This thriving city of 1,170 people, located on the west bank of Old Man's Creek, in Troy Township, was founded by Richard Williams and laid out by him on May 20, 1856. It is situated near the geographical center of the county, is located in a rich farming community, is a trade center for the surrounding townships and has splendid railroad facilities upon the Kansas City branch of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. The nationality of the people in Williamsburg and the immediate surrounding country is more varied, perhaps, than any other community of its size in the state. There are representatives of America, Germany, Wales, Scandinavia, Ireland, Scotland and Switzerland liv- ing here together, all of them loyal subjects of the Stars and Stripes. The Welsh and their descendants form the leading nationality group. They take great pride in their intellectual developments. But all nationalities and all classes are highly intelligent, social, and full of patriotic devotion to American institutions. With the exception of a few older people, all speak the English language, and all classes and all nationalities fraternize, do business and associate as one common people.

Richard Williams, the founder of the town, was a sturdy Welshman; in fact, nearly all of the very first settlers to this community were of this blood. The names of Williams, Evans, Jones, Roberts, Davis, Hughes, Powell, Edwards, and Harris are yet familiar in the town.

During the early years of the life of Williamsburg there was very little growth; in the year 1880 there were only 130 people who claimed it as their residence. The presence of the Rock Island Railroad eight miles to the north of the town drew the trade and people away in that direction and it was not until the coming of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul in 1884 that the growth of the town had a fair and sure start. Trade and commerce began to take on new life; outside capital was attracted by the natural advantages and location of the place; and soon the country hamlet shook off her rustic garments and donned her urban robes. Most of the old frame business structures have been super- seded by substantial brick buildings; churches built; the town incorporated; a system of waterworks installed; a lighting system established; and with all, many beautiful dwellings; so that today, in some respects, Williamsburg is the foremost town in the county.

Williamsburg is typically a livestock center; the shipments of stock from the town being one of the most prolific sources of revenue. As an agricultural center the town also occupied an enviable position. As a trading point every advantage is offered to the individual; the business houses are arranged around

236 [236a]

In the cool shade of the park trees at Williamsburg, a decade or so ago, there gathered every day a group of men composed of the pioneers of the community and the ones who had seen the town grow from infancy to maturity and helped to promote its interests. These men met here and discussed affairs in genearl, often relative to the community problems. The townspeople gave them the name "Baord of Trad" in a half- humorous way and by that cognomen they became known all over the county. From left to right in the above picture the men are: David R. Evans, Benjamin Harris, William Jones, Owen Jones, Howell Williams and Robert Powell (standing), David T. Jones, David Davis, John Davis and David Roberts. All but two of these men are now dead.


a public square, the latter shaded with a beautiful second growth of trees and made comfortable with numerous seats for the trader. As a residence town Williamsburg bears a good reputation. There is good city water and at present a municipal gas plant; there is just being completed a transmission line from Marengo for the supply of electricity to the town, which will be a decided step in the way of municipal improvement.


In 1885, the Town of Williamsburg having attained sufficient confidence and size, the citizens decided to incorporate and accordingly the necessary steps were taken to this end. The first officers elected by the voters of the city were: W. R. Evans, major; E. M. Long, recorder; O. A. Taylor, assessor; Benjamin Harris, J. E. Jones, W. G. Fletcher, P. C. Powers, John Dobbs, T. Jones, trustees. Following Mr. Evans, the following men have filled the office: John Hughes, Sr., R. W. Pugh, H. E. Leasure, H. E. Blasier, D. E. Evans, H. E. Hull, A. F. Shoots, T. T. Osborne, Benjamin Harris, Walter Harris, R. W. Yoss, J. A. Ogle and Ralph E. Jones. Mr. Ogle died while in office and Mr. Jones is now acting as mayor pro tem.

The civic and commercial spirit of Williamsburg is inspiring. The citizens, as a whole, are ever working for the better things which make a town modern and progressive. This work has had a decided impetus in the last five years and the greatest change had undoubtedly come in this period. A booster club, composed of the townsmen, is the formal way of expressing their co-operative industry and mutual sympathy.

The electricity now being brought into the city by means of a transmission line from Marengo and Cedar Rapids, the power supplied by the Iowa Railway and Light Company, is the most recent municipal improvement. This will supply a great help, as the gasoline gas plant which was established fifteen years ago was not giving the required service. The city water plant was established twenty-three years ago. Water is now drawn from three deep wells. The compressed air system is used to force the water to the patrons. A co-operative creamery, built and opened eighteen years ago, is another feature of the town. Also a canning factory is in operation during the season.


The first bank building in Williamsburg was built by O. B. Dutton in January, 1884, on the west side of the square on a lot now occupied by the Farmers Bank. It was later moved to the north end of the lot now occupied by the Williamsburg Savings Bank. Then again it was moved across the street on a lot north of the present Journal-Tribune Building. This building is now located on the Story property in the southwest part of town. It was first occupied by the Farmers and Merchants Bank, was bought February 18, 1884, by John Hughes, Jr., and operated as a private bank until July 1, 1884, when the Williamsburg Savings Bank was organized.

There are now three excellent banks in Williamsburg, all doing a splendid business. The Citizens Savings Bank has a capital of $25,000, a surplus of $4,000,


and deposits of $75,000. James Nicholas is president of this institution; M. Harrington is vice president; C. A. Mains, cashier; and Harry Nicholas, assistant cashier. The Farmers Savings Bank has a capital of $75,000 and a surplus of $78,000. The deposits average $507,000. A. C. Moon is president; J. G. Lortz, vice president; C. J. Simmons, cashier; and O. E. Jones, assistant cashier. The Williamsburg Savings Bank has a capital stock of $100,000 and a surplus of $90,000, with deposits amounting to $600,000. The officers of the institution at the present time are: J. Hughes, Jr., president; B. Harris, vice president; A. H. Evans, cashier; and H. W. Hild, assistant cashier.


Stellapolis Lodge No. 391, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons was established first in Williamsburg on January 9, 1879. The charter members were: J. A. Wilson, A. J. Myers, Joseph E. Jones, D. E. Evans, Charles Fletcher, Francis McDermott, H. T. Ogden, Robert McEachran, A. P. McCallister, J. A. Cushman, I. F. Cushman, J. B. Myers, Nelson Bruner, Thomas Ellis, G. W. McCallister and T. McPatton. The lodge built and occupied their own hall over the frame building which stood on the site of their present property. The present hall was constructed in 1890.

Troy Chapter No. 117, Royal Arch Masons, was organized August 7, 1891, with D. E. Evans as first high priest and the following as charter members: M. J. Kelly, T. C. McFarland, W. G. Fletcher, Ed Blasier, W. E. Evans, J. J. Jones, and M. S. Anderson.

Williamsburg Chapter, Order of Eastern Star, was organized February 22, 1898.

Williamsburg Lodge No. 172, Knights of Pythias, was organized May 11, 1887. The charter members were: W. M. Beck, H. H. Bartholomew, H. C. Beck, J. B. Vernon, Harry Choat, John Dobbs, Ed W. Evans, W. A. Gale, Joor Harris, W. F. Harris, G. H. Hughes, H. E. Hull, J. E. Jones, Dixon Jones, Ed W. Jones, George Klein, E. E. Lloyd, H. E. Leasure, A. C. Moon, L. J. McFann, A. C. Osborne, T. T. Osborne, A. W. Perry, G. E. Poyneer and William Vandenburg. During 1911 the lodge constructed a building on the west side of the square at a cost of $6,000.

Williamsburg Temple No. 129, Pythian Sisters, was organized on December 17, 1899.

Williamsburg Lodge No. 388, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized November 28, 1889, with sixty-seven charter members.

Rebekah Lodge, No. 367, was organized in October, 1896.

Mystic Workers of the World were organized November 20, 1908.

Rees Lloyd Post, No. 403, Grand Army of the Republic, was organized September 28, 1885. comrade H. F. Garrittson, commander of I. M. Huston Post, 294, of Victor, Ia., was the mustering officer. The charter members were: James A. Wilson, D. D. Boyd, I. N. Schooley, Henry A. Standish, A. C. Lewis, M. A. Sheitz, D. F. Moffit, R. C. Butler, W. R. Stewart, J. E. Jones, P. Crinnigan, A. J. McDonald, Thomas Ellis, D. H. Phillips, John W. Carmichael and M. W. Lyon. The list of members since the organization have been: John Springer, m. Fitzpatrick, James M. Woods, James Laing, Thomas E. Hughes,


C. S. Harris, John G. Evans, John Nash, J. M. McDougal, John Hughes, Jr., H. W. Evans, E. L. Edwards, Peter McKenna, C. D. Popham, C. E. Ray, Hiram Dinamick, John Quinn, Ed Blasier, Peter Mumm, B. F. Richmond, Ellis Hakes, Robert McEachran, Andrew Gallup, William Grace, Henry Soidt, Wilson T. Houghan, Ed Roberts, Owen Slater, Rev. W. B. Smith, E. J. Pike, J. A. Story, John Mulherin, Jacob S. Funk.


One of the best managed and edited papers in the county at the present time is the Williamsburg Journal-Tribune. T. T. Osborne has charge of the business end of the publication, while J. P. Gallagher, well known as a writer of prose and verse, manages very successfully the editorial end. The paper is the result of the consolidation of the old Journal and the Tribune in February, 1901.

The Williamsburg Journal was started by A. C. and T. T. Osborn in the year 1884. The Iowa County Democrat was started by Art Dunne, but owing to the death of the editor and the paper as well, the plant was left standing without anyone to operate it. Leo Kinney and Harvey Jones finally bought up the publication and started the Williamsburg Tribune in 1889. Then, in February, 1901, these two papers were consolidated and the Williamsburg Journal-Tribune established. The firm name was Osborn, Jones, & Kinney. In March, 1901, J. P. Gallagher bought the Kinney and Jones half of the firm, and now the paper is issued under the management of Osborn & Gallagher. The sheet is independent in politics and is a six column quarto, with over two thousand subscribers. When the consolidation occurred the paper was moved into a building formerly used by the Williamsburg Savings Bank and is using this at the present time, during the construction of a new building. This new building is to cost $6,500, to be of brick and concrete, with flexotile front and plate glass windows. The foundations of the structure are of solid concrete, so as to insure a minimum of vibration. The latest newspaper machinery is to be installed and the plant in every way, both mechanically and editorially, will be one of the best of its size in the state.


The first school in Williamsburg was taught in the '50s by Minerva Long, who is still living. This old school was taught near the present site of the Congregational Church. Another authority claims that the first teacher was Mrs. Hannah Long. Later a two story frame building, located where the high school now stands, was used for school purposes. Reference to this particular school building would hardly seem complete without mentioning the name of Prof. James Root, Jr., a New Yorker who afterward taught as principal of the Marengo public schools. Perhaps Mr. Root was not up to the full requirements of present day professors, but he was a fine man and a good instructor, and it is safe to say that more successful present day men of affairs, who have gone out into the world from this county, came under the tutelage of James Root, Jr., and his good wife, than any other teachers who have ever taught in Iowa County. The first high school building was constructed east of the square on land which had been donated by the town. The funds to construct this school were sub-


scribed by the good citizens. The first class was graduated from here in the year 1891.

In the spring of 1908 the need for a larger building became imperative. The number of people in the town had materially increased and consequently there were more children to go to school. The quarters then used were too cramped for comfort and the best efficiency could not be maintained. Accordingly a bond issue of $20,000 was subscribed; the election for the plan of raising the money was carried in favor by a large majority. the plans for the new structure were drawn by George M. Kern, architect, of Ottumwa and the contract for the building was let to the L. J. Crissman Company, also of Ottumwa. The building is of brick, with stone trimmings, and is three stories in height. It combines with its architectural beauty, all of the latest ideas in school construction, aimed for the best care of scholars. The equipment of the school is modern and adequate.


The Welsh Congregational Church was organized in the year 1856 at the home of William Evans. This is the oldest church society in Iowa County. The first building was constructed in 1859 and the new brick house of worship was put up several years ago. The original congregation consisted of Evan J. Evans and wife, Levi H. Evans and wife, Mrs. John Watkins, Hugh C. Evans and David H. Williams, William Evans and wife, William Rowlands and wife. Evan J. Evans was the first pastor of the church. The first Welsh pastor who visited them was Rev. David Knowles of Long Creek, and then came Rev. George Lewis of Old Man's Creek and Rev. Morris Jones. The church at present is prosperous and has a strong membership.

The American Congregational Church of Williamsburg was organized in 1857 with seventeen members by Rev. W. P. Gale. He was the first pastor. The church building was constructed at Williamsburg in 1871 at a cost of $1,200.

The Presbyterian Church was organized in September, 1882, and since this time has had a steady growth. There are now about three hundred members of this church in Williamsburg. This is the legitimate successor of the American Congregational Church organized here in 1857 as mentioned above. Reverend Gale was succeeded by the following after the close of his work her in 1862: Reverends Hill, Jones, Paten, Clarke, Archer and Ritchie. In 1880 Rev. W. R. Stewart of the Presbyterian Church at Marengo was invited to supply the church and on October 1, 1882, the church was reorganized as a Presbyterian Church. The present church building was constructed in 1890 at a cost of $5,000. There have been several additions and improvements made in the church property since this time.

Williamsburg was formerly the headquarters of a Methodist Episcopal circuit embracing Zion Chapel, Champion Hills, Pilot Grove, South Ridge and Hickory Grove. The Williamsburg Methodists withdrew from the circuit and organized for themselves on October 26, 1892. The church has a membership of 200 people at the present time and is one of the strongest and most influential in the city.

The Welsh Presbyterian Church was organized in 1870 by Rev. Thomas E. Hughes, who had charge for fourteen years. The church is still active in the work of the town.

German Lutheran Church
Welsh Calvinistic M. E. Church
Presbyterian Church
Catholic Church

St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized in the year 1904 in Williamsburg and a building was constructed the same year. The first pastor was Reverend Zollman and there were ten voting members. The membership has substantially increased. Rev. Merman Greif is the present pastor. There is also a fine parsonage connected with this church.

St. Mary's Catholic Church was organized in 1889 by Rev, J. C. White, of Marengo, and was composed of people living at or near Williamsburg, who were members of the Old Man's Creek congregation at Holbrook. The church was built in 1890. Succeeding Father White have been: Revs. Mulvihill, Cassidy and Kissane. The history of the Old Man's Creek congregation, out of which this congregation grew, dates back to about 1860 when it was served as a mis- sion by the well known Father Emmons of Iowa City. The present church edifice at Williamsburg is a large and well constructed frame building with a seating capacity of about four hundred.


Noted for its splendid exhibits of live stock, agriculture, culinary and artistic handiwork; for its racing and entertainments; and lastly for its crowds and popu- larity, is the Williamsburg annual fair. This is without doubt the superior of all fairs in the county in the lines of competitive exhibits and the equal of any in the sporting phase.

The fair association was established June 30, 1897, with twenty original stock- holders. George Poineer was the organizer and chief worker for this association. The organization continued for five years and then was disbanded. It was taken over and merged with the interests of those who owned the fair grounds. The first name to be given to the association was that of Williamsburg Pavilion Com- pany. The fair grounds are in good shape, with a good track, which is used for horse and automobile racing, and adequate halls where the various exhibits are housed.


There was an old Indian burying ground near Williamsburg, in section 15. It was used at a very early day and is now obliterated.

A postoffice was once kept by Ed Dill at his house in section 19, near the Pilot Township line.

In an early day there was a sawmill in Williams' Grove, on section 10, run by Richard Williams and William Rowlands.

Williamsburg was at first called Stellapolis, and the postoffice was known by that name. John Hughes was the first postmaster.

The Williamsburg Brick and Tile Works were established about 1898 and incorporated in 1901 with H. E. Hull, president, and W. W. Lewis, manager.

The Williamsburg Telephone Company was organized in 1899 and began by putting in a system confined wholly to the town. Now the town is connected with the whole world.

The following quotation from a letter from John M. Williams, of Paso Robles, Cal., dated April 21, 1915, is interesting: "I believe I am the oldest living man


born within the Town of Williamsburg, though I have a full sister, Mrs. E. H. Jones, and a half sister, Mrs. T. E. Gittins, still living and who were there before I was. I am the only son of Richard Williams, the founder of the town and who died in 1860. He had also three daughters, Mrs. Lizzie Baxter, now of What Cheer, Ia.; Mrs. Ed H. Jones, of Williamsburg, and Mrs. Jennie Jones. All are living except the latter, who died in California several years ago. My mother, Mrs. Ann Williams, also had three children by her former marriage, namely: Richard Pugh, David Pugh and Mary Pugh, now Mrs. T. E. Gittins. I can well remember some incidents in regard to the early mail service, when John Hughes, Sr., was postmaster at Williamsburg. There was no regular carrier at that time, so the boys would stand on the corner waiting for some one to come along on their way to Marengo. Whoever this happened to be, he was created mail carrier immediately. The same one or someone else would bring the mail back that night, provided that he did not forget, which often happened. Although only four years of age at the time, I remember when the 'Wide Awakes' were formed by the local boys and drilled in the old schoolhouse lot or on the square. The regular infantry boys were encamped at Iowa City in 1861, but these Wide Awakes were intended only as home guards."


North English is at present (1915) a city of 933 inhabitants. It is located twenty-two miles south of Marengo, the county seat, and is situated on the top of a hill overlooking some of the best farming country in the Middle West. The unsurpassed agricultural wealth, the rich deposits of clay suitable for mak- ing brick and tile, and the thriving commercial life of the town itself, are elements which have decided the prosperity and remarkable growth of this town. The educational and social life of the community has been cultivated to a high degree, giving a base for permanency not surpassed by any of her sister towns. The avenues of approach to the city are of the best and there are innumerable stretches of well constructed country roads leading from the city in every direction. The soil of the surrounding country is deep, rich and varied and on it can be raised grains and cereals of all kinds and almost every variety of large and small fruits. With good cause North English might be called a city of homes. There are quite a few residence streets which are models for any city of the size in the state. Seventy years ago this ground was a wild forest and dreary plain, un- tracked save by savage footsteps. From this the town began and grew slowly and without boom or sudden influx of large numbers of people, until the present stage was reached. During war times, the spirit of patriotism was strong; and these patriotic people of the old Town of North English experienced one engagement resulting in many shots and the death of one man. This was the only demonstra- tion in the nature of a real battle that occurred on Iowa County soil during the war of 1861.

North English was at first called Nevada, and by a few people was dubbed Soaptown, the reason for which is explained elsewhere. The town was laid out by Thomas G. Walters and Jacob Yeager on June 8, 1855, on the southwest quarter of section 36, township 78, range 10. The postoffice was established about the same time. At the time of its location the town was located on a site


now known as the old town. In 1884, when the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad came through, the town was moved down to the railroad. Anticipating, however, the demand for lumber which the erection of so many buildings must incur Robert and Samuel Mayne opened a lumber yard in 1883, hauling every stick they handled from South English, through which the B. C. R. & N. Railroad had been built. The first building erected in the new town was the one later used as a hotel; the first store was owned by Curry and Evans, located in a frame building.


North English assumed city incorporation in 1892 with the following first officials: E. D. Baird, mayor; R. B. Reed, clerk; S. W. Mayne, treasurer; H. A. Fluckey, S. P. Chiles, J. W. Erwin, W. M. Thomas, C. P. Schell and J. H. Swope, councilmen. The mayors of North English since Baird have been: J. F. Baughman, I. P. Smith, T. M. Foster, H. V. Boyd, E. D. Baird, O. F. Baughman, T. P. McMillin, J. W. Erwin, Ed Stump. B. B. Brown, L. Mullin and J. W. Erwin, the present incumbent.

The municipal improvements in North English are gradually taking on form and in the next ten years the town plans to have thorough lighting, heating, water systems, paving and adequate sewerage. The spirit of the city is excellent and the funds with which to make many improvements is easy to acquire, thus the change will be inevitable.


Probably nothing is a better index of the prosperity of a town than the number of banks and their condition.
The North English Savings Bank commenced business on May 9, 1889, with the following officers: C. P. Schell, president; J. W. Erwin, vice president; E. D. Baird, cashier; and Will Downard, assistant cashier. The capital stock was $18,000 and the first board of directors consisted of S. W. Mayne, Henry Boyd, C. White, W. F. Hill, J. W. Erwin, C. P. Schell and E. D. Baird. In January, 1897, the capital stock was raised to $26,000 and in June, 1910, it was again raised to $50,000, which is the present capital stock. The present officers are: J. W. Erwin, president; C. Steng, vice president; E. D. Baird, cashier; Rae L. Dean, assistant cashier; W. S. Baird, assistant cashier; J. W. Erwin, C. Steng, B. Harrington, John Kelly, E. D. Baird, W. S. Baird, Rae L. Dean, board of directors.

The Farmers Savings Bank opened for business in September, 1897, with a capital stock of $10,000, the capital at present being the same. First officers were: John Axmear, president; W. C. Carson, vice president; George E. Swain, cashier. The officers are the same at present, with the addition of B. B. Brown as assistant cashier. The first board of directors consisted of: John Axmear, Adam Greenlee, J. W. Brown, Theodore Wayne, John Kelly, Henry Goodman and J. J. Bushman. The present board consists of: John Axmear, W. C. Carson, Andy Lockridge, R. A. Miles, Hiram Miller, J. J. Bushman and George E. Swain. The bank carries a surplus now of $47,000 and the deposits amount to about two hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars.


The earliest edition of the Record was put out by a Mr. Stimson; then came Mr. Hill; then Maxwell & Talbott. This latter firm was succeeded by the firm of the Record Publishing Company, comprising L. I. Nicol, W. C. Carson, J. R. Roller, C. P. Schell and one or two other citizens. The paper was in a state of collapse when these men took charge. All preliminaries having been arranged No. 1 of Volume IV was issued on November 11, 1891. The mechanical property of the paper was very poor; the press was of the old Washington type and had at some previous date been used for the publication of a paper at Millersburg. The paper continued until 1902, when T. R. MacMillan became the editor. He was followed by Dan MacMillan, Glen Kirkpatrick, Lois O'Brien and William J. Kueneman, the present editor and owner. Findley Duffield was a prominent editor of the paper at one time.

The North English Record has had a life of ups and downs; at times the publication has been on the verge of prosperity, only to collapse for some reason or other. Mr. Kueneman took charge in recent months and has increased the subscription list and has otherwise materially improved the paper. New mechanical facilities are to be added and a definite editorial policy assumed, which will eventually mean a larger and much better newspaper for the town.


"In November, 1891, North English was a very small town. The advent of the Milwaukee a few years previous had given the place an impetus and at the same time had been the cause of internal strife and contention. As is often the case with railroads, the civil engineers had little regard for the delivery of passengers in front of the principal hostelry of towns through which the road was to pass, and so it happened that the depot of the new Milwaukee was located a half mile or more from what was then the business section of North English. This caused a longing desire on the part of some business men to get nearer the spot where the big iron horse made its daily pilgrimage. In consequence a store buliding [sic] went up on what is now the principal street of the town. Others followed, while some refused to depart from the sacred haunts of the 'old town' and thus the 'old town' and 'new town' war had its beginning. The siren whistle of the locomotive enticed everything in the way of business to the near-by spot, only tow firms refusing to surrender and turn their backs upon the ground made sacred by the years that had passed into history. These were G. W. Moore & Company and W. E. Thomas. The proprietors of these two stores resolutely remained behind their counters, fully realizing that the cause of the old town had been lost, but determined to fight to the last trench. Both eventually closed out their stocks.

"After the war was over and it had been settled beyond dispute that the new town had won a complete victory, agitation for incorporation was started and soon accomplished. The first incorporators of North English were expansionists; they evidently held enlarged ideas as to the future growth of the town, as the lines were drawn to include a broad area of farm land. The farmers who owned this land were not filled with joy at the thought of paying town taxes on prop-

Brethren Church
Catholic Church
Christian Church
Methodist Episcopal Church

erty used exclusively for the raising of corn and hay and they, with others, appealed to the District Court for relief; which was granted. At the time of which we speak the following firms and persons represented the business interests: Schell & Plevka and Fluckey & Brewer, hardware; Roller, Brown & Boyd, J. F. Lutton, J. W. Erwin, G. W. Moore & Company, and W. E. Thomas, dry goods and groceries (the last two were in the old town, J. P. Williams represented the company in the first named); I. I. Nichol, Ira White, druggists; J. W. Wilson, Restaurant; Jesse Mason, harness shop; Nicol & Post, jewelers; Carson & Arthur, clothing; Ira Markwell, billiards and pool; Tom Erwin, boot and shoe shop; W. E. Mason, Cobbler; Mrs. Hattie Wilson, racket store; L. H. Watson and J. W. Wilson, landlords, respectively, of the Watson House and the Wilson House; P. H. Fluck, railroad agent; W. H. Woodland, drayman; George Smith and Perry Whitson, stock buyers; Mayne Brothers, lumber dealers; H. A. Fluckey, Hanaford & Morrison, blacksmiths; C. D. Mahannah, furniture dealer, undertaker, photographer, Sunday school superintendent; W. H. Miller, groceries; I. I. Nichol, E. S. Athearn and j. F. Baughman, physicians.

"The west half of Highland Street from Athearn's medical dispensary to the site of Erwin's store building was, at that time, a row of frame buildings, with Mahannah's furniture store occupying the most imposing structure. Nearly all of these buildings, as well as many on the east side, had been moved down from the old town. L. A. Carter occupied a frame building on the west side with a stock of general merchandise which he brought from Kansas. Early one July morning in 1892 there was an alarm of fire. Dense clouds of smoke poured out of the Carter store room. Everybody got busy. Men, women and children--some with buckets, others with axes, while a large contingent carried goods from adjacent buildings. It was not long until the temperature of that locality had climbed many degrees and strenuous efforts were necessary to save the east side. the west side was doomed from the beginning and it burned like a pine box until the Athearn block was reached, where the brick wall put a stop to the flames. The fire proved to be a good thing for the town. Substantial brick buildings replaced the old, dilapidated frame sheds. There were bad losses to individuals, but on the whole it was a blessing.

“Findley Duffield.”

The schools in North English began in a one room building on the hill where the A. L. Roller residence is now located. This was in 1855. Charles Lutton was the first teacher. This building was in use until 1867, when a two room house was built west of the Christian Church. John Sparks and Susan Ross were the first teachers here; they were afterwards married to each other. In 1886 an addition of two rooms was made, only one of them being used for a time. After the completion of the fourth room steps were taken to grade the school. A course of study was adopted in June, 1889. This course consisted of four departments and twelve grades, a primary, intermediate, grammar and high school. Prof. Clarence McCracken of Stuart, Ia., was the principal when the grading was done. He was assisted by Mrs. J. D. Butler, Allie Thomas and Dora McCracken. In 1892 Charles Williams finished the prescribed course. The second was Fred Mahannah, afterward state inspector of normal schools.


In 1894 the grade building was erected at a cost of $10,000. It was dedicated on December 6th by William Beardshear, president of the State Agricultural College. Prof. C. E. Fleming was at the head of the schools at that time.

In the summer of 1911 the people voted on the question of raising money for a new school building. By a vote of over three to one the sum of $25,000 was decided upon. In the spring of 1912 ground was broken by J. H. Hunzinger of Iowa City, the building finished in time for the opening of school in September. There are twelve rooms for school purposes in this beautiful building, besides many new features such as a gymnasium and domestic science room.


The churches of North English are uniformly strong and all have a good membership. There are four congregations at the present time: the Christian, the Methodist Episcopal, the Dunkard and the Catholic. All were organized at North English in the '70s and '80s with the exception of the Catholic, which was started ten years ago.

The lodges comprise the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen.


The Town of Millersburg was laid out by Reuben Miller in the spring of 1852. The original plat located the town as being on the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 8, township 78, range 11, and the plat was officially recorded on June 28, 1852. The town derives its name from Reuben Miller.

Millersburg at once time had the largest population of any town in the county and was undoubtedly the most important, but the coming of the railroad to the north and east of her drew the trade away and curtailed the progress of settlement. Notwithstanding this handicap, Millersburg has kept to the front in many matters and is far from being the shabby, run down village which one would expect of a community so far removed from railroad facilities. The reason of this, principally, is the rich character of the country surrounding the town. The land in this district is exceedingly high in price per acre and the crops are always record breakers. It is said by many settlers in this region that they have never known a crop failure. This in large measure accounts for the prosperity of such a community as Millersburg.

The Millersburg postoffice was established in 1852 with H. B. Lunch as the first postmaster. A bit of early history (1857) is quoted in the following newspaper account: "We paid a short visit to Millersburg a week or two since and received social and kindly attention from M. Ballard, Doctor Lynch, A. J. Morrison, Mr. Skelington and others. It was on the occasion of a political meeting and there were quite a number of people gathered together. Millersburg is delightfully located on a high, rolling prairie, about two and a half miles south of English River, and is surrounded with excellent farms, in a good state of cultivation, well fenced, and several of them have young orchards growing on them. The town is in a prosperous condition, having already many well finished frame

Erected in 1894

houses and several others in progress of completion. There is in the place an excellent steam flouring mill, five dry goods stores, a hardware store, groceries, a clothing store, kept by our friend Skelington, a drug store kept by A. J. Morrison, besides two excellent hotels. We only became acquainted with one of the dry goods merchants, M. H. Moore,"

The Millersburg Savings Bank opened for business on January 19, 1909, with W. E. Sanger, president; Jacob Bauer, vice president; and L. W. Hatter, cashier. The first directors were: Jacob Bauer, L. W. Hatter, J. E. Bosley, J. L. Augustine, C. H. Wagner, W. E. Sanger, Alva Pope, George Dansdill and H. C. Gates. George Dansdill is the president at this time; H. C. Gates, vice president; and L. W. Hatter, cashier. The directors in 1915 are: George Dansdill, C. H. Wagner, Perry Montross, Henry Schaffner, W. H. Bower, H. C. gates, L. W. Hatter, John Riess and J. L. Augustine. The capital stock is $10,000; the surplus and undivided profits, $4,000; and the deposits amount to about $60,000. The bank building was constructed in 1909 at a cost of $1,200; the fixtures are valued at $1,100.

The Millersburg Fair was started in 1893 and was held for three successive years at the north edge of town. J. V. Hatter was the moving spirit in the fair organization and paid the expenses largely. Ten acres were comprised in the fair grounds, upon which a half mile track was laid out.

The Methodist Protestant Church was organized in 1858 by Rev. N. Linder. Millersburg was at that time the headquarters of five churches of this denomination, namely: Dayton, Mount Zion, White Pigeon, Spring Dale and Millersburg. Some of the early pastors were: Leonard Barton, F. A. Kilpatrick, E. S. Brown, W. B. Dunlevy, Willis Huddleston, H. H. Workman, S. A. Talbott, T. S. Striker, W. A. Swayne, E. S. Brown, and J. E. Rouze.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Millersburg was organized about the year 1852. A church building was erected in 1875 at a cost of $3,500. No pastor attends this church at the present time.

A Christian church was organized in April, 1856, by W. G. Springer.

The Catholic Church was at first located north of town on the Marengo road, but in 1897 was moved into Millersburg and is now attended by the pastor of the North English Church. There is a small membership.

Social Lodge No. 231, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, was organized February 8, 1868, in Kennedy's Hall with the following charter members: J. S. Watts, W. R. Akers, J. P. Sivard, W. Wilson, W. C. Brown, J. L. Bailey, Wallace Harminson, J. V. Hatter, J. F. Cushman.

The North English Lodge No. 325, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was instituted December 5, 1875, in a hall over the Morris Wood Shop, with J. W. Springer, H. A. Fluckey, M. Showers, John D. Gilchrist, E. D. Richardson and M. A. Kirkpatrick as charter members.

James Cross Post No. 292, Grand Army of the Republic, was organized at Millersburg on February 22, 1884. The charter members were: Oliver W. Van, Christopher Tinkle, J. A. Cary, G. H. Clements, A. Vanhorn, John Foubert, M. Ingram, P. N. Ballard, N. M. Baughman, I. Cheney, Martin Hughes, Samuel McManes, Lant Tompkins, Amasa Cheney, H. W. Darling, A. P. Griffith, Ezekiel Jones, Joshua A. Ballard, G. C. Smart, E. S. Bateman, George Shaw, M. M. Walter, Eli Sweet, Alonzo Butler, Theopolis McKinnie, Amos Cheney, Frederick


Miller, A. A. Cary, August C. Paul, Samuel E. Harper, Joseph Morris, Henry Witkins and William Goodman. The names of those taken in after the post was organized are: M. L. Grimes, J. D. Butler, Sanford Carder, Robert McEachran, H. C. Dufford, Peter Fitzgerald, George W. Leonard, Edwin Carr, Fred W. Himler, J. L. King, Peter Carder, Horace Barber, John L. Clanin, John Hall, A. McCament, Cornelius Devore, Thomas Griffith, T. M. Thompson, Alex C. Best, William M. Clifford, F. A. Pettit, David Tinkle, Ezra Doty, Michael Convey, Clancy Neil, M. S. Brown, M. B. Thomas, J. W. Erwin, Charles H. Chapman, J. A. Miller, C. C. Witheral. The date of the charter of this post is March 6, 1884.

Millersburg people and settlers of the surrounding country were very patriotic during the War of the Rebellion, and a large proportion of the men who enlisted went out from Millersburg and vicinity, as a reference to the roster of soldiers in the War of 1861 elsewhere in this history will fully confirm.

The first school in Millersburg was taught by John William Sharp in the fall of 1855. The graded schools were established January 5, 1869, and the following persons were the first directors: J. V. Hatter, A. W. Young, J. P. Sivard, A. H. Akers, J. B. Elliott and A. Griffith. The first schoolhouse is still standing at the northwest corner of the square, being the house now occupied by Orville E. Hatter as a dwelling. There is now in process of construction at Millersburg a $15,000 school building.


In 1855 William G. Peppers ran the first store in the town. R. M. Parsons opened a drug store about the same time.

Dr. H. B. Lynch was the first doctor. The first hotel was conducted by George Edgerton.

The first postoffice was in charge of H. B. Lynch in 1852. Following him the postmasters have been: Hamilton Moore, E. D. Akers, A. J. Morrison, Ernest Alton, John G. Schlieter, J. B. Kerr, H. B. Lynch, Martin Ballard, David Wickard, J. B. Elliott, J. V. Hatter, J. B. Sargod, J. V. Hatter, William Carey, Eli Sweet, Charles Montrose, Amos Deets, Jane Deets and Mrs. Orville Hatter, the present incumbent.

The doctors who have practiced in Millersburg are: H. B. Lynch, Jones & Hardin, J. S. Watts, Watts Bates, Hugh Conroy, Walker, H. W. Vinson, J. M. Cadwallader and L. B. Amick.

The oldest living settler of the town is Mrs. Phoebe Ann Carter Merck, eighty years of age. She was married in 1854.


This is an example of another village created by the arrival of the Milwaukee Railroad in 1884, although this village has now taken on the dignity of an incorporated town. The community of people composing the early Town of Parnell were practically all from Lytle City three miles northeastward from Parnell. When the trains began to run the residences and frame business blocks were moved to a point on the road and the new town started. There has been


a slow, but steady growth since this time; the people are prosperous; there is one of the largest Catholic churches in the county here; and the single bank is one of the most popular institutions in the southeastern part of the county.

The Parnell Savings Bank was organized in June, 1891, by T. J. Mullin, F. V. Mullin, E. C. Mullin, James Furlong, B. Sheridan and M. J. Kelly. The first capital stock was $13,000; this has since been raised to $25,000. The capital of the bank is a good index to the general increase in the business and trade of the community. The deposits average about $130,000, and a surplus of $6,000 is carried. M. Dwyer is the president; John Naughton, vice president; Charles Moore, cashier; and John Carwell, assistant cashier.

The Town of Parnell was incorporated under the laws of the state in conformity to section 569 of McClain's Code on March 24, 1891, and on the 21st of April the town government went into operation. The first officers were: C. J. Newcomb, mayor; J. G. Grady, recorder; F. V. Mullin, treasurer; M. Hannon, assessor; George Woods, street commissioner and marshal; J. A. Black, J. B. Butler, J. A. Ogle, Thomas Raher, E. M. Long, T. J. Mullin, councilmen. The following men have served as mayor since this time: M. McGurk, M. Callan, E. F. Flanagan, E. C. Mullin, John M. Tiernan, M. Hannon, Mark Mullin and M. P. Lauler.


Originally St. Joseph Parish was the west end of St. Michael's or the Old Man's Creek. With the beginning of the Town of Parnell caused many changes, but not immediately.

The origin of the parish at Parnell was something like an accommodation, for in the fall of 1888, Rev. James Davis then the pastor of St. Michael's Holbrook made appointments to say Mass in Parnell on certain Sundays. The services were held in the old Hatter Hall during that fall and winter. By the next spring, 1889, a movement went into effect by which St. Joseph's Parish was established by Father Davis (now Rt. Rev. Bishop Davis, of Davenport), and by fall a church was erected. That same fall Father Davis was appointed V. c. at Davenport, and Father T. J. King was given charge of Holbrook and Parnell. In 1892 the cemetery was established.

During the winter of 1893 St. Joseph's Parish and St. Mary's of Williamsburg were thrown into the one mission, and Rev. J. C. White was given charge of the mission. In 1895 the Parnell Parish was left to stand alone and Father Kelly, of Marengo, was appointed to the charge. When Father Kelly was appointed to the rectory at Ottumwa, October, 1899, Rev. Jas. F. Mahoney was transferred to the charge, and who is now over fifteen years in this commission.


The Parnell school district was originally the old Locust Grove Independent district. The schoolhouse, when Parnell was established, was one mile east of town, and remained there for two years afterwards. In order to accommodate the pupils of the town and the western part of the district, school was first in Parnell in the winter of 1888-89, and was held in a store building where the


pupils were crowded in their seats like sardines in a can. In the summer of 1889 a new one room school building was built, which only accommodated the pupils for two years when it was raised a story and another room added. This did fairly well for several years. In 1899 a new four room brick was erected and when first occupied, furnished plenty of school facilities for the attendance with three rooms and three teachers. The community being mostly Catholic, and there being such a strife in hiring teachers every year, especially the primary teachers, a plan was hit on to secure Sisters to teach the primary. At first there was one Sister in the school and one to teach music outside the school. The plan worked so well that more Sisters were added, but the principals usually were men. It was not a parochial school, but a public school in which Sisters were hired to teach the branches prescribed by the board of education. The strife of securing positions in the school, the worry that usually befalls the board of getting the right teacher for the right place and to keep a watch over the teachers were abated in the securing of the Sisters.

The school became a high school in 1899 by the adoption of a ten grade course. In 1907 it was raised to an eleventh course and in 1915, this year, it is now a twelve grade school approved by the state board of education, carry the full prescribed faculty of teachers, and fully equipped with apparatus to teach the twelve grades. It has gone from the one room with one teacher to a six room school with seven teachers and a superintendent.


The Town of Ladora was surveyed and platted by James A. Paine on September 19 and 20, 1867, and was located on the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter of section 12, township 80, range 12, for the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Company. The plat was officially recorded October 25, 1867.

At the November term of court, 1879, an order was obtained to call an election to decide the question of incorporation. In January, 1880, this election was held accordingly and the town was incorporated. The following were the first officers: J. H. Gray, mayor; O. F. Williams, recorder; O. F. Williams, assessor; F. E. Dennis, marshal; F. Pike, L. W. Wilson, F. P. Starrett, M. D. Snavely and I. D. Smith, councilmen. Gray soon after the election resigned and in May W. S. Foster was chosen major to fill the vacancy.

The first dwelling on the site of Ladora was erected by P. J. Rosencrans in 1868. The second building was the old elevator built by the same man. It stood on the south side of the railroad and Rosencrans' dwelling stood a few rods north. The third building was constructed by Melvin Wigton north of the railroad and used as a store. S. Huston also built a store building early. A depot was put up in the fall of 1869, consisting of one small room.

The postoffice was established about the year 1865 and kept on the Wilson farm. When the application made for an office was received it was not easy to decide upon a name, but Mrs. General Scofield, a music teacher living there at the time, conceived of taking the musical syllables "la," "do," and "ra" and thence spelling Ladora. The office was brought into Ladora in the fall of 1868.

The Presbyterian Church was organized in the year 1869 with about a dozen members. They constructed a church during the summer of 1870 at a cost of


Top Row: J. D. Kohl, W. S. Bellows, E. Wallick, Moses Montz, J. C. Easton, Captain J. B. Betz, Ben Mason, J. T. Orin.

Second Row: J. W. Rumple, J. J. Coats, R. W. Rosenberger, J. E. Leasure, W. S. Foster, M. S. Shaul, C. A. Gates

Third Row: George Rossman, J. N. Schedenhelm, A. E. Gates, J. N. Rosenberger, S. R. Shaul, Isaac Bricker.


$1,500, but was not dedicated until 1874. Several times the church building was injured by lightning and wind and had to undergo extensive repairs.

The Methodist Society was organized in 1870 with eight members. The first minister was John Elrod. they used the church structure which had been built by the Seventh Day Adventists and located three miles west of Ladora on the Allen farm in 1879. It was moved into town.

A lodge of Masons was organized in 1871 with eleven charter members.

Woster B. Bricker Post No. 145, Grand Army of the Republic at Ladora, was organized March 14, 1883. The charter members were: R. W. Rosenberger, C. A. Gates, M. Gardner, J. E. Leasure, N. F. Kimes, W. S. Foster, J. D. Kohl, J. J. Coats, Isaac Bricker, B. Mason, J. N. Rumple, M. A. Mantz, J. H. Byers, F. M. Fields, J. H. Vosburg, A. E. Gates, C. W. Bell, H. S. Wyant, J. N. Rosenberger, Isaac Voorhees, George Rossman, M. Haverly and A. Trimble. The members who have been mustered since the organization are: R. W. Rosenberger, Charles A. Gates, J. M. Gardner, N. F. Kimes, W. S. Foster, J. D. Kohl, J. J. Coats, Isaac Bricker, J. E. Leasure, B. Mason, Jr., J. N. W. Rumple, J. N. Rosenberger, Isaac Voorhees, A. E. Gates, C. W. Bell, G. H. Rossman, A. Trimble, F. M. Fields, H. S. Wyant, J. H. Vosburg, M. A. Mantz, M. Haverly, J. H. Byers, J. N. Shedenhelm, J. B. Betz, David Watson, John Boher, E. Wallack, John Ward, M. S. Shaull, Elliott, S. R. Shaull, Thomas Case, J. F. Orin, Everett Beemer, David M. Shaull, J. S. Smith, R. Horton, E. S. Bateman, J. M. Johnston, James Field, N. B. Sheperun, George Wall, Adelbert Norton, B. F. Jones, H. F. Pugh, A. J. Reden, R. N. Brown, M. E. Hotchkiss, A. Phillips, A. R. Brown, David Rowe, J. C. Lawrence, John C. Easton, W. G. Ritchie, John Dailey, James E. Bigbee, Willis Huddleston.

Woster B. Bricker, from whom the post was named, was born in Ohio in 1845, the son of Dr. Simon Bricker who was a brother of Dr. John Bricker, of Ladora, Ia. Woster enlisted in Company E, Twenty-fourth Iowa Infantry in 1862. He served his country loyally and bravely during the war, finally giving up his young life in battle on September 19, 1864, at Winchester, Va. He and John W. Arbuckle were shot through the head and instantly killed. They were buried together in a single grave upon the battlefield, the exact location of which has been lost. Efforts made to find the last resting place of these two young patriots have been unsuccessful.

The Ladora Savings Bank commenced business August 1, 1901, with a capital of $25,000. George E. Morse was president; A. L. King, vice president; H. C. Gates, cashier; W. B. Fields, assistant cashier. At the present time the capital is $50,000. Morse is still president; W. B. Fields is vice president; H. C. Gates is cashier; and W. E. Bierkamp, assistant cashier. The deposits amount to about two hundred and sixty thousand dollars.

The Farmers Savings Bank is a new institution, but well patronized and of good reputation in the county. H. L. Mussetter is president; A. J. Clark is vice president; and E. L. Mussetter is cashier. The capital stock is $17,000 and the deposits $75,000.


The Town of Victor was originally called Wilson, in honor of George W. Wilson, the man who entered the land and took a very active interest in the affairs


of the town. Joseph A. Blackburn was the man who founded the town on May 5, 1863, and caused to be laid out the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 19, township 80, range 12. Other additions have since been made at different times.

In the autumn of 1865 Mr. Hunt erected a grain elevator. In the fall of the previous year R. C. Boughton came to the new town. A short time after his arrival he went into the meat market business and later opened a grocery, which he successfully managed for several years. In the fall of 1865 John H. Funk, having erected a building, established himself in the mercantile business. Later, with J. W. Garrett, he engaged in milling. Senaca Townsend was the first physician. I. S. Richards, a native of Virginia, came with his family about 1865. He taught school in the vicinity of Victor for several terms and then entered the land agency business here. William A. Patrick came from Ohio in 1867 and became Victor merchant, also dealt in the grain business. J. C. Gridley established the first hardware store.


In the year 1869, under the Iowa law providing for the incorporation of towns, Victor was incorporated. Under the direction of G. W. Wilson, the town was laid off into lots by the surveyor, Charles Shotwell, in 1861, eight years prior to incorporation. The change of the name from Wilson to Victor occurred in 1865. The first officers of the town were: A. H. Simpson, mayor; H. M. Wilson, recorder; F. P. Hutchins, marshal. Following Simpson in the office of mayor have been: William A. Patrick, H. F. Garretson, E. P. Hall, J. E. Wilkins, J. P. Englebeck, R. C. Broughton, H. Howard, Lewis Clark, D. W. Phillips. Dr. G. F. Bott is the present mayor.


The first weekly paper in Victor was called the Victor Sun and was edited by D. B. Eaton in 1871. Then G. W. Rutherford took the paper and called it the Index, after which it was edited by W. Clapp, and after his death in the spring of 1875 his widow became the editor. E. E. Merritt and Charles Kelsey followed, then J. A. Shanks. The latter had established the Labor Herald at Ladora on November 21, 1878, and was continued there until the latter of February, 1880, when it was removed to Victor and was then called the Victor Herald. This paper died in the '90s. The Victor Record, the present weekly newspaper in Victor, was established in 1906.


The postoffice was first established 1ΒΌ miles south on the state road in July, 1854, with Samuel Drummond as postmaster. It was called Victor from a town by that name from New York State and when removed to near the depot in March, 1862, still retained the name. After Mr. Drummond some of the first postmasters were: Wesley Hunt, F. C. Smith, John Ledwich, Melvin Wighton, Dr. D. J. Hussey.

The railroad was built through the town in 1862.


A Mr. McEckley built the first house and store on the present site of Victor. The settlers came from Ohio, Indiana and Maryland, principally Irish and German, and later a few Belgians. Arnold Soer was the first Belgian settler and is now a retired farmer living in Victor.

The City of Victor owns its own waterworks and gas plant. The city seal was adopted in 1881.

Victor had its first election in March, 1869. The first additions to the town after it was platted were called Giffords, Martin and Murphy's first and second addition.

George W. Wilson entered 1,000 acres of land in the spring of 1854 and in order to do this he obligated himself to his father-in-law, one Joseph Blackburn, back in Ohio. He enlisted in the army and after the close of the war he stopped off in Ohio and paid his father-in-law the $600 obligation. Mr. Blackburn was sick at the time and did not give Wilson a clear deed to the land, but promised to do it as soon as he was able. In the meantime Blackburn died and the obligation still stood against Wilson in the way of a mortgage on his land. Blackburn's sons, John and Theodore, instituted proceedings to recover the father's share of the land and much litigation resulted. Mrs. George W. Wilson is living in Marengo at this time, and celebrated her eighty-ninth birthday June 17, 1915.

Mr. Wilson died at his home in Marengo where his wife now lives, a few months ago. They have two daughters and one son living; Mrs. Mary Gunckel, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Mrs. Jennie M. Simpson, of Upland, Cal., and William H. Wilson, of Marengo.

George W. Wilson donated the right of way to the Rock Island Railroad, built the first depot and was the first station agent. Later he became county recorder.

Some other first settlers in the town were: Mrs. West Barker, J. S. Richards, Mrs. Tillie Nace, William A. Patrick, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Mussetter, J. W. Garrett and Horace Mussetter. Westley Hunt had the first store and postoffice. Theodore Smith had the first drug store; N. P. Huntoon the first restaurant; James Gainzley was the first blacksmith. The mill at Victor was constructed by McEckley, who also built the first house. The first lumber yard was built and owned by Walters and Hamilton in 1866. The first church was constructed by the Methodists and was on the present site of the Methodist Church. John Wallick sold cattle and hogs in 1865; Charles Wallick sold grain in the same year; Phillip Oel sold grain in 1868; William A. Patrick sold grain in '68; John Hunt sold grain in 1865. Dr. Eli Eastman was the first veterinarian in the town. John Funk established the first general store in 1865.
The first death in the city was that of Julia Wallick. Charles Comstock came to Victor early and his son, L. B., was the first white child born in the town.

The first section foreman was Mike Kilcoin, also Thomas Carroll, in the spring of 1863.

The first hotel was run by a Mr. Nagley on the present site of the Victor Savings Bank.

Jesse Gwinn aided Wilson to build the first depot for the railroad in 1862, with timber taken from Wilson's land and sawed into boards by them. Wilson rented some of his land to John Keller.


The Farmers Savings Bank of Victor was organized in January, 1891, with a cash capital of $25,000. The first officers were: James Simpson, president; C. H. Bartlett, vice president; H. L. Mussetter, cashier; J. M. Rumple, James Simpson, Thomas Leader, Levi Lewis, John Kraft, C. H. Bartlett and William Hakeman, directors. The present capital of the bank is $50,000; the deposits $509,000 and the surplus $17,000. The following are the officers in 1915. J. C. Engelbert, president; Phillip Mohr, vice president; H. L. Mussetter, cashier; J. C. Engelbert, Phillip Mohr, H. L. Mussetter, James P. Lawlor, M. C. Wentland, D. P. Lanning and Max Speck, directors.

The Victor Savings Bank was organized and began business on July 6, 1905. The amount of the first cash capital was $25,000, which remains the same at present. The first officers were: D. B. Connelly, president; A. C. Bender, vice president; J. A. Rouse, cashier. The first board of directors consisted of the following men: D. B. Connelly, A. C. Bender, L. H. Rinehart, J. A. Rouse, G. H. Hughes, T. T. Osborn and J. M. Dower. The present officers are: Louis Feller, president and J. T. McGuire, cashier. The deposits at the present time average $172,000. Through efficient management the bank has, in the last seven years, gained strength with every month, until the present excellent standing was gained.


The Methodist denomination was the first to erect a house of worship within the city limits. George H. Blodgett drew up the plan of the building and James Miller did most of the construction. Another structure was erected in 1878 at a cost of $3,000. The first class was organized in 1853; among the early members were: Mary Ann Drummond, Mr. and Mrs. Griswold, Charles Comstock, W. Rosecrans and wife, Isaac Rosecrans and wife, McBurney and wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Switzer and John Gwin and wife.

The first Presbyterian Church of Victor was organized September 28, 1867. This church is not active in Victor at the present time.

The Catholic Church was organized in 1875 and now has a large church building and parsonage. There are 150 families in the congregation.

The German Lutheran Church was started four years ago; that is, regular services were held in the church constructed that year. Prior to this time services were held in the Congregational Church building. Rev. Otto Kitzmann of the Lincoln Township Church also has charge of this society.

The Congregationalists have an organization here, dating from about 1885.


Victor Lodge No. 287, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, was chartered March 15, 1870, with the following as charter members: R. C. Broughton, J. H. Huston, George L. Ostrum, John Elrod, J. P. Hunt, D. L. Lyon, A. Young and S. Boden.

The lodge of Independent Order of Odd Fellows was organized in March, 1870.


The A. O. U. W. at Victor was organized in April 1877, with eighteen charter members.

The U. S. Grant Post, Grand Army of the Republic, was organized in 1887 and the following were the fist mustered in: H. F. Garretson, H. Howard, D. B. Atkinson, A. McAdam, J. T. Harper, H. H. Sheldon, J. J. Ashley, W. F. Hunt, J. R. Helmstreet, W. K. Nace, Lewis Wigton, Samuel Rogers, Benjamin Lyman, T. R. Smith, A. Emory, Charles Walick, J. S. Funk, S. A. Hibbs, S. F. Donaldson, G. W. Hyter, J. Genzeley, S. Urfer, J. E. Sanders, Thomas Whitworth, A. C. Best, P. H. Burke, D. H. Campbell, G. W. Weatherby, John Forney. H. F. Garretson was the first commander.

Other lodges in Victor at the present time are: Knights of Pythias, Knights of Luther, Modern Woodmen, Royal Neighbors, Rebekahs, Easter Star and Pythian Sisters.

The first school in Victor was held in a blacksmith shop which was built and owned by L. W. Hunt. this was in the spring and summer of 1864. Eliza Gwinn, now Mrs. W. c. Barker, taught the first school at this time. The building stood just east of where the new creamery now stands. Addie Turley taught the second school in the summer of 1865 in a room used at one time as a blacksmith and repair shop. John G. Simpson, Melvin Wigton, Philip Uhl and John H. Funk were chosen as the first directors of the independent school district of Victor. In 1870 the district erected a building and in October, 1873, it was destroyed by fire. The first grading of schools was done in 1869.

Another authority places the first teacher in Victor as Addie Turley. The facts in favor of Miss Turley or Miss Gwinn are about equal, and it is impossible at this time to determine just who the first teacher was, but it is certain that it was one of the two.

School was also held in the old Catholic Church building, which is now the town hall of Victor. A new school was built in 1870, of frame, two stories in height. There were two rooms on each floor, those on the upper not being finished. This was burned, as mentioned before, on the morning of October 6, 1873. William H. Wilson, who was then a boy, related the following about the fire: "On the morning of October 6th, in company with a young fellow named Washington Hunt, I went out to a grove to pick hickory nuts. We had run away from school and while picking nuts, Hunt remarked that he wished the darned old school would burn down. A few minutes later as Hunt was up in a tree shaking the nuts down, he looked over in the direction of the school and saw that it was burning." This school was located at the south end of what is now Main Street. The second school house was also burned, and the district is now occupying the third school building. It is a brick structure and supposed to be fireproof.


The Village of Conroy had its inception in 1884, with the building of the Milwaukee through Hilton Township. Henry Shimer of Mt. Carroll, Ill., donated ten acres of land to the railroad where Conroy now stands and James Conroy helped to start the town, superintended the obtaining of the right of way for the railroad and in honor of him the railroad officials named the new village after him. James Conroy also started the first store in Conroy, with


his son as manager. The Miner Grain Company of Cedar Rapids built a grain house next; this was the second structure. Harry E. Hull was then manager of this plant at Conroy. The elevator was constructed some time afterwards. The first car load of rye shipped from here on the new railroad was from Engelbert farm adjacent to the town. The first residence was the Conroy home. Peter White, Chris Engelbert, Levi Nelson and Richard Nelson were other pioneers of the town with Conroy. The co-operative creamery was established and a building erected in 1890.

The Conroy Savings Bank was established in 1910. The charter bears the date of April 18th and the bank was moved into the new building on December 14th. This structure is of brick and stone and cost $6,000; the fixtures amount to $2,000 additional. There were eighty-four stockholders at the start and now there are seventy-four. The officers are: S. H. Stanerson, president; J. H. Burgy, vice president; H. E. Oldaker, cashier; John g. Heitshusen, assistant cashier. The directors are: H. E. Oldaker, G. H. Plagmann, Herman G. Maas, J. A. White, J. W. Newkirk, S. H. Stanerson, J. H. Burgy, Fred M. Pundt, Dick Schwarting and Andrew Jacobs. The capital stock is $12,500; the surplus $2,500; and the deposits amount to $149,000; total resources $146,000.

The first church established in Conroy was the Presbyterian. Charles McCampbell of Muscatine came here and started a Sunday school, from which the church afterward developed. This was in 1898. The church building was constructed under the direction of McCampbell in the same year as his coming. The pastors have been: Reverends Karlstram, Cornell, Cameron and Whitehead.

The German Lutherans built their first church in 1909. This was a frame structure and did not long satisfy the demands of the congregation. A new church is being constructed in 1915 which is to cost about nine thousand dollars. The pastors serving this church have been: Reverends Wagner, Matzat, Kablatz. There are fifty families in this society.

There are about one hundred and fifty people in Conroy at the present time. A town hall was constructed in 1911-12, costing $5,400.

Destroyed by fire June, 1914