Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


History of Kenwood, Iowa

Kenwood, located six and one-half miles north of Dow City on County Road M-14 in Paradise Township, Section 9, came into being in 1886, as the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad was building a branch line from Manilla to Sioux City. The plat for the Town of Kenwood was filed at the Crawford County Courthouse on August 22, 1887.

This view of Kenwood was made by the John Listamann Studio of Charter Oak around 1915. (Photo courtesy of the Charter Oak Historical Society)

John Miller was one of the early settlers of Kenwood, building a store which carried general merchandise. This same store, but in a different location, was still in business in 1923. Wm. Vogt and L.P. Bahnsen had owned the store since 1917. Bahnsen also served as postmaster.

The first postmaster to serve Kenwood was William C. Saul, who was appointed on August 12, 1887. Others serving as postmaster and dates of their appointments were as follows: John Miller, November 5, 1887; Edward G. Fenlon, July 19, 1888; Bernard Vollertsen. March 31, 1891: Leander McCord, April 21, 1894; Henry H. Rust, June 17, 1903; James B. McElwain, January 15, 1912; Frank P. Carl, July 12, 1912: Louie P. Bahnsen, September 7, 1918; James L. Corn, Acting postmaster, October 4, 1927, and appointed postmaster on October 19, 1927. Mail was discontinued on March 31, 1932, with mail going to Dow City due to limited rail service.

At one time Kenwood had a store, elevator, lumberyard, church (which was used as a school and later as a dance hall), stockyard and several residences. The depot was a busy place with two trains a day except for Sunday. J.J. Ecklin was one of the early depot agents and telegraph operators. C.E. Mullin managed the Armour Grain Company. In later years the school was torn down and the lumber was used to build a home on the Herman Tebbe farm for his grandmother to live in. This house had been vacant for many years and was finally destroyed in 1992.

Many have said that Kenwood had a bank called the "Kenwood Savings Bank." The Iowa Department of Banking was unable to locate any information on this bank. There was a Kenwood Savings Bank, but it was located in Kenwood Park, Linn County, Iowa, established in 1914 with capital of $25,000. Could this be where the idea that Kenwood had a bank comes from?

The general store bought eggs and cream from the local farmers and sold almost everything they would need. In later years, the Country Store was owned and operated by Martin and Elsie Krueger, who purchased it in 1962 and operated it until retiring in 1980. The store was later torn down.

The last train service of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad between Sioux City and Manilla ended in 1980 with the rails removed soon thereafter.

At the time of this writing, Kenwood is home to the following people: DeWayne and Sonja Krueger, Rick Krueger, Ray Crilly, and Marvin Longnecker.

Source: 125 Years of Dow City - Arion History 1869 - 1994

Submitted by Cindi Simon