Cerro Gordo County Iowa
Part of the IaGenWeb Project



1883 History of Geneseo Township
Cerro Gordo County, Iowa


Jarvis J. Rogers   Lyman Hunt   George Alonzo Fuller
Francis Walter   Nelson J. Grummon   John Whitesell
George E. Lyman   Rev. Loomis Benjamin   George W. Folsom
Christian Kittell   Sidney Dillingham   Benjamin F. Lyman
Daniel Warner   George Hunt   William Wright
Jeremiah Dodd   N.J. Grummon   George B. Rockwell
David S. Trapp   James Howland   Michael Colwell
Albert Bruce   J.B. Patterson   J.A. Felthous
George H. Felthous   Thomas Federspiel   C.J. Behr
Isaac B. Hathaway   John B. Piersol   Gabriel L. Secor
James Bruce   Josiah D. Johnson   William Nettleton
Thomas Hall   John Kinyon

Jarvis J. Rogers was the first settler of the township. He settled on section 3, May 2, 1855, where he made claim to 160 acres of land, but when the land came into market it was purchased by other parties, of whom Mr. Rogers purchased. He and his family occupied this tract for nine and one half years and sold to George B. Rockwell. Mr. Rogers built a log house on the land, near where the residence of Mr. Rockwell afterward stood. This was the first house built in what was afterward Geneseo township, the ruins of which still were to be seen in 1883. In 1864 Mr. Rogers bought the farm of Mrs. George Fuller, where he resided at the time of his death. Jarvis J. Rogers was born on Long Island in 1812, where he lived till he was twenty years of age when he removed with his parents to Erie co., N.Y. Here he was married to Nancy Green, born on Long Island, but afterwards removed with her parents to Erie county. Mr. Rogers was brought up on a farm and followed farming during his life. He was one of the well known farmers of this county. He died Sept. 1, 1871. His widow resides on section 10, on the farm her husband purchased after he sold his original homestead to Mr. Rockwell. Mr. and Mrs. Rogers had eight children, three of whom are living - Anna, Francis, of Mason City, and Mary E. The homestead farm where Mrs. Rogers and her daughter, Anna, resides, contains about 300 acres of land.

Lyman Hunt settled on section 27, in May, 1858. He was a native of Massachusetts, but came here with his family from Illinois. He died Feb. 11, 1876. His widow, afterward Mrs. Daniel Losee, still lives on section 27. She has several children, one of whom lives in this township on section 27. Her daughter, Mary E., was the first white child born in the township. George Alonzo Fuller settled on section 10 in 1860, and soon after went into the army, where he died in 1864, after which his family removed to New York. Francis Walter settled on section 10, in the spring of 1861, and was still residing there in 1883.

Nelson J. Grummon located the same year on section 3, and afterward owned an adjoining farm on the same section.

In 1859 John Whitesell settled on section 9, but later moved to Franklin county, went into the army, since which but little is known of him.

George E. Lyman came to his present home on section 36, in February, 1860. He was born in Susquehanna Co., Penn., Sept. 18, 1828. His parents removed to Wyoming county, where he married Sarah E. Kentner, a native of Monroe Co., Penn., born Oct. 9, 1834, and who had removed with her parents to Wyoming county when an infant. After his marriage he removed to Lee Co., Ill., from thence to Iowa in 1860. He bought 680 acres, now having but 375 under an excellent state of cultivation. During the war he enlisted Dec. 15, 1863, in the 4th regiment, Iowa Cavalry, and served until its close, participating in the battles of Guntown, capture of Selma, Ala., Columbus and Macon, Georgia, and numerous campaigns. They are the parents of seven children, five of whom are now living - Lucretia M., wife of George H. Felthous, born Dec. 10, 1851; Myron W., born April 3, 1853, died July 28, 1857; an infant daughter born Dec. 23, 1854; died Feb. 1, 1855; Mary E., wife of C.W. Harris, born July 6, 1856; Eddie W., born July 10, 1860; Elma L., born April 15, 1862; and Lena L., born Dec. 10, 1863.

Rev. Loomis Benjamin was one of the pioneer preachers of Cerro Gordo county. He came to Franklin Co., Iowa, in the spring of 1860, and preached both in Franklin and Cerro Gordo counties, and probably preached the first sermon in Geneseo township. He was well known and held in high esteem by all who knew him. He was born in the State of New York, in 1801. He began the ministry in connection with the Methodist Episcopal Church when twenty-five years of age, and continued in the ministry until the time of his death, preaching a sermon the Sabbath preceding his death. He was twice married and had ten children, five of whom are now living. He died Oct. 22, 1879.

George W. Folsom, now a resident of Rockwell, came to Franklin Co., Iowa, June 7, 1860, buying unimproved land on section 5, Ingham, now known as West Fork township, which he made his home and improved well until 1882, when he removed to the village. He is the son of Joseph Folsom, a native of New Hampshire, who moved to, and was one of the early settlers of Ogle Co., Ill., where George was born in 1838. The family removed to Winnebago county, where the father died, aged eighty-one years. Mrs. Folsom, nee Benjamin, is the daughter of Rev. Loomis Benjamin, a pioneer preacher of Cerro Gordo county. They have five children - Elva, Mina, Lucas G., Jessie L. and Wilbert B. Their eldest child, Elvira, died in infancy.

Christian Kittell came from Shell Rock, Butler county, in 1861, and settled on section 31. he also served in the army during the rebellion, and lost his life in the service. His widow afterward married, and in 1883 was living in Sheffield.

Sidney Dillingham came from Cherry Valley, Ill., and settled in Geneseo township in 1863. His son-in-law, Joseph Barnes, came on at the same time, and lived here several years then went to Kansas. Mr. Dillingham died in 1882.

Benjamin F. Lyman came with his family in 1861, and purchased a quarter of section 36, but died suddenly, April 28, 1862. His wife and infant son (born here Dec. 3, 1861) returned to Illinois; but afterwards she again married, and in 1883 was living in Franklin county. Daniel Warner settled in 1862, built a log house and remained two years, when he removed to Kansas.

George Hunt located on section 35, but soon returned to Illinois. William Wright settled on the northeast quarter of section 36, where he lived two years and moved to Franklin county.

Jeremiah Dodd settled on section 25, where he lived about two years and returned to Illinois.

N.J. Grummon settled on a farm in Geneseo township, in 1861. Having sold that farm he settled on section 3, in 1876, where he now resides. He was born in Chautauqua Co., N.Y., in 1836. His father, Horace Grummon, removed with his family to Winnebago county, Ill., when N.J. was a child, his mother dying when he was an infant. He lived near Belividere, Ill., for twenty-one years. He married Romelia Quackenbos, a native of Canada, whose father settled in Illinois when she was a child. Mr. and Mrs. Grummon have two sons - Charlie and Willie, both born in this township. Their only daughter, Myrtie, was born in Illinois in 1861 and died here Dec. 16, 1882. She was an estimable young lady, and her death was a severe affliction to her parents and a loss to the community.

Francis Walter, son of Nlson and Elizabeth (Allbridge) Walter, has resided on section 10 since 1861. He was born at Milton, Saratoga Co., N.Y., Sept. 27, 1823, and lived in the same county until 1861. He was married Nov. 10, 1847, to Frances S. Tubbs, who was born Sept. 26, 1824, in Galway, Saratoga co., N.Y. The father and mother of Mr. Walter were also natives of that county. His grandfather was a Revolutionary soldier. Mrs. Walter's father was born in Saratoga Co., N.Y., and her mother in Windham Co., Vt. Her grandfather, John Tubbs, was one of the six men comprising the guard of general Schuyler, when, in 1781, the British commander sent out a party of Tories and Indians under John W. Meyer, to capture him at his home, in Albany, N.Y. Mr. and Mrs. Walter have two sons. J.N. is now living in Oregon, and S.A., who finished his education at the Iowa Normal School, was, in 1883, a telegraph operator in Marshall Co., Iowa.

George B. Rockwell, one of the representative men of Cerro Gordo county, Iowa, came to Geneseo township in 1864, and purchased the farm of J.J. Rogers. He brought his family there in December, of that year. The farm which he purchased of Mr. Rogers was the first farm settled in what is now Geneseo township, and includes the present town plat, and the town was named in his honor. He was born in the town of West Milton, Saratoga Co., N.Y., Dec. 6, 1828. When he was four years of age his parents removed to Orleans county, and when seven years old, to Erie county, same State, and settled near the village of Akron, where his father died in 1874. George B. Rockwell received a good common school education at the grammar and high school of Akron, and at the age of nineteen he commenced teaching. He taught several terms in his native State, and in 1850, went to Walworth Co., Wis., and taught school the following winter. In February, 1851, he came to Allamakee Co., Iowa, where he bought land and taught during the summer of 1851, at Guttenberg, Clayton county. He was married Aug. 31, 1853, in Erie Co., N.Y., to Elizabeth Jackson, of Erie county, same State. After his marriage he returned with his wife to Allamakee county, where he owned 200 acres of land, which he soon after sold and removed to Kane co., Ill., purchased a farm and resided there for eleven years, at which time he came to Geneseo township. He is a man of more than ordinary ability, energetic and fearless in maintaining what he believes right as well as opposing wrong. The cause of temperance finds in him an able advocate, and intemperance a determined and unrelenting foe. To him the town of Rockwell is indebted for its exemption from saloons and the liquor traffic. In early life Mr. Rockwell was a democrat, but has been a republican since the formation of that party, yet does not allow party ties to interfere with his sense of duty and justice. By choice and occupation he is a farmer. His homestead, known as Grasdale farm, contains about 600 acres, and is one of the finest in the county, and is especially adapted to the cultivation of grain and the raising of stock. He makes a specialty of shorthorn cattle, and has a number of fine specimens of that valuable class of stock. He is editor of the agricultural department of the Phonograph. Mr. and Mrs. Rockwell have three daughters - Mary E., wife of J.A. Felthous, born in Blackberry, Illinois; Julia Ruth and Grace. The two eldest were born in Illinois and the youngest in this township. Their second child and only son, David W., was born in Illinois, where he died in infancy.

David S. Trapp settled on section 4, May 1, 1869, where he now resides. He first purchased seventy acres of Joseph Barnes, but has since increased his farm to 146 acres. He has made nearly all the improvements, built a fine residence in 1878, and set out and cultivate a fine grove, mostly soft maples. He was born in Tompkins co., N.Y., in December, 1826; removed with his parents, Uriah and Sarah Trapp, to Wayne co., Ohio., where they lived until their decease. David S. Trapp was an early settler in Dodge Co., Minn., in 1856, where he owned a farm adjoining Kasson Village. He married Margaret Long, a native of Ohio. They have nine children - William, Theodore, Mary, Frank, Alice, Ida, Charles, Minnie and Lillie. Their oldest son, William, was born in Ohio and died in Iowa. The youngest child was born here. Mr. Trapp has a fine stone quarry on his farm, from which is obtained all the building stone used in the vicinity. James Howland is one of the first settlers on the village plat of Rockwell, Geneseo township, Cerro Gordo county. He built the first house on the town plat in the fall of 1870. He occupied this house until 1883, when he removed to his farm in Geneseo township. He was born in Canada West, in 1835, but when a child removed with his parents to Orleans Co., N.Y. His father, William Howland, was a native of New York. When James was ten years of age he removed with his parents to Illinois, remained there till 1868, when he removed to Fairfield township, Fayette Co., Iowa, where he engaged in farming. In 1870 he exchanged his farm in Fayette county for one in Dougherty township, this county, which he improved; built a house, set out a grove, and made other improvements. At one time he owned in that township about 800 acres, all of which he has since disposed of. He owns a farm now of 240 acres in Geneseo township, where he at this time resides. His wife was Susan Irvine, born in Pennsylvania. They have three children - George W., William L. and Charles G.

Michael Colwell, a prominent and respected citizen of Geneseo township, located on section 15, in 1870. He purchased wild land from Sandford Childs, and has made great improvements. He was born in Cavan Co., Ireland, emigrating to the United States in 1849. He lived four years in Connecticut, then removed to Illinois, from thence to Dodge Co., Wis., where he made his home until 1870. He married Mary McConlogue, also a native of Ireland. They have no family. Albert Bruce was the first merchant of Rockwell. he came in April, 1871, and opened a general store in the front part of the Putnam House, remaining in trade about three years. He was born at East Randolph, Vt., May 13, 1833. In 1851 he commenced clerking in a store in his native village. In 1854 he removed to Woodstock, Vt., where he remained a clerk in a store until 1857, when he moved to Green Bay, Wis., from there to Marquette county, thence to Columbia county. he was engaged in the mercantile business in Portage City, also at Randolph for several years. Feb. 22, 1865, he was married to Sarah E. Glodgett, a native of Vermont, by whom he had five children - Morris E., Helen M., William R., Mary E. and Harry L. His wife died Oct. 22, 1877. Nov. 19, 1879, he married his present wife, Dolly Dills, a native of Indiana. They have one son - George Albert. Mr. Bruce owns a fine farm on section 2, Geneseo township. He is a member of the present board of supervisors. J.B. Patterson was born in Belmont Co., Ohio, in 1830. His father, Jeremiah Patterson, removed to Morgan county when the subject of this sketch was only three years old. From that State he moved to Illinois, and, in 1865, came to Franklin Co., Iowa. In 1871 he married Miss E.J. Short, of Ohio. They have one son - Charles A., who is engaged in railroading. Mr. Patterson served a year and a half in the army, belonging to the 4th Illinois Cavalry, and was honorably discharged for disability.

J.A. Felthous came here in 1871 and worked for his brother in the grain business for a number of years before he went into business for himself. He is the hardware and grain dealer in Rockwell, having succeeded E.P. Nyre, in September, 1877. He has a complete stock of goods. In 1878 he erected a new store building, the main part being 22 X 50 feet, two stories high, with basement the same height as the upper rooms. The floors are connected by elevators and the store is conveniently arranged. An addition to the main building is used for a tin shop. The entire cost of the building was about $2,000. J.A. Felthous and his brother, J.C. Felthous, are also engaged in the grain and coal trade, under the firm name of Felthous Bros., successors of their brother, George H. They are energetic young men and possess that business tact which means success. J.A. Felthous was born in Dubuque county, in 1855. His wife is Elizabeth M., daughter of George B. Rockwell. His brother, J.C. Felthous, of this farm, was also born in Dubuque county, in 1859.

Among the representative business men of Cerro Gordo county is George H. Felthous, a native of Dubuque Co., Iowa, who located here in the summer of 1871, a few months after the village of Rockwell was laid out. He came to Geneseo township first in the spring of 1869 and bought a farm of 280 acres on sections 17 and 19, improved the land the following season and took up his residence in Rockwell in 1871. He has been prominently identified with the town since its commencement. In 1871 he built the warehouse which is now attached to and forms a part of his elevator, the latter of which he built in 1875,which, with the warehouse, has a capacity of 15,000 bushels. He engaged in the grain business immediately after locating here and continued the same until the fall of 1882, when he was succeeded by his brothers, J.A. and J.C. Felthous. In 1872 he built a dwelling house on the corner of A and Third streets, and the same year he sold the farm he first bought and purchased another on section 11. In 1883 he built the finest dwelling in the town, at that date, located on A and Fifth streets. He had retired for the present from the grain business, but is actively engaged in other branches of trade. He is highly esteemed as a good business man and an excellent citizen. He was born in Dubuque Co., Iowa, in 1848. His parents John H. and R.C. Felthous, were natives of Germany and settled in Dubuque county at an early day. His father died in 1869, and the mother lives with her children in Rockwell. Mr. Felthous married Lucretia M. Lyman, born in Pennsylvania. She is the oldest daughter of George E. and Sarah E. Lyman, who reside near Rockwell.

Thomas Federspiel was born in Switzerland, in 1842, and settled in Geneseo township, where he now lives, in 1872. He bought his farm of 160 acres from Annie Goodrich, of Indiana. His farm is located on section 6, and he has made valuable improvements, among which is a very fine grove of soft maple and willow about his house. he was twenty-five years of age when he came to America. he first settled in Dubuque Co., Iowa, and resided there until 1872, when he came to this county. There were no improvements on his farm here when he bought it, and the house which he built in 1872 was destroyed by the tornado of June 1, 1878. Not only was his property destroyed by this cyclone, but his little four-year old daughter, Rosa, was instantly killed; his oldest child, Kunie, had her leg broken, and his wife also was considerably injured. His house, a frame building 16 X 24 feet, was carried from its foundation to a distance of eight rods, and then dashed to ruins. He rebuilt his house the same session. He married Annie Behr, who was born in Dubuque Co., Iowa, and they have three children - Kunie, Georgia and Modesta.

C.J. Behr has been a resident on section 6, since 1873. He has a fine farm of 320 acres, well improved, containing the finest apple orchard in the township. He was born in Dubuque Co., Iowa, in 1847, to which place his father, John Behr, had emigrated from Germany, in 1846, and where he still resides. C.J. Behr married Barbara Conrad, also a native of Dubuque county, and has two children - Maggie and Charlie II., both born in the township. He came to the county a year previous to locating on his farm, which he purchased from George C. Talmon, a non-resident.

Issac B. Hathaway was the first drayman of Rockwell. He came in 1873, beginning business September, 1874. He was born in Newport, N.Y., in 1821; afterwards moved to Illinois, and in 1863 removed to Clear Lake, Iowa, working for Marcus Tuttle. He taught school a number of terms in Cerro Gordo county. His wife is a native of Illinois.

John B. Piersol, general merchant at Rockwell, was born Dec. 14, 1843, in Park Co., Ind. In 1846 he moved with his parents to Green county, and in 1848 to Winnebago Co., Ill., where he worked with his father on the farm. In 1852 his parents moved to La Fayette Co., Wis., where he worked by the month to help support a large family of boys and girls. he had to chop wood winters instead of going to school, as boys usually do. At the age of sixteen he enlisted in the 45th Illinois Volunteers, under Col. John E. Smith. He served four years and three months in the army, being in most of the great battles of the rebellion, in which the Western Army took any part. At Fort Donelson he was wounded, and notwithstanding he was a mere youth at the time, he stood up under his trials manfully. He was with Sherman on his march to the sea, and was with the army until the close of the war, and was discharged in 1865. As his parents were poor, his advantages for an education were poor, and he thought it time to avail himself of more schooling, so he attended district school for a year, and then commenced teaching, and followed it for five terms, then removed to Floyd Co., Iowa, and purchased a farm. In 1869 Mr. Peirsol married Sarah Flinn, a girl he had been acquainted with from boyhood. In 1875, by advice from his physician, he quit farm life and moved to Rockwell, engaging in trade, which was small at first, but in 1883 had grown to a business of $25,000 annually. Besides his store he deals in grain and stock, and owns a large farm a half mile north of the town.

Gabriel L. Secor located on his present farm, on section 35, Geneseo township, in 1876, where he now resides, having bought his farm from William Moore. He is an old resident of Iowa. He was born in Albany, N.Y., in 1824. he afterward lived in Oeneida and Jefferson counties, N.Y., until twenty-one years of age, then went to De Kalb Co., Ill, where he lived ten years, then moved to Floyd Co., Iowa, in the winter of 1853-54. He is a carpenter and builder by trade, which he followed for many years. He built the first flouring mill at Marble Rock. He also owned and carried on a farm in Floyd county. His parents, John and Jane Secor, removed to Illinois with their son, afterwards went to Delaware Co., Iowa, where the father died. The mother died in Cherokee county. Gabriel L. married Martha Darland, born in Ohio. They have four children - Mary, John F., Ida F. and Andromeda. Mr. Secor's farm contains eighty acres, and is a pleasant home.

James Bruce settled on section 4, in 1876, which he purchased from G.B. Rockwell. His farm is finely located, containing 160 acres, and, being elevated, he has one of the finest sites for a residence in the township. he is a native of Scotland, born in 1825, and emigrating to the United States in 1850. He first moved to Dodge Co., Wis., where he bought and improved a farm, which he sold and then removed to his present home. He married Ann Baxter, born in Scotland in 1831. he has seven children - James W., Charles T., William B., Francis A., Annie W., Maria J. and Freddie. Mr. Bruce and wife, three sons and two daughters, are members of the Baptist Church in Rockwell.

Josiah D. Johnson came to the township in 1872, bought wild land on section 8 and located in 1874. he has so improved and beautified if that he now has a most desirable farm. He was born in Auburn, N.Y., in 1830. When young his father, Robert Johnson, removed with his family to Erie Co., Ohio, where his parents resided until their decease. He enlisted in the 96th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, serving until the close of the war. He learned and followed the carpenter trade a number of years. He assisted in the construction of several of the principal buildings of Rockwell, including the school house and Mr. Rockwell's dwelling. He was married in Illinois to Eliza Willard, a daughter of Joseph Willard, born in 1836, and has one son - Henry, born in Ohio in 1858.

William Nettleton, one of the largest farmers and stock dealers in Geneseo township, is located on section 27, where he located in March, 1882. His farm contains 320 acres, which he purchased of Frank Andrews. Mr. Nettleton is a native of Ireland; he was born in Antrim county, in 1836, and emigrated with his father, Benjamin Nettleton, to Dixon, Ill., and later to Paw Paw in the same State, where his father died in 1851. Mr. Nettleton enlisted, in 1862, in the 75th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, company K., and served till the war closed. he was at the battles of Perryville, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, siege of Atlanta; and when Sherman marched to the sea, he fought with Gen. Thomas. In the fall of 1866 he settled in Ingham township, Franklin Co., Iowa, where he bought a farm of James Allen. he lived on this farm and at Hampton for two and a half years, when he removed to Cherokee county, where he remained till he came to this township. He has a fine farm of rolling land from which a beautiful cold spring flows forth, affording an abundant supply of pure water for domestic and stock purposes. Mr. Nettleton married Maria Miller, a native of Pennsylvania. They have three children - Charles B., Ernest and Guy C.


Geneseo township was formerly called Linn, and was organized under that name Sept. 23, 1859. The first election was held at the school house, near Jarvis J. Roberts', Oct. 11, 1859, at which there were but six votes cast: Lyman Hunt, John Whitesell, William Holmes, James W. Goheen, Jarvis J., and Francis Rogers. The following officers were elected: Trustees, John Whitesell, James W. Goheen and William Holmes; justices of the peace, J.J. Rogers and Lyman Hunt; constables, James Goheen and John Whitesell; assessor, James W. Goheen; clerk, Francis M. Rogers; road supervisor, Jarvis Rogers. The judges of this election were: William Holmes, J.W. Goheen and John Whitesell.

In 1862 the name of the township was changed to Geneseo, at the suggestion of George A. Fuller, who came from near Geneseo, N.Y. In 1883 the township officers were: M. Colwell, Thomas Federspiel and F. Gauley, trustees; James Bruce and C.W. Harris, justices of the peace; F.C. Bowe and E.F. Gould, constables; J.C. Felthous, clerk; C.J. Behr, assessor.

The first couple married in the township, where Elihu Brown and Mary Rogers; the ceremony was performed by Rev. Loomis Bemjaimin, June 3, 1861.

The first death was that of Benjamin F. Lyman, April 28, 1862.

The first birth was Mary E., daughter of Lyman and Samantha Hunt.

The first sermon preached in the township, was delivered by Rev. Loomis Benjamin, early in the spring of 1860. Rev. Shoffer, of the United Brethren, preached at about that date also.


The first burying place, in Geneseo township, was on the southwest quarter of section 36, now but little used. The principal cemetery in 1883, was on the northeast quarter of section 10, which joined the town plat of Rockwell, containing two and one half acres. It is regularly laid out, having many native oaks, with evergreens here and there. There are several fine monuments in this cemetery.


The first school in the township was taught by Mary Rogers, in 1859, in a log building on section 3. Miss Rogers afterwards became the wife of Elihu Brown.

In 1883 the township had been organized into six sub-districts, with six school houses, located as follows: On southwest quarter of section 14, southeast quarter of 18, southeast quarter of 6, northeast quarter of 33, the center of section 35, and one in Rockwell village.

Village of Rockwell

The town plat of this village includes the southeast quarter of section 3, township 94, range 20 west, in Geneseo township. It was named by Charles C. Gilman, the first president of the Central Railway of Iowa, in honor of George B. Rockwell, the owner of the ground on which the town is located. It was laid out by Mr. Rockwell and the Iowa Valley Construction Company. The survey was executed by C.F. Vincent, in the fall of 1870, at a time when the track of the Central Railway of Iowa reached this point. The original plat, however, only included the west half of the present limits. The northeast quarter of the plat, lying east of the Iowa Central track, was laid out several years later, by Newell, Dickson and Todd, and called Kirtland. The first house was built by James Howland, in the fall of 1870. The depot and house for the section hands were built the same fall. The following spring the Putnam House and several dwellings were put up. The first store was opened by Albert Bruce, in the front part of the Putnam House. He was a resident of the place in 1883. The first wagon maker was Christian Zeidler, who, in 1883, was engaged in the lumber trade in Rockwell. The first blacksmith shop was opened by James Platt. The first shoemaker was John Winship, who afterward engaged in the harness business at Chapin, Franklin county. He was succeeded by Hans R. Hansen, who represented the trade in 1883.

Business Interests

In 1883 Rockwell had three general stores, as follows: Myron Dexter, J.B. Piersol and Hugh McLaughlin.

The first regular grocery store was kept by M.V. Todd, who sold to Ford & Fuller.

The first drug store was kept by Miller & Curtis; and in 1883 the drug business of the place was carried on by J. Kinyon & Son.

J. Kinyon & Son, druggists, succeeded E. Bonner, on the 1st of March, 1882. John Kinyon was born in the State of New York, July 10, 1826. He went to Portage Co., Ohio, with his parents, when he was a child, where he grew to manhood. He was an early settler of Winneshiek Co., Iowa, having settled there in 1857. He came to Cerro Gordo county, March 1877. His wife, formerly Priscilla Haughawaut, was born in Pennsylvania. They have three children - Benjamin, Alice, wife of A.B. Willsey, and C.P., who is associated with his father in business.

The first hardware store was kept by Harris Bros., who were succeeded by E.P. Nye, who sold to J.A. Felthous, the present hardware merchant.

The grain business of Rockwell, for many years after the first location of the town, was an extensive and paying branch of industry, as all the broad prairies are first made to produce wheat and oats, they being the most profitable crop, until after the soil has been better subdued and adapted to corn raising. In 1883 there were two good-sized elevators and a warehouse in the village; one was built by J.B. Piersol, who still continued to operate ...

[missing the last page - does anyone out there have a copy of page 850?]

History of Franklin and Cerro Gordo Counties, Iowa
History of Iowa 1883

Contributed by John McLaughlin



  • Return to Cerro Gordo History Index Page

  • Return to Cerro Gordo Home Page


    © Copyright 1996-
    Cerro Gordo Co. IAGenWeb Project
    All rights Reserved.