Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


1882 West Side History

This is one of the brightest and most thriving towns along the line of the C. & N. W. R. R. It is located near the eastern line of the county, and has a large scope of country tributary to it - not only in Crawford County, but also in Carroll, Sac and Shelby Counties.

In the language of a recent writer for one of the daily publicatious of the State, "We have nowhere seen more evidences of thrift and prosperity among the business men than at West Side; and no town in this section of the state has a more earnest, enthusiastic and energetic class of people. They are courteous to strangers, alive to their own interests, aware of their importance and generous in all matters of public interest."

"As a business point we doubt if any village of six hundred along this line of road surpasses West Side. Socially, it leads the van, and politically it has some of the strongest men in the West."

"The driving park association recently purchased several acres in the town-site, and will plant trees on the same this fall. The park contains one of the best half-mile tracks in the State."

West Side is located on section 24, township 84, range 37, six miles east of Vail, in West Side Township, and on the north side of the section. Payne's addition to West Side was made about the year 1878, and is located on section 13. The first addition to the town plat was made by the Blair Town Lot and Land Company.

The town was laid out by the Blair Town Lot and Land Company. The first improvements were made in 1872, by M. Smith, present County Recorder of Crawford County, who in that year built the first residence in the place. There was, however, previous thereto a small house on the present town-site, for the accommodation of the section "boss."

Lampman & Wallace opened the first store in 1871. M. Smith and F. J. Gary engaged in the land, lumber and grain business in 1872 under the firm name of Smith & Gary. H. C. Newton was the first station agent. The business house of Carl Weidling, afterwards Weidling & Evers, was the first business house of importance in the town. E. House also was among the first to enter the mercantile business in West Side, the firm subsequently becoming House & Lamb.

West Side was incorporated March 11th, 1878, and has at the present time a population of about 600. The first town officers were: Carl Weidling, Mayor; L. L. Bond, Recorder; Henry Evers, Treasurer; E. M. Whipple, Marshal; James McClure, Street Commissioner; A. Waterman, M. Smith, W. L. Spottswood, F. J. Gary, P . J. King, Councilmen.

The following are the present officers: E. C. Haywood, Mayor; H. C. Ford, Recorder; C. D. Miller, Treasurer; H. B. Merrell, Marshal and Street Commissioner; A. Waterman, E. W. McCracken, P. J. King, I. B. Nelson, R. J. White, C. D. Miller, Councilmen.

The business establishments of West Side are represented as follows: Drug stores, two; hotels, two; general stores, four; livery, three; blacksmith shops, two; shoe shop, one; restaurants, two; wagon shop, one; printing offices, two: hardware stores, two; saloons, four; lumber yards, two; grain dealers, three; agricultural implements, three; banks, two; lawyers, two; physicians, four; stock dealers, two; millinery, one; meat market. one; harness shops, two; barber shop, one; flouring mill, one; corn sheller, one; news depot, one.

There are two banks, both of which do a thriving business, viz.: the West Side Bank, E. P. Gillette, Cashier; Exchange Bank, C. D. Miller, Cashier.

M. Smith was the first postmaster. He was succeeded by R. B. Taylor whose successor was W. L. Spottswood, the present incumbent of the office. Spottswood received his appointment in 1879. The office was made a money-order office in 1875.

West Side has two newspapers, both of which are excellent exponents of the interests of their constituencies. The West Side Enterprise was established in March, 1880, by H. C. Ford, the present editor and proprietor. It is a six-column folio, is Republican in politics, and has a circulation of 500. Mr. Ford was formerly a resident of Wheatland, Iowa.

The Side Dispatch a seven-column folio, Republican in politics, and was started April 19th, 1881. W. N. Becker, Jr., & Co., are the proprietors, Mr. Becker being the editor.

The West Side Flouring Mill was built by I. B. Nelson, the present proprietor, in 1878, the machinery being moved from Storey county. This mill is three-stories high, has a forty-horse engine, four run of stone, is furnished with the latest improved machinery, runs on full time, makes an excellent grade of flour, and has a capacity of one hundred barrels per day.

There is also a corn sheller at West Side, with a capacity of shelling one car-load per hour. Ralph Simpson is the manager.


The M. E. Church Society. - The organization of this society was some time prior to the year in which the church edifice was built, which was in 1878, the total cost of the structure being about $3,600. The building will seat about 300 people, and the society is in a prosperous and growing condition.

The Public Schools. - The first school in West Side was taught in a carpenter shop in 1873. The first school house was built in 1874. It was 21x36 feet in dimensions, one story high, an addition of sixteen feet being afterwards made. The present school house was built in 1880, and is a large, two-story building of three departments.

Prof. T. C. Branson is the Principal; Mrs. C. K. Ford and Miss Lottie Truesdal, Assistants. The school building is an imposing structure. in every way creditable to the community. The district was organized as an independent district in the spring of 1881. The total enrollment of pupils is 126.

The following comprises the Board of Education: L. Schofield, President; R. B. Taylor, R. Wagoner. I. B. Nelson, Carl Weidling, S. T. Boynton; F. Knowles, Secretary; Henry Evers, Treasurer.

Setting Sun Lodge No. 349, A. F. & A. M. - Instituted 1875, with fifteen charter members. First officers: M. Smith. W. M.; Charles Levy, S. W.; B. E. Allen, J. W.; R. B. Taylor, Secretary; F. J. Gary, Treasurer; H. B. Allen, S. D.; S. A. Miller, J. D. Current officers: E. C. Haywood, W. M.; J. P. Fitch, S. W.; A. Johnson, J. W.; C. B. Winters, Secretary; Frank Brown, Treasurer. Membership, thirty-two. Meetings are held Saturday evening of each month, on or before the full moon.

Crawford Lodge No. 148, A. O. U. W. - Instituted in 1877, with twenty charter members. First officers: E. P. Savage, P. M. W.; I. E. Blackman, M. W.; W. L. Spotswood, F.; Albert Johnson, O.; N. A. Miller, R.; F. P. Wiseman, F.; F. Dean, S.; M. L. Spotswood, G.; S. L. Perrin, I. W.; F. Brown, O. W. Present officers: W. L. Spotswood, P. M. W.; W. N. Becker, Jr., M. W.; I. B. Nelson, F.; T. McBride, O.; Weidling, R.; A. Johnson, F.; F. Brown, G.; C. P. Anderson. I. W.; George Curtis, O. W. The membership is about thirty-five. Meetings are held every Tuesday evening in Masonic Hall.

Kilpatrick Post No. 70, G. A. R. - Mustered February 14th. 1882. with nineteen charter members. Meetings are held twice a month on Saturday evenings in Masonic Hall. The following are the present officers: William Vickers, Post Commander; William Johns, Senior Commander; S. D. Brown, Junior Commander; E. P. Gillette, Quartermaster; A. Waterman, Surgeon; George Hieling, Chaplain; H. C. Ford. Adjutant; J. M. Locke, Officer of the Day; R. B. Taylor, Officer of the Guard; W. T. Highberger, Quartermaster's Sergeant; Isaac Patterson, Sergeant Major.

Source: History of Western Iowa Western Publishing Company, 1882, Sioux City.