Wilton History

Source: Henry Wildasin's Revised History of Wilton, Iowa
***Containing a complete reprint of Wilton History 1854-1876 by Rider & Stevenson***1947



A. C. Hucke was a Wilton boy who early in life became an expert in auto repairing, he at one time operated a garage on West 4th Street and now operates a store, keeping repairs for autos, radios and electric fixtures.

He built his fine residence in the year 1929 on East 5th Street.

Louis Miller is a Wilton boy. After leaving the public school he became a clerk in the Lamp General Store. Mr. Miller is now a member of the firm that operates the Lamp Store. He resides on East 4th Street.

The Samuel Wildasin family came to town in this year.

Peter Bouland became a resident of Wilton in 1880, retired, lives in South Wilton.


This year was a sad year for the town of Wilton. We must not forget what the Rock Island Railroad was to Wilton, this being the end of the South-West Division, and all main line trains stopped here.

When they removed all of their equipment and buildings, the Division set up was as follows---Round House with 9 stalls, a Turntable, Blacksmith Shop with 4 forges employing 4 men to each forge, a large carpenter shop for the bridge gang with 8 or 10 men and a construction train with 15 to 20 men, about 15 Conductors, 15 Engineers, 15 Firemen and Brakemen for all of the trains, 4 Telegraph Operators, Dispatcher Office, Wheel Tapping gang of 4 or 5 men.

When all of this left this little berg, it was disastrous.


It is surely hard to pen anything about this little Town after the exodus of the train men and the Division equipment.

James Nangle came to Wilton in this yer, is now retired and lives on West 1st Street.

Harry Bernet, a product of the Town, is a plasterer and brick and stone mason and resides on West 5th Street.


The town began to bristleup a little when the Rock Island Railroad put on a new train that operated between Chicago and the Twin-Cities and making this the end of the Division; this train was known as the Cannon Ball.

The Rock Island lines also built a branch line to the Lime Kilns, up on the banks of Sugar Creek.

R. C. Cooling came to Wilton this year, he was employed in the express office for some time also was an express messenger on the road.

He is now employed by K. G. Grunder and lives on West Sixth Street.

The Geo. Warren family came to Wilton this year. He came to take over the care of the section of the railroad south of town.

This year the town was shocked to learn that E. P. Ingham, Sr. had committed suicide by shooting himself in the presence of his wife. Mr. Ingham was the first person buried in the new addition to Oakdale Cemetery, being the part between the Old ground and the public highway on the East side.


It was with sadness that the stockholders of the Union Bank had to face a great loss among their ranks by the death of Samuel Wildasin, their President, and also the death of Sadie Giesler, the wife of Cashier Giesler.


I am using this space about J. H. Wacker, President of the J. H. Wacker Implement Company. Mr. Wacker had been in business for more than 50 years.

In the year of 1900, he built his fine home now occupied by A. J. Wacker. Mr. Wacker was a fine character, a pillar in the Zion Lutheran Church. He died in 1943.

Also the venerable Joseph Ours died this year.


This year the Union Bank built their new building at the corner of Cedar and 4th Streets and moved in that same year. This building now houses the Post Office.


Geo. " Curly " Kelley is a Wilton boy and resides in the down town district.


This year we might call a promoting year as the town started to have a hole sunk 2,000 feet in prospecting for oil or gas but when the driller arrived at the depth of 1100 feet, he seemed to have gotten cold feet and compromised with the committee and quit the job.

Wm. Templeman came to town this year. He has been employed at various occupations and is now meat cutter at Lamp's Store, lives on West 5th Street.


H. G. Nicolaus was born in Wilton. After passing through the public schools, he entered into the News business and also assisted the Nicolaus Bros. in their clothing store. In the year 1929 he became interested in the banking business with his father who was President of the Wilton Savings Bank. After his father's death in 1937, he was advanced to the Presidency of the Bank, an office that he now holds. He resides on the corner of 5th and Cedar Streets. Mr. Nicholaus is among the leading citizens of the town.

Henry Nielsen came to town this year, retired, lives in South Wilton.

H. F. Jarr first came to Wilton this year, a butcher by trade, now employed in the Economy Food Market. Resides on East 5th Street.

Geo. Crooker came to Wilton this year, "Odd Genius" "Nuff Sed."

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