Wilton History

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



The Grace Reformed Church built the choir loft this year, under the pastorate of J. W. Bechtel, also this year S. W. Kresge became pastor.

Rev. M. E. Lumbar became Pastor of the Presbyterian Church,he remained as Pastor for 5 years.

Alexander R. Leith was born here this year, he is now employed by the Economy Lumber Company, lives corner 5th and Cedar Streets.


Paul Darting born here, operates filling station corner of 5th and Cherry Streets, lives on West 5th Street.

Ernest Friederichsen built his home this year, now occupied by his wife, Mrs. Minnie Friederichsen.

Claridon Doyle came here this year and is now employed at D. V. Smull Hardware store, lives on the corner of 3rd and Chestnut Streets.

Earl Whitmer began business this year making burial vaults, went to Muscatine, returned to Wilton in 1915, still making vaults. He built the building for a garage in 1921 and operated as a garage until sold to Stormer. He is now located on South Cedar Street, lives on North Cherry Street.


Wm. Port came to town this year, he buys and sells poultry, lives on North Cedar Street.

Art Atkinson came here this year, lives on West 1st Street.

Earl Atkinson came here this year, employed in the Tri-Cities, lives on corner of 6th and Chestnut Streets.

Mrs. Minnie E. Dice built her home this year.

Geo. Holzhauer built his home this year.


K. G. Grunder came here this year and worked for W. A. Grunder, a contractor, until 1932 then began to contract for himself. He built the following houses, the one at the corner of Pine and 6th Streets, now occupied by Chet Ellis, he then built the house between 4th and 5th Streets on West side of Oak Street, now occupied by Lillie Leth, he then remodeled the house on North side of 5th Street, now occupied by Mrs. Anna Hahn, he then purchased the home of the late W. D. Harris and has remodeled it and is now occupying same for his home. He is a member of the Town Council. Kirk is one of our energetic citizens.

Harold Duncan born here, resides in South Wilton.

Henry Thede came here to operate the hotel on Front Street. He sold out and was out of business for some time, then he took over the hotel business again, but in 1932, he changed the location to the D. C. Agnew residence on the highway. In 1936 he changed to what is known as the Wayside Cafe, which he later sold and quit business. He died in 1943.


F. E. Walters came here this year, first clerked in the Star Drug Store, then he entered the service of World War I. After return from service he became Assistant Cashier of the Wilton Savings Bank, he is now Cashier, also Secretary of Oakdale Cemetery Association, Treasurer of Wilton Schools, lives on West 5th Street.

This year James Kelley and his wife became estranged which increased as time went on but the climax came in August this year. His wife was living with her sister when Kelley appeared. His wife ran upstairs to get away from him but he followed and shot her while she was in a closet and also killed himself. This occured in South Wilton.


F. A. Duffe came here this year, retired, lives on West 4th Street.

Hans Ericksen, born here, a laborer, lives in South Wilton.


Francis Atkinson, born here, spent some time in the service, is a radio mechanic, lives on East 6th Street.

The town was shocked to the limit when the news was spread of the terrible accident that had occured on the railroad crossing on Cypress Street where the Arterial Highway crossed, when train No. 7, the Rocky Mountain Limited, struck an automobile driven by Dr. Harold H. Johnson. Four other people were in the car with him. Of this group four were killed, their bodies horribly mangled; the top being down, one jumped out on a side track where he was badly injured. They were all citizens of Princeton, Iowa. Dr. Johnson, a former Wilton citizen, had only a short time before, moved to Princeton. The engineer, being Tom Dunn, a former Wilton boy, could not stop the train until it had passed the depot about five blocks from where the accident occured. The auto was so tightly bent around the pilot that power had to be used to extricate it. It was surely a twisted wreckage.

Rudolph Sebelien came to Wilton this year and built his fine home on Wate Street, Mr. Sebelien is the owner of several farms, he is one of those quiet citizens attending to his own affairs.

Geo. Whitmer came to Wilton this year, he lives in one of the Leith apartments.

Dr. H. E. Henderson first came to Wilton this year, a Veternary by profession. After a short while he was called to service in World War I. After he returned from service he was at different localities but he returned to Wilton in 1939 to practice his profession, he lives on the corner of 6th and Cedar Streets.

Louis Schroeder is one of our citizens.

Leonard Belzer came to Wilton this year, served in World War I, he is now serving as express messenger and mail carrier.

Kermit Christensen born in Wilton, a sign painter, lives on 1st Street.

F. L. Duffe came to town this year, retired, he at one time operated a grocery store in the Beacon Block, lives on East 3rd Street.

A. I. Ericksen born in Wilton, a laborer, lives in South Wilton.

Robert Budelier came to Wilton this year, retired, bought the H. E. Nicolaus home on West 4th Street, died in 1941.

J. C. Kerr came to Wilton this year, retired, lives on East 5th Street.

J. M. Chamberlin came to Wilton this year, retired, lived south of depot, died in 1946.


This year is when the City Council constructed the Sanitary Sewer System, which included the major part of the town. The contractors encountered quite a few difficulties, it was quite a proposition in crossing under the railroad tracks, then ran against a large boulder about 12 feet under the surface which took some time to remove, then in several places came in contact with sand which caused the City considerable trouble, the construction company met with a sad circumstance when one of their employees was killed.

The outlet of the sanitary sewer system is in the south part of the city near Mud Creek, that flows just south of the city limits. The filter plant or beds were constructed here and a large septic tank was installed, the sewer system was a great benefit to the city and the sewer pipes were made of cement and quite an asset to the city, one of the most serious things we have to contend with is the roots of the elm trees near the sewer, all in all it is a wonderful thing for the city.

H. F. Lauser came to Wilton this year to manage a lumber yard, is now employed at Gordon Van Tine in Davenport, served as Mayor of the town at one time, lives on East 6th Street.

Robert McCoy came to Wilton this year, works in the power plant, lives on West 4th Street.

Carl Sterner came to town this year, he is a truck gardner, also has some bees, lives on North Oak Street.

John Laucamp came to Wilton this year, is an auto mechanic, operates a garage on corner of Chestnut and 4th Streets. Lives in South Wilton.

Geo. McCoy came to Wilton this year.

L. C. Kiser came to Wilton this year, his time has been employed by handling hay and mineral feeds, lives on West 5th Street, a respected citizen.

Robert Nicolaus a Wilton boy passed through the Wilton Schools, is now employed at the Wilton Savings Bank and lives at his father's home.


John Bolly came to Wilton this year, retired, lives on East Wate Street. A respected citizen.

Geo. Marolf came to Wilton this year, retired, lives on Maurer Street. A rspected citizen.

Thos. H. Owens came to Wilton this year, was employed by the railroad. Made his home on East 5th Street, was a member of the town council. Died in 1946.


L. S. McCoy came to Wilton this year, has been employed as Night Watchman for the last fifteen years.

Gus Sambdman came to Wilton this year, he is now employed by the R. E. A.

Henry Kook came to Wilton this year, he is now employed by the railroad, lives on South Chestnut Street.

Harry Maurer came to Wilton this year, he is an auto mechanic, employed in the Tri-Cities, lives on West 4th Street.

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