falls township and buried, in one coffin, on the northwest quarter of section 21. They left five children, who were soon taken east to friends.
In 1862, soon after the Indian outbreak at New Ulm, Minn., the news reached Falls township, and caused quite an excitement. J. M. HUNT, Elijah WILTFONG, Joseph PERRETT, C. W. TENNEY and three others started on horseback for the scene of action. They went as far as Mankato, and there learned that the troops had arrived, and the Indians were being steadily driven back, so they returned by Forest City, Clear Lake and Mason City, and informed the settlers there of the situation and quieted their fears.
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: The incident above occured after one of the two battles of the Dakota War of 1862, The Battles Of New Ulm. At the time New Ulm had 900 settlers and was the largest settlement near the Sioux reservation. On August 18, 1862, a recruiting party for Civil War volunteers left New Ulm and was ambushed in Milford Township. Those who survived race back to New Ulm, warning the townspeople to prepare for an impending attack. The settlers erected barricades on the streets and hid the women and children into all the available brick buildings. The first attack came on August 19th when approximately 100 Sioux warriers fired upon the settlement from a high bluff situated behind the town. The settlers returned fire as best they could. A thunderstorm broke up the siege, leaving six settlers killed and five wounded.
A detachment from St. Peter and Le Suer arrived at New Ulm, followed by approximately 100 men from Mankato and militia from Brown and Nicollet Counties.
Around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 23rd, the Sioux launched their second attack. Superior in number, the Sioux were able to encircle the entire settlement. In an attempt to create an open space without cover, the settlers set many buildings on fire. After nightfall, the rest of the buildings outside of the barricade were torched, leaving 190 structures total destroyed. During this second attack, Captain William B. DODD, second in command, was killed.
On the morning of August 24, the Sioux reappeared, fired some harmless long-range shots, then withdrew.
On the morning of August 25th, 2000 people with 153 wagons and a large number of refugees fled New Ulm,
escorted by about 150 troops. They made the 30 mile escape to Mankato safely and without incident.
Thomas TENNEY started the first sorghum mill in the town. It was a wooden roller mill; the pan was of wood lined with sheet iron. Later this mill was replaced by an iron roller mill, and a cast iron rotary evaporator. About 2,000 gallons of syrup were annually made in this mill seme years. George DANEY and J. G. PALL each have a mill at the present time.
The Methodist Episcopal Church held their first services in the stone school house in 1865. Rev. Z. R. WARD organized a society that fall with but a small membership, among whom were: Eli HOKLEN and wife, Dr. Charles GRAVES and wife, Mr. NICHOLAS, and Daniel SABIN and wife. They continued to worship in the school house until 1875, when they moved to New Plymouth, and there worshiped in the new school house. In 1880 the society built a church. It is a neat frame building, costing about $2,000.
The Free Methodist, held their first meeting at the school house in district No. 3. Thomas La DUE, their first preacher, came in 1871. He organized a society with about twenty members, including Jacob ARMSTRONG and wife, Miss Isabella JOHNSON, John CLAUS and wife, Henry PRYOR and wife. Meetings were afterwards held in private houses. In 1874 a chapel was built on the northwest quarter of section 10. Henry PRYOR donated one acre of land on which to erect the building. The following have preached here since La DUE: J. C. NORTON, G. C. COFFEE, C. A. CUSICK, J. S BRADLEY, C. M. DAMON, J. B. NEWVILL and H. D. F. GOFFIN. Their chapel was blown down June 19, 1882, and since then the society has worshiped at Plymouth.
A Sabbath school was organized at the school house, on section 3, in connection with the society. Lawrence McLEO was the first superintendent. It was afterwards united with the school at Plymouth.
In 1872 Rev. Thomas La DUE organized a class of fourteen members at the school house, on section 36, and among the number were: Benjamin REED and wife, Mrs. George TEELE and her two daughters, William JOHNSON and wife, Benjamin FROST and wife, J. E. COLE and wife and Mrs. Charles FARRINGTON. Benjamin REED was the leader of this class. In 1882 Rev. E. D. Skinner, missionary agent for the Sunday School Union, organized a class here, and J. E. COLE was chosen superintendent. This class numbered twenty members.
The German Baptists of this township held their first meeting at the school house, on section 36, in 1873. Rev. John CRONE was the first preacher. He organized a society here of about fifteen members, some of which were from Floyd county. The following were from Falls township: Henry GILDNER and wife, Conrad GILDNER, Henry GILDNER, Jr. Conrad GILDNER was the first deacon. Rev. Mr. CRONE was succeeded by H. SHRODER, and he by William FOSCHING, who was the pastor in 1883, at which time there were fourteen members. This church had a branch in Floyd county of nine members.
The German Methodists organized a class at the school house in the northeast part of Portland township. Rev. R. FIGENBAUM was the first pastor, who served in 1870. This class met for worship in the stone school house at Rock Falls. Christian L. BERLIN and Conrad KRUG were class leaders. They continued to worship in this building until 1875, when they changed to Nora Springs, where they now worship. Rev. William KOPP is the present preacher. In 1882 they met for worship at the Plymouth school house and also at Valentine CLAUS' house.
The first Catholic services in Plymouth were held in a private house. The Catholics at that time were mostly Bohemians, and two men of that nationality, named Albert COBEN and Frank YARICK undertook the building of a church in 187S; but they did not succeed in obtaining funds sufficient to complete the building, and some of the Irish of that denomination assumed the debt. Father Michael CAROLAN was their priest in 1883.
The first school in Plymouth independent district was taught by Miss Harriet TENNEY, who is now the wife of Rev. Henry CRAIG, of Massachusets. This school was held in a log cabin belonging to Rev. Thomas TENNEY aud dates back to the winter of 1856-7. The first school house built was on the plat, in 1858. It was made of grout. C. W. TENNEY was the first teacher This building was at first furnished with slab benches. In 1867 this building was torn down and a stone structure erected in its place. This was used until 1876. The present building is located in the village and was built in 1875 at a cost of $1,500. This is a two story frame building, and the school is a graded school of two departments. James BRYDEN was the first principal. Tom B. MILLER was principal in 1883, with Miss L. B. GARDNER as his assistant. There are 135 scholars in the district with an average attendance of ninety-five.
The first school house erected in Rock Falls was built in the fall of 1855, and was made from slabs. The first term of school taught was by Julia HUNT. The second building was that erected in 1859, which was 20x26 feet. Emma ADAMS taught the first school here. This building served for school purposes until 1867, when it was found to be too small for the accommodation of the scholars, and it was sold and a store was afterwards kept in it. A stone structure took the place of this. Commodore FARINGTON was the first to teach in this building. In 1877 this house was condemned as unsafe and torn down, and three terms of school were taught in a store building The present building was completed in 1878. It is a frame house, 28x42 feet, two stories high, with four rooms. This building and furniture cost $3,000, and is one of the finest school houses in Cerro Gordo county, and is a great credit to the people of Falls township. In this building is a graded school of two departments. Duncan RULE, afterward county clerk, taught the first term of school in this building. Myra KLING and Ella HOYT were his assistants. Lizzie PERRETT is the present principal and Libbie BROWN her assistant. There are at present fifty-six scholars enrolled; average attendance, forty-six. This is a large sub-district, and a school has been held the past year at a private house in the western part of the district. The first school was taught in Wm. PECKAM'S house, in 1878, by Hattie PERRETT. A new school house will soon be necessary.
The first school in No. 3 district was taught by Truman JUDSON, in 1856, at Edward BECKWITH'S house on section 36 This was paid for by private subscriptions. Commodore FARINGTON taught school in a dwelling house on the southwest quarter of section 36, in 1867. The first school house built in the district was erected in 1869; it is a frame house on section 36. Helen CARPENTER was the first teacher.
The first school district No. 4 was taught in John CLAUS granary, in the summer of 1866, the teacher being Ann A. REDINGTON, who is now the wife of T. S. HILL. That same summer a school house was built on the southwest quarter of section 3, in which house Belle RULE was the first teacher. This building served until 1881, when it was torn away and the present building erected. In this new building Bell LEWIS taught the first school. In June, 1882, this house was damaged by a cyclone, but was soon repaired.
The first school building in district No. 5 was erected in 1874, and was located on section 34. Ida DOGAN was the first teacher. Kate HEMTZLEMAN taught in 1883.
The first building in district No. 6 was erected in 1876, located on section 24. Lizzie PERRETT taught the first school, and D. W. WALKER is the present teacher.
The first school house was built in district No. 7, in 1874, located on the southeast quarter of section 30. Mary MAHER was the first teacher.
The first school house in district No. 8 was built in 1876; but prior to this time, school was held in a house belonging to Isaac LEWIS, for one year, which was taught by Lena L. GARDNER. The first teacher in the, new school house, erected in 1876, was taught by Ainnie TEELE. This building is a frame house located on section 1. Religious services have been held here by the different denominations, and preaching by Revs. Nels JEFFERS and LONG, Baptists, and Revs. BRADLEY and NEWVILL, Free Methodists.
The village of Plymouth was surveyed and platted by Stephen HENDERSON, in 1858, on land owned by Rev. Thomas TENNEY and his son Charles W., John MORGAN and Levi SHEPARD also had an interest in this plat. There was a log house standing on the plat at the time, which has since been removed to Worth county. This plat was situated on the east quarter of the northeast quarter of section 7, and a few lots on the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 8.
Levi SHEPARD erected the first building that year and opened a general store. He remained, however, but a short time, and upon his leaving, the village had no store.
A postoffice was established at Plymouth in 1859. Martin REDINGTON was appointed postmaster with the office in his house. This was on the mail route from Charles City to Mason City, and from Rock Falls to Albert Lea, Minn.
Martin REDINGTON kept the first hotel, which he opened in 1859. It was in a building constructed partly of logs, the remainder being a hard wood frame, 26x- 42 feet. This was called the Plymouth House. It was run as a hotel about seven years. Mr. REDINGTON also started the first blacksmith shop in town, in 1860.
The original town of Plymouth went down, and in 1870 a new town was surveyed by O. H. BOGARDUS, surveyor of the C. M. & St. Paul Railroad, on land owned by Rev. Thomas TENNEY and son, and Charles GRACIE. It is situated on the west half of the southwest quarter of section 5, and a few lots on the east half of the southeast quarter of section 6. This plat was recorded the 23d of December, 1870. The town, in 1883, contained about 300 inhabitants, with three stores, one harness shop, two blacksmith shops, two hotels, one drug store, a flouring mill, one elevator, one school building, three churches, two saloons, wagon shop and cabinet manufactory, meat market and shoe shop.
The first building was erected by George WARDE, the upper part of which he used for a dwelling, the lower part he rented to J. C. COTEY, who put in a stock of general merchandise and drugs. He was still in the business in another building in the town in 1883. This pioneer merchant has indeed achieved success, as he now owns a fine store with one of the largest stocks in Cerro Gordo county.
The first building in the place still remains; it was purchased in 1882 by Benjamin KENYON, who remodeled it and opened a hotel, which bears the name of Plymouth House. The first hotel in the town, however, was opened by R. A. WARHAM, in December, 1870.
Dr. G. H. WALLER opened a drug store in 1875, and sold the same in 1877. This store is now owned by MURRAY Bros.
The first blacksmith was Martin REDINGTON, who opened a shop, in 1870, and sold out, in 1883, and moved to Rock Falls.
Truman S. HILL started the first wagon shop, in the fall of 1870. In 1878 he formed a partnership with T. A. BARNES, and engaged in the manufacture of furniture as well as wagons. They are also contractors and builders.
The first warehouse was built in 1870, by L. A. PAGE, who commenced buying grain that fall. In 1871 he sold to BASSETT, HUNTING & Co., who, in 1876, bought the warehouse built by C. W. TENNEY, in 1870. In 1878 they erected an elevator with a capacity of 10,000 bushels, which, with their warehouse room, gives a storage of upwards of 30,000 bushels of grain. This elevator is run by a fifteen-horse power engine. The company is represented by N. L. PAGE.
In 1874 George DANEY started a sorghum mill, which accommodates the surrounding country.
The building of this mill was commenced, in 1874, and completed, in 1875, by Fred EHLERS. The building is 36x50 feet, three stories high, and contains three run of stone. In 1883 the mi'l was remodeled, and the buhrs,with the exception of one run, removed and six set of rollers provided, together with all the improved machinery for making patent flour, The mill is run by water supplied from the Shell Rock river, through a race 100 feet long. There is a constant supply of water, except in extreme cold winter weather. This is a custom as well as merchant mill, and is a great accommodation to the people in this vicinity.
The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad was completed to this point in the fall of 1870, and a station house built. R. G. CARTER was the first agent, who remained but a short, and was succeeded by A. M. WEBSTER, who in time was succeeded by L. C. COLE.
The postoffice was moved from the old town in 1871, at which date R. A. WARHAM was the postmaster.
The Plymouth Cemetery Association was organized in May, 1880. The trustees were: J. N. MALSBURY, L. A. PAGE and Joseph M. PENNELL. President, C. W. TENNEY; secretary, Dr. G. H. WALLER; treasurer, R A. WARHAM. The cemetery was platted in 1880, and was located on the northeast quarter of section 6. The association purchased five acres of land for which it paid $250. The lots were sold from three to ten dollars each. The first buried on this ground were brought from other places.
In the month of February, 1877, a heartrending and fatal accident occurred at PAGE'S mill, at Plymouth. Mrs. N. L. PAGE went into her husband's mill about dark, either for company to her husband, or on some errand. Together they started across the second story floor, he with a lamp in his hand, and she prattling as young and buoyant people will. Near their path was a perpendicular shaft, which was at the time making a hundred revolutions a minute. As she stepped over it her skirts were caught by the instrument of death. At the very instant she screamed for help, he grabbed her about the waist, but together they fell to the floor, he stunned and she wound around the fatal shafting. In the fall the lamp was extinguished, and darkness covered the terrible death scene. Mr. PAGE ran down stairs and shut off the water power; but all took time. When the mill was stopped Mrs. PAGE was still in death. Each time the shaft carried her over she was brought with violence against the floor, bruising her body in a shocking manner. Mrs. PAGE was a daughter of C. E. CRANE. She was married but a few months previous. She was buried in the Mason City cemetery.
This village was laid out and platted by Elijah WILTFONG, in 1855. It is located on the northeast quarter of section 21. Soon after platting, he sold to A. J. GLOVER, who, in 1855, erected a saw mill. He also kept a small stock of merchandise. L. S. EAGER opened the first general store, in 1856, and continued in business here until 1876, when he moved to Mason City.
The postoffice was established in 1855, and was on the route from Charles City to Mason City. A. J. GLOVER was the first postmaster. He was succeeded by L. S. EAGER and he by T. W. LANE, in 1870. After this, L. D. CADWELL, who was succeeded by the present postmaster, B. A. BROWN, who has the office at his store. When first established, this postoffice was called Shell Rock Falls, but when the railroad was built through, the station was named Rock Falls, and the new postoffice called the same on account of a Shell Rock on the B., C. R. & N. Railroad.
David JOHNSON kept the first public house, which was opened, in the fall of 1855, by a dance. He run this hotel a few months and returned to his former home in Delaware county.
Jesse CLAUSON was the first blacksmith in the village; he came in 1855 from Michigan, stopped but a few months when he returned to that State. Frederick DREW opened the next shop in 1856. He was there three or four years and then went to Nora Springs, where he still resides. This branch of business is now represented by Martin REDINGTON, who was the pioneer blacksmith of Plymouth.
Here is one of the best water powers in Iowa. By nature there was a perpendicular fall of four feet over a ledge of solid rock; but since an improvement has been made by a dam, they now [have] a twenty foot head, which gives almost an unlimited water power. As before stated, Mr. GLOVER built a saw mill here in 1855. His first dam was built of logs interlocked with whole trees laid with their tops up stream, and the whole covered with dirt and stones.
The following spring this dam went out and another one was put in and one run of buhrs placed in the mill by which corn and chopped feed were ground. The second dam was washed out the next spring, and Mr. GLOVER, after meeting with these repeated misfortunes, sold out to Elijah WILTFONG, who built a crib dam, which was filled with stone; the mill was also raised one story higher at the time.
The last dam, which all supposed secure, was swept down the stream the following spring, and this time the mill itself, as if by a peculiar instinct, followed the current which had carried away so many of its dams. Mr. WILTFONG then sold the mill site, which, after changing hands two or three times, fell into the hands of C. W. TENNEY.
Alphonzo BROWN bought the right of flowage on the right bank of the river, from Mr. WILTFONG, and on the left side, from Mr. TENNEY, who gave him the mill site. Mr. BROWN constructed another dam and built another mill farther up the stream.
In 1868 George S. HEATON bought the property and the next year commenced building the present mill. In 1871 he sold his interest to R. M. TODD. In 1873 the mill was completed. It is a stone building 40x60 feet, four stories in height. The stone from which it is built, was quarried where the mill stands. The rock from which the lime was burned, came from the same locality. This mill was at first furnished with seven run of buhrs, and the necessary machinery.
In 1876 HEATON sold his interest to Mr. TODD. In 1880 and 1881, the buhrs were taken out and rollers substituted. It is now furnished with ten double set of rollers and one single set, and two run of buhrs and all other necessary machinery for making first class flour. It now has a capacity for making 200 barrels of flour per day.
In 1882 a frame addition was made to the main building, 22x60 feet, which was furnished with three run of stone, for feed, with a capacity of three car loads of feed per day. This is one of the best equipped, as well as one of the largest mills in Iowa.
Rock Falls creamery was started in 1882 by CARNEY & Co. This business was continued by them during the summer of 1882, but failing in the fall, the property was sold at sheriff's sale. B. A. BROWN purchased it and operated the same in 1883. Most of the cream is gathered from Falls, Portland and Lime Creek townships, some coming from Worth county. In 1883 they produced 1200 pounds of butter per week, which sold for the highest price of Iowa butter in eastern markets.
R. M. TODD built an elevator in 1878, with a capacity of 25,000 bushels. This is located 400 feet from the mill on the opposite side of the stream. The power is derived from the mill power, being connected by a wire cable.
The Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern Railway, was completed to Shell Rock Falls in 1872, and a depot built. A. W. WELLER was the first agent. He re- mained but three years and returned to Cedar Rapids, his former home, and is now in the employ of Stewart & Douglass. W. H. COOK succeeded him as station agent.
The town of Shell Rock Falls was incorporated August, 1882. The first election was held at the school house, the 8th of that month, at which time the following officers were elected to serve until the March following:
Mayor, R. M. TODD; councilmen, W. C. OWENS, R. KINNEY, W. C. BAKER, B. A. BROWN, L. SUMNER and Jolfri BLIEM; recorder, A. W. HADWICK.
The officers elected in March, 1883, for that year, were: Mayor, R. M. TODD; councilmen, W. C. BAKER and G. A. RAYMOND; assessor, A. W. RAYMOND; recorder, A. W. HADWICK.
The first Church organization in the town was the Congregational, which was perfected in 1856, by Rev. Thomas TENNEY, at Rock Falls. Benjamin REED and David BUTTS were the first deacons. The society flourished for some years. Rev. James MASON from Mason City preached here for some years, also Revs. DYKEMAN and BROOKS.
A union Sunday school was organized in an early day at Rock Falls, with David BUTTS as superintendent. This school, which is still in a flourishing condition, is superintended by George DANEY and meets at the M.E. church at Plymouth.
At the time of the building of the Congregational church the ladies formed an aid society and raised money enough to furnish the church.
The Congregational church was built in 1867. Hon. N. W. CUTTER, member of Congress from Constitution, Ohio, generously donated a quarter section of land to aid in its construction. B. A. BROWN received the land in part payment for laying the foundation. It is a stone structure, very finely arranged within. The several religious denominations donated quite liberally towards the building, and use it from time to time for special meetings.
The Methodist Episcopals held their first services in the school house, about 1865. Elder WARD, from Mason City, was the first preacher. He organized a society of a dozen members, including A. BEYRS and wife, with some of their children, Joseph COX and wife, George MORSE and wife, and Thomas WHALEY and wife. Meetings were held in the school house until the Congregational church was built, which they then occupied. Elders WARD, COOLEY, LESLIE, BENNETT, GARRISON, LITTLER, LEONARD and CAMERON have served this charge since its organization.
A union Sunday school was organized at the church in February, 1882, by Rev. D. E. SKINNER, of the American Sunday School Union. A. W. HADWICK was chosen their superintendent. They had a membership of sixty scholars in 1883.
The cemetery at Shell Rock Falls was laid out in 1865. One acre of land was purchased from David BUTTS and one half acre donated by C. W. TENNEY. The grounds are beautifully situated on the brow of the hill just north of the village. David BUTTS was the first person to be buried there.
This organization dates from the summer of 1882, and contains about twenty members, among whom are the following officers:
President, Mrs. George ROEBUCK; vice-president, Mrs. SMITH; secretary, Mrs. Jennie BURKE; treasurer, Mrs. D. E. SKINNER.
The society holds semi-monthly meetings at the school house, to which the gentlemen are invited with the understanding that they drop a small contribution into the treasurer's hands; and in this manner quite a sum of money was raised, which went toward furnishing the church.
1895 Falls Township Plat Map
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