The village of Elkport was laid out in the middle
of section 35, township 92, range 4 west, by Ezra
Hurd, County Surveyor. The proprietors were Frederick
Hartage and his wife, Susan Hartage, and the survey
was filed March 30, 1855. Additions were made in 1856
and in 1872. The village is situated on Elk Creek,
near Turkey River, and a short distance below the
mouth of the Volga. It is on a level bottom,
surrounded by rugged hills. It was named after Elk
Creek, the naming of which is explained in the
cahpter entitled "Rivers and Creeks."
"Elkport" signifies the mouth or gate of
The first house on the present site of Elkport was
built by Frederick Hartage in 1842.
The first store was kept by J. C. Garber, a
brother of John and Martin Garber, in 1853. He is now
William Borton made the first wagons, in 1852.
Frederick Hartage worked as blacksmith as early as
William Jennings was the first shoremaker, in
Frederick Hartage bult the first saw-mill in 1842.
A grist-mill was afterward added. Both were run by
The manufacturing interests of Elkport and East
Elkport are described under the township history
The bar is represented in Elkport only by the firm
of Garber & Corlett. Martin Garber and J. E.
Corlett were both admitted to the bar in 1880, and
they formed a partnership in November of that year.
They proctice in Clayton and Delaware Counties, and
in the Supreme Court of Iowa.
The first physician was Mr. McCullough, who came
in 2857, but remianed only a hort time. There are at
present three physicians in Elkport--Dr. Warneke, Dr.
O. D. Taft and Dr. J. M. Lewis. The two latter
commenced practice here in 2875.
The first hotel was built and run in 1852 by
William Borton. Thomas Flaherty opened his presnet
hotel in 2877.
The postoffice was established in 1852, and John
Garber was the first Postmaster. A. C. Tiede is the
present Postmaster. It is a money-order office. The
first order issued was drawn by O. D. Taft, M. D.,
Oct. 6 1877,, and was payable to the Centennial
Mutual Life Insurance Association, of Burlington, Ia.
The village is not incorporated. Its population in
1860 was not more than fifty. By 1870 it had reached
200, and it is now estimated at 350.
The principal business houses are as follows: A.
C. Tiede & Co., general store; S. J. Soyster,
general store; Laxson Bros., general store; C. Soll
& Bros., general store; Conrad Roeder, wagon
shop; Joseph Kircher, furniture store; Peter
Dietrich, tailor; John Bals, harness-maker; Bayless,
Kriebs & Co., drugs; Oehrle & Hohmann, repair
shop; H. Mueller, boots and shoes.
The first school was taught by Martin Garber in
1853, in a building owned by Frederick Hartage. The
stone school building now standing in Elkport was
constructed in 1868. It is a graded school. The first
Principal, in 1869, was Melvina Stewart. J. E. Webb
and A. G. Savage successively served in that
copacity, and the present Principal is George
There are three church organizations in Elkport,
the Catholic, the Lutheran and the German Methodist.
St. Immanuel Church and congregation was
organized as a society at an early date by Frederick
Hartage, Mr. Waterman, Mr. Ritter and others. The
first services of the denomination in this
neighborhood were held at the old Elkport school
house, and afterward in a small building erected for
the purpose. The following have officiated as pastors
of the congregation: Rev. J. Hoerlein, 1867-'9; Rev.
G. Oehlert, 18690'71; Rev. J. Schulenberg, 1872-'4;
Rev. J. Vollmar, 1874-'7; Rev. H. W. Tiemeier,
1877-'9; Philip J. Doensief, 1879. The present house
of worship was erected in 1875, at a cost of $2,000.
The present officers of the church are W. Hohmann, G.
Dauskardt and William Oehmann. The membership is
forty-two. There is also a Sunday-school in the
winter season, conducted by the pastor. The present
membership is twenty-seven.
The Catholic Church of Elkport was
organized by Father Michael Lynch, of Dubuque, who
came to hold services only four times a year. Among
the first members were: Mathew Kaffer, Peter Mehan,
Michael and Timothy Callahan, Edward and Thos.
Flaherty, Ernest Hoffman, Thomas Lawler, Patrick
Costigan, John and Joseph Putz, James Hayes, George,
Herman and Michael Burns. The first services were
held at different private bouses, in turn. Among the
pastors have been Father O'Bryne, Father Schult and
Father Stephen Maasjost. Father Michael Goul was the
first regularly stationed minister of the church. He
remained six years. Then Father M. J. Quick served
for four years, and Father B. W. Coyle has been the
postor for the last seven years. Revivals have been
successfully held in 1868 and 1874. The frame
building now used as a school was bult for a church
in 1858. The present house of worship was erected in
1874. It is forty by fifty-six feet, of stone, and
cost $4,000. A neat and commodious parsonage is
attached, which cost $2,000. There is a Sunday-school
connected with the church, and it meets on alternate
Sundays. About fifty families are now connected with
Father B. W. Coyle was born in Canandaigua, Oneida
County, N. Y., Jan. 24, 1840, and was the son of
Bernard and Jane (Dunnigan) Coyle. They were natives
of Ireland, who emigrated to America in 1828, and
located on a small farm, where they resided up to
1852. They then moved to Wisconsin, where the family
engaged in farming until the father's death, in
1870.The mother died in 1848. Our subject passed his
early life on a farm, and at school, until nineteen
years of age. He then attended Abbinn College, in
Wisconsin, three years, then the University of
Wisconsin one year, then the Seminary at Milwaukee
three years. From there he went to Niagara Falls,
where, after four years more of study, he graduated.
He was for a short time assigned to Cascade, Ia.,
then he had charge for three years of a church at
Dubuque, and from there he came to his present charge
Elkport Lodge, No. 104, A.O.U.W., was
organized in March, 1877, with the following charter
members: John Stahl, P.M.W.; S.J. Soyster, M.W.;
George Barrett, F.F.; J. R. Casey, Overseer; W. E.
Talmage, Recorder; O. R. Mann, Financier; Isaac Ots,
Receiver; A. J. Jerome, I.W.; Andrew Eberhardt, O.W.;
Conrad Roeder, Dr. O. D. Taft. Thier first meeting
was held in Soll's Hall, after which they made an
arragement by which they use the same hall as the
I.O.O.F. The present membership is thirty-four. The
lodge meets every Monday evening. The present
officers are as follows: James Gear, P.M.W.; B. C.
Sooy, M.W.; John McEvers, G.F.; C.H. Mack, Overseer;
O. D. Taft, Recorder; S. J. Soyster, Financier; W. G.
Evry, Charles Beddow and M. L. Beddow, Guides.
Elk Lodge, No. 345, I.O.O.F., was organized
April 22, 1876, by Philip Fishel. The following were
the charter members, with the respective offices to
which they were first elected: G. W. Woodal, N.G.;
James Fleming, W.G.; Christian Oehrle, Treasurer;
Ernest Taake, Secretary; J. W. Mulvany. For three
months the meetings were first held in a private
house, then Soll's Hall was used for two years. They
now use A. C. Tiede & Co.'s Hall. The present
membership of the lodge is about forty. The present
officers are: Christian Oehrle, N.G.; George Kriebs,
W.G.; Charley Solls, Treasurer; James Corlett,
Secretary. The lodge meets every Saturday night.
The village of East Elkport was surveyed in 1873
for John Garber, proprietor. The Turkey Valley branch
of the C., M. & St. P. passes through this place,
and adds much to the business of this thriving little
village. This railroad was built in 1872, since which
time Walter E. Talmadge has been station agent.
The postoffice at East Elkport was established in
1879. John Garber is Postmaster.
There are two hotels in this place, kept by Peter
Flaherty and C. H. Anderson.
The stave-factory of George Taft has already been
The population of the village is estimated at 150.
The store of J. Garber & Son is a large and
commodious one, enjoying a good trade from the
surrounding country. C. Schnepf keeps a hardware
store, and A. C. Jasper manufactures boots and shoes.