| The History of
Keokuk County, Iowa
DES MOINES: UNION HISTORICAL COMPANY.
THE C., R. I. & P. RAILROAD.
The next railroad enterprise in the county was the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific. This company had, for a number of years, been operating a road to Washington, in the adjoining county, and repeated overtures were made, from time to time, to induce the said company to extend the line to the county-seat of Keokuk county. In the fall of 1870, Ebenezer Cook, vice-president of this company, made a proposition to build the road by the first of December, 1871, provided the people of the county would raise by subscriptions the sum of fifty thousand dollars, secure the right-of-way from the Washington county line, and provide suitable depot grounds in Sigourney. The committee to whom the people had delegated the management of this matter consisted of J. P. Yerger, J. H. Shawhan and George D. Woodin. This committee, on canvassing the matter, wrote to Mr. Cook, stating that his proposition would be accepted, but they preferred to raise part of the subsidy by taxation, in several townships, under the laws of Iowa, instead of by subscription. To that the Rock Island Company assented, agreeing to take the amount assessed as a part of the fifty thousand dollars; but as a delay had been occasioned by these negotiations, thus preventing any work being done till the following spring, the time for completion was extended to July 1, 1872.
In January, 1871, elections were held in the several townships of the county which would be immediately benefited by the building of the proposed road. These townships were Lafayette, German, Sigourney and Van Buren. The vote in all these townships was in favor of the tax, and through the energetic efforts of the committee the right-of-way was soon secured. The depot at Sigourney was located on the farm of, Messrs. Woodin and Clark in the north part of town. Having agreed to assist in purchasing the right-of-way for the road and depot grounds at Sigourney, these gentlemen furnished the land free of cost as a means of discharging their share of the obligation. The donation was a liberal one and went far toward lessening the expense to those who signed the bond for the right-of-way. Work was commenced on the road in the summer of 1871 and was completed some time in advance of that specified in the contract; trains were running into Sigourney by the 9th of April following. The promptness which characterizes this company in all of its enterprises when it once determines to act was manifest in this instance and presents a marked contrast with the long years of vascillation and uncertainty which characterized the movements of the north and south road already described.
The road once completed proved to be a good investment both for the people of the county and the company which built it. The following tables show the shipments of produce and manufactured articles from Sigourney station for the years 1875 and 1878 These tables were carefully compiled by Mr. J. C. Baird, agent of the C., R. I. & P. railroad, at Sigourney, and not only show the business of the road but furnish a good basis from which to make an estimate of the resources of the county:
The shipments for the year 1875 as given furnish a good basis for estimating the business of the road and also the resources of the county. From the following statement for the year 1878 it will be seen that there was quite a falling off. This resulted from the partial failure of crops and the extension of the road westward, much shipping heretofore done at Sigourney now being done from stations further west.
In the summer of 1875 Mr. Riddle, the superintendent of the C., R. I. & P. Railroad, proposed to the citizens of Oskaloosa that the company would immediately extend their road from Sigourney if the citizens would raise the sum of $20,000 and furnish the right-of-way. At the same time J. P. Yerger, of Sigourney, was employed to secure the right-of-way from Sigourney to the Mahaska county line. The citizens of Oskaloosa raised the required subsidy by local subscription, and Mr. Yerger secured the-right-of-way to the Mahaska county line. The road was finished to Oskaloosa in February, 1876, and now extends to Knoxville, in Marion county.
The stations on the road in Keokuk county are Keota, Harper, Sigourney, and Delta.
The length of the road belonging to the company in Keokuk county is shown in the following proceedings of the board of supervisors:
In accordance with chapter 5, section 1321, Code of 1873, the board of supervisors of Keokuk county make the following division of railroad lines in Keokuk county, Iowa:
Sub-district No. 7, Lafayette township, one mile, and pays a tax of $67.70.
Sub-district No. 8, Lafayette township, two miles, pays a tax of $154.00. Sub-district No. 9, Lafayette township, 2.25 miles, pays a tax of $173.27. Independent district of Keota, 0.75 miles, and pays a tax of $90.76.
Sub-district No. 10, Lafayette township, 0.25 miles, and pays a tax of $27.51.
Sub-district No. 7, German township, 2.10 miles, pays a tax of $167.47. Sub-district No. 8, German township, 2.05 miles, pays a tax of $163.50. Sub-district No. 9, German township, 2.17 miles, pay a tax of $173.06.
Sub-district No. 1, Sigourney township, 2.95 miles, pay a tax of $251.49. Sub-district No. 3, Sigourney township, 3.95 miles, pays a tax of $423.64. Independent district of Delta, 1.05 miles, and pays a tax of $138.61.
Sub-districts Nos. 1 and 2, Warren township, 2.27 miles, pays a tax of $299.65.
Sub-district No. 3, Warren township, 2.87 miles, pays a tax of $189.43.
The valuation of the road is $5,500 per mile, and in addition to the taxes enumerated pays a special railroad commissioners' tax amounting to $210.32.
Transcribed by Pat Wahl. Thank you, Pat!
| These pages were designed and are maintained by IAGenWeb solely for the use and benefit of the IAGenWeb Project, a part of the USGenWeb Project.
Copyright © 1997 by IAGenWeb & Other Contributors
Please read the IAGenWeb Terms, Conditions, & Disclaimer --all of which apply to Keokuk Co.
Back to top of page Return to Keokuk Co. IAGenWeb Back to top of page
Photo background collage is made from penny postcards of Keokuk County, donated to the USGenWeb Archives