The first house on the village site
was built by a Mr. Thompson. Among the first
buildings erected were the hotel and the old building
a few doors south belonging to the heirs of D.
Benter, both of which were built by John Banfil. The
first store was kept by Leander Pelton, in 1844, in
the south part of old Garnavillo. Gilbert Douglas was
the next merchant, and his store was nearly opposite
the hotel. The first wagon maker was Joseph Limbach,
in 1857. The first blacksmith was John Hochhaus. * The first shoemaker was
The first lawyers were Reuben Noble
and Samuel Murdock, who came in 1843. Then came Elias
H. Williams. Orlando Stevens, Elijah Odell and H.S.
Granger, have all lived at Garnavillo, but the only
practicing lawyer now loving at Garnavillo is J.O.
The first physician was Dr. Andros,
who came in 1836. Among the physicians that have
practiced at Garnavillo was Dr. John Linton, one of
the pioneers of Clayton County, and who lived here
until his death. Dr. D.M. Reed came in 1858 or 1859,
and was a partner of Dr. Linton. He served as surgeon
in the war, and died soon after the close of the war.
Dr. Charles H. Hamilton, now of Monona, was here two
or three years, commencing in 1875. Dr. Logier was a
practicing physician here for many years. Dr. Baily
practiced here two years, leaving in the early part
of 1882. William H. Boals came in 1877 and is still
here. Charles Duffin was his partner for a while, but
is now in Guttenberg.
The postoffice at Garnavillo was
established at an early date, and Gilbert Douglas was
the first Postmaster. The present Postmaster is H.C.
Kuenzel, who was appointed April 21, 1881. He was
preceded by George W. beach, who had served about
fifteen years. The office was made a money-order
office in 1870. The first order issued was Aug. 1,
1870, to John G. Kaiser for $2.50, and it was payable
to D.B. Kellogg, at Ann Arbor, Mich. The first order
paid was to Mrs. Mary Fowler, Aug. 27, 1870. It was
issued to H. Fowler at Mound City, Kan. During the
year ending July 31, 1871, the first in which money
orders were issued at Garnavillo, eighteen orders
were paid amounting to $392.45; 570 orders were
issued, amounting to $14,394.80, and the fees
received for same were $89.35. During the year ending
March 31, 1882, sixty-two orders were paid, amounting
to $1,107.89; 940 orders were issued, amounting to
$19.797.68, and the fees received were $140.90;
stamps sold amounting to $439.30; stamps cancelled
amounted to $333.47; amount received on box rents,
Garnavillo was made an independent
school district, March 27, 1876. The first Board of
Directors was composed of Helmuth Brandt, J.O. Crosby
and William Thomas. The present board consists of
D.B. Clair, J.H. Kuenzel and Helmuth Brandt. William Schumaohor * is Treasurer, and W.F.
Meyer is Secretary. There are now 134 children of
school age, of which seventy are males and sixty-four
females. The present building was erected by B.F.
Schroeder, at a cost of $3,000. The principal of the
school is Leroy Beemer, and his assistant is Miss
Linnie Boller. Mrs. Fruschtenicht
* teaches German.
The hotel was built in 1844 by John
Banfil, who kept it about a year. It was run by
various parties until about 1868, when D. Benter
became proprietor. Among the various landlords before
him was one Forbes, who was here in 1854, Mr.
Falkner, Allen E. Wanzer, John Hockhaus
*, George W. Beach. In 1873 the hotel was taken by
Gustav Wehler, who remained two years. Then he was
succeeded by Wm. Brumm, and in 1880 J.F. Schumacher
became proprietor. Mr. Schumacher was born Nov. 21,
1955, in Read Township, Clayton County. He was a son
of Henry and Mararetha *
Schumacher. He commenced attending school at the age
of five years. At the age of ten he removed with his
parents to McGregor, and in 1866 to Postville. The
following year the family moved to Garnavillo, his
father having bought the Garnavillo brewery. At the
age of fifteen Mr. Schumacher went to Clayton to
learn the harness trade with L. Hartwig. He was there
a year and a half, and then worked at his trade a
short time in Garnavillo. After that he was in the
employ of Judge Crary four months. Mr. Schumacher
then remained at home till the last part of 1877,
when he opened a harness shop in Garnavillo. He
remained at this until April, 1880, when he leased
the hotel. He was married Feb. 25, 1880, to Lena
Brumm. They have one child - Realto. Mr. Schumacher
is a member of the Lutheran church, and is
politically a Republican.
The furniture and cabinet business of
Mrs. John Harberg & Son was established in 1854
by John Harberg. He first built a shop across the
street from the present shop, and this was burned
down in 1854. Another shop was put up, and this was
moved across the street to its present site. This,
too, was burned down in 1872, when the present shop
was erected. The store building was erected in 1870.
The business has grown steadily since it was
established, and now a fine stock of all kinds of
furniture and coffins are furnished. This is the only
firm in this business in Garnavillo, and is one of
the oldest business houses.
The hardware business of William
Schumacher was established in 1873 by Schumacher
& Meyer. Mr. Meyer retired in 1991, and is now
the proprietor of a general store. The hardware store
is situated on the south corner of Clayton and Main
streets, and is one of the neatest and most commodius
in the village. Mr. Schumacher keeps a large stock of
stoves, tinware and all kinds of shelf hardware and
farming tools. The business has constantly increased
from the start. In the shop attached, all kinds of
tinware are made. Large numbers of milk-cans and made
here, and the books of the establishment show that
3,000 have been made last year. This is a forcible
commentary on the great and growing dairy interests
of this part of Iowa.
The wagon factory of Cook &
Harberg was started in 1873. It is situated on the
corner of Main and Washington streets. Wagons,
carriages and sleighs are manufactured by this
enterprising firm. Five men are constantly employed,
and the firm is pushed with orders.
Mrs. D.H. & W.F. Meyer keep a general store at
the corner of Van Buren and Main streets. This store
is crowded to its utmost capacity with all kinds of
J.H. Tangeman has a general store on
Main street, fronting toward the park. This is one of
the largest stores in Garnavillo, and does an
Wm. Heine keeps a drug store nearly
across from the hotel.
H.C. Kuenzel keeps drug and
stationery in a store fronting toward the park. He is
also the Postmaster, and the postoffice is in the
E. Stevens keeps a shoe shop a few
doors below the hotel.
C. Ranzel, next door, also deals in
shoes and boots and does repairing.
John Seibert keeps a shoeshop at the
corner of Main and Niagara streets.
F. Kuhlman is in the same business at
the corner of Center and Adams streets.
The blacksmiths are Emil Walliser,
Henry Grentmaker and Henry Hill.
Joseph Limbach keeps a wagonshop on
the corner of Adams and Center streets.
The saloons of the village are kept
by Otto Brumm, Fred. Thoma and Frank Harnock.
F.D. Walter and H.H. Kuenzel keep
L.C. Meyer manufactures all kinds of
Miss M.E. Schroeder and Lena Tavis
are the two milliners of Garnavillo.
J.K. Fleck keeps the only meat
Henry Niedert keeps a cooper shop.
Garnavillo Lodge, No. 29, I.O.O.F.,
was organized Dec. 25, 1850. The first members were
B.F. Fox, Ezra Hurd, Gilbert Douglas, Frank Smith,
Thomas G. Drips, Allen Millenix, E.P. Atkins. These
seven applied for a charter, and this was received
Oct. 27, 1852. The present membership is 26, and the
present officers are: N.G. Jonathan Briggs; V.G.,
J.F. Schumacher; Recorder, Fred Cook; Treasurer,
William Ahlers; Warden, George Sigg; Conductor, W.H.
Boals. The lodge meets every Saturday evening at Odd
Fellows Hall. It is the oldest lodge of
I.O.O.F. in Clayton County. It is now, as always, a
flourishing society, numbering among its members some
of the best citizens of Garnavillo and vicinity.
Fidelity Lodge, No. 133, A.O.U.W.,
was organized Oct. 20, 1877, and received its charter
Nov. 1, of the same year. The petitioners were George
W. Brach, Adam Braun, Henry Oelke, Fred Harberg, L.T.
Cooley, William Schumacher, Otto Brumm, Helmuth
Brandt, J.H. Tangeman, George W. Kennedy, William F.
Meyer, Alvin Torry, Jr., George Weichman, and F.D.
Walter. The first officers were: P.M.W., J.H.
Tangeman; M.W., George W. Beach; G.F., L.T. Cooley;
Overseer, Alvin Torrey; Guide Otto Brumm; Recorder,
William F. Meyer; Financier, Helmuth Brandt;
Receiver, Henry Oelke; I.S., George Weichman; O.S.,
Fred Harberg. The lodge was instituted by D.D.G. M.W.
Edward Weck. The present officers are: P.M.W., J.H.
Tangeman; M.W., D.E. Clair; Foreman, Fred Roebken;
Overseer, J.W. Hudson; Recorder, Fred Cook;
Financier, Helmuth Brandt; Receiver, L.C. Meyer;
Guide, August Ingwerson; I.S., L. Beemer; O.S.,
William Greul. The present membership is
thirty-three. The lodge meets every Thursday evening,
at Odd Fellows Hall.
There is also a flourishing Masonic
lodge here, which has about the same membership as
the Odd Fellows lodge.
The Union Library is composed of
about 350 books, collected by different lodges, and
opened to the patrons every Sunday. Charles Clair is
the Librarian. Books are drawn for not more than two
The Garnavillo Socialen Turn-Verein
was organized Oct. 1, 1869, in what was known as the
old German school-house. Among the most active
promoters of the movement were George Weichman, Henry
Schumacher, Helmuth Brandt, Peter Maurer, Dr. William
Logier and William Ahlers. The first membership was
The following extracts are
translations from their constitution, which is
printed in German, and show the aims and form of the
"Under the name
Garnavillo Social Turn-Verein, a society
of hereby organized, which shall consist of youth and
men who aim for physical and mental exercises, and
desire to strive for and promote a social brotherly
fellowship, and a true German character and purity of
Whoever wishes to become
either an active or a passive member, must be a
citizen of the United States, or have declared his
intention to become such. He has first to pay the
usual fee to the treasurer, and must make his
application through a member at the first meeting of
the month. The vote on his application follows after
four weeks probation, during which time the
applicant must make himself familiar with the duties
which he must assume. Those announced as active
members have the privilege of attending the gymnastic
exercises, as well as the meetings, but those
announced as passive members are allowed to visit
only the meetings. The chosen one must pledge his
hand and word of honor to the sprecher and to the
turnwart to faithfully obey the constitution and
regulations of the union. If a newly chosen member is
prevented from being present at the taking of the
oath, for good reasons previously stated, the case is
to be taken up at the next meeting. In exceptional
cases the oath can be taken privately with the
sprecher or turnwarth. In other cases his admission
by the sprecher without further proceedings is
declared unlawful; in this case, and also in case the
application is positively refused by the union, then
the fee that was received is paid back to the
Active members must be at
least sixteen years old.
The first officers of the Turn-Verein
were: Chairman, Dr. William Logier; Vice-President,
Peter Maurer; Turnwarth, George Weichman; Secretary,
H. Brandt; Treasurer, William Ahlers.
The present officers are: First
Sprecher, Henry Oelke; Second Sprecher, William
Oelke, Sr.; First Turnwarth, H. Kuenzel, Jr.; Second
Turnwarth, H. Schumacher; Schriftwarth, Fred.
Harberg; Cassenwarth, L.C. Meyer; Zeugwarth, John
Reimer. The society meets the second Monday in each
month, at Turner Hall. The front part of this hall
was erected in 1870, at a cost of $1,800. This is of
frame, 35 x 50. In September, 1873, the society
bought the Methodist church building, and added it to
their hall. The cost of this, including rebuilding,
fitting up, etc., was about $1,200. A stage was put
in at this time. In 1881, and addition 16 x 50 was
built, at a cost of about $600. The present
membership is about fifty, and the society is
prosperous, financially and otherwise. Their
anniversary is celebrated every year on the first of
October, by a general reunion at the park, with
speeches, music and other essentials to a general
good time. The hall is neatly fitted up, and will
comfortably seat about 400. The society owns a large
silk flag, six feet by eight feet, which cost about
$150. This was donated to the turners principally by
the ladies. This flag is used in all parades and on
all important occasions. It contains on the four
corners, Frisch, Frei,
Froh, and From.
Church.This society was organized in Garnavillo
(then Jacksonville) in 1844. The preliminary meeting
was held Aug. 31, and was presided over by the Rev.
Mr. Wells, of Prairie du Chien. The following persons
belonging to the denomination, and bringing letters
of dismissal from their respective churches, were
present and proposed to unite in the formation of the
church: Rev. James J. Hill, of Phipsburg, Me.; Mrs.
Sarah C. Hill, of Bath, Me.; John M. Gay, Mrs. Sarah
Gay, Nancy J. Gay, Mary Gay, Alfred Kinney, Mrs.
Penely Kinny, Hugh L. Kirkpatrick, of Potosi, Wis.;
James Watson and Mrs. Emily Watson, the last two from
Dubuque. Articles of faith and covenant were adopted,
and officers were elected. James Watson and John M.
Gay were the first Deacons, and John M. Gay was the
In May, 1847, James Watson, Alfred
Kinney and Richard Only, were appointed as a
committee to superintend the erection of a church.
This church was finished and dedicated in November of
the same year. The dedication sermon was preached by
Rev. J.C. Holbrook, of Dubuque. The first Trustees of
the church were John M. Gay, James Watson and Richard
The first pastor was Rev. James J.
Hill, who commenced his labors in June, 1844, and who
preached his last sermon Nov. 4, 1849. Rev. O.
Littlefield was then invited to fill the pulpit, and
he remained until January, 1854, when Rev. Mr.
Davidson preached one year. Then Rev. L.P. Mathews
accepted the pulpit. In April, 1862, services were
discontinued, and in March of the following year Rev.
G.M. Porter commenced preaching on alternate
Sabbaths. Mr. Porter remained till May, 1869. He was
succeeded for a few months by J.A. Cruzan, of the
Chicago Theological Seminary, and then by Rev. B.A.
Dean. Rev. Beriah King commenced preaching Sept.,
1871, and the following May was succeeded by Mr.
Bartlett, also a student of Chicago Seminary. In
November, 1875, Rev. E.C. Downs came to the pulpit,
and he remained until July 13, 1879. Rev. F. Schaub
supplied the pulpit for a few weeks, and then Rev.
Nelson Clark preached a few months. Mr. Clark died
while with the church. The last minister was Rev.
Joel Beatty, who left July 1, 1891, since which time
the society has held no services. There is a
flourishing Sunday-school still organized, under the
superintendancy of J.O. Crosby. The membership is
The old church was sold in 1866, and
the new one built in 1867. it is thirty feet and four
inches by fifty feet and four inches, and will
comfortably seat 250. The cost was $3,597.27. The
present membership of the church is twenty-four.
The German Lutheran Church was
organized Sept. 1, 1853, with fifty-eight members.
Among the most prominent of these were Henry Kregel,
John D. Kregel, John C. Mohrman, John H. Mohrman,
John H. Moellering, B.F. Schroeder and William Oelke.
The first Trustees were: John G. Heye, Christian
Haukoemer, Louis Eidamas and John C. Mohrman. The
first elders were: John G. Kregel and Caspar Bakhaus.
The first Vorstehers were John H. Mohrman, William
Schmalfeld, John G. Schulte, John H. Kuenzel and
Jacob Splies. The first pastor was Rev. Mr. Miller,
who remained about two years. The present pastor is
Rev. Frank Sommerlad, who came in January, 1882. The
members now number about eighty-four. In 1853, soon
after the society was organized, they built a frame
church 30 x 40, at a cost of about $2,500. This was
used until November, 1878, when it was burned down
from some unknown cause. A new church was at once put
up 40 x 65, at a cost of about $4,000. This is
situated on the southwest side of Garnavillo park.
The society has always been prosperous, and has done
much missionary work in the vicinity. The President
of the Society is William Meyer; Secretary and
Treasurer, Fredrich Schulleman; Vorstehers: Henry
Schulte, Claus Meyer, H.H. Brandt, John Dittman,
Fritz Ihde, Gerhard Koester, Christian Meyer, John
Reiner, John Stiel and Caspar Werges.
St. Josephs Catholic
Church.In the year 1840 the famous pioneer
priest, Rev. J. Cretin, then a resident of Dubuque,
and afterward bishop of St. Paul, Minn., visited
Garnavillo to attend to the spiritual wants of the
small number of Catholic families living about this
part of the country.
Right Rev. Jos. Cretin and other
zealous Fathers gladly overcame all kinds of
hardships to give to these Catholics an opportunity
to attend services, and to instruct the youth. None
were more welcome visitors than these pious
missionaries, and their memory is still most dear to
the old Catholic settlers. In want of a church
building they were obliged to say mass at the homes
of John Barrett and Wm. Schulte. Some of the oldest
families were the three brothers Patric, John and
Michael Uriell, Messrs. John Barret, Caspar Becker
and Wm. Schulte.
In 1843 the twenty families belonging
to this mission erected a small chapel in a town
called St. Brigits; it was the first Catholic church
building in Clayton County. The following priests
have successively said holy mass in the same: Rev.
Fathers Platt and Ott, from New Vienna, Dubuque
County; rev. Father Lynch, from Holy Cross, Dubuque
County, and Father I'Bern, from Elkader. Rev. Lynch
blessed the Catholic cemetery, situated half a mile
from the west part of the town, which has become the
last resting place of a great many Catholic pioneers
of Clayton County. Right Rev. Clemens Smith, Bishop
of Dubuque, visited Garnavillo in the fall of 1860,
to administer the sacrament of holy confirmation for
the first time in this congregation to fifty persons.
Shortly afterward Rev. J.J. Quigley, of Elkader, sold
the building of St. Brigits to Mr. B.F. Schroeder, of
Garnavillo, and bought the eight lots at the south
side of the town, whereon stood the foundation for
the intended Garnavillo High School. However, nothing
was done until six years later, when the congregation
appointed a committee consisting of Messrs. James
Uriell, Frank Schulte and Caspar Becker as Treasurer,
who succeeded in erecting the present church building
on the before mentioned foundation, at a cost of
$65,000. The dimensions are 50 x 66 feet and
twenty-six feet high, and the same still needs a
sanctuary at the north side and an addition of about
twenty feet with a tower and spire in order to make
the structure complete and handsome. Rev. Father
Luessman, from Guttenberg, attended the congregation
until Rev. John Remper took charge of the same in
October, 1877, and remained until Jan. 10, 1878. He
erected the present parsonage at a cost of about
The congregation remained without a
pastor one year until Rev. P.O. Reschong was sent as
pastor to Garnavillo on Jan. 17, 1879. he was born at
Belgium, Ozaukee County, Wis., in 1856, and ordained
into the holy priesthood on the 29th of June, in
1879, at St. Francis, Milwaukee, Wis. The
congregation is in a flourishing condition, having
sixty families, sodalities and a Sunday-school. The
members are greatly in need of a parochial school,
and one will be built in the near future.
This was organized Jan. 20, 1872, by
electing B.F. Schroeder, President; Helmuth Brandt,
Secretary, and J.H. Kuenzel, Treasurer. The company
only consisted of five, the two other members being
William Oelke and H.H. Schumacher. The company bought
ten acres of Conrad Marting, and laid it out into
about 600 lots, of which eighty have been sold at $25
each. The grounds are very neatly laid out, and, all
in all, it makes one of the finest cemeteries in the
county. The whole is enclosed by a substantial fence;
a broad drive extends around it; two avenues
thirty-three feet wide cross it, and other avenues
sixteen and one-half feet wide intersect these. The
cemetery is level, and many fine monuments have been
erected. It is situated but a short distance west of
Kann, Schulte & Co. have lately
erected a creamery in the eastern part of the
village. It was put up during the month of April, the
full capacity of the works being taxed as yet. At
this date of writing (June) they have hardly started,
but it promises to become one of the most important
enterprises of Garnavillo. Their butter is shipped to
Chicago and New York, from Clayton. The cost of this
creamery was about $3,000.
The Garnavillo Creamery of Geo. W.
Kennedy was started in the winter of 1879-80 in
the old stone building, which has seen service as
school-house and court-house, when the county seat
was at Garnavillo. Mr. Kennedy had previously erected
a building and commenced operations near the brewery,
west of the village, but this experiment proved a
failure. He tried to have the farmers bring in milk
and this plan did not work. he then took the stone
building, and adopted the plan of collecting the
cream from the farmers by teams which travel around
for the purpose. The building is about 35 x 40. The
cream vats have a capacity of 1,600 pounds. Steam is
used in the creamery. The business has rapidly
enlarged during the three years of its existence. Mr.
Kennedy at first ran but one wagon, and has added
from time to time till now eight are constantly
employed. During 1880 he made 31,551 pounds of
butter; during 1881 he made 99,749 pounds, while
during the first five months of 1882 the amount
produced was 35,526 pounds. This is shipped part to
Chicago and part to New York.