The Wapello Republican
June 18, 1981, Section B, Page 87

Transcribed by Shirley Plumb, June 30, 2018


Columbus City

     Columbus City was one of the early prosperous towns, started in 1840.

     A second town was laid out in 1841, which is the present location of the city.

     It was the leading trading point in Louisa County in the 1840’s. Boosted of the first hard ware store in the 1850’s

     In 1852 citizens assisted with the building of a “plank road” to Burlington.

     Railroad construction started in 1855.

     By 1856, Columbus City had a population of 600 permanent residents and had two hotels, seven physicians, a druggist, and five merchants. The town voted to incorporate in 1857, but action was not completed until 1871.

     Since the town was growing and had become incorporated, residents decided to challenge the location of the Louisa County seat.

     Again Wapello’s position was secured as the vote was 1,051 to 946 with a 105 majority favoring Wapello.

     Columbus City’s peak population was 850 persons in the 1800’s. It is now a quiet small town, adjoining Columbus Junction at Gamble street.


     Grandview, in the 1800’s had a suburb known as Garden City which lasted about 10 yrs. It was also known as Valesville and Black Bass.

     Garden City was known for its truck gardens.

     Grandview settle in 1841 by Alvin Clark and Robert Childers. In 1844, Grandview had a school.

    It began as a seminary in 1844 with Professor Eldridge in charge. In 1856 Professor McClanahan changed the name to Eastern Iowa Normal School. Claiming to be the first normal school west of the Mississippi, the three-story brick building housed not only classes for future teachers, but also rooms for younger students.

     By 1861 it was called Grandview Institute and in 1866 it became Grandview Academy. The Academy was moved to Columbus junction in 1891 although no reason is given in local histories. The building in Grandview was later used as an elementary and high school building with the class of 1915 the last to graduate.

     The Academy building, built in 1856, and torn down during the First World War along with several other buildings in Grandview.

     Besides the third floor of the Academy, the Grady house was the boys’ dorm and the McGill house, the girls’ dorm. An extra housing unit was the Milburn house. Each of these buildings stand in Grandview, but in different locations than their original ones.

     Grandview boasted two hotels, a railroad depot as a stop on the North-South Railroad, a lumber yard, stock yard, elevator, “Flour” house, button factory, feed and grist mills, post office, drug store, and a millinery shop.

     “The two hotels were the Dickerson and Krahl hotels. Krahl built his hotel from lumber from the World’s Fair (Louisiana Purchase Exhibition, St. Louis, 1904).

     The Krahl hotel still stands in downtown Grandview and is an automobile repair shop. But its distinctive fan-shaped windows tells that it was a building of prestige.

     The first floor of the hotel was everything. It was a furniture store, a buggy sales room, an opera house where plays, lectures and minstrels were performed.

     The post office was next door, located in the same building since it opened in 1838.

     A bank was established in 1901 on the corner, now used as The Office, a tavern.

     On section 24 of Grandview Township, J. W. Strause was proprietor of a large hotel, resort style, the Green Hill Mineral Springs. The mineral which was so good was iron, and located in a deep ravine near the hotel. The water was pumped to the top of the hill by a hydraulic system.

     The resort was a place of relaxation and recreation with the baths, a billiard hall and croquet ground. The springs are still there.

     Although Iowa is not well known for its fine maple sugar, Grandview’s surrounding area was. It was called “Sugar Camp” and located along the bluff near Klum Lake.


     The following information regarding the Eastern Iowa Normal School at Grandview is gleaned from a scrap book long in the possession of the Marcellus Hunter family, a history of Louisa County published in 1889 by the Acme Publishing Co. and personal recollections.

     In 1856 the building, first known as the Grandview Academy, was a two story brick building, containing eight rooms and located on grounds comprising one city block. One source of information claims it to be the first similar institution of learning to be erected west of the Mississippi river.


     Columbus Junction, known to early settlers and Indians as “Sand Bank” was a major trading area in the early days of Louisa County. In 1859 a station stop on the M&M Railroad.

    In 1870 Columbus Junction was named after the town of Columbus City and the junction of two railroads Burlington and M&M.

     J. W. Garner laid out the present town. The post office was established in 1872, a total of $ 25,000 was raised by donations from Col. Jct. residents to build a two story building to be offered to the county as a court house.

     The building was erected and a vote of the county citizens was taken in October, 1875, with Wapello winning the contest by 20 votes. It was assured that every citizen of the county voted, and possibly even more. With a total of 3,188 votes cast, it was suspected that illegal voters were smuggled into the county for the county seat election - since in the 1876 regular county elections there were only 2,966 eligible voters.


     Oakville was laid out in 1891 by Abe and Harry T. Parsonns and was three blocks square and contained 35 lots.

     The first post office was established in 1902, the same year the town was incorporated.


     One of the first settlers in the small settlement where Morning Sun is located was Jonathon Harkeman, a blacksmith from Ohio in 1836.

     After Morning Sun inherited its first railroad, the town boasted of grain mills, stock yards, lumber mill, wagon and carriage maker, three physicians, druggist, merchants and a hotel.

     The railroad influenced an eastern section of the settlement and became known as East Morning Sun. It had a general store, the Union House hotel, a blacksmith shop and the Morning Sun house.

     W. P. Brown donated to the school district land two miles north of Morning Sun for a school building. His son, T. P. Brown, was one of the first teachers at the school, which could be the school at the Virginia Grove Conservation area.

     Morning Sun became official in 1867 when 44 residents of the town petitioned the District Court to grant incorporation of the city. By 1869, the population had grown to 279 persons. Morning Sun reached its peak population of early years in 1905 with 981 residents.

     Morning Sun seems to be a city of small cities since more than 16 different additions were made to the city from Hamilton’s original plat in 1851. The first addition was made by W. P. Brown in 1855. East Morning Sun was added in 1870 by Josiah Nichol and the Morning Sun railroad station also in 1870 by James Sterrett.

     As many town in Louisa County, Morning sun received a boost from a railroad. In fact it had two railroads crossing at its door. In 1868 the Cedar Rapids, Burlington Railway Company came through north and south, and in 1882, the Chicago, Burlington and Pacific, also known as the Iowa Central, came through east and west.


     This group of young ladies not only dressed alike but, the remarkable thing is that they kept in close contact with each other for 57 years by a chain letter type of correspondence as long as there was anyone left in the club. These pictures here are, Martha Hurley, Amelia Gauss, Tirzah Bailey, Florence Hurley, Abbie Bell, and May Emery.

History Of The Wapello Cemetery

     History of the Wapello cemetery—Wapello, Iowa taken from the history of “The Portrait and Biographical Album of Louisa county Iowa” 1889.

     The Wapello Cemetery Association was incorporated, June 20, 1884 with officers – President – J. S. Hurley, vice pres. And sec. – G. W. Thomas. Officers elected for 1888 were Pres. Joh Huff, Vice pres. – George Elder, Sec. N. W. McKay.

     The object of the association is to acquire, hold, improve and convey real estate for burial purposes.

     The Wapello Cemetery is situated on the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 21 township 14 North, range three (3) West, and contains seven acres.

     There was here, an old burying ground, and the present cemetery is but an extension of that one. It was laid out on land originally donated by Thomas England, who wife was the first one to be buried there.

     Taken from “The Wapello Tribune”: Friday April 24, 1908. Report of Committee, Wapello, Iowa – April 14, 1908.

     To the Honorable City council of the City of Wapello, Iowa Gentlemen. The Committee heretofore appointed by the Wapello Cemetery Association to solicit funds to purchase additional grounds for the Wapello Cemetery, and to maintain and beautify them, beg to submit this, their report.

     We presented to our Citizens the needs of the citizens in the matter of adding grounds to the cemetery and the probable cost thereof. A large majority of them responded with a liberality that is commendable and which speaks favorably of their good will to the work of the association.

     They have placed the association under lasting obligations and enabled the association to carry on the work of making more beautiful the city of our sacred dead. We trust the good work will not end with the present contributions of the contributors.

     Respectfully submitted, J. F. Heins, J. B. McCullough, I. Downs.

     Others contributed at a later date and new ground has been bought from time to time, from this date of 1884 to 1981.

     Other additions that became part of this cemetery are: Keck Addition 8 graves to a lot; 1927 Addition 6; graves to a lot Approx. 282 lots; 1947 Addition 6 graves t a lot – Approx. 108 lots; 1967 Addition 6 graves to a lot – Approx 112 lots; 1976 Addition 2 graves to a lot – Approx, 488 lots.

     The present officers for the Wapello Cemetery Association 1981 are: President – Leonard L. Kerr, vice president – Danny Yakle, sec. Mrs. Wanda Pogemiller, Treas. Mrs. Marguerite Allen. Other board members – Mrs. Rose Mary Hayes, William L. Matthews, Leroy Pulver, Charles Heutinger, and Fred Brown.

     Meetings are held the 2nd Wednesday evening every 3 months at the Cemetery office. The Sexton is Delbert Finley. He was hired the spring of March 1st, 1965. There are an average of about 40 burials a year in this Wapello cemetery.

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