Little Red House

An Old Land Mark Passes—The
"Little Red House" Goes Down.

When E. R. Cook tore down the "little red house" that so long occupied the lot he purchased, he removed one of the old landmarks of this section. We chanced to call on Ed. yesterday when he was busy with sledge and crowbar tearing apart the firmly built walls. The weather boards were of walnut, sawed in the old mill that was operated here over fifty years ago by Richard Williams and William Rowland. We saw at once that the house was an "old-timer" and we searched out John Hughes, Jr. and D. E. Evans; from them we learned that Mrs. Rowland, now Mrs. J. Hughes, Sr., once lived in the house and in an interview with the old lady we picked up a whole lot of early history. Mrs. Hughes came here in '56 with her husband, William Rowland, this house was then occupied by a Methodist minister named C. S. Jennis; he was then preparing to move away and into the house the Rowlands moved. The family then consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Rowland and three children; Dave, now Marengo's good looking postmaster, William, now living near Seattle, Washington, and Mrs. John Hughes, Jr. Mr. Rowland was Justice of the Peace in this early day and many a legal question concerning the right to personal property was settled in this old house. Mrs. Hughes remembers one trial, in particular, in which the parties concerned resided near Homestead. The case was over the ownership of some pigs and nearly all the residents of Iowa township were present as witnesses, among whom was a man named Wm. Spriggs who hobbled around without the aid of feet, he having lost both these useful members by having them frozen off some years before on his way to Iowa City. Rowlands at one time kept a store in this old house and Mrs. Hughes told us about how one day while Mr. Rowland was absent a big contingent of Musquaki Indians came along and nearly frightened her out of her seven senses. She sent little David on the run to a man named Dunbar who came over and trafficed with the tribe, the chief articles being ribbons and tobacco.

After Rowlands vacated the house it was occupied for several years by W. E. Evans, the pioneer blacksmith of these parts. Its later history is known to most of our readers. Wm. Spellman occupied it for a time, shortly after the railroad was built thorugh [sic] here, and conducted it as a hotel. And thus runs the story of the "little red house." It passed through many scenes and summers since its erection in '54. It was a beauty in its day and was so well built that it would have stood against time's tooth for another fifty years.


Title: An Old Land Mark Passes—The "Little Red House" Goes Down.
Publisher: The Williamsburg Journal-Tribune, Williamsburg, Iowa County, Iowa Date: Thursday, December 24, 1903; Page 5 of 10: Column 3
Repositories: Williamsburg Historical Commission, Newspaper Archive
Transcribed by: Stephen Williams
Published: Iowa County IAGenWeb, Stephen Williams, 20 Feb 2007