Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


The Salubriona and Solid of Denison

A village hard to hide

Special correspondence of the Inter-Ocean Newspaper

from Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Inter Ocean, also known as the Chicago Inter-Ocean, was a newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois from 1865 until 1907. It was a newspaper intended to appeal to an upscale readership.

With the building of transcontinental railroads, it was possible to deliver weekly newspapers by mail throughout the central and western U.S. The Inter Ocean developed a weekly edition that was intended to become a definitive source of news for businesspeople throughout the American West, and fulfilled that role for several decades. Source: Wikipedia

Denison, Dec. 31, 1875

Almost directly due west from Chicago, a distance of 424 miles, stands Denison, the Pisgah of Western Iowa towns. It was laid out in the spring of 1856, by Rev. J. W. Denison, who came out here with ill-health to renew his youth-like the eagles with the sand hill Cranes. He was a Moses in those days, and pitched his tent where he could best "view the landscape o'er." It was a happy selection-high, breezy, invigorating. The veritable Moses could not have done better. He wasn't used to prairie prospecting.

At this point the Northwestern Railway forsakes its western course and bears to the southwest, leaving a large tract of country to the northwest tributary to this point. In good weather, and at a busy teaming season, it is not uncommon to count a hundred span of farm horses in town simultaneously. They come hither loaded with grain and other farm products from a distance of twenty and twenty-five miles away. It is hardly necessary to add that Denison is a great trading center and a town of high promise.

Recent improvements are very solid, McHenry's brick bank block, including his office and Wygart & Wall's hardware store, cost $14,000. The brick school house cost $18,000. The new brick drug store of Greenough & Bullock has a lasting look. The Episcopalians are finishing the sixth church. A superior class of people have settled in Denison-church-goers, temperate, orderly, industrious and, consequently thrifty. The merchants divided up a few months ago, hence there is only one general variety store in the place, that of Lamb & Hayne, 120x60 feet, including a hardware room. The whole number of stores is fourteen.

As yet only manufactories of importance are the soap factory of McCormick & Denison and the agricultural works of Luney Brothers. Others will come in due time. The shipping business requires two elevators of fair size. Three lumber dealers do a good business, as Crawford County is fast filling up, and the rural demand for fencing stuff, etc, is extensive. Here is the county seat, and from the Court House about as fine a Coup-d-ail is had as the prairie section of Western Iowa presents.

The village stands in the forks of the Boyer River, with water power and twelve or fifteen feet of fall in both streams. One mile from town are a flouring mill and a saw mill, both run by water, and at no distant day, the power will be utilized nearer town.

The Denison Review and Bulletin are published there at the county seat. The editor of the Review, J. F. Meyers, Esq. is a leading sprit in the county. His heart and hand are in more than one commendable enterprise.

Submitted by Phyllis Heller