JULY, 1893. No. 3.
ST. ANTHONY'S CHURCH, DAVENPORT, IOWA.
Year after year is adding to the growth of the
beautiful State of Iowa, many of the early land-marks are
rapidly beginning to disappear, and every institution which
can point to an association with the early settlements, has
already assumed the character of historic interest. Among the
earlier colonizations in the Mississippi valley which has
become noted for picturesque situation, chivalrous enterprise
of her pioneers, early advancement in commercial progress,
devotion to education, religious culture, and the attainment
of a commendable measure of science and fine arts, is the city
of Davenport. One of the old and very interesting landmarks of
this city so full of beautiful homes and of great promise for
the future, is the church organization which was called into
existence in the primitive days and founded on the hallowed
spot designated as "Church Square" on the old city plat. This
is St. Anthony's Church, the first congregation organized in
this region, constructed with the first brick manufactured in
this locality, always first in the old days to assist in the
metamorphosis of the prairie valley into the prosperous
metropolis, and constantly retaining a favored place among the
affectionate reminiscences of the old days in the recollection
of some pioneers, many old settlers and numerous descendants
who have learned by tradition to view with reverential
devotion the old brick structure near the alley that was the
first church and school, the ample greensward that first
teemed with fragrant exotic flowers under the skillful hand of
saintly French Abbe Pelamourgues, the old little bell which
nestles in an outer nook of the present church with all the
dignity of a Colombian relic, the old stone edifice, not
obliterated, but much enhanced by a modern cathedral-like
improvement and restoration. There is something sacred in the
very atmosphere of that historic church square, and a ramble
along its western walks brings about an elevation of the
spirits. The site was secured through the exertions of Very
Rev. S. Mazzuchelli, the first priest, in conjunction with
several early Catholic settlers, is situated now in the heart
of the city, and in regard to location, title and purpose we
learn from page 100 in "Book A of Land Deeds, Scott County,
Iowa," that— " This Deed made and entered into this second day
of December, 1839, by and between Anthony LeClaire and
Margaret, his wife, of Scott County and Territory of Iowa and
Mathias Loras first Catholic Bishop of Iowa Territory, of
Dubuque Co.,....for and in consideration of Two Thousand and
Five Hundred Dollars to them....paid, the receipt of which is
hereby acknowledged....sell and convey....tract of land
situated in LeClaire's addition to the town of Davenport,
Scott County, Iowa Territory, and marked and designated on the
plat of said town as " Church Square " and bounded on the
North by Chippewa Street, on the east by Brady Street, on the
South by Ottawa Street, and on the West by Miller Street, unto
the said party of the second part as the Catholic Bishop of
Iowa Territory and to his successors forever, legally
appointed according to the rules of the Catholic church, for
the use of the Catholic congregation of Davenport, Scott
County, Territory of Iowa.... (Warrantee deed)
In Presence of (Signed)
JOHN FORREST . ANTOINE LE CLAIRE [SEAL]
SAMUEL MAY MARGUERITE LE CLAIRE [SEAL] "
Acknowledgment of the instrument was duly made on December
2nd, A. D., 1839, before John Forest, Justice of the Peace;
and the same was placed on the County Records December 26th,
1839. The extent of this square is 320 feet by 320 feet. For
the active commencement of St. Anthony's an interesting paper
is quoted in FRANC B. WILKIE, Davenport, 1858, which reads as
follows: " At a meeting of the Catholics of Davenport and
vicinity, held on the first day of December, 1839, for the
purpose of regulating the Church accounts of said town, the
following resolutions were adopted:
1. Resolved, That a board of three Trustees be regularly
elected by the congregation, to open a subscription, collect
its amounts, and pay all standing debts incurred for the
purchase of the ground and for the building of St. Anthony's
Church of Davenport.
2. Resolved. That the Trustees be elected for the term of
three years, and that after said period, a new election of
Trustees shall be made.
3. Resolved, That the Rev. John A. Pelamourgues, Antoine
LeClaire, and Geo. L. Davenport, be the Trustees of the
Catholic congregation of Davenport and vicinity for the
purpose and time mentioned.
SAMUEL MAZZUCHELLI, Secretary.
Previous to the organization of St. Anthony's, the
first priest who is known to have celebrated Mass and
administered to the wants of the Catholics in Davenport and
Ft. Stephenson, is Father Mazzuchelli, who located at Dubuque
in 1835, and from that time was the Missionary of Wisconsin
and Iowa, and on his journeys to and from the southern
Mississippi river stopped off several times to administer
spiritual consolations to the Catholics at Davenport. In 1838
he formed plans for a Church to be built there, in dimensions
about 25 by 40 feet, and two stories high, to be built of
brick as soon as they could be manufactured, and having in
view that the building could serve at the same time for
Church, school, and priest's residence. Dubuque had at that
time been created a new diocese, including all Iowa Territory,
and the Catholics were full of sanguine expectation, that
their religious growth would be commensurate with their
gratifying temporal prosperity and advancement, and were
inclined to commence with generous plans, in which they were
encouraged by their zealous young missionary. Antoine and
Margaret LeClaire, to whom the Catholics of Davenport owe a
lasting debt of gratitude, took a leading part in the pious
enterprise and became a large factor in carrying out the
plans. On the 27th of April, 1838, the first ground was broken
for the new Church, which was built with the first brick
manufactured here, and was the first Church in the city. It
was completed in 1839, and on the 23rd day of May in that
year, Rt. Rev. Bishop Mathias Loras, assisted by the Very Rev.
Samuel Mazzuchelli, dedicated the new edifice for its future
career of grace and blessings. On this occasion the faithful
members of the new congregation surrounded their amiable
prelate and besought him earnestly to send them a pastor who
could reside with them, as soon as it would be possible, and
he immediately gave them this promise. Subsequently Father
Pelamourgues was appointed, who arrived in the latter part of
August to enter on his charge.
In the beginning of June,
1852, Rev. G. H. Plathe came to administer the parish during a
visit of Father Pelamourgues in his native country, and he
remained till the close of July 1853. He was a most exemplary
and zealous priest, and commenced and successfully promoted
the building of the stone Church, which was completed at the
close of the year 1853. Among other church records the first
marriage is of interest and reads in Father Pelamourgues'
handwriting: In the death roll the first, and the fourth
registry attract our attention. The death of Wm. B. Conway was
sadly mourned. He died at Burlington, and his body was
received at Davenport on the ninth, by a committee appointed
for the purpose, and was conveyed to St. Anthony's Church
where the solemn services for the dead were performed by Rev.
Father Pelamourgues. From Franc B. Wilkie we quote: "At a
meeting of the citizens of Davenport, convened at Davenport
Hotel on Saturday, November 9th, 1839, to testify their
respect for the memory of William B. Conway deceased, late
Secretary of the Territory of Iowa, T. S. Hoge was called to
the chair, and G. C. R. Mitchell appointed Secretary. * * * *
Resolved, That this meeting has heard with the most profound
regret of the death of William 13. Conway, Esq., late
Secretary of the Territory of Iowa. Possessing a mind richly
cultivated and improved, a disposition amiable and kind, he
was generous and hospitable; of manners the most bland and
courteous, respected, honored and beloved by all who knew him.
We feel that in his death this neighborhood has lost its
brightest ornament and the Territory one of its ablest and
most worthy officers and highly valued citizens. * *"
The Baptismal records show his commencement of the
records by the following first entry in the register: Father
Pelamourgues was a man of remarkable zeal and piety. The
Bishop had gained him as a missionary for his vast new
territory when he went to France on an exploit for this
purpose. Upon their arrival in New York in October, 1838,
Father Pelamourgues separated from his companions in order to
spend the winter in the study of English language and
literature at the Seminary of Baltimore, while the Bishop and
Father Cretin proceeded to St. Louis where they performed
missionary duties in that time. In April, 1839, they reunited
in St. Louis on their journey to Dubuque, when Father
Pelamourgues, after the installment, went on some pioneer
journeys to St. Peters and the upper Mississippi; upon his
return from there the appointment to Davenport awaited him. It
included not only the town, but contiguous territory for 100
miles or more, and the preaching to the Indians of all
southern Iowa. Once when hastening to a dying Indian near
Ottumwa, he crossed the forbidden line, which resulted in
imprisonment by the soldiers for nearly two days, but he found
his Indian. The first pastor took up his quarters in the new
combination church, school and residence, a most useful
structure for the times, and immediately commenced to identify
himself not only with the spiritual interests of his subjects,
but as well with their temporal progress and the welfare of
the entire city and all its inhabitants. He soon proved
himself to be competent and a very fatherly adviser on all
subjects. For the preaching of the gospel and the promotion of
virtue and piety he watched assiduously. He loved the poor and
visited the sick in their afflictions; organized schools and
Sunday schools; assisted in public meetings and became a
leader in them; his rooms and his school halls were always
open for meetings which had the interest of the community for
their object., His school is referred to as a leading
institute of education; his school rooms, the town hall; and
his bell the town bell. In triumph or in calamity he was the
first at the bell rope to signal the warning or note of joy.
His shepherd's voice and the powerful influence of his good
example had something to do with shaping the good records of
Davenport's beginning history. He remained as pastor of St.
Anthony's until 1868, and is universally esteemed as a man
full of merit of his Davenport home.
In the list of
pastors we find from reliable dates, when Father Pelamourgues
took his leave for France in the beginning of May, 1868, he
was succeeded on May 10th by the Rev. Father Maurice Flavin
who officiated until the close of July, 1871. Rev. P. A.
McCabe attended this Church from September, 1853, till
January, 1854, at the return of Father Pelamourgues from
France. Father McCabe celebrated the first Mass in the stone
Church on Christmas day, 1853. In August, 1871, Rev. Father
Michael Flavin succeeded as a very efficient pastor and
remained until the beginning of January, 1879, when he was
transferred in that capacity to St. Mary's Church, which had
been built by his predecessor; and gained good renown under
Rev. Father Thomas
O'Reilly was pastor from January to April, 1875; and Rev.
Father J. J. Swift succeeded him in that year from April 25th
to December 29th. The beginning of 1876 introduces Rev. Father
L Roche as pastor, who built the present comfortable parochial
residence in 1877, and remained in office until the middle of
August, 1880. Rev. Father P. J. Burke entered upon the
pastorale two months later and officiated until March 5th,
1882, when he gave way to the advent of another incumbent. On
the 20th of March, 1882, Rt. Rev. Bishop John McMullen sent
Rev. Father D. J. Flannery as pastor of St. Anthony's. He was
ordained to the priesthood for the Dubuque diocese on the 22nd
of December, 1872. He built several Churches in the Mason City
missions during the first years of his ministry, administered
parishes for several years with the highest degree of
efficiency in Clinton and in Washington, and came to St.
Anthony's ripe in experience and wisdom. The present
flourishing condition of St. Anthony's may be attributed to
his scholarly teaching, zealous spiritual direction and
unswerving fidelity to duty. The Catholic school of St.
Anthony's Church, commenced in 1839 by Father Pelamourgues,
continued to flourish until 1846, when a great impetus was
given it by the advent of the Sisters of Charity of The
Blessed Virgin, from their Mother house in Dubuque. These most
amiable Christian educators combined an academy with the
school, and although the academy has since then been
transferred to more adequate quarters, the gentle Sisters
continue as the Professors in St. Anthony's school to the
present time and their most acceptable and finished elementary
education has made its most pleasing impress on the vast
number of students who have been competently cultivated in
their letters as well as the higher thoughts of Christian
From the jurisdiction
of the old Church Square there have sprung up St. Kunigunda's
Church in 1854, now named St. Joseph's, Sixth and Marquette
streets; St. Margaret's Church, in 1856, Le Claire and Tenth
streets, now named Sacred Heart Cathedral; and St. Mary's
Church, in 1872, on Sixth and Hennepin streets. While these
all have their edifying features, none remains dearer in the
hearts of the people than good old St. Anthony's on the
JOHN F. KEMPKER,
June 13th, 1893. Pastor Mercy Hospital, Davenport.
SOME TORNADOES IN IOWA.
From time to time the papers are mentioning the work
of these destructive storms, and at the same time seem
inclined to make it appear that they break out in this State
with greater frequency than elsewhere; and also that they are
of common occurrence with us, I have thought it well to record
my recollections of the past fifty-three years regarding these
visitations. The first of these storms in Iowa occurring
within my recollection came upon this town in the month of
June, somewhere in the year 1842 or '43, I believe. I have no
written data, but depend upon my individual recollection of it
altogether. It was I am sure close to 1844, the year of the
great flood, in which the Mississippi river made its highest
mark since the beginning of the settlement of St. Louis, and
occurred at the time that the first building of the North
Presbyterian church was in progress of erection, its walls
being pretty nearly completed.
The storm came from the west and in the early morning
hours and came suddenly, for at the preceding sunset there was
no sign in the sky indicating such a fearful visitor to be
near at hand. My father had not long before, two or three
years before completed his first substantial dwelling house
upon his homestead—the same house which is now occupied by Mr.
Boartz, on the old home farm just east of this city.
This house is built of sound hewn logs of the heavy oak
timber then growing upon the hills around about the then,
capital of Iowa.
My father was a good mechanic and that he "builded" his
house well, and strongly founded it, was proven by this storm.
The heavy oak logs were put together at the corners of
the house by square notches and saddles, and then were
securely pinned and nailed together in the saddles, the
rafters were of young oak trees hewn to shape and were framed
into the top logs and then nailed and pinned, and then were
also securely fastened together at the ridge of the roof.
About this house on all sides of it was then growing
large forest trees of oak, aged and veritable giants of their
kind. There were of these oaks three distinct species. The
tall stately white oak with whitish gray bark predominated,
the next in numbers was the shorter stouter burr oak, with- a
trunk so twisted and plaited in its fibers, and of such
toughness, that a lightning stroke rarely could mark or
splinter it, and then next in numbers came the tall regular
built red oak with its very dark green foliage, and its thick,
rough, very dark gray bark and its straight rained watery and
easily split trunk, often, from the last two qualities of its
constitution, the chosen path of the lightning's stroke. That
it was the primeval conductor of the forest could be seen on
every hand in the "woods" of that day, for while here and
there might be seen in any of the groves of pioneer times- a
white or burr oak tree stricken or scarred by lightning,
nearly every red oak tree would show by the splintered and
dying topmost branches, the deeply furrowed trunk and the
displaced roots, that the king of the storm preferred the very
acid juicy trunk of the red oak for its way from cloud to
earth, to the drier compact and resisting trunks of the white
and burr oaks which stood thickly about the victim, untouched.
Among the timber about my father's house at the time of the
storm was quite a large number of shell bark hickory trees,
the wood of which is celebrated for its toughness and
Just about one hundred feet west from the north end of
the house stood a white oak tree not less than three feet in
diameter and about sixty or more feet high.
The approach of the storm was made known to the family by
the terrific crashing of the thunderbolts upon the summits of
the bluffs on the west side of the Iowa river. The progress of
the storm was accompanied by the incessant flashing of
lightning so continuous that the whole landscape was lighted
up continuously by brilliant, white, quivering light, so
constant that objects in the town a mile distant were
continually in sight.
The lightning flashes seemed near to the earth and were
mostly horizontal in direction, and so great their blaze, that
the mass of clouds in which they played from side to side
could not be seen at all. The storm was one immense body of
interwoven lightning flashes.
The center of the storm came across the town to the west
of us, a little to the north of the site of the church which I
have before mentioned, and passed as near as we could judge
directly over our house.
My father had for years navigated the ocean and had
breasted many a storm upon the "main," but this "landlubber of
a storm," as I heard him call it in speaking to mother as it
was coming upon us, " was a little the brightest of any that
he had ever seen," but he said to her, "Elizabeth, don't be
afraid, we will weather it." Father's calmness reassured us
all and we stood at the west window of the house, a small one,
and watched its progress. We saw the trees and bushes, which
extended to a distance of about two hundred yards west of the
house, suddenly seized as if by the hand of omnipotent power,
and by it borne down to the earth and whirled and twisted
about as one would level down and twist in the fingers the
grass of the fields.
In an instant after this, it seized that grand old oak
standing near the north end and west of the house, and whirled
its great umbrella top about much as one can whirl the little
end of a fishing rod; three times did it twist that tree about
its axis, and each time the old forest monarch gained the
mastery with a loss of a few of its branches, but the storm
king was not to be conquered by an oak tree. Again he seized
the monarch of five hundred years growth, and with sudden
twist tore him asunder midway of his trunk as easily as one
could twist a match in twain, the great umbrella shaped top
arose on the breast of the conqueror and sailed away from its
place, falling about one hundred feet southeasterly from where
it had stood for hundreds of years. While the tree was being
twisted off, the storm laid its colossal hand upon the house.
It was shaken in all its parts, an awful blow would smite it
on a corner, and it would seem as if that corner would raise
from its foundation, then the power of the storm would strike
the house in the midside causing the whole structure to reel
and tremble and to shake in every joint. When these blows of
the storm king came down upon our shelter they were each time
accompanied by gushes of water as if a Niagara was being
dashed upon us, thus was added to the force of the wind, the
weight of water beating and battling to effect our
destruction, but they prevailed not, for the house, our
protection, was oak ribbed and iron bound.
The cessation of the storm was even more rapid than its
onslaught, it retired to the eastward with hollow rumblings
and growlings, leaving the leveled forest behind it sighing
and sobbing in the breeze which followed it, which sighs and
sobs, accompanied by a gentle rainfall, seemed the mourning
for the thousands of the sons of the forest laid low by the
unrelenting storm king.
When morning at last
broke through the clouds behold the wreck all about us! The
entire forest from the present cemetery eastward as far as
could be seen, was laid low. I should say that not more than
one tree in every hundred was left standing on the high
grounds, and in the gulches about our place all the tall ones
had lost their tops, and it was only in the deepest parts of
these gullies that hut few trees were broken off.
Our fences had disappeared, crops were leveled and beaten
into the earth, but we could see that the houses of our
neighbors were standing, only some small buildings being blown
away. At last the neighbors gathered, the Pattersons, Irishs
and Hamiltons formed a neighborhood, and from that gathering
it was reported no killed or hurt. Some horses or cattle were
hurt or killed. The same report came later from the town, no
one hurt or killed. The house of Mr. Gardener, the
Universalist minister had been blown down and torn in pieces,
which with the contents of the house were scattered in a line
out along the upper Muscatine road for a distance of a mile or
two. The minister and his family escaped unhurt.
A lightning stroke came down through the unfinished walls
of the North Presbyterian church, throwing down part of the
north end wall, and from there the lightning plowed its way.
On the surface of the earth, throwing out a double furrow over
two hundred yards long to a small oak tree, killing a cow and
her calf which lay by her side, and carrying hair from them up
the tree from the tops of which the stroke is supposed to have
again reached the clouds.
The center of the storm crossed the Cedar river about six
or seven miles below Gower's Ferry, and killing several
persons in Cedar county, also destroyed an enormous amount of
the heavy timber on the Cedar Bluffs.
It looked very stormy all the day succeeding the storm
and at night heavy black clouds hung in the western sky,
causing apprehension on the part of many that the following
night the storm might be repeated. As my father's house had
withstood the central fury of the storm, many of the neighbors
came to it for shelter and asylum. Among them was a dutchman,
John Goldwitzer by name, who showed very marked fears. My
father asked him why he did not go to Pattersons to stay.
Goldwitzer replied that Patterson's house was not so good as
fathers, and that if father's should "preak town every poddy
init would shoust he kilt" and he added "I would petter pee
kilt as grippled," a saying with which he was annoyed many a
day after that. I have thus given an account of, so far as I
know, the first tornado experienced by the white people in
Iowa. That tornadoes have swept our prairies and have torn
down the groves and forests of the State for centuries before
the one of which I now write can not be disputed, and
doubtless they will continue to sweep over us for centuries to
come leaving death and ruin in their path. That they come and
go in cycles seems to me proven by the record of their
visitations. I do not now recall a visitation in this
location, succeeding this early one, until, I think, the year
1858, when that frightful one rolled over the country west and
south of this city and took the life of Hon. Jesse Berry.
The next in order was that of 1859, the most fearful,
powerful, and extensive of any such storms which have scourged
us. so far.
Next in order was the one of 1882, which destroyed so
much life and property at and near the town of Grinnell. And
lastly the late one of the current year in the northwestern
portion of the State.
I am of the opinion that these storms have a tendency to
recur in period of eleven years and that they are prevalent in
the regions from the Gulf of Mexico to the valley of the
Saskatchewan river, and between the Rocky Mountains and the
Atlantic ocean in the spring, summer and fall months for two
to three years during each maximum sun-spot period. A storm of
this character may occur at times out of the regular periods
which I have assigned, but if they do, they are very
I do not include in this class mere hurricanes, or other
violent winds which move directly forward, but am speaking of
gyration storms, the writhing, twisting monster, the tornado.
It is to be hoped that some one who has the time and can reach
the information, will give in the pages of the RECORD a list
of the visitations of these tornado storms which have been
recorded in Iowa.
C. W. IRISH.
PIONEER DAYS IN PLYMOUTH COUNTY.
BY W. L. CLARK.
Congressional township ninety-two, range forty-three
west, since October 18th, 1881, has formed the civil township
of Remsen; prior to that date it was included in Marion
township. It is bounded by Meadow township on the north,
Cherokee county on the east, Henry township on the south and
Marion township on the west.
The Dubuque & Sioux City (Illinois Central) railway
passes through the northwest corner of the township, with a
station known as Remsen, which is located on section six.
The chief stream of Remsen township is Whiskey Slough,
in the eastern part of the territory.
The population in 1885 was given at 650, of which 400
were American born. The present population is 1,279
The oldest settler now living within the township is
Henry Mullong, who bought a second-hand homestead claim of S.
C. Pringy, on the south half of the southeast quarter of
section twenty-eight. Mr. Mullong settled on the land in 1873,
and he thinks that it was originally claimed by the first
settler of the township, whose name is forgotten, in 1867.
The next to locate was J. J. Murphy, on the southwest
quarter of section ten, where he still lives. He is at present
in the employ of the Illinois Central Railroad Company, at
their water tank.
Ed. Wilier came to the township in 1878, and bought
land of a speculator named Baxter. This land was on the
northwest of section thirty-two.
Until after 1880, there were no settlers in Remsen
township to speak of, and from that time on the territory was
largely settled up by Germans, who have come to be wealthy
farmers and stock-growers.
Many artificial groves adorn the township and lend both
beauty and actual value to the domain.
There are no religious societies in the township,
except those found at Remsen village, the only post-office and
market place in the township.
The first school was taught at the residence of R. E.
McCaustland, on section thirty-four, about 1880. At this date,
1891, the county school records show that this township has
five sub-districts, which are provided with four good school
houses. The total enrollment of scholars is ninety-three.
The village of Remsen is situated on the west half of
section six in Remsen township. It was platted August 28th,
1876, by the Sioux City and Iowa Falls Town Lot and Land
Company. Since then five additions have been made. It is
located on a beautiful tract of rolling prairie land, and is
now a thriving little mart of about 537 people. It derived its
name from Dr. William Remsen Smith, of Sioux City, a large
land owner. It was made a station on the original Dubuque &
Sioux City railroad line, and has come to be one of the best
market places and shipping points along the line.
The first business in Remsen was engaged in by J. H.
Winchel, who owned a large farm one mile north, and H. W.
Alline, of Remsen, under the firm name of Winchel & Alline.
Scales were put in and grain bought and shipped. This was in
the fall of 1880. At the same time P. Hopkins, of LeMars,
bought and shipped,, from this point, cattle and hogs.
But little was accomplished in the way of business
improvements until 1881, when Frank Miller put in a general
The same year the "Blake House" was erected by C. R.
Blake. It is now known as the Munhoven House.
The first to engage in the sale of agricultural
implements were Rathmann & Michael. The first hardware was
sold by John H. Rathmann. The first grocery store was that of
Samuel Wentz. In 1882 a furniture store was put in by Hubert
Nothem. The same year, Dr. Theodore Wrede opened up a stock of
drugs. "Dr." Baker had kept a few patent medicines, etc., the
year prior. A saloon was started to quench the thirst of the
pioneers, in 1871, by Peter Monner. The pioneer grain company
was Peavey & Co. The first to handle lumber were Townsend
Bros., of LeMars. The first blacksmith to wield his hammer
beside the glowing forge was Martin Seba, in 1880-81. A wagon
shop was put in operation by John Schumacher. The first bank
was the Bank of Remsen, in 1887.
In the spring of 1889, the citizens of Remsen
concluded, to further the business interests of the place,
that it was, best to become an incorporated town. The first
election of officers resulted as follows: N. Lang, Mayor;
Edward S. Lloyd, Recorder.
The village supports a local newspaper, edited by J. P.
Kieffer, who issues twice each week—one issue printed in
German called the "Remsen Clocke" and later in the week one of
the same contents, only printed in English, called the "
Remsen Bell." These papers have a large circulation, some
hundreds going to Europe, sent by Germans to their friends.
Remsen became a post office point in 1879. H. W. Alline
was appointed the first postmaster; he served until 1885, when
he was succeeded by L. L. Page, who conducted it until April
11th, 1889, when A. C. Morgan was appointed, and still serves
acceptably to all. It became a money order office in 1886. The
first money order was issued August 20th, 1886, to Rev. F. X.
Schulte, in favor of Appleton & Co., Chicago, Illinois.
There are two church organizations at Remsen, each
having a good building. The Evangelical Lutheran society was
formed in 1884 by six members, Rev. Miner, of LeMars,
officiating. In 1888 a frame church building was erected at a
cost of $I,600. The present membership of the society is
Until October, 1889, the church was supplied with a
minister occasionally from other points, but at that date
Henry Bender became pastor and in still serving.
The Roman Catholic people of this vicinity were first
attended by Father Gilchrist, formerly of Marcus, Iowa. He
looked to the spiritual welfare of this people for some two or
three years. The first church building was blown down by a
cyclone in 1885, and the present building was erected the same
year. Rev. F. Schulte took charge of the congregation in
December, 1885, and finished the new edifice, which seats
about three hundred people comfortably. In the fall of 1886
the fine parsonage was built at a cost of $I,900. In the
summer of 1888 the parochial school house was built at an
expense of about $3,600.
The winter of 1880-81 is known in the annals of Remsen
as the "starvation winter," it might also be termed the
"freeze-out winter," because if hunger did beset the little
garrison, none the less did the lack of fuel cause much
trouble. Those who remember the serious inconveniences of the
long snow blockades, even in a much larger town, can imagine
the sufferings of those who were ten miles from a grocery
store, the same distance from a meat market, and who did not
live on a farm, consequently did not have a well filled cellar
to fall back on.
The first school was taught by Miss Mary Alline, during
the summer of 1881, in one of the living-rooms of the depot
building. It found its next home in a room over J. H.
Rathmann's hardware store; from there it was moved to a
building owned by J. K. Alline. This house also served the
Protestant people of this section as a church. In it was
organized the Methodist Episcopal church, under the leadership
of William Edgar. The original members were four in number, F.
K. Morgan and wife, and Daniel Arburthnot and wife. A
successful Sabbath school was for a long time maintained. Its
superintendent was Z. Gilman.
WILLIAM TODD, a pioneer of Louisa County of the year
1836, died March 1st, 1893, at Columbus Junction, in his 88th
HERMAN MORSE, aged 80, died at his home in
Independence, Buchanan county, April 24th, 1893. He had been a
citizen of Iowa forty years.
ALEXANDER LEVI, said to have been the first citizen
naturalized in Iowa, died at his home in Dubuque, March 3Ist,
1893, aged 84 years. He had been a citizen of Dubuque since
1833, and was the last of the charter members of the first
Masonic Lodge formed in that place.
DR. ROBERT S. HALE, a native of Massachusetts, but an
Iowa pioneer of 1856, and a veteran of the 3Ist Iowa
Volunteers, died at Waterloo, May 2Ist, 1893, aged 50 years.
At the time of his death Dr. Hall was a prominent member of
the medical profession of Chicago, to which city he removed
several years ago.
LIEUT.-COLONEL JESSE A. P. HAMPSON, of the I2th U. S.
Infantry, died in Chicago, October I4th, 1892. Col. Hampson
was a native of Pennsylvania, where he Was born in 1837, but
an Iowa pioneer, having come here before the war. In November,
1861, he enlisted at his home in Fairfield, Jefferson County,
as a private in the 4th Iowa Cavalry, from which he was
promoted in April, 1862, to a Second Lieutenancy in the 10th
U. S. Infantry, and by regular gradations reached the rank of
Lieutenant-Colonel, which he recently attained. Col. Hampson
was 57 years old.